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, September 30, 2017

Fly Flatts/Leeshaw

                         Fly Flatts Wheatears.

Arrived at Fly Flatts at 1500 hrs in torrential rain only to find that the gun mad nuggets were having a killing spree down the bottom between the south bank and Slade flat moor so that was my first choice gone. A steady drive on the top road produced 5 Stonechat but very distant and flighty along with 4 Wheatear all in full autumn uniform now but no Greenlands as yet. At least the gunmen got a good drenching and then the fog started to roll in over the moor ha ha.
                                                              On then to Leeshaw reservoir which was having a bad day on the bird scene. The rain was light here on a SW>3 but very little present other than the usual gulls, 6 Lapwing and a few Mipits.

Other news.
After picking the new pooch up from Dewsbury after lunch driving home found 2 Buzzards soaring over the river between Mirfield and Brighouse, unfortunately in one of those impossible to park type places.

Vis mig was lively early doors this morning with a rough count of around 300 Mipits >S from before work, to work and at work. Also around 20 Swallows and 31 Chaffinch.
The Mipits were on a broad front giving good counts to most watch points including Nick Carter on the east coast at Hunmanby Gap, report from NC via AH.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Leeshaw Reservoir p.m.

                                             2 Cormorants over >W
                                        All that shoreline and no waders.
                                      A single distant Wheatear

   A large Rainbow Trout ventured into the shallows and
    was immediately set upon by LBB gulls

                                        No escaping the bill of this gull
           that even went under water for it
        The dead Trout floated out into the centre of the water
   with several gulls attempting to land it without success.
  This was the best attempt but the fish was too heavy.
See why Osprey have talons instead of webbed feet.
The gulls finally admitted defeat and the trout sank below the surface.

Luckily by the time I arrived at Leeshaw at 1600 hrs the afternoon sun had been blanked out with dark clouds and a few showers came over the moor on a SW>4.
No raptors today in the wet conditions but a good count of gulls on the shore with 38 LBB, 2 Herring. 46 BHG and 3 Common. A vast amount of shoreline is present but still no sign of waders.
                                                          Two Cormorant went over high and >W whilst a single Wheatear was on a distant wall. Otherwise it was down to the usual sp. along with Lapwings now returning to the shore after a period of dispersion.
This was the first time I,ve ever seen LBB gulls attack a fish in the water and kill it, even going under the surface to finish it off. Unfortunately for the gulls the Trout was just too heavy for them to lift it out of the water by their bill so the meal was lost.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Fly Flatts p.m. visit

                                              The Nab
                                  Blue but quiet waters
   Sun going down over Fly Flatts from Foxhill.

A trip to Fly Flatts 1445 hrs gave me sunshine and blue skies to contend with, something I did,nt want, on a light W>3 turning SW>4 then S>5.
                                                                       A pleasant walk on the west banking to the NW corner but very little in the way of bird life. Just 4 Canadas on the water and 2 Mallard with still no shoreline exposed apart from the west bank cobbles.
Meadow Pipits were still moving >S in small numbers low over the moor and around 50 Swallows headed in the same direction.
Red Admiral butterflies were everywhere flying low over the water also >S.
                                                             No sign of the 11 Stonechat in the area meaning the birds at the bottom of Ogden Golf course this morning could be the same party, NK, PJWS.
Otherwise a Kestrel and 4 Red Grouse present rounded off the session.
                                                                     A nicely topped up Raggalds Flood on the return journey held 12 Lapwing and 2 pr Mallards.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Leeshaw Raptor move.

