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Post Info TOPIC: West Yorkshire


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RE: West Yorkshire


A Robin has been flying around our lounge for the last 2 days. Yesterday it spent about 10 minutes before it flew out of the back door. Today it just flew around once and out through the back door.A few years ago we went into a small shop in Colwyn Bay and they had one who flew around the shop most of the day

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Common Buzzard and Red Kite high up circling on the thermals over Ilkley Town centre yesterday at lunchtime.

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Walked up the Pinnacle at Kildwick yesterday. A pair of Cuckoo's did a flypast over the meadows at the bottom. Other birds seen as follows .
Blackbird x10
Starling x6
Jackdaw x12
Swift x3
Robin x2
House Sparrow x8
Woodpigeon x17
Magpie x6
Carrion Crow x10
Blackcap x 1
Wren x 1
Chaffinch x 2

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Walked from Addingham to Ilkley along the river Wharfe18 birds seen.
Jackdaw x25
House Sparrow x12
Carrion Crowx8
Mallard x16
Woodpigeon x21
Robin x4
Black Headed Gull x42
Blue Titx4
Goosander x2(2m)
Mandarin x7(5m 2f)
Oystercatcher x8
Herring Gullx6
Lesser Black Backed Gull
Kingfisher x1
Blackbird x5
Feral Pigeonx8
Cattle Egret x1

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A pair of pintails(m+f) on the duck pond in Silsden this afternoon.



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A trip out to Gallows Hill C.P on the river Wharfe in Otley. Birds seen as follows.
House Sparrow x7
Jackdaw x21
Mallard x10
Grey Wagtail x1
Robin x3
Woodpigeon x20
Carrion Crowx8
Great Titx5
Black Headed Gull x26
Common Gullx1
Blue Tit x10
Magpie x4
Chaffinch x3
Reed Bunting x1
Long Tailed Tit x3
Nuthatch x1
Blackbird x5
Raven x1
Moorhen x2
Lesser BLACK backed Gull
Herring Gull x3
Dunnock x1
Willow Titxx1
Bullfinch x1
Goosander x1



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A walk along the river Wharfe from Barden Bridge to Bolton Abbey
and return.
Starling x4
House Sparrow x4
Coal Tit x1
Carrion Crowx7
Sand Martin x20
House Martin x4
Mallard x50+
Woodpigeon x5
Oystercatcher x8
Swallow x5
Greylag Goose x6
Moorhen x6
Spotted Flycatcher x1
Goosander x2
Dipper x1
Great Black Backed Gull x1
Blackbird x1
Common Buzzard x4
Grey Partridge x1

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On a happier note than my previous post. We have a proliferation of house sparrows in the garden. Yesterday we had over 100 visits to our feeders by the sparrows many of them being juveniles still with the gape. Also lots of starlings,Blackbirds jackdaws,carrion crows Woodpigeons,swallow swifts house Martins ,sand Martins,blue ties coal tits.On the duck pond across the road pied wagtails grey wagtails, dippers and kingfishers.




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Over the last 2 months a pair of Woodpigeons have tried unsuccessfully to rear a chicken.They have built a nest on a beam of our pergola. The first one they built consisted of about 8 twigs and the egg rolled off and smashed on the floor.They then made the nest a lot more substantial and she laid again. Unfortunately we awoke to find the egg on the floor once more. This time though it appears that the chick was attempting to break out.


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A walk along the river Wharfe. On the Wharfe at Addingham
Golf club a pair of Goosanders (m+f) with 12 chick's.

