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During the breeding season no rare or scarce breeding birds will be mentioned on the blog as well as images if in any way I believe it to put the species in jeopardy of breeding or assist anyone to the finding of a nest sight.
No wildlife including Roe Deer, Fox, Hare or Badger will be mentioned throughout the year due to the rising influx of poaching, long dogging and lamping by sick individuals.
Fly over birds and movers will be reported as usual.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Mid afternoon Ogden. Early evening Back Lane, Ogden.

                                            Curlew and Jackdaw

Mistle Thrush.
A bit of an odd afternoon with a bit of shopping, a quick dog walk on Ogden promenade, off to the hospital with Lynda for a MRI scan then back to Ogdens Back Lane for an hours sky watching.
Ogden reservoir was very quiet with just Mallards and the drake Tufted present with no gulls and empty skies whilst the feeders were busy with Coal Tits and a single Nuthatch.

1630hrs at Back Lane was more interesting in a cold W>4, 15mph ,strong breeze with 50% cloud cover at 14 deg but feeling much colder with the wind chill.
Curlews and Mistle Thrush were present plus all the usual Woodpigeons, Corvids and Mipits up there whilst 2 Siskin were on the plantation pines,
Just short of 1 hours 360 deg sky watch from up there produced :-
3 Kestrel
1 Buzzard
5 Swallow
4 LBB gull
3 Herring gull
6 Curlew
2 Mistle Thrush
1 Green Woodpecker
4 Jays
+ the usual sp.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Ogden golf course, a reet good soaking.

                  1 drake Tufted present
                                                     Tufted, centre

                                        Seems settled with the Mallards.

A late kick off and dark heavy clouds over Fly Flatts so off to Ogden where on arrival the rain was coming down in stair rods . Fifteen minutes wait in the car and the rain dropped from torrential to heavy so looking like that was the best I would get I ventured out. Luckily the wind had dropped so it was,nt too unpleasant but you,ll be pleased to know that as of tonight I,ll be giving up my rain dance.
                                                             Looking at the un inviting dark plantation and empty water I thought I,d try a tour of the golf course which is a long hard trek round but as I,d left the dogs at home I could cover some ground.
                                                    All the activity was down in the bottom of the course and despite the rain plenty birds were about but mobile and keeping low in the shelter of the small trees.
Meadow Pipits were everywhere, some already carrying food whilst Chaffinches and Bullfinches were in good numbers , the Bullfinches enjoying the new tree buds.
                                                    Several Blackbirds all got a second check for Ring Ouzel but not to be and the best of the bunch being a female Stonechat which soon disappeared into a dry stone wall.
                                                     Back at the water 6 LBB gulls and 2 Herring gulls landed briefly before heading off towards Mixenden and a drake Tufted duck came in to land alongside Mallards.
Back home then to get my gear dry ready to get it wet again tomorrow by the look of the forecast.

Monday, April 23, 2018

A Windy Fly Flatts

                                          8 Wheatears present

                                             2 Males
                                             6 Females

                                            Around 9 Common Sandpiper
  Buzzards on the move . 5 birds very high >NE

1500 hrs and a very breezy Fly Flatts with 90 % cloud cover and a gusting SW> 6 making it hard to walk along the west banking although the 2 hardy Wind Surfers up there did,nt seem to be phased by it as they nearly broke the sound barrier from one end of the water to the other.
                                              Wheatears are starting to venture into the reservoir grounds now from the moor with 2 males and 6 females present and a little less mobile .
Common Sandpipers are still having to use the west bank until the water level starts to drop which should be soon if the heavy rain stays away.
                                              Birds of the day were single Buzzards  moving mega high and >NE , some slowly drifting over whilst others motoring through fast totalling 5 birds all within the space of 20 minutes. Otherwise it was down to the usual species.
                                               Pippa and me took a battering today both coming home worse for wear but living to bird another day. I set the camera up on its sticks at the bottom of the west bank to snap some Wheatears but luckily left the legs in the shortest position due to the wind.
As I looked through the bins Pippa let out a yelp and when I looked she,d gone around the tripod with her lead and pulled the lot on top of her so there she was firmly pinned down under the full weigh of Bertha and the tripod. Luckily it was on grass so no damage to dog or camera.
                                                                     On the way back to the car she got her own back on me by suddenly stopping dead in front of me as I was gazing up for my 6th Buzzard so before stand on her, over I went head first full length on the stony floor crashing the camera , tripod and bins hard against the deck. Luckily it was only my knees that felt broke and not the bins and camera which acquired a few more dents and scrapes to add to the previous mishaps. This is one of the few times when I,m glad I havent got a Canon 800 mm £ 25,000 lens.
                                                                     Back to the car with grazed knees, scraped knuckles and feeling like I had been hit by a bus to meet up with DJS who kindly donated a sack full of seed to keep the feeding stations going at Fly Flatts. This in turn was donated to him by Cromwell Bottom who have just had a wagon load given. Thanks to all concerned, its much appreciated.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Leeshaw Reservoir

                                         A good area for Kestrel

                                         58 Greylags present.

                Most of the Oystercatchers moved on.

