Tuesday, 31 August 2010

August 31st 2010

Bob and I met Dennis in the car park at Draycote Water and walked to toft bay hoping that the place had some thing to offer. There were a lot more Yellow Wagtails around with at least 6 Grey Wagtails and as we reached farborough spit a juvenile Shelduck was present while in the centre of reservoir there were 18 Wigeon, 20 Teal, 5 Gadwall and 2 Shoveler – Greenshank flew over heading east.
Toft bay could only offer Egyptian Goose, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Little Egret and a Dunlin before we left Bob to continue his circuit while Dennis and I returned and had a calling Nuthatch from below farborough bank – most unusual.
Hensborough bank had 6 Ringed Plover, juvenile Little Ringed Plover and Dunlin while one of yesterdays Sanderling was in rainbow corner along with adult Little Ringed Plover and another or the same Greenshank flew over heading down the Leam Valley.
Also seen today were 4 Common Sandpiper, 4 Sparrowhawk, a few Chiff/Willow Warblers and female Goosander while 3 Flounced Rustic, Common Wainscot and a Centre-barred Sallow moths were on the side of the visitors centre and butterflies seen included Common Blue, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Large White, Green-veined White and Small Tortishell.
After lunch it was Napton on the Hill where we had a record breaking 21 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Swift, a mixed flock of House Martin and Swallows mobbing a Hobby which was eating one of there number while soaring, 4 Buzzard, Raven, Peregrine, 5 Mistle Thrush plus 6 Willow Warbler and 2 Chiffchaff among a good sized tit flock.


August 30th 2010

A trip to Spurn, Humberside was not to be turned down so after a long journey we arrived to windy conditions and the news that there had been a fall of migrants to this coastal hotspot so it did not take long to gather the gear and go a wandering – first bird was a Wood Warbler, then 2 Whinchat followed by a Barred Warbler then a – and so on and so on - for a landlocked birder this was bliss even if by local standards it was a small arrival. The most interesting birds recorded from our final tally including birds moving off shore were- 2 Barred Warbler, 2 Wood Warbler, Wryneck, 3 Redstart, 2 Whinchat, 4 Wheatear, 6 Pied Flycatcher, Tree Pipit, 100+ Kittiwake, Red-throated Diver, 2 Sooty Shearwater, 16 Manx Shearwater, 11 Artic Skua and 3 Great Skua. There was also a good supporting cast of waders, common warblers and a Hobby.
With the prospect of a long journey home fighting Bank Holiday traffic we decided to head south taking a detour to see the juvenile Citrine Wagtail at Ogston Reservoir, Derbyshire which was a good idea at the time but lady luck decided that once we were too far to turn back Spurn would produce a probable juvenile Collared Flycatcher which had been trapped, o well you cant be everywhere.
I arrived home in time for a look at the night sky with Jupiter and four of its moons showing plus stunning views of Orion before the dropping temperatures drove me inside.


Sunday, 29 August 2010

August 29th 2010

We had planned earlier in the week to visit Eyebrook Reservoir and Rutland Water today so we were chuffed that both Pectorial Sandpiper and Kentish Plover had arrived in recent days and still present. On arrival at Eyebrook the Kentish Plover was showing well but distant at the inflow with no sign of the Pec although it had been seen before we arrived and turned up again when we left. Also present were 10 Ringed Plover, 15 Dunlin, Green Sandpiper, Kingfisher, 6 juv Shelduck, 2 Pintail, 112 Mute Swan, Swift, Blackcap and a chance to meet up with Terry, Mo, Andy and Dave L before moving on to Rutland Water. The Kentish was a British tick for Dave.
At Rutland Water we did well with wader species adding 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, 6 Ruff plus 2 more Ringed Plover and 3 Green Sandpiper to our day list. Duck numbers were touching 2000 with at least 500 Gadwall on one of the lagoons along with 17 Red-crested Pochard and 3 Pintail. Over the main body of water we had distant views of Black Tern, 2 juvenile Little Gull and 40 Common Tern. Also seen were 40+ Egyptian Geese, 6 Little Egret, 2 Turtle Dove, 6 Swift, 300 Sand Martin and Tree Sparrow.
Birds seen of a more exotic nature were Black Swan at Eyebrook and Ruddy Shelduck at Rutland and on the way home we had a Hobby between Corby and Kettering.


