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, March 31, 2019

Back on Osprey watch, Fly Flatts p.m.

  Getting closer to Ring Ouzel with a rare visit from a
  Mistle Thrush in the Ring Ouzel area.

                                   1pr Stonechat on the edge of the moor.

            Female Pied Wagtail, bath night.

                                   Males turn.

1500 hrs at Fly Flatts with the cold E>4 still blowing but pleasant enough and good visibility.
                                                            On arrival 11 Herring gulls and 4 LBBs were high above the water before drifting off >NW, all carefully checked for Osprey sneaking through.
                                                             Down below the west bank the pair of Stonechat were still present but very flighty and keeping their distance along with a female Wheatear which had a great skill of disappearing every time I put my eye to the viewfinder and reappearing when I picked up the bins.
An unusual find up there was a single Mistle Thrush in the Ring Ouzel area feeding below the banking. Thats a Fieldfare and a Mistle Thrush in the last couple of weeks so surely a Ring Ouzel must be next.
                     Sky watching was poor with just the usual Goldies, Lapwings and Curlews around as well as 2 Kestrel.
Cold SE > 4-5 for tomorrow so see what that comes up with.
 42 Visits to Fly Flatts this month.

Easterlies at Fly Flatts a.m.

A bright morning with good visibility on a bitter cold E>5 which got the gulls moving early doors before the clouds burnt off with 28 Herring gulls >SW along with 18 LBBs and 2 Commons but all very distant and high following the western ridge.
                                                          Plenty activity in the sky but hard work with everything very high and distant. A single Hirundine was too far to the north of me and heading >N , going by the jizz I,d have said Swallow as Sand Martins usually move fast and direct but even Big Bertha failed to get me some identifiable images so I,ll have to let that one go.
                                                           3 Buzzard were up and 5 Raven headed >NW , again following the ridge. 4 Redshank seem settled in the Skylark field though the pond they use in the field opposite has just been filled in. At least the weather today is allowing the sailing club to get the start of their season underway.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Blue sky blues, Fly Flatts p.m.

A late afternoon visit to Fly Flatts was as expected very quiet with bright sunshine, blue skies and an icy cold WNW>4.
                             This mornings Tufted ducks had moved on leaving just Canadas and 2 Greylag on the water whilst the only sky movement was 8 LBB gulls >NW and 12 Linnet >N high and noisy over the water. A single Buzzard was up over the western ridge and that was about the size of it.
                                                        No Sandwich Tern today, as this day last year, but easterlies are promised for tomorrow so that may shake things up a bit if we get some cloud back.
The Osprey reported at 1700 hrs north from Ringstone would possibly have come over Fly Flatts if it continued due >N but I was at home gardening at that time so I got the camera ready just in case it drifted over Queensbury but no joy.
                                                     One hours less sleep tonight, dont forget to put your clocks forward.

Fly Flatts a.m.

           2 Barnacles on water, the 3rd is paired up with a Canada
                                         in the top fields.
                                   Rare visitors, 3 Tufted duck

                 A fast flying Snipe flushed but not as fast
                            as Big Bertha.

A decent morning at Fly Flatts once the fog had cleared leaving it bright and sunny with mist to the west on a light W>3.
                                Plenty activity in the skies until the clouds burn off leaving clear blue sky which killed the job mid morning.
Down by the feeding station a pair of Wheatear along with the pair of Stonechat were present but very mobile on the edge of the moor but the Whinchat seems to have moved on.
                                 A nice surprise to get 3 Tufted on the water showing some signs of movement after a very poor winter on the wildfowl scene with no Goldeneye or Wigeon being seen as well as Whooper Swans failing to show.
                                A few Linnets were the first this year whilst on of the Barnacles seems permanently pair up with a Canada goose spending most of their time in the top fields.

1pr Wheatear
1pr Stonechat
7 Linnet
2 Snipe
3 Barnacle
2 Redshank
2 Greylag
2m 1f Tufted
+ usual sp.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Fly Flatts heatwave, p.m.

               Alive with Meadow Pipits and still some movers.

A low expectancy visit to Fly Flatts late afternoon given the conditions with wall to wall sunshine, blue skies and a low W>3. With no chance of movers today other than a few Mipits >W  I dropped down the banking to give some time in searching for the early Whinchat which failed to materialize .
                                                    The pair of Stonechat were present but distant in the bracken and heather keeping very mobile along with several Meadow Pipits.
Back on the south shore birds were reluctant to fly far with just the usual species present.
                                                     Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Fly Flatts Sandwich Tern so I,ll be checking the buoys although last year there was a good easterly blowing.

Foggy Fly Flatts a.m.

