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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.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Ogden, p.m.


                                         3 LBB gulls present
 This female Mallard with 2 chicks seemed very
distressed being harassed by several drakes.

                        Willow Warblers were in good  voice

           Drakes lncluding the Tufted around the female
   3 LBBs with an eye on the ducklings

 The resident Tufted has gone for the easy life
           taking bread.
                      Male Bullfinch after the new buds.

1500 hrs at Ogden in a W>4 and a noticeable rise in temperature , sunshine and showers.
                                                                                    Several Willow Warblers up in full song but no sign of any other migrants as yet. Most of the female Mallard are now absent with just the drakes left and harassing the 2 or 3 remaining females, 2 of which have ducklings. Most of the first batch of duckling are missing but not surprisingly with Lesser Black Backed gulls, Heron and Carrion Crows on the prowl.
A single male Bullfinch was present with possibly the female at nest.
                                                                    2 herring gull headed over >W along with 3 Curlew, otherwise just the usual sp. with no sign of the previous Common Sandpiper.
1 pair of Wheatear and a Kestrel were near the Ned Hill track.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Hard work birding. Withins to Ogden track.

                                      The old Withins pub
                                  crippling views towards Queensbury
and over Mixenden reservoir
                                                   few Mistle Thrush present
                                    less Wheatear than yesterday

1600 hrs and back to the Withins, after yesterdays mega count of Wheatear, to walk down the track towards Ogden. This is a route that every time I walk down I come away saying never again due to the lack of birds and today was no exception although I have to say its a pleasant walk with amazing views.
                                                              The cold E>4 seemed to have pushed everything down into the valleys with yesterdays count of 7 Wheatear around the Withins down to 2 and none what so ever down the track. Mistle Thrush and Blackbird were in good numbers with 3 of each, the Blackbirds checked for Ouzels but not to be.  Several Mipits were on the moor along with 4 Linnet whilst a few Swallows flew over low up the valley from Mixenden.
                                                                The highlight of the walk was a fleeting glimpse of a Whinchat which dropped off a fence wire and into a series of Gorse bushes down on the golf course and with golfers present I was unable to try and re locate it.
 The track is one of those walks where you keep thinking I,ll just go a bit further and then you get to the Ogden plantation and turn around where the Withins is a dot on the top of the hill which you have to walk back to.
This was one of our main local birding routes back in the 60s on Sunday morning when we would walk from Queensbury to Ogden then up the track to Withins to bird Fly Flatts and Cold Edge dams with a rucksack of pop, crisps and egg sandwiches on our backs and the Observers Book of Birds in our pocket .   Access to Ogden plantation and the reservoir was all private at that time so you had to see where the warden from the lodge house was and snook over the wall but it was much better for birds in those days with no disturbance. Happy days.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A wintery Fly Flatts, p.m.

                                     Snow blasting across the moor
                                                 A bright spell from the NW corner
                                             Looking down at the ponds
        Interesting cloud formation over the bumps.
                   No shoreline at the North end
                    1 pr Tufted on the water

        Not a volcano but cloud formation over the Nab.
                  Alive with Wheatears

A 1600 hrs visit to the North end of Fly Flatts to check the ponds started off looking like a mistake when I was getting blasted with a hail and snow storm carried on a N>6 wind but things calmed down slightly and the sun appeared in amongst the showers.
                                                 The ponds are still pretty quiet as yet and no sign of the target bird, Dunlin but Im sure they,ll come when they,re ready. Waders were struggling for landing places with no exposed shoreline and several headed back towards the south end.
A pair of Tufted on the water was unusual whilst Wheatears were everywhere, even braving the hailstones. A surprise to find 7 on the lawn of the old Withins pub along with 4 in the Nolstar field alongside Lapwings but no Golden Plover.

2 Snipe
4 Common Sandpiper
3 Redshank
2 Oystercatchers
3 Curlew
Several Lapwing
1pr Tufted
Few Swallows >N
5 Wheatear down by water
3 Wheatear above top road on rocky hillside
4 Wheatear in fields below top road
2 Wheatear by Knoll farm
7 Wheatear on lawn by old Withens pub
1 Wheatear Withins Gap
4 Wheatear in Nolstar field
                      Total  Wheatear..............26
+ usual sp.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Ogden p.m.

 Jay,unusually half out in the open

               Around 8 Willow Warblers ..

             A few Mallards ducklings around
                                               Tufted now a long stayer
                       Who mentioned ducklings ? Heron

1600 hrs and a walk around the water at a very blustery Ogden with a NW>5 but bright and clear.
                                                        Willow Warblers were active with 8 seperate birds , some singing and displaying whilst 2 Treecreepers which, as usual ,avoided the camera, were in the edge of the wood. A single Jay was noisy and a Heron patrolled the waters edge dangerously close to a small party of Mallard ducklings. The Common Sandpiper was still present which flushed from the NE corner flying over to the west bank and 2 Raven cronked overhead whilst unfortunately I was under a canopy of trees at the time.
                                           A single Grey Wagtail was down in the sluice gate where the Kingfisher has,nt been seen for some time now and has obviously moved off to a breeding site. 1 Cormorant on the depth gauge float and the resident drake Tufted completed the show.
                                                             Whilst typing this an usual sight of 2 grit wagons going passed spreading salt on the road which means its probably going to be a decent day tomorrow. We only get gritters out up here in the gods during good weather or when we are approaching an election.