Northants Monthly Sightings

The monthly sightings are collated and contribute by Bob Bullock.  They are published with his kind permission and reproduced in good faith.  All records remain unauthenticated until verified by the Northamptonshire Bird Report (Northants Birds) Committee.

OCTOBER 2017

Highlights: A Dusky Warbler was trapped and ringed at Stanford Reservoir on 19th and is the first county record.  The same date produced a Yellow-browed Warbler at Irthlingborough Lakes and Meadows. A Cattle Egret was seen at Stanwick GP on 16th and 17th and at nearby Ditchford GP on 17th. A Firecrest was at Pitsford Reservoir 2nd with a Snow Bunting over there on 30th. A Black Redstart was present in Orlingbury from 26th to 30th, also on 30th, a Mealy Redpoll was at Daventry CP and a ‘Siberian’ Chiffchaff at Boddington Reservoir. A Waxwing flew over Hanging Houghton on 29th.  Great White Egrets numbers built up with peaks of four at Pitsford, three at both Stanford Reservoir and Thrapston GP, two at both Ravensthorpe Reservoir and Stanwick GP and singles at Ditchford GP and over M1 motorway at Harpole. A minor passage of Hawfinches was first noted on 10th over Long Buckby and continued throughout the month, with small numbers, up to eight, over 15 sites throughout the county.
  
Daventry CP: Merlins were noted on 9th and 18th, four Whooper Swans visited (29th) and a Red-crested Pochard. Waders included Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff, three Green Sandpipers, 100 Golden Plovers and a Yellow-legged Gull was present.

Earls Barton GP: A Marsh Harrier was noted on two days, an Osprey (1st) and a Peregrine, a Bittern visited and a Ring Ouzel stayed two days.

Harrington Airfield: Two Merlins, two Ring Ouzels, four Crossbills and a few Bramblings were noted.

Hollowell Reservoir: Single Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Grey Plover, Knot and Little Ringed Plover and seven Ringed Plovers were logged. Three Caspian and two Yellow-legged Gulls were regularly present. Up to four Rock Pipits, four Stonechats and a Wheatear were noted.

Pitsford Reservoir: Up to three Whooper Swans stayed for two weeks and Pintails peaked at 27 and Little Egrets totalled 28.  One or two Little Stints visited along with a Curlew Sandpiper, Grey Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Jack Snipe, eight Ruffs, seven Dunlins, two Greenshanks, six Ringed Plovers, 12 Golden Plovers and single Green and Common Sandpipers. Three Caspian, four Yellow-legged and a Mediterranean Gull were noted also a Water Pipit and three Stonechats.

Ravensthorpe Reservoir: A Whooper Swan, 21 Golden Plovers, four Green Sandpipers and single Caspian and Yellow-legged Gull were recorded.

Stanford Reservoir: Three Red-crested Pochards, four Pintails, a Merlin, a Ring Ouzel, two Stonechats and a Little Gull (31st ) were complemented by single Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff and Green Sandpiper, and six Golden Plovers.

Stanwick GP: Four Whooper Swans visited and a Pink-footed Goose stayed for 13 days. Single Turnstone, Little Stint, Ruff and Common Sandpiper and two Redshanks were joined by two Mediterranean, a Caspian and nine Yellow-legged Gulls. Also present were a Merlin, a Stonechat and two Bramblings.


Other sites: Thrapston GP hosted a Red-crested Pochard, a Peregrine and a late Hobby (15th). A Caspian Gull and two Green Sandpipers were present at Naseby reservoir. A Marsh Harrier and two Stonechats visited Borough Hill, Seven Whooper Swans visited Blatherwycke Lake briefly and three more over Bulwick on 29th. A Black-necked Grebe stayed at Ringstead GP from 14th. Merlins were also reported over East Hunsbury and Kingsthorpe Northampton. A Common Scoter stayed for two days at Boddington reservoir.  A Jack Snipe, a Peregrine and two Green Sandpipers were seen at Deene Lake. At Ditchford GP, three Stonechats and a Green Sandpiper visited Ditchford GP. A Short-eared Owl and two Woodcocks were flushed at Blueberry Farm Maidwell and near Hanging Houghton, a Ring Ouzel (29th) and up to 12 Bramblings were noted. 


SEPTEMBER 2017

Highlights: Strong winds on 13th brought a Grey Phalarope to Hollowell Reservoir which stayed until 17th, two fly-over juvenile Gannets and a juvenile Sabine’s Gull to Daventry CP, the latter remained until 15th. A Manx Shearwater picked up in Duston, Northampton
Sabine's Gull - Dave Jackson
on 
15th was taken into care and transferred to a bird hospital in Swansea. An adult Azorean Yellow-legged Gull was reported at Stanwick GP on 8th and 15th. A ‘ringtail’ Hen Harrier visited Stanford reservoir on 17th and two Brent Geese flew over Daventry CP on 26th. Four juvenile Gannets passed over Ravensthorpe reservoir on 30th and up to two Great White Egrets were present at Pitsford Reservoir all month with singles also at Sulby Reservoir on 16th and at Stanwick GP on 20th.

Daventry CP: A Little Gull, two Caspian and four Yellow-legged Gulls were logged also three Greenshanks, two Ruffs, four Green and two Common Sandpipers and a Dunlin.

Harrington Airfield:  A Short-eared Owl was seen (17th) also a Tree Pipit, three Whinchats a Redstart and 43 Golden Plovers.

