Birdbrain Stuff

Friday, April 28, 2017

A Busy Morning

Soil Hill 1010 hrs in an E'ly breeze. 1 House Martin ditto Swallow. 5 each Pied Wagtail & Wheatear. Pr Raven, 1 Whitethroat. A drake Tufted Duck flew W and subsequently landed on Ogden Res. 1 Kestrel and the usual residents.

DP was on the promenade at Ogden and reports several Wheatear and a f Stonechat from the Cold Edge area. 3 LBBG were on the drink and the GC Grebe is still hanging around.

The route to Mixenden produced 1 Reed Bunting, 1 each Curlew & Linnet, a probable singing Tree Pipit (same area as t'other day) JL, a few WW, 2 Wheatear, 1 Little Owl.
Mixenden Res: a noisy pr Common Sandpiper, ditto Redshank, pr Grey Wagtail, pr Tufted Duck. Also 4 Canada, WWs & Chiffchaff.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Raggalds Route Etc

Nowt bar a stiff breeze on the flood and a Pied Wagtail over.
Basically same as previous up the hill and at Ogden but a GC Grebe was fresh in.

Below the embankment in the open was a Tree Pipit with a nearby Meadow Pipit emphasising the plumage difference.
2 Wheatear, 1 Reed Bunting ditto Curlew.
Also 3 Swallow, 1 Cormorant, pr Redshank and usual Warblers.

I had been up Giants Tooth gasping away previously with nothing to show but a Red Grouse. While we're at it when is this fwicking winter going to expire? 😨

Monday, April 24, 2017

Raggalds to Mixenden

Raggalds Flood 1130 hrs. 2 LRP, 1 Swallow,  ditto LBBG over.  1 each DJS & AT also Pied Wagtail nearby.
The farm field up Perversion Road is being excavated; this attracted a Wheatear which perched on a nearby rooftop. Soil Hill top just held a Kestrel & the usual larks etc and the wind drove me off it real fast.

Ogden Res and golf course were insipid. 1 Cormorant, 2 Swallow, few WW, 1 Chiffchaff.
Once again things picked up over the stile to Mixenden. 3 Wheatear, pr Linnet & Meadow Pipit, 1 Curlew, ditto Mistle Thrush.
The reservoir held 4 Canada, 1 Swallow, pr Grey Wagtail, pr Redshank and a few WW. A bonus bird was my first Common Sandpiper of the year.

Crow Food
Both Ogden and Mixenden reservoirs had Mallard duckettes on them. I got to a family on the path at Ogden just in time to scare a Crow off from nabbing a young 'un.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Raggalds to Mixenden

Raggalds Flood 0930 hrs nothing; it needs topping up. (That statement will haunt me I'm sure)
Soil Hill bottom: Reed Bunting, Snipe, Wheatear, Pheasant, Lapwings. Pr Grey Partridge on top.
Ogden was full of WW also 1 Jay, ditto Grey Wagtail..
The golf course was quiet apart from 2 mating Crows. Another Crow was sat on a nest.

I'm becoming addicted to Hunter Hill bottom as it produced 4 Wheatear, 2 Curlew, 1 Mistle Thrush with a calling Tawny Owl across at Stod Fold. A drumming GSW and a Green Woody were also at the latter location.
One of the Wheatear perched in a tree for a couple of minutes an event I've only seen twice before.
Many won't believe this but I got my first Little Owl of 2017 by the brewery at Stod 😌😏 A Goldcrest was singing by the roadside in Mixenden.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Blacktoft and Swillington

Blacktoft Sands:
Montagues Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Garganey, Yellow Wagtail, Cettis & Sedge Warbler, Sand Martins, Grasshopper Warbler, Little Egret, GBBG, Avocets, Shelduck, Shovelers, Tree Sparrows, Greylags, WW, Chiffchaff.

Swillington Ings: Common Terns, Bittern booming, Long-tailed Duck, Black-tailed Godwit, Blackcap, WW, Chiffchaff. Wheatear,  Pochards, Sand Martins, Swallow, Gadwall, Redshank, Reed Warbler.

These are most but not all of the species seen today on a memorable trip thanks to DW.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Miss Then Big Time Hit

An appalling start at Raggalds Flood with nothing showing. The Hill too wasn't big shakes though I did spend some time with some photogenic Skylarks (pics to follow if I find time). 6 LBBG > N.
Ogden Res was also comatose: GSW drumming, Coal Tit carrying nest material, WWs and couple Chiffchaffs. I thought call it a draw and go home but my inherent stubborness and love of depression forced me on like a zombie.

Then up the track from Brookhouse in the rough ground, it started to happen.

I checked the wall and got a Linnet but then 3/4 minutes later I clocked this cracking male Whinchat which hung around for about 10 minutes. This certainly lifted my spirits and so I ventured on over the style and on to Mixenden.

