Birdbrain Stuff

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Soil Hill to Oats Royd

Soil Hill 0945 hrs today's Wheatear count was 7 including 2 Greenland (same Northern bird in pics). Other birds were more or less the usual species reported previously this week with one exception - a northern race male Golden Plover in full breeding garb.

I fear we have lost our Stonechats to the harsh prolonged Winter as once again none were present.

Oats Royd approx 1145 hrs. A plague of Willow Warbler plus two Chiffchaff. I looked purposefully for the Whitethroat reported by MW but it appears to have moved on. This is an early date for the species - previous residents have arrived after the first week of May in general.

A Grey Heron was carrying a Frog in it's beak.  Also present were Green Woodpecker, pr Jay, pr LT & Coal Tit, 5 Blackbird, 5 Swallow. One of the latter was seen flying low down alongside a Wheatear briefly. No Swift.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Just checked Thornton Viaduct in hope of swifts and 3 were present back on their breeding grounds.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Oats Royd

A brief visit this p.m produced a Whitethroat on the hillside facing the fireclay works.

Another SH Visit

Soil Hill 1410 hrs SW'ly breeze not quite killing things off though the top field was too busy to bird.

More or less same as yesterday's Mipits & Larks etc but no Swallows. Grey Heron, LBBG and pr Mallard put in an appearance and today's Wheatear count was 5. Two of these were Greenland race.

I decided to go home via the track that leads into Perseverance Rd and was rewarded by a stonkin male Ring Ouzel. It took fright on seeing me but I managed to pull off this distant shot which don't do it justice.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hit and Miss

Soil Hill 1110 hrs; fresh NW wind. 17+ Meadow Pipit, 14 Skylark, Curlew, 4 Lapwing, 4 Swallow. It was very much a Wheatear morning: 10 birds seen, 5 of which were Greenland birds of robust size and showing  bold plumage details.

I couldn't fail to notice the hill has grown a metre since my last visit. This is due to the topsoil being laid down by contractors; it looks almost finished, hope I don't regret that remark.

Other birds present were Kestrel, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Goldfinch, 9 Linnet and I heard the distinct call of Little Ringed Plover.

Ogden area 1230 hrs approx. This is the Miss part of the trip owing to it being really quiet. However, I did get my first Willow Warbler of the year - 10 of them in fact. Another migrant was a Blackcap singing briefly. Others were GSW, Song & Mistle Thrush singing and the expected usuals.

Park Lane pigeons et al

All three have been coming into the garden, but yesterday they lined up.
This Collared Dove appeared to be engaged in a strange wing-lifting display which I hadn't seen before, but it was actually taking a shower in yesterday afternoon's downpour.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Belated Osprey Report

Two reports received from interested parties while I was absent. The observer saw an Osprey fly N over Station Road on Sunday 4th April and later in the same week a large raptor was circling high over Dailie Fields.

It's good to have Song Thrush singing from the back field as I write.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Return Home

Back to Bread n Butter birdin. That is after I have uploaded my photos and my blow by blow account of the failures and successes on to another page of this blog. Talking of which, my last walk of the day yesterday, Friday 23/4 produced a crackin Wheatear species - all shall be revealed later.

Meanwhile, imagine my joy at bumpin into this little beauty on top of a telegraph pole...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Oats Royd

Wheatear on wall at the bottom
2 Linnet
Green Woodpecker
Lots Willow Warbler
Grey Heron
3 Canada Geese
5 Mallard

Thursday, April 22, 2010


6 linnets , 2 bullfinches and 2 swallows on garden feeders this evening. 12 goldfinches yesterday.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Out Of Area

Here I am stuck ın Turkey where today we had raın lıke staır rods and haılstones the sıze of peas. Owıng to a late change of accomodatıon and relocatıon to another resort, bırdıng has not been as good as ıt should be.
The rate of observatıons apart from two very good days out as been at about 3 bırds per day! However, here are some of the juıcer bırds:

Masked Shrıke sıngıng on terrıtory.
Woodchat Shrıke Nılotıcus race - plent of black on head
Grıffon Vulture - 4 of them near Hotel.
Slender Bılled Gull - chance sıghtıng ın harbour among 4 YLG
Marsh Warbler sıngıng on terrıtory
Glossy Ibıs - 30 plus ın flıght
Red Rumped Swallow - got some very good pıcs to post when I return home.
Common Swıft - yes I mean that. The fırst one turned up about 2 hours ago!

6 Alpıne Swıft were zoomıng around the vıllage and when I returned back to the hotel to tell Sheıla she came up wıth:

Some large bırds lıke bıg House Martıns wıth scımıtar wıngs were dıppıng the pool for a drınk lıke swallows do - sıghs.

One of the more ınterestıng sıtes were fındıng about 30 waders. 5 dıfferent specıes, wıth Egrets ın a lıghtly flooded Orange Grove off all thıngs.

Ah well one more full day and back home to the delıghts of Queensbury.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Soil Hill

Went up Friday evening. Apart from the usual crew it was dead and really quiet.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Oats Royd full of Warblers

There are at least 12 singing Willow Warblers and 2 Chiffchaffs. Also saw 2 Canada Geese looking a bit out of proportion on the tiny ponds.

