Birdbrain Stuff

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Last Trip Out

Soil Hill - 3 Skylark, Kestrel, 11 Common Gull, 16 Fieldfare, Mistle Thrush, Blackbird, Goldfinch, Stonechat. 3 Roe Deer, Fox.

A little mystery was resolved today. On about 3 occasions, I thought I had heard the call of a Raven, when there has been no such bird in sight. I now know it to be part of the reportoire of Roe Deer calls - the rotters.

That's it anyway, I'm sick to death of birding, I won't be doing anymore until next year.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Soil Hill x 2

Early am visit by BS - Meadow Pipit, 4 Golden Plover, 17 Fieldfare, Stonechat.

Mid day visit by NK - Meadow Pipit, 3 Skylark, 5 Grey Partridge, 9 Fieldfare, 4 Goldfinch, pr Stonechat. The Goldies are consistent with their disappearing and reappearing act (usually at last light).

Also 3 Roe Deer and a party of joggers. The latter must be out of their minds; I mean, which sane person would go up there?


Date: Tue, 25 Dec 2007 12:46:39 +0000


Looking for Christmas Dinner: We don't get many of these in the Park Lane area. This one turned up (with a female) at 12.20 a.m. today looking for the peanut feeder. Let's hope they hang around for a bit. They are usually a one-day wonder at this elevation. Merry Christmas everyone!! Colin Shields. Picture by Denise Shields.

Monday, December 24, 2007


Sunday was so grim up on t'hill I couldn't even be bothered making the effort. I met KM at the track, who told me the entire place was devoid of passerines. He was correct; not a sausage, nichts, nada, nowt, zilcho. He did get 3 Herring Gull, which has always avoided me; all I saw were approx 16 Common Gull and some Crows.

BS has confirmed he is still having problems with connections - a potential for defusing a joyous yuletide methinks.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Brian's Communications

Brian has made the transition from dial-up modem to Broadband. Unfortunately, he is experiencing teething troubles; hence the reason for this posting to explain why he may not be publishing for a short period.

Assuming you can read this Brian, please send me an Email, should you not be able to make any comments as to the state of things.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Grey Wag

Grey wag seen Tues afternoon flying from Boothtown park, landed on main rd momentarily before flying off low West.
2 Rooks on our street yesterday. Regular pair of Pied Wags too, one a Juvenile.
Who is the mad 'monk' figure in the Bradford/Royston Vasey postcard? He waves at everyone he passes. Apparently he used to be aggressive with a friend of ours, pursuing her through the streets of Bradford. He must have thought she was the Antichrist. Maybe it was a case of 'There's nothing for YOU here!'

Queensbury News

Flock of 25 Greenfinch flew out of the Conifers at the M.O.T. station at lunch time today.
1 late Hedgehog by the back garden at 1900hrs tonight.
Going to try change to Broadband now so this could be the last entry I ever make ?

Soil Hill

The cool easterly wind didn't bring anything from the orient, let alone three kings. Skylark, 3 Blackbird, 3 Fieldfare, 2 Mistle Thrush, pr Stonechat, Grey Heron, 2 Kestrel.

Queensbury sported 3 Pied Wagtail.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Soil Hill

16/12/2007 1430-1530hrs
Went in the hope of Jack Snipe after 1 at Fly Flatts this a.m.
Yes, this was a first for me at Fly Nigel. Soil Hill was alive with Snipe
with birds flying around all the time, I had 6 in the air together at one point.
Unfortunately no Jack Snipe.
A bonus then with 4 PF Geese over low between the hill and TMR >W over Ogden
and disappearing past the wind trurbines.
Otherwise just 1 Kestrel and the tough little f. Stonechat. BS

Frozen Soil Hill

SE corner was still holding a Meadow Pipit and female Stonechat, despite the fact the place was white with frost. Down the slope: 3 Mallard, Grey Heron, Snipe feeding in the vehicle wash. Flock of 20+ blogging Blue Tit (most unexpected), 3 Redwing.

7 Greenfinch were at Chapel Lane top; Raggalds had 11 Fieldfare, 1 Redwing, 2 Blackbird. Mountain had 1 Fieldfare.

Well done with the Jack Snipe at Fly Flatts, Brian. Was this a first for there?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Foxhill Today

15/12/2007 mid pm
17 Common Gull
8 BH Gull
2 Fieldfare in top trees
1 Pied Wag on top pitch
1 singing Robin
9 Mallard over >W
1m Sparrowhawk low over Fleet Farm.
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Friday, December 14, 2007

Cold n Misty

Not much doing on Soil Hill; almost as many birders as bird species in fact. 3 Meadow Pipit, 3 Skylark, Grey Heron, f Stonechat, Mistle Thrush heard singing. Met DS & KM; the latter having just feasted on Mediterranean Gull, outside this patch at Cullingworth. Also Weasel.

