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.

NOVEMBER 2018










Bearded Tit, Stanwick - Martin Dove



Highlights: The county’s 6th Ring-necked Duck, a drake, was briefly at Thrapston GP on 11th and refound at Pitsford Reservoir on 25th. The party of six Velvet Scoters at Thrapston GP stayed until 11th with just one until 17th. A Hooded Crow at Alderton on 7th was the first this century and two Bearded Tits stayed at Stanwick GP from 4th to 10th, where also up to four Cattle Egrets all month.  A male Hen Harrier was at Harrington airfield on 2nd with a ‘ringtail’ at Stanford reservoir regularly all month. There were two reports of Rough-legged Buzzards at Apethorpe on 9th and Aldwincle on 11th. The first Bewick’s Swans of 2018 was a party of six at Thrapston GP briefly on 25th. A Bittern was at Stortons GP on 3rd. a Hawfinch at Brixworth CP on 13th and a Firecrest at Pitsford reservoir on 29th. Great White Egrets were noted at nine sites, singles at Hollowell and Ravensthorpe reservoirs, Clifford Hill, Ditchford, Earls Barton and Thrapston gravel pits, two at Stanford reservoir and Stanwick GP and at least four at Pitsford . 

Daventry CP:  Two Mediterranean, a Caspian and two Yellow-legged Gulls were seen also a Black-tailed Godwit, six Green Sandpipers, two Dunlin and 156 Golden Plovers. Three Red-crested Pochards and a Peregrine were logged.

Hollowell Reservoir: A late Common Sandpiper (16th), 70 Golden Plovers  and a Dunlin, three Red-crested Pochards, six Pintails, three Stonechats and a Brambling were joined by a Caspian and two Yellow-legged Gulls.

Pitsford Reservoir: Nine Whooper Swans on 1st increased to 11 on 2nd and these stayed all month. Up to 20 Red-crested Pochards, 17 Pintails and a Scaup were seen and waders included a Spotted Redshank (26th), Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Common and two Green Sandpipers and 80 Golden Plovers. Two Mediterranean, two Yellow-legged and a Caspian Gull were seen and three Stonechats and a Peregrine.
Stanford: A Marsh Harrier stayed three days, two Common Scoters (19th), up to seven Red-crested Pochards and three Whooper Swans (13th) were joined by two Short-eared Owls and two Green Sandpipers.

Stanwick Lakes: Single Pink-footed and Barnacle joined the resident goose flock and a Red-crested Pochard and two Pintails were noted. A Spotted Redshank, Jack Snipe, Common and Green Sandpipers, four Dunlins and 100 Golden Plovers completed the waders. A Marsh Harrier (11th), a Short-eared Owl and a Brambling passed through.

Thrapston GP: A Scaup remained for most of the month as did a Whooper Swan and a Red-crested Pochard was seen.

Other sites: Ditchford GP hosted five flyover White-fronted Geese (25th) and a Stonechat.  A Red-crested Pochard and four Pintail were at Clifford Hill GP. A Whooper Swan, a Black-tailed Godwit and 50 Golden Plovers were at Earls Barton. Two White-fronted Geese stayed at Sywell CP from 2nd to 18th. Two Short-eared Owls were at Borough Hill with singles at Harrington airfield and Weldon. A party of eight Crossbills flew over Ditchford GP with another at Fineshade Wood. Adult Caspian Gulls were noted in fields at Middleton Cheney and Chacombe. Three Red-crested Pochards visited Wicksteed Park and a Brambling was at Brixworth CP. Three Green Sandpipers stayed at Ravensthorpe reservoir. Merlins were noted at Harrington airfield and near Hanging Houghton. A few Goosanders arrived and Blackcaps visited a number of gardens.

OCTOBER 2018
Velvet Scoter, Thrapston GP - Bob Bullock

Highlights: Five Common Cranes flew over Shutlanger on 4th with another party of eight over Fawsley Park on 27th. A Cattle Egret visited Earls Barton GP from 7th to 14th and two were later at Stanwick GP from 18th to 31st.  A Honey Buzzard lingered a while at Kingsthorpe Golf Course on 10th. A Yellow-browed Warbler was trapped and ringed at Stanford reservoir on 10th with others reported at Stoke Wood Desborough on 26th and in Corby on 28th. A Gannet was photographed at Earls Barton on 10th and one flew over Long Buckby on 21st. A Great Skua spent an afternoon at Sywell CP on 16th and a Richard’s Pipit was present at Chelveston airfield from 13th to 15th. Black Redstarts were at Towcester on 15th with two at both Chelveston airfield from 15th to 19th and at Great Oakley on 17th. A party of eight juvenile Velvet Scoters were the first in the county since 1995 and six remained until the end of the month.

Daventry CP:  A Rock Pipit paid a brief visit but a Black-tailed Godwit stayed for more than two weeks, also present were up to six Green Sandpipers, a Dunlin, a Mediterranean and three Yellow-legged Gulls, single Brambling and Pintail as well as two Red-crested Pochards.

Earls Barton GP:  Single Jack Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit and Dunlin, two Green Sandpipers, 12 Whooper Swans, six Red-crested Pochards and a Hobby were seen.

Hollowell Reservoir: An Arctic Tern was still present (10th). A Caspian ad two Yellow-legged Gulls were noted along with a party of 17 Whooper Swans, three Pintails, two Rock Pipits on the dam, single Jack Snipe and Ruff and four Stonechats.

