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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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ogden , That was some blizzard !!

          Ogden, white water rapids, early evening
                                 Here come the blizzard

                        Closing in
              This looks serious
  Vis down to a few yards after this pic.
                                  Lesser Black Backs riding the waves.
   If Neville, name on the plaque , was a birder he,d be
                       well chuffed at this.
        Cracking male Sparrowhawk by the feeders
                       Pics taken in bad light


              What a stonking bird ,unless you,re a passerine.

After overnight torrential rain and gale force W>8 followed by a day of heavy snow showers and gale to strong gale W>8-9 I could,nt miss a quick after tea check of Ogden in case something good had been forced down.
A heavy snow shower as I left home soon cleared leaving a grey sky over Ogden with dark clouds to the west.
As I checked the feeders the Mallards were agitated and making weird noises and with a scan across to the far feeder I saw why with a cracking male Sparrowhawk perched below the feeding post.
Just chance for a few quick shots in poor light before it was up and off into the wood.
The water was rough with white horses and void of birds other than 2 LBB gulls riding the waves.
A few Gt Tits were present around the lodge house feeder but otherwise quiet.
By this time the weather was closing in with a real humdinger of a snow blizzard cutting visibility down to a few yards along the promenade turning me and the 3 dogs white in seconds  but well worth the trip if only to see the Sparrowhawk.
Had planned to check the Raggalds Flood on the way back but the blizzard followed me all the way home.
March gone now and still no local Wheatears but wait till this weather turns and we,ll be crawling with them.
BS


Monday, March 30, 2015

Queensbury, wild and wet.

A deteriorating day after a bright start with a light covering of frozen snow and hail and a strong W>5.
By mid afternoon the wind had increased and swung round to the S>6 bringing heavy rain.
A dinner time check on the Shelf Moor trailer park field just produced around 20 Meadow Pipits and as expected, no Wheatear.
A bit of shopping at Keelham tonight gave me a good excuse to check the Raggalds Flood which is brimming with water and holding 3 pr Mallard, Teal coming shortly !
Hopefully all the Wheatears that are holding back for a change in the weather will hit our area  on mass when the temperatures rise a little, hopefully over Easter.

Thanks to Mark Murray for calling in the garage today to drop off Short Eared Owl pellets to pass on to AC for examining.
BS.                                      

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Wet Windy Start, Wet Windy Finish.

        A wild and wet Cold Edge Dams

               Mixenden Tufted and Mallards

          Mixenden Gt Crested Grebe

          A very flighty Mixenden Tufted
                     Cold Edge Dams Oystercatcher

By the time I got out late afternoon the winds had got back up to strength W>6 gusting 7 and again very heavy rain showers .
First stop was Mixenden where the wind was creating white horses across the water and viewing only possible from the west shore with back to the wind and slightly sheltered in the trees.
A single Gt Crested Grebe was present along with 1 drake Tufted tagging along with 5 Mallard. The 6 were very mobile flying circuits of the water before landing again.
After a walk ,or being blown, once around the water to make sure nothing was sheltering under the edges if was off for a quick visit to Cold Edge Dams where the weather made Mixenden look like the south of France.
The wind was howling across the moor making it near impossible to stand up on the banking whilst horizontal rain stung the face.
Just 2 Canadas on the lower dam and as DJS remarked, all bird activity was in the shelter of the lower fields.
78 Canadas and 4 Greylag were grazing whilst 4 Redshank and 5 Oystercatchers were mobile along with 3 Curlews.
Checking the Stonechat and Wheatear hotspots in the area discovered just a few Meadow Pipits.
Looks like I won,t be getting a March Wheatear this year unless one lands in the garage car park in the next 2 days.
BS

First day of Summertime BAH.

                                      Several Mistle Thrush at Leeshaw
        Curlew with leg ring , Fly Flatts.
       Unable to read in conditions

A terrible morning deteriorating as the tour continued then bright skies and sunshine as I arrived home.

