Low Snowden - Common Whitethroat taking food to a nest site plus another bird singing near Crag Farm. Snipe drumming with two other birds calling from undergrowth.
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6.30 to 8.30 A Little Egret flew west and a Red Kire was hunting. There were Swallows over the fields, breeding Reed Buntings, Common Whitethroat and Linnets on the moorland slopes. Near the gallops, a Common Whitethroat and a Little Owl was in a wall.
River Aire: Utley - Riddlesden
Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Common Sandpiper, thre grey partridges
Five Grey Heron, Reed & Sedge Warblers (and an otter)
Farmland above Riddlesden
Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Buzzard and Red Kite. Also, five Willow Warblers, Greenfinch, Lesser Redpoll & Green Woodpecker.
Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Jay,
River Aire: Utley to Silden
25 Sand Martins in total, but virtually no action at any of the three colony sights. Swallows & Swifts counted in teens. Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Reed Bunting, Lesser Redpoll, three Common Sandpipers and a Lapwing.
Utley garden - Bullfinch
Two breeding pairs of Common Whitethroat by the gallops.
Glen Road, Baildon
Two breeding pairs of Common Whitethroat.
Little Owls in Airedale - a Report by Phil Matthews
Tuesday 16 June 2020 1730 – 1930 hrs
Generally bright and warm. Moderate E/NE wind
I went out tonight on my usual walk – Lady Lane, Walsh Lane then a bit of Heights Lane before turning round and retracing my route back home
I saw my first Little Owl as I came on to Walsh Lane, it was sitting into the wall in the usual field, the bird had its head down as if asleep.
As I rounded the corner this bird could no longer be seen, but looking back at the wall from the other side another or the same bird was perched on top of the wall.
I walked another 20 yards or so and stopped to count the Rabbits in the field. I noticed the owl had gone but could now see another bird on the far wall giving a Magpie the bad eye
I carried on up Walsh Lane and did the part of Heights Lane I am currently doing on these mini evening walks. Then retraced my path back down Walsh Lane. When I got to the area of Four Winds I could see another Little Owl on the wall there.
Carrying on down the lane I approached the usual field for Little Owls and could again see a bird perched on the usual wall.
I was then observing a male Pied Wagtail and male Blackbird collecting food in the field when I spotted a Little Owl was now on the wall to my left as well.
Walking on, as I rounded the corner I could see the other side of the main wall and spotted a Little Owl chick.
Looking closely I could see another chick was in a cavity a bit lower down the wall, the same spot I saw them last week.
When I got home I tried to work out how many had I actually seen this evening and I am still not sure. It is certain I saw two adults and two chicks as I had multiple birds in view at certain times. It is possible that is all I saw, but even so it was a spectacular show of Little Owls in one outing
Report and photos by Phil Matthews
A juvenile Bullfinch and 6+ juvenile Blue Tits in the garden
Prince of Wales Park, Bingley
Chiffchaff still singing, Jay and Sparrowhawk
Lady Lane, Walsh Lane and part of Heights Lane, Bingley
House Martins and Swallows, a Lesser Black-backed Gull, four Oystercatchers, Pied Wagtail, Mistle Thrush andWillow Warbler.
Curlew - 10+ including the chick which has grown well since last time seen
Lapwing - still can see the sitting bird, this appears very late to be sitting on eggs?
Grey Partridge - pair with 9+ chicks
Heights Lane area and Eldwick Reservoir
Four Little Owls (two singles and a pair at three sites), 10 Swallow, Four Pied Wagtails at three sites (two carrying food), Curlew (adult still on Heights Lane but chick not seen, behaviour indicated it was nearby), three Oystercatcher, Five Lesser Black-backed Gulls flew over, a Redshank, two Sand Martins. A Lapwing (adult still apparently sitting on Walsh Lane), a juvenile Robin, a Kestrel, seven House Martins plus a supporting cast of the usual species and my first Large Skippers and Broad-bodied Chasers of the year. A pair of Siskin and two pairs of Greenfinch have been seen intermittently with the regular species on the garden feeders since around Friday.