Pitsford Reservoir:  Red-crested Pochard numbers slowly increased to 20 by the end of the month including two leucistic females. Whooper Swans numbers too increased to 11 by the 29th remaining until the end of the month.  Up to 16 Pintails, a Mandarin and a Scaup were noted also Hobby and Short-eared Owl (17th).  A Curlew, a Common and four Green Sandpipers were present.  Passerines of interest included a Hawfinch (17th), Crossbill, Rock Pipit, three Stonechats and 11 Bramblings. Two Mediterranean, a Caspian and a Yellow-legged Gull were noted.

Stanford Reservoir:  Single Peregrine, Green Sandpiper and Redstart, two each of Brambling, Stonechat and Willow Tit were the star birds.

Stanwick GP:  A Pink-footed Goose stayed from 24th. Waders included three Dunlins, 46 Golden Plovers, single Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Green and Common Sandpiper. A Red-crested Pochard and five Bramblings were logged.

Thrapston GP: Twenty four Whooper Swans arrived (18th) with two more a week later. 
Velvet Scoter, Thrapston - Bob Bullock
Red-crested Pochards totalled four and a Scaup was noted too.  Ninety Golden Plovers, a Marsh Harrier (22nd) a Brambling and a Firecrest (1st) were logged.



Other sites: Boddington Reservoir hosted a grey Plover, two Ringed Plovers and a White Wagtail. Six Whooper Swans visited Clifford Hill GP along with two White-fronted Geese which moved to Sywell CP until the month’s end. A Ring Ouzel was at Fermyn Wood CP. Chelveston Airfield hosted a Merlin (19th), two Stonechats and a Wheatear.  A late Whinchat (18th) was at Bozeat GP along with four Stonechats, two Green Sandpipers and a Jack Snipe. A Whooper Swan was seen at Cransley Reservoir with four more over Brackmills Northampton. A Short-eared Owl was at Harrington Airfield (20th) also a Stonechat, two Bramblings and a few Golden Plovers. At Ravensthorpe Reservoir, four Pintails, four Green Sandpipers and a Yellow-legged Gull were noted. Ditchford GP hosted a flyover Grey Plover, Rock Pipit, Stonechat and Peregrine. A single and a group of four Crossbills flew over Northampton. Three Crossbills and two Bramblings were noted at Hanging Houghton. Sywell CP hosted 170 Golden Plovers.

SEPTEMBER 2018

Highlights: Two Sandwich Terns visited Boddington reservoir on 4th and a Bittern seen in flight at Earls Barton GP on 5th. Honey Buzzards flew over Cogenhoe on 8th and Pitsford Reservoir on 9th. A Pied Flycatcher was watched at Thrupp on 15th and a juvenile Grey Phalarope stayed at Daventry CP from 21st to 25th, with another at Pitsford Reservoir from 24th to 25th. A juvenile Gannet flew over Holdenby on 24th and a Wryneck was in Earls Barton on 30th. Great White Egrets were present at Daventry, Sulby, Ravensthorpe and Pitsford Reservoirs and Thrapston GP with two at both Earls Barton and Stanwick GPs.

Clifford Hill GP: A Pink-footed Goose was again present and a Black Tern. Peregrine and Hobby were both recorded and waders included a Ruff, four Dunlins, one Green and two Common Sandpipers. Two Whinchats were also present.

Daventry CP: A Garganey remained for two weeks and up to three Pintails were present. A Redstart and three Whinchats passed through and two Greenshanks, up to eight Green and two Common Sandpipers, Dunlin, two Ringed and one Little Ringed Plover and single Mediterranean, Caspian and Yellow-legged Gulls visited.

Hollowell Reservoir: Waders included a long-staying Spotted Redshank, up to three Greenshanks, four Common Sandpipers, three Dunlins, four Ringed and two Little Ringed Plovers and a Ruff. Osprey, Hobby, Whinchat, Stonechat and Wheatear were seen along with two Pintails, three Goosanders, single Yellow-legged and Caspian Gulls.

Pitsford Reservoir: A long-staying Black Tern was still present on 27th. A Garganey and up to four Pintails were seen and an Osprey visited on four dates along with up to four Hobbies. Yellow-legged Gulls were often present along with a single Mediterranean Gull. A Knot, two Turnstones, a Greenshank, Ringed and Little Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Common Sandpiper were present. Whinchat, two Stonechats, two Wheatears, two White and up to 20 Yellow Wagtails were also seen.

Ravensthorpe Reservoir: A Garganey paid a brief visit, adult Caspian and Yellow-legged Gulls were logged and there were two Green and one Common Sandpiper.
Stanford reservoir: Eight Red-crested Pochards were joined by three Whinchats and two Redstarts.

Stanwick GP: An Osprey passed through and both Pintail and Garganey too. A Redstart, two White Wagtails and a few common waders were logged. Up to 18 Yellow-legged Gulls were seen along with single Caspian and Mediterranean Gulls.

Thrapston GP: Marsh Harriers were seen on two dates along with two Hobbies and a Peregrine. A Black Tern, a juvenile Little Gull and a Yellow-legged Gull were also noted.

