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.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Redcar Tarn a.m. Leeshaw p.m.

 Redcar Tarn                          Male Goosander

                                         Female Goosander
                                    1 of 13 Tufted
                                    Herring gull with deformed bill


                                                  1st winter Caspian

                                                   1st winter Herring

                                          A mass of gulls
                                2nd winter Herring
Leeshaw              Ad Herring . The Common in the centre
                               had a white ring but numbers faded off.

                    132 Greylag but only part of the flock
                                    In the big stubble field.

Despite fog all over the tops this morning Redcar Tarn, Keighley had good conditions with 100% cloud cover on a SW>3 at 6 degrees.
                                                     As always, a good show of gulls with 23 Herring, mostly 1st winters, as well as 5 ad LBBs and hundreds of small gulls. The 1st winter Caspian was showing well though kept disappearing, but no sign of the 2nd winter Caspian although I,ve just received a text from IH saying the 2nd winter ringed Caspian was present this afternoon along with an imm Iceland gull, how annoying is that ? I had thought of going back up there this afternoon until Lynda wanted to go to Keighley shopping after dinner. Three trips to Keighley in one day is too much for any man.
                                                    Leeshaw reservoir late afternoon was cloudy but dry and calm but no continuation of yesterdays good numbers of big gulls. Just 2 Herring gull today along with hundreds of small gulls. A Common gull on the gantry had a white leg ring but the numbers had faded and were unreadable. A good count of Greylags and Canadas in the stubble field but no sign of the long staying Pinkie although only half of the goose flock was present.
                                                        All in all a good days birding, apart from the Iceland gull dip but hopefully it will hang around.

Redcar Tarn
1st winter Caspian gull
23 Herring gull
5 LBB gull
13 Tufted
1pr Goosander
c 150 Lapwing
+ usual sp.

Leeshaw reservoir
2 Herring gull
1 LBB gull
132 Greylag
27 Canada
3m 1f Goosander
+ usual sp.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Fly Flatts a.m. / Leeshaw p.m.

 Leeshaw gulls                      Lesser Black Backed ad.
                                Going by the bill 2nd winter LBB
                                                ad LBB
               Black Headed getting summer hood
                                             ad Herring
                                         2nd winter and ad Herring

         Now for the tricky bit,

                                         Plenty small gulls

Fly Flatts started off clear but murky this morning on a W>4 at 5 degrees with some drizzle but by 0930 hours the fog had rolled in and put the lights out. Prior to that the only birds present were 2 Carrion Crow and 3 Red Grouse. With mud up to the eyeballs and excavations now started in the reservoir basin its time to give Fly Flatts a bit of a break unless we get some good frosty weather.
                                                    Late afternoon at Leeshaw was dull but clear at 6 degrees on a light W>3 with wall to wall gulls, several on and around the water but many in the large stubble field including Herrings and LBBs. One gull, pictured, stood out as a very white Herring type making me suspect Caspian or Yellow Legged. Unfortunately it never moved out of the grass so I could,nt get the length of  its leg,tibia, or the bulging hind body.It has the snouty shaped head but the eye which looked black shows a hint of an iris when zoomed in which I believe rules out Caspian.
                                                 I,ll have to look in further with tertials etc when I,ve got the blog out but I,m initially thinking on the lines of 1st winter Yellow Legged Herring gull or 1st winter GBB, there goes my neck in that noose again.
                   Otherwise just 1 female Goosander on the water.
                All todays distant photos were courtesy of the maiden launch of Big Bertha 3.
Sigma 150-600.  Well they don,t put pockets i shrouds!!!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Leeshaw reservoir a.m / p.m. and an early Oystercatcher.

                                       3 pair of Goosanders present

                                Herring followed by 2 Commons
                                             ad Herring

                                      Canadas slowly returning.

