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BREEDING SEASON EXCLUSIONS.

As of now through the duration of the breeding season all schedule one birds , red status birds and birds of a sensitive nature to this area will be omitted from the blog or reported as undisclosed site due to the widespread persecution of nesting birds by unscrupulous parties including game keepers and egg collectors.
Any of the above species that are obviously on passage through the area will be reported as normal.
This also applies to wildlife such as Roe Deer, Badger and Hares which are badly under threat from poaching and long dogging in the area at present and unfortunately this exclusion of wildlife will have to continue throughout the year.
Just another sign of the times.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Photos from yesterdays birding

Cold Edge Dams shoreline looking good for waders

Hunter Hill DJS country
Wires full of finches and Thrushes behind the Delvers

A cold W>4 today with fog or mist throughout the day so, needless to say, an uneventful day on the birding scene so had to fall back on yesterdays memories.
BS
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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Oxenhope late p.m.

Gulls arriving
Mallard arriving
Goosanders in to roost
Goosanders and Goldeneye

Oxenhope. pm visit 1430-1630hrs. Cloudy with small breaks of sunshine. Calm.

With the water 50% frozen the gull roost was well down on last weeks count with several gulls leaving after a short stay.
The majority of gulls were Commons with a smaller number of Black Headed. Two LBBs were on the ice and a probable 1st winter Herring but this is still under debate till DCB gets his photos on his vis mig blog.
Two female Goldeneye were dodging the icebergs and the Goosander roost had got to 22 when I left but final figures will again be on Daves vis mig blog.
A single Mistle Thrush was down in the plantation.

c 1000 Common and Black Headed
2 LBBs
1 Herring gull ?
1 Mistle Thrush
2f Goldeneye
22 Goosander
26 Mallard
BS, DCB
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A trip round

Mixed finches at the Delvers
Thrushes etc, wires full at the Delvers
Its a Brambling, honest

A calm frosty morning with early fine snow and mist in the valleys.

A disappointing morning when I started at Cold Edge Dams only to find the top dam frozen and the lower dam 60% frozen hence only Mallard present but the bonus of a fly over Peregrine.
Hunter Hill was quiet but scoping Mixenden dam I found Goosander, Goldeneye, 2 Cormorants and around 200 small gulls.
Stopping at DJS s reported area at the Delvers the scene was amazing with around 150 finches, Chaffs, Greens and Gold with at least 8 Brambling. The field and wires were full of Mistle Thrush, Fieldfare and Redwing with at least 3 Mipits.
I called at Mixenden res on the way back just in time to see the Cormorants flushed by anglers which then flew off south, the birds that is, not the anglers.

Cold Edge Dams
18 Mallard
4 Red Grouse
1 Peregrine >N

Hunter Hill
16 LBBs >NW
1 Little Owl
2 Meadow Pipit

Delvers
c150 Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Goldfinch
c8 Brambling
3 Meadow Pipit
c40 Fieldfare
c25 Redwing
c18 Mistlethrush

Mixenden Res
4m Goosander 2f Goosander
1m Goldeneye
2 Cormorant
c200 Common and Bh gulls, mainly BH.
BS
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

One for Daniel

My nephew Daniel is a bit of a computer buff and scrolling through the interent on his grandma Valeries computer he came across my blog, not even knowing I had one. Dont know how he did that but well found Daniel, you,re famous now with your photo on the internet with sister Hannah in the background with mum and dad.
Uncle Brian
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Shelf Moor pm

A bright day with long spells of sunshine but still the cold E>3

A quick pass through of Shelf Moor tonight provided 26 Fieldfare and 11 Redwing in the Hawthorn field,
5 Greenfinch and 3 House  Sparrows in the Gorse bush field and 1 Moorhen with 4 Mallard on the pond.
On my way back just after last light,1715hrs, Lapwings were coming in to roost, in the now dark, to the circus field counting approx 120.
BS

Friday, January 28, 2011

Crows Congregate

Foxhill crow family

A calmer day today but mostly cloudy with temperatures never much above zero.
Yesterdays busy skies had quietened today with very little to be seen.
The only activity today was in Foxhill park at lunchtime where Rooks and Magpies continued to squabble over last years nests and now last years Carrion Crow family have arrived back to join in. There are only 2 nests in the park and every year these are used by one or two of the species depending who gets first claim in. Crows and Magpies are usually the winners and several young have been raised. A couple of years back 2 of the young carrion crows had white wing bars and the other had a white rump and these birds are still around today.
Well the weekends here again and the forecast sounds half decent so hopefully those Halifax grapevine messages will be flowing through the air waves from DJS and the Med gull and Iceland gull make an appearance for the B.O.G. area.