Other sites: Wood Sandpipers visited Stortons GP and Boddington Reservoir, with a White Wagtail and two Common Sandpipers also at the latter.  Whinchats were noted at Wicksteed Park, Pineham, Sywell CP and Blueberry Farm Maidwell. An Osprey flew over Cosgrove and a Caspian Gull, a Greenshank and a Green Sandpiper were present at Naseby Reservoir. A Little Gull visited Sywell CP and two Redstarts stayed at Twywell. A Caspian and four Yellow-legged Gulls were at Priors Hall, two Green Sandpipers and a Yellow-legged Gull at Ravensthorpe reservoir. Two Whinchats, a Wheatear and 12 Golden Plovers were at Harrington Airfield.

AUGUST 2018

Highlights: A Wryneck was at Foxhill Farm Daventry on 4th and a Bittern at Stortons GP on 5th. A Marsh Warbler was ringed at Stanford Reservoir on 9th and a northern Willow Warbler there on 21st. A Spotted Crake was reported crossing a road near Clifford Hill GP on 29th and single Great White Egrets were at Hollowell Reservoir, Ditchford GP, Daventry CP and at Thrapston GP were present all month and up to three on two dates.

Borough Hill:  An Osprey flew over and Tree Pipits, Redstarts and Whinchats visited.

Clifford Hill GP:  Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, two Common Sandpipers and up to six Dunlins and a White Wagtail were recorded.
Daventry CP: Two Caspian, five Yellow-legged and a Mediterranean Gull were logged. Waders included four Black-tailed Godwits, three Greenshanks, three Little Ringed Plovers, 12 Green and seven Common Sandpipers and a Dunlin. An Osprey flew over.

Ditchford GP:  Ospreys were noted on two days also two Marsh Harriers, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull and two Black-tailed Godwits.

Earls Barton GP: A Garganey was present for a few days. A Marsh Harrier, two Ruffs, four Green and one Common Sandpiper and two Little Ringed Plovers visited.

Hollowell Reservoir: Two Spotted Redshanks, three Greenshanks, single Whimbrel, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank and Little Ringed Plover, nine Common and four Green Sandpipers found the narrow muddy edge to their liking. Up to two Ospreys were regular and two Hobbies were seen.  A Black Tern visited (22nd) also single Mediterranean, Caspian and Yellow-legged Gulls and a Garganey was present for most of the month.

Pitsford Reservoir: A Marsh Harrier was again present and Ospreys were seen twice along with two Hobbies.  A Garganey and three Pintails (31st), two Mediterranean, Caspian and Yellow-legged Gulls, Turnstone, Curlew, Ruff, Common Sandpiper, Whinchat, Tree Pipit and Wheatear were noted.

Stanford Reservoir: The Ringing Group trapped and ringed four Tree Pipits, Whinchat and Redstart. Both Marsh Harrier and Osprey were reported along with Black-tailed Godwit, Greenshank and Little Gull.

Stanwick GP: A Garganey stayed for three weeks. Waders included a Stint sp which flew before being identified, three Black-tailed Godwits, three Ringed and two Little Ringed Plovers, three Green and two Common Sandpipers and a Dunlin. A Marsh Harrier paid a brief visit.

Thrapston GP: Up to three Ospreys were regular throughout the month and Marsh Harriers recorded twice along with two Hobbies.  A Turnstone, two Black-tailed Godwits, Green and Common Sandpiper and two Yellow-legged Gulls were logged.

Other sites: Juvenile Mediterranean Gulls were identified at Ringstead GP and Boddington reservoir. More Ospreys were noted over Borough Hill, Moulton (two), Fawsley Park Lake and Priors Hall where also a Marsh Harrier. A Red-crested Pochard was noted at Ravensthorpe reservoir. Tree Pipits were noted at Harrington airfield, Welford Quarry, Naseby reservoir and Croughton Quarry.  Single Whinchats visited Glapthorn Cow Pasture and Twywell with two at both Chelveston airfield and Wicksteed Park water meadows. Up to three Redstarts were noted at Twywell with others at Harrington Airfield, Fawsley, Old (four), Blueberry Farm (four) and near Hanging Houghton where also an early returning Ring Ouzel was recorded (28th). Wheatears visited Cold Oak Copse and Harrington.

JULY 2018

Highlights: A Great White Egret at Thrapston GP from 1st to 11th was joined by a second bird for the rest of the month and another was at Stanwick GP from 28th. The latter site also hosted a large flock of 62 Whimbrel on 27th. A summer-plumaged Spotted Redshank visited the Summer Leys reserve at Earls Barton GP from 1st to 5th and a singing Quail was reported at Cogenhoe on 13th. A probable adult Baltic Gull was photographed Daventry CP on 26th and 27th. An unidentified skua was reported over Brackmills Northampton on 10th.
Clifford Hill GP: An unseasonal Pink-footed Goose was present on17th and 20 Black-tailed Godwits on 20th. A Black Tern and a Little Ringed Plover were also logged.

Daventry CP: Four juvenile Mediterranean Gulls were noted in the second half of the month. A Caspian and four Yellow-legged Gulls were also identified. Waders included two Redshanks, two Little Ringed Plovers, three Common and four Green Sandpipers. A female Garganey arrived on 17th.

Earls Barton GP: Two Garganeys were present at the beginning of the month. A series of Black-tailed Godwit records included a peak of 15 on 17th. A Greenshank, two Green and four Common Sandpipers arrived, also two Hobbies and a Marsh Harrier (1st).

