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.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Whinchat at last. Ringby Top

                                          Distant record shots, Whinchat

                                       Plenty Linnet flocks

                                                      Green Lane Goldfinch

Not much birding time this late afternoon due to living room walls staring at me waiting to be papered so it was a trip round Green Lane to check out Tracys Goldfinch flock which has now got to over 70 birds, several being young and still being fed.
You were right about the photos being hard to take Tracy, I took a load of them on the ground, on the Thistles and on the trees and they were all rubbish.
With a good west wind blowing I thought it may get some raptors up but on arrival at Ringby Top I had under estimated the strength of the wind blowing W>6-7 so empty skies.
A check on the quarry found up to 60 Linnets moving around in the quarry itself and several more feeding on the mounds of rubble. Surprisingly no Wheatear or Chats around in a perfect habitat but when walking back I saw a single bird on the wire fencing but very distant. With several Linnets round I nearly dismissed it but half heartedly lifted the bins and Bingo, my first Whinchat of the year.
Tried for some shots but at that distance I ended up with record shots only.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Tracys Goldfinch

                                   Sun going down over Ringby beyond Green Lane
                                              Nice line up

                                 Goldfinch food, thistle tops
                                 A charm of about 40 in the tree top
                         Moving around  All photos courtesy Tracy Collier.

As I went round Green Lane this evening a different car to what Ive seen before was doing the same stops in front of me and then pulled in at the horse field where the above charm of Goldfinch were seen. Because of this I drove past and missed the Goldfinch. Just received these photos from Tracy so now I know who was in the mystery car. Thanks Tracy, didnt know it was you and hubby.
Will check these out over the weekend.

Round and about Queensbury

A quick trip around the locals this evening was disappointing with nothing of interest to report even though the skies were cloudy but a strengthening wind W>5 turning SW>5-6.

Raggalds flood held 2 Pied Wagtails, 3 BHGs and several Jackdaws.

Tracys Wheatear field held 4 Meadow Pipits, about 80 Starling and 2 white doves.

Corporal Hill, Green Lane had the usual pre roost Jackdaws, several BH gulls in the fields and about 50 blogging Swallows along with 2 House Martins.

Hopefully things will improve over the weekend and if not theres always the decorating to fall back on.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Greenshank for Ogden

 Passerine Alley ready for next months Yellow Browed Warbler
                                 Few gulls on the water, more on the shoreline

A late trip to Ogden after Morrisons ( 1900hrs ) proved a good decision when a  Greenshank called as I was walking through passerine alley so a dash to the observation point just in time to see it low over the water from the NW corner and break the sky line as it lifted over the promenade wall in the direction of Mixenden reservoir.
My last Ogden Greenshank record was 3 birds together,again in August, in 1990, only a gap of 23 years.
Otherwise things were quiet, despite the perfect evening Osprey sky, just the usual BHGs, 2 LBBs and the Mallard flock which is now growing nicely.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Red Kite for Queensbury thanks to Halifax grapevine.

            Red Kite, the speck dead centre of pic.
                              Red Kite speck bottom left.
                             From the weekend, Fly Flatts as you seldom see it.
                                     Plenty mud, no waders

A perfect moving sky today with full grey cover and little wind.
DJS started the ball rolling with an Osprey over Hunter Hill at 0730hrs followed by a grapevine text at 1506 from NCD with a Red Kite over Mt Tabor heading east which meant it was heading for Queensbury.
Out into the car park and sure enough , after 10 minutes I spotted it to the east of me and rising high.
It looked to have come from the Soil Hill direction and was still moving east.
I nearly took the big camera to work this afternoon but being busy thought against it so by the time Id snapped it with the little pocket job I ended up with specks.
All the same , a good Queensbury bird so many thanks to Nick and Dave for the quick alert. See Calderbirds for reports and proper pics.
NCD also had Greenshank moving through.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Back to the grindstone.

Red Legged Partridge, Oxenhope

                                            Gulls alive
                                        Lapwings enjoying the sun
                                    The gulls favourite wall.
                   A few photos left over from yesterday.

Another hot day but cloudier than yesterday and a breeze from the >W with slight drizzle over lunchtime up here in the gods and unfortunately back to work.
Meadow Pipits were moving early doors still heading west, this direction will change to south shortly as the season moves on and there is more a sense of urgency.
Gulls are hard to record now with local numbers rising , its hard to distinguish between the bloggers and movers. Foxhill park held 15 Commons and 12 Black Headeds midday.
A drive past Raggalds Flood this pm found 31 Canadas, 2 Mallards and 4 BHGs so despite no water there is obviously soft ground there to attract them.
Good to hear of a Little Egret through EGP today, Calderbirds, this seems to be an annual event now.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Oxenhope re visited

                                       Skies full of Lapwings

                                83 Canadas on the water
                                   Canadas on the Raggalds Flood

Just when you thought the weather was getting good back comes the nasty hot stuff scuppering the job.
A visit to TMR ( permit only) late afternoon was as expected in the conditions. Hot baking sun, 360 deg of clear blue skies and a very light SE>2 halting all movement dead.
A high count of 83 Canada geese had appeared since yesterday whilst there was no sign of CKs Ringed Plover and group of 10 Teal also from yesterday.
Gulls were numerous with around 600, 75% being Black Headed, 20% Lesser Black Backs and 5% Common with C250 Lapwings which gave an amazing aerial display thanks to the local noisy helicopter over although the gulls seemed reluctant to move in the heat.
1 Curlew was calling from the moor with plenty Red Legged Partridge about which if they had any sense they,d move on now before the sad men arrive.
On the way back Raggalds Flood held 33 Canadas.

