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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Mega for the end of March.

                           Ringed Necked  Parakeet
                         or Rose Ringed as they now seem to be called


                                            A stonking finish to March.

With a last dinner time dash around Raggalds Flood and Old Guy Road looking for a March Wheatear which never materialized I thought ,well thats it for March.
That was until we arrived home from Sainsburys this evening when I got a text from Bradshaw John reporting a Ring Necked Parakeet near his home in Bradshaw. Had it been another day on I,d have taken it as an April Fools day joke but still being March I had to take him serious.
Within a few minutes I was Bradshaw bound where John was kindly waiting for me.
We watched for a while in despair at the conifers it had been in but no signs of the bird until we moved to a new position and there it was, large as life trying to get to some garden feeders but being harassed by a black cat.
The bird was very agitated and vocal but soon the cat got bored and moved on leaving the parakeet free to feed.
The light was now poor so most pics were spoilt, especially the flight shots.
Many thanks to sharp eyed John Little who once again has plucked another mega out of Bradshaw.
BS

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Eating my words

Looks like I,ll have to eat my words from yesterdays blog when I said it was looking unlikely that we would see a March Wheatear and then, low and behold, the reports start flooding in from Calderdale, Oxenhope and Queensbury with arriving Wheatears.
Looks like these birds were waiting in the wings for the wind to drop before moving on.
A mixed bag of weather again with sunshine then showers of rain hail and snow.
Unfortunately one of the heavy showers was over my lunch time when I was on a dash to check Raggalds Flood and Old Guy Rd.
The flood is filled with water again and looked a bit livelier with 2 pr Mallard, 3 Pied Wagtails and 2 Lapwing holding territory but no waders or Wheatears here.
On to Old Guy Rd cricket pitch which is a hot spot for Wheatear but not to be, although it did hold 6 Skylark, 3 Meadow Pipit and 1 Pied Wagtail.
Checking the surrounding walls for Wheatear was a no go with horizontal rain blasting across fron the West.
BS

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Springtime, Queensbury style, Easter Tuesday.

                                  This morning looking out of the garage
                                  Glad to be back at work today




                                         Christmas type scene.

A day of mixed sunshine and showers with heavy snow here in Queensbury mid morning followed by lighter snow showers most of the day but with a temperature of 5 degrees the lying snow did,nt stay long.
A dog walk in Foxhill at lunch time found a few Mistle Thrushes around which is unusual for the area whilst 3 Alba Wagtails went over high and >E..
Looking unlikely for a March Wheatear this year with 2 days to go although looking back over the previous years records most of my first Wheatears have been in the second week of April . My earliest was 23rd March 2013 at Fly Flatts.
Right, wheres that snow shovel !
BS

Monday, March 28, 2016

Soil Hill, 4th Easter weekend visit

       Blizzard cloud approaching from the north.
                          This one had my name on it.
                                                Ned Hill track

                                     Towards Bradford

   Bradford getting the full package.

The 4th evening visit of the Easter weekend to Soil Hill again failed to excite me with once again non birding conditions with a strong WNW>6 and rain showers, some heavy and hailstones although luckily I was on the edge of the weather fronts so never got the full mashing.
Just the usual Mipits and Skylarks up there and no sign yet of Wheatear or Ring Ouzel even after a full search of the tree line and other hots pot places.
The weather was interesting to watch with massive hail clouds moving down from the north. One that I followed came across Ingleborough, over Malham Cove and down the Aire valley and away over Bradford, well you have to do something when there are no birds about !
Back to work tomorrow so it could possibly take up.  Roll on May day.
BS.

Leeshaw Reservoir . Easter Monday

                Fieldfares Galore



                           Soon be on their way home.


                                        Oystercatchers very vocal.

An horrendous start to the morning with sleet and some laying snow over Fly Flatts with fog hanging over the water with the wind decreased but turned back to N>5.
Down to Leeshaw reservoir with sleet and rain clearing by 0800 hrs and even a glimpse of the sun trying to break through.
Despite the conditions the area was alive with birds though nothing unusual and nothing on the water.
The highlight of the morning was a flock of around 70 Fieldfare moving around the fields and trees looking ready for heading homeward bound.

c70 Fieldfare
8 Curlew
4 Oystercatchers
6 Redshank
1 Cormorant
1 Snipe
7 Canadas
1 Greylag
2 Kestrel
2 Pied Wagtail
28 Lapwing
3 BH gull.
BS

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Soil Hill late p.m. and how she blew.

