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Friday, September 30, 2016

One of those special days.

A morning of perfect moving conditions with a light SW>3 and skies of blue and milky white clouds with the wind increasing slightly later bringing some showers.
Meadow Pipits were on the move from first thing on a broad front with good numbers from Oxenhope, Northowram and Queensbury although counting was hard with the bright background making the Mipits hard to pick out.
The birds continued to pile over until 0930 hrs ,where at one point AC was counting 15 per minute throughout an hour, but after that they petered out with small numbers of stragglers over although this went on all day with Mipits still moving over Ogden at 1630 hrs.
                                                               Ogden was on form late afternoon with passerines all around the perimeter with firstly the Chaffinch flock just inside the first gate on the west bank with around 40 up and down from the trees to the shoreline.  A little further on the flock of Goldfinch were in the tops of Alders numbering around 80 along with at least 2 Redpolls and 5 Siskin mixed in.
                                     As I was watching these a lady came up to me and said she had just seen a Kingfisher fly along the waters edge but a dash further along failed to re locate it , however good news that its back.
Passerine alley was also buzzing with at least 6 Siskin, 2 Chiffchaffs and a very late Willow Warbler together with around 5 Goldcrest and a female Blackcap.
The water was poor with just the usual species.
On the way back around 100 Mipits were moving around the fields on Syke Lane and Ned Hill, no doubt waiting to move in the morning.

UPDATE... HC/DCB had 3776 Mipits over this a.m.

Vis Mig  Qby  a.m.
418 Mipits.............................>S  + a steady uncounted flow all day.
31 Goldfinch..........................>S
23 Chaffinch........................>S
6 Coal Tits .........................>S
2 Snipe...............................>W
3 Mistle Thrush..................>W
1 Song Thrush....................>W
4 Blackbirds.......................>W
16 Lapwing........................>E
7 Alba Wagtails.................>SW
c 100 Mipits........................blogging, pm, Ogden.
BS

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A windy, showery Ogden.

   Plenty shoreline grazing for the Canadas.
                                                   Big Bill


                                        Sun going down on the Cormorants

With near gale force W>6 blowing and heavy showers it was a dash to Ogden late afternoon to see if anything had dropped onto the water which unfortunately it had,nt.
A walk round the perimeter found it busier than yesterday but still no sign of the tit flock.
A flock of around 30 Chaffinch were feeding on the shore by passerine alley but very mobile in and out of the Willows whilst at the top of the Alders 3 Siskin and a single Redpoll struggled to hold on in the wind and quickly moved deeper into the plantation.
                                                                Robin numbers are building, on of which was a very shy fidgety bird with a very pale breast which could possibly be a continental.
Otherwise it was down to the usual sp both in the bushes and on the water.
30 minutes sky watch from the promenade failed to pick up any Pinkies and still no returning Kingfisher which is worrying.
                                                 Cutting it fine on September Pink Footed geese now so come on Tracy, you,re our number one skein spotter. Someone must get some over the weekend.

Vis mig was poor this morning in the strong wind and soon stopped altogether when the rain came.

Vis Mig
37 Meadow Pipit..............................>S
4 Swallow.........................................>S
2 Skylark.........................................>W
BS

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Queensbury Vis Mig at its best and a poor Ogden

  Vis miggers dream sky early morn.
   A window in the weather funneling birds through.
              Clouds breaking up, vis mig slows down,

Excellent conditions this morning with a light SSW>3 and grey dry skies giving the birds a clear run through.
Meadow Pipits piled through firstly from the north then coming down the Aire Valley hitting Queensbury from the NE all heading direct >S for the first time this season.
Meadow Pipits early on in the season head >W then as the season goes on they veer to >SW before finally heading direct >S as we get to mid season.
A report from DJS at Ogden was getting very little as the flocks were passing through well to the east of his position whereas HC/DCB at Oxenhope were getting the numbers but only by scoping out at a distance.
My largest flock through was 39 and the move petered out by 0915 hrs.
                                                   A mid afternoon at Ogden found it amazingly quiet when after 2 circuits of the water I failed to find the tit flock or Goldfinches  which were again probably seeking shelter in the wood from the now increased SSW>5. My whole passerine count amounted to 2 Great and 1 Blue tit which has got to be some sort of record.
The water held 5 Cormorant and a good count of 35 Canadas plus the usual gulls and Mallards with yesterdays Tufteds moved on.