12 Magpie in Albert Rd, Queensbury. I have not seen the White Crow since Spring; perhaps it has ceased to exist.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Consolation Prize

I was convinced the cold crisp conditions we had this morning would be potentially good for Soil Hill, so up I yomped. Things were promising in Old Guy Rd, Queensbury, with a female Stonechat, showing well.

Soil Hill itself also sported a f Stonechat in the SE corner, but the flashes were empty. Maybe because a large raptor gave a glimpse as it flew low across the edge and down the hill. I got views of long, broad, dark brown/grey wings with an ample 'hand' - immediately female Hen Harrier sprang to mind. Despite further searching, I could not relocate the bird and because I didn't see the rump area, I can only submit the record as a probable.

Consolation came in the form of a nice, fat, Woodcock, flushed from about 2-1/2 metres in a patch of heather. Also present were 2 Meadow Pipit, 4 Goldfinch, 14 Lapwing in the bottom fields, and a Fox. (No Roe Deer today, but then that fox did look well fed!)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Quiet on Soil Hill

Needed to use some day's leave up before Christmas and managed to pick the first dry day in what seems like weeks. Finally got round to doing my Timed Tetrad Visit for Ogden and Soil Hill. Loads of birds at Ogden... Hardly anything on Soil Hill. Total count for Soil Hill (11-12pm) was 1 Kestrel, 3 Crows, 3 Skylark and 8 Golden Plover. Lots of soggy ground up there at the mo'. Didn't see a Jack Snipe but did find a new hole in my boot.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Soil Hill

Quiet. despite the very still conditions. 15 BHG, Kestrel, 2 Goldfinch, 3 Blackbird, 85 Fieldfare with Starlings in among them, on bottom field. Roe Deer now up to 4

There were around 60 House Sparrow around Foxhill area; previous counts this year have been far less.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Soaked again - Reprise

The wind was far too strong to visit the hill from hell so I went out in a bright sky around Littlemoor and Shelf Moor. Alas, I was caught out yet again and mighty cheesed off with it I was too! Birding is absolutely chronic in these conditions; I may find an alternative hobby such as embroidery.

10 Blackbird, Dunnock, 10 Carrion Crow, 5 Common Gull, 60 BHG. Best of the pick was close up of female Grey Wagtail, a species that hasn't been readily available this year.

Twite - Email fm David Sowter

Hi Nigel thanks for keeping in touch. I think it was a poor breeding season in the S Pennines and few birds about until October when we appear to have a good number of birds. In fact Sean and Andy managed about 200 new birds at Deerhill though fewer at Warley.
However, the good news is many of these and some from cant Clough are already being seen on the east coast at places like Donna Nook, Saltfleet Haven, frieston and the N Norfolk coast round from Holme to Blakeney with more birds near Walberswick in Suffolk.
We also have bird moving down the west coast with over 100 ringed on the Duddon estuary and a recapture of a bird from the Ribble in the 04/05winter. there was also a Ribble bird ringed in January 2007 at Machrihanish BO on west coast of Mull of Kintyre last month, along with a bird from Heysham ringed in the winter of 2004.
Still no clearer idea of where the birds that appear in October come from though pretty clear they're coming to us down the Pennines from the north.
I attach a copy of the latest update on the project and the ID sheet updated.
thanks again its good to know you are still looking - so= in some ways negative feedback is just as important as actually sightings.
Cheers for now but keep in touch please.. dave
David Sowter

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2007 5:19 PM
Subject: Bradford Area Twite

Hello David
I haven't forgot about your work; I have no records of Twite this year for my patch! It's hard to believe but Soil Hill hasn't seen a single bird since the Winter/Spring period. Furthermore all numbers are down in the local area e.g Fly Flatts, according to my co-birders.
Nigel Kerwin

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Wind Dried

Got soaked again, but the rain eased off and the wind blew me dry to some extent. Soil Hill - 6 Common Gull, 3 Skylark, 8 Golden Plover, pr Stonechat. 2 Roe Deer.

Raggalds - Gull count still 120+; mainly Common.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Foxhill Today

Another windy wet day, if we get any more water in Foxhill Park
we,ll be attracting waders.
2 Mistle Thrushes were on the wires over Grimstons field at
lunchtime today.
Several Chaffinch were around the garden feeders at the bottom
end of the park which is unusual for this area.
This obviously attracted a f . Sparrowhawk which glided silently
over the hedge tops but did,nt make a kill.
Quite a few Wrens about just now clicking away in various gardens. BS

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Saturated on Soil Hill

I went up to SH mainly because I've stayed in for two days and didn't expect anything really. The wind was driving the rain so hard that I did have to abandon the trip, but not before seeing:
12 Common Gull, Skylark, Golden Plover, 4 Fieldfare, Snow Bunting. Only a glimpse of the latter and when searched for was not seen again - probably blown onto a Thornton rooftop!

Raggalds had about 100 Common Gull and 20+ BHG. Foxhill Park 26 Common Gull.