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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.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Ringby Top. p.m.

With things on the move this morning Ringby Top seemed like a good choice for late p.m. to get in a 1 hour sky watch although when I got up there at 1500 hrs conditions were far from perfect with sunshine and blue skies but hazy visibility to the west beyond the wind farm and Ferrybridge to the each was barely visible. A cold E>4 was blowing so whether it was the cold wind or the sunny skies stopping movement I dont know but things were definitely quiet.
                                                              No more Pinkies on the move but plenty LBB gulls all heading >E, with Commons and Black Headeds now having left the area. Two Herring gulls went over >SW along with 2 very distant Buzzards. Otherwise it was down to the usual Corvids, Meadow Pipits and Skylarks with a single Linnet fly over.
A couple of reports this p.m. from Oxenhope with a possible Shag at Leeming reservoir MC, and a Red Kite over Leeshaw reservoir HC, thanks for those lads.

Buzzing at Fly Flatts

                                         Golden Plover
                       Distant skies alive with Goldies

                                       Barnacle on the water
                                  Greylag, Canadas and Barnacle
                           1 of 2 Oystercatcher

         Snipe drumming. note drumming tail feathers.

                Plenty established Curlew
 One for the ladies, new life at Fly Flatts
  Just when tou thought they,d all gone
  Distant skein of Pink Footed Geese

             1 of 2 Goldies in the kennel field.

A bright clear sunny morning at Fly Flatts with a cold E>4 and the skies were buzzing.
On arrival the Golden Plovers were in the air with 200+ giving an amazing aerobatic display before they dropped back onto the moor not to be seen again other than 2 in the usual kennel field.
                                                  Lapwing and Curlew were everywhere as well as 9 Snipe up drumming along with an unusually high number of singing Skylarks for this area.
The water held the usual Canadas and Mallards along with 2 Greylag and 1 Barnacle, the latter presumably from Cold Edge.
Wheatears are still struggling to arrive as yet with none down by the water or feeding station and just 2 seen down by the farm along with a male Stonechat.
                                                                         Sky watching from Slade for an expected last push of Whoopers produced a massive skein of Pink Footed Geese way out over Stoodley Pike heading >NW, a species I least expected to see this morning thinking they had all gone .

200+ Golden Plover + 2 in kennel field
Skein of Pink Footed Geese Est c300
9 Snipe
16 Curlew
2 Oystercatchers
2 Greylag
1 Barnacle
1m Stonechat
+ usual Lapwings, Canadas. Meadow Pipits etc.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The night shift. Soil Hill.

                                                  Soil Hill watch point

                                           Big Bertha on standby.
                           NK pond, 3 Mallard, 1pr Teal, 1 Moorhen.
                 Kestrel enjoying the thermals

   Herring gulls piling through the col

Snagged up until 1700 hrs tonight but ideal moving skies with a light breeze E>3 so back to the Soil Hill watch point until 1800 hrs and sun down.
Birds present were 37 Lapwing, 4 Curlew and 11 Stock doves in the NK pond field whilst the pond held 3 drake Mallards, 1pr Teal and a single Moorhen. The summit had the usual Skylarks and Meadow Pipits.
                         Visibility was better than yesterdays watch with the Yorkshire dales just visible through a low lying haze cloud to the north although viewing was hard to the west due to the low sun.
Three Kestrels were up over the ridge whilst the Fly Flatts Golden Plover flock of around 100+ kept showing from time to time around the wind farm.
                         The highlight of the hour was Herring gulls piling through the Causeway Foot col from the south heading over Oxenhope reservoir , then, as if they suddenly realized the gull roost had broken up, they turned and headed >E probably to Eccup reservoir. A count of 109 went through in the hour and as far as I could make out they were all Herrings. Still no Osprey but theres time yet.
                                                                             Dont forget to put your clocks on tonight which gives you 1 hour less in bed but 1 hour less to wait to the morning birding session.
I hope all you Mothers out there have a good and restful day tomorrow.

