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.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Fly Flatts. pm. Last of the month.

This mornings disappointing watch developed into an afternoons even more disappointing watch with near gale force W>7 blowing at 32.8 m.p.h. bringing heavy horizontal showers across the moor.
                                                   A walk half way on the west bank was enough before I abandoned the idea with the wind getting fiercer so continued the watch from the east bank boat compound which held some shelter around the club house building.
                                                      The whole of the hours watch produced, 1 Mallard, 1 Buzzard,
3 Kestrel and a LBB gull, oh well, there,s always tomorrow.
                                                        During September I visited Fly Flatts 32 times with waders present for 10 days out of the 32, the star wader being a juv male Ruff with a supporting cast of Ringed Plovers, Dunlins, Greenshank, Golden Plovers, Lapwings, Snipe but disappointingly only the one Little Ringed Plover. I had hoped for a better variety with the amount of shoreline but with most reservoirs being low it was just a matter of luck where they landed.
                                                    Other than waders the best birds were Pintail, Gt Crested Grebe,
Whinchat and Greenland Wheatear but, despite these specials, September has been a poor month on what should have been the best month of the year.
                                                    With Whooper Swans reported >W across the NE today, via HC/DCB and the first early Black Redstart at Ringstone TW, via Hx grapevine hopefully October will get going with a bang.

Fly Flatts a.m.

  Highlight of the morning, 15 Snipe >W
  Very distant to the north of the Nab.
A disappointing morning both on local sightings and vis mig with a very cold moderate W>4 bringing mist low across the moor along with outbreaks of drizzle.
                                                       Very little moving in the skies and empty water and shoreline , the highlight of the morning being a flock of distant Snipe >W , a continuation of yesterdays mega Snipe move reported by HC/DCB, see Trektellen for their report.
Vis Mig
8 Chaffinch..............................>W
4 Coal Tit................................>W
38 Mipits................................>S
15 Snipe.................................>W

3 Mallard
2 Carrion Crow
1 Raven
2 Buzzard
3 Kestrel

Saturday, September 29, 2018

The wader watch goes on. Fly Flatts.

                                  juv and ad Ringed Plover  NE corner
 Working beyond the cameras limitations.


                                             Estuary conditions

Back to the wild westerly at Fly Flatts late afternoon with full sun and only 20 % cloud cover on a  strong W>6 at 25.5 m.p.h. making working the west bank very difficult having to keep going down the banking out of the worst of the wind to keep the scope steady.
                                                               Two bright dots against the dark background turned out to be 2 Ringed Plover, 1 juv and 1 adult, busy feeding on the mud in the NE corner out of camera range but I managed a few record shots of the new visitors.
                                                             Otherwise very little going on with the usual Kestrels  and an usual sighting of a Rook over the water being mobbed by 3 Carrion Crow. Rooks are a rare bird up there never seeming to venture higher than the Nolstar field.
Still a few Mipits and Goldfinch along the side of the track but no sign of the Stonechat flock which have probably moved out of the wind and 2 LBB gulls landed on the east banking.
                                                          The kite event taking place in the Skylark field had ideal conditions attracting an amazing number of people with hundreds of cars up there and kites of every shape and size, I wish we could attract as many birders up there. I was looking for a Red Kite but never found one. Well done to the farmer for setting up the venue on his land.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Passerine day at Fly Flatts

                                             A few gulls on the water
                                            1 of 8 Stonechat

