Sunday, 20 May 2012


Friday, 11 May 2012

May 11th 2012

I have been hacked. If you receive or have received begging e-mails from me please ignore. In fact dump my e-mail address as I will now be off-line for a while sorting out a new identity.


Thursday, 10 May 2012

May 10th 2012

Mothing has been poor since Easter with only 12 individuals trapped in my garden compared to nearly 600 in the same period last year so hopefully we may be turning the corner with the last two nights bringing in 12 species from 24 moths with the best being Shoulder-stripe (3rd garden record)
A visit to the pond in blustery conditions with Bob produced 2000 Swift, 3 Wheatear, Goldeneye female and 3 Hobby worth mentioning.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

May 9th 2012

Dave found another 3 Wheatears in a different field down the Southam road then a look at the pond produced 5 male and 6 female Common Scoter out in the centre. Only other sighting of interest were 3 Common Tern, 3 Wheatear and a Cuckoo that was heard calling in biggen bay which then flew across the reservoir to land near the sewage farm.
Brandon Marsh had 2 Whinchat in top field plus Peregrine, 4 Buzzard, Red-crested Pochard pair and Kingfisher
Unfortunately the churchyard on Napton on the Hill was too noisy with continuing construction work and grass cutting so when the rain arrived we called it a day.

Monday, 7 May 2012

May 7th 2012

At least one Wheatear remaining along the Flecknoe road.
The pond's capacity is now up to 70% with both farborough bank ledge and spit nearly submerged when Colin and I walked to toft bay this morning. Only birds of note were 2 Hobby hunting the Swifts successfully catching one, 4 Wheatear, Greenshank over calling loudly, Common Sandpiper, Dunlin, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Gadwall and 2 Lesser Whitethroat.
A Hobby dashed across the road near Stockton and Wheatear and Little Ringed Plover were on a recently demolished brownfield site.
Started raining just after we arrived at Brandon Marsh but at least the water levels had receded low enough to reach the carlton hide where the Nightingale was still singing but the hide looked like a sherman tank on steroids with all the big lens and scopes sticking out so did not bother entering.
From the east marsh hide managed a pair of Red-crested Pochard which were a site tick for me, Hobby, Kingfisher plus all the usual species.

May 6th 2012

Nene Wash flooded

May 5th 2012

Peregrine, Hobby and 4 Swift over the garden this morning while pottering about and other raptors reported to me on the move down the valley were Red Kite and Osprey. Dave rang wanting to know if I fancied lunch at the Just So which gave us opportunity to see 8 Buzzard and Common Sandpiper at Napton Reservoir, 2 Raven over Broadwell and 11 Wheatear, 3 Buzzard and Raven in the field next to Cym & Dave’s smallholding along Flecknoe Road. Another Raven was over Kites Hardwick

Friday, 4 May 2012

May 4th 2012

Gave the pond a miss today.
This afternoon 3 Ravens were over Napton Reservoir and a wing tagged Red Kite over A426 between Flecknoe Rd junction and Kites Hardwick at 15:40.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

May 3rd 2012

On our way to the pond for the Wood Warbler found by John Harris we called in on Cym and Dave’s smallholding managing 19 Wheatear 3 Yellow Wagtail and 6+ Tree Sparrow.
The blustery cold north east wind and damp conditions certainly kept the Swifts and hirundines low over the pond with thousands present and as we reached Paul and John on farborough spit they were watching a summer plumage Knot which had just arrived.

Knot by Bob and Dave Hutton

The Wood Warbler went quiet by the time we arrived at the end of toft bank but eventually managed a glimpse then joined by Dennis we had better views when it appeared for a short time in the oak tree.

Wood Warbler by Dave Hutton

Other sightings included fly by Turnstone, Dunlin, Little Ringed Plover, 2 Teal, female Goldeneye, Sedge Warbler, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 14 Yellow Wagtail increasing to 30+ by the time we left, 3 White Wagtail, 4 Wheatear, 35 Arctic Tern and 7 Common Tern.

Tawny Owl seen on Lawford Heath on the way home from the pub at 11pm.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

May 2nd 2012

On our arrival at the pond there were two separate groups of Common Scoter with 5 female & 2 male in one group out in the centre and 3 female & one male off the inlet. Later they joined as one group and became mobile also present were 4 Black Tern but they did not stay long.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

May 1st 2012

Another dose of heavy rain and easterly winds so spent the time at home till it stopped around 2pm then Bob and I raced down to the pond hoping something might have arrived. Over 50 terns were counted out in the centre when Paul Hyde reached us to tell us he had found a Roseate Tern from the south side and had legged it round to let us know. What a hero and our grateful thanks. The three of us spent ten minutes trying to locate it among the 54 Arctic and 12 Common Tern till I spotted it sitting on H buoy off farborough spit where it showed giving decent scope views before joining the terns again. Later a heads up from birders in the wind surfing area put us on to the bird resting on buoys in front of the sailing club and treated to more terrific views. A county and Draycote tick for me and far as I’m aware only the second record for Draycote with the first in May 1969 although there have been a few possibilities since then.
Rosy by Bob Hazell

April 30th 2012

O what a difference a day makes The day started with the rare opportunity since Easter to observe the night sky’s managing one meteorite or a piece of space junk burning up low across the north eastern horizon and having 3 Swifts over the garden as I waited for my lift. With a blustery east wind and plenty of sunshine at least 500 Swift were feeding over draycote bank while Wheatears were plentiful with 17 counted on farborough/toft bank and a further 5 seen by Bob elsewhere. Although only 10 were seen on my return a couple of hours later from toft shallows due to the numbers of joggers and walkers making up for yesterday the male to female ratio had changed so 22 has to be the minimum number present. One showed characteristics of Greenland Wheatear but I’m never 100% with this sub species. No sign of any Yellow Wagtail other observes had seen them but 6 White Wagtail present while on the wader front there was 2 Little Ringed Plover and a Common Sandpiper. Out in the centre single Common, Arctic and Black Tern disappeared around the same time the majority of the Swifts did as it warmed up and this attracted at least 3 Hobby over toft shallows as the Swifts flew east. Whitethroat increased to 6 and I saw my first Garden Warbler here though I thought I heard one last week. Other sightings included Peregrine over the car park as we were due to leave, Sparrowhawk, 10 Buzzard, 2 Teal, the long staying female Goldeneye which could be injured preferring to swim away when disturbed and spending long periods out of the water although it looks healthy. Water levels have shot up with the island gone along with half of farborough bank ledge. A few butterflies on the wing with 6 Orange Tip and one Red Admiral seen.

April 29th 2012

Yesterday was another multi visit day to the pond as the place was battered by a bone chilling wind with gusts of up to 50mph making it extremely difficult to walk in along with long periods of torrential rain which soon had us drenched, eventually eased a little and the front cleared by early evening. At least one adult Kittiwake and 2 Common Tern, plus Dunlin, Little Ringed Plover, 5 Oystercatcher, Common Sandpiper, 20 Yellow Wagtail, 8 White Wagtail and 2 Teal. What made the visit interesting if not already was finding 18 Wheatear due to large numbers arriving in the area since last Friday. On our arrival at 7am there were hundreds of Swallows along with tens of Sand Martin and a few House Martins trying to shelter from the conditions perched on the boulders and wall of farborough bank allowing close views of the various shades of chest colour. At least 2 showed a bright reddish wash so presumed to have some eastern influence in their parentage. Later on they were feeding by just skimming the surface, one or two got caught out by the waves and ditched, being shorter winged than Swifts they survived as did one that got blown through the branches of a tree.