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Monday, December 31, 2012

Last Lapwings this year, Shelf Moor

                                    Lapwing flock now 185 strong.




                      No sign of Goldies as yet.



Another terrible day till mid afternoon with constant rain this morning and absolute torrential rain early afternoon. By 1430hrs the skies cleared and showed blue leaving a starry evening.
Went back to work in the car pm so I could have a final 2012 stab at Golden Plover in with the Lapwing flock but even though there are now 185 Lapwing and several Starling no Goldies could be found.

Time now to clear the computer ready for a new year and sum up all the birds Ive missed in 2012, these being mainly waders with the high water levels leaving a lack of shoreline.

Some of my local highlights of 2012 are :-
Snow Buntings.....................Soil Hill
Crossbills............................Ogden
Tawny Owls.........................Queensbury
Red Kite.............................Shelf Moor
Greenland Wheatear............Fly Flatts
Dipper..............................Fly Flatts........The area found, not the bird.
Cuckoo..............................Fly Flatts
Ringed Plover.....................Soil Hill
Little Ringed Plover...........Soil Hill
Dunlin...............................Soil Hill
Twite ................................Soil Hill
Jack Snipe........................Soil Hill
Grasshopper Warbler........Fly Flatts
Common Tern..................Ogden
Yellow Browed Warbler... Ogden
Yellow Legged Herring Gull...Ned Hill
Whimbrel.............................Ringby
Wigeon...........................Ogden
Shoveler..........................Ogden
Hen Harrier....................Fly Flatts
Waxwing.........................Foxhill Park
Hopefully there,ll be many more in 2013.

WISHING YOU ALL A HAPPY NEW YEAR.
BS

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Shelf Moor Lapwings




           Shelf Moor Lapwing Flock.       Photo Tracy Collier
                 All stood head into the wind           Photo Tracy Collier.
                Starling/ Lapwing mix.       Photo Tracy Collier.

Since I put my evening report on of no Lapwings at Shelf Moor/ Cross Lane last light 2 reports show that they were there earlier.
NK reported c100 Lapwings with Starlings , see Queensburybirder blog, and Tracy C has just sent me these pictures taken by her at 1330hrs today. Hopefully the flock will attract some Golden Plovers down early in the new year.
BS

Not fit to turn a dog out, Soil Hill.

Soil Hill  1445hrs. Strong to gale force WSW>7 gusting 8. Heavy horizontal driving rain, lovely.
Started off ok with around 60 Fieldfare and c50 Starling in the manure field on the opposite side of the road by the plantation. Problem was they moved down the dip in the field out of visibility and the pics I took as I first saw them were a disaster in the bad light.
The top of the hill was horrendous but I stuck it out hoping to flush Snipe, Jack Snipe or Woodcock but dipped on all, just found 2 very hardy Skylark and 1 Meadow Pipit.
After one full circuit of both summits and the grassed area I came away thinking, I must be the only nugget that would bird this hill in these conditions but then I felt better when I thought of another one, mentioning no names.
With a taste for Fieldfare and a snitching of half light left I drove on Roper Lane, few gulls only, Old Guy Rd, 1 Skylark on the cricket pitch, Jackson Hill x roads, no Lapwings, Corporal Lane, Corvids, mainly Jackdaws, Corporal Hill, 1 Kestrel, few Corvids, Green Lane, 2 Mistle Thrush and a good count of 18 Magpies in the Holly bush roost, unfortunately too dark for the camera by now.
Day off on Tuesday so it all starts again for another year.
All I need is a mega over the garage tomorrow to end 2012 on.
BS

Rain, Hail, Sleet, Snow and Gales, Ogden.


                          An obliging Robin

                                    Mistle Thrush, Syke Lane
                                        Pinching the bird seed.
               Cormorant on its usual perch
                                           In the water, first light

Ogden, some sun, strong to gale force icy W>7 easing W>5. Heavy showers of rain, hail, sleet and snow.

Awoke this morning at 0600hrs with a torrential hail storm which covered everywhere and froze on the ground. By the time it was light enough to set off,0830hrs it was icy underfoot and showery but a good sunrise.
Fly Flatts was out of the question with the conditions so back to Ogden where it was quiet to say the least.
Nothing on the water other than the returned Cormorant, about 20 BHGs and the usual winter Mallard flock still in low numbers.
Walking around the water found a few Goldcrest, several Robins and a fly over by the local Dipper heading from the shale pond towards the overflow but not re located.
Checking the fields on the way back again failed to turn up Fieldfare, just a single Mistle Thrush off Syke Lane.
Raggalds flood held 43 small gulls , 70% Commons but no duck sp at all.
BS

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Shelf Moor, last light.

