Sunday, 22 April 2018

Yeadon Tarn

Sunday 22nd April a.m.
The morning started well as when taking the dog for her walk I spotted the first returning House Martin flying over the houses in Cullingworth.
A bright sunny start with a temperature of 16°C on my arrival, when I got out of the car I was greeted with the sound of a Chiffchaff which I soon spotted.The Tarn held 25 Mute Swans, a male Shoveler and only four Tufteds. As I walked round I soon heard a couple of Willow Warblers again they were spotted and a couple of pictures taken. A Song Thrush was lurking among the bushes and walking round I spotted a good selection of other common species.
 On my way home I decided to stop off at Harden Moor and despite the black clouds looming have a look for one of my favourite returning migrant birds.It wasn't long before I heard it's distinctive call
Cuckoo, I tracked the sound and got the bird in a distant tree, the branches preventing a picture.By now it had started spitting so satisfied with seeing the Cuckoo I quickly headed to the car and off home before the rain started.
male Shoveler

Tufted Duck and Shoveler


Willow Warbler

Song Thrush

Yeadon Tarn 22/4/2018

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Cullingworth and Hewenden Reservoir

Saturday 21st April a.m.
 A brighter start with the sun out as I headed off towards Hewenden Reservoir with a temperature of 7°C.Plenty common species about this morning, some returning migrants with Chiffchaff,Swallow and Willow Warbler around the reservoir.A GSW was seen briefly in the wood as was a Goldcrest, a domesticated Peacock was a colourful sighting as was a male Pheasant.Others worth a mention are Kestrel,LT Tit,Grey Wagtail,Pied Wagtail,Linnet and a very obliging Wren.
Willow Warbler



LT Tit



Hewenden Reservoir 21/4/2018

Friday, 20 April 2018

Dowley Gap

Friday 20th April a.m.
 Another cloudy morning with fog on the surrounding hills I headed to the lower ground of Dowley Gap where the temperature was a cool 11°C.I headed along the canal towards the seeing a Jay on the way water treatment works where I saw a strangely marked Oystercatcher. Overhead there was a mixture of House Martins,Sand Martins and Swallows altogether totalling c50 birds.As I went through Hirst Wood I saw a pair of Coal Tits and at the edge of the River was a Grey Wagtail, a couple of Grey Herons flew past above the trees and the blue flash of a Kingfisher went past me upstream.


Coal Tit

Grey Wagtail

Dowley Gap 20/4/2018

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Swillington Ings

Thursday 19th April a.m.
A sunny start with a temperature of 13°C as I arrived early morning by the time I left the temperature was up at 22°C.It was good to hear both Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler on my way to Astley Lake where there were large numbers of BH Gulls as there were on the rest of the reserve.Here also were Gadwall, Tufteds, Mute Swans, Cormorants and at least three returning Common Terns.
 As I continued round the reserve there were no signs of Sedge or Reed Warblers but I saw and heard at least a twelve Reed Buntings.The main causeway through the main Lake was covered by water, which I saw someone negotiate carefully with their wellies on.Here I saw a pair of Shelduck along with the other birds already mentioned, on the ridge and furrow area there were Lapwings,Greylags and a couple of Mipits. Further along I saw a couple of Pochards which were close enough for some decent pictures, a commotion nearby drew my attention.Black-headed Gulls were mobbing a bird, my first thought was were is the rapter, but no this large bird flew low and disappeared in to the reeds.I could only think Bittern! as I set my camera to speed shots and took some hasty pictures which later turned out okay confirming my first bittern sighting.
 I headed back stopping off at Astley Lake where I joined someone taking pictures of a confiding Common Tern on a nearby post,only flying off when a couple of dogs went into the water.I chatted with this birder who asked if I'd seen the Garganey, I said no and he showed me where it was.This brought me my second lifer of the morning and my thanks go to the fellow birder, then a hot walk back to the car and home.
Common Tern


Bittern going into the Reed bed not to be seen again.





singing Reed Bunting

Bittern chased by one of several BH Gulls, Swillington Ings 19/4/2018

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Morning Tour

Wednesday 18th April a.m.
 A cloudy morning with a temperature of 14°C slowly warming up through the morning with some sunshine starting to appear late morning.
Harden Moor
I started off well seeing two Little Owls in one of their usual spots, then where I saw one last year a male Wheatear. There were eight Sand Martins and I had a count of five Willow Warblers.

Willow Warbler
Redcar Tarn
An unusual site of a Buzzard flying over here,Skylarks were up singing, a Redshank made an appearance as did Oystercatcher,Curlew and Lapwing.

St Ives
My final stop of the morning where at the Coppice Pond there were three Mute Swans(Red 673Y), a Little Grebe and Coots with the first chicks I've seen this year.A Chiffchaff was in full voice and I spotted a Willow Warbler which was also singing.Others included GSW,Robin,Bullfinch,Tufted Duck and Moorhen.
Little Grebe

Mute Swans

Willow Warbler

Coot with chicks


St Ives, Coppice Pond 18/4/2018