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Birding in Northants

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Old Monday 19th June 2017, 18:52   #451
string boozel
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Come on you didn't think that I'd forgotten the stars of the show did you?

James.
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Old Wednesday 21st June 2017, 19:12   #452
string boozel
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My hot June streak continues as on a short wander around Weldon I added another species to my growing Northants year list. Taking my now almost customary post work walk I decided to head over to the pond in the Woodland Park and see what I could find. Five or six Small Red-eyed Damsels were the main prize, like so many other species they seem early but that's been par for the course this year. These appeared to be quite adult so they must have emerged a while ago. I only found this colony last year and I'm not sure if anyone else had found it before me but it is nice to have them this close to my house. Other species included plenty of Red-eyeds (I'm not sure that I've seen these two out together before), rather a lot of Banded Demoiselles, Common Blues and Blue-tailed. Dragons were represented by a male and female Emperor and two male Black-tailed Skimmers.

Not many butterflies and all of them were from the brown family. The undoubted highlight was a Marbled White in the Woodland Park which was my first for this site. The other species were Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Speckled Wood, what price an early Gatekeeper?

James.
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Old Sunday 25th June 2017, 19:45   #453
string boozel
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Well this month is getting better and better and while I was not remotely tempted by the Bufflehead found yesterday at Clifford Hill I did enjoy a stroll around my local area. The early phase of my wander was a little on the dull side with just a Meadow Brown and a few Ringlets as I walked down Bears Lane near Weldon and along the public footpath through the fields. With lots of cereal crops growing I listened for Quail but struck out on that one.

A hedgerow provided some respite from a fairly stiff breeze and several species of butterflies were taking advantage of the shelter. Lots of new brood Small Torties were joined by the three common whites, numbers of Large and Small are definitely increasing and there was also a Speckled Wood. A Lesser Whitethroat was singing as I managed my first pics of the year of Small White. Across the A427 and getting closer to Deenethorpe Airfield more species were added with Red Admiral, the first of lots of second brood Commas, a first Peacock for a while and many Large Skippers. Now the expression "Keep an eye out for Frits" is the slightly misspelt version of advice handed out to allied service men in war films of a certain vintage but it's becoming more relevant with each passing year in Northants too because as I reached the back of the metal aircraft hangars a Silver-washed Fritillary zoomed past and headed for a huge patch of brambles. Hoping to get a photo or two I raced over but just could not find my target. In the meantime a large butterfly landed on the side of one of the sheds and a peek through the bins revealed a Purple Emperor! It flew off into the neighbouring Weldon Park Wood before I even reached for my camera and left me standing feeling rather stunned, Giving up on my fruitless Fritillary quest I got back on to the footpath and was almost immediately passed by another Silver-washed and while looking for that one I picked out another Purple Emperor flying around the top of an Oak tree, yet another passed me as it flew by at waist height. The whole two minutes was like a combination of being slapped in the face and having a toke on a funny fag (or so I imagine).

On the fringes of the airfield itself a Meadow Pipit was likely to be a local breeder and the melodious cascade of Skylark notes filled the air. A first Ruddy Darter of the year was not unexpected and was followed by more a little later in the day. In Deenethorpe village a family party of Grey Wagtails were calling from trees around the stream where both White-legged Damsels and Banded Demoiselles were present. Both species were found on the other side of the road at Deene lake inflow too, an immature Shelduck here may have been locally bred. Up to six Lapwings were feeding on the mud while the Wheelie Bin Triangle played host to three Herons.

At the dam on the main lake a pair of Shelducks had three young ducklings and three Little Egrets were also seen. The ponds had both Red-eyed Damsels and Emperors though another surprise came in the shape of a male Scarce Chaser, my first for the site. This species appears to be going from strength to strength and this is the first one that I've had within walking distance of my house. On the way along Kirby Road I decided to call in on Priors Hall and while walking on the edge of a large field near a wood called the Rookery I found yet more Marbled Whites and some Small Heaths. A bramble lined path held half a dozen Red Admirals and many superb looking second brood Commas. Small Skippers were also added to what had become an impressive selection of species.

