Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Spring into summer


We seem to have entered a period of sunshine and warm temperatures but also a worrying lack of rain as our continental-style weather continues.

The Black-necked Grebe popped up again at Summer Leys after remaining hidden for most of the morning - the islands are fantastic for breeding and migrant birds there but they do have a habit of hiding what you are trying to look at! Steve Fisher's early morning jaunt at Stanwick Pits provided views of a Garganey on the Main Lake. A Peregrine showed well at Thrapston Pits today.

Up to three Hobbies have been on show at and over the village today and it's difficult to look up and not see a Common Buzzard or Red Kite. The head count of juvenile Pied Wagtails in the garden has now gone up to six and is presumably a mix of two different broods? They and the attendant adults have to be on high alert as the regular male Sparrowhawk is visiting the garden several times each day.

A couple of Broad-bodied Chasers have sallied through the garden today but not lingered and Fiona's moth trap caught plenty of interesting specimens overnight. The warm temperatures and calmer conditions have clearly stimulated more bat activity as we slip from spring to summer, but so far they seem to be just pipistrelle types.

Butterflies have been inspiring people locally and at the moment Salcey Forest is providing plenty of Wood Whites. It already seems to be a good season for Small Heaths with them being seen at a variety of sites and immigrants in the shape of Painted Lady and Clouded Yellow have been seen in the county during the last week or so. Black Hairstreak enthusiasts are awaiting their first emergence any day now!


Neil M

Black-tailed Godwit
at Summer Leys earlier
in the month courtesy
of Geoff Walker.

Fungus Beetle courtesy
of Robin Gossage.

Ornate Brigadier by
Robin Gossage.

Canada Goose and family.

Mother Shipton (day
flying moth).

Singing Corn Bunting by
Cathy Ryden. Once a regular
if localised bird for us in
Northamptonshire they are
now very scarce but still quite
numerous to the east of us
in parts of Cambridgeshire and

Not everyone has a Rook
as a breeding bird in their
garden. It can be quite a
 noisy affair!
Image courtesy of
Jim Dunkley.

An image of an interesting
Common Buzzard taken by
Jim Dunkley recently. The tail is
severely abraded and this bird appears
 to be in active wing moult and
replacing the inner primaries. I'm
sure this tired-looking bird has an
 unusual story behind it!

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