Birdbrain Stuff

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!