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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Ogden at dusk

1500 hrs so only 30 minutes before last light cut off time in which to give the water a good scanning for new in wildfowl. A scan from the prom looking for black dots in the centre of the water produced nothing so on to the passerine alley watch point, bumping into JL on the way.
                                                    Yesterdays drake Wigeon had moved on but replaced with a female Teal in amongst the Mallards over in the far NW corner under the banking. Several Mallards have started moving off at last light now to a different roost site over to the >NE.
Satisfied that there was nothing else duck wise present it was a scan through the gulls out near the centre with around 100 small gulls, 75% BHGs and 25 % Commons along with 3 LBBs and 1 Herring .
On the way back the Pit Lane Lapwing flock of around 150 were just heading off >W to an unknown roost site, possibly Oxenhope.
BS

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

And so it continues, Ogden.

   NKs green leg ringed BHG.
The gull next to it seems impressed.
   Nice drake Wigeon way out in the middle

 2 weeks today to the shortest day then we can
look forward to getting some light afternoons.

No fog today in the strong WSW>5 but still very dark and dismal even at 1445 hrs when I arrived at Ogden. Again all looked quiet on the first scan then a dark figure amongst the gulls out in the middle which, even at that distance , was easy to identify as a drake Wigeon.
Luckily it drifted away from the gulls but stayed well out, slightly to the east side of the centre of the water.
To get any sort of photo at that distance and in the grey light I had to set the camera wide open and wedge it between Willow branches to try to eliminate any movement, looks like I,ll have to start lugging the tripod around from now until the daylight returns.
So the Ogden run continues and as long as the water stays well up as it is now its a perfect expanse of water to bring down the wildfowl.
Around 100 pre roost small gulls were present, one BHG being NKs green ringed bird.
BS

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Ogden last light.

     First sighting of 4 dots out in the centre
                               A grim view over the water
           with the birds dead centre, not much to go on.
  Zoomed in proved them to be Teal
  They drifted a bit nearer the east shore

          Only to fly off into the murk


                         Landing back in the centre of the water.

1500 hrs on a grey murky day with the mist again worse lower down in the valley than up here in hill billy country.
Thinking I could rise above the fog for a last half hour on Soil Hill proved me wrong with dense fog shrouding the hill so on to Ogden to check the water.
Ogden was very grey and misty with an eerie glow over the water putting everything into black and white.
Straining to see across the water 4 black dots rang alarm bells out in the centre but a few snaps zoomed right in was just enough to see the markings of Teal.
                                          Slowly they drifted nearer to the east shore so a dash round just in time to get some record shots before they flew again back into the middle but a pleasing last light half hour visit.
BS

Monday, December 5, 2016

Raggalds Flood/Pit Lane

A bright clear day with blue skies and sunshine on a light SE>3 up here in the gods with all the fog low lying down in the valleys.
With a near full timetable of child minding this afternoon I checked Raggalds Flood and Pit Lane in passing just after midday anticipating the fog to lift from the valley and engulf us by late afternoon which is exactly what it did.
                                        The Lapwing count was down from yesterdays 231 to 127 today and no sign of DWs Golden Plover found this a.m. Otherwise there were around 100 Starlings on the field.
Raggalds Flood held another 4 Lapwing, 3 BH gull , 1 pr Mallard and a single female Teal tucked away in the sw corner of the water which is now rapidly drying up and without rain this week it will probably be gone by the weekend. My first Little Owl at this site was on the rubbish pile beyond the water.
A good influx of Starlings around the village with numbers built up from immigrants from continental europe.
BS

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Soil Hill, more birders than birds.

                                 female Stonechat, Soil Hill






 Caught this Spurnite snooking about the hill.  Daniel Branch.
   231 Lapwings Pit Lane







The art of good blogging is being able to make something out of nothing which I had to do today.
Managed to get up Soil Hill in full daylight for a change 1400 - 1500 hrs to find a very quiet hill other than the female Stonechat which has been around for about 3 weeks now but no sign of the male today.
Another bag of Nyjer down and a full search of the tops helped by Dishfish and Buttershaw birder Larry but nothing else to be found.
A bit of a down to earther for poor Daniel after spending the best autumn ever at Spurn and back to a full blank on his local patch but like a true birder he took it on the chin and said he,ll be back up there tomorrow.
On the way home I stopped off at Pit Lane and counted 231 Lapwing on the pitch, looking spectacular as they flew around and moved away to roost.
Also a good 100 Starlings were present.
BS

Ogden early a.m.

             Teal with the Mallards well out first light.

                                 Stuffed Kingfisher still there
Looked at last Decembers pics and it was still there,
                                            same place.
             Plenty gulls over, Herrings and LBBs >NE
                                        Teal sticking in the middle.

Ogden 0800-0930 hrs.  SSE > 3 turning >E Dull with sun failing to break through.

Not doing my photography any good lately with near dark when I,m out in a morning and near dark for my late afternoon sessions. Think I,ll have to buy an Infra Red camera for a decent shot.
Ogden was,nt up to November standard but enough to keep me active with a single female Teal mixing with the Mallards but very flighty moving around the water and always keeping well away from the shore.
The Kingfisher was again on the bars along with a Dipper in the water and a Grey Wagtails in the area.
Several Goldcrests to sift through for Firecrest but all keeping low down in the part dark conditions.
A good move of big gulls was apparent with Herring and LBB all >NE counting well over 100 throughout.
BS

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Blast from the past, December birds from previous years.

Town shopping and dog grooming day today so by the time we were back and the dogs were fed, walked and watered the daylight had gone. Welcome back and well done to Daniel Branch for giving Soil Hill a coat of looking at and turning up a mixture of species including Red Kite and Great Black Backed gull..

Meanwhile heres a few birds thats turned up in December from previous years :-

   Pink Footed geese over Queensbury
                                Pair Stonechat, Fly Flatts

                      Goldeneye, Ogden

           Gt Northern Diver, Mixenden

                                 f Goldeneye, Mixenden
                                                  Curlews at Leeshaw
         Record number of Snipe at Shelf Moor
                                           Shelf Moor Snipe
                      Soil Hill Snow Buntings
                                                Insulae

                         Mallards on a frozen Ogden
                 Drake Wigeon Ogden
                                           Pinkies over Ogden
                                                    Oddball duck Ogden

          Also, to add to the above I had an usual record of a Greenshank 9/12/2007 at Fly Flatts.

BS