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Monday, November 30, 2015

A wet Queensbury Monday

Heavy rain here in Queensbury day long giving me a real good soaking at lunch time dog walking in Foxhill park where the bottom end of the park looks like Raggalds Flood. The wind had dropped considerably and a dog walk over the Mountain this evening was quite pleasant being dry and calm.
With a cut short lunch break no time to check the flood or Lapwing flock and no reports in today.
Amazing at lunch time in the park the way Common and BHG gulls just ignore the weather and carry on their daily routine in the pouring rain.
With November out of the way we can look forward to some winter birds in December hopefully , including, Soil Hill Snow Buntings and Jack Snipe, Siskin and Redpoll flocks, increasing numbers of Lapwings with Golden Plover mixed in, Snipe in the Trailer Park field, 48 counted in Dec 2013, Divers and sea ducks on the reservoirs along with Little Grebes, and not forgetting Pink Footed geese moving coast to coast.
That should be enough to keep you going for now so get those reports coming in.

       Shelf Moor Trailer Park Snipe, Dec 2013
                                        A few of the 48

                      Leeshaw Dec 2013  2 Curlew
        December mystery birder No 1




             December mystery birder No 2

BS

Sunday, November 29, 2015

And so it continued, Mixenden, Raggalds Flood and fields. Shelf Moor

                        A very wet, windy and quiet Mixenden
                         Water to flood level
    Caught up to the lapwing flock on Pit Lane football pitch
                        Very mobile, no Goldies present





                     heading towards the flood.

   There,s a story with this chair at the end of the report

The wind and rain continued to increase this afternoon with some of the heaviest rain I,ve seen in a long time and the wind, even down in Halifax reaching storm force 10 possible gusting near severe storm force 11, thats just 1 off  hurricane . Luckily this passed over and the wind decreased slightly but still some torrential rain showers. There was some panic in Dunhelm Mills when they thought the roof was going to lift off, at last, a bit of excitement in the shop.

1430 hrs and back home, on with the still wet birding gear and off to complete this mornings mission.
Mixenden was the first stop and what looked to be brighter skies rapidly changed to heavy horizontal rain with large waves and white horses rolling across the water.
Around 50 small gulls were out in the middle but that was it with nothing on the wildfowl scene.
Back up the hill to the Raggalds Flood which looked like the North sea but held nothing so onwards and upwards to Roper Lane.
Plenty gulls were spread around several fields but no sign of this mornings Lapwing flock.
I,d noticed plenty gulls on the Pit Lane football ground so thought that worth a try which paid off.
A flock of 83 Lapwing were present along with c100 small gulls and c150 Starling, the Lapwings being their usual mobile selves.
A scan through found no Golden Plover.
So at the end of the day,after a full tour round the local reservoirs, all the bird activity was just 5 minutes away from home but if the reservoirs don,t get checked we don,t get the birds.
Well done to DJS for getting out this afternoon following me at Mixenden.

The Swivel Chair Saga, a true story!
We came out of Dunhelm Mills in blasting wind and rain and drove on the one way road towards Gibbet Street when suddenly a swivel chair came hurtling out of a side road on our right doing about 30 mph and heading straight towards side swiping us. I tried to accelerate to get past so luckily it missed stuffing the door in but hit us with a bang on the back rear wheel arch with an almighty thud.
Lynda never saw it coming and when she asked me what had hit us I replied, a swivel chair, which made her give me a strange look.
I got out expecting major damage but luckily it was,nt as bad as it sounded and something I can sort myself.
I don,t think the insurance would have been amused if I said I had been hit by an unmanned, uninsured swivel chair in the middle of Halifax.
BS


Ecky thump, what a morning. Tour of the ressies.

                           Ogden,  Horrendous and bird less
        Leeshaw, brighter with torrential rain
                                           Full to the brim
                                    Leeshaw falls, the overflow
                         Lower Laithe, Torrential rain and gales
                                       Overflowing
             Fly Flatts, like the end of the world was coming

                                    One seed feeding area gone
            The other seed feeding area gone
           New area, side of the road. This is where last years
                                  Snow Bunting was.
                         Raggalds Flood overflowing
             Roper Lane Lapwings through the lashing rain
                       A field worth watching opposite the
                           old school, Roper Lane

A real horrendous morning to tour the reservoirs with near gale force winds and torrential rain throughout .Several roads were flooded causing diversions and at the end of it all the best place was Roper Lane 2 minutes from home with a field heaving with Gulls, Lapwings and Starlings but the  rain lashing across made it impossible to scan for Goldies etc.

