Thursday, 31 December 2009

31st Dec 2009 - Lunchtime - Wintering Chiffchaff

Wintering Chiffchaff - Manor Farm Dec 2009
13:00 > 14:00
3c Light northerly breeze, overcast.

After recent rain the River Ouse had followed Front and Back Brooks in breaking its banks, flooding some areas.

On the main body of water just a single female Shoveler. Along the ever diminishing accessible parts of river walk a Kingfisher and a skulking wintering Chiffchaff.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

12th Dec 09 - NBBR

Via Rob Hill per NBBR

At Manor Farm this morning, 1pr Goosander and 1 Green Sand, plus 180 Redwing &
45 Fieldfare.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Fri 11th Dec 2009 - Afternoon.

14:00 > 15:00
6c Sunny spells, cloud.

300+ Lapwing in The Dip along with around 250 Gulls including a smattering of Herring and Lesser Black Backed Gull.
Pair of Goosander over.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

8th Dec 2009 - Morning

10:30 > 12:00
6c Initial sun, clouding over.

The usual Green Woodpeckers now seem a fixture along drive past top field.
Little Egret along river.
Common Buzzard over farm buildings.
At the back of main body a single Green Sandpiper looks like its now overwintering.
Along the River Ouse, Reed Buntings and Treecreepers.
Highlight was a flock of thirty Meadow Pipits along in meadow (funnily enough) between workings ad river then later along muddied slopes and brush area.
Also a single Grey Wagtail.
Three Gadwall also put in an appearance.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Fri 27th Nov 2009 - Afternoon

14:00 > 15:00
Cold, SW wind.

The Dip is well flooded just holding a single Green Sandpiper along with circa 90 gulls split 50/50 Black Headed & Common Gull.

On the developing central spit around 40 Lapwing roosted.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Tues 24th Nov 09 - Morning/Afternoon

11:30 > 12:30
12c Mild , W Wind, Spit Rain.

A single Green Sandpiper in The Dip along with c50 Lapwing.
Around 100 Gulls, 25 being Common Gulls along with one Lesser Black Backed Gull the rest being Black Headed.
River Ouse level rising. In inlet second Green Sandpiper (pic to follow). Treecreepers in willows along riverbank.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

The Dip - In Picture

You can now see what i've been whittling on about. The new, now well flooded, area. Directly north of the farm buildings down the bottom of the smaller central field, hence in 'The Dip'. Click on pic for larger image.

Thurs 19th Nov - Lunchtime - Winter Thrushes

13:15 > 13:45
Cloud cover, strong S/SW wind, gale force gusts. 12C

A very breezy brief visit. Water levels still high. Not much to report.

Fieldfares and Redwing are now here in large numbers, a flock of around 600 in The Dip area alone. A ratio of probably 70/30 in favour of the Fieldfares.
Starling flock also increasing in size to around 350.

With the strong wind not much else moving. A single Green Sandpiper was on the Old Wader Pool while a dozen or so Lapwing dozed on the Clay Islands in the deeper water.

A flock of around 70 gulls contained around ten Common Gulls and out on its own a single Herring Gull.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Mon 16th Nov - Afternoon - Mallard invasion.

Mallard - Manor Farm - Early 2009
15:15 > 16:15
Cloud, odd glimpse of sun. S/SW strong wind. 11C

The weekends rain has left The Dip with its highest water levels yet. It really looks the business now and something like the original wader pit was a year back, but then again I expect it will be drained (yet again) for whatever reason in coming days.

Out on the mud water has increased too in the pools. A single Green Sandpiper and 17 Lapwing were the only waders present though. Gulls few and far between again on the ground though hundreds over. Just a handful of BHG's and two Common Gulls.

Two Little Egret along back brook and an increasing number of Cormorant over.

On the fields small numbers of Redwing and Fieldfare fed with the increasing Starling flock. The Kestrel was still trying his luck, as ever, over the thistle banks. Pied Wagtails seem to have increased in number again, flocking into larger parties as it got dark.

Given the amount of water, or lack of it, up to this week wildfowl have been very low in number to non existent. An odd pair of Teal or Pochard the only thing seen. However today there were around 40 Mallard dotted about here and there and at 3:45 a large flock dropped in from the north, most hit the lakes over at Cosgrove Park but around 25 or so joined the group at Manor Farm. Okay so only the most common duck but its the largest count (circa 65) of any i've had there and shows there is potential for others to visit.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Thurs 12th Nov - Lunchtime - Lapwing

Collective Gulls - Manor Farm - Early 2009
13:15 > 1345
Sun, broken cloud. S/SW brisk breeze. 12C

The recent rain increaes the pools further although yet again the dip is drained.

Two Green Sandpipers flitted about the deeper pools but the wader of note today was Lapwing with a flock of over 300, the largest in quite a while. Gulls low in number again, around 30 on the old Wader Pool with around a quarter of these Common Gulls the rest Black Headed.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Mon 9th Nov - Afternoon - Merlin

15:45 > 16:30
Cloud, cold westerly wind, 5C.

A briefish late afternoon visit as the sun went down and the first real bird of note for quite a while at Manor Farm.

Highlight undoubtedly an almost slate grey male Merlin, along the edge of Back Brook then along the fenceline by the Ouse, stopping for a moment to perch on one of the pollarded willow stumps.

Water levels low in The Dip but still increasing elsewhere. The sites gradually getting back to what it was in early spring, we live in hope.

Only other birds of note were a pair of Green Sandpiper still holding out in The Dip and a single Little Egret over.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Fri Nov 6th - Afternoon - Tawny Owl

Fieldfare - Manor Farm - Winter 08
14:00 > 16:30
Cloud giving way to drizzley rain late on. 10C

Water levels down again in The Dip but made up for elswhere with inceasing pools, and depth out on the expanse of mud to the west of site. Small pools are also filling again the inlet.

At least three Green Sandpiper mooch around these pools whilst the old wader pool, which is now getting back to its old self, was claimed by the gulls. Not many but more than of late. 5 Herring Gulls, 1 Lesser Black Backed Gull, 25 Common Gull and around 50 Black Headed Gull. A single Little Egret over as it got dark.

In the deeper water just a trio of Teal. Over the river on the now deserted (by humans anyway) lakes at Cosgrove a build up of Coot, Mute Swan and a handful of Great Crested Grebe.

Winter thrush numbers building, especially Fieldfare favouring the bushes along Back Brook, while later over along the river trees one hundred or so Redwing put in an appearance.

Highlight of the day though was a Tawny Owl flushed from the pollarded willows along Back Brook. Tawny Owl was a regular bird before work started, especially in the area north of the south central field. Good to see one back though Little Owls still eludes me, still not seen one between the Aquaduct and the Viaduct, though have either side. One day, one day...

