Saturday, 26 May 2018

Patch Watch 2018 Update,13th & 19th May 2018.

The continued efforts on the local patch continued,with 4 more additions to the patch year list,some good numbers of both migrant birds and butterflies being recorded.The following is what i saw on the two visits.

 13th May 2018

The visit started well today,with 20 Swift and a male Cuckoo around Winter's Pond and some increased numbers of migrants with good numbers of Whitethroats passing through,with at least 19 singing males being observed between East halton Skitter and Winter's Pond.
 Best birds of the visit went to 2 Common Sandpiper along the shoreline between Winter's and East Halton Skitter,a couple of Whimbrel,a female Wheatear at Goxhill Haven and the best of the bunch,a cracking Short-eared Owl watched hunting the saltmarsh at East Halton Skitter.
 As mentioned above,some impressive numbers of butterflies along the road between the 'Shrike' hedge and Winter's Pond included 24 Orange Tip and 38 Green-veined White,the most of either species i have seen anywhere.

19th May 2018

On today's visit,the highlights went to an unexpected addition to the year list,with a lovely Little Owl being found along the edge of the sheep field near Grange Farm at East Halton and a more expected one in the form of my first Ringed Plovers of the year along the shoreline near Dawson City.It just goes to show how poor wader passage has been this spring,with these latter birds being the first migrant birds i have seen apart from the Whimbrel flock from a few weeks ago.
 Whitethroat numbers were back to normal levels today,but there was a slight increase in singing male Lesser throats,Reed Warblers and a few more Sedgies around,but numbers of Hirundines and Swifts are still well down,with only 1 Swift being seen in my 8 hour visit today.

Not a bad couple of visits to my local patch and now i have reached 112 species  for the year.
Buck Roe Deer,Goxhill Marsh.


Brown Hare Near Red House Farm.

Short-eared Owl,East Halton Skitter.

Dawn At Winter's Pond.

Record Shot Of The Little Owl.

East Halton Beck/Skitter.

Singing Male Lesser Whitethroat,East Halton Skitter.

Ringed Plover,Goxhill Haven.

Dozing Dunlin,Goxhill Haven.


Wednesday, 9 May 2018

The Stunning Dales........6th - 8th May 2018.

A trip away with Mrs R to one of our favourite areas in the country,saw us visiting some stunning locations as always,the following is a summary followed with a few pics for good measure.

Sunday 6th May

After leaving our hotel in Harrogate we made the journey over to our first destination,the stunning Stridd Woods SSI,part of the lovely Bolton Abbey estate.
 The weather was glorious and by mid-day it was a scorching 25 degrees C.As i have described before on my visits here,it has a wealth of wildflowers and trees as well as birds and insects.Highlights on today's visit included 22 Pied Flycatcher(20 singing males and 2 females),5 Redstart(4 singing males and 1 female),6 Common Sandpiper,2 Redhead Goosander,Spotted Flycatcher,Garden Warbler,Dipper,Raven and 3 Mandarin.
 It was such a privilege to visit this site again with it's pungent smell of Ramsons filling the air and beautiful bird life and scenery.

Monday 7th May

I was up early today before Trace got up and walked from where we were staying at Hebden along the River Wharf to Linton Falls.It was absolute bliss,with not a soul in sight,just me,the birds and the sound of this fantastic river.
 As usual,plenty of birds were seen and included a lovely Barn Owl near Hebden village and along the Wharf,6 Common Sand,5 Goosander(Including a female sat on a nest in a tree),3 Drake Mandarin,Kingfisher,20 Sand Martin at their riverside nest site,4 Grey Wagtail and the lovely sight of seeing a male Dipper feeding his brood of 3 juv's.
 The more i visit the Yorkshire Dales the more i fall in love with it,it's just brilliant,particularly on mornings like this.
 I returned back to the B@B,got Mrs R up and we went down and had our brekkie before heading over to Malham,with what it seemed like was the rest of the world!.
 We planned to walk the circular route we usually take while visiting the area,which includes the lovely little waterfall Janet's Foss,Gordale Scar and finally the awe inspiring Malham Cove.
 Variety in species of birds in this area was less than other areas we had visited during the weekend,but the quality was certainly there.
 First of all we saw the tamest Dipper's i have ever seen along Gordale Beck before you reach Janet's Foss,which were feeding chick's in their path side nest and then we were treated to a display from the male Peregrine at Malham Cove the Red Arrow's would be proud of....just breath taking and a real test for the AF on the camera.
 Other highlights consisted of 3 singing male Redstart,3 Wheatear and a yaffling Green Woodpecker.

