Birdbrain Stuff

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


A very wet morning - but we had a look all the same!
1 surprise was a Chiff-chaff giving short bursts of song in willows near the eastern top pond.
1 G C Grebe
8+ Goldcrests
everything else was hiding away - don't blame them.

Monday, September 29, 2008


This afternoon
1 G C Grebe
60 B H Gulls
2 Common Gulls
16+ Goldcrests

Brill site


Hi Nigel


We live in the vicinity of Hill End Lane, Queensbury. We love watching birds and visit your website quite often to see what is around. We are quite fortunate to frequently get a Sparrowhawk visiting our garden.(Not so for the poor house sparrows though) Its not frightened by us at all, my hubby got quite close to take photos. My son video'd it  tucking in to a house sparrow in the back garden just last week. Maybe my husband and I could meet up with you sometime.


Anyway I just wanted to say hi and I enjoy reading your sightings.


Mrs Linda Ioanna

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Shibden Valley/Swalesmoor

This afternoon
Shibden Valley (upper)
14 Swallows by Scout Hall - mostly juvs but adults seen to still be in and out of buildings so they are probably still feeding young!)
1 Treecreeper nearby
2 Kestrels
c12 Goldcrests

I also checked the site where Tree Sparrows used to frequent (in the big hedge adjacent to Lee Lane just above the YW pumping station) without success but it was worth a try) is this in the area Nigel?

No Skylarks - 1 Meadow Pipit
12 Grey Partridge together in one of the quarries
1 Wheatear
1 Sparrowhawk
20 + House Sparrows at top of Ploughcroft

Soil Hill / Roper Lane

28/09/2008 1530-1630hrs Icy cold NNW>4 Sunny
The hill was absolutely dead with nothing at all on the summit other than Corvids and Woodpigs,
not even a Skylark. The only thing of interest was Meadow Pipits trickling in from the north in small groups and landing in the field by the entrance.
By the time I left up to 150 birds were feeding in the field,probably getting ready to move in the morning.

Roper Lane,
1 Wheatear
3 Linnets
15 Goldfinch
The usual hillside full of Corvids.
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Another early start

Queensbury - 130 Jackdaw over SW, 5/6 Redwing calling at Foxhill.

Soil Hill - Meadow Pipits trickling through; estimate approx 110. 15 Skylark, 4 of which were singing. 2 Snipe, 8 Golden Plover over E, 7 Pied Wagtail, 2 Grey Wagtail, Kestrel. I flushed a Merlin and alerted CK who was fortunate enough to see it was carrying prey. 3 Linnet, 45 Goldfinch, 5 Robin, 4 Wren, 3 Reed Bunting, 3 Stonechat, Wheatear, Willow Warbler.

Ogden/ Back Lane

Back Lane looking NW.

28/09/2008 Dead Calm, early cloud then some sun.
21 Lt tits
1 Redpoll
2 Siskin
1f Blackcap
9 Goldcrest
2 Treecreeper
1pr Bullfinch
2 Jay

1 Peregrine >S
85 Meadow Pipit>SW
2 Redpoll>SW
7 PF Geese over Ogden, alerted DCB at Oxenhope and he got 100+ >E
70+ PF Geese >E to the south of me over Swalesmoor
25 Redwing >N landed in tree tops by giants tooth.
50+ Blogging Meadow Pipits
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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Email from Denise

Hi Nigel,
I passed over Soil Hill this morning-23 Meadow Pipits and 2 Kestrels. Later over the fields by Corporal Lane, a Swallow. The Goldfinch was at the "Reserve". Denise

Friday, September 26, 2008

Brief and Local

Oats Royd: 2 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk, 16 Mistle Thrush.
Roper Lane: 2 Kestrel, c60 Goldfinch, c40 Jackdaw, 8 Meadow Pipit.

