Wednesday, December 31, 2008
A small runner up trophy is to be presented to all other members highlighting their best bird of the year for our area,( there,s no losers in this group,) and these are,in my opinion, in no sort of order:-
NIGEL KERWIN ..............RUFF. also Osprey, Hobby and L.S.W.
CHRIS KING....................WOOD WARBER. also L.R.P. and Waxwing.
IAIN GREENWOOD..........BLACK REDSTART. also Pied Flycatcher
ANDY COCKROFT............GRASSHOPPER WARBLER. also L.E.O.
MICHAEL WELSH............NUTHATCH. also 14 late Swifts 20/08/2008
DAVID and JEN SUTCLIFFE... CROSSBILL. also Little Grebe and Snow Bunting
BRIAN SUMNER...................DOTTEREL. Also Red Kite and Common Tern
Many thanks to you all for the many splendid reports during 2008. Wishing you a happy and bird filled 2009
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Shelf Moor - quiet, no sign of Lapwing flock. 2 Mistle Thrush, 8 Fieldfare, 10 Redwing, few Corvids.
Shibden - 16 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing, Robin, 15 Woodpigeon, several Carrion Crow, circa 110 Jackdaws. The latter suddenly took to the air at one stage and I heard a Raven calling, but couldn't pick it up.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Found this in Shibden within 3 meters of the Calderdale way public footpath. As you can see it's slightly corroded and undischarged. It's a 12 bore with a pheasant on the side. 2 months previously the path was littered with clay pigeons (many intact!).
20 Fieldfare, 8 Redwing, 12 Greenfinch, few Starling, Pied Wagtail.
Approx one hour later there was a wonderful spectacle of 150+ Lapwing blogging between Corporal Lane to as far down as Shelf/Northowram and back. I watched for 20 minutes but don't know where they eventually settled. Checked for Goldies but there were none in the field and none with the a/m.
28/12/2008 0800-1000hrs cool E>3 cloudy
Lodge House Feeder
4 Coal Tits
Sev Blue and Gt Tits
1 Gt Spotted Wdpeck
1 Green Wdpeck
+ usual sp.
SWALESMOOR RD Qby end.
Flock of 40+ Goldfinch
No sign of Siskin flock
Was going up Ringby but blasting of 12 bores made be decide against it.
Oh well, back to work tomorrow !
Saturday, December 27, 2008
6 Mistle Thrush
1 Gt Spotted Wdpeck
28 BH Gull
6 Coal Tit
4 Mistle Thrush
PIT LANE/LOW LANE
2 Mistle Thrush
CARTER LANE WOOD
1 Gt Spotted Wdpeck
Friday, December 26, 2008
The Little Owl was sunning itself in Old Guy Rd, but apart from a Gull or two, nothing else.
Soil Hill worked wonders for my hangover, but not for birding:
2 Meadow Pipit, approx 60 Common Gull, 3 Grey Partridge, 3 Goldfinch, Mistle Thrush, 5 Fieldfare.
A much quieter morning than my last visit with the cold S wind keeping things down.No bird song this morning.
1 Kingfisher in overflow works, below promenade south banking.
1 Dipper on shale in NW corner
1 Pied Wagtail
1 Green and 1 Gt Spotted Wdpecker.
1 GBB gull
2 Herring gull
8 LBB gull
A hedgehog was walking through Foxhill yesterday evening.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
A few minutes before these Starlings landed on the Radio Mast, they comprised a flock of around 220 birds, wheeling around. Within their ranks were approximately 20 Fieldfare; other birds present were:
4 Meadow Pipit, 2 Grey Heron, 4 Woodpigeon, 2 Reed Bunting, Sparrowhawk, Short Eared Owl, Corvids.
I would recommend that anybody still fancying their chances with the far end top field of Soil Hill take either Snow Shoes or a Canoe.
