WEST YORKSHIRE BIRDING
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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.
Sunday, June 30, 2019
Things were thankfully back to normal at Fly Flatts today with black clouds and a cold SE>4 this morning whilst the wind had strengthened and turned to a strong W>5 gusting 6 with 100 % cloud cover.
No skulking in the sun for the birds today with plenty activity throughout.
A check on the NW corner found 3 Ringed Plovers new in with a 4th ( the long stayer) on the SE ponds. 3 Dunlin were present around the ponds and very active flying circuits around the water whilst 4 young Common Sandpipers and 2 young Lapwings were running around the same area.
Up to 30 Meadow Pipits were around the ponds area, some gathering food whilst the juv Wheatear was present but a good search of the area found no adults so a bit of a mystery bird as to where it,s come from.
The westerlies are forecast to be stronger still tomorrow with rain showers so it should be another lively day and now that we are entering July things should start to heat up in the next couple of weeks, that,s bird wise, not weather wise.
Saturday, June 29, 2019
0800 hrs at Fly Flatts in sunshine and not a breath of wind making me prepare for an early finish but the birding god was watching over me and within 15 minutes the sky was clouded over and a light SE>3 made it more pleasant.
1500hrs up there was a mix of sunshine and cloud with a decent SE>4 blowing keeping it cool so luckily both watches took place when I was expecting the afternoons at least to be abandoned.
As expected in the conditions, birding was poor , with only the Common Sandpipers moving around whilst everything else slept it out with only 1 Ringed Plover and 1 Dunlin being located. Just a handful of big gulls today with 4 Black Headeds together on the east bank where even the Canadas had their heads down along with 2 Barnacles.
A development today at the Pied Wagtail nest where there was no birds around but I later located them on the ponds with a newly fledged bird being fed on the shoreline whilst the other juv was close by. I thought it must be on a second brood but one juv was out a few days earlier than the other so now we have 1 pair with 2 juvs.
Interestingly whilst I was watching this going on one of the Grey Wagtails from up there appeared along with a juv so the Grey Wags have also bred.
Hopefully, a bit of rain tonight, which will save me watering the garden, then a forecast of lower temperatures and cloudy for tomorrow on a moderate W>5, thats enough summer for one year.
Friday, June 28, 2019
juv Cormorant on east bank.
Apart from too much blue sky and sunshine today was reasonable with a stiff E>4 this morning which was icy cold and a moderate SE>4 gusting 5 this afternoon keeping the temperature down with a reading of 20 degrees but feeling much cooler.
The star bird this morning was a juv Cormorant way over on the east bank in with the gulls, a rare visitor for this location. Swifts were again plentiful over the water whilst the Pied Wagtails continuously took food into their well hidden underground nest.
Other than Common Sandpipers waders were hard to find having another lazy day in the sun but finally managing to find 1 Ringed Plover on the east shore and 1 on the SE ponds, both males with no sign of yesterdays female, as well as 2 Dunlin on the ponds. Most of the Redshanks seem to have completed their breeding cycle now and moved on with just 2 pair remaining and guarding young.
Over 200 big gulls present with around 40 Herrings which I failed to find anything special with a scope through them but I,ve taken plenty shots of them to look through shortly.
Nearing July now when things should start to liven up again hopefully with a good supply of waders.
Thursday, June 27, 2019
chicks now present.
the water on an evening when the gulls have gone to roost.
Another foggy start this morning but the dreaded sun soon burnt it off leaving clear blue skies and full sun though thankfully there was a moderate E>4 all day keeping things cool.
As always ,when the sun shines, the birds go quiet with every wader to scope and search for as they just shut down among the rocks making them difficult to locate.
A new arrival in this morning was a female Ringed Plover joining the 2 male that are still present but no Dunlins found until the afternoon watch with 5 eventually found motionless with head in wing.
Common Sandpipers are the only wader that stay active whatever the weather with 6 darting around the SE ponds trying to keep track of 4 chicks.
On the east bank 2 Oystercatchers and 4 Redshank slept throughout along with 28 big gulls. It was good to catch up to the 4 juv Lapwings which I posted photos of on the blog a few weeks back spending their time around the ponds closely guarded by the adults. Happily they,ve made it and are now flying whilst 2 more chicks are present in the same area.
The pair of Pied Wagtail are still feeding young with the first fledged juv making an appearance today. This is now the 3rd year that this pair have bred in the same spot.
No sign of Stonechat, Whinchat or Wheatear today but good to see the cavalry out this morning with DP, AT and JM present.
Another 2 days of the hot stuff to come yet but hopefully the brisk easterly will keep blowing.
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Early doors this morning at Fly Flatts turned out to be just a dog walk with the fog that I was expecting to clear getting thicker so that it was difficult to even see the SE corner ponds. I think Fly Flatts and Queensbury must have been the only areas with fog lasting throughout the day till late afternoon when a moderate ENE>4 managed to move it though the tops of the wind turbines remained in the cloud.
Once again the east shoreline was quiet other than the usual Common Sandpipers and Redshank along with 48 big gulls, mainly LBBs.
The SE ponds held 5 Dunlin, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Oystercatcher and several Common Sands with at least 4 chicks dashing about whilst around 50 Swifts were feeding over the water throughout.
When I was satisfied that I had accounted for all the waders I set off to check my 3 main Wheatear hot spots in the area in hopes of finding a breeding pair to go with the juv thats been around the last couple of days. At the first site the juv Wheatear showed briefly but was very mobile flying across onto rocks on the moor.
Scoping the second area there were around 20 Meadow Pipits on the ground and fencing and there on a fence post was a cracking adult male Whinchat, my 3rd this year , this being in the same area as the 1st bird. It was well out of range for Bertha to get a shot and as I started to walk a bit nearer it dropped into a heather filled gully not to be re located.
The 3rd area is where I,d been watching a pair of Stonechat on and off since April and my suspicions were proved when a juv Stonechat appeared on the nearby fencing.
Driving back up the track 2 Red Legged Partridge ran up in front of the car for some distance. So after a bad start this morning it all turned out well this afternoon although still no
Common Scoter on the water.