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A walk from Addingham to Ilkley along the banks of the river Wharfe.
Birds seen.
Jackdaw x35
Woodpigeon x21
Blue Tit c4
Blackbird x16
Starling x4
House Sparrow x20
Rook x2
Goosander x 1(m)
Mallard x15
Mandarin c2(m)
Magpie x4
Robin x4
Great Tit x 2
Sand Martin x23
House Martin x3
Mistle Thrush x1
Red Kite x1
Lesser Black Backed Gull x1
Oystercatcher x 2
Herring Gull x1
Dipper x1
Greenfinch x1


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First Post from my new home in Silsden W.Yorks
A walk through the park up to the top field .Birds
seen as follows.
House Sparrow x15
Starling x3
Woodpigeon x 20
Jackdaw x25
Feral Pigeon x 8
Mallard x8
Wren x1
Blue Tit x3
Dunnock x 1
Blackbird x12
Chaffinch x3
Goldfinches x4
Chiffchaff x3
Robin x4
Magpie x3
Rook x2
Pheasant x 1
Long Tailed Tit x 1
Curlew x 4
Common Buzzard x 1
Raven x 2
and the best of all
Goshawk x 1

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Weds 12th April.

Had an appointment cancelled at last minute .. gave me an opportunity to nip up to Ossett for these B-C Night Herons. Left at 11.00 hrs.
From home I had the obvious option of M62 or M1 but decided on an extra 10 min more scenic route via Holmfirth ... when I left Stalybridge it just started to rain ... just before I hit the county border at Kirklees on the Isle of Skye road (A635) it really had a blow on and had started to snow !! "Dear Me" I thought .... or words to that effect !!
Got there in good time and began to limber up ... ready for the assault on the bowser that Mr Ousey mentioned ..... me being built more for comfort than speed and the realisation that I've had too many birthdays didn't make for good viewing !
Both birds were present but were huddled up in deep cover in the hawthorns at the back of the willows and took a bit of picking out .... fortunately at 14.30 one flew down onto the bank and proceeded to do a bit of hunting/fishing.
Around a dozen other birders present .... some had left disappointed before the bird flew down but others were just arriving as I left at 15.15 hrs.
Also had a female Sparrowhawk being chased by the male as I walked back to car-park.

Roger.


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Late post for Saturday 8th. River calder, Ossett, west Yorkshire 3pm til 5.45pm.

On my arrival 1 black crowned night heron on view on opposite side of river showing well. After 10 minutes I asked a chap where the other bird was, he said it may be at the pool over the Bank, a minute later it flew in & landed in a tree where it stayed the whole time of my visit.
Other birds of note...
Several kingfishers up & down the river
1 goosander
2 sparrowhawk
1 buzzard
Blackcap, chiffchaff & willow warbler
Numerous sand Martins over
1 Swallow
2 grey wagtail









-- Edited by steven burke on Tuesday 11th of April 2023 11:30:45 PM

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Good day for a Night Heron. Sunday 9th April 2023

    When two adult Night Herons were found on the 6th of April by the River Calder, Ossett, Yorkshire it meant a trip to see these overshooting migrants was planned. I have not seen one in this country for about 25 years, so an early start leaving Kevin C`s house at 7am along with Craig B was arranged. At around 7-30am the news was good that the birds were still present, a nice drive through Mirfield and Dewsbury followed until we reached the River Calder, near Healey Mills Ind.Est. The sign brought back a few memories about my train spotting days, visiting one of the largest freight yards in Great Britain, mainly supplying all the coal trains from the Yorkshire pits to the power stations, its abandoned and nature has reclaimed it. We parked up and walked over the River Calder via a footbridge, we followed the river west until we reached a large metal bowser (placed there to stop quads, motorbikes etc) the climb over this obstacle was good fun! In the distance we could see 20 + birders, but as we arrived one of the Night Herons, that are smartly attired birds, was feeding on the edge of the river, result! The other bird had nipped off for a sleep I was told! Also seen here: - Kingfisher, Swallow, Grey Wagtail, Sand Martin, real tales of the riverbank stuff. I nice catch up with the Rochdale birding crew also. As it was cold and a little misty we decided to move along, by now the Night Heron had clambered up the bank into a tree for a well-earned rest.

   News of a juvenile Great Northern Diver at Skelton Lake (near the services of the same name) had us going to see it, if we could. After a walk all the way around the lake, it was apparent that the bird had flown, prior to our arrival. Other birds there: -Little Ringed Plover, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, House Martin, Sand Martin and various ducks, a new place to visit and quite nice.