Leeshaw  0700 hrs and just light.  Strong W>6 with light rain.
6 Oystercatchers
3 Redshank
1 Cormorant
1 Merlin over,  nice surprise.
+ usual sp.

Upper Marsh  Low cloud and scud coming in, rain starting.
No sign of the 200+ Goldie flock
28 Fieldfare
9 MistleThrush
+ usual sp.

Fly Flatts  weather horrendous with near gale W>7 and heavy horizontal rain.
5 Curlew, one with leg ring
3 Oystercatchers
2 Snipe drumming

Withins Gap  Slightly calmer but heavy rain
c 40 Meadow Pipits
2 Skylark

Mixenden Res  Less wind but grey and pouring down
5 Canadas
2pr Tufted
1m Goldeneye
6 Mallard

Raggalds Flood  Plenty water in field and still raining
2 pr Lapwing
1 pr Mallard
2 Carrion Crow

Shelf Moor trailer field
c 15 Meadow Pipit
6 Lapwing
BS

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The day it rained Whoopers

On the top of the right hand column is a page entitled the day it rained Whoopers with a brief summary of Sunday 22nd March amazing events.
BS

Ogden and Soil Hill

      Good conditions on Soil Hill for Little Ringed Plover.
  Looking back at JLs feeding station
              Scrapes on the SE summit
                Dunlin pond looking good.
  Frog spawn doing well despite frost and
          the local Heron.

A atrocious day with near gale force WNW>6 and torrential rain showers amongst  some sunny intervals.
A late afternoon check on Ogden to see what the wind had brought in had taken a diverse effect and cleared everything out.
Just a low number of Mallard otherwise empty water with a small charm of 9 Goldfinch in the tree tops.
A quick about turn and up onto Soil Hill where the weather was much worse but the birds were slightly better.
The wind was up to near gale 7 gusting gale force 8 with some torrential rain showers but once you,re soaked it does,nt matter after that.
Several Skylarks were battling the conditions along with 15 Meadow Pipits whilst a pair of Lapwing were holding territory on the summit and a Curlew was very vocal in a nearby field.
By the look of the conditions we,ll be lucky to see a Soil Hill Wheatear this side of April'

Raggalds Flood is well watered up but only holding 2 Lapwing and a Pied Wagtail.

British summertime tomorrow so dont forget to push those clocks forward tonight.
BS

Friday, March 27, 2015

Queensbury Today

                                         Lights out.
          Plenty Blackbirds up singing

  East from Foxhill , Thornton Church bottom left
    Shipley Glen centre,  Otley, horizon
                 Zoomed in over Shipley Glen to Menwith Hill, Pateley Bridge.

A breezy cold day with a strong W>5 along with some sunshine.
Not much time today with a long morning hospital appointment and busy catching up at work p.m.
A bit of sky watching east from Foxhill at lunch time produced 7 Meadow Pipits and 5 Mallard >N
along with 3 Pied Wagtails >E. Nothing in the way of gulls now with all the parks Black Headed and Commons moved on.
A quick check of the Shelf Moor trailer park field after work produced 2 Lapwing and 3 Meadow Pipits.
Looking at the BTO Migration link on the right hand column we,re not the only ones having problems finding spring migrants.

The birding was poor today but the hospital visit with Lynda to see the consultant 15 months on after her op was mega with the results of a full CT scan completely clear and told to have a dummy run of stopping overnight tube feeding for 3 weeks and if she can keep her weight constant the feed tube can be removed.
He told us that the operation was as big as they come with 8 hours usually the limit, Lyndas being 14 hours and the largest op they did last year.
A terrible 12 months for her but hopefully onwards and upwards from now.

Not a good forecast for the weekend with gales and rain but we,ll make the best of it and who knows what the wind will blow in.
BS

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Doing the dinner time rounds

With a good covering of snow this morning thawing by 0930 hrs and a strong cold W>5 spring felt anything but near.
By midday the sun was trying to break through amongst light drizzle showers so with a low expectancy it was off around the local Wheatear habitats during dinner break.