Still no Pink Footed geese as yet although SJ at Manchester had a skein and DCB has had a small skein over Wilsden so who,s going to come up with the first lot, eyes to the skies.

Qby Vis Mig before and on the way to work :-

378 Meadow Pipit............................. >S
18 Goldfinch....................................>W
21 Chaffinch....................................>W
5 Swallows......................................>S
Casual obs from work 0800 hrs on found a continuous flow all >S until 0915 hrs. approx another 200.
Update.. 1456 Mipits for Oxenhope, HC DCB, well done lads, not easy scoping them.
BS

LBB gull moult

                           Oxenhope white patched LBB gull



A couple of months back I found this odd looking LBB gull at Oxenhope which stood out with the bright white upper wing patches, something I had,nt come across before.
Today I saw a similar bird at Ogden but with less white markings.
I asked if anyone else had come across this with no response so its obviously not a common sighting.
MC replied to say he thought it would be due to moulting.
Reading up tonight, ( Helm gulls ) it is caused by when the birds moult is at its peak and the primary moult reaches the mid primaries ,then the white patches are the white bases of the secondries showing through when the greater coverts are shed.
So if you see a white patched LBB from now you,ll know what its all about.
BS

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Ogden , YBW search , dip number 2.

               Good to get 5 Tufted on the water
             Thanks to JL , the finder, for his text.



  A flock of over 100 Goldfinch flying high above the tree top.
  and dropping down deeper in the plantation, here,s 86 of them, ish.

A text this afternoon reporting 5 Tufted at Ogden was interesting whilst I was watching around 60 House Martins over the garden centre at West Vale.
1530 hrs and back at Ogden on a bright but very windy afternoon WSW>5-6 making passerine hunting hard work with the swaying trees.
As soon as I arrived I got the 5 Tufted together along with JL on his way around the water.
A check of passerine alley again found nothing so back clockwise around to the west side expecting to find the tit flock back by the Firecrest tree but not to be.
A massive flock of Goldfinch were circling around the tree tops but dropping down deeper in the wood possibly out of the wind but I never managed to connect with the tit flock which could also have moved into the shelter of the wood.
Around 20 Chaffinch were at the north end feeding on the shoreline whilst the water was otherwise quiet apart from the usual sp.
We badly need some easterlies at the moment but they are forecasting strong westerlies over the next few days so lets hope the YB Warblers are strong fliers.
Low cloud and heavy drizzle put the mockers on any sign of vis mig this a.m.

Vis Mig
c 60 House Martins......................blogging over West Vale, p.m.
BS

Monday, September 26, 2016

Queensbury morning vis mig and in search of the Yellow Browed Warbler/Ogden.

Big Mipit day.
Meadow Pipits were coming over well early morn in the grey skies and SW>4 but dying down by 0800 hrs as I got to work. Lunch time saw an increase again over Foxhill much lower now in the light rain making the best days count so far. Looking at other reports these were coming over on a broad front. Reports of good numbers from Ovenden, Northowram, Beacon Hill and Caldene fields.
A Buzzard headed >E over Crow Point mid afternoon but this was possibly a local bird.
                                                       1500 hrs and off to Ogden for the target bird, Yellow Browed Warbler of course, but conditions by now were poor with heavy drizzle then rain with darkening skies making scanning difficult with rain on the bins and a good soaking from the trees every time the wind blew.
As usual for an afternoon passerine alley was empty, this area coming in to force on a sunny evening, so I finally caught up to the tit flock on the west bank in and around the Firecrest tree but they were very mobile flitting rapidly from tree to tree in the thickest darkest area around the track. Lucky really I never spotted a YBW as a photo would have been impossible.
                                                            I did however pick out around 30 Goldfinch, at least 12 Goldcrest, 3 Siskin and umpteen Great, Blue and Coal tits with surprisingly no Long Tailed tits.
2 Chiffchaffs were present but Willow Warblers now seem to have gone.
The water held the usual 3 Cormorant, 12 Canadas and several small gulls.