   We headed back to RSPB St Aidans/ Swillington and managed to see the sleeping Little Owl sat in a bush behind the Dragging Machine that used to drag coal from the ground at open cast mines. Much the same as last weeks visit with a few Black-necked Grebe`s showing a little better, the weather had really turned good with the sun trying to show itself. An early start meant an early finish as we headed home by 4pm.

Dave O.

   



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Alarm went off at 04.28 we were on the road for 05.00 and landed at Ossett for 06.10 a very quick walk along the river towards the sewage treatment works soon had us looking at two Black -crowned Night Herons just a few yards apart. Totally amazing to see these birds for the first time in the UK. Both birds were stood still in fishing pose, unfortunately we did not see them catch anything but with work looming we had to travel back. We stood around just taking in the birds and were surprised that only two other birders were on site.

A sign of the times was evident as the left hand bird was stood just inches away from a discarded blue drinks bottle. As we departed we gave the good news of the birds being present to four other birders making the short walk.

Our journey back was easy and the key was in the front door at 07.58 without breaking the law, now for breakfast, work and a nervy look at football results at 16.57.



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A morning trip over to Ossett to see the 2 Black-crowned Night Herons on the R.Calder. When I arrived just one bird was present which was fast asleep for most of the time in a tree on the opposite side of the river but showing clearly. There was no sign of the second bird and eventually I decided to leave as the bird in tree seemed settled for a long sleep. Just as I was about to walk off the second bird flew in and landed on the opposite bank and started fishing giving fantastic views as it crept down a branch to the waters edge. It caught a couple of small fish and gave a stunning display. Both birds still present when I left. Stunning looking birds. UK lifer.

Also:
1 Kingfisher
1 Goosander - male
2 Grey Wagtail
1 Blackcap and lots of Chiffchaff singing
Numerous Sand Martins over
A flock of about 80 Fieldfare over heading east


-- Edited by Steven Nelson on Sunday 9th of April 2023 02:03:08 PM

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As good a place as any to put this post I think?

From Holme Moss car park in Kirklees to Black Hill and down into Crowden Valley from 10-15:30

5 Kestrel, 4 Common Buzzard, Raven, 6 Red Grouse, 5 Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, 2 Stonechat



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Marsden Moor. Sadly after their return post moorland fires a dead Short Eared Owl on Saddleworth Rd. Presumably road kill. 



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Bit of a mixed bag whilst doing the Leeds and W.Yorks route, covering whilst the driver is on holiday.

- 3 Red Kite circling near Crossgates
- another circling near Headingley
- 2 Raven over near Holbeck

Whilst delivering in Garforth, a flock of c50 small birds flying round. Vast majority were Goldfinch but I picked up a few Siskin amongst them and the call confirmed it.

Would rather have been sat outside a certain recycling centre looking at Gulls!

hmm

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Sarfraz Hayat wrote:

 

 

Hi Doc,

 

A cut and paste from their twitter feed.  

Ref No 9238 Accepted-Brown Shrike 1ct-20 Johnny Brown's Common, South Kirkby, Yorks


 cheers, don't do Twitter so grateful for that smile



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Hi Doc,

 

A cut and paste from their twitter feed.  

Ref No 9238 Accepted-Brown Shrike 1ct-20 Johnny Brown's Common, South Kirkby, Yorks



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Doc Brewster wrote:

.......and I agreed with those on site that a bright end of the spectrum Brown Shike was a wee bit more 'best-fit' for this individual than Turkestan.


 Glad my gut feelings were correct smile Thanks for that info Sarfraz, I missed that announcement smile



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The BBRC have accepted the Yorkshire Shrike as a Brown Shrike.  



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That Shrike (again)

John Rayner went to see the bird latterly and very kindly sent to me two photos which are very convincing (in Johns view as well as mine) for this to be a Brown Shrike, - (likely an adult, in view of lack of scaling on the underparts, strength and sharpness of the mask, and head pattern); - overall a really smart bird.

Structurally, the primary projection (wing point) only seems to reach the upper tail coverts, the tail appears long, and in flight it clearly shows the short outer feather and fairly even graduation of five feathers on the tails left side.

