Birdbrain Stuff

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Lark'in About

Having been away over Christmas, today required some proper Queensbury birding. Two trips up to the Swales Moor Lane area were necessary before I finally saw the Shore Lark well for about 20 seconds during a lull in the wind and 2 minutes before the heavens opened and I got soaked.

What a bird to finish 2006. Is it sporting to try to claim the same individual bird on my 2007 list? If so, I 'll pop up there tomorrow!

Happy New Year

Test Photo

Kestrel taking off from old barn at Soil Hill. BS
Posted by Picasa


After a week of blood sweat and tears and probably a mega phone bill I,m back.Whether I can submit photos is yet to try for. Thanks for the invite Nigel. All I need to do now is sort out Calderbirds. All the best for the new year and good birding. BS

Friday, December 29, 2006

A Hard Day's Bird

I set off this morning to have another view of the Shore Lark; what a difference a day makes! After seeing where it was supposed to be, courtesy of an unknown birder, both AC and myself saw the Skylark party fly over into the landfill area. Then, the rain came down and the wind blew up and the temperature dropped and for an hour I walked up and down and caught one glimpse of it in flight. Fortunately another 4 eyes turned up in the shape of two Burnley birders and eventually we saw the bird on the ground.

My bins had misted, my fingers were numb, I was soaked to the skin and cold with it. Will I ever learn? Doubt it.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

New Boots Christened.

My Christmas pressie to me got broken in with style this morning. I went down to the Swales Moor Rd landfill area (nr Catherine Slack) to look for the Shore Lark. Luckily, I bumped into Sean Gray, about to set off up the track, saving me quite a bit of time as I would have gone in from the far end, left to my own devices. Iain Greenwood was already on site, and we were joined by David Sutcliffe some 10 minutes later. After about 15 minutes of wandering around, the Skylark party (about 8 birds) flew in, with the visitor suitably calling as it landed with them.

Visibility wasn't on our side but fair views were had of the bird for about 30 minutes, when it then became much more user friendly and showed in the clear. Also present were 2 Grey Wagtail and corvids.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Soil Hill

Email being used to post so BS can get a copy; he still cannot access the upgraded blog.
Very murky; visibility poor.
28 Golden Plover blogging. Kestrel, 13 Linnet, 3 Skylark, Blackbird, 2 Wren. 3 Roe Deer. Feeding site re-seeded.
3 seperate Pied Wagtails in Chapel Lane/Foxhill area.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The boys are back

The digger and shovel have been busy on the top field of Soil Hill this morning, so it was no surprise not to see anybirds. Some of the activity was near the spot where BS sank and lost his boots - I had a gander and nearly joined them! The seed in the SE corner had gone, so I put some more down.

Stonechat, 3 Skylark, pr Mallard, Grey Heron, Snipe.

Pr Mistle Thrush at Mountain.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Jack the Lad

Soil Hill - 2 Meadow Pipit, 3 Skylark, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Reed Bunting, Stonechat, Kestrel, Jack Snipe. For the first time since feeding began, the seed put down in the SE corner had not been touched, so I scattered it and a mix of other types over the scrape area.

For the first time in a long while I encountered Long-tailed Tit, calling from a garden at Mountain.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Recording on Birdtrack

I have now linked Birdtrack to this blog in the hope it encourages more people to enter their bird records to this extremely useful National online database. However, it is stressed this is purely for the individual to consider as I for one have time on my hands; most people don't.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Soil Hill Produces Again

0930-1030hrs W> 3-4 Sunny
4 WHOOPER SWANS which looked to have just taken off from the scrapes came over me at head height and left >SW into the distance over Wainhouse Tower.
also 1 Stonechat
6 Linnet
2 Goldies

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Quiet at Shibden Head

Decided to wander down to Shibden Head this morning (after deciding the wind hadn't quite dropped enough to risk a trip up to Soil Hill) to see what was about. The usual woodland species were there but nothing special. Best sightings of the day were Long-tailed Tit (10+), Goldcrest (2), Common Gull (30+), Redwing (4 but there were probably alot more hidden in the holly bushes) and Wood Pigeon (200+). The Jackdaw roost only had about 20 birds which is very few. The fields above Henacre Wood had about 10 Mistle Thrushes and I think some Fieldfare too.

Also found a Number 11 pool ball on the way home! That must have been a spectacular foul shot to end up in the street.

No Linnets Today

Soil Hill - Seed put down SE corner.

Meadow Pipit, Skylark, 4 Golden Plover, Mistle Thrush, Pied Wagtail, Reed Bunting, pr Stonechat. Very good view of Roe Deer by bottom Duck pond.

Soil Hill Mystery Solved

On July 27 BS posted the picture below, asking does anybody know the origins of the stone circle atop the hill. This morning I got into a conversation with a lady who told me the circle is a Dew Pit. This was constructed by the farmer aons ago and consists of a dug out shallow circle, lined with clay so that water will collect for the cattle. The stones were placed around so that maybe one or two cows could get in to drink at a time, but not the whole bunch, thereby saving the water from pollution. This makes sense to me, as in the three day summer we experience up here the circle never appears completely dry, whereas this morning for instance, it was brimming full to overflowing. Information provided by a lady in her 80s who played there as a little girl (there were no nintendos or x-boxes then you know).

Friday, December 15, 2006

Respite from the Wind

Although we are having lots of the wet stuff, it was good to go outside and not get blown to bits this morning. For the first time in nearly a week, birdsounds were evident in the Chapel Lane area, Blue Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, a singing Robin and 2 Fieldfare heading SW. The thought occured that the Fieldfare were going back to where they had been blown from.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Seeding duty

Went up the hill from hell as the wind wasn't too bad and felt fairly mild. O'course when I got there, things changed but at least the rain held off. Put seed down in the usual place, before doing the rounds:

Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Kestrel, 18 Linnet, about 90 Golden Plover on scrapes.

The rubbish that was dumped on November 19 has been completely removed, probably by the owner, as it was next to his excavator.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sunrise down Chapel Lane

1 Kestrel on Black Dyke Mills chimney( seen in the rear of the photo,the chimney that is,not the kestrel )
2 Wrens in the grounds of the Willows
32 Common gull, 6 BH gull Foxhill park , early a.m.
Flock of 80+ Starling over fairfield ,lunchtime
1 f Sparrowhawk low across main rd, Windybank top , a.m.
BS Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Pesky Butterfly

Two minutes after I added my comment to Brians latest SH posting, a Painted Lady flew across my shoulder and landed on my PC screen. I stress that I am sat in my living room with the central heating on, but this is the first I've seen that wakes up and moves when the temperature rises. It also behaved like this about a week ago, after just escaping from my tame spiders web in the kitchen! How the hell do these insects get their energy? There is no flowering plant in the house, nor bowl of sugary water available.