Three pairs of Willow Warbler, a pair of Reed Bunting, a pair of Linnet, a Pied wagtail, numerous Meadow Pipit, a Lapwing, a Curlew with a large chick, a Green woodpecker, three Kestrels also Rooks and Carrion Crows.
The field next to Four Winds has had sheep in since spring and as such has a short swathe. It was a regular spot for breeding Lapwings, but in small numbers. In recent years it appears to attract feeding waders, especially in the evenings with Lapwings in small numbers, the most reliable spot for Oystercatchers and the Curlews (as well as rabbits, Jackdaws and Woodpigeons etc).
The numbers seen in this field are in excess of what I normally see locally. I think the birds come here purely to forage, although you can see the odd ones at any time of day, the larger numbers are always in an evening. I expect the nearby fields will have the grass cut for silage soon and then the birds may be more spread out
I do not come up here every evening now as I can "legally" go wider afield and add Eldwick Reservoir, Myrtle Park and Bingley Bog to the mix, but to show what I mean about groups.
Curlews counted in evening in this field:
15 May 7
17 May 18
21 May 9
9 June 8
But other trips up in the period only resulted in small numbers, I may have been earlier or it just wasn't the day to come. I was staggered by the 18 counted on the 17th May
I do not see Greenfinches in the garden, on the feeders, as often now, unlike the two Bullfinches that are almost resident. We seem to have had a stable, if not large, population locally and I expect to see birds on Lady Lane every trip, and Heights Lane near the Heights is another regular spot.
Utley to Silsden (River Aire)
The river was very busy with Kingfishers today, loads of sightings of at least five different birds. The water was very coloured, so they were probably having to work harder, hence easier to see.
The busiest of the three Sand Martin colonies was very quiet, only about four birds seen in ten minutes, but the one a little further up the river, which normally only sees about five birds, had at least 22 buzzing around it and sitting on nearby wires. A third colony even further up the river had six visible birds.
I counted around 40 swifts in all, but some of these could have been the same birds showing up at different points in the river. Buzzard, Kestrel, five Common Sandpiper, three Oystercatcher, five Curlew, two Garden Warbler, a Willow Warbler, a Common Whitethroat, seven Blackcaps, Great Spotted Woodpecker, three Lesser Redpoll, five Reed Bunting territories (including one with young) and a Goosander with four young. 42 species all together.
A Little Owl (an adult and a chick seen), Lapwing (bird sat in the field in exactly the same spot as previous evening), Curlew 12 seen (group of 8 in one field, no sign of the chick (but it was seen this morning)), Oystercatcher 3, House Martin 8 over the Mansion, Swift 4, Magpie attempting to predate a Blackbird nest.
The resident Little Owls on Walsh Lane have raised at least two chicks, they were hidden away in a hole in the dry stone wall the adults are frequently seen on.
The Curlew family reported last week were still in the same field, but it appears only one chick has survived. They were feeding close to the road, and at one point the chick strayed through the gate and was in danger of being flattened by the local traffic as it wandered about on the road. In the end I erred on the safe side and collected the chick and put it back in the field away from the gate area. As a side note my wife saw the parents and chick this morning.
A Lapwing was seen sitting in the same area as a week ago in a field on Walsh Lane they are not usually seen in, with another bird near by
Oystercatcher 1, Swallow - small group around old brickworks, House Martin – small group around old brickworks, Pied Wagtail male still in the area.
Two Willow Warblers continue to sing in the copse on Walsh Lane, Song Thrushes are still singing in the same copse and in the plantation on Lady Lane, that plantation also has at least three singing Chaffinches and a pair of Greenfinch frequent the area. Also had a close encounter with a Hare.
Report and photos by Phil Matthews
A pair of Willow Warblers near the 14th tee have young hatched and were both busy feeding.
The Curlew adjacent to the 13th fairway, have young and are agitated by not only dogs but people walking the area, they moved to near the 7th green but this was too busy and next day had moved back to the area near the wet depression.
Little Owls have been well hidden the last few occasions I have been there, but report of another between the bottom of gallops and the house off sconce lane, in large oak tree.
Red Kite has become a regular over the 9th fairway and cabins.
Snipe are still displaying, but not as frequently.
Swifts were present in 10s of number.
Two Buzzards were harassed by Kestrel.