August 28th 2010

I stayed clear of the pond till late afternoon checking the Grandborough valley which turned out to be a wise decision as most of yesterdays goodies had cleared off overnight.
Starting at Toft Farm there were 2 Barn Owls at first light and as I worked my way towards Woolscott there were 3 Red-legged partridge, 4 Tree Sparrow and a Sparrowhawk. Along Hill Rd just outside Grandborough village a juvenile Wheatear and 7 Skylark were near Gimswood and 2 Raven over Broadwell as I made my way to Napton on the Hill. A young migrating Redstart was on private land near the windmill and 3 Spotted Flycatchers near the churchyard otherwise it was pretty much the same as my last visit.
My timing was way off when I went out again late afternoon to the pond and got drenched from a heavy downpour which brought down 14 Dunlin but not much else seen apart from Turnstone, 2 Little Egret, 2 Ringed Plover and female Goosander.


Friday, 27 August 2010

August 27th 2010

Bob H, Bob D and Dave H did well this morning at the pond with Knot, 5 Dunlin, Redshank, 3 Turnstone, Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Whimbrel all new arrivals plus more Ringed Plovers and 8 Common Tern so there were a few smiling faces by the time Dave and I got to the pond early afternoon.
We managed to see the juvenile Knot in rainbow, 2 Turnstone on hensborough bank and very long distant views of the Black-tailed Godwit in biggen bay but the 2 Whimbrel had gone straight through and we did not look for the Dunlin, Redshank or the third Turnstone. Also seen were 5 Ringed Plover, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Common Sandpiper, 4 Little Egret, 2 adult Yellow-legged Gull and 5 Common Tern while on the way home we had adult Yellow-legged Gull and Hobby just outside Bilton near the new bypass.

Knot by Dave Hutton - just awesome pics Dave - many thanks


Thursday, 26 August 2010

August 26th 2010

Still raining 33hrs later so the pond was a grotty place to be this morning but Bob and I live in hope for the biggie to arrive though it was not going to be today.
Our glass is always half full so appreciated seeing hundreds of hirundines feeding and perched along the perimeter hedgerow and exposed branches in toft bay plus hundreds more all over the reservoir, hard to estimate numbers but a conservative estimate would be 700 House Martin, 700 Swallow, 300 Sand Martin along with 40+ Swift. Unfortunately the poor light conditions made all the photography opportunities hard work and Bob was not happy with his efforts.
Our walk to toft bay produced 2 Common Tern, 4 Common Sandpiper, adult Yellow-legged Gull, 3 Little Egret, Egyptian Goose and while sheltering in the hide we added Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Whitethroat to the list. Joined by Kevin the Green Sandpiper flew in for a short while so must be feeding nearby.

There is going to be a Tanks, Trucks and Airplane fair in the field’s adjacent toft and farborough bank over the bank holiday period and the organizers have warned Severn Trent they will be firing some of the artillery on show so the disturbance factor on the reservoir could be high.

On the mothing front things have gone quiet this week but despite the continuous rain they still manage to fly around with 79 in Dave’s trap and 25 in mine last night.


Wednesday, 25 August 2010

August 25th 2010

Draycote Water was smooth as Nuns bum before the impending deluge the weather forecasters have been prattling on about for the last 48 hours.
Did not have time to give the place a proper going over but there seemed to be an overnight arrival of wagtails with plenty of young Pied and 20+ Yellow Wagtails along farborough bank with 4 Swift among the many hirundines remaining from yesterday. The 2 Little Egrets were in toft bay along with Green and 5 Common Sandpiper but the Green left just after 9am and the only other waders were on hensborough bank and there were not many of them – just single Ringed and Little Ringed Plover and 3 Dunlin plus 2 more Common Sandpiper. Other bird’s included Peregrine over the Bourton ridge, Egyptian Goose in the field below farborough spit, juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, 5 Raven over bunkers hill wood heading for the valley, 2 Buzzard, Gadwall, 10 Teal and 2 Common Tern.

Dunlin by Bob Hazell
The rain finally arrived mid-afternoon bringing down 200 Sand Martin over my garden – all heading south.


