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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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dailies Dash


Looking east from the Dailies

A quick lunchtime dash to the top of the Dailie fields to see what was stiring today with calm conditions and a perfect movers grey sky but too early in the season for afternoon movement.
Autumn migration movement tends to dry up by 1100hrs this time of year and well into September.Also the weather plays a big part for the early movers but come late September early October birds are now desperate to get away so movement can continue day long and in most weather conditions, especially on those mega movement days.
Right, back to the Dailies, got a bit side tracked there. Skies were quiet other than a few Swallows sauntering through >S and 7 Lapwings heading >E. A single Skylark came over >W and several BH gulls were moving around the fields.
The top hawthorns held 3 Willow Warblers and a bird that gave me the slip which Id like to think was a Blackcap but could,nt be sure.
Up to 18 Linnets were around the gorse bushes along with 7 House Sparrows and 3 Goldfinch.
Sky watching will be a bit sparce the next two days as I have to travel to the other side of Leeds on a 2 day M.O.T. course and sit in a classroom taking exams, its like going back to the 11 plus but these things have to be done to keep the Ministry happy, I can always count Kestrels on the motorway.
BS
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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Stopping the House Sparrow cull

Sparrowhawk guard

Drastic measures have had to be taken in my front garden against the local Sparrowhawks after staring to loose 1 House Sparrow a day at least . The sparrows now come out of the Hawthorn and can feed behind the shield without worrying about being snatched off the fat balls in the talons of a hungry Sparrowhawk and Lynda can get on with her housework without standing guard. Everyones happy apart from the Sparrowhawk but you can,t please everyone.
A few Meadow Pipits were moving >W first thing this morning along with several Swallows >SW but otherwise quiet skies in the showers and drizzle.
38 Common gull were on the football pitch in Foxhill park at 0630hrs this morning with all but 5 gone by 0730hrs.
BS
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Monday, August 29, 2011

Cuckoo Hunt

After being dragged around Whiterose shopping centre this afternoon I needed to escape an hour so after a call from DJS it was over to Hunter Hill for the juv Cuckoo found by Dave on Friday. I arrived in rapidly deteriorating weather to find NCD and SC on the bird which was sheltering behind a wall and after a brief few flights it disappeared down the hillside towards Cold Edge Dams in now pouring rain and mist. Nice to meet Dave and Jen S who had been walk about and returned to the car looking rather the worse for wear. We agreed that the bird would,nt  re appear tonight so called it a day.No photos in the conditions but some good views of the bird. Also 5 Wheatear lower down the track.
Got back to Queensbury in bright conditions and no sign of rain!
BS.

Grey Plover for Fly Flatts

A blustery Fly Flatts

Meadow Pipits grouping

Soil Hill from Hunter Hill

Queensbury church and mill from Hunter Hill

A poor start at Fly Flatts with near gale force WSW>7 and heavy drizzle which cleared by 0830 and the wind eased slightly to WSW>5.
Several Wheatears were present, 1 being a Greenland showing much brighter colours and a real butch of a bird compared to the others.
As I got to the NW corner I was about to give up in the conditions when I picked up a wader calling low over the water then flying across the banking in front of me and low over the moor >SW towards Dean Head. The bird was a Grey Plover which is a site tick for me at Fly Flatts. I dont know whether it had come off the far banking or just a fly through even though Id scoped the area I could have missed it in the conditions.
On to Hunter Hill which also had several Wheatear but otherwise quiet in the wind other than Swallows piling through skimming the moor along with a few House Martins.

Fly Flatts
1 Greenland Wheatear
6 Wheatear SE corner
5 Wheatear by gate
1 GREY PLOVER.......>SW
13 Mipits.........W
several blogging Mipits
1 Kestrel

Hunter Hill
2 Kestrel
4 Wheatear
3 House Martin......>W
150+ Swallow.....>W and >SW
BS
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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Oats Royd

One of the bottom ponds

Track up the Gulf

Don,t know where this one came from.