Plumage wise, any of the Isabelline group should show an obvious white patch at the base of the primaries, lacking on this otherwise well marked beast. Johns photos cover the basic diagnostic features to underpin the identification.

When, (and IF!) I ever get back to Thailand, I shall particularly study both Taiga Flycatchers and Brown Shrikes with extra critical scrutiny and also spend time working on aging them in the field, for both these species are to be seen on the farm fields/garden areas daily through the winter months.

I am not a photographer but what I have learned from the various photos posted here and online is how easily shades of brown/grey and degrees of pallor on the same individual bird can vary so much according to light and exposure variables.

Sooner or later might one turn up in Manchester...........?

Regards,

Mike P.

 

 

 

 

 



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I saw the shrike at South Elmsall on Sunday, before the ID was challenged. Birders present earlier had apparently ruled out Turkestan but the views were fairly distant because they were hanging back to avoid flushing it. This was because they had lost the bird in the morning after a dog-walker flushed it by accident.

I thought the ID looked right, although I am a rank amateur. My notes were the mantle and upperparts being brown and the only bits that looked reddish in the field were the tail and cap. The tail was notably long and thin. But this was from 200m or so through my x50 scope. No hint of a white patch visible on the flanks when perched. I watched some Red-backed Shrikes earlier in the year from much closer and this bird was bulkier. It sat hunched mostly to be fair, didn't see it in any stretched poses. I think the weakest point for Brown was probably the lack of colour on its underparts where a Brown apparently ought to have some stronger colour. It looked basically white underneath from distance. But a lot of people seeing the bird in person seem to favour Brown.

I am now resigned to waiting for BBRC for this one, so personally the second lifer on hold as we still wait for a verdict on the Fluke Hall Wheatear. At least I got out to see it though and a busy Shrike bustling around is one of the best things you can see in birding in my opinion. With Tier 3 coming it felt like a last hurrah.



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Yes Rob, doesnt surprise me that it has departed. A friend of mine told me that on Thursday, whilst everyone was well away from the bird, a group of three photographers insisted on approaching to within ten yards of it. As such, the shrike was being flushed along the hedge line and, in short, being disturbed. I actually spoke to the farmer on Monday and he seemed an amiable sort, asking what the bird was. Seems like his patience (and that of the shrike) got pushed to the limit.

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Hi Mark,
it was requested by local birder Johnny Holliday that anyone going for the Shrike to respect the farmers pleas to keep to the borders of his fields but a few complaints from him this week suggests people have ignored him.
Turns out locals have always had a good relationship with him but that has seemingly been tested, so much so that suddenly, the day before my only chance to go for it, there is no sign of the Shrike and a load of farm machinery has been put around the birds favoured location.

As far as the ID goes, Im certainly not in any position to make the call for one or the other, as photos seem to show various hues of brown, dark beige, rufous brown, and rusty coloured plumage, favouring one then the other, then theres the structural differences that in all fairness have not really been discussed.

There was one fairly important point to make though, Spurn birder Tim Jones posted a photo of the Shrike with its tail fanned out and noticed that outer tail feathers were either missing or damaged.
Make from that what you will.


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Interesting thoughts on the Shrike. There is a very good set of photos on Twitter by @andysbutler showing short T6, primary projection and lack of primary patch, all pointers for Brown, rather than Red-tailed. From photos that I have seen, the tail doesnt appear rufous enough for Red-tailed although that could be due to the light/exposure. Anyway, there have been no sightings today, so the bird may well have departed now and we may never know for certain.

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Popped up to see the Shrike at South Elmsall before Boris nails our feet to the floor. Cracking bird showed really well.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Thursday 22nd of October 2020 03:28:47 PM

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Hi Mike, it did show shorter outer tail feathers I can 100% confirm that - well spotted! Although the whole tail did show evidence of abrasion. The two photos were taken one in direct sunshine, the other with cloud cover and I purposely chose those 2 to show how the lighting changed the birds appearance!! There was a small sway towards Brown Shrike on site, the very long tailed appearance added to that thought. I think more folk would prefer Turkestan but I've seen Brown, Turkestan and Daurian (all accepted birds) so can maybe be more unbiased and I agreed with those on site that a bright end of the spectrum Brown Shike was a wee bit more 'best-fit' for this individual than Turkestan. But .........



