Another text from Bri who has been camped out at Fly Flatts forever ( inspirational )..A juv Yellow Legged Gull on the shoreline , I viewed from the road which was not perfect in the wind but there was only one gull present with massive body and white head , .!! One Kestrel , 1 Meadow Pipit and a stunning young male Sparrowhawk were the only birds of note...
Shibden Park was busy with birds , 40 + House Martin over the lake with a few Swallows mixed in . 30 + Mallard , 15 Coot , and 7 Mute Swan including the very cute Polish Swan which is born white and does not have the brown juvenile plumage.... ( far left on pic) Many thanks to Mick Cunningham for comments on Yellow legged Gull and Polish Swan.....
Watched the local Sparrowhawks hunting sparrows on the lane today , the female was lucky and was seen carrying the prey to the nearby nest. Confirmed breeding this year so far are..Nuthatch , Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers , Mistle and Song Thrush , Cole Tit , Goldfinch , Bullfinch , Greenfinch , Starlings , House Sparrow , Dunnock , Stock Dove , Woodpigeon , Collard Dove , Wren , Chaffinch ,Kestrel , Blackbird and Robin... Also today a Wall Brown the firzt since 2010........
A busy day at Walshaw ( no guns thank goodness ) 5 Stonechat (4juv 1 ad male) , 6 Wheatear (juvs + 2 very young juvs) , Willow Warbler , 3 Raven , 2 Reed Bunting . 5 Buzzards ( 3 + 2), 1 Redstart a cracking young male (same one as NCD and DF had yesterday) ,1 LEO calling during the day , loads of butterflies 2 Wall Brown , 10 + Painted lady , Small Skipper , Small Heath ,Small Tortoiseshell , Green veined Whites and the odd Large White.
Turnstone at Fly Flatts on the way back and a juv Peregrine chasing a green Sandpiper .........................!!!!!!!
A red hot day today ---
Peacock x 30 +
Painted Lady 5 +
Holly Blue x 1
Gatekeeper x 2
Large Skipper x 2
Small Copper x 3
Small Tortoiseshell x 10
Comma x 6
Speckled Wood x 10
Purple Hairstreak x 3
Green veined White x 2
Large White x 1
Small White x 3
White sp x 20
Mother of Pearl x 12 watched displaying around a bramble bush...
2 more Green Sandpipers today at Ringstone , well hidden to begin with in the stones but eventually came out giving some good views. 2 Teal , 2 Raven , 3 Cormorant , 2 GCGrebes , 30 BH Gulls and 5 LBBGulls . Lots of Swifts moving when the clouds came overhead and a distant falcon could not be id to species....Painted Ladys on the move as well..............
( Found by and pic D.Franz)
8 Common Scoter at Baitings , 6 males and 2 females , 4 Great Crested Grebe ,1 Cormorant , 1 Oystercatcher and a good move west of Common Gulls.
Ringstone held , 1 Teal , 7 Tufted Duck , 400 Lapwing , 3 Golden Plover , 2 Great crested Grebe , 1 Cormorant , 1 Willow Warbler , 1 Moorhen + 1 juv , 1 Common Gull , 20 BH Gull , 6 LBBgulls , 2 Swift , 10 Swallows , 2 House Martins and an adult and young Roe Deer...
A single Elm surrounded by Oaks along the edge of a wood with plenty flowering thistles is perfect for WL Hairstreaks.
A fantastic few days watching these seldom seen butterflies in my local wood.This single elm held about 8 individuals , I watched them doing the courtship display flight , spiralling high above the elm in two's and then falling back down to land on a chosen leaf. After a while I picked them up flying down and landing on the thistles close to the tree. They would then feed and fly back up to a chosen perch. In flight they look dark , where as Purple Hairstreaks always look pale.
I have seen 20 species of butterfly this year on my local walk .....!!!!!
This was a 2 hour walk yesterday................(16 species)
Small Tortoiseshell x 152
Comma x 9
Small Skipper x 8
Large Skipper x 2
Small Copper x 1
Purple Hairstreak x 7
White Letter Hairstreak x 4
Peacock x 10
Painted Lady x 1
Gatekeeper x 2
Ringlet x 18
Meadow Brown x 40 +
Large White x 5
Green veined White x 20 +
Small White x 20 +
Speckled Wood x 6
So pleased to find 8 of these today , in full courtship display flight . Only my second Northowram sighting , the first one on 19th July 2008 was in the same place. I have searched for these high and low for 10 years on the same Elm tree and today Bingo....................