Tuesday, 24 August 2010

August 24th 2010

Clear skies overnight meant there was a bit of movement this morning at the pond with the arrival in very strong westerly’s of adult Little Gull that did not stay long, Green Sandpiper in toft bay and adult Dunlin flying over. On the downside wader numbers and species were low with only 2 Little Ringed Plover and juvenile Dunlin on hensborough bank with at least 6 Common Sandpiper dotted around the reservoir. Because of the strong winds and threatening rain hirundines numbers were good with 300 Sand Martin, 200 house Martin and 150 Swallow joined by a good location count of 30 Swift for this time of year. Also seen were 3 Little Egret, 2 adult Yellow-legged Gull, Raven, Gadwall, Wigeon and 4 Yellow Wagtail.

Little Egret by Bob Hazell

A late afternoon trip over the county border to Daventry Country Park, Northamptonshire to see the Spotted Redshank that’s been present for a few days along with six of the 9 Green Sandpiper reported, then it was a quick trawl of the Grandborough Valley on the way home which produced 2 Golden Plover, 3 Buzzard and 2 Raven between Willoughby and Grandborough.

Congratulations to buddy Dave who is a Grandfather for the first time – the girlie fledgling has not been named as I go to press but no doubt she will have a birding list soon.


Monday, 23 August 2010

August 23rd 2010

Not a lot to report. Heavy rain most of the night and at mid-day so Bob and I managed a quick look at the pond early afternoon but apart from the wader numbers dropping there was little new. Hensborough bank had 4 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 6 Common Sandpiper, Ruff and one Ringed Plover. The Wigeon and Goosander were still on the inlet with distant views of 3 Little Egrets in biggen and toft bay, 4 Buzzard and 2 adult Yellow-legged Gull. The rain had brought in 10 Swift and 50 Sand Martin among a couple of hundred House Martin and Swallows.

After we had photographed this Red Underwing it was released and showed so well in the bush we could not resit another shot.

Red Underwing by Bob Hazell

Dusky Thorn by Bob Hazell


Sunday, 22 August 2010

August 22nd 2010

Out early with Dave to the pond where a walk to hensborough bank produced the female Goosander on draycote bank, 2 Garden Warbler in trees behind inlet and a Lesser Whitethroat on the inlet. Hensborough bank had 2 Redshank, Ruff, 6 Ringed Plover, 3 Little ringed Plover, juvenile and adult Turnstone, 6 Common Sandpiper, Dunlin, the Egyptian Goose flew in from fields below hensborough bank and as we met up with the Bumbling Bears a single Swift went past low. Also seen were Gadwall, Wigeon, Teal, 8 Willow Warbler, 2 Common Tern, Raven, Little Egret and 350 Canada Geese. We saw nothing in Draycote village though the Bears caught up with the Nuthatch later and they had up to 13 Ringed Plover which is a bloody good count these days at the pond.
After breakfast we spent two and half hours searching Napton on the Hill finding 9 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Garden Warbler, 3 Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, 12 Stock Dove, 10 Swift, Raven, 15 Buzzard, 3 Mistle Thrush, Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker.
The visibility on the hill after yesterday’s rain was outstanding and for the first time in 30 years I finally cracked seeing the 7 counties with the knowledge of local farmer Bob Crick who kindly showed us around his farm and allowed us access to the wood the other side of the Windmill where the panoramic views were stunning.


Saturday, 21 August 2010

August 21st 2010

A grotty morning but the rain brought in a beautifully marked juvenile Cuckoo sitting quietly in the churchyard, Napton on the Hill and distant Whinchat in the old brickyard. Also present were 4 Spotted Flycatcher, 4 Mistle Thrush, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, Coal Tit and Goldcrest.
Napton Reservoir had 4 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Raven, 8 Bullfinch, Kingfisher, Snipe and 5 Reed Bunting but by this time I was soaked and loosing the will to live so called it a day.


Friday, 20 August 2010

August 20th 2010

Brandon Marsh had Swift, Nuthatch, Snipe and Kingfisher this afternoon and despite the wind and occasional showers the evening visit to the pond was extremely productive with adult and juvenile Turnstone, 2 Dunlin, 3 adult and 2 juvenile Ringed Plover, 3 juvenile Little Ringed Plover, juvenile Ruff and 5 Common Sandpiper between hensborough bank and rainbow corner.
The inlet had juvenile Wheatear, Goosander, 2 more Common Sandpiper and 3 Yellow Wagtail while the bank between valve tower and the steps had a Whimbrel and another 2 Common Sandpiper with 2 Little Egret in toft bay along with 12 Teal and a Wigeon.
The roost was productive with at least 7 adult, 2 third winter and 3 juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls, juvenile Med Gull, juvenile Little Gull and 2 juvenile Black Tern seen leaving to the east. Also noted were 5 Swift, 39 Cormorant and 3 Common Tern.