Crow roost

For the last couple of evenings we have had lots of jackdaws and crows gathering in the trees at the back of our house , around West Scholes. I am not good at judging big flocks but there must have been 200-300.
And 1 raven , a tick for the garden.
At 7.30ish they all set of in one noisey flock going towards Thornton.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Oats Royd

2 Meadow Pipit, 3 Common & 8 BH Gull, Grey Heron, 3 Moorhen, Little Owl, Green Woodpecker, GSW, Kestrel, 2 Blackbird 35+ Mistle Thrush, 6 Chaffinch, pr Bullfinch. 4 unidentifed birds, finch size, high up.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Birdbrain Bloggers PC Problems

If you have any problems with your PC, before calling a technician or purchasing another one, please use this facility below.

Click the link and take the Full Service Scan which includes the crucial Registry Clean up. This is the baddy that can even screw boot up and believe me it really works. Be prepared to have your PC out of action for 3/4 hours, depending on the shape it is in.

NB The above does not have any effect on your communications link which is down to your phone line quality and speed.

Chris King belated report due PC probs

Soil Hill - 22 September 2008 6.50am - 8.00am
Light wind from the North. Visibility poor 3km (I could just see DB at Thornton Moor) decreasing down to 50m in the fog.
As can be expected, in the deteriorating conditions, the number of birds migrating were few. I was picking birds up in the gloom by call and the only moving birds were 25 Meadow Pipit mainly South (but a few were heading North) and 1 Alba SE. Other local birds were 4 Skylark, 10+ Linnet and 3 Stock Dove. Eventually gave up at 8am, got slightly lost in the fog on the walk back and went home for a brew.
And today's Vis Mig for Soil Hill: -
Soil Hill - 23 September 2008 7.10am - 9.00am
F3-4 wind from the North. Visibility good 50km (I could Ingleborough).
Much better conditions than yesterday but feeling cold in the wind. Birds passing mainly to the North and East of Soil Hill with approx 20% actually overhead. Only meadow pipits were moving SW through SE in small groups up to 10 birds. Total number of moving Meadow Pipits was 130. A Hobby was spotted at 8.20am to the north of the hill at about 200m distant, chasing a Meadow Pipit (it got away!). 2 Starling were also seen heading south. Other local birds were 6 Grey Partridge, 20 Meadow Pipit, 8 Goldfinch, 1 Kestrel, 1 Wren and 2 Skylark.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Taylor Lane up to Soil Hill

Taken from Old Guy Road.
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NE - yes it was hard work today in the strong wind Nigel (still better than going to work though!!!)
1 Stonechat at the top end of the golf course (but maybe thats not allowed?!) not sure where the boundary is?
1 Swallow >SW (they are getting thin on the ground now)
1 Stock Dove
Lots of mipits and 1 Grey Wagtail


NEasterly = Hard Work

I spent 3-1/2 hours doing a raptor watch. Actually, this is a blatant lie - I never even saw a Kestrel, let alone the big stuff.

Soil Hill - 5/6 Meadow Pipit, 10 Skylark, 6 Stonechat.

Back Lane - 9 Meadow Pipit, 3 Goldfinch, Blackbird, Great & Blue Tit, pr Swallow.

Ogden Res - GC Grebe, 2 Grey Wagtail, Siskin (you left the cage door open didn't you Dave?). Also this really wild Barnacle thingy.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Swales Moor

My daughter had a large raptor type bird over the ridge at Swales Moor seen from Lee Mount yesterday morning at 11.40. Interestingly enough I heard (can anyone confirm this?) of a Honey Buzzard heading over Thornton Moor in that direction about 11.30 am. I guess no one was up Soil Hill at about that time?? We will never know!


3 Ravens >SW over Syke Lane at 3 pm - calling away - they were great!
2 G C Grebes
1 Barnacle, 1 Greylag and 9 Canada Geese
2 Siskin over
1 Grey Heron
1 Little Owl
1 Stock Dove
2 Kestrels
c70 Goldfinch on thistles in fields below Back lane

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mountain walkabout

1 of 4 Wheatear, Old Guy Rd
The underground Res. attracts plenty Starling.
21/09/2008 1500-1630 hrs
Underground Reservoir mast and wires held 200+ pre roost Starlings
Richardsons Farm, 1pr Stonechat, 4 Wheatear
Cricket Field c 50 Blogging Meadow Pipits
Highland Cattle field,Roper Lane, 54 Mixed Linnet and Goldfinch.
1 Grey Heron high over Roper Lane. Had a near death experience thinking it was an Osprey.
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Swales 10.30 - 12.00

Approx 80 Mipits trickling through over the course of an hour and a half all >SW.
1 Kes
12 Linnet
20 Goldfinch
2 LBB >E
4 Mistle Thrush >S
3 Swallows >SW
1 Pied Wag
1 Grey Heron >S
1 L Owl

Ploughcroft: 1 Blackcap. 1 Kes.