For those of you wondering what a Yellow Browed Warbler is and what all the fuss is about here,s some pics from the last twitch when one turned up 30/09/2012.

                                     Denise S. The original finder
                                                         No comment !

                                          The search goes on
                             Just before I re located it in passerine alley
                                               Yes, that,s right, he got it. DJS
        The bird in question, Yellow Browed Warbler.
                                                                                 Photos, B.S.

Vis Mig

273 Meadow Pipit................>SW    am
38 Meadow Pipit.................>SW   midday
4 Snipe................................>W     am
7 Chaffinch........................>W     am
2 Swallow..........................>S      am
1 Alba Wagtail...................>W    am
1 Buzzard..........................>E      pm   possible local.
BS

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Fly Flatts pm visit

                                               5 Siskins behind the Delvers
                                                Poor pics in silhouette conditions.



          Another pot of gold for Queensbury. From Hunter Hill

Fly Flatts early evening was wind blown and cold with nothing on the water although a car was at the boathouse meaning that boats would have been out on the water this afternoon.
A Raven was cronking over the Bumps but keeping out of sight whilst 2 distant Wheatears were down by the Red Legged Partridge pen.
Only 4 Canadas showing on the banking with most now moved on.
A single Blackbird flew over high and >W which must have been a mover.
                                                                 On the way back 5 Siskins flew over the road in front of me and settled in the garden behind the Delvers feeding on an Alder tree along with 2 Chaffinch and around 12 Goldfinch.
An interesting e mail today from Shaun Radcliffe confirming what DJS and me were talking about the other day with several Yellow Browed Warblers arrived on the east coast where Shaun picked one up in church ravine, Filey so I,ll be giving passerine alley ,Ogden, an extra coat of looking at over the coming weeks and then of course its Firecrest time. !
BS

Leeshaw Reservoir.

A night of torrential rain left a grey start to the morning with a cool SW>5 which deteriorated as the watch went on finally aborting at 0900 hrs when the clouds dropped down bringing mist and heavy drizzle off the moor through the valley. Surprisingly it was much brighter as I arrived home with even a hint of sunshine.
Movement was good at the start with Starlings and Lapwings being the dominant birds whilst the water remained quiet.

Vis Mig
120 Starling.....................>NW  low and fast in squadrons of around 12
132 Lapwing...................>W
c160 Lapwing.................blogging
15 Mipits.......................>SW
8 Swallows....................>S
5 Mistle Thrush............>W
1 Song Thrush..............>W
2 Blackbird...................>W

Present.
5 LBB gull
2 Common gull
17 BHG gull
1 Heron
2 Canada geese
1 Greylag goose
+ usual sp.

Old Guy Road cricket pitch
29 Common gull
3 Pied Wagtails
2 Wheatear
Flock of around 60 Linnet.
BS

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Qby vis mig + Old Guy Road and Roper Lane watch point.

Just a bit on the windy side this morning with a SW>5 blowing but this did,nt seem to stop the early birds with the best morning so far but slowing down when the clouds rolled in.
A check on Old Guy Road cricket pitch ,now that the season is out of the way , produced 12 Pied Wagtails, 3 Wheatears and 11 Common gulls with more Common gulls in the surrounding fields.
A strong wind blowing at the watch point on Roper Lane with very little in the sky and no sign of the target bird, Pink Footed goose, although sightings are starting to come in now with the first few skeins seen heading >W.

Vis Mig.
Mipit..........................................86>W
Swallow....................................41>S
Alba Wagtail.............................9>W
Mistle Thrush...........................4>W
Herring gull..............................6>W
LBB gull..................................27>NW
Starling....................................1 squadron of 18 in migration mode >NW
12 Pied Wagtails.....................blogging
3 Wheatear..............................blogging
BS

Friday, September 23, 2016

A poor do at Ogden

In contrast to my last visit things were very quiet on the passerine scene with not a bird showing on the eastern side through passerine alley.
As I got to the Alders on the west bank 6 Siskin flew around the tree tops before dropping back down deeper in the wood whilst a flock of around 30 Goldfinch flew across the water dropping into trees at the northern end.
I came across the Chaffinch flock, now about 40 strong, but very mobile between the shore, the Willows and the Pine trees but a scan through them failed to produce anything exotic.
The water held around 30 BHGs, 2 Commons and a LBB along with 3 Cormorant.