          Male Wheatear, peering through the mist

     Golden Plovers flushed by Sparrowhawk.
                                   The 3 Barnacles

                                         Distant Raven

             Raven mobbed with Crow and Mallards.

A foggy start at Fly Flatts with fog banks piling over the moor from the west not clearing fully until 0930 hrs leaving blue skies and sunshine on a light W>3
                                                          No sign of yesterdays Whinchat or Stonechats although visibility was poor and YW had bet me to the west bank so possibly disturbed. A single male Wheatear was in the same area along with several Mipits.
                                                        The last 30 minutes sky watching produced a Sparrowhawk harassing the Golden Plovers whilst a Raven flew >N mobbed by a strange combination of 1 Crow and 3 Mallard. Plenty Curlews and Mipits around as well as Lapwings, Canadas and 3 Barnacles.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Fly Flatts double do.

  Early Whinchat , very distant hand held shot in the wind.
   Usual spot but just over 3 weeks earlier.
                                            1 pr Stonechat in same area

                                                1 of 2 Redshank
                                                Goldies spooked by 2 Kestrels
                                             2 of 3 Barnacle geese

                                                     Very high Merlin >W
                                       Lapwings holding territory
                                  Barnacle with its Canada mate

Clear blue skies showing only 10% cloud cover, wall to wall sunshine and a SW>4 cold wind is a perfect recipe for a poor birding day at Fly Flatts.
This morning was slightly better with still some cloud cover and a few Mipits still moving on a broad front with several ground hopping but this afternoons watch was dismal with just the usual species.
                                                       A walk along the west bank this morning found a very bright breasted bird standing out in the heather which then flew to a fence post briefly before heading back for shelter from the wind. The bird was an early Whinchat in the same spot as I mainly get them but this one was just over 3 weeks earlier than my recent records. I just got chance of a couple of record shots at distance, hand held, and into the strong wind whilst a pair of Stonechats were in the same area. I hung around part way down the banking but it never re appeared and then Bentleys men turned up doing survey work so I moved on. Bentleys were still there as I arrived late afternoon working in the area so no Whinchat or Stonechat.
                                                      Also this morning were 2 Grey Partridge, 2 Redshank,
3 Barnacles, 4 Kestrel, 8 Golden Plover, a distant Buzzard and a very high Merlin heading >W.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Fly Flatts, am/pm

                                         Female Pied Wagtail

Not the best of days at Fly Flatts spoilt by the icy cold WNW> 5 throughout an early morning and late afternoon watch. Visibility was good with 90% cloud cover but birds seemed reluctant to move in the cold windy sky other than Meadow Pipits this morning which were again piling through all >WNW into the wind. At one point it was like an autumn vis mig watch with Mipits showing on every scan, all high and direct.
                                               A few of the Pied Wagtails from Mondays move had stayed behind with 3 female and 2 male around the boat yard area but nothing in the way of Wheatears after the first wave have moved on. Otherwise it was down to a single Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk, 15 Golden Plover, 2 Snipe, 2 Redshank and the usual species.
                                            I must be getting close to a mega soon, maybe tomorrow?
Good to have a word with DJS who was on watch along the top road.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Raptor day at Fly Flatts.

A late afternoon visit to Fly Flatts found the wind increased peaking at NW>6 before dropping to NW>4. Much cloudier than this morning with once again, raptors running the show.
                                                      A count of 3 Buzzard, 4 Kestrel, 1female Merlin and 1 ad Peregrine but all distant views. The Meadow Pipit move from this morning was still going on with a steady flow of very high birds all heading >S.
                                                        With the winds being right for raptors I was expecting an Osprey through but not as yet though HC had one today over Barden.
Otherwise it was the usual species and no Wheatear present. Plenty smoke and smell of burning moorland coming from over the western ridge in the direction of Gorple which seems a add choice of days to burn off when the wind was so strong.

Fly Flatts a.m.

                                           Buzzards enjoying the wind
   In the moult with Primaries and tail feathers missing.

Fly Flatts a.m. with an icy cold NW>4 increasing NW>5 , 80% cloud cover and good visibility despite a few low scud clouds.
                                               All the action was in the air this morning with Meadow Pipits piling through from the SE heading >W and something to watch throughout with birds ever scan.
Just 1 Pied Wagtail left on the deck with no Wheatears or Stonechat. A Snipe was chipping from the reed bed.

4 Buzzard
1 Peregrine
3 Kestrel
3 LBB gulls
12 Golden Plover
1 Snipe
8 Curlew
2 Redshank
18 Lapwing
Around 150 Mipits >W and several blogging
+ usual sp.