Birdbrain Stuff

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hear the Quiet

This arternoon I experienced a soaking, not from the few drops of rain but from the exertion of walking from Ogden to Soil Hill in the humid heat. Makes a change at this altitude to sweat buckets, it does. Not much doing, so I can fit this in as an obligatory blank.

Ogden: add to the usual reported species over the last week 5 LTT & 8 Rook. There were also 25 of these noisy buggers (pic) having returned from their breeding grounds.

Soil Hill - Pr Curlew appear to have left the site, not a bubble out of 'em. Pr of very active gallivanting Kestrel, Lapwing, Moorhen, circa 25 Linnet, 3 Reed Bunting. I think I saw 2 Whitethroat; certainly the male confirmed his presence after leading me a merry dance for 10 minutes by singing.

FW: Bird ringing Ogdenwater

Chris Sutcliffe writes:

Bird ringing at Ogden.

On Saturday 4th July, local bird ringer Sean Gray will be setting up his nets at Ogdenwater, in the hope of catching and ringing some of the local birds. Hopefully this will be in the picnic area and visitors will have the chance to see how the whole process of bird ringing takes place and see some of the common birds up close.

The session is very weather dependent and so if it is at all wet, drizzling or very windy, the session will have to be cancelled.

If anyone wants to come along Sean will be there from about 10.15am until 12noon.

NK Writes:

This reminds me that there is also a Falconry display Sunday 2nd August. Around 15 raptors can be viewed at 10:30 with free flying displays at 12:30 and 15:00 (times may change).

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday Martin

Sat out reading a bird book (yes, really!) this evening when I heard the now unfamiliar call of House Martin. A couple of Swift went through high NE and then I saw one bird with about 2 calling again, in the vicinity. A couple of years back it would have been unheard of to even think about making an effort to post such a report. Sadly missed.

You don't arf go to some effort Brian, with your trophy awards. Right now I'm too tired to make any worthy comment, but come the morrow...

Glen Cooper Memorial Trophy 2009

We,re now half way through the year and the trophy for the Bird of the Year
is just 6 months away. There are just two prizes this year, one to the birder finding the best or rarest bird in our area ,and a runner up prize to a second birder with the best runner up bird.
Reports have been disappointingly low this year with some of our birders being lost along the wayside and less hours recorded in the field, ( I myself have been guilty of this with an overload of family comittments) , however, we have still recorded over 40 less common species and 7 contenders for the prize which is,nt bad for the area we have.

The 7 top birds so far are :-
Six of these were claimed by one birder who shall remain nameless won,t he Nigel.

Just some of the other outstanding birds found so far this year are :-
Woodcock, GBB Gull x 13, Nuthatch, Buzzard, PF Geese, Peregrine, Oystercatcher, Goldeneye, Merlin,
White Wagtail, Greenland Wheatear, Raven, LEO, Ring Ouzel, Twite, Cuckoo, Spotted Flycatcher,
Tree Pipit , Whooper Swan + several more.

All you have to do now is beat the 7 birds above and another trophy will be sitting on your fireplace. Good birding this autumn.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Dry Soil Hill

A Hazy Oxenhope Watchpoint
Curlew on guard

28/06/2009 1500-1600 hrs Hot hazy sunshine

Just the usual cast on the hill with sev. Skylarks, Mipits , Linnets + 2 Twite on wires, ( both showing Pink Fly Flatts rings.)
1pr Lapwing were still holding territory as were a pair of Curlew.
A flock of 18 Curlew flew in and circled the Oxenhope watch point before landing briefly then off >NW, see also
DCBs vis mig blog.
Several Swifts were moving with low birds moving>SE and high birds moving >NW.
Swallows were plentiful.
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Ogden in the Fog

The scene at Ogden
Even the pup was bored.

