Birdbrain Stuff

Sunday, November 30, 2008


15 Mistle Thrushes
1 Fieldfare
1 L Owl


1 Grey Heron over in a northerly direction.
1 P Wag
9 Mipits
3 Skylarks
4 Goldfinches
1 L Owl

1 cold birder
1 wonderful sunset.

Fourth Dip Complete

SOIL HILL 30/11/2008 1500-1600hrs
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.

Three Locations, Three Dips.

Ringby from Oats Royd
Oats Royd from Ringby
Soil Hill from Oats Royd
Ogden from Oats Royd

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.
Sev Greenfinch
2 Green Wdpeckers

Checked all top area from manure pile to Shorelark field for Snow Bunt, Dip
5 Skylark
Plenty Corvids

Only Soil Hill to dip on at tea time now.
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A Queensbury Waxwing

Oats Royd delivered the goods this morning with a single Waxwing in the trees above the memorials. It flew in, perched briefly in a tree top before diving into cover further up the little valley. Unfortunately, I did not manage to find it again. However, there are plenty of trees with berries so more may turn up. Other birds of note were Green Woodpecker, 3 Jays, 1 CoalTit, 6 Goldcrests and a male Bullfinch. Loads of other finches about too. There were also two little owls on their usual wall. Nice to see a pair of them again.
Chris K

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

Soil Hill

SEO hunting down by the farms on the N slope at 4 pm
c12 Meadow Pipits on the top

Main Course & Dessert

Donning my foul weather gear (mainly because I'm foul) I felt the call from the bitch hill I'm married to. Flirting, like she does, the top field produced nowt, on account of a W gale. Things sure were different down the slope; first I flushed a Reed Bunting at 3 metres, then upon taking another step, a Jack Snipe at two metres. This bird gave brilliant, but obviously brief views, because it had to fly up and over a large mound in order to dive into cover. This meant that for about 2 seconds I had an ace bird at eye level with the Sun shining directly on it.

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.


1 f (red head - could be a juv male?) Goosander this morning

Swales Moor

Snow Bunting male this morning on the site where the Shorelark was in 2006/7. We are making enquiries as to how we can retain this habitat and avoid it getting topsoiled over and lose habitat for little gems like these!
Also present 5 Skylarks and 7 Meadow Pipits

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Waxwings hit our area at last with 2 reported >NW over Northowram p.m. today.
( Calderbirds grapevine, DJS).
Swales (why??)

3 Skylarks
4 Mipits
1 P Wag
1 L Owl


8 Redwings
1 Kes
8 LT Tits
2 Coal Tits
2 Goldcrests
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.
2 Bullfinch
1 Green Peck
2 Jays
1 Grey Heron.

Not Soil Hill

I know its a bit out of the area but I went over to Lincolnshire to see the Steppe Grey Shrike and it is a very nice bird. It even landed on my rucksack for the photo.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Soil Hill Twice

A cold N wind was blowin in the morning with no small birds around at all. There were some Crows Carrion on and squawking (hehehe) and a flock of around 110 Gulls, mainly Common. However, things picked up somewhat in the pm when I got a pr of Stonechat before disturbing this handsome fella. I was subjected to an absolute spectacular display as it hunted the area, fending off both Carrion Crow and a Kestrel in between times.

Also present 3 Meadow Pipit and 9 Fieldfare in among 20 Starling.

Ogden Res

11 Goldcrest, 7 Chaffinch, 5 Coal Tit, pr Mistle Thrush, m GSW, 3 Greenfinch, 2 Goldfinch and what you see here. Plenty of Gulls but no sign of the Goosander. Sorry to say Brian, the rear view of the flying bird was not a Brambling after all.

Monday, November 24, 2008


This afternoon - was that you Nigel on a bike on Soil Hill about 2.30 ?
1 Redpoll over the plantation
1 f Goosander
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
1 Grey Wagtail
2 Jays
c35 Chaffinch
4 Goldcrest
c15 Coal Tits, c12 Great tits and c16 Blue Tits on the feeders at the lodge and visitor centre
No sign of the Brambling on the feeders today
1 Green Woodpecker seen by someone else

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Snow Bunting

Pr of Snow Bunting Soil Hill approx 11:25. Male bird seen well; when flushed flew to hill top, settled briefly but took flight again on my arrival, heading W into the wind. Went back up with KM but birds not seen after a search of about 30 mins.

Other than that, quiet: Blackbird, 2 Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Gulls, Grey Heron.