A good afternoon for raptor movement with a light SE>3 and misty conditions. A terrible camera day with no light in the dark silhouette conditions and everything appearing in black and white.
                                                                   A few gulls on the shore along with Mallards but nothing other than a Cormorant on the water whilst several Mipits and Linnets were grouping on the dam wall and wires.
The highlight of the watch was an obvious move of raptors all heading>SE but very high and some distant so this ,combined with the lack of lighting, eliminated any chance of a good photo and just as I needed one.
                     3 Kestrels and 2 Sparrowhawk moved over in migration mode high and on the same flight path shortly to be followed by a Buzzard passing more to the north of me but still heading >SE.
The next raptor over is a problem bird. It came over from behind me high and fast so I only managed tail end views and in silhouette as it motored over >SE making the gulls lift up in an attempt to mob it. Its long straight tail stood out as well as long narrow elbowed wings below which I could just make out a pattern. The bird looked uniform dark even allowing for the conditions.
Harrier sp. I,ll say Marsh and risk being shot down.

                                           Warning off gulls

                                            harrier sp ?


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Fly Flatts, Stonechats Galore

                    An amazing 11 Stonechats present

  3 in a frame was the most I could manage

           1 on the right doing a woodpecker impression

                                       1 Reed Bunting mixed in
                                        All distant shots.

1530 hrs at Fly Flatts found very muggy conditions with hazy sunshine and mist over the moor, near calm with a slight SE>2.
                                        The Wigeons and Tufted had gone from the water leaving just 6 Black Headed gulls and 2 Canadas. The skies were quiet and it was looking like a poor session until I got down by the stream past the feeding station to find the area alive with Stonechats, Mipits and a single Reed Bunting.
                                Stonechats lined the wire fence and heather bushes but were very timid and always kept a good distance between us moving along the wire northwards. A minimum count of 11 must be a record for this species and certainly the most that I,ve ever seen together.
No Whinchats amongst them, just 1 Reed Bunting and several Mipits.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Mega for Mixenden and Kingfisher back at Ogden

  A great find by NK. drake Pochard. Mixenden

                Mega distant shots and poor light.

       Ogden Kingfisher, down in the deep dark sluice gate area.

Well I certainly made the camera work for its keep today with a Pochard way out on the water and a Kingfisher down a hole in near darkness.
                                                                 A late afternoon trip to Fly Flatts was postponed when I got a call from NK who had just turned up a drake Pochard on Mixenden reservoir, a very rare wildfowl for our area although Nigel seems to have a nose for Pochard turning up the last one at Ogden 4/7/15.
                                                           Mixenden is not dog friendly so I was getting ready to go alone until they started running round me with tails wagging knowing that it was birding time so being a softy the 3 of us headed for Mixenden. A walk up the track at the school end was the easy bit but scrambling 2 dogs over a wall is no easy task but after nearly dropping Ollie and nearly losing Pippa we eventually made it to the banking.
                                                           A good scan round was disheartening to find 1 Cormorant and nothing more but ducks tend to get under the overhanging trees along the west shoreline so I was,nt too worried although Pochard, Wigeon and Teal types tend to stick well out in the water.
After 20 minutes scanning I admitted defeat and put it out on the grapevine that there was no sign of the Pochard. On leaving I bumped into DJS who was scoped up and ready to give it another go so I decided to try save the session by seeing if anything had appeared at Ogden.
                                                        As I pulled away a phone call from Dave saying the duck had appeared near to the north end of the water where it must have been under the trees.
Dogs and gear back out of the car and a long walk up the lane to the nw of the reservoir where I knew there was access to the water, or at least there was until YW have decided to put a locked gate on it.
By now the Pochard was mid way between Dave and me but visible from where I was without going through the dog over the wall system again.
                                                        Out of range and poor light meant a few record shots but after 30 minutes wait it drifted slightly nearer for some sub standard photos.
Well done to NK for finding the bird and DJS for re locating it.
                                                   Just time now for a quick look on the water at Ogden which held the usual small gulls, Canadas and Mallards but good to find the Kingfisher back in its favourite sluice gate area . Its been buzzing around the shoreline a few days but now seems to be settling back in its wintering area. Another photographic challenge aiming down into the dark hole in grim light.