Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Around the Patch

The patch is looking up, i've been able to get out a fair bit and i'm adding to the list. I was almost able to add Fieldfare to it but they were just outside the boundary, which was a little annoying!

The garden has been busy thankfully as i'm still stuck at home for another few weeks yet. I got a new garden tick with a Redwing passing through though mostly it's the usual garden birds. There was a huge flock of Canada Geese in the classic V formation overhead this morning, we have a 'flight path' at the end of the gardens which is great for passing geese, gulls, swans and other possible waders that i've never been quick enough to ID.

The Wren is in the garden nearly every day, never stops moving for long,

The weather has not been good and I've even been going out walking in the rain a couple of times. It's just good to get out! Of course it doesn't make for great photos but i've managed a few.

The park today was very foggy but there was the odd splash of colour and signs of spring already too.

Two of the parks had trees blown down in the recent gales, one was still covered in Redwings and Blackbirds when I spotted it!

Yesterday I saw a post on Facebook about Waxwings being in Morley, however I didn't see it till late afternoon and  they were out of my patch boundary. As it would also have been starting to get dark by the time I got down there I decided not to try.

Today I had lunch plans which cancelled at the last minute, already being in the town centre I headed home figuring i'd give the Waxwings a go now I had more time. Luckily I didn't need to go out of my way as I spotted something in a large tree which is usually the resident Starling plot, it wasn't just Starlings - Waxwings!! On my patch, five minutes from home and plenty of them!! Thank goodness for cancelled lunches! Of course they stayed at the top of the tree and it was too dull for decent photos - i'm destined to only see them from afar but did I mention it;s a patch tick?

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Yeadon Dam & Waxwings

We tried on Sunday morning for the Waxwings in Guiseley after noting on twitter a report of a few lingering around McDonalds there. No luck with those but we did make use of the McDonalds!

Up to the tarn for a walk hoping it wouldn't be too busy but our breakfast stop put paid to that so there were only a lot of noisy water birds about and nothing in the trees/bushes around apart from a couple of distant Goldfinch. Oh and the ever present House Sparrows by the boats of course.

The usual birds were on the water, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Canada Geese, Mute Swan,Tufted Duck and a lot of Black Headed Gulls. I managed to pick out three Common Gulls amongst them too. The model boat club was running off the jetty and they were selling duck food so we picked up a bag of that so my daughter could feed them before we left.

A visit to my parents and I checked twitter whilst there and noticed a tweet about Waxwings in Crossgates. A detour on the way home, I think so!

It was worth doing we saw the Waxwings at the top of a tree near the roundabout and managed to find somewhere to park to get a few distant shots in the gloom, they stayed at the top of the tree for a while and we counted around 70 before they flew off. A very happy end to the day!

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Potteric Carr

We spent some time at Potteric Carr on Monday, it's only the second time i've been and it's changed a little since last time with a lovely new visitors centre/cafe.

It was cold and there was plenty of frost and ice around, the sun was a bit hit and miss but did melt the ice in places during the day. The sun hitting the reeds did look beautiful though.

Walking in the woods around the Beeston Plantation brought us plenty of Long-tailed Tits (which were actually all over the reserve), Redwings, Blue and Great Tits. Plus we spooked a couple of Roe Deer, I always love seeing them, even if the view is of the white tail bobbing as they're running off!

We spotted a snipe on the Willow Marsh and even more LTTs were around the hide.

If you get out a magnifying glass you can just see the snipe on the edge of the island!!

The sun didn't make for good viewing out of the Willow Pool hide, far too bright, but there were Rats, Pheasants, Chaffinch, Tits and Mallards there. I managed a couple of bad photos but the sun glare wasn't great.

Down on the marsh walk and it was a little quiet at first, picking up Shovelers, Little Egret, Gadwall and Goldcrest at Piper Marsh. We spent a while in the Roger Mitchell hide and saw a couple of possible Bearded Tits but frustratingly not enough of a view to say for sure! There was plenty of Gulls, a Water Rail running backwards and forwards between the reeds and a Marsh Harrier flying over the reedbeds in the distance.

In the meadow by the hide a pair of Stonechats were showing beautifully alongside the path.

We watched a group of Shovelers all swimming together in a circle, i've never seen this before, the photo is a little dull as light was fading but you can see them all huddled together.

One of the many Long-tailed Tits we saw, this one shaking a tail feather!

And a Goldfinch in the sun.

There was a lot of fungus on the reserve, these are a few of them

This one was my favourite though i'm not sure what it is?

As we headed back to the visitor centre we realised we'd seen almost 50 species and I commented it would be great to see an owl now to finish off the day. A lady by the centre said we'd just missed a Short Eared Owl (a bird i've never seen)! Typical!

We ended up staying and watching the Starling murmuration after using the facilities, lucky we did as the Owl made another appearance - day made!

You can just see the owl here above the flock