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Monday, January 22, 2018

Another day Another soaking. Ogden

                                                  Robin
            Not like me to take bird feeder photos but getting desperate
                  and Nuthatches are so tempting.

1500 hrs and still no reasonable access to Fly Flatts plus lack of time so another visit to Ogden was in order knowing that DJS had covered Mixenden.
A showery day but the snow going well with just the ice to clear now still making most of the side roads treacherous.
                           I arrived at the promenade just the same time as a pounding sleet storm with horizontal sleet and rain blowing across the water on a WNW >5, lovely. A check of the water found around 50 small gulls ,75 % being Black Headed with just the one big gull, an adult Herring in amongst them. The sluice gate area just held 1 Grey Wagtail with around 30 Jackdaws in the trees by the Lodge house.
                          At least 4 Siskin were in the Alders on the west bank but no signs of the Redpolls and far too dark to attempt photos. Otherwise it was down to a few Robins, Wrens and Blackbirds whilst a Nuthatch was timidly using the feeders despite the rain.
                          Good to have a photographic chat with AT in the car park who had just done Mixenden and Ogden and threatened me not to find anything on the water when he had left which I didnt.
BS

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Back to Ogden p.m.

With all venues up here in the gods either snowed or fogged off it was back to Ogden at 1445 hrs to check the lie of the land, or in this case the water. The snow had now turned to rain and was coming down very heavily and freezing as it landed, the car looked like an ice carving when I got back to the car park. Walking was treacherous whilst the car park was like glass but hopefully this next week things will get back to normal with temperatures set to rise.
                                                              A good scan of the water, or as good as I could do in the conditions, found the Shelduck to have moved on leaving around 100 small gulls , the majority of these , surprisingly, being Commons. Otherwise just the usual sp. around the feeders then a dash back to the car after getting a real good drenching but with the talk of Whoopers moving its always worth a check.
BS

Ogden a.m.

   Ogdens Shelduck still present in the mist
                            Keeping its distance out on the water

   Moved further to the north end in the murk

  A skein of geese over high got me going but only Canadas.

0800 hrs and first light, if you could call it that, with dense fog up here on the tops and light snow flurries getting heavy mid morning.
                                                   Down the hill to Ogden was just enough to get below the cloud base but even then it was dull light and murky with mist below the tree tops. Snow was falling steadily but this soon passed over half way through the watch.
                                                   JLs Shelduck was still present from yesterday but keeping near the centre of the water then later towards the north end. The Dipper was down in the sluice gate area as well as a Grey Wagtail but no sign of the Kingfisher this year yet.
The east bank track is mud bound, for the dogs anyway, due to the hair brained scheme of driving up and down on a quad bike with trailer for the sake of Christmas trees and it looks like the west bank is next in line to get the same.
                                            The west bank Alders were quiet apart from 2 mobile Redpolls and at least 3 Goldcrests but I was unable to locate the Tit flock in that area.
Whilst I was looking up at the Alders a small skein of 10 geese flew over high and >NW but a couple of quick snaps revealed Canadas.
                                             1030 hrs and back home where the snow is piling down thick and fast putting doubt on the tea time birding session but we,ll have to wait and see.
BS

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Redcar Tarn

                       Plenty birds to check through
                                   1st winter Herring
                                     2nd winter Lesser Black Backed
                                        Coot butting into the photo
                                  Adult winter Herring
                          2nd winter LBB
                                             Adult Herring
                                         Adult LBB
                                         Black Headed getting summer hood
                                        2nd winter Herring
                                            Drake Tufted

1445 hrs and over to Redcar Tarn, Keighley to try to get away from the deep snow of Queensbury so the dogs could get a decent walk instead of them having to fight their way through snow up to their neck.
      The sunshine was left behind as I climbed out of Keighley to find the Tarn in poor light but only a light covering of snow with the water half frozen over.
                                                                           As always, the area was alive with gulls around the tarn and surrounding fields with little time to check through them. Wildfowl was poor with the usuals with nothing exotic amongst them whilst the surrounding hedges held several winter thrushes as well as Chaffinch and Blackbirds.
                                            Golden Plover flocks were over the distant fields which held around 200 gulls. Cullingworth fields held around 1000 big gulls on the way back but again no time to stop and sift through them.

