Ten hours of a particularly warm and sunny day in September were spent birding the 10 x 10 km SP54 tetrad in the deep south of Northamptonshire as part of the Banbury Ornithologists Society (BOS) survey process.
The most obvious birds first thing were plenty of Siskins and Meadow Pipits on the move, and the movement continued all day. Lesser Black-backed Gulls adorned many fields and the abundance of flying insects including Crane Flies ensured they were clumsily hawking insects in the still conditions. Chiffchaffs were also very common today, their calls and some song from the juveniles ringing out from hedges and copses wherever we went.
Kingfishers were found at three sites and Grey Wagtails at four and Yellow Wagtails at five. Little Grebes still feeding young were at Trafford Bridge and Great Crested Grebes were feeding a youngster at Edgcote Lake. Two Little Owls were calling near Greatworth, two Spotted Flycatchers were in trees not far from Thorpe Mandeville, two Redpolls were seen along the River Cherwell near Edgcote and a Raven was heard calling there. A covey of five Grey Partridges were a good find between Culworth and Sulgrave.
Butterflies included Red Admiral, Brimstone, Speckled Wood and Small Heath and plenty of dragonflies even included a late Brown Hawker.
At Market Harborough today an Otter was seen well but briefly in the River Welland behind Waitrose and the river also attracted a swimming Grass Snake and a Kingfisher.
The birds at Stanwick included the full complement of nine Cattle Egrets and six Crossbills were in Wakerley Wood but only seen in flight close to the car park.
At Harrington Airfield there were two Common Redstarts again plus a Whinchat, a Turtle Dove and Hobby and Pitsford Reservoir hosted four Great White Egrets in the Scaldwell Bay plus a Red-crested Pochard, an adult Yellow-legged Gull and a Hobby.
Nick Wood completed some ringing at Chase Park Farm (near Yardley Chase) today with forty captures of 15 species which included eight Chiffchaffs, four Blackcaps, a Whitethroat and a Lesser Whitethroat.
The ringers at Stanford Reservoir were again busy today with over 300 birds processed which included 28 Meadow Pipits, 10 Reed Warblers, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 197 Blackcaps, 30 Chiffchaffs, 2 Siskins and 10 Redpolls. However the star of the show today was yet another Wryneck, the second caught and ringed at Stanford this autumn.
|Hornet Hoverfly, the largest|
hoverfly in the UK and an
excellent mimic of the Hornet!
Image courtesy of Nick Wood.
|Coupled Migrant Hawkers|
courtesy of Eleanor.
|Lesser Black-backed Gull.|