28/06/2009 0800-0930hrs Dense fog lifting to less dense fog.
Could just make out the 2 Gt Crested Grebe otherwise nowt.
Nigel, The now dis used Salmon farm you mentioned is on private land belonging to
Calendar presenter, Christa Ackroyd , or so I,m told.
Got woke up at 2 a.m. this morning with the grapevine message for the 2 White Storks,
Thanks for that Nick.
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Saturday, June 27, 2009

White Stork

Pr White Stork at 10:30 hrs today over Ogden; descending to land by trees nr the fish farm adjacent to Halifax Golf Course.

Also: LBBG, 5 BHG, Curlew, 2 Green Woodpecker, 3 GSW, pr Blackcap. A bird I haven't seen for months showed up - Treecreeper.

Tufted Duck and pr GC Grebe still on water.

Soil Hill:

4 LBBG, Grey Wagtail, Lapwing, pr Curlew, 10 Linnet, 12+ Swift, 3 Reed Bunting. The Whitethroat appears to have stood it's ground - brief song heard in usual location.

(Somebody please wake me up).

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fwd: Some local action

Sent: Thu, 25 Jun 2009 19:03
Subject: Some local action

Hi Nigel

Great-spots have bred across Park Lane from us and this individual
comes in a couple of times a day, spending up to 10 minutes at the
feeders. Unfortunately it scared off this Bullfinch (poor shot as
pretty dull under trees). This was the first here since Denise's pair
on 25 Dec 2007. Still geting the two Stock Doves. One even climbs to
the top step outside the patio doors !!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Shib-norra lot.

1 Swift.

6 Swallows (where are they all? No House Marts either).

1 Rook

1 Grey Wag

4 M Thrush

1 Bullfinch

C.6 Will Warbs

C.6 Chiffs

A few each of Greenfinch and Chaffinch

1 Green Peck heard

1 Juv Coal Tit was a nice sight. A couple of family parties of Great Tits and Blue Tits.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Earthy Hill

Soil Hill 1410 hrs in the unexpected sunshine.

About 9 Linnet flying around including juveniles. 6 Reed Bunting ditto.

Despite a post going back 6 weeks or so a very agitated pr Curlew were present indicating they went on to breed with success, thankfully.

Other birds: Kestrel, LBBG, Lapwing. Numerous Meadow Pipit; less so Skylark.

I inspected the SE corner once the excavating had stopped to find it now completely levelled and bare of vegetation. This is in keeping with the site meeting held this January; hopefully come next year, the shallow scrape should be dug in the NW corner.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Oats Royd

Male Sparrowhawk hunting on same hillside as seen previously.
Pair of Sparrowhawk displaying.
2 Kestrel
4 Linnet
Loads of Willow Warbler including youngsters being fed
2 Chiffchaff
Whitethroat near area last seen a few weeks ago, possibly a Juvenile this one.
Think I've got a mental block when it comes to Little Owl, I just can't seem to see them any more.


A Sign of the Times
21/06/2009 Longest Day. 0800-0900 Quick Visit.
The low lives had struck again at Ogden but what the braindeads overlooked was the lock had been broken
off last week so the lid ,covering an empty box, was just stood in place.Shame they didnt try that first.

Birdwise I think they had been stolen also.
2 Gt Crested Grebe still present and that was it other than the norm.
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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Redstarts Nil

Today I had an all out effort to comb Ogden for Redstart, visiting areas where I have seen them in the not too distant past. I went beyond our parochial boundary, venturing up to the top of Ogden Clough.

Not a single squeak and no Spotted Fly Past You neither. In fact, all I got up there was a Grey Wagtail, oh and plenty more Willow Warbler.

Pr GC Grebe flew in and splashed down; Tufted Duck still paddling about.

LBBG, Curlew, pr Jay, 2 GSW, 3 Green Woody and couple of juvenile, 3 Blackcap incl female, 2 singing Song Thrush. Goldcrest were quite noticeable with two families on the move.

A Meadow Pipit led me a merry dance for 15 mins as it flew from bush top and landed either back on another bush or a nearby wall. I got a pic which means I can't turn it into a Tree Pipit, especially as it then started to sing. Swine bird.

