Little Terns at Manor Farm

Panoramic photo of the Manor Farm quarry. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Panoramic photo of the Manor Farm quarry. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Despite a Common Nightingale was reported from the Blue Lagoon Reserve, I decided to go to Manor Farm in Old Wolverton. I made my usual routing around the farm and the gravel pits.

It was quite birdy with some ‘new to the year’ birds like Common Sandpiper, Lesser Whitethroat (seen along the River Great Ouse), Common Whitethroat and Western Yellow Wagtail.

A single Common Sandpiper was feeding along the muddy edges of the gravel islets. © Gyorgy Szimuly

A single Common Sandpiper was feeding along the muddy edges of the gravel islets. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Shorebirds were in territory and counted a couple of incubating Northern Lapwings and at least one Little Ringed Plover. Eurasian Oystercatchers were aggressively defending territory from a raven sized Carrion Crow. On the eastern side two Common Terns occupied a small gravel islet.

Food number of Northern Lapwings were keeping territories in the quarry. © Gyorgy Szimuly

I spent half an hour for counting birds from the southern side bridge. Suddenly a Common Tern and two gorgeous Little Terns appeared from the Aqueduct. This is not an everyday sighting. Little Tern is quite rare in Buckinghamshire. Unfortunately, I couldn’t report it from the scene as I run out of credit. Anyway, half an hour later I could talk to Andi who sent the message out. I was still questioned by the operator of the local rare bird alert about a slightly late reporting.

Low water level offers nice nesting habitats for shorebirds, but also offers easy access for predators. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Here is the list of birds reported to eBird:

Greylag Goose 2
Canada Goose 18
Mute Swan 5
Gadwall 2
Mallard 29
Northern Shoveler 3
Eurasian Teal 4
Common Pochard 3
Tufted Duck 46
Common Pheasant 1
Little Grebe 1
Great Crested Grebe 2
Great Cormorant 1
Grey Heron 2
Little Egret 1
Common Buzzard 2
Eurasian Moorhen 11
Eurasian Coot 13
Eurasian Oystercatcher 2
Northern Lapwing 24
Little Ringed Plover 13
Common Sandpiper 1
Common Redshank 7
Black-headed Gull 1
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1
Little Tern 2
Common Tern 3
Common Wood-Pigeon 22
Eurasian Green Woodpecker 2
Eurasian Magpie 26
Eurasian Jackdaw 38
Rook 56
Carrion Crow 23
European Skylark 3
Bank Swallow 17
Barn Swallow 2
Common House Martin 8
Great Tit 11
Eurasian Blue Tit 24
Long-tailed Tit (A. c. europaeus) 6
Eurasian Treecreeper 3
Eurasian Wren 13
Goldcrest 2
Willow Warbler 2
Common Chiffchaff 7
Sedge Warbler 1
Blackcap 12
Greater Whitethroat 3
European Robin 7
Common Blackbird 11
Song Thrush 2
Common Starling 21
Dunnock 5
Western Yellow Wagtail (M. f. flavissima) 4
Grey Wagtail 1
White Wagtail (M. f. yarellii) 7
Common Reed Bunting 5
Common Chaffinch 10
Eurasian Bullfinch 2
European Greenfinch 2
European Goldfinch 15
Eurasian Linnet 3


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