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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.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Ringby Top


            All I had to show for 2 hrs work. juv Yellow Wag


A strong W>5 didnt help matters although it was easing as I left. It took 1 hour to even locate one of the juvs which had got down in a deep rut from the wind with the other bird nearby. They spent most of the time feeding in the vegetation giving just occasional quick views from around 50 yards away then back into the vegetation and out of sight.
As I was leaving a female adult Flava Wag flew over the railings from the smelly wagon park and disappeared towards the SW corner of the field but with time expired, no time to try re locate it.

Well thats July gone which left me with a few specials locally :-

Little Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover
Dunlin
Whimbrel
2 possibly 3 Yellow Legged Herring gulls
Common Tern
Common Scoter
Redstart
5 Wheatear
Shelduck
3 Yellow Wagtail
Teal
Record count of 21 Oystercatchers together.

So all in all not a bad month but now comes the big one, August.
Keep an eye out for the last few Swifts , Ive still been getting them until the last day of July.
BS

Checking the local waters

Highlight of the morning, Shelduck at Fly Flatts
Out of range shot from top road at 600mm.

Lower Laithe
45 BH gull
1 Gt Crested Grebe

Leeshaw
5 LBB gull
c120 BH gull
2 Curlew
2 Heron
Large numbers of Woodpigeon and Stock Doves moving >SW
+ usual geese etc

Fly Flatts
1 Shelduck
several Swifts and Swallows
1 Barnacle goose
+ usual geese
BS

Mixenden
c 50 BH gull
5 Common gull
1 f Tufted
4 Mallard
BS

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Leeshaw Reservoir

                A good season for Greylags

             Some waders moving through, Oystercatcher


An evening visit to Leeshaw provided very little other than signs of some waders moving through with 3 Oystercatchers and 5 Curlew in surrounding fields. The water was poor but, as with Oxenhope, several Mallards were on the water all in eclipse and probably flightless.
Otherwise it was down to Greylag geese with 79 present in a nearby field before dropping onto the water.
No shoreline at all at this location so looking poor for the wader movement.
BS

Friday, July 29, 2016

An afternoon with the gulls, Oxenhope, members only.


                                   Several Herring gulls present
 An unusual visitor  Gt Crested Grebe
                          Ad Yellow Legged Herring gull, rear
                                        Plenty shoreline

With an afternoon spare and heavy rain showers it was off to spend an afternoon at Oxenhope with just me and around 600 gulls, heaven.
Heavy rain showers and drizzle turning to continuous rain on an ENE>4 which was not good for the birder but ideal for the birds keeping them moving with gulls arriving and leaving throughout the watch.
As expected, yesterdays Common Scoter had gone, hence the dash last night knowing with Scoters that they rarely hang around for long.
A Gt Crested grebe was new in from yesterday, a bit of a rare visitor at this location whilst a high count of 37 Mallard were on the water apart from the resident Mallards and young.
                                                During a particular heavy shower around 30 LBBs arrived along with an adult Yellow Legged Herring gull which settled on the far shore.
The banking at my side of the water was alive with swarms of midges and I came away with a red dotted face but they attracted a good show of Swallows along with 7 Swift.
Surprisingly, other than Lapwings and Curlew, not a wader was present.
The shoreline now in in prestige  condition so send on the waders.

1 Gt Crested Grebe
8 Herring Gull
1 YL Herring Gull
c 400 LBB Gull
C 200 BH Gull
11 Common Gull
37+ Mallard
97 Lapwing
7 Swifts
Sev Swallows
2 Curlew
+ usual sp.
BS





Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Lee Evans Dash. Ringby/ Oxenhope

 Last night I suspected 2 Yellow Wags at Ringby then after
it was confirmed this morn by PS I wadered through the
scrap photos from yesterday and came up with these
2 together. Also a closer look at last nights blog they
are different birds in the photos.
 Plenty juv Whitethroats at Ringby tonight
                              As well as Linnets
 The icing on the cake, sub ad drake Common Scoter, Oxenhope
                                   Courtesy of a call from Keith Moir.
   Very distant shots and only the 420mm with me as
  left Big Bertha 600mm at home to save hugging it
                             around Ringby.



                 These 3 taken with bridge 50 x.


                          Noisy Herring gull

1700 hrs and up to Ringby in full winter waterproofs in heavy rain then drizzle with fog banks coming and going.
The area was alive with birds in the low cloud with several Linnets and Whitethroats along the steel railings. The Wagtail field was very hard to bird in the conditions and around 50 Meadow Pipits in amongst was a distraction.
Swarms on Midges were over the muddy field attracting around 30 Swallows which were yet another distraction.
Pied Wagtail numbers were up to around 60 and in 1 hours search and scan  I only got 2 short sightings of a Yellow Wag.
                                              As I was thinking of leaving I got a phone call from Keith Moir reporting a drake Common Scoter on Oxenhope res. This was a " must go for bird " so a quick call to Lynda to get an hours extension then a dash from Ringby Top to the car on Swalesmoor and head for Oxenhope. The race was on, that was until I got to Keelham and a massive traffic jam with road works and 4 way temporary lights at the cross roads so a quick 3 point turn and back over Soil Hill to Keighley Rd.
Despite all this I arrived at the gate to the reservoir at 1815 hrs, just 15 minutes from Keiths call.
A quick word with Keith who was just leaving who informed me that the Scoter was at the Windy Corner end which was ideal for photos and easy access.
                                               Once up the banking I peered carefully over the wall so not to flush it but to my despair , nothing.  My immediate thoughts were Oh no, its gone, and then a scan with the bins found a black dot in the centre of the res right on to the south near the hide. No turning back now so a dash along the banking to get as near as possible, which wasnt very near to get a few record shots. The drake Scoter had part of a white neck collar probably making it a sub adult.
                                                   So just in the nick of time I finally got my July Common Scoter thanks to KM for his quick call to me. Thats the third bird dash I,ve had in a week now, look out Lee Evans.
BS

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hawkeye Sutcliffe strikes again, Yellow Wagtail.

