Thursday, 31 December 2015

Birding Review of 2015

Another birding year comes to a close with many old favourites seen and some new ones locally and indeed a few lifers both near & far.These include Snow Bunting,Whooper Swan,Ring Ouzel,SEO, Barn Owl,Green Sandpiper & Hen Harrier on the local front.Further afield we added Marsh Tit,Little Tern,Sandwich Tern and Black-necked Grebe.Some of these together with a number of old favourites we have put together for our top ten of the year.

Happy New Year for 2016, lets hope we have a good year for birding with some better weather conditions.

10. Dipper - This is one of my favourite birds always a joy to see it when your out birding, usually seen in fast flowing streams & rivers.The picture was taken back in January at Bolton Abbey which was also the location where I got my first view of the remarkable Dipper.
Dipper at Bolton Abbey 26/1/2015
9. Green Woodpecker - This is an elusive bird, which you are more likely to hear yaffling usually but we have been lucky enough to see them a number of times locally in 2015.This snap was taken near Hewenden Reservoir, the surrounding plants making for a good picture.
Green Woodpecker 11/7/2015
8. Redstart - This is a rare visitor to the local area these days with the most likely time to see them on passage in Spring & Autumn.This we managed to do a couple of times in Autumn with this picture taken on Harden Moor.
Redstart 17/8/2015
7. Marsh Tit - This bird we saw a couple of times this year on our visits to Leighton Moss, a bird requiring a special habitat such as the one found here.
Marsh Tit 11/9/2015
6. Little Ringed Plover - This little wader is again most likely to be seen on passage locally and we were delighted to see them a few times this year.The snap was taken at Redcar Tarn where a little pond over the road has proved to be a good birding spot although its days seem to be numbered.
Little Ringed Plover 15/6/2015
5. Cuckoo - This is another favourite & often the distinctive call is all that makes you aware of their presence.This bird was an early returning bird seen on Harden Moor back in April.
Cuckoo 16/4/2015
4. Hen Harrier - This is now a rare bird in England and indeed on the edge of extinction so it was good to see this young bird on Keighley Moor back in October.Lets hope the conservation efforts are successful and the numbers of Hen Harrier increase.
Hen Harrier 19/10/2015
3. Black-necked Grebe - This is a rare visitor to our region but Swillington Ings has been a good place to find them in recent years.This snap was taken during our first visit to this sight in early June.
Black-necked Grebe 1/6/2015
2. Snow Bunting - This bird is a Winter visitor found usually on the high ground of the area, one of its favourite spots being the renowned Soil Hill.A bird was found back in March this year so we braved the cold windy conditions up on the Hill to try & see a Snow Bunting for the first time. Eventually we found it & were delighted to get a few snaps.
Snow Bunting 14/3/2015
1. Whooper Swan - We got our first much sought after view of local Whooper Swans after seeing a report from B.S. that there were some at Mixenden Reservoir.A bit of an understatement, there were well over 200 a memorable sight a & clearly the highlight of our birding year.This is recorded further in our highlights pages.
Whooper Swans 22/3/2015

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