Birdbrain Stuff

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

Saturday, August 05, 2006

New Park Road birds

Several Swifts early a.m. all>S
Few Swifts this evening mostly >S , one or two >N.
Good number of gulls now around 2030hrs heading towards Eccup roost ?
Mostly BH. some LBB.
1 Pied Wag + 1 juv. Foxhill Park

Springfield birds

Swift over N this morning and a female Sparrowhawk same direction this afternoon.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

That Crow again

Went down to Littlemoor Park and Shelf Moor area this afternoon and pleased to say I saw the White Crow for the first time in about 2-1/2 years. It flew from the trees behind Downeys Solicitors across the road toward the mills. Results of walk are on the Calderdale Blog.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

As Expected...

Full of pessimism I visited Soil Hill today and was not disappointed. The work continues and so the alleged deadline to stop in July was either unfounded, or of course, extended. It could be months before completion is achieved, if it ever will be. About 4 Mipits, 4 Swallow, 2 Linnet, 9 Skylark and 3 Pied Wagtails, were present in the wet blustery weather.

The field belonging to Bradley's Farm at the top of Old Guy Rd, Queensbury, contains some Highland Cattle and is now a risk to walk through. This is because 2 bull calves have been born and I found out a week last Sat that the parents are frisky to put it mildly. The moment I stepped through the gate, one shaggy pair of long horns advanced toward me, so I rerouted. This afternoon, the calves were by the entrance but I couldn't see the adults. One of the young uns came up and being a friendly chap I gave it a stroke of three, then I walked downhill and saw the parents feeding. With one of the young following and the other showing interest, I decided that yet again a rerouted walk may be prudent. Public footpath or not, those horns tend to make one forget civil rights, plus the farmer is a friend, so it calls for quite a bit of discretion.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Littlemoor Park

Report of 2 Tree Creepers in park.
Also up to 4 Wheatears in field between park and golf course. BS