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.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

The end of a very poor month.


 OGDEN                         Small group of mixed gulls
                                       Good shoreline looks promising.

                                           LBB still with pink legs
                                                Ad LBB in moult showing gaps through primaries
                                                   Ad Herring
                                          1st, 2nd and adult birds

                                       Common gull (left) just starting to get winter streaking.

An horrendous morning at Fly Flatts with a blasting SW>7 near gale gusting SW>8 gale force at 41 m.p.h. with horizontal heavy drizzle mixed with torrential rain showers. Mist hung over the west moor but brighter looking east
   A short dry period mid afternoon then back to heavy rain although the wind had dropped considerably. 
                    A good soaking walking around Fly Flatts this morning and nothing in the way of birds other than a few grounded Mipits. A morning I would have missed going up there in the conditions but needed to check the boatyard after a message that some low life on quads had used an angle grinder to cut open the two YW gates. Luckily the club area was still secure but there were reports of theft lower down the valley.
                       Still very wet mid afternoon so a check on the gulls down 10 yards Lane but only a small number of Black Headeds present so on to Ogden still with gulls in mind.
Amazing to find only 2 cars in the car park which was a pleasant change and as a second bonus it had stopped raining ,though this only lasted for 15 minutes.
                        A nice little group of mixed gull species and ages on the south east bank with Herring, Lesser Black Backed, Common and Black Headed made up of adults and sub adults.  Nothing else on the water other than the usual Mallards but plenty shoreline and  weeded areas on the banking which is a favourite food for Chaffinch and Brambling in the winter months if the water stays low enough.
                  Good to bump into warden Chris up there who I told to look out for Whooper Swans on the water now that they have arrived on the east coast with MCs brother Phil photographing them at Flamborough.
                   Hopefully October will be an improvement on September both weather wise and bird wise.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Leeshaw a.m./Oxenhope reservoir p.m.(members only)


LEESHAW                        Good count of Cormorant
                                      Very few big gulls, mainly LBBs
                                                 Lively over the water.

                                           Small gulls on the shore
                                                    Common gull
OXENHOPE RESERVOIR      This single duck looked good for female Scaup
                          Extensive white on face, rounded head, no tuft
                                           Grey flanks
                                              Very distant photos
                                           A poor show of Common gulls so far.
                                                        Rough waters

Despite a forecast of a dry bright day it was wet and cloudy and very windy for both the morning and afternoon sessions. The morning started with a cold W>4 at 7 degrees with very dark clouds and light showers.
By mid afternoon the wind had turned NW>6 with some sun but more showers.
                             As always, Leeshaw was very lively though nothing out of the ordinary and no signs in the sky of any visible migration.
Plenty gulls to sift through, mainly Black Headeds and Common but a poor count of Herring which is unusual for this site at this time of year. This is the first September that Leeshaw has,nt produced Yellow Legged Herring gull.
                           A small group of Swallows were feeding over the water whilst a record count of 7 Cormorants were present. 
                           Mid afternoon at Oxenhope res was disappointing in the conditions with very rough water keeping the gulls away and making watching very difficult with a combination of high waves and sun reflection. 
A single female duck stood out in the middle of the water looking good for Scaup through the scope with extensive white on its face and a very round head with no signs of tuft . Its flanks were greyish with a darker back looking altogether different from a female Tufted that was with a male at the other side of the water.
                       Gulls were landing to freshen up but immediately moving off east towards Eccup. Strangely no Herring gulls were seen.

7 Cormorant
c 50 Lapwing
1 Moorhen
18 Greylag
12 Canada
1 Heron
6 Swallows
24 LBB gull....1st summer
2 LBB............adult
c 300 BH gull
5 Herring...........1st summer
c 40 Common gull
+ usual sp

32 LBB gull
c 100 BH gull
12 Common gull
1 pr Tufted
1 f Scaup
2 Teal
1 Peregrine
+ usual sp

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

A wet old day, Fly Flatts(permit only) / Oxenhope reservoir(members only)


                                          Oxenhope, Wheatear in the rain
                                      Oxenhope, 1 of  12 Mistle Thrush.