Cruel Soil Hill

09/12/06 1530hrs ice cold NW > 4-5 Heavy rain
Why does the heavens always open when you get to the very top most point of Soil Hill ?
Just a dash up in fading light to get some seed down and put some flowers where my boots came to rest, actually Ive stuck a metal bar up on the left of the track so you know where not to stand Nigel.
8 Golden Plover on scrapes
1 Skylark near seed. BS

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Wonderful Soil Hill

Fooled by the break in the weather at mid-day, I went up the sacred mount. Rain hit me 15 minutes after leaving home and then wind driven hailstones finished the job atop the ravaged hill. Some scrapes are still just that, but others have been converted into pools and ponds, courtesey of the wet stuff.

Meadow Pipit, 3 Lapwing, 8 Golden Plover, Sparrowhawk. 25 plus Linnet were by the seed, but flighty with it and coupled with poor light and the weather, identification of any mingling Twite was nigh impossible.

Gull numbers at Raggalds were around the 130 mark, again Common being the prevalant species.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Failed recovery of boots Soil Hill

I couldn't even find the spot where Brian sunk in, let alone the boots - he must have hit the jackpot! Extreme wind made for a curtailed visit:

2 Skylark, 11 Mallard, 15 Linnet on seed. Lapwing, upto 60 Golden Plover on scrapes. On way back had a look at the Raggalds flood field - 7 Mallard and a small mix of Common & BH Gull.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Soil Hill

03/12/06 15oohrs Gale force 8 >SW Showers.
1 Skylark
3 Mipits
For WARNING and the story of the missing rigger boots see Calderbirds BS

Saturday 2nd December - Shibden Head

At last! A Saturday morning without gale force winds. Did my usual lap from Shibden Head, down through Henacre Wood, contoured the hill round through the trees to Bare Head Lane then back through the woods to Shibden Head via Hanging Royd. Plenty of the ususal woodland birds but it did take over an hour to see a Great Tit and Greenfinches kept themselves well hidden. The Mistle Thrushes were as usual making their racket but Song Thrushes were holding their own too. About 10 Redwing were also seen in the trees below Long Lane and the fields there also contained at least 20 Common Gull. Best sightings were a flock of 20 Long-tailed Tits and a masive flock of 500 Woodpigeons. The Jackdaw roost on Bare Head Lane had about 25 individuals. Other birds of note were 1 Sparrowhawk and 3 Jays.

New Link

I previously mentioned the need to get more people involved in our local birdlife and the webmaster of the Queensbury Website has agreed a reciprocal arrangement to link up. I have already placed a link to their site and have been told our link will appear on the village site, probably under Natural History, as soon as possible. Constructive comments and suggestions are welcome, as is information of any viewing problems.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Flock of 8 Blue Tits hanging around back garden for a few days now.
Resident winter Robin is back in garden.
Male Sparrowhawk sat briefly on foxhill bungalow roof this a.m. then female flew over garden at lunchtime mobbed by Common gulls. BS

SW again

Got up to Soil Hill and put seed down in the SE corner. Kestrel, 20 plus Linnet, Blackbird, Skylark, 4 Mallard, Pied Wagtail, pr Goldfinch, pr Stonechat.

Saw an immature Gull I couldn't identify at Raggalds, not BHG, so went over to the flood fields and had a gander. Didn't pick it up again, about 8 Common there and 10 Mallard. Finished off with 3 Pied Wagtails over BS House at 1.20 pm.

Friday, December 01, 2006


On dustbin duty at approx 0900 got 9 Goldfinch calling in flight SW over Springfield. Then the day nosedived, couldn't get out owing House purchase procedures. When will Estate Agents realise that birding is more important? Will try and get up to SH Saturday 2/12 to lay seed down, weather permitting.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Another SW dampener

Despite the milder temperatures, the dreaded SW moderate wind ensured that Soil Hill was going to be quiet; and so it came to pass. 4 Mallard, 5 Golden Plover, pr Stonechat, pr Twite by seed. More seed laid down - hope they don't become junkies.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Soil Hill at Sunset

26/11/06 1300-1400hrs Slight WSW setting sun. One of the better days
17 Linnets
5 Twite
1 Skylark
All down Partridge hill below solitary tree.
Got some more seed down. BS Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Another early start

A rainy beginning and a windy finish. 10 Fieldfare and a Pied Wagtail over Springfield. Robin singing it's heart out in the Willows. Approx 140 Common Gull spread between Foxhill Park, Old Guy Rd and Raggalds sports field, the latter having at least 90. BHG present in small numbers only.

Soil Hill - Meadow Pipit, 6 Mallard, Pheasant, 18 Grey Partridge, Golden Plover, Snipe, Reed Bunting, Stonechat. Seed put down in SE corner with no sign of Linnet party.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Thanks for the nyjer seed Brian, I have got enough for the next 6 months now! With the news that Snow Bunting have arrived, I did intend to visit SH today, however other events overtook me. It may be difficult getting up there Saturday as I understand that we are due for a battering from 80 mph westerlies. If it's got a bit easier by Sunday, I most definitely will be up, just to see what's been blown in (or off).

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Misty Benefits

Having experienced what a good holding mist can do at this time of year, I went up yon Hill with reasonable expectations.

Mipit, Goldfinch, 14 Linnet, 2 Twite, pr Stonechat, Little Owl, Pheasant, Grey Heron, 24 Golden Plover, Woodcock.

The Linnet party, with Twite enveloped, were almost waiting for me to put the seed down in the SE corner, as was the cock Pheasant. The Goldies were in the scrape area and the Woodcock was flushed from about 2 metres. This is my third bird in as many Novembers and was located only about 20 metres away from the first one I experienced.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Early Sunday Trip

Don't know why but I felt the urge to go up Soil Hill early again. Got 1 Fieldfare over Springfield and Common/BHG in the fields. See comments on BS entry for SH yesterday, on what was a bizarre morning's experience. Somebody has been naughty and dumped what I can only describe as "not quite rubbish" - 2 bottles Asti Spumante, 1 bottle Macon Village, 4 Cans of Boddingtons, a crateful of Red Wine amongst other items. I'll let you know if this lot is drinkable, naturally. Please don't give out my phone numbers or address, in case I ripped off the Queensbury Mafia.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Soil Hill

The SE feeding area, Soil Hill
18/11/06 1445-1530hrs Howling >W 6-7 Drizzle
Tried for a rerun Nigel but it was,nt to be.
4 Linnet enjoying seed
2 Goldfinch also on seed
4 Goldies
Got some seed down in this area. Discarding seed in other 2 areas to save spreading birds all over the hill and making them hard to watch.When the Lap Bunts come in I want to be in the right spot ! BS Posted by Picasa

Queensbury List

At last I have started to convert the data kindly provided to me by Brian Sumner, listing the bird species seen locally in the last 10 years. When I have finished processing, I intend to upload it and make it viewable as a linked file to this blog. Individual user online updating will not be possible, so periodically I will review posts and update the file. Hopefully, I'll be busy on this, given our species rich environment (cue laughter).