Belated Cuckoo Report

Got chatting to a couple who live halfway down Station Road, Queensbury, last night. Being avid wildlife fans I heard some interesting tales of varied critters; one that sticks, is Cuckoo clearly heard calling in the valley approx 3 weeks back. They volunteered the info that they eliminated misheard Collared Doves/Woodpigs too. This is around the date that BS got the species at Ogden on 25th May.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Top of Lane Head Lane in the shrubbery above Lower Brockholes this afternoon. 1 pair of Whitethroat with at least 2 newly fledged juveniles being fed by the adults. That was a nice surprise.

Carryon White Crow

Thanks to Judith Pinder phoning me I was able to cross Brighouse Rd today at 1044 hrs and take these shots of the Queensbury White Crow.

Actually this is a new bird carrying on the lineage; the original bird had a somewhat yellow/beige mask around the beak and eyes and looked much more worn.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


No June Hobby to the rescue for Soil Hill this afternoon in what must be my shortest visit on record. The SE corner of the top field was being excavated and heavy lorries were piling up and down the track with some frequency. The bottom of the slope and ponds were a no birding area too - thanks to the cabin (red container) being in use and a generator running at full volume.

2 Pied Wagtail incl juv. Usual Meadow Pipit and Skylark, with young of both species. 3 Lapwing still at it. 6/7 Linnet, Stonechat, 2 Reed Bunting. Quite a number of Swift zooming about with a few Swallow.

Good to see a Curlew go close by overhead, with a second calling in the distance.

Those are the facts; here is the philosophy:

Even though I scared the owner half to death by creepin around in my best creepiest manner, he still smiled as he recovered and exchanged greetings. We are still allowed to walk, bird and creep over the area as before and really, Autumn migration isn't that far away.

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's Humble Pie Time

Went to Ogden for a couple of hours at 1300. Reality raised it's ugly head this time; no Spotted Flycatcher seen but what I did see made me weep.

Pr Grey Partridge on the same track as the recently reported Quail approx 50 metres or so further up. Sadly, juveniles of this species are accepted as a confusion bird for Quail, so I have to withdraw the record.

Birdbrain: Busy Day at Ogden

Other birds: Grey Heron, Tufted Duck, GSW, Green Woodpecker, Bullfinch, 2 Blackcap. There seem to be loads of Willow Warblers around this year; I nearly tripped up over a few.

A juvenile Sparrowhawk was seen in the same spot as the adult bird reported on Friday, looks like a breeding success story.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ogden in June!

Ogden Kestrel

14/06/2009 Hot and Sunny WNW > 2 0730-0930hrs
As usual for this month, very quiet on and around the water.
14 Canadas high and >SW
1 Kestrel
1 m Tufted
1pr Grey Wags with 1 juv.
+ usual singers.

30 + Linnets up Ned Hill
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Friday, June 12, 2009

Ogden to Soil Hill

Ogden Res 1010 hrs. A Sparrowhawk was seen and further down toward the Golf Club I found remains of a Blackbird. Also in this vicinity, but on the other side of the road, was my first Reed Bunting for this general area.

Spotted Flycatcher still present but not as showy as Wednesday; I was lucky to get one close view however.

3 Blackcap were singing, along with 6 Willow Warbler (pics) and I got views of a Goldcrest family. Green Woodpecker and 3 GSW plus Grey Wagtail family.

Soil Hill 1250 hrs. Top field unworkable due to heavy duty lorry transportation of stone being excavated in SE corner. It was amusing to see 4 Lapwing scolding the vehicles however.

The slope and ponds were on the quiet side with 3 Reed Bunting and ditto Linnet knocking around plus a Goldfinch. What perked the place up was a LBJ flying across the pond and doing a stint of acrobatics by the telegraph pole, catching insects maybe. It then dropped into the reeds nearby and after a 5 minute or so wait, it generously started reeling - Grasshopper Warbler.

