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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.
Friday, May 31, 2019
A better day up at Fly Flatts with 100% cloud cover on a SW>3 a.m. then 70 % cloud cover and some sunshine p.m. on a moderate W>4.
A good scope of all the bankings and shoreline found that, as suspected, the majority of Dunlins have moved on leaving 15 along with the usual Common Sandpipers and Redshanks, whilst the single Ringed Plover was still present.
Whilst watching from the boatyard slipway along the south bank all was quiet until all the waders there became unsettled with the 2 Lapwings guarding chicks taking to the air, the Redshanks flew across to the west bank and the Dunlins flew a circuit before landing back on the south shore.
A look through the scope first found another Ringed Plover had come in, and then, better still, 3 Sanderlings had just dropped in and were on the mud just back from the waters edge.
A few distant photos then a dash to the south shore to get a better position for some more shots but still very distant as I knew they were going to move with the Lapwings bombarding them. A look in the camera to see that I,d got something half presentable but when I looked back they were gone.
Back in the boatyard I scoped the east shore and luckily the none breeding white plumaged bird stood out giving away their position.
Late afternoon and the 3 were still in more or less the same area but distant viewing across from the west back. A few shots then back round to the boatyard to check out the Herring gulls as its Yellow Legged time almost but nothing doing. One should be along within the next few weeks along with Common Scoter.
14 Greylag geese and a pair of Tufted duck had appeared since the morning watch but the Greylags soon left towards Cold Edge.
Good to see the lads out on a twitch with luckily several that dipped on the first 2 Sanderlings bagged up today, well deserved for making the effort.
BS, AC, DJS, DF, NCD et al.
P.S. Nick and Dave F later reported 4 Ringed Plover with the Sanderlings.
Thursday, May 30, 2019
Peering through the fog at Dunlins.
With 2 bad afternoons at Fly Flatts the weather was reversed today with a bad morning and a decent afternoon. Driving up there early morning it was drizzly and dull but when I got as far as the Withins
I hit thick fog which remained throughout.It was just possible to see the near shoreline but nothing beyond so a good dog walk then back to the car where the fog did,nt look like moving and the rain was now lashing down, hence an early finish with the only highlight being a Short Eared Owl sat on a fence post by the top gate on arrival which drifted off over towards the wind farm.
A full day of drizzle and low cloud luckily moved on by the late afternoon watch leaving it clear with 90% cloud cover and a very warm W>4.
Strangely the wader scene was very quiet with everything at the south end and pools, which are now well topped up with the rain, and a scope from on at the NW corner failed to find a single wader on the east and north shoreline.
Back at the south end only 14 Dunlin were present along with 4 Common Sandpipers, 2 Redshank and a single Ringed Plover. Possibly everything was down resting in the NE pools and gullies rather than moved on which is unlikely. Though the Dunlin will probably move I would,nt expect the Common Sands and Redshank to go anywhere till the end of the season.
Big gulls were back after a 2 day absence with 149 birds, 75% LBB and 25% Herring whilst a Short Eared Owl was around the Nab area. Back at the top gate 2 noise Ravens came over heading towards the Nab. A nice quiet drive home again for the second day with the top road being shut down beyond the reservoir to Oxenhope for repairs, that road is like the M62 at tea times usually.
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Conditions today were the same as yesterday apart from I got the soaking head on instead of down my right side with the wind now from the south as opposed to yesterdays west.
The morning was decent with good cloud cover and visibility but by late afternoon the sky looked reasonable until I got to my usual spot then once again the clouds broke bringing heavy horizontal drizzle over the Flat Moor, someone up there has it in for me.
This mornings birding was excellent with a record count of 48 Dunlin, most of these being on the south shore. I tried for another 2 to make the big 50 but not to be as yet. All the Dunlins present look to be of the race ' alpina' with bright rufous upper parts long legged and long billed, all showing black bellys being adults in full summer plumage with none that jump out and hit you as being , smaller, paler or shorter billed, 'arctica and schinzii'.
I,m sure we,ll never get an invasion of Dunlin like this again, I certainly don,t remember anything like it in the past.
A single Ringed Plover was present but very mobile and being of a different nature to that of the Dunlins. All the Ringed Plovers that have passed through have shown aggression towards the Common Sandpipers and are immediately moved on by the Lapwings guarding chicks though the Lapwings ignore the Dunlin present as if they are no threat but the Plovers are?
A Great Crested Grebe spent the day on the water whilst a Short Eared Owl quartered below the Nab early morning with 2 Raven over the Nab.
Around 50 Swifts were over Mixenden Reservoir as I passed this morning with several over Fly Flatts >N.
Tuesday, May 28, 2019
A decent morning with 100% cloud cover, good visibility on a very light NE>2. All was quiet this morning with waders busy feeding and no new arrivals so it gave me a good opportunity to have a count up and a review on what was here at the present.
This afternoon was a different story with 50 % cloud cover, with some black clouds on a W>4. The watch turned out to be a re run of yesterday but without the fall of waders. I just got to the furthest point possible when the heavens opened yet again making me head back towards the car which was 20 minutes walk away so another good soaking was inevitable.
Back behind the shelter of the tailgate the rain continued with low scud clouds cutting down visibility so it was up stumps and head for home. Ironically , by the time I,d had a bit of tea the sun shone letting me spend the rest of the evening in the garden.
The heavy showers yesterday took some of the birds away as well as dropping some with the 7 Ringed Plovers gone and a few of the Dunlins but a check on numbers this morning, as best as I could, produced :-
32 Dunlin, 24 on the south shore and 8 on the east shore.
22 Common Sandpiper, spread around all 4 shores.
9 Redshank, very mobile moving around all the time.
2 Oystercatchers, NE shore.
2 Snipe, near top gate.
1 Grey Wagtail
3pr Greylag with 16 young between them, just 2 lost so far .
c 50 Canadas with around 30 young. Over 300 adults + young this time last year.
5 Lapwing around the waters edge with 2 chicks each .
Gull numbers dwindling daily now with just 12 LBBs today.
4 Male Reed Buntings
Several Meadow Pipits carrying food.
6 Curlew , all with young
2 Red Legged Partridge.