Saturday, June 23, 2018

Hebden Bridge centre

A female goosander with 3 young was on the river behind the Shoulder of Mutton in the centre of Hebden today. There's also a mink often seen down there, so there might well have been more earlier in the week.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Swales Moor

Ringby Lane
Pretty quiet for birds up there this afternoon in the hot sunshine - better for butterflies !
2 Skylarks on the top
2 Stock Doves
A pair of Whitethroat - and at this site they always seem to have a Dunnock in attendance for some unknown reason !
A few Linnets
Lesser Black-backed Gulls loafing around and then heading off >NW
Just a few Swifts, Swallows and House Martins about in the area and some nice views from on the top.

Sand Martins

I came across a very accesible small colony yesterday - is it okay to publish details?

EDIT: It's immediately upstream of Elland Bridge by the side of the towpath. There were six adults present two of which were seen entering nest holes in a derelict mill.
There were two adults present there in April.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Mixenden Reservoir.....

I thought a check might be worthwhile with still the possibility of Common Scoters passing through, but not today.
The summering female Goldeneye is still there along with 19 Canada Geese and 20+ Mallard including various sized ducklings.
c20 House Martins
2 Pied Wagtails
1 B H Gull
1 L B B Gull
1 Sparrowhawk
A few Willow Warblers still singing and calling in the pine woodland but not a lot else in there.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Ryburn - Wood Duck

Found in the Ryburn Valley earlier today from AT and PG.
North American species commonly kept in wildfowl collections - perhaps escapes from a local site ?

Fly Flatts

We just got home from Cragg Vale to get a text from BS - 4  drake Common Scoters on Fly Flatts reservoir. Another coastal bird, though we normally expect a few of this species passing through in mid-summer. Probably non breeding birds, or males after breeding at more northerly sites.
Thanks Bri.

Also from the top road with the scope several Dunlin were found on the shoreline, a Redshank, 2 Common Sandpipers, Curlew and Lapwing with a good show of Swifts feeding high and low over the water.
12 Herring Gulls went >W and 4+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls went loafing >NW over the moor
2+ Kestrels
1 Barnacle Goose found with the big flock of Canada Geese

Withens Clough Reservoir

It's always a nice walk up there even if you don't see a lot...though we always live in anticipation and we were not disappointed this morning.

Early signs of movement when 3 Black-headed Gulls dropped in for a short while and moved off >W. Then as we walked around the far side we noticed another small gull on the water. The water was choppy and the bird distant but we suspected a Kittiwake. It sat about on the water for a long time and it didn't give a lot away. Eventually it stretched it's wings and yes it was what we expected.

The only confusion was the possibility of it being and adult Common Gull in full summer plumage, even they are rare here in mid-summer.. Shortly after, it took off, as if to head high and >W but it went back down on the water and was still there at 12:45. Maybe a tired bird possibly blown inland after the recent strong winds. It's certainly not one to expect in June when it would normally be at coastal breeding sites.
Record shot only below was the best I could do..(click to enlarge!)
Adult Kittiwake

Also nearby, up the hill from the car park we checked a reliable spot for singing Grasshopper Warbler. Jen heard it for quite a while but try as I might my hearing would not lock on to it !!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Around Stainland and the Blackburn Valley.

Meadowpipit, swallows, skylark and linnet on Stainland Moor.

3 individual grey wagtail along the Black Brook.

50-100 Housemartin just down from Sonoco.

GSW, Nuthatch and grey heron in vicinity of Bowers Mill pond.

No longer Housemartin nests in Bower Mill buildings windows, must've been removed. Don't know when.

2x common whitethroat and 1 chiffchaff in fields along Branch Road.

GSW Fall Spring Wood.

Plenty of Willow Warblers.

Cold Edge area

First Stonechat for some time - a juvenile on Castle Carr Road this afternoon. Also still a good few Curlew about with large chicks and Skylarks still singing on the moor up there.

Cold Edge dams
Another Stonechat - a male - by the small lower plantation and Willow Warblers well in evidence there.
2 Common Sandpipers
3 male Tufted Duck on the top dam
c20 Linnets with juveniles in the hay meadows that have just been cut

Interesting read

Friday, June 15, 2018

River Calder, Todmorden

A juvenile Grey Wagtail and an adult were in the Calder by the Wellington Road culvert yesterday lunchtime.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Fly Flatts and Mixenden

Fly Flatts
Blowing a westerly gale this morning with light drizzle. I was thinking maybe Common Scoter time as they often turn up on local reservoirs during the summer.

It was tricky finding any waders in the conditions as it was difficult standing up never mind holding the bins or scope still. A couple of distant Redshank, some Curlew and Lapwing but the smaller waders were out of site.

c300 Canada Geese with plenty of growing chicks still in the long grass.

6 Herring Gulls. 2 Black-headed Gulls and around 25 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were all struggling >W

40+ Swifts though were scything through the air cutting through it like nothing to it !
One wader that was well stuck and not doing very well at all this morning !
Withens Head
A little more shelter there, though even the waders were close behind the walls with 1 Oystercatcher, 4 Curlew and a Lapwing along with a small group of fledged Starlings
Mixenden Reservoir
Maybe 40+ House Martins feeding over the sheltered part of the reservoir but no other hirundines with them.
2 Canada Geese
Female Goldeneye still there

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Great crested grebes with chicks, Ringstone

Lovely to see the Great crested grebes have successfully hatched two young , both feeding and doing well

Edit - called today and they have 3 chicks, must have missed one the other day

A couple of  heavy cropped photos courtesy of Mrs Lynn D

Also, from out and about the last few evenings from various undisclosed sites, a Barn Owl that took me completely by surprise, it was that close I couldn't get its wings in shot and in my excitement I forgot  I could shorten the focal length :)

And what has to be one of my favourite birds, a Long-eared owlet, lovely to see and hear calling for food.

For anyone interested in the technical side, this was another shot taken at the extremes, 1/320th, f6.3   ISO 22,800 handheld. I've done some noise reduction in pp'ing and it's 'cleaned up' not too bad.

Thanks for the comments on the Spotted flycatcher, just noticed I never replied back, was a cracking bird to see.

Gropper =+ gs woodpecker

A grasshopper warbler was reeling between Mankinholes and Stoodley Pike yesterday.

And at Jumble Hole, my neighbours have a dark brown/almost black great spotted woodpecker visiting their feeders. I've seen it, and it's definitely a gsw, but I've never seen one with that colouration. I'll try get a photo. Very odd.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Mixenden reservoir

Late morning
The summering female Goldeneye is still there

Also 20+ Black-headed Gulls, including some of this years juveniles,which were later joined by 15 Lesser Black-backed Gulls enjoying the feast of insects over towards the west banking. They were also joined with a few Swifts, Swallows and House Martins
Willow Warbler fledglings and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were in the woodland