Well after seemingly weeks of very little "new" bird news that all changed yesterday when a Black Bellied Dipper was found by one of the Countryside Rangers at Sywell CP. A bird which has been a long time coming for most of us as it has been about 24 years since the last record, and one that I had always hoped that I might find.
I believe that it was quite elusive at times yesterday remaining hidden in the undergrowth hanging over the stream leading out of the Country Park
When the news broke yesterday I was competing at an agility competition in Warwickshire and my heart sank. For once I didn't mind Tor and Jaeger getting eliminated as it meant I didn't have to hang around for the results so I was soon heading back over the border into Northants and was very relieved to have the bird safely on my "county list".
This morning I headed back over to Sywell CP as I wanted a better view of the bird. I expected to find birders everywhere but there were only two !!! We soon located the Black Bellied Dipper perched on the wall of the overflow. As we watched it dropped down into the overflow to feed and then would pop up on the wall again with a tasty morsel. It then flew further towards the dam and was bobbing about and feeding in the cascading water. It was very obliging.
More birders arrived as did the general public as Sywell CP is a very popular place at the weekends. Later in the day I think there must have been a heart stopping moment when it was attacked by a Sparrowhawk and wasn't seen for a while. Much to everyone's relief it was found sheltering in a pipe and was quite difficult to see. Fingers crossed that it hasn't been injured or that the Sparrowhawk doesn't have another attempt.
After I had enjoyed watching the bird and spent time catching up with some "old" familiar faces who had dusted off their binoculars and met some new people it was time to walk my two young collies Jaeger and Rouzel around the reservoir. The regular birds were evident, a Cettis Warbler, Water Rail and a scattering of Siskins. Two Grey Wagtails were showing well in the car park and providing some entertainment by dancing about on the parked cars as they searched for food.
When I got home I took the hound Tor out for a run. My route took me along the Brampton Valley Way and past a rough field below Brixworth. Hunting over this field was a Short Eared Owl and as I neared home a Barn Owl was hunting below Hanging Houghton [11am].
This afternoon there was a Barn Owl hunting near the village of Old.
Late in the afternoon whilst feeding the birds in front of the barn below Hanging Houghton I heard the distinctive "trill" of Waxwing. The trill appeared to be coming from behind the barn and when I went to investigate there were 10 Waxwings perched on top of the trees, but they flew when they saw me approaching.
Two Barn Owls started hunting between the barn and the large manure heap. I continued walking around the fields as as the light was disappearing a Short Eared Owl joined in the hunting foray. I suspect that it was the same bird which I had seen earlier in the day
Wow, what a weekend !!!
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