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Thursday, January 18, 2018

A mega for Mixenden

                      1 of 2 Shelduck  South banking
                        2nd Shelduck, east banking




  Brighter photos when the rain stops.
                                   2  of 6 Cormorants




    Fading light and snow shower, 1 Shelduck
                             took to the water.


Wondering where to go for the late afternoons birding session in poor conditions was soon decided with  a grapevine message from DJS saying he had found 2 Shelduck on Mixenden reservoir.
                                                            1445 hrs , shopping done and arrived at Mixenden reservoir to heavy showers of sleet, snow and rain throughout with odd bursts of blue sky.
                                                         Luckily Dave was still there as when I started to climb the banking he appeared in the sw corner waving me back as the bird was directly below the banking that I was climbing. A new approach found the bird on the waters edge with a second Shelduck way over on top of the east banking.
                                        Very poor light for pictures having to use a high ISO reading  but you can tell from the brighter pics when the sun showed briefly and I was able to use better settings.
                                          Also present were 1 pair of Goldeneye , 1 Herring gull over > SW, several small gulls, mainly Black Headed, 4 Cormorants although Dave had a count of 6 earlier, 1 Jay and a few Goldfinch. A great find by DJS and nice to meet AT there also, 3 wise men stood in the snow armed to the hilt with cameras like the paparazzi waiting for a royal wedding.
                                            Once again another good find quickly passed around thanks to Daves Calderdale Grapevine. If you,re already a member fivers are now due in and if not why not join now for all the up to date local sightings as they happen. If you like birds and want to know whats going on locally its the best fiver you,ll ever spend and all the money goes back into helping the birds with buying nest boxes, seed etc. The grapevine is priceless throughout the year but especially during Spring/Autumn migration time when skeins of geese and swans can be tracked right across the area through birders sending a text as they pass over their area.
                                           For more information or to join contact Dave Sutcliffe or myself .
BS

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A snowy, sloppy Ogden.

 Around 50 Black Headed gulls and hardly 2 alike
     with different stages of head patterns




                                      Only 3 Common gulls present

                   Near full hood. Looked at this twice for Med gull.



1445 hrs and a better day than yesterday with several sleet showers but nothing as serious as yesterday with a good depth falling overnight.  Plenty periods of sunshine today and a heavy thaw going on despite the cold NW>4.
                                                   Access to Ogden was ok but a real sloppy watery mess both in the car park and along the promenade. No time to go around the water but would,nt have attempted it with the dogs as it is thick bog on the track due to the melted snow and the quad bike and trailer messing about with Christmas trees which seems a waste of time each year as the trees never rot down and just end up blown onto the banking or in the water.
                                                   A real quiet session with only around 50 Black Headed gulls on the water and 3 Commons although the BHGs were interesting to look through being a bit closer to shore than usual showing the many different stages of hoods, some in full winter , then through several stages with some near to full summer.
                                                  Strangely not a Mallard in sight in the usual corner but with the NW >4 blowing they were probably sheltering at the northern end of the banking.
                                                   The feeders were quite busy with several Coal Tits plus the usual sp but no Nuthatch whilst a check in the sluice gate area just produced a single Wren.
It looks like we,re going to be plagued with this snowy weather over the weekend but at least its giving the daylight time to come back again.
BS

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Birding Abandoned / Raptor and Owl pics.

 After a day of snow showers and a decent covering up here on the tops I set off with the dogs late afternoon to see if Ogden was accessible to check the water but as I got to Keelham Farm shop the road down to the traffic lights was like a glass ski slope with cars slowly sliding down and nothing getting up.
                For once I listened to the sensible voice in my head saying, forget it, so a quick turn around in the farm shop car park and homeward bound taking the dogs walking in Foxhill Park instead.
Whilst I,m typing I,ve just got a text from the daughter saying it has just taken her husband nearly 3 hours to get from Halifax to Queensbury and now they have shut Boothtown rd due to abandoned cars. You,d think someone would invent gritter wagons.
                                                     Due to no bird report tonight heres some pics to browse through of Raptors and Owls that I,ve come across on my local treks.
                                       Long Eared Owl


                                Buzzard
                       Cream Crown Marsh Harrier
                                         Kestrel
                                            Peregrine

                                    Cream Crown Marsh Harrier
                                             Kestrel
                                          Very distant Goshawk

                                              Little Owl
                                                    Buzzard
                                              Osprey

                                 Buzzard mobbed with Carrion Crow
                                             Tawny Owl
                                                  Kestrel

                                     Long eared Owl
                                          Long Eared Owl chick
                                        Sparrowhawk
                                       Short Eared Owl
                                                    Tawny Owl
                                              Little Owl
                                             Buzzard

                                               Short Eared Owl
                                        Tawny Owl
                                              Red Kite

                                             Sparrowhawk
                                          Buzzard
                                      Diving Peregrine
                             Sparrowhawk, Carrion Crow battle


All photos, BS