Sunday 30 April 2017

Stanford Reservoir

Having obtained a permit for Stanford Res I have been taking advantage of the great conditions there. The water level is low and the exposed mud has been attracting lots of birds.

Highlights today included eight Bar-tailed Godwits and single Little and Black Terns.

The terns were on the Northamptonshire side all the time, which was a shame as I need Little Tern for my Leicestershire list.

The short video below is of the godwits and the terns.

The long staying immature Long-tailed Duck was still present on today, however, it has not been seen since.

Long-tailed Duck, Stanford Reservoir, 29/04/17

Thursday 20 April 2017

Black-winged Stilts

Before work this morning I went to Brascote Pits. It was fairly quiet there but I did see my first Lesser Whitethroat of the year. Unusually for a spring bird it showed well on the outside of one of the hawthorns.

Just as I was about to leave a text came in from Chris Hubbard saying three Black-winged Stilts had been seen early morning at Stanford Res. They were a county tick for me, so I rushed over and luckily they were still there. A male and two females as far as I can see. One of the females was still quite immature.

I couldn't stay long, so I had to make do with some distant images from the Leicestershire side. The birds were feeding while I was there in the channel showing the course of the River Avon. The water levels are low enough to show the channel that marks the county boundary. They were mostly mid-channel, but they did come on to the Leicestershire side at times. The agreement between Northamptonshire and Leicestershire for recording purposes is birds on the water are counted for both counties. Birds on the banks are of course counted for the single county they are in.

Sunday 16 April 2017

The Iceland Gull is Still Enjoying Shawell

I have been spending some time at Stanford Reservoir recently, but I still can't drag myself away from Shawell for long.

You would have thought we were still in the grips of winter with the amount of gulls at Shawell yesterday. I spotted the pale juvenile Iceland Gull that Steve Nichols and I first saw on April 1st. It was a quite mobile initially, but showed well later in the afternoon at the lagoons. I also saw a couple of first-winter Caspian Gulls as well.

The weekend before another German ringed Caspian Gull  (yellow X312) was at the lagoons. X312 was a slightly odd looking, so it might have a bit of Herring Gull in it.

Juvenile Iceland Gull, Shawell A5 Lagoons, 15/04/17

First-winter Caspian Gull, Shawell A5 Lagoons, 15/04/17

Saturday 1 April 2017

Iceland Gull

It has been a difficult month at Shawell - plenty of gulls, but difficult to pin down. Today Steve Nichols and I were scanning through a group of gulls when Steve spotted a a second calendar-year Iceland Gull.  It's hard to tell whether it is the same juvenile that I saw in both January and February with faded plumage, or is it a new bird?

Iceland Gull, Shawell, 01/04/2017

Iceland Gull, February 11th 2017