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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Double Dousing, all for the love of gulls. Redcar Tarn / Ogden.

                                 Redcar Tarn, Lesser Black Backed.







                                       Ogden Common Sandpiper.

A free early afternoon today so arrived at Redcar Tarn at 1330 hrs to heavy rain and a cool E>4 throughout. Quiet on gulls to start with but by the time I,d walked round the water , looking as if I,d walked through it, more gulls were arriving. Nothing unusual today with all LBBs and BHGs whilst the water held the usual Tufted, Coot and Moorhen etc.
                                                                              Several House Martins, Swallows and Swifts were over the water whilst a single Oystercatcher was in an adjoining field.
                                                                              On then to Ogden to check the gulls there after DJSs report this morning of a Yellow Legged Herring gull there.
A second reet good dousing here as me and the dogs walked the perimeter of the water checking the water and shoreline in heavy rain. Just 3 Black Headeds on the east side but I could see a group of big gulls on the west side with a Herring gull standing out amongst the LBBs. By the time I got round there just the BHGs were left on the shore with the big gulls flying around over the water. There were 8 LBBs and 1 Herring gull, ( argentatus ) disappointingly , all of which headed off towards Oxenhope.
                                                                           A Common Sandpiper was on the west shoreline which looked very fluffy underneath and made me think of a possible juv as 2 Common Sandpipers have been at this location since 18/04 this year. A Black Tern would have been nice to finish the session with so many still around but they seem reluctant to move any further west than Fairburn Ings.
BS

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Leeshaw Reservoir, a better day.

                                           Plenty Mipits feeding young
                     Oystercatchers everywhere, a count of 35.

                     Little Ringed Plover present.
                                  distant shots





                                1 of 2 Redshank , again at distance

1500 hrs at Leeshaw reservoir on an overcast afternoon but the belt of this mornings rain had moved over helped by an E>4.
                                   Things were much livelier today with an amazing count of at least 35 Oystercatchers in the fields and around the water, 24 being in one field.
Two Redshank were noisily flying round , after I thought they,d moved on, whilst a surprise to see a Little Ringed Plover feeding at the far end of a field and a Ringed Plover flew over the front of the car to drop down onto the shoreline as I set off, identified from the LRP by its wing bars. Both these birds had been seen earlier in the week by KM whom I bumped into by the reservoir as he arrived to do his gull check.
                          Only around a dozen big gulls were showing as well as a few Black Headeds, mainly of which seemed to be LBBs but once again they were well over to the nw corner and nearly out of sight. A raptor sighting at last when a Merlin whizzed over off the moor creating havoc amongst the Lapwings which are now on a count of around 150, plus still some young birds.
                                                          As with Fly Flatts there are large numbers of Canadas and Greylags with young on the water and KM reported a Greylag with a neck ring fitted at Windermere where apparently they go to moult.
BS


Monday, June 26, 2017

Fly Flatts p.m.

                   Up to 4 juv Common Sandpipers about now




                 Late starter Canadas.



Fly Flatts  Hot and sticky with a light W>3 and sunshine,
                                     Nothing much to get the taste buds going this late afternoon visit with quiet skies and just the usual geese on the water. Once again Common Sandpipers were everywhere with at least 4 juvs along the shoreline now. Its amazing how these little ones can just disappear out of view in a second not to be relocated even though you know the spot they are in.
                                                            Dunlins made a brief appearance with 2 flying low over the water and dropping down into a reed bed on the moor whilst the Redshanks seem to have moved on along with several Curlew leaving the area much quieter now without the Curlews calling.
Soon dispersion will begin to build up with birds starting to leave the moor usually beginning with Curlew and Lapwing, the latter already starting to group on the shoreline. Meadow Pipits are usually the last to go with some left to over winter.
                                                                    Another 3 weeks and we should be seeing the first returning Wheatears on the moor. No more returning Common Scoters as yet but I,m sure we,ll get a few more over the next 2 month along with a Tern or two.
BS

Sunday, June 25, 2017

And the day got no better. Leeshaw.

                                 Fields full of Oystercatchers

                                    A count of 29 birds now.
                       This Lapwing chick has a bit to go yet.