As I already have a bird list for Soil Hill, Brian, you may note the odd deletion from your original list and possible additions from my observations. I will ask you to view the completed job and make necessary comments etc, before declaring the version as 'polished'.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Recruiting another Queensbury Birder

The stalwart Postman wot delivers my bills and causes much grief, has gained access to the internet and in a short space of time, discovered our local birding journals. Welcome to the grapevine Dave Pinder, as discussed, I am going to Email you and hopefully recruit you as a subscriber to this here blog.

A horrible thought entered my cranium last night; we are all of a certain age, one foot in the grave and all that. Are there any young birders out there who are potential observers for the local birding spots? It may be that the Playstations and X-boxes have claimed our nation's youth, but should any of the first generation want to contribute, don't be afraid to contact us.

Another visit to SH

On the strength of the Purple Sandpiper turning up in the afternoon, yesterday 13th November, going against my so called intelligence, I forced myself upto Soil Hill. On arrival at 0910hrs, I found Keith Moir had arrived a short while previously. There was no sign of the bird whatsoever, but we persevered for about an hour and a half, being joined by Brian Vickers in the latter stages. It will be no surprise to me if the bird turns up again this afternoon, but I won't be partaking in any more early morning searches. Sufficient to say a number of birders have gained satisfaction, and it proves yet again that this unforgiving location, does turn up some decent birds.

2/3 Mipit, Pr Stonechat, approx 20 Linnet, 3 Twite on call in flighty conditions, but maybe a couple more, Golden Plover. I put some more seed down in the SE corner feeding station.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Bird Crazy

0645 this morning in near total darkness with a gale force 8 westerly blowing ,5 birders including myself tried to keep on our feet long enough to see a little grey wader which didnt seem interested in either us or the weather.On our arrival a flock of 38 Goldies were circling around the summit and the Purple Sandpiper was happily feeding away in the scrapes.I told the lads with me that this was just a stiff breeze for Queensbury as we all tried to keep our feet on the floor. For cracking photos of the bird see Calderbirds,once again Sean Gray has excelled himself ,even if we had to hold on to him so he didnt get blown away.

The bird hath flown

Thanks for the phone call this am Brian, informing the Purple Sandpiper was still present and close up on Soil Hill. Unfortunately at 0920 hrs the bird had disappeared; even a combined effort a bit later with David Sutcliffe, failed to turn anything up. There were 3 Golden Plover present, which I am further informed by BS, had reduced from 38.

Other birds: Little Owl, Starlings, Linnet, couple of Mipit.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Mega Tick for Soil Hill

12/11/06 1615hrs
A chance in a million as I decided to dash up to Soil Hill at near last light to put down some more seed and retrieve an unused feeder that I had up there .On walking back passed the scrapes on the very summit I firstly got a quick call and then saw a small wader 30yds in front of me which was a Purple Sandpiper. I took some photos,see Calderbirds for the best of a shocking lot as it was now near dark.
It just goes to show, had I stook with my first decision not to bother as it was getting late the bird would have gone through undetected. BS

Soil Hill again

18 Common & 5 BHG in fields at Old Guy Rd and usual Starling bunch. Re-seeded Soil Hill under a battering from the wind. I now feel we are mainly feeding the Partridge, oh well.

Mipit, Skylark, Pied Wagtail, Robin, 3 Blackbird, Reed Bunting, 12 Grey Partridge, 20 Linnet, Little Owl.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Approx 20 Fieldfare 1150 hrs flew into trees, Brighouse Rd -back of Downeys Solcrs.

Friday, November 10, 2006

More Woodies

10/11/06 early a.m.
Another good morning for moving Woodpigeons with several groups of up to 100 all >SE. Also this morning saw a good move of Mipits all >SW in small flocks of 5 or 6 .Otherwise just a few singing Robins about. Foxhill park at lunchtime was quiet with just 4 Common Gulls. Looks like this is going to be another year with no sightings of PF Geese over the village, again all sightings has been to the south of us. BS

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Seeding Duty

Went up to Soil Hill and picked up 3 Pied Wagtail on the way. Once again, no seed traces in SE corner, so I put some more down. The top field was completely birdless and it was all in all a quiet session:

2 Meadow Pipit (note how it's always the full version and not Mipit, when there's nowt doin!) 13 Mallard, Grey Heron, 15 Linnet, 3 distant, silent, undistinguished brown jobs.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


08/11/06 a.m.
Several Blackbirds this morning with
3 in the grounds of The Willows,
4 in Chapel Lane graveyard and
4 in conifers in the works car park.
These birds had all appeared since yesterday coinciding with the large fall ND had at Roils Head ( see Calderbirds ). BS

Monday, November 06, 2006

More Woodpigs

Another morning of moving Woodpigs but this time smaller groups of up to 50 and less frequent. All were heading >SW with a few Mipits over going in the same direction.
Foxhill park held 42 Common Gull and 14 BH Gull this a.m. but these had dispersed by lunchtime. BS

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Yon Hill

It was bleak today up yon hill; the hellish wind blew my toupee off, a blonde one with black roots, should you find it.

Every seed at the feeding station had been gobbled up, and little presents of droppings are now turning up - methinks tis the Grey Partridge. I left them and whatever else is partaking, some more seed, but they'll have to wait for the wind to drop. There were a pair of finch types kept being blown about that may have been you know what, but I only got one squeak out of 'em so it's unfair to claim.

3 Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Skylark, Kestrel, 12 Grey Partridge, pr Goldfinch, 11 Linnet, Reed Bunting, pr Stonechat.

Just my luck that 10 minutes before I composed this, 6 sparrow sized birds were blogging over Springfield and Chapel Lane. I have no excuse on this one because although my bins were upstairs, they did call a few times. I couldn't identify the call, and thus don't know what species they were. Damn.

Friday, November 03, 2006

More Woodpigs

Another morning of good Woodpig movement all >SW with flocks of up to 100 birds.Movement stopped much earlier this morning than yesterday with empty skies by 0830.
All quiet in Foxhill park at lunchtime with just 1 Pied wag and a few Starlings. The massive flocks of Starlings seems to have moved on from the village now. BS

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Good numbers of Woodpigs >S over the village early a.m. with several flocks of 50+.
Foxhill Park at lunchtime had 26 Common Gull and 15 BH Gull + 1 Pied Wagtail.
Only other thing of note was a Magpie on the sill above Nigels door drinking from the overflow. BS

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A leg ring at last

Nonchalantly (I lie of course,) swaggering past the Bull lying in wait for me in the Queensbury fields, I made my way up to Soil Hill with a few handfuls of seed. On arrival at the SE corner I found all seed had been gobbled up, so prompty scattered my own offerings. On taking a few steps away from the feeding station, I flushed 4 Twite, which perched on the rockpile a few metres away. One bird had 3 rings on it's left leg: White/Salmon/White, no markings were visible and the right leg wasn't seen clearly, but appeared bare. I would appreciate any feedback on this, as a comment here, on the Calderdale blog, or Email.

