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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Yes , its Fly Flatts again

                                            3 Common Sandpipers present

                                  Calm waters below the Nab
                                  and along the west bank
 Just when you thought it was all over
                                  another Mallard family.

 Same Kestrel at distance working the
                 Slade, flat moor area.

1515 hrs and another pilgrimage to Fly Flatts in perfect conditions with near dead calm and 100 % light grey cloud cover.
                                   Today was one of those exceptionally quiet days which you have to contend with every now and then although at this time of year I,m always expecting the unexpected. No disturbance up there today with just me and swarms of Midges  which always appear when the wind has dropped which fortunately is not often at this site.
                                                                    Just the 3 Common Sands seen and 2 Wheatears plus the surprise of a very late brood of Mallard ducklings with a single LBB gull on the water keeping a close watch on them.
The female Kestrel was well out over the flat moor today working the Slade area giving the Mipits a bit of freedom to feed along the west banking. Nothing new in birds but always a pleasure to be up there even now that the moor is so quiet with Curlews, Golden Plovers and Lapwings gone leaving a strange empty feeling up there. Its a matter now of being patient and waiting for the migration to start.
                                                                 Many thanks once again to the Angela and Gary team for texting me about yesterdays plant quiz and describing it as of the Melianthus family which I Googled to find it can grow to 12 ft tall and is deadly toxic if eaten even in a small amount so have had to lug it round to the front garden in case Pippa decides to nip a leaf off it as she does with flower heads.
                                                                 Once again Angela and Gary have shone and its a big thank you for taking an interest in the blog for so many years.

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Monday visit to Fly Flatts.

                      Peregrine at Mega distance way across the moor
                     on a shooting stand
    Hope it doesnt hang around there next month when the
                                            sad men appear.

                                      1 of 4 Common Sandpipers
    The scruffy juv I took a few weeks ago has made a
                                        handsome bird.
                Male Wheatear shedding its coat.
 One for the gardeners. We bought this plant amongst
 others at a garden centre late spring to put in pots.
Its now a large, flowerless plant but the question is, what is it.

Fly Flatts p.m. visit with 75% cloud cover with some sunshine and a bracing NE > 5.
                                                                           Plenty disturbance as I arrived with the fire brigade just packing the dingys up from training on the water no needless to say, quiet shoreline and water.
By the time I,d walked the length of the reservoir and back the dust had settled and things were getting back to normal.
No Kestrel present today so plenty Meadow Pipits about but only 2 Wheatear along the west banking
whilst a male Reed Bunting flew over low.
                                                                  What looked like a juv Peregrine was perched on a shooting butt way over the moor but scope was back at the car. Five Common Sandpiper are present including the juv that I,ve watched over the weeks grow into a fine bird whilst a single Oystercatcher was on the launch ramp.
Several Black Headed gulls were arriving from the east and later seen high over the fields at Mount Tabor.
A few quiet visits the last few days but we,re now into the last week of July so a biggy must be just around the corner.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A 2nd dabble at Fly Flatts, pm

                  A good turn out of boats today
      Problem here is there are no Give Way signs
                                   Man overboard, scuppered
                                                  Rescue boat on its way.
          This female Kestrel is becoming a nuisance
                         to the passerines.

                                            But what a cracking bird

Back to Fly Flatts at 1500 hrs with yet more Nyjer seed which so far has had a negative effect on attracting any Twite but its causing plenty interest with the Meadow Pipits and Wheatears so its not wasted and there still 3 month left with chance of Twite.
                                                          A perfect bright grey sky in contrast to this mornings blue with the wind moved around to the NW>4-5 and light specs of rain.
Plenty boats out today so waders were absent other than Common Sands whilst the only raptor showing was the local female Kestrel that once again had moved all the Mipits and Wheatears away from the west bank where it was patrolling throughout.
                                                     Whilst it was quiet I concentrated my time watching the Kestrel and trying to get that perfect shot experimenting with different exposures and settings whilst trying at the same time to watch the skies for that big raptor sighting that didn,t happen.

Fly Flatts, early Sunday morn.

  The 2 well established Barnacles
 Wheatears love the rabbit burrows in the banking

                         Redshank present at distance, north shore

                                          LBBs through high and >W

Fly Flatts 0730-0930 hrs. Despite last nights local weather forecast of heavy rain all day the morning was bright with 30 % cloud cover and excellent visibility on a light NNE > 3-4. The sun shone and the sky was blue but I put up with that as I was expecting rain throughout so best of the two.
                                                                      A Falcon, Wader morning with more Common Sandpipers in and a Redshank present along with 3 Dunlin whilst raptor wise 2 brown Peregrine flew over the Nab with a Kestrel nearby and 2 quick sightings of a female Merlin out over the moor.
                                                                     Wheatears were back in force whilst Meadow Pipits were everywhere, I,ll try box some Mipits up and send them down to Oxford Mick.
LBBs were moving >W whilst a trickle of BHGs headed >NW along with plenty Swifts and Swallows.

15 Wheatear
3 Dunlin
6 Common Sandpiper
1 Redshank
1 Snipe
2 Peregrine
1 Merlin
1 Kestrel
+ usual sp.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Leeshaw Reservoir. Yellow Legged Herring Gull.

             Taken at mega distance way across the water.
              Yellow Legged, centre bird

                                  Cormorant trying to hide it

                                              4th summer bird.

1530 hrs at Leeshaw reservoir with 50 % cloud cover and some sunshine.
Good to meet up with RP and BV up there who had already clocked the Yellow Legged Herring gull on the north shore and had also just had a juv Peregrine harassing the Lapwing flock which now stands at around 130.
                                Luckily the gulls hung around on the shore with 1 YL, 28 BHG and 11 LBBs though photos were out of range, some taken at 600 mm and some at 1200 mm.
A single Kestrel flew over followed later by 3 brief sightings of the juv brown Peregrine which stuck to the top ridge of the moor.
                                Continuing the wader movement most of the 35 Oystercatchers have moved on with only 3 present whilst 4 Curlews moved over very high and >NW.
Otherwise it was down to 2 Cormorant plus the usual sp.