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Ive just been perusing the photos taken by Doc Brewster and Mark Jarrett and can readily see why this shrike is so confusing. It looks more contrasted and smarter than any Brown Shrikes Ive ever seen and is a good fit for Turkestan Shrike (which I have never definitely seen in the field, - the Buckton bird being nearest) with the rufous in the tail contrasting well with the mantle (which looks too pale for Brown Shrike anyway). The question arises though as to why is there no white showing in the primary bases? This latter is a normal routine starting point for distinguishing between Brown Shrikes and Isabelline Shrikes. Also Brown Shrike should show shorter outer tail feathers. One photo shows a possible shorter outer tail feather in the spread tail but this is angled and could be giving a false impression.

Doc Brewsters second photo portrays the bird looking darker and appears much better for Brown Shrike.

Its a bird well worth going to see and studying. I should plump for Turkestan Shrike from what Ive seen here, but could it be some kind of inter grade?

All good fun!

Cheers,

Mike P.



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With a few days in work behind me and a sunny day, possibly the last for a while, I fancied a trip out. Should I drive over 4hrs through the night for the Rufous Bush Chat in Norfolk or go somewhere closer. The later choice won and with a single sighting only coming out of Norfolk (genuine or wishful thinking??!) I am happy that I chose correctly.

I headed over to South Kirkby, a place I had previously visited to see an Iberian Chiffchaff, and parked down the end of Carr Lane as I had done before. A very muddy, quite long trek then ensued (do wear wellies if you go!) and initial signs weren't great. The bird had gone missing for an hour, but then as I neared its favoured fields a returning birder said it was showing well and directed me to a viewing point away from the main crowd but halving the distance between the observers and the bird. Thanks to that birder if he's reading this!! I joined just 6 birders in the potato field, well sapaced, socially distanced and the bird was in a hawthorn right in front of us. The putative Brown Shrike OR Turkestan Shrike was showing very well but not visible to the big gathering of at least 30-40 birders on the track over a wide, water-filled ditch from where we were! We then watched an photographed it for the next hour and a half feeding actively and moving between our field and the next one down. Most of my companions where I was were photographers with long lenses but all kept their distance from the bird, great behaviour. In the end just 3 of us were there as the shrike settled down to digest all it's food intake and for the next 45mins it never moved. The last 3 of us then decided that that was our cue to leave too.

Like Mark says the jury is out, lots of knowledgable birders have seen it and I chatted to the observers today. The bird looked very different in different lights and an argument could be made for both Brown Shrike and Turkestan Shrike, the latter being much rarer with, I think, 7 accepted British records. Even photos can't be used to determine ID as the camera often adjusts lighting and contrast in 'Auto' to get the best colour balance. I did mention on site several times that the tail looked extraordinarily long and that's even with the obvious abrasion to the feather tips that you could see, this is a pro-Brown Shrike feature but...... Also someone has mentioned elsewhere the possibility of DNA analysis so watch this space.....

A couple of distant digiscoped shots attached.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Wednesday 21st of October 2020 09:44:32 AM

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The South Elmsall presumed adult male Brown Shrike was showing very well this morning, albeit quite distantly from a photographic point of view. Originally put out yesterday as a Brown Shrike, there was some talk of it possibly being a Red-tailed Shrike. Discussions ongoing. There is a 44 page paper on Isabelline/Red-tailed/Brown Shrike identification if anybody fancies any bedtime reading..I will let people much more experienced than me decide. Meanwhile, a few cropped/heavily cropped photos.

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In the end I had to give in - I've seen many Hoopoes in Europe, but never in the UK, so I ended the torment yesterday with a trip to Leeds.

On arrival at Linton cricket ground I was told that the bird had left 10 minutes ago! The usual stress of will/when will it come back was lessened by the two Red Kites overhead.

After only another 10 minutes I saw the Hoopoe fly across the cricket ground and into the tree in front of me. It then dropped to the ground 5 metres away.