There was another party, also believed to be the previous seen Twite, about 15 birds, down the slope. However, these were very flighty and some calls got me thinking there maybe a Linnet or three in with them, very difficult to tell, they'll keep, I hope. Other birds were thin on the ground: Kestrel, Goldfinch, 3/4 Mipit, 3 Stonechat and a Fieldfare at last. A femal Roe Deer was in the reeds by the wader pond.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

General banter

T'parish birding postman, Dave Pinder, told me two interesting things last night. First, he spent the weekend at Alnmouth, Northumberland and amongs other birds, observed over 15 Yellowhammer coming in off the sea. I'd be overjoyed to see one in this area, let alone that number. Second, he has got technological in the past week and by Friday should be connected to the 'net and online. This means, that thirdly, hopefully next day, he'll be aware of this here journal (Don't forget about the learning curve - what learning curve!)

Nice to see Sparrowhawks are busy terrorising Starlings in Bradford, got one flushing about 200 from the rooftops up Manchester Rd this lunchtime.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Qby and Soilage

Nothing doing on the way up to Soil Hill, where I bumped into BS and learned about his 2 Knot at Fly Flatts. After continuing to SH, I got very good views of Little Owl perched by a wall about 2 fields down from the track. The top field was birdless, apart from Skylark and some Crows, so I went to inspect Brian's bush for fat balls and peanuts. The fat balls have disappeared and every peanut has been taken from the feeder.

Down the slope to the Duck Pond and Wader Pond where I picked up a pr of Twite. DP was void of avian activity but the favorite pond was interesting. Pied and Grey Wagtail, Singing Stonechat, 3 Reed Bunting, 7 Goldfinch, Wren, just a few Mipits very active and on the scene came a biker. This one was very aware and in fact, did me a favour by going away from me and flushing around a bigger party of Twite halfway up the slope and a Little Owl. I reckon the LO would have been the same bird seen earlier, as distance wasn't considerable. I concluded the final Twite count as 16 birds, again no opportunity to view any leg rings present.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Queensbury Fog

28/10/06 Usual weekend fog.
Movement dominated with Redwings this a.m. with flocks of around 20 coming over below the fog, very low and very fast >S.
Had to go down to Shelf where it was clear and heavy numbers of Redwing were going over with only a few Fieldfares after yesterdays dash. Hope this fog clears for morning as got Fly Flatts and Soil Hill to seed up. BS

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Big One

27/10/06 0730-1115hrs
Again the red sunrise with Fieldfare piling over in their hundreds. I clocked over 1500 birds in casual observations to and at work and my wife,Lynda rang me from home to say she was getting flocks of up to 100 over the house. This move continued until the rain came at 1115. During the afternoon when the rain had passed over several more flocks were seen. BS Posted by Picasa

Autumnal Patterns

Several Redwing calls heard last night over Chapel Lane; there must have been a fair few because I heard them over a span of 2 hours.

As yet, I have not had a Fieldfare this autumn, nor, for the second year in succession have I had Pinkfooted Goose. The latter are sadly missed, as I was able to see them at night, over the Willows area, having been forewarned by their calls. On another memorable night, I was compiling my Group Recorder files, when a large party flew over my house, calling noisily. Hope springs eternal - maybe I will see a bunch before March.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Big Move Day

25/10/06 0700-0830hrs
Big red ball sunrise and the smell of vis mig this morning.
Mipits, Redwing and Fieldfare piling over >S from first light then from 0745 Woodpigs in their 100s moving the same direction. This continued until 0830 when the sky changed and started to cloud and all movement stopped. BS

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Soil Hill Seeding

Went up to SH to put more seed down in the SE corner and have a gander. I finally remembered to monitor the fat balls and peanut feed that BS strung up in the NW corner bush. Both fat balls look nearly complete, or untouched, as does the peanut feeder. I tried finding the growing nyger seed that has been scattered, without success, mainly because I don't know what it looks like!

A fresh WNW wind was busily keeping birds off the top field - not one seen, other than a couple of Crows hanging in the wind. I went down the slope and visited the ponds and got 3 Reed Bunting at the silted, wader friendly pond, with nothing at the steeper banked one near the main excavation site. On the way back up, by the minor diggings leading to the farm house, I picked up 15 Grey Partridge, around 13 Meadow Pipit, pr Goldfinch and 14 Twite. The Twite were feeding amongst rubble piles similar to the ones in the SE corner, but were very flighty when disturbed. However, they always returned to same area to continue searching, so I looked for legs rings. 3 birds obligingly posed close up, but they weren't wearing any jewelry.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Foxhill Park

23/10/06 1730hrs
Fall of Thrushes in trees on edge of park :-
2 Fieldfare
3 Redwing
6+ Blackbirds
Blackbirds stayed in trees, Fieldfare and Redwing off >SE

Sunday, October 22, 2006


A second visit 1500-1600hrs
Much calmer and alive with birds in the SE corner
32 Goldfinch
15 Mipits
4 Stonechat
6 Linnet
5 Twite, one ringed bird that I have had at Fly Flatts is a Suffolk combination.
Think we should concentrate the seed to this corner Nigel, dont say I told you so. The other side is fetching nothing and its no use spreading them all over the hill making it hard to watch. BS

Blustery Soil Hill

A showery view of Ogden from Soil Hill
22/10/06 0945-1015 Gale force WSW>7 Showery
Just a quick scramble up the hill to get some seed down.
The seed in the W entrance had gone but the seed by the NW tree is still there and growing well.
The fat balls have had something nibbling them and I had now put a peanut feeder with them.
I didnt get across to the SE corner due to conditions.
Bird list on Calderbirds. BS Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Foxhill Park

19/10/06 Lunchtime.
Lots of activity as the fog was just clearing
100 + Starlings landing and taking off out of one tree( camera on the kitchen table at home of course)
4 Redwing in elderberry bushes
2 Pied Wagtails
14 Common Gull
3 Singing Robins

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Replenishing Soil Hill

10 minutes after our chat Brian, a calling Skylark flew over Springfield to coincide with my trip up to the hill with nyger seed. We now have a pair of Grey Wagtail knocking around and about Chapel Lane - Fleet. The fields there were quiet, with just a few Meadow Pipit, and a Pied Wagtail, along with the obligatory Starlings, of course. The Goldcrest I reported as a possible was more likely a probable, because I had about 3 calling in the Hawthorns at the bottom of Bradleys farm.

Soil Hill was absolutely deadly to start with, worse than yesterday; it did improve when I got off the top field. This was after I laid seed down in the NW, SE Corners and the track top where the two boulders are.