Ogden/ Back Lane

21-09-2008 0730-0930hrs Calm Sunnyand blue skies
1 Gt Crested Grebe
1 Tufted
4 Greylag
4 Goldcrest
1 Willow Warbler
6 Robins

Back Lane
1 Mistle Thrush
1 Kestrel
2 LBB gulls

Vis Mig. Disappointing with blue skies killing it.
120 Mipits >SW
4 Swallows >SW

I know I said I wanted a Ruff morning but not this Rough !

A Different Day

Soil Hill - Meadow Pipits trickling through, only 70 or so . 11 Skylark, 14 Goldfinch, Kestrel, LBBG (L fuscus) Blackbird, 2 Reed Bunting. Very quiet.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Soil Hill/Ogden

Yesterday (Friday19th September)
Soil Hill
1 Snipe
1 Lapwing
3 Skylarks
c200 Meadow Pipits moving through on a broad front (in among was a possible Yellow Wagtail - it was just too far off to be sure. It came down with mipits in fields near Syke Lane but not re-located although lots of mipits there)
1 Grey Heron

1 G C Grebe
1 Gt Spotted Woodpecker
2 Skylarks
c200 Meadow pipits
2 Siskin
c60 Goldfinch feeding on thistles in fields below Back lane

Oats Royd.

We bashed the area for a few hours this afternoon. Most notable sighting being a Buzzard. Came in from Soil Hill/Bradshaw direction at c. 3.45 pm (sorry no phone on me). Heavily mobbed at both OR and Swales by local corvids. It appeared to tend towards the SE but in attempting to evade its persecutors headed SSW. We followed it for ages with aching arms, it was a pleasure to eventually see it unharassed circling at leisure to gain height and make off at its own pace. Had I been up Swales I probably wouldn't have seen it as the local crows were having none of it.
I'm glad we didn't head for Shibden as originally intended, I needed Buzzard for here.

1 Sp Hawk
3 Kes
3 Moorhen (at least one juv)
7 LT Tits
1 chiff/will warb (very distant and fleeting)
250 Gulls on surrounding lower fields. Judging by Gulls overhead all/predominantly BH.
1 Coll dove >E
1 Green Pecker (heard)
3 Jays
1 Mipit over> E
2 Wren
3 Blue Tits
5 Robins
3 Blackbirds
1 Mistle Thrush briefly before heading > N
6 Chaffinch
1 Coal Tit
2 Goldfinch
2 LBB Gulls >W.

Oats Royd

This Afternoon

The sound of a Kestrel calling drew my gaze to the top of Royd Hill where a Common Buzzard appeared having picked up much unwanted attention. 3 Crow and about 10 Jackdaw harassed it for several minutes as it made off at speed in a southwesterly direction. Eventually, before being out of visual range, it was circling alone and gaining impressive height. Also present 2 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Jay, 11 Greenfinch, 2 Coal Tit, 1 Goldcrest.

Stab at Vis Mig

Up wi t'Lark I tootled off on an attempt at vis mig this morning. Meadow Pipits were all around in drips n drabs throughout the course of the session. A Wheatear was at Mountain; Pied Wagtail at Raggalds.

Then I went to Soil Hill...

Short Eared Owl; Hobby heading SE. After phoning BS to alert him, I flushed a Ruff, which circled then headed SW. The bird did present a puzzle initially, but thanks to mobile phone input via BS and D Barker, satisfactory identification was concluded. Also:

14 Skylark, Moorhen, 5 Grey Partridge, Little Owl, 3 Mistle Thrush, Grey Wagtail, 12 Linnet, 19 Goldfinch, pr Reed Bunting, 2 Robin, 2 Goldcrest.