For the next 90 minutes it put on a superb show for the semi-circle of 30-or-so birders. Usually 5 -6 metres away, but occasionally coming as close as 1 metre. Completely unperturbed by the audience as it poked and probed the outfield.

Events were only terminated by a heavy shower causing the birders including myself to leave, but the bird was still there.

Well worth the trip over the hills!



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After a wet week in Somerset albeit we had 2 lifers under our belt, a decision was made to head up to West Yorks for the confiding Hoopoe.  There had been no sightings recorded until just before 1 pm.  By this time we were well on our way up the M5.  We duly arrived by the cricket club around 3.15 pm.  we parked up sensibly and made our way to try to locate the bird.  After barely 3 minutes, there it was in full view probing the ground.  At first it look as though there were only the 2 of us enjoying this remarkable sight, however, as we moved a little further suddenly to our left we came across at least another dozen birders enjoying the display that this marvellous looking bird had put on to the audience seemingly without a care in the world.  

This is our first UK Hoopoe rather than the ones we normally see on holiday which makes it that bit more special.  



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Dipped on the Hartlepool Masked Shrike today so, as some consolation, I called in again on the Collingham Eurasian Hoopoe. The light was more favourable and the bird was showing on the cricket field, giving a much more attractive background for photographs. It fed happily for a good half hour whilst I was there before suddenly flying off and up onto one of the house roofs on Millbeck Green. As confiding as ever.

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Sunday 4th October.

Millbeck Green, Collingham.

After checking the forecast last night, miraculously there appeared to be a break in the rain that would coincide with an early window of opportunity before having to get back to take Michelle to work. Arrived 7.15am, left 8.30am, home 9.40am.

- Hoopoe
Bird was showing on arrival on the pavement along Millbeck Green. I was the only one around and so making sure I wasnt blocking any driveways or access points I decided to park up and wait for it to come to me, which it promptly did. Constantly probing and feeding in the driveways, the pavement and at the edge of the road, it went about its business without a care that I was there.
A few more turned up and everyone had excellent views until one of neighbours let the dog out. As it started yapping at the side gate, the Hoopoe raised its crest and flew up on the roof of the house opposite in full view for a minute or so then dropped out of view.
I found the cut-through to the cricket club but no sign so I gave it one last look on the estate. It was on the pavement again but further up the road, I watched it for a short while and suddenly a Woodpigeon startled it and it flew over the road and landed a few feet from me as a few other birders looked on laughing, eventually it flew off when another Woodpigeon flushed it and that was my cue to go.

What a class bird this is!

- 1 Red Kite over the estate too



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It would have been rude not to divert to Collingham yesterday, en route to Spurn, so I did. Arriving at 7.50, it was still very quiet and a couple of drive rounds didnt produce the bird; there was just one other birder doing the same. Like Doc, I then parked up at the end of Millbeck Green and decided to walk round this nice, little housing development but, to no avail. After half an hour or so, without luck, I left. However, after a couple of miles, something made be turn round and I decided to have another go. Thankfully, the bird was showing on my rearrival! At the end of a driveway by the pavement edge. Very confiding, unconcerned by the half a dozen birders on the opposite side of the small road. I had visited the cricket ground earlier and that would have made for nicer photos but, hey ho! I have probably seen a couple of hundred Hoopoes in Europe over the years but never one as confiding as this.Bridge camera photos attached.

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With a sunny day forecast I fancied a day out as I hadn't had one for a while. So I headed over the M62 into West Yorkshire. My destination was Collingham near Wetherby, just a few miles from where I learnt to ride my first motorbike so I knew the area pretty well!

The route was so easy too, only 12 miles of it was non-motorway!! I parked up as soon as I entered Millbeck Green, the road which my quarry had been favouring. I chose a parking spot that wasn't outside anyones house as I wanted to keep the locals sweet! That was a stroke of luck as a lady in a car just opposite and down a bit opened her door and showed me the way to head, down a small cut through between houses that I would never had tried if she hadn't said. This led me to the cricket pitch and about 30 birders standing watching. I didn't even need to ask about the bird as I raised my bins and there it was, a beautifuk Hoopoe, feeding frantically on the close-cropped outfield of the cricket pitch.

