No sightings of Roe Deer, Hare or Badger will be mentioned on this blog throughout the year and links will be removed from other blogs giving the whereabouts of these mammals due to the rising influx of poaching, long dogging and lamping by sick individuals.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Fly Flatts/ Cold Edge Dams


Cold Edge Dams                              Barnacle  goose in with Canadas.

A dark and dismal day throughout with a low cloud base and early morning drizzle on a W>3 at 3 degrees.
              A day of, no light, no photos, today apart from the three, not fit for purpose shots of Barnacle goose at Cold Edge. It seems we are down to a single Barnacle now with the other 2 missing, one for several years now, ( the one with the yellow leg ring), and a second bird missing since June 2020.
                                 Fly Flatts this morning was just tottering below the cloud base with the tops of the wind turbines blanked out and very dark skies, although for the time of year I suppose I should,nt grumble, but I will.
                         A bit more bird life up there today with things slowly starting to blossom although a long way to go yet. Just 3 Canadas on the water along with 29 Mallard whilst a single Kestrel and Raven were overhead. A surprise to see a group of 7 Lapwing on the east bank before heading off >W.
                          A planned visit to Mixenden reservoir was quickly aborted when I saw the number of people on the east bank, so on to Cold Edge dams.
                          The goose field held 25 Greylag whilst 53 Canadas were on the water along with a single Barnacle goose before they headed off to the fields.
                           A few gulls were present on Leadbeater Dam with 18 Common, 5 Herring and around 30 Black Headed. The usual Mallards were on the water but unusual not to have Tufted there.
                           A digger was working by Spring dam so no Little Grebe showing and no passerines in the plantation.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Leeshaw a.m./ Oxenhope Reservoir p.m.( B.O.G. members only ! )


Oxenhope Reservoir                        2nd winter Lesser Black Backed.
                                     1 of 4 Goldeneye, 2 pairs.
                                           5 female Goosanders present
                                    All at distance near far west banking.
                                            A good count of Herring gulls
                                             Several adults in summer plumage

A very cloudy morning at Leeshaw with a rise in temperature at 4 degrees but feeling much colder in the light W>3. Late afternoon at Oxenhope was about the same weather and still an icy wind over the water with drizzle and mist approaching as I was leaving.
                                       Leeshaw was just gulls today apart from 9 Stock Dove in the gull field. Around 300 small gulls were present and 11 Herring, all easier to scope through today being more settled than of late, both in the field and on the water. Still no new year Med gull and the Iceland has failed to show at this site so far. A word from KM about the Iceland gull, after seeing my flight shots from Ogden, confirming that this bird was not the 2nd w Iceland that he had at Redcar Tarn as his bird was well oiled on its underside so we have, or had, two 2nd winters in the area.
                                      A well overdue check on Oxenhope reservoir mid afternoon produced 2 pair of Goldeneye and 5 female Goosanders present with gull numbers slowly increasing though I left whilst the gulls were still pouring in to roost.
                                    A last count found c150 Herring gull, 4 LBB gull, c100 Common gull and c300 BH gull. Too windy and rough water to check through the Black Headed for Med gull but no appearance of Iceland gull among the Herrings.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Fly Flatts a.m. / Back to the Ogden gulls p.m.


OGDEN                             Kingfisher down in the sluice gate area.

                                            Good count of Herrings
                                          Several 1st winter Herrings

                                            Herring,           LBB
                                                   Down in the trough.  LBB
                                            Herring                        LBB

A bright start to the morning at Fly Flatts which lasted 15 minutes before the fog started rolling in with several close knit fog banks passing through and not clearing until 0900 hrs. Light drizzle on an ice cold moderate W>4 gusting 5 at 1 degree.
                                       Yesterday  I got my Fly Flatts head back on but this morning I soon lost it again with an exceptionally poor watch.
Just 4 BH gulls over >NE and 3 Crows in the air whilst 29 Mallard were on the water.
                                           Mid afternoon at Ogden produced a good assortment of gulls on the rough water and all battling to face the wind.
The west bank Alders just produced 2 Goldcrest whilst a Dipper and Kingfisher were in the sluice gate area.
Re NKs blog, public footpath signs ripped down on Soil Hill-- I have been told in the last 3 days by 3 separate birders about getting grief by a land owner or farmer on Soil Hill. One got a lot of verbal abuse and told to get on the footpath, where ever that is now, and the other 2 were shouted at and told to get off the hill as it is private. All 3 said what a nasty person he was. ? The original public right of way is the track up passed the mast and straight on down the North slope to Keelham. A footpath also branches left at the top of the slope to Ned Hill and one to the right goes to Perseverance Road. 
                                            The main central footpath was closed legally for a period of time whilst work was going on in the area but should have been  reinstated  long ago. The only area that a farmer has been keen about keeping strictly private is the fenced off field down the north slope to the west of the tree line and of course all walled off grazing fields.
                                           NK and myself have a permit for the whole of the summit provided by Mr Greenwood going back to the days when it was a quarry works, and his son who runs it now knows of both Nigel and me with no problems. Nobody has ever approached me and hopefully they know better than approach Nigel.

