TEXT OR WHATSAPP. 07771 705024.




As of now through the duration of the breeding season all schedule one birds , red status birds and birds of a sensitive nature to this area will be omitted from the blog or reported as undisclosed site due to the widespread persecution of nesting birds by unscrupulous parties including game keepers and egg collectors.
Any of the above species that are obviously on passage through the area will be reported as normal.
This also applies to wildlife such as Roe Deer, Badger and Hares which are badly under threat from poaching and long dogging in the area at present and unfortunately this exclusion of wildlife will have to continue throughout the year.
Just another sign of the times.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sunny weather syndrome. Shipley Glen then Ogden.

               Plenty shoreline at Ogden but a poor wader venue.

                2 Common Sandpipers, uncommon for Ogden

The warm sunny weather,s here and as most of you know thats my pet hate. It kills the birding and gets all the nuggets out that only appear in this sort of weather.
                                                                     Avoiding the shops this afternoon I walked with Lynda and the dogs along Shipley Glen with the camera at the ready expecting a Red Kite over which unfortunately never happened. A couple of distant Buzzards were seen along with a Green Woodpecker fly over whilst a Cuckoo was calling from near the caravan site on Baildon moor.
After throwing the ball about 100 times for Pippa she never looked like tiring so we called it a do and came home for some tea.
                                                             A bit of gardening then off to check Ogden for Scoters which found it , as I remarked earlier, full of low life with people on the shore and in the edge of the water along with dogs swimming out for sticks. Just stayed long enough to see 2 Common Sandpipers which is not a common sight here despite tons of shoreline, waders don,t like dropping down between trees. 1 LBB on the water and that was it, next visit to Ogden will be when the weather turns.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Fly Flatts

                                     1 of 3 Golden Plover
                                      4 Common Sandpipers present

                           2 Barnacles up on the moor
                                  and then in the water.

1530 hrs and a pleasant visit to Fly Flatts to get some seed down. The wind was blowing SW>5 but although it was cloudy it was unusually warm for this venue. A Golden Plover was in the field by the top gate whilst 2 were in the Nolstar field.
                                                            Quiet on the wader scene with Common Sands, Oystercatchers and Redshanks along the length of the west bank whilst 6 Herring gulls were still quartering the moor. The 2 Barnacles were again with Canadas up above the sailing club before flying down onto the water. Plenty Swifts feeding and slowly moving North along with a few Swallows.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Oxenhope reservoir, pm visit.

         Shoreline starting to show well

                                          Gull numbers increasing
 1 of 3 Dunlin present

                              1 of 5 Common Sandpiper.

1430 hrs and the rest of the afternoon free so off to Oxenhope reservoir after a long absence to check the condition of the shoreline which is looking good all along the west bank and enough showing to hold gulls and waders. A decent afternoon though a tad windy with a SW>4 blowing and midges were a nuisance along the east banking.
                                                       Good numbers of gulls were present as well as waders whilst Swifts piled through >N. Hopefully the water level here will continue to drop in time to tempt some decent waders through like last years, Ruff, Turnstones, Whimbrel, Ringed and Little Ringed Plover as well as several Yellow Legged Herring gull and a Med gull.

Birds present today

c150 Lesser Black Backed gulls
11 Herring gulls
19 Black Headed gulls
2 Common gulls
3 Dunlin
5 Common Sandpiper
4 Redshank
2 Golden Plover
22 Lapwing
1m Tufted duck
3 Snipe
6 Pied Wagtail
Tons of Swifts piling through >N
+  Canadas, Greylags and around 200 juv Starling

Sunday morn at Leeshaw

                                 1 of 3 Common Sandpipers

                       Little Owl always present
            1 pair Tufted new in from yesterday

                         Lapwing chicks growing well

0700 hrs at Leeshaw in black clouds and light rain brightening as the watch went on.
                                                     Ignoring the call of the Cuckoo this morning I spent the time checking and  watching over the water with still no passing Terns though gull numbers are increasing with even a Common gull present. A female Tufted way out on the water had me thinking Scoter until I scoped it to find female Tufted and then a male appeared from under the banking.
Good gull numbers building and my first post Spring Common gull arriving but moving on >W.

16 LBB gull
12 BH gull
2 Herring gull
1 Common gull
1pr Tufted
2 Snipe
3 Redshank
4 Oystercatcher
3 Common Sandpiper
1 Little Ringed Plover
1 Ringed Plover
5 Curlew
1 Little Owl
1 Cuckoo
1pr Pied Wagtail with 1 juv
1 Cormorant
28 Greylag with around 30 young
+ usual sp.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Oh no, he,s gone Cuckoo again. Leeshaw Reservoir

      First sighting as it appeared
              Very distant and grey skies

  Canon 7d with Sigma 600mm
 If you,re prepared to sit in the wet grass long
enough you sometimes get rewarded.

