Saturday, 30 April 2011

Saturday 30th April 2011 - Evening per NBBR

Still on site...

From Chris C
MF a tranquil evening spot among the lambs in contrast with bank holiday
mayhem just across the river.

The Blue-headed wagtail (Channel Wagtail - Chris G) still present with at least 6 'flavissima'. Also
2 - 3 LRP (one poss Ringed), 3 Green sand which flew off N, 1 Common sand,
1 sumplum Dunlin, 3 Lapwing. Plenty of Swallows and distant martins, prob Sand.

Saturday 30th April 2011 - Afternoon

Still about...

13:00 > 16:30
Warm, sunny, strong NNE wind, 18c.

Not intending to visit the Farm today but the of a 'sumplum' Dunlin found by Simon N earlier in the day tempted me down and a most enjoyable afternoon was spent on a warm but very windy spring afternoon that had more than a feel of true summer about it and so much to rport, where do I start?
Well the Dunlin was still on site in the south bay at the eastern end of the main body of water but a further pair one in summer and one in transitional plumage werte also found in the inlet as was a Common Sandpiper.

Little Ringed Plover numbers appear to has risen again given how easy they were to find especially viewed from the River Ouse side amongst them was also a single bright and lively  Ringed Plover. A pair of Oystercatcher were also about as were three Little Egrets. The usual Lapwings were also dotted about.

Alongside five Common Tern two Arctic Terns dropped in late afternoon. A White Wagtail and a handful of Yellow Wagtails can still be found on site. Out on the water was the loser in love drake Common Shelduck which left the small flock of Tufted Duck that remain well alone. Five Mute Swans was a high for the main body and half a dozen Canada Geeese look like they've finally settled in for the duration.

A pair of Common Buzzards made the most of the wind and thermals and a Little Owl could be found in the small copse at the eastern end of the Ridge.

Bird of the day though a Hobby, who not only hunted at close quarters along Back Brook but put in several strafing runs along the channels between the islands out on the water at breakneck speed.

Butterflies were out in force battling the gale, Common Blues along the approach road, Red Admirals, Peacocks and various 'Whites' along Back Brook whilst Speckled Wood and Brimstone could be found along the Ouse.

All in all a good day...

30th April via Text from SiNich (9:30am)

Sum Plum DUNLIN at Manor Farm.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Friday 29th April 2011 - Early Afternoon

13:00 > 13:30
Overcast, humid, 15c but coll NE wind at times.

Another quickish visit. Apart from the usual suspects at least three probably more Yellow Wagtails still found on site, popping out from the island vegatation. Apart from that a Little Owl making alarm calls (for whatever reason) was the only other thing of interest.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Thursday 28th April 2011 - Morning

9:30 > 10:00
Sun, NE wind, 14c

A quick 'ten minute birder' visit.

Not too much to report. The pair of Herring Gull that shouldn't be there, are. A pair of Common Terns rest on the spit. A single Little Egret in the shallows while out on the water the loser in love (see yesterday) drake Common Shelduck remains.

As for waders the usual Lapwings & Little Ringed Plovers whilst the only other bird of note was a female Sparrowhawk over.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Wednesday 27th April 2011 - Afternoon

14:30 > 16:00
Sun, broken cloud, NE breeze, 15c.

Or what a difference a day makes part two as temperatures pick up again but still a cool easterly keep them down a notch or two.

Just when we thought it was safe to go back in the water the horror returns and threefold. Yes three Common Shelduck on site today, a female and two males, that spent most of the afternoon chasing each other rather than worrying off the other wildfowl but on todays showing the remaining Tufted Duck and Gadwall have given up the ghost for yet another year.

Also on site in no particulae order. Two 'Commic' Terns, the usuals of Lapwing & Little Ringed Plover, a single Little Egret a pair of Herring Gull (and yes I know they shouldn't) and not as many Martins as yesterday but a handful of Sand Martins are endeavouring to nest where thirty or so pairs were successful last year.

Oddly today no sign of Yellow Wagtails.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Tuesday 26th April 2011 - Afternoon

13: 00 > 15:00
Cloudy, NE wind and a cool 12c.