1600-1800hrs Strong NW >5-6 Some drizzle showers.
Tried Soil Hill west to watch the col but this was unworkable in the strong wind so dropped down to Oats Royd where the col could still be watched in slightly less wind.
Nothing much in the skies apart from a few LBBs >SW and several Swallows moving >S but keeping very low.
Several passerines were grounded with Willow Warblers everywhere along with Robins and 1 very mobile Spotted Fly. The count would have been much higher had it not been for the strong wind blasting through the trees.
Looking across the valley I could see DJS hanging on in there at Hunter Hill, not a pleasant day for birding at all today and looking at the forecast for tomorrow the wind has to increase.

1 Spotted Flycatcher
9 Robin
12 Willow Warbler
1 Sparrowhawk
11 LBB gull >SW
1 Heron
100 + Swallow >S
50 + Swallow blogging.
5 ad Moorhen
3 juv Moorhen
BS
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Bank Holiday washout

Horrendious conditions at Fly Flatts

Even this Magpie looked fed up

Little Grebe still present at Ogden

4 Tufted at Ogden

Plenty small gulls but only 2 LBBs

An early start at Fly Flatts soon had to be aborted with near gale force NW>6 wind and horizontal drizzle followed by some sunshine then torrential rain. The area was void of birds and the shoreline rapidly disappearing.
Ogden was out of the wind but heavy showers persisted despite a dry forecast but spirits were lifted slightly when 11 Crossbills flew over from the direction of the Giants Tooth towards the Back Lane plantation. The birds looked like locals being low down. NKs Little Grebe was still present along with 4 Tufted duck and 162 small gulls being split about 50/50 Commons and Black Headed. Only 1 ad LBB and 1 2nd year LBB were present.
No sign of sky movement today in the adverse conditions.

4 Tufted
1 Little Grebe
162 small gulls
1 Heron
11 Crossbills
+ usual sp.
BS
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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Shelf Moor

No sign of the Lapwing flock this afternoon around Shelf Moor but several Pied Wagtails were grouping ready to move with up to 15 in the Gorse field. This field looks ideal for Yellow Wag this early autumn although the nearest report of one in previous years is from the field below the golf course.
Linnets lined the wires with 11 in one group and a single Moorhen was on the pond.
Hopefully the next 2 days will produce some movement although strong winds are forecast.
BS

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fly Flatts fatality

When looking for the Greenshank at Fly Flatts yesterday evening I came across the remains of a bird on the waters edge in the NW corner. Through the bins I thought it was the Greenshank but on closer inspection , due to the size and markings and short wader legs, I believe it to be a Common Sandpiper. The remains were surrounded with paw prints from a fox.
All quiet up here at the back of the moon today with a miserable day of drizzle and heavy showers.
42 House Sparrows on and around the garden feeders at lunch time today but NK informed me that a pair of Sparrowhawks has raised 3 young in the Queensbury area so Lynda had better buy a bigger brush.
BS
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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday night dip, Fly Flatts

Sun setting over the moor

Northern ponds and shore

Still plenty mud at the north end

Managed to waste an hour tonight dashing over to Fly Flatts with hopes of the Greenshank but this was not to be.
After going in at the northern end and doing a full scope of the shoreline the bird was not to be found.
11 Wheatear were picked up in the scope along wall tops ,otherwise just a few Mallard and Canadas with no gulls present.
Did manage to get bit though with thousands of midges
BS
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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Causeway Foot Col

Rabbits have made a good come back

Entrance to the watchpoint

A quick dash to the watchpoint tonight and 30 minutes watching produced very little other than Swallows moving through >S along with 2 House Martins. 1 distant bird had the look of Sand Martin but without scope could,nt tell, possibly a juv House.
2 Alba Wagtails came over >W and a few LBB gulls also >W.
A small flock of 9 Linnet were along the track and Meadow Pipits were showing signs of grouping.
Rabbits in the area have made a good come back, especially down the old railway station after many being wiped out a few years back with Myxomatosis, had to get the dictionary out for the spelling of that.
BS
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Monday, August 22, 2011

Queensbury Station

The cutting to the Holmfield tunnel

Looking up the Dailies

The old chimney

Road bridge under the Thornton line.

