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No wildlife sightings including Roe Deer, Fox, Hare or Badger will be mentioned on this blog throughout the year due to the rising influx of poaching, long dogging and lamping by sick individuals.

Any sighting of birds of a sensitive nature throughout the breeding season will be omitted from the blog if I believe that in any way it could jeopardize the welfare or breeding of the species .
Sightings in this category will just be passed on to the Calderdale bird recorder.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

West wind is the best wind, Fly Flatts.

          2 Oystercatchers new in, west bank

                  Moving across to the east bank.

                                  An amazing number of Lapwings
                                      Lapwings lining the whole of the east bank

                                       The 3rd Oyk in the boatyard.
                                 Skies full of Lapwing from the east shore.

            All the Lapwing, Stonechat and Goldie pics
               were taken into the sun hence the silhouetting.
                                                5 Golden Plover
                                    Lapwings in to land on the Flat moor.
                 2 of 3 distant Stonechat

A cracking late afternoon watch at Fly Flatts with at last a W>4, the preferred  wind up there that always livens the place up as it did today.
                                                         Two more Oystercatchers had arrived today moving between the west and east bank whilst the third bird stuck to the boat yard area.
The water held 29 Canada geese and 18 Mallard whilst the east bank was full from one end to the other with Lapwings which were very mobile and kept flying around in 2 or 3 groups with a count of
370, give or take half a dozen, an amazing sight to see as they flew round together eventually all dropping down onto the Flat Moor to roost.
                                                                 As they landed it spooked 5 Golden Plover from the moor which flew a circuit before landing again.
Still no Curlew back in the area with just the one over the hill at Leeshaw on my last visit there making them 4 days later back to Fly Flatts so far this year.

Cold Edge Dams.

            Barnacle, not easy to find at first.

             No sign of the yellow ringed Barnacle as yet.
                                4f Tufted, Leadbeater Dam
                                             1m Tufted.
             2 Greylag in with 45 Canadas and the Barnacle.

Early morning and I could see the bank of fog over Fly Flatts as I drove up there but all around was clear so I took a chance that it would lift. Wrong,! After 30 minutes checking the seed and as much of the water as I could see the fog was getting thicker coming across the moor on a moderate SSW>5.
                                                With Fly Flatts abandoned I dropped down to Cold Edge which was just below the cloud base though dark and drizzly but birdable.
                                                A scan of the goose field soon produced the Barnacle, which was almost hidden behind a mound of soil , along with 45 Canadas and 2 Greylag but strangely no Curlew or Oystercatcher which are usually back in this field by now.
A walk up the track to the boathouse failed to produce DJSs Stonechats whilst back at Leadbeater Dam 4 female and 1 male Tufted were present as well as a few small gulls and Mallards with plenty small gulls in the fields.
Around 10 Fieldfare were in the trees by the Delvers on my way home.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Back to Fly Flatts in the wind and the rain. p.m. visit

        This mornings Oystercatcher was still present.

A 1500 hrs return to Fly Flatts proved very wet and windy with a strong SW>6 and horizontal heavy drizzle which fortunately eased off mid way through the watch.
                                                           The Oystercatcher was still present firstly in the boat compound and then on the south shore rocks so hopefully it will be joined by more shortly.
The 2 Skylark were back on the seed but strangely still no returning Meadow Pipits and no over wintering birds this year. Only 4 Canadas present up in the fields below the top road looking like most had dropped down to Cold Edge for shelter.
A better forecast for tomorrow ,still with the SW wind but decreasing in strength. It must be Curlew day tomorrow with Whoopers imminent in the next few days.

Fly Flatts in the wind. a.m.

           First returning Oystercatcher to Fly Flatts

                                             Seemed happy on the floating jetty

    Plenty Canadas but no Barnacle goose.

Very dark clouds and strong SW>6 at 28 m.p.h. but fine with decent visibility despite the low cloud.
                                                 A single Oystercatcher was on the floating jetty, the first back this year at this location, but still no signs of Curlew. Canada geese were mobile between here and Cold Edge but the Barnacle failed to show again. All quiet in the skies this morning with the strong wind.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Fly Flatts p.m.

              Short Eared Owl appeared just as I was leaving.

                                        1 of 2 distant Stonechat.

Arrived at Fly Flatts at 1445 hrs just in time for another good soaking as a bank of heavy drizzle and mist ploughed across the moor on a light wind that had gone back to SW>4.
Luckily it soon passed over leaving it decent for the rest of the watch.
                                                Very much the same as this morning with Canadas, Mallard and Raven plus a Peregrine fast over the moor and 2 Skylark on the seed.
                                                  1600 hrs and time to tackle up at the end of another quiet watch but after I,d put the camera in the car and dropped the legs of the tripod a Short Eared Owl appeared quartering the edge of the moor. Panic stations, with no time to set up the tripod I grabbed the camera and did the best I could hand held with the owl keeping moving from one area to another. As it moved to the north end I drove up the track to find 2 Stonechat on the edge of the moor so grabbing the camera again I tried a few shots but they were too distant and mobile.
                                               A poor watch until the last 15 minutes which made up for it all and a really pleasant day to be up there despite one good soaking.

Fly Flatts a.m.

               Canadas getting settled now on the water
                                                 and in the fields

Perfect weather conditions at Fly Flatts for this mornings watch with 100% light grey cloud cover and a light W>4 which soon swung back round to SW>3 at 5 degrees.
                                                            Despite the good conditions the skies were quiet with a single Buzzard over the western ridge and 2 Ravens high beyond the Nab. Otherwise it was down to Canada geese to supply the entertainment with numbers built to 35 but no signs of the Barnacle which will probably be at Cold Edge . Only two Mallard on the water and 8 Lapwing on the east bank with still no sign of Curlew around this area making them a day later back than last year so far.