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.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

It all starts again tomorrow !.

With a busy day at work today my last dinner time dash went up the spout in what looked like a bird active day with large flocks of Starlings, several gulls and the usual garden stuff around.
So tomorrow morning we can forget all the dips of 2015 and look forward to a new set of sightings. Surely this will be the year when we get the big one?
A busy evening ahead now downloading 2015 records and reports etc and getting ready to add the 2016 species, although I,ve plenty time to do it as I have to reluctantly stay up because of the dogs till the midnight fireworks have finished so it will be a bleary eyed birder heading for Fly Flatts first light in the morning.
I wish you all a very healthy NewYear , I never say happy and prosperous as we found out over the last two years that if you,re healthy you,re automatically happy and prosperous.
Many thanks to all for watching my blog through the boring as well as the livelier times and for all your comments, reports, messages and photos without which this blog could,nt continue as it does.
Also a big thank you to this areas local birders who between them keep the ball rolling and reports coming in whilst I,m tied up at work. Many of my working days are brightened by a call from a local habitat or even to tell me of a skein of geese heading my way.
Long may the teamwork continue.
Get those sightings piling in and between us we could put this area well and truly on the birding map in 2016.
                                                           All the very best and if you,re having fireworks tonight hurry them up then I can get to bed. See you next year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The top 16 birds that spring to mind in 2015.

Birds not in order of preference .

   Northowram, Tree Sparrow
   Soil Hill, Snow Bunting
  Mixenden Whooper Swans
  Soil Hill, Ring Ouzel
  Soil Hill , Sedge Warbler
       Long Eared Owl, undisclosed site
   Short Eared Owl, Fly Flatts
           Buzzard, Fly Flatts
  Taylor Lane, Cuckoo
  Mixenden, Gt Northern Diver
                         Queensbury, Pink Footed Geese
  Mixenden Gadwall
   Ogden, Common Scoter
   Fly Flatts Shelduck
   EGP, Little Egret

                 Fly Flatts, Whimbrel.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 Local Summary.

A good start off to Jan 1st with the long staying Gt Northern Diver still present on Mixenden and the bonus of a single Snow Bunting at Fly Flatts in thick fog.
January also provided a Redshank at Fly Flatts, Siskins at Ogden and Tree Sparrows at Northowram.

Feb was a quieter month but some good skeins of Pink Footed geese over plus the Barnacle goose at Ogden.

March was a belter with 3 Goldeneye on Mixenden along with 244 Whooper swans and another 42 on Fly Flatts. Mixenden also produced a Gadwall whilst 2 Dippers and a Raven were found at Leeshaw.

April provided Ogden with a pair of Teal and a Common Scoter whilst nearby 3 Shelduck were at Fly Flatts. Upper Marsh, Oxenhope held 233 Golden Plover and the first Swallow appeared on the 8th.
The highlight of the month was 6 Ring Ouzels on Soil Hill.

May was another cracking month with Short Eared Owls at Fly Flatts along with a Whimbrel, Peregrine and Dunlin whilst a Sedge Warbler was at Soil Hill and Ogden provided a Cuckoo and Whinchat.

June brought several Long Eared Owl sightings and Little Ringed and Ringed Plovers were at Leeshaw.

July brought a second Whimbrel over Fly Flatts whilst a Pochard was on Ogden.

August was when the rot started to set in making it a real poor autumn throughout although it had its moments with a Little Egret at EGP whilst Taylor Lane, Bradshaw provided 2 Spotted Flycatchers and 3 Cuckoos.

Septembers highlight was a Redstart below Roper Lane and a Greenland Wheatear at Fly Flatts

October was saved with 2 Long Eared Owls on Soil Hill taking us into

November which surprised me with 4 Shelduck flying over the garage at Queensbury whilst a single male Snow Bunting was briefly on Soil Hill.

December ended the year on a low, although there are 2 working days left yet , the pick of the bunch being 2 Kingfishers at Ogden, 2 Buzzards at Fly Flatts along with a Short Eared Owl also at Fly Flatts.

So a good first 7 month then a downhill run to see the year out although if you get out there and stick at it you,ll always find a memory or two to take home with you.

Monday, December 28, 2015

One up for girl power !