Dense fog on the tops this morning with Fly Flatts blanked from the face of the earth throughout the day.
Leeshaw was just on the cloud base at 6 degrees on a W>4 but cleared mid watch with some blue sky. By late afternoon it was dull and drizzly with the mist closing in.
                                                     A couple of signs of spring today with an early Oystercatcher over in the mist. I could hear the call but struggled to find the bird until it flew briefly through a clear patch heading >NW. The other sign was a Lapwing calling and holding territory in the field opposite the reservoir. 3 pair of Goosander were on the water as well as 11 Canadas and 18 Greylag along with Mallards and small gulls.  Only 6 Herring gull through >W today with 2 Cormorant >NW.
                                         Yorkshire Water ,a few years ago, were super keen to get people visiting their reservoirs but now, for some unknown reason have turned full circle and seem to be going all out to keep the public off their land, unless they have a gun of course, in this area at any rate.
                                     Years ago they even build a bird hide at their expense for birders to use at TMR.
The latest nail in the coffin today was at Leeshaw reservoir where YW have placed large boulders across the parking area on the lane where birders park looking over the water. I used to have a permit to enter the grounds here but these were withdrawn and are no longer available. The parking area has been there since Adam was a lad but is no more.
Fly Flatts used to be open to all with a stile by the top gate and public right of way down to the water but a few years ago this was blanked off and the right of way removed with limited entrance only by permit which my permit gets more rules on it every renewal, even down to wearing a high vis vest on entry which is not the best clothing for birding. This is common sense and understandable whilst work is going on up there but it has been made a permanent feature.
TMR is permit only and no dogs allowed.
The NW gate at Mixenden reservoir has also been sealed off now making it no public access.
                                   The problem is YW are just keeping out the good guys and the ones they want to keep out just enter illegally anyway.
Plus, nothing to do with YW but, all parking has been blocked off at Cold Edge Dams also, whats going on  ??

Leeshaw Reservoir
3m 3f Goosander
6 Herring gull..................>W
1 Oystercatcher...............>NW
3 Cormorant
11 Canadas
18 Greylag
1 Lapwing in field holding territory


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

A summers day at Fly Flatts.

               Fog patches passing through
                                 Peering through gaps in the low cloud
                                           Looking north over the grounded floating jetty
                                        8 distant Great Black Backed gulls >NE

The morning started off  clear at 6 degrees on a NW>4 but the mist in the valleys soon crept up over the moor blanking out any horizontal visibility though clear patches of blue could be seen above.
By 0930 hrs the mist had cleared leaving a bright mild morning.
By late afternoon the temp had soared to an amazing 15 degrees with clear blue skies. This must be the first time I,ve done Fly Flatts in January in shirt sleeves and pestered with swarms of Midges.
                                                        Just 2 Canadas on the water whilst the skies were a little livelier with 7 Herring gull >SW and 8 GBB gulls >NE. A small flock of 19 Lapwing headed >N whilst 5 Raven were squabbling over the quarry.
                                                        The bird of the morning was a Jay over high and >E , a species only seen on vis mig at this location.

Fly Flatts
7 Herring gull........................>SW
8 GBB gull...........................>NE
2 Canada geese
5 Raven
19 Lapwing..........................>N
Swarms of Midges

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Leeshaw reservoir.

                                        up to 200 Black Headeds
                                           Small gulls piling in
                                         about 25% Common gulls

                                              Adult Herring

                                                   2nd winter Herring

Missed out on the good weather today with a job on this morning so no birding and by late afternoon
the fog had come down over the tops.
Leeshaw was just below the cloud base then clearing slightly with a light W>4 at 5 degrees.
                                                          Gulls kept the watch going with 22 Herring gull over >SW, some of which stopped off around the water briefly before moving on whilst around 200 small gulls were present.
                                                          Very quiet otherwise with just 4 Greylag, 2 Cormorant and 2 male Goosander along with the usual Mallards.
                                                           Experimenting with a selection of Canon lenses and converters today but none getting near to Big Bertha, ( Sigma 150-600 sports) , when it came to distance even though I could get out to 960 mm but could never get rid of that ' out of range' look.
The Sigma camera consultant took a look at Bertha today and read her the last rites putting it down to an uneconomical repair, or in vehicle terms, a complete write off.   Decision time!!!

2 Cormorant
2m Gooseander
22 Herring gull....................>SW
4 Greylag
c 200 small gulls.