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Sunday, May 31, 2015

So whats one more soaking! Cold Edge Dams /Mixenden.

                        Distant Little Grebe on Spring Dam, Cold Edge
                                   Canada family, Haigh Cote Dam, Cold Edge
    Haigh Cote Dam alive with Swifts
                62 Canadas by mill dam, no Pinkie
                1 Pr sheltering Tufted, Leadbeater Dam, Cold Edge
                       1 male Tufted, same area

Arrived at Cold Edge Dams  1500 hrs just in time for a heavy shower and a strong W>6 gusting near gale 7.
A good flock of 62 Canadas in the field by the mill dam but no sign of the Pinkie.
A walk up the lane found the Little Grebe diving on the Spring Dam but no sign of DJSs Stonechat in the area.
Plenty Reed Buntings and Meadow Pipits around but quiet in the sky.
Haigh Cote dam held a family of Canadas and a few Mallard whilst around 50 Swifts were feeding over the water.
A very wind blown Leadbeater dam had a few Mallards all under the edges out of the wind whilst 1 pr Tufted and a single male kept in the shelter of the west bank.
Several Goldfinch about and a couple of Dunnocks and that was about it.

A quick scan of Mixenden on the way back just found Mallards, again sheltering under the edges, with plenty Swallows skimming the water.
No sign of the Tufted or Gt Crested Grebe here.

Well thats May gone and now we,ve a quiet month ahead, no change there then, waiting for the early returners although June can produce a rarity or two.
BS

Another Sunday morning washout, Leeshaw, Fly Flatts.

                        1 of 6 Oystercatchers at Leeshaw
                                        Leeshaw Hare
                  Several LBB gulls through but no Terns

                7 Golden Plover present, Hunter Hill

An horrendous morning with thick fog on the tops and a mixture of heavy rain and drizzle blown in on a WNW>5-6.  Ironically as I arrived home at 0930 hrs the rain cleared and out came the sun.

The Leeshaw weather was perfect for Terns but not to be although LBB gulls were moving through in good numbers >NW, some stopping on the water and shoreline. Three Black Headeds looking like Terns through the blanket of drizzle made me look twice.
Plenty shoreline showing but only Redshank, Oystercatchers and Curlews using it.
0800 hrs and already drenched and the rain getting heavier so over the tops to Fly Flatts to see if the fog had cleared which on arrival it was hanging low just above the water and unbirdable although there were several LBBs on the western bank.
Down to Hunter Hill where 7 Goldies were still present but the howling wind and drizzle prevented any good shots
Back home to a pot of coffee and wait for the tea time session.
If this was May I,m glad its out, I,ve birded in better conditions in November.
BS

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Glutton for punishment, back to Ogden

                                              Looking >N towards Ogden Kirk
                                             SW over the water
            Looking down from the watch point
                             Ollie in the middle with his new haircut
                                               Poser
                       1 of 3 singing Song Thrush.

A late start today with Ollie at the groomers p.m. for his 6 weekly make over which ran late so it was a combined dog walk and birding session in one.
Ever the optimist it was back to Ogden to check the water which once again was disappointing holding a few Mallard, 2 Canadas, and the Tufted. Three Song thrush were up singing around the car park area.
With nothing doing there it was up to Back Lane to check the plantations for Crossbills, in my dreams ! Plenty Pine cones but no Crossbills. 2 Siskin were flitting around the tree tops along with several Chaffinch but that was all.
Walking up the moor to Ogden Kirk several Swallows and Swifts were overhead whilst a Cuckoo was calling from the plantation up near the golf course.
The days of breeding Snipe and Curlew seem to have gone in this location along with Ring Ouzel sightings. When HC and myself used to come up here as lads it was alive with drumming Snipe and noisy Curlew.

For anyone that did,nt get my grapevine message this morning and wants to know, Tony Goughs funeral is at Nab Wood Cemetery , Bingley Road, Shipley , Tuesday 9th June at 12.40pm.
It was lovely to have a long talk to Tonys brother on the phone this evening exchanging comments about events that we have had in the past with Tony.
BS

Friday, May 29, 2015

Ogden p.m.

 A bad year for Ogden Mallards with just these 2 remaining which were looking vulnerable out on the water with carrion Crows watching nearby.
At least 28 chicks have disappeared, many with Crows and there are no juvs around.

Bright and breezy at Ogden this evening with a strong NW>6 and white horses across the water.
Surprisingly very quiet both on the water and in the sky with just a few Mallard and the Tufted which flew in from the direction of Mixenden. No sign of the Grebes.
8 Swifts headed >N whilst the Grey Wagtail was down in the overflow.
7 Carrion Crows were in the feeding corner attracted by loads of bread left behind, this being the reason for the loss of so many ducklings.