Pied Wagtail, 4 Linnet, 5 Meadow Pipit, 10 Goldfinch, 3 Reed Bunting, 3 Stonechat, 2 Snipe.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Lost in the murk

My turn for a quiet day on Soil Hill, where the fog restricted effective binocular use down to 20 metres maximum. Got 3 Blue Tits and poss Goldcrest, plus 2 Robin in the bushes, then it really got hard. For starters, the local dog walker(s) have decided to have a shit-in on the path up to the Radio Mast; it looks like they were using a converted machine gun! I hope it's their families that get sludged up, but why do I believe that really won't be the case.

3 Meadow Pipit, 17 Grey Partridge, Cock Pheasant. A Twite flew off calling, fortunately.

On the positive side, all feeding stations showed no trace of seed remaining and contrary to my earlier comments, vegetation is showing through on the top field. No doubt, we owe that to the very mild autumn we've experienced so far. I inspected the several scrapes and hollows and found several wader (gull?) sized footprints in many of them.

Finished with a Redwing in the trees at top of Chapel Lane.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Finally, calls heard at approx 8.40 this morning over Springfield and 20+ birds seen coming from E turning NW over Foxhill. Could have been more - the roofs of houses blocked full vision. Also Grey Wagtail and approx 200 Starling amassing over High St.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Soil Hill pm visit

Another trip up SH at 1600-1700hrs because I couldnt belive how quiet it had been in the morning,however, I was right and it was equally as quiet in the afternoon.
1 Snipe
2 Skylark
17 Grey Partridge
3 Linnets
4 Reed Bunting
I did however discover a pond that I didnt know existed, did you know about this Nigel. The banking isnt as wader friendly as it,s grass but the Reed Bunts seem to like it and a Snipe flew from the side of it.This has got to get Jack Snipe this winter. BS Posted by Picasa

Soil Hill

15/10/06 0930-1030 Cool >E 4 misty
2 Skylark
5 Meadow Pipit
6 Linnet
1 Pied Wag.
Got some more seed down and a couple of fat balls in the solitary tree, although have found another small tree by the W entrance where I have put some more seed by the rocks on the left of the photo(click on to make bigger).This overlooks Ogden.
Couldnt find seed you put down to SE,may have gone but scattered some around that area Nigel. No Twite this a.m. but a pretty birdless morning. See Fly Flatts report on Calder Birds.
The banking down the W side towards Ogden is holding several blogging mipits and seems like its going to be a good spot now that its overgrown. BS Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Usual Route Report

I believe that we must have had some Robins from the continent, judging by 4 birds singing their hearts out in Chapel Lane and Foxhill, plus the 3 I heard calling at Soil Hill. A few Thrush contact calls were heard, but I never did see one of any species. The fields were quiet; I managed a couple of Goldfinch, 3 Pied Wagtail and a Grey Wagtail at Raggalds, with 12 Linnet at Mountain.

Soil Hill proved very interesting. I inspected the SE corner for traces of seed and found none, but I did find 2 Twite near the place I first saw them. Unfortunately, the NW corner still had traces of grain present; I don't trust my eyes without glasses to look for Nyjer. This corner had no birds present on either side of the wall, including the area I seeded on Thursday, so I drifted down to the pond. I copped for 2 Reed Buntings and a Goldfinch, before mooching along the portacabin and heading back to the pond. In the 15 minutes it took, a Greenfinch and 5 Twite had alighted on the telegraph wires, which is nice, to quote the Fast Show.

Grey Partridge activity was such that I believe there are two different coveys. I saw 10 drop down into the rushes beyond the pond, and got 7 halfway up the slope just minutes later. The were quite active today, including visiting the a/m mentioned SE corner.

The top field scrapes and hollows produced a Snipe and a final farewell to the by now world famlous corner, produced some Linnet with 4 Twite dropping in too. The latter were so approachable, I remembered two issues - there were no leg rings visible, and I have given up photography!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Foxhill Park

A first for me in Foxhill Park tonight whilst dog walking in the fog and dark when I flushed a Little Owl from the trees.There are several Little Owls at the other side of the main road around the farmland leading down to the old station but I have never had one in the park before.
Still plenty Mipits moving >S over the village early this a.m. and a few Redwings but nothing on the scale of yesterdays move. BS

Advice Please

In the process of getting Nyjer seed etc from BS and actually laying it down, I forgot to ask a fairly crucial question:

What is the recommended frequency of putting seed out?

Answers from you experienced bird feeders is much appreciated. My comments fields are set to accept input from allcomers.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


12/10/06 0630 onwards
From first light Meadow Pipits were piling over Qby all very direct and >S. A few Redwings were mixed in with them. By 0730 Redwings were coming over in good numbers also >S.
As I was getting ready and on my way to work I was unable to make a count but in the bit of time I had I clocked at least 500 Mipits and over 200 Redwing. BS

Soil Hill Irony

The dry fair weather got me out even if it was another SW-W, for I had a mission to scatter my seed, if you'll pardon the expression. The usual route through Queensbury was quiet; I didn't get the Mipits nor Redwings that BS saw in the early hours. I did get the Bull in the field, which I am sure was grinning as it lay down on the path in front of me. Nevertheless, I circumnavigated and continued (I hope the cows don't feel miffed that I ain't scared of em).

Soil Hill started off quiet, in every sense - there was no mechanical activity on top and the gates were closed. Going underfoot was much better than I anticipated, as in yesterday's blog, and so I set out to scatter the bait. I put some down in the NW corner of the top field, slightly to the right of the nearer pile of white rubble. A horizontal red traffic cone about 45 yards off, indicates where to stand, until it gets displaced o'course. Then I chose to place some at the opposite corner, near to the farm buildings, as there is a noticeable mound of rubble there too (Wheatear pics Brian). Two birds took off from this pile and flew onto a wall, thinking they were probably Linnet, I reserved them for post scatter. Fortunately, after three flings, one called and so I got onto it immediately - a nice plump Twite! I obviously picked a damn good spot. The other bird was only a couple of metres behind it, however, although views were very good, they were fluffed up and both sets of legs well hidden.

I dumped the remaining seed on the top part of the field that slopes down to the pond and portacabin. Look toward the bent white object sticking out of the farmost, rubble heap, or thereabouts. If those Grey Partridge gobble up all the seed, I can only comment that, soon, it will be Christmas... see the Calderdale blog for the few birds recorded.

To wind up a pleasant days work, I got back home, and nailed a Grey Wagtail up Chapel Lane.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Typical innit?

The kind Mr Sumner dropped about half a ton of that seed wot attracts Twite off at me hovel on Monday and today Wednesday, it's still in me garden shed. Nature has a way of frustrating us humans who try to help - two days of constant downpour have prevented me from going up to Soil Hill. So, here I am listening to the likes of AC/DC n 'Sabbath etc. It would be folly to go up to SH now because that top field will be potentially dangerous with all this rainfall - better to leave it a couple of days after the deluge. (That is if my patience will let me of course)

On TV this morning, yet again I saw reference to the House Sparrow being classed as becoming scarcer nationally. I must be a real lucky guy then, because I saw about 10 at the end of the street and those along with a Starling or two are all I have seen today!

