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Thursday, June 22, 2017

1st Common Scoter arrives at Fly Flatts

                                            1 of 6 Dunlin

                                     1 of 9 Common Sandpipers
  Fluffy Common Sandpiper chick
                                        Non flyer as yet
  Star of the show, female Common Scoter

         Plenty juv Pied Wagtails around

                                 Waves and White Horses.

Man on a mission....  Fly Flatts 1445 hrs with the weather back to normal thankfully with 100 % dark cloud cover and near gale force W>6 - 7. Half way through the watch the clouds broke up leaving
50% cloud cover and some sunshine with the wind decreasing to W>5 which kept the temperature down.
After a text this a.m. from DJS saying he had spotted a Common Scoter on Fly Flatts that had to be the target bird although looking at the size and speed of the waves it was a needle in a haystack job.
                                                       Fortunately there were no Windsurfers present so that gave me a little more hope but several scans of the rough water came up with nothing.
Rather than jump in with both feet dashing along the banking I decided to stick to my usual routine firstly checking the SE corner which was alive with Dunlin and Common Sandpipers along with several other species. Next it was check the lagoon and the south shoreline again producing more Common Sands.
On then to the west bank checking the cobbles also bringing in the feeding station which today was void of birds. Regular scans of the water still failed to turn up the target bird until I was nearly at the NW corner when a black dot was seen bobbin about in the waves and frequently disappearing out of view way out in the centre as is usually the norm with Scoters.
                                                                  Laying down just below the banking I was able to get out of the wind and get some shots just on the range limit but the well suited birder grin appeared with mission accomplished .
Well spotted to DJS for this mornings sighting, a species I,ve been expecting and scanning for daily. Hopefully more will follow.
The longest day is over now, 21st, so make the most of evening birding.

1f Common Scoter
9 Common Sandpiper + 1 juv + a 2nd thats still hiding from me
6 Dunlin
2 Oystercatcher
1 Redshank
4 Snipe
3 Curlew
2 Herring Gull
4m Reed Bunting
2 Barnacle geese + usual sp.
Tons of Swifts feeding over the water

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Thwarted by the fire brigade.

               Now thats what you call disturbance  
 I would nt mind them pumping it out
but they squirted it back in again.

   May as well forget this venue today.
                Meanwhile, over the tops to Leeshaw.

              Oystercatcher count up to at least 15 adults.

                           Oxenhope Little Owl.

1515 hrs and arrived at Fly Flatts only to be stopped dead in my tracks when half of the West Yorkshire fire brigade were on my favourite shoreline. With no point in continuing further it was a scan of the water then over the moor to Leeshaw reservoir where things did,nt improve much with that annoying red hot sun burning down and very little breeze. Where was that rain shower that I got caught in at midday whilst walking the dogs in Foxhill.
                                                                    Making the best of a bad job I scanned the water, skies, fields, moorland and shoreline in a bid to save the afternoon but, remembering its a hot still day in June, nothing happened other than the regular species.
Oystercatcher numbers are still rising with at least 15 present with possibly at least 1 pair tending young on the hidden south bank shoreline.
Gulls were gathering on the northern shoreline with 42 LBB, 4 Herring and 7 Black Headed but no sign of the returning Yellow Legged from the previous 3 years as yet which will be near to adult plumage this time.
A day of rain showers promised for tomorrow which may kick start the job a bit.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Fly Flatts weather back to normal.

                                    Common Sandpipers

             Doing the walk on water display

 Another odd thing they do with their eyes.

                                       Juv Greylags coming on nicely.

                                       Distant Snipe.

At last the weather was back to normality at Fly Flatts today when I arrived at 1530 hrs for a 1 hour session.
The sky had 100 % grey cloud cover with low scud clouds damping in the cool SE>4. Horizontal visibility was good but limited overhead. What I call ideal conditions with no sign of blue sky or sunshine and best of all, not a soul in sight. What a weirdo I hear you say!
                                                          The whole area is buzzing with wader activity though only the regular species with Common Sandpiper, Redshank, Oystercatcher , Dunlin, Snipe and Curlew.
It was interesting to watch Common Sandpiper displaying with the pair flying around madly and taking turns at running along the surface of the water. A ritual I,ve never really noticed before.
Most of  this species already have young but not managed to get a pic yet as the parent bird calls as you walk along the banking and the young disappear under the shoreline stones.
                                                             Very few gulls present with a few LBBs and 2 Herring gulls and a fly past of a single Common gull heading for Oxenhope.
The water just held the usual Canadas along with the 2 Barnacles, the Canada goose count now reaching near on 400 birds much to the disappointment of the lads at the sailing club as they have all the mess to contend with when they come ashore in the compound. They will disperse late summer but the sailing season will be getting near the end by then.
Still no Terns or Scoters as yet but I must be getting near to another mega sighting by now.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Silly Season hits Fly Flatts

        Common Sandpiper keeping watch of its young.
                                         Oystercatcher flypast

1500 hrs and across to Fly Flatts where a welcome W>4 was blowing cooling it down slightly.
On arrival 4 cars were parked by the top gate which looked like a recipe for disaster which it was when I got down to the water. Two couples were paddling in the water at the SW corner, 3 dogs were in the water from the west bank and a couple were sat in the SE corner. Also a couple were on a blanket on the edge of the moor but I,ll spare you the details of that.
                                                                  Needless to say, the shoreline was quieter than the last visit although Common Sandpipers were still showing in force. Five Oystercatchers were on the East shoreline along with 2 distant Dunlin and a Redshank.
Down at the feeding area 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 juv Pied Wagtails and 4 Meadow Pipits were enjoying the seed .
The water looked like a Canada goose armada with over 300 present plus a mixture of small and well grown young along with 28 Greylag and 16 young.
                                                                 A group of 7 strange ducks were way across in the NE corner in with the Mallards but a scope revealed them as the Hybrids that I,ve had previously at Oxenhope reservoir. Otherwise it was down to the usual sp.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Up with the gulls, Soil Hill

                                                Mainly LBBs heading in

                                                      A few Herring

                                    Meadow Pipit feeding young

                                                       Black Headed

1500 hrs.
With limited time and the mega grim heatwave it was head for some fresh air on the summit of Soil Hill to watch the gulls coming in to Oxenhope reservoir.
The hill itself is now near enough obsolete until the late summer/ early autumn when migrants start returning and today it just held the usual Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and a scattering of Linnets plus a now resident Little Grebe down on the pond.
                                                             Gulls were plentiful , all mainly LBBs with 5 Herrings and 21 Black Headed. Scoping across to the reservoir gulls were lined up on the wave wall but I was unable to see if there was any shoreline due to heat haze. Hay making is well underway now tempting some of the gulls down briefly to investigate.
                                                            Plenty Swallows overhead but Swifts seem to have gone off the boil a bit with very few over today and none yesterday late evening when you would normally expect a sky full.