Northowram Butterflies 2019..20 species
Green veined White
White - letter Hairstreak
5 Tufted Duck#
1 Moorhen with 2 juvs
8 Stock Dove
200 + Lapwing
6 Golden Plover
3 Pied Wags
20 BH Gulls
1 intermedius LBBGull
1 Common Gull (light blue ring on right leg)
Mallards with 8 chicks...............
Good news at home with 3 Buzzards seen today.(they could have been from Shibden , but still good news)
Great to see 2 juv Pied Wagtail and 2 juv Mistle Thrush on the Cricket pitch this morning . The adult Song Thrush was busy again collecting worms , hope to see the young soon. A steady trickle of Black Headed Gulls are now been seen daily with the odd juv mixed in with them. Been very quiet on the Buzzard front this last week and with some bad news from Shibden Valley of one being shot , I hope there are all ok..!!!!!
Ringstone was busy with birds , 3 Tufted Duck in eclipse , 3 GCGrebe , 1 Cormorant , 300 + Lapwing , Reed Bunt , 2 Oycks , Swifts , Swallows and I was lucky to flush a Green Sandpiper from the inflow by the keepers house it flew along the dam wall showing off its white rump and landed in front of the hide where it started to feed...After dipping on the GWEgret earlier this week it was good to see a Little Egret flying along the valley this morning...!!!!!!!!
A welcome break from work took us to Staithes in North Yorks , a small Kittiwake Colony near the harbour held a few pairs of Fulmar , Razorbill , Gullimots and a few Yellowhammer in the scrub. Manx Shearwater , Gannets , Sandwich terns out at sea and the Little Egret roosted in with the herring Gulls opposite my room window...............
The cricket pitch was busy today with Song Thrush , Mistle Thrush , Blackbird , Starling all scoffing worms it must be loaded with them just under the surface . House Sparrows , Jackdaws and Wood pigeons , 4 Greenfinch , 4 Goldfinch and 2 Linnets on the walls and wires.
Confirmation of breeding Whitethroat , Nuthatch , GS Woodpecker and Dunnock.
Had my first returning BH Gulls today at Ringstone with one juvenile in with them.....80 + LBBgulls and 1 Herring Gull....................
It was nice to catch up with breeding Redstarts in Calderdale today ,with a stunning male showing very well and a couple of juv's one had a very short tail...........Thats half way through the year and its been a beauty with 2 news Calderdale moths last night ,Blood - vien and Double Square Spot.....
Well its all getting very continental around here , with Nightjar , Roller and today a stunning adult Hobby low over the cricket pitch..I saw it with its back to me at first a beautiful blue grey , I could see its white face patch , and as it turned red vent and black spots stood out a mile..Fantastic run of good birds this year....Hen Harriers , SEOwl , Barn Owl ,Whooper Swan , Black Redstart , Pintail , Shoveler , Red Kite , Whimbrel , Purple Sandpiper , Ruff , Sanderling ,Ring Ouzel , Gos , Pied Fly , Roller , Nightjar and now HOBBY.......
In a few months’ time the outcome of the 2019 Hen Harrier
breeding season will be announced. Some people will claim that it has been a
good year and others will trumpet the outcome as a great year for Hen Harriers
in England. Neither of these claims will be true, nor will they accurately
reflect the fact that whatever the number of fledglings actually is this year,
the population will remain perilously low for years to come despite the fact
that there is sufficient space for c 300 pairs in the northern uplands.
If brood management goes ahead as planned 2019 will not be
remembered as a good year for the English Hen Harrier population. It will be
remembered, by leading conservation groups, including NERF, and Raptor Workers across
the country as the year that Natural England, the English Statutory Nature
Conservation Organisation betrayed Hen Harriers to placate the grouse shooting
industry. An industry that is, according to Natural England’s own data, largely
responsible for the unexplained demise of 72% of Hen Harriers satellite tagged
by their own staff. With that knowledge it is not unreasonable to assume that a
similar percentage of un-tagged birds ‘disappeared’
under identical circumstances over the same period. It is also clear from press
releases issued by RSPB that many of the birds satellite tagged as part of
their Hen Harrier Life Project have also suffered the same fate on land managed
for grouse shooting.