21 Herring gull,     13 - ad or sub ad,     8 - 1st winter
2 ad LBB
c 200 small gulls
1 Kingfisher
1 Dipper
2 Goldcrest

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Things are looking up at Fly Flatts.


                                          The Nab in good weather conditions
                                                     The West bank below bright clear skies.
                                      Looking across to the boatyard.
                                          A distant Stoodley Pike.
        Had to stop this fellow landing on the water so he did,nt flush the Canada goose.
                                     Here comes the icing on the cake, Red Kite.
                                     1st winter bird, shallow forked tail and pale underside.
   Never got to see the tops of the wings for white tipped coverts as per 1st winter bird.
                                          Mixenden , 2 Ring Necked Parakeets.

A glorious morning at Fly Flatts with 100% blue sky and sunshine at an icy cold minus 2 degrees on a biting N>3. All the puddles frozen solid and frost on the grass but no ice on the lagoon and reservoir.
                                                     I know I said I was going to put Fly Flatts on a back burner for a while but with Whoopers on the move I thought it was worth a check and a change from scoping through hundreds of gulls.
                          Very little about but more than my last visit ,with signs of things starting to appear.
A few gulls over this morning which is a bonus for this site with 4 Herring, 1 LBB and 15 Commons all >NE over the water. Just a single Canada goose on the water along with a pair of Mallard whilst Red Grouse were noisy on the moor.
                              Just as I was tackling up I saw a distant black spot in the sky over 'Tatty Pie Hill',
what a great name that is, so grabbing the bins and expecting to see a Buzzard I struggled to start with whether Red Kite or Buzzard with its very shallow forked tail, but as it got a bit closer I could see it was a pale 1st winter Red Kite which drifted off >SW down the Calder Valley where it was picked up from Cold Edge Dams by DJS.
                              Just what the doctor ordered, a decent bird to get my Fly Flatts head back on.
 On the way home I stopped off at the Mixenden Parakeet site and managed to get 2 together in one of the usual trees. This is my first sighting this year after several checks, looking from Mixenden reservoir,
and I was beginning to wonder if they were still around.
                             No birding this aft with a project on in the daughters garden but tomorrow is looking good weather wise again.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

January birding is not easy in this area!


LEESHAW                               2nd winter Herring
OGDEN                                   Common gulls outnumbered Black Headed
                                   1 of 2 adult Lesser Black Backed
                                                       Common, Herring in background.
                                      Dipper way down in the dark sluice gate area.
                                     I think your photo bet mine Nigel.

Another bright but icy cold morning at Leeshaw with a NW>3 at 2 degrees.
                                   Another massive count of gulls but all in a silly mood, as yesterday, flying around frantically from one field to another and never settling for more than a few minutes at a time.
                                    Herrings, along with 2 LBBs were more relaxed on the water but again ,nothing out of the norm to be found. A few Mallard and a single Greylag goose were on the water. Otherwise just the usual species.
                                 Ogden mid afternoon produced another mass of gulls on the water which peaked at around 400 but here again, nothing special. The gulls were easier to check today in the sunshine and all
facing into the NW wind so they could be viewed side on from the west bank.
                               Not a bird to be found in the west bank Alders other than Blackbird and Robin so the bird of the day had to be the Dipper down in the sluice gate area. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022



                                           Start of the day over t'mill
LEESHAW                                        First sun
                                             Gulls coming in

                                        BHG                ad Herring
                                                    2nd winter Herring
OGDEN                                        Just the one LBB present.

Another bright clear morning at Leeshaw but an icy cold SW>3 and never getting above 2 degrees.
                                                                    An uncountable number of gulls today with the water, sky and fields booming with them. Not easy to check today as for some reason they were all very flighty and mobile, continuously moving around between the fields and water but nothing special from the ones I checked through. Again only 2 LBBs present .
                                              A small break off group of 4 Pinkies headed high and >W and just a single Greylag passed overhead along with a Raven. A Kestrel, a Heron and a pair of Pied Wagtail were the only other things of note other than the usual species.
                                            Ogden p.m. had a much lower count of gulls on the water with around 150 small gulls, 14 Herring and a single LBB with no visit from the Iceland gull.
A walk along the west bank produced 10 Redpoll but still no sign of Siskin whilst the Lodge house feeders just held the usual tits, Robin and a Gt Spotted Woodpecker. A single female Chaffinch was present but no Chaffinch roost this winter.
                                                  Good to bump into JM on the west bank and then DJS and Jen by the Lodge House, hopefully ,one of these days, they,ll get onto the Iceland gull.