Oh eck, just checked B.O.G. website and I appear to have missed 67 Pinkies >N over Queensbury at 1015hrs, courtesy CK. Will have to take the roof off the garage
BS


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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Back to winter

A dusting of snow first light, Chapel Lane

An icy cold E>4 throughout the day and a flurry of snow at 0645 hrs but this lasted only a short period leaving just a light covering on the ground.
The cold spell seemed to stir up the birds today with busy skies though nothing was moving in any particular direction. Several small gulls were around all the daylight hours and Greenfinches were very active around Foxhill gardens.
Three Linnets were in Hawthorns down Chapel Lane, seems like this is a species that will be over wintering in our area in the future.
2 Herons flew >N over Foxhill at midday and a Kestrel was hovering over the old Grimston Garage area.
34 Lapwings flew over the garage p.m. heading towards Jackson Hill.
BS
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Dailies Dash

Sunshine beyond Listers Mill chimney
Flocks of Starlings
The steep climb back
Plenty Common gulls >NE

A mixed bag of weather today with a bit of sunshine, bit of rain and drizzle and a bit of snow with a cold NE>4.
A dinner time dash down the Dailie Fields was 15 mins well spent and although it was pretty quiet it cleared my head from the old motor I was welding up for a customer that was wanting to get another years MOT out of his car. The problem is he,ll be back next year with it saying the same.
Anyway, a Green Woodpecker was my first bird in the distant doing its undulating flight from bush to bush whilst 4 Linnet were again around the gorse bush area. Common gulls were on the move with 38 over >NE into the wind in the 15 minutes that I was down there.
Large flocks of Starling were feeding in the fields flying up into the trees when disturbed and a Robin was singing its heart out from a holly bush, all in all a rushed but pleasant lunch break.

Common gull........................38 >NE
Green Woodpecker.............1
Linnet....................................4
Robin.....................................3
Starling................................c 200
Magpie..................................11
Woodpigeon.........................26
Stock dove.............................6
+ usual corvids
BS
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Queensbury Today

A mild but grey day with light rain and drizzle on and off throughout the day.
Very quiet with nothing of interest seen other than 3 Pied Wagtails in Foxhill park at lunchtime and a Dunnock in full song in the surrounding bushes.
Well done to NK for spotting a Waxwing on his home ground this a.m. ( see Queensbury birder) , this is a species that produces only the one sighting a year in Queensbury,perhaps when the new Tesco trees mature more Waxwings will be tempted.
BS

Monday, January 24, 2011

Queensbury Today

Adult Common Gull
Adult Black Headeds

A cool but brighter day with a fresh NW>4 and temperatures a few degrees above freezing.
As usual the weather brightened up now that the weekend has gone, strange how the weather knows when to break down at the end of the week.
Daylight is now hanging on till 1700hrs giving a bit of hope that evening birding is on the way.
A Little Owl was calling last night from Foxhill park at 2300hrs which is unusual for this area and a Pied Wagtail was in Chapel Lane at first light this morning. Kept scanning the skies today at every opportunity for Pinkies but once again they seemed to miss the Queensbury area.Roosting Jackdaw numbers over the village morning and evening has increased to around 300 birds which noisily pile over sometimes skimming the house tops.
Gull numbers were down in the park today with 9 Common and 7 Black Headed but the wetter the weather the more we seem to get.
4 LBB gulls flew over >NW and 4 Stock doves were in the field by Fleet Kennels along with 15 Ferals.
BS
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gull Watch

Two and a half thousand small gulls up.

Not snowflakes, gulls
Somewhere under those clothes is DCB.

Oxenhope. 1430-1630hrs, NNE>3 increasing and heavy rain showers. Also present DCB and CK.

Approx 2500 small gulls came in to roost tonight with another 500 leaving >SE probably to Eccup reservoir and possibly more came in at last light as I left at 1630 but DCB and CK stayed on for the final count.
What an amazing sight when a helicopter came over and all the birds lifted into the air together before returning to the water. The gulls were split about 50/50 Common and Black Headed with 2 of the BH gulls having full black hoods. A Herring gull was present before leaving >SE and 2 first winter LBBs were on the water.
Unfortunately DCBs Med gull and 2 Dunlin from last night failed to show.

