Friday, August 18, 2017

Fly Flats and Withens Head

Tricky scanning conditions this afternoon in the strong westerly
Nothing on the water, other than wind-surfers. I did manage to find at least 9 Wheatears on the walls alongside the top road and 3+ Kestrels about.

Withens Head. More Wheatears, with at least 6 on the walls opposite the wind farm site.
2 juvenile Curlew still in the fields
c40 juvenile Starlings as well as a Kestrel.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Roils Head Shortie

Got a surprise today when I flushed a Short-eared Owl from the heather at Roils Head, not much else doing just 3 Willow Warblers. 5 Ringed Plovers and a Redshank at Whiteholme last night.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


1m Kestrel
1f Kestrel
20 Swallows
9 Goldfinch
C50 Jackdaw

Swales Moor - Ringby Lane

It was good to meet up with JL doing the rounds late morning checking the 'wagtail' field. Quite a few Pied Wagtails including several juveniles but nothing out of the ordinary in among them.
1 Kestrel
1 Sparrowhawk being given a hard time by the corvids
1 Herring Gull >W
20+ L B B Gulls loafing around the summit.
A few Linnets and Goldfinch
1 Swift >W
30 + Swallows feeding high
1 Small Copper butterfly and 2 Small Tortoiseshells along Ringby Lane.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Quail 29th July Howarth Old Road

How about this for a record, Quail photographed on Howarth Old Road, Crimsworth Dean on 29th July by Nick Tonge. The bird flew in front of him before taking cover in the grass verge where he managed these pictures. Ive never seen one only heard a bird at Flamborough many years ago.

Cold Edge area

We intended doing a butterfly survey this afternoon but despite the lovely sunshine the wind curtailed butterfly activity. We only managed 3 Green-veined Whites and a Small Tortoiseshell.
1 male Stonechat
2 juvenile Curlew
1 juvenile Peregrine had a go at a Pipit - but missed it !
5 Wheatears at Withens Head
Moorhen with 5 juveniles well grown but still seeking food from the parent near the lower end of Cold Edge.
1 adult Common Gull and a few B H Gulls
Plenty of Swallows , Linnets and Goldfinches around with juveniles.
A great afternoon to be out for a walk - the extensive views from up there on Cold Edge Road/Withens Road are fantastic.

Update - via BS from HC -  2 Whinchats around the conifers near Cold Edge dams this evening.

Roils Head

Tree Pipit and 20+ Willow Warblers at Roils Head today, Red-legged Partridge close by at Highroad Well Moor.

Roils Head

Whinchat at Roils Head yesterday. I have been told that this site which was under treat from developers has now been saved, which is great news.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Recent news - (and a few thoughts) !

Have checked Swales Moor - Ringby Lane a few times recently without a lot of success though yesterday afternoon was a little better with a Kestrel, Up to 3 Sparrowhawks and 2 Buzzard fly - through >S. Linnets and Goldfinch's all have  juveniles with them up there so it looks as if these 2 species have fared better than some of our summer migrants.
Wheatears appearing now in plenty around the upland reservoirs.
A Whinchat reported today from Roils Head (NCD) and Willow Warblers are also appearing.
A few Spotted Flycatchers are returning but little sign of Redstarts yet though some can be expected in the next few weeks.

It's a good time to check the garden shrubberies. Watch out for the small birds flitting about as these groups could include Willow Warblers as well as Whitethroats and Blackcaps etc - especially first thing in a morning or after overnight rain or mid-day downpours !

Adult Cuckoo's are mostly well on their way back to Africa now - some are even in the process of crossing the Sahara (per BTO and RSPB information on satellite tracked birds). It is time to look out for juvenile Cuckoos on moorland or in moorland cloughs.

An Osprey was seen yesterday near to Oxenhope - ( see BS's West Yorkshire Birding blog -for  an interesting and comprehensive report.)

There are till quite a few Swifts about (over Lee Mount at least) but they won't be around for long now - signs of autumn....... It's still a good time for Swallows and House Martins in the next six weeks or so as they gather to feed in suitable locations and as many pairs continue the breeding process.

A few Common Gulls are also appearing from their breeding grounds along with Black-headed Gulls.
It's a great time of year to expect the unexpected  !

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Sunny Vale

The pair of Little Grebes are now feeding four young out on the lake.
An adult Kingfisher was with another bird which was finding it hard to perch, and dive - probably a juv
trying to adjust to it's new surroundings.
Two juv Herons flying around the lake; an earlier brood of Mallard ducklings were recently polished off by an adult Heron. They make such easy targets unfortunately !

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Swales Moor and Fly Flats

Checked the wagtail field this morning hoping for new arrivals after the overnight rain. Nothing new in other than a pair of Reed Buntings and a few more Meadow Pipits.
Biggest surprise was a male House Sparrow with the wagtails !

Headed off to Fly Flats and it was good to meet up with HC and chat for a while as we scanned the extensive landscape.
Quite a few Wheatears on the stone walls along with a few Meadow Pipits. Plenty of Swallows feeding low over the eastern side of the Reservoir.
No Swifts while I was there.
A female/juvenile Merlin went low across the water and down towards the dean.
2 Barnacle Geese still there.
1 male Reed Bunting at Withens Head was unexpected.


My daughter in law saw 3 Kingfishers from her window overlooking the river at Hollas Bridge yesterday evening.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Crested Tit reported in a brighouse garden

This is going around social media at the moment..herd singing in a garden at Rastrick....

Swales Moor

Checked the 'cow field' along Ringby Lane again this morning. There were definitely more Pied Wagtails and Meadow Pipits than yesterday so hope to keep a check just in case any Yellow Wagtails are tempted in !
I see from the BTO Bird Track site that the end of August/start of September is the peak time of the whole year for Y wag reporting, so plenty of time yet.

Not a lot else up there today other than a few Linnets and Goldfinches.

Twite recovery project

RSPB/Hudds birders are requesting some labour.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Swales Moor

Swales Moor Road and Ringby Lane this morning. This followed a tip-off from BS's contacts of what looks like the start of a build up of Wagtails in the cow fields where the Yellow Wagtails turned up last year.
There were around 15+ Pied Wag's there this morning. More 'munching' from the cows should help viewing once the vegetation gets cropped much closer.
2 Kestrels
c40 L B B Gulls in the cow field along with the usual corvids.
1 Skylark
10+ Meadow Pipits
Lots of Swallows over the field and a dribble of Swifts >SW
Green Woodpecker flyover >N
1 juv Great Spotted Woodpecker on the feeders at the bottom of Ringby Lane opposite the ski-slope.
A young Fox came to say hello !