Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Harrington Airfield


I spent a bit of time at Harrington Airfield today, initially with a walk this morning to feed the birds when I encountered the male Common Redstart from two days ago, about 200m from the Chippings Compound towards Bunker One. This bird is still in good plumage but I fully expect it to stay around for a while whilst it undergoes the moult process.

This afternoon there were plenty of active insects, particularly when the sun came out and a few Marbled Whites were probably the best on view. Martin Swannell and I watched as an Osprey overfly the disused airfield heading roughly WSW. Prior to that I disturbed a Stoat on one of the tracks carrying something. It dropped it's prey and ran off. It had obviously raided a nest as the prey was a fledgling Linnet. Guessing it would come back I waited and the warning calls of birds became louder as they tracked something on the ground under the bushes and sure enough the Stoat popped out, grabbed the dead Linnet and ran off, all too quick for me and my camera!

Please note that there will be no access to the old airstrip and bunkers on Thursday due to ringing operations - the concrete track and footpaths will be unaffected.

A first summer Yellow-legged Gull was off the dam at Pitsford Reservoir this morning and birds at Hollowell Reservoir included the Ruddy Shelduck and a Green Sandpiper. Two Black-tailed Godwits and a Common Sandpiper and six Little Ringed Plovers were on the Summer Leys LNR with a Common Sandpiper on nearby Hardwater Lake.


Neil M

This Stoat was photographed
at Harrington Airfield in 2017,
a Rabbit being the prize on
that occasion.

Little Ringed Plover
courtesy of Robin Gossage.

A pair of Ruddy Shelduck at
Pitsford Reservoir way back
in 2014!

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