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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.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Ned Hill Track

DJSs possible Black Redstart,, Soil Hill
  As he suspected, Dunnock

Just setting off for the Ned Hill track when a text from DJS saying he,d had a quick glimpse of a bird on the old farm building, Ned Hill top which had the jizz of Black Redstart but could have been a Dunnock.
After I sat scanning for 5 minutes the bird appeared on the top right hand corner of the building but some distance away. For a few heart stopping minutes this bird had the look of a Black Redstart silhouetted against the sky but luckily I had the scope in the back of the car and the bird sat long enough for me to scope then snap it, a Dunnock.
The track produced no Siskin but several Goldfinch and Linnets were on the thistle tops and up to 4 Wheatear were still in the area.
Below in the field a Weasel was tangling with a large rabbit but it soon gave up and left, the weasel probably being a young one as adult Weasels don.t give up.
Nice to meet a blast from the past birder up there , Michael Welch and young lady partner who reported Wheatears on the top of the hill.
Good to see 2 Swifts through the Causeway Foot Col along with several Swallows.
September tomorrow and the peak visible migration month so if its going to happen it will happen soon.

Vis Mig today
2 Swifts........................................>S
c100 Swallows............................>S
Several reports of Siskin both local and beyond.
9 Cormorant................................blogging.  Count of 15 at Ogden this time last year
BS


A bit of rain makes everything right.

          A good count of Cormorant for Ogden


            Dipper way down in the outlet
     Ned Hill track, very distant but very Siskin
                                Only 5 left from DBs 25 yesterday



                        4  Wheatears at the Ned Hill end of the track


Not very good for most people for Bank Holiday but ideal birding conditions now the sun has gone. Could have done with less rain but you can,t have everything.

First call was at the Ned Hill track 0645hrs where I left the dogs in the car due to boggy conditions and dashed on to find 5 Siskin present but mobile. With that put down as a job for later it was on to Ogden to walk the dogs where the gull situation was poor with just BHGs , some Common and a couple of LBBs.
Four Cormorant were in the water and another 5 were found on the NE shoreline showing signs of movement.
A Dipper was down in the outlet and a Gt Spotted Woodpecker flew over calling whilst 2 Gt Crested Grebe and 9 Canadas were on the water.
A dash back home with the dogs now then back to the Ned Hill track to suss out the Siskin situation.
A good flock of Goldfinch were present with the 5 Siskin keeping seperate to them but very mobile and distant feeding right up on the top of the hillside opposite the conifers.
On a couple of occasions 3 of the birds flew down into the conifers before returning back to the top of the hill.
Four Willow Warblers were also present in the same area.
Back on at the Ned Hill of the track at least 4 Wheatear were darting about the wall tops.
BS

Sunday, August 30, 2015

A real Mish Mash day

                                  Juv Wren, Shibden Top


                                    Lapwings high above Leeshaw
                 Leeshaw, plenty shore but only Lapwings and Herons
                                    Looking down Shibden Valley
            South towards Halifax
             Queensbury church on the horizon
  Scout Hall, or, the house of a thousand windows.

This mornings session was poor at FlyFlatts then a fate worse than death this afternoon walking round Bradfords Arndale centre Primark, give me a foggy wet day at Fly Flatts anytime.
Late afternoon escaped and the plan was check Taylor Lane then Soil Hill. DB was already at the Cuckoo site then on his way to Soil Hill so I left him to it and shot down to Northowram to check ACs cricket pitch and hedge, bad move with a cricket match on.
Back to Swalesmoor and Shibden Top with several linnets present and a quick distant view of a Buzzard and that was that.
Arrived home and just got in the house in time to receive a text from DB with 20 + Siskin on Soil Hill so with a , " Back in 15 minutes Lynda " it was back to Soil Hill only to find the birds had moved on.
On arriving home again , now 1730 hrs Lynda said can we take the dogs to Leeshaw for a walk.
By this time I was losing the will to live but badly needing a decent bird for the day so off we went.
The water was well down with tons of shoreline but only holding 2 Heron and 8 Lapwing with a mobile flock of c50 Lapwing high overhead so still no bird of the day. A bad start and even worse finish but thats birding for you, it can only get better.
Plenty Swallows moving at every location today plus NK informed me that he had clocked several House Martins around the Black Dyke Mills area.
See what happens in the morning !

