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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Ogden re visited, late p.m.

 Autumn is coming. LBBs showing winter head streaking now

 1st summer Black Headed , left, with
summer hood gone.

 Common gulls losing pure white heads now and
           showing streaking.

A good count of gulls at Ogden this evening with c80 BHGs, 27 Commons and 10 LBBs but only one Cormorant.
Passerine alley was lively but nothing on the scale of  yesterdays visit due to a strong WSW>5 and a later visit, 1800 hrs, with the sun almost below the tree tops.
The beauty of an early evening visit to passerine alley is that it,s the only area of trees around the perimeter that has sun on them so the birds move into the Willows where the insects are still active.
This was proved by the Firecrest back in Nov 2013 when it was re located there on 3 seperate evenings.
                                                   Tonight the majority of passerines were Gt, Blue and Coal Tit along with 1 f Blackcap and 2 Willow Warblers whilst Blackbirds are moving into the area for the Rowan berries. The Chaffinch flock was again present but mobile and down to around 20 but no sign of Spotted Fly, Siskin , Bullfinch or Greenfinch tonight.

Now for the heavy stuff :-
   Going back to last nights blog
                just another everyday Cormorant photo ?
                                         but zoomed in exposing the gulpar pouch which is the bare skin between the gape and chin, this inspired Mick Cunningham, who else, who has gone deep into the Cormorant race doing an arcticle and drawings identifying the British Carbo race from the Continental Sinensis race, to e mail me telling me to Google the races for the angle between the gape line and the gular pouch.   For those of you still awake, this I did and this particular Cormorant shows up as a Sinensis continental race of which most inland birds seem to be now with the British race Carbo mainly sticking to the coast. This is apparently the only sure way of telling the races apart but to make it even more complicated there are several Hybrids around.
                                                                        You probably find this deep in and heavy going but the point is that even when birding is quiet and you are only finding common birds there is always something of interest you can delve into with the birds you have found, especially now with the internet at your fingertips so dont get bored get investigating.

Redcar Tarn

An early afternoon visit to Redcar Tarn whilst her indoors was having her hair done didnt amount to much with every man and his dog there and 2 nuggets with noisy model speed boats screaming around the water.
Plenty BHGs and a few juv LBBs but no sign of the Med gull whilst Pied Wagtail numbers were down probably flushed to the surrounding fields along with the gulls.
A walk around the circumference failed to turn up any migrants.
                                     The highlight of the afternoon was bumping into NKs associates DW and DM on a bird searching mission, hope they were luckier than me.
I may get chance of another quick dabble early evening.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Ogden, Passerine Alley

                                    5 Cormorant present at Ogden

Passerine alley was alive tonight with passerines with the sun on the trees getting the flies moving.
1 hour stood in the alley was mind blowing with the amount of activity going on although I soon gave up the idea of photos as the birds were flitting around like fleas on a dogs back from one side of the track to the other making it hard to keep up to them even with the bins.
At last some Long Tailed Tits have moved back into the area, my first this year , also , unbelievably , my first Jay of the year.
The annual gathering of chaffinch has started with at least 30 flitting from the Willows down onto the shoreline losing themselves in the high weeds.
Just the usual small gulls etc on the water.

c 30 Chaffinch
3 Spotted Flycatchers
2 Greenfinch
1 Siskin
1pr Bullfinch
c 8 Willow Warbler
2 f Blackcap
15 Long Tailed Tits
1 Jay
+ usual Gt and Blue Tit, Robins and Wrens

Monday, August 29, 2016

Oxenhope Reservoir, evening visit, Members only.

 juv Gt Crested Grebe way out on the water
      2 Herrings on the spit between the ponds and reservoir
              Distant out of range shot
  This Herring taken at an amazing 260 x
                   Lapwings lined up by the ponds

An evening visit in poor birding conditions with wall to wall blue sky and sunshine, just what we don,t want.  Scanning was hard with the sun in the lens and bright reflection from the water but I think I covered most of it although it was impossible to split Med , Yellow Legged and Caspian if any were present.
No sign of the Wigeon which was still present this morning, ( CK ), but it could quite possibly have been hidden with the sea of in excess of 1000 gulls.
The juv Gt Crested Grebe and 3 Teal were still present from this morning ( CK ), but no waders other than Lapwing.
2 late Sand Martins >SW were a bonus.

c 700 LBB gull
c 300 BH gull
19 Herring gull
c 100 Lapwing
3 Teal
1 juv Gt Crested Grebe
2 Sand Martin........................>SW
sev Swallows blogging
+ usual sp.