C2500gulls split roughly 50/50 Common and Black Headed
1 Herring gull
2 LBB gulls
3m 4f Goosander
4f 1m Goldeneye
42 Mallard
BS
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Fly Flatts

Full and overflowing
NW corner
Plenty Red Grouse about

Fly Flatts 0815-0945hrs
Cool NNE>5 dropping >3, Cloudy with some breaks in the sky, early light rain.

I put on yesterdays blog about having to stand some disappointing mornings at Fly Flatts, well this was one of them.
The skies were empty showing no signs of even gulls or corvids and the water was much the same with the Canadas and Mallards absent.
A single male Goldeneye broke the duck, so to speak, and 2 Reed Buntings were in the solitary tree. Red Grouse have somehow survived the big freeze and several were calling on the moor.
The saviour of the morning was a call I picked up on as I was ready for leaving and a Curlew flew over >W very high and almost out of vision without bins.

1m Goldeneye
2 Reed Bunting
12 Red Grouse
1 Curlew >W
BS
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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Soon be Wader time

Fly Flatts Dunlin, May 2009.

With January shortly drawing to a close leaving just the short month of February to get through we,ll soon be on the lookout for passage waders at our reservoirs. Of course it all depends on the amount of shoreline showing as to how long birds stay,hopefully it will be like 2010 when good amounts of shoreline were available throughout the season, otherwise its just a matter of the right place at the right time.
February is a good time to get out that wader id book and brush up on the birds that we get little experience on, which covers most of the waders, also listen to the dvds etc so that you can pick out birds in flight, thats easier said than done. My hearing is not what it used to be and if I get a call I usually look in the opposite direction!
Waders to me can be one of the hardest species to id but one of the most rewarding to turn up. If they only stuck to the text books and came through dressed in the plumage that they are suppose to it would make a birders life a lot easier.
You,ll all have your favourite local reservoirs , my most productive being, through previous years, the Oxenhope private reservoir and home of the DCB/HC vis miggers for which I have just rejoined B.O.G. so hope to give that some use this year, and Fly Flatts which is very hit and miss but Ive found that if you stick at it up there and dont mind a lot of disappointing mornings, it can produce the goods.

Ive a personal species list for Fly Flatts over the last 15 years of 103 and these are the waders Ive recorded up there in those years :-

Oystercatcher
Golden Plover
Lapwing
Knot
Dunlin
Jack Snipe
Common Snipe
Curlew
Redshank
Greenshank
Little Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover
Common Sandpiper
Turnstone
note, one of the Greenshank was in December 2007.
BS
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Collared Doves

Collared dove numbers up and attempting mating

A slippery walk to work this a.m.

Another bright and cloudless day even though temperatures never got much above freezing.
More reports of Pink Footed Geese on the move today around the area which is earlier than ever this year. This time there,s nearly been an overlap between skeins coming in and skeins going out.
Collared doves are increasing in numbers around Foxhill with 15 counted at lunchtime as opposed to the usual 6 and attempted mating was even taking place.
LBBs were again moving >NW at midday with 3 Herring gulls over very high in the unusual direction of >SW.
A Kestrel glided over the garage being mobbed by 4 BH gulls which did,nt seem to bother it and a Pied Wagtail flew in the direction of Staion Rd pond.
Hope the weekend,s kind to you all.
BS
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Another Queensbury day

Early morn, Black Dyke Mills
Emley Moor mast from Sourheads
Carrion crows mating up

A real spring like day but a very frosty beginning and end. Wall to wall blue skies throughout the day, the sort of day when you wish you were over the moors instead of working.
You could have been forgiven for thinking spring had come at midday in Foxhill park, Robins, Dunnocks and a Wren were up singing whilst noisy Carrion crows flew around playfully in pairs. The resident Magpies are already re furbishing last years nest whilst Collared Dove numbers are increasing.
Though the skies were clear there was very little in them and the thrush movement seems to have stopped for now.
Another customer report today about unusually large groups of Fieldfare and Redwings in his garden but from Thornton this time.
Lets hope this high pressure hangs on in there through the weekend so we can all go to work on Monday with a smile on our faces.
BS
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