Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Willow Warblers, Common Whitethroats and Ospreys


A bird ringing session was completed at Harrington Airfield today with the capture and processing of 62 individuals of twelve species all of which are typical breeding birds on-site. Of six Willow Warblers, four were re-traps from previously including two returning birds from 2019 and one individual that was ringed as an adult there on 2nd June 2017. This means that this bird which weighs all of nine grams will have already clocked up at least four return journeys to Africa! The breeding 'colony' of Willow Warblers at Harrington do exhibit a strong site fidelity and it seems that there are more than ever there this year. Nine Common Whitethroats were caught and one was a returning bird from 2018.

On my arrival at the old airfield complex at about 4am this morning there was a Barn Owl flying around by the concrete track entrance and at 4.25am an Osprey flew over low to the north. Burnett Companions (day-flying moths) were in good numbers as were a variety of common butterflies once the dew had dissipated and the sun came out. 

Another ringing session took place at Stortons Pits today which resulted in thirty or so birds and Common Whitethroats were present in good numbers.

The Quail was calling again this morning in the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton, being audible at 5.30am and again at 6.45am - both times it sounded as if the bird was calling from a large wheat field. A drake Garganey was again on the main lake at Stanwick Pits this morning and an Osprey and two Common Sandpipers were at the dam end of Pitsford Reservoir late morning. Another Osprey was on the Elinor trout fishing lake at Thrapston Pits at 7.45pm this evening and at least one Barn Owl was circulating around the Hanging Houghton parish. John Hunt noted an Osprey flying north-west over Spratton village at 5.30pm this afternoon.

Interesting insects in the garden today included a male Beautiful Demoiselle and Scarlet Tiger moth and an on-territory 'purring' Turtle Dove was confirmed at a site in the county. Black Hairstreak butterflies were seen at Salcey Forest and Glapthorn Cow pastures today.


Neil M

Willow Warbler.

Common Whitethroat.


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