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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.
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Checked the trailer park fields again late p.m. for Wheatear then the plan was a bit more sky watching from Soil Hill but unsafe to leave the car as a druggy looking meeting going on in the parking spaces so it was on to Mixenden reservoir.
The water is 50 % frozen but attracting good numbers of gulls and waterfowl.
An Oystercatcher looked out of place on the ice and a pair of Teal was a nice suprise whilst Goosanders were still coming in as I left probably forming a roost there with TMR being frozen over, that is where they usually head.
c150 small gulls, 75 % Bhgs
1 LBB gull
Posted by Brian Sumner . at 5:27 PM
Fly Flatts 0700-1015hrs, Slight E>3 Sunshine
Set off for Fly Flatts not really expecting to be able to get there but drove to the wind farm then on foot the rest of the way. Fly Flatts area and moor were suprisingly clear of snow , as DCB remarked it will all have been blown across into Lancashire, although the reservoir was 95 % froze over with just one small pocket of water in the SE corner where Canadas were congregating.
The moors were alive with calls from Canada and Greylag geese, Curlew and Golden Plover with several Meadow Pipits in the area.
A full scan round the walls and rocks etc from Withens Gap to Fly failed to turn up any Wheatear.
A good passage of LBB gulls was underway all >NE so at least things seem to be getting into the spring mode at last.
38 LBB gull.............................>NE
9 Red Grouse
26 Canada..............Many more on moor
11 Meadow Pipit
Sev Carrion Crow.
Posted by Brian Sumner . at 11:36 AM
Saturday, March 30, 2013
With a report of an Osprey on the loose over Halifax this p.m. from Hx grapevine I thought Id better get myself up Soil Hill watchpoint at 1515 hrs with a chance of it coming through.
Vehicle access from the Raggalds is now possible with a single track cut through although walking up to the summit means a bit of wall climbing and drift dodging.
Skies were much livelier today with a real sign of movement but a thorough search of the hill found no sign of Wheatear but its got to happen any day now.
A pair of Lapwing were establishing themselves on the summit and an unusual passage of Magpies was interesting whilst 12 Golden Plover flew >W over the Oats Royd area towards the Withins.
Deborah from Hebden Bridge kindly rang me at work this morning to report c30 Waxwings around her garden just above the Hardcastle Crags area
Glad you got your first Waxwings Deborah, I passed the report on to Halifaxbirders who put the message out on the grapevine but havent heard if they were relocated by the Hebden Bridge lads or not yet.
Thanks again for the call which was much appreciated.
A second grapevine message was from NK reporting c10 Waxwings near the end of Swalesmoor, Queensbury seen from the bus.
Soil Hill 1515-1630hrs
12 Golden Plover..........................>W
11 seperate Magpies.....................>NW
3 LBB gulls....................................>NW
1 pr Lapwing on the hill
6 Lapwing down on the Shay
100+ Corvids down on the Shay
Posted by Brian Sumner . at 6:12 PM
Friday, March 29, 2013
Late pm visit.
No vehicle access up Perseverance Rd so had to go from Ogden end up Ned Hill and managed to park in the water board pull in.
The drifts across the track in to Soil Hill were level across the wall tops so had to climb into the field and get in that way. Once on the hill there was very little problem as most of the snow had been blown off but care had to be taken in some on the ravines.
Apart from 2 hardy Skylarks and 3 Meadow Pipits nothing else was on the summit and just 8 Lapwing and several corvids were down near the NK pond.
Another check of the trailer park field fdrew a blank although the field is blown clear of snow and ready for arrivals.
Again no Waxwings showing around the Moorclose, Foxhill area.
Back to work in the morning but should get a teatime session in although its hard to think where to go in these conditions, like DJS commented, parkings the problem.
Posted by Brian Sumner . at 5:57 PM
A bad start to the easter weekend with a trip to Ogden as most other venues are snowbound.
The reservoir was 75% froze and held just the usual Mallards 3 Canada Geese and the usual small gulls whilst passerines consisted of Blue and Gt Tits with the highlight being 2 Curlew over >W.
When I got back to the car I found the SLR camera I had in my bag for general scenes Id taken had fallen out. I carry the other SLR round my neck with the big lens on but as I put the other back in the bag I must have missed and dropped it in the snow.
A quick dash back to where Id used it last found nothing so pinned a note with my number on the info door waiting for the honest person that had picked it up to ring (Ha Ha), so an expensive outing.
On the way back
Raggalds Flood froze and snowed over
Trailer park field birdable but no Wheatear
Moorclose and Foxhill area, no Waxwings.
Apart from all that everything went well !!
Posted by Brian Sumner . at 10:54 AM
Thursday, March 28, 2013
A slightly better day with a slight rise in temperature and a steady thaw showing. Some sunny spells and the wind dropped slightly moving round a notch to NE> 3.
Plenty Waxwings still moving around with first a phone call from blog watcher Peter Turner who was watching 2 above a garden showing berries on Cooper Lane, Horton Bank Top, thanks for the call Peter, and secondly a call from NK with the Foxhill flock showing on Weston Vale Rd and then a flock of c30 back at the old site of Moorclose Rd. See Queensburybirder blog for report and unusual photos in the snow.
Im glad Nigel relocated the flock because by the time Id kept him talking on the phone the birds had flown before he could get a photo.
Otherwise a quiet day apart from plenty small gulls now back in the area for food and a visit by the local Sparrowhawk into the front garden before being rapidly seen off by Lynda before it could get near her House Sparrows. I keep telling her to get a photo but she,s more likely to twot it on the head with the long brush.
A day off tomorrow but the problem of where to bird with most of the upland locations being snow bound, watch this space.
Posted by Brian Sumner . at 8:13 PM
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Roper Lane still blocked
A morning of heavy snow till midday then snow showers during the afternoon clearing by 1500hrs leaving sunshine and blue skies.
The sky looked ideal for moving Osprey so a rushed tea and first a walk through Waxwing country, Coniston, Moorclose and Stonehouse but no sign, possibly due to the late hour and the mass of berries around Moorside Rd were completely stripped bare.
Through into Roper Lane for a quick skywatch hoping for an early Osprey heading north but nothing but corvids heading to roost.
Moorclose held 4 singing Blackbird, 1 singing Song Thrush and plenty Starling.
A nice walk and a good sunset.
Posted by Brian Sumner . at 6:58 PM