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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


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

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

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Its easy to dip on Osprey, it takes skill to dip twice! Leeshaw.

Hope you,re sitting comfortable, its a long story.
                                                           It all started as Lynda and me were off on our Sunday afternoon shopping trip to Asda Halifax at 1230 hrs when a phone call from Angela of the Angela and Gary team threw the cat amongst the pigeons. She said Gary had his bins on what he thought was an Osprey near to Leeshaw reservoir. Minutes after a text saying the bird was much nearer now and confirmed as a definite Osprey. You can imagine the thoughts going through my head but not wanting the expense of a divorce I kept cool and started a ring round.
                                                    First text was the grapevine as the bird would probably head south down the Calder valley over flying Fly Flatts etc. Next was to try find some eyes out there so an alert to NK who jumped off the bus and headed for the Roper Lane watch point ready for it passing. Next to CK to see if he was out and about and then a call to HC at Oxenhope who lives in easy reach of Leeshaw but no reply and unfortunately I did,nt have a number for RP and BV who also live in the area.
With everyone alerted we were ready for it moving, not so simple. Another text from Angela saying the bird had left towards Leeming reservoir so another alert to the cavalry that it was on its way south.
Whilst all this was going on I was pushing a trolley round Asda with smoke coming from my phone as well as Lyndas ears, not a happy bunny.
                                                             Then the message from Angela to beat all messages, the Osprey had returned to Leeshaw , dropped into the water and pulled out a large Trout and was eating it on the shoreline. At least now I know that I,m not prone to a heart attack or it would have happened when I read that message. More messages out and more snarls from Lynda but shopping done and on our way home. Next was shopping out of the car, grab Big Bertha and head for Leeshaw , as always behind the slowest drivers ever. A call to Angela on route confirming the bird had been disturbed from the shoreline by an angler but flown low to the top end of the reservoir out of site but retaining the fish. After a 20 minute neck pumping drive I arrived to meet Angela and Gary saying the bird had not flown as far as they could see. Angela also mention casually that there were 3 Dunlin and a Bar Headed goose present!
                                     A thorough search all around the reservoir failed to find the target bird but sure enough the booby prize of Bar Headed goose was there and although an escaped feral it was a great bird for Leeshaw and didnt appear to have rings.
                                                       NR and CK appeared as well as a couple of unknown birders but I thought it was time to leave to face the music as my back in an hour was now nearly two but then the inevitable happened. As I drove through Oxenhope a call from DJS and NR that the bird was back at Leeshaw with another fish. No choice here but a handbrake turn in the road and a thrash back to the reservoir only to find it had flown NE and dropped into trees about 2 miles away, oh well, thats birding.
A big thank you to Angela and Gary for starting the ball rolling and keeping in touch throughout and thanks to Chris King and Niall Roach for making the effort to turn up and pleasingly reaping the benefits.Also thanks to all the watchers on the expected route >S.
                                         Photo Courtesy Chris King

No Osprey pics from me but bonus bird, Bar Headed Goose.

                                This Heron made me look twice.
                The 2 Fly Flatts Barnacles present
                                       A stonking Bar Headed Goose

BS.  Wanted, room for the night !!!

Kestrel Bonanza. Fly Flatts.

             5 out of 8 Kestrels up together
              Alive with Wheatear, count of 14.

                                   Single Curlew through >W

Fly Flatts 0700-0930 hrs Blue skies and sunshine (yuk) W>5 decreasing W>3.
                                                    Amazing sight to find 8 Kestrel up together along the west bank and dropping onto the track and banking. Theres obviously something to attract them along there. Try as I might 5 were the most I could get in a frame together as whilst some were in the air others were dropping on the bank. Other than these 8 there were 3 over the Nab and 4 over the Ned Hill track on my way here. Not oft you go out and get 15 Kestrels in short of 3 hours.
                                                        Despite all the raptor activity the area was alive with Wheatear giving a count of 14 just at the bottom end of the reservoir and all mostly through the moult now and sporting their autumn plumage. No sign of any Greenlands today.
                                                         Vis mig wise Swallows piled through >W throughout as well as 4 Swift and a single Kestrel.

11 Kestrel
c40 Canadas
2 Snipe
1 Reed Bunting

Vis Mig
c150 Swallow...........................>W
4 Swift.....................................>W
1 Curlew..................................>W
sev Mipits...............................blogging
14 Wheatear............................blogging

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Leeshaw Reservoir

                                    1 of 2 juv Little Owls

                                     Grey Wagtail
                                          Curlews moving through

                  mega distant shots beyond 600mm range.

 5 Curlews in to land, Mallards spectating.

Being the far from Glorious 12th it was avoid the moor and over to Leeshaw although with the low number of Grouse at Fly Flatts they may have had to cancel the event as there has to be a significant count for a shoot to go ahead. Red Legged Partridge pens are being erected up there so that will kick off when the Partridge season starts on the 1st September. It would be interesting to get the sad men in the army shooting at targets that shoot back at them, this would almost certainly cure them.
Right, no more talk of sad men now as it only winds me up.
                                                             Leeshaw reservoir was bright and breezy with 30 % cloud cover allowing the sun to burn through with a W>5.
The Little Owl family was present along with 2 adult Grey Wagtails and 1 juv. surrounded by several Mipits.
Nothing actually on the water but Canadas, Greylags and Mallards around the shoreline. Not many gulls present today with just a scattering of LBBs and BHGs all sleeping on the North shore.
                                                                      Movement was interesting with Swallows, House Martin and Sand Martin through and at 1615 hrs 5 Curlew came in from the east landing briefly on the shore, refreshing, then off again >W.

3 Little Owl
3 Grey Wagtails
8 Mallard
41 Canadas
37 Greylag
18 LBB gull
37 BHG gull
2 Cormorant

Vis Mig
sev Mipits......................blogging
c50 Swallows................>W
5 House Martin.............>W
2 Sand Martin..............>W
5 Curlew ....................on deck then >W.