Pitsford Reservoir: A Marsh Harrier was present on 2nd and 4th and Red-crested Pochard numbers rose from two to nine, including five drakes. Two juvenile Mediterranean and several Yellow-legged Gulls were seen.

Stanwick GP: Black-tailed Godwits were seen regularly and single Ruff and Greenshank passed through along with six Common and two Green Sandpipers, two Redshanks and seven Yellow-legged Gulls. Both Osprey and Marsh Harrier visited (16th).

Thrapston GP: Up to two Ospreys were present on several dates also a Marsh Harrier (28th) five Black-tailed Godwits, two Green Sandpipers and a Yellow-legged Gull.

Other sites: Ospreys visited Stanford reservoir three times and a peak of 11 Common Sandpipers noted. Two Ospreys were seen over Corby with others over Oundle and Towcester. A drake Common Scoter visited Boddington reservoir (26th). A Redstart was at Fawsley Park (22nd) and a Crossbill over Wellingorough.

JUNE 2018

Highlights: An adult Gannet flew over Rushden on 1st, being seen later over Earls Barton GP and next day at Clifford Hill GP.  A Wood Warbler was still present in Fineshade until 9th. A Quail was singing at Harrington airfield and a Golden Oriole reported singing early morning in Northampton on 3rd. A Honey Buzzard flew over Nether Heyford on 20th and a male Hen Harrier over Fineshade Wood on 24th. A singing male Firecrest was in Badby Wood from 24th to 30th and single Great White Egrets were seen over Aston-le-Walls on 8th and present all month at Thrapston GP.

Earls Barton GP:  A drake Garganey present from 26th was joined by a female from 29th. A Mediterranean Gull again visited the Black-headed Gull colony briefly, a Hobby, three Black-tailed Godwits (20th) and a Little Ringed Plover were logged and Redshank, Oystercatcher and Lapwing all bred successfully.

Thrapston GP: An Osprey was seen regularly also Hobby and Marsh Harrier (23rd).


Other sites: Further Osprey sightings were made at Deene Lake, Weldon Quarry, Hollowell reservoir and Byfield. A drake Garganey visited Stanwick GP and a Marsh Harrier was at Pitsford reservoir (30th). A first-summer Caspian Gull was identified at Rushton Landfill and 10 Crossbills visited Park Campus Kingsthorpe and heard at Fermyn Wood.

MAY 2018

Highlights: A Common Crane was photographed over Wadenhoe on 3rd the same day that a Black-necked Grebe was last seen at Pitsford Reservoir. A  Wryneck visited Thrapston GP on 4th and Wood Warblers were singing at Borough Hill on 12th and Fineshade Wod on 27th. An adult Rose-coloured Starling in a Wellingborough garden on 25th was only the fourth county record. A ’ringtail’ Harrier was near Hardwick Wood on 29th and single Great White Egrets were at Earls Barton GP up to 7th and at Thrapston GP all month.

Clifford Hill GP: A good passage of Arctic Terns peaked at 84 on 2nd and just three Black Terns were noted. Twelve Greenland Wheatears, 10 White Wagtails and a Whinchat were all present on 1st. Waders included up to 40 ‘tundra’ Ringed Plovers, 13 Dunlins, 20 Sanderlings (25th), four Turnstones, two Common Sandpipers and two Little Ringed Plovers. A Pink-footed Goose was logged on 29th and a female Bufflehead (escape) re-appeared briefly.

Daventry CP: A male Redstart, a Black Tern, and single Caspian and Yellow-legged Gulls were seen.

Earls Barton: Two Garganeys were seen intermittently throughout the month and up to 15 Hobbies. A Little Gull and up to 10 Black Terns were seen also a Redstart and two Wheatears. Four Wood Sandpipers (6th) were followed later by another, an Avocet (16th), up to four Turnstones,  four Sanderlings, four Black-tailed Godwits, seven Little Ringed and six Ringed Plovers, Dunlin, Common and Green Sandpipers, Redshanks  and a Greenshank.

Hollowell Reservoir: A high count of 55 Arctic Terns passed through on 2nd with an Osprey regularly seen and number of Yellow Wagtails.

Pitsford Reservoir: A Little Tern (30th) was the only county record so far this year.  A count of 80+ Arctic Terns (2nd) coincided with a large movement on this date. Other notables were six Black Terns, a Sanderling and an Osprey.

Stanford Reservoir: A Whooper Swan (12th) was on an unusual date, Black Terns peaked at seven and a Greenshank occurred.

Stanwick GP: Up to two Mediterranean Gulls were regular and there were peaks of 10 Arctic and three Black Terns and Garganeys were regular with up to three present. A series of wader records included single Avocet,  Grey Plover and Wood Sandpiper, two Turnstones, several Sanderlings, 29 ‘tundra’ Ringed Plovers and five Dunlins.

Thrapston GP:  Marsh Harriers visited on 13th and 20th, up to eight Hobbies, regular Osprey, a Knot, a Garganey, and a peak count made of five Black Terns.

