May Sightings

May 2016   
A flock of 90 Arctic Terns flying north-eastwards over Barden Moor (11th) was the pick of the reports. There was also a sighting of a pair of Yellow Wagtails on the Wharfe near Gallows Hill and a Lesser Whitethroat, undoubtedly on passage, was seen near the Grammar School at Bingley. 

Engineering work on reservoirs in the Oxenhope area had resulted in exposed shoreline at the members’ only site. Amongst the number of visiting waders, there was Turnstone, Sanderling, Ringed Plover and Little Ringed Plover. A Whimbrel was seen at the Oxenhope site (11th) and another briefly visited nearby Warley Moor Reservoir towards the end of the month (29th). A major surprise, earlier in the month, was a pair of Greenshank at Ogden Reservoir (11th). Out on the moorland Golden Plovers, Snipe, Lapwing and Redshank were all seen at breeding sites and at St.Ives and nearby Heather Park, Woodcocks were watched by members as the birds performed their roding flight. 

By the 6th, the Wheatear influx appeared to be over, however on the final day of the month, a pair were seen feeding young at their nest site at Storiths. A late passage bird was the Whinchat, a single was seen at Glovershaw and another at Ogden in the middle of the month. Stonechats were seen at Bradup, Kex Gill, Denholme Edge and at Sconce and Low Snowden where adults were seen with young.

 A Sedge Warbler was singing from willows at Fewston Reservoir, another was heard at Esholt; a Grasshopper Warbler was noted at Glovershaw (4th) and a Reed Warbler (22nd) was watched at Stockbridge. Garden Warblers were well recorded with reports from Stockbridge, Keighley Gas Works, Lindley Wood and Strid Wood. Whitethroats were also similarly seen in good numbers with Stockbridge, Weecher, Glovershaw, East Riddlesden, St. Ives and Doe Park featuring in reports. Up to four Wood Warblers were singing in Strid Wood and Spotted Flycatchers and Pied Flycatchers were reported here at locations in the Washburn.

Five pairs of Linnets were noted at Bradup and pairs were seen at Low Snowden, Glovershaw and Denholme Edge where a flock of a dozen birds contained a Twite. Along the Aire, a female Goosander marshalled her brood whilst 60 Sand Martins established their colony at East Riddlesden.
May Images
Little Owl - Phil Matthews
Garden Warbler - Keith Allen
Curlew - Roger Nelson
May 2015  
The weather during May was unsettled and at times temperatures were below average. 

In the Washburn and Strid Wood areas, Redstarts and Pied Flycatchers were well-established and at the former location an early Spotted Flycatcher was recorded on the 2nd. Whitethroats were also recorded in these parts and at Doe Park, Stockbridge, St. Ives and East Riddlesden. Garden Warblers were reported at the latter two sites and at our reserve a Reed Warbler was heard. Grasshopper Warblers were reported at East Riddlesden (2nd) and on two occasions at Stockbridge (10th & 17th). As expected, and almost to the day, a Lesser Whitethroat was in full song at Toad Holes Beck (13th).

An Osprey flew up the Wharfe at Barden (8th) and another bird, thought to be of the same species was seen heading NW over Pitty Beck (2nd). Wheatears continued to pass vantage points until the middle of the month with reports of a female bird on Baildon Golf Course and a male at Bradup on the same day (20th).

Cuckoos called at Goit Stock, Whetstone, Kex Gill and Hazlewood Moor where a bird was watched feeding amongst the heather. At Sconce a male bird was chased by Meadow Pipits but it remained persistent and was recorded on numerous occasions calling from Pennithorn Plantation. A pair of Green Woodpeckers were present in Shipley Glen and Linnets were watched gathering nesting material at Bradup and Glovershaw. The Lapwing colony, on the Golcar Farm fields, had produced at least 20 chicks in various stages of development and at nearby Sconce, a pair of Stonechats were engaged in breeding.
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