Hollowell: Wader highlights included four Turnstones, two Little Stints, 12 Ringed  and a Little Ringed Plover, three Dunlins, Redshank, three Common and one Green Sandpiper.  A Caspian Gull was regular and a Yellow-legged Gull was noted.  Osprey, Hobby and Short-eared Owl visited and passerines included a Rock Pipit, Whinchat, two Stonechats and a Redstart.

Pitsford Reservoir: Two Common Scoters (1st), two Garganeys and 17 Pintails were present and Marsh Harrier (1st), Osprey, Peregrine and two Hobbies. Two Little Stints, a Turnstone, Grey Plover, a Spotted Redshank (for two weeks), and peak counts of 24 Ringed Plovers, 11 Ruffs, 10 Dunlins, eight Greenshanks,  three Black-tailed Godwits, two Little Ringed Plovers, two Common Sandpipers, and single Golden Plover and Green Sandpiper were all attracted by the large expanse of mud. A Black Tern (3rd) a Caspian and up to six Yellow-legged Gulls, two Redstarts, two Whinchats, two Stonechats and a White Wagtail were also present.

Stanford Reservoir: An Arctic Tern stayed for four days and a Marsh Harrier for three. Osprey and Peregrine were also noted. The active ringing group caught and ringed eight Redstarts and a total of over 450 Blackcaps on just one weekend. A Red-crested Pochard visited, also two Whinchats and two Stonechats. Seven Black-tailed Godwits was the peak along with four Ruffs, Greenshank, two Green and a Common Sandpiper.

Stanwick Lakes: Two Mediterranean Gulls were regular, up to 14 Yellow-legged Gulls and a Caspian Gull. An Arctic Tern passed through also two Pintails, three Hobbies and a Whinchat.  Waders included a Black-tailed Godwit, a Ruff and two each of Greenshank, Green and Common Sandpiper.

Other sites: Ospreys were noted at Fawsley Park Lake on six days, White Mills Marina on four dates, Welford reservoir, Bulwick and Aldwincle. A Marsh Harrier visited Boddington reservoir. Naseby reservoir hosted an adult Caspian Gull, two Green Sandpipers and two Ringed Plovers. A Short-eared Owl was at Burton Wold, a Pied Flycatcher was trapped and ringed at Southwick, a Whinchat at Bugbrooke, a Stonechat at Clifford Hill GP and a Redstart at Twywell. Eight Crossbills flew over Long Buckby. Ditchford GP hosted a Mediterranean Gull and at Ravensthorpe reservoir a Wood Sandpiper (9th), six Green Sandpipers and a Little Gull all visited. Brampton Valley Way hosted two Redstarts, two Stonechats a Wheatear and a Tree Pipit.

AUGUST 2017

Highlights: An adult Baird’s Sandpiper at Stanford Reservoir stayed just a short while on 1st and is only the third county record. A juvenile Night Heron, the 11th county record, was belatedly reported from a garden pond in Blisworth from late July to 7th. An adult Temminck’s Stint showed well at Stanwick GP from 21st for 10 days, a Quail was heard singing in the early hours of 16th at Harrington Airfield and at Pitsford Reservoir one or two Great White Egrets were present all month.

Clifford Hill GP: A Caspian Gull was identified and up to four Yellow-legged Gulls also an early returning Goldeneye along with the presumed escape Bufflehead still at large. A Greenshank and a Common Sandpiper, Peregrine, two Redstarts and a juvenile Stonechat (13th) were logged.

Daventry CP: Three Caspian and three Yellow-legged Gulls visited and a female Common Scoter stayed six days from 9th. Waders included single Sanderling, Black-tailed Godwit, Greenshank and Redshank also six Green and two Common Sandpipers.

Hollowell Reservoir: An Osprey visited a number of days and three Little Terns (28th) were the highlights. Waders included a Sanderling, Black-tailed Godwit, three Ringed and a Little Ringed Plover, four Dunlins and a Common Sandpiper. Whinchat and Yellow-legged Gulls were noted.

Pitsford Reservoir: Two Garganeys were present also a drake Common Scoter (26th) and a Goldeneye. A high count of 29 Black-tailed Godwits was made, also 14 Greenshanks, 11 Dunlins, seven Common and five Green Sandpipers, Ruff, two Redshanks, five Ringed and two Little Ringed Plovers. Adult Mediterranean Gull, two Yellow-legged Gulls, Whinchat and two White Wagtails were noted along with a Peregrine and an Osprey on several dates.

Stanford Reservoir: A Wood Sandpiper stayed for three days and a Turnstone for one. Black-tailed Godwits were present for most of the month with peaks of 11 and 16, other waders were two Greenshanks, six Dunlins, six Little Ringed Plovers, four Green and two Common Sandpipers. Up to six Redstarts were recorded, the ringers catching four, two Whinchats and a Wheatear. A Black Tern passed through (24th) and Ospreys were seen regularly.

Stanwick Lakes: A Marsh Harrier passed through(28th), three Arctic Terns and two Caspian Gulls, a peak of 37 Yellow-legged Gulls along with two Little and a Mediterranean Gull.A Knot stayed five days and other waders were single Whimbrel, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit and Greenshank, six Green and three Common Sandpipers, two Dunlins and a Ringed Plover. A Tree Pipit was heard flying over.

Other sites: A Black Redstart visited an East Hunsbury Northampton garden (9th). A Marsh Harrier visited the Summer Leys reserve, Earls Barton GP (2nd) and Ospreys flew over Cogenhoe, Siverstone Racing Circuit and Borough Hill, where also Redstart, Whinchat, Wheatear and Tree Pipit. Boddington reservoir hosted a juvenile Mediterranean and up to four Yellow-legged Gulls, a Dunlin and four Common Sandpipers. Redstarts were also present Fawsley Park (four), Long Buckby, Priors Hall Corby, Preston Deanery, near Walgrave and Twywell Hills and Dales and further Whinchats at Sywell CP, Glapthorn Cow Pasture and Bozenham Mill.

