Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Terns, nest-boxes and butterflies!


Eric Graham was again patch-working at Thrapston Pits this morning and enjoyed an excellent haul of birds which included a Great White Egret (set to summer here?), an Osprey fishing on Aldwincle Lake, two or three Black Terns, three Cuckoos and still the singing Nightingale by the bridge over the river between Town Lake and the Titchmarsh Reserve.

There is plenty of tit nest-box monitoring going on in the county these days with many recorders finding some large clutches and subsequent broods of chicks this year. The many nest-boxes on the reserve at Pitsford Reservoir take up at least one day's monitoring of each week in the spring and this year there is a pair of Marsh Tits using a box (with young) and a pair of Nuthatch in another box with their seven nestlings!

Today the tern rafts at Pitsford Reservoir were checked for occupancy and 40 Common Tern nests were counted containing 97 eggs. Four of these nests were on a brand new raft only constructed, launched and moored on 22nd May! In addition the pair of Oystercatcher have hatched their three eggs. A Little Tern was busy fishing in the Scaldwell Bay this afternoon, close to the Bird Club Hide.

A modest ringing session at Brixworth Water Treatment Works today provided 31 captures amounting to four Magpies, twenty Starlings, three Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a Blackbird, a Dunnock, a Great Tit and a Yellowhammer. A pair of Gadwall there was a new species for the site and other birds included a Hobby, a Yellow Wagtail and singing singles of Sedge and Reed Warbler.

Details of a ringing recovery of a Sedge Warbler came through today - a juvenile bird was caught and ringed at Pitsford Reservoir on 30th July 2016 and captured again on Alderney, the Channel Isles on 19th April this year as an early returning summer visitor. It is very likely that this bird has wintered south of the Sahara during the two interim winters, I wonder where it is now?

David Arden has been out and about with his camera again, this time photographing butterflies in the region...


Neil M

Duke of Burgundy butterfly. 

Grizzled Skipper.

Large Skipper.

Common Blue.

All images courtesy
of David Arden.

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