Thornton out and about

Early wander around this morning produced a singing Willow Warbler near to the Viaduct. Chiffchaff numbers up to 7 singing along my route. Great views of a Tawny Owl being harassed by 3 Blackbirds in a tree. Grey Wagtails are back at last years nest site, still only two Swallows. Other birds of note GSW and Green Woodpecker. Waiting for Blackcap now

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Park Lane Area

The  two Tree Sparrows seen on Wednesday at Clayton Heights -and which flew off  in a NE direction-were not in evidence today. I've been having some problems with the camera so only have this dreadful record shot. The Fieldfares and Redwings-I amend my previous count to 55 Fieldfare and 5 Redwing- left on Friday too.

Collared Doves and Stock Doves have returned to the garden, with two of each coming in regularly. This Nuthatch came in a couple of times this afternoon- a very pleasant surprise, as we haven't seen one here since July 2007.

Soil Hill and beyond

Went up there this afternoon searching for Ring Ouzel but none to be found. Only bird of note apart from the numerous Mipits and Skylarks was a Wheatear by the NK pool.

Two Swallows still on Malt Kiln Lane but best of all was two House Martins back in their usual area at junction of Chat Hill by Thornton Road. They were ranging quite far up to the Church and back again.

Ogden Reservoir

Sorry guys. I think I have seen the first Queensbury Willow Warbler. There was a singing bird in the valley up toward Ogden Clough this morning. Other birds of note were a swallow (my first which is a week behind everyone else), 2 Goldeneye, 2 Moorhen (courtship display) and a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming up near the 'Tooth'. One of the Canada Geese has also taken a shine to the feral Barnacle Goose and they wouldn't be parted.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Swallows are back

Caught up with Swallows this evening on Malt Kiln Lane, no sign this afternoon but 2 now, must have just got back to their breeding site. Willow Warblers next on the target list

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Soil Hill Dash

SH 0940hrs: a quickie before departure. Turned out quieter than I thought, given the calm conditions; mebbe the N/NE breeze was influential.

20+ Meadow Pipit, 14 Skylark, Pied Wagtail, 3 Mallard, Curlew, Snipe (chipping away in the reeds again). Also 4 Reed Bunting in the reeds and a Linnet.

I had a mystery wader give me big problems in that it called 3/4 times in flight without being seen. The notes recalled Greenshank but with the odd Oystercatcher thrown in. At least I am happy in discounting Golden Plover or Redshank - these things are sent to try us.

The 4 Linnet are still in Chapel Lane, Queensbury.

PS Great Horton Tesco 1340 hrs pr Carrion Crow mobbing a larger bird. The lenses on my shopping bags are dire so no id.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Park Lane

Around 60 Fieldfare in the top field at the end of the day.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Oats Royd-Easter Sunday-16.00-18.00

Pair of Chiffchaff
Pair of Pied Wagtail
and a lovely display from the female Sparrowhawk

Probable Whimbrel

Not definite, because there was no call, but a bird I took to be a Whimbrel flew up Station Rd, Queensbury this morning at 0750 hrs > SW. It appeared to be direction finding and therefore didn't zoom out of sight quickly. Apart from the small bill and overall compactness of the bird, the wingbeats were rather quick and the undersides rather dark.

Dailie Fields 10 minutes later, a right proper big Curlew flew about calling. Also present were Lapwing, Green Woodpecker, 17 Woodpigs, 10 Goldfinch, 2 Grey Wagtail and a Stonechat.

The SW'ly put paid to anything in Old Guy Rd, just 2 Skylark and 4 Meadow Pipit. However, there was a Linnet singing heartily from the trees at the top of Chapel Lane.

An interesting morning; what prompted the early start was the call of Greylag Goose over Brighouse Rd at approx 0610 hrs.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Some Movement

Guess I did the right thing setting off later than BS (See his report) as I had a decent session on the hill and nearer to home.

Soil Hill 1110hrs - minimal fog, lifting with a SE breeze.

12+ Meadow Pipit, 16 Skylark, pr Mallard, 3 Grey Heron, pr Lapwing, Curlew, 16 Woodpigs.

I got another annual in the form of 4 Linnet plus a very good views of a pr Golden Plover in full Northern race breeding plumage. Also 2 Blackbird, Greenfinch, pr Reed Bunting and a Wheatear present.

Raggalds - 7 Common Gull, pr Canada Goose.

Queensbury, Old Guy Rd - 13 Meadow Pipit, 4 Skylark, pr Pied Wagtail, Wheatear.

Thursday, April 01, 2010


I will regret posting April Fool entries for the rest of my birding days (see below). Who is going to believe this?

Roper Lane, Queensbury 1920 hrs in bright clear conditions:

2 Osprey > N along established valley route.

Dearie Me!

New Month New Birds

Queensbury was blessed with an influx of migrants this morning: Crane; Wild Turkey and Hobby.

How exciting that the first day of April should produce such unusual birds. The Crane is up at Foxhill, lifting it's head frequently by the new Sports Club House construction site. This same site is where many of the local youth indulge in their Hobby of playing Rugby on the sports field.

The Wild Turkey is much more secretive and doesn't like the open spaces, preferring human company instead. There are those of us who like to cradle it in our arms and wonder how it diminishes in size as the hours pass on.