JULY 2017


Caspian tern - Clive Bowley
Caspian tern - Clive Bowley
Highlights: A colour-ringed Caspian Tern, the fifth county record, visited both Earls Barton and Clifford Hill GPs on 1st. A female Honey Buzzard flew over Sywell on 2nd. A Bittern was seen regularly all month at Earls Barton from 7th. A Little Tern was present at Pitsford Reservoir on 9th and a Pied Flycatcher briefly at the adjacent Brixworth CP on 20th. A Great White Egret alternated between Pitsford and Earls Barton from 20th also visiting Ravensthorpe Reservoir on 29th.

Daventry CP: Three Mediterranean Gulls visited, also a second-summer Caspian and four Yellow-legged Gulls. A Turnstone up to six Green and three Common Sandpipers and a Little Ringed Plover were noted also an Osprey and two Redstarts.

Earls Barton: Four adult Mediterranean Gulls were recorded (2nd), a drake Red-crested Pochard and an Osprey. A Wood Sandpiper visited (30th) and peak counts of other waders were 13 Black-tailed Godwits, four Common Sandpipers and single Dunlin and Green Sandpiper.

Pitsford Reservoir: Parties of five, 18 and 19 Whimbrels flew through and up to seven Black-tailed Godwits. A Curlew Sandpiper (17th) was the star wader with two Turnstones, Curlew, Greenshank, Redshank, five Dunlins, 20 Common and three Green Sandpipers. Up to two Garganeys stayed a while, also two Red-crested Pochards and an early returning Goldeneye. An adult Caspian Gull, six Yellow-legged and a Mediterranean Gull were logged, an Osprey visited and an Arctic Tern and a Wheatear passed through.

Stanford Reservoir: A series of Black-tailed Godwit records included a peak count of 20, single Sanderling, Whimbrel, Turnstone and Ruff were complemented by 15 Common and three Green Sandpipers, 12 Little Ringed and one Ringed Plover, five Greenshanks, six Dunlins, Redshank and Golden Plover. One or two Ospreys were recorded on four dates and both Garganey and Redstart were seen.

Stanwick GP: Single Caspian Gulls of four different ages were identified along with a peak of 37 Yellow-legged Gulls and four Mediterranean Gulls. A Turnstone, several Black-tailed Godwits, a Little Ringed Plover, a Common Sandpiper and a Red-crested Pochard were present.

Other sites: Hollowell Reservoir hosted three Black-tailed Godwits, two Green Sandpipers and an Osprey twice. At Clifford Hill, a Redstart, a Black-tailed Godwit visited and the escaped Bufflehead remained. Mediterranean Gulls were seen over Daventry, flycatching, and Ditchford GP. Further Ospreys were noted at Welford reservoir, Haselbech and Thrapston GP where also three Black-tailed Godwits. Redstarts were near Old, Braunston, Brixworth CP and Harrington Airfield where also Whinchat and Wheatear.

JUNE 2017

Highlights: An adult Arctic Skua circled over Daventry CP and a Honey Buzzard was reported over Oundle both on 2nd. A Great White Egret visited Earls Barton GP on 14th. Male Quails were singing near Kings Sutton on 9th and Burton Latimer on 18th. A tight flock of 17 Common Scoters at Daventry CP on 30th included 12 drakes.

Daventry CP:  A small party of five Sanderlings passed through also single Dunlin and Ringed Plover.

Earls Barton GP: A Bittern was seen on two dates and a drake Garganey stayed for three days at the start of the month. A peak of 25 Black-tailed Godwits passed through (25th), Redshanks and Little Ringed Plovers had young and Peregrine and up to six Hobbies were present.

Pitsford Reservoir:  A White-fronted Goose stayed until 11th and a Sandwich Tern passed through (19th). Up to two Caspian Gulls were noted.

Stanwick GP: A pair of Mediterranean Gulls produced two young, a drake Garganey (15th) and a Black-tailed Godwit visited.

Stanford Reservoir: Two Little Terns visited (28th) and an Osprey was recorded throughout the month. Waders were well-represented with a late Jack Snipe (1st), an Avocet (25th-26th), Grey Plover, a peak of 27 Black-tailed Godwits (25th), Greenshank, Curlew, six Little Ringed and two Ringed Plovers and two Green Sandpipers. Two Yellow-legged Gulls were logged.

Other sites: Clifford Hill GP hosted both male and female Redstarts and a ringed female Bufflehead which was proved to be an escape, which also spent a day at Daventry CP. Ospreys were also noted at Welford reservoir, Blatherwycke Lake and nearby Bulwick (3). Two Mediterranean Gulls flew over Byfield and a Black-tailed Godwit over Far Cotton Northampton. A Redstart was noted in a Spratton garden and a Red-crested Pochard accompanied a duckling at Thrapston GP.

MAY 2017

Highlights: A Red-rumped Swallow, the fourth county record and the third at this site, was present at Daventry CP on 15th, a Glossy Ibis visited Earls Barton GP on 23rd and Ditchford GP on 26th. A summer-plumaged Black-throated Diver made a brief overnight visit to Pitsford reservoir on 6th-7th with a Temminck’s Stint there on 9th-10th and a drake Long-tailed Duck on 13th and 14th. A male Honey Buzzard flew over Great Brington on 16th, a Black Redstart was in Wellingborough on 23rd and two Hawfinches flew over Harrington airfield and a Bittern visited Stanwick GP, both on 29th. Great White Egrets were still present intermittently at Pitsford and Earls Barton.

