Birdbrain Stuff

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Raggalds & Soil Hell

Raggalds - BHG, 9 Common Gull, 3 Goldfinch, Swallows, 9 Swift, Wheatear.

SH - Meadow Pipit, 4 Skylark, Kestrel, 7/8 Swallow, 2/3 Swift, 7 Woodpigeon, pr Stock Dove. Planning permission has been sought for 3 Houses to be built by the farm adjacent to the top field - hope they attract more birds. Hard to believe that the scrapes are noticeably drying up.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Soil Hill

It's been so quiet on my last two trips that I didn't even bother mentioning the earlier one and in fact there was a high bird count than today! Only reason I'm posting this is because I encountered a Wader on the top that presented a bit of a mystery as it flew off and viewing wasn't anything to shout about. I concluded it was a probable Golden Plover in juvenile plumage. Also present were 6 Meadow Pipit, 5 Linnet, 3 Skylark, Reed Bunting, pr Greenfinch, 2 Swift, 3 Swallow.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Foxhill - BS

Hi Nigel,
Just to let you know that Swifts are pouring over Foxhill tonight with 226 counted from 1800-1930hrs.
Also noted this a.m. that Common Gull are back with 5 on the football pitch, Foxhill Park. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Shibden Head & Valley

The silence was deafening; no singing and only a few calls throughout the walk. Another harbinger of Autumn: 14 BHG Gulls. 3 Blackbird, pr Mistle Thrush, 4 Goldfinch, 6 Linnet, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 23 Jackdaw, Jay, 2 Green Woodpecker - these were fairly vociferous. 3 Willow Warbler, 20+ Swallow. The most interesting observation concerned House Martin - about 45 were feeding frantically, some just at head height.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Around Ploughcroft.

Thanks Nigel for the invite. As you can see it appears to be up and running.
Not as many Swifts around today, about 10 seen.
Skylark 10 plus.
Mipit 20 plus, many young.
Little Owl 5. Several territories overlap. Most I've seen in some time.
Redstart. 1 Female and a Juv seen for the third time. Delighted to have these locally.
Goldfinches 20.
Plenty of Juv Blue and Grt Tits and Juv Greenfinches.
Linnets 20 plus mostly Juvs. No sign of the white individual. I will be looking out for it.
1 Mistle thrush.
1 Pied Wag.

A busy few minutes when all the Mipits, Skylarks and Linnets were up together with a few Swallows.

Half a dozen Swifts over Boothtown.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Some more Swifts

Soil Hill - 9 Swift over 1300hrs. 7 Swallow, 4 Linnet, 4 Greenfinch, 2 Reed Bunting, 12 Meadow Pipit, 7 Skylark, 10 Woodpigeon, Kestrel, Mallard, Mistle Thrush. One unidentified singer.

Mountain - 11 Swift feeding 1435 hours. 4 Swallow, Pied Wagtail.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Last week Brian Sumner was asking who had seen Swifts in the area, with a minimal response. I for my part didn't respond because I can't recollect seeing any at all within recent weeks. That was remedied today, albeit down on Halifax Road by the Yorkshire Water depot - still none in Queensbury. A party of 7 birds, most likely post breeding, were screeching and wheeling around in a most determined manner. Just think, three weeks from now and they will be joining their compadres and leggin it orf to Africa (well, flying then).

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Soil Hill

Dunnock, Wren, 7 Blackbird, 4 Reed Bunting, 6 Linnet, 2 Goldfinch, 8 Skylark, 22 Meadow Pipit, Kestrel, 16 Woodpigeon, Cock Pheasant. Wader, prob Golden Plover, heard high overhead twice, but only briefly.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Littlemoor Report

Colin Shields sent me the following info, which I am grateful for:

I wrote to you a while ago about records over the last year from our garden in Queensbury near Littlemore Park. Since I returned from a bird trip to Norway and Finland a few interesting things have turned up. The first was a pair of Stock Doves which have put in about four appearances on the lawn in the last few weeks. First record (19 years). The second new bird was an adult Willow Tit that put in an appearance amongst the hosts of other tits on the feeders. Have photos of each record. Thirdly was a in-out visit from a Nuthatch. This follows what I think is a trend for recent years at this time- possibly post-breeding dispersal. It was so quick on and off the feeder I did not have time to see if it was a juvenile though. Incidentally I had a Whitethroat down at the railway triangle a couple of weeks ago on the NW side. Also in the garden this week, my wife saw a large dragonfly, by size and colour a Brown Aeshna. A quiet time? You would think so from reports locally. But not here!! Colin Shields

Sunday, July 08, 2007


A very pleasant surprise on my way to Soil Hill this morning: singing Whitethroat, albeit briefly, in the scrub area next to Foxhill School.

Birding Types

As in all kinds of pastime, hobby, call it what you will, there are the genuine, laddish and downright certifiable type of birdwatcher. Such a birder lives not a marathon distance away from the parish of Queensbury, where the rate of scarce and rare birds turning up is truly amazing. What is especially wonderful about this birder, is that he only goes out 3 times a year maximum, yet returns real quality records. Unfortunately the birds he sees only stay a few minutes and any birder travelling into the area from outside, has wasted their precious petrol money and time.

Here's my tribute to all those birders who spend time in all weathers, go out 50, 60, 70 times a year and if they are really lucky, see one, maybe two scarce birds a year. I don't know how we stand on libel/slander laws on blogs, so I won't name the name, but it's something like: RS Upwards.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Birdwatching Holiday Anyone?

Yes I'm bored with being rained off.