Tuesday 8th May

Sadly it was time to head home,but before we did we made a visit to the beautiful grounds and amazing Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal.
 The only bird highlight here was a lovely singing male Redstart,but i wanted to show Trace the Red Deer herd,so we walked up into the Deer park and got some great views of these,our largest native land mammal as they browsed for their breakfasts.
 So again,what a fantastic visit to this brilliant area,in some beautiful weather again,i'm so lucky!.
The River Wharf,Taken At Cavendish Pavillion,Bolton Abbey Estate.


Common Sandpiper,The River Wharf,Stridd Woods SSSI.

Male Grey Wagtail,The River Wharf,Stridd Woods SSSI.

2nd Calendar Year Male Pied Flycatcher,Stridd Woods SSSI.

Female Pied Flycatcher,Stridd Woods SSSI.

Female Pied Flycatcher,Stridd Woods SSSI.

Female Pied Flycatcher,Stridd Woods SSSI.

No.1 Birder Helping Me Out!.

The Stridd.

Mandarin Pair,Stridd Woods SSSI.

Song Thrush,Burnsall.

Early Morning On The River Wharf,Hebden.

The River Wharf At Hebden.

Juvenile Dipper's,Linton.

Male Grey Wagtail,Hebden.

Dipper,Gordale Beck.

Janet's Foss.

The Entrance To Gordale Scar.

Gordale Scar.

Wheatear,Malham Dale.

Peregrine,Malham Cove.

Who's Watching Who,Peregrine Over A Group Of Admirers,Malham Cove.

Limestone Pavement,Malham Cove.

Malham Cove.

House Martins Collecting Mud At The Base Of Malham Cove.

Malham Cove,What An Impressive Scene.

Female Orange Tip,Fountains Abbey.

Red Deer,Studley Royal.

Red Deer,Studley Royal.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Freezing Patching,Saturday 28th April 2018..

A full day visit to the patch today in a freezing northerly blast,saw a few additions to the patch year list in difficult conditions.
 I started in usual style by parking at Winter's Pond,got several layers on and the pack up in the ruck sack and off i went.
 First nicetie was a couple of Whimbrel flying over east towards Killingholme and the unfortunate sight of the Great-crested Grebe pair attempting to repair their nest which had been washed out due to the rise in water levels and blustery wind,hopefully they will eventually be success full.
 As i walked it was really difficult to try and hear any singing birds,so i eventually gave up trying to count singing males of species as i usually do and tried to concentrate on the Humber and anything passing by,when i flushed a Common Sandpiper half way between Winter's and the Skitter,at last something of note.This was my first of the year and certainly made the effort of coming out today a bit more bearable.
 As i arrived at the Skitter,it seemed to be birdless,but then i managed to spot a wader bathing in the edge of the Haven,a gorgeous summer plumaged Black-tailed Godwit.I rattled off several photos of this lovely brick red wader and then carried on my way.
 A quick look on the inland fields saw 4 more cracking Whimbrel as they fed in a wet area in one of the pastures and i enjoyed some lovely views of a singing male Lesser Whitethroat.
 I then decided to head inland along Skitter beck when i received a text from Paull birder Simon Brebner to say he had just had a flock of 6 Scaup drifting past the Skitter,the trouble is i was half a mile away!.I walked back to the Skitter as quick as i could and attempted to see them,but i just couldn't be sure after seeing something miles away sat on the river,oh well you can't see them all.
 Plenty of scanning over the Skitter pools revealed a hand full of Swallows and a further 7 flew west,before i cut inland to walk along East Marsh lane up to Goxhill Haven.
 Very little of note was found along this section of the patch,apart from the small Rookery near the horse stables.I just love to hear the squabbles and sounds of Rooks,with several chicks begging for food,just brilliant to see and hear.
 As i arrived at the Haven,i walked up onto the bank top to see a white arse disappear infront of me and i quickly relocated the bird,a female,my first local bird of the year.She showed nicely,briefly,before reverting to more typical Wheatear behaviour and buggering off.Also here was a single Whimbrel which showed well also,before it flew off east.
 A decent bit of activity between Goxhill Haven and East Halton Skitter saw 12 Swallow on Dawson City feeding over the pit and i grilled them intently for a Red-rumper,but to no avail and a little further on a Cuckoo brightened proceedings a little.
 Finally with 11 odd miles walked i arrived back at Winter's Pond to the sight of a mixed flock of Hirundines feeding over the pit,which consisted of 17 Sand Martin,7 Swallow and 12 House Martin making for a lovely sight,as 3 Yellow Wagtail fed nearby,a decent end to the days visit,just as it began to rain.
 It was really hard going today in the blustery northerly wind,but 2 more additions to the patch year list is better than nothing,onwards and upwards.
Black-tailed Godwit,East Halton Skitter.