                                                  juv Whinchat

Nice to be able to walk the west bank without risk of being blown into the water with 20 % cloud cover , wall to wall sunshine at 14 deg on a light NNW>3 though not good skies for movement other than 4 Jays very high and >W, which were obvious movers.
                                                    No waders around the shores whilst the water held 4 LBB and 4 BH gulls along with the family of 4 Mallard. 4 Kestrels were up together though being disturbed by a nugget with a drone on the top road that seemed to enjoy flying it towards them and 2 Sparrowhawks made several low fly pasts , an unusual bird for up there but the reason being, as I got back to the south end the track towards the top gate was alive with around 50 Goldfinch and the same amount of Meadow Pipits feeding on thistle tops , this being what had attracted the Sprawks.
                                               The 3 Stonechats by the lagoon from yesterday had now built to 8 plus 1, possible 2, juv Whinchats very active in and out of the reed beds. One of the Stonechat actually landed on the back of one of the workmens trucks briefly but moved quicker than my old 7d mk 1 could focus.
                  A good check around the Ring Ouzel area failed to provide after HC/DCB had 3 over their watch point this morning. Thanks for keeping me informed lads.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Wild West, Fly Flatts

                                    1 of 2 Buzzards

              The return of 3 Stonechat

1500 hrs and poor conditions at Fly Flatts with blue sky and sunshine and only 20 % cloud cover on yet again another blasting near gale force W> 7 at 34.4 mph.
 A walk to the NW corner of the west bank produced 2 Carrion crow and 3 Kestrels with empty water, shoreline and water. Not another bird was seen until 15 minutes from the end of the watch as I got back to the car. When I was ready to leave dark clouds rolled across the moor from the west and within minutes 100% cloud cover was achieved with light drizzle and a drop in wind. This in turn immediately livened thing up and I got more birds in that last 15 minutes than the whole of the watch.
                                                   Two Buzzard were up 1 to the west and 1 to the east with one being mobbed with a Sparrowhawk and the other a Kestrel.
Lesser Black Backed gulls started to move over >SW with around 40 counted whilst 3 Stonechat appeared near the lagoon, at distance and very flighty.
                                                   Several reports this morning of Pink Footed geese on the move both east and west whilst a mega sighting this morning by HC and DCB at their Oxenhope watch point of a Red Throated Diver passing the Fly Flatts area, see link to Trektellen for their full report . More sunshine tomorrow but less wind so we,ll see what I can conjure up then. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Fly Flatts, well there,s always tomorrow!!

             A very distant air battle over the Nab.

Late afternoon at Fly Flatts in poor conditions with a good 100 % grey cloud cover but a very low cloud base blanking off the tops of the turbines and making visibility poor with a damp drizzle. The wind was near gale WNW>7 dropping to W>5 near the end of the watch and the sky clearing.
                                                              A walk along the west bank, or rather being blown, produced very little other than a  few LBB gulls over NW and one blogging Skylark below the banking.
                                                                A thorough scope of all the shorelines failed to find any waders with just 6 Carrion Crow on the east banking and nothing on the water.
The highlight of the watch was a mass battle going on over the Nab with 2 Buzzard, 2 Raven, 3 Crows and 3 Kestrels which all dropped to the other side of the Nab not to be seen again.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Waders trickling through. Fly Flatts.

              2 distant Raven over the moor

 Another Ringed Plover or yesterdays bird
                      At distance on the south shore

I was hoping for cloudy skies tonight at Fly Flatts but instead got blue skies and sunshine on a WSW>5 with only 30% cloud cover so very little movement going on.
                                                        The south shore held another Ringed Plover unless it was yesterdays bird, either way I nearly missed it as it was way out on the tip of the water.
All the work up there today had moved , along with the drilling rigs, down to the feeding area so I managed to get back on the west bank with the sun and the wind behind me.
                                                     3 Dunlin were way across on the opposite bank but only viewable through the scope as they busily darted about feeding by the back pond. Otherwise it was down to 4 Mallard and 1 LBB gull on the east shore whilst 2 cronking Raven passed at distance over the moor.
                                                        No geese for me as yet as reports start to trickle in of small skeins which will be the build up to the flood gates opening seeing them pile through hopefully along with an Osprey or two.
                           So a few more waders, otherwise quiet,  but a pleasant, peaceful 2 hours watch, especially after taking Lynda to Bradford for a quick shopping trip. We rarely get to Bradford but the driving rules down there have changed since the last time we went. Apparently now you can drive on the pavement and go through traffic lights at green, amber or red. It reminded me of being on the dodgems at Wibsey fair.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Fly Flatts, more waders and a mystery bird.