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Weds 4th Nov - Lunchtime - Pochard

12:45 > 13:15
Sun, broken cloud, cool westerly breeze. 12C

A brief lunchtime visit and water levels much improved again. Pumps appear to be off in The Dip and water probably at its highest level, possibly reflecting what the River Ouse is like. However only a variety of corvids, a few Pied Wagtails and a small Goldfinch charm here at the moment.

Out on the expanse of mud further increase in the size of existing pools and creation of a few more new ones looks very promising. Whilst this area has been quiet of late today birds had started to slowly move back in. On the old Wader Pool a single Green Sandpiper was kept company by around 100 gulls, most Black Headed but around a third were Common while two Herring Gulls sat aside.

On the deeper water, which isn't really big enough to compete with the now quieter lakes over the river at Cosgrove there was a single Teal and a pair of Northern Pochard bucking the trend.

Only other bird of note a female Sparrowhawk over and mobbed by a hadful of crows.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Mon 2nd Nov - Afternoon - Changes

15:15 > 16:00
Cloud cover, sunny spell. SW breeze. 9C

After the weekends rain I expected to see even higher levels in The Dip but alas the pumps have been on again and water is low. The rain however did replenish the ever decrasing wader pool to the west and this and several of the other pools in the area should increase in the coming days should the forecast for more of the same hold. With Dunlin in the south of the county and just over the border in Norhants might well be worth a look again. Who knows 'Wader South Central' might exist once more.

Other changes over the last couple of weeks sees many of the willows along Back Brook coppiced. This includes all around the area where you could view down the inlet under cover, no more. Though it will take some deluge to see the inlet as attractive as it once was.

On the plus side Cosgrove Park saw off the last happy campers for the winter at the weekend. The riverside will be quieter and the lakes in this area which attacts all maner of ducks (all but the one far west are in Bucks, east of the Tove) can be viewed clearly, plus for scopers even along the ridge at back of farm.

To the birds, well not a lot about, due to that water level mostly, the late afternoon pre-roost gulls were nowhere to be seen and but for the multitude of Pied Wagtails still present the only birds in The Dip were a pair of Teal, a single Common Snipe and at least two Green Sandpipers. Away from the water a Common Buzzard and Kestrel were in the vicinity, the latter being mobbed by around 40 crows and jackdaws. Three Cormorant, the first in a while were over and the only winter thrush remaining a lone Redwing.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Fri 30th Oct - Afternoon - Fieldfare

Meadow Pipit - Manor Farm - 30/10/09
14:00 > 16:00
Sunny periods, broken cloud, southerly breeze at times, otherwise calm. 15C

First visit in three weeks due to holidays and illness.
Water levels highest yet. Good complex developing in The Dip of pools, channels and scrapes, but will anything be tempted in?

At least three Green Sandpipers on site, all flighty. Only other waders a small group of thirty or so Lapwing which headed west early on. An assortment of gulls in the dip numbering around 100. Mostly, as always, Black Headed Gulls but Common Gull numbers are increasing with around a dozen or so present. Only other species noted were two Lesser Black Backed Gull and a single Herring Gull.

Two Little Egrets, at the usual pool, were sighted.

Quiet along the river but a single Kingfisher foraged along the pebble beach area banking. A winter first returnee in a single Fieldfare, mobbed by Jackdaws for its efforts, whilst Redwing numbers start to increase with around forty on the main slope and in the hedgerow to the south of it.

And as the sun started to disappear a single rather dark Meadow Pipit (unless you know different) see above.

One notable aspect was the number of Pied Wagtails now on site, across the mudflats and Dip there must be no less that fifty or more birds present now and maybe the odd White Wagtail or two still remains in the area (see 2nd Oct posting) but no confirmation. Also looks like it has been another good year for Green Woodpecker in the valley again, good numbers in all the usual fields.

Finally on the insect front in a last glimpse of summer a single Peacock butterfly floated through.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Weds 7th Oct - Evening - Redwings & Golden Plover

Brief visit before heading south to sunnier climes.

Water levels up once more.
Highlights were first Redwings, a group of three in the top field.
Also a single Golden Plover spotted when the Lapwing flock (40+) took to flight.
Elsewhere, two Green Sandpipers, a single Common Snipe, a pair of Little Egrets and a Common Buzzard over were the only other birds of note.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Fri 2nd Oct - Afternoon - White Wagtails

15:00 > 17:00
Cloudy, dull, W breeze at times, cool. 14C

Another mostly uneventful visit though water level in The Dip highest yet. Looking good for attracting anything passing, but will it pass?
Highlight was a pair (at least) of White Wagtail in The Dip in amongst the multitude of Pieds, there must have been 50+, that have invaded the site. A pair of Mistle Thrush also dropped in for a drink and a bathe before the Jackdaws saw them off.
A couple of Common Snipe flitted about and a Green Sandpiper seen briefly.
Three Little Egrets sat by their usual pool out on the mud.
A handful of Teal were dotted about the various pools while the now daily seen Sparrowhawk did its everything skywards trick.
Along the Ouse, just a family group of Mute Swan and a couple of late Dragonflies.

I forgot, in amongst the Black Headed Gulls in The Dip were a pair of Common Gull.

White Wagtail - Birdguides

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Weds 30th Sept - Evening - GBB

17:45 > 18:30
Setting sun, brozen cloud, N breeze at first then calm. 16C.

Water level higher again in The Dip but nothing really of note just Jackdaws, Crows and Black Headed Gulls along with the odd Pied Wagtail in the area. A single Lesser Black Backed Gull sat amongst the BHG's while low and over but not landing was a returning Great Black Backed Gull.

Two Little Egrets out on the mud and a Green Sandpiper in flight from the High Pool down towards the river were the only other birds worth mentioning.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Tues 29th Sept - Evening - Water up...

17:00 > 17:30
Broken cloud, then warm sunny spell, NW wind, 19C.

After a brief visit on Monday (28th) where the water level was again pumped low and I saw nothing but a pair of Little Egrets across the site I was suprised to return today and find the water in The Dip at around its highest level yet.

Still not much of interest though. A Common Snipe over a single Green Sandpiper and the usual 50 or so BHG's and 30 Lapwing in the Dip. A pair of Teal were also in the vicinity.

Three Little Egrets fought for the best roost on the clay islands on what's left of the main body of water. The old wader pool now resembles nothing more that a largish puddle, we need rain and lots of it.

Two further Green Sandpipers were found on the High Pool south of the farm buildings.

On the canal section in the morning a single Kingfisher.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Fri 25th Sept - Afternoon - A mixed bag...

