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.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Drizzle day at Fly Flatts, (no public access)

                                    3 of 7 new arrival Tufted duck
                  1 of the 2 juv Ringed Plovers at 31 days old.

                                    Taking shape well now

                                       The 2 together
                                                  Adult male

A terrible morning at Fly Flatts with a very low cloud base and mist coming across the moor bringing heavy drizzle throughout on a W>5. Late afternoon was much better with full cloud cover and some light drizzle showers on a W>4.
                                                         The chick situation at the moment is up in the air with no Lapwing or Oystercatcher chicks showing on the very wet and soft mud although both species of adults are present on the mud and very protective, seeing off any gulls etc, so they obviously still have their chicks but keeping low out of the weather. Plenty of time scoping the area failed to produce the young so see what happens tomorrow.
                                                        Down below the west bank the Bentley workers found 2 very young Lapwing chicks in the open and exposed to the elements even though the adults were nearby. The chicks were wet through and looked in poor shape so the workers moved them to a nearby dry and sheltered area whilst the adults watched on. Hopefully they will survive the 3 days of very wet and windy weather.
                              The pair of Ringed Plover and 2 juvs, now at 30 days old, were all showing with the juvs now much more independent and feeding along the shoreline.
                              The only new arrivals today were 4m and 3f Tufted duck which stayed throughout the day. All the drakes were going into eclipse. No Yellow Legged Herring gull today with a poor turn of  just 42 gulls, all being LBBs.

 Fly Flatts
7 Tufted duck
2 Oyks
1 pr Ringed Plover + 2 juv at 31 days old
6 Common Sandpiper
3 Dunlin
2 Redshank
45 LBB gull
+ usual sp.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Match abandoned

With fog this morning then gale force W>8 and horizontal heavy drizzle up on the tops by late afternoon Fly Flatts was unworkable so it was a local dog walking and catch up to jobs day. Hopefully by tomorrow the conditions may have stirred things up a bit with more rain forecast but a less westerly wind. Those poor young Lapwing and Oystercatcher chicks will have taken a beating up there today.
                 With Yellow Legged Herring gull season upon us I,ve put a few images together of the last couple of years sightings I had from Fly Flatts and Leeshaw reservoir :-

           Leeshaw, 2017.  4th summer. This bird has returned each year
          from 1st summer and returned in 2018 as adult.

   Different bird at Leeshaw, 2017 adult.
                Fly Flatts 2019. Adult

                                     Raggalds gull field  2018  Adult

                                       Fly Flatts, 2019.  2nd summer

                                Leeshaw, 2017  4th summer.

The Yellow Legged seen yesterday at Fly Flatts, see yesterdays blog, looked adult but difficult to see primaries and tail markings at the distance.
                                   More Michahellis to come, watch this space.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

The strange breeding system of the Oystercatcher and my favourite weather strikes again.Fly Flatts,(no public access)

   Oystercatcher and Lapwing joint sheltering chicks.
                2nd Oyk returned not liking the idea.

                   Strangely the Lapwing is a sub adult.
              Very distant shots in pounding drizzle

                Lapwing chick just come out from under the Oyks wing.
   Right on time, 1st Yellow Legged Herring gull of the year.
  Mega distance, out of range pics in horizontal drizzle.
               You can,t beat this weather for bringing in the gulls.

                                        Well grown juv Common Sandpiper.

                                          Still a bit frayed around the edges.