A flying visit to Fly Flatts late p.m. whilst waiting for Ollie to have his make over. A mixture of weather with some heavy drizzle showers coming across the moor carried on a W>4 - 5 along with bright sunshine. Once again confined to the east shore due to work ongoing along the west bank but with the low bright sun in my face and on the water plus all bird activity occurring in the NW corner it really put the mockers on the job. With some of the machinery removed from the west bank I,ll see if I can get on there tomorrow.
                                                A very quiet start to the watch with the usual 4 Mallard on the water , 6 Kestrels in the air and several blogging Mipits and a scope of the shoreline producing nothing other than 2 juv Pied Wagtails.
                                      During one of the squally showers 3 waders came in low from the west dropping into the NW corner among the 7 Canada geese and a scope found them to be 2 Dunlin and a single Plover, Little or Ringed , but as far away from me as possible . Some very iffy photos later proved it to be a Ringed which soon moved , with the Dunlins, into the inlet channel and out of sight.
                                    Shortly after the next burst of drizzle I was scanning the west bank through bins when a wader type bird came into view for a matter of seconds as it came from the west low over the banking dropping down as if to fly low over the water but I immediately lost it with the bright sun reflecting on the water.
                                                  The bird was in silhouette so all I got on it was size around Green Sandpiper but less than Redshank with a longish bill, also Sandpiper size, with sharpish wings and an unusual very fast short wing beat ziz zagging all the time similar to a small Tern.
                                                     A thorough scan of all the shore lines, as best I could from my position, found nothing so it either landed out of sight or flew low over the water and away. The 3rd option being it landed on the water which I never checked with high waves and sun reflection, this thought being put into my head by JB saying the flight pattern fits Phalarope. I ll be scanning the area tomorrow but I have the feeling this one will have to go down as a  : cud av bin :

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Fly Flatts p.m.

                                       3 Wheatear present
                                         The water gets rough at this time of year

1515 hrs on a bright afternoon with only 25 % cloud cover with blue skies and sunshine on a cool NNW>4.
              Not as active as this morning but plenty to watch though nothing out of the ordinary.
                                                                   A check around the feeding station area produced 3 Wheatear but no Ring Ouzel as yet whilst around 50 Mipits were blogging along the banking side.
                                                             The highlight was 4 distant Buzzards up together then  quartering the moor before gaining height and heading off >SW. One of the birds was a very light phase with several white patches on its mantle and tail.
                                                                 The 2 Dunlin had moved across to the east bank below the vertical fence where 2 Teal were also present on the waters edge. Sky wise 3 Swallows headed >S and Black Headed gulls moved >NW throughout the watch.
                                                              Not oft you see the Coastguard helicopter over Fly Flatts although looking down from above it does look like a coastal estuary.

Fly Flatts early a.m.

                                 1 of 2 Dunlin, south shore

  Common Gull, unusual bird for here

                                       LBBs on the north shore
                                              2nd Dunlin, SW corner

A good 2 hour session at Fly Flatts with a good moving sky at 100% cloud cover clearing to blue skies near and of watch. An icy cold NNW >4 was blowing dropping to NNW>3.
                                                       A lively morning with a good amount of vis mig quietening as the skies cleared. Meadow Pipits and Swallows were moving through low over the water whilst Herring and Lesser Black Backed gulls moved >SW. A single Common gull was a rare visitor for Fly Flatts.
                                                         Good to have a word by phone to HC and DCB who were manning their Oxenhope watch point.

Vis Mig   
c 220 Mipits.........................>SW several blogging
17 Swallow.........................>SW
2 House Martin..................>S
38 Jackdaw.........................>W
13 Jackdaw........................>E
7 Herring gull...................>SW
21 LBB gull.....................>W
1 Common gull................>NW
2 Dunlin
2 Raven
1 Buzzard
3 Red Grouse
1 cock Pheasant.