Reed Bunting - River Ouse - Manor Farm - 25th Sept 09
14:00 > 17:00
Breaking cloud to sunny warm periods, NW breeze. 17C

Again not much movement migration wise.
Three Little Egrets in the main area of the site plus a fourth on the river.
Corvids dominated the Dip, mostly Jackdaws but a smattering of Carrion Crow and Magpie while a single Jay to the east of site completed the 'common' set.
Also common the three most common birds of prey on site today in Kestrel, mobbed by around 20 Jackdaws, a female Sparrowhawk making a couple of low sorties along the Dip shoreline sending everthing skywards and a Common Buzzard over.
Gull numbers built during the afternoon with a max of around 250. As always mostly BHG's but a single Common Gull was spotted in the Dip.
Wader wise singles of Common Snipe and Green Sandpiper and circa thirty Lapwing dotted around the site, but a late afternoon flock over heading north must have been at least ten times that amount.
A pair of Teal were in the Dip and a lone Wigeon on the old Wader Pool.
Along the river, much quieter than of late, apart from the aforementioned Little Egret, a couple of Grey Heron and a party of Mute Swan, a female Reed Bunting (see above) was just about the only other bird seen.

Reed Bunting - Birdguides
Reed Bunting - BTO
Reed Bunting - Avibirds
Reed Bunting - RSPB
Reed Bunting - Wiki

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Thursday 24th Sept - Lunchtime - Zzzzzzzzzzz

12:15 > 12:45
Warm sunshine, NW breeze gaining strength at times. 18C.

Good news, the water in The Dip is even higher, better views, more shoreline.
Bad news, not a lot about still.

After an abortive visit at first light when fog filled the valley I was hoping for better things as it burnt off during the morning, but no.

Just a single Little Egret and a pair of Teal of interest. Some gulls about, all BHG's as far as I could tell but maybe only 50 at most with the same number of Lapwing.

On the butterfly front a couple of late Painted Lady flitted about the farm buildings.

Fingers, and everything else, crossed for tomorrow.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Weds 23rd Sept 09 - Quietness continues...

17:00 > 17:30
Cloudy, calm. 17C

Still quiet at the Farm. Water level in Gravel Dip up another couple of inches but nothing seen of interest except a single Common Snipe and Teal in this area. Two Little Egrets out on the mud. Oddly enough not a single gull of any description on the site today.
On the top field a party of six Mistle Thrush were joined by three Green Woodpeckers.
And thats your lot!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Tues 22nd Sept 09 - Evening - No change

17:00 > 17:30
Hazy sunshine, clouding over, W breeze. 18C

Brief visit, just singles of Green Sandpiper, Little Egret and Snipe in Gravel Dip.

Tues 22nd Sept 09 - Lunchtime - Still quiet...

13:00 > 13:45
Cloudy, SW wind. 17C

Still quiet on the whole. The Dip now back to previous high water levels, no working in area. In this area, pair of Teal, two Green Sandpipers and a Common Snipe.
In Egret corner a single Little Egret.
In top field by approach road a pair of Green Woodpecker and a single Greater Spotted Woodpecker.

Tues 22nd Sept 09 - Early Morning - More Snipe

6:45 > 7:00am
Sunny, westerly breeze, 10C

Brief visit.
Water level up again overnight, i'm guessing it backfills from the river. Quiet.
Forty or so Canada Geese up on the hill while three Kestrel hunted along the ridge.
Just five gulls out on the mud, all Black Headers and nothing but a solitary Magpie by the Wader Pool.
Several Pied Wagtails flitting about the Dip whilst highlight was four Common Snipe along the waters edge at the back pool here.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Monday 21st Sept 09 - Afternoon - Missed waders...

16:00 > 17:00
Cloudy breaking to hazy sunshine, SW breeze. 17C

A day of unfortunates.
Unfortunately the water level in Gravel Dip has been lowered a foot or so today to carry on with extraction. Not as much 'shoreline' to view as last week but still a variety of pools and omelettes and eggs comes to mind, the end should well justify the means.

The second unfortunate was when something spooked the 100 or so gulls (all BHG's bar two LBB's) out on the mud and as they circled (never to return) a group of six small waders (Dunlin sized) joined them then spilit, did a couple of high circuits over the site then headed east. And even more unfortunately I never got anywhere near a good ID on them.

Elsewhere very quiet, in fact on the Wader Pool and the High Pool behind the farm nothing at all. A single Common Snipe upped and headed west, two Little Egrets were present and a lone Green Sandpiper in the Dip. Just three Lapwing andCormorant and Kestrel over.

And yes a very common bird but there was a Greenfinch out on the gravel, another to tick off the MF list.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Fri 18th Sept 09 - Afternoon/Evening - Grey Wagtail

Grey Wagtail - River Ouse, Manor Farm - Sept 09
14:30 > 18:30
On arrival 20C, warm sunshine, fleeting cloud, SE breeze.

A warm autumnal day yet better than most we've seen this summer.

In the new area, henceforth know as 'The Gravel Dip' the water has been raised by about another foot or so. Instead of destroying any habitat, due to the way that the area has been dug, more pools and shoreline have been created. There are at least thre Common Snipe now in this area with a couple of Green Sandpiper, in the hedgerow alongside a single Linnet whilst the Goldfinch charms dip in and out of this area again attracting one of the resident pair of Kestrel.

Out on the mud around 250 Lapwing, with another hunrded or so on the ploughed field north of the river. Also around 70 Black Headed Gulls dozed out on the mud whilst around half that number were on the backwater in Gravel Dip along with a single Lesser Black Backed Gull.

On the old Wader Pool to the east two Teal and a single Wigeon remain alongside another Green Sandpiper. Also out on the mud in their usual corner were five Little Egrets a record for the site. Unfortunately these were flushed by two trespassers (not birders) but three reloacted to the Dip.

A trip along the River Ouse saw a returning female Grey Wagtail (see pics below) and the welcome sight of the Kingfisher once more, now surely resident in this stretch of the Ouse once again.

Viewing Gravel Dip from the north side, from over 'Front Brook' a gradual build up of Pied Wagtails, over 20 birds, were noted, favouring the sun facing gravel hills to burrow in to make use of the warm sand. Given this was the area where White Wagtails were viewed most often earlier in the year a place to be watched.

Returning to the southside of the Dip along the canal both Green and Greater Spotted Woodpecker were noted and unfortunately in the top SW corner of the ridge several rabbits with progressive myxomatosis.

During the afternoon a steady progression of small to medium size parties of Swallow, Housemartin and Sandmartin passed through.

As the sun started to set gulls numbers increased, mostly again BHG's but in the last fall around 30 Lesser Black Backed Gulls including a handful of juveniles and a couple of Herring Gulls.

As the light faded a Hobby flew over the valley while the last bird of the day was another lone Green Sandpiper on the High Pool south of the farm buildings alongside half a dozen Mallard and the Moorhen family.

