Saturday, 19 May 2012

Friday, 4 May 2012

Friday 4th May 2012 - Afternoon

From Dick S via Bucksbirders

1315-1545 Walked/waded around
1 hobby, 2 wheatear, 2 LR plover,2 redshank, 2 yellow wagtails, all at western end, didn't do new workings, flood got the better of me.

Flooding continues...

As I left the site yesterday evening the Ouse was once again breaking its banks and with no way of knowing just how much water is still upstream heading for the sea its hard to gauge how long this next period of flooding will last. Talking to a couple up on the hill during the week who had come to gauge just how much their riverside caravan had been affected they said Cosgrove Park had been evacuated on Saturday and looking at the levels last night I wouldn't expect it to be any better today. Of course with it being a Bank Holiday weekend this could put a bar on a lot of peoples plans.

I'm affected in a small way too, early on Saturday morning I was due to lead a group of charity walkers, raising funds for the British Heart Foundation, through the valley on an annual walk from Wolverton to Northampton. Luckily we can walk an alternate route but the back of Wolverton Works compared to the Ouse Valley at first light just isn't the same...

So if anybody does actually read this and are feeling in a charitable mood please consider sponsoring me via the link: Saints with Heart, raising funds for the British Heart Foundation

Thursday 3rd May 2012 - Late Afternoon

Heading down to the site to connect with the summer plumaged Grey Plover seen earlier (see below) I unluckily missed out as had Lee E who I encountered on arrival, he had however seen a pair of Dunlin and three 'Tundrae' Ringer Plovers.

Things appeared to be altogether more quiet than yesterdays mini bonanza, bar of course the rare Plover, but still some birds of interest notably a flock of seven Dunlin coming in together as a flock to the flooded new workings.

Other waders still on site a love triangled trio of Oystercatchers making a hell of a racket circling the site in between trying to set up home on one of the island, a pair of  Common Redshank and a more settled handful of Little Ringed Plovers now seemingly calming down after the trials of the last few days while Common Terns and Little Egrets continued to make the most of flooded areas. Happily it seems a second Lapwing family escaped the weekend floods too. A flock of 18 Tufted Duck were of note for the site.

Over on the North Shore Northern Wheatear numbers are finally thinning out but still at least eight individuals in this area all showing characteristics of Greenland birds. Yellow Wagtail probably number around the same.

As for the site well overnight rain on Wednesday saw levels rise once more on the Ouse to the extent that water once more was started to not only engulf caravans again over the river at Cosgrove Park but start to seep back into the lower site and to flood the meadow at the western end.

Hopefully though a few days respite is on the horizon and an increased area of exposed land in the water will attract more notable birds in.

Grey Plover -Record Pic

Simon N, kindly supplied this record pic of yesterdays Grey Plover.

Thanks Simon

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Thursday 4th May 2012 - Afternoon

Simon N reports via text summer plumaged Grey Plover seen on new workings in flying visit (thats Simon not the GP) 14:40 Also three Ringed Plovers.


This appeared on 'Bucksbirders' last night, anyone any info?  The aquaduct is of course the Iron Trunk at the west end of site.

02/5 17:00 : Redstart : Ouse Valley Park. 
Near aquaduct. 
Paul D

Thanks to Simon N on alerting me to pic on Buckinghamshire Bird Club website of this bird. Exact location not known could be west of aquaduct (Iron Trunk) so techically outside Manor Farm boundary but here is the link all the same.

Ouse Valley Redstart

Wednesday 2nd May 2012 - Evening

Rob H via NBBR confirms earlier news of another Little Tern on site.

The Little Tern first appeared over the main floods at about 7.15pm, stayed for 5 mins, before being harassed by 2 Common Terns, after which it drifted off north towards Cosgrove and wasn't relocated.

Also on site, 2 Arctic Terns straight through east, 6 Common Tern, 3 LRP, 2 RP, 2 sum plum Dunlin, 1 Redshank, 2m Shoveler, 2f Teal, c12 Yellow Wag and 5 Wheatear.

Wednesday 2nd May 2012 - Morning/Afternoon

Getting cosy...

Well I had tickets in my pocket for Marston Vale but things were so good at the Farm I never made it to the station, Bedfordshire can wait.

The flooding has eased a bit, the Ouse down at least a couple of feet of Mondays high and no longer pouring into the (lower) site. Has to be said it is better for it, the main area a mass of water with a smattering of islands the place at the moment is a magnet for birds.

On arriving Swifts were noticably abundant in number whilst on the slope a pair of Northern Wheatear, clearly Greenlanders, picked about between the sheep.

Whilst scanning across the water five gulls headed in low from the west over the canal, it wasn't till they were almost alongside me that I took a second look and noticed they were a party of Little Gulls, two in fine summer plumage and quite a sight. Sadly they didn't stop and drifting off west.

Back to the water and a drake Shoveler amongst a handful of Tufted Duck and a pair of Great Crested Grebe deep into courtship were noted before getting my eye in on the waders. Little Ringed Plover are again strong in numbers, darting about looking to make up for lost time perhaps. Also a couple of Ringed Plovers consorting with a pair of Dunlin, later three other Dunlin dropped in making it five on site at one time. Three Oystercatchers were noted, including two getting rather cosy whilst a pair of Common Redshank picked around the margins too.  A pair of Common Snipe also dropped in from height to doze on the of the newly formed islands whilst a single Common Sandpiper was observed landing but not seen again.

Common Terns were  passing through steadily with at least five hanging around the area all day, including one clever individual picking trapped fish off the last remaining field of meadow by the river, several Little Egret could be found doing the same. Again a Hobby was noted overhead circling the site.

Heading along the riverside walk itself several more Wheatears were noted especially on the hay bales that seem to have formed parts of now washed away banking. A handful of Yellow Wagtail and a White Wagtail could also be found along the North Shore of the site but are such a fixture now,along with those Wheatears, I was overlooking anything moving about the tree protectors till an odd 'blackbird' was seen nearer the waterline. Hopping between the green plastic poles it took two or three views from different angles to confirm a female Ring Ouzel. Just as I was texting off the news it shot out from cover along with a male alongside and the pair looped over to the west, settling in the pasture along Back Brook to the west. The male was located again on the fence and later on the gravel road back inside the main area.

All in all another good day.

Wednesday 2nd May 2012 - Morning

Via text from Simon N.

2 Dunlin, Shoveler, 3 Snipe, 2 Common Tern, 2 BH Gull, 2 Ring Plover, 2 Oyc, 2 Redshank, 8 LRP and still Lapwing chicks!