                                        Skein of around 117 Pinkies
               3 Images, courtesy Tracy Collier

What a showing up for the lads when I received these photos taken by Tracy Collier of a large skein of around 117 Pink Footed Geese over Jackson Hill ,Queensbury at 1000 hrs this morning heading for Halifax. I can,t believe this lot nearly slipped through the net. I,ve a good excuse, I was in Oxenhope at the time. Well spotted and thanks to a sharp eyed Tracy.

If at first you don,t succeed, get back up on that hill.

SOIL HILL 1400-1515 hrs

 This Skylark taken in near dark was up in
                                        full song.

A favourable SE >4 didn,t help much with a one hour search of Soil Hill , top to bottom and end to end in the hope of a stray Snow Bunting with very little found at all.
Two Skylarks were holding territory noisily flying around me as I approached followed by the male rising up in full spring song.
A kestrel was hovering near the mast whilst a Meadow Pipit was on the east summit. JLs Carrion Crows looked pleased when I threw some seed down. Just 2 Moorhen and a pair of Mallard down on the NK pond with 1 Wren in the Alders.
A short 360 deg sky watch in fading light produced just mainly small gulls and a few LBBs going in to the Oxenhope roost.
I was hoping for a skein of Pinkies to the west in a red sky background but this never materialized.
Oh well, I,ve managed to fit plenty birding in over the hols and its back to work tomorrow for a short week with Friday off.

Doing the rounds

       Sun failing to make it at Fly Flatts
         Oxenhope moor towards the sacrifice stones
                      Plenty flooding at Oxenhope, Leeshaw

                                     Lower Laithe brimming
                                   Greylags at Leeshaw
                            Leeshaw, 1 of 3 Cormorant
                                          Leeshaw Greylags

0800 hrs at Fly Flatts was poor with hardly any daylight until 0845 hrs in the heavy drizzle.
Quiet up to yesterday with very little of note though 5 Mipits were on yesterdays seed at the round tower feeding station.
Leeshaw was a little brighter and livelier but just the usual sp.
Lower Laithe had a good count of small gulls out on the water whilst Raggalds Flood was dead.

Fly Flatts
5 Red Grouse
6 Mallerd
1 Kestrel
5 Meadow Pipits

Oxenhope Moor
3 Kestrel
Sev Red Grouse

Leeshaw Res
1 Heron
3 Cormorant
5 Greylag
8 Canadas
15 Fieldfare
5 Golden Plover

Lower Laithe
c200 small gulls
1 Gt Crested Grebe

Raggalds Flood
Few Corvids

Pit Lane
12 Lapwing
Few small gulls.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Double Header, Fly Flatts a.m. / Soil Hill p.m.

FLY FLATTS  0800 hrs to 1000 hrs.

                                   Sunrise at Fly Flatts

         Jet streams reflecting on the water.
                                 Reservoir full to overflowing
                                   Calm conditions
                                         Gushing overflow
        Once the babbling brook , now a torrent .
                                             The Nab
                                         Don,t get better than this at Fly
                Until the fog came in briefly.
                                                         Raven cronking over.
     Very distant buzzard over the moor

                     Dave Franz on a mission.

An amazing morning after yesterdays deluge with wall to wall sunshine and clear blue skies remaining dead calm until 0915 hrs when a slight WSW>3 got up bringing fog over the moor briefly.
Good to meet up with DF where we watched a very dark Buzzard sp. drifting low over the moor towards us before dropping down into a valley never to be seen again. A second Buzzard was sat on a fence post before disappearing towards Oxenhope. Plenty Pinkies moving but none viewed from Fly Flatts.

1m Stonechat
2 Buzzard
1 Reed Bunting
2 Raven
11 Mallard

SOIL HILL   1400 hrs to 1515 hrs

                  Group of c 42 Fieldfare moving around the fields

                                        Common gulls heading to roost

                    as well as LBBs.

Just over 1 hour late afternoon on a pleasant Soil Hill in the good company of Daniel Branch.
Things looked quiet but with a bit of patience and scanning a half decent list was compiled.
Fieldfares were the star of the show with a total of c42 moving around the hill with a flock of 24 above the hill and 18 ish low down ground hopping .
Again several reports of Pinkies on the move but no sightings from the hill despite 360 deg scanning.

2 Meadow Pipits
1 Skylark
c42 Fieldfare
3 Goldfinch
31 Lapwing >S
+ usual sp.
Good luck to Daniel on a very hard and final year at uni, I,m sure he,ll be a big success.