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.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Hirundine and Swift day, Fly Flatts (permit only)


                                           Black Headed gulls through low
                                                 all young birds

                                                     Lesser Black Backed >NE

                                           A soaked Pheasant unable to fly.
                                  Seemed ok otherwise, probably just needed to dry out.
                                         2 ad 2 juv Kestrel present

Another very wet and misty morning at Fly Flatts with heavy drizzle turning to rain with a low cloud base and scud clouds moving over making visibility poor. A  light W>3 increased to W>4 by late afternoon with a morning temperature of 12 degrees.
                          The morning saw a good move of LBB and BH gulls through >NE but more likely to be moving from a roost to the fields rather than movers.
                          A walk on the west bank just produced 4 Kestrel and a juv Merlin but too wet and misty to scope the east shore.
                         The afternoon was clear with some blue sky which brought all 3 Hirundine species through as well as a good count of Swift all >S, whilst a scope of the east shore from the west bank produced a single Dunlin, 1 Oystercatcher and a Ringed Plover.
                          The water is slowly swallowing up all the shore now with very little remaining, much more heavy rain and it will be gone.

Fly Flatts
juv Merlin
2 ad, 2 juv Kestrel
1 Oyk
1 Dunlin
71 LBB gull...............>NE
46 BH gull..........>NE
c 150 Swift.........>S
c 100 Swallow....>S
14 House Martin..>S
2 Sand Martin......>S

Friday, July 30, 2021

Summer Soakings, Fly Flatts (permit only)

 I know I like rain but this is ridiculous. Heavy rain and drizzle continuous throughout the day making Fly Flatts almost unworkable with a soddened scope, wet and steamed up bins and dripping clothes plus a few sub standard photos not worth publishing. 
                                                          The morning saw heavy drizzle on a light NE>3 with low scud clouds and mist and fog patches rolling through. Late afternoon had heavy rain with the wind turned N>3 but slightly better visibility.
                                      Gulls were on the move with LBBs, Common and BH gulls all >NE but surprisingly no Terns.
                                  A juv Merlin flew over checking out the single tree and lagoon before heading off over Fill Belly Flat dismissing the fallacy that raptors don,t fly in the rain.
                                A pair of Teal were out on the water and 2 male Ringed Plover were present, one on the slipway and one on the east peninsular.
                              A nice find this morning for Mark Pearson with an adult Med gull firstly in Thornton fields then relocated at Doe Park. Had a quick look round on my way home from Fly Flatts but fog was down by then.

Fly Flatts
2 Teal
2 m Ringed Plover
1 juv Merlin
83 LBB gull.........>NE
8 Common gull....>NE
27 BH gull...........>NE
+ usual sp.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Excellent reservoir weather. Leeshaw/Fly Flatts (permit only).


LEESHAW                         1 of 7 Oystercatchers
                                      Yellow Legged Herring gull . Far shore in heavy drizzle


                                     Gulls building up on the north shore
                                                        YL Herring which refused to stand up again.

Amazing reservoir weather today with a strong W>6 driving heavy horizontal drizzle across the water leaving poor visibility at 12 degrees.
                                                         Seeing the conditions early morn I headed for Leeshaw which used to be a hot spot for several Tern species and has even been known to have Little gull through.
                                                        Although the weather was atrocious it was brilliant for reservoir watching and, as always in these conditions, it provided the goods. There is plenty shore at the north side though viewing was distant and poor in the heavy drizzle so it was mainly down to scoping and definitely not a camera day.
                                            Several waders were present with Curlew, Lapwings, Common Sandpiper, Dunlin and Oystercatcher but unfortunately, with me neglecting the site, it is impossible to say whether the waders were late leavers or early passage birds moving through.
                                          Gulls soon started building up on the far shore, mostly Black Headed but several Lesser Black Backed as well as 4 Common gull and the highlight was a single Yellow Legged Herring gull which landed on the shore showing its bright yellow legs before settling down and remaining so for the rest of the watch. Yellow Legged become a common sight at Leeshaw every July/August.
                   During a particularly heavy bout of drizzle 2 Common Terns came through fast and low >W being helped on their way by Black Headeds, a practice I,ve seen at Ogden in the past  where BH gulls dont seem to like Terns.
                    A late afternoon check of Fly Flatts had the same type of weather with the wind increased slightly to near gale W>7 at 34 m.p.h. with less visibility due to more heavy drizzle and low scud clouds causing mist over the water. 
                    Much quieter here than Leeshaw with just 2 male Ringed Plovers new in, unless one was the missing long staying male. Several juv Black Headed gulls were moving through >SE but otherwise all was quiet.

1 Cormorant
2 Common Sandpiper
1 Dunlin
7 Oystercatcher
1 Curlew
c 30 Lapwing
2 Common Tern
1 YL Herring gull
4 Common gull
c 30 LBB gull
c 150 BH gull
+ usual sp.

Fly Flatts
2 m Ringed Plover
c 20 juv BH gull.


Wednesday, July 28, 2021

You can,t beat a good thunderstorm to bring on the birds. Fly Flatts. (permit only).


                                      Juv Merlin fast and low through the lagoon
                                 The purple blobs are thistle heads in the foreground.

