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


  1. Great Review Nigel and some cracking birds and pictures.
    I always think of you as the Garden Warbler man.
    You always see 'em and you always get a cracking photo as well.

    Best wishes for 2018


  2. Thanks John, much appreciated, these years seem to pass quickly.
    I hope my luck continues with the Garden Warbler in 2018.
    Best wishes to and your family for 2018.