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Thursday, July 20, 2017

A Thursday look at Fly Flatts.

             New in, 1 of 3 distant Redshank
                                            1 of 9 Wheatear
                                                juv Wheatear

                                         Male in moult

                     Last remaining Common Sandpiper




Fly Flatts. On the early shift, 1330-1530 hrs. Perfect conditions with bright grey skies and a strong
W>5 dropping to W>3 with sun blanked out until end of watch, luckily.
                                                                     One of the beauties of sticking to a local area is that you rarely get 2 days alike and today was no exception. Tuesday I spent my time watching Stone and Whinchats but today, not a Chat of any description in the area. Instead I got a hint of waders on the move with 3 Redshank fresh in which were obviously moving birds as the resident Redshanks left some weeks ago. One of the Redshanks was briefly on the west bank cobbles giving me a distant shot before it joined the other 2 in the far NE corner. A promising sighting. As far as I can see now just 1 Common Sandpiper remains hanging around the SE corner and will probably be gone any day now.
                                                                  Wheatears are still sticking around the feeding station area with at least 9 present today but still none showing along the top road. All the birds present are in some stage of heavy moult and juvs out numbering adults. Hopefully the Greenlands will soon start showing though these are usually the last through.
                                                                       A single Snipe shot up from the beck but kept low over the moor avoiding the camera whilst a Grey Wagtail was down in the same area. Swifts were in good numbers drifting >N over the Nab.
BS

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Leeshaw Reservoir

                                                 Still at least 20 Oystercatchers present
                                                 1 young Curlew leaving it late


                                              Little Owl putting on a show







                                                    8 out of 20 Oyks
                                                 Lapwing flock building

With sailing at Fly Flatts it was across to Leeshaw where my hopes of grey skies were dashed with hot sunshine and 50% blue sky starting to cloud before I left on a very light southerly.
                                                             Leeshaw has gone off the boil on my last few visits with just 13 LBB gulls and 24 BHGs with no sign of the Yellow Legged.
Lapwings are up to treble figures with most of this years young now flying apart from 4 late chicks on the north shoreline along with an Oystercatcher chick now growing well whilst at least 20 Oystercatchers are still present .
                                                  The Little Ringed Plover and Common Sandpipers seemed to have moved on whilst 1 young Curlew has decided to stay behind for now. A Little Owl put on a brief show before disappearing inside a dry stone wall .Greylags have stole the show from Canadas this year with 63 on the water as opposed to 15 Canadas.
BS

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

What a mix up / Whinchats/Stonechats, Fly Flatts.

                              Chats galore    juv Stonechat
                                      Stonechat showing white wing bar
                               Workers van in the background


                                             juv Stonechat


           
                         



                                            Wheatear outside the front door


Fly Flatts, late afternoon. Blue skies and hot sunshine but a pleasant SE>5 kept the temperatures down but awful light camera conditions. Hopefully the grey stuff will be back tomorrow.
                                                         The 2 Kestrels were again present but working well over the moor towards Dean Head giving the Wheatears a break whilst the water just held the usual geese.
Workmen were active on the north west banking which stopped me walking right along but as I got above the feeding station I could see a lot of bird activity further along at the bottom of the banking near the stream. Up with the scope which quickly revealed a pair of adult Whinchats with 2 juvs nearby along with several Meadow Pipits and Wheatears.
                                                                      With camera cocked it was down the banking to squat down behind the fence and scan through the birds. The Whinchats were now very distant and only scope able revealing both adults in moult but the supercilliums standing out. They moved northwards along the fencing beyond the workmen so no chance of getting nearer.
                                                                     Then it got confusing when Stonechats began to appear along the fence nearer to me flitting in and out of the heather, possibly all juvs or adults in moult but nothing representing a male plumaged bird. This left me wondering if the 2 juvs with the Whinchats were actually belonging to the Whinchats or in fact Stonechats.
                                                                   I was now surrounded by at least 5 Stonechat and a total count of 13 Wheatear all fresh in from yesterday probably thanks to the change in wind direction, although they were all at distance and several of the photos required tripod and 2 x converter, 1200mm.
No sign of any waders today .
BS
                                                                       

Monday, July 17, 2017

Why is nature so cruel. Fly Flatts

 End of its journey and a short life for this
                   juv Wheatear.
                Kestrel day at Fly Flatts









                                             A luckier juv Wheatear

1500 hrs at Fly Flatts in this horrid hot stuff but a nice cooling breeze from the west made things more workable.
                        A bad start to the watch when I came across a dead juv Wheatear by the outlet. The bird had no predator markings on it and looked as if it had flown into the wire fence possibly getting away from a predator as a second juv Wheatear was further along the banking partially plucked and eaten.
The probable culprits were at the north end of the banking with 2 Kestrels hanging around on the fence posts and down in the grass on the banking side. All Wheatears had cleared from that area with just 3 juvs back up at the south end.
                                                          The Kestrels seemed reluctant to leave the area even as I walked on at fairly close range. They tended to just fly a few yards and stop ,then return to the same spot when I was past which is unlike Kestrels which are usually up and away. I wondered if they had some prey near and did,nt want to leave it.
Two Oystercatchers were across on the east shore whilst the remaining 3 Common Sandpipers were in the se corner. A Dunlin called from under the edge of the south banking as I approached but flew before I could get the camera on it.
                                                       Meadow Pipits numbers are on the increase now ( Mick ) possibly due to post breeding with plenty juvs around but soon they,ll be starting grouping getting ready for the big move. Quiet blue skies today with just 1 LBB gull >N.
BS