Interesting that Micheal Whitelock e mailed me this evening reporting a Barnacle goose on Redcar Tarn today and the Fly Flatts bird has moved on with the Canadas so perhaps our Barnie is at Keighley.
BS





Fly Flatts, Calm and Birdless

                                        Red Legged Partridge


   Still juv Meadow Pipits present
         Flocks of Goldfinch and Blue Tits

                             Mixenden white Crow

                                   Fly Flatts, still and empty


                                                     First light

                               Heather looking good on the moor

Fly Flatts 0615 - 0915 hrs   Very still with slight NW turning W>2. Broken sunshine then skies clearing by 0830 hrs.

Fly Flatts was amazingly quiet this morning with a list of 3 Red Grouse and 1 Kestrel after a full trek of the reservoir with an eerie silence having no Canadas, Wheatears or Mipits present.
Up on the top road was a little better with 3 Red Legged Partridge and a scattering of juv Mipits.
Plenty seed down and surprising to see the Nyjer seed already growing well.
A good flock of around 40 Mipits, mainly juvs were around Withins Gap whilst a flock of  c100 mixed Linnets, Goldfinch and Blue Tits were feeding on thistles on Balkram Edge.
A drive on to Paul Clough checking for Buzzard failed to produce so all in all a poor morning for the end of August although Vis Mig produced movement early morn until the sun raised its ugly head.

Vis Mig
126 Swallows.............................................>S
98 Meadow Pipit........................................>SW
19 Linnet..................................................>W
4 Alba Wagtail..........................................>W
1 Grey Wagtail.........................................>W
4 LBB gull...............................................>SW

Other
3 Red Legged Partridge
1 Kestrel
c 40 Meadow Pipit
4 Red Grouse
Sev Goldfinch, Linnet, Blue Tits
Mixenden White Crow,  usual area
BS

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Three Cuckoos confirmed for Taylor Lane

 Distant shots of the youngest of the 2 juvs
                                             The older juv
                                    Young un with white tufts
                                        Elder chunkier bird



                                   Ogden alive with Swallows

A late afternoon visit to Taylor lane confirmed to me that there are 1 ad and 2 juv Cuckoos present.
The 2 juvs were active feeding in the nettles but at distance with one bird younger that the other. Unfortunately, though the birds were near each other, I couldnt get them near enough to snap them side by side. The Cuckoo I say a day ago was neither of these birds, this being a full adult and as I was watching them the lady from the farm at the side came over to ask if I,d seen them. When I told her that 3 were about she told me she had seen the 3 together regular on the wires and pole but one of the birds was usually seen at the to of the road by the Koi farm which is where NK got an adult a few days ago. amazing stuff.

A quick 1800 hrs dog walk at Ogden this evening found several BHGs, 6 Commons and 4 LBBs but no sign of NKs YL Herring but several gulls will have moved on to roost by this time.
Nothing else on the water apart from the usual mallards but to compensate the sky was full of Swallows with around 200 taking advantage of the millions of flies around, all were slowly drifting >S.
BS

Friday, August 28, 2015

Back to Views

          Looking up Hunter Hill
                   The long climb to the top
                            DJSs Redstart area
                     Looking down Slaughter Gap
                                 Hunter Hill from Slaughter Gap
                                  First light Fly Flatts
                            Oh no, its the dreaded sun appearing
  Looking on to the original Twite feeding station
              SW corner, only shoreline left.

Clear blue skies and sunshine put the mockers on any sky movement today other than a few Swallows >S at mid day as black clouds passed over but the rain missing us and dropping the water on Bradford.
Interesting reports on the Cuckoos down Taylor Lane today with 2 seen together by firstly NK and then by DJS who has reported them as 2 juvs but the second bird I saw was a full blown adult so it sounds as if we may have 3 Cuckoos in the nest.
Hope everyone has a good Bank Holiday with plenty to report, my phone is charged up ready for the reports flooding in.
BS