         Ringby Top juv Yellow Wagtail

       Another hard target set by DJS.


   Could only manage distant record shots
             A very flighty bird


A grapevine call from DJS late afternoon reporting a juv Yellow Wagtail on Ringby Top was at a bad time for me with some running about to finish of but I knew I had to get up there for a bird such as this in our area.
1800 hours and I was on my way following directions by phone from Dave but not a Wagtail anywhere in sight. 30 minutes searching 100 yds further on and at last a few Pied Wagtails but unfortunately they were in a grassy area and difficult to see.
                                                         Suddenly 40 + wagtails flew from the grass spooked by 2 corvids and landed by down in the original area but still sticking to a mainly grassy section.
After a lot of checking through, there it was briefly giving me a few decent but distant views over the next thirty minutes. The whole flock was very mobile and a lot of patience was needed but well worth the effort although disappointing on the photos with the above few the best of 140 frames.
Once again, another great find for an ultra dedicated Dave Sutcliffe.
BS

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Fly Flatts evening visit

With little spare time today it was down to a quick check of Fly Flatts this evening in cloudy skies and a stiff WNW>5 with light drizzle.
Still no Scoter for this location with just the usual Canadas on the water along with the Barnacle goose and 5 Greylags.
The 2 Tufted were still present whilst a Common Sandpiper was moving along the west banking.
A Snipe was calling from the field above the water but kept hidden in the reeds and Meadow pipit numbers are increasing with post breeding birds starting to group ready for the off.
                                                     Sadly all last years Short Eared Owls have completely disappeared from the grouse shooting areas and may just have moved on due to a shortage of mice but I have my own ideas of what has happened to them.
A quick look at Mixenden reservoir on the way home found it void of bird life.
BS

Monday, July 25, 2016

Ogden, evening visit

A quick check on Ogden at 1800 hrs this evening failed to produce anything to waken the taste buds though the gull count was reasonable with LBB, Common and BHG but no Meds or Yellow Legged amongst them and none wearing leg rings.
Common gulls seem later back this year with counts of ones and twos , even up at Oxenhope amongst the mass of gulls up there. Last year I was starting to get double figures at the end of June and good numbers of  the Foxhill flock were back by 17th July .
Otherwise Ogden just held the usual Canadas, Mallards and Heron.
Several Swallows were over the water whilst Swifts are becoming noticeable by their absence.
BS

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Yellow Legged Herring gull shows at Lower Laithe and a trip to Oxenhope.

 This amazing photo of a 3rd summer Yellow Legged Herring Gull
was taken this afternoon, courtesy Keith Moir, at Lower Laithe
reservoir and is the same bird that was at Leeshaw this morning.
The gull is believed to be the same bird that  returns to
Leeshaw each year. Many thanks Keith for info and a stonking photo.
 Oxenhope. 1 of 2 Little Ringed Plovers taken way across
the water at 800mm.
              LRP in the background
   Red Legged Partridge with young





                     Sunshine and showers
           No pot of gold, just sheep.
                              A double helping
                                         Base camp

Thanks to Keith Moir for the amazing YL gull photo .
The weather was more my style this evening at Oxenhope with a good W>4-5 blowing and some heavy showers.
The shoreline was strangely quiet with everything on a low count but good to see 2 LRPs still hanging on there with one or two other waders. With the shoreline as it is the waders should be piling in next month.
Good to see breeding success for Red Legged Partridge but the 2 young in the photo have,nt much time to grow and get street wise before the sad men appear next month after their blood.

18 Lapwing
c 200 LBB
4 Herring gull
39 BH gull
2 Little Ringed Plover
1 Dunlin
4 Snipe
2 Common Sandpiper
1 juv Coot
2  Pied Wagtail
+ usual sp.
BS

Leeshaw/ Fly Flatts

   LEESHAW.                      YL Herring gull just dropped
                                              in on the wall
                          Still 2 Oystercatchers present
        Same 3rd year YL as last sighting here.



                                                   Heron stalking
                              juv Grey Wagtail

FLY FLATTS                      Barnacle goose in with Canadas.
                                                Taken from the top road.
A slightly better morning although very still and warm but fortunately without the sunshine.

Leeshaw was livelier with a flock of Lapwing in the new mown field along with 2 Curlew and a surprise to get a 3rd year Yellow Legged Herring gull dropping in which was probably the same bird as previous visit.
Fly Flatts produced the Barnacle goose as reported earlier this month by DJS and a pair of Tufted were on the water making me reach for the scope thinking they were Scoters.

Leeshaw
1 Yellow Legged Herring gull
3 Black Headed gull
7 LBB gull
2 Curlew
2 Oystercatchers
53 Lapwing
2 Heron
2 ad Grey Wagtails + 1 juv
+ usual Greylags, Canadas and Mipits

Fly Flatts
1 Barnacle goose
2 Tufted duck
+ usual sp.
BS