It seems that there has been quite an exodus of small birds associated with summer during the last twenty-four hours and an influx of classic autumn birds with more waterfowl arriving.
A saunter into the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton this morning paid off with a super adult male Merlin chasing the passerines around the nectar crop strip next to 'shrike hedge' plus a couple of Whinchats in the same area. Later on there were 2/3 Clouded Yellow butterflies on the nectar crop strip nearer to the Brampton Valley Way.
A subsequent recce at Pitsford Reservoir from the Old Scaldwell Road Feeding Station was sufficient to spot a Great White Egret, four Pintail, a Dunlin and a Green Sandpiper in the Scaldwell Bay and a juvenile Shag on and next to the causeway near to the tunnel. A subsequent more thorough perusal by David Arden later added a second Great White Egret, a Garganey, an Osprey and three Hobbies. This evening there was a juvenile Black Tern and a very good-looking freshly moulted adult winter plumage Mediterranean Gull (plus just two Yellow-legged Gulls) all off the Sailing Club.
Hollowell Reservoir hosted two Great White Egrets, an adult Yellow-legged Gull, two Common Sandpipers and a Whinchat. Harrington Airfield seemed very quiet for passerines this afternoon but there were still two Common Redstarts between the Chippings Compound and Bunker One, four over-flying Crossbills, three Ravens and a Hobby. Nearby at Lamport Hall, there was no sign of any Pied Flycatchers, only a single first year male Common Redstart and three/four Spotted Flycatchers were found. The Yellow Wagtail flock had also reduced considerably and I only saw nine with cattle in the cow fields at Hanging Houghton.
Blueberry Farm still hung on to some of it's birds with at least two Common Redstarts present plus four Whinchats, a Marsh Harrier and a Short-eared Owl that seemingly set off aiming for Harrington Airfield! A male Common Redstart was still present off the footpath leading from Twywell Hills and Dales Country Park.
In the Nene Valley, Chris Green noted ten Common Snipe at Irthlingborough Lakes and Meadows, a Whinchat was near Bozeat and a Dunlin was on the scrape at Summer Leys LNR. At Stanwick Pits Steve Fisher totaled up a Cattle Egret, three Great White Egrets, about fifty Wigeon, two Little Ringed Plovers, five Common Sandpipers, a Dunlin, a Ringed Plover and nine Yellow-legged Gulls.
|Juvenile Shag at Pitsford|
Reservoir courtesy of