12 Meadow Pipit were at Raggalds and the Little Owl still at Old Guy Road.
Hi Nigel,Seems a long time since i met you en route to the hill.I was flattered to be described as 'a pukka bloke' and to be trusted with the whereabouts of the LRP.Unfortunately I am of the age and upbringing to recognise the word pukka!! I have remonstrated with that upstart chef Jamie Oliver for appropriating it along with his overuse of the in and out word.Some firm has hijacked it so that we can now enjoy pukka pies! I digress.Just wanted to wish you and the gang an enjoyable Xmas and some exotic ticks in the New Year.I have thoroughly enjoyed your travels and finds.Those of you who have sampled the delights of Soil Hill in all weathers ,especially your good self,have shown what my old dad used to call intestinal fortitude.I regret not having done much birding in the area,my wanderings have taken me up the Dales re-visiting places I last saw 35-40 years ago.I have also enjoyed Rodley Nature Reserve and locally Ogden and Shibden.I have been doing a bit of photography with a Fuji 5700.which I got as a birthday present.My knowledge is limited and quite frankly I am happy to go with autofocus most of the time.I thought 10 zoom would be plenty until I saw all these guys with assorted bazookas.Still it has been fun and that is what matters.It is a shame Soil Hill has been bulldozed and I was sorry to hear about the roe deer cull,seemed a bit tough.I would welcome a proper tour of Oatroyds sometime so that i know where i should be walking and also the favoured spots.I am sure you will continue to enjoy both your hobbies.Thank goodness for anti-shake on the modern cameras! Best wishes,
24/12/2008 0800-1000hrs Calm, Sunny.
A real birdy morning with several Tit flocks out and Robins, Dunnocks, Wrens and Blackbirds in full song giving a false sense of spring.
Movement in the sky was like vis mig with Gulls, Woodpigs and Stock Doves over. A.C.s Whoopers never came over Ogden.
68 Common Gull
25 Common Gull
2 BH Gull
2 Green Woodpeckers
2 Gt Spotted Woodpeckers
7 Mistle Thrush
1 Cormorant >NE
6 LBB Gull >NE
5 Herring Gull >NE Sorry Nigel
110 Common Gull >NE
8 Stock Dove >W
All in fields below W bank of Soil Hill then off >W
A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL LOCAL BIRDERS AND WATCHERS OF THIS BLOG SITE.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
All users of the estate are strongly advised to stick to the bridleways and official footpaths and not to wander off into the woodland.
The official calibre of bullet used to kill Roe Deer is .243 which is big enough to kill a human being, even at a fair distance.
An indicator that shooters are at work (apart from bangs!) is the presence of a Land Rover parked on the hardstanding front of the house gates.
The source of this information also tells me some fairly good news - Woodcock is a bird he sees more regularly than I suspected. There wasn't one today, in fact the quiet trend continues:
2 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 2 Jay, Little Owl, Moorhen, Grey Heron, Corvids, 3 Blackbird, Chaffinch, Siskin overhead calling.
With some regret I now announce that I will no longer be duplicating work in the above manner. From 2009 I will be using Birdtrack solely, but, all is not lost because these records can be downloaded to ones PC. Although they cannot be imported into GR, they can be attached and sent via Email. I will work on this in order to determine which is the most user friendly format e.g CSV, Excel, etc for those interested.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
21/12/2008 1345-1440hrs Near gale- WSW>6 Horizontal drizzle.
Not being happy with this mornings early morning soaking I ventured up Soil Hill this p.m. for another.
When I got up there the weather was terrible but the devastation to the habitat was worse.
The eastern end of the hill which held the flock of Snow Buntings and was favoured by the Dotterel has been wiped off the face of the earth along with the SE corner former feeding station and small pond.
This area is now dangerous and inaccessable with the soft deep mud being like quicksand. I came close to losing another pair of rigger boots.
And all for :-
3 Golden Plover
2 Common Snipe
Shortest day but felt like longest looking for birds.
