Wednesday, 28 March 2018

High moors

Had a long walk today past the usual spot and up the track to the high moors.Started with a few Buzzards and Ringtail Hen Harrier hunting low down . The numbers of waders in the last week seems to have gone off the scale. I counted at least 15 displaying Snipe , 2 Redshank display and copulation  , 200 + Lapwing , 50 + Curlew , 3 Golden Plover  and  20 Oystercatcher .Lots of small parties of Meadow Pipits on the move with some of  these birds being  heavily spotted and very clean so these may have further to go yet ? but there were a few doing the parachute display flights.Skylarks , 2 Goosander , 2 Grey Partridge , 6 Mistle Thrush  a few Greylags and 100 + Canadas..A Merlin and a couple more sightings of distant  HH and a few snow showers made for another great day.........Not one SEO seen...

Sunday, 25 March 2018


Osprey low north this morning at 8.08 , only just got on to it in time  as it flew over Northowram and low into Shibden valley .

Friday, 23 March 2018


Me at Cromwell yesterday with me new mate....

March 22nd more Hens and Shorties

A flock of 11 Oystercatcher on the lower moors today along with plenty of Curlew and Lapwings displaying gave a slight indication of spring but the wind was still freezing .The crazy female Sparrowhawk was at it again flushing lapwings and Fieldfare. 4 Buzzards and 3 kestrels along the ridge.
Shorties were in view from the the moment I reached the dam wall , wing clapping , flight display and at 1 point 4 were in the air together .
  The first fully winged harrier came in at 16.30 flew around , landed on a post and picked at its tallons with its bill for a while and then took flight and  drifted back down the valley right over the res . The male  put on a good show coming in over the hill and then after a short bit of flying around showing the grey central tail feather fanned and the dark trailing edge to the secondries it went straight into roost and did not come out again (this may have been a different bird to the usual male as the dark trailing edge had white tips ?? .The tatty female came in next and was seen flying around for the next hour did a full circuit of the res and was joined by a fully wined ringtail. Loads of Curlew , Canadas , lapwing , Fieldfare and BH Gulls.As we passed dusk the harriers became difficult to id , but at least another 3 birds came into roost . What a fantastic winter it has been for Hen Harriers......

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Barn Owl

Had a Barn Owl fly over the road at Bradley Hall farm this evening , it went over the river and started hunting in the fields and along the hedges, great to see....On the Owl front I still have not seen Little Owl this year , but all the others (LEO , SEO , Tawny and Barn very odd).................

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Busy day 9 x 9 and a Knot

A busy day started with taking the dog round fly flats , 3 Redshank , lots of  displaying Curlew and Lapwing around the res  a Perry a 2 Raven over . Bumped into DS for a quick chat and had some 6 Goldies , 3 Skylark and a Stonechat over.( 86 )
   Then the phone call of a grey wader at Ringstone (DF) so a quick dash to see what it was , located it and it was a winter  Knot.. Then headed to the high moors with DF and NCD...and what a day it was..

Pic D Sut..thanks

Short eared Owl x 9 (display and wing clapping a fantastic day for this species , looks like the vole population has exploded)
Hen harrier  x 9  (male briefly  + 8 ringtails watched for long periods , with the breeding season just round the corner a lot of the ringtails now all look fully winged except No3 which is still very tatty  .? The sat tagged bird was the only one not seen , so thats 10 in the last 2 visits , quite amazing )
Redshank x 1
Lapwing 60 +
Golden Plover  35 +
Skylark x 2
Curlew x 30 +
Kestrel x 6
Buzzard x 2
Sparrowhawk x 1
Fieldfare  x 200 +
Starling x 300 +
Oystercatcher x 10
Grey Partridge x 2
Raven x 1
Teal x 1

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Crazy Sparwhk

Had a couple of hours  on the lower moors today  , Loads of Chaffinch heading n/w at least 70 , 14 Stock Doves , 7 Oystercatcher , 6 Kestrel , 4 Buzzards .  A couple of accipiters over the moor were interesting one drifted right with slow wing beats (poss Gos) but was lost to view before I could get a good look.
The other headed left  and was a crazy bird it went into the middle of a Lapwing field and started chasing them about ,  then up into the sky for a scrap with a Carrion Crow , twisting and turning it was a large female sparrowhawk but very brown with little contrast between its head , back and tail of note ( no white coverts could be seen and looked very square at the edges and short ). It then headed onto the moors and picked up a ring tail Harrier it would not let it go , bombing it repeatedly it went on and on  seemed like 5 minutes before it gave up. It then drifted  down the valley and started at the lapwings again. I turned my attention to the harrier  it was going slowly low over the moor flushing grouse left right and centre , then went for a rabbit but was too slow , watched it for another 10 minutes before it drifted out of view and off to the roost no doubt  , a fully winged ringtail with dark secondries and orange flush breast looked like (6).

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Shorties and Hens

Another interesting visit to the high moors , strated with a distant  Ringtail HHarrier flushing Grouse , 2  Kestrel and 30 Fieldfare. A male Goosander flew up the valley. A female Merlin (last seen by me on the 12th Nov 17 )  flushed 75 Lapwing and 2 Teal , it landed on a wall for about 5 minutes . Then we saw 6 different Hen Harriers (( 4 (sat tag) 2 , 7 and 3 fully winged ringtails (3 spots , 2 spots and 0 Spots) ,  with the male (1) and tatty tail(10) that makes 8 birds in the last two visits)) ,  into roost , sparring with 2 Short - Eared Owls , 3 Kestrel and  10 Curlew were also about the reservoir . A great evening with very good views of Harriers and Shorties for long periods , below are a couple of pics taken by Nick. Watched the SEOwl sat on a post switching its head from side to side beautiful.

Monday, 5 March 2018

A break at last.....

With a break in the weather and the chance to get out without being blown over , I made it round the local patch..I have been keeping a close eye on an area of  shallow water with a few bits of juncus since November hoping for jack/snipe and had nothing except a Song Thrush for my effort . So today when I flushed a Woodcock form this area , it was very pleasing....not had one for a  year or so  in Northowram. On the 7th the first Skylark of the year , Green Woodpecker and 3 Buzzards.