Nyjer seed, thats the one.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Soil Hill

08/10/06 1530-1430hrs Strong >SSW Cloudy good vis.
Started putting nyger and wild bird seed down at the N end of Soil Hill for Oct /Nov with the hope of attracting something good, thats if the Grey Partridge do,nt eat it all. The seed is on the gravel by the solitary tree as shown,TMR can be seen in the background.( click on to make bigger).
Quiet visit with just :- 2 Reed Bunting
1 Skylark
7 Linnet
1 Kestrel
1 Grey Wag
7 Grey Partridge.
Will drop you some seed off this week Nigel. BS Posted by Picasa

Movement in the Parish

The morning started interestingly; 5 Mistle Thrush flew over Springfield calling, I have never had this number in the 6-1/2 years I have lived here. 5 Goldfinch then flew NW in the opposite direction, so I got my boots n bins together and set off. Another Mistle Thrush flew over New Park Rd and a Pied Wagtail called from the park, as I headed to the fields. These were quiet really, even the Starlings. Pr Linnet and couples or small groups of Meadow Pipits were blogging. This was the order of the day, visibility was ok and no mist, but I had to go by call because of the nature of the birds behaviour. I encountered another 9 Goldfinch in Old Guy Rd and Mountain, the latter also holding a few Meadow Pipit.

Soil Hill was bathed in the dreaded mild SW-W wind and the conditions were just too good for decent birding. Grey Wagtail, 3 Pied Wagtail, 4 Skylark, 25 Linnet, 7 Mallard, 10 Grey Partridge. The Mipits were behavin in the previous a/m manner; I couldn't be bothered doing an accurate count. Goldfinch appeared again in one's or two's so did a single Sparrowhawk. Some brief excitement occured when a 80 strong Starling flock rushed across, probably flushed by a patrolling Helicopter. The bottom pond is now half full of silt n mud. I'm not religious, but I might consider becoming a god botherer if a really fat Easterly bloweth for all of next weekend. (I am easily bought).

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


31 Meadow Pipit, split between Old Guy Rd (23) Mountain & Raggalds. Couple of Linnet and Pied Wagtail also, with a pr of Pied Wagtails in Foxhill Park on return from Soil Hill. The work up on the top field appears roughly 80 percent done, providing that levelling is the final project, of course. I anticipate a very poor autumn/winter for Snipe & Jack Snipe, as vegetation is nil -mebbe the lower slopes may cough up something.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Willows

03/10/06 0740hrs Grounds of the Willows medical centre.
1 Willow Warbler
1 Grey Wagtail
2 Dunnocks
Sev House Sparrows
+ 1 Heron low >E over Springfield'

Monday, October 02, 2006

Foxhill Park

02/10/06 Lunchtime
20 Common Gulls
1 BH Gull
2 Pied Wagtails
4 Blogging Mipits
1 Heron high >W BS

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Usual stroll

2 Goldfinch and a Swallow, the only one I saw all day, over Springfield in the am. At 2pm I did the walk from Fleet Lane thro' the fields to Old Guy Rd top:

Starling bunch, Common Gull, 2 Linnet, 60 Meadow Pipit, Grey Heron. Bull - well 'ard; Birder - still intact. 14 Linnet at Mountain.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Blank! what blank?

I went out after lunch, expecting a very quiet day, owing to the mild weather and a dreaded autumnal SW-W breeze. And so it came to pass, not a bird was seen in the route from Fleet Lane to Old Guy Road, apart from 4 geese which had a go at a lady with some dogs. Top of the road saw a Dunnock and a pair of Pied Wagtail and then nothing until I got to within approx 120 metres of the entrance gate to Soil Hill.

High above the Causeway Foot side of SH, 4 Crows were mobbing a large raptor, which I could immediately see was not a buzzard. I got my bins on it and found it to be a Goshawk. The bird was circling and drifting east, ignoring the crows as it did so. What impressed me was the fact that this bird was bulkier than the crows and I was dwelling on this when another raptor flew into view. This second bird was at a lower altitude and I could see brown markings on the underbelly and the similar shape to the other one. However, I quickly left this second individual and got back to the main spectacle, by which time the whole show had drifted east. So, had I seen an adult Goshawk plus a juvenile, or was it a passing Sparrowhawk? The answer is, I was so taken aback that I don't know, but I am definitely claiming the initial bird!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sunset over Foxhill

Taken 24/09/06 One for DCBs Skyscapes.
Foxhill Today
Few Mipits over >S even into the late afternoon.
Massive flock of Starlings over Chapel Lane performing like Knots on an estuary.
Sparrowhawk over park mobbed by Swallows and Common Gulls BS Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 25, 2006

Aaaaargh, you stupid sod!

 I wrote a bit of a report a week back on the state of birding here in Sunny Beach, the premium building site of Bulgaria, only to find out I Emailed it to an incorrect address! 3 years ago this site was very convenient to explore, but now the builders have decimated the local marshlands cum agricultural areas. So it is no longer viable and I see no reason to return, especially as the hotel construction industry is still in growth. 
The weather was against the first week also, with a high pressure system causing much warmth and no movement. Ironically, one bird that I savour did turn up in a field surrounded by budding dwellings: Great Snipe. One one good afternoon, a mile from here where there is a landfill site by a river! I managed Bittern, Marsh Harrier and both Storks, oh yes and Squacco Heron.
However, the lake at Pomorie has remained untouched and is still protected, so I managed to salvage some birds to balance out the disappointment. Gotta go, flight almost ready

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Soil Hill. A bit of a setback

24/09/06 1500-1600hrs
Extensive levelling work has been taking place this last week with most of the summit now levelled although the ground is very soft and dangerous to walk on,not to mention drive on. A few water filled scrapes still remain and the pond is still intact if only just.
The resident birds seem happy with the habitat and have not moved on, list on Calderbirds. BS Posted by Picasa

Starlings in the fog

Large numbers of Starlings in Qby at the moment, these numbers have increased over the last 2 weeks.
Flocks of 50 + are common which in turn is keeping the local Sparrowhawks active. BS Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Good movement of Swallows and some House Martins >S over Foxhill from lunchtime on after the fog had eventually lifted. This move continued up until last light. BS

Friday, September 22, 2006

Moving Mipits

22/09/06 0630-0730
Good move of Mipits this a.m. with approx 150 >SSE over Foxhill but this movement had dried up by 0730 leaving just an odd one or two trickling through.A phone call from DCB confirmed that he was getting good numbers at his Oxenhope watchpoint.
Other things of note was;
1 Mistle Thrush in Foxhill park and 1 singing Robin.
1 Grey Squirrel in Chapel Lane graveyard. BS

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Highest count yet..... 41 Common Gull
9 BH Gull
On football pitch early a.m.