Friday, March 24, 2017

An hectic hours birding. Raggalds Flood/ Soil Hill

 Just when we,d given up on Raggalds Flood it
produces 2pr Teal and 2 Redshank.

          Fieldfare moving through the Causeway Foot col
                                   Like a scene from vis mig.

1500 hrs and heading to Soil Hill for 1 hours sky watching but first a stop off at Raggalds Flood, which has done nothing for the last 9 month, after a report from DW of 4 Teal present. 2 pair of Teal were on the water whilst 2 Redshank were wading in the waters edge and along the shore.
                                                     Bright blue skies and sunshine on Soil Hill with a cool ESE>4 and hazy visibility beyond 5 miles. A quick look across for the 5 Whooper Swans on Oxenhope reservoir, reported earlier by Dan B then a check of the tree line and Ring Ouzel clough for Wheatear or even an early Ring Ouzel but nothing doing.
                                                                 Back onto the west summit where I set my stall up ready for a sky watch and got the camera onto the tripod to get some distant record shots of the Whoopers but they were not to be seen. I never saw them fly so possibly they were near to the south shore and out of sight. 8 Skylark and 11 Meadow Pipit were moving around the hill, some up singing, whilst 27 Lapwing were down on the Shay with at least 6 Golden Plover and c50 Starling.Sky movement was quiet other than a few LBB gulls and a distant Sparrowhawk until 38 Fieldfare flew south through the Causeway Foot col dropping down into the plantation at Mixenden reservoir. Shortly afterwards a large flock of around 100 Fieldfare came through in the same direction dropping down on Hunter Hill.Looks like these birds are now flocking ready for the off.
If there are any Whoopers left, this weekend will probably see the big final push.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Cold Edge Dams/ Fly Flatts

                              Whoopers on Leadbeater Dam

    Then there were 3, ( Barnacles)

                                            Golden Plover

                                          Swarms of em.

 All photos from now Canon slr 7d + canon 300mm,  420mm
          or Sigma 150-600mm ( Big Bertha) and I,ll bore you
  no more with talk of the Nikon P900 which is boxed up
and sent back to where it came from. Thanks to I.H. for trying
to get a success out of it.

An afternoon free so Ollie and me followed in the footsteps of DP and AT who earlier had reported Whoopers, Goldies and an extra Barnacle goose around the Cold Edge Dams/ Fly Flatts areas.
A brighter afternoon with some sun and some very dark clouds on a cold E>5.
                                                               First stop Cold Edge and a scan across the goose field did indeed produce 3 Barnacle geese , the third possibly being the Leeshaw reservoir bird sighted there last week, (MC). All the geese were very distant, remaining at the far side of the field but I managed to get some shots with the 3 in the same frame. Also in the field were 5 Curlew and 4 Redshank.
                                                             Across then to Leadbeater Dam where I could hear the Whooper Swans before I got them in sight. A scramble up the banking and there they were, probably the same 4 that were reported over Lee Mount this morning, (DJS). The birds looked settled so will possibly stay the night before moving on. Possibly a family with 2 adults and 2 younger birds, slightly smaller and duller bills. Also on the water were 7 Tufted but the Goldeneye seemed to have moved on. Whilst by the dam a flock of 28 Golden Plover came over heading for Fly Flatts which was my next destination.
                                       When I was passing Slade two massive flocks of Golden Plover were circling round totaling 173 flying as far as Cold Edge Dams and over the wind farm before settling on the flat moor along with about 40 Lapwing. On at the far north end of the reservoir another flock of 62 were acting the same and landing on the moor just to the north of the water.  I counted a full total of 235 Goldies but there were probably more still on the moor, an amazing sight.
                                              Scoping down to the sailing club compound there were at least 7 male Wheatear and 2 near the farm opposite the wind farm along with a pair of Stonechat.
Not a bad 2 hours worth.