On the insect front Dragonflies abound but they are on next years list for deciphering. Several Butterflies still about enjoying the September sun, more Commas than usual an odd Peacock and a smattering of both Large and Small White but for the first time in a while in appropriate weather not a single Painted Lady.

Pics, click to enlarge.

Little Egret - Gravel Dip, Manor Farm - Sept 09Dragonfly - Manor Farm - Sept 09
Common Snipe - Gravel Dip, Manor Farm - Sept 09
Grey Wagtail - River Ouse, Manor Farm - Sept 09
Grey Wagtail - River Ouse, Manor Farm - Sept 09
Grey Wagtail - River Ouse, Manor Farm - Sept 09
Grey Wagtail - River Ouse, Manor Farm - Sept 09

Grey Wagtail - Birdguides
Grey Wagtail - BTO
Grey Wagtail - Avibirds
Grey Wagtail - Wiki
Grey Wagtail - RSPB

Small White - UK Butterflies
Small White - Butterfly Conservation

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Weds 16th Sept - Evening - Snipe still...

17:00 > 17:30
Cloud clearing to sunny spells strong blustery E wind. 16C

A brief visit. As yesterday still quite a flock of Housemartins around the approach road while around a dozen Swallows hunted over the top field.

On the solitary pool south of the farm buildings a lone Green Sandpiper.

On the newly cleared area a Common Snipe took to flight, quite probly yesterdays bird while a second Green Sandpiper was in the backwaters.

On the old wader pit to the west eight Teal remain while Little Egret count was up to four, a group of three and a single by the smaller pools.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Tues 15th Sept - Afternoon - Common Snipe

Snipe - Manor Farm - November 08
16:50 > 17:30
Cloudy, dull, E/NE wind, strong gusts. 15C

A blustery dull afternoon at the Farm.
Along the entrance road a flock of thirty or so Housemartins and a couple of Swallows hunted insects low through the trees.

Down on the workings itself it was hard to get a tag on anything much at all from the hill with wind fully in your face but gulls were gradually arriving in numbers whilst in the hillocks n hollows Pied Wagtails and Goldfinches flitting about while Jackdaws, Magpies and Common Crows along with a couple of Stock Doves tried to find the best shelter from the wind.

Along at the fastly drying out wader pool around a dozen Teal and a single Wigeon kept themselves to themselves while two Little Egrets held close into the banking.

Along the ridge, while Rooks and Jackdaws and the odd gull wheeled overhead absolutely nothing at all could be found on the ground or in the bushes and trees but then at this point the wind is probably the strongest.

The highlight of the day though was as I was I leaving, a Common Snipe, my first of the autumn dropping into the boggy area in the bottom of south central field then over the fence into the workings.

At the pool to the south of the farm building a juvenile Green Woodpecker rounded off the visit.

Common Snipe - Birdguides
Common Snipe - BTO
Common Snipe - RSPB
Common Snipe - RSPB
Common Snipe - Wiki

Friday, 11 September 2009

Fri Sept 11th 09 - Afternoon - Mini Migrantfest!

14:00 > 16:30
Sunny, broken cloud, brisk E breeze at times, 17C.

An intersting day at the site. When I arrived gravel extraction was still taking place in the new area so I took the canal route to the riverside walk.

The reedbeds and bushes along the river were alive with the more common warblers both adult and juvenile and Sedge Warbler, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Reed Warbler, Common Whitethroat and a confused Wren or two and a flock of Long Tailed Tits. There are a few breeding pairs of Sedge and Reed along this strtch but nothing like the numbers encountered today, so assuming passage birds mostly. (See pics below taken today)

By the time I arrived at the northern side of the new area work had finished for the day and the promise the area has shown was already reaping the benefits. A slightly washed out Northern Wheatear was already prominent on one of the gravel piles, quickly to be joined by five Yellow Wagtails including a very pale almost white individual. Minutes later three Meadow Pipits landed on the flatter area to the south. By the time I left this area was littered with, mostly more common, smaller birds, well worth a look for anyone passing though.

On the water in this area there was a gradual influx of gulls mostly BHG's but several juvenile Herring/LBBs also. A single Green Sandpiper pottered about.

Out on the mud to the west around 300 Lapwing mixed with around the same number of gulls, again mostly Black Headed Gulls while three Little Egrets in their usual corner completed the day.

Meadow Pipit - Birdguides
Meadow Pipit - BTO
Meadow Pipit - Avibirds
Meadow Pipit - RSPB
Meadow Pipit - Wiki

Pics, click to enlarge.
Sedge Warbler - Manor Farm - 11th Sept 09

Reed Warbler - Manor Farm - 11th Sept 09

Chiffchaff - Manor Farm - 11th Sept 09

Juvenile Reed Warbler (?) - Manor Farm - 11th Sept 09

Manor Farm Sunrise - 11th Sept 09

Pictures taken this morning. Click to enlarge.

Friday 11th Sept - Early AM - Teal

6:00 > 6:30am
Still, mist in the valley, sunrise. Temp 7C

Beautiful morning in the valley, sunrise over low mist (photos later).
Due to that mist nothing to be seen on valley floor but on the Back Pool (south of the farm buildings were three Teal, 22 'wild' Mallard and a lone Green Sandpiper.

Teal - Birdguides
Teal - BTO
Teal - Avibirds
Teal - RSPB
Common Teal - Wiki

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Thurs 10th Sept - Evening - Common Sandpiper

17:45 > 18:00
Sunny, brisk E breeze. 18C

Brief visit.
Water levels now increased in new area, looking very good.
Common Sandpiper along with two Green Sandpipers in the pools and channels here.
Nothing at all on the old wader pool to the west of site which is now gradually drying out, seems the new area 'arrived' just in time, now all it needs is a name.
Hobby over was only other bird of note.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Weds 8th Sept 09 - Evening - Common Redstarts

16:30 > 17:30
Sunny, warm, fresh NE breeze. 20C

The water level was lowered slightly by an inch or two in the new area to aid working but the area was still filling up with birds, mostly gulls, almost exclusively BHG's, after work for the day had finished. The Green Sandpiper pair were also back in the pools here. Parties of Pied Wagtails and Goldfinches also flitted about the gravel attracting the attention of a passing Sparrowhawk and not to be outdone a Kestrel soon followed in, both failed to catch anything.

Out on the mud a lone Little Egret rested, whilst on the water itself yesterdays Shoveler pair remained.

Along Back Brook a juvenile Kingfisher was a pleasant suprise. Kingfishers were numerous in this area not so long ago, a daily tick, but this is the first i've seen in a while.

And just when i'm thinking all the action is confined to the waterside areas the highlight is on top of the hill. A pair of Common Redstarts, a male and female, along the ridge path leading from the farm buildings to the canal. The male was still in pristine plumage and quite active while the female just took and odd dart between path, fencing and bushes. A first for the site for me.

