Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Yeadon Dam

We had a quick walk around the dam on Sunday morning on the way to my parents. It was bitterly cold so we didn't linger too long!

There were quite a few small flocks of Starlings in the grass on the entrance road.

The birds didn't flock to the jetty for a change, they must have been well fed over the weekend. The usual birds were there - Mallard, Canada Geese, Swans, Coot, Moorhen and quite a few Tufted Duck. Out in the middle a lone Great Crested Grebe and further round a pair of Pochard, not a bird I see there often. The Tufted Ducks came quite close to the banks and we could actually see them swimming under the water, narrowly missing the Mallards, my daughter loved that!

At the top end there was a single Cormorant and lots of Black-headed Gulls. I scanned them all and couldn't find a single Common Gull for a change.

A short visit but it added some of the more common species to this years list.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Patch Update

The first patch bird of the year - a Magpie, heard from the comfort of my bed!

I started off with a couple of walks around the patch on New Years Day (due to late nights, getting up early and getting out for a day of birding is not something that's going to happen in my house anytime soon!). Still I was up and out before anyone in the house stirred and it was a quiet but damp walk around town.

I managed to disturb a Pied Wagtail, which flew off chirping crossly! Overhead I had a flock of 7 Pink-footed Geese, a Sparrowhawk chasing flocks of Feral Pigeons and Starlings, Black-Headed Gulls and Crows. Lots of other birds around too, it was such a dull day though every bird almost looks black and white!

In the park the trees were full of Blackbirds, there was a large flock of Redwings too, but they scattered pretty quickly. Lots of Goldfinch in the treetops, their song accompanied me around the park. 

I saw that the Kingfisher had been spotted again down by the dipping pond in Churwell Woods so in the afternoon I went to have a look. Of course no luck, really there was too many people out for a walk at that time of day. Walking the length of the woods brought plenty of other birds including Great Spotted Woodpecker, Goldfinch, Long-tailed Tits and my first Greenfinch in months. 

Then a bird appeared on a tree that i've not seen on the patch before - a Treecreeper! It was running around the trunk and posed beautifully. That made up for the lack of Kingfisher, such a cracking little bird.

Since then i've picked up a few new birds over the past week or so on my walks to work and a couple of short visits to the Woods. The Kingfisher has eluded me and i'm not sure it's been seen again.

It's been a dreary foggy dull wet week this week but every morning about 6.30 i've heard a Robin singing and today despite all the damp fog for the first time in a while I walked to work surrounded by birdsong, the dawn chorus is on it's way!

So far my total is 31 birds, which is a big chunk of my overall total from last year so a good start? We'll see how it goes!

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Snowy Catch Up

These are a few photos from the last Friday in December when we finally had a decent amount of snow, even though it had all been rained off by the evening.

It started off beautifully when I spent a good half hour or so watching one of the Foxes in the garden as it got daylight, it's rare they come in during the day so this was a real treat.

This Blackbird flew in several times and each time the Fox chased it out of the garden!

We saw a few birds in the garden through the day

Snow is not something that happens too often in winter anymore (don't anybody try telling me global warming isn't happening!) so I went out and made the most of it, I had a walk around town and Dartmouth Park.

The park had plenty of birds around, Blackbirds, Robins, Sparrows, Magpies, Woodpigeons...

I wonder if this Rose survived the snow?

Maybe we'll get a little more snow before winter is out but half a day is better than none at all I think!

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Old Moor

This is from a visit last Thursday, which I didn't get chance to post till now. It was a gorgeous sunny day despite the icy nip in the air and it made for some lovely views around the reserve.

The garden and Tree Sparrow Farm were both busy with the usual small birds, a couple of Moorhens and a few Squirrels.

We took a walk around the Reedbeds and Bittern hide seeing a GS Woodpecker in a distant tree, from the hides we saw Gadwall, Shoveler, Coots, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Teal and Snipe.

If you look closely you can just see 4 Snipe under the reeds between the Shovelers

Robins followed us around all over the reserve

Walking up towards Wath Ings we stopped in the hides along the way spotting, Teal, Cormorant, Swans, Heron, Shovelers, Wigeon, Goosander, Black-headed and Common Gulls and at one point a Peregrine flew over the mere to the left of the family hide spooking some of the birds up off the water. 

It was good to get out and walk off some of the Christmas excess!