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BREEDING SEASON EXCLUSIONS.

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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Back to Reality

With the Mixenden Whoopers and the Ringby Snow Bunting all moved on it was up to Ringby late afternoon in a hope of going out of February in style with something like a Shorelark or even a good fly over, neither of which developed.
                                                        As I arrived up there the low scud clouds swept in bringing rain, sleet and snow which eventually settled down to a light drizzle on a SW>4.
After a sweep of the Snow Bunt field, again confirming the bird had flown, I trekked on in thick mud, like walking in rice pudding, to check the Yellow Wag field for Larks but only came up with Pied Wags and Skylarks.
A pair of Stonechat were very mobile whilst 14 Meadow Pipits were in the quarry. Overhead was the usual Common gulls with a few LBBs and Herrings heading >W whilst a Sparrowhawk soared up in the mist.
So here endeth February and on into March, a real cross over month with winter birds leaving and summer birds trickling in, a month where anything can happen.
BS

Monday, February 27, 2017

13. Unlucky for some but not Halifax Birders. Mixenden Whoopers

Prepare to be bored with Swan photos but who cares, I love em!


 Interesting when the Canadas came in.







 Need a Bewick now to compare bill patterns.










     Surprising to watch these birds actually sleep
If you click on the photos several can be seen sleeping

                                                I,m whacked


             Formation team stuff

                                       Hence the saying, Swan neck pipe.

First Snow Bunting now Whooper Swans, whatever is Dave Sutcliffe going to come up with next ?
A text this morning from DJS reporting 13 Whoopers low over Ovenden heading towards Mixenden where Dave assumed they would be found, bang on.  I passed the message on to NK who sprang into action along with DW to find them on the reservoir shortly afterwards.
                                                            I was taking Lynda to Halifax after work, lunch time, so I told her there was a diversion to Halifax which luckily took us past the top of Mixenden,strange that.  My tact there was to take some distant snaps from the top road just in case they had gone by the time I could get there late afternoon.
                                                I finally arrived at the reservoir at 1500 hrs and was pleased to find the lucky 13 still there. As always they were near the middle and at the opposite end to me so a sloppy trudge through the wood where I got set up in the trees and waited. They never came too close but at least they drifted so they were opposite me and as the heavy rain stopped and a bit of brightness appeared I got my shots.
The birds kept becoming very vocal as if they were ready for off but kept settling down again. It was interesting when the local Canadas flew in with Canadas and Whoopers trying to out call each other, the noise was amazing until both groups settled a distance away from each other.
                                                  A nice surprise there was to bump into Pauline who works with Judy Hogg for the Yorkshire Swan and Wildlife Rescue Hospital. Pauline is the lady that,s been chasing around with Judy after Brighouse cygnet 376Y.
                                                             Right Dave, we,re ready for the next species now.
BS

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Back to Ringby Top, Snow Bunting

                       Unmoved by the bad weather



                                       Eating continuously








                                            Wing and back pattern

                                            The twitch is on
             Lack of concentration in the centre.
                            Trying different angles
                                   Distraction behind
                                           Think DJS is on to me.
 Got to be important to get the chairman to Queensbury.
                          NCD     DF      DJS     MW

It started with a text from Angela and Gary asking for directions for the Ringby Top Snow Bunting, then another text shortly afterward saying they were on the bird in near enough the same area.
Well done to the dynamic duo for finding the bird which is not an easy task and thanks for the update.
                                                                                 1400 hrs and on my way up the hilly climb to Ringby where weather conditions were better than expected, for Queensbury anyway, with the strong SW>5-6 holding back the rain with just a few spots every now and then. Not the best photo shoot conditions with the black skies but was ready for this by taking the tripod.
On the way up there I thought to myself I dont want any more photos after yesterdays 200 ish but shortly after I was clicking away again, Snow Bunts are irresistible to a camera.
                                                                     It took me about 15 minutes to locate the Bunt and I finally found it in amongst a bramble patch but it soon move back to its favourite area.
                                                                        It wasnt long before the cavalry arrived with firstly Dave Sutcliffe followed shortly after my Michael Welch and the last of the crew were Dave Franz and
Nick Dawtrey who all got cracking views of the bird which just ignored us all and carried on munching seed.
It was like going back in time when we were all stood in the same area 30/12/2006 watching a Shorelark, eck, was it really so long since, we were nobbut lads then.
BS