Thursday, 19 August 2010

August 19th 2010

We spent a pleasant morning on Lardon Chase, Oxfordshire overlooking the River Thames as it flowed through the Goring Gap enjoying the stunning views of the countryside around here. The weather was not brilliant for Butterfly’s but Bob tracked down some Chalkhill Blues though the hoped for Adonis Blue remained elusive. Other highlights included Holly Blue, Small Heath, Silver Y, 6 Red Kite and 2 Buzzard.
On the way home we called in on the pond as earlier Max had rang to say he was having a waderfest on hensborough bank and even 6 hours later there were still 6 Common Sandpiper, 3 adult and 2 juvenile Ringed Plover, 2 Ruff, 3 juvenile Little Ringed Plover and a Dunlin between hensborough bank and the outlet.

Ruff by (top) Bob Hazell and (bottom) Max Silverman

A search of the reservoir located a juvenile Little Gull sitting among a few Black-headed Gulls some distance away while Bob found a juvenile Black-headed Gull with a yellow davic ring number AEE9 on the inlet which was ringed in Germany, so an impressive journey in such a short time.

Black-headed Gull by Bob Hazell

Other species seen before the rain arrived were female Goosander, 6 young Yellow Wagtail, 3 male Pochard, 10+ Teal, 2 Common Tern and 2 Little Egret.
As the rain continued in to the evening a Redstart was found on Bush Hill so it’s got to be worth checking the high ground over the next few days for other migrants in case they stay to feed up.
On the mothing front both Colin and Dave trapped Dark Sword-grass in the last few days but as we have been busy we have not had time to process the pictures yet.


Wednesday, 18 August 2010

August 18th 2010

The day started on a sour note with this avain hooligan caught eating most of last nights catch.


But on a happier note dave had trapped this beauty the previous night.

Red Underwing

Down the pond by mid-afternoon and I managed to get Nuthatch on to my Draycote year list with one seen from the Draycote Water emergency access road that runs past the purification plant to Draycote village. Also in the area were Treecreeper, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat, 7 Bullfinch, 2 Jay and two tit flocks which included 21 Great, 11 Blue, 2 Coal, and 24 Long-tailed Tit.
Unfortunatley the rain arrived so did not stay long but there were 2 Redshank sleeping on the inlet along with a Greenshank and Goosander, Wheatear on draycote bank and two Little Egrets in toft bay.

Wheatear by Bob Hazell

Bob found this Greater Black-backed Gull in toft bay ringed in Norway


Tuesday, 17 August 2010

August 17th 2010

Down the pond with Bob this morning after photographing Turnip Moth and Svensson's Copper Underwing.
On hensborough bank there were 2 adult and 2 juvenile Ringed Plover, 2 Common Sandpiper and a Dunlin. The outlet had 2 juvenile Little Ringed Plover and the female Goosander resting on the inlet while overhead the cloudy conditions brought in 20 Swift and a few Sand Martins.
Also seen were another 4 Common Sandpiper, 5 Common Tern, 300 Starling below farborough bank, Teal, 2 mobile Oystercatcher, 2 Yellow Wagtail on farborough bank and 3 Little Egret in toft bay.
The visitor centre had Brimstone and Yellow-tail Moth and a Bird-cherry Ermine was disturbed from the grass along toft bank.

Late afternoon 60+ Swallows and House Martins flew south after a heavy rain shower.

Turnip Moth

Svenssons Copper Underwing
pictures by Bob Hazell


August 16th 2010

The roost had juvenile Little Gull and 11 Yellow-legged Gulls but little else of interest.


