Sunday, 25 March 2018

Farnley Balancing Reservoir

I forgot to post this, my husband stopped off at the reservoir when we were on our way back from Rodley at the beginning of the month so I had a quick scan of water.

A lot of the birds tend to congregate around the viewing point, obviously waiting to be fed, a couple of Moorhens were actually on the platform eating seed that had been dropped.

There were a lot of Gulls - Black-headed, Herring and Common, I really need to walk around to the footbridge at the other side and see what's there too as there are birds as far as the eye can see.

In addition there were Mallard, Moorhen, Coot, Wigeon, Tufted Duck, a Muscovy, Mute Swan, Teal, Gadwall and Shelduck.

On the grass next to the reservoir the usual gaggle of Canada Geese.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Garden Watch

I ended up being struck down with a flu type bug over the past week, the upside being I was able to spend a lot of time garden watching. It coincided with the icy blast of snow over the weekend too and to be honest I was glad I didn't have any plans!

I did make sure the feeders where kept topped up, I think it was one of the busiest bird weeks in the garden so far this year.

First up the Squirrels made the most of the peanuts, if I make sure there are always a few in the seed tray then they don't chew the feeders.

We keep getting a mouse in the window feeder and on Sunday after the heaviest of the snow I spotted one peeking out of a hole in the snow alongside the shed.

On an evening we are still getting the odd fox at the feeders but on Saturday night I saw one that looked a little tatty, part of the fur on it's tail was missing but that was all I could tell in the dark. Sunday morning though about 11.30 it appeared in the garden again and went straight for the feeder and it didn't look in the best of condition. I believe it has mange, I have tried to contact someone about it so we'll see what they suggest as it has been in the garden since.

The Woodpigeons and Collared Doves were making the odd attempt at flirting though one of the Woodpigeons seemed to be cooing at a Blackbird at one point.

In the front garden the House Sparrows take over the feeders hanging by the door and spend all their time flying backwards and forwards in front of the window.

A Wren hops all around both gardens and there's been a Goldcrest too, though their numbers are down compared to last year. Starlings come in fits and starts, usually clearing out the food tray and squabbling with any bird around.

Blackbirds are still the first birds in the garden each morning and often the last around as it gets dark too. A couple of times Dunnocks have been on the feeder but mostly they sit at the top of the Laburnum singing.

Long-tailed, Blue, Coal and Great Tits are all regular visitors during the day, the number of Coal Tits has gone from one to two and the flocks of Long-tailed have numbered up to 9.

There has also been an increase in Goldfinch numbers, usually we get a couple sometimes four, we've had up to 12 the past week or so and they are around most of the day.

The heavy snow overnight Saturday brought the Mistle Thrush into the garden again, it came barreling in just after 7am scaring off the other birds briefly, again it hung around most of the day.

Thanks to the snow we also had a flock of Fieldfares around, with three of them landing in the Laburnum and around another 10 or so landing in the trees at the back of the gardens. Mostly they sat in the trees for half an hour motionless before something spooked all the birds and everything flew off!

Finally who can resist a Robin in the snow.........

Sunday, 18 March 2018

East Coast

A week ago we spent Saturday visiting Scarborough, Filey and Bridlington, the weather wasn't the best (which seems to be a running theme with all my posts at the moment!). It was a little damp and foggy too, though it hampered viewing at times it wasn't too bad.

First off we took a scenic route on the way over and scanned the fields as we drove, spotting Curlew, Gulls, Deer, Rabbits, Hares and several Rookeries. Surprisingly I didn't spot a single Buzzard until we were on our way home late in the afternoon.

In Scarborough we drove along the front but the fog prevented good views of the cliffs so no sign of the Peregrines or any gulls. Onto the Holbeck car park, which is good for Mediterranean Gulls, not a sign of any gull in the car park at all so we took a walk a down towards the sea. A Robin was singing somewhere in the fog and a Woodpigeon watched us from a bench. Lower down it wasn't quite as foggy, a couple of Oystercatchers were on the path and on one of the rocks there were a few Cormorants.

Out at sea a couple of flocks of Gulls were riding the waves, checking them carefully one of the group were the Mediterranean Gulls, we watched them a little while and then walked back up to the car park. I've got to say i've not walked this path before and it was a killer, I didn't realise quite how steep it was, phew!

We drove down to Filey and went to Filey Dams, a great little reserve pretty much in the middle of a housing estate. Tree Sparrows were flying about the car park. There were a lot of gulls on the reserve and we spent a while picking through them - Common, Herring, Black-headed and a couple of Great black-backed Gulls. There were also Pochard, Tufted Duck, Mallard, a Mute Swan, Wigeon and a pair of Canada Geese, the female looked like a Greylag hybrid?


Onto Brid where we parked up on Marine Drive so we could walk down the front. The tide was in which was good for the birds, right off we saw Turnstones and Purple Sandpipers and a sleeping Cormorant.


Purple Sandpiper


Quick detour into the town for a pasty and a drink before getting an ice cream - rum & raisin to eat in the rain on the beach! More Purple Sandpipers were along the edges of the beach we ended up seeing quite a few.

A flock of Redshank were running about by the waves and a lone Oystercatcher had it's head tucked under it's wing. A Shag was sat on one of the bouys out at sea. On the beach itself we collected a few shells, there were a lot of mussels, some were still closed and we saw a Crow repeatedly dropping one from a height onto the beach to try and crack it! We saw a couple of lobsters, one missing half it's body.






There were quite a few Gulls in various plumage - Herring and Great black-backed (I think!).

Someone stole the seafront