Birdbrain Stuff

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Brambling in Park Lane

This was on the feeders this afternoon. It seems to have come in with Goldfinches.

Ogden & Soil Hill

A warm sunny day from 0955 - 1330 hrs; too good for moving birds but we can't have it all.

OGDEN RES (SE03 Q) SIGHTINGS FOR Thursday, 30 September, 2010 0955-1140hrs
Black-headed Gull c16
Chaffinch 2
Common Gull c10
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Green Woodpecker 1
Jay 1
Long-tailed Tit 7
Pied Wagtail (yarrellii) 1
Skylark 4
Swallow 2
Blue Tit 4
Coal Tit 3
Great Crested Grebe 1
Great Tit 1
Greenfinch 1
Lesser Black-backed Gull 4
Meadow Pipit 15
Robin c6
Sparrowhawk 1
Treecreeper 3
Total number of species 20

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Back To It

The Cornwall trip had its moments as always:

8 Buzzard & 18 PFG from the coach going down. Buzzard, Lesser Pecker, Nuthatch, Marsh Tit, just 300 yards down the road from the garden. Mevagissey produced Guillemot, Shag, Oysercatcher, Turnstone, Rock Pipit, and my first Water Pipit in over 16 years if I remember rightly. Oh and of course then there were the Gulls; small ones, large ones and great big b*ggers.

A quick trip to Par produced a local celebrity - Bar Headed Goose. Apparently a pair (presumed escapees naturally) bred here this year. Also at this location is one I missed, a bird that has just probably crept down as opposed to flown down, given the nature of its being - Cettis Warbler. Also Kingfisher and well, Buzzard, I guess. I did get a Kestrel somewhere along the line, which seems to be getting pushed back by that other raptor.

Meanwhile, at least expense, I give you - Soil Hill this arternoon

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Swalesmoor - Ringby

Former bare patch is no more
1310 - 1425 hrs mild S breeze, quite warm. Despite the lush growth in the field favoured by migrants it still was busy especially with Skylark and the usual Corvid crowd.

LBBG, BHG, Pied Wagtail, 2 Kestrel.
Skylark 10
Meadow Pipit 8
Goldfinch c18 in two groups
Linnet c40 scattered throughout.

Thats it from me until next week; sadly, I have to spend a long weekend birdin in Cornwall, what a bummer.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Back to the Slog

I went down to Ogden today for a 1-1/2 half hour Tern watch from 1120hrs - 1250hrs and did everything right, i.e got a good soaking and made sure my bins were well misted up. Alas, all to no avail, just Gulls and more Gulls. A slight variation was the arrival on the shore of a 12 strong Chaffinch flock which appeared to be picking seeds from between the rocks. It looks like David Sutcliffe was doing the rounds too.

Soil Hill had a pr Wader sp. in flight too high up for identification and that was the highlight. Other:

Grey Heron, 8 Mallard (Ogdenii) 15+ Meadow Pipit, 2 Skylark, 50+ Linnet, Kestrel, Stonechat.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

All Quiet Soil Hill

Arrived on the windswept summit at around 1200 hrs and stayed until 1325 hrs. There was no sign of the Lapland Bunting reported flying over from TMR at approx 1010 hrs; thanks for the call Brian.

There was little activity at all - the large Linnet flock has gone with just single figures present and Meadow Pipit just about hit doubles. Others:

Chaffinch, 5 Skylark, 6 Goldfinch, 4 Mistle Thrush, 3 Mallard, Lapwing, Grey Heron, Kestrel, 4 LBBG, Reed Bunting and corvids. Most welcome down at the bottom stretch was a male Stonechat.

Old Guy Rd had a few Meadow Pipit and c28 Linnet. A Swallow flew W over Chapel Lane to add to the 2/3 that flew over BS Garage earlier this morning

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sunny Ogden and surrounds.

Methinks the conditions were too good for any excitement today at Ogden, but it was good to get chatting with two Calderdale birders. Between us though, we failed to turn up Terns or Med Gulls for that matter. Present were:

8 LBBG; several smaller Gulls; 2 Tufted Duck, 6 House Martin, Nuthatch, Chiffchaff, several Swallow Tits and Chaffinch. The other birders also managed a Treecreeper.

Skirting around Soil Hill on the way up and back proved interesting. A Whinchat presented itself going up and the juv Sparrowhawk put on a great show of chasing Meadow Pipits coming back.

Old Guy Rd - 14 Linnet, 7 Meadow Pipit, BHG, Kestrel.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Another Tern

Ogden Res approx 1028 hrs a Common Tern flew over the water appearing to come in from the Southern end. After alerting DJS I managed to get really good views of it as it circled around and came fairly close. Unfortunately, after a stay of some 14 minutes max, it wasn't seen again.

The water levels are rising steadily and this has knocked the gulls off the shoreline; there were only a few BHG, some Common and just one LBBG present. Others:

2 Tufted Duck, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Bullfinch, Willow Warbler. A single House Martin was among a party of about 10 Swallow.

As I was alreay wet, I didn't see any point in not going up to Soil Hill. Here I experienced much more rain and wind which is probably why I got a brief view of a Ring Ouzel flying just below a wall top.

