No sightings of Roe Deer, 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.

Visible Migration reports are now being recorded on Trektellen. See link in right hand column.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Birding against the elements, Ogden/Mixenden/ Raggalds Flood


                                         Gulls on the Raggalds Flood

                                                Gulls at Mixenden

                                     Black Headed outweighed Commons.

Ogden was atrocious with a mix of heavy rain and drizzle throughout, driven by a moderate SW>5 turning S>6 at 8 degrees with skies as dark as night. A move on to Mixenden found the wind had increased and heavy to torrential rain the full watch but always worth getting out there in these sort of conditions that can bring anything in to local reservoirs.
                                    A pair of Goosander on Ogden was a bonus but sticking to the north end along with a single female Goldeneye, probably the Mixenden bird. A single noisy Canada goose was in with the Mallards whilst 1 adult and 1 3cy Herring gull were present as well as around 50 small gulls.
                                  Nearly impossible to use the bins with about a 5 second viewing before the lenses steamed up, and the camera under the coat most of the time as unsuitable for photos in the dark and wet conditions.
                  Mixenden was about the same but wetter and windier and only around 50 small gulls on the bank and water. A female Goldeneye was on the water as well as an immature , first winter male Goldeneye which has been coming and going for some time now. I firstly suspected it as being a male in eclipse but unlikely to be still showing signs of eclipse at this time of year.
                A check on the Ring Necked Parakeet site produced 4 birds sitting out in the rain not seeming too bothered.
               Raggalds Flood ,on the way home, found a mix of Common and BH gulls with a count of 
around 100 as well as 19 Lapwing and several Starling but no waterfowl present.

1 pr Goosander
1 f Goldeneye
1 ad Herring
1  3cy Herring
1 Canada
plus usual sp.

1 f Goldeneye
1 1st winter m Goldeneye
4 RN Parakeets
+ usual sp

Raggalds Flood
c 100 small gulls
19 Lapwing
Sev Starling.


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

A very wet Ogden and Mixenden.


  MIXENDEN                     2 R.N.Parakeet present.

                                                  4 2cy Herrings present.

                                                Single female Goldeneye out with the gulls.

As expected and forecast, a very wet and windy day but temperature up to 8 degree.
The wind increased as the day went on with a SW>5 and driving rain at both locations though Ogden was more sheltered.
                               Ogden was very poor with about a dozen small gulls on the water as well as 2  2cy Herrings along with the usual Mallards. A Gt Spotted Woodpecker was on the lodge house feeders along with the usual Tits and Chaffinch
                               Walking back up past the info centre a small group of around 10 Siskin were flitting about in the trees opposite the centre but high up and very mobile. I tried to scan them for Redpoll but 
1 minute of looking upwards and the bins were full of water in the driving rain.
                                The weather was even worst at Mixenden exposed to the strong south westerly with horizontal rain throughout. As with Ogden, gull numbers were well down with around 50 small gulls and 4  2cy Herrings plus a single female Goldeneye. 
                                 A check of the south hedge and a small area of a very flooded wood produced nothing whilst the west bank was inaccessible once again with campfires and packs of dogs.
                                The usual trees opposite the school held 2 Ring Necked Parakeets seen at distance.
                                Not a good prospect ahead weather wise with a rerun tomorrow of todays wind and rain then a strong SW wind for Thursday with rain and snow possibly through to the weekend.
A fellow at Mixenden today commented on the weather and said " no wonder the Covid germs have beggared off  down south  ".
c 12 Small gulls
2  2cy Herring gull
1 Gt Spotted Wdpeck
c 10 Siskin
+ usual sp.

4  2cy Herring gull
c 50 Small gull
1 f Goldeneye
2 Ring Necked Parakeets
+ usual sp.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Ogden/Fly Flatts

FLY FLATTS                          An icy SE corner
                                            Snow mostly gone now

OGDEN                               2 of 6 Herring gulls
                                      Single male Gt Spotted Woodpecker.

 A poor morning with rain and drizzle on a SW>4 increasing SW>5 at 4 degrees.
                              Just a check from the promenade area as the circumference track was very wet and muddy and I didnt fancy bathing the dogs .
                              The water held around 50 small gulls as well as a single adult LBB along with 5  2cy Herrings and 1 adult as well as the usual Mallards.
                             All other activity was around the lodge house area with several Chaffinch, Tits and a male Gt Spotted Woodpecker.
                             A stop off at Fly Flatts to get some seed down now that tha snow has gone found it near deserted bird wise with Red Grouse, Carrion Crows and a Raven. 
                              Looking like a very wet week ahead.
1 ad LBB gull
1 ad Herring gull
5  2cy Herring gull
c 50 small gulls
1 Gt Spotted Wdpecker
sev Chaffinch
+ usual sp.

