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Friday, September 22, 2017

Ogden pm visit. Wigeon.

Hope you like Wigeon, I do as you can see :-

                                                   Decent number of gulls to sift through.

                                  female Wigeon lurking under the edges

                                             enjoying the plant life

With a shortage of time and all guns blazing with the sickos at Fly Flatts, Oxenhope and Nab Water Lane it was down to Ogden to track down JLs female Wigeon from yesterday.
                                                         The weather was acceptable with 95 % cloud cover and light rain throughout with some very heavy showers thrown in on a S>4.
                                                            Mallards were spread all the way down the east bank under the edge of the shoreline nibbling the good supply of plant life there but a steady scan with the bins soon produced the give away spiky tail of the Wigeon about half way down the track and of course behind the thickest of trees. With a bit of patience waiting it started to come out into the open but then got very mobile flying short distances and swimming up and down the waters edge.
                                                                With enough photos taken I walked along the prom to check for Kingfisher but no joy. The rain was now coming down heavy and it was strange to see a photographer half way on the prom with tripods, lamps and flash units set up taking photos of a scantily clad model sat on the reservoir wall looking rather wet and cold. I didnt let this distract me from birding so 2 hours later I left the prom and went home, only kidding about the 2 hours.
                                                          Otherwise just the usual gulls and what appeared to be a good fall of Blackbirds which could quite easily be continentals.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Back for a recount, Fly Flatts.

              At least 9 Stonechat present

                                          2 Noisy Ravens

                                            Just the one Wheatear

                                              3 Kestrels up together
                   Distant over the turbines, 2 of 3.

Perfect conditions at Fly Flatts 1500 hrs with 100 % cloud cover with some very large black clouds but only very light rain showers carried on a WNW >5. The water is now over the tops and gushing down the overflow with no shoreline what so ever other than the cobbles on the west bank.
                                                             Just one LBB gull on the water along with a pair of Mallard and empty skies other than a noisy pair of cronking Ravens feeding on the flat moor, probably on the left behinds of Saturdays shoot, before flying over the water and disappearing beyond the Nab.
                                                                 One Wheatear down near the feeding station but very mobile, unlike autumn birds which are reasonably confining.
Stonechats were once again the bird of the day with 9 present along the wire fence but at distance at a new position to yesterday at the opposite side of the track looking towards Slade. By the time I,d walked the reservoir and back there was no sign of them. Otherwise there was 3 Kestrels up together around the turbines.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Fly Flatts, Stonechats galore

                                 Don,t fence me in. 2 males
     All iffy distant shots peering into the compound


                       Taken through a mesh wire fence

With the car back from Nissan by just after lunch it was a trip to Fly Flatts at 1445 hrs with a nice
90 % cloud cover in a strong SW>5-6 with specs of rain throughout.
                                                              A few Mipits were trickling >S whilst 2 Kestrels hovered near the wind farm, otherwise the skies were empty as well as the water.
A walk the full length of the west bank produced a few more blogging Mipits and 2 distant and flighty Stonechat down near the stream but they soon disappeared into the bracken out of the wind.
                                                                 A single Wheatear was across on the SW rocks and a few lucky Red Grouse were calling ,no doubt glad to be alive after the weekends shoot.
Back at the clubhouse boat compound at least another 6 Stonechat were present but near impossible to photograph as they darted in and out of the boats and wire fencing whilst I had to try snap them with the lens  aiming through the gate bars or through a mesh fence which made life interesting. So 8 Stonechat saved the day on an otherwise quiet session.

a.m Vis Mig, Queensbury
116 Swalows ....................>S
17 Mipits...........................>S
1 Alba Wagtail..................>SW

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

National non birding day.

