Saturday, 31 December 2016

Birding Review 2016

We had a good year birding passing the 100 species mark locally again with another thirty on our Reserve visits further afield.We only added a few new species to our lifers list these being Fulmar, Merlin, Juv Mediterranean Gull and a female Black Grouse.
The New Year starts tomorrow so we'll be re-setting our lists and hopefully there will be plenty to see,photograph and report on.
In the meantime lets take a look back at the birds that have just for fun made our top ten of 2016.

Happy New Year to all our readers and birders out there searching for something special in 2017.

10.Redstart - Always good to see these passing through on migration, Harden Moor has been turning them up for us, here is a female pictured in August.
female Redstart, Harden Moor 27/8/16
9.Whitethroat - Again on Harden Moor where they spend the summer, this one is pictured with a couple of Juveniles proving breeding success in this location.
Whitethroat with a couple of youngsters 19/6/16
8.Buzzard - The Buzzard is a bird you often see soaring in the distance but on this occasion it flew low over me  near Hewenden Reservoir giving me chance of a good picture.
Buzzard 19/4/16
7.Black Grouse - We see plenty of Red Grouse locally but on this occasion a fellow birder put me on to a female Black Grouse a first for me and great to get a record picture.
female Black Grouse, Slippery Ford 17/10/16
6.Ring Ouzel - another bird that is generally seen on migration as it passes through but a bit of luck is needed to spot them.This bird is in the same field as the Black grouse above at Slippery Ford.
Ring Ouzel 28/4/16
5.Cuckoo - the cuckoo is one of my favourite birds but it is only a brief visitor to our shores in late spring and early summer.We have been lucky enough to hear it on Harden Moor and occasionally get a brief glimpse and the rare picture too.
Cuckoo 12/5/16
4.Spotted Flycatcher - Another bird seen as it passes through our area and for the first time we spotted one on Harden Moor and got a decent picture.
Spotted Flycatcher 14/8/16
3.Juvenile Mediterranean Gull - The Med Gull is one that has proved to be elusive for us but when a Juvenile was ID up at Redcar Tarn we went to see if we could pick it out in amongst the other Gulls.
This we did and got a picture of it for the blog.
Juv Med Gull 3/9/16
2.Fulmar - On our many visits to Bempton Cliffs we have always missed out on spotting the Fulmar, well this year we broke our duck and got some decent flight shots.
Fulmar 5/5/16
1.Marsh Harrier - We have seen the Marsh Harrier a number of times during our visits to Leighton Moss but during this visit we got some really good close views.The bird came so close at one point that I could even get a decent flight shot making this the stand out event for me during 2016.
Marsh Harrier 3/5/16

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Yeadon Tarn

Wednesday 28th December a.m.
 A cold frosty start to the day but by mid morning when I arrived at Yeadon Tarn the temperature was up to 1°C and the sun was out.As I went down to the Tarn walking was tricky with the footpaths frosted over and icy in places where water had been on the path.There was a glare on the water from the sun making it difficult to see the birds but a good count of thirteen Mute Swans could be seen with just one yellow Tag 131 noted.The Mallards now back in breeding plumage looked good when the sun caught them, Tufteds mostly kept their distance as did two Great Crested Grebes staying in the centre of the Tarn.There were c100 BH Gulls with just four Commons seen as I did a circuit of the Tarn seeing Coots and Moorhens as I went.
 As I went past the model boat area a flash of  blue caught my eye and I watched a Kingfisher fly to the other end of the Tarn in to a corner.Then high in the trees three Greenfinch could be seen,also Blue Tit and Goldfinch then further along three LT Tits.As I approached the corner where I saw the Kingfisher fly to a skein of Geese went over but I could not be sure of ID maybe Pinkies.Further round I looked back and saw the Kingfisher perched I got a record picture but could not get close enough for a good view.On my way back to the car I added Blackbird,Robin and a Song Thrush showed well rounding off the visit well.
male Mallard

Mute Swan

Tufted Duck

BH Gull on the ice

Common Gull

GT Crested Grebe


LT Tit


Song Thrush

Skein of Geese

Yeadon Tarn 28/12/2016

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Redcar Tarn

Tuesday 27th December a.m.
When I arrived at Redcar Tarn the area was full of the usual Gulls,Mallards,Coots,Tufteds and Canadas which was great to see.In with the large number of BH Gulls were Commons,Herrings and LBBs and with c200 Lapwings flying around before landing in a field there was plenty to see.Jackdaws and Rooks were also present one of the Rooks posing well for a picture bringing a good morning to an end.

BH Gull gaining its spring hood already

Common Gull

Herring Gull

LBB Gull

Tufted Duck


Canadas and Gulls

more Canadas and Gulls

Redcar Tarn 27/12/2016

Leeshaw Reservoir

Tuesday 27th December a.m.
 I decided to go to Leeshaw Reservoir this morning before going on to Redcar Tarn, I've not been for a while but you never know what you might find.It was cloudy with a temperature of 5°C and as I pulled up I saw another car and it was good to see it was BS with his birding team of two dogs.We talked for a while but there was not much birds to discuss other than Cormorants,Greylags,Canadas and Mipits.
 I did n't stay long but as I headed towards Haworth on Marsh Lane I noticed a couple of birds in the trees and so I stopped nearby getting the camera and bins out of the car and headed back towards them.Through the bins I confirmed four Waxwings as I got nearer in camera range off they went but at least I had a late annual tick.Looking at a couple of the trees they were laden with berries so maybe they will be back although I spotted a couple of Mistle Thrush that might beat them to the berries.The field opposite where I had stopped held another surprise in the form of a mixed flock of c100 Redwing and Fieldfare. After this distraction I carried on through Haworth and Keighley and up to Redcar Tarn.Report to follow...
Mistle Thrush





View of Haworth on approach from Marsh Lane

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Lister Park

Sunday 18th December a.m.
 A trip over to Lister Park near Bradford this morning for Danny and I in mild conditions with a temperature of 8°C but cloudy skies overhead.We started off as usual at the Lake where there were large numbers of BH Gulls with a few Commons mixed in.There were nine Goosanders with the Canadas,Tufteds etc and an odd looking Greylag. As we were walking round Danny spotted a large fish in the water,we don't know the species but have a picture below. We walked up to the stream seeing a Grey Wagtail a Jay and five Goldcrests.
 I've noticed we reached the 100,000 views earlier this week so a big Thank You from Danny and I to all who read our blog and hopefully you will enjoy it and continue to visit in the future.Nigel.

Common Gull

Grey Wagtail

Oddball Greylag

Large Fish ID?

Goosanders and Gulls

Lister Park 18/12/2016