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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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Some June birds from years gone by.

Into June tomorrow which is classed as the birders depression month with birds settled down to breeding and feeding young leaving birders staring at empty skies but dont dismay, June can turn up one or two rarities and as the pictures below from previous Junes show, there,s always something to watch.

                                  Twite at Fly Flatts    2011
                           Tawny owl using nest box

                                 Rough water at Fly Flatts, yes. this was June!
                                    Plenty noisy Redshank around
                                                 Fly Flatts Snipe
                                                   LBB gulls on egg search over the moors

                                  Skylarks still sing throughout June
                                             Swifts are a common sight through the month

                                          Distant Cuckoo at Leeshaw
                                       Nuthatches active at Ogden
                                      Long Eared Owls become more active
             Distant Little Ringed and Ringed Plovers at Leeshaw
                                         Golden Plover on the moor
                        Willow Warblers in good numbers

                  Crossbills for Ogden, a June treat.

                Whitethroat feeding young
Oystercatcher chick
Mother standing by.

                                          Juv Whitethroats Soil Hill

  Invasion of Greenfinch in Foxhill park, a rare bird for the area.
             Just as we like it, Leeshaw with shoreline
                        Willow Warbler feeding young.

After seeing 4 Shelduck over Ogden yesterday the 30th I checked my records and the last fly over I had at Ogden was 25th May last year. Also 2 were on the Raggalds Flood 15/5/13 so it looks like the end of May is a prominent time for Shelduck movement

Monday, May 30, 2016

Soil Hill

pm visit 1600-1715hrs  cool NE>4 dark clouds.

Soil Hill this evening was about the same as Ogden this morning, birdless but without the Shelducks.
Just the usual Skylarks and Meadow Pipits, Lapwings and corvids and that was it.
A full search of the tree line and along the bottom north ridge produced 1 Blackbird and 2 Dunnocks so it was home with yet again an empty camera.
A non birding trip out this afternoon to Ilkley then Otley produced 4 Red Kite, 6 Buzzard , 2 Sparrowhawks and a Kestrel and thats just whilst I was driving.

Ogden, poor venue, good fly overs

With thick fog on the tops it was down to Ogden on a low expectancy visit.
A walk around the water produced just a few Willow Warblers, Robins and Wrens with nothing but Mallards on the water.
This is the only stretch of local water with tons of shoreline but not a wader present probably due to the large amount of disturbance there.
There were people everywhere screaming for off the lead dogs, several which were down by the water, and cars horn blasting getting agitated in the full car park and this was early morning!
The only thing making the trip worthwhile was 4 Shelduck over >NE which luckily called as they went over as I was under trees at the time, a place I hate to be when the sky is not visible, so I only got the one look at them up in the mist.
By 0900 hrs I was heading home with boredom setting in. I think Ogden will be dropping down my venue list until the winter.
Hopefully the mist will clear by tea time so I can get back to the peaceful open uplands.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Windy Corner watch, Members Only.

                            Curlews bath night

                                   A mish mash of waders

Windy Corner  1600-1700 hrs  Sunshine, E>4  Vis Drax power station

A pleasant evening to be out there but not moving weather in the warm sunshine. The banking at the southern end is still submerged though high enough for the gulls to stand on it ankle deep in water but this is an advantage with waders moving to the NW corner so much nearer to see and snap.
Much the same as yesterday but a nice flock of 16 Golden Plover were spooked from the far southern end of the reservoir giving a good but distant aerial display.
Everything just seemed happy preening in the waters edge tonight before roost.
To visiting members not on Whats App, I have placed a log book and pen in the old disused toilet building by the car parking area so records can be entered if they only view from the north end without visiting the hide as I did tonight.

16 Golden Plover
59 LBB
1 Herring
1 Oystercatcher
1 Dunlin
2 Common Sandpiper
7 Curlew
23 Lapwing
5 Redshank
+ usual sp.

Leeshaw/ Fly Flatts

                                 Leeshaw Little Owl

                Leeshaw 2nd Little Owl
                                          Meadow Pipits feeding

 Surprising how quick Lapwings grow
This bird was a bundle of fur a couple of weeks back
                                    Whimbrel >NW fast and calling
                                        Another Fly Flatts victim
                                    Herring gulls >W over Fly Flatts
                               Fly Flatts 1 of 2 Red Legged Partridge

Dense fog early morn at Fly Flatts so down to Leeshaw where the mist and drizzle were just clearing.
Very lively around the new mown fields which seem to have been cut early with plenty Lapwing chicks about and possibly still nests but I suppose the farmers know more about the job than me.
3 Oystercatchers were mobile and a Common Sandpiper was on the cobbled but no shoreline showing.
Walking up the track a distinctive 7 whistle Whimbrel call hit me and after a bit of spinning round looking it came high overhead fast and >NW .

A return to Fly Flatts found 1 Dunlin and at least 4 Common Sandpipers on the north shore whilst 14 noisy Herring gulls went over >W.
2 Red Legged Partridge were my first this year.

1 Whimbrel........................>NW
4 Curlew
3 Oystercatchers
2 Little Owl
1 Common Sandpiper
Plenty House Martins
+ usual sp.

Fly Flatts
1 Dunlin
4 Common Sandpiper
14 Herring gull................................>W
2 Red Legged Partridge
1 Oystercatcher.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Oxenhope, Members only.

                     Wires full of Swallows
                                  2 of 3 Oystercatchers
                                Always plenty Lesser Black Backed

                                            Swifts moving through

                                          Common Sandpiper

                                          Dunlin in full breeding plumage

Curlew an upland favourite

Oxenhope, members only,  1545 - 1700 hrs
Hot and sunny with a slight SE>3. Not the weather I,d have picked for moving birds but plenty up there to keep me interested and the camera clicking.
Disappointing to see the shoreline opposite the hide just under water after the recent rain but a few days dry and a bit of help from YW after the hols we should be cooking with gas again.
Gulls were still present there but standing ankle deep now and only 1 Herring amongst them.
Still plenty waders about but had hoped for Greenshank but not to be.
Dunlin were the star attraction in full summer dressage.

3 Dunlin
3 Redshank
3 Oystercatchers
1 Common Sandpiper
107 LBB gulls present but coming and going all the time
1 Herring gull
6 Curlew
1 Grey Wagtail
Swifts piling through continuous and plenty blogging Swallows

MD has started a grapevine group for visitors to Oxenhope on Whats app so if you,re a BOG member and visit the area let me know if you are not already on.