Turned out nice again, even though BS said I had a 'Ruff' morning (groans).

Friday, September 19, 2008

View of Oats Royd from Swales.

Borrowed a DSLR without software. Managed to transfer 6 of 55 pics.
Quickly realised I don't want to go down the route of bird photography-record pics and digiscoping'll do.

Evening trek

Wind Turbines have to be strong for Queensbury
Jackdaws over Roper Lane
19/09/2008 1800-1900hrs
Bit late in the day by the time I get home and organised but worth the walk to see 100s of Jackdaws in fields below
Roper Lane ,then >N to roost.
Old Guy Rd :-
40 + blogging Meadow Pipits
2 Pied Wagtails
Bradshaw :-
300+ Common and BH Gulls in newly mown fields
Richardsons Farm :-
1m Stonechat
1 Wheatear
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Out of Bounds Goody

I sinned today and went to Chellow Dene which is about a good half mile out of our recording radius. What a quality sin it was, because as I was getting my camera prepared, a Cormorant surfaced about 60 metres away from me! It flew and circled both lakes before returning to the top end of the top lake, where it skilfully evaded me.
Quite a surprise to see a juvenile GC Grebe with an adult. Others present were pr Tufted Duck, Moorhen, several BHG, pr Jay, party of Long-tailed Tit.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Oats Royd

60+ Jackdaw
1 Little Owl
1 Kestrel
2 Moorhen
2 Stonechat
1 Whitethroat

also 3 Roe Deer.

Ploughcroft, Swales, Holmfield

Ploughroft 2 L Owl


Thought there may be some birds backed up by the mist. Decent numbers but no wheatears.

1 L Owl
14 Goldfinch.
45 Linnets
c.100 Mipits
45 Skylarks
Pair Pheasants
1 Pied Wag
2 Swallows
60 House Marts looking eager to move South.

Holmfield (Crooked Lane).

several Mipits
1 Kes
1 Goldcrest in conifer plantation
2 House Mart
2 Jays
1 Coal Tit
3 Bullfinch
1 Pied Wag

And one for Andy C possibly. Large caterpillar c. 2 inches. Very distinctive white stripes along the body length against a dark grey background. Light green underneath. No hairs on body.

Good local movement

QUEENSBURY- 30 Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Little Owl, Snipe (personal location tick) 3 Goldfinch, Wheatear, pr Whinchat at Old Guy Rd.

A 22+ strong mixed flock of Goldfinch & Linnet were at Mountain, as was the pr Twite reported 10th, along with a Wheatear.

SOIL HILL- 55 Meadow Pipit, 7 Skylark, Grey Heron, Moorhen, Little Owl, Sparrowhawk, 11 Snipe flushed. Also 30 Goldfinch, pr Reed Bunting, 5 Stonechat, pr Wheatear.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


1 G C Grebe
1 Gt Spotted Woodpecker
12 Swallows
c12 Goldcrests
c15 Robins
1 Grey Heron
3 Kestrels
200 + Meadow Pipits in fields on Back Lane

Soil Hill
c50 Jackdaws (on south facing hillside)
1 Wheatear - yesterday evening

Hirundines at Clayton

Baldwin Lane bottom, approx 1045 hrs. At least 50 birds busily feeding at tree top height consisting mainly of House Martins.

Monday, September 15, 2008

At Home

Tawny Owl very vocal this evening, calling from top of post at end of garden 20ft away - still enough light for me to use bins - absolutely gorgeous! Distant reply heard at times also.
Six mistle thrushes flew over and a grey wagtail by the pond on Sunday.

Ploughcroft Sunday from 7.20pm

2 Swallows.

Pair of BIG bats covering a lot of ground and feeding as high as the tops of pylons. Leading edge of wing had a 'notched' appearance towards the body. Picked one up in the bins whilst watching a Kes and for a split second thought it was some sort of bird.

1 Kes

1 Tawny Owl seen.

Several other Tawnys calling down in Shibden valley.