Black-tailed Godwit,East Halton Skitter.

Having A Doze,The Stunning Black-wit,East Halton Skitter.

Female Wheatear,Goxhill Haven.

Female Wheatear,Goxhill Haven.

Whimbrel,Goxhill Haven.

Whimbrel,Goxhill Haven.

Male Yellow Wagtail,Winter's Pond.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Patch Watch 2018 Update.

The last two visits have been pretty productive to my local patch between East Halton and Goxhill,mid way along the Humber Estuary,with me adding 16 species in the visits and finally breaking the difficult 100 species mark.The following post is a summary of what i saw.

15th April

Today was a bit of a wader day with singles of Whimbrel,Avocet and a rare spring Green Sandpiper all being recorded between Winter's Pond and East Halton Skitter,the latter,a nice surprise as it was flushed from the Skitter Pools along with a single Water Pipit which was still in residence.
 Apart from the waders it was spring migrant passerines which featured strongly,with firsts for the patch year including Sedge Warbler,Willow Warbler,Yellow Wagtail,Blackcap,Swallow,House and Sand Martin and finally an un-countable dapper male White Wagtail at the Skitter,surely a sign of things to come.
 The final additions for the visit included a single male Bearded Tit at the small pond near the ruins between the Skitter and Dawson City and an unseasonal visitor in the form of a Dark-bellied Brent Goose watched grazing on the  wet pasture the Pink-footed Geese use in the winter months close to Dawson City.
 So all in all today was a very productive visit,despite the summer migrants only being in small numbers so far.

22nd April 

Today's visit saw a considerable jump in migrant numbers and 4 more species added to the patch year list.
 The new species for the year,were all summer migrants of course and included Whitethroat,Lesser Whitethroat,Cuckoo and finally Reed Warbler,numbers for species were as follows and refer to singing males: Whitethroat - 4,Lesser Whitethroat - 5,Reed Warbler - 4,Blackcap - 7,Sedge Warbler - 12,Cuckoo - 1,Willow Warbler - 2 and Chiffchaff - 3.
 A decent passage west of species included at least 14 Swallow,5 Sand Martin,1 House Martin and 5 Yellow Wagtail along with about 30 Linnet.
 The only wader highlight observed was a lovely flock of 12 Whimbrel along the shoreline infront of Winter's Pond,which was a great sight to see,they are such smart birds.
 A bit of a bizarre sighting today,saw a flock of 9 Coot on the Humber,something that only ever happens when the Humber Clay Pits are frozen over,so was a tad interesting.
 The final highlight was a slightly tardy flock of 40 Pink-footed Geese seen crossing the Humber off Dawson City from north to south and then again over Winter's Pond heading west,with them presumably being the same birds.
 So another great visit and nice to be out and about and I'm looking forward to the next one at the weekend.

Sunrise At Winter's Pond,15.04.2018.

Roe Deer In The Murk,Winter's Pond,15.04.2018.

Avocet,East Halton Skitter,15.04.2018.

Little Egret,Goxhill Marsh,15.04.2018.

Extreme Distant Blob Of The Dark-bellied Brent,Goxhill Marsh,15.04.2018.

A Murky Start,22.04.2018.

East Halton Beck,Taken At East Halton Skitter.

An Interesting Grey Acredula Type Willow Warbler Near Dawson City,22.04.2018.

Part Of The 9 Strong Coot Flock On The Humber,22.04.2018.

Dawson City LWTR,Goxhill Haven,22.04.2018.

Brown Tail Moth Larval Web Near To Dawson City,22.04.2018.

Part Of The Whimbrel Flock,Winter's Pond,22.04.2018.

Part Of The Whimbrel Flock,Winter's Pond,22.04.2018.

The 'Bluethroat' Hedge,Winter's Pond,22.04.2018.

West Bound Pink-footed Geese,Winter's Pond,22.04.2018.