Monday, 11 November 2019

Berry-eating gulls!


With more rain last night, there was more sodden ground and raging brooks in the centre of the county this morning! A quick look around a few sites on the Kelmarsh Estate this morning didn't provide any birds of note so on to Pitsford Reservoir where there were still four Red-crested Pochards (two drakes) in the Scaldwell Bay and three Stonechats.

A first for me was watching a small flock of Black-headed Gulls trying to pluck sloe berries from the bushes around the Old Scaldwell Road Feeding Station! I've watched these birds taking caterpillars and insects whilst hovering over bushes but I didn't even know they liked sloe berries - at least one bird was successful and another actually landed in a bush to try it's luck!

A little later I ended up at Harrington Airfield and took a soggy walk across the top fields and around the bunkers. A good three hundred Fieldfares were swirling around at very low level around the bushes because of the strong wind - smaller numbers of Starlings and Redwings were with them. A single Woodcock flushed up from bushes and another was also flushed from field hedges near Hanging Houghton. Vis mig today seemed weak with a just a couple of Siskins and a few small flocks of Redwing going over south.

At the south end of Pitsford Reservoir this afternoon the unwell adult Mediterranean Gull was straddling the pontoon next to the Sailing Club and there were three female/immature Common Scoters - the original bird from yesterday was between the Pintail and Yacht Bays with two others in the open water of the main basin.

Northampton's Chronicle and Echo on-line newspaper reports that an Otter is being regularly seen in Abington Park, Northampton!


Neil M

Black-headed Gull courtesy
of Dave Jackson.


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