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.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Chats are back. Fly Flatts

                                                Mallards crowding an island
                      Family of 5 Stonechat present

Poor conditions for movers today with a light SE>3 and wall to wall sunshine showing only 20% cloud cover.
                  No waders present despite an intensive search of all the shorelines and pools with just the usual wildfowl including 9 Teal. Several gulls were present with 5 LBBs, 1 juv Herring and 15 BHGs.
          The west bank was alive with Mipits whilst a family party of Stonechats were down by the feeding station along with at least 2 Whinchat present but all at distance on the west moor and in the sun and heat shimmer.
                                     August Summary.... I made 35 visits to Fly Flatts during August with waders present 23 days of the month, these being :-

Grey Plover
Golden Plover
Ringed Plover
Little Ringed Plover
Green Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

All thanks to YW for draining the reservoir. Hopefully there will be more to come in September.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Back to the hot stuff, Fly Flatts.

                                         Only 2 LBB gulls present

                                                            4 Teal
                      Mallards returning
                                  6 Dunlins present

                                     3 on the south shore

               2 of 3 very distant on the east shore ponds.

Back to the hot weather again and although it was only 17 deg it felt much warmer in the full sun and light NNE>3. Again I had to work around the Bentley repair men sticking to the east then south shores with the sun against me.
                                                 The east shore held 2 LBB and 1 BHG gull as well as 12 Mallard and 3 well grown young with post breeding birds returning daily. Only 5 Teal today plus the usual 14 Tufted which have started coming and going now, possibly to Cold Edge.
                                                   3 Dunlin were just visible in the east shore ponds whilst another 3 stood out on the south shoreline. When the workmen left I managed to relocate the south shore 3 and get a few distant shots. Work should stop over the weekend so I should be able to return to my normal system for a couple of days.
                                          2 Kestrel soared very high whilst several Mipits were around the shoreline.
Hopefully the high pressure wont stop the migrants over the weekend and may come our way with the easterlies promised.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

A trickle of waders , Fly Flatts

                This had the look of Whimbrel with dark crown and
                   shorter bill but poss young Curlew.

                                    3 Curlew or 2 + 1 Whimbrel. Distance too far
                                    and into the sun.

A bright late afternoon at Fly Flatts with 30 % cloud cover, sunshine and a NW>5.
                                                   Work was being carried out on the west bank so after a fruitless check of the south shore I headed out on the east bank to scan the east and north shoreline and mud which again produced nothing other than a few BHGs and 2 LBBs.
The water held the usual waterfowl including 8 Teal .
                                                 Back at the car and ready for home after 30 minutes sky watch producing a few more gulls when 3 birds drifted high from the NE and dropped onto the north banking. Back out with the scope they looked like Curlew scanning the full length of the reservoir but their bills were camouflaged against the back ground so I thought I,d better check them out for Godwits.
               Nearly out of time it was a dash back through the boatyard to try get some shots but the birds had moved further away to the north west corner and were right in the sun however a few shots revealed their curved bills knocking off the chance of Godwits.
                                                         Two, I believe were Curlew but the third had a Whimbrel look about it being slimmer and longer necked with shorter bill and darker crown but at the distance and dazzling sun I couldnt be sure, possibly young Curlew. Whilst scanning these I picked up 2 Dunlin further back in one or the ponds.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Patch invasion. Fly Flatts

                Bentleys move in mob handed
              Had to evacuate my west bank watch point for now
           and move across to the east side.
           A good vantage point along the east and north coast line
                and plenty areas to scope.
         I,ll buy this off Bentleys when they,ve done with it.
                                        I need a hide.

A case of better the weather, worse the birds today with 60 % cloud cover and a light S>3 and a temp of 18 deg with very little in the way of bird entertainment .
                                                            A shock on arrival with Bentleys taken over the south shore with porta cabins, fencing equipment etc. A word with the foreman says the fencing is for the west bank where repair work is taking place but no work to be done on the east bank . I told him not to scare off the waders and he said thats ok , we,ll be gone in 7 weeks !!!!, so will the waders.
                                                         At least the waders will still be undisturbed on the east bank though viewing is a bit more distant from the new watch point north of the compound with plenty hidden areas but I,m sure it will work out ok.  The biggest snag I found today was being on the east side at tea time I was looking into the sun so any fly overs were silhouetted, I,ll just have to hope the sun doesnt shine for 7 weeks.
                                             Not a wader in sight today with just 9 Mallard on the east shoreline plus the usual wildfowl on the water with a count of 12 Teal.
5 Herring gulls went >SW then returned to head off >NW and otherwise the sky was quiet.

