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Saturday, August 19, 2017

A Saturday flop and dates to look out for.

A gusty showery day as I arrived at Leeshaw 1445 hrs only to run into disappointment as the new camping site in the farmers field above the reservoir is now up and running with a dozen tents in today all complete with screaming kids.The campers seemed to think the reservoir grounds are part of the site with several in the grounds and on the shoreline so no birds present and nothing in the sky in the strong winds.
                           A walk for the dogs then over the tops to Fly Flatts which was unworkable in the near gale force W>6 gusting 7 along with horizontal drizzle. The water was empty apart from hardy wind surfers steaming across the waves clinging on for dear life but with good news that so far there seems to be no Grouse shoots again this year as I suspected with very few Grouse around.
Preparation is underway for Red Legged Partridge with keeping pens being erected for birds brought into the area ready for the start of the season September 1st.
                           Next stop was Mixenden reservoir for a quick check on the way past to find several would be fishermen scattered around the water and just a few BH gulls and Mallards present.
                         As a last resort to save the blog a walk along Ned Hill track looking for migrants down in the small area of trees below the track but in the strong wind they were all keeping well down, if they were even there at all.
A group of 28 Canadas flew through the col but by now Id lost the will to live so did,nt even bother to take a photo.
Tomorrow looks promising for the wind dropping so I,ll have another dabble then.

Until then , heres some of my first arrival dates for the autumn, something to look out for :-

Brambling..............7/10
Black Redstart........15/10
juv Cuckoo.............29/08
Fieldfare.................25/09
Firecrest.................02/11
Green Sandpiper....03/08
Goldeneye.............23/10
Grey Plover...........29/08
Gadwall................15/09
Greenshank...........29/08
Jack Snipe.............16/10
Med Gull...............04/08
Osprey...................13/08
Pink Footed Goose.18/09
Pintail....................04/09
Ring Ouzel............16/10
Redwing................30/09
Snow Bunting.......02/11
Shorelark..............02/11
Turnstone.............19/08
Whooper Swan.....12/10
Wigeon.............. .28/08
Waxwing............ .15/11
Yellow Browed Warbler..29/09
BS

Friday, August 18, 2017

Ogden and odds and sods



  A few interesting sky shots over Foxhill
    from last nights dog walk.






  Sparrowhawk behind work this morning.


                         Picturesque Ogden today, late afternoon
        Small number of gulls present and 6 Cormorant

                      BHGs over the trees fly catching


                                                     Got one.

Just time for a quick check on Ogden late afternoon after a day of strong W>6 and some torrential downpours.
                 Gull numbers were well down with around 40 BHGs and 14 LBBs on their favourite spot on the east shore along with a count of 6 Cormorant.
Swarms of large black flies were over the trees near the info centre getting the small gulls up trying their hand at fly catching along with several Swallows and at least 4 Swifts.
                                                              Otherwise all was quiet, the highlight of the day being a Sparrowhawk flying through the works car park this morning and landing on a wire just giving me enough time to shoot into the office and grab the camera.
Swifts must be nearly at an end now this summer, my last in 2016 being  24th August.
BS

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Fly Flatts Washout.

  Only big bird over, Chinook I think, is it Gary.?
                                                   Black skies over the moor
                                             This cloud had my name on it
 Back up on the top road, the light had strange effects
                                              on the water
                                          Everything was in silhouette.

A late afternoon visit to Fly Flatts turned into a wash out when dark black clouds came across the moor from the west. I was on at the far NW corner but luckily from here you can see the weather fronts coming so as I saw this approaching rapidly over the moor it was back to the car for shelter and only just in time. Just as Id loaded the gear back into the car the heavens opened and visibility dropped and by the time Id driven back up onto the top road the rain was coming down in stair rods.
                                                                  Id planned to sit it out up there and do some sky watching but the rain was now so heavy I could,nt even open the window. The light was weird throwing everything into silhouette and giving strange effects onto the water.
                                                                 Of course, as I arrived home the sun was out cracking the flags and 30 minutes later I was out painting the fence.
                                                                    Bird wise it was down to good numbers of Swallows moving SW ahead of the weather front whilst the water held around 30 Canadas.
Oh well, theres another day tomorrow.
BS

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Leeshaw Reservoir

   The 2 Barnacles seem settled at Leeshaw




     Bar Headed Goose still present


                                            1 of 2 juv Little Owls.
With boating at Fly Flatts it was across to Leeshaw reservoir on a blustery S>5  and light showers.
                                                                       Very few gulls today with 2 anglers present walking around the shoreline. By 1615 hrs LBBs and BHGs started coming in but only around 50 in total when I left. A Curlew went over high and >W whilst another was blogging in a nearby field.
                                                                      House Martins and Swallows went through in good numbers along with 6 Swift but no Sand Martins today.
Meadow Pipit numbers are increasing with around 150 present whilst a charm of c40 Goldfinch moved around the thistle heads. Just 2 Oystercatchers left now , the full grown juv looking ready for moving anytime now.
Otherwise it was down to the usual.
Present
Bar Headed goose
2 Barnacle goose
Sev Greylag and Canada
4 Little Owl
6 Lapwing
2 Oystercatcher
1 Kestrel
28 BH gull
7 LBB gull

Vis Mig
6 Swift.......................>S
c30 House Martin......>SW
c 100 Swallow...........>SW
1 Curlew....................>W
1 Curlew................. blogging
c 150 Mipits.............blogging
BS

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

If you dont like gulls look away now. Ogden.

With very limited time today plus the horrible hot stuff it was a quick visit to Ogden with more people than birds.
Only 3 Cormorant and 9 Canadas present on the water as well as the usual Mallard.
                                                          Around 100 gull in total, mainly Black Headed , with a few Commons, c 20 LBBs and 1 Herring type.
An e mail from MC saying he badly misses gulls in Oxfordshire and requested I keep putting a few gulls on the blog so he could search through them for a Caspian which Huddersfield birders have just done and come up with the target bird, Caspian.
                                                     Unfortunately todays group photos are poor in the bright sun and all facing into the strong WNW>5 but they,ll be more to come in better conditions.

                                        All facing into the wind












                                   Interesting Herring gull type, centre




BS

Monday, August 14, 2017

Out on a fools errand. Leeshaw

A low expectancy trip to Leeshaw late afternoon turned out to be just that, thinking there was a slim chance that yesterdays Osprey was still hanging around but nothing showing today but if I had nt have gone Id still have been wondering.
                                                              Blue skies and sunshine didnt help matters with empty skies throughout apart from a scattering of gulls. The only waders present were 2 Oystercatchers and a single Curlew whilst 2 Wheatears were spotted briefly by JL whom I bumped into up there.
Very few gulls were present and the Yellow Legged has been absent a while now so probably moved on post moult. It looks as though the majority of geese have moved from Fly Flatts to Leeshaw with treble figure counts of Canada and Greylag along with the 2 Barnacle and the Bar Headed goose which is still present.

                 The 3 foreigners   Barnacles and Bar Headed
           Barnacles and Bar Headed in the centre



Present
Canada Geese
Greylag Geese
Bar Headed Goose
2 Barnacle Goose
3 Little Owl
9 LBB gulls
31 BHGs
2 Oystercatcher
sev Lapwing

Vis Mig
2 Wheatear..............................blogging
1 Curlew ................................blogging
sev Mipits...............................blogging
16 House Martin....................>W
sev Swallow...........................>W
BS