Fly Flatts
1 Raven
4 Red Grouse
2 Carrion Crow.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Ringby Top


                                         Gulls back in the thawed out fields Black Headeds

                                               Single Mistle Thrush
                                             Good move of Herring gulls 
                                        Majority of Common gulls

Mid afternoon at Ringby Top found it cloudy with good visibility apart from mist to the far west.
The wind was from the west with a W>4 inc W>5 at 4 degrees.
                                  Much livelier up there today with the snow all but gone and the fields soft and muddy once more attracting the gulls and corvids down. Commons were in majority with very few Black Headeds and no big gulls on the deck but a good move of Herrings over >NE heading through the Causeway Foot Col along with 2 LBBs >SW.
                                A small group of Lapwings were at the far end of the sheep field along with a good count of Crow, Rook and Jackdaw.
                               The north fields to the west held 7 Meadow Pipits and a pair of Pied Wagtails whilst the track area produced a female Stonechat and a single Mistle Thrush.
                              Still no sign of Pinks on the move yet even though there are reports of several now starting to leave both the west and east coastal sites meaning the first skeins could have followed the coast up bypassing this area but theres still plenty time for some sightings yet although its starting to look bad on the Snow Bunting scene for yet another winter.

Ringby Top
c 100 Common gull
c 30 BH gull
51 Herring gull...............>NE
2 LBB gull.....................>SW
1f Stonechat
7 Mipit
2 Pied Wagtail
14 Lapwing
1 Mistle Thrush
+ usual sp.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Mixenden Reservoir

                                           5 Canadas failing to land due to froken water.
                                              Tired Herring gull/ adult
                                                   2cy Herring

                                        Mix of Black Headed and Common

                                       Very hard to scan through with reflections
                                                      2  2 cy Herrings

 Late afternoon at Mixenden found it very dark and drizzly on a light to moderate W>3-4 at 4 degrees.
Luckily the slight raise in temperature and a day of light rain is moving the snow nicely but leaving hard packed ice which is treacherous to walk on.
                                                   With the reservoir 50% frozen now wildfowl was at a minimum with just 1m and 2f Mallard plus the usual Moorhen on the water whilst small gull numbers were good but only 5 big gulls, these being 1 ad and 4  2cy Herrings.
                                                 A small group of Canadas came in to land but moved on towards Ogden after discovering the ice. Several Blue,Coal and Gt Tits were in the southern hedge along with Goldcrest and Blackbird whilst 4 Ring Necked Parakeets were in the usual trees along with Starlings, viewable at distance from the south bank.
                                              Looks like a better day tomorrow although several of my usual haunts are still snowbound.

c 150 small gulls, 75% BHGs  25%  Common
1 ad Herring
4  2cy Herring
5 Canadas
1m 2f Mallard
+ usual sp.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Up the snowy mountain to Ringby Top.


                 The track up there was a bit of a maze in the snow.

                                            The top track
                                         Crows foraging in the snow. 

                                          A misty haze over Halifax.
                                    Wainhouse Tower in the murk.
                                               Hazy sunset.

Deep snow and bad road conditions this morning in Queensbury due to gritters not in action due to health and safety rules only allowing them out when the snow and ice has gone. Lucky we have some good farmers up here that were doing the best they could to get roads open.
                                                        Late afternoon and a visit to Ringby Top in bright clear conditions with haze down in the valleys. A light S>4 was not particularly cold even at 0 degrees with the sun shining most of the time. A bit hazardous walking in the deep snow and icy puddles.
                                                       Around 150 Corvids were in the snowy fields with mostly Carrion Crow along with a few Rooks and several Jackdaws whilst 18 Magpies were on the quarry top.
                                                          No gulls present other than 8 adult LBBs over >SW which were the only birds in the sky. Otherwise it was just down to a hardy Wren and Stonechat as well as 3 Mipits whilst 4 Lapwing were in a distant field in the snow.

Ringby Top
c 150 corvids inc 18 Magpie
3 Mipits
1 Stonechat
1 Wren
4 Lapwing.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

White Out !!!!!!!!

 Not an ounce of snow at 0600 hrs this morning then it came with avengeance and continued heavy throughout the day. By 0800 hrs the job was stopped with all roads impassable and everything at a standstill. The roads are still bad this evening with nothing moving and now the fog is piling in. I managed to get the dogs out walking this morning before it got too bad but this afternoon I had to dig out the garden for them as the snow is too deep for them to walk in.
                                                              I,ve spent half the day keeping the bird feeders and water clear whilst the local Sparrowhawk is making regular fly pasts.

I,ve put a blog on for Fly Flatts after a visit a few days ago when I was up there getting some seed down. Looks like it will be a while before I,m up there again unless this snow goes super quick like the last lot.

Fly Flatts                                         Icy waters.

                                                  SE corner.
                                        Sheet ice on the roads up there.  Wreck number 1
                                                   Wreck number 2.

Previous visit to Fly Flatts a few days ago.
A bright clear morning with blue skies and sunshine at 0 degrees on a N>3. Black ice on the top roads and partial freezing of the reservoir.
                                                         Despite the excellent conditions birding was poor with the ideal looking goose skies remaining empty other than a few gulls over and a Snipe flushed by walkers high over the west ridge.
                               Just a single Canada on the water with all the Mallards down the valley on Dean Head reservoir. 4 noisy Red Grouse were mobile on the moor and that was about it.
Fly Flatts
2 Herring gull................>NE
3 BH gull......................>NE
1 Common gull............>S
4 Red Grouse
1 Canada goose
1 Snipe.