What a difference a day makes! Shorts yesterday, today a shirt, fleece and windcheater and still feeling the cold.

The birds didn't look much like performing either. Plenty of Yellow Wagtails still about but with no sun and me being a bit early there was no sign of the Channel Wagtail. Thats not to say its not there just hard to track as they, the Yellow Wags, flitted around the shoreline and islands.

Around the margins the usual Lapwings and Little Ringed Plovers but Oystercatcher numbers up to four in the inlet. Down in the new workings a lone Shelduck has returned but left the eight Tufted Ducks and a handful of Mallards alone on the main water.

A walk along the Ouse to see if any Reed or Sedge Warblers had returned yet proved fruitless but a couple of pair of Reed Bunting were seen. In the water of the river itself noticable was the number of large Chub in the shallow gravel beds supposedly spawning. Over the Castlethorpe Path bridge, a good area usually for warblers the first Common Whitethroat was seen as were Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler, as also an area to keep an eye on in the next few weeks.

Sand Martins and House Martins dominated the skies with circa 120 combined including a times sizable groups landing to hug the shoreline for a rest, A handful of Swallows, mostly over the river and the last remaining section of Flood Meadow were also on site. Two Common Terns also dropped in.

And the first breeding success, a female Mallard led eight sizable ducklings on a foray round the water before off to hide once more in the ever growing vegatation.

And finally on leaving a single Little Egret flew in while a pair of returning Mistle Thrush could be found in the usual area on the top field.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Saturday 23rd April 2011 - Roundup per NBBR

From SiNich
2 LRP's , 1 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Swallows , 4 Sand Martins, 2 Common Terns

From Chri C
At least 20 yellow wags at Manor Fm tonight. Feeding on improved grass

where they are not supposed to be--possibly an emergence of winged ants.
The blue-headed individual was showing well. Can anyone please confirm it
is indeed M. flava "flava" summer male?

Friday, 22 April 2011

Friday 22nd April 2011 - Rob N tunes in...

Rob paid a visit to MF to catch up with the 'Channel' today.

Report here!

Thursday 21st April 2011 - Evening

18:00 > 19:30
Sun, warm, 23c, East breeze.

The big news is that on taking and studying pictures of the Blue Headed Wagtail that has been on site since Saturday its not a Blue Head at all but a hybrid Channel Wagtail (Yellow & Blue Head cross). See pics in post below. Again feeding with circa 40 Yellow Wagtails and a handful of Pieds on the Western Slope.

Also on site the odd sight of two half submeged Common Terns off Western Spit, it must have been a long hot journey. The usual Lapwings and Little Ringed Plovers were also in attendance as was a pair of intense squabbling Oystercatcher. A lone Common Sandpiper picked about on the South Shore.

A few Gadwall and Tufted Duck continue to hang about while three late Little Egrets flew over to roost. A Little Owl continued to call from the trees along Back Brook till disturbed by cattle whilst the first Hobby of the summer hawked over water for a time.

And as I was leaving a passage of half a dozen Lesser Black Backed Gulls headed east.

**Re the Channel Wagtail, looking back to last years records it (or one) may well have been here twelve months ago. See the posting from 23rd April 2010. **

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Channel Wagtail Pics

Hot off the press, taken this evening, probably have better versions when I scan through all tomorrow. Click for larger version.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Wednesday 20th April 2011 - Early Evening

17:15 > 17:45

Warm, sunny 23c.

Before heading off on the 'Great Little Heron Hunt' (it's a long story) I took a quick look in at the Farm before heading east. The Blue Headed Wagtail continues to show well on the western slope alongside around 40 other Yellow Wagtails, quite a sight in the bright sunshine. Hopefully the weather, and the BHW, will hold for some pictures tomorrow.

Out on the water as per usual, two Little Egrets in the shallows plus the usual Little Ringed Plovers and Lapwings. Oystercatchers were notable for the number, one in the margins whilst a piping flock of four flew over. A pair of Common Tern continue to prospect the islands.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Tuesday 19th April 2011 - Late Afternoon

16:30 > 17:30
Sunny, warm, 19c

A quiet day at the Farm. Yellow Wagtails still dominate but failed to locate the Blue Head though best of luck to the two birders hunting it out when I left. Being slightly earlier today its clear that early evening when the YW's tend to bunch more to 'graze' is the best time to view.