4 Coal Tit
1 Mistle Thrush
1 f Sparrowhawk
28 Common Gull
19 B.H. Gull
1 Pied Wagtail
ROPER LANE FIELDS
Loadsa Corvids and Jackdaws
2 Siskin - Alders to left of steep track
1 Little Owl
+ usual sp.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Regarding BS previous comment about the ponds supporting Water Rail in future. I have often thought of this and discounted it because of the isolation. They seem to need a more extensive waterway from my experience but somebody please prove me wrong next year.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
1 Reed Bunting. Long expected one here and it finally happened today. Looks like there's a few happy birders had good days out today in the recording area. Special congratulations to Brian for his SH Jack Snipe for which he has waited a little longer than I have for Reed Bunt.
1 Stock Dove >W
19 Herring Gulls >W
1 BH Gull >S.
80 Fieldfares on the fields and in bushes. Another 20 >E.
5 Mistle Thrushes
1 L Owl
1 Coal Tit
1 Spadge Hawk (F)
5 LT Tits ( also had three outside house today-scarce house sighting)
14/12/2008 1430-1545hrs SOIL HILL
After 40 years of visiting Soil Hill amidst several reports of Jack Snipe, (NK) ,(KM) I finally got my own with good views as I flushed the bird twice at 20yds.
1 JACK SNIPE.
3 Grey Partridge
Lodge House feeders :-
6 Coal Tit
Sev Blackbirds, Gt Tits and Blue Tits
Round water :-
4 Coal Tits
+ usual wrens, Robins and Dunnocks.
Ned Hill :-
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Oats Royd - Grey Heron, Little Owl, 5 Chaffinch, Bullfinch, 4 Blackbird, Redwing, 3 Jay, Green Woodpecker, Goldcrest, pr Stonechat. May have heard Redpoll.
I decided to go along the top track for once, this proved worthwhile. Just before I photographed this Roe Deer, I'd flushed another along with a Woodcock. Going back down the track I saw my first ever Muntjac Deer.
Monday, December 08, 2008
I did contact Google and it was re-instated immediately, only to be disabled once again after a few minutes. Perhaps it is just a technical problem; I hope it is anyway and I shall be keeping my fingers and feet firmly crossed.
I'll keep you posted when I get the opportunity...
Sunday, December 07, 2008
2 Skylarks and 2 Meadow Pipits on the top
1 Herring Gull >S
130+ Carrion Crows, 38 Magpies, 27 Rooks and 24 Jackdaws also nearby - possibly a pre-roosting flock. I think there is a fairly big winter corvid roost just east over Swales Moor Road around the top end of Scout Wood
1 Little Owl calling up Ploughcroft and 5 Fieldfares there too
Good move of Pink Footed Geese this p.m. with 90 >W over Brow Lane at Shelf, lucky for me I called at daughters house
then 64 over house >W towards Soil Hill and Ogden at 1430hrs. These had just been reported over Northowram by Calderbirds grapevine.
Soil Hill 1500hrs
5 Grey Partridge
4 Meadow Pipit
Very quiet as reported by NK.
Walked on shot ice for over 5 miles today and all the good stuff came over the house, typical !
Thanks for putting Purple Sand on Web site Nigel, you,re doing a great job there,its really coming on now.
07/12/2008 Early sun then mist. NW>3 Very ice.
A deadly walk round on sheet ice at both venues, fortunately only one fall but its good for sky watching when you,re layed horizontal on your rucksack.
Another poor morning with :-
11 Blue Tit
Still 90+ Mallard
+ usual Robins, Gt Tits etc.
OATS ROYD Gulf area.
2 Roe Deer
Berry trees deserted.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
Only raving lunatics go up t'hill in this weather, so off I set hoping for a morsel. Amazing what you find aint it? This Twite shows the full White or Silver ring on the Right Leg and part of a Yellow ring on the Left Leg. I have emailed the main man David Sowter with the details and await feedback.