Other sites: Ospreys were also reported at Oundle Mill and Blatherwycke Lake. Nine Black Terns were reported at Boddington reservoir with three more and two Common Sandpipers at Ditchford GP.  Four Greenshanks visited Barnwell floods with others at Croughton Quarry and Ditchford. Turtle Doves were noted at just three sites. A Whinchat was at Long Buckby, a Stonechat at Cottesbrooke and a Corn Bunting at Moulton. A Whooper Swan visited Barnwell flood and there was a good passage of Greenland Wheatears with records from eight sites.

APRIL 2018

Highlights: A Black Redstart visited Newnham Hill on 7th, a Black-necked Grebe was at Stanwick GP on 14th and another stayed at Pitsford reservoir from 14th until 24th at least. A Stone Curlew was in flight near Upton on 19th and a Dutch ringed White Stork at Clifford Hill GP on 20th. A ‘ringtail’ Hen Harrier flew over Borough Hill on 25th and a Firecrest was singing at Thrapston GP on 28th. Great White Egrets were at eight sites:-  gravel pits at Billing, Clifford Hill, Ditchford, Earls Barton and Stanwick, Pitsford and Stanford reservoirs and floodwater at Barnwell. 

Boddington Reservoir: Two Common Scoters (9th), a drake Garganey, Redstart (10th), Whinchat and Common Sandpiper were recorded.

Clifford Hill GP: A male Ring Ouzel stayed four days. Three parties of up to 11 Little Gulls passed through, also a good passage of Arctic Terns in the last week. Seven Brent Geese (13th), a Red-crested Pochard and a pair of Garganey visited briefly but three Common Scoters stayed five days. A good flock of 63 Black-tailed Godwits included a colour-ringed bird, a Turnstone, two Whimbrels, 10 Dunlins, two Little Ringed plovers and three Common Sandpipers were seen. Up to 10 Wheatears, two White Wagtails and a few Yellow Wagtails were noted.

Daventry CP: Six Common Scoters (9th) and four on 12th, a Kittiwake (8th), a Mediterranean and two Yellow-legged Gulls were supplemented by a passage of Little Gulls and Arctic Terns and a Hobby visited.

Ditchford GP: Two Little Gulls, an Arctic Tern and the only Black Tern (19th) were noted.

Earls Barton GP: Two Avocets (14th) visited, also single Wood Sandpiper, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew and Greenshank, up to seven Little Ringed Plovers, two Whimbrels, six Dunlins, Ringed Plover and three Common Sandpipers. Three Garganeys, two Mediterranean and two Little Gulls, Turtle Dove (20th), up to nine Arctic Terns, White Wagtail, Wheatear, Brambling (13th), Hobby and Peregrine were all logged.

Hollowell Reservoir: An Osprey was fishing and Whimbrel, Jack Snipe, two Common Sandpipers, two Arctic Terns, two Caspian Gulls, Peregrine and a peak count of 20 Yellow Wagtails were seen.

Pitsford Reservoir: Two drake Common Scoters stayed five days, a Scaup noted and an Osprey was seen a few times also Peregrine. The first Cuckoo (9th) and three Arctic Terns and a Wheatear and a first-winter Kittiwake (2nd) was later picked up dead.
Stanford reservoir: The first Sandwich Tern (8th), Osprey and Greenshank also a Red-crested Pochard, 11 Arctic Terns and early warblers, Willow (5th) and Garden (15th).

Stanwick GP: A Brent Goose stayed a week and a Pink-footed Goose was last seen on 7th. A Marsh Harrier (14th), a drake Garganey, a Kittiwake (8th) and two Mediterranean Gulls were among the better birds recorded. Waders included two Knots (8th), Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwits, two Curlews, seven Redshanks and a Little Ringed Plover.

Thrapston GP: An Osprey was regular and two Kittiwakes were seen, one stayed five days.  An Arctic Tern, two Garganeys, two Whimbrels and the first singing Reed Warblers (18th)

Other sites: Ravensthorpe reservoir hosted an Osprey and a Common Scoter. At Borough Hill, a Tree Pipit (29th) and five Wheatears were seen. The first Hobby was at Ringstead GP (13th). Barnwell floods hosted up to four Garganeys, a Black-tailed Godwit, two White Wagtails and the first Grasshopper Warbler (9th). Ospreys were reported from Broughton , Harringworth Lodge Lake (2), Welford reservoir, Ringstead GP and Hanging Houghton. Ring Ouzels were present at Chelveston (8th), near Brampton Halt (9th) and at Farthingstone, three (21st). A Common Scoter was heard at night over Duston. Nightingales were heard at Yardley Chase and Southwick Wood. Harrington airfield hosted both Redstart and Wheatear and another Redstart was near Scaldwell. A Whimbrel flew over Northampton and Wheatears were at seven further sites. A Hawfinch was still at Cottesbrooke (8th) and a ‘Channel Wagtail’ near Barnwell. Two Red-crested Pochards visited Kislingbury GP and single Corn Buntings were at Hinton, Woodford Halse and near Upper Benefield, the latter filmed strangely singing like a Yellowhammer!

MARCH 2018

Highlights: Single Avocets visited Earls Barton GP on 7th and Clifford Hill GP on 13th. A Spoonbill made a brief stop at Stanwick GP on 11th and Iceland Gulls were noted at Boddington Reservoir on 4th and at Pitsford Reservoir on 13th. Great White Egrets were at just five sites, with a maximum of four at Earls Barton GP, two at both Thrapston GP and Stanwick GP and singles at Ditchford GP and Hollowell Reservoir. Hawfinches were logged at eight localities, with 17 at Polebrook Airfield, four at Thenford and just ones or twos at Dallington Cemetary Northampton, Irchester, Fawsley, Salcey Forest, Cottesbrooke and East Carlton CP.