Clifford Hill GP: Two parties of Bar-tailed Godwits totalled 10, two Grey Plovers, four Whimbrels, two Sanderlings and a Ruff were the pick of the waders. A drake Garganey visited and tern peaks were five Black, 10 Arctic, 50+ Common. Two Little Gulls and six Wheatears were also noted.

Daventry CP: Two Turnstones and a Bar-tailed Godwit, three Black and two groups of 12 Arctic Terns, a Little Gull, a Caspian Gull and a Scaup were all logged.

Ditchford GP: Six Grey Plovers, Turnstone, Greenshank, both Black and Bar-tailed Godwits and the more usual waders were noted. Three Red-crested Pochards included one young the first ever confirmed county breeding record. Five Black Terns and a Hobby also visited.

Earls Barton GP: An Avocet visited on 6th with two on 10th. Up to three Wood Sandpipers, three Sanderlings, five Grey Plovers, two Whimbrels, a Knot, a Turnstone, four Greenshanks and a single party of 32 Bar-tailed Godwits (5th) and eight commoner waders. A Little Tern (1st), up to five Black Terns and two Arctic Terns, a Little Gull and three Mediterranean Gulls passed through, two drake Garganeys stayed and two Marsh Harriers paid a visit.

Hollowell Reservoir: Sanderling, Bar-tailed Godwit, two Greenshanks, three Dunlins, three Ringed Plovers and a White-fronted Goose (11th) were noted.

Pitsford Reservoir: A Little Stint, a Knot, four Sanderlings, three Turnstones, three Grey Plovers, four Whimbrels, a Greenshank, 11 Black Terns, seven Arctic Terns, two Ospreys, a Red-crested Pochard, two Yellow-legged Gulls and a Blue-headed Wagtail were all recorded.Stanford: A Whooper Swan was still present on 8th and a White-fronted Goose on 30th, and a Common Scoter visited (12th). Two Little Terns (1st and 3rd), four Black and five Arctic Terns, seven Little Gulls and both Osprey and Marsh Harrier were recorded. Waders were outstanding for an inland locality with an Avocet(18th) and two more(28th),two Spotted Redshanks, four Turnstones, two Whimbrels, Wood Sandpiper, five Bar-tailed Godwits, and peaks of 13 Sanderlings, nine Greenshanks, 18 Dunlins, 27 ‘tundra’ race Ringed Plovers, four Ruffs, five Little Ringed Plovers, three Common Sandpipers and a long-staying Jack Snipe still present on 31st.

Stanwick GP: Two Garganeys, two Red-crested Pochards and a Scaup all made lengthy stays. A Marsh Harrier passed through as did two Sandwich (19th), 16 Arctic and three Black Terns, and a ‘channel’ Wagtail. Mediterranean Gulls bred here in the county for the first time. Waders included three Sanderlings, two Whimbrels, two Grey Plovers, a Turnstone, eight Dunlins and six ‘tundra’ Ringed Plovers.

Other sites: Marsh Harriers were recorded at Billing GP (8th), between Kettering and Corby (3rd) and at Boddington reservoir (23rd). A male Hen Harrier was near Wollaston (12th) and Ospreys were also noted at Naseby and Welford reservoirs and at Harrington airfield. A Mediterranean Gull was seen in flight over Wellingborough. A drake Red-crested Pochard was at Thrapston GP.

APRIL 2017

Highlights: Three Black-winged Stilts spent the day at Stanford reservoir on 20th and two of them returned on 23rd, this is only the fifth county record. The long-staying Long-tailed Duck at the latter site was identified as a male and remained until 29th. A ‘ringtail’ Hen Harrier flew over Burton Latimer on 5th. Summer-plumaged grebes included a Black-necked at Daventry CP from 4th to 11th, and a Red-necked at Stanford on 7th with two more at Daventry CP from 8th to 9th , one remaining until 13th at least. Two Spoonbills flew over Thrapston GP on 8th and two colour-ringed Common Cranes were briefly at Stanford on 9th. A party of 20 Sandwich Terns, probably the largest county party ever recorded and an adult Gannet visited Sywell CP on 15th. Up to 35 Waxwings were present in the Abington area of Northampton with the latest reported on 12th. Two Common Scoters visited Pitsford reservoir on 23rd with a Wood Warbler there on 29th. A flock of Black-tailed Godwits estimated at over 300 flew over Scaldwell on 28th the same day as a Bittern was at Earls Barton GP. Single Great White Egrets were noted at Clifford Hill GP, Stanwick GP and over Sixfields Northampton.


Wood Warbler, Pitsford (Neil McMahon)
Clifford Hill: Wader highlights included three Grey Plovers, two Bar-tailed Godwits, Whimbrel and Greenshank. Up to 12 Arctic and three Black Terns were present, single Whinchat and Redstart, a few Wheatears, peaks of 15 Yellow, 10 White and one ‘Channel’ Wagtail. A pair of Peregrines and a Red-crested Pochard was also logged.

Daventry CP: A White-fronted Goose stayed from 7th to 28th and terns included a Little (30th), Sandwich (9th) and an Arctic. An early Hobby (10th), adult Little Gull, Redstart, Yellow-legged Gull and three Common Sandpipers also visited.
Ditchford GP: A Marsh Harrier passed over (13th), a Garganey, single Greenshank, Ruff, Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers, a Wheatear and three Black Terns were all noted.

