Friday, 2 March 2018

Wildlife BCN Summer Leys :: 25 February 2018

My first visit to Summer Leys this year. Updates on the Northants Birding website suggested I’d have a chance to encounter great white egret and brambling. A cold one but it didn’t seem to have deterred the visitors - the car park was full by the time I arrived. I’m sure everyone is happy for the interest in the site but I saw evidence of frustration that some use the site as a Country Park when it is actually a Wildlife Reserve.

In the car park was a manned Wildlife Trust tent. BramblingA brief chat confirmed that a single great white egret was showing on the western island looking from the hide shoreline. Sure enough, as I got to the Pioneer hide the GWE was visible but so distant that a photo was pointless.

Of note was the the count of wigeon and gadwall on the water, but few lapwing. Lapwing seem to have located in the surrounding fields rather than on the islands.

I met a woman photographing a great tit who said the screen at the Bramblingfeeding station had been busy with up to ten cameras following the brambling. It wasn’t long until I got there finding only two people. The brambling wasn’t visible but was reported to be taking 15min breaks from the feeders.

The female brambling turned up on the nearest table giving good views. At this point one of the others commented that they had seen the male that had turned up the day before - I waited 10mins and sure enough we were graced by the appearance of the male.

From the disused Wigeonrailway embankment, looking over Gull Island, a red kite harried the assorted gulls. Behind, a buzzard was being mobbed by a crow and a kestrel flew passed and onto a post, unfortunately facing the other way and flying off before I could get a photo.

Back at the Rotary Hide, the GWE was visible in the reeds ahead from the Pioneer Hide - although not visible from Pioneer.

I’m looking forward to coming back, although on the end he of my normal range for Saturday mornings.

Sightings (41) included: black-headed gull, blackbird, blue tit, brambling, bullfinch, buzzard, Canada goose, carrion crow, chaffinch, common gull, coot, cormorant, dunnock, fieldfare, gadwall, goldfinch, great crested grebe, great tit, great white egret, greenfinch, greylag goose, herring gull, kestrel, lapwing, long-tailed tit, magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, oystercatcher, pochard, red kite, reed bunting, robin, rook, song thrush, teal, tufted duck, wigeon, woodpigeon and wren.

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