Common Redstart - Birdguides
Common Redstart - BTO
Common Redstart - Avibirds
Common Redstart - RSPB
Common Redstart - Wiki

Manor Farm to hit jackpot again?

How the same area looked one year ago.
Per Chris G to NBBR

Nothing that important to report birdwise at Manor Farm (Old Wolverton) but big changes afoot re the landscape and the possibility of a new hotspot in this ever changing valley.

Over the last week or so the deep pit at the north end of what was the original wader area ( for the locals that’s the flats due east of Godwit Corner) has gradually had its gravel top drawn back towards Back Brook.

This has left a series of low pools, scrapes and shallows. Initially they were pumping water out of this area to work but yesterday afternoon water was allowed back in and it really looks like it could be the most interesting area yet.

The good thing for some of you about this area is that its totally viewable/scopable from the path behind the farm buildings, so not so much of a trek, and near a parking area (provided main gate is open).

Whilst work is still carried out, and at a guess I’d say maybe only a week at most left in this area, birds are staying clear though the Green Sandpipers amongst others are straight in, in the evenings.

If anyone else happens to be passing I’d be interested to hear their views.

Tues 8th Sept 09 - Afternoon - Shoveler

Shoveler - Manor Farm - Spring 09
17:00 > 17:30
Warm, humid, sun, broken cloud, strong SW wind at times.

Good news, the newly cleared area has had water pumped back in to leave many pools and channels, lots a hotspot in the making.
Two Green Sandpipers already in the area but as work just finished many other birds avoiding, probably best last thing at night or early morning although there looks to be only a few days work left before the earth movers move on.
Out on the mud a handful of Black Headed Gulls were joined by three Lesser Black Backed Gulls and a Herring Gull while on the clay islands a single Common Gull roosted.
Out on the water a pair of Shoveler were a new addition.
Thirty Lapwing and a single Little Egret completed the visit.

On the butterfly front, in the warm sunshine a last few Painted Ladies flitted about.

Shoveler - Birdguides
Shoveler - BTO
Northern Shoveler - Avibirds
Northern Shoveler - Wiki
Shoveler - RSPB

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Mon 7th Sept 09 - Afternoon - Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail - Manor Farm - Spring 09
3:30 > 4:30
Sunny periods, warm.

Still quiet on the whole at Manor Farm, hopefully the calm before the storm.
Work continues on the new area east of Godwit Corner (see post below) but the heavy plant deters any bird from entering this area during the day.
Out on the mud the most noticable bird was the 200+ Lapwing sleeping the afternoon away. These were joined by around thirty Black Headed Gulls and a single Lesser Black Backed Gull. A single Little Egret was also present.
On the bird of prey front a Common Buzzard was high over while the Kestrel still tries in vain to catch the increasing Goldfinch 'charms'.
Migration wise a sizable flock of seventy or more Housemartin passed through and an odd Sandmartin was still about.
The highlight of the day though was a party of three Yellow Wagtails passing through heading due south, hopefully the vanguard of better to come.

Yellow Wagtail - Birdguides
Yellow Wagtail - BTO
Yellow Wagtail - Wiki
Yellow Wagtail - RSPB

Friday, 4 September 2009

Fri 4th Sept - Afternoon - Hobby

2:00 > 3:00pm
Cloudy, brisk cool westerly wind.

First visit in over a week and things are changing once more re the landscape. In the area that was once the original 'wader pit', the area to right of Godwit Corner is having the gravel gradually drawn back southwards from what was the deep pit at the rear. This is leaving a series of flooded channels and pools that could be attrative to migrants once migrations get in full swing. Watch this space.

On the bird front, apart from a handful of Lapwing dotted about the only wader seen was a Green Sandpiper on the solitary pool south of farm buildings.
Down in the workings themselves the usual collections of gulls, almost all BHG's were sent skywards after the low fast swoop of a passing Hobby leaving three Little Egrets unflustered on the mud.

Hobby - Birdguides
Hobby - BTO
Hobby - RSPB
Eurasian Hobby - Wiki
Hobby - Avibirds

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Weds 26th Aug 09 - Afternoon - Common Sandpiper

4:15 >4:30
Cloud, drizzly rain sometimes heavier bursts, SW wind.

Yet another brief visit (its getting too much of a habit).
No sign today of any Dunlin, in fact no sign of anything much, just a single Common Sandpiper on the ever devreasing wader pool and a couple of Little Egrets braving it out on the mud.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Tues 25th Aug 09 - Afternoon

5:15 > 5:30pm
Sunny, cloud building.

Very brief visit, single Dunlin on pool whilst two more were seen flying about then into the nearside margins of the deeper body of water out of sight, the single more than likely one of the pair but as Mondays pair (see below) were inseparable theres a chance there may be three on site.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Mon 24th Aug 09 - Afternoon - More Dunlin...

3:30 > 5:00pm
Windy, westerly, sunny spells, odd spit of rain.

As expected last weeks Dunlin has indeed left only to be replaced by two two other individuals on the wader pool. Certainly a different pair of birds much lighter in appearance and colouring suggesting both juveniles though having been watched at bin distance I may be wrong (but not wrong enough that ive missed a pair of Curlew Sandpipers ;)).

Also on same pool three Green Sandpipers, one Common Sandpiper and a Little Egret.
Around 30 or so Lapwing also dotted around the site and gven what has been about recently a dearth of gulls.

A Common Buzzard over was the only other real bird of interest.

Common Buzzard - Birdguides
Common Buzzard - BTO
Common Buzzard - RSPB
Common Buzzard - Avibirds
Common Buzzard - Wiki

Friday, 21 August 2009

Fri 21st Aug 09 - Morning - Dunlin makes eighth day.

6:30 > 6:45
Cloudy, sunny spells, calm.

Quick visit on the way to work as I can't get there at any time later today. The juvenile Dunlin, now here on its eighth day on the wader pool was the only bird of note. Sadly the second pool just north of this that is favoured by the Green Sandpipers at times and the collection of Greenshanks that have passed through in recent weeks has now completely dried up.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Thurs 20th Aug 09 - Evening - Wader trio...

Green Sandpiper - Aug 16th 09 - Manor Farm
5:00 > 5:30pm
Sunny, windy, very windy (SW).

The juvenile Dunlin remains for its seventh day since arriving last Friday however its looks like it might be ready to move. For the last week it has barely moved out of a twenty foot radius and has tended to run from danger which got me thinking perhaps it was carrying an injury. Fear not, this afternoon, even into the strong wind it was taking small flights around the wader pool. I would not put much money on it being there tomorrow.

Also in this area were singles of Common and Green Sandpiper.

Given the winds I took a walk along the ridge as this has been a fall location for the likes of Wheatear in previous years but apart from a couple of Green Woodpeckers which are always in the grasss in this area, no luck.

