Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Ditchford WeBS count


I spent much of the day completing an early September WeBS count at Ditchford Pits, initially in cloudy conditions but later in strong, warm sunshine. Sometimes it's tough being a WeBS counter! Actually there were very few water birds to count and I spent some of my time watching the clouds of Migrant Hawker dragonflies and other insects. Two pond turtles or terrapins were seen on different pits and there were some sizeable Leather or Mirror Carp active too.  

Birds of note included eight Egyptian Geese, a Snipe, a Dunlin and three Common Sandpipers west of Ditchford Lane. The Kingfisher numbers are still very low this year and I only recorded two today. The number of calling Cetti's Warblers suggested a reasonable post-breeding population on-site and Water Rails with young was good news. Meadow Pipits are passing over the county now, just a few at the moment but no doubt this number will quickly grow during September as the majority of the population in Scotland and Northern England filter south with some going as far as Iberia and even North Africa.

Other birds at Ditchford included a Hobby, just two Little Egrets, a Grey Wagtail, a couple of Ravens and a calling Little Owl. A Water Stick Insect was an impressive looking beast!

Eleanor visited Harrington Airfield today and located two Common Redstarts, a Wheatear and a Whinchat and birds in the Brampton Valley/Blueberry Farm area amounted to a Corn Bunting, another Common Redstart and two Whinchats. A/the Sacred Ibis of unknown origin was noted flying over Desborough today, Steve Fisher found five Cattle Egrets at Stanwick  and Summer Leys hosted two Great White Egrets, a Garganey, a Greenshank, a Black-tailed Godwit and a Common Sandpiper.

Finally I saw the juvenile Little Gull at Pitsford Reservoir again this evening, this time with other gulls in the Pintail Bay. Several Yellow-legged Gulls were also present.


Neil M

Migrant Hawkers...oh and
there were plenty of Blackberries
at Ditchford as usual too!

Terrapin sp at it's
usual sun bathing spot!

Water Stick Insect - apparently
the longest aquatic insect in
the UK!

Yellow-legged Gull at
Pitsford Reservoir courtesy
of Dave Jackson.

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