Birdbrain Stuff

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

TMR Circular Cold Edge

Took the bridle path up Black Edge Lane to TMR and it was here where all the birds were, until Cold Edge 'cos the lull in between was nigh on barren.

TMR - Willow Warbler, Kestrel, Pr Grey Partridge, 7 Curlew, Snipe, BHG, 2 Common Gull, few LBBG, 1/2 Herring Gull. Talk about lucky; YLG flew over low circling giving great views. A GBBG flew N.

All seen from the bridle path - note the reservoir is restricted entry.

Cold Edge - Little Owl on wires again. 3 Curlew, 15 Lapwing, LRP, Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, pr Oystercatcher, 2 Redshank. 3 Chaffinch and several Linnet also present. Mipits, Skylark and Swallow throughout.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Soil Hill to Deanstones

Oxygen masks will be needed shortly for the Soil Hill summit; meanwhile poppies are doing well at the bottom of the slope. Also doing well and proving me very wrong was a family of Stonechat; the crafty buggers outwitted me and bred successfully with 2 adults and 2 flying juveniles at least seen.

Breeding was proven again for the ubiquitous Meadow Pipit, with another nest containing 4 eggs being found. Other birds: Grey Heron, Moorhen, Reed Bunting, 6/7 Swallow, 2 Swift, several Linnet.

I wandered down to Deanstones Lane at around 1510 hrs and was thankful for having a camera with me. A bird I thought may be a Cuckoo flitted across the top end and perched where it was mobbed by a few Swallow. A classic mistake; the bird was in fact a Sparrowhawk.

There were numerous Swallow and House Martin here along with several Swift, all of them feeding high up so if there were any Sand Martin present and I don't think so, they remained undetected. A Whitethroat was very audible and a LBBG slowly went S.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Moth Quiz Anyone?

Had to stop in this weekend and get kitchen DIY finished ready for electrician to do the simple wiring that I am not legally allowed to do anymore. Anyway, got to watch loads of House Sparrows and a pair of Pied Wagtails gathering food for young out the back window. Seems to be a good year for sparrows around my house. Also found this moth. Took me about 1/2 hour with a guide book to ID it as I have no idea about moths and just start at the front of the book. The forewing was about 17mm and initially it's hindwing was completely covered the until I disturbed it. My ID is in the comments section.

Shibden Head

The first bird I saw at Deanstones bottom was a Sand Martin at approx 1000hrs as per BS report of last night. However, throughout the rest of the tour round, including the ravine, all I got was scratched; no others seen.

There were House Martin, Swallow and Swift present in small numbers and singing Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Whitethroat. I spent some time recording a bird calling in the distance which sounded like Wood Warbler; unfortunately the call is too close to Bullfinch contact call, so I daren't risk claiming even the possibility.

Sadly, in this well wooded and watered area after a good hour, there wasn't even the remotest hint of any flycatcher species or Redstart. Still, I got an another annual.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fly Flatts Area

Went up beyond the local patch boundary yet again this morning because Soil Hill continues to be unworkable. However, it's no hardship; I love this micro wilderness, especially after what I experienced with mammals at close range.

I was stood by an old iron gate for some while doing a spot of survey work when a troop of Weasels about 10 strong, came chuntering along and turned through the gate, straight into yours truly's plates o meat. It was bloomin marvellous, nearly all were babies but they didn't run, they just scampered all over my boots for about 20 seconds before the single parent urged them to move. Most went with her ( I cant see a male being this brave!) further along the wall but she immediately came back to face my boots so as to retrieve two other youngsters which by now had gone into nearby recesses. The strength of this animal is amazing; twice I saw her grab the young, which were her size, by the scruff of the neck and drag them back to the others.  I did try photographing the spectacle but got just two really poor shots owing to the speed of the beasties.

Birdwise it was similar to my last recent visits, with the addition of Merlin, 3 Tufted Duck and lo and behold - 2 Stonechat.  

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Thorne Moors

Dave Pinder offered me the chance to visit Thorne Moors; it's amazing how he sewed his hand back on in time to drive there. Thanks to the accurate instructions in his guide book we got there to the letter, on what turned out to be a hot calm morning without the breeze we're used to up here.

Birdwise, it was on the quiet side as one would expect, however other aspects made for an enjoyable day out indeed. It's been years since I provided a mobile smorgasbord for insects and the colours of some of the presumed horse fly types that bit me were wonderful to behold. Several Dragonfly and Damselfy species provided aerial entertainment at close range, with one or two of the latter using my arm as a landing platform.
Butterflies were very much in evidence; without checking up, I reckon 4/5 previously unseen species were present.

The most prevalent species of migrant was Whitethroat, they were all over the joint; a suitable collective noun would be an epidemic. 4/5 Cuckoo were present with one bird giving good views as it perched just above our heads. From a tower, we had patchy views of distant gulls through the heat haze. A pr of Marsh Harrier were flying around the same area and probably so were a Little Egret or two.

Reed Warblers were encountered at close quarters and others present were: Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Kestrel, Linnet, Swallow, Swift and a single Stonechat. Surprisingly, we didn't hear or see Meadow Pipit nor Skylark; good to know we have the monopoly on them.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Another Long Slog

Ogden Res 1000 hrs - 2 BHG flying over, Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, nothing on the water. However...

Cuckoo and singing Tree Pipit present.

Fly Flatts - 5 Golden Plover, Lapwing, 3 Common Sandpiper, 3 Curlew, 2 Pied Wagtail, Kestrel.

Twite seen on moorland but unable determine if ringed.

Dean Head - Spotted Flycatcher, Tawny Owl, Grey Wagtail, pr Kestrel, 3 Pheasant.

