Saturday, 30 December 2017

Birding Review of 2017

As 2017 draws to a close its a time to reflect on another birding year which has had some highlights with three new birds added to the lifers list, these being Dotterel and Whimbrel both in the local area and Hawfinch at Sizergh Castle.
Overall I've not been able to get out as much as I would have liked and as a result my list for the BOG area has just fallen shy of the 100 mark, with a further dozen added from Nature Reserve visits outside the area.
 Some of the old favourites were seen and I've put together my top 10 for 2017, with no specific criteria, could be a rare bird with a record picture or a more common bird with a good picture, hope you like it.
 Happy 2018 to all and if you're able to get out enjoy your birding during the coming year.

10. Whitethroat  - June is a quiet birding month with many of the migrant visitors busy rearing chicks, I saw this one on Harden Moor carrying food back to the nest.
Whitethroat, Harden Moor 4/5/2017

9. House Martin - This is a common summer visitor in Cullingworth with several nesting sites on the sides of houses, usually built from mud just under the roof overhang or even the corner of a window.
They feed quiet high with a distinctive flutter of their wings and then a glide showing their white rump as they do.As a result its not easy to get decent pictures of them, so in May near Hewenden reservoir I was delighted to stumble on a few of them collecting mud and get those elusive pictures showing their blue feathers.
House Martin, Hewenden Reservoir 26/5/2017

8. Shoveler - I've had a good year seeing these at Redcar Tarn,Hewenden Reservoir and a really close view of one at Yeadon Tarn.
Shoveler, Yeadon Tarn 26/3/2017

7. Common Tern - This is not an easy bird to see but Yeaden Tarn keeps coming up trumps for me in the spring but let me down this year until it redeemed itself in July when I saw a pair with a Juvenile.
I had a great time watching them fish for half an hour and occasionally resting on a post for a picture.
Common Tern, Yeadon Tarn 16/7/2017

6. Garden Warbler - This is an elusive migrant that you may hear singing but do not always see, I've caught up with them on Harden Moor.
Garden Warbler, Harden Moor 4/5/2017

5. Little Egret - I was fortunate to see a Little Egret at Leeshaw Reservoir a first for me in the BOG area, the trend is for these to move North so they may become less rare in the coming years.
Little Egret, Leeshaw Reservoir 8/7/2017

4. Hawfinch - In April I made a special trip to Sizergh Castle in search of a lifer in the shape of a Hawfinch, after a cold morning watching from the viewing platform a couple finally appeared and I got some record pictures of them.
Hawfinch, Sizergh Castle 8/4/2017

3. Spoonbill - On a trip to Leighton Moss in May I was delighted to see several Spoonbills and to get the bonus of reasonable pictures as well.
Spoonbills, Leighton Moss  5/5/2017

2. Whimbrel - On a rainy Saturday morning back in May I went to Leeshaw Reservoir hoping to turn something up.After a look round the main interest was up to three curlew in a field.As I approached the closest one to me looked different with a shorter bill and darker eye stripe plus head markings.I began to think Whimbrel not a species I've seen before so despite the rain the camera came out for some pictures.After posting these on the blog confirmation came back from a fellow birder MC that I had found my first Whimbrel.
Whimbrel, Leeshaw Reservoir 13/5/2017

1.Dotterel - Over the May Bank Holiday many birders got the chance to see three Dotterel that had been found on cold edge Road on the way to Fly Flatts.I got a chance on the 2nd of May to get up there and with a couple of other birders got another lifer when I saw the Dotterel in the field with the bridge camera at its limits.
Dotterel, Cold Edge Road 2/5/2017

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Cullingworth & Hewenden Reservoir

Saturday 9th December a.m.
A cold start with a temperature of -1 °C as I headed along the icy footpaths to Hewenden Viaduct from where I could see c50  Canadas on the water along with four Cormorant and c50 BH Gulls.As I walked along the footpath across a snow filled field I got a distant view of a Goldeneye which is always a delight to see.It wasn't until I got to my viewing point around the other side of the reservoir that I was able to see the full range of wildfowl on the reservoir, parts of which were frozen over. There were 8 Tufteds,4 Wigeon,Teal,Goosander,Gt C.Grebe, Mallard,Moorhen,Coot and a site first a male Shoveler. When I started birding with Danny back in 2011 I never thought I would see such a good range of Wildfowl in one morning so close to home on Hewenden Reservoir, great birding even though it was bitterly cold.I added a Nuthatch to my list which landed in a tree near from my viewing point, on the way back home the Canadas had moved in to the snow covered field which I passed through and a Robin came to say hello as I headed home to thaw out.




Mallard,Coot & Shoveler



A good selection of Wildfowl

Hewenden Viaduct

Hewenden Reservoir 9/12/2017

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Yeadon Tarn

Sunday 3rd December a.m.
A cloudy start to the day with a temperature of 8°C at Yeadon Tarn where it was a good start with Goldfinch feeding in the trees at the car park.On my way to the Tarn I saw Long-tailed Tits feeding in the trees, the water level was low due to work being carried out on the jetty.There were the usual birds Canadas,Tufted Ducks,BH Gulls, two Commons,Three Cormorants and four Mute Swans but nothing out of the ordinary to report.
Mute swan

BH Gull

Common Gull

working on the jetty

Yeadon Tarn 3/12/2017

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Redcar Tarn

Sunday 26th November a.m.
 A bitterly cold morning up at Redcar Tarn with a temperature of 2°C and a biting wind blowing but some sunshine to start off with.It was good to bump in to BS with his birding team, who reported a Yellow Legged Herring Gull being present, however he was not having the best of mornings with other problems to contend with, sorry I couldn't help.
I just did one circuit of the Tarn with high numbers of BH Gulls being present along with Common, Herring and LBB Gulls.In the top corner there were a few Chaffinch,Goldfinch and Dunnock feeding on the seeds others included Moorhen,Muscovy,Jackdaws and just one Tufted Duck.
male Chaffinch

female Chaffinch

Common Gull


Herring Gull



Tufted Duck

BH & Common Gulls

LBB and BH Gulls

Redcar Tarn 26/11/2017

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Stockbridge NR

Saturday 25th November a.m.
 A cold morning at just 3°C and a light covering of snow as I set off to the BOG members reserve at Stockbridge near keighley.There were a good selection of birds around seen from the hide which included Coal Tit,Cormorant,Jay,Kestrel,Pheasant and Reed Bunting.

male Pheasant

female Pheasant

male Reed Bunting

female Reed Bunting





BOG Members Stockbridge Reserve 25/11/17