August Sightings

August 2016  
During a reasonably warm and pleasant month the early passage of migrants was well-reported by members. The low water levels at our moorland watchpoint provided added incentive and birders were able to watch up to six Yellow-legged Gulls, including two adults, over 30 Herring Gulls and a few waders. These included a Ruff, two Little Ringed Plovers, a Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Snipe and a couple of Whimbrel (28th). At John O’Gaunt’s Reservoir, two Greenshank and a Little Egret were present on the 29th. A week earlier a Black-tailed Godwit and another, or perhaps the same, Little Egret were feeding there. In the first week of the month, at the moorland watchpoint, three Common Scoters spent a couple of days and two others were seen at Silsden Reservoir a week later (14th). Two Egyptian Geese were at Scargill Reservoir (29th) and four days earlier a Mediterranean Gull gave excellent views as it visited over Redcar Tarn.

There were two reports of Ospreys flying over the area, the first on 26th over Keighley Moor and the other was seen two days later from the Oxenhope watchpoint as it went south towards Calderdale. Five Red Kites were regularly seen at Hazlewood, a Short-eared Owl hunted over Whetstone Allotment (22nd) and an adult Sparrowhawk was watched as it fed a juvenile near Scargill Reservoir.

In the first few days of the month, a Cuckoo was seen at Ogden whilst moorland breeders such as Linnets, Reed Buntings, Skylarks and Meadow Pipits were still actively feeding their fledglings. At Glovershaw, a male Redstart was seen in trees at Golcar Farm (6th) and three days later, two adults and a juvenile were in the same area. Further sightings of this species were reported here and on Harden Moor, in the middle of the month. Four Wheatears were feeding on Baildon Golf Course on the 9th and other counts of up to 15 were reported from moorland fringes in the south and west of the area. It was also turning out to be an excellent passage for Whinchats, the first of which was noted at Glovershaw (16th) followed by 26 others, all but three from this location. Stonechats, Spotted Flycatchers and Whitethroats were all well-reported, there was also the possibility that Grasshopper Warblers at Glovershaw had produced two broods and Reed Warblers had, once more, successfully bred at Stockbridge.
August Images
Kestrels - Paul Marfel
Mediterranean Gull - Keith Moir
Yellow-legged Gull - Brian Sumner
August 2015 
 August was a mainly dry but cloudy month with below average temperatures. Highlights included a Black Redstart at Nab Water Lane (1st), followed the next day by a Common Crane which was seen from Whetstone Gate, heading up the Aire Valley. Around the same time, a juvenile Marsh Harrier was watched at Bradup before it flew eastwards.

A family of at least six Spotted Flycatchers were feeding in Denholme Clough (26th) and similar but smaller flocks of three individuals were watched at Golcar Farm, Glovershaw (11th) and another at Denholme (20th). Two other reports involved a couple of these attractive birds at Ponden Clough on the final day of the month. Wheatear passage gathered pace about the middle of the month with reports indicating that family groups were moving through, particularly in the south of the area around Warley Moor Reservoir and Nab Water Lane.

Stonechats were seen at Sconce and Low Snowden where a Whinchat was also located. Other Whinchat reports came from the Stone Cross area of Rombald’s Moor, Glovershaw and Hazlewood Moor where three juveniles and their parents were watched. Redstarts on passage were feeding at Denholme Clough (9th, 16th, 20th & 24th), Paul Clough, Glovershaw (both 11th) and Harden Moor (17th). It was in Denholme Clough that Tree Pipits were recorded in the last week of the month and also a Yellow Wagtail was seen passing through here at the same time.

A family of six Buzzards were feeding on Baildon Golf Course (12th) and a couple of weeks later a Raven was similarly engaged. An adult Peregrine with a juvenile in tow was watched from Stockbridge and an adult bird was seen chasing a Rook flock on Hazlewood Moor. Another juvenile was seen in the south of the area.

200 Swifts filled the sky over Otley at the beginning of the month, but their number steadily dwindled until just three were reported by the 20th.

A Great Crested Grebe with five young and adult Little Grebes with chicks were seen at Royds Dam, but water levels in reservoirs were repelling waders with just two Ringed Plovers at Leeshaw (20th).
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