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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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ogden pm visit

The east fringe of the wood, used to be Redstart area.


The one that was left behind , Pink Footed Goose


Seems quite happy with the Canadas


A pleasant evening and the only evening free this week so took advantage of a quick trip to Ogden.
The east fringe of the wood and moor edge held 8 Mistle Thrush with several singing Chaffinch.
The water was quiet other than the PF Goose found by NK this morning, see Queensburybirder, was still there along with Canadas which all left the water to graze on the shoreline.
A small group of LBB gulls were on the water before moving off towards Mixenden. Passerines were quiet due to the time of day.

8 Mistle Thrush
9 Canadas
1 Pink Footed Goose
Several Swifts all >W
+ usual Swallows and commoner passerines.
BS

Monday, May 30, 2011

Fly Flatts

Ringed Plovers resting after a busy day





Swifts piling over

Fly Flatts p.m. 1700-1830 hrs Sunny and dry, W>4

At last, a pleasant evening at Fly Flatts with waders quietly resting and Swifts overhead in good numbers.
No sign of this mornings Sanderling but didnt have time to check the north end although scoping that area only produced odd Redshanks.
Having said that,with all the birds at rest, even the Dunlin took some finding in the hollows. A Golden Plover was up in the field with 4 young, they seem to have moved further on this year and decreased in numbers, perhaps as Dave said they have moved away from the smoke.

128 Swift....................... >W with many more not counted.
2 Oystercatchers
15 Ringed Plover
5 Dunlin
2 Common Sandpiper
4 Redshank
1 Golden Plover + 4 young
4 Twite
3 Curlew
+ usual sp.
BS
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A reet gud soaking. Fly Flatts

Water level starting to rise with part of the spit gone



Dunlin and Ringed Plover mix together well

Fly Flatts 0730-0930hrs Heavy rain throughout but calm and mist sticking to moors.

Although bouncing down with rain which spoils the chance of photos and scoping the wind had dropped to almost calm and the low cloud hung over the higher moors leaving the water clear. All acticity was at the se corner with the usual ,now common Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Redshank and Common Sandpiper with one Sanderling on near the boathouse beyond the wire fence. This was a summer plumaged bird, possibly one remaining from the last batch?. Snipe were constantly chipping near the top gate and several Curlews were defending territory.

9 Dunlin
2 Redshank
11 Ringed Plover
2 Snipe
6 Common Sandpiper
1 Sanderling, summer plumage bird
+ usual sp.
BS
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Sunday, May 29, 2011

House Sparrows in the garden.

Started taking wet bread themselves

Not ready to attack the fat balls yet

The plans for an early evening trip to Fly Flatts tonight were scuppered when I ended up moving furniture for the daughter to her new abode at Triangle, Sowerby Bridge. It looks a haven for birds down there in the thick woodland valley , worth investigating as I dont know that area at all. Whilst I was down there a Peacock was walking about on the lawns but I dont suppose that I can tick that.
A trip to Halifax Asda this pm saw several Swifts moving over >NW and LBB gulls still moving >W. I keep expecting to see the White Stork over again but no such luck, probably because I always take the camera with me now.
Hopefully the weather will be a bit kinder in the morning and  birds are in abundance.
BS
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Bank Holiday Blues

Several of the Ogden boxes being used .

OGDEN. 0800-1000hrs Heavy drizzle, full cloud, strong W>5.

An early start at Fly Flatts was aborted due to near gale force winds and horizontal drizzle which I can put up with but thick fog put the tin hat on it.
More sheltered and clear at Ogden though very poor birdwise. Several birds were singing but deep in the wood and the water held nothing but a few Mallard.
Suprisingly with all the shore exposed there were no waders or wagtails to be seen other than 2 Heron on the NW banking.
LBB gulls continued to move west but none came down and the Terns Id ordered for this morning did,nt appear.

2 Heron
17 LBB gulls.....................>W
21 Goldfinch
1 Sparrowhawk
+ usual sp.
will have to try get out round tea time for another dabble, watch this space!
BS
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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Ogden, evening visit

Sun going down

Song Thrush

They dont look like they want to play !

