Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Golden Acre, Adel Dam & a Dip

Saturday morning was spent walking around the park and dam. We were harassed a little by a Muscovy Duck by the lake that seemed intent on untying my husbands shoelaces!

The birds on the lake were on form as usual, the noise from them was a little overwhelming, they were expecting food of course.

We stopped at the little clearing where the birds and squirrels are fed, it was a little quiet but there were Jay, Nuthatch and various Tits around in the trees. We spoke to a chap there who was a regular at the dam and had a chat about the birds around the area. 

At Adel Dam we sat and watched the feeders a while from the first hide - GS Woodpecker, Tits, Squirrels, Chaffinch, Mallards and Robins. Overhead a Red Kite flew past.

Elsewhere it was quiet no sign of any Mandarin or Kingfisher. A few Teal were in the distance on the main lake.

It was a pretty miserable day and we took time to have a cuppa in the cafe before heading out. We were on a Hawfinch hunt now and headed across to Ilkley using the scenic route, hoping for Curlews in the fields but there was nothing. 

Hawfinch have been seen on and off at Ilkley cemetery for a while and today of course they were off!! We spoke to a guy who saw one earlier in the day and also saw the guy from Adel Dam but as far as I know they weren't seen again that day. Still we had a wonder around and saw quite few Goldcrest in the trees. It was raining a little and we decided to call it a day!

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Around the Patch

It's been a mixed bag of weather and birds this past couple of weeks, we've had snow, ice, winds, torrential rain and then finally an increase of temperature to 8°C. Not that warm but it certainly seems a big difference when you're walking to work! 

I've picked up another couple of patch ticks for the year - Nuthatch and Jay - it's already getting to the point where now i'm waiting on the warblers and those random flyovers to boost the list. I had a flock of 7 waders fly over the house in semi darkness when I was putting bird food out the other morning but I had no chance of identifying them which was a little frustrating. 

I'm finally seeing the garden in daylight during the week......just.......i'm so glad the days are getting longer. Still the birds are singing loudly in the dark by 6.30 every morning now and when I do get chance to garden watch the feeders are busy nearly all day. Blue Tits, Blackbirds and Robins are the most regular. A Goldcrest followed the Blue Tits in the other day and made a poor attempt at going for the feeder, I couldn't focus the camera quickly enough before it was gone but it was the first time i've seen one do that. 

I've spent a bit of time walking through the woods and seen Woodpigeons and Magpies nesting or attempting to already. No sign of the Kingfisher of course!


I've seen a few Goldcrest around 

It's the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend, no doubt all the birds will disappear for the duration............

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!