The 'back pool' south of the farm (see yesterday) buildings held nothing of interest today.

Green Woodpecker - Birdguides
Green Woodpecker - BTO
Green Woodpecker - RSPB
Green Woodpecker - Avibirds
Green Woodpecker - Wiki

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Weds 19th Aug 09 - Evening - Common Gull

5:10 > 5:30pm
Hot, sunny.

Another brief visit.

Juvenile Dunlin still on wader pool, no sign of Common Greenshank.
Apart from twenty or so Lapwing the only other waders were two Common Sandpipers, one on the clay islands and another on the pond/pool south of the farm buildings as I walked home. Given the receding water down in the valley and the attraction for this pool by waders in years gone by it might be worth the odd look. I'll keep you posted.

Onto the gulls, not high in numbers but the usual assortment, that still look mostly the same to me despite investing in a copy of Helm, but I was clever enough to pick out at least a singleCommon Gull (or as someone calls them the 'gentler' Herring Gull) away from the fray this afternoon, who knows there maybe more.

And just as you leave the site by the road opposite the derelict land and scrub a few Common Blue butterflies were flitting about.

Common Gull - Birdguides
Common Gull - BTO
Common Gull - RSPB
Common Gull - Wiki
'Mew Gull' - Avibirds

Small Blue - Butterfly Conservation
Small Blue - UK Butterflies

Weds 19th Aug 09 - Early Morning - Mistle Thrush abound!

Little Egret - Manor Farm - Aug 16th 09
7:00 > 7:20am
Sunny, calm.

A brief visit on a bright summer's morning. No sign of yesterdays Ringed Plover - but given brevity of visit don't discount it. Still on the wader pool for their sixth day however are clearly visible are the juvenile Dunlin and the Common Greenshank. No sign of any of the more resident waders but two Little Egrets dozed out on the margins.

Along the road down to the farm buildings a flock of fifteen or so Mistle Thrush were lined up along the fencing.

Mistle thrush - Birdguides
Mistle Thrush - BTO
Mistle Thrush - RSPB
Mistle Thrush - Avibirds
Mistle thrush - Wiki

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Tuesday 18th Aug 09 - Afternoon - Ringed Plover

5:00 > 5:30pm
Overcast, warm.

Another wader appears! A Ringed Plover, the first returnee since May, favouring the mud along the front of the last sizeable wader pool. Probably best viewable from the River Ouse side, unfortunately I didn't have time to venture that far. Took to the air on several occaisions but then settled back to earth, still there when I left at 5:30ish.

Also for the fifth day both the juvenile Dunlin and Common Greenshank are on the same pool with a single Common Sandpiper. No Greens seen on site today the only other waders the forty or so Lapwing dotted about the site

Just a single Common Tern today after yesterdays high count of twelve and where yesterday there was over 1000 gulls (see post below) just seven (thats seven) greeted me today. Later on a motley assortment of LBB and Herring Gull were lined up along the new shingle banking behind the old wader pit though.

Problem at the site again though is lack of water, tomorrows predicted hot day might well see another two of the smaller pools gone going on what was left today.

Pray for rain, lots of it or those nice people at Hanson leaving the tap running for a day or two.

Ringed Plover - Birdguides
Ringed Plover - BTO
Ringed Plover - RSPB
Ringed Plover - Avibirds
Ringed Plover - Wiki

Monday, 17 August 2009

Monday 17th Aug 09 - Afternoon - Gulltastic!

Gulltastic - just part of the gull flock today at Manor Farm.
3:30 > 4:30pm
Warm, sunny.

The first thing that struck me on arrival was the vast number of gulls out on the mud, see pic above for around half of what was out there. I've seen the same thing at first light but the gulls usually disperse as the day warms up but today in the heat of the day over 1000 birds were out on the mud with maybe a couple of hundred more in the newly dug pit at the back (north) of the site. And today maybe a fifth or more (200+) were Lesser Black Backed with a fair smattering of Herring Gulls, various ages present and being somewhat of a novice in gull identification anything might be out there and it might be worth one or more of the afficiandos taking a look to sort the wheat from the chaff.

The juvenile Dunlin was found quickly at the back of the last shallow wader pool despite the numbers around it but it wasn't until something spooked all the gulls skywards that the Greenshank was spotted left on its own in the very same pool, with the commotion over it found a vacant small 'island' and duly curled up and went to sleep. A pair of Green Sandpipers were also on site but frequenting the 'puddle' in Godwit Corner.

Common Tern numbers were up to 12 while around 80 Lapwing in a flock were flushed when all hell let loose with those gulls and headed east.

Herring Gull - Birdguides
Herring Gull - BTO
Herring Gull - RSPB
Herring Gull - Avibirds
Herring Gull - Wiki

MF Weekly Roundup - Mon 10th to Sun 16th Aug 09

Some notable new birds this week at Manor Farm, not only the third Greenshank in the last few weeks and the juvenile Dunlin which were both first seen on Friday (14th) and were still present as the week ended on Sunday (16th) but also the first Northern Wheatear of ‘Autumn’ migration, a juvenile on the ridge fencing on Tuesday (11th).

Of the more resident waders a maximum count of three of both Common and Green Sandpiper were seen during the week along with a max 70 Lapwing on Monday (10th).

Four Little Egrets on Sunday (16th) was the maximum I’ve seen at the site while the Common Tern trio were still in attendance on and off during the week.

On the gull front the highest count was on Sunday (16th) with around 600 out on the mud first thing. These were virtually all Black Headed Gulls though on Tuesday (11th) around a third (32) of the hundred or so birds viewable were Lesser Black Backed Gulls.

And finally two more common species but not often seen at the farm, on Friday (14th) a pair of Stock Dove on the mud and a single Sparrowhawk over.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Sunday 16th August - Morning - Dunlin & Greenshank still

Juvenile Dunlin - Manor Farm - Aug 16th 09
6:00 > 10:30am

Warm calm first thing then broken cloud with a SW brisk breeze at times before the sun won the day.

A beautiful summer morning, (remember them?) on arrival not only a multitude of gulls, virtually all Black Headed, out on the mud dozing but in the distance ballons taking off at the Northampton festival the flames added to the occaison.

The Greenshank and juvenile Dunlin remain on site for the third day, also an inlux of Common Sandpipers with three, possibly four now on site. Three Green Sandpipers were also present.

Four Little Egret's, a record for me at MF, were favoring a single pool while the Common Tern trio still flitted about.

The Kestrel still did his best to catch a Goldfinch, unsuccessfully, while the Bert and Ernie of the bird world, the two male Pheasants, forever with each other, of different races Bert (torquatus) and Ernie (colchicus) wandered aimlessly round the mud and even visited the wader pool for a while.