I've had worse days!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Busy Day at Ogden

This tree and it's neighbour just out of sight had 4 GSW flying around it; 2 at least were juveniles.

It get's better; I had a fair view of Pied Flycatcher and good views of Spotted Flycatcher. The Pied was maybe seen a second time, with uncertainty, however the Spotted was seen 3 times.

Also present was a male Blackcap.

I went for a walk around the reservoir itself and decided to return to the same spot. This was a good move - I flushed a small game bird from along the track adjoining the moorland edge. I got 3 views of it in flight, calling once - a Quail!

A Peregrine Falcon flew SE over the Golf Club. Also present: Green Woodpecker, Jay, Kestrel, 4 Grey Wagtail and usual.

The place was alive with various insects, which probably explains such activity, because I found breeding evidence of Blue & Great Tit thanks purely to them carrying beakfuls.

I don't think I could have stood another good bird today; this means I'm now due about 3 blanks at least.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Oats Royd Sequel

Inspired to a certain degree by MW's visit yesterday, I took myself down to Oats at approx 1430 hrs for a stint. First bird of note was a long awaited annual - singing Garden Warbler. I didn't get the Goldcrest nor Sparrowhawk, but in addition to yesterday's birds were:

Little Owl, GSW, 2 Song Thrush.

I'm pleased to say that my pessimism about the Moorhen's nest reported a couple of weeks back was unfounded. It is still battling on, with the benefits of increased reed growth. A Moorhen with an unknown number of chicks was present on a different pond.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Oats Royd

Once again first bird was a Sparrowhawk, a male hunting on the hillside facing Ambler Thorn Fireclay Works which for once wasn't getting blasted by the wind. It made a couple of dramatic but unsuccessful chases of small birds before resting on a fence post for a few minutes - a real treat at such close range. Other main highlight was a Goldcrest brood, I counted 5 but they were difficult to see in shady cover and their calls seemed to surround me. Otherwise plenty of Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, Kestrel, Grey Heron and 2 Moorhen.

Keep hoping for Stonechat down there but no luck yet and I haven't seen a Little Owl in the area for ages. As I was leaving a medium sized raptor flew over my head with the sun behind it and what looked like a transmitter sticking up above it's tail - but then I wondered if it could have been a feather out of place or the leg of a small bird it was carrying, so dunno!

Ogden / Back Lane

07/06/2009 0730-0930hrs Cold E>4 Cloudy
Easterlies are good for autumn but not for June.

2 Jays
11 LBBs >SW
+ usual songsters in low numbers.

Back Lane
7 LBBs >SW
150 Mountain bikes in moorland race, was like birding at the side of the M62.
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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Grey Day

Soil Hill 1410 - 1520 hrs. Wind a toupee tuggin easterly.

7 Meadow Pipit, 12+ Skylark, Kestrel, Pheasant, pr Lapwing, 7 Mallard, 7 Linnet, 3 Reed Bunting, 3 Stonechat, 3 Swift.

A Curlew circled the outer area about 3 times and a GBBG went over E as did 8 LBBG.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Haven't done much birding. Had a Garden Warbler give great views in Shibden.

7 Swifts on territory from home.

Evening Idyll

Ogden 01/06/2009 1810 - 2010 hrs. A very warm and sunny evening, so much so that the reservoir was almost inert. Willow Warblers were audible but the only other notable vocal bird was a Blackcap. No Swallow seen over the water at all!

Back Lane was a different story with some good local movement: Meadow Pipit(s), Skylark(s), Curlew. The plantation was alive with birdsong and there were several Swallow and a few Swift gracing the sky.

Pheasant, 7 Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Song Thrush, Bullfinch. All 3 Woodpeckers; GSW, LSW, Green. A probable Pied Flycatcher was seen flitting among the outer branches, but at approx 200 metres with such brief views it's based on gut feeling and experience rather than a definite confirmation.

I managed this shot of a wily Fox which appears to have either a Carrot, or a Radio Tag on it's back (Click to enlarge).