By the time we,d got back from Halifax plus calling at the daughters at Shelf Moor the daylight was almost gone, 1530hrs so a quick drive round Green Lane on the way home was all I could fit in.
No Lapwings were present at Shelf Moor in the usual fields but there were large numbers of Corvids on the ground pre roost feeding whilst 6 Mistle Thrushes landed briefly on the wires.
Around 20 BHG gulls were on Green Lane along with 2 of the 3 Little Owls in the usual spot but pretty well hidden.
Two Grey Partridge flew across the road and 8 Magpies were in the tops of Holly bushes near the Deanstones end.
Ogden or Fly Flatts in the morning depending on the wind and fog conditions.
BS

Friday, December 28, 2012

This time last year

       Plenty Greenfinch around the Delvers, Chaffinch but no Brambling.
   Large flocks of Starlings around Fly Flatts
      Redwings in the Delvers field

                       Kestrels always present, Ned Hill
                                 9 Snow Buntings. Soil Hill

    Early Jan and Pinkies already starting to move north, Ogden.

A real miserable dark day with heavy drizzle throughout accompanied by a strong WSW wind and swirling fog.
Well done to NK for braving the conditions and battling over Soil Hill to Ogden and getting rewarded with his 11th Jack Snipe sighting this winter plus a Woodcock at Ogden, see Queensburybirder.
Nothing to report up here in the gods hence the pics from around this time last year. Not the best of forecasts for  the weekend but something good is bound to turn up soon.
You may have noticed that Ive removed the weather forecast widget from the right hand column as it was completely hopeless for predicting a 5 day forecast and never got it right, I,ll stick to looking out of the window from now.
BS

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tracys Pics

                           Male Bullfinch  E.G.P.      Photo Tracy Collier
               Gt Spotted Woodpecker,  E.G.P.       Photo, Tracy Collier
        Sparrowhawk, undisclosed site.           Photo Tracy Collier

Three pics taken today by Tracy, the Sparrowhawk looks like its had a good Christmas feast.
Thanks for those Tracy, I needed something for the blog tonight.
BS

Queensbury Today

A cloudy but mainly dry day with plenty sky activity during the morning but only from the resident gulls and Starlings etc.
A small flock of 5 Fieldfare came over the garage first thing, probably out of roost down the old station and 4 Blackbirds were around the car park whilst a noisy Wren made a few brief appearances.
Common gulls were back in Foxhill park at midday with 18 present along with 6 Black Headed.
Otherwise all quiet and mad busy at work so not much chance for looking skyward.
BS

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boxing Day soaking Mk2. Soil Hill

                     Unusual spot for a Common Gull
                                2 of the 3 Skylarks steaming by
                                          Heron disappearing over the hill

Soil Hill p.m. visit.  1400-1500hrs. Dry then torrential rain, wind dropped to SW>5

A new strategy for Jack Snipe searching on the hill today after calling at Wickes to buy a pair of industrial wellies which proved a great asset being able to cover a lot more wet area without fear of going well over the boot tops. Unfortunately no Snipe of any species was found, in fact the hill was very quiet with just 3 very mobile Skylarks together, 1 Heron over and a Common gull in the water board field, an unusual sight for up there, correct me if Im wrong Nigel.
Did a full search of east and west summits as well as the mounds and Jack Snipe alley paying particular attention to the area where it was flushed Christmas eve but nothing doing.
Back to work tomorrow but a short week so will soon be trudging that hill again.
BS

Boxing Day bash/ Fly Flatts

                                      A few Fieldfare at last
                    Could,nt hold the camera still to get these!

                                                 Very mobile flock



      No pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, just more rain

An atrocious morning at Fly Flatts with near gale force W>7 gusting 8 and torrential rain showers following one after the other over the moor. Some sunshine in between but short lived.
As I arrived a flock of about 30 Fieldfare came up from the roadside field and settled over the moor but kept very mobile till disappearing beyond the turbines.
Otherwise Fly Flatts was birdless with nothing on the water which was very rough with white horses rolling across.
A check of the fields around the wind turbine car park found a dozen Meadow Pipits and several corvids  with a few small gulls heading towards Cold Edge Dams.
The Delvers held a few Chaffinch and Gt Tits but still no sign of Brambling which is looking like a dipped bird for me this year.
Driving back through Bradshaw a flock of around 40 Fieldfare flew from the direction of Oats Royd and dropped into trees around a horse paddock.
Not the morning I hoped for but at least there are no cobwebs on me now.
BS

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day bash, Ogden

                                           BHGs at Ogden

                                       1 of several Goldcrests

After a hectic morning with daughters and grand daughters the dogs were wanting to go to Ogden so I thought it only fair to take them for an hour,honest.
It was bright as I set off but on arrival the heavens opened and down came torrential rain for most of the time  that I was there.
Around 50 small gulls were on the water with the usual Mallards and a Moorhen made a brief appearance in the NE reeds.
Had a count of 7 Goldcrest and the usual Wrens, Robins, Tits and bits around the perimeter but with the weather as it was not much chance of photography.
Hope you,re all having a good day and not eating and drinking too much.
BS

Monday, December 24, 2012

Local twitch of the year


                                         NCD had 2 near misses
                                         The casual finder, DS
                                                    Pause for thought

                                  The area it was re located in
                                        Well pleased

                                                  Darkness falling


                                                                                               Photos BS.

Ogdens Yellow Browed Warbler caused a real stir 29/09/2012 found by Denise Shields, and gave us the run around until it was finally re located at the opposite side of the reservoir. DS,NK,DJS,BS.
BS