Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Tuesday 26th July 2011 – Evening

17:00 > 17:30
Cloud, calm, 18c.

After two weeks sunning it in around the Etangs of the South of France it was a return to a ‘cool’ cloudy Manor Farm. 

Not too much to report, two Green Sandpipers, including one on the Top Pool being the highlight.

A second Common Tern family has appeared with two young, making nine birds in total on site with five juveniles. Another pair continue to pass with fish so I suspect a third nest with young in the vicinity.

Also with a family in tow a pair of Mistle Thrush south of the Farmhouse.

Elsewhere a growing flock of Lapwing, now up to 35 including many first year birds, a few Little Ringed Plovers still dotted about but clearly declining in number and two Little Egret.

The Canada Geese flock has already started to build in number with around 50 birds up on the slope.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Tues 12th July 2011 - Evening

Back Brook

17:00 > 18:00
18c, sun but cool NW wind at times.

Not so much a bird of the day today but interloper of the week in a rather healthly looking Red Fox ambling along the shoreline on the easterly spit where just a couple of weeks back several Little Ringed Plover young were running about. Luckily they, and the Yellow Wagtails that also nested in the area, are all well capable of flying from danger now but you do have to wonder what else has been on Mr Reynard's menu. The Lapwing were divebombing him (or her) in earnest but the Fox got most grief from a group of five Little Egrets who harassed it off site.

Birdwise still plenty to see a family of five Oystercatcher being the highlight. The young are a fair size and already flying well so its debatle whether they bred at the Farm or not (possibly Stony birds?) though some individuals could be viewed on most days recently at Manor Farm so who knows. Still several Little Ringed Plovers on site and they must still be well into double figures now as I suspect up to four pairs successfully fledged chicks. The only other wader seen was the pristine Green Sandpiper back up on Top Pool.

Seven Common Tern on site including the family of five whose young are getting more adventurous flightwise yet are still kept safe by their over protective parents when anything else gets too close as one of the young Oystercatchers found out to their cost.

Little Owls were seen in two locations, along Back Brook roosting a pollarded willow and on the usual wall at the farm buildings.

And finally the Great Crested Grebe pair who i've seen do nothing but sleep for the last month have finally decided to play their part in the advancement of their race and have built their own little home bang slap in the middle of the main body of water.

Now heading south to the Langudoc so no new posts for a week or so.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Friday 8th July 2011 - Afternoon

The Ouse

14:00 > 15:30
Cloud, odd break of sun, stromg SW wind.

A walk around the site from the farm buildings along the Ouse and out at the Haversham end was again more a visit of hope rather than expectation but a couple of notable sightings were made.

Star of the day was a juvenile Common Cuckoo along Back Brook and given how ungainly it and taking into account the conditions it looked like it was making its first few flights. Heading up from the rough vegatation opposite the 'two spits' at first I thought a bird of prey, possibly a Hobby but as it hung on for dear life in the strong wind in one of the willows there was time to get the bins on it to confirm the ID, the white nape giving the clear sign it was a youngster. In the end it settled on a fence post for a while before dropping back down to where it came. Its an area where there have been a few Common Whitethroat and a couple of Reed Warbler nesting so take your choice at parentage, probably the latter.

The other notable was suprisingly early single Common Snipe up and over and away. Other waders included the ever adventurous Little Ringed Plover youngsters and a smattering of adults and the same could be said of Lapwing. A single Green Sandpiper was also darting about as were three unsettled Little Egrets.

Yellow Wagtails were seen along the shoreline as were the three juvenile Common Terns, not attempting too much given the conditions today. Four adults fished (with little success) as if educating.

Gull numbers are building with over 100 Black Headed Gulls split into two groups on the site. 30 were found clustered together on the shoreling while a further 80 were found on the newly dug areas. A single Lesser Black-backed Gull was the first in a while.

On leaving a Hobby (a real one this time) swooped through the site putting the wind up a Kestrel hovering over the site eyeing up the ever increasing charm of Goldfinches attracted by the multitude of thistle heads blanketing large chunks of the site.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Tuesday 5th July 2011 - Evening

Top Pool

18:00 > 18:30
18c, muggy, then freshening wind and rain, heavy rain!

A quick look in on my way home and before the rains came and ironic that first bird seen was one of last nights dips, a Little Owl heading down the slope to the trees along Back Brook.

The Common Tern family still in situ with the youngters trying an odd flight here and there as were several Little Ringed Plover young. The juvenile Lapwing, and i'd guess they are in double figures dotted about the site, have the flying lessons yet to come and looking at the continued acrobatics of some of the adults perhaps they are thinking of leaving it as late as possible.

Noticable tonight were a couple of dozen Black Headed Gulls, mostly in 'sunplum' plumage but including a small handful of juveniles though certainly they did not breed here.

Other waders present were a single Oystercatcher and two Green Sandpipers, the washed out individual thats been around for a few days now and a much more clean cut summer plumaged bird up on Top Pool.
Two Little Egret were also flitting about the site.

And finally three Yellow Wagtail were seen out in the (initial) evening sun so happily they've not upped and moved on.

Iron Trunk wins the Lottery (well sort of)

Overlooking the site from its lofty perch over the Ouse at the far west end of the site the aqueduct has a planned makover in the offing and last Monday (27th June) won a televised vote for £60,000 of Lottery funding to help it along.

The Bid

And it wins!

And a bit from the Beeb about the planned work...

Monday 4th July 2011 - Evening

18:00 > 1930
Warm, broken cloud, sun.

A leisurely evening walk around the perimeter with my sister (Aloha!) intending to see Kingfishers and Little Owls and dipping on both, a bit of a let down especially on the latter given how confiding they've been lately.

News of the day though is that Common Terns have bred on the site for the first time, a pair of adults with three fledged youngsters in tow.

Also seen tonight, five Little Egret, a couple of Little Ringed Plovers and a single Oystercatcher. The Lapwing families continue to do well also. Still no sign of Yellow Wagtail.

Thursday 30th June 2011

20:45 21:15
Dusk, broken cloud, 16c

After a few days away a late a last chance to see out the month and a late, late look in to see if any of the recent small wader movement had landed at the Farm.

A first returnee of the ever reliable Green Sandpipers din't let me down picking about on the mud on the Top Pool, south of the farm buildings. No sign of Yellow Wagtails tonight so they've ever bred and moved on or it was too late in the evening.

Also a few Little Ringed Plovers along the shoreline making the most of the last light along with the Common Tern pair a lone Little Egret and the various Lapwing families.

On leaving one of the Little Owls was perched on it favourite roost atop the 'roofed' wall.