Just 1 hour to kill tonight near Clayton till I picked Lynda up so had a look down the old railway station which is almost unrecognizable now with the new bike track through the middle. Still plenty habitat for the warbler season but very quiet now with just the usual Blackbirds, Robins etc and a single Chiffchaff.
Shot back to the old favourite, Causeway Foot col for 15 mins to find the skies void of birds. The warm air and blue skies killed the area from last nights movers so tonight it was just down to a few Linnets and 2 Pied Wagtails.
BS
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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Teal at Fly Flatts

Bit of a rare sighting to get Teal at Fly Flatts at this time
of year. BS
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Causeway Foot col

A good day for Kestrels







Peregrine through at speed

LBBs on the move

Causeway Foot Col 1730-1830hrs Sunshine, icy cold W>4

A real Kestrel day today with 6 in the air together at Fly Flatts this a.m. and 3 in the air together this evening off Soil Hill plus a fly past of a speeding Peregrine.
Really starting to have the feel of vis mig approaching now, especially with the icy cold wind in my face tonight, time to dig the big coat out.

16 House Martin....................>S
71 Swallow..............................>S
23 BH gulls............................>S
11 LBB gulls..........................>S
2 Common gull......................>N towards Thornton Moor res
3 Kestrel
1 Peregrine.........................>E
2 Curlews ..........................>E
+ usual corvids
BS
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Vis Mig starts at Fly Flatts

Wheatear in autumn uniform



2 Juv Curlews

4 of family of 6 Kestrel

Oystercatcher

Fly Flatts 0730-1015hrs A misty wet start with low cloud, drizzle and a strong WSW>5 but clearing by 0830 with
broken sunshine and the wind decreased to SSW>2.
Inspired by DJSs call of Swifts over Lee Mount I scanned the skies but to no avail.
The first sign of Meadow Pipits was apparent along with Swallows and House Martins and an amazing sight of a family of 6 Kestrels hovering and landing along the west banking.

Movers :-
100+ Swallow........................ >SW
11 House Martin...................>SW
38 Meadow Pipits................>W
1 Peregrine..........................high and >S
3 Wheatears blogging

Other :-
6 Kestrel all up together
1 Teal
1 Oystercatcher
several Red Grouse
Strangely no gulls or Canadas
BS
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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Lapwings on the move

A steady flow of Lapwings all day today >W but otherwise quiet in the skies.
3 seperate Kestrels were hovering off crow point this p.m. and Swallows trickled over >SW.
DJS is still hanging on to Swifts at Lee Mount but this area seems dried up of them and has been since the 3rd of this month.
Lets hope we get a decent Sunday tomorrow for a change !
BS

Friday, August 19, 2011

Foxhill and Shelf Moor

A good count of Common gulls in Foxhill park today with 54 present at 0600hrs but the majority of these had moved on by 7030hrs.
Lapwing flocks are beginning to build around Shelf Moor with 2 groups of 12 and 16 around the fields.
Several Skylarks and Linnets were in the hawthorn field with Swallows moving over >SW but no sign of the Canada geese near the pond.
BS

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sky Watching

30 minutes sky watching from the garden this evening produced :-
43 LBB gulls >E
31 BH gulls >E
17 Swallow >S
5 Linnets >SW
1 Alba Wagtail >W
Havent had a Swift now since the third.
BS

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Foxhill today & i.d. the flying birds

A sunny evening in Foxhill park



Can you I.D these two birds that flew over Foxhill.
I know what they are but do you off the photo.

Another day of drizzle, rain showers and westerly winds.
Swallows are still feeding well in the park with hundreds of large black flies about with long dangling legs ?
Alba Wagtails are starting to trickle through >S with 8 seperates being counted throughout the day, strangely Im still down to one Grey Wagtail this year.
A walk to Old Guy Rd tonight found 4 Skylarks on the cricket pitch but no sign of Wheatears.
BS
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