Raggalds Flood held a pair of Lapwings and 3 Pied Wagtails although all were being harassed by a large ginger cat. Still no water present.

Roper Lane had 4 Mistle Thrush , around 30 Meadow Pipits and a Skylark.

Old Guy Road could only manage 3 Meadow Pipits and 2 Skylark with a fly over of 3 Mallard.

This is the latest Spring for Wheatear to appear for some years now.
Most gulls have left the area now.
BS

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Post work Ogden

                  Last light at Ogden



                   Barnie, the now tame goose
                  Distant Gt Crested Grebe just showing at last light
                                   Same thing with drake Goldeneye.

After a bright clear day the slightly extended daylight just gave me chance to dash to |Ogden after work with the hope of Common Scoter or similar prize on the water although its amazing how quick the light goes at this time of year.
Two singular shapes near the northern end meant a dash along the east shore to get near enough to investigate, one being a male Goldeneye , the other a Great Crested Grebe, possibly the Mixenden bird.
Otherwise it was Mallards, 2 Canadas and the now resident Barnacle goose.
Walking back in fast fading light the familiar sound of a Raven echoed across the water as it came into sight over the west plantation heading SW and away over the golf course.
BS

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Back to winter

With a cold day of icy winds from the north and several hail and snow showers here,s a reminder of the spring like day on Sunday with wall to wall sunshine and calm waters.

           A highly unusual shot of Fly Flatts
           Same calm waters at Mixenden
  Not snow in the background, just a few Whoopers that called in.

                    Aerial view of Mixenden .

Once again the cold North wind and snow showers has put a halt on spring migration with only one or two Wheatear reports and already the last week of March.
A check around the hotspots at dinner time yet again failed to produce.
Raggalds Flood is now dried up with just 1pr Lapwing present whilst Roper Lane and Old Guy Road only managed a scattering of Skylarks and Meadow Pipits.
Tracy has been keeping an eye on Shelf Moor trailer park field but only come up with Meadow Pipits so far.
BS

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sunday mornings Fly Flatts report

A day late due to Whooper Swans stealing the show yesterday. Well done to everyone that got out for them, a once in a lifetime experience to see such a number of this species together at an inland water, this must be a record.
Thanks to all who took part with phone calls and text messages getting the word around, especially DJS and Jen who was inundated with  texts and calls but managed to get all the info collected and passed on. How does any bird group manage without a grapevine ?

FLY FLATTS

       Plenty courting and bickering with the Canadas
    This fella had better wise up before August 12th.
   Herons on the moor, frog spawning season.
                                        Canadas over
 Strange character in a Land Rover on the top road
                 Better zoom in and check him out.
   EY UP its Compo, ( HC) doing a bit of scoping
          Now we know whose scoffing the Nyjer.
               Nice to get Curlews back
                 Snipe starting drumming
  Unusual sight, a calm, clear Fly Flatts
                  Looking across to the Nab
                                Twite feeding station area, less Twite at the moment.

Fly Flatts 0645-0915hrs
A cracking morning for this location with a slight SSW>3 and excellent visibility. Still icy cold with puddles and the fringes of the reservoir frozen over.
A real sound of spring with Curlews calling, Lapwings displaying, Snipe drumming and the moors full of Canada geese as well as around 60 on the water.
LBB and Herring gulls were moving through >NW in the first hour but otherwise quiet skies.
Still no Wheatears showing around the waters edge and just 1 possible sighting by HC up on the top road scoping the moors where he was rewarded with a flock of 30 Dunlin heading towards Oxenhope reservoir.
No sign of Twite yet but the Mallards seem have got a taste for the Nyjer.
2 Oystercatchers were very vocal but moved on towards Cold Edge .
BS