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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.

Any sighting of birds of a sensitive nature throughout the breeding season will be omitted from the blog if I believe that in any way it could jeopardize the welfare or breeding of the species .
Sightings in this category will just be passed on to the Calderdale bird recorder.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Queensbury, Foxhill, Moving birds and garden stuff.

                                         Garden feeder birds, Goldfinch
                                             All  taken through glass
                       Up to 6 Collared oves coming now.

                                            Garden newcomer, young Greenfinch

A reasonable day with good grey skies and light showers but deteriorated by late afternoon with heavy rain and thick fog up here in the gods.
Dog walking in Foxhill park at lunchtime was interesting with active skies giving it a taste of August.
Wagtails were on the move with 4 separate Pied closely followed by a Grey whilst 6 Linnet headed >S along with a few Goldfinch.
Black Headed gulls headed >E and >SE but no big gulls noted today.
Good to hear of more Yellow Legged Herring gulls and Med gulls in the area and a great record of Marsh Harrier at Leeshaw reservoir, KM, B.O.G.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Queensbury,Gulls and Raptors and stormy skies

                                    Bit grim over the rugby field
                                 Moving over Foxhill
                                             Grumbling sky
                                      Over Chapel Lane
                                       Gulls off to roost late evening.

The above photos were taken yesterday tea time when the storm was moving in. The last pic was 2100hrs with gulls moving towards their roost.

Gulls dominated the skies throughout today with still small numbers of Herring gulls >W whilst Commons, LBBs and BHGs moved over mainly >NW.
The first gulls were on Foxhill park today but so far only 5 Black Headed and no Commons.
A new bird on the feeders today with a Greenfinch present, a rare bird for here.
The local Sparrowhawk whipped through the garden this morning snatching a House Sparrow from the top of the Hawthorn bush whilst 2 Kestrels headed >N very high.

Raggalds flood this evening held 2ad +1 juv Pied Wagtail, 2 Black Headed gulls, 3 Lapwing and several Swallows, whilst the Shay field below Soil Hill held about 100 Black Headeds but no rareties amongst them.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ogden, thunder , lightening and torrential rain.

                                  Calm before the storm

                                  Plenty shoreline now for the gulls

Waited after tea  for the thunderstorm to pass over then harnessed up the dogs and off to Ogden at 1900hrs in the hope  that something would have been dunked onto the water out of the stormy skies.
Dry and bright on arrival which lasted about 10 minutes then back to heavy rain and rumbling skies but ideal conditions for new arrivals.
About 40 BHGs were around the water along with the usual Canadas and Mallards, one of the Black Headeds having a red ring on its right leg but that was all I could make out in the conditions.
The long staying Common Sandpiper made a noisy appearance flying from west to east banking whilst 4 Herring gulls flew over >W.
No sign of ACs Gt Crested Grebe.
With 2 local reports of Yellow Legged Herring gull, ( BS, Hx birders,) several local sightings of Med gull, (BOG) , 2 Whimbrel,( BS) , and Common Scoter,( Hx birders) it shows this weather is getting things movings so the reservoirs need a good coat of looking at from now.
Driving home from Ogden was interesting with the rain that heavy I had to nearly stop to see where I was going and driving up Ned Hill was like shooting the rapids with a wall of water torrenting down.
Whilst Im typing this another 6 Herring gulls have gone over the house >W.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

TMR Oxenhope, early evening visit.

                                    Canada Geese coming in
              Gulls numbers building on the southern bank
                                             LBB yellow legs.
                                                LBB pink legs.
                                      1st year LBBs, outers,  juv LBB centre
                                                 Herring gull

                                                      juv Black Headed

                Looking S , Soil Hill on the horizon
                  The long walk back, looking N

An early evening visit to TMR whilst Im on a run and conditions are good although after a torrential downpour there this evening the skies cleared to blue which is not what I wanted.
It was a different story to yesterday with gulls well down in numbers as well as Lapwing although I was 2 hour later than yesterday and several will have left.
No sign of yesterdays YLH gull, possibly the same bird seen at Ringstone today, and a scope through the BHGs failed to find a Med gull.
A shame that this place is now so under watched given the birds its produced over the years. A few years back there was always 3 or 4 birders in the hide or you would bump into some one along the banking and now its always deserted.