Bright blue skies this morning putting paid to any decent vis mig, not the sort of weather passerines like to move in as time is better spent feeding.
Slight movement was apparent early doors with Mipits over very high and hardly visible in the blue background. Other than the Mipits just 4 Alba Wagtails and 6 Chaffinch over and a near miss with a skein on Pinkies reported from HC at Oxenhope heading over the wind farm and Ogden before veering > SE to head out over Clayton and out of sight from the garage.
Thanks for the updates Howard.
                                                   An actual missed teatime birding session today with the new pup to the vets and then I had to take the car down to Nissan, Halifax for the first service to be done tomorrow which seems silly when I,m working on cars everyday but I told the receptionist to let them service it then I,ll do it properly when I get it back.
                                           It was a bit of an experience as I had to walk across town and get a bus home, the last bus I rode on had the entrance at the rear. £3.00 to Queensbury was a bit of a shock, it used to be sixpence, and did you know there isnt even a conductor now! The bus was a single decker with iron wheels on tracks by the feel of it, it reminded me of going on Blackpools golden mile on a tram. Anyway, it got me home and now I,ve just to get one back tomorrow to pick the car up, hopefully before the afternoon birding session.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Ogden, flying visit.

                                                 LBB gulls showing winter head streaks now.

Starting on a sad note, as expected the Ogden Little Egret died overnight despite best efforts to save it. At least it died peacefully being taken out of the wild where it would have been a target for Fox and Mink in that area. Thanks once again to Bruce and all concerned.
                                                              Another sad note was the birds present at Ogden on a rushed late afternoon visit today. With very little time having travelled to Dewsbury to pick up a new dog keeping our numbers up to three I shot across to Ogden hoping for some decent waterfowl or geese over but neither were provided. Very few gulls were present with around 50 BHGs, 14 Common and 9 LBBs. Otherwise it was down to Mallards and 1 Cormorant.
                                                             Thanks to HC this morning who was on the ball at his Oxenhope watchpoint sending me a text message of Pink Footed Geese heading from him towards Ogden. I got it straight out on the grapevine just in time for DJS to clock them over his house. Daves picture of the skein of 75 is on the Calderbirds blog.
                                                           Another text , this time from AC, reported 8 Cormorant heading my way but these never transpired obviously veering to the east or west of me. Thanks for the call anyway Andy.

A check on Raggalds Flood found the water receding rapidly and no birds although AC did have Teal on there around the weekend.
See what tomorrow brings.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Double Dose, Leeshaw, am/pm

                                     This Heron did,nt mind the rain.

                          Thought Id got my first autumn Pinkies
                                      Wrong, Local Greylags
                                 Plenty activity on the shoreline
                                   A good gull count

                        One for Gary, Yanks in the fog.

Dense fog on the hill tops this a.m. so headed for Leeshaw which was just below the cloud base but grey and wet. By 0730 hrs the rain had stopped and visibility improved giving an active vis mig morning despite a couple of break offs for heavy showers moving over.
                                                                           Mipits,Swallows and House Martins were the main contenders but a nice variety throughout. A Ringed Plover dropped onto the banking during a shower but was immediately seen off by the gulls.
                                                                  A return there late afternoon found a record number of gulls whilst a single Curlew headed >W over the far moor.
a.m. Vis Mig

231 Mipit...................................>S
127 Swallow.............................>S
31 House Martin......................>S
3 Snipe.....................................>W
5 Alba Wags............................>W
2 Grey Wags............................>W
19 Mistle Thrush.....................>SW
1 Ringed Plover, dropped on shoreline then >W

Present this evening
1 YL Herring gull
9 LBB gull
c180 BH gull
29 Common Gull
1 Curlew..........................>W
3 Kestrel
+ usual sp.

No time to blog at lunch time today with the ongoing Ogden Little Egret saga when BH found the bird distressed this morning and ended up taking it home until we could find a rescue centre that would take it. It seems the only options we have if we find a distressed bird is take it to either Selby , Bury or Morley but a helpful lady at Morley,via NK, advised that seeing as the bird had no sign of physical damage it could just be in shock and should be left a couple of hours to recover. She said it would help to get some food and water down it then try to release it.
                                                            Bruce agreed to this giving it water with a syringe and was going to try it with prawns before attempting to release it at EGP.
                                                           I,m now waiting to hear the outcome.
Thanks to BH for his act of kindness towards the bird and also DJS, NG and AC for their contact and a special thanks to NK for the time he spent on the phone and internet exploring every avenue to help the welfare of this special bird.
I will update when I can find out the end to the story.

Update. Bruce took the Egret down to EGP were it was placed in a keeping pen in care of the lads down there but its condition seemed to be worsening and not taking water. It will be checked in the morning but the outlook seems grim.