4 Pied Wagtail
2 Mipits
2 Swallows
1 House Martin
in park , lunch time.

Good numbers of LBB Gull and BH Gull >E last light each evening towards Eccup roost ? BS

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Common Gull

Common Gull over Foxhill.
Hurry up back Nigel, I,m running out of ammo here. BS Posted by Picasa

Foxhill Park

19/09/06 Heavy showers and sunshine
21 Common Gull
5 BH Gull
1 Pied Wagtail
Several Swallow and House Martin over park in between showers.
No sign of any vis mig movement this a.m. BS Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Soil Hill

17/09/06 1545-1630
No further development to the landscape so far. Most of the scrapes have almost dried up despite recent heavy rain.
1pr Kestrel
1 Skylark
2 Grey Partridge
7 Reed Bunting by pond
12 Linnets
1pr Mallard on pond
Several Swallows BS Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 16, 2006


16/09/06 1915hrs
2 Golden Plover over park >NW towards Thornton Moor Reservoir.
Shortly after 1 Curlew very high >W.
1 Dunnock in full song last light in edge of park. BS

Friday, September 15, 2006

Meadow Pipits

15/09/06 am.
Steady flow of Mipits all >SE early a.m. also 4 Alba Wags >SW.
Foxhill Park at lunch time held 4 Mipits which is unusual and 3 Pied Wags.
A flock of 15 Goldfinch are still on the now almost dead thistles in the Pineberry car park and a solitary Pipistrelle bat hunts over the park last light. BS

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Collared Doves

Collared Doves have had good breeding successes around Qby this year and it is common to see flocks of 5-8 birds together.
Under the point of the cladding to the left of the picture is where the House Martins are still using the annual nest behind our house.
Common Gull numbers are building in the park and rugby field with 24 present this a.m. BS Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


As with DJS ,Wheatley Valley, several Goldcrests were present in gardens in Qby this morning where they are not usually found ,and by lunchtime they were gone.
This morning also produced the first moving Mipits >S over the village between 0630 - 0830 along with a few Swallows and House Martins.
Last light yesterday produced several Pipistrelle bats over Foxhill Park after the storm had gone. BS

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Not much happening locally this am, just a few Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtails knocking around, with the odd Swallow.
With great regret, I have to announce my absence for the next 14 days or so. I am going on a birding stint in Bulgaria. Heartbreaking, I know, but it isn't a selfish thing, it's in the cause of furthering ornithology. Don't worry too much - I can post to this blog via Email! (Ain't that a bummer).

Friday, September 08, 2006

Good Weather Poor Harvest - for some!

Swallow, Meadow Pipit and Greenfinch were knockin around Springfield in the morning in one's and two's, so I thought I'd break my habit and go out early. A Wheatear was in fields nr Old Guy Rd along with 5 Linnet and 5/6 Swallow, Pied Wagtail at Raggalds now down to 5. By this time I concluded the weather conditions were too good, what bit of wind present was from the S and skies bright and sunny. Still, I ventured up to SH and as expected it was quiet, in fact for the first time for best part of a year, I got a NIL return for Skylark. 14 Mipit, 40+ Linnet and a rather fat looking Wheatear were also present.

On returning home and reflecting about the great conditions for us humans but poor for birds, I met BS. Within moments of our chat, he got a mobile alert from Halifax Birders: Red Kite over Cold Edge!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Queensbury Today

Good numbers of Swallows moving through >S early a.m. in heavy drizzle.
1 Heron very high and >W over Foxhill ,lunchtime,heart missed a beat, thought it was an Osprey.
Loadsa ladybirds flying round and even on parked cars in the village at lunchtime. BS

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Fleet Lane & Raggalds.

2 Wheatear, 8 Meadow Pipit, 9 Swallow, 5 House Martin, 7/8 Alba Wagtails at Raggalds very active. One pale individual, but never stayed still very long and views not very good, so the're gettin clocked as Pied.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Soil Hill

Several scrapes have been left on the top of soil hill and are now awaiting the waders.
N.K. has already had a Whimbrel and 2 Curlews in this area. BS Posted by Picasa

Just for posterity

Dave Pinder, our friendly postie and fellow obsessed birder, reports that he too visited Soil Hill, on Sunday 27/8 and observed 2 Curlew. He had to get off the site quick because of commitments and so could not report any other varmints. Lets see what happens when I go up this afternoon - I better steel myself for a blank, so I don't get too cheesed if nowt happens!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Eagle Owl

A photo I took at Oats Royd of the Queensbury Eagle Owl , spring/summer 1998
If you stood too long it used to fly at you yapping like a small terrier. In 2 month it cleared the hillside of rabbits. A fella that lives near showed me a film of it flying at him and knocking the camcorder from his hands,he said he saw it coming but kept on filming. Posted by Picasa

Queensbury Area List

Thanks for the list you supplied me with Brian, which I have now fully read and digested (hic). I have entered the poss Red Kite from 1997 onto my Soil Hill list - see under 'Articles'. Your other SH species have already been covered by either yourself, myself and other birders in the BOG/CALDERDALE areas.

I am toying with the idea of compiling a Queensbury list and filing it under 'Articles' also, as it has some very tasty species on it. Meanwhile I take the liberty of commenting on a few of yours:

Lesser Whitethroat - I am green with envy, I never thought I would encounter one up here.
Green Sandpiper - I aint got that neither.
Eagle Owl - Would this be from the captive stock in Shibden Valley? I stumbled over a cage with one in it about 4 years back.
Buzzard - The one bird I thought I would get and still haven't.
Glaucous Gull - Only one I ever had in UK was at Fairburn Ings - excellent record.
Cormorant - Yes! at last, me too over High St about 3 Septembers ago, phew!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Queensbury & Soil Hill

Took the usual route and was rewarded by yet another Whinchat in Fleet Lane fields. In previous years I use to zip through here, how I regret it now. Around 9/10 Swallow, a Pied Wagtail and pr of Goldfinch at Mountain were around, plus of course the Starling bunch.

Soil Hill, for the first time in months had no machinery or workers present, it just may be that the process has finished, at least for the top field and adjacent lower slope. BS and myself have commented on a scrape being on our wish lists and effectively the excavations have left a series of pools. One such pool produced 4 Curlew and a Whimbrel this afternoon, if things remain the same, I feel we are in for a good Autumn. A fuller list is on

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Foxhill Park

Lunchtime today.
4 Common Gull
6 BH Gull
2 Mipits
4 Goldfinch
2 Pied Wags.
Still family of 6 House Martins using nest behind our house.
14 Goldfinch in Pineberry car park on thistles. BS

Monday, August 28, 2006

Mixenden res and Luddended Dean on the horizon from Soil Hill

28/08/06 Foxhill.
1 Sparrowhawk over my head as I got in the car to go to Fly Flatts this a.m.
Steady movement all day of Swallows and House Martins >S and >SW.
5 Pied Wags in park + 5 Goldfinch.
1 Kestrel perched on Black Dyke Mills chimney, it spends a lot of time up there. BS Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Queensbury fron Soil Hill

Thats a heck of a walk you do Nigel. BS Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Soil Hill

The pond just holding on in there.
You were right about it being quiet Nigel.
Got your flock of Grey Partridge and a cock Pheasant which is a new one for me up there.
That ponds got to pick up a wader this autumn. BS Posted by Picasa

Fleet Lane to Mountain

Fleet Lane fields had 2 Wheatear. 20+ Mipit at Old Guy Rd. 4 LBBG, 5 Mipit, 6 Swallow, Pied Wagtail at Mountain.