Earls Barton: Arctic Terns peaked at 20, a few Black Terns passed through and a single Little (29th) along with, two Little Gulls. Two Red-crested Pochards and a Garganey visited. Waders included a Wood Sandpiper (29th), four Whimbrels, a Curlew, two Ruffs, two Greenshanks and a Curlew. A Marsh Harrier visited (12th) and other notables were three White Wagtails, a Whinchat, two ‘Greenland’ Wheatears, a Grasshopper Warbler, five Hobbies and two Peregrines.

Hollowell Reservoir: A drake Garganey was noted also an Osprey, single Whimbrel and Jack Snipe and several Arctic Terns.

Pitsford Reservoir: Ospreys were recorded on five dates, a Marsh Harrier (14th), a Peregrine and a Short-eared Owl. Two Red-crested Pochards and a Garganey visited also Knot, eight Whimbrels, three Dunlins, two Grey, six Ringed and eight Little Ringed Plovers, three Common and one Green Sandpiper, and terns peaked at 23 Black, 55 Arctic and a Little (30th) and Little Gulls were noted on four dates. Passerines included 50+ Yellow Wagtails, a ‘Channel’ Wagtail, White Wagtail, Rock Pipit, Wheatear and up to eight Bramblings.

Stanford Reservoir: Peak wader counts were eight Black-tailed and two Bar-tailed Godwits, five Greenshanks, five Whimbrels, 14 Dunlins, 10 Ringed and 12 Little Ringed Plovers, four Common and two Green Sandpipers. Tern peaks were 110+ Arctic (27th) and one Little (30th). A count of 22 White Wagtails was unprecedented (18th).

Stanwick GP: Two Mediterranean Gulls visited the gull colony, a Marsh Harrier visited (1st), as did a female Garganey and a long-staying Scaup remained. Single Greenshank, Nightingale and Grasshopper Warblers were noted.
Thrapston: Three Red-crested Pochards, four Wheatears, two Egyptian Geese, two Redshanks, several Nightingales, 11 Black and 112 Arctic Terns (27th) were logged.

Other sites: Harrington airfield hosted a Ring Ouzel (11th), a Redstart, four Wheatears four Golden Plovers and a Short-eared Owl. Ospreys were also recorded at Foxholes Fisheries Crick, Harringworth Lodge Lake, Thorpe Waterville, Sywell, Fotheringhay, Ravensthorpe reservoir and Blatherwycke Lake. A Ring Ouzel was at Upper Catesby (22nd) and another at Newnham Hill (2nd) along with a Redstart and two Wheatears. A Whooper Swan remained at Sywell CP until 17th and one was at Bozenham Mill the next day. Redstarts were also noted at Bradlaugh Fields Northampton, Long Buckby, Badby Wood and Borough Hill. Wheatears and Peregrines were seen at several sites and Boddington reservoir hosted a party of 30+ Arctic Terns. Two Crossbills were at Bucknell Wood with a Tree Pipit over nearby Hazelborough Forest. A Grey Plover was seen in flight near Hanging Houghton.

MARCH 2017

Highlights: A Long-tailed Duck remained all month at Stanford reservoir as did a Slavonian Grebe at Pitsford reservoir where also a Red-necked Grebe until 20th. A juvenile Glaucous Gull was at Rushton landfill on 1st and 4th and an adult was near Crick on 5th. An Avocet spent a day at Earls Barton GP on 24th and a Whooper Swan stayed at Sywell CP until 22nd at least. Three Great White Egrets were present at Ditchford GP on 10th, two were regular at Earls Barton and singles were at Stanwick GP, Thrapston GP, Hollowell, Pitsford and Ravensthorpe reservoirs. Waxwing peak counts in Northampton were of 66 at Duston, 30 at East Hunsbury and elsewhere 15 at Little Billing, 12 at Hardingstone, 12 at Nassington, five at Moulton and Castlethorpe, four at Hanging Houghton and Rothwell, three at Wellingborough and one at Brackley.

Clifford Hill GP: The first Wheatear arrived on 19th, also noted were a pair of Smew, a Little Gull, two Dunlins, single Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Redshank and Little Ringed Plover.

Ditchford: Black-tailed Godwit, Jack Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Ringed Plover and two Little Gulls visited.

Earls Barton GP: Parties of up to 13 Black-tailed Godwits passed through also seven Little Gulls, four Red-crested Pochards and the first Garganeys, a pair on 21st.

Hollowell Reservoir: Both Mediterranean and Caspian Gulls were seen, also four Jack Snipe, White Wagtail, Barnacle Goose, Osprey and two Stonechats.

Pitsford Reservoir: The first Sand Martins arrived on 6th, White Wagtail on 21st and a Sandwich Tern on 31st. A White-fronted Goose remained until 25th and up to 12 Bramblings were noted. Other sightings were single Black-tailed Godwit, Jack Snipe and Curlew, three Green Sandpipers and two Redshanks, a Pintail, two Little Gulls and a Caspian Gull.

Stanford Reservoir: Up to 73 Goosanders, two Pintails and a redhead Smew also Mediterranean and Caspian Gulls. The low water level encouraged up to eight Little Ringed Plovers, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Jack Snipe, Redshank, three Dunlins, eight Golden Plovers, two Green Sandpipers and 19 Snipe to visit also a White Wagtail.

Stanwick GP: A female Scaup stayed all month and was accompanied by a drake for four days. Single Caspian, Yellow-legged, Little and Mediterranean Gulls were noted, also four Ruffs, four Redshanks and a Dunlin.

