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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Soil Hill p.m. visit

                                          Soil Hill from the north

                                 Grasshopper Warbler
                                      Very mobile Whitethroats


                                       Plenty Linnets around

Not a great idea to check a north facing hillside for small passerines in a WNW>4 but at the moment I,ve to grab every opportunity so off to Soil Hill north slope late afternoon.
As it turned out it produced the goods but hard work with the birds very mobile and keeping down out of the wind.
First bird to appear in front of the camera was surprisingly a Grasshopper Warbler which allowed me one snap before dropping into the undergrowth never to be re located.
Up to 5 Whitethroats were around but very mobile and keeping low not interested in some nurd with a camera.
A single Sedge Warbler was giving out bursts of song but keeping out of sight just beyond the NK pond whilst 2 cracking male Reed Buntings gave me no chance of a photo by keep dropping into the long grass.
Otherwise it was down to about a dozen Linnets and 8 Goldfinch with no sign of moving gulls.

Water on Raggalds Flood well receding and just usual sp. present
With May gone we,re down to the worst month of the birders calendar now but some decent rarities have turned up in June in previous years.
BS

Friday, May 30, 2014

Ned Hill watch point

                                       Ned Hill track

        Mixenden Reservoir from Ned Hill
            Drake Mallards heading back to Soil Hill

          Looking across a misty Causeway Foot Col.

A check on the Causeway Foot Col this evening to see if yesterdays small gulls were still on the move found only 5 LBBs heading high and >W with no sign of Black Headed.
The track held Goldfinch, Linnet and Meadow Pipits whilst a family of 3 Grey Wagtails flew over the goose field.
Several Swallows and Swifts flew around the col in no particular direction and a single Lapwing headed for Soil Hill.
Raggalds Flood on the way home again found it struggling to produce even though conditions are ideal at the moment, with just a single Pied Wagtail, 2 Drake Mallards, possibly the same birds seen over Ned Hill, and a few Woodpigeons.
BS

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Raggalds Flood and gulls returning

                    Still plenty water in the flood

                                       Testing the depth

Another day of thick fog and heavy drizzle until mid afternoon when it eventually cleared leaving a grey but dry and clear evening still with a cold ENE >4 hence the old Yorkshire saying, " Ne,re cast a clout till May is out ".
A check of the flood found it still holding water but very  little else with 3 Pied Wagtail all hovering above the grass and water catching flies whilst several Swallows were feeding by skimming the surface of the water.
At least 10 Swift went over >N and 8 rabbits were around the water.

A 15 minute watch on Roper Lane was interesting with several gulls moving >N through the Causeway Foot col comprising of mainly Black Headed with a smaller number of Lesser Black Backed.
The birds were mainly adults with just a couple of juvs.
Again plenty Swifts were heading >N , some very high.
Almost weekend and a new month so lets see what June turns up.
BS

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A grim dark day in Queensbury.

A day of fog, rain and drizzle up here in the gods at Queensbury with fog from start to finish in the high north of the village, where I happen to live, although it was clear and wet down in the village centre.
With May nearly out and nothing to report from today I,ve put a few birds from June, July, August 2013 together giving you some inspiration and something to look out for with waders being the number one target.

                         Turnstone, Fly Flatts

                                    juv Gt Crested Grebe, Ogden
                                      juv Little Grebe, Oxenhope
                          Spotted Flycatcher, Oxenhope
                 Greenshank, Oxenhope


  Possibly a bird of the past, Twite at Fly Flatts
                   Gulls returning back post breeding, Oxenhope
   Poor but record shots of Green Sandpiper, Oxenhope.

All photos BS.

Nice of blog watchers Jean and Colin to call in the garage today to ask about Lynda, a lovely thought  thanks.
BS

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Queensbury Today

A mixed bag of weather today with periods of sun but mostly cloudy yet warm on a light NE>4.
Raggalds Flood at lunch time held 6 Mallard , 2 Pied Wagtails and the usual corvids and Woodpigeons with several Swallows low over the receding water and Swifts overhead.
Foxhill Park had busy skies at 1900hrs with 2 Kestrels hovering over the Grimston field, up to 30 Swifts high and >SE , 1 Lapwing also high and >SE, 4 LBB gulls >N and several corvids very high >W.
Collared Dove numbers are up with around 14 in the area.
BS

Monday, May 26, 2014

Herring or Yellow Legged ?

Took this long distant shot of a single gull this morning at Fly Flatts thinking of Herring gull and dismissed it till Ive just been through the photos, looks good for Yellow Legged to me going by the head shape and bill.
BS

Birds and Bees

                    Curlew at Fly Flatts this a.m.
                                               Plenty Swallows over the water
                 Bees outside M&S Woolshops Halifax this p.m.


  Street wardens running round not knowing what to do , so cordoned 
 it off so the Bees could,nt get out !
                  M&S now selling home made honey.

    A quick trip out this p.m. found this distant Buzzard sitting out.


Little birding time today so checked Fly Flatts this a.m. which was not one of my better moves as very quiet, whatever has happened to this place. Even the northern ponds held very little with the usual breeders missing.
1 Common Sandpiper
1 Oystercatcher
2 Stonechat
1 Kestrel
1 LBB gull
+ usual Curlews, Lapwings and Canadas

A shopping therapy trip for Lynda in Halifax this p.m. found the bees nest just outside M&S doorway which seemed to cause some panic to the public and the street wardens wondering what to do. They finally put barriers around the tree either to keep the bees in or stop people climbing up for a closer look.

An hour out late afternoon found this distant Buzzard relaxing in a tree and after watching, camera ready, for 30 minutes for it to fly, it disappeared whilst I was distracted with a Jay overhead, not to be re located.
BS

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Ogdens Back Lane to Ogden Kirk.



                                    Song Thrush scratting for grubs

                                                 Plenty juv LBB gulls over >W



                         Raggalds Flood up and running


A late afternoon walk up Back Lane as far as Ogden Kirk was a bit of a damp squid with heavy rain showers giving me a reet good soaking and keeping the birds down.
LBB gulls were moving over well >W, all juvs, despite the rain, as were Swifts in the same direction.
Several Chaffinch were taking food from the moor back into the plantation where 3 Siskin were briefly present at the top of a pine tree.
Pine cones are only just ripening in the plantation so a bit early for Crossbills as yet.
3 Male Blackbirds on the moor made me look twice hoping for Ring Ouzel and a Kestrel flew over high during a dry spell.
Only Mallards and Canadas on the water as far as I could see looking down from the moor.

Raggalds Flood well topped up now with a single Lapwing , 6 male Mallard and the usual Woodpigeons and corvids.
BS

Leeshaw/ Fly Flatts

                1 of 3 juv Pied Wagtails
               Well hidden in the ploughed field
                     Little Owl on guard duty
                    Meadow Pipit feeding young
  Lapwings not happy with the presence of a Pheasant

                                       2 of 6 Oystercatchers

                                      Singing Wren
                                            Canadas grazing

A misty wet start to the morning brightening as it went on.
Leeshaw was as usual buzzing with birds but nothing out of the ordinary other that a quick sighting of CKs White Wagtail.
Fly Flatts was poor with 1 Stonechat and the usual Canadas etc
Raggalds Flood held 1pr Mallard + usual sp.

Leeshaw
Sev House Martins
Swifts
Swallows
6 Oystercatchers
1 Little Owl
1 White Wagtail
1pr Pied Wagtail + 3 juvs
1 Grey Wagtail
1 Wren
+ usual Curlews, Lapwings, Linnets and Mipits
BS