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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Finally had to submit to the fog.

After over a week of ducking and diving to dodge around the fog it finally bet me today with a complete blank.
A full day of dense fog up here in the gods with visibility down to a few yards but an after lunch trip to Bradford found it clear lower down so at 1500 hrs I headed down to Mixenden reservoir expecting it to be at least birdable if not clear, wrong. The fog was just as bad over the water as well as heavy rain so that was it, beaten by the weather but at least January is out of the way now so we can look forward to lighter nights and mornings ,if the fog ever goes, and a bonus with the Ogden car park now open until 1700 hrs instead of 1600 hrs.
Is anyone going for Gordon Denisons 100 birds in 100 days ? Local birds that is.

Meanwhile here,s pick of the bunch birds from February over the last 3 years :-

                Nice local find, Barn Owl.
           Pink Footed geese over Fly Flatts from Soil Hill
                                                    Ogden Goldeneye

                                         Ogden Barnacle goose

                    Pinkies over garage at Queensbury
                                          Pinkies over Ogden
        Ogden skies full of  homeward bound Pinkies, click on it
         Good shorelines at Leeshaw
    Tree Sparrows, long hedge, Northowram, finder AC

                  Plenty Bullfinches at Ogden
                                 along with Nuthatches 2015,  poor in 2016
                                    Last light Soil Hill Woodcock

   Black Headed gulls getting summer hoods
                        24 Whoopers on Mixenden

 You can,t keep owt from these two. J and DJS.
BS


Monday, January 30, 2017

Here ,there and everywhere.

Another day of fog on the tops and grey and misty below, yet another non photographic day.
With an afternoon free apart from having the dogs for the first session I started at Coley church but with the track down by the church thick with mud and me not fancying bathing 3 dogs it was a quick abort and on to Northowram CC and the long hedge. Plenty small gulls in the horse field and 4 Herrings over >W with a mish mash of birds but nothing out of the ordinary.
                                                                               With the dogs dropped off back at home and the fog lifted leaving dark and drizzly skies I thought Cold Edge dams was worth checking for any oddball geese turning up with the locals. I could do with a few of the White Fronted that are moving around the country for my area but it didnt happen today, in fact I was lucky to find any geese at all.
The dams were unusually quiet with just Mallards present, I think this is the first time I,ve seen Leadbeater dam without Tufted.  Haigh Cote dam was ,as always, void of birds whilst Spring dam held 1 pair of tufted and a Heron with no signs of DJSs Kingfisher and Stonechat from yesterday.
Good flocks of Goldfinch moving around with about 40 on the wires.
Mixenden res just held 2f 1m Goldeneye and a few small gulls.

NorthowramCC and long hedge
4 Herring gulls......................>W
13 Blackbirds
7 Mistle Thrush
32 Fieldfare over >N
c 12 Chaffinch ground feeding under the hedge above the big house.
Poss 1 Brambling in with Chaffs but 1 quick view, Will have to leave that to AC.
Usual Gt and Blue Tits etc.

Cold Edge Dams
c 40 Goldfinch
2 Greylag
5 Canadas
19 Mallard
1 Heron
3 Redwing
+ usual sp.

Mixenden res
2f 1m Goldeneye
usual mallards and small gulls.

Pit Lane
c80 Lapwing

Shelf Moor trailer park field
c50 Lapwing
BS

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Fly Flatts/ Mixenden.

   Fly Flatts. A lonely Red Grouse stands on sentry
duty hoping the gun men don,t return.
                                        Large Starling flocks, Cold Edge Rd
      Newcomers to Mixenden, 1 pr Goosander
      Some from Ogden this a.m.  First light, fog dropping
                                 Clinging to the plantation.
                                                 Haze over the water


Another wasted journey to Fly Flatts this p.m. with 4 Red Grouse, 7 Mallard and plenty Starlings but if you dont go you dont know.
The Cold Edge Rd Plover field was also void of birds today.
                                                          On to Mixenden res where a pair of Goosanders were new in from yesterday whilst the male Goldeneye had also returned and was joined by 2 females, Otherwise it was down to a few small gulls and only 4 Mallard today.
I never thought I,d be pleased to hear a forecast of strong winds and rain coming but anything,s better than this persistent fog.
A report from Peter Turner today of Waxwings in a garden opposite his own on Cooper Lane, Banktop, Bfd.  Thanks for that Peter.
BS

Foggy Oggy

                                 Another bogey bird, Treecreeper
                                  2 of 4 Nuthatch
              Definitely not a photographic morning