Vis Mig
5 Meadow Pipits.................>SW
4 Swallows.........................>S
7 Alba Wagtails..................>W
4 Blackbirds.......................>W
BS

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sentry Hill Watch. p.m. visit.

                                        Drax in the hazy distance
     Looking across to the reservoir hide.
                                       Gulls piling in throughout

             Sacrifice stones on the Nab
                                   1st wind turbine ready for the blades
             Looking across to Leeshaw reservoir
                          Raven (lower) being mobbed by Crows.
             Hundreds of gulls ready to come across to the water.
                                           Soil Hill tree line.

A late afternoon visit to Sentry Hill watch point with hopes of some early Pink Footed geese or even an Osprey, neither of which materialized , found a few decent birds and some breath taking views of the distant landscape.
Gulls were piling into the reservoir with hundreds in a field below waiting to come in to preen on the water before moving off >E towards the Eccup roost.
Several Mipits were blogging in fields and on the moor whilst a few were still moving heading >W over the Nab area along with a good number of Swallows >S.
                                                     A single noisy Raven was heading >N to the east of me getting mobbed along the way by 2 Carrion Crows and a flock of 18 Lapwing flew low over Paul Clough towards Fly Flatts.
3 Wheatears were on local walls whilst a flock of Goldfinch fed on thistle tops.

Vis Mig,
No watch early morning with rain and mist not clearing until 0800 hrs,

Few Meadow Pipits .................>W
Steady flow of Swallows.........>S
18 Lapwing .............................>S  could be locals
1 Raven ..................................>N  could be local bird
Several mipits.........................blogging
3 Wheatear..............................blogging
1 Skylark.................................>W
BS

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Elland Gravel Pits

Looking through some old pics. Who remembers E.G.P. in the good old days with Sedge Warblers in every thicket along with Yellow Hammer and Lesser Whitethroat being a common sight, even a Spotted Sandpiper for good measure in May to July 1990.

           Peregrines use to perch on the cooling towers.
BS

Queensbury Visible Migration Today

Good grey skies this morning and a light >SSE led to a slightly better movement but still very slow making me suspect that the big Meadow Pipit movement is not going to happen like the last 3 years where the Mipits have tended to go down the coastal route as apposed to inland. Years ago we used to be counting  over 10,000 a day when they came passed us in swarms but those sort of days seem to have gone now. Hopefully they,ll be a big push next month.
                                                        Common gull numbers are building now with the Foxhill flock at around 45 early morning, which usually increases to around 80 over the winter.
No time to get out birding today with granddaughter duties other than vis migging early morn before work and I was surprised to find it dark at 1900 hrs this evening when I took the dogs out, where have the light nights suddenly gone?

Vis Mig
12 Mipits...............>WSW. Starting to turn direction now and will be heading >S by next month.
3 Skylark.............>W
11 Alba Wagtails..>W
2 Mistle Thrush...>W
1 Song Thrush....>W
37 Lapwing........>E   Could be the Shelf Moor birds.
BS

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

In amongst the passerines, Ogden

            Still a few Willow Warblers left

                  Siskins enjoying the Alders



    This cracking male refused to show itself

A late afternoon check of the water at Ogden produced nothing other than the usual so it was on to passerine alley to concentrate on the tit flock.
I soon found myself surrounded with birds but very mobile moving from tree to tree and very hard to get on to. Apart from the usual 4 tit species at least 3 Willow Warblers were present along with Goldcrests, Blackcaps, Chaffinch, Goldfinch and up in the Alders were around 15 Siskins busy feeding in amongst the Goldfinch. 2 Redpoll came into view before dropping back into the pines.
A real hectic hour.

Vis Mig
18 Herring gull in V formation......................>E
Small number of Mipits................................>W
8 Swallow....................................................>S
13 Goldfinch...............................................>W
2 Chaffinch.................................................>W
BS