Only other birds: 2 Crow, 2 Common Gull, 9 Greenfinch near Farm Shop.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
I've been doing armchair bird-watching for a couple of days. There have been 16 species in today, including maximum counts of 10 Blackbirds, 15 Chaffinch and 13 Goldfinch. We rarely have Jays in, but there have been 2 over the last couple of days. Woodpeckers had been absent for a long time, but the female came previously, and this male called in today. In "Note to BB" mode: We had 3 Woodpigeons in. I discovered that they like peanuts and can eat 43 at a sitting-if not disturbed.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
(Click to enlarge images)
Afternoon - 4 Common Gull, Moorhen, Little Owl, 2 Green Woodpecker, 4 Jay, Sparrowhawk, 28 Jackdaw, 8 Blackbird, 3 Redwing, Mistle Thrush, 3 Greenfinch, 4 Chaffinch, Bullfinch, 1 (poss 2) Redpoll, Goldcrest.
Got glimpse of large raptor believed to be Buzzard.
Monday, December 01, 2008
After traumatic dental appointment, I took a therapeutic drive through the lanes this afternoon.
3 Redwing, 2 Fieldfare, 2 Mistle Thrush and a Little Owl in Bracken Lane. 3 Lapwings over, heading towards High Cross Lane.
In High Cross Lane, 32 Lapwings and 10 Golden Plover and a further 68 Lapwing, seen flying above the Corporal Lane fields.
In similar soul-saving drive (same tooth), on Saturday, I saw the SEO, from the roadside at around 2:30 (no joke!!). It was hunting across the slope and the Kestrel was still trying to see it off.
No Bramblings in the garden since my last e-mail, but we have had Redwing, GS Woodpecker, Jay and Sparrowhawk. Denise
PS Great shots of Waxwing, Fieldfare and SEO from you.
Oats Royd - 5 Blackbird, 3 Mistle Thrush, 15 Chaffinch, Bullfinch, 2 Jay, Little Owl.
Swalesmoor - 7 Meadow Pipit, 4 Skylark, small unidentified raptor (Sun in eyes) plenty of big black birds Carrion on.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Checked all summit, down new grass bank to ponds,up N hillside and across to SE corner all for :-
1 Grey Heron
1 Common Gull
15 Carrion Crow
This has got to have been my worst days birding this year
Saw CK on hillside + 2 unknown birders, hope they did better.
30/11/2008 Good frosty morning but poor birdwise
3 Goosander >W
low numbers of usual species
Thanks Chris K for Waxwing alert phone call.
Watched area and walked up to top of Gulf then checked area from bottom again , Dip.
2 Green Wdpeckers
Checked all top area from manure pile to Shorelark field for Snow Bunt, Dip
Only Soil Hill to dip on at tea time now.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Weather too calm and sunny for much movement upon t'hill at 1020hrs:
16 Meadow Pipit, 2 Skylark, 2 Grey Heron, Golden Plover, 3 Stonechat, 4 Goldfinch, 2 Wren. 4 Roe Deer
Also present 5 other birders, 4 of who were in the distance and one who stopped for a chat. Good to meet you Jim.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Before returning home, I decided to give a section of the upper slope that I hadn't covered the once over. Within 8/9 paces I flushed a Woodcock from about 4 metres! Other birds: 14 Meadow Pipit, 2 Skylark, Kestrel, Blackbird, Goldfinch and from the grapevine, the SEO put in another performance after I left.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
1 P Wag
1 L Owl
8 LT Tits
2 Coal Tits
1 (possibly 2) Treecreeper in amongst the distant tit flock. Picked up a probable warbler fleetingly and moved in to get better views but despite 40 mins following the flock around as best I could I couldn't pick it up again.
1 Green Peck
1 Grey Heron.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Also present 3 Meadow Pipit and 9 Fieldfare in among 20 Starling.