January has been dominated with fog throughout the month and then snow and ice the last couple of weeks cutting visits to Fly Flatts down although I did manage 36 visits this month but many of them very quiet. Mid February is when it starts to kick off up there so by the time the snow and ice allow me access again I,ll be getting somewhere near.
At least having to miss Fly Flatts has giving me chance to cover some other local venues picking up quite a few species I sometimes never get from one year to the other.
I,ve recorded 74 local species this month which is about 20 above my usual average when I spend more time at Fly Flatts. Is anyone going for Gordon Denisons 100 birds in 100 days or is that a target of the past now.?
Although things have been quiet there has been some good sightings of winter birds around with Waxwings, Brambling, Siskin,Redpoll, inc Mealys, plus quite a few skeins of Pink Footed Geese.
Gulls have given a good show with record numbers of moving Herring gull along with several Great Black Backed, the latter being an uncommon gull in this area. On the down side Goldeneye and Wigeon have been very low in numbers with Mixenden being the only site to hold Goldeneye to press.
Stonechat and Golden Plover have continued to show throughout the month and I have had 4 species of Owl including Tawny which I have,nt had for the last 2 years.
January welcomed the 50th member to Calderdale grapevine group when Danny Hyland joined this week, welcome aboard Danny.
Lets hope February is better on the weather front for us when we can expect the return of Curlew and Oystercatchers to the moorland waters as well as wildfowl on the move .
Below is just a few of the special January birds:-