Friday, 18 March 2011

Friday 18th March 2011 - Afternoon

14:00 > 16:00
Cloudy breaking to sunshine, cool nort west breeze at times, 7c.

A quieter day at the Farm with no sign of yesterdays Dunlin. The pair of Oystercatchers and at least two Green Sandpiper remain though. The Shelduck pair still up to their antics and i've noticed they are masters at clearing the water of other ducks by driving all else high up then circling underneath to judge where the flock will land to start the whole cycle off again. 'Rare' birds they may be but I can't help thinking, as I have in the last two summers, they are a right royal pain in the bum we could do without. Numbers of Wigeon, Tufted Duck diminish further, Gadwall numbers holding steady while Teal seem to have vacated completely. Two Crows were picking over what looked like a dead drake Tufted Duck carcass before one of the Common Buzzards claimed it might well have been a casualty of this Shelduck agression, well maybe.

Elsewhere an early, or maybe overwintering, Chiffchaff was found in the hedgerow tailing off from Back Brook to the west, two Treecreepers also in the is area.

And work is now apace again at the site. Tree or hedge planting has gone on along a great swathe of the north bank while probably more importantly the last large field of flood meadow (the one that contains the bridge over the Ouse to Castlethorpe) has been fenced off with just the riverside walk now accessible. Downside, no more walks along Front Brook to the Silt Beds, upside it also keeps an increasing numbers of dog walkers away from what was a sensitive breeding area last year. Whether this is to contain cattle or sheep for a further season or the next phase of gravel extraction remains to be seen.

And lastly a sure sign of spring in increasing numbers of blossom laden trees anf hedgerow along Back Brook.

Earlier in the day Lee Evans called in and reported the following via NBBR

No sign of yesterday's Dunlin flock nor Green Sandpipers but a pair of
Oystercatchers, pair of Common Shelducks and 7 migrant Pied Wagtails; 28
Redwings flew NE.

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