A bit of a queue to get on the hill today which was surprising in the conditions. Angela and Gary gave it a coat of looking at late morning along with Bradshaw John and then myself late afternoon but all coming up with the same results.
Just as I was about to set off up there a howling sleet and snow blizzard appeared from nowhere lasting about 30 minutes so that delayed the start a bit then a bit more when I found Id left my boots outside from this morning and now they were full of snow.
On with the wellies and up the hill in a howling WSW>6-7 and light showers although I could see another mega downpour heading up the Calder valley in my direction.
A quick dash down the north slope tree line and a slow pant back up found no target birds and a check of another 2 spots nearby which are hot spots for Ring Ouzel produced the same.
By this time the skies were black and the rain and hailstones starting to come down so a dash across the mounds and east summit and back to the car just in time before another blizzard hit.
A third check today of the Raggalds flood found it void of birds. The water level is well down but a good area of wader inviting mud.

Soil Hill
1 pr Pheasant
1 Grey Partridge
3 pr Mallard
1 Heron
5 LBBs >N
+ usual Mipits and Skylarks.

A report from HC tonight of 82 Fieldfare at Oxenhope at tea time, sounds like they are ready for off. Thanks for that Howard.
BS

Fly Flatts Easter Sunday morn.

                                          The seed is sown
           Fly Flatts feeding station
                                Troubled waters, blue skies
                                       Rain clouds approaching
                                                SW corner

A mish mash of weather at Fly Flatts with sunshine and showers, blue skies then grey but the wind dominated this morning with a near gale W>6 gusting 7 making it very hard work.
No sign of the Ringed Plovers but most birds keeping their heads down from the wind so could still be present.
The only sky movement was LBB gulls all moving >SW with a steady flow throughout.

47 LBB............................. >SW
2 Curlew
1 Kestrel
1 Pied Wagtail
3 Pr Mallard
+ usual Mipits, Canadas etc.
BS

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Soil Hill, Ring Ouzel search.pm

                          New pond for Soil Hill.  NK mk2
                           Nuggets Easter outing, Ogden moor on fire.

After a report of a male Ring Ouzel back near Paul Clough, Oxenhope this morning I thought I,d better give Soil Hill north slope tree line a check out which was easier said than done.
The wind was S>6 increasing to gale force 7 with light rain.
It was near impossible to walk on the summit but slightly more sheltered down the slope.
After an intensive search the only birds found were 2 Grey Partridge, 1 cock Pheasant, 1 Heron and the usual Mipits and Skylarks.
3 seperate fires were blazing well on Ogden moor wafted on by the strong wind.
Thanks to Steve Blacksmith for alerting the fire service who rang me for directions to the blaze as with the wind being so strong the smoke was blowing low over the heather and not visible from Ogden.
Luckily the heavens opened shortly afterwards which should have sorted the job.
BS


Friday, March 25, 2016

Soil Hill, p.m.

                                  Skylark in full song
                                    Up to 8 singers

Soil Hill late afternoon was in contrast to Daniels last visit back to normal and producing very little.
Up to 8 singing Skylark were present along with 2 Curlew over the Shay being mobbed by territorial Lapwings.
Meadow Pipits were everywhere and 2 Grey Partridge were on the west summit.
A search of the north slope tree line failed to produce early Ring Ouzel or Wheatear but another pond was a nice surprise down at the bottom holding 1 pr Mallards, the NK Mk 2 pond.
BS

Fly Flatts Good Friday, Very Good Friday

  2 Ringed Plover very flighty north of the boathouse
                                                East bank
            2 more West bank a bit more settled