Reservoir after cloud cleared
Another poser
1 of 11 Dunnocks
23/11/2008 0730-0945hrs
Horrendous start with snow then sleet then rain with icy roads. Cleared after 0900hrs.

9 Chaffinch
2f 1m Brambling
6 Coal tits
3 Jay
2 Blackbirds
sev tits and robins
1 Kingfisher
1f Goosander
11 Dunnocks
4 Goldcrest
+ usual sp.
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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Oats Royd

This p.m

Tawny Owl
Little Owl
3 Moorhen

At Home this a.m female Sparrowhawk sending birds shooting off in all directions and giving great but brief views perched in tree. Later 3 Dunnock together.

Shelf Moor - NTR

Nothing To Report after a trip on a cold afternoon around Shelf Moor to Little Moor Park. Only movement was Corvids and a few Gulls; only passerines 3 Blackbirds, Wren.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Website Update

Red Kite article on Brian Sumners page now.

BS informs me he cannot see the Picasa Slide Show actually running automatically on the Birds main page. I can see it and would appreciate comments from other members, whether they can or can't.

Soil Hill article updated with more info.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shibden this evening

1 Bullfinch
1 male Spadge Hawk
1 Tawny Owl seen and several more heard.
1 Woodcock

1 pipistrelle-sized bat.

Sunny Birdless Day

Oats Royd was so quiet I really dropped a clanger and went up to Soil Hill, ah well one day I'll learn.

2 Moorhen, Grey Heron, Little Owl, Kestrel, 2 Blackbird, Jay, Blue Tit, Goldcrest, Bullfinch.

The Grey Heron is probably the same bird that flew over Soil Hill and it was the only bird there. Outnumbered 3 -1 by Human Beans: Bulldozer driver, 4x4 driver and me, being driven crazy.

Monday, November 17, 2008


1 f Goosander
1 Green Woodpecker
c20 Greenfinch
1 m Sparrowhawk hunting at dusk (well it was dusk at Ogden!)
c180 B H Gulls and c30 Common Gulls coming in to roost

BS Website Page Entry

Birdbrain: Bird of the Year Awards

Also available at no extra charge:

Local Birding Awards

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Some of todays P.F.Geese

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Oats Royd

f Sparrowhawk
pr Bullfinch
2 Jay
2 Moorhen
Little Owl
Grey Heron

Walk to Soil Hill

Old Guy Rd - 2 Meadow Pipit, 13 Common Gull, Little Owl, male Stonechat.

SH - Saw the PFG skein as per BS entry. Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, 45 Starling, 4 Meadow Pipit, Skylark, pr Mallard, Grey Heron, Grey Wagtail, Kestrel, 3 Reed Bunting, f Stonechat, Snipe.

Noted that this is the first time in around 5 years I have not had Woodcock, nor heard of any being reported.


16/11/2008 1045hrs
c 300 PG Geese >W over house
Phone call to DCB at Oxenhope confirmed 3 seperate skeins then phone call from NK watching them from Soil Hill
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Ogden & on Route

16/11/2008 cool N>4 dull 0800-0930hrs
c 500 Starling on Raggalds football pitch
280 Fieldfare >NW
22 Redwing >NW

Ned Hill
14 Magpie together

190 Fieldfare >NW
18 Redwing >NW
9 Chaffinch
1 f Brambling NW corner
15 Lt tits
12 Goldcrest
8 Coal Tit
1 Grey Wagtail
1 Heron
1 CHIFFCHAFF in Elderberries
1 f Goosander

Foxhill Park
22 Common Gull

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The Bramblery

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Denise Shields reports 2 Brambling in Park Lane, Queensbury, this morning.

Website Page

Michael W, I have now published your Year List and placed it on the Website. Each time you tick a species it will automatically re-publish; you can always cease this feature yourself if necessary.

If you want a dedicated page similar to BS just add a comment, that goes for any other blogger too. The idea is YOU create the articles you want to publish, Email ME about the finished product and I link it to your page. Subject to the usual clauses of public decency, species sensitivity and not forgetting no insulting the editor.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Hard work today in the mist!
1 Green Woodpecker feeding in the heather up by the 'giants tooth'
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
1 Redwing
19+ Goldcrests (still plenty about)
2 Treecreepers
11 Coal Tits + usual sp..

