Birdbrain Stuff

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

More Pinkfeet

30/01/2007 1500hrs
66 Pink Footed Geese over New Park Rd >N at lunch time.
This has got to have been one of the best years for geese over Qby with none recorded last year. BS
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So, why shoot the Duck in the first place?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Brief Respite

The tension of preparing to emigrate got to me, so I went out into the mild afternoon air.

Queensbury Cricket Club - pr Skylark.
Raggalds Floods - pr Mallard, 2 Common Gull.

That other place Le petit Mont Merde - 14 Carrion Crow, 3 Skylark, Kestrel, pr Mallard, Grey Heron, 25 Fieldfare.

Them Sheeps are starting to look handsome.

After Tuesday, I don't know when I will be back on line, so good birding all.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Wheres all the birds ?

Soil Hill east pond. This must surely produce Water Rail !
Soil Hill 28/01/2007 1430-1600hrs NW>6 Drizzle
Got seed down then trod every inch of the area inc. scrapes, ponds, hillsides and feeding area and
my reward was 2pr Mallard and 1 Skylark.
Shouldnt grumble though, thats more than I got at Fly Flatts and Leeshaw Reservoir this morning
in atrocious conditions. BS
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Friday, January 26, 2007

Queensbury News

38 Redwing >NE over Albert Rd , lunchtime
2 GBB Gulls >S over Albert Rd 1500hrs
Foxhill Park,lunchtime.. 1 Grey Wagtail
sev flocks of Blue and Coal Tits. BS

Thursday, January 25, 2007

White Soil Hill

Pr Twite by the seed but not hungry judging by the amount left over from Tuesday. Tracks of large bird indicate that the Cock Pheasant has been grain gobbling again. 6 LBBG overhead and I am afraid that the text message of 4 poss Pintail overhead will have to be dismissed owing lack of good evidence, Brian. Only other birds were 3 Mistle Thrush.

The snow revealed the tracks of several mammals being active, at least 4 different kind; I think Rabbit is a safe bet for one.

Ending on a good note: the large material extraction site at the bottom LH side, adjacent to the Greenwood family land, is being topsoiled off. Hooray! - with luck they may leave us an odd pond or two.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Better Day

Started off with 20 Fieldfare flying into Foxhill Park and then evidence of a probable Sparrowhawk kill at Raggalds. A recently decapitated Gull was lying in a field, close to the roadside, but not close enough for definite id.

Soil Hill - Blackbird, 12 Carrion Crow, 5 Fieldfare, pr Mallard, m Reed Bunting, 3 Skylark, pr Stonechat, 8 Twite, Wren.

Twas interesting watching the Twite. I saw them by the SE corner seed, which had virtually disappeared, before they flew a short distance. After laying more seed down, I spotted them feeding amongst stoney ground (what else!) on a particular type of grass. I left them to it and returned to the SE corner an hour later, where 8 birds were present. One seemed to be on lookout, the others feeding, but not on the the nyjer, they were approx 2.5 metres away on this same grass type mentioned earlier. Very good views were obtained but no leg rings were seen.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Felled Trees Queensbury

Mr Kerwin,

Ive now checked the records for tree protection in the area you mention
below and can report that there has never been any trees identified for
protection in that area therefore permission from the council is not
required. The decision about what tree works go ahead would lie with the

If you are concerned about any remaining trees that you consider are
important then can you please write to this department requesting
consideration of a Tree Preservation Order so that we can restrict what
work is carried out on the trees in the future.

Many thanks

Daniel Speedy
Trees Team
3rd Floor
Jacobs Well

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A Quick Sortie

Got some seed down up Soil Hill, which was perhaps the most birdless it's ever been - Skylark, Golden Plover, pr Mallard. Had a gander at the Raggalds floods and counted 19 Mallard, 7 Common Gull there, with over 50 Common Gull on the sports field nearby.