Ogden, early evening walk along the east fringe of the wood to the edge of the clough. Sunny but strong W>4-5.
As expected, it being the wrong time of the day, no Spotted Flycatchers were found although the track was alive with Chaffinch , Robins and Dunnocks. Several Swallows and House Martins were feeding on the edge of the moor and Swifts piled over >W.
A Cuckoo was calling across the valley from way up the clough and a Green Woodpecker called teasingly from close by without being visible.
A singing Tree Pipit was on the northern tip of the wood and a Golden Plover called from up near the Giants Tooth.
LBB gulls were on the move >W along with 1 Black Headed.
Target birds missed tonight were Spotted Fly, Cuckoo, Grey Wagtail, believe it or not and Tawny Owl although Tawny owl and me are not compatible and all I seem to manage is a fly past at night when Im in the car.

1 Song Thrush
1 Tree Pipit
1 Cuckoo, heard only
28 Swift >W
1 Green Woodpecker
15 LBBs >W
1 BH gull >W
Several swallows, House Martins
+ usual sp.
A quick check on the water found it void of birds.
BS
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Friday, May 27, 2011

Looking back 20 years and the R.N.L.I.

Two Humber Lifeboat models
City of Bradford 1V
                                        On board the Humber Lifeboat with Supt Cox,n Brian Bevan.

Looking at Andrews Farne Island blog made me reminisce of the days I was fund raising for the RNLI.
I first made a model of the Humber Lifeboat City of Bradford 1V carving the hull from solid wood and the rest of the boat was made up from balsa wood and mostly parts from cars from the garage. The second boat was the new Humber Lifeboat , Kenneth Thelwall made using the same method. Several trips to Spurn taking photos of the boats gave me something to work off and to be on the boat with the then famous Coxn Brian Bevan, only coxn to be awarded the RNLIs gold, silver and bronze medals, was indeed an honour.
I used to leave the model in a display case in pubs ,restaraunts and at public meetings with collection boxes which I also had scattered around the area in several pubs and the boats made over £5000 in about 3 year as well as paying for a christmas party for the crew and families of the Humber Lifeboat station at Spurn Point.

Back to birds ,
At last one of the Shelf Moor Little Owls was showing this evening after a long absence. This is at the same location that I sent you previously Jeff.
BS

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Young uns everywhere

The productive patch of ivy on the back of the house.

Back to wet and windy today with some heavy showers and a strong W>5.
Young Starlings and House Sparrows are out in force now with up to 100 Starlings feeding in the park and at one point
38 House Sparrows on the garden feeders keeping Lynda busy today taking out supplies of wet bread for the youngsters.
The patch of ivy on the back of the house has so far this year produced 8 newly fledged House Sparrows and for the first time, 2 young Starlings, one of which crash dived into the garden this morning and was calling from the ground for about 1 hour before it made the effort and flew much to Lyndas relief who was on Magpie watch at the time.
Hope all this rain doesnt lift the water level at Fly Flatts too much.
If you,re into sea bird take a look at Andrews Farne Islands blog from the link on the right. What a way of life he has living there and taking boat trips around Holy Island although I can imagine how hard it must be up there over the winter months. When I was Honorary Organiser for the RNLI doing voluntary fund raising I used to go to the Humber Lifeboat Station at Spurn Point and the weather was atrocious and a frightening 60ft swell on the sea was , a bit rough, to them. brave lads.
BS
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dailies Dash

Crows on the lookout for food



Young Starlings out now

Dailies, the old winching track

A bright and less windy day, a window before the next weather front appears.
The Dailies was very active at lunch time with the usual resident birds all busy collecting food for their young but the sky was quiet apart from a steady flow of LBB gulls slowly drifting >W. Swallows were skimming the hawthorns and 2 House Martins were near the tunnel entrance, breeding in the tunnel used to be an every year event but not any more.

15 Linnet
5 House Sparrow, have you had House Sparrow in the past down here HC ?
1 Green Woodpecker
2 House Martin
sev. Swallows
9 LBB gulls >W
4 Willow Warbler
2 Grey Partridge
150 + Starlings
+ usual Woodpigs, corvids etc.
BS
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Shelf Moor / Queensbury

A bright and breezy day with the wind dropping and no sign of rain.
A quick look at Shelf Moor this evening produced several feeding Swallows, 2 Swift >W , a flock of 14 Goldfinch on thistle tops and 200+ Starlings in the field including a few young. A Green Woodpecker was calling near the Lion gates.
Several LBB gulls were again moving over the village >NW whilst a Kestrel was hunting over Grimstons.
The first few young Starlings are starting to show in the park and Magpies are hanging around the ivy distressing the breeding House Sparrows.
Nice to talk to Gordon Denison in the garage today on his annual MOT visit with the camper.
BS

Monday, May 23, 2011

Queensbury Today

A wind torn day with a strong wind alternating between S and W >6 with heavy a.m. showers, some torrential brightening up pm.