Inculpable Vismig

Cool overcast morning with moderate winds from NE prompted me to stick my head into the back yard after hearing calls from Tits and Finches. Greeted by pr Collared Dove, 2 Chaffinch, Blackbird, 2 Magpie. Then it got a bit haywire:

0830 rang BS to tell him 17 Jackdaw and approx 60 Fieldfare moving over Black Dyke S/SW. BS sticks head out of garage and spots 40 Fieldfare moving between Black Dyke and High St.

0846 BS rings me to say around 300 Fieldfare piling over with some Redwing. I nip out the back and cop for around 40 Redwing over back field.

0910 decides to bolt breakfast down and get my gluteous maximus down the southern limits...
and so it came to pass, but by 0950 hrs 'twas all over. Wind now from NW and few birds in Shelf Moor, Littlemoor respectively:

Meadow Pipit, 8 Woodpigeon, Kestrel, 3 Blackbird, 4 Mistle Thrush, 5 Fieldfare, 9 Redwing. Few Starling, Gulls and Corvids throughout; rounded off with 32+ Goldfinch in Park Lane.

PS Insect Buffs have a look at this link, I need your help - tyvm.

Soil Hill (yesterday)

From PJWS - c275 Pink-footed Geese >SE at 14.57

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lurvely Day Pity about the Birds

The title says it all - very quiet. Most unusual were 4 Coat Tit flying around noisily up Chapel Lane, Queensbury. Soil Hill was dire and almost unviable because of the works; just 4 Meadow Pipit, a small selection of Gulls and 20 Lapwing at the far bottom field.

Ogden Res - Well I do recall a Fieldfare. Oats Royd - a bit better:

Meadow Pipit, Little Owl, pr Kestrel, Carrion Crow mobbing male Sparrowhawk. Lots of Jackdaw.

No complaints though, as the sunshine made walking enjoyable. Not even spoiled when BS rang to say c270 PFG had come SE via Soil Hill, probably over my house!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Site closed this afternoon due to high winds, along with horizontal rain! I wonder what it was like on Soil Hill!!!?
2 f Goosander sheltering in the NW corner along with a few Black-headed Gulls and Common Gulls and that was it.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Soil Hill- Before and After

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Soil Hill- End of an era

09/11/2008 1430-1530 Strong wind and heavy rain.
The photo is all that remains of the top largest pond at Soil Hill which held water all summer.
The area that held the long staying Snow Bunting has also been destroyed. It looks like a matter of time now before the lot has gone.
Up there today were
2 Snipe
18 Meadow Pipits
2 Skylark
1 Stonechat
4 Golden Plover
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Holiday in Halifax

Dave Pinder took me to Raglan Street where Blackbird, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Fieldfare and 17 Waxwing were feeding in the same tree. Thanks Dave, I will Email you some photos.

Ogden less Birds

09/11/2008 0800-0930hrs
Very quiet throughout the whole area,even on the water.
Spoke to a couple who walk around every day and they remarked how deadly quiet it was up to last Monday when it was heaving.

4 Goldcrest
1f Blackcap, looks like an over wintering bird
Nothing on water apart from a few BH Gulls

8 Golden Plover over Soil Hill >W
Reports from DCB of plenty PF Goose movement but all to the east of us. Would have been visible from Soil Hill.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Pcroft, Swales 'n Shib.


1 Coal Tit
1 Kes
1 L Owl


1 P Wag
6 Mipit
3 Skylarks
1 Kes
1 m Sp Hawk
10 Redwings
4 Fieldfares


1 m Sp Hawk
1 f Sp hawk
1 m Kes continually flying down from treetop perches onto the ground and back.
1 f Kes
8 LT Tits
2 Bullfinches
2 Goldcrests
6 Redwings
1 G Heron
Several Jays heard.

Another Cormorant. This am going north fast over the house.

Swales Moor - Ringby Lane

4 Golden Plover coming in to roost made battling through the mud-bath worthwhile, performing several very high-speed circuits of the hill and calling before settling down.

C'mon down to Oats Royd Birdies

Thousands of these hanging around but hardly any birds.

2 Moorhen, 2 Grey Heron, Little Owl, 2 Jay, 2 Kestrel, 3 Blackbird, Fieldfare. Also Gulls and Corvids but no 'orrible big brown jobs to confuse me this time. A little 'orrible etc did this thank you very much; among a small Tit party nasal twangs were heard. I'm not even going there.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Oats Royd Bonus

Got to Oats Royd after deciding Ogden would be stretching my ancient bones too far. Good Move! After a quiet start, I got lucky with getting close enough to one of 5 Roe Deer for this pic.