Around the locals

After a good run over the weekend this morning came to a grinding halt with very little of interest at 3 venues.
Lower Laithe held a few mixed Common and Black Headed gulls but nothing on the water.
Leeshaw was terrible with 1 Cormorant , 2 Lapwing, 1 Heron and 38 Cananda with a few House Martins and Swallows through >SW.
Fly Flatts had nothing on the water and the only bird of note was a very distant Buzzard quartering the moor and spending several minutes at a time hovering in the wind.
                                             Good to bump into NK by the Delvers walking up to the Withins. By the time I,d told him how quiet it was he,d have probably ended up in the Delvers.
A call from CK this morning reported the Wigeon still at Oxenhope along with a juv Gt Crested Grebe, 7 Snipe and 3 Teal.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Things are really moving now ! Oxenhope Reservoir, members only.

                                     Spooked gulls

                  Female Wigeon in amongst the gulls
                                                       Wigeon on the right

                                    Full zoom but out of range
 2 Whimbrel, way out of camera range , scoping job.
  Both birds showed a well striped crown.

Apologies for text stating male Wigeon which should have said female, heat of the moment excitement!

Oxenhope Reservoir  1445- 1600 hrs  Calm, slight SE> 2, dull and damp.

A great hours birding ,even though the shoreline is limited now there was enough to hold over 700 gulls and 80 + Lapwings.
The surprise of the day was a female Wigeon on the shore with the gulls and briefly in the water. This is a very early returning bird, my first is usually recorded at the end of September.
A Dunlin and 3 Snipe were in the back ponds with 2 Yellow Legged Herring gulls standing out from the crowd.
               A final scope along the shoreline before I left found 2 Whimbrel way over in the furthest point of the SW corner but showing well in the scope.

c 500 LBB gulls
c 200 BH  gulls
31 Herring gull
2 Yellow Legged Herring gulls  1 ad  1 3rd summer
3 Snipe
1 Dunlin
2 Whimbrel
3 Pied Wagtails
Tons of Swallows
+ usual sp.

Foggy Oggy

               Fog lifting above the plantation, Ogden.
                                           5 Cormorants present

                                  A good count of 15 Common gulls

Dense fog up here in the gods this morning so it was a drop down to Ogden which was just below the cloud base but very drizzly and grey.
                                                     The morning started off quiet and my hopes of Scoter were soon dashed with nothing being brought down in the fog. A record count of 78 Canadas were on the cobbles below the promenade but soon left noisily heading towards Mixenden.
5 Cormorant were on the water along with c60 Black Headed gulls and a decent count of 15 Commons.
                                                      As I walked through passerine alley a flock of around 20 passerines flew out of the Willows across the track and into the Pines and Rowens hanging about briefly before disappearing into the deeper trees. I counted at least 4 Spotted Flycatchers and 2 Blackcaps, the rest being Gt and Blue Tits along with a couple of Willow Warblers.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Checking the gulls out. Cullingworth fields / Redcar Tarn

                                         8 of 10 Snipe, Redcar Tarn
       juv Mediterranean gull in to land, Redcar Tarn
                           Med gull left, Black Headed right.