Nice to see gulls in the skies again with several LBBs moving around in the wind in various directions although the bulk of the movement appeared to be west.
Swifts were active early a,m, with a feeding party of 9 over >SE in front of the rain clouds.
Will be interesting to see if these winds have moved anything around for us.
BS

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fly Flatts revisited

Just 1 Sanderling showing tonight







Ringed Plovers and Sanderling by the famous tyre.

Fly Flatts evening visit, W>6 with occasional sharp shower, sunny. 1700-1815hrs.

Nice to bump into 2 more hardy birders tonight, firstly DJS scanning the Within fields and secondly JW down by the water.
All the activity was again at the SE and S area with several of the Dunlin and Sanderling moved on. As I was watching a flock of 8 Ringed Plover came in from the south taking tonights total to 19. Only one Sanderling remained and stuck with the Ringed Plovers.

19 Ringed Plover
1 Sanderling
8 Dunlin
4 Common Sandpiper
2 Redshank
BS
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Fly Flatts

Disturbance ! What disturbance ?



Redshank and Common Sandpiper


Fly Flatts 0615-0930 hrs Atrocious conditions. Gale force WSW>7 gusting 9 . Torrential rain showers.

An early start was wasted with torrential rain for the first 30 minutes but the wind eased slightly and the rain broke into frequent showers, possibly one of the worst mornings Ive ever been up there in.
The SE corner was alive with waders dashing about like mice and very hard to see as they were down in the channels out of the wind.
The northern end of the reservoir was quiet, again probably due to the wind, and only a few Ringed Plover were present here.
By the time I walked back to the southern end over 100 cars had arrived and the bikers were getting ready near the shoreline so apart from a few Redshank and Common Sands the pools were deserted. I never saw any birds heading towards the northern end but in the conditions they could have skimmed over the water unseen.

14 Ringed Plover
19 Dunlin
5 Sanderling
6 Redshank
7 Common Sandpiper
8 Pied Wagtail inc 1 pale bird but not a white.
BS
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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fly Flatts

Digiscoped Redshank

Dunlin that should have been digiscoped

Paradise Island.
1715- 1830hrs

By the time Id finished with work and family commitments today is was 1700hrs as I headed for Fly Flatts arriving just the same time as the rain which luckily cleared leaving a strong SSW>5 gusting 6. Didnt have time to check the northern end so stuck to the south shore and ponds. Things were rather quiet possibly due to windsurfers that had just packed up along with 2 numbskis who had let their dog run through the water before finding it amusing watching it chase sheep. They soon stopped smiling when I told him the local farmer shoots any dog he sees chasing his sheep.
No sign of NKs Little Stint although a single Sanderling feeding at the far side of the spit had me going until I could get it in the scope.
As I walked back from the SW corner I could see a small brown job flapping and making a right noise not far from the tyre. This turned out to be a Mallard duckling with its leg trapped between 2 stones so I walked out on the stone pavement and moved one of the stones letting the shocked duckling dash out onto the water to its nearby mother and family, ahh.
Could be a bit of disturbance at Fly in the morning with wind surfers and the bike race but hopefully the showers will hang back and a whole new flock of birds arrive in front of the weather.
Andrew from the Farne Island could send us some Knot, youve got over 300 up there and weve had one.

6 Dunlin
2 Sanderling
3 Redshank
4 Ringed Plover
2 Common Sandpipers.
BS
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Friday, May 20, 2011

Waders, getting knowledged up


With all these waders appearing at Fly Flatts I thought it time to dust off the little used wader books and do a quick refresher course ready for that mega rare wader dropping in. The problem with waders in this area is that we dont see enough of them and when we do the distance is usually so great that we never get a true definition of size.
Other than that its usually too wet or windy to use the scope efficiently to pick out those all important markings.
Having said all that, Id much rather struggle on my own patch than sit in comfort at Blacktoft with the species that you can see chalked up on a blackboard.
Hopefully this weekend will bring some new waders in including the Little Stint that Ive ordered, good birding.
BS
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