First Migrants: A Sand Martin was at Boddington Reservoir and Little Ringed Plover at Priors Hall Corby on 10th, Osprey over Billing on 13th, Wheatear at Whiston Lock on 26th, Swallow at Earls Barton GP, Common Tern at Thrapston GP and a pair of Garganey on floodwater, all on 30th.

Clifford Hill GP: A redhead Smew stayed for three days, a Grey Plover flew over (8th) and a Mediterranean Gull was noted. The last day of the month produced two Wheatears and a Pink-footed Goose.

Daventry CP: Kittiwake, Mediterranean and two Yellow-legged Gulls were logged, also a Merlin  and an Osprey (both 26th), two Common Scoters (24th), two Dunlins and a Green Sandpiper.

Ditchford GP: A drake Smew lingered until 2nd, three Scaup stayed four days also a Pintail. A Black-tailed Godwit, two Curlews and a Redshank were seen.

Earls Barton: A Marsh Harrier was seen over four days also a Peregrine. Four Pintails, a Curlew, two Green Sandpipers and two Bramblings were logged.

Hollowell Reservoir: Up to three Caspian Gulls were regularly identified and two Jack Snipes and two Stonechats were present.

Pitsford Reservoir:  A Slavonian Grebe remained until 27th. Twelve Kittiwakes visited the gull roost (16th), two Caspian, two Yellow-legged and a Mediterranean Gull were also noted. Peregrine and Osprey visited.

Stanford Reservoir: Three Whooper Swans visited (1st) and six Common Scoters (25th), two Curlews, a Redshank, a Dunlin and a Stonechat were noted.

Stanwick Lakes: A Pink-footed stayed all month, up to three Scaups were present for a week also three Pintails. Waders included a Knot (2nd), four Black-tailed Godwits, two Curlews, two Ruffs, 14 Redshanks, three Dunlins and a Jack Snipe. A Mediterranean Gull was seen on several dates also a Kittiwake (24th), two Caspian and a Yellow-legged Gull.  A Peregrine was present.

Thrapston GP: Two drake Common Scoters and a Little Gull (4th) were joined by a Mediterranean Gull, a Curlew and a Brambling.

Other sites: A juvenile Whooper Swan stayed at Ravensthorpe Reservoir until 4th and a Kittiwake was seen. Floodwater near Oundle attracted a Black-tailed Godwit, five Golden Plovers, a Dunlin and four Redshanks. A Short-eared Owl was flushed near Milton Malsor and two Jack Snipe near Hartwell.  A Corn Bunting was attracted to feeders in Woodford Halse and Hinton with up to 60 Yellowhammers, 10 Tree Sparrows and three Bramblings and at least one Mealy Redpoll was still in Irthlingborough. Merlins were recorded at Chapel Brampton and Hemington. Boddington reservoir hosted at least two Mediterranean and one Caspian Gull. Another Caspian Gull visited Rushton Landfill and Harrington airfield attracted two Wheatears and a few Golden Plovers, Hanging Houghton hosted four Wheatears, 30 Golden Plovers and a Brambling. Bramblings were still visiting feeders in gardens across the county.

FEBRUARY 2018

Highlights: At Pitsford Reservoir, a ‘ringtail’ Hen Harrier visited on 3rd and a Slavonian Grebe remained all month. A second-winter Iceland Gull was at Rushton Landfill on 10th and 11th and the same site hosted an adult Glaucous Gull on 11th and 25th with a juvenile also there on 12th and 17th.  Up to four Mealy redpolls visited an Irthlingborough garden and Hawfinches were reported from just eight sites with a maximum of 20 at Thenford, four at both Cottesbrooke  and Blatherwycke, two in Oundle and singles at Salcey Forest, Lings Wood, Fineshade Wood and Pitsford reservoir. Great White Egrets were at six sites, three at Earls Barton GP and Stanwick GP, and singles at Thrapston GP, Ditchford GP and reservoirs at Ravensthorpe and Stanford.

Ditchford: A drake Smew was recorded intermittently all month, a Scaup visited on 18th and two Redshanks and two Stonechats were present.

Earls Barton: Five Red-crested Pochards included four drakes, three Bramblings visited the feeding station and Peregrine, Dunlin and Redshank were seen.

Hollowell Reservoir: Three Caspian Gulls and a Yellow-legged Gull were logged also two Jack Snipes and two Stonechats.

Pitsford Reservoir: A Kittiwake visited (4th) and a female Common Scoter (13th). The gull roost attracted two Mediterranean, a Caspian and two Yellow-legged. Other notables were two Pintails, 15 Golden Plovers, two Redshanks and two Stonechats.

Stanwick Lakes: A Pink-footed Goose remained all month and a Bittern was seen twice. Six Pintails and a Peregrine were recorded and waders included a Black-tailed Godwit, 300 Golden Plovers, seven Redshanks and a Dunlin.

Thrapston GP: Three Red-crested Pochards and a Willow Tit were seen. Three Caspian and two Yellow-legged Gulls visit the roost.

