September Sightings

September 2016
It was a warm and sunny September and during these excellent conditions a Red-necked Grebe was present at John o’ Gaunt’s for a few days in the middle of the month. A Pintail visited Redcar Tarn (8th) and three others flew over Queensbury (19th). Five Shelduck were seen on Leeshaw Reservoir (22nd), whilst a single had been seen at Keighley Moor Reservoir (8th). Eight Wigeon also dropped onto Leeshaw (18th) and five more were at KMR at the same time as the Shelduck. Four Common Scoters visited Warley Moor Reservoir (19th) and Gadwall, Shoveler and Teal were present on Ogden Reservoir (15th). 

75 Wheatears were reported with the biggest day count, 19 at Fly Flats on the 1st. There were other smaller groups notably six at Slippery Ford (7th), four at Nab Water Lane (6th) and four at Glovershaw (19th). The latter birds were accompanied by a Whinchat, one of eight reported, two singles were seen on Baildon Moor (9th & 11th) the others were at Slippery Ford (7th), Leeshaw (18th) and Nab Water Lane (20th). Two Whinchats with a single Wheatear spent time feeding in the paddock behind Golcar Farm at Glovershaw (12th). A family party of six Stonechats was seen along Nab Water Lane (20th)

A cream-crowned Marsh Harrier passed over Barden early in the month (5th) and another flew south over Keighley Moor Reservoir two days later. On that day, an Osprey gave prolonged views as it took the same course. Peregrines were reported at Barden and another was watched during a match at Valley Parade as it circled over the city. A Yellow Wagtail was picked up during migration watch at Oxenhope (10th) and the first sizeable flock of Pink-footed Geese, 27 on the 30th, passed from west to east. During the last three days 7,000 Meadow Pipits moved rapidly south over the watch-points at Oxenhope and Caldene Fields. On the 10th, 1453 Swallows were counted by migration watchers and other late spring events involved two flocks of Mistle Thrushes each involving over 30 birds.
September Images
Pintail - Ian Hargreaves
Sparrowhawk  and Whinchat - Brian Vickers
September 2015 
The weather during the month was mainly dry, with high pressure in charge from the middle onwards. During the final week there were clear skies and little breeze with extensive fog in the mornings. These were not the best conditions for migration and although there were some excellent sightings numbers of migrants fell far short of what we expect at this time of year.

However, there was a good range of species to report notably a probable Caspian Gull at Redcar Tarn early in the month (6th) and four sightings of Hen Harriers. Two of these were in the south of the area around Denholme and Oxenhope, one on the western moorland and the fourth was a bird seen moving west over Barden. A Merlin was also seen over these fells chasing Meadow Pipits (25th) and two others seen from the Oxenhope watch point a few days later. A Peregrine flew over Caldene Fields (27th) and another was watched has it crossed Warley Moor Reservoir (13th). A Hobby was seen from Oxenhope WP moving west (26th) whilst in the middle of the month a dispersal of Buzzards, involving 13 individuals crossed the ridge late in the afternoon (16th). The following day an Osprey was seen here and a juvenile bird was also watched at close quarters whilst it fished and then rested in the trees surrounding Swinsty Reservoir (25th). A Long-eared Owl, thought to be a dispersing bird was seen over open country at Oxenhope (15th) and another bird was photographed whilst it sat on a wall near Fewston (29th). Short-eared Owls were watched over moorland at Bradup (10th) and at Oxenhope (29th).

Watches at Fly Flatts and Glovershaw, normally two of the more reliable areas for migrating birds, could only muster a mere 30 Wheatears. There were three Redstarts at Queensbury (1st) and another at Denholme Clough (6th) where a Sedge Warbler was located two weeks later. Just four Whinchats, seen as individuals on three separate days and four Stonechats at Low Snowden were the only birds of these types. A Reed Warbler was seen on two occasions at Stockbridge and a couple of small groups of Crossbills were seen in Denholme Clough (20th). A post-breeding flock of 27 Skylarks graced the turf at Queensbury cricket club before play commenced!

Migration watchers at Oxenhope recorded an Arctic Skua (25th) and the following day a Red-breasted Merganser went over. In the middle of the month a late Swift flew SW (18th) and a few days later a Twite was picked out from within a flock of Meadow Pipits. Swallows were on the move in big numbers from the 13th to 16th when an aggregate of almost 5000 were recorded on the first and last of these days. On the latter day 1164 House Martins also went southwards.

Four Shelduck were feeding on Ogden Reservoir (10th) and a surprise for the observer at Caldene Fields was a passing Pintail (2nd). A little Egret was once more feeding at Ben Rhydding (24th) and skeins of Pink-footed Geese were seen crossing the area in the final few days of the month.
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