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.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Last July visit to Fly Flatts.

                         Reading the leccy meter at Fly Flatts.
                                             Lesser Black Backed in moult.
      With the sheer size of this gull plus the light head and massive black bill
      I,d say it was a 1, possibly 2 CY Great Black Backed. Correct me
       if I,m wrong gull team.
  Taken at distance way over in the NE corner.

A very quiet visit to Fly Flatts today with 80 % cloud cover and a moderate SW>4.
                                                          Just 2 Pied Wagtails and a Common Sandpiper on the south shore followed by an empty west bank. The east bank held around 30 Lapwing along with 30 + Black Headeds whilst the only Lesser Black Backed seen flew over into the wind >SW.
                                                           The north bank had the 3 Teal present in their usual NW corner and what I suspect as a Great Black Backed gull was way over towards the NE corner resting on the sand like a beached seal and reluctant to move. Hirundines and Swift were moving >NE with several House Martins in with the Swallows but no Sand.. Otherwise just the usual species present and July gone with still no Wheatear, thats got to be some sort of record.

July recap at Fly Flatts....................30 visits during the month missing 2 days but more than 1 visit some days.
Star Birds.....
                                                 GBB gull, unconfirmed as yet.
       Oddball Herring, possible Caspian/Herring. unconfirmed
      Little Scrag neck . An excellent breeding season for
                                                    Common Sandpiper
                                              drake Common Scoter
            cream crown Marsh Harrier moving through >SW

                 2nd Common Scoter or same bird staying 4 days
                           juv Peregrine type , still unconfirmed

                                                    1 of 3 Teal

Lets see what August provides.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Another flying visit to Fly Flatts

           Brown juv Peregrine on the shoreline
    Mega distance and in heat shimmer. record shots only.

                                   Over the moor >SW

With a vet visit pending for Pippa I was left with just 30 minutes to check over Fly Flatts but adequate to know I was,nt missing anything.
                                                 A decent S>4 was blowing but only 30 % cloud cover and back to the dreaded heat, stopping photography dead with tons of heat shimmer.
                                                 The south shore held several Lapwings and Black Headed gulls plus 1 Common Sandpiper whilst the west bank was void of waders. Several gulls and Lapwings were scattered along the east shoreline whilst the north banking held the 3 Teal and the Tufted with its 4 young . Suddenly the 4 local Kestrels started dive bombing something on the banking which I put down to 2 local Crows until I picked up 2 bright yellow legs and there against the dark background was a brown juvenile Peregrine.
                                                  The distance was far too great in the heat and with no time to get further along the banking Bertha had to do the best she could for some record shots as it took off over the moor.
The bird had a red ring on its left leg if anyone has any knowledge of ringers around the area.
                                                 Empty skies and still no Wheatears but from now anything can turn up.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Playing the waiting game. Fly Flatts.

                             2 Barnacles always present again now
                                        Water pouring in the NW corner                   
           Female Tufted hanging on to her 4 remaining young.
               Teal way across in the NE corner.

                                   Third Teal in to land.

Back to Fly Flatts for a quick afternoon check which is now a waiting game for things to move which is slowly beginning to happen.
                                                A big improvement on the rain and fog from this morning with 80% cloud cover and good visibility but a very strong SW>5 gusting 6 whilst remaining dry.
It shows how strong the wind was as even the hardy sailors had headed to shore and dropped sail by the time I arrived which was early for them.
                                                                  A walk the full length of the west bank failed to re locate the Ringed Plover from this morning and just produced a Common Sandpiper  and the 3 Teal as well as the usual species on the water.
                                                Only 1 Lesser Black Backed tonight with around 30 Black Headed whilst 4 Kestrels were in the air together over the west bank.
With only 2 days left of July now and still no Fly Flatts Wheatear sighting, or anywhere else local for that matter , its looking like the first returner will be an August bird with the juvs first through followed by the adult birds all in autumn plumage with male and female looking alike.

I forgot what it was like to get a soaking at Fly Flatts.

0700 hrs at Fly Flatts with heavy to torrential rain throughout carried on by a SE>4 and very low cloud base which dropped by 0900 hrs stopping play.
                                                                   Ideal moving conditions for sea birds this morning but just the usual gulls with LBBs and BHGs very active over the water .
A single Ringed Plover came in from the SW landing briefly on the south shore but was quickly seen off by the long staying Common Sandpiper . I traced it across to the east bank near the spit but conditions too bad to re locate it.
                                                    The water held the usual Canadas, and Barnacles along with 4 Mallard and yesterdays 3 Teal still present whilst 2 very short billed juv Curlews were on the waters edge at the north end. On the way back up the track 4 Grey Partridge were in the new mown top field.
                                                        The first reet good soaking for quite a while at Fly Flatts but it was better than the hot blazing sunshine and blue skies although I could have done without the fog.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

A walk on the wild side, Fly Flatts

                                   Plenty Black Headeds present on the mud
                                   2 Barnacle with the Canadas
                                    3 Teal way across in the NE corner

                            Interesting juv big gull but poor distant shots,

                                       Pale very uniform plumage, Probably Herring ?