Sunday, 15 August 2010

August 15th 2010

Yesterday’s rain cleared leaving hazy conditions when Dave and I arrived at the pond early this morning so it was a struggled to see the centre of the reservoir clearly. The Goosander was on draycote bank which also had 50+ Pied, single Yellow and Grey Wagtail while the inlet held 2 juvenile Little Ringed Plover, the first of 6 Common Sandpipers, Little Egret and a Jay. The call of Golden Plover overhead was loud enough to locate the bird going straight through heading east and the only other birds of interest on hensborough bank were 2 Dunlin and a male Gadwall. On our return we flushed a juvenile Sparrowhawk off the inlet which then perched on the wall of draycote bank for five minutes giving stunning scope views and the brisk wind had brought in 50 Sand Martin.
A Nuthatch, 2 Green Woodpecker and 4 Bullfinch were in Draycote village.
After a cracking calorie busting breakfast at the Long Itchington Diner we then moved on to Brandon Marsh which turned out to be more of a social event as we met up with Keith, Neville, Colin, Sarah and Graham as we wandered around the reserve in sunshine. We had missed the Spotted Flycatcher and juvenile Peregrine that showed earlier but managed to spot an impressive 14 Buzzards also 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel and a Kingfisher. The rise in temperature brought out the butterflies and there were at least 6 Comma, 2 Speckled Wood, 20+ Large White, 10+Green-veined White, 8 Peacock, 10 Red Admiral, 7 Common Blue, 5 Brimstone and 2 Small Tortishell, plus a few moths - Coxcomb Prominent resting on the visitor centre, Silver Y feeding amongst some thistles and 2 Vapourer Moth.
Next stop was Lawford Heath but it was very quiet although we eventually managed a lone Swift heading north east with a few Swallows and House Martin and 2 Buzzard.
JJ rang with news of this Knot that had been found at the pond.

Knot by John Judge


Saturday, 14 August 2010

August 14th 2010

A damp visit to the pond this morning produced 2 Little Egret and Snipe in toft bay, juvenile Little Ringed Plover on the inlet, 6 mobile Common Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin, 2 Common Tern, adult and juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, plus Garden Warbler in the inlet channel, juvenile Wheatear valve tower, Spotted flycatcher in biggen bay and 20 Sand Martin.
Back out again for the roost but the heavy thunderstorms spoiled any chance of seeing anything distant but did have the bonus of a Grey Plover passing close by off the inlet as it arrived just after the rain stopped and headed towards the wind surfing area where it may have landed.
I arrived home some what bedraggled to find one of my moth traps floating away.


Friday, 13 August 2010

August 13th 2010

Only birds noted today were Snipe, Green Sandpiper and juvenile Little Ringed Plover at Brandon Marsh this afternoon.
The traps have been quiet this week apart from Daves having a smart Broad-barred White and first of the year Six-striped Rustic.

Broad-barred White by Bob Hazel

Six-striped Rustic by Bob Hazel


August 12th 2010

I was down the pond last night hoping to witness the Perseids Meteor shower but the forecasters were way off the mark with cloud cover so hopefully there might be a better chance tonight, while I was there a ran a moth trap and stayed too see what was around at first light.
The Ruff was still present on the inlet along with the Goosander and 2 Dunlin while the 2 Little Egrets were in toft bay along with 2 female Shoveler and Shelduck. Also in toft bay were 4 Common Sandpiper and a very persistent Sparrowhawk giving hell to some poor individual in toft shallows. Overnight the calls of owls could be heard eventually leading to sightings of Barn, Little and Tawny Owl, not surprisingly considering Tawny Owl is a hard to see species at the pond this is probably the first time since 1976 I have seen all three on the same night, Quail was also calling but much further right and from the back of the field than on Sunday.
Other sightings included 2 adult and juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, 4 Common Tern, 3 Green Woodpecker, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, juvenile Yellow Wagtail and 6 Bullfinch.
Back home the thunderstorms in the afternoon brought in Swift and a good passage of Lesser Black-backed Gulls over the garden.
Celebrated another year on this planet with the gang over at Cubbington and on the way home Dave and I parked up on Lawford Heath where we had excellent views of the night sky including the milky way and treated to a few meteors in the short time we gave it and I continued to watch a few more from the comfort of a deck chair in the back garden and a bottle of malt whiskey.


Tuesday, 10 August 2010

August 10th 2010

The day started wet with overnight rain continuing on or off till mid-morning which brought a female Ghost Moth to Dave’s trap when I cleared it down this morning. You will have to make do with my blind Pugh efforts as Bob was not available for clicking duties.

