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, August 31, 2017

Ogden Water Theme Park

Canada geese as you,ve never seen them before.

                                       63 Canadas in to land

                                         Time to start bathing

                                        All done, drying off time
                                                        A shoreline full of geese.

With an invasion of wildfowl imminent it was off to Ogden late afternoon to check it out.
                                                                 A bright afternoon on a light NW>4 but spoilt with the sunshine causing reflections on the water.  All was quiet with just the usual gulls, Mallards and 2 Cormorants until I was walking through passerine alley when a noise like a jet plane came overhead and a skein of 63 Canada geese dropped low over the trees and onto the water.
                                                                  The sight and sound was amazing as they split into 3 groups and started bathing completely submersing themselves them coming up with wings flapping sending spray high into the air. I was at the wrong side for the sun but this did me a favour highlighting the water showering round them. This went on for 15 minutes building up quite a captive audience around the water with everyone stopping to watch the spectacle. One fella near me even clapped when the show was over.
The geese then calmly headed onto the shore to preen and dry off. In 50 years of birding I,ve never seen anything like this before, amazing. Even Canadas can save the day.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Fly Flatts pm

Another of those quiet Fly Flatts visits with very little to show. Conditions were good with 70 % cloud cover and a good W>4-5 bringing some black clouds and specs of rain over the moor.
                                                           LBB gulls were the bird of the day with several on the water and around 20 heading >E probably to the Eccup roost. Only one Wheatear present on the corner rocks and unusual to get a brief visit from a Pied Wagtail onto the seed along with 4 Meadow Pipits.
                                                         A single Curlew went high and >W whilst a Sparrowhawk was over the Nab. Canada geese numbers are down to around 20 now and the Greylags have moved on.
                                                           On the plus side, the water level is dropping well with much more shoreline showing , that is until tomorrows forecast thunderstorms arrive.
A good report this morning from HC with a late Swift over his Oxenhope watch point, well spotted there Comp.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Wildfowl on the move and picturesque Fly Flatts.

With just short of 1 hour to spend birding by late afternoon following a hectic grand daughters outing earlier I headed for Ogden after a tip off from DP reporting 6 Shelduck on Oxenhope reservoir.
                                                               In the past I,ve done well for Shelduck at Ogden but not today but after checking the usual gulls etc I spotted 2 black dots right in the centre of the water and in silhouette conditions. It was obvious from the size of them that they were Teal which I was expecting any day now and hopefully the numbers will increase. A different vantage point in slightly better light and stretched to full zoom I managed a couple of record shots. Its good to know that wildfowl are beginning to move. Thanks to DP for the info.

               1pr Teal, a nice autumn bird for Ogden.

A few shots of Fly Flatts in her Sunday best, you won,t catch her like this so often.

                                      The Nab
      Looking back  south
                Bad cloud formation for picking out the birds

                                     Looking along the west bank south
                                       Dean Head reservoir
                           Twite feeding station. Will keep laying seed until October.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Its a strange game this birding job. Fly Flatts.

                Peregrine in a fast dive

                        Not an easy bird to keep up to.
           In fact the fastest bird I,ve ever photographed .

                                                  Away over Slade.

1445hr and up to Fly Flatts on a strange weather afternoon with a SW>5 which I can live with, 50 % cloud cover with a fair amount of sunshine, which I could live without , and the sky was very mottled with bright cloud making it very difficult to work.
                                                                          An exceptionally quiet afternoon whereby after a walk the full length of the reservoir to the NW corner and back I clocked 1 LBB gull and the usual Canadas and not another bird of any description . Getting back to the car I thought Fly Flatts has really let me down today, little knowing that she had a surprise in store for me.
                                                                        Feeling disillusioned I unloaded all the gear into the back of the car which is something I never do always leaving the camera on the seat in case I get lucky on the way home, a mistake I was soon going to regret.
As I drove up the track it all happened in the spate of around 3 minutes. A Peregrine  Falcon came across the front of the car at full speed having a go at a Carrion Crow. Luckily the birds tussled in the air some distance from me so first instinct was to grab the Canon bridge camera from the glove box but no way was I going to pin them down at the speed they were dive bombing each other.
                                                             Expecting to miss it I dived into the boot and grabbed big Bertha with Pippa pulling at the strap thinking we were playing tug of war.
Ready to shoot now with no time to mess with the settings I stuck it on ISO auto and hoped for the best. The Crow was still there and suddenly I spotted the Pere very high up and steaming down in a near vertical dive towards the Crow although its wings were,nt tight back so it was,nt coming in for a kill. With the camera firing away the birds ducked and dived before the Pere gave up and headed off over the Slade moor.
                                                               Not an easy task following a bird of that speed hand held with half a ton of lens but at least a few came out presentable.
So after nearly 2 hours birding  I got about 3 minutes sighting but well worth it. Like I always say with birding, you never know whats going to happen next and its very rare that I go home disappointed.

Checking the locals

                       Ogden early morn. Nice cloud cover

                                         Drying out
                                       Common gulls returning

                                                               Big Bill

Thought Ogden was worth a coat of looking at this morning as early Sept last year was the time we had Gadwall, Shoveler and Teal all at the same time but unfortunately none of these this morning.
                                                          Conditions were much better than yesterday with some sun at 0700 hrs but this was soon taken over by 100 % cloud cover and a light SW>3.
The water just held the usual gulls, Cormorants and Heron with very little flying over other than a few Swallows. The west bank is where all the action was with a large flock of small passerines moving through about 30 yds into the wood. This group consisted of Willow Warblers, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Goldcrest, Tree Creepers, Nuthatch , the rest being Great, Blue and Coal Tits.
                                                                     On the way back I did a tour of local hotspots in the hope of moving passerines but nothing special found.

1 Goldcrest
1m Blackcap
2 Treecreepers
5 Willow Warblers,
1 Chiffchaff
sev Coal, Blue and Great tits
1 Heron
5 Cormorant
+ usual sp.

Ned Hill Track
2 Willow Warblers
sev Mipits

Raggalds Flood
2 Pied Wagtail
sev Mipits

Green Lane
50 + Swallows on wires

Corporal Hill
c 30 Greenfinch
c 50 Goldfinch

Shelf Moor trailer park field
c 50 Mipits
2 Lapwing


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Ringby Top. pm

                     Distant 1 of 3 Buzzards mobbed by Kestrel
                             mega distance, probably over Green Lane.
                                     Sparrowhawk mobbed by corvids
                          Unfortunately they had the sun behind them

                                       Tables turned
                                          Out with the talons

                                       No rule books here.

Late afternoon and other than fog and strong winds the weather was my third great hate, hot sunshine and clear blue skies. As I was deciding where to go I knew I needed somewhere with a cooling breeze so Ringby for some sky watching was chosen.
                                                                     As always, with Ringby theres something to watch to keep you interested and today was no exception. Around 100 House Martins were drifting down the valley >SW along with a lower number of Swallows.
                                                                   Over to the east, probably over Green Lane area, 3 Buzzards were up being mobbed by a Kestrel but these unfortunately would,nt drift any nearer to my position. Herring gulls were moving >W along with a few LBBs and at least 1 Common gull whilst a flock of around 30 Linnets were mobile along with a flock of around 40 Goldfinch.
                                                                  Good to bump into DJS up there who arrived just in time to witness a real hard tussle between a Sparrowhawk and corvids which ended up locking talons at one point.
The forecast for morning looks about the same but a fresher SW wind is expected hopefully so we,ll see what turns up tomorrow.