Fly Flatts/ Leeshaw

Hot and sunny with murky hazy skies, visibility poor.
Fly Flatts was once again birdless other than about 2dozen Canada geese despite tons of muddy shoreline.
After an hour there I came away with Canadas and Red Grouse so it was down the road to Leeshaw.
Leeshaw held 2 distant Wheatear and 2 Curlew as well as the usual geese etc but the shoreline was empty due to 5 anglers there.
A nice surprise when 7 Wigeon appeared from nowhere and disappeared >SW towards the Calder Valley before Id even time to lift the camera.
A Hobby dashed through harassing Swallows which was a bonus, my first this year.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Oxenhope coughs up another prize

                                juv Shelduck over west to east

                                                  Whos the mystery biker
                                10 points if you guessed right, DCB.
                                    Kestrel overhead
                                          100s of gulls.

TMR permit holders only. 1630- 1800hrs
A change from yesterday with clear blue skies and sunshine with the wind from the east.
Much quieter today with no waders present but good to hear that some of yesterdays Greenshank were sighted in Calderdale today.
Gull numbers were well up but a scope through found nothing untoward.
A Curlew was calling over the moor and a surprise as I was walking along the banking on my way back when a juvenile Shelduck came out of the sun from the direction of Fly Flatts and headed off east leaving me with a few record shots in the terrible light.
Nice to meet DCB up there who has gone mobile and just finished a 25 mile ride, well done Dave keep it up.
Also good to bump into Chris King as I was checking the lagoons, good to see birders up there, it was nearly like the old days up there tonight.

1 Curlew
1 juv Shelduck
c150 LBBs inc some pink legs
20+ Common gulls
c 200 BHGs
1 Kestrel
few Swallows and Meadow Pipits.

Raggalds Flood held 32 Canadas this evening.


                                     Spot the odd one out
         Probably the nearest I,ll get to a Snow Goose!
                                 Skies full of Starlings and Lapwings

                                  Raggalds Flood still producing,  22 Canadas.

With Fly Flatts fogged off it was down to Leeshaw where it remained murky and damp most of the watch.
Report much as Dannys from yesterday with late Curlews, Common Sandpiper and Oystercatchers but surprisingly no other waders on the inviting shoreline.
Very little vis mig although visibility poor due to low cloud.

Vis Mig
22 Swallow.................................>S
7 House Martin...........................>S
38 Meadow Pipit .......................>W
4 Snipe.......................................>W  The lads at Oxenhope watchpoint were also getting Snipe.

c 70 Canadas + 1 newcomer, white goose
c 200 Lapwing
c 100 Starling
5 Curlew
4 Oystercatcher
1 Common Sandpiper

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Magic Moments, Greenshanks Galore. TMR

                                   Star Prize, Long awaited Greenshank  (juv)                                

                                        Very little shoreline

                                              Fly overs

                                                              in to land

                                       Happy with the Mallards
                                          Cormorants on the move

                                               100 +  Lapwing flock.

TMR / Permit holders only,  1500-1730hrs.
Ideal conditions with grey skies and dark clouds with a WNW>5 and slight drizzle.
With reports via DJS of Black Terns moving through and conditions as they were it was only a matter of time before something kicked off which it soon did.
I was only half way through my first sausage roll when I heard a Greenshank call so tossing the tea to one side I scanned the skies picking up a Greenshank heading in from the north which landed half way down the reservoir before flying down into the NW corner across the water from me.
By the time Id taken a few record snaps 2 more Greenshank flew over calling loudly and disappeared through the Causeway Foot Col and down the Calder Valley.
Within 10 minutes a second Greenshank landed further down the reservoir on the cobbles with another 2 overhead and through the col.
Around 100 Lapwings were over the south end of the reservoir after being put up by something whilst 4 large black silhouetted birds flying >N over the water turned out to be Cormorants, these also had been reported in numbers in Calderdale.
Thirty minutes lying in wet heather waiting for the Greenshank to make its way towards me just gave me the 2 top photos before it turned and waded back the other way.
The 2 ground birds were still there when I left.
All in all a magical 2 hours although I never did get time to finish my tea off.

6 Greenshank
c100 Lapwing
4 Cormorant
70+ LBBs
5 Common gull
c150 Black Headed gulls
+ usual sp.