1530 hrs at Fly Flatts today in a howling SW >5 at 23 mph with dark threatening clouds but good visibility.
Luckily I arrived just as a storm and torrential rain had just past over and another one came as I was leaving making me dash for the car just in time. The west bank at Fly Flatts is not the place to be during a thunderstorm when you,re stood out in the open with an aluminium tripod on your back acting as a lightening conductor.
                                                   Bird wise it was quiet with 1 Common Sandpiper, several Lapwings and Black Headed gulls on the shoreline whilst the water held 3 Teal as well as the usual geese.
Only large gull present today was a very pale juv, probably Herring but unable to get any good pics because of the distance and nearly impossible to use the camera and scope due to the howling wind.
                                                   An interesting conversation with the local farmer today who told me that the low level of the reservoir, apart from the drought, was due to YW draining it to do some repairs so it should be kept low throughout August which will be a bonus for returning waders.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Fly Flatts p.m. too hot to handle.

With 28  deg at 1500 hrs and only a light S>3 it was way too hot for the team so a one man operation today which didnt please the team too much being left at home but I made it up to them with a good long play in the park when it had cooled off.
                                                                    Things were very quiet up there with a scope of all the shorelines from the north end of the west bank proving that the Turnstone, Teal and Common Scoter had moved on. No follow through of DJSs Whimbrels from this morning, the only waders seen being 1 Common Sandpiper and several Lapwings.
                                                                   Around 30 Black Headed gulls, mostly juvs, were scattered around the shoreline as well as 2 adult and 1 juv LBB with nothing other than Canadas, 2 Barnacle geese, 4 Mallard and the female Tufted, still with 4 young, on the water.
                                                                  Raptor wise, 1 distant Buzzard, 1 SEO , 2 Kestrels and a male Merlin chasing a Mipit which had the sense to drop into the bracken whilst the Merlin drifted off over Tattie Pie Hill.                                                                    Still no sign of returning Wheatear making them over 3 weeks later than usual from previous years.
As I left the wind had increased slightly and turned to the SE>4 feeling much cooler so hopefully a better day tomorrow,

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Another goody for Fly Flatts, Turnstone.

   Adult Turnstone in full breeding plumage.

26 degrees at Fly Flatts with 80% cloud cover but unlike yesterday it was workable and dog friendly with a moderate S>4 blowing making it very refreshing.
With a flying visit at 1430 hrs  just half an hour to have a quick check round then off to Pellon Lane to collect Ollie  from his make over, nearly thinking it was,nt worth it and not going but am I glad I did.
      A scan with the bins revealed a very distant wader across on the eastern peninsular which flew across to the west bank about three quarters of the way on so a dash on whilst checking my watch but not thinking too much of it , possibly Common Sand but alarm bells ringing all the same.
                                                 When I got as far on as time allowed I scanned the cobbles to find a black and white face looking towards me. Pied Wagtail was my first thought not being able to get a size at that distance. Then it came more into view, Turnstone !. A drop down the other side of the banking out of sight and a dash on to a better vantage point with a distance good enough for shots but without fear of spooking the bird. From there it was a belly crawl to the top of the banking, which isnt easy with 2 Poodles sat on your back.
                                                                After 5 minutes laid there the Turnstone, or Ruddy Turnstone as they like to call it now, walked along the waters edge near enough for the above shots before I slithered back below the banking leaving it to feed along the waters edge. As I got back to the south shore the Turnstone was working its way back along the west bank about 3 parts on.
                                                          No sign of the Scoter but all my time was taken up with the special visitor and one to knock off the list of target birds.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Beaten by the weather, ended up at Ogden !!!

With 25 degrees and very little breeze it was way too hot for the team to attempt Fly Flatts so off to Ogden and the shelter of the trees to check the gull situation before the start of the school holidays when Ogden will be out of bounds.
                                                      The little voice in my head warned me against going to Ogden saying , " you,ll only get wound up ", and 30 minutes later I found it was right.
                                                        Unfortunately I had picked national nugget day when I arrived with people having a contest to see who could make the most noise whilst others had ragged the Christmas tree barriers away and were happily picnicking on the shoreline.
Needless to say, bird life was limited with around 10 LBBs, 2 Commons and 30 BH gulls.
Otherwise it was down to the local family of Greylags with the white 2nd year birds bred at Oxenhope 2 years since  as well as the usual Mallards.
                                                 I thought I may have got my Warblers up to date with Blackcap and Garden which I have,nt had for about 3 year now but not a passerine of any nature in sight.
                                                  After 30 minutes I was wound up like a 10 bob watch so it was head for home and attack the front garden which is nicely in the shade after tea.
                                                 29 degrees for tomorrow, great stuff !!!!!! although a stronger wind is promised and I,ve also got another dog grooming day so we,ll have to see what happens, one thing for sure, I wont be going to Ogden.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Back to Fly Flatts

 This Daffy tufted duck was still parading her 4 young
          in front of LBBs
                                      LBBs on the north shore
                                                   Teal in to land, right hand side

                                                     2 female Teal
                                   Common Scoter still present for 4th day

Conditions good, very similar to yesterday with 100% cloud cover and a W>3 with some good drizzle showers but not amounting to much.
                                                             As expected, a much quieter day than yesterday, well it had to be had,nt it, with no surprise raptors today. otherwise the birds were as yesterday with the Common Scoter still present for its 4th day now and still continuously diving. No movers today and just LBB and BHGs present on the shoreline.
                                                       The jungle drums tell me that waders are now on the move south so hopefully we,ll be getting some visitors shortly as well as its getting very near Osprey time.
                                                      Good to meet DJS twice this afternoon doing his rounds, a good effort there Dave with a lot of legwork and a few rewards on the way.
On a sad note... with Dave and Jens daughters wedding forthcoming he tells me they have had no time for their annual Bilberry picking so my pie has gone up the spout for another year. Looks like its back to Banana and custard again.