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.