Other Sites: A juvenile Whooper Swan stayed all month at Ravensthorpe. A Firecrest was near Lowick (4th), a Corn Bunting near Upper Benefield (22nd) and a Scaup was still at Sywell CP on 5th. Two Short-eared Owls were near Bozeat, up to eight Ring-necked Parakeets were in Abington Park Northampton with other in Wootton and Little Billing. Jack Snipes were seen at Hartwell and Harrington airfield and Woodcocks were noted at a number of localities including rural gardens. Blackcaps and Bramblings visited gardens throughout the county. Rushton Landfill hosted three Caspian and a Yellow-legged Gull.

JANUARY 2018

Highlights: A Great Northern Diver was still at Hollowell Reservoir on 1st before moving to Pitsford Reservoir until 6th. A juvenile Glaucous Gull was at Thorpe Malsor Reservoir on 1st and at Rushton Landfill on 5th. A Rough-legged Buzzard was reported between Blakesley and Greens Norton and a Brent Goose was on roadside flood pools near Lilbourne on 7th. A Waxwing was photographed in Corby on 10th with two nearby at Gretton on 30th. A Slavonian Grebe stayed at Pitsford from 5th until the month’s end and a male Hen Harrier was at Yardley Gobion on 11th with a ‘ringtail’ at Pitsford Reservoir on 28th. A Corn Bunting was seen with a Yellowhammer flock near Thorpe Mandeville on 27th. Hawfinches were still regular with a peak of 20 at Thenford, 14+ at Cottesbrooke, six at East Carlton CP and between one and three at Silverstone, Earls Barton GP, Badby, Aynho, Edgcote, Charwelton and Northampton. Three Great White Egrets were at both Earls Barton GP and Ditchford GP, two at Stanwick GP, Pitsford and Ravensthorpe Reservoirs, and singles at Stanford Reservoir, Thrapston GP and Hollowell Reservoir.

Ditchford GP: A drake Smew was present also a Short-eared Owl and two Stonechats.

Earls Barton: A Scaup (30th) and two Pintail were logged also 53 Golden Plovers, a Peregrine and  a feral flock of 40+ Barnacle Geese.

Hollowell Reservoir: An adult Caspian and three Yellow-legged Gulls were present, also two Jack Snipes, a Pintail and three Stonechats.

Pitsford Reservoir: Two drake Smews, a drake Red-crested Pochard and a Pintail were complemented by 100+ Golden Plovers, three Redshanks, a Green Sandpiper, two Caspian and two Yellow-legged Gulls, a Merlin and a Stonechat.

Ravensthorpe Reservoir: A juvenile Whooper Swan remained all month, also present were three Green Sandpipers, a Caspian and two Yellow-legged Gulls.

Stanwick Lakes: A Pink-footed Goose stayed all month and a flock of 44 Barnacle Geese (presumed feral) remained a while. A Black-tailed Godwit, five Redshanks, 100 Golden Plovers and a Dunlin were present on the flooded meadows along with a Water Pipit, four Pintails, a Peregrine and a Stonechat.

Sywell CP: A female Scaup stayed all month and up to 600 Golden Plovers visited the surrounding fields, two Stonechats were present too.

Other sites: A Mealy Redpoll visited a Scaldwell garden. Three Jack Snipes were at Welford Quarry with another at Barnes Meadow LNR. Merlins visited Sulgrave, Hinton in the Hedges, Pineham -Northampton and between Thenford and Chacombe. Two Red-crested Pochards were present at Thrapston GP and a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was at Cottesbrooke.  Two Caspian Gulls were by floodwater near Brackley and an adult at Rushton Landfill. A Peregrine was near Chacombe and a Brambling at Edgcote. A Short-eared Owl was seen at Harrington Airfield. Three Pintails, four Goosanders and two Yellow-legged Gulls visited Stanford Reservoir.

DECEMBER 2017

Highlights: A juvenile Great Northern Diver remained at Hollowell Reservoir all month and a Pink-footed Goose was still at Stanwick GP.  Single Snow Buntings were seen at Pitsford Reservoir on 4th and near Hanging Houghton on 6th. A Firecrest was discovered at Shire Meadows Towcester on 12th and a Goshawk was reported at Stanford Reservoir on 16th. A juvenile Glaucous Gull visited Rushton Landfill regularly between 22nd and 31st. Up to three Hawfinches were recorded at 11 localities, a decrease on the previous month. Great White Egrets were present at nine sites, three at Ravensthorpe Reservoir and Stanwick GP, two at Pitsford and Thrapston GP and singles at Earls Barton GP, Ditchford GP, Billing GP, Stanford Reservoir and Wootton Fields. Two Corn Buntings were discovered between Thorpe Mandeville and Sulgrave on 31st.

Boddington Reservoir: Three Caspians, two Yellow-leggeds and a first winter Mediterranean Gull were logged in the roost during the month and seven Snipes were present.

Ditchford: A drake Smew (18th), a Black-tailed Godwit, Green Sandpiper, six Water Rails, two Stonechats and a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker were logged.

Harrington Airfield: A Short-eared Owl (17th), 23 Golden Plovers, two Woodcocks and three Bramblings were noted.

Hollowell Reservoir:  Two Caspian Gulls were regular also a Yellow-legged Gull, single Jack Snipe, Dunlin and Green Sandpiper, three Stonechats and a Brambling.

