Saturday, 28 September 2013

HARRINGTON AIRFIELD-REDKITE&NORTHERN WHEATEAR

YOU TRY AND FINDING A GOLDEN PLOVER/LARK/LAPWING  IN THAT FIELD...HAVE FUN          
REDKITE
 Harrington airfield is a massive site, once a wartime airfield and then after the war home to nuclear missiles. Although long gone and now being farmed some of the buildings from it's past remain. Probably wouldn't be the obvious choice for a spot of birding, but as it happens quite a bit of migrating bird pass through here.
I thought I'd litter this post with some "scenic" efforts to give you an idea what the place looks like as well as some of the birds I found today.
HAY, WHAT'S THAT OVER THERE?...SORRY

PRETTY GOOD FOR SHORT EARED OWLS IN THE WINTER

REDKITE
 Obviously Redkites are resident birds in Northants and this one hang around circling over head for a while, even though a Marsh Harrier has regularly been reported up here, I had no luck of an encounter today, the site being so big and suitable habitat all around means it could've been anywhere. I had a total of five Buzzards and one Kestrel as well as the Kite, there was two Redkites but one was very heavily in moult still so no images of that bird.
REDKITE
 There are plans to have the site and structures "protected" similar to that which historical monuments are awarded.
I spent most of the day around the grey concrete blocks you see in the image below.
No real reason to move from this spot, a woman ploughing the fields meant a lot of birds were being flushed from the field right into my lap. Plenty of Pied Wagtails (13), a single Grey Wagtail and circa 20 Meadow Pipits, easily more then that but I couldn't keep track of them all.
One advantage of the area around the grey structures is that there are concrete "ditches" around them which allows you to sneak up to birds without being spotted, here's some Meadow Pipits I crept up on.
MEADOW PIPIT ON CONCRETE APRON, ME IN THE DITCH..NOTHING NEW FOR ME


MEADOW PIPIT WITH FOOD
This technique of using the ditches (once huge runners for the hangers) was working very well, especially when I saw a brown'ish job with a white patch on it's tail fly in, some distance away and without those ditches I would never have made it anywhere close enough for an image, the bird...Northern Wheatear....

Nice bonus find/bird for me, and incredibly my first of the year, not sure how that happened just seem to have dipped out on the species in the spring...oh well.
Running up the middle of the fields is this wild area in the three images below, there were still some butterflies floating around. If you decide to walk up this way, becareful there are some hidden manholes and very deep rabbit holes, I know one photographer who twice fell down one manhole up to his waist, smashing his camera, tread with care....and no it wasn't me...YET!


 Well worth the walk along here, for some common birds and birds that were once quite common but not so much now like Yellowhammers.
YELLOWHAMMER, ALWAYS WORTH STOPPING FOR.
I hope you enjoyed the post and you get an idea what Harrington Airfield looks like.

6 comments:

  1. Great shots as always. I enjoyed the wander, it's good to be able to put the birds into context.

    Hay! I though I straw straw.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Adrian, it's a fascinating site with some interesting history, in WWII it's were the a squadron know as the carpetbaggers flew from, across the road at Lamport Hall is where they kept p.o.w's. I only explored a third of the site.

      Delete
  2. Great red kite images. A bird that I saw so often whilst at Uni in Reading. I didn't have my camera then though. Lovely post :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're quite lucky as we had Red kite release programme at Fineshade Woods a few years back, they're a truly remarkable bird to watch, this is quite a good site for them too.

      Delete
  3. Really enjoyed your fascinating account of this place, and its wildlife, Doug. Great images of the birds and terrain too. Prompted me to find out more, and found this site - http://harringtonmuseum.org.uk/AirfieldHistory.htm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Richard, you know I probably only covered about 5% of the area, it's huuuge site. Going to have to do a follow up post, but probably when the Golden Plovers start to turn up, I'll have a look at that site later, thanks.

      Delete