And todays 'new' butterfly was a Speckled Wood

Pheasant - Birdguides
Pheasant - BTO
Pheasant - Avibirds
Pheasant - RSPB
Pheasant - Wiki

Speckled Wood - Butterfly Conservation
Speckled Wood - UK Butterflies

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Saturday 15th Aug 09 - SiNich visit

Greenshank - Manor Farm - Aug 16th 09
Unfortunately Simon could knot (geddit!) confirm or otherwise the three waders RAC had seen earlier in the day. However he had the following posted via NBBR at 14:40

"No sign of Roys earlier waders , 1 Common Sandpiper and 3 Green Sandpipers in the inlet , 1 GREENSHANK , 1 Little Egret and 1 DUNLIN on the main scrape. 3 Common Terns also."

Friday, 14 August 2009

Friday 14th Aug 09 - Afternoon - Dunlin

Greenshank resting alongside juvenile Dunlin in water - Manor Farm Aug 14th 09
2:30 > 4:00pm
Cloudy, cool at first, sun breaking through later, westerly breeze.

Well Friday definitely is Greenshank day at MF, for the third Friday in five weeks a Greenshank (all different birds) has arrived at MF. This bird favoured the last large shallow pool more than anywhere and was joined by a smaller unidentified wader during the afternoon. Due to the initial bad light it was hard to pick out what exactly it was only that it was a wader and it looked predominently brown. Later Si Nicholls & Rob Hill confirmed it as a juvenile Dunlin (see Si's message below).

Also on site two Green Sandpiper and a single Common Sandpiper again favouring the 'clay islands' whilst circa 20 Lapwing were dotted about the site.

Three Common Terns a Little Egret and a pair of Stock Dove out on the mud were the other birds of interest. A Sparrowhawk flew over as I left.

Later at 5 o'clock from SiNich via NBBR

"Thanks to a tip off from Chris G , Rob Hill and I are are currently enjoying GREENSHANK , Juv DUNLIN and 2 Green Sandpiper at Manor Farm , also 2 Little Egrets"

Dunlin - Birdguides
Dunlin - BTO
Dunlin - Avibirds
Dunlin - RSPB
Dunlin - Wiki

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Wednesday 13th Aug 09 - Evening - Quiet...

6:00 > 6:15pm
Sun, warm, humid.

Very brief visit and only bird of note was a single Common Sandpiper on clay islands on the deep area of water.

Earlier in the day, RAC (Roy C) via NBBR
A wet wander around the soggy climes of MF this am.
1 Little Egret by inlet, later on main body of water.
2 tern, I assume common.
20+ Lapwing.
A couple of Wren calling.
1 Green Sandpiper.
c30 Goldfinch.
2 Common Sandpiper.
20+ Jackdaw.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Tuesday 11th Aug 09 - Afternoon - Wheatear returns!

Wheatear - Manor Farm - Spring 09
4:30 >5:15pm
Warm, sunny.

And here was me thinking that anything heading south that might stopover would only be attracted to the new 'magnetic' landscaped areas when lo and behold this evening a juvenile Wheatear turns up in an area where I have sighted a couple in the past way before the quarry workings took place. Follow the path behind the farms buildings along ridge as if heading for canal. On the fen posts by the area of rabbit workings. And oddly enough an area and a bird i'd discussed with someone from the Parks Trust just a few days back. Next week the lottery numbers.

Down on the working themselves, not a lot. No sign of any waders apart from the 40 or so Lapwing dotted about. Around 100 Gulls, with a hefty number of Lesser Black Backs included, 32 at least included in that number.

A couple of Common Terns still in the area was the only other real birds of note while the Kestrel still tries his best with the Goldfinch flocks.

** This morning on the canal bank just south of the site was a single Common Sandpiper.

On the butterfly front the sun brought out even larger numbers of Large Whites.

Wheatear - Birdguides
Wheatear - BTO
Wheatear - RSPB
Wheatear - Wiki

Large White - Butterfly Conservation
Large White - UK Butterflies

Monday, 10 August 2009

Monday 10th Aug - Afternoon - Usual suspects...

Little Egret - Manor Farm - Spring 09
4:30 > 5:00pm
Dull, cloudy, drizzle at times, westerly breeze.

A brief visit and the usual suspects on show. Three Green Sandpiper remain alongside circa 70 Lapwing. Gulls not as numerous as late and mostly out of view from the south side in the new deeper pit. but a few BHG's and a couple of LBB's out on the mud.
Three Common Terns flitting about as were a pair of Kestrel increasingly trying to catch the Goldfinch flocks without much luck. Cormorant over while a single Little Egret arrived late on.

On the wildfowl front the first ducks for a while in three Mallard. On the hill and behind the farm itself the Canada Goose flock looks to have thinned out.

Mallard - Birdguides
Mallard - BTO
Mallard - RSPB
Mallard - Wiki

Friday, 7 August 2009

Friday 7th Aug 09 - Afternoon - Gulls remain...

Gull flock - Manor Farm - Winter 08

2:30 > 4:00pm
Warm sunshire, humid.

A large amout of Gulls still remain, numbering over 1,000 on the mud alone as well as a few hundred more in the new deeper pit which were flushed from time to time. As always mostly Black Headed with at rough count 50 or so Lesser Black Backed and at least one single definite Herring Gull.

A few Common Terns were mixed in with the flock, maybe six or seven at most.

On the wader front three Green Sandpipers and a single Common Sandpiper were on the shallow pools.

Little Egret over.

On the butterfly front as well as the usual abundant Large Whites and increasing Painted Ladies the most noticable today was Peacock with a few fluttering aroung the back brook area.

Herring Gull - Birdguides
Herring Gull - BTO
Herring Gull - RSPB
Herring Gull - Wiki

Peacock - Butterfly Conservation
Peacock - UK Butterflies

Friday 7th Aug 09 - Early AM - Gulls!

Back soon? - Wheatear - Manor Farm - April 09

5:45 > 6:30am
Bright after heavy rains of day before.

A quick visit to MF at 5:45 didn't produce anything of great excitement, the usual handful of Green Sandpiper and a single Common Sandpiper what was noticable though was the huge number of gulls at the site, on the mud and surrounding fields numbers were well into four figures, the most by far i've ever seen here.

A flock of around 150 Lapwing over was also the highest of the summer.

The site however does look like it again has a lot of potential for migrants over the coming days as yesterdays deluge has created a network of new pools on what was the main body of water and the newly landscaped area of sand gravel and mud at the eastern end of this is something of a recreation of what was attrating in the likes of Wheatear, Yellow and White Wagtail earlier this year.

Interesting times ahead?

Lapwing - Birdguides
Lapwing - BTO
Lapwing - RSPB
Lapwing - Wiki

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Tuesday 4th August - Afternoon - Cormorant

4:30 > 5:00pm
Cloudy, warm, muggy, odd spot of rain, SW wind.