Pitsford Reservoir: A ‘redhead’ Smew arrived (4th), joined by a drake (19th). A drake Scaup (9th), up to nine Pintails and a Barnacle Goose were present.  Waders included five Redshanks, three Dunlins, a Ruff, a Green Sandpiper, four Woodcocks and up to 56 Golden Plovers.  Two Caspians, a Yellow-legged and a Mediterranean Gull visited along with a Peregrine, three Stonechats and a Brambling.

Ravensthorpe Reservoir: A juvenile Whooper Swan and a Pintail remained all month and a ‘redhead’ Smew visited (9th). Four Green Sandpipers, a Dunlin and a Yellow-legged Gull were also recorded.

Stanford Reservoir: A Curlew, 21 Snipe and a Jack Snipe were logged also single Peregrine, Brambling and two Yellow-legged Gulls.

Stanwick Lakes: Four female or immature Scaups were present from 8th to 17thalso a drake Smew (28th) with 30 Golden Plovers, 14 Snipes and five Redshanks. A Water Pipit was present on 30th.

Other sites:   Sywell CP hosted a female Scaup and a Stonechat all month. An adult Mediterranean Gull and two Bramblings visited Daventry CP. A Short-eared Owl was present at Earls Barton GP along with a Pintail. Another Short-eared Owl was near Hanging Houghton for two days and a Long-eared Owl (16th), also two Curlews, 100 Golden Plovers, four Bramblings and two Woodcocks. Rushton Landfill hosted up to four Caspian Gulls and a Yellow-legged Gull. Sulby Reservoir held two Caspian Gulls. A ‘Nordic’ Jackdaw was reported from Fineshade. Clifford Hill GP hosted up to 250 Golden Plovers, nine Goosanders, a Pintail and a Stonechat. Green Sandpipers were at Cottingham and Ecton sewage farm. 10 Woodcocks were flushed in Yardley Chase by a shoot. Two Bramblings were at Staverton and another at Moulton College. One or two Blackcaps were reported from gardens.

NOVEMBER 2017


Highlights: For the second month in a row, another county first (no.323) was a Cory’s Shearwater at Pitsford Reservoir on 4th. A Dotterel flew over the same site on 6th. A Black-necked Grebe remained at Ringstead GP until 5th. A Black Redstart was discovered in Daventry on 2nd and a Firecrest visited a Little Billing garden on 11th. Bitterns were reported from Boddington Reservoir on 6th and 8th, Ditchford GP on 8th and Stortons GP on 22nd. ‘Ringtail’ Hen Harriers were noted at Sywell Airfield on 1st, Stanford Reservoir on 5th and near Kelmarsh on 6th with a male at Harrington Airfield on 12th. A juvenile Great Northern Diver was at Stanford Reservoir on 24th and 25th before moving to Hollowell Reservoir from 27th to 30th. Great White Egrets comprised five at Pitsford, four at Stanwick GP, three at Ravensthorpe Reservoir, two at Ditchford GP and one at Earls Barton GP. The Hawfinch influx continued with reports from 29 sites throughout the month with peak day counts of 14 at Harrington,  13 at East Carlton CP, eight at Hanging Houghton and seven at Ditchford.

Clifford Hill GP: Two Whooper Swans made a short visit, also 60 Golden Plovers, six Goosanders, two Peregrines and a Stonechat.

Hollowell Reservoir:  A juvenile Whooper Swan was logged also a Merlin. Two Caspian Gulls remained throughout and up to five Stonechats, Brambling, two Dunlins and two Green Sandpipers.

Pitsford Reservoir: Up to five Scaups, a Common Scoter (19th), six Red-crested Pochards and 22 Pintails were present.  A Black-tailed Godwit, three Ruffs, 15 Dunlins, 51 Golden Plovers, four Redshanks and three Green Sandpipers visited. A Water Pipit was the star passerine, intermittently reported also six Stonechats and three Bramblings were noted. Two Caspian and a Yellow-legged Gull were still present.

Ravensthorpe Reservoir:  An adult Whooper Swan appeared on 3rd with a juvenile between 18th and 30th.  A first-winter Scaup remained all month from 3rd.  Two Red-crested Pochards and two Pintails, four Green Sandpipers, a Dunlin and two Yellow-legged Gulls completed the line-up.

Stanford Reservoir: Both male Merlin and Peregrine were noted, also a Little Gull (4th), Black-tailed Godwit, Green Sandpiper, two Red-crested Pochards and a Caspian Gull.

Stanwick Lakes:  A juvenile Pink-footed Goose was again present for most of the month, a party of seven Whooper Swans included three juveniles, and a first-winter Mediterranean Gull visited. Also of interest were four Red-crested Pochards, a Black-tailed Godwit, three Redshanks, two Dunlins and two Bramblings.

Other sites: Merlins were also recorded near Brackley, Newton Bromswold, Thenford and at Spanhoe Airfield. A female Scaup stayed at Sywell CP from 14th. Boddington Reservoir hosted a first-winter Little Gull (18th), a Caspian and six Yellow-legged Gulls. At least 10 Bramblings were at Harrington and one at Earls Barton, a Stonechat at Ditchford and a Jack Snipe at Barnes Meadow.

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 Lakes: 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 Lakes: 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 Lakes: 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 Lakes: 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 Lakes: 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 Lakes, 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 Lakes: 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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