Out around the water the usual Little Ringed Plovers and Lapwings but no other waders seen. Two Little Egrets fed around the margins and a pair of Common Terns rested on one of the islands before hunting along the river but otherwise not a lot!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Monday 18th April 2011 - Evening

18:15 > 19:00
Sun, odd hazy cloud, SE breeze, 15c.

The striking Blue Headed Wagtail continues at the site, feeding this evening on the slopes of the far west field, just past the farm buildings, with an amazing 34 other Yellow Wagtials. When you consider the ones on the island too a conservative estimate must be around 50 YW's in the vicinity.

Nothing much else of note this evening, the usual Little Ringed Plovers and four resident Lapwing but the only other wader seen was the lone Oystercatcher. A pair of Little Egret flew over on the way to the Linford Roost.

A pair of Greylag Geese have joined the two papirs of Canadians on site.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Sunday 17th April 2011 - Northern Wheatear

Via text from Cliff on site at 17:15

Northern Wheatear up on Ridge, circa 20 Yellow Wagtails in Central Field.

Saturday 16th April 2011 - Evening

18:30 > 19:30
Sunny, warm, calm, 14c

Not intending to call in today but news of a Greenshank on site via a text from SiNich (see posting below) I called in on the off chance. No sign of the wader but the trip was worth the effort for a cracking Blue Headed Wagtail.

As with last year as things start to warm up the Wagtails leave the workings to

feed up on the slopes amongst the sheet in the afternoon and early evening.

In a flock of circa 20 Yellow Wagtails and 30 Pieds was not only the White
Wagtail seen recently but a very distinctive Blue Head. Much more clear cut than
last years birds the head is a striking one shade, but not much, darker than sky
blue and i'll leave it to the experts if its a 'channel'. It was giving views down to 20 or so feet.

For those intending to view you could spend an age trying to pick it out of the
numerous YW's out on the islands so i'd suggest waiting till mid/late afternoon
and looking on the slope in the far western field (between Ridge path and main body of water.)
This evening I just stood at the five bar gate to the western side of the central field and the birds obliged.

Also on site the uniform grey Black Tailed Godwit lingers as do numerous Little Ringed Plovers's, an Oystercatcher, a Common Redshank and a lone Little Egret. One of the Little Owls has taken up residence above Godwit Corner, talking of which none of the four Godwits this week have been anywhere near.

Saturday 16th April 2011 - Per NBBR

From Roy C

A lovely afternoon at Manor Farm saw my 1st Swallows of the year. A single

Oystercatcher with Lapwing and a solitary Greenshank. Down by the sand mountain
were approx 50 Sand Martins, & a single male Pheasant. 2 Common Terns dropped
in, & my 1st ever Yellow Wagtails rounded off a good day. 1 Peacock butterfly

Friday 15th April 2011 - Afternoon/Evening

15:00 > 20:00 (on and off)
Broken cloud, some sun, west breeze, humid, 15c.

An afternoon and evening broken up by visits back to work garnered the following.

The uniform grey Black Tailed Godwit is still on site as is a new arrival in a single Ringed Plover which a couple of the numerous Little Ringed Plovers were doing the best to drive off the site. Four Lapwing still holding fast while three Little Egrets fished in the shallows.

Two Common Sandpiper and a pair of Green Sandpiper and a lone Oystercatcher were also present whilst Yellow Wagtail numbers continue to increase with 20+ birds now on site along the shorelines and hopping up from the vegation on the islands and large spit.

Overhead at least four Common Buzzards were about but the noticable passage above was of Terns, a dozen or so seen heading north during the afternoon with briefly a pair of Common Terns dropping in to prospect.

On the duck from pairs of Gadwall and Tufted Duck remain whilst one of the Little Owls was as active as I've seen one in daylight hours around the farm buildings.

And finally an odd Small White butterfly with what appeared to be perfectly cut small black crescents on its wings.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Thursday 14th April 2011 - Evening

17:30 > 19:00 Cloudy, calm, 12c

No sign of the Godwits that have been present the last couple of days but with a bit of patience and a long walk the following was seen.