On the tarn :-
8 Herring gull
17 LBB gull
200 mixed Commons and Black Headeds
7 Tufted
150 + Mallard
21 Canada geese
8 Greylag
Coots and Moorhens
Sev Fieldfare , Redwing, Blackbirds and Chaffinch
c 50 Golden Plover, distant.
2 Sparrowhawks
3 Kestrel.
BS

Friday, January 19, 2018

Mixenden in blizzard conditions.

                                        Female Goldeneye
                                     4 of 5 Cormorant
                                    Then there were 5
                           Drake Goldeneye in the snow

                                           female Goldeneye
            Small gulls mainly Black Headed

1445 hrs and back at Mixenden in a mixture of brief sunshine, plenty dark skies and a snow blizzard so heavy that you couldnt see the water from the banking but fortunately this passed over in 15 minutes leaving lighter showers.
                                                  DJSs single Shelduck and Goosanders from this morning had moved on and a full walk around the perimeter of the water just produced 5 Cormorant, 1pair of Goldeneye and the usual small gulls. As with yesterday , a single Jay flew over whilst the trees on the west shore provided 1 Robin and 8 Goldfinch.
                                                  Hopefully we,ve seen the last of any serious snow for now although with the amount up here on the tops its looking unlikely there,ll be access to Fly Flatts over the weekend.
BS

Thursday, January 18, 2018

A mega for Mixenden

                      1 of 2 Shelduck  South banking
                        2nd Shelduck, east banking




  Brighter photos when the rain stops.
                                   2  of 6 Cormorants




    Fading light and snow shower, 1 Shelduck
                             took to the water.


Wondering where to go for the late afternoons birding session in poor conditions was soon decided with  a grapevine message from DJS saying he had found 2 Shelduck on Mixenden reservoir.
                                                            1445 hrs , shopping done and arrived at Mixenden reservoir to heavy showers of sleet, snow and rain throughout with odd bursts of blue sky.
                                                         Luckily Dave was still there as when I started to climb the banking he appeared in the sw corner waving me back as the bird was directly below the banking that I was climbing. A new approach found the bird on the waters edge with a second Shelduck way over on top of the east banking.
                                        Very poor light for pictures having to use a high ISO reading  but you can tell from the brighter pics when the sun showed briefly and I was able to use better settings.
                                          Also present were 1 pair of Goldeneye , 1 Herring gull over > SW, several small gulls, mainly Black Headed, 4 Cormorants although Dave had a count of 6 earlier, 1 Jay and a few Goldfinch. A great find by DJS and nice to meet AT there also, 3 wise men stood in the snow armed to the hilt with cameras like the paparazzi waiting for a royal wedding.
                                            Once again another good find quickly passed around thanks to Daves Calderdale Grapevine. If you,re already a member fivers are now due in and if not why not join now for all the up to date local sightings as they happen. If you like birds and want to know whats going on locally its the best fiver you,ll ever spend and all the money goes back into helping the birds with buying nest boxes, seed etc. The grapevine is priceless throughout the year but especially during Spring/Autumn migration time when skeins of geese and swans can be tracked right across the area through birders sending a text as they pass over their area.
                                           For more information or to join contact Dave Sutcliffe or myself .
BS

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A snowy, sloppy Ogden.

 Around 50 Black Headed gulls and hardly 2 alike
     with different stages of head patterns




                                      Only 3 Common gulls present

                   Near full hood. Looked at this twice for Med gull.



1445 hrs and a better day than yesterday with several sleet showers but nothing as serious as yesterday with a good depth falling overnight.  Plenty periods of sunshine today and a heavy thaw going on despite the cold NW>4.
                                                   Access to Ogden was ok but a real sloppy watery mess both in the car park and along the promenade. No time to go around the water but would,nt have attempted it with the dogs as it is thick bog on the track due to the melted snow and the quad bike and trailer messing about with Christmas trees which seems a waste of time each year as the trees never rot down and just end up blown onto the banking or in the water.
                                                   A real quiet session with only around 50 Black Headed gulls on the water and 3 Commons although the BHGs were interesting to look through being a bit closer to shore than usual showing the many different stages of hoods, some in full winter , then through several stages with some near to full summer.
                                                  Strangely not a Mallard in sight in the usual corner but with the NW >4 blowing they were probably sheltering at the northern end of the banking.
                                                   The feeders were quite busy with several Coal Tits plus the usual sp but no Nuthatch whilst a check in the sluice gate area just produced a single Wren.
It looks like we,re going to be plagued with this snowy weather over the weekend but at least its giving the daylight time to come back again.
BS