A dry 30 minutes early morn then rain for the rest of the day. A cold S>4 at 7 degrees with full cloud.
                                A very poor morning at Fly Flatts with just a few Meadow Pipits and Linnets over >S whilst 5 Stonechat were around the lagoon area but keeping sheltered down in the long grass. A very wet and boring morning.
                               Mid afternoon at Oxenhope res was dark and windy with heavy rain throughout. making me glad of the old hide up there.
                                As expected, the Pintail had moved on leaving just female Goosanders on the water as well as a low count of gulls. Most of the arriving gulls spent 10 minutes on the water before moving off in the direction of the Eccup roost. A couple of Wheatear were feeding along the east banking before dropping down to a more sheltered area, whilst 12 Mistle Thrush were on the wires .
A report from Carolyn saying she had the same sort of day at Ogden with just 3 Cormorant, a single Jay plus the usual gulls and Mallards. 
                          A dry, brighter day tomorrow with a moderate westerly then back to the rain for the rest of the week.

Fly Flatts
18 Mipits.............>S
7 Linnet..............>S
5 Stonechat
2 Carrion Crow

Oxenhope Reservoir
11 f  Goosander
2 Wheatear
12 Mistle Thrush
79 LBB gull
13 Herring gull
92 BH gull
3 Common gull
+ usual sp.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Out with the gulls, Thornton.


                                                        90% Black Headed

                                                Ad Herring
                                                                   1st summer Herring

A morning of torrential rain and low cloud put the mockers on this mornings session and then a change of plan for the mid afternoon watch where I was going back to Oxenhope reservoir to see if the female Pintail was still present. A text from MP reporting an adult Mediterranean gull, (not many can spell that) in a ploughed field near Thornton made me change plans and head for the gull fields.
                                A good hours scoping failed to re locate the Med gull among a field full of Black Headeds ,along with a low count of  Commons, Herrings and LBB but interesting to get back amongst the gulls, although you tend to forget how hard it is checking out every gull through the scope.
                              Thanks for the call Mark , good to bump into you and Pam.
I expected some Pinks over this afternoon but nothing doing.

Thornton gull fields
c 200 BH gull
1 ad LBB
1 ad Herring
3  1st summer Herring
7 Common gull
11 Stock Dove
+ usual sp.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Fly Flatts a.m. (permit only) and a mega for Oxenhope reservoir,(members only)


FLY FLATTS                             Silhouetted Red Grouse, early morn.

                                                  1 of 6 Stonechat

OXENHOPE RESERVOIR                 Big gulls at last. LBB
                                                      LBB                                 Herring       
                                           Majority being Lesser Black Backed.

                                                      Another mega for my area, female Pintail.
                     Way out on the water taken with only a Canon 300 mm.

At last, a clear morning at Fly Flatts with a S>3 and 50% cloud at 12 degrees.
                               Meadow Pipits were piling over at 2 levels, some low near head height and others very high and hard to pick out. As this was the only species moving over my air space I failed to do a count otherwise I would have spent my time concentrating on this single species and seen nothing else.
                              After the Swifts have gone ,as well as the bulk of the Swallows and early Mipits, 
visible migration fails to show at this site other than Pinkies and small counts of winter thrushes so from now I will be just doing casual observations and only put reports on Trektellen when/if anything special shows up. Most migrants fail to come through the Fly Flatts cut between the east and the west ridge other than ground hopping passerines around the shoreline.
                           Having said that there was plenty to check this morning with 6 Stonechat plus Reed Bunting, Wrens and a single Chiffchaff which was very late or an over wintering semi migrant.
                          Raptor wise 3 Buzzard were up together along with Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Merlin.
                          I asked on last nights blog, 'where have all the big gulls gone', so thanks to KM for putting me in the picture saying there are several big gulls around the Cullingworth area where he has had 2 Yellow Legged recently plus 1, possibly 2, Caspian at Redcar Tarn.
                          With the ongoing fuel problem I will have to try keep birding to a minimum,mileage wise, until it settles down as with 2 birding sessions a day plus our daily midday outing shopping etc I tend to clock up a lot of mileage, around 250 miles per week so I headed for Oxenhope reservoir where the Cullingworth gulls would head for to roost.
                           It turned out to be a wise move as, not only did I get the big gulls but other species as well along with a very distant, long necked duck, which I found to be a female Pintail, an excellent duck for my area. 
Not too many gulls on the water at my final count but I left at 1500 hrs with gulls starting to pour in from the fields as I was leaving.

Fly Flatts
several Mipits..............>SSW
1 Sparrowhawk
2 Kestrel
3 Buzzard
1 Merlin
1 Chiffchaff
5 Reed Bunting
6 Stonechat
4 Wren
+ usual sp

Oxenhope reservoir
9 Golden Plover
1 Buzzard
72 Lapwing
84 LBB gull
46 Herring gull
c 200 BH gull
18 Common gull
5 f Goosander
1 f Pintail
2 Greylag
+ usual sp.