Ghost Moth

There were two new arrivals to Draycote Water from my last visit with a female Ruff on the outlet and immature Osprey which after a couple of attempts caught a trout and flew off west down the Leam Valley towards Birdingbury. Also present were 8 Common Sandpiper, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, Egyptian Goose, 2 Teal, female Goosander, 3 Yellowhammer, Whitethroat, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler, Green Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail, 3 adult Yellow-legged Gulls and a lone Swift.
Another search of the gardens around Draycote Village produced 3 juvenile Spotted Flycatchers, single Nuthatch, 2 immature Blackcap, 4 Bullfinch, 4 Buzzard, Green Woodpecker, Jay and 4 Mistle Thrush.
A long overdue visit to the Frankton Fish Ponds area was rewarded with a flyover Little Egret which is probably one of the commuting Draycote birds and another juvenile Spotted Flycatcher, also Raven and 3 Buzzard while a roving tit flock contained at least 23 Great, 12 Blue, 3 Long-tailed and a Willow Tit plus Goldcrest and 2 Young Willow Warblers.
Heading for a welcome cup of tea and bun at Brooms Garden Centre I called in on Draycote Meadows and though cloudy there were a few butterflies around with Comma, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Green-veined White, Peacock and Common Blue plus a few moths including Agriphila geniculea, Mother of Pearl and Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing.


Monday, 9 August 2010

August 9th 2010

I took a trip out to the Idle Valley Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire with Bob and April to look at the Baird’s Sandpiper which was on the Chainbridge Scrape. Not a lot else about and the only other bird of note was a juvenile Wheatear at Hoveringham.


Sunday, 8 August 2010

August 8th 2010

A pair of Bullfinch greeted our early arrival at Draycote village but little else was seen as we made our way to the valve tower then a walk along draycote, swallow and saddle bank to the outlet. A Little Egret was among the post roost Black-headed Gulls loafing on draycote bank and the female Goosander, 2 Common Sandpiper and 2 juvenile Little Ringed Plover were on the inlet. As we searched for warblers by the inlet channel a Quail called twice at 7:15am from the cereal field behind but the high hedge and height of the cereal ruled out any chance of seeing it. Last time I saw or heard a Quail at Draycote Water was in 1995.
Continued on to inlet where we had 3 more Common Sandpiper, 4 Dunlin and 3 Common Tern before returning to the village adding 3 Green woodpecker, 3 Willow Warbler and female Gadwall to the list.
As we entered the village we found 2 Spotted Flycatcher and 3 Nuthatch just yards away from the Draycote Water perimeter but as we were on the wrong side of the fence they can’t count towards my pond records, shame that as Nuthatch are rarer then hens teeth at the pond.

After breakfast we moved on to Brandon Marsh but the place was great disappointment with only Green Sandpiper, Jay, 4 Buzzard and Great-spotted Woodpecker for our efforts, plenty of butterflies around and one Vapourer Moth. On the way home there were 9 Raven and 13 Buzzards over Lawford Heath.


Saturday, 7 August 2010

August 7th 2010

Despite a late night I was out again before dawn searching for owls around Calcutt managing single Barn and Little Owl before moving on to Napton Reservoir where a juvenile Spotted Flycatcher was along the entrance road. Also present were 2 Common Tern, 4 Reed, 2 Cettie’s, 4 Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, 3 Reed Bunting and a Jay.
Napton on the Hill had a juvenile Wheatear on the road leading to the Windmill, a very elusive Grasshopper Warbler in the quarry, Spotted Flycatcher in the churchyard along with Coal Tit, Mistle Thrush, Whitethroat, and Chiffchaff while a prolonged watch over the area towards the Burton Dassett hills produced 9 Ravens and 13 Buzzard.

The unidentified moth pic of the 29th July blog has been identified as a worn Small Ranuculus by the county recorder David Brown and buddy Dave also had one two days prior to mine and just as worn so we both have garden ticks.


Friday, 6 August 2010

August 6th 2010

A lone Swift flew over the garden heading south east this morning and another 3 were seen low over Overslade, Rugby heading south avoiding the showers.
Out with Dave this afternoon to Brandon Marsh but there was no sign of yesterdays Marsh Harrier, waders were represented by single Snipe and 2 Green Sandpiper on Teal Pool and single Oystercatcher, Common Sandpiper and Ringed Plover on East Marsh. Only other birds of note were 6 Sand Martin, Blackcap, Great-spotted Woodpecker and 6 Stock Dove.