                                             Buzzard sneaking through

                               The long and the short of it. LBBs
             Big bird too dark for Yellow Legged Herring.

A teatime session at Leeshaw in dull and damp conditions proved interesting with skies alive with birds. The main target bird was Osprey as well as Little Ringed Plover, and Cuckoo, non of which transpired but a decent watch all the same. All the usual species were present, many guarding their territory whilst a Buzzard nearly got past me as I was photographing Oystercatchers.
                                                                  Surprising to see a few gulls present with 3 Black Headed and 4 Lesser Black Backed which brings me on to todays problem sighting.
                                                                   Whilst up by Bodkin farm I looked down at the dam wall to see what looked like a LBB and a GBB gull side by side going by the size of them though the large bird didnt look dark enough plus the wrong time of year for Great Black Backed.
A dash down the hill to get a closer look found 2 gulls in LBB uniform but one much larger in every way than the other. GBB was quickly ruled out due to light wing colour and leg colour yet the wing colour was too dark for Yellow Legged Herring gull, so why the size difference ? I even went around the other side to see if it was an optical illusion but the result was the same.
                                                                  I ll have to do a bit of looking up on this one unless my gull back up team get back to me first.

58 Greylag
123 Canada
2 Kestrel
3 Oystercatchers
4 Redshank
1 Cormorant
4 LBB gull
3 BHG gull
4 Curlew
2 Snipe
sev Lapwings and Mipits.
+ usual sp.


Wheatears moving in, Fly Flatts early a.m.

                                      Curlew across on Robin rock.

                                        Zoomed to 960mm
                              Common Sandpipers not as fidgety now.

  2nd wave of Wheatears arriving .
             Very distant across on the moor

Fly Flatts 0730-0945 hrs. Bright sunny start then improved to 80% cloud cover but wind got up to SW>6 gusting 7. Black rain clouds moving in from west by the end of the watch.
                                                                         A lively morning after overnight thunderstorms with a second wave of Wheatear moved in with 6 female and one male but keeping distant out on the moorland rocks. At least 9 Common Sandpipers settling in to their summer home now getting less flighty but mainly having to stick to the west banking until the water level recedes.
                                                                       Bounce back Swallows were in good numbers with around 30 low and fast over the water heading into the SW wind whilst 4 LBB gulls were on the water but the intermedius had moved on.
A pleasing morning up there despite the strong wind.
Nothing yet again in the way of Goldies in the Nolstar fields but some big Linnet and Goldfinch flocks building up.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Late visit to Fly Flatts.

            Common Sandpipers settling down a bit now

                              LBB gulls, graellsii left,  intermedius right.
                                  Plenty Herring gulls over >SW
                                               All 2 cy birds.

A late kick off this afternoon but luckily by 1545 hrs the sun had been blanked out with 90 % cloud cover on a S>3.
               Trying to ignore the distraction from the noisy Common Sandpipers and concentrate on the sky was hard although I kept a check on the shoreline just in case we had any new wader sp appeared.
A thorough check on all the Wheatear hot spots failed to produce a single bird which is strange after having a count of 18 at this time last year.
                                                                  Just the usual species present on the water and around the edges with gulls being the bird of the day with 2 Lesser Blacked gulls present, one an obvious graellsii whilst the other was a very dark, near black winged being a good contender for intermedius.
                                                             Meanwhile overhead Herring gulls were on the move >SW with around 50 birds all being non breeder 2cy.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Fly Flatts, More Common Sands.

                                      1 of 11 Common Sandpipers
                                         Flying over rough water.

With  just over 2 hours to kill whilst Bobby was at the groomers in Pellon Lane, where better to spend it than Fly Flatts as Lynda was occupied with her sister.
                                                                   Unfortunately the nice grey weather from the morning had gone by the time I arrived at Fly Flatts at 1330 hrs leaving once again clear blue skies and hot sunshine though fortunately today there was a nice welcome W>4 keeping the temperature down.
                                                                 Common Sandpipers are now up to at least 11 birds which spent most of their time flying around trying to find some decent shoreline to land on whilst 5 Redshank were doing the same.
The 5 Greylags from yesterday had moved on leaving just the 2 resident birds along with Canadas which so far this year are showing low numbers.
                                                                           Plenty Swallows over the water today all fast and >N but still no sign of Wheatear after the first few arrivals seemed to have moved through.
The only contenders in the sky were 11 Herring gull very high moving slowly >SW.
Otherwise it was down to the usual species.
                                                             Good to hear of 2 local summer migrants back today with a Cuckoo at Ogden, CS, through Halifax Grapevine as well as yesterdays Cuckoo at Castle Carr, DP, also through the grapevine, plus a Ring Ouzel on Soil Hill seen by Geoff Briggs.