                  Just the one Cuckoo present now

A bright morning followed by heavy rain most of the afternoon so by 1600 hrs, shopping and jobs done, the dogs and me were ready for off hoping the heavy rain would have brought something down.
                                                               Fly Flatts had a boating afternoon so no point in checking the water there and Ogden would have been busy so off to Leeshaw once again.
The tail end of the weather front was just passing over and soon the rain stopped but leaving grey skies and a W>4 blowing across the water.
                                                              Once again the plan was check the water, walk the dogs then sky watch for anything moving through but , as the other day, the calling Cuckoo got my attention and I soon found myself scoping for the bird which was high up on the moor but accessible with a long trek. The usual waders were around the water along with an increasing number of Black Headed gulls with a count of 9 so it was the long haul up the hill to try for some Cuckoo shots.
                                                              No rain today like last time but now with only 1 Cuckoo to go at it was a waiting game with the bird alternating between the moor and the fields and never keeping still for long due to mobbing Lapwings. After a lot of patience and very wet trousers crouched in the grass I managed to put together enough photos which I was satisfied with but could have been a lot better if the sun had appeared plus no time to use the tripod so it was all hand held which gets to be a bit arm aching trying to hold Big Bertha up for long.
                                                              This was another visit with my Tern watch messed up but with Cuckoos with us such a short time I thought it best to grab the opportunity while it was there.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Checking the favourite reservoirs

       Leeshaw, plenty juv Starlings waiting to be fed
         Lapwings constantly fighting off the gulls
              Several BHGs back on site

                          Fly Flatts Oystercatcher
            Still at least 1 Wheatear present, Fly Flatts

1330 hrs and with Terns and waders still the target birds along with newly added Common Scoters ,which are just starting to move, it was a check of my local reservoirs in the hopes of something turning up.
Starting at Leeshaw with a greeting of black clouds and rain which soon dried up but leaving grey skies overhead. Black Headed gulls had increased in the area with several in the fields and on the banking along with Herring gulls. Wader wise it was just the usual Oyks, Redshanks etc whilst the Cuckoos seemed to have moved through apart from 1 calling high up on the moor in one of a number of solitary trees. Several Lapwing chicks are growing well now and looking a little less vulnerable though the adult birds spend all their time in the air warning off Corvids and Gulls.
                                                              A quick check on Lower Laithe which is actually 1 mile to the north out of my catchment area but worth a look at as I was so near and it can be a good water for Scoters but not today with very little present.
                                                                   Over the tops to Fly Flatts  with just the usual geese on the water but surprising still to find 1 Wheatear present along the top road.
                                                                 2 Golden Plover in the Nolstar field and getting a little late in the season now for any more Dotterel.
                                                          1pr Tufted and the usual geese on Cold Edge Dams whilst once again Mixenden reservoir had a lot of disturbance but several Swifts and House Martins were skimming the water.  No time left to do Ogden but I have a few dog walkers that will inform me if they see anything unusual on the water.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The joys of keeping it local.

Today was down as being a poor birding day with work in the morning, shopping after lunch and a visit to the vets late afternoon, for the dogs that is, not me.
                                                        In between shopping and the vets I squeezed in 45 mins at Ogden, the nearest destination, but a walk as far as passerine alley found it quiet with just the usual species although a Black Headed gull there showed signs of them starting to return. Nearly time up and just throwing the dogs back in the car wondering what to blog tonight when that one life saving magical phone call happened. NK at Mixenden stood on the banking watching 8 Shelduck, a mega rarity for this area.
With no time to get to the reservoir due to the shortly due vets appointment I went for the next best option which was park at the top of the hill above the reservoir and scan down which is about 1 mile away. I could see Nigel on the banking and luckily ,with the Shelduck being white I could just pick them out on the water. Now it was up to Big Bertha to get me some record shots and although it was well out of range the light was good and the pics came out bloggable.
                                                                 As soon as I got back from the vets I shot off to Mixenden in hopes of getting some decent shots but with nuggets all around the reservoir fishing  and lobbing things in the water the Shelducks had wisely moved on. On then to Ogden on a slim chance they had landed there but not to be so it was lucky I took the first option as soon as Nigel rang me.
                                                                               Many thanks to NK for the call, but for him we would have had 8 Shelduck through our area unseen. Thats one of the amazing things about birding your local area, the day can seem poor and disheartening but it only takes one sighting, one text or one phone call to turn it all round and send you home on a high.

         Record shots from approx 1 mile away.
 A well chuffed NK. couldnt zoom in any further
          to get the beam on his face.

          Black Headeds starting to return to Ogden.