I have been seeing Little Ringed Plovers all week and Dave Huttons brilliant photos show features I never noticed - cheers Dave.

A very late evening visit to Draycote Water produce plenty of gulls arriving late for the roost and my first returning Greenshank on the inlet but my main objective was to do some lamping around the mound below draycote bank managing to net 12 species of moth.


Thursday, 5 August 2010

August 5th 2010

I was hoping for a bit of migration after a clear night but the pond had little to offer with only juvenile Little Ringed Plover, 2 Common Sandpiper, female / immature Goosander, 3 Common Tern, 4 Buzzard and adult Yellow-legged Gull.


Wednesday, 4 August 2010

August 4th 2010

It has not been the best of day’s weather wise so took advantage of a gap in the rain showers too nip to the pond, but apart from Yellow-legged Gulls there was not a lot around. A quick chat with Dave Hutton in the car park then Bob and I walked to toft bay with 2 Common Tern on fishing platforms, female Shoveler, female Teal, 5 Common Sandpiper and one Dunlin in Toft bay. Gathering storm clouds brought in 7 Swift and 30+ Sand Martin with plenty of Swallows and House Martins. Lots of gulls around with at least 5 adults and 3 juvenile Yellow-legged Gull amongst the 50+ Lesser Black-backed Gull. Only other birds of note were 4 Buzzards.

Finally brought both mine and Dave moth records up to date till the end of July from our starting point in August 2005

Dave’s records: 15,892
Moths trapped: 60,150
Species: Macro 298 Micro 176 Total 474

My records: 12,269
Moths trapped: 38,026
Species: Macro 298 Micro 164 Total 462

Dave Hutton kindly sent me shots of the Dunlin - bloody magic.


Tuesday, 3 August 2010

August 3rd 2010

Long before the crowds arrived Bob did a circuit of the pond while I ambled towards the valve tower and lucky enough to get the unusual sighting of a Red-legged Partridge inside the reservoir perimeter with one on hensborough bank while two other called from nearby fields. A hobby was hunting in the leam valley plus 2 Raven heading west and yesterdays 2 juvenile Little Ringed Plovers were joined by a third and four of today’s 7 Common Sandpipers were between the windsurfing area and inlet. A number of warblers were taking advantage of the small pool of water left in the inlet channel to bathe and drink and included Garden and Willow Warbler along with Chiffchaff, 2 Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat and family parties of Blue and Long-tailed Tits. Other birds seen were Buzzard, Yellowhammer, 6 Stock Dove, juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, 17 Mute Swan and 3 Swift. Bob had the Egyptian Goose and female / immature Goosander.


Monday, 2 August 2010

August 2nd 2010

Bob and I did the pond early afternoon and probably be the last at that time of day, far too many people and no sign of any ST staff to stop the dog walkers, shore walkers and cars trespassing. Place is going down hill rapidly. Bob and John had the Egyptian Goose in toft, no sign of the Little Egrets. Eventualy found the female / immature Goosander found by FF earlier off the valve tower and there were 4 Common Tern, 6 Common Sandpiper, 3 Lesser Whitethroat and 2 juvenile Little Ringed Plover dotted around the place.
Highlight of the day was Colin finding Yellow-legged Clearwing so hopefully the weather will be ok for a county moth tick tomorrow.

Yellow-legged Clearwing by Colin Potter

Some of the more colourful moths trapped over the weekend.

Sallow Kitten by Bob Hazell

Magpie by Bob Hazell


August 1st 2010

Had to clear down Dave’s traps this morning and in doing so he passed the 60,000 moth trapped in his garden over the last five years.
Being too late to avoid the crowds at the pond I gave the Sanderling a miss and spent a few hours trawling the Grandborough valley between Sawbridge and Flecknoe with plenty of juvenile warblers around. Seen were 6 Lesser Whitethroats, 5 Whitethroat, 2 Garden and 10 Willow Warblers counted. Also 2 young Spotted Flycatchers at Sawbridge, Hobby and 4 Tree Sparrow at Wolfhamcote and 6 Raven and 11 Buzzard between Flecknoe and Shuckburgh.