Checking the spot where I nailed 4 Wheatear a couple days back, I got sight of a dark thrush type in flight and could tell it weren't yer average blackbird by the slender body and flight pattern. Was I over the moon when it stopped and perched atop a tree at Hunter Hill bottom.

As expected but in reality more hoped for it turned out to be a belting male Ring Ouzel which is a first for this location about 300 metres away from Mixenden Res and only my second of the year.
Shortly after taking these shots the bird flew off up the hill only to land atop another tree and survey it's surroundings.

The reservoir calmed things down: pr Grey Wagtail, 2 Chiffchaff, WW, 5 Swallow, no sign of  the Redshanks.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Raggalds Flood Delivers

RF 0900 hrs in a biting E'ly wind and bright sunshine. 2 Redshank and 2 Charadrius Plovers feeding in the open. The wind stung my eyes so it was difficult to split the latter but one did give the impression of LRP. Luckily DW responded to my msgs and turned up with his 83 x Howitzer. The images he took confirmed it was Little-ringed Plover.

Pictures DW
Soil Hill: pr Oystercatcher, chipping Snipe, Lapwings, Curlews, Linnets etc. Newbies for me were a Wheatear in Coal Lane and a brief Swallow across the road.
Ogden Res: 1 each Cormorant, Grey Heron, LBBG. c26 Canada. 2 Chiffchaff, 8 WW, 1 Blackcap ditto Nuthatch, 2 Song Thrush.

The walk across the golf course proved of interest with a singing Green Woodpecker down at Stod Fold and a Stonechat also singing near the footpath to Mixenden. 4 cracking Wheatear were at the foot of Hunter Hill flitting along nearby walls. 4 more WW were singing and a pr Curlew were bubbling along up the hill.
Mixenden Res: pr Redshank ditto Grey Wagtail, 4 Canada, 1 each WW & Chiffchaff. No Swallows seen today.

PS Dave went back to Raggalds Flood and was able to photograph both plovers and confirmed the other one was also LRP.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Reservoir Round Trip

I set off resolutely up to Soil Hill early to seek out Wheatear but DP kindly kidnapped me en route and we visited Fly Fly Flatts briefly, then Cold Edge Dams and Mixenden Res.
3 Golden Plover were at Nolstar and my first Wheatear of the year was a fine male in a farm field opposite the wind turbine site car park.

Fly Flatts was hard work in the blustery wind: couple Lapwing, Skylark, chipping Snipe. Had a natter with BS before moving back down to Cold Edge. A pr Red Grouse were flushed at close range here and a Snipe seen briefly with Curlews very much evident. Barnacle Goose with leg ring TA8 or BVT was in company with a few Canada and 3 Greylags. A pr Redshank were moving around, 4 WW were in the small plantation and a Swallow briefly zipped across the track never to be refound. This inspired a move to Mixenden in order to get DP his first annual Swallow.

Mixenden Res turned up trumps with Swallows seemingly moving in; first count 5 then after a 15 minute watch we both agreed there was a total of 11 birds skimming across the water. Also here was a pr Grey Wagtail, a Redshank wading just offshore and a singing Song Thrush performing with gusto. 1 singing Chiffchaff  heard.

PS I searched EURING which shows the Barnacle Goose was ringed in the Solway Firth Scotland and probably originated from Svalbard Norway.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Hit and Miss

Raggalds Flood 1345 hrs 1 Redshank & 1 Pied Wagtail, a few Starling and a Lapwing turned up later.
Soil Hill had c14 Fieldfare on the E slope in with a bunch of Starling. 2 Oystercatcher and the Lapwings, c40 Woodpigeon, 1 Kestrel and the Meadow Pipits and Skylarks. A Kestrel was seen over the Ned Hill track.
About a third of the Coal Lane pottery building has been demolished - the one where Swallows bred in 😢

A pr Red-legged Partridge were in a field near the plantation at Ogden but the reservoir was eerily quiet, lacking birdsong. Exceptionally there were brief interludes from 2 WW and a Blackcap. 2 LBBG were on the buoy then a Cormorant took over.

DM reports 1 Buzzard in Shibden Valley.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Raggalds to Mixenden

When I looked out the window early on I thought only nutters and the mentally unfortunate go out in this filth. At 1035 hrs I was watching a Redshank on Raggalds Flood prior to going up the hill from hell.

It was just that, I got off sharpish with just Meadow Pipits and Skylarks to show and went down to Ogden. Moving on rapidly after just 1 WW heard I braved the golf course  and picked up another one and a couple of Curlew calling.

Stod Fold produced a few Goldfinch and a Grey Wagtail then Mixenden proved to be a fair choice. 1 each WW & Chiffchaff, pr Linnet, 6 Canada, pr Mallard, pr Grey Wagtail, 3 Swallow, 1 each LBBG & Redshank.