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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Around the migrant hotspots.

Did,nt get out until 1600 hrs so nearest location Ogden was my first port of call.
The sky was dark and grey with light too low for any photos so it was just as well nothing special was on the water. Just the usual BHGs and LBBs in small numbers with 5 Cormorant present.
                                                                   Passerine alley was alive with Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs along with a few Chaffinch and 2 Goldcrest, the Warbs looking like an overnight fall.
With this in mind and nothing else to see here I headed for the car with the idea of checking out Ned Hill track. As I approached the promenade 5 Curlew headed over noisily >W and all short billed juvs.
                                                                     The story was the same on Ned Hill track with several Willow Warblers and Mipits in the small plantation below the track with a few LBB gulls moving >N through the col towards Oxenhope.
                                                       A check on Roper Lane at the Redstart sight found again Willow Warblers and surprisingly a single Spotted Flycatcher though a distant and brief sighting.
Several Swallows were moving through >W.
BS

Monday, August 21, 2017

Fly Flatts, first visit of the week.

                                      2 of 4 Fly Flatts Wheatears


                             3 young Curlew passing through


                                Gained height and off >W
                                       Mega distant Whinchat
               Mixed juv and adult Stonechats. Nab Water Lane











1530 hrs at Fly Flatts had very dark skies on a warm S>4 with specs of rain.
                                                     At least 4 Wheatears were present at the south end whilst a Curlew was calling loudly from the west bank. As I walked on the banking 2 more young Curlews dropped down briefly on the banking top before flying a circuit then gaining height and heading off  >W.
Several Swallows were moving >SW whilst a Merlin flew over fast heading towards Slade.
                                                         By the time I,d got some seed down the rain was coming down heavy so back to the car and a drive on to the north end to check out the Chat situation along Nab Water Lane where HC had relocated the flock this morning.
                                                          On arrival the rain had eased so I got tackled up ready for a photo shoot but no birds. After around 15 minutes scanning I began seeing odd birds flitting in and out of the reeds but 50 yards towards the reservoir from yesterdays location and much further across the moor in a deep culvert.
With a lot of patience and weird looks from passing motorists the Stonechats slowly started to move back to their original position but remained very flighty whilst a single Whinchat remained way out on the fringe of the moor beyond reasonable camera range. This is a situation where I need the Canon 600 mm lens with 2x converter but at £15,000 I,ll stick with record shots.

Birds present

1 Wren
1 Raven
2 Kestrel
c30 Red Grouse
c40 Canadas
1 Merlin

Vis Mig

3 Curlew......................blogging then >W
sev Swallows...............>SW
6 Wheatear..................blogging
1 Whinchat.................blogging
6 Stonechat.................blogging

Thanks to HC for keeping me in touch with the situation this morning.
BS

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Back to Fly Flatts/ Nab Water Lane. Passerine morning, Raven afternoon.

                                                                     Noisy Raven over


                                                dropping over the Nab

                                      Ended up with 6 Ravens up together


                                      Could only manage 4 in a frame.



            Sparrowhawk well over the moor, 600mm
                             x2 convertor  1200 mm manual focus.

Back to Fly Flatts this p.m. ( Nab Water Lane) and amazingly, though not surprising, the whole shebang of Chats, Wheatears and Spotted Flycatcher had disappeared into thin air.
A one hour watch there just produced around 30 Goldfinch on the thistle tops but a nice booby prize of firstly 1 Raven, followed by 2 and then 6 in the air together flying noisily around together over the top ridge and Nab.
                           Two Kestrel and a very light Sparrowhawk were also present.
Good to bump into Martin Hayes up there, a real blast from the past. Its over 25 years since we used to vis mig together at TMR along with Howard Creber and Dave Barker.
BS

Migrant Moving Day. Fly Flatts. Nab Water Lane.

                                       More Wheatears moving through



                                   Sparrowhawk over the Nab

                               Fly Flatts Wheatears and Mipits
                           Nab Water Lane. Minimum 10 Stonechat
                             Looked like 2 families


                                       Distant Whinchat

                     Mega distant Spotted Flycatcher looking odd on
                                                              the moor. A site first.

