Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Wednesday 31st August 2011 – Evening

18;00 > 19:00
Broken cloud, calm, 17c.

As August disappears at last something to report in a pair of Common Redstart along the Ridge Path heading for the canal. One a definite female the other possibly but could have been a juvenile. Again the same area of the site that’s seen birds for three, possibly four, years now.

Down on the water and its surrounds a pair of Pochard has joined the handful of Mallard and the remaining six of the Tufted Duck family that bred on site this year. In the margins a lone Green Sandpiper and four Little Egret.

The drama tonight was manmade though. A good calm night for ballooning obviously with three in the air but the one over Manor Farm that was rapidly losing height at a rate of knots almost came a cropper in the trees around Broadwater just over the Ouse, instead it had to ditch with all hands just short of the riverbank. With all the gates locked till morning for traffic, he might well still be there.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Saturday 27th August 2011 – Afternoon

14:30 > 15:30
Heavy rain, cloud, then hale and a cold 12c.

Fooled by the initial sun, I took the wrong option in taking a detour home through the Ouse Valley as the heavens opened on a couple of occasions on a wet blustery day.

A handful of Yellow Wagtail still remain in Top Field whilst on the farmhouse wall a Little Owl looked on. 

Down in and around the water around 50 Lapwing a Green Sandpiper and two Little Egrets got some respite while a Kingfisher darted along the Ouse.

To the eastern end of the site and adult Common Buzzard was seen with a juvenile so possibly another breeding success at Manor Farm as birds are always seen in this area.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Thursday 25th August 2011 – Evening

17:30 > 17:45
Sun, broken cloud, W breeze, 17c.

Another quickie.  Still at least six Yellow Wagtails in the Top Field amongst the sheep. 

Down below just four Little Egret and three Green Sandpipers.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Wednesday 24th August 2011 – Evening

17:30 > 18:00
Sun, broken cloud, W wind, 20c.

Again the Top Field comes up trumps with around a dozen Yellow Wagtails in amongst the same number of Pieds. These appear to be newly arrived birds as the breeders from the valley below have not been seen for a week or two now.

Down in the valley just two Lapwing and a pair of Little Egret of note.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Tuesday 23rd August 2011 – Evening

18:30 > 19:00
Dull, damp, calm and a very cool 14c.

Two Little Egrets down on the main part of the site but the highlights were on Top Field where a pristine male almost Greenland type Northern Wheatear could be found amongst the wagtail flock.

On Top Pool two Green Sandpipers picked around in what is now no more than a glorified puddle.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Monday 22nd August 2011 – Evening

17:15 > 17:30
Sun, broken cloud, calm, 22c

Another quick visit which there seems to be all to many of late noted just triples of Green Sandpiper and Little Egret.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Friday 19th August 2011 – Afternoon

13:45 > 15:00
Sun, broken cloud, SW breeze, 20c

A walk around the perimeter and the first pair of real returnees on their journey south in two separate Northern Wheatears, a male and a washed out female or juvenile, out on the hills and hollows of the new workings.

Apart from that the usual fare in four Common Tern, three Little Egret and singles of Green Sandpiper and Little Owl.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Tuesday 16th August 2011 – Evening

19:00 > 19:15
Broken cloud, W breeze 18c.

Just four Little Egret of note in a quick walkthrough.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Monday 15th August 2011 – Evening

17:15 > 17:30
Overcast with a W breeze, 20c.

Eight Little Egret the highlight of a quick and rather unproductive visit. Just a lone Green Sandpiper and two Common Buzzards of note elsewhere.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Thursday 11th August 2011 – Evening

17:30 > 18:00
Cloudy, odd flash of sun, SW wind and a muggy 22c.

Not too much around the water today just four Little Egret and a single Green Sandpiper of note. 

The birds of prey were the point of interest today though. As well as three circling Common Buzzards for the part of Bucks not awash with them a Red Kite was a notable tick. The drama though was left to a divebombing Hobby pestering a hovering Kestrel over his usual patch by the inlet.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Wednesday 10th August 2011 – Evening

17:30 > 17:45
Strong SW wind, broken cloud, 19c

A strong wind seems to have everything in hiding and a quick look in only gained singles of Green Sandpiper and Little Egret whilst nine Common Tern were settled in on the shore.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Tuesday 9th August 2011 – Evening

18:15 > 18:30
Sunny, odd cloud, W wind, 19c

A quickish visit and greeted by a Little Owl sitting on the farmhouse roof. 

