FRIDAY: Not lot before my shift ended I was watching from the office windows huge flocks of gulls hawking all over the industrial estate. The advantage of the upstair offices I could see two massive plumes of insects in the distance towards Duston/St.Crispins. When I went outside I was covered in flying ants. By the time I got home it was getting overcast but needed to check out the Barn Owl site. It hadn't been seen by anyone for over a week, including myself. The railway line was heaving with a variety of small birds hawking the flying ants. Apart from good numbers of common species there was the additional Willow Warbler, Chiff-Chaff and Blackcaps sadly no flight shots, light was awful and shutter speeds to low. Saw three Treecreepers then heard a pair of Nuthatches. Which was launching off the phone lines. Got a record shot of one on the ground.
It was getting both dark and late and no sign of the Barn Owl. For me I had some concern about it's nest. Firstly both Mr.Z and I had only ever seen one bird, secondly the nest box is not your typical box. It's a plastic drum similar to those blue metal drums chemicals get transported in. Just with a small aperture cut out and perch nailed to the top. It was likely the adult bird had taken the young to a natal site away from the box but I was a bit concerned due to the plastic material maybe the young couldn't get out.
SATURDAY: I was a bit gutted to read that 400+ Dunlin dropped into Holowell reservoir all but a few miles from my location on Friday, I should've read my twitter feed lol. I was also a bit gutted that since using my bike for birding my year list was stuck on 100 species. I needed some migratory waders or small birds. So rather suicidally opted to ride from Northampton/Brampton Valley/Maidwell/Cottesbrooke and on to Welford Reservoir. About 17 miles (34 in total).
I turned off the cycle path at he bottom of Hanging Houghton and followed the track towards Cottesbrooke. Got a Kestrel, Whitethroat but the most interesting thing was the management of the fields (Leaf scheme) which had a good variety of butterflies and other insects and sadly this