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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Highlight of December 2013, Shelf Moor Snipe


      Fields around the trailer park Queensbury became alive with Snipe

                                        Skies alive

                 A record of 48 were counted at one count

                                 Numbers now dwindled down

                 Queensbury Snipe don,t come better than this






To finish off the year I,ve put what to me was the highlight of the last few weekends in December when Snipe invaded the Shelf Moor trailer park area in a big way. When they first arrived they were more open, feeding in the open fields and flying around in flocks but as the month went on they became less conspicuous keeping down in the juncus and if flushed flying directly across the road to their roosting site.
The Snipe were more numerous around last light than during the day and one late afternoon I had the amazing experience of seeing 48 birds in the sky together before dropping down into the horse field near to the farm.
Numbers have steadily dwindled dropping to 20+, then 15 and the last two checks have produced 4 then 3 birds although motorcross bikes in a nearby field possibly played a part in this.
Possibly the numbers will rise again as long as the area doesn,t freeze over but I,ll not be checking them again until next year, ( tomorrow ).

So heres wishing you all a very Healthy and Happy New Year with the hope that the birding god is kind to you in providing the goods. We,ve a good local team covering the area so hopefully we,ll crack some records during 2014.
Don,t stay up too late tonight celebrating, there,s a new year full of birds waiting for you tomorrow, I,ll have to stay up to keep the dogs calm until the fireworks have finished after midnight, which is mega late for me, but I,ll be out there in the morning as soon as the daylight allows.
                 Thanks again for watching the blog and I,ll see you next year!!
BS.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Some Specials from 2013


             Pink Footed Geese in Queensbury fog.   Jan.
                                 Barnacles Leeshaw.      Jan
                            Pink Footed Leeshaw.    Jan
Clayton Waxwings  Feb
Fly Flatts Whoopers,.. Feb  
                                           Pink Footed, Leeshaw.     March

                 Whoopers in fog , Ogden    March

                  Qby Waxwings, Foxhill     March

                                       Long Eared Owl      April
       Buzzards passing over Fly Flatts,    May
                         Ogden Red Kite ,     May
                                 Oxenhope Green Sandpiper     Aug
                       Oxenhope Greenshank,    Aug
                                Pinkies passing Soil Hill,   Oct

                                            Spotted Flycatcher, oxenhope,  Aug
                                   Turnstone Fly Flatts,   Aug
                                   Firecrest, Ogden    Nov
                              Tawny Owls   Nov
                                  Snipe, Shelf Moor   Nov/Dec

Just a sample of the many special birds picked up and photographed through 2013.
Who says local birding is boring !.

An atrocious day up here in the gods today with increasing near gale force winds W>6-7 with torrential rain showers, at least it was,nt snow.
BS

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Ringby Top

                                  Perfect conditions on Ringby Top

                                           Ringby Quarry
                                                 Black Dyke in the background
                                Plenty Lesser Black Backed through

                                              A hazy sun going down.


Paying heed to NKs warning that Soil Hill was poor due to a clay pigeon shoot my last light session took me to Ringby Top where the cold W>5 blew amidst a hazy sunshine.
The whole of the top is a real thick muddy mess due to moving machinery driving along the track and Land Rover ricking on the summit. The Shorelark field however is in perfect condition with deep ruts and scrapes.
Having said that birding was poor with no sign of the Linnet flock and the only small birds being 1 Dunnock and  1 Skylark. the usual high count of corvids were there with several LBB gulls over and 2 Kestrels up hunting and that was it.
The thing about Ringby is , birds or no birds, the view from up there is always breath taking.
Down on the end of Swalesmoor the usual Chaffinch flock was in the Alders but no Bramblings.
Again on the recommendation of NK I bought a yesterdays Yorkshire Post to see the Soil Hill Snow Bunting was reported in there in Bill Teales column, anybody know where they get the info from, do they scan the blogs or will it have been sent in by some one ?
BS

        Distant record shots of Fieldfares off Corporal Lane
          sent in this evening by Tracy Collier.
                                    3 Photos, courtesy Tracy Collier.
         Well spotted Tracy, I checked the lower fields but missed these.
BS

Leeshaw Reservoir

                                                  Woodpigeons on the move
                                             Cormorants heading >W
                                                   Local Woodpigeons
                                     Cormorants

A cold wet and windy start to the day with hill fog so the planned Fly Flatts trip was aborted and another visit to Leeshaw.
On arrival the cold W>5 was blowing with heavy rain showers easing mid morning but the whole area was much more alive than my Thursday visit.
At last the Canadas are returning so hopefully this will invite more wildfowl species in.
Woodpigeons came over in shoals all >SW and there was an obvious move of Cormorant.

400+ Woodpigeons.............................................>SW
2 Cormorant........................................................>W
4 Cormorant.........................................blogging
1m 2f Teal
13 Canada Geese
2 Greylag Geese
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Dunnock
200+ Starling
32 Fieldfare
c60 Fieldfare  by Dog and Gun, Oxenhope
1 Curlew
usual small gulls and corvids.
BS