c 150 Black Headed gull
c 100 Lesser Black Backed gull
11 Common gull
1 Herring gull
12 Lapwing

Whimbrel on the move, Leeshaw

           The muck pile attracts plenty variety  juv Blackbird
                                                   LBBs moving through
                Another for the muck pile, juv Pheasant
                                 Plenty Lapwings, several juvs
                 Meadow Pipits starting to congregate
                               Hooray, Raggalds Flood back to life.

Ideal conditions this morning at Leeshaw reservoir with a W>4-5 , light drizzle and heavy showers throughout, good Tern, Wader movement stuff.
Despite that things were much quieter than last weekend with very little on the shoreline .
A nice surprise during one of the heavy showers when 2 Whimbrel lifted up from the northern hidden part of the reservoir and flew low over the moor before lifting up calling and heading >NW towards Lancashire. This sighting is just 1 month earlier than last years at Ringby.
Two Curlew were on the far shoreline, one being a very short billed juv.
Nice on the way back to see Raggalds Flood back to life after just 1 night of rain.

2 Little Ringed Plovers
2 Whimbrel
1ad 1 juv Curlew
3 Common Sandpiper
4 Oystercatchers
2 juv Pheasants
100+ Lapwing
+ usual Mipits, Goldfinch gulls and corvids etc.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Gulls galore and a YLHG for bonus. TMR

                                      Juv Black Headed gulls
                                 Gulls and Lapwings on the shoreline
                                             Still a Curlew about
                                         Hundreds of gulls

                                                    Noisy LBB
                                          BHGs under the gantry
                                             count them

                                                            2nd year LBB
                                    Several pink legged LBBs
                                              Juv LBB
                                                Like snow on the banking
                                          Lapwings congregating.

A late afternoon visit to the Oxenhope watchpoint, TMR, permit holders only, proved awesome with the sight and sound of so many gulls and Lapwings present.
YW are keeping the reservoir full so there is very little shoreline but gulls littered the cobbled bankings like snow.
There were several small aircraft about from the Oxenhope air strip which flushed the gulls every 15 minutes or so making counting and checking impossible.
An obvious Yellow Legged Herring gull was on the wall briefly before being flushed and was later re located on the water.
Didnt have time, or patience to scope all the gulls carefully for Med gull , will have to leave that for another trip.
Several of the pink legged sp. of LBB were present whilst a flock of around 200 Lapwings were very flighty along with a single Curlew.

LBB gull...............c 200
BH gull................c 500
Common gull.........c100
Herring gull...........6
Yellow Legged Herring gull...1
Lapwing..............c 200
Canada geese........26
f Mallard...............1 + 6 young

No waders.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Tracy and her camera strike again

                                  Little Owl. Photos courtesy Tracy Collier

Thanks to Tracy for these 2 stonking Little Owl photos taken this morning south of the area. The Little Owls have bred successfully and reared 2 young which have now fled the nest.

Ogden, evening visit

                                          Plenty juv Black Headed gulls

                                     Summer hoods starting to moult
                Plenty shoreline to attract the gulls down
                 Grey Wagtail under the overflow tunnel

Another depressingly hot day even though the breeze was from the north this evening at Ogden.
Conditions are perfect just now with the water well down and shoreline right around the reservoir which has already invited several gulls down with around 50 Black Headed and 3 Commons with several Lesser Black Backed overhead.
Mallard numbers are increasing with still some very young bumblies, whilst passerines were none existent other than 1 Robin and 2 Goldcrests.
The resident Grey Wagtail was well under the overflow tunnel in the water but no sign of Dipper or Kingfisher for some time now.
A report today from a reliable source of a Whinchat on Broom down the Queensbury old station part way along the Thornton line, may try get down there time permitting this weekend as its a species thats avoided me so far this year.