All present kept a respectful distance, birders and photographers alike, it was impeccable behaviour form all, probably the best I've seen for some years really! After watching for a long time at a distance we started chatting about how this bird was unconcerned about people - a cricket groundsman had walked up within a few metres and the bird had ignored him! So I asked all the birders in my vicinity if we had an agreement to move forward just a further 10m to the boundary edge. All agreed and we moved up. Of course the bird never even noticed and we had a much better photo opportunity as a result. Again no-one tried to get any closer and we all respected not walking out onto the cricket pitch proper. After a while I had used up 2 batteries on my camera, filled an sd card and reckoned I couldn't do any better, so I headed off.

On arriving home I found that I had 700 shots to sort through and several were good enough to post, certainly my best pics of a Hoopoe in the UK! I've chosen a couple to share here, it could have been 14, but that would have been daft!!



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Went for the Franklin's Gull this morning. Arrived at 10,30am. This was one of the more challenging twitches of the year (just how they should be !biggrin) With us basically walking miles through farmers fields only to get very distant scope views of it, for it then to immediately just fly off back in the direction you just came from.Spent most of the time trying to spot it mixed in with 300 plus, circling black-headed gulls over random fields. Managed these photos on a sudden 10 second fly by when it caught me and a few other birders by surprise. An excellent life tic none the less.smile



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After a Saturday dip for the Franklin's Gull because I arrived too late, thought I'd try again today and just about paid off.

Arrived in nearby fields at 16.15 to find it had moved to Redcar Tarn, drove their and it had 'just flown'.

Luckily there was a shout it was up the hill slightly to the North, and after racing up got a good few minutes view. 

Just as I was getting ready to take a shot, up it flew and off West again at 16.40. Cracking bird.

Saturday evening's dip was made easier as into roost in the Tarn were 40+ Pied Wagtail, 50 Lapwing and 8 Linnet.



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Sunday 13th Sept

Early morning visit to Redcar Tarn after taking a chance that the Franklins Gull would show.
Nice to see Leeds birder Darren Ward and his pal.

- Franklins Gull (Lifer)
The Black-headed Gulls were building up slowly but no sign of the Franklins, another Saturday night bunk I thought. Just about to leave at 8am as I had to be back in Manchester when another small group of Black-headeds were closing in and Bingo! The Franklins Gull was with them, stood out a mile.
I called it out and soon the few birders present were watching it loafing on the Tarn. Within a minute it disappeared but it hadnt flown far, over the road into the field.
We watched it for a few minutes but it became mobile again and flew off, lost to view. I said my goodbyes and set off for home.

I soon stopped at a group of Gulls in a field along Tarn Lane where I picked it up again and signalled to the others. This time it was a bit more distant and was moving from field to field, some nice flight views but viewing it on the ground was difficult and it disappeared over the brow of a sloping-away hill.
That was my cue to leave, well worth the 1 hour journey. Easy viewing if the bird you are going to see remains on the Tarn.

I stopped to watch a hunting Barn Owl on the journey over too!




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Just a heads up to let those that dont yet know, there has today been a Franklins Gull at Redcar Tarn, a mile at the most west of Keighley town centre. A most innocuous of places, up on the tops, a place where locals go to walk their dogs and also feed bread to the gulls. I was there in February to see and photograph Iceland & Caspian Gulls on the same day so, despite looks, it is producing the goods. The latter two gulls stayed a while, possibly due a ready supply of food (tarn and locals) so lets hope the Franklins does the same.

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Been to my daughters in Silsden ,walked the River Wharfe from
Addingham to Ilkley. 29 species seen. As follows:
Goldfinch x 7
House Sparrow x 9
Feral Pigeon x 7
Blackbird x 3
Collared Dove x 2
Starling x 5
Swift x 11
Magpie x 6
Black Headed Gull x 25
Jackdaw x 5
Wood Pigeon x 8
Carrion Crow x 10
Mediterranean Gull x 2
Wren x 1
Treecreeper x 1
Swallow x 8
Common Sandpiper x 1
Mallard x 12
Sand Martin x 4
Dipper x 2
Oystercatcher x 5
Grey heron x 2
Herring Gull x 2
Lesser Black Backed Gull x 4
White Wagtail x 1
Kingfisher x 1
Grey Wagtail x 1
House martin x 1
Robin x 3

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Monday 8th June

A relatively short trip (1hr 5mins) to Collingham this morning.