Waders in abundance, at least six Little Ringed Plovers now on site, one, probably two, Common Sandpiper, two Green Sandpiper, six Lapwing and two Oystercatcher down on the site while three others flew over 'piping'. Just a single Little Egret this evening and ducks down to a handful of Mallards and just one Gadwall pair. Two pair of Canada Geese have taken up residence though.

Yellow Wagtail numbers continue to build and you can get a real idea of how many there are by walking along the River Ouse as most frequent the area between the path and the main body of water at any given time. At a conservative guess around 20 along with double that number of Pied Wagtail including a pristine White Wagtail which may not be alone.

The Linnet flock continues to entertain flitting about in the newly planted area on the North Shore whilst out over the water more Sand Martins than you could shake a stick at, a few House Martins and the odd Swallow or two.

The Little Owl could again be heard calling from the trees along Back Brook.

Also airborne this evening, three hot air balloons, summer must be on the horizon...

Weds 13th April 2011 Evening - Godwits remain per NBBR

From Rob H

Indeed, they (the three Islandica BLACK TAILED GODWITS) just popped out from behind the eastern spit (where the vegetation is getting tall), and then moved to the northern shore.

Also 2 Common Sand, 1 Green Sand, 5 LRP, 1 Oyc, and 4 Lapwing (looks like at least one territory on site).

Plenty of wagtails too - c50 Pied, 1m White Wag, and c10 Yellow Wag. 100+ Sand Martins were over the caravan site.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Tuesday 12th April 2011 - Evening

17:30 > 19:00
Sun with broken cloud, NW breeze, 14c.

Three Black Tailed Godwits were the highlight of the evening, indeed the highlight of migration so far. Found curled up dozing in the shallows just off the West Spit initially it was hard to get an ID but eventually a side on view showed one moving into summer plumage to confirm. Eventually they woke and did a couple of circuits of the site but then settled to feed along the North Shore where they still were when I left at seven.

Also on site an increasing number of Little Ringed Plover as Rob mentioned at weekend. I saw at least five at one time but suspect the number is more given the ease which they were found. Other waders present were four Lapwing, and singles of Common Redshank, Oystercatcher and Green Sandpiper. Little Egret numbers were up to five.

Yellow Wagtails still well represented with around a dozen frequenting the scrub on the islands and the shoreline alongside probably at least double that number of Pied Wagtails. Also out on the island the increasing Linnet flock now around circa 20 which along with a building Goldfinch 'charm' attacted a female Sparrowhawk on a sharp fly by.

As for the ducks just single pairs of Gadwall and Tufted Duck remain.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Saturday 9th April 2011 - Lunchtime

13:00 > 14:00
Sunny, warm though cool easterly breeze at times. 19c

A chance to make the most of sun for an hour, eat my lunch and watch the world go by.
Still a few Yellow Wagtails dotted about though not as active or it appears as numerous as yesterday.
Sand Martins continue to prospect the new workings. Out on the water at least three Little Ringed Plovers remain as do a pair of Green Sandpiper, a Common Redshank, an Oystercatcher and a couple of Lapwing.

Four Little Egrets also in the area. Gadwall now down to two pairs but a flock of 11 Tufted Duck dropped in on leaving. Bar a pair of Mallard these are the only ducks now on site.

A pair of Herring Gull were in situ for the duration giving the resident crows what for whilst overhead a couple of Sparrowhawk and three Common Buzzards were making the most of the thermals.

Still a good showing of butterflies including my first 'Blues' of the summer along the approach road.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Friday 8th April 2011 - Afternoon

14:00 > 18:00
Waem, sunny, 19c.

A leisurely afternoon spent in the valley and spring really appears to have sprung with a big unflux of Yellow Wagtails on site. At one time a group of eleven together on one of the islands with probably around the same dotted about in ones and twos. Just like last year numbers will no doubt build in the coming days so its all on the look out for the Blue Head and the elusive 'channel'.

