Birdbrain Stuff

Friday, June 30, 2006

Armchair Birding

Close up views of a juvenile Starling this morning in my living room. I have not enjoyed this spectacle for about 3 years now, as most birds seem to avoid falling down my chimney! It circled the room 3/4 times before finding the open doors and exiting, to my relief as well as it's own. Any suggestions of getting a cowl are appreciated thank you, but I can live with the slight inconvenience.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Blackbirds Everywhere

Queensbury seems alive with breeding pairs of Blackbirds this year.At least 4 pair are breeding down Chapel Lane with another 2 pair in the graveyard.There are 3 Pair round my works MOT station where I took the photo of the above fledgling.Looking from my back garden I can have up to 6 singing on an evening across the Foxhill area. BS Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

House Martins and Swifts

Several House Martins are now back at their previous years nest site under the bungalow eaves around the Foxhill area .
Swifts are plentiful hunting over Foxhill park each evening and when dog walking up there Ive had a few near misses with some so close you can hear them swush past.
One or two Willow walblers have been seen in the garden which is a sign of early dispersion.
I got a report yesterday of a successful breed for a Tawny owl to the S of the Qby area. BS.

More House Martins

The overcast skies must have provided good feeding conditions this afternoon as there were quite a few House Martins in company with Swifts high up over Springfield. Early in the morning two or three Goldfinch were present in a garden.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Saturday 24 June

Had a very pleasant walk up to Soil Hill and was encouraged by the amount of levelling of the top field. Nearly half has been completed and the heavy plant equipment on the lower slope has been reduced by at least 2 machines. I must add that this area looks as though it could be worked for quite a while yet, certainly up until the July deadline, whichever date that is.

Prior to reaching the top, I came across a Field Mouse that ran into a grass tussock at the side of my feet. I was able to reach down and stroke it with one finger, very briefly, twice. It squeaked loudly, but only ever moved about 1 foot each time it sought new shelter. I can only conclude that this was an old animal, or one that had been shocked somehow, when I encountered it.

When I went out at approx 8.40 pm, a House Martin flew by; I have only seen 2 birds this year over Springfield, but I do know they are breeding in Russell Road.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


I took a walk around Queensbury today on a damp but mild day with a fresh breeze coming generally from the East. There has been some dispersal of breeding birds, notably Starlings of course, but Linnets too. Foxhill Park had about 10 birds in it and I almost bumped into a youngster at Raggalds. In the Old Guy Rd area Meadow Pipits were flitting around and I counted 3 Singing Skylarks, so I conclude these species are still hanging on and breeding. Pied Wagtails were scattered throughout, funnily enough all singles.

Friday, June 09, 2006

A Birders Dilemma

You know how it is, you're alone birding in your local area or thereabouts. It's been a bit humdrum, but it's a pleasant warm sunny day, so no gripes. Then you see a distant bird perched in a manner that suggest this isn't one of the regulars. So, you stealthily creep close, or employ the telescope (mine last seen in a Cyprus dustbin) trying to limit the possibilities of the species.

Sunday 4th June , afternoon, I saw a bird perched atop a piece of metal sticking about 3 feet from the ground on Soil Hill. I watched it for at least 5 minutes, but never did get close enough to confirm the species, otherwise it would have been announced on the local blogs. This bird showed the jizz and features of a female Red Backed Shrike. Had it been a male, I feel confirmation would have been certain because the colour would have clinched it. I pushed my luck and got closer, so naturally the bird flew off, and I did not relocate it.

I decided not to mention this, even in passing to friends, because of standards that I try to work to. Imagine how I feel now that 13 Red backed Shrikes, including one in Lancashire, have been reported on the latest Bird Guides News.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Devasteted Soil Hill

04/06/06 1800-1900
1 small corner of moorland left awaiting the diggers and still the best place around for singing Skylark.
8 Skylark
6 Lapwing
sev. Linnets and Mipits
Swifts overhead.
This is the last stronghold around this area for Skylark and if the diggers keep going it will be gone.
The last breeding area was down Sam Lane near the cricket field where residents got a petition up to stop houses being built because of this endangered species but it was ignored and is now mostly built on.
When I was young living at home just below where I live now you could stand at the back door and listen to Skylark and Curlew,I suppose thats progress. BS