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.
Monday, November 30, 2020
A much better birding day weather wise with a morning of moderate to strong W>5 - 6 with heavy
drizzle showers and some rain with very dark clouds.
With the stagnant weather moved on Leeshaw was back to its lively self this morning with a continuous flow of gulls all slowly heading >W with several stopping off on the water. A good check of the Herring gulls as they came through failed to find any Yellow Legged and hopes of a Med gull in with the small gulls soon fell flat but an interesting morning never the less, that is if you like gulls.
Other than gulls it was just down to Greylags and Canadas and seemingly the Wigeon and Pinkies have moved on.
Mid afternoon at Mixenden was dark and drizzly with the wind still blowing W>5 though the west bank was well sheltered but very boggy underfoot and very dark for photos.
The Mallards from yesterday had gone along with the cracking male Goldeneye and one of the females leaving 1 female and the male in eclipse.
Around 300 small gulls were out on the water as well as 3 Herrings and 2 LBBs whilst a large tit flock is building in the waterside trees along the west bank. The birds were actively feeding and darting between the Alders and the plantation with a group of around 40 birds.
Two Ring Necked Parakeets were flying over the school area with a large Starling flock.
A cool and cloudy day forecast for tomorrow with a light NW wind.
63 Herring gull
14 LBB gull
c 300 small gull
+ usual sp.
2 Ring Necked Parakeets
3 Herring gull
2 LBB gull
c 100 small gull
Tit flock comprising of :-
Long Tailed, Great, Blue and Coal Tit.
Siskin, at least 2.
Sunday, November 29, 2020
As expected today the fog hung over the tops with no wind to move it on. Leeshaw was below the cloud base so clear with a light SE>2 at 3 degrees.
The bad news was, a birder! / photographer! climbed over the wall into the reservoir grounds and set his tackle up on the banking near the water, hence the passing gulls were reluctant to come down on the water so flew straight through.
As he was there for the duration I came away with a few Black Headeds as well as Canadas and Greylags so a morning wasted.
Mid afternoon and still in thick fog I dropped down to Mixenden reservoir hoping it would be clear but as we had been down to Sainsburys where it was still murky, I knew I was on a sticky wicket.
The wind, or lack of it, was now from the west but struggling to reach the Beaufort Scale of W>2 with the fog hanging over the water cutting visibility to about 1/3 of the way across the reservoir.
I could just make out several wildfowl images on the water which looked good so I settled down at the bottom of the south bank and waited in hope of them coming my way.
Slowly they came into view in the bins but hardly visible to the naked eye so I was able to pick out 2 female and 2 male Goldeneye, one of the males being a cracking adult whilst the other was a male in eclipse with lots of white starting to show on it.
Struggling to scan through the other group of ducks a bit further out I eventually got 14 Mallard, which is unusual for this site, plus the smaller duck I had seen was a female Teal.
A walk on the east bank found very few small gulls and 3 first year Herrings on the water but again out in the fog.
Tomorrows forecast for a moderate westerly and rain should get rid of this horrible stagnant weather and get something moving again.
2m 2f Goldeneye
3 1st winter Herrings.
few small gulls.
flock of around 10 Goldfinch in the roadside pines.
Saturday, November 28, 2020
As expected, a real grim day today with fog on the tops throughout and most lower areas misty and dark.
Leeshaw this morning was birdable but very poor light with light mist at 3 degrees on a E>2 bringing heavy rain by 0945 hrs.
Not as many gulls about today but a good selection of Herring gulls of every age group so with those, plus around 400 mixed Black Headeds and Commons, I,d plenty to scope through.
Apart from a small count of Greylag and Canada geese nothing else of interest was present apart from the usual species.
With dense fog still in Queensbury late afternoon I dropped down to Mixenden reservoir where the sky was dark as night with mist and light rain throughout.
With several people on the west bank fishing , in a fashion, as well as lobbing stones in the water, I was committed to the east bank which I usually avoid as it is very exposed, unlike the west bank where you are hidden by the waterside trees.
Around 100 small gulls were on the grass banking and down the cobbles along with a single Cormorant but no big gulls at all today.
The water held a single female Goldeneye, 2 female Goosander and 2 Mallards, or this was as much as I could find in the conditions.
Another calm and foggy day tomorrow until the east breeze turns west midday and hopefully moves the fog.
26 Herring gull
5 LBB gull
c 400 small gull
+ usual sp.
c 100 small gulls
1 f Goldeneye
2 f Goosander
1 pr Mallard
+ usual sp.
Friday, November 27, 2020
A good morning to be out at Fly Flatts with dead calm conditions at 3 degrees and 90% cloud. The reservoir was like a mill pond and very difficult to check around the edges with strong reflections.
Unfortunately all the Fly Flatts birds have been put on Tier 3 + a full lock down and they are all self isolating leaving the area bird less.
A walk along the full length of the west bank to the NW corner plus a scan of the water and constant sky watching for a 2 hour period got me a single LBB gull over high and >NE.
Not a solitary bird otherwise apart from a few Red Grouse calling.
As I was tackling up at 1015 hrs 4 Reed Buntings dropped into the small tree in the boat yard which was just enough to stop me from throwing my bins in the reservoir.
Its amazing that there are thousands of gulls just over the east ridge at TMR and thousands of gulls just over the west ridge at Leeshaw whilst Fly Flatts in the centre is like no mans land.
September to March is always hit and miss at Fly Flatts so you just have to take the bad with the good, although a bit more good would be better.
Mid afternoon and the plan was to head to TMR for a bit of gull watching but after a 10 minute wait at temporary lights near the Raggalds and another two sets further on I diverted on Roper Lane and ended up on Ringby Top again.
Conditions up there were good with a very light E>2, bright skies and good visibility with a bank of fog to the far east, possibly over the North sea.
Hard work this afternoon scratting a few birds together with even low numbers of Corvids and gulls. The majority of small gulls were Commons with a few LBBs over the west ridge.
No Lapwings today but a good count of Meadow Pipits with a single Skylark amongst them but all very mobile dropping down into the long grass.
A bit of rain on a light easterly tomorrow which may liven things up a bit as long as the fog stays where it is to the east.
4 Reed Bunting.
c40 Small gulls, 75% Commons
+ usual sp.