Fly Flatts must have been the only place with fog this morning when I arrived at 0630 hrs but it soon drifted off across the moor on the cold WNW>5.
First birds picked up as it cleared were 2 Ringed Plover on the cobbled east bank beyond the boathouse and a scan across the water found 2 more opposite them on the west bank.
A careful walk along the west banking got me just within camera range after swopping lenses for the 600mm and luckily the sun was on them.
The 2 then flew across the water joining up with the other 2 with the 4 together moving along the far banking.
Otherwise it was just the usual sp. with nothing else to get the blood pumping.
No Wheatear or Twite as yet and no sign of DJS s rooster!
BS

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Queensbury Today

All quiet up here in the gods today with dark grey skies and light rain turning to heavy drizzle and fog by late afternoon just in time for Easter. With the wind changed around migration is reported to be once again on the move so hopefully things will pick up over the weekend.
A quiet grapevine today tells me that everyone was getting the same sort of bird less day .
Woodpigeons are now starting to nest around the village along with Collared Doves whilst Blackbirds are just getting into full song.
A day off tomorrow so I,ll be getting my fog glasses on in the morning and having a scout about.
BS

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Jackdaws galore

Jackdaws are around the village in their hundreds at the moment which is highly unusual for Queensbury other than the high numbers that flock through morning and evening on their way to and from the Wilsden/ Hewenden roost.
Large noisy flocks have been moving around the rooftops all week and mobbing the local Rooks and Crows., possibly some pre nesting territorial activity.
A report today from Cllr Paul Cromie of the return of last years breeding Canadas to the island in his garden pond and the first egg has been laid today. Lets hope the Crows leave them alone this year after taking 2 of the 4 goslings last year before the parent geese led them across the main road and through Tescos car park not to be seen again.
Nice to hear from AC with another 2 Ringed Plovers at Fly Flatts after my single from the weekend.
BS

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dailies Dash

With the pre Easter car repair rush on very little time for sky watching but managed a 15 minute Dailies Dash at lunch time.
A steady flow of Meadow Pipits and Alba Wagtails was on the go all > N up the Aire valley keeping very high and direct.
3 Herons went over in the same direction also very high whilst LBBs and a few Herring gulls headed >NW.
Hopefully this northerly air flow stuck over us will change by the weekend allowing migration to kick off from the south.
HC had a wander around whilst his car was in the garage and came back with reports of Green Woodpecker and plenty Bullfinch from the Station Rd area.
BS

Monday, March 21, 2016

Some from yesterday

                                    Heading for the water
                                            Blue sky and blue water
                                     Yes , this really is Fly Flatts
                                  Across to the Nab
                           Who says its always grim at Fly Flatts.

A busy day today so no dinner time dash and nothing seen around the village other than the usual resident sp.
Short week with Friday off, work Saturday then Monday off. Got to get something decent over that period.
BS

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Soil Hill p.m.

Very quiet on the hill after a thorough Snow Bunt/ Wheatear search other than 6 Skylark, 2 Stock Doves, 1 Dunnock , 1 Moorhen whilst several LBB gulls were heading for Oxenhope.
The highlight of the visit was a fall of around 50 Meadow Pipits in the field by dog cack alley.
Nothing moving skyward.
BS

Fly Flatts

                                    Greylags becoming more popular
               An early Ringed Plover  at distance

                                    Redshank in same area
                                   Only 3 Curlews returned so far


                                         Plenty Canadas
                    C.K. giving it a coat of scoping on top road.
             Battling Canadas

           Winner moves off with prize.

Fly Flatts 0730 -1000 hrs.
Fly Flatts was on good form this morning with clear blue skies and sunshine but a cold NNE>5 blowing stopping much chance of birds from the south.
A nice start to the morning with a distant Ringed Plover moving through but staying on the limits of camera range whilst a single Redshank was close by.
Plenty Canadas and Greylags but no sign of the Barnacle today.
Only 3 Curlews showing so far but plenty calling Golden Plover on the moor.
Skies were quiet other than corvids and parachuting Meadow Pipits.
CK scoped a Teal at the north end but hidden from view from me.

193 Canada    several more on moor
18 Greylag with more on moor
1 Ringed Plover
1 Redshank
Sev Meadow Pipits
2 pr Mallard
15 Lapwing
BS