Friday, 12 May 2017

County Bird Race


A visit to the dam area of Pitsford Reservoir in the rain this morning suggested there was little that was new. Three Oystercatchers were in the grounds of the Sailing Club and the Moulton Grange spit attracted a Common Sandpiper, six Ringed Plovers and two Little Ringed Plovers.

A wander around Harrington Airfield late morning procured a Wheatear, three pairs of Grey Partridge and the very welcome sight and sound of a 'purring' Turtle Dove!

Tomorrow (Saturday) will be taken up completing a 24 hour bird race whereby four locally-based observers will endeavour to record as many bird species within the county boundary of Northamptonshire as is possible from Midnight to Midnight. So by Midnight tonight Phil Horsnail, Jacob Spinks, Bob Bullock and I hope to be at our first site trying to see or more likely hear the first possible bird species!

Having done this before a few times, I know how weary we will have become by early afternoon so hope to co-opt a safe driver (Helen Franklin) to prolong our effort (and agony) until we feel we cannot see or hear any more! May is the traditional month to try to find the maximum number of species albeit that the seasons seem to be becoming earlier.

There are always some relatively common species that prove to be difficult on the day, and of course our visiting waders and terns can be fleeting, but we aim to visit most of the prime spots in the county to record our feathery friends! However if you think you can assist by putting us on to a bird you know about or that you find during the day we would very much like to hear from you! If you are able please text me on 07905 596427...

Although it is a bit of fun, the serious side of this effort is that some familiar birds have become much scarcer in recent years and are often tricky to find. Some of course have increased and this day will highlight these variations.


Neil McMahon
07905 596427

Hobby at Summer
Leys. courtesy of
Robin Gossage.

Osprey at Pitsford Reservoir,
courtesy of Robin Gossage.

We hope to see Hobby tomorrow but can
we see one of the wandering Rutland Water
project Ospreys?

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