                                   Settled in a distant lonely tree.
                                    A second juv Merlin. Probably the juvs bred here this year.

                                            Swifts piling through >S
   Strange light this p.m. during the thunderstorm putting everything in silhouette
                            so went the whole hog and put them in black and white.

Ideal reservoir conditions today for bringing on the birds with a morning of full cloud on a SW>4 at 12 degrees and heavy showers by 0900 hrs with threatening black clouds.
By late afternoon it was sunshine and showers on a SW>3. The showers were torrential with a few flashes of lightening and cracks of thunder.
                                                Just time to walk the full length of the west bank early doors but scurried back a bit quicker as the black storm clouds moved in. The west bank with an aluminium tripod on your back is no place to be in an electric storm. Back at the boatyard just in time before the rain came so I could stand under the tailgate and watch over the water. Luckily the storm held off until the afternoon visit.
        The skies were alive with a 5 raptor species count , probably due to a big build up of post breeding Meadow Pipits and Linnets, plus a continuous flow of Swifts direct and >S in migration mode.
          The largest Swift count so far this year as well as BH and LBB gulls moving. Ideal for Terns but not to be today.
            Ravens are slowly returning to the area after a post breeding absence whilst the juv Pied Wagtail was feeding on the slipway.
            It looks like bad news on the Ringed Plover pair that have been with me since the last day in February . Their first brood of at least one chick survived 4 days whilst both the chicks from the second brood are now missing, one lasting 3 days and the other 5 days with no sightings over the last 2 days and confirmed now with the adults moved on .  The pair that raised 2 last year were much better parents always sticking with the chicks right up to fledging and getting them under cover at the first signs of a threat, whereas this years pair left the chicks out in the open, flying some distance away to feed. With all the Crows and raptors about at the moment it was inevitable what was going to happen.
       The area is now void of any waders for the moment.

Fly Flatts
2 juv Merlin
2 Buzzard
4 Kestrel
1 Sparrowhawk
1 juv Peregrine
2 Raven
1 juv Pied Wagtail
70 LBB gull..............>NE
31 BH gull...............>NE
123 Swift.................>S
+ usual sp.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Rain at last, Fly Flatts, (permit only)


                               The sailing club asked me for some pics of last years water level.

                                       Wish it was the same this year
                                         Wall to wall mud and waders
                                            A birders dream

                                          Very hard to bird with acres of mud to cover.

Back to reality                                Several young Crows still being fed.
                                                  juv Pied Wagtail
                                            Resident Barnacle goose
                                                 same juv Pied Wagtail

Conditions were good this morning with full cloud cover on a light W>3 at 15 degrees. By late afternoon there were some very black clouds but unfortunately the rain did,nt come until it was too late in the day but hopefully overnight rain may bring something down for the morning.
                                                  Once again low numbers of gulls were moving through as well as Swallows and Swifts but nothing new on the wader scene with just the pair of Ringed Plover but no sign of any chicks for a second day.
Crows are a bit of a worry at the moment with 8 present along the west bank , some being fed by the adults. Fortunately, but not for the sheep, a dead sheep by the edge of the moor is keeping them occupied and away from the shoreline.
                                         Only new arrivals were 3 Greylag on the water, a Wren by the compound and a Raven over, high and >S. This is the first Raven sighting since the family of breeders left the area a couple of month ago.
                               With the water level as it is now I can get along the east bank to the peninsular where there is a decent area of mud below the vertical fence where I had Green Sandpipers last year as well as 2 Ruff. I live in hopes.

Fly Flatts
2 Ringed Plover
1 Wren
1 Barnacle goose
3 Greylag goose
1 Raven.............>S
8 Swift............>S
19 Swallow....>S
17 BH gull.....>SE
18 LBB..........>SE
+ usual sp.

Monday, July 26, 2021

High Pressure causes a lull at Fly Flatts (permit only)


                             A low number of Lesser Black Backed gulls through
                                           as well as Black Headed

                                     male Ringed plover on the slipway.

                                       LBBs in nearby field.

Cloudy start but soon spoilt when the sun broke through leaving clear skies and rising temperatures.
A very light W>2 at 17 degrees rising to 21 degrees late afternoon.
                               With high pressure still dominating the weather there was very little going on both morning and afternoon.
                               A low count of LBBs and BHGs headed >SW but no commons through for a couple of weeks now. This time last year I was getting Yellow Legged Herring gulls regular at this site throughout August.
                            A few Swallows and Swifts headed >S over the water whilst wader wise,just the pair of Ringed Plover remain with worryingly no sign of the chick or chicks today though the adults still act as if they are present but spending a lot of time feeding at different areas of the shore?
                        A chance of a bit of rain tomorrow but still a very light W>2 . Wednesday and Thursday look promising with some moderate westerlies and heavy rain, just what the doctor ordered.
2 Wood Sandpiper and an Osprey at Ripon today, getting close.

Fly Flatts
2 Ringed Plover
4 Kestrel
1 juv Peregrine
1 Buzzard
12 Swallow...... >S
3 Swift.............>S
13 BH gull......>SW
12 Swallows...>SW
+ usual sp.