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No wildlife sightings including Roe Deer, Fox, Hare or Badger will be mentioned on this blog throughout the year due to the rising influx of poaching, long dogging and lamping by sick individuals. BS.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

All good runs come to an end. Fly Flatts.

                                  Nice beach area SE corner
                                   Peat banking ,south shore
                                                    Wild water
                                                South of the boatyard.
                       Alive with Swifts over the water

All good things come to an end so after 2 days of Common Scoters today was a downer.
                                                 Late afternoon with 50% cloud cover letting the sun through with a moderate NW>6 peaking at 25.9 m.p.h. whipping up the waves and sending white horses and dark shadows racing over the water and lashing up the east bank, which in itself was a pleasure to watch.
                                                                 More shoreline is showing daily and with further dry weather forecast, as well as a heatwave and calm winds which I,m ignoring and hoping doesnt happen, the shore will be in tip top condition for mid Julys returning waders.
                                                                The shoreline today was alive with Common Sandpipers and a walk to the far NW corner revealed at least 14 and 9 young which are growing amazingly quickly.
Canada geese young are also grown enough now not to be troubled by the gulls whilst the pair of Greylag with 7 well grown young have moved on even though the young were,nt flying.
Mallards were the only duck present with 5m and 1f new in from yesterday but still no sign of the 2 female with familys of ducklings which seem to have taken their young across the moor.
                                                                Swifts were the bird of the day with literally hundreds , again low over the water and very high up in the sky, some actually hitting the tops of the high waves as they skimmed over. A few Swallows and House Martin were in with them but it looks like I will have to wait for autumn vis mig for my first Sand Martin this year.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The run continues. Fly Flatts Common Scoter

                                    Female Common Scoter
         Mega distant in high waves.

A busy schedule today but managed a quick look at Fly Flatts whilst  Im on a run.
1545 hrs in 60% cloud cover with a strong W>6 at 26.6 m.p.h. The water was like the north sea with a deep swell and white horses lashing against the east banking.
                                                    Windsurfers were arriving at the same time as me and this evening is boat night so just time to check the water before it all kicks off.
                                                     Half way along the west bank produced nothing and then by chance I just caught sight of a small duck bobbing about in the swell. A dash further along the banking and another 10 minutes search finally pin pointed a female Common Scoter ,as always well out on the water, and disappearing from sight below the waves.
                                                         A race against time now with the windsurfers ready to launch so it was up tripod and a few record shots in case it got flushed.
The bird was slowly moving north so I walked further along the banking and set up the tripod low down to stop the strong wind wafting it but a search of the water found nothing.
Not believing I could have missed it leaving I scanned the area another 15 minutes but failed to relocate the bird and by this time the windsurfers were in full swing but it must have sneaked off as I was walking on the banking.  Another few minutes watching to see it got flushed by the windsurfers but strangely no further sighting.
                                                   Up to 5 Dunlin and 8 Common Sandpipers were dotted along the east shoreline but otherwise down to the usual species.
                                                            A long drive home with the Cold Edge Road resurfacing team stopping the job at Slade so rather than sit and queue I had to go back along the top road to Oxenhope but well worth it for my 5th Common Scoter of the year.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Fly Flatts strikes again, Common Scoter.

 A dodgy car up on the top road with a fellow looking
out of the window through a scope.
Oh its DJS on Scoter watch.
           4 Stonking male Common Scoters
   Best I could do with them way out in the centre of the water

 Young Red Grouse near the road side. It,ll have to learn to move
faster than this by August 12th.

1500 hrs at Fly Flatts with no sign of yesterdays track repair contractors but as I got down there several YW officials were along the west banking checking the bank condition with the use of a drone. This restricted me to the east bank around the boat compound area which turned out to be a good move. The weather was ideal with a SW>4 and full bright cloud cover bringing light drizzle across the water.
                      My first scan over the water had in mind Kittiwake after DJSs find earlier in the day with one on Withens Clough reservoir, but instead I found a black blob nearer to the north end and in the centre of the water. This had to be Common Scoter which a few pics from Big Bertha proved to be 4 males.
After finding a better position on the east bank and alerting the cavalry through the grapevine I had a much better view of them but still at great distance. They eventually drifted nearly opposite me but still out in the centre, this plus the height of the waves made getting any decent photos not easy.
                                                                       By this time DJS had arrived on the scene scoping down on the Scoters from the top road where I later met up with him for a quick chat.
                                                                      A group of 9 small waders, looking like Dunlin kept flying over the water from the NE corner but too far to positively I.D whilst a couple of Dunlin were along the east bank along with several Common Sandpipers.
Herring gulls moved steadily >W with a good show of feeding Swifts over the water, some very high whilst 2 Kestrels hovered in the wind.
                                                            Thanks to last weeks westerly gales for providing us with the goods today.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Way up North, Fly Flatts northern ponds that is.

                                   4 Dunlin at the north ponds
                                 Possibly the same 4 from the south end.

      1 week on and the bogged down Mitsubishi is looking ragged
                                 Broken windows and alarm blasting
                     Police and water board involved now
Worry of contamination through oil and diesel spillage.
            Especially when the engine gets nicked.
  Some excellent shoreline at the north end.

                                 A nice spit out into the water

                                     Shingle beach ,east bank
                 1 of 3 Kestrels along the top road.

Arrived at Fly Flatts late afternoon to find the track blocked with contractors digging out the trenches and repairing the track . This looks as if it could go on a few days but I,ll have to wait and see.
                                           On then to plan B so parked up at the northern end and walked down to check the pond area and northern shoreline hoping my windows would still be intact on my return which surprisingly they were.
                                             The shoreline down there is amazing with the ponds mainly dried up but plenty sticky mud as well as large areas of peat shoreline , a long muddy spit out into the water and a large area of shingle beach half way along the east bank.
                                           The 4 Dunlin were showing well , two of which were in full breeding plumage, these possibly being the remaining birds viewed at the south end. The birds were very mobile between the ponds and the shingle beach along with Common Sandpipers and Redshanks.
                                         The Redshanks, Curlews and Lapwings have quietened down now not aggravated by my presence as I walked along the track, obviously with chicks well grown by now.
A female Stonechat flipped onto a distant wall before dropping down the other side not to be re located.
          A few LBB gulls drifted >SW whilst 3 Kestrels hovered in the strong W>5 and a single Red Legged Partridge ran along the roadside. This is the first year I,ve not had Oystercatcher breeding at the northern end.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Up in the South Westerlies. Fly Flatts p.m. visit


  Common Sandpipers are happy feeding in the grass

             whilst Dunlin prefer to probe in the mud.

                                             a prize every time.
Back to Fly Flatts at 1500 hrs to find the wind had turned SW and increased to SW>4 gusting 5 still with 90% cloud cover and a noticeable drop in temperature. Several boats were out on the water which doesnt seem to bother the shoreline waders with still plenty Common Sands about along with their young.
                  Again just the one Dunlin turning up on the muddy shores of the lagoon which is not one of its usual haunts but seemed to be finding food easily enough.
A massive count of 373 Canadas out on the water at the NE corner with around 80 young but uncountable at the distance with them in amongst the adults. The 2 Barnacles were present but the pair of Greylag and their 7 young seemed to have moved on even though the young were,nt flying yet.
     Swifts were still feeding over the water and high up in the sky only just visible whilst 2 Grey Partridge were near the top gate.