On the way past The Pineberry, I took note of BS comment on the felled trees at Foxhill. Whoever did this have destroyed 200 years of growth; I reckon about 7/8 trees have been killed and I couldn't detect any obvious disease. Busy with House move or not, we'll see what Bradford Council have to say.

Windy Weather

If you think its windy at Soil Hill,try Fly Flatts but dont book a week in a caravan.
This morning at Fly Flatts the >NW wind howled across the moor with a full on snow blizzard.
Just managed :-
1 Stonechat
2 Pheasant on seed
2 Twite
1pr Goldeneye
1 Red Grouse
Hope you dont mind me sneaking this on your site Nigel but I know a lot of Hx lads look on here and I still can,t contribute to Calderbirds. BS
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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Signs of things to come.

Good numbers of Starlings around Chapel Lane rugby field
Singing Robins in Foxhill Park, The Willows, Chapel Lane graveyard and around work.
As reported by NK and AC overnight fall of Blackbirds. BS
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Soil Hill to Swalesmoor

I took advantage of the calm day to get out before we get another hammering Wednesday. Soil Hill was quieter than expected: 3 Skylark, 2 Blackbird, 6 Fieldfare, 2 Stock Dove, 2 Mallard, 2 Stonechat. It was good to watch the 3 Roe Deer watch me intently; I noticed the stag is growing velvet on his antlers.

Hanging Royd had 40 Woodpigeon on the deck and a male Sparrowhawk over a rooftop.

Swalesmoor - Shore Lark showing in the open with 4 Skylark, 18 Meadow Pipit. 35 silhouetted waders high above were probably Golden Plover.

Ah not forgetting going through Foxhill en route to SH. I noticed a plentiful supply of blackbirds, in fact, the most I have seen there. Maybe 10 birds were in an area of a couple of hundred metres, may have been a mini migration - the overnight winds did come from the NE, I believe.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Today's word is 'Wind'

I thought the gales had subsided a bit later on this afternoon so I was fooled into a trip up to Soil Hill at 3.30pm. I was wrong!!! I think the wind is thicker on the top of Soil Hill. Anyway, didn't expect to see much so was pleased with 50 or more Golden Plover (eyes were streaming too much to do a proper count). A wander to the SE corner produced a lone Skylark and I disturbed a Meadow Pipit near the mast on my way back. Watched it for a few minutes until it blew over. Gave up at that point and went home.

The Big Yun

14/01/2007 1400-1430hrs
800+ PF.Geese >W directly over our house, and yours Nigel in4 Skeins.
Just got back from seeding a birdless Soil Hill and called in at work where I got the first 2 lots over the traffic lights and got the second batch as I got home. Of course when I rushed in for the camera no more appeared.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Rubbing it in

13/01/2007 1150
Whilst you were trudging about on Soil Hill Nigel I was watching 43 PF Geese flying NE nearly over your house. I was walking up Chapel Lane from work when I saw them from the end of Springfield then across the rugby field flying low and in a long string. Sorry to make your day worse but the Fieldfare were a good sighting as they seem rare around this area this time, and at least you got the seed down. BS

Guess the venue

Meeting another cheesed off birder in the shape of Keith Moir was almost uplifting; until the grim reality brought me into an even deeper trough of wind driven despair. KM reported one Skylark then promptly disappeared . I went to replenish the SE corner and got Grey Wagtail and 9 blogging Linnet, so was difficult to discern any Twite presence. Tripping over another hidden wire didn't help my evil mood and it wasn't lifted much by seeing one more Skylark and the Cock Pheasant (that better watch out, I'm running out of fowl food) 28 Fieldfare on the return trip did give some alleviation, thank gawd.