Ogden
Small gulls and Mallards

Leeshaw
3 Cormorant
8 Greylag
c130 Small gulls

Lower Laithe
1 Cormorant
Mallards and small gulls

Fly Flatts
2 Meadow Pipit
c20 Small gulls
2 Red Grouse
Plenty seed put down

Raggalds Flood
Few small gulls

Roper Lane
c150 Small gulls
8 LBB gulls
c100 Lapwing
c200 Starling.
BS

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Nightmare Birding




                       Ogden this afternoon, where,s everyone gone?

1445 hrs and off to check Ogden in horrendous conditions.
The strong wind was blowing W>6 with driving, horizontal torrential rain and low cloud and scud just above the tree tops whilst the clouds made it dark as night.
I had to get to the west shore with the wind and rain behind me so I could scan the water but the only birds present were several small gulls out in the centre along with 2 LBBs. Mallards are now counting at 83 with some possible around the fringes.
A dip here but at least I,d satisfied myself that I was,nt missing anything.

The rain had now eased to drizzle with some heavy showers so a quick check on Soil Hill in ideal conditions for bringing something down . The wind here was up to near gale force  W>7 so I just checked the track and eastern summit which is favourite for Snow Bunts but again no success.
A hardy Skylark is still hanging on in there whilst 2 Grey Partridge were the first seen for quite a while.

Last attempt was Raggalds Flood which held 6 Mallard, a few small gulls and 2 Lapwing, so with that it was back home to dry the gear out ready to get it soaked again in the morning. At least if the wind remains it should keep any fog away.
BS

Friday, November 27, 2015

Weekend Westerlies

A real mish mash of a day weather wise again deteriorating p.m. into strong W>5 and heavy drizzle.
Just the one report today from Mark Brookes of a Buzzard flying low over his car at 0840 hrs this morning in the Clayton area. Mark says there were possibly 2 birds but he got his priorities wrong by watching the road instead of the bird.
The highlight of my near bird less day was 3 Herring gulls over early afternoon low and >SW along with a few LBB gulls >NW probably stirred up with the weather.
With strong westerlies forecast for the weekend we should be getting reports of sea ducks inland with Goldeneye, Scaup, Long Tailed duck, Divers and Scoters on the move, see BTO blog.
Also a slim chance of a rarity from the west , remembering back to the American Robin at Bingley , the Long Tailed duck on Fly Flatts and other local reservoirs and of course more recent, DJSs Great Northern Diver on Mixenden.
Its being optimistic that keeps you going in this game.   Watch those reservoirs.


Daves long staying Gt Northern Diver from Dec/Jan 2014/15.










BS

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Queensbury, the fog returns.

       Raggalds Flood still holding water, fog creeping in
                                    Few small gulls present

A deteriorating day with a half decent morning then low cloud and mist rolling in bringing heavy drizzle and fog by dark.
A few post roost Fieldfare over this morning mainly >SW whilst 2 very late Meadow Pipits headed high and >S.
Just time midday to check the flood before the fog rolled in but this only produced a few small gulls, 1 Pied Wagtail and 5 Stock Doves.
Otherwise a poor day with no reports from the area.
Someone told me at work today that we could get 2 ft of snow by Sunday but it wont, affect my birding as I won,t be able to see it for the fog.
BS

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Queensbury Today

   Amazing skies on the way to work this morning

  Black Dyke chimney back lit.
               Foxhill park Common gulls midday


  The small runty type Common gull back for a 4th year.
                Hazy moon on the way home from work this evening.

A cracking start to the day with a brilliant sky as I walked to work but by the time I could get to a good vantage point it had gone. These late autumn sunrises last only minutes going from red to yellow before they are lost.
What will be the last few Woodpigeons were heading south this morning unless the weather turns very cold when others will move to a warmer climate.
Common gulls are resident in Foxhill park now with a count of around 70 each morning before they head off to the local fields to feed leaving around a dozen which stop in the park through out the day.
The small Common gull is back for the 4th year running standing out from the rest being much smaller and never getting the full winter head streaks.
Raggalds Flood held 15 Mallard, 1 Canada goose and around 30 small gulls midday.
BS