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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.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Fly Flatts complete with floating jetty.

   Getting the jetty ready. Poor dog gets the job of testing it.
                                                   Ready for launch
                                                    In position, bring on the waders

                                            Some nice Tern perching bars.

                                          1 of 2 Barnacle geese
                          A stonking male Wheatear by the feeding station


1515 hrs at Fly Flatts with bright skies and sunshine. 50 % cloud cover but a very strong
NNW>5 blowing at 20.6mph with white horses racing across the water.
Not the best conditions to erect the new floating jetty from the boat compound with risk of it ending up at Cold Edge Dams but the hearty sailors and engineers soon had the job cracked and in position.
                                                              Six heavy anchors and chains will keep it in position in the strong winds up there and hopefully the handrails will attract a passing Tern or two , an ideal perch.
A fine achievement for the sailing club, well done to all.
                                                             Bird wise the wind kept the skies empty and the water is now over the south bank and breaching the track moving the Common Sandpipers to the northern end where even the peat banking is almost covered. I had a count of 5 along the west bank where there is still part of the cobbles above water.
                                                        Two Wheatears were across on Robin rock whilst the above male was near to the feeding area along with around 20 Meadow Pipits. One of the Barnacles was on the water whilst the Canadas were sheltering in the juncus at the NE corner with several now on the moor breeding. Several Lapwings and Curlews concluded the sightings.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Back to Leeshaw reservoir

                                Plenty Swallows over the water

                         Just the usual, Curlew
                                      and Redshank.

Leeshaw 1430 hrs with an icy cold NE > 3 and 90 % cloud cover.
                                                                  A disappointing visit with migrants slow to return with Cuckoo, Little Ringed Plover , Swift and House Martin still missing and my hopes of a feeding Osprey went out the window.
                                             Plenty of the usual species with several Lapwings now holding territory as well as Curlew. Most Oystercatchers have moved on now leaving about 8 as well as 4 Redshank and 2 Common Sandpipers though there is no shoreline showing with the water level to the top.
                                               Will have to wait and see what the coming week brings.

Early a.m. at Fly Flatts.

          As good as it got this morning, Common Sandpiper.

Fly Flatts 0700-0945 hrs. Icy cold NE > 4 at 18.5 mph  with 30 % cloud cover turning to full cloud cover and light rain by the end of the watch.
                                                                 The cold wind was doing a good job of keeping the birds down with, as yesterday, all activity restricted to the east bank. Only 5 Common Sands found this morning but viewing from the west bank in the hope of something on the seed but nothing other than several Mipits and 2 Skylark.
                                            Three Wheatear were around the boat compound whilst a Weasel shot out from under the boathouse only to be quickly seen off by a very excited Common Sand. Good to see Reed Bunting back on sight in the juncus after a poor turn out last year.
                                                 The last hour was spent sky watching which was disappointing despite the excellent visibility with just a few Herring and LBB gulls plus the usual Curlews and Corvids with no raptors , hirundines or Swift.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Fly Flatts late p.m.

      Good suit for wader photography.

        I told them not to put the water back in, we need the level down.
                                            In to land

                                                 1 of 6 Wheatear

                                         Unwanted Wheatear approaching

                                       How to get rid of a Wheatear
              Wall to wall Common Sands, 14 counted

                                Dont get many tree dwelling Wheatears

                                    This one thought it was a Nuthatch

1500 hrs at Fly Flatts in a light NE> 2 at 4.5 mph with 100 % cloud cover , some of which were very black. I had to share the venue with the fire brigade today so I stuck to working the east banking from the boating compound area which turned out to be very productive.
                                                                  Common Sandpipers were spread all along the east banking from the boathouse to as far north as I could scan with a count of at least 14 with probably more on the west and north banking. Strangely I had a count of 14 on 30/04/17  which got up to 15 before several moved on.
                            Three male and 2 female Wheatear were around the compound along with several Mipits whilst 2 pair of Stonechat were in the juncus but very illusive.
                              Overhead LBB gulls were moving >S along with 2 Herring >W. Otherwise it was down to the usual sp.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Leeshaw Reservoir

                             Single Shelduck present
                                            1 of 2 Herring gulls
                                           A very wet Kestrel
               Shelduck on distant north shore
                                        2 Herring  gulls, both pink legged.

   All pics distant in pouring rain.
1530 hrs and after a day of continuous heavy rain and low cloud I headed for Leeshaw Reservoir where, with a bit of careful positioning I can set my stall out under the part shelter of the cars tailgate.
The rain never eased throughout the hour I was there with a light >NE 3 and low scud clouds making it very dark and dismal.
                                    Birding was , as always at Leeshaw, very active mostly with the usual species, the star prize being a white duck hiding in the grass on the north shore turning out to be a Shelduck.
Two Herring gulls were present , both getting a check for the returning Yellow Legged, but a bit early in the season as yet.
                               Three Skylark were unusual for this location found amongst a group of around 30 Mipits moving around the fields whilst several Snipe were up drumming along with noisy Lapwings and Curlews.
An ideal day for Osprey but that never happened and the only raptor present was a single Kestrel whilst several Swallows fed low over the water.
                             The Golden Plover flock at Upper Marsh is up to around 200 but will be dispersing any day now.

1 Shelduck
3 Redshank
5 Oystercatchers
4 Snipe
3 Skylark
1f Wheatear
2 Herring gulls
2 Cormorant, one in full breeding regatta
c 30 Meadow Pipits
1 Kestrel
+ usual sp.