Soil hill Monday morning

There was a small movment of Mipits all heading s/w about 70 +
2 Great Black Backed Gull south
3 BH Gull
2 Common Gull
1 Skylark
2 Woodpigeon
1 Stock Dove
78 Goldfinch
7 Chaffinch south
1 Pied wag
2 stonechat
3 Reed Bunting
14 Linnet
Also a Common Lizard by the bottom pool and 1 Roe Deer(looking very red ?)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ogden p.m.

14/09/2008 1730-1830hrs Cloudy, very still.

Back Lane
9 Greenfinch
4 Siskin
1 Little Owl

Plenty gulls coming in on water and preening before moving off to roost.

No hirundines at either site.
No raptor movement
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You missed these Brian!

Ogden Reservoir 7.15 to 8.00am. I too did a lap of Ogden Resrvoir in the fog. Visibility was less than 50m at first. Had a similar haul to Brian's (mainly heard the birds though) and missed the Bullfinches and Blackcap but did see a Coot (I think that is a very uncommon bird at Ogden) and also a female Whitethroat in the bushes on the South sore.

Another foggy oggie

14/09/2008 0800-0930hrs Low cloud base, Drizzle, Calm
Overnight fall of Willow Warblers around reservoir,
24 Willow Warblers counted just from path around water.
16 Robins
11 Coal Tits
4 Goldcrest
1f Blackcap
1pr Bullfinch, site tick for me, I think!
9 Greenfinch
2 Green Woodpeckers
No hirundines
Cloud too low for vis mig.

Report from MD (BOG) of Red Kite at Denholme Clough this a.m.
Report from DCB of massive influx of Honey Buzzards all down east coast this weekend,
these are hopefully heading for Soil Hill.
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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Soil Hill

Queensbury - Grey Wagtail. 3 Swallow at Mountain, along with 8 Goldfinch and despite Brian's accurate accipiter, 20 House Sparrow were at Foxhill Grove.

There must have been a major departure of Swallows yesterday, as not one bird was seen at all around the hill.
70+ Meadow Pipit, 10 Skylark, 22 Mallard, 2 Kestrel, 2 Snipe, 24 BHG, 3 Common Gull, 3 Linnet, 35 Goldfinch, 3 Blue Tit, 2 Reed Bunting, Robin, 5 Stonechat, 3 Wheatear (1 prob leucorhoa). Also seen Fox and Weasel

Reliable report of SEO seen on 7th Sept by nearby resident.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Foxhill Today

Another day of steady flowing Mipits early doors all >S
May have to take the garden feeders down for a while, had 3 successful Sparrowhawk strikes on
House Sparrows in 3 days. Wife getting a bit excited about her beloved sparrows and talking about buying a shotgun.

On The Move

12 Sep 2008

Hi Nigel

Perhaps you will post this on the blog.

About 1.40 pm, a loose flock of about 60 House Martins and up to ten
Swallows moved south over Park Lane in front of a heavy rain shower.

Colin Shields

Thursday, September 11, 2008


1 Dipper still at the top western silt trap pond this morning
2 G C Grebes
15+ Goldcrests
1 Barnacle Goose!
80+ Meadow Pipits put up by Sparrowhawk on Back Lane
12+ Coal Tits
10+ Robins
2 L B B G's
2 Grey Wagtails
1 House Martin through >S
2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers
Soil Hill is back!

Queensbury Today

Steady flow of Mipits >S from early a.m. to midday
Several Swallows also >S
f. Sparrowhawk took sparrow from garden feeder
Squirrel destroyed a bag of nuts from feeder but enjoyed them.
1 Wheatear early evening down the Bonnet near to the old brewery
Increasing numbers of Jackdaws over to roost towards Wilsden.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hit then Miss

Queensbury this morning: Old Guy Rd - 5 Meadow Pipit, Kestrel, 14 Swallow.
Mountain - 5 Pied Wagtail, 13 Goldfinch, 22 Linnet, pr Twite.