After this mornings poor blog from Ogden I hoped to make amends this late afternoon at Leeshaw reservoir but not to be.
On arrival the weather was bright with a W>4 and good visibility but fishermen on the shoreline had cleared it of gulls. Leeshaw is fished by Bradford Waltonians angling club which is mainly fly fishing so the problem here is they dont sit in one spot to fish but instead walk around the whole of the shoreline so it disturbs the whole area.
                                                             A check of the fields gave a count of 29 Oystercatchers with possibly more, one field alone held 23 birds . A cormorant was on the water with several LBB and BHG gulls flying around which eventually settled once the fishermen had gone but no sign of KMs Yellow Legged from yesterday.
Just another week of June to suffer now then things will start to liven up again as we head into July.
BS

Ogden a.m.

   Unusual for Ogden, Redshank
  Taken long distance with Canon 300mm
            Too wet for Big Bertha.

           Water level well down with islands appearing.
                                    Few LBBs and BHGs.

With all the upland sites fogged off it was down to Ogden as a last resort
Though the conditions were ideal with low scud clouds and heavy drizzle birding was quiet.
                                                                   The water is near an all time low with acres of shoreline and even small islands appearing offshore but the only wader present was a single Redshank on the west shoreline which is now nearly out of camera range from the footpath. The 25 Mixenden Canadas were on the water  along with a low count of Mallard which once again for the second year running have failed to rear any young out of the 22 ducklings counted earlier in the season and now not a young duck in site. This is mainly due to Carrion Crows being attracted to the site with the bread lobbers in the se corner where 12 Carrion Crows and 9 Jackdaws were present this morning where a lady told me the Jackdaws were as bad as the Crows for taking ducklings. Also 2 Heron have been present throughout, firstly tempted by breeding frogs and then ducklings, both of which have moved on now that the food is finished.
                                                   11 LBBs were on the shoreline along with 5 BHGs and that was about it .  Hopefully I,ll have a better blog from the tea time session.
BS

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Leeshaw Reservoir

                          Oystercatchers up to 16
         Breeding over for most of the Lapwings
                                           A busy shoreline
                                  Curlews more relaxed now
                        with most chicks grown.


                  Still some late Lapwing chicks

1500 hrs at Leeshaw with a mix of cloud and sunshine with a W>5 blowing.
                                                        A busy shoreline today with post breeding Lapwings now beginning to regroup on the shoreline or in the fields with several grown young amongst them.
The Oystercatcher count is up to 16 now and usually get up into the high 20s.
                                                                Curlew and Snipe are now settling down to feed in the fields without having to worry about their young whilst the breeding Redshanks seem to have moved on.
Across on the north shoreline gulls were gathering with 32 LBB, 12 BHG and 2 Herring with no sign of returning Commons as yet but a steady move of Black Headeds was apparent  all >W.
                                                            Swallows, Swifts and House Martins fed over the water whilst the usual resident species carried out their daily routine.
BS
                                       

Friday, June 23, 2017

A second Common Scoter for the area. Mixenden

 Male Common Scoter on Mixenden with Canadas
             Photo from top road.
                                  As usual the Scoter stuck to the middle of the water.




  second one in 2 days for the area.


1430 hrs and a trip to Fly Flatts to get the Nyjer seed down for over the weekend with good weather conditions, for me anyway, with 100% grey cloud cover, light drizzle and wind reduced from yesterday to W>5.
                             Much quieter than yesterday with the usual species around the shoreline whilst 4 Dunlin were busy feeding young dashing to and from the shoreline to reed beds on the edge of the moor. A walk the full length of the west bank failed to produce any moving Common Scoters with yesterdays bird moved on. With water and sky quiet I decided to head back to Mixenden reservoir to check out DJSs drake Common Scoter which he reported there this morning.
                                                                    I knew it was still present as on the way to Fly Flatts I stopped at the top of the hill above the reservoir and after a short scan I was able to pick it out in with the Canadas. The Scoter was hanging around the Canadas and doing the usual trick of keeping right out in the middle of the water making hard work of the photography, especially being a jet black bird against a light background. All quite otherwise apart from several Swifts, Swallows and House Martins. Once again, all credit to DJS for turning up his second Scoter in as many days.
BS