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Monday, September 25, 2017

Mega for Mixenden and Kingfisher back at Ogden

  A great find by NK. drake Pochard. Mixenden

                Mega distant shots and poor light.

       Ogden Kingfisher, down in the deep dark sluice gate area.

Well I certainly made the camera work for its keep today with a Pochard way out on the water and a Kingfisher down a hole in near darkness.
                                                                 A late afternoon trip to Fly Flatts was postponed when I got a call from NK who had just turned up a drake Pochard on Mixenden reservoir, a very rare wildfowl for our area although Nigel seems to have a nose for Pochard turning up the last one at Ogden 4/7/15.
                                                           Mixenden is not dog friendly so I was getting ready to go alone until they started running round me with tails wagging knowing that it was birding time so being a softy the 3 of us headed for Mixenden. A walk up the track at the school end was the easy bit but scrambling 2 dogs over a wall is no easy task but after nearly dropping Ollie and nearly losing Pippa we eventually made it to the banking.
                                                           A good scan round was disheartening to find 1 Cormorant and nothing more but ducks tend to get under the overhanging trees along the west shoreline so I was,nt too worried although Pochard, Wigeon and Teal types tend to stick well out in the water.
After 20 minutes scanning I admitted defeat and put it out on the grapevine that there was no sign of the Pochard. On leaving I bumped into DJS who was scoped up and ready to give it another go so I decided to try save the session by seeing if anything had appeared at Ogden.
                                                        As I pulled away a phone call from Dave saying the duck had appeared near to the north end of the water where it must have been under the trees.
Dogs and gear back out of the car and a long walk up the lane to the nw of the reservoir where I knew there was access to the water, or at least there was until YW have decided to put a locked gate on it.
By now the Pochard was mid way between Dave and me but visible from where I was without going through the dog over the wall system again.
                                                        Out of range and poor light meant a few record shots but after 30 minutes wait it drifted slightly nearer for some sub standard photos.
Well done to NK for finding the bird and DJS for re locating it.
                                                   Just time now for a quick look on the water at Ogden which held the usual small gulls, Canadas and Mallards but good to find the Kingfisher back in its favourite sluice gate area . Its been buzzing around the shoreline a few days but now seems to be settling back in its wintering area. Another photographic challenge aiming down into the dark hole in grim light.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

From good to bad in a day

In contrast to this mornings birding Mecca a late afternoon tour round sent me crashing back to earth.
Leeshaw reservoir held 5 Canadas, 9 Mallard and around a dozen gulls as well as the usual sp.
                                                                     Over the hill to Nab Water Lane produced 3 Kestrel and about 9 Red Legged Partridge whilst Fly Flatts was busy with boats and wind surfers so no sign of this mornings Tufted and Wigeon although only scoped from the top road.
                                                            Hopefully the wildfowl move will continue so we,ll see what tomorrow brings.

Awesome morning, Fly Flatts

                                    3 of 7 distant Stonechats
                                   Greylag very high and >S
                                 female Wigeon on the water
                                               along with 2 Tufted

                                     Stonking Peregrine

        Mega distant Peregrine Nab Water Lane

0700 hrs Fly Flatts. 80 % cloud cover with a SE>3 increasing >5. Mist in the valleys and way over the moor. Milky skies to the east.
                                                   A real birdie morning from the word go with 7 Stonechat at the south end and another 3 at Nab Water Lane. Plenty Mipits moving >S and unusual to get 16 Rooks also >S, a rare bird for this location.
A walk on the west bank to the north of the water provided 2 Tufted and a female Wigeon fresh in from yesterday, the Wigeon possibly being the Ogden bird.
                                                          The highlight of the morning was 2 Peregrine over fast and low but then a lucky break when one turned and came back high overhead. One of the birds was later found way over the moor at Nab Water Lane.
All in all a stonking mornings birding.

Vis Mig
115 Mipit .....................>S  well under counted due to plenty distractions.
22 Swallow...................>S
9 Mistle Thrush............>W
1 Greylag.....................>S
31 Woodpigs................>S    early for these to be moving
16 Rooks......................>S   unusual sighting.

1f Wigeon
2f Tufted
2 Peregrine
3 Kestrel
7 Stonechat  + 3 at Nab Water Lane
4 Canadas
1 Sparrowhawk
5 Red Grouse  wearing body armour.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Leeshaw, Nab Water Lane, Fly Flatts, Raggalds Flood.

   2 Heron very high and >W over Leeshaw.
    Big gulls standing out well over the dark water

                    Plenty blogging Mipits
  Goldfinches enjoying the thistle tops.
                                   Very few gulls today
                                  Herring gull  argentatus

 Fly Flatts , fun day at the sailing club to mark
      the last day of Saturday sailing for 2017.
                 Home made boat race
                                              Flying the flag.

                                   Polystyrene special.
                                              Seemed like a good turn out

                                                       A clear winner
                                            and loser.

Conditions were good at Leeshaw late afternoon with 90 % cloud cover on a light SE>3 with occasional drizzle.
                             Birding was poor with very few gulls on the shore, LBBs and 1 Herring whilst overhead just 2 Herons were on the move very high and >W.
Around 50 Mipits were in the field blogging along with Goldfinch and Linnets on thistle tops.
                           A Moorhen was down in the conduit which was unusual whilst 3 Pied Wagtails were flitting around the dam wall. Good to bump into RP up there who agreed that even with a vast amount of shoreline showing waders seem to have continued on over us in the decent weather.
                                                                   Over the tops for a look at Nab Water Lane which produced 1 Merlin, 3 Kestrel, 1 Buzzard and 2 Raven but all very distant flying low along the ridge of the moor.
A steady drive along the top road at Fly Flatts found 3 Kestrel up and a few Red Legged Partridge but otherwise poor.
                       A good turn out for the sailing clubs fun day for the last day of Saturday sailing this season although sailing continues Sundays and Wednesday evening until later in the year and windsurfing all year round if you,re hardy enough.
The club seems to have had a good season with several new young members joining learning to sail.
Well done to them and a thank you for the help I have had from them this year.
                                                         On the way back Raggalds Flood held 2pr Mallard , 15 BHG gulls and 9 Common gulls.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Ogden pm visit. Wigeon.

Hope you like Wigeon, I do as you can see :-

                                                   Decent number of gulls to sift through.

                                  female Wigeon lurking under the edges

                                             enjoying the plant life

With a shortage of time and all guns blazing with the sickos at Fly Flatts, Oxenhope and Nab Water Lane it was down to Ogden to track down JLs female Wigeon from yesterday.
                                                         The weather was acceptable with 95 % cloud cover and light rain throughout with some very heavy showers thrown in on a S>4.
                                                            Mallards were spread all the way down the east bank under the edge of the shoreline nibbling the good supply of plant life there but a steady scan with the bins soon produced the give away spiky tail of the Wigeon about half way down the track and of course behind the thickest of trees. With a bit of patience waiting it started to come out into the open but then got very mobile flying short distances and swimming up and down the waters edge.
                                                                With enough photos taken I walked along the prom to check for Kingfisher but no joy. The rain was now coming down heavy and it was strange to see a photographer half way on the prom with tripods, lamps and flash units set up taking photos of a scantily clad model sat on the reservoir wall looking rather wet and cold. I didnt let this distract me from birding so 2 hours later I left the prom and went home, only kidding about the 2 hours.
                                                          Otherwise just the usual gulls and what appeared to be a good fall of Blackbirds which could quite easily be continentals.