Sunday is forecast to be more amenable, but will I fall for that?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


As reported by MD, BOG. Waxwings are now being sighted on the East coast of Yorkshire so hopefully we could be seeing some soon with good crops of berries on the Rowan trees. Sightings are rare in QBY and the best reported spot for previous years seems to be Naesby Rise, Scarlet Heights although NK had a good flock in the grounds of The Willows medical centre, Chapel Lane,which I of course dipped on. The bird on the photo is one of several I took in Pellon Lane Hx 2 year ago. BS
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Monday, January 08, 2007


Thought I'd get the obligatory dip in today so went up to S**t Hole and was duly obliged. A Cock Pheasant was gobbling the seed up, so I put more down. Only other birds were 2 Skylark and a Wren, which was a bit too close for comfort to a passing Stoat.

Queensbury had 20 Common Gull at Old Guy Rd and 40 at Raggalds, with a few BHG there.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Needle in a Haystack

SOIL HILL 07/01/2007 1430-1530hrs WSW>5 rain
The search for the Jack Snipe goes on with yet another dip.
Ive dipped on Jack Snipe up here for at least the last 10 years
so why should this year be any different.
Did get :- 15 Golden Plover
1 Skylark on seed
1 Mipit

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Group Recorder 2006 Records

Just a note to let the recorders for both Bradford & Halifax that my records for 2006 are ready to be supplied by Email attachment when you are ready for them.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Breezy Queensbury

Several Blue Tits on garden feeders
24 House Sparrows in garden,lunch time
1 Heron >E over Chapel Lane top
1 f Sparrowhawk active, mobbed by Starlings
Report of Albino Crow, Sandbeds
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More on Soil Hill

Deciding that the very fresh W/NW may bring me a bird or too, I went up to the hill of ill repute. After about 25 mins in which the SE corner was replenished, I bumped into Keith Moir. This was good, because we flushed a Jack Snipe at close range during our conversation about further development by the owners.

KM met the owner fairly recently and it transpires that the top field, with all them luverly scrapes and ruts, is going to be topsoiled. The ski slope will not go away - a 5th planning application has been submitted to Bradford Council, urged on by a person unknown living in Denholme. Apparently, there are lots of jobs to be had in such a Ski Slope - I hope they last longer than the one many people have viewed while hunting Shore Lark just 3 klicks away! To those not in the know - it has not been used, and appears very much redundant.

The owner still shows goodwill to people accessing the land, whether it be birders or walkers; I would like to express my appreciation and hope it continues.

Other players in todays episode:

3 Skylark, 7 Grey Partridge, (KM) 10 Linnet, Golden Plover, Snipe, 16 Fieldfare.

Approx 110 Jackdaws at Raggalds on way back.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Foxhill Today

03/01/2007 mild >W 3-4 showers later.
Foxhill Park, lunch time
32 Common Gull
5 BH Gull
2 Pied Wags

2 Collared Doves in Chapel lane graveyard
Large flocks of Starlings over village
4 Blue Tits on nut feeder in garden
also 1 Blackbird, 2 Dunnock. BS

Monday, January 01, 2007


The Shorelark twitch. BS
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The Twitch is on

01/01/2007 0930hrs Strong WSW> 6 Sunshine and showers
Crippling views of Shorelark in sunshine
Nice to meet Iain Greenwood , the man that stirred up all this excitement.
Also present.. 6 Skylark, 12 Meadow Pipits
UPPER SHIBDEN HALL WOOD.. Swalesmoor, opp. tip
30+ Chaffinch
150+ Woodpigs
1 Wren
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New Years Day

Decided to rid my rotten body of toxics by visiting Soil Hill and then Swalesmoor. Put more seed down on SH, cursing the sickening SW wind that wipes out birding. Got 1 Golden Plover, 3 Skylark and 3 Roe Deer.

Met Bruce at Swalesmoor, and a birder from Skipton and one from Burnley, then another two desperados, eager to clinch a juicy prize. That Shorelark is certainly pulling down migrant birders! It gave decent views fortunately, just before the weather hit rock bottom again.

I got your Email about progress on the blog Brian, but despite the effort my brain is still fogged by alcohol, with more to follow this afternoon. Will try and resolve the issues asap, tomorrow - oh forgot, it never comes, Tuesday then.