Shite Hill - 5 Meadow Pipit, 11 Skylark, Linnet. Plenty of mist; sod all else.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Thick mist and drizzle when we were there early afternoon, but you never know what might turn up! Soil Hill not there today!
2 G C Grebes
5 Tufted Duck
1 Dipper
1 female Blackcap eating rowan berries
12+ Godcrests (numbers are starting to increase)
16+ Robins (numbers also increasing)
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
95 Black-headed and 10 Common Gulls
5 Swallows

Local House Martins

Just a quickie: my undercover agent in Russell Road confirms that this year 3 pr House Martin have bred under her eaves, whereas previously only 2 did. Good news in the light of the wholescale paucity nationwide.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Storm clouds over Soil Hill

07/09/2008 15oo-1530hrs Thunderstorm, torrential rain

The,s nowt like a reet good dowsing and Ive had two today.
Just managed to reach the summit of Soil Hill at the same time as a thunderstorm and torrential rain pounding down.
Oh well, theres always next weekend.
1 Wheatear
15 Meadow Pipit
1 Kestrel
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Ogden Washout

07/09/2008 0800-0930hrs Heavy rain showers . Reservoir overflowing
Quietest morning yet with water half way up the Willow trees.
4 BH Gull
3 Singing Robins
1 Wren
2 Gt Crested Grebe
And that was it apart from this very wild Barnacle Goose taking bread from people !

No sign of any Vis Mig taking place.
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Saturday, September 06, 2008

After the Storm

Queensbury - 6 Linnet, Little Owl, at Old Guy Rd. LBBG showing characteristics of Baltic race Larus fuscus on Raggalds flood along with 11 Mallard, 2 Common & BHG Gull. 40 Goldfinch were on the telegraph wires nearby, about 18 Swallow generally.

Soil Hill - 10 Meadow Pipit, 7 Skylark, 3 Snipe, Grey Heron, Kestrel, 17 Jackdaw, 19 Woodpigeon, 20 Goldfinch, 7 Linnet, Reed Bunting, 4 House Martin, 40 Swallow, Swift! 4 Wheatear including this
largish individual which is a possible contender for leucorhoa ? No, I didn't count the primaries.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Between the showers

Near home

1 Sp Hawk up high

5 Hse Spadge

BB Farm area.

12 Mipit
Pair Whinchat
1 Skylark
12 Common and one BH Gull> S
12 Linnets
14 Goldfinch
30 Swallows

Foxhill Today

04/09/2008 Mid-day
42 Meadow Pipits >W over Foxhill Park
1 Grey Wagtail >W
14 Swallows >S
All moving in front of the approaching rain.

I see the Osprey hunter and his Squaw have been clocking up more records today.
Bloomin eck Dave you,ve had more Osprey this year than I,ve had in the last 5.
It just shows what a bit of determination and getting out there can do. We badly need a
Queensbury area record so see what you can sort. Well done to Dave and Jen Sutcliffe.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Queensbury - Wheatear at Old Guy Rd. 8 Linnet at Mountain along with 8/9 Swallow.

Soil Hill - 26 Meadow Pipit, 8 Skylark, 7 Woodpigeon, 3 Grey Partridge, Greenfinch, 4 Goldfinch, 8 Linnet, Reed Bunting, 9 Swallow, 2 Stonechat, 5 Wheatear, Whinchat.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


We went to check Back lane today to see if any Ospreys were heading over - nothing doing!
2 years ago 2 birds came through there and another over Soil Hill, all on 5th September, so now is the right time to check!
c60 Lapwings in fields behind Back Lane
1 Gt Sp Woodpecker and 1 Green Woodpecker
1 Sparrowhawk
2 G C Grebes
NO Siskin today!

Foxhill Today

Foxhill Mid-day
4 Pied Wagtails in park
Sev. Swallows steadily moving >S
Plenty Greenfinch about, unusual for up here.

mid pm
Unconfirmed report of Osprey moving >S down Shibden valley towards Stump Cross area ?

early evening
Still Swallows moving >S low over park.
15 Goldfinch on thistles behind Pineberry

Monday, September 01, 2008


1 Crossbill - female type over by the 'Giants Tooth' this afternoon
2 G C Grebes
1 Grey Wagtail
c70 Swallows
(must'nt forget!) 1 Siskin over
1 Green Woodpecker