A cracking day up at the reservoir with ideal conditions for the birds if not the birder although it was poor for the young chicks that spent most of the day under the adults wings.
A strong SW>6 increasing to near gale SW>7 by late afternoon at 34 m.p.h. with torrential rain showers and horizontal heavy drizzle.
                                                          The scene today was likened to being out on the estuary with waders scattered all around the shoreline darting up and down probing in the mud. Gulls were active in the air and on the shore along with Curlew and Lapwing noisily squabbling with each other.
                                                          I,ve been monitoring a pair of Oystercatchers that have been holding territory since mid April way out on the island in an area out of sight. The male has been doing the bill clicking and running with head down since mid May and finally copulation took place 28th May but still couldnt be sure about breeding as right up to the last few days sometimes 1 bird showed and both birds on other days. The birds also took it in turns to fly off towards Cold Edge Dams for long periods of time though I,ve read since that they will travel over a mile to feed or bring food for their young.
                                Finally today, just as the book states, one month on, they produced 2 chicks which will now be another 30 days before fledging. I,ve been having to keep an eye on the work going on to see when the water is to be let back in but luckily that worry is over otherwise Kim would have had to put the stoppers on the refill which would have been bad news for the sailing club and probably my membership.
                              I watched a strange occurrence this morning in the blasting rain and drizzle when the Oystercatcher with its chicks, which has moved from the nest area to the mud, was joined with a sub adult Lapwing and the two birds crouched together to allow 4 Lapwing chicks and 2 Oyk chicks to get under their wings for shelter whilst 4 adult Lapwings stood nearby.
                             When the 2nd Oyk reappeared the communion shelter was quickly broken up and I saw one of the Lapwing chicks come out from under the Oystercatchers wing. All this was viewed from great distance through a very wet and shaky scope so I will have to confirm the number of Oyk chicks when things are more mobile. I had a definite 1 and probable 2 but with so many chicks about it got a bit confusing.
                                 Late afternoon and my usual scope through the gulls came up trumps with a
Yellow Legged Herring gull way over on the north shore, a bird I,ve been expecting anytime now.
 Normally I could have got on to the NE corner for closer views but with the banking cobbles wet and very slippy and several chicks sheltering on the mud ,making me not want to walk on the shore and risk them being disturbed in the heavy drizzle, I took the record shots from the boatyard and hope it returns another day.
                           Yet another surprise today was 5 Greenfinch near the lagoon which is probably a site first for here apart from autumn vig mig fly overs. A great day and another day of even stronger winds and rain tomorrow. At least the rain will have kept all the nuggets off the beaches today.

Fly Flatts
2 Oyks + 2 chicks
10 small Lapwing chicks + some near full grown
2 Ringed Plover + 2 juvs at 29 days old
7 Common Sandpiper + 4 juvs
6 Dunlin
5 Greenfinch
1 Yellow Legged Herring Gull
+ usual sp.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

OK, so I overdid the rain dance!!! Fly Flatts(no public access).

                                      Only a small number of LBBs today.

            1 of the 2 juv Ringed Plovers out on the shoreline.

                                Look at me, I can fly like a bird.
                                   Landing is a bit difficult.
                                          1 of 14 Golden Plover
               ad female Ringed Plover using the fresh topped up ponds.

                       Common Sandpiper also in the ponds.

                                          More Dunlins arrive.
                                      Common Sandpiper and Dunlin.

Decent reservoir weather at last which really brought the place to life. The SE ponds that were drying out are well topped up now and the wet and softened mud got the waders feeding.
                                                The morning started with a very low cloud base and heavy drizzle but by mid watch the low cloud had lifted and rain showers replaced the drizzle. A light S>3 was blowing with a temp of 14 degrees.
By late afternoon the torrential showers that started around midday continued throughout the watch with a moderate SW>5 at 16 degrees. A couple of the extra heavy showers had me dashing back to the cover of the car tailgate whilst they passed over.
                                     The birds were loving it , all very mobile and out on the muddy shore feeding.
At one point 9 very small Lapwing chicks and 4 Redshank chicks were out on the east shore along with the family of Ringed Plover and several Common Sandpipers, Redshank and Lapwings.
                                   Dunlin numbers have risen to 6 present and 3 fly overs >S whilst a single male Ringed Plover appeared this morning but could,nt be relocated by the second watch.
The 2 juv Ringed Plovers, now at 28 days old, are getting more independent now flying to other parts of the shoreline but still watched by at least 1 of the adults.
A good days birding thanks to the weather.

Fly Flatts
1m + 1pr Ringed Plover + 2 juvs at 28 days old.
6 Dunlin on the deck + 3 >S
8 Common Sandpiper
5 Redshank
14 Golden Plover
1 Kestrel
1 Peregrine
4 Raven
+ usual sp.