Birds of the day though were three Little Ringed Plover that I thought had all but gone. This trio stuck together and were very flighty so I’d hazard a guess at them joining their migrated brethren very soon

Elsewhere singles of Green Sandpiper, Common Tern and Little Egret were the only other birds of note.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Monday 8th August 2011 – Evening

17:00 > 17:30
Cloud, cooler  than of late 16c, NW wind.

Again fairly quiet but a single Common Sandpiper was the first in a while. Two Green Sandpipers also on site. 

A lone Common Tern on one of the spits was kept company by two Little Egret till a Common Buzzard did its usual evening swoop through and sent everything skywards.

A large flock of circa 200 Lapwing descended for a while but then went as quickly as they came leaving just a handful of individuals.

Noticeable on leaving the rising number of Pied Wagtails on the top field south of the farm buildings, especially in the mud of the rapidly decreasing Top Pool.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Friday 5th August 2011 – Afternoon

14:00 > 15:00
Sunny, warm, broken cloud. 24c

Again fairly quiet but a Yellow Wagtail family, parents and four young, were relocated (or it’s a fifth brood) amongst the newly planted trees along the Ouse side banking.

Elsewhere nothing too much of note.  A few more Lapwing have returned as have a round dozen Common Tern and amongst the gulls a first Common Gull of the ‘winter’ put in an appearance. Three Little Egret flitted here and there.

Along Front Brook breeding pairs of Sedge and Reed Warbler still about as was a male Reed Bunting.

Highlight of the day though out in the scrub was a tussle between two Magpies and a Kestrel over lunch. Give the Kes its due, it may have been outnumbered but it stood its ground and won.

Not been a great summer for butterflies but an abundance of Gatekeeper today might be an upturn in fortunes, we hope…

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Thursday 4th August 2011 – Evening

After rain, cloud, sunny spell, 20c.
18:15 > Not very long

A brief visit as on arrival I discovered I’d left my bins in my office again so headed home before the threatening rains returned but not before a single Little Owl was seen gliding down from the small copse at the start of the Ridge to the treeline above Godwit Corner. I’ll try and do better tomorrow…

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Wednesday 3rd August 2011 – Evening

17:30 > 18:00
Hot, sunny, south west breeze, 27c.

A small return to normality after yesterdays disturbance (see post below) though a military helicopter very low over on arrival didn’t help things.

Around 20 or so Lapwings have returned to the margins where they were joined by half a dozen Common Terns. Singles of Oystercatcher and Green Sandpiper were noted but no sign at all of any Little Ringed Plovers, the first blank in a few months.

A single Little Egret was out on the new workings whilst a increasing number of gulls are starting to collect in this area. Around 200 strong mostly Black headed Gulls but a handful of Lesser Black Backed are also present.

Sand Martins are still numerous a sign of a good breeding season in the shingle walls in the inaccessible part of the site.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Tuesday 2nd August 2011 – Evening

18:30 > 19:00
Sun, hot, humid, 25c.
The first word in my notes tonight ‘DECIMATION!’ Whilst the extensive mostly thistle beds were a pain for any observer looking over the site they obviously provided good habitat for some species that would otherwise not breed in the area, tonight it one fell swoop it has all but gone.

The lack of cover and probably the disturbance more than anything has had an effect on the birds too with hardly anything around the shorelines just an Oystercatcher, a single Green Sandpiper, nine Common Tern and a group of four flighty Little Ringed Plovers. No sign at all of yesterdays Yellow Wagtails.

Up on the slope the 100 strong, and again very flighty, Lapwing flock looked as if they might be confused as what to do next and with many young amongst them probably not aware what the big wide world held for them outside of the confines of the site. A loose dog made the decision for them and they headed off en bloc north over Cosgrove Park.

Also over four Little Egret to roost.

Time will tell what the clearance of the scrub will do to the site but a big plus is with migration now just a trickle the site does look good for waders again and once things settle down and movement south starts in earnest in the coming weeks things could become interesting once more.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Monday 1st August 2011 – Evening

17:00 > 18:30
Sunny, hot, humid, 27c

A leisurely perimeter walk on a muggy summer evening made somewhat better by the removal of some of the thistle beds along the north shore giving better views along the riverside walk.

Waders represented by a handful of Little Ringed Plovers, a single Common Sandpiper and at least seven Green Sandpipers. The Lapwing flock is now around 100 strong.

A high of 16 Common Tern including three family groups whilst a ‘new’ Yellow Wagtail pair had young along the banks of the Inlet, the fourth brood to my knowledge to breed on site this summer.

Other birds of note, three Little Egret and a hawking Hobby over.