I decided to begin the new birding week with a visit to summer Leys NR in Northamptonshire. Strangely enough only a 35 mile drive from the marina but a reserve I've never visited before!
|Summer Leys NR, Northamptonshire|
I arrived shortly after 9 O'clock and having just missed a heavy downpour I decided to begin my visit in the comfort of the Pioneer Hide. On approach the noise from the Black-headed Gull
population told me straight away that this was a nesting colony and so it turned out! Swallow
, House Martin
and Sand Martin
low over the pools but it wasn't long before I picked up a Wood Sandpiper
over on the wader scrape. A couple of Whimbrel
next, which were across on the grassland over towards the disused railway line. Two year ticks already, followed almost immediately by a third, when a Greenshank
was noted asleep, once again on the far side. At least a half dozen Common Tern
, single Oystercatcher
, two Redshank
and three Little-ringed Plover
before moving on. My fourth year first happened almost immediately upon leaving the hide, when four Swift
flew overhead, a great start to my visit.
|Sedge Warbler - Very few photos opportunities during my visit!|
Moving on I took an anticlockwise route heading off towards the Paul Britten Hide. The thick hedgerow along the paths provide good habitat and by the time I'd arrived at the hide for a coffee, which offers an elevated view of the reserve, Willow Warbler
had all been noted in song. From the hide a better view of the Wood Sandpiper
but before I could get the customary record shot it took flight, almost a display flight actually, calling and dipping as it flew off! In fact I noted it several times more during the morning.
After leaving the hide I was extremely lucky as I emerged almost adjacent to a field which, according to a new report, had a Whinchat
showing. Scanning the field in question, which I believe was on Mary's Lane, it wasn't long before I had decent scope views of the bird. Which was flying from posts onto higher fencing which overlooked a further pool, a fifth year tick! While here a ploughed area of the field held three stunning Yellowhammer
, almost like canaries in the stark contrast of the dark soil. A little further on I paused for a time at the feeders and while here scoped the pools, recording a couple of late stayers, with both Wigeon
and drake Goldeneye.
The remainder of the 2 mile circuit yielded of note: Red Kite
, (2) Buzzard
, (2) Green Woodpecker
, (3) Sedge Warbler
, (2) Cetti's Warbler
and several more Swift
and Common Tern
. An excellent reserve and one which I will certainly visit more often!