Monday, August 27, 2018

And how she blew. Fly Flatts.

                       4 Dunlin way across on the east bank ponds.
      Very nearly missed in the near gale force wind
               Only found them with checking the Mallard

1445 hrs and back at Fly Flatts in similar conditions to this morning with heavy drizzle showers and the wind increased to near gale W>7 at 33 m.p.h. measured from the west banking.
                                                          This mornings fall of Mipits had moved on leaving 2 Wheatear on the south shore but no waders.
A blustery walk on the west bank to my watch point produced 2 Curlew over >NE but very high and soon disappearing into the cloud . A scan along the east bank through bins, it was way too windy to use the scope, found no waders on the shore line but 5 ducks were in a pond at the back of the banking but way too distant to identify. As Id already found the 5 Teal and 14 Tufted up the north end I thought Id better check them out as at the moment there is only 1 female Mallard with 3 well grown young present.
                        I scrambled down the west banking to get partly out of the wind then left it up to Big Bertha 2 to get a couple of shots so I could zoom them in to identify them.
The ducks were 5 new in female Mallard but surprisingly a Dunlin was in front of them. A careful scan with the bins and more pics produced 4 Dunlin which I very nearly missed.
                                            So a decent Bank Holiday with wild conditions but not enough to keep me away apart from 1 session missed through fog . A drop in wind tomorrow and supposedly dry so should get chance for a serious scan around the shore line to see if anything else is hiding , who knows, could even get that long awaited Tern. Oddly I,ve only had 1 Tern species up here this year and that was the hardest to find being a Sandwich Tern. I also had a Common Tern at Elland gravel pits, both being in March this year.

Wild Westerly, Fly Flatts.

                                  Merlin harassing Mipits on the shoreline

0730 hrs at Fly Flatts where luckily the wind had increased to W>5 which had cleared the fog so just a few squally showers to contend with.
                                                           Again, no sign of waders but a good overnight fall of Meadow Pipits on the south shore with around 100 present along with 3 Wheatear, all being harassed with a Merlin which , after several attempt , went away hungry.
My first thoughts on this bird were juv Hobby but was thrown by the white collar.
                                                           A real Tern moving day but only a few Black Headed gulls through >NW as well as a couple of Lesser Black Backed.

Sunday, August 26, 2018


                                   No Terns or Waders at Ogden

             Small number of BHG, LBB and Commons
                                            LBBs still with pink legs
                                                7 Cormorant present.

        LH Common going into winter plumage, head streaking.

Thick fog late afternoon so a check on Ogden hoping for a Tern or two to drop in but not to be.
The heavy drizzle piled down throughout making up for me keeping dry this morning so just got to get everything dry ready to get it wet again in the morning which is looking grim with thick fog still present up here in the gods.
                                          A poor turnout with 7 Cormorant being the highlight whilst a few Lesser Black Backed, Commons and Black Headed were on the east bank.
A circuit of the water failed to turn up any passerines.

Beating the rain, Fly Flatts

                                    Little water left at the north end
            The sailing clubs floating jetty left high and dry.

With the forecast of heavy rain throughout the day from mid morning I headed for Fly Flatts early to beat the weather front.
0700 hrs and perfect conditions but not for the birds apparently with 100% cloud cover on a S>4 and just light specks of rain.
A full scan of the east banking from my watch point near the north end of the west banking found all yesterdays waders to have gone leaving 6 Teal plus the usual wildfowl.
                                                     4 Kestrels were hunting the moor and banking whilst 3 Wheatear were down by the feeding area along with 4 young Pheasants.
Back at the south shore the story was the same with all waders gone and just a few Black Headed gulls present. Swallows were moving >S in good numbers all head down in migration mode whilst around 40 House Martins were over Mixenden reservoir as I drove passed.
                                                     Morning sessions always seem poor for waders so we,ll see what tea time brings.