Other sites: Four Little Gulls and an Osprey visited Daventry CP, Ospreys were also recorded at Little Irchester, Ravensthorpe reservoir and two at Welford. At Rushton landfill, four different Caspian Gulls were identified and near Crick, five Caspian and three Yellow-legged Gulls, two Curlews and six Dunlins. At Thrapston, three Red-crested Pochards remained, the first Common Terns arrived on 30th and a Little Gull. Four Short-eared Owls were noted near Finedon with still two on 13th, others were at Sulgrave and at Hanging Houghton where also a Peregrine and six Stonechats. A White-fronted Goose was at Blatherwyke lake and a Kittiwake at Ravensthorpe reservoir (8th).

FEBRUARY 2017

Highlights: At Pitsford reservoir, a Slavonian Grebe remained all month, a Red-necked Grebe arrived on 13th and a party of eight Pink-footed Geese flew over on 17th. A Long-tailed Duck at Stanford reservoir and a Whooper Swan at Sywell CP both stayed all month with a Common Scoter reported at the latter on 5th. Two Bitterns were watched at Thrapston GP on 5th and another was at Stanwick GP on 6th. ‘Ringtail’ Hen Harriers were present at disused airfields at Polebrook on 10th and Grafton Underwood on 25th. An adult Iceland Gull visited Stanford on 2nd with a juvenile there on 25th. At Rushton landfill, two juvenile and a fourth-winter Glaucous Gulls were watched between 18th and 25th. White-fronted Geese included 14 at both Whiston and Earls Barton GP, two at Thrapston GP, singles at Daventry CP and Pitsford with six at Clifford Hill GP where also four Bewick’s Swans flying past on 13th. Single Great White Egrets were noted at Thrapston GP, by the River Welland at Harringworth and Hollowell reservoir, with twos at Earls Barton and Ditchford GPs, Pitsford and Ravensthorpe reservoirs. Waxwings were well reported with peaks of 50 at East Hunsbury Northampton, 43 at Wootton, 41 at Irthlingborough, 27 at Kettering, 22 at Sywell, 13 at Ditchford GP, up to 12 at Oundle, 10 at Boughton, nine at Rushton, and two at Brackley.

Clifford Hill: Two Barnacle Geese, two Peregrines, a Yellow-legged Gull and five Stonechats were seen.

Daventry CP: Two females Scaups and 14 Golden Plovers visited and gulls identified included single Mediterranean, Caspian and Yellow-legged.

Ditchford GP: A drake Scaup, single Jack Snipe and 39 Snipes and two Stonechats were recorded.

Earls Barton: A ‘redhead’ Smew, two Red-crested Pochards and a Short-eared Owl visited.
Hollowell: A Caspian Gull, a Barnacle Goose and up to six Stonechats were present, with a drake Smew and six Mandarins at nearby Ravensthorpe.

Pitsford Reservoir: A high count of 90 Snipes was made, also two Redshanks, two Green Sandpipers and a Jack Snipe. A drake Smew, a Pintail and two Red-crested Pochards were logged, along with a Merlin (13th), two Caspian, a Mediterranean and a Yellow-legged Gull, 14 Bramblings, two Willow Tits and two Stonechats.

Stanford Reservoir: Goosanders peaked at 67 also present, single ‘redhead’ Smew and Pintail, 35 Snipes, seven Golden Plovers, Jack Snipe and Green Sandpiper. Three Caspian Gulls were noted.

Other sites: At Stanwick GP, a female Scaup remained and a Peregrine was noted. At Boddington reservoir, both Mediterranean and Yellow-legged Gulls were present. Up to four Short-eared Owls remained at Neville’s Lodge Finedon and one at Twywell Hills and Dales. Two adult Caspian and two Yellow-legged Gulls were at Rushton landfill, four Crossbills were at Fineshade Wood and four Mandarin Ducks at Biggin Lake. Two Red-crested Pochards visited Thrapston GP. Single Corn Buntings were seen at Warmington and Woodford Halse.

JANUARY 2017

Highlights: A Cattle Egret, only the sixth county record, spent just a day near Whiston on 7th. A Long-tailed Duck at Stanford reservoir and a Slavonian Grebe at Pitsford reservoir both remained all month. An adult Glaucous Gull was seen in fields near Chacombe and roosted at Boddington reservoir on 22nd. A ‘ringtail’ Hen Harrier was at Lutton on 12th and nearby Polebrook airfield on 15th. Great White Egrets were again continuously present with three at Earls Barton GP, Pitsford and Ravensthorpe reservoirs and singles at Ditchford GP and Thrapston GP. Waxwings arrived in force with peaks of up to 38 in Kettering , 25 in the Boothville area of Northampton, 20 in Moulton, 20 at Great Billing, 15 in Roade, 14 at Hanging Houghton, nine at Stanion, eight at Broughton, eight at Bulwick, seven at Woodford Halse, seven at Earls Barton GP, three at Sywell and one in Daventry.

Ditchford GP: Pairs of Smews and Red-crested Pochards, a Green Sandpiper and a Jack Snipe were recorded.
Earls Barton: Bitterns were noted on 15th and 22nd, up to 23 White-fronted Geese were present for most of the month, with still 14 on 29th, occasionally visiting White Mills Marina and Clifford Hill GP. Up to three drake and two female Scaups, a drake Smew, two Red-crested Pochards and three Pintails were recorded, also Marsh Harrier (3RD), Jack Snipe, Short-eared Owl and a Whooper Swan on single days.