- adult Rose-coloured Starling
Only ever seen 1 adult, the Burnley bird a few years ago, and a couple of juveniles at Lands End and Llandudno, so this was great opportunity to see a fantastic bird without travelling too far.
The bird wasnt showing when I arrived but it soon made an appearance, and what a corker it is! It favours a particular Cherry Tree on Compton Lane, and it does show well at times.
I noticed it stands on 1 leg quite a lot.

Other birds around...
- 2 male Yellowhammer
- 6 Red Kite (3 together circling)
- 1 Common Buzzard
- 1 Blackcap singing the whole while from a tree just beyond Compton Lane hedge.

A word of advice if anyone is going for it (if it stays a bit longer) the social distancing aspect wasnt a problem as there was only between 10-15 people present at most and plenty of standing room as its an open country lane, not a path.
Also I parked at the bottom of the lane to allow for farm vehicles to pass etc and it was only a short walk 500yds if that.



-- Edited by Rob Creek on Monday 8th of June 2020 05:13:14 PM

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Tuesday 28th April

Same location as below.

- 1 Dipper calling and flew straight through
- 2 Grey Wagtail
- 1 Grey Heron
- singing Chiffchaff and Blackcap in the bordering woods

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Delivering to one of our mobile pizza customers units in Hebden Bridge Tuesday lunchtime.
I could hear a Dipper singing and I looked over the wall down on to the Hebden Beck river near where it meets the River Calder.
Nice to watch it going about its business swimming from rock to rock, but suddenly I could hear another bird calling and it flew downriver towards the Calder.


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REDCAR TARN

For years I've been itching for my first ever Caspian gull, but the nearest I've ever been was last year at Pennington flash but unfortunately I chose a day it decided not to turn up!

This brings me to today, as I had a choice: Old moor or Redcar tarn. I wanted the best chance for the best view so I chose Redcar as I didn't want a distant view.

When I arrived in the rain, then snow, the first scan instantly gave great views of the Iceland gull. 15 mins later, the snow stopped (there was a sudden change from mild to biting cold), so I organised myself to have a proper look around and to look for my Caspian. I kept saying: "is it that gull? That one looks simular? But when scanning the field, it was almost like someone shone a spotlight on it and I said: "yessss!"

A local said it would be nice to have a Mediterranean gull. Little did he know that later on after he had left, one did turn up but very briefly.

The Iceland and Caspian gull both vanished after 9:45 after they were spooked by a truck.

After a tip off, I found a Brambling with a few Chaffinch.

Other highlights include:

Oystercatcher
Common gulls
Herring gulls
Lesser black backed gulls
Rooks close
Tufted ducks
Pied wagtail

And I couldn't resist trying for the waxwings at crossflats station, but I only found one and that was shiloetted. At least I saw one!

But what a fantastic day! Anyway, time to get home before the big storm hits!!!

Ta!


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Redcar Tarn, Near Keighley

Visited yesterday morning to hopefully see the two main attractions. A juvenile Iceland Gull and a 1st Winter Caspian Gull. The tarn is situated a mile at the most west of Keighley high up on the tops. Not very big and a bit of a spot for the locals to walk their dogs. Other locals seem to come and throw bread for the birds. This had been done as we arrived and parked up right at the side of the tarn. Consequently, all the gulls were still on the tarn, rather than on the adjacent fields. Saw the Caspian Gull straight away, close in and in typical pose but couldn't connect with the Iceland Gull. We tried the fields nearby as most of the gulls had by now moved there. It was blowing an absolute hooley, was bitterly cold and showers of sleet and hail were coming at us horizontally. We moved back to the main parking area by the tarn as more locals were again on a feeding mission. Now saw the Iceland Gull with great close in and flight views.

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