Birdbrain Stuff

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.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Today's Birds

Raggalds Flood 1235 hrs 1 Redshank on what is left of it.
Soil Hill this am had 7 Wheatear on the S slope (Bradshaw) DP. I had limited time so had to do a quickie and got only 1 Lapwing, 2 Canadas, Meadow Pipits & Skylarks.

Notice the detritus adhering to the base of upper beak.

Oh I do wish that photographer would disappear.
Ogden Res migrants came in two's but not pairs. WW, Chiffchaff & Blackcap, all singers as was a Nuthatch. A pair of Bullfinch seen.

A Cormorant was on the buoy and a drake Tufted was alongside the E bank.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Queensbury Circular Walk

At 0650 hours Raggalds flood was still present but no birds were. Soil Hill fared better: 3 Pied Wagtail, several Linnet, usual array of Meadow Pipits and Skylarks, 3 Pheasants.
A pr Oystercatcher were mating, c14 Lapwing seen and a pr Snipe. One of the Snipe was displaying with gusto and at one time it perched on the telephone wires - BS also witnessed this in a recent visit.
Also 4 Canada, Moorhen, Chaffinch, Blackbird (thoroughly checked out) pr Dunnock.

Raggalds flood on the return leg had 2 Carrion Crow on it. Old Guy Rd produced 2 Skylark ditto Meadow Pipit.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Final Push For Glory

More like final stagger; I badly need new legs and probably a hip replacement soon 😮.
Still not much to crow about, no newbies and the first time I've crashed in the Mediterranean with flycatchers.

6 Corn Bunting, Stonechat, Zitbag carrying nest material. 3 Cow Egrets, Purple Heron, 10 BHG, Marsh Harrier male.
A noticeable increase in hirundines, also WWS & Chiffchaff. Redstart no.4 seen - yet another male.
2 Common & 1 Green Sandpiper plus uggins of BW Stilt and waterfowl.

Talking of crows there have been no Hoodeds in the area (thankfully it's Magpie free too) but there was a Crow around 3 days back which showed again this morning. This bird had all the traits of a UK type Carrion and the size was right too, seen close up. So why did it Krok Krok deeply like a Raven - a much bigger bird?!
My sanity is borderline at best I think I won't push it with this one 😨.