            Distant shots across on the island

With Oxenhope partially fogged off and a wedding party going on in the grounds, think it was today, I continued on to check the gulls in Cullingworth fields. Unfortunately the mass of gulls were in an unviewable field above the old Sugden tip so it was on to Redcar Tarn where KM had picked up Med gulls in the last few days and Caspian early on in the year.
                                                           On arrival the water was ,as always, heaving with birds with Mallards, Canadas, BHG and LBB gull, Coots and Moorhen. A quick check across the road first on the old lagoon site found around 80 Lapwing as well as Linnets and Pied Wagtails.
Back across at the Tarn Pied Wags were everywhere with a minimum of 40 counted all around the waters edge and in a nearby field.
A scan through the BHGs found nothing Med gull wise  so started to walk around the water to check the bushes for migrants of which there were very few other than 4 Willow Warblers.
Part way around a brown mottled bird caught the corner of my eye whilst I was scanning the water which turned out to be a Snipe by the footpath about 10 yards from me and as I lifted the camera it flew up taking another 9 up with in from the grass. If Id have been watching where I was going instead of gawping over the water Id have had some cracking photos.
                                                  Not to be beaten and the heavy rain now cleared I set off on a second circuit and Bingo, as I scanned the gulls by the island a stonking juv Med gull dropped in amongst them. It preened on the edge of the island for around 15 minutes letting me get some distant shots and then as quick as it came it was gone without me even seeing it go.
Possibly the same bird as Keith got the other day although this bird looks slightly more advanced than his but I,m sure Keith will know.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Local migrant check. Jammy Fold, Taylor Lane, Roper Lane, Ogden.

            Unusual visitors to Ogden, around 12 Greenfinch
                                      1 of 3 Cormorant, Ogden

                                   Ogden shoreline
      Blackcaps in passerine alley

A good send off for the mototcyclist killed
at Mytholmroyd when bikers used our
car park today getting ready to follow
the cortege . A moving sight.

Late afternoon and a wander around Jammy Fold for migrants followed by Taylor Lane and Roper Lane. This evenings dog walk took me to Ogden.

Jammy Fold held around 6 Willow Warblers, 1 Whitethroat, 5 Blackbirds and several Linnets.
Taylor Lane was poor other than several Meadow Pipits in the Cuckoo field.
Roper Lane watch point failed to produce Redstart in the usual area but here again several Meadow pipits were grouping ready for the off.
A group of 44 Canada geese were down near Bradshaw pond whilst a steady flow of Swallows headed >SW.

Ogden produced well this evening with the unusual sighting of around a dozen Greenfinch on the Rose Hips near passerine alley, not a common bird for Ogden.
The Rowans by the alley were alive with Gt Tits, Blue Tits, Coal Tits and at least 3 female Blackcaps along with 3 Willow Warblers.
No waders around the shoreline so just down to 3 Cormorant, c100 BH gulls and 2 LBB gulls.

A good report today from IH, BOG, of an Osprey over his patch at Keighley Moor this morning which he watched fly down over TMR and Denholme Clough until it was lost below the horizon heading for Queensbury, Nice one Ian

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Oxenhope reservoir, members only.

                                   Waiting for the fog to lift
                                    Wheres the water gone ?
            Mist lifting to reveal very little shoreline
      Down to a grassy strip after the heavy rain
                 Gulls spooked
                                    Some to sift through

           Several moving Meadow Pipits ground hopping.

Back to some decent reservoir weather today although the rain was on the heavy side and the fog was on the thick side but with these conditions it was well worth a try.
On arrival at 1500 hrs the rain had eased and the fog was just starting to lift with the reservoir right on the cloud base so the water was clear but anything above was blanked off. By the time I,d walked on to the hide another massive bank of fog had rolled in staying for around 20 minutes before lifting leaving misty but watchable conditions.
                                                          The shoreline had almost gone with the sand and pebble area under water leaving just a long grassy strip but enough to attract the birds down.
Gull numbers were down with c300 LBB, c 150 BHG and 22 Herring gull including 1 adult Yellow Legged.
172 Lapwing were along the waters edge whilst 3 Dunlin, 4 Snipe and a single Ringed Plover were in the distant SW corner.
Canadas and Greylags have now left the area leaving around 30 Mallard.
Swallows were again moving strongly >SW with a constant stream throughout and the first signs of early Meadow Pipits was apparent with several moving over >W and a good number ground hopping, working their way along the banking  before heading off west over the Nab.
                                                    Good to bump into fellow birder Keith Moir as I was leaving who had noted the weather and had the same thoughts as me and even the same target bird in mind, Greenshank which was not to be.  Greenshank was a regular passage visitor years ago with up to half a dozen being a regular sight on the banking but has now become a rare bird. With reports of some moving through the area we may drop lucky over the weekend.

My last Oxenhope Greenshanks were 4 fly overs and 2 on the deck, 24/08/2013