At Priors Hall I tried to visit as many of the ponds as possible but this requires a lot of effort as many of the alders have been cut down and left where they fell making walking difficult. Add in lots of brambles, banks of nettles and some pretty obscured uneven ground and the going is difficult. Despite this I found my first Emerald Damsels, Common Darters and more Ruddies. Other species were not to be left out and Broad-bodied and Four-spotted Chasers, Black-tailed Skimmer and more Emperors were seen and Azure damsel was added to the day list. Photography was a little difficult as every time that I stopped I had to fight off a swarm of attacking horse flies but I was happy with the results. At one of the ponds I photographed a pair of darters whose I.D I was uncertain of. I've put the pictures on the Northants Dragonflies Facebook page and await some expert input, I'll keep you informed.

The weather was beginning to get a little wetter so I turned for home more than happy with my day's spotting.

James.
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Old Sunday 25th June 2017, 19:50   #454
string boozel
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Some of the dragons and a damsel that I could I.D

James.
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Old Monday 26th June 2017, 19:00   #455
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It seems as if those darters that I mentioned in my last post were Ruddies and not something more exotic so it's a case of back to the books for me! I was a county traitor again today so nothing new to add at the mo but here's a picture of a Heath Fritillary that I saw today in Essex, it was a cracker.

James
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Old Tuesday 27th June 2017, 18:12   #456
string boozel
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When I began this thread I was kind of hoping that it might become a forum for people that wanted to exchange views and news about birds and wildlife within the county, it was certainly never my intention to create a blog. Given that fact I think it's about time that I stopped contributing here and hope that others may take over instead. As many of my posts in "Birding in Northants" often fail to mention birds at all and even occasionally talk about non county or even non wildlife stuff this is probably not the best place for them anyway. I may well carry on posting in the "Your Birding Day" part of the forum where perhaps these kind of posts may sit better. Thanks to anyone that's either read or contributed and happy wildlife watching.

James.
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Old Wednesday 28th June 2017, 12:46   #457
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Happy wildlife watching too James...Keep that camera snapping !!

Mark
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Old Wednesday 28th June 2017, 17:59   #458
string boozel
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Thanks Mark, I've just bought another Nikon so there's plenty more snapping still to come!

James.
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Old Sunday 2nd July 2017, 19:43   #459
string boozel
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In the unlikely event that anyone should want to carry on reading my ramblings about my err ramblings then I now have a shiny new blog to peruse. It's the same old spiel as usual but who knows, there may be a diamond amongst the dross. The web address is (I hope) http:// wildnorthants.blogspot.com

I'm to computers what snakes are to virtuoso piano playing so it's a bit on the simple side but given that I am too that shouldn't be a surprise!

James.

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Old Friday 1st December 2017, 00:37   #460
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Im new here, but had an interest in wildlife my whole life. Not sure if you have ever been, but try Delapre abbey in northampton, My mate showed me it one day on a dog walk. Free, free parking and under a mile from Northampton town centre but full of all sorts(including an otter i've spent over an hour watching), good mix of reservoir/lake, open cultivated grass, wild grass, kept garden and wooded area to roam around.

Spotted, green and greater spotted woodpecker, jays and other corvids, kingfisher, Grebe, various duck species, Cormorants plus the otter and more common garden species etc.

Well worth a look.
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Old Friday 1st December 2017, 17:19   #461
string boozel
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Hi Captain, sounds like a decent site, I think that there has been some Hawfinches there too recently.

James.
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Old Friday 1st December 2017, 19:04   #462
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Quote:
Originally Posted by string boozel View Post
Hi Captain, sounds like a decent site, I think that there has been some Hawfinches there too recently.

James.
That explains why some guy asked about them today lol didn't spot any though, went earlier as it happens, saw another Kingfisher, a lone male Bullfinch, Goldfinches, Blue and Great Tits, loads of long tailed at almost touching distance, a few Robins, Jays and a single cormorant and a couple of new spots for me of a Nuthatch and a Little Egret.

Jason

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Old Friday 1st December 2017, 21:25   #463
string boozel
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Yeah, I've not had any luck with Hawfinches so far, still sounds like a good day.

James.
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