A trip to Fly Flatts was quickly scuppered this morning with dense fog yet again up on the tops and even Ogden was dark and misty brightening mid morning as I left.
The 25 Mixenden Canada geese had ,as suspected, roosted at Ogden and left towards Mixenden at first light. Nothing unusual on the water but small passerines around the edges are starting to build up with 4 Siskin, 8 Chaffinch and several Tits and Goldcrests with still no sign of Long Tailed Tit.
                                                            Amazingly my bogey birds for last year showed up in style with 1 Treecreeper and 4 Nuthatch, the latter being 2 on the info centre feeders and 2 on the lodge house feeders. All were showing well as well as the Treecreeper but the light just made any chance of decent photos impossible.
BS

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Ogden/Mixenden

    Nuthatch, last years bogey bird.
  A single back at the Ogden feeders after
   a long absence.
    Canadas leaving Mixenden to roost
Yesterdays Pink Footed had moved on.

With 2 dogs getting groomed plus Saturdays shopping my afternoon birding session got cut short.
1530 hrs before I arrived at Ogden to check for the Pink Footed from Mixenden yesterday and a possible influx of Teal with 40 being sighted on Ringstone.
Unfortunately nothing but the usual small gulls on the water along with the resident Mallards but a bonus with a bird I failed to connect with last year with a single Nuthatch back on the info centre feeders. In 2015 2 Nuthatch were regular visitors to the feeders but last year they failed to show .
                                                                               Back to the car with the security man checking his watch ready to lock the gate but still around 20 cars in the car park. At least its open until 1700 hrs come February.
With still some daylight left it was a dash to Mixenden and on the banking to check out the Canada flock to see if the Pinky was still with them , which it was,nt so must be on its way home now.
Within a few minutes of my arrival the Canadas started getting noisy before taking off and heading north to roost, possibly Ogden.
                                                  The 2 female Goldeneye were still present and an unusually high count of Mallard with 28 on the water. A few small gulls were on the water but unable to sift through them as it was now almost dark and beginning to sleet and snow heavily.
BS


Friday, January 27, 2017

Fly Flatt/Mixenden., and the lonely goose story

 A bleak misty Fly Flatts
            A brief glimpse of the sun
                                             Not snow but heavy frost
  1 of 8 Mistle Thrush in the Plover field
           Cold Edge Rd

                                    Fieldfare and Mistle Thrush

 Not often you get chance to take local on the deck
                     Pink Footed goose photos. Mixenden
 This bird had got separated from the skein in
                         thick fog.
  It looked lost and sorry for itself
 Suddenly it heard the Canadas drifting  towards it.
                                 Off for a closer look
   A circular fly over to check them out


    Seem ok,  down to land

                A decent welcome
                      Centre of attraction
                 Happy ending, some mates to roost with before
      continuing its journey north.

Talk about luck, a day of thick fog up here on the tops until we were arriving home from Harden garden centre to find the fog lifting and even a bit of sun trying to show through. this only lasted a couple of hours before the fog dropped again but enough time for me to get a good birding session in.
1430 hrs and with the reports of Pinkies over I had planned to go to Mixenden below the fog hoping some had been forced down but as it was brightening I took a gamble on Fly Flatts looking for Pinks on the water or DJSs Goldies and Stonechats on which all 3 drew me a blank.
                                                               Fly Flatts was hazy but birdable , enough to scan the water, which had no sign of life , followed by a check around the Stonechat area with the same results.
The Goldie field on Cold Edge Rd failed on the target bird but held 8 Mistle Thrush and 5 Fieldfare, and that was it other than 2 Red Grouse.
                                                                Ironically a text from DJS reported a single Pink Footed goose being grounded at Mixenden where I had planned to go in the first place. I had to save the day so onward and upward to Mixenden with hopes that the Pinkie was still there.
A first scan of the water found 2 female Goldeneye, a few small gulls and 25 Canada geese but no Pinkie. A bit of mumbling under my breath then a second scan which found the goose on the east banking barely visible in the long grass. As I walked across to the banking it stood up and started to walk a bit closer to me so I squat down and waited slowly edging a little closer. After a few shots I started to leave it in peace in case it was exhausted and needed a rest but by this time the Canadas were drifting near to where it was which got the Pinkie up and calling then it set off down the banking to the waters edge where it took off, flew a circuit and landed slap bang in the middle of them.
It was pleasing to see them drifting on the water together and hopefully it will fly off to roost with them, possibly Ogden, before it heads off NW again to join up with the rest of the Pinkies.
Thanks for the text and update Dave.
BS