Pitsford Reservoir: A party of five Bewick’s Swans flew over the dam (5th). Two Caspian, a Yellow-legged and a first-winter Mediterranean Gull were all discovered. A drake Smew, two Red-crested Pochards, 10 Pintails were joined by four White-fronted Geese, 40 Snipes, three Green Sandpipers, two Redshanks, and a Dunlin. A Stonechat, two Bramblings and a Peregrine also visited.

Stanford Reservoir: A male Marsh Harrier (15th) was a good record and 64 Goosanders was the highest county total for some time. Single Scaup and Smew, three Pintails and a drake Red-crested Pochard were logged. A count of 43 Snipe and one Jack Snipe was made and a Caspian Gull visited.

Stanwick GP: A female Scaup remained all month, a drake Smew was seen, two Redshanks, a Peregrine and a Caspian Gull.

Other sites: Fifteen Whooper Swans flew over near Fotheringhay (19th) and one was still at Sywell CP. A White-fronted Goose was reported at Kislingbury GP. Hollowell reservoir hosted an adult Caspian Gull, a Barnacle Goose and up to six Stonechats. Up to six Short-eared Owls were noted at Neviile’s Lodge near Finedon. A Bittern was watched at Thrapston GP. Both Mediterranean and Caspian Gulls visited Daventry CP. A Merlin was seen near Braybrooke. Up to four Caspian Gulls were noted around Rushton Landfill with two more near Chacombe. Two Jack Snipes were still at Barnes Meadow and a Corn Bunting, now a rarity here, was at Harrington airfield (22nd).

DECEMBER 2016

Highlights: Two Slavonian Grebes remained at Clifford Hill GP until 3rd, others were at Thrapston GP on 11th and at Pitsford reservoir from 19th. A Whooper Swan arrived at Sywell CP on 3rd and stayed for most of the month, A male Bearded Tit was present at Stanwick GP from 1st until 24th at least and the same site hosted two Bitterns with another at Thrapston GP from 27th to 30th. A juvenile male Hen Harrier was again at Stanford reservoir on 6th and 14th and another ‘ringtail’ near Kelmarsh on 21st. A ‘Siberian’ Chiffchaff was a good find at Pitsford reservoir on 11th and a party of up to 24 White-fronted Geese frequented a marshy field near White Mills Marina from 19th until 31st. A Long-tailed Duck arrive at Stanford reservoir on 27th. A Waxwing visited Woodford Halse on 26th, up to 10 were in Roade from 29th and others were seen at Hanging Houghton. Great White Egrets were again present in numbers with up to four at Pitsford, three at Ravensthorpe reservoir, and singles at both Ditchford and Earls Barton gravel pits.

NOVEMBER 2016

Highlights: Two Bearded Tits were at Stanwick GP on 6th, with one remaining ‘til the end of the month, and two also remained at Earls Barton GP. A first-year Gannet flew over Daventry CP on 7th. Four Brent Geese were at Hollowell reservoir on 9th with another at Clifford Hill GP on 25th At Stanwick GP, a Yellow-browed Warbler was present on 10th with a Siberian Chiffchaff there on 10th and 11th. A Great Northern Diver was at Pitsford reservoir from 11th to 13th and a Firecrest was at Ravensthorpe reservoir on 12th. An unidentified diver flew over Clifford Hill GP on 16th and a Long-tailed Duck visited Earls Barton GP on 29th with the same site hosting two Bewick’s Swans on 26th and there was another at Daventry CP on 29th. A Whooper Swan visited Ditchford GP on 12th and seven were at Stanford reservoir on 18th and one there on 29th. Two Slavonian Grebes were present at Ravensthorpe reservoir and one at Thrapston GP on 14th the latter still present on 19th and two more were at Clifford Hill GP from 26th. ‘Ringtail’ Hen Harriers were at Stanford reservoir daily from 13th to 27th and another at Stanwick GP on 21st. Great White Egrets were at seven sites; gravel pits at Stanwick , Thrapston , Earls Barton, reservoirs at Hollowell and Stanford with two at Ravensthorpe and up to five at Pitsford. Small groups of up to ten Waxwings were reported flying over at Harrington airfield, Brackmills and Brampton Valley Way Northampton, Brixworth CP, Moulton Quarry, Pitsford reservoir, Cranford, Hanging Houghton and Maidwell.

OCTOBER 2016

Highlights: A Honey Buzzard flew over Pitsford reservoir on 1st. At Borough Hill, an unidentified skua flew over on 10th, a Woodlark on 23rd and a flyover Hawfinch on 22nd and another Hawfinch over Boddington reservoir on 10th.Immature Gannets were seen over Earls Barton GP on 23rd and over the M1 Motorway junction 15A on 29th. Two Bearded Tits arrived at Earls Barton on 7th, up to four at Stortons GP from 9th and up to six at Stanwick GP from 24th. The ringers at Stanford reservoir caught a ‘Siberian’ Chiffchaff on 5th, a Mealy Redpoll on 24h and discovered a Yellow-browed Warbler on 20th with another at Harrington airfield on 21st. A ‘ringtail’ Hen Harrier visited Blueberry Farm Maidwell on 19th and Great White Egrets were noted at eight sites; singles at Deene Lake, Daventry CP, Hollowell reservoir, gravel pits at Thrapston, Earls Barton, Stanwick and Ringstead and up to five at Pitsford.

SEPTEMBER 2016

Highlights: An adult ‘Azorean Yellow-legged’ Gull was seen again at Stanwick GP on 2nd and 9th, with a juvenile Shag there on 4th. Two Pied Flycatchers, the first in the county this year, were in Northampton at Dallington allotments with another at Bradlaugh Fields all on 7th. Black-necked Grebes were at Earls Barton GP from 15th to 18th and at Daventry CP from 28th the same locality hosting the star bird of the month, an adult Glossy Ibis, briefly on 28th, only the fourth county record. Great White Egrets were present at six sites with two at Pitsford reservoir and singles at Hollowell, Ravensthorpe and Stanford reservoirs, Earls Barton and at a new locality, Deene Lake.  