Cuckoo heard further down Castle Carr

Final call was Cold Edge which was a bummer as I'd seen birds present prior to visiting FF but there were two big fat wimmin with yappin dogs throwin a wobbly n scarin all the boidies.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Soil Hill

0945 hrs fresh wind predominantly N/NE c9 Meadow Pipit, c12 Skylark, pr Pied Wagtail, 6 LBBG. Two juvenile Linnet were seen among a total of c10. The Whitethroat appears to have been successful at breeding for the third year running.

The only small pool left on the top field produced a goody - a Twite dropped in for drinkies.

Others: 4 Goldfinch, 3 Reed Bunting, Swallow, c45 Starling, 40+ Carrion Crow.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cold Edge and then some

Dave Pinder and myself had a trip and a long trek out this morning in the glorious sunshine. At times birds were thin on the ground but we got the odd goody to make it well worthwhile.

Cold Edge - Grey Heron, Oystercatcher, pr Redshank, pr Common Sandpiper, pr Lapwing, 4 Curlew, Dunlin, Linnets, Reed Bunting, pr Swallow. Something unseen spooked a flock of 400 or more Starling.

Fly Flatts - Pr Oystercatcher sunbathing on the pier, pr Common Sandpiper, Lapwing, Canada Geese. A Twite showing colour rings as my previous report was present, along with 5 other birds; the latter didn't appear to be wearing jewellery.

Dean Head - at last for the year Tree Pipit This was a sight worth seeing, as not only was it calling and showing well, it was in altercation with a Willow Warbler family. A distant bird atop a tree was thought to be probable Spotted Flycatcher, others included Blackcap and 4 Stock Dove.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Twite n Kite

What a day, don't know where to start! These 2 colour ringed Twite were at Fly Flatts, with a third bird being present. Top two pics is same bird - R Leg Blue over Pale Blue; L Leg  Blue over Silver.

Bottom bird R Leg only seen - Blue over Pink.

Also present here were 4 Swift flying low and feeding but not up for photography ( I now know why the're called Swift). 3 Swallow, 4 Common Sandpiper, 6 Curlew, Canada Geese and several young.

Cold Edge - Golden Plover, 2 Lapwing, pr Common Sandpiper,  pr Redshank. I count myself very lucky to be present when a pr Snipe started calling and displaying; it's been donkeys since I witnessed this spectacle.

Prior to all this I had come from Ogden where there had been a Whinchat singing by the golf course. Also 2 Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Jay, GSW and Coal Tit with young, but nothing on the water.

Was just about to put my binoculars away at 1345 hrs when a Red Kite went N over Mixenden Crag to Cold Edge being mobbed by a Crow.

Ogden Bonus Bird

Very quiet on the reservoir at Ogden this morning but the woods seemed to have a few birds chirping away. Not many visible though. Managed to get 2 chiffchaff, 5 willow warblers and 2 blackcap but the best was a spotted flycatcher near the bridge over the Ogden Clough inlet. There may have been a few (family party?) but the foliage was too dense to be sure.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cold Edge Dams

Water levels up a bit this morning and wader activity noticeably down on my last visit. 
2 Lapwing, 4 Curlew, 2 Common Sandpiper, Dunlin, Redshank, Snipe.

Also present Mipits, Skylarks, Reed Buntings, Linnets, Willow Warblers, 4 Swift and most welcome a pr Twite.

I noticed a pr Swallow breeding in a most unusual place.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

little Owl

There was a little owl on Marly Lane this evening .It was chased from Green Head Farm by a very irate black bird.
In the garden we now have lots of newly fledged chaffinches , great and blue tits and still have a pair of bull finches visiting but no young yet.

Light Relief from Lousy June

Nuthin at all to do with birds, just a bit of fun.

Monday, June 07, 2010


Soil Hill 1410 hrs CRAP; Ogden Res 1525 hrs CRAP.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Mixenden to Cold Edge

Well, something like that. I'll have to look at the map to see where I really started off, but I do know I ended up at Cold Edge Dams and took it easy for once to watch the birds. It was good to see an adult and flying juvenile Tawny Owl at the start of the walk.

In fact there is no specific name for the area from Mixenden Res up the hill to where the large quarry is and Withens Road, so Cold Edge Area will suffice. This is a list of species seen, with Green Woody calling several times from the deck being a pleasant surprise.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Dire Fields

Only dire in the sense that birds were distinctly lacking in a walk that lasted about an hour around Dailie Fields. It was just too nice a day, but no complaints really as that long winter still causes bad dreams. Migrants included Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Swallow but none of the hoped for flycatchers in what should be an ideal habitat.

Also Mistle Thrush, 3 Blackbird, 3/4 Goldfinch, pr Linnet, Great Tit family.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Same Old Hill

SH 1410 hrs quiet owing to warm sunny conditions but it was great to be out amongst the ruts, potholes and various wiretraps. The Mipits and Larks showed reduced acivity but further breeding evidence of the former was seen. close to the area I took pics of a nest a couple of week back.

The Whitethroat put in a brief appearance, calling twice from it's favoured breeding spot.

Also 2 Mallard, Kestrel. 2 Pied Wagtail, Lapwing, 4 Wood Pigeon, Stock Dove, Reed Bunting and of course those Linnet. Most pleasing to see along with a Swallow or three was a pr Swift.

So pleasant was the afternoon I decided to trek down to Ogden which proved a downer - why didn't my School Holiday Warning team alert me? No matter, the're all fired and a new set of vacancies posted. I noticed 9 Canada Goose on the drink before deciding to go down the lower gulley to the GC in yet another search for flycatcher etc. Here there were only a few Willow Warbler but it was heartening to find the the Garden Warbler reported last week was still on territory giving out bursts of song and alarm calls.