Natural England’s answer to those facts is the implementation
of their flawed policy of Hen Harrier brood management on the basis that it is
essential for Hen Harrier conservation and will lead to an increase in the
English population. That second assertion may be true during the breeding
season but it totally ignores the fact that all of the evidence reveals that persecution
is more problematic after the chicks disperse from their breeding grounds.
Brood management will do nothing to prevent persecution despite claims to the
contrary. Anyone who believes that the entire grouse shooting industry will wholeheartedly
welcome an increase in the Hen Harrier population is at best delusional. There
are members of the industry who won’t even tolerate the small number of birds
that already reside in, or transit through, the uplands at the present time let
alone an increased number.
Following the confirmation that brood management has taken
place this year NERF fully expects an announcement in due course from Natural
England stating how many eggs, or chicks were taken in to the scheme, what the
hatching rates were from each clutch, what the fledging rates were and
confirmation that the birds were released back onto the moors from which they
were removed. The project calls for all of the chicks to be satellite tagged prior
to release back to the wild and for reasons of transparency NERF expects to
read a prompt press release when the birds either die naturally or ‘disappear’
in circumstances that suggest persecution was the probable cause. The press
release should include the location of the last known fix from the satellite
Whilst Natural England has the legal right to undertake
brood management, because they licensed themselves to do it. However, there is
no right way to do the wrong thing and there is, in NERF’s opinion no
justification for pursuing the brood management of Hen Harriers. We often hear
the Police say that they cannot arrest their way out of the Hen Harrier persecution
problem and in part that may be true. However, it is also true that Government
policy should not be influenced by individuals or organisations that rely on
criminality for their industry to prosper.
Additionally we need to know how much of the significant
cost of brood management is being borne, not by the industry which has created
the problem through illegal persecution, but by the British tax payer.
Despite the hype that we can expect at the end of the
breeding season, 2019 will not be a good year for Hen Harriers in England.
Ringstone....2 Teal (m+f) , 2 Tufted Duck (m+f) ,2 GCGrebe , 1 young Roe Deer drinking on the shore line ,2 Oycks ,2 Common Sands ,1 LRP , Lapwing and Curlew
Fly Flatts..300 Gulls mainly LBBGulls + and a few Herrings , 1 BHGull drifted through , 2 SEO ,Dunlin , Redshanks (3 pairs with young ) , Lapwing , Curlew , Ringed Plover. 1 Stoat carrying food.
Blake Dean ,,Male Siskin , 3 Cuckoo , 2 SEO , Lapwing ,Ocks , Curlew , 2 GP and a few Kestrel..Red Admiral and Green veined Whites
11 Coot chicks , 5 Mute Swan cygnets and 5 Mallard chicks at Shibden Park today . 1 singing Garden Warbler , Kestrel and Blackcap , Im sure Ann Lister would be very happy with the place today looked fantastic.......At home there has been an explosion of young birds about , House Sparrows , Goldfinch , Great Tit , Blue Tit and Blackbirds. The local Nuthatch are still feeding young in the nest...
A Roller showed very well this evening at Crimsworth Dean for about 90 minutes,,,,also in the area Pied Fly x 2 , Little Owl ,Cuckoo x 2, SEO x 3 , female Sparrowhawk , Snipe , Kestrel and Garden Warbler
Eventually connected with Sanderling at Fly Flatts today , Brians 3rd lot of Sanderlings today , having missed the first 2 lots , I am glad to get three today.Tricky with the wind up there today , I found 1 straight away but the other 2 took some finding ..Cheers Bri
On Sunday the 26th the local Cricket pitch was alive with the calls of young Starlings , at least 130 Starlings with 60 being this years juvs . A Garden Warbler could be herd calling at the bottom of the long hedge a rare bird in Northowram also a Whitethroat singing close by.
A dash to see the Baikal Teal on Wednesday showed well but distant a very special looking duck..Common Tern , Sparrowhawk , Buzzard , Pochard , Gadwall , Marsh Harrier and a stunning Hobby .......
Ringstone held Tufted Duck , 2 GCGrebe , Common Sand , LRP and Red legged partridge .
An Egret sp flew low down in the valley this evening...