AUGUST 2016

Highlights: A Great White Egret visited Daventry CP on 2nd. Stanford Reservoir hosted a Nightjar on 12th, the only record in Northants so far this year, a Little Tern on 19th and a Wryneck was trapped and ringed there on 26th. An ‘Azorean Gull’ made two appearances at Stanwick GP on 24th and 25th along with daily visits from a juvenile Shag from 25th to 30th. A Pied Flycatcher, again the year’s first, was at Denton Wood on 31st.

JULY 2016

Highlights: A Bittern was at Stanwick GP on 14th and a Great White Egret there on 26th and 27th with another at Earls Barton GP on 22nd and 23rd. A Firecrest visited a Warmington garden on 25th and a Wood Sandpiper was briefly at Earls Barton on 28th. A Honey Buzzard flew over Stanford reservoir on 30th.

June 2016

Highlights: A female Red-necked Phalarope graced Stanwick GP and a Great White Egret flew over Northampton on 4th.  A White Stork circled Corby on 6th and a Honey Buzzard was photographed over the same site on 25th. Singing Quails were heard between Harlestone Heath and Kings Heath on 10th and near Everdon on 21st and 22nd.

MAY 2016

Highlights: Both Avocet and Wood Warbler visited Earls Barton GP on 1st, a Great White Egret on 5th and four Spoonbills also there briefly on 7th. A Common Crane flew over Stanwick GP on 2nd, with singing Quails at Harrington airfield on 2nd and 22nd and at Welford reservoir on 8th. Again at Earls Barton, two Little Terns were seen on 10th, one on 11th and another at Stanwick on 12th.

APRIL 2016 

Highlights: A Slavonian Grebe visited Daventry CP on 2nd, next day a Black-necked Grebe was at Pitsford reservoir. The latter site hosted sightings of Goshawk on 9th and 18th and a Wood Warbler on 15th. A ‘Siberian’ race Chiffchaff was in song at Long Buckby on 9th. Three Common Cranes flew over Earls Barton GP on 17th and a White Stork was reported over Northampton on 23rd, the same day a ‘ringtail’ Hen Harrier was seen at Lyveden. Single Great White Egrets were again at both Pitsford and Earls Barton where also a county record flock of 325 Black-tailed Godwits roosted on 27th.

MARCH 2016

Highlights: An adult Kumlien’s Gull at Daventry CP was only the second county record of this distinctive form of Iceland Gull. A ‘Siberian’ Chiffchaff was also found singing at the same site on 30th. At Stanwick Lakes, an adult Glaucous Gull visited on 2nd and an adult Iceland Gull on 16th and 19th with a juvenile there on 3rd. Bitterns were fairly regular at Earls Barton GP and Stanwick and another was at Stortons GP on 16th.   A flock of 11 Common Scoters at Pitsford Reservoir on 19th preceded one at Daventry on 23rd and two there on 27th. A Firecrest stayed at Stanwick until 8th and at Pitsford, four Bewick’s Swans flew over on 4th and a party of 10 Brent Geese visited on 18th. A Mealy Redpoll remained in an East Hunsbury Northampton garden until 24th and three were reported at Yelvertoft on 20th. Great White Egrets were still much in evidence with two at Earls Barton GP and over Little Irchester with singles at Ditchford GP, Thrapston GP and Ravensthorpe Reservoir.

FEBRUARY 2016

Highlights: A drake Green-winged Teal stayed at Daventry CP from 3rd to 19th, the fourth record for this site. Bitterns were seen over Swan Valley Northampton on 3rd, Irthlingborough lakes on 18th, at Stanwick GP on 24th and Earls Barton GP on 28th. A Mealy Redpoll was regular at a garden feeder in East Hunsbury Northampton all month, another at Byfield on 6th and three more reported at a feeder at Thrapston GP on 14th. A Firecrest remained near Brixworth STW until 20th at least and a Black Redstart was again in Kingsthorpe Northampton from 13th to 20th. An adult Glaucous Gull at Stanwick GP from 22nd to 26th had been red-ringed and was a returning bird from last year, a juvenile was at Pitsford reservoir on 27th. Great White Egrets continued to be present all month with three at Ditchford GP, two at Thrapston and two at Earls Barton, Ravensthorpe reservoir and Stanwick hosted one each. A Black-necked Grebe was at Clifford Hill GP on 28th.

JANUARY 2016

Highlights: A Great Northern Diver remained at Ditchford GP until 16th and at Pitsford reservoir a Red-necked Grebe until 23rd at least. Single Bitterns were seen at Stanwick GP on 4th, Earls Barton GP on 6th and at Thrapston GP on 28th. Firecrests were discovered at Brixworth STW from 6th, Hanging Houghton on 8th, Rushden on 9th, Ditchford on 10th and Stanwick on 24th. Mealy Redpolls visited feeders in gardens at East Hunsbury Northampton from 7th to 30th and Byfield on 21st. A Goshawk was seen near Welford on 9th and a Slavonian Grebe was reported at Clifford Hill GP on 19th. A Black Redstart was in gardens in central Northampton on 23rd. Great White Egrets were present all month with twos at Clifford Hill, Ditchford and Pitsford and singles at Earls Barton, Ecton SF, Ravensthorpe Res, Stanford Res and Thrapston GP.

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