Then a couple of Blackbirds shrieked and I turned round to see a Buzzard just float fairly low down above my head. It headed over the fields toward the far side of the factory then dropped down rather swiftly into one of the larger deciduous trees. This bird was not showing any light underwing markings and my immediate reaction was it could be a dark phase variety. I accept the question of it being a juvenile or immature does raise itself, but honestly, I'm not bothered.

Also present: 25 Common Gull, Grey Heron, 23+ Jackdaw, Jay, Little Owl, Kestrel, Mistle Thrush, 7 Blackbird, 12 Redwing, 90 Fieldfare coming into roost.

Soil Hill Mystery

Work has started in earnest and the top was very quiet so I didn't stay long; it was long enough to be interesting though. I took this wing to be that of LBBG (click mouse to enlarge) but there was no carcass nearby. Not too surprising, as there are foxes about, but the question is, what bird could knock off another bird this size? Maybe a Fox did it in the first place, maybe the bird was shot, maybe I should stop.

After I put my camera away safely in rucksack (this habit will have to stop) I flushed a SEO at such close quarters, I didn't even need my bins. It casually flew around close by a couple of times and drifted off. Other birds present on this grey day were: Grey Heron, Grey Wagtail, 7 Meadow Pipit, 2 Skylark.

Old Guy Road en route: 5 Meadow Pipit, Kestrel, Little Owl, 2 Robin, 5 Blackbird.


1 f Goosander this morning

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

2 Barred Crossbill

Watch out at Ogden and Oats for the above as there may be more in the area.
Report today of one turning up in an Oakworth garden and staying long enough to be photographed before being whipped away by the local Sparrowhawk, (BOG). How unlucky can you get.

Bramblings for lunch

I popped home for lunch today and there were 4 bramblings 1 bullfinch and a mistle thrush around the sunflower feeders plus all the normal finches and tits.

I think you must accept that this a really awful photo and that Caroline needs to get me a better camera for Christmas.

Great Expectations?

Amongst the murk, I noticed a mixed flock of Feildfare and Redwing go across Brighouse Road just now. Compared to recent years, they seem to be more abundant here, which is always appreciated.
From what I have seen and heard, it is not unreasonable to expect visits from Waxwings shortly; the NE coastal areas have had an influx within the past 3/4 days.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Quick bash round Ploughcroft.

50 Fieldfares
20 Redwings
2 Mistle Thrushes
1 Pied Wag
1 Kes
1 Sp Hawk

1 Cormorant circling over Shibden valley looking very lost, then >W

Soil Hil and Ogden Res

Soil Hill was very disappointing given the Autumnal NE winds, even when I returned after Ogden there was no improvement. Just 5 Meadow Pipit, 4 Skylark, few Corvids, Chaffinch and a Grey Heron.

Ogden was better; pity we never saw each other David. Like you say, there was lots of movement, talking of which - the Goosander, Teal and Goldeneye had definitely moved away!
My list isn't as impressive and I suppose we got some crossover too:

Grey Heron, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Goldcrest, 3 Lapwing, Goldfinch, 15 Chaffinch (no Brambling either). 3 Redwing, 75 Fieldfare, 6 Blackbird (of which 2 were dark billed) Jay, Sparrowhawk, 3 GSW. Several Blue, Great and Coal Tit plus greedyguts Woodpig.

Ogden (Vis mig)

10 till 2 pm today - movement all the time, birds heading north. Perhaps they overshot in the recent strong north-easterly winds!
417+ Starlings
166 Fieldfares
14 Mistle Thrush
32 Redwings
1 Grey Heron
4 Pied Wagtails
4 Meadow Pipits

Also present (some also moving through >N)
27 Blackbirds
32 Greenfinch
51 Chaffinch (but no Bramblings)
1 Kingfisher
1 Green Woodpecker
3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers
2 Stonechats
7 Pheasant
12 L T Tits
21 Robins
10 Wrens
7 Goldcrests
3 Jays

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Oats Royd - Oh Deer

Showed my parents Oats Royd this morning. My Mum was particularly impressed with the 5 Roe Deer that crossed the track in front of us and the Little Owl perched in its usual place down the bottom of the hill. Other birds of note we a Sparrowhawk, Jay, Grey Heron and 10+ Redwing. The Gull / Corvid numbers are building up too.

Soil Hill

Jack Snipe Territory.

02/11/2008 1445-1530hrs Strong SE>6 Drizzle then heavy rain

A thorough search of the top of the hill for Snow Bunt proved fruitless with just a handful of Meadow Pipits,
1 Skylark and 1 Snipe.
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