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Monday, June 26, 2017

Fly Flatts p.m.

                   Up to 4 juv Common Sandpipers about now

                 Late starter Canadas.

Fly Flatts  Hot and sticky with a light W>3 and sunshine,
                                     Nothing much to get the taste buds going this late afternoon visit with quiet skies and just the usual geese on the water. Once again Common Sandpipers were everywhere with at least 4 juvs along the shoreline now. Its amazing how these little ones can just disappear out of view in a second not to be relocated even though you know the spot they are in.
                                                            Dunlins made a brief appearance with 2 flying low over the water and dropping down into a reed bed on the moor whilst the Redshanks seem to have moved on along with several Curlew leaving the area much quieter now without the Curlews calling.
Soon dispersion will begin to build up with birds starting to leave the moor usually beginning with Curlew and Lapwing, the latter already starting to group on the shoreline. Meadow Pipits are usually the last to go with some left to over winter.
                                                                    Another 3 weeks and we should be seeing the first returning Wheatears on the moor. No more returning Common Scoters as yet but I,m sure we,ll get a few more over the next 2 month along with a Tern or two.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

And the day got no better. Leeshaw.

                                 Fields full of Oystercatchers

                                    A count of 29 birds now.
                       This Lapwing chick has a bit to go yet.

After this mornings poor blog from Ogden I hoped to make amends this late afternoon at Leeshaw reservoir but not to be.
On arrival the weather was bright with a W>4 and good visibility but fishermen on the shoreline had cleared it of gulls. Leeshaw is fished by Bradford Waltonians angling club which is mainly fly fishing so the problem here is they dont sit in one spot to fish but instead walk around the whole of the shoreline so it disturbs the whole area.
                                                             A check of the fields gave a count of 29 Oystercatchers with possibly more, one field alone held 23 birds . A cormorant was on the water with several LBB and BHG gulls flying around which eventually settled once the fishermen had gone but no sign of KMs Yellow Legged from yesterday.
Just another week of June to suffer now then things will start to liven up again as we head into July.

Ogden a.m.

   Unusual for Ogden, Redshank
  Taken long distance with Canon 300mm
            Too wet for Big Bertha.

           Water level well down with islands appearing.
                                    Few LBBs and BHGs.

With all the upland sites fogged off it was down to Ogden as a last resort
Though the conditions were ideal with low scud clouds and heavy drizzle birding was quiet.
                                                                   The water is near an all time low with acres of shoreline and even small islands appearing offshore but the only wader present was a single Redshank on the west shoreline which is now nearly out of camera range from the footpath. The 25 Mixenden Canadas were on the water  along with a low count of Mallard which once again for the second year running have failed to rear any young out of the 22 ducklings counted earlier in the season and now not a young duck in site. This is mainly due to Carrion Crows being attracted to the site with the bread lobbers in the se corner where 12 Carrion Crows and 9 Jackdaws were present this morning where a lady told me the Jackdaws were as bad as the Crows for taking ducklings. Also 2 Heron have been present throughout, firstly tempted by breeding frogs and then ducklings, both of which have moved on now that the food is finished.
                                                   11 LBBs were on the shoreline along with 5 BHGs and that was about it .  Hopefully I,ll have a better blog from the tea time session.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Leeshaw Reservoir

                          Oystercatchers up to 16
         Breeding over for most of the Lapwings
                                           A busy shoreline
                                  Curlews more relaxed now
                        with most chicks grown.

                  Still some late Lapwing chicks

1500 hrs at Leeshaw with a mix of cloud and sunshine with a W>5 blowing.
                                                        A busy shoreline today with post breeding Lapwings now beginning to regroup on the shoreline or in the fields with several grown young amongst them.
The Oystercatcher count is up to 16 now and usually get up into the high 20s.
                                                                Curlew and Snipe are now settling down to feed in the fields without having to worry about their young whilst the breeding Redshanks seem to have moved on.
Across on the north shoreline gulls were gathering with 32 LBB, 12 BHG and 2 Herring with no sign of returning Commons as yet but a steady move of Black Headeds was apparent  all >W.
                                                            Swallows, Swifts and House Martins fed over the water whilst the usual resident species carried out their daily routine.

Friday, June 23, 2017

A second Common Scoter for the area. Mixenden

 Male Common Scoter on Mixenden with Canadas
             Photo from top road.
                                  As usual the Scoter stuck to the middle of the water.

  second one in 2 days for the area.

