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.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Fly Flatts p.m.

                   Curlews arriving in the murk.

Slightly better visibility than this mornings visit but Fly Flatts still up in the edge of the cloud base with murky, milky skies on a light WNW>4. About the same as this morning but several Curlews arriving from the east up in the mist all heading >NW. A count of 15 but others heard up in the cloud.
                                                                    Nothing else of interest other than the mega rare sighting of a police car driving on the top road, not something you ever see up there, must have been lost!
                                                                      Well thats February out of the way as we enter into March, the month that puts a smile on birders faces.
Weather wise February has been a cruel month for Fly Flatts with Gales, Fog and Sunshine, the 3 worst birding elements for this location knocking me down to 36 visits as several days I had to drop down to the lowlands to avoid the fog and winds.
                                                                      Bird wise the best of  the bunch were :-
Teal 1m 2f
Wigeon 1f
Short Eared Owl  4
Lapwing   large flocks on the east bank
Stonechat  5
Barnacle Geese  2  unringed

Plus spring returns :-
Skylark  3
Meadow Pipit  1
Canada goose   c 300

The highlight of the month was the afternoon watch on the 16th when 1026 Pink Footed Geese came over >NW all within 30 minutes.

See you in March although birding is off in the morning as apparently I,ve volunteered for the morning school run risking life and limb amongst all the Kamikaze driving mothers. Come late afternoon I,ll be back in action.

Fly Flatts a.m.

First job was a check of Mixenden reservoir on passing only to find, as expected, yesterdays Whoopers had gone. Next check was Cold Edge Dams with no Whoopers and then on to Fly Flatts where the weather was acceptable with 100 % light grey cloud cover and a very light SW>2 increasing and turning to W>3, what happened to the north wind promised? Visibility was misty in the distance deteriorating as the watch went on with finally fog creeping over the moor cutting the watch short.
                  Very busy bird wise with the , now summer resident , Canadas, Curlews, Oystercatchers, Greylags and Mallards but still no sign of returning Meadow Pipits or Redshank.
Hopefully this mist will clear as the day goes on.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Fly Flatts. pm

                                       A busy east shoreline.

                                  Not many Rooks pass over Fly Flatts.

                                             Mallards pairing up now.

Back to Fly Flatts with the westerly still blowing and a dip in temperature. Visibility was poor to the S,SW and W due to milky white skies but clear and blue to the E and N.
                                                                           The east bank is now showing shoreline as well as the SW and SE corners with the east side attracting Lapwings, Oystercatcher and Snipe.
A few LBB gulls headed over NE whilst 2 Rooks headed>S, a rare bird for this site.
                                                                  Otherwise it was down to Canadas, Lapwings, and 3 Oystercatchers with a Buzzard hovering in the wind briefly but to the SW in the milky white haze.
                                                                  The 8 Whoopers were still on Mixenden whilst going to Fly Flatts and on the return journey.
North wind and cloud for tomorrow which sounds more like it.

Westerlies bring Whoopers.

  Taken from the top road 1 mile away at 960mm.   Mixenden res.

                                   Cormorant in foreground photo bombing.

Fly Flatts this morning was pleasant apart from the sun with a nice cool W>4 making the area much livelier though nothing other than the usual. No Barnacle geese present but 3 Oystercatchers and the single Mipit were still around.
With plenty shoreline now and ACs Ringed Plover I,m now on wader watch as well as water watch and sky watch.
                      On the way to Fly Flatts, as always I checked Mixenden and Cold Edge for Whoopers with nothing on either but I always check them on the way back also which I was about to do when a call from Dave Wetherell pipping me at the post reporting 8 Whoopers on Mixenden reservoir.
                    With the dogs on tow I couldnt go into the reservoir grounds so I drove past and viewed them from the top of Whitegate which is about a mile away but a good vantage point where I can check the res daily as I pass so managed to get some distant shots on full 960mm thanks to Big Bertha.
            Hopefully the westerlies will keep up, bringing them to this side of the ridge.
Thanks to DW for the call.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Midsummer Madness, Leeshaw.

                                   Strange duck on the water
   Looked very Grebe like, size of Teal and very vocal

 Escapee from collection, possibly Teal, Marbled or Wood duck family
                                          Much less than Mallard
                            Kept getting dive bombed with Oyks and gulls
  White wings when it flew off , very fast flier.
                                    Plenty Oystercatchers present.

Knowing that any sky movement at Fly Flatts would be abandoned due to the summer weather I dropped over the Nab to Leeshaw on what felt like a mid June day and just as quiet with the birding.
                                                                  Always plenty to see there but nothing special today and all the birds lazing in the fields or on the water. Lapwings have taken up territory and look ready for nesting as well as geese and Curlews, lets hope they don,t get caught out when the winter returns.
                                                                  The small Teal sized duck on the water was interesting having me think it was a Grebe at distance until I scoped it. It was very vocal throughout with a weird honking type noise and was constantly getting bombarded with Oyks and gulls. It spent 15 minutes on the water before flying off very low and fast showing white wing markings.
                                                                  Another day of sun tomorrow but at least the wind is to move to the west though still light, bring on the clouds.

78 Greylag
42 Canada
9 Oystercatcher
sev Lapwings
Oddball duck
1 Cormorant
+ usual sp.

Sun and south westerlies !! Fly Flatts.

             2 Barnacles present
             Not know if its the yellow ringed bird as yet.

                    2 white Greylags bred at TMR


A good morning if you,re walking on Blackpool front or in the garden but not if you,re at Fly Flatts with wall to wall blue skies, sunshine and a SW>3. Very poor visibility with the hazy sun and glare off the water.
                   As I got out of the car I thought I had 2 Whoopers on the water at the north end but turned out to be 2 white Greylags bred at TMR last year from previously bred partial whites.
A small brown duck flushed from under the banking as I walked on which was a surprise to be a female Wigeon, a rare winter duck this year along with Goldeneye. It flew low over the water to the north end not to be re located.
                                             Plenty Curlew back now and Lapwings holding territory whilst 3 Oystercatchers were around the boat yard.
Pointless sky watching in the conditions so an early finish and back to base.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Fly Flatts p.m.

                                     A good show of Lapwings

                                      Around 100 on the banking.

                                 Canada geese still pouring in.

                                         Looks like a fight brewing

                                           Here we go

                                           Getting a bit rough now

                                       Getting a crowd of spectators

                                     Ones had enough and leaves
              Victory roll with all the females round him.
                                          Something to shout about.

                                       Curlews suddenly a common sight.

1500 hrs on a summer afternoon in February which was pleasant to be in but not birding weather.
                                                                     As expected, just the usual species with quiet skies other than Curlews and Lapwings moving around. About 100 Lapwing were on the east bank and 4 Curlews were in the top fields.
                                                  Canada geese numbers must be up to near 300 now with 182 on the water and several in the fields, on the banking and on the moor. At least they gave me something to watch to break the boredom as the males squabbled with each other whilst the females watched on.
                                                 Each time a fight broke out all the geese got very noisy and closed in to watch which reminded me of being at school when a fight broke out in the playground and everyone gathered round shouting fight, fight.
                                                 With several reports of Whoopers around local waters today I expected a visit this afternoon but so far they all seem to be keeping to the west side of the ridge but I,m sure its only a matter of time before some drop in.