A fairly quiet afternoon at MF. Two Green Sandpipers, one Common Sandpiper and 23 Lapwing around the small pools as were three Common Terns which suprisingly caught a fish or two in the deeper area.
Only a handful of gulls visiable these all being Black Headed Gulls but the traffic in and out the newly dug pit to the rear (north) of site suggested usual numbers were about. A Lesser Black Backed Gull that was floundering on the mud yesterday expired overnight and was making a meal for several crows.
On the hill around 80 Canada Geese were grazing including an odd looking individual that looks like a Canada/ANother hybrid, a Canada in all respects but yellow legs and beak. Also on the hill a Kestrel hunted in the lenghtening grass.
At waterside a Cormorant, the first I have seen this summer at the site, rested.
As I was leaving the rain got heavier and a passage of Housemartins, probably around 25 birds, passed through the site.

At the back of the farm buildings it was noticable that something in the damp woodchip was attricting a handful of Painted Lady butterfly.

Cormorant - Birdguides
Cormorant - BTO
Cormorant - RSPB
Cormorant - Wiki

Painted Lady - Butterfly Conservation
Painted Lady - UK Butterflies

Monday, 3 August 2009

Monday 3rd August - Afternoon - Goldfinch invasion...

Comma - Manor Farm - July 09
4:00 < 4:45pm
Cloudy, muggy.

Brief visit.
No sign of Greenshank but didn't have time to visit the inlet.
Three Green Sandpipers, one Common Sandpiper and three Lapwing were the only visible waders.
Gull flock up to around 150, majority Black Headed Gulls but the usual smattering of Lesser Black Backs including a colour ringed one, lengthy blue on left leg, small silver on right, if that means anything to you?
Litte Egret over.
Up to four Common Terns flitting about at any one time.
The high number of thistles, especially along the north bank of the site are attracting increasing numbers of Goldfinch, this afternoon there were at least five diferent 'charms' floating about including one with over one hundred birds.
On the butterfly front along with the usual abundance of Large Whites, and an increasing number of the smaller variities of white, Commas and Tortoiseshell and of course the odd Painted Lady, a few Red Admirals were catching the eye today that I hadn't really noticed here before.

Black Headed Gull - Birdguides
Black Headed Gull - BTO
Black Headed Gull - RSPB
Black Headed Gull - Wiki

Red Admiral - UK Butterflies

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Sunday 2nd August - Morning - Greenshank Day Three

Common Sandpiper (1st Aug)

Robert Norris had the follower via NBBR:

"The Greenshank was still present this morning in the inlet.
Also at least 3 Green Sandpipers, a Common Sandpiper and 3 Little Egret.
There was also Common Tern with 2 juveniles in tow."

Greenshank - Birdguides
Greenshank - BTO
Greenshank - RSPB
Greenshank - Wiki

Video - Manor Farm - Panorama

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Saturday 1st August 09 - Morning - RAC visit.

Pic created with photo taken this morning. (Common Sandpiper)

Roy C was also on site today and posting the following on NBBR.

"A wet wander around MF this morn. Quite a nice day interspersed with light showers. Quite clement! wet underfoot though.

6 Swallow around the farm itself.
1 GREENSHANK at the inlet. Thanks for info Chris. Flighty it certainly was. I chased it back & forth.
2 Reed Warbler on river where it bends left. In reeds.
1 Kestrel
1 Tern, presumed Common
1 Kingfisher along river. My 1st of the year. Again ta for info Chris. Much appreciated.

Very wet feet and legs, but well worth it.

Kingfisher - Birdguides
Kingfisher - BTO
Kingfisher - RSPB
Kingfisher - Wiki

Saturday 1st August 09 - Morning - Greenshank still...

6:00 > 11:00am
Calm, cloudy, sunn breaking through but then rain.

On arrival the main body of water (now mud) contain around 100 Canada Geese while the surrounding fields held the same number if not more of gulls mostly Black Headed but with a sprinkling of Lesser Black Backed. As things warmed up they exchanges places, geese in field, gulls down to workings mostly in newly dug pit at rear of original area, best viewed following Front Brook as it leaves the Ouse on far side of site.

The Greenshank was still in residence but flighty between the NW inlet and the last shallow pool in the main area. This pool also held a single Common Sandpiper, three Green Sandpipers and Little Egret. And the Kestrel was doing his best to catch the ever growing Goldfinch flock that frequents the thistled banking to the north of site.

Away from the water both Greater Spotted and Green Woodpeckers were very active especially in the trees at the bottom of central field.

Notable on the butterfly front apart from the amount of Large Whites was the number of Painted Lady started to drift through in small numbers.

And finally an oddity from a party of Terns present firt thing. This party of five was on the water resting when I arrived and I never really got that good a look at them as I was checking first to see if the Greenshank was still on site first. As the multitude of geese rose to go elswhere for the day they (the 5 terns)took off from the water out the corner of my eye heading south together in a tightish group so I guess they might be on passage. I was halfway up the hill, behind the farm buildings, well away from the water, when one peeled from the group, which was flying well away from me anyway, sent out alarm calls and dived within about three foot of me a couple of times than happily joined the others and went on its way. Strange to say the least and certainly nothing i'd experienced before.

Green Sandpiper - Birdguides
Green Sandpiper - BTO
Green Sandpiper - RSPB
Green Sandpiper - Wiki

Friday, 31 July 2009

Friday 31st July 09 - Afternoon - Greenshank(s)

2:30 > 5:00pm
Cloudy to begin with but increasing sun and warmth (yes in July!), southerly breeze.

Just as Friday was Ring Ouzel day in the spring (see here) it seem that on very early 'autumn' migration Friday is now Greenshank day.
Four weeks to the day that a single bird appeared, a site first (see here) another one, or possibly two were on site this afternoon.

The first was located on the main area of water fraternising with three Green Sandpipers, while later what may well have been a different bird was in the inlet where rain has refilled some of the old pools. It may have been the changing light but one bird certainly look lighter and sleeker than the 'other' and having commuted between inlet and lakeside twice it thought it must be one clever wader to follow me on both occasions. Hard to be 100% though but i'll settle for the one anyway. Pics below. A single Common Sandpiper was also briefly on the main pools.

Also on site around a dozen Terns (no doubt Commons but who knows) in the mixed gull flock which have found a new home in the new deeply dug area behind the original wader pit.

A flock of 50+ Lapwing put in an appearance before being spooked while the Kestrel continues to make a nuisance of himself. In the top field the Canada Goose flock continues to grow and the two groups are now numbering over 70 birds.

All Greenshank pics below taken today at Manor Farm...

Kestrel - Birdguides
Kestrel - BTO
Kestrel - RSPB
Kestrel - Wiki