Foxhill Park

25/08/06 -1915hrs
11 Pied Wagtails , 9 of which had appeared since lunchtime. Top pitch.
4 Goldfinch
1 Mipit. BS

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Foxhill park.... 4 Goldfinch
2 Pied Wags
3 juv House Martins from nest behind house-3rd brood
1f Sparrowhawk low across park skimming grass.
1 Heron >E over Springfield, nearly took your chimney off Nigel. BS

Another arternoon walk

Chapel Lane - 5 House Martin; Fleet to Old Guy Rd - 2 Swallow, 21 Mipit, 3 Wheatear, 11 Rook; Mountain - 4 Pied Wagtail. Approx 100 Starling by BS House and a Linnet.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Fleet Lane

I decided on a local walk in the pleasant afternoon sun with a mild W breeze :

8 Meadow Pipit, juv Pied Wagtail, 2 Swallow, 5 Wheatear, Whinchat. About 7 House Martin over Roper Lane and 2 Pied Wagtails at Reservoir whatever it's called.

Monday, August 21, 2006


1 Swift tonight at 2015hrs >S over New Park Rd.
My last Qby Swift for 2005 was this day-21st Aug. BS

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Pit Lane football pitch

20/08/06 0715hrs
45 Common Gull
16 BH Gull
12 Lapwing.

1 Swift has just flown>S past my window whilst I was typing this report.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


A good spot for Wagtails, passage Mipits and winter gulls.
In summer it attracts Swifts,hirundines and Pipistrelle bats. Posted by Picasa

Foxhill Park

19/08/06 1500hrs Just before you got there Nigel.
12 Common Gull
3 Pied Wagtail inc 1 juv
8 Goldfinch feeding on top pitch.
Also- Lapwing numbers building in usual field,Jackson Hill cross roads with 28 today and around 300ish Starlings. BS


5 Swift over Raggalds at approx 2.35 pm, Redpoll at Mountain and 2 Pied Wagtails in Foxhill Park, 4.15 to 4.30 pm.
The rain is causing earth to move further into the bottom pond on Soil Hill. That big juicy digger would only need about 20 scoops to save it. I wish.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Signs of autumn

Still a few dispersing Willow Warbs about in unusual areas and now 4 Common Gulls on rugby field or in Foxhill park early morning,this can increase to 70 birds in late autumn and throughout winter.
The birds dominating Qby at the moment are Starlings with roof tops full and large flocks flying round,usually very high.These birds seem to move on mid September.
No Swifts for 7 days now although got report of 1 over Swalesmoor yesterday 17th. BS

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Bit of a Fall

I suspected the combination of a westerley wind with light rain and some mist may bear fruit, so I had a local walk from Fleet Lane to Old Guy Rd across the fields. A few Swallow were flying low, about 11 Meadow Pipit, 3 Skylark, 2 Linnet, 5 Twite, 5 Pied Wagtail, 2 Wheatear, plus another Pied Wagtail at the top of the road. I then returned about 1-1/2 hour later when the weather had freshened, dried and brightened up. Most birds had moved on, but the pr Wheatear and 4 Wagtails were still present at 4.20 pm. I am reliably informed that Twite is a very good record for the location, it certainly is for me!

I visited Soil Hill in the meantime and managed 2 Wheater plus a very close Sparrowhawk as well as 3 Skylark and a few Mipit, plus another 4 Pied Wagtail. Of significance is the fact that now the lorries are depositing soil on the top field and not taking anything away. There is a lot more flattened ground around than before, but still a lot to be done in terms of levelling the whole area. As I was walking along, a gentleman in a 4x4 drove alongside me and stopped to ask if I was looking for somebody. I explained I was a birder and that the owner had said a few years earlier it was OK to walk the land. This chap probably was family of the owner, because he was quick to say that they had no objections whatsoever to me carrying on. I did not want to spoil the amicable atmosphere by asking when would the work be finished - maybe next time.

Monday, August 14, 2006

House Martins & Swift

2 House Martins up Chapel Lane early afternoon, and 3 over Chapel Lane at approx 7pm. Then 4 House Martins over Black Dyke Mills at 7.35 pm, accompanied by 1 Swift.

More Willow Warblers

Another rare sighting for me with a 2nd Willow Warbler in the garden today and 3 in the Willows medical centre grounds.Obviously a move after the weekends heavy rain, ( see N Dawtreys report on Calderbirds.)

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Willow Warbler

1 Willow Warbler in garden tonight,New Park Rd.Thats nowt you might think but I get maybe 3 a year and only at the start of autumn dispersion. BS


No shortage of House Sparrows in Qby- 27 in garden this tea time + a few young Starlings.
1st Common Gull back on rugby field today,earliest previous date was 19th Aug.
Still Swallows and House Martins over park but Swifts seem to have gone.My last Qby Swift last year was 21st so may get another yet.
BS Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 11, 2006


Several Wagtails around at lunch time today.
3 Pied in works car park
2 Grey +1 Pied in the grounds of the Willows
2 Pied by Rugby field
5 Pied in Foxhill park.
All had gone when I walked back to work 30mins later.
Still an odd Swift over >S. BS

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Noon today.
Juv Pied Wagtail with parent birds
Sev Swallows feeding over park
Sev House Martins feeding over park, lots of young ones. BS Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Evening Movement

Noticed group movement in Queensbury these last two evenings. Sunday 6/8 around 7.50 pm 30+ Jackdaw flew N over Black Dyke Mills, reminding me of the story, going back some years, when this species could not be found here. Last night Monday 7/8 at roughly 8.10 pm 40+ BHG flew SE over Chapel Lane. I don't know where they were going, but the country park at Great Horton maybe a contender. Early on, also 7/8 and always welcome - couple of House Martins over Springfield.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


View from Soil Hill towards T.M.R.
06/08/06 1700-1800hrs
1pr Stonechat + 1 juv bottom end beyond pond.
1m Stonechat halfway up hill in heather delph
1 Snipe down bottom
5 Linnet
2m 1f Reed Bunt which I forgot to put on Calder.
1 pr Mallard.

Old Guy Rd cricket field
2 Skylark.
BS Posted by Picasa