1430 hrs and a trip to Fly Flatts to get the Nyjer seed down for over the weekend with good weather conditions, for me anyway, with 100% grey cloud cover, light drizzle and wind reduced from yesterday to W>5.
                             Much quieter than yesterday with the usual species around the shoreline whilst 4 Dunlin were busy feeding young dashing to and from the shoreline to reed beds on the edge of the moor. A walk the full length of the west bank failed to produce any moving Common Scoters with yesterdays bird moved on. With water and sky quiet I decided to head back to Mixenden reservoir to check out DJSs drake Common Scoter which he reported there this morning.
                                                                    I knew it was still present as on the way to Fly Flatts I stopped at the top of the hill above the reservoir and after a short scan I was able to pick it out in with the Canadas. The Scoter was hanging around the Canadas and doing the usual trick of keeping right out in the middle of the water making hard work of the photography, especially being a jet black bird against a light background. All quite otherwise apart from several Swifts, Swallows and House Martins. Once again, all credit to DJS for turning up his second Scoter in as many days.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

1st Common Scoter arrives at Fly Flatts

                                            1 of 6 Dunlin

                                     1 of 9 Common Sandpipers
  Fluffy Common Sandpiper chick
                                        Non flyer as yet
  Star of the show, female Common Scoter

         Plenty juv Pied Wagtails around

                                 Waves and White Horses.

Man on a mission....  Fly Flatts 1445 hrs with the weather back to normal thankfully with 100 % dark cloud cover and near gale force W>6 - 7. Half way through the watch the clouds broke up leaving
50% cloud cover and some sunshine with the wind decreasing to W>5 which kept the temperature down.
After a text this a.m. from DJS saying he had spotted a Common Scoter on Fly Flatts that had to be the target bird although looking at the size and speed of the waves it was a needle in a haystack job.
                                                       Fortunately there were no Windsurfers present so that gave me a little more hope but several scans of the rough water came up with nothing.
Rather than jump in with both feet dashing along the banking I decided to stick to my usual routine firstly checking the SE corner which was alive with Dunlin and Common Sandpipers along with several other species. Next it was check the lagoon and the south shoreline again producing more Common Sands.
On then to the west bank checking the cobbles also bringing in the feeding station which today was void of birds. Regular scans of the water still failed to turn up the target bird until I was nearly at the NW corner when a black dot was seen bobbin about in the waves and frequently disappearing out of view way out in the centre as is usually the norm with Scoters.
                                                                  Laying down just below the banking I was able to get out of the wind and get some shots just on the range limit but the well suited birder grin appeared with mission accomplished .
Well spotted to DJS for this mornings sighting, a species I,ve been expecting and scanning for daily. Hopefully more will follow.
The longest day is over now, 21st, so make the most of evening birding.

1f Common Scoter
9 Common Sandpiper + 1 juv + a 2nd thats still hiding from me
6 Dunlin
2 Oystercatcher
1 Redshank
4 Snipe
3 Curlew
2 Herring Gull
4m Reed Bunting
2 Barnacle geese + usual sp.
Tons of Swifts feeding over the water

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Thwarted by the fire brigade.

               Now thats what you call disturbance  
 I would nt mind them pumping it out
but they squirted it back in again.

   May as well forget this venue today.
                Meanwhile, over the tops to Leeshaw.

              Oystercatcher count up to at least 15 adults.

                           Oxenhope Little Owl.

1515 hrs and arrived at Fly Flatts only to be stopped dead in my tracks when half of the West Yorkshire fire brigade were on my favourite shoreline. With no point in continuing further it was a scan of the water then over the moor to Leeshaw reservoir where things did,nt improve much with that annoying red hot sun burning down and very little breeze. Where was that rain shower that I got caught in at midday whilst walking the dogs in Foxhill.
                                                                    Making the best of a bad job I scanned the water, skies, fields, moorland and shoreline in a bid to save the afternoon but, remembering its a hot still day in June, nothing happened other than the regular species.
Oystercatcher numbers are still rising with at least 15 present with possibly at least 1 pair tending young on the hidden south bank shoreline.
Gulls were gathering on the northern shoreline with 42 LBB, 4 Herring and 7 Black Headed but no sign of the returning Yellow Legged from the previous 3 years as yet which will be near to adult plumage this time.
A day of rain showers promised for tomorrow which may kick start the job a bit.