Fly Flatts was alive with migrants mainly in and around the solitary tree.
Large numbers of Red Grouse and Red Legged Partridge were in the area, either just brought in or flown here to safety from yesterdays shoot over the hill.

Nab Water Lane was heaving with at least 10 Stonechat,( 2 families) as well as a single Whinchat, Wheatears and amazingly a Spotted Flycatcher on a wire fence on the edge of the moor picked out by BV in his scope. Good to meet Brian V up there and experience all the migrants.

Fly Flatts

Present
2 BH gull
1 Herring gull
1 Sparrowhawk
2 Kestrel
1 Reed Bunting
c 30 Red Grouse
c 40 Red Legged Partridge
+ usual sp.
VIS MIG
1 Willow Warbler.................blogging
1 Whinchat...........................blogging
1 Stonechat...........................blogging
5 Wheatear............................blogging
1 Tree Pipit...........................blogging then >W
sev Swallows........................>SW

Nab Water Lane
VIS MIG
2 Wheatear..........................blogging
min 10 Stonechat................blogging, 2 family parties
1 Whinchat.........................blogging
1 Spotted Flycatcher..........blogging, a first for this site.
BS

Saturday, August 19, 2017

A Saturday flop and dates to look out for.

A gusty showery day as I arrived at Leeshaw 1445 hrs only to run into disappointment as the new camping site in the farmers field above the reservoir is now up and running with a dozen tents in today all complete with screaming kids.The campers seemed to think the reservoir grounds are part of the site with several in the grounds and on the shoreline so no birds present and nothing in the sky in the strong winds.
                           A walk for the dogs then over the tops to Fly Flatts which was unworkable in the near gale force W>6 gusting 7 along with horizontal drizzle. The water was empty apart from hardy wind surfers steaming across the waves clinging on for dear life but with good news that so far there seems to be no Grouse shoots again this year as I suspected with very few Grouse around.
Preparation is underway for Red Legged Partridge with keeping pens being erected for birds brought into the area ready for the start of the season September 1st.
                           Next stop was Mixenden reservoir for a quick check on the way past to find several would be fishermen scattered around the water and just a few BH gulls and Mallards present.
                         As a last resort to save the blog a walk along Ned Hill track looking for migrants down in the small area of trees below the track but in the strong wind they were all keeping well down, if they were even there at all.
A group of 28 Canadas flew through the col but by now Id lost the will to live so did,nt even bother to take a photo.
Tomorrow looks promising for the wind dropping so I,ll have another dabble then.

Until then , heres some of my first arrival dates for the autumn, something to look out for :-

Brambling..............7/10
Black Redstart........15/10
juv Cuckoo.............29/08
Fieldfare.................25/09
Firecrest.................02/11
Green Sandpiper....03/08
Goldeneye.............23/10
Grey Plover...........29/08
Gadwall................15/09
Greenshank...........29/08
Jack Snipe.............16/10
Med Gull...............04/08
Osprey...................13/08
Pink Footed Goose.18/09
Pintail....................04/09
Ring Ouzel............16/10
Redwing................30/09
Snow Bunting.......02/11
Shorelark..............02/11
Turnstone.............19/08
Whooper Swan.....12/10
Wigeon.............. .28/08
Waxwing............ .15/11
Yellow Browed Warbler..29/09
BS

Friday, August 18, 2017

Ogden and odds and sods



  A few interesting sky shots over Foxhill
    from last nights dog walk.






  Sparrowhawk behind work this morning.


                         Picturesque Ogden today, late afternoon
        Small number of gulls present and 6 Cormorant

                      BHGs over the trees fly catching


                                                     Got one.

Just time for a quick check on Ogden late afternoon after a day of strong W>6 and some torrential downpours.
                 Gull numbers were well down with around 40 BHGs and 14 LBBs on their favourite spot on the east shore along with a count of 6 Cormorant.
Swarms of large black flies were over the trees near the info centre getting the small gulls up trying their hand at fly catching along with several Swallows and at least 4 Swifts.
                                                              Otherwise all was quiet, the highlight of the day being a Sparrowhawk flying through the works car park this morning and landing on a wire just giving me enough time to shoot into the office and grab the camera.
Swifts must be nearly at an end now this summer, my last in 2016 being  24th August.
BS