Leaving on a sad note,
                                     Veteran B.O.G. birder Tony Gough sadly passed away last night never recovering from the stroke he suffered a few days ago.
Tony was a well known and well liked character renown for his dry sense of humour and wit who soon had you in fits of laughter without so much as a smile from himself.
HC and myself have shared many happy hours at Barden with Tony where he proved himself a real expert with the raptors.
He,ll be sadly missed by many.
Thanks to HC for keeping me updated over the last few days.
BS


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Starling Invasion

                                           Starlings leave the nest

                                                Waiting to be fed




Foxhill park midday was alive with juv Starlings along with the parent birds probing the grass for food.
Around 80 were present, very noisy and mobile into the nearby trees. Strange how they all seem to come out on the same day in one big rush. It won,t be long now before they start on the second brood.

Swifts were piling overhead at lunch time all >N in the cold W>5 bringing sunshine and showers whereas Swallows are rarely showing at the moment.

A report today of 2 Woodcock down the old station near to the cycle track along with a good number of singing Willow Warblers. No signs of the wandering Canadas today.
BS

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ogden pm visit

                                   Ogden Grey Wagtail

                    Hovering up the stonework for flies



                                         Back to the young with this lot
                                         Plenty LBB gulls through



A check on Ogden after tea in a WSW>4 and heavy rain showers found plenty LBB gulls passing through low over the water >NW.
The 2 Gt Crested Grebe were out in the middle having the water to themselves whilst a Grey Wagtail was giving a good show of hovering under the stone work for flies, obviously having young on.
Another Tern looking night but not to be.

A call today from Cllr Cromie saying the pair of Canadas and 2 chicks had disappeared , then a member of the public rang to say the 4 were walking across Tesco car park meaning they had walked up Station Rd and across the busy main road and down to Tesco.
By the time Paul got there they had disappeared. Watch this space for further sightings.
BS

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Queensbury Today.

Back to work with a bang today facing a heavy work load from the weekend so no chance to do much gazing into the sky.
As usual, after a Bank Holiday, the weather was good today warming up p.m. although still the W>4 blowing.
Gulls were again moving early morning with a steady flow of LBBs all>NW and surprisingly 3 Herring gulls dropped low over the garage car park attempting to take some bread put out by a nearby house. After deciding against it they also moved off >NW.
A quick check of Sourheads at lunch time found most of the habitat gone now and a new housing estate on the rise where the old overgrown allotments used to be.
A few Robins and Blackbirds were present and 9 House Martins were circling high overhead.
No reports in today unless you count the one from yesterday where a fellow came up to me at Ogden saying he,d seen a Golden Eagle over the water during his family picnic in the afternoon.
Strong stuff that local Timothy Taylors Landlord ale.
BS

Monday, May 25, 2015

Ogden Tern watch, p.m.

                          Shelduck for Ogden
                              Plenty LBB gulls through.

With the continuing obsession for moving Terns it was head for the nearest water, Ogden, at 1600 hrs for 1 hour sky watching.
After finding a quiet spot away from the public, who were everywhere even at that time, it was settle down and watch skyward.
Gulls were plentiful with a continuous flow of LBBs, many settling on the water whilst Herring gulls kept moving.
Unfortunately no terns but a large odd shaped duck went over very high and in the sun getting my ID buds flowing but only a shaped silhouette to go on. I suspected Shelduck and with the wonders of photography this was proved when I got home with just 1 of the photos showing its plumage.
All in all, not a bad weekends local birding

Skywatch

1 Shelduck...................>E
54 LBB Gulls...............>N
8 Herring Gulls...........>W
2 Curlew.....................>W
4 Lapwing..................>E
6 Canadas high and....>W
Several Swallows, Swifts, House Martins and 4 Sand Martins.
BS

Fly Flatts

                                   Dunlin in full summer plumage

      Juvenile Peregrine low over the water

                Tried its  hand at a Dunlin
                                  Then away high and >NE

                 Wheatears still thin on the ground.

                                      Curlews gone quiet now busy breeding
             15 Golden Plover at Hunter Hill




Fly Flatts 0630 - 0930 hrs
Icy cold NNW>5 with drizzle blowing across the moor. Poor visibility ti the West.

I expected Terns through this morning but not to be although Herring and LBB gulls were coming through in good numbers all >SW with some resident LBBs over the moor on chick and egg hunt.
Very quiet on waders with the water level at the top hence only 2 Common Sandpipers counted along with 3 Dunlin. Redshank have deserted the area this year but 2 pair of Oystercatchers were present in the fields.
A juvenile Peregrine came in low over the water from the SW half heartedly having a go at a Dunlin before lifting up high and off >NE over Oxenhope.
Wheatear have given us a miss this spring with low count around the area, just 1 male present this morning, hopefully they,ll drop in come autumn.
15 Goldies were still present at Hunters Hill.

3 Dunlin
4 Oystercatchers
2 Common Sandpiper
3 Curlew
5 Lapwing
1 juv Peregrine
1 Kestrel
6 Herring gull
39 LBB gull
1m Wheatear
+ usual Mipits, geese etc.
Another hugging of Nyger down but not a Twite in sight.
BS