Sunday, 12 November 2017

Dartford Warbler Dash

     Got a message last night of a Dartmouth Warbler being seen
     at St Aidans ( rspb )  i.e Swillington Ings , I thought to myself
     Ive got to have a go at seeing this cracking bird so off I went
     at 7.30 this morning in high hopes, first bird I spotted was a
     Kestrel that looked beautiful in the sunrise then after another
     500 yards of walking I came across a few birders who were all
     on the lookout for the elusive bird but the strong cold winds was
     keeping all the birds hunkered down in the long grass, so it was
     a long waiting game for everybody and a few said that it may
     have been scared off by over keen birders yesterday who wanted
     to get as close as they could, nothing else about at all for a few
     hours until the sun rose a bit and then a Wren and a few Reed
     Buntings started to brave the cold so I was hoping the Dartford
     might think the same but no, it must have been tucked up thinking
     of warmer places to be. ( couldn't blame it ) it was freezing.

    I bumped into my mate Chris T and we decided to have a walk
    around the reserve because we were beginning to seize up, Heron,
    Gadwall, Coot, GC Grebe, Little Grebe, Skylark, Stonechat,
    Moorhen, Meadow Pipit, Greylags, Cormorant, Lapwing, Mute
    Swan, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Kestrel, Red Kite, Canada's,
    Pied Wagtail, Reed Buntings and a few unid'd but guess what
    no Dartford bloody Warbler, I then went for a coffee to take out
    which I put on the dashboard of the car which I forgot about until
    I set off OOPS it went all over the place, camera, binoculars, gloves,
    and hat all wet through so with steam coming out of my ears I set off
    to Fairburn Ings where I decided to lose my vapour cig blower grrrrrr.

   I didn't stay long as it was packed with families, Tree Sparrow and
   the regular finches and tits were seen and a few Pheasant and a Little
   Egret was by a lake on the roadside, my garden had Bullfinch, Robin,
   Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Collared Dove, Starling and Chaffinch.
      I did stand still for 2 minutes silence at 11 o'clock.


Saturday, 11 November 2017

Struggle of a Day

     Today I took a walk down Shibden Valley and nearly had a
     heart attack in the process, I started on the Jesmond Hill track
     but it was eerily quiet apart from a few Great Tits flitting about
     the small trees, as I got further along the track the light faded
     badly so trying to get decent pics was gonna be a struggle, 2
     Blackbirds and 8 flighty Redwing were the next birds I spotted,
     It was a shame that they were so flighty as I was hoping for a
     decent pic of them but it wasn't to be, I then set off towards the
     Shibden Mill Inn and not a bird seen or heard for a good ten

     I was talking to a walker who told me to go over a stile and
     follow the path to Lee lane, well I must of picked the wrong stile
     as the one I took got me lost and stuck in fields surrounded by
     barbed wire, anyway I decided to stick it out and climb over
     the wire and up the hill that got steeper and steeper, after a few
     falls and attacks by brambles, thorns and barbed wire I finally
     got to the top of Mt Everest and even though I was struggling
     for breath I still managed a few swear words but not a pic of
     anything during my struggles although I did see 2 Bullfinch,
     8 Long Tailed Tits and a few Blackbirds and plenty of Wood

     With my Breath back I set off along Hag Lane where a Tawny
     Owl flew from a tree down into the valley, as I scoured the area with
     my Binoculars there were a pair of eyes staring at me, no not the
     Owls but a beautiful Roe Deer which stared at me for 5 mins and
     then carried on eating the grass, a bit further along the track up
     popped a Little Owl on a fence post, what a little beauty but a bit
     far away for a decent shot and the light was too low so had to have
     my ISO on the camera too high.

    Garden had Goldfinch, Robin, Wren, Crows mobbing something
    in the distance and a Kestrel hunting in the back field, so the day
    was a bit quieter and eventful than I expected, but at least it got
    me out of the house for a few hours.


Sunday, 5 November 2017

Remember the 5th of November

    I took a trip to Raw Nook Nature Reserve today after seeing
    reports of a Hawfinch being seen there a couple of days ago
    but it wasn't to be my day and nothing much to be seen at all,
    2 Coot, 2 Moorhen down by the ponds and a Sparrowhawk
    and 2 Bullfinch in Raw Nook woods, Wood Pigeon, Starlings,
    and Chaffinch flew over.

    I met a nice fella while I was there, he was doing the vis mig
    for Low Moor & Caldene Fields, Martyn Priestley was his name
    and he certainly knew his stuff about birds.

    On the way back to Halifax I decided to have a look on coach rd
    but builders were doing some work by the opening so I gave it a
    miss, I then decided to pop up to Jessop Hill track which is a nice
    walk and seen Robin, Dunnock, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Redwing
    flyover about 8 birds, Chaffinch, Blue Tit and lots of Corvids.

    After dinner I decided to do the Claremount circular walk and I'm
    glad I did apart from missing a few shots by being caught on the hop,
    2 Twite were on the track by the hay bails, Little Owl was sunbathing
    in a tree, a Peregrine flew overhead at some speed and then I could
    hear a Buzzard calling so I was skywatching looking for it and when
    I looked down the valley there it was so it caught me completely
    by surprise that it was that low and I couldn't get focus on it in time
    for a decent photograph, I then saw what I thought was a white chested
    Crow until I checked my pics at home and realised it was just reflection
    from the sunlight, but overall I had a decent day out and the weather was
    lovely apart from it being a bit chilly.

   Garden had 2 Greenfinch, 2 Chaffinch, 12 Goldfinch, Robin, Wren,
   3 Collared Dove, Sparrowhawk and a Redwing flypast 10 birds.


                                          Spot the Buzzard

                                          And Again