Also still on site three Little Ringed Plovers though the single was very flighty and for some reason harrying bot Pied and Yellow Wagtails in flight at every opportunity. Other waders on site, singles of Oystercatcher and Green Sandpiper and a pair of Common Redshank. Four Lapwing also put in an appearance while three Little Egret were also in the vicinity.

Duck numbers are down once more, just a single pair of Teal and six Gadwall but the drake Shelduck put in a late appearance so perhaps not suprising. Four Mute Swans also battled for supremacy over the main water while a secretive pair of Canada Geese look like they are setting up home.

Away from the water a couple of dozen Sand Martin were prospecting the north facing banking in the new workings for possible nest site while a handful of Swallow and a House Martin or two were noted. A pir of Reed Bunting along Back Brook while three squabbling Bullfinch and singing Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler were along the Canal section.

Butterfiles were out in force with Orange Tip, Red Admiral, Brimstone and Comma all noted in numbers while an odd unidentified 'White' flitted about too.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Wednesday 6th April per NBBR

From Paul M

Hi all, warm sunshine but blustery on the slope over looking the gravel workings this lunch time.
Highlights: 1 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Green Sandpipers, 1 Redshank, 1 LRP, 1 Oyc, 3 Sand Martins and 5 Linnets. Plus a Meadow Pipit feeding briefly on the spit, hard to make out at first because of the scope shake!

From Bob F

At manor farm about 15:30 (4)yellow wagtail on the island and 2 red kites over also heading in a westerly direction.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Tuesday 5th April 2011 - Evening

18:00 > 18:30
Dull, damp, west breeze, 12c.

A quiet(ish) evening at the Farm. Waders were the order of the day with three Little Ringed Plovers, two Common Redshank and singles of Green Sandpiper and Oystercatcher. Four redhead Goosander came in to roost while there are still small numbers of Wigeon (4) Gadwall (5) & Tufted Duck (2) about. Over the water a pair of Swallow were the only other birds of note.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Monday 4th April 2011 - Lunchtime per NBBR

From Paul M

I popped into Manor Farm at lunchtime, three Yellow Wagtails were feeding on the island in the middle of the pits. Along with 2 Green Sandpipers, 1 LRP, 1 Oyc, a Swallow and 2 Sand Martins.

Monday 4th April 2011 - Morning per NBBR

From Martin K

Called in at Manor Farm for 15 minutes this morning. Plenty going on.
Best of all 2 YELLOW WAGTAIL dropped in around 11.30. My first for the year. Also seen: 4 LRP, 3 Green Sandpiper, 1 Oyc, 2 Redshank, 1 Little Egret. Plus 20+ Swallows and 1 Sand Martin over. Little Owl calling.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Sunday 3rd April 2011 - Evening per NBBR

From Rob H

At Manor Farm this evening, 1 male WHITE WAGTAIL amongst c40 Pieds. Also 4 LRP, 2 Green Sand, 1 each of Oyc & Redshank, 4 Wigeon, 1 Little Owl, c70 Sand Martin (mostly over Cosgrove lake), and Lucy had 1 House Martin fly by east.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Odonata Identified!

Many thanks to Graeme at Imperfect & Tense for identifying the
following (see comments at bottom of post)
Dragonflies & Damselflies of Manor Farm
Taken in August 2010

Following taken in July 2010

British Dragonfly Society

From Graeme

Chris, just bimbled onto your site and saw the odes.
If your question is still open...

Common Darter (male)

Migrant Hawker (male)

Ruddy Darter (female)

Common Darter (male)

Black-tailed Skimmers in cop

Four-spotted Chaser (male) x3??

Emperor (male)

Banded Demoiselle (male)

Common Blue Damselflies (male)

Any ode data is valuable as the BDS are preparing to publish a new atlas so you could submit your sightings to the county recorder via

Chris G said...

Many thanks Graeme!

I'll do an updated post.



Weds 30th March 2011 Per NBBR (SiNich)

Manor Farm

This place is looking AWESOME !!! really needs checking daily if at all possible

Tonight had the following
3 GOOSANDERS into roost ( male + 2 females ) , 1 male Wigeon , 3 LITTLE RINGED
Lapwing and 2 Herring Gulls