Others: 8 Meadow Pipit, 11 Skylark, 10 Grey Partridge, c200 Linnet.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Guess the Tern

One off two Terns this afternoon at Ogden Res. This one had us all puzzled; the other was thought to be either Common or Arctic. Fortunately some turned up later with telling scopes so I think the jury should have decided by tonight.

AC also got two Snipe going over, I was looking the wrong way.

PS My conclusion is both birds were Arctic Terns.
PPS Not any more it isn't; the other was a Common Tern as this Calderdale Blog picture taken by Dave Sutcliffe shows.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Busy Morning

I left the house at 0727 hrs to find a thin broad front of Meadow Pipit movement from E/NE to W/SW stretching from Brighouse Road up to Soil Hill. Goldfinch and Linnet were moving too, but in tighter groups and in less obvious directions.

Mountain - 22+ Linnet, c35 Goldfinch, 12+ Meadow Pipit, Wheatear. A few Swallow moving between here and Raggalds.

Soil Hill 0805 hrs - 40+ Goldfinch, 20+ Linnet, 35+ Meadow Pipit, 3 Skylark, 2 Canada Goose, Kestrel, 18 Grey Partridge, 2 Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Reed Bunting, Wheatear, 5 Swallow, 4 LBBG > NW.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Gull Website

If you really want to drive yourself nuts with identifying Gulls, especially in their pre-adult stage, have a look at the latest entry under Birding Links and also here

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Cold Edge Dams

DP twisted my arm and forced me to at least try for the Quail/Corncrake reported this morning (tks for text BS). So we got there at around 1430 hrs in breezy but pleasant conditions to find:

c14 Meadow Pipit, c20 Golfinch, 5/6 Linnet, 8 Common Gull, Kestrel and several low flying Swallow. We did get one bird jump down from a rock and hide in the heather but views were too distant to even speculate.

Best of the afternoon were:

5 Goosander, Snipe, 2 Wheatear and particularly for Dave, a Whinchat.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


I thought today might be a movers day when I got a Little Owl over the back field yapping away at 0400 hrs. When I got to Ogden my heart sank because of the mist but I did get a Spotted Flypastyer for my efforts and Soil Hell and Mountain both turned up  morsels too.

Site Name: Ogden Res (SE03 Q) Time: 10:25 - 11:20
Black-headed Gull 22+
Blackbird 1
Blue Tit c8
Bullfinch 1
Coal Tit 4
Common Gull 3
Dunnock 2
Goldcrest c7
Great Tit 3
Long-tailed Tit 1
Robin 6
Spotted Flycatcher 1
Tufted Duck 1                         Total number of species 13


The mist forced all birds onto the deck or low vegetation. The most interesting part being all gulls were on the ground following the bulldozer just above the NK Pond.

Black-headed Gull 7
Common Gull 4
Goldfinch 1
Lapwing 1
Linnet c60
Pheasant 1
Starling 18+
Woodpigeon 3
Carrion Crow 20
Dunnock 1
Grey Partridge 6
Lesser Black-backed Gull 9
Meadow Pipit 35
Skylark 11
Whitethroat 1 - Flew into bush and sang briefly.    Total species 15

Monday, September 06, 2010

Soil Hill & Ogden

We are getting some oddballs down at Ogden this season. To all intents and purposes this gull looks very much like a LBBG graellsii until you notice the pink legs. I took several photos of this bird each showing clearly there was no yellow presence; I reckon a probable LBBG/Herring hybrid.

Other than this there was a pukka LBBG among the 30 or so BHG and odd Common Gull with the juv GC Grebe and Tufted Duck in attendance.

Prior to this at around 0900 hrs, Soil Hill had 12 Grey Partridge, Grey Heron, 6 Skylark, Reed Bunting, c12 Goldfinch and a much reduced Meadow Pipit count of 8. However, the Linnet flock had vastly increased to the region of 200 birds.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Soil Hill Southerly

Made a change to have S veering S/E'ly fresh winds this arternoon at 1240 hrs it did. It mainly meant I had to search harder for the birds but I persevered and got some, even though most species were in single figgers.

Mixed small gull flock, mainly Common c25 birds; 3 LBBG overhead. Something 'orrible spooked the gulls in the NW bottom field but I failed to see it.

6 Skylark, similar Meadow Pipit, Mallard, Moorhen, 4 Gray Partridge, Dunnock, Blackbird. Swallows were sparse as were Linnet but I think I know why regarding the latter - see Q'by North.

2 Wheatear were on the SE corner, while a Stonechat and a Whinchat were on a wall just a metre away from each other at the N edge of the Shay area.

Queensbury North - 5 Goldfinch and a flock of c70 Linnet at Mountain. Further down Old Guy Rd opposite the CC were c28 Meadow Pipit blogging with a Whinchat and a Wheatear close by.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Cold Edge & Gorple

Ogden proved very quiet as was Cold Edge when DP and myself visited. This was probably due to the fact the sun hadn't yet burned the slight mist off and skies were overcast.
Cold Edge 1025 - 1125 hrs.

Black-headed Gull c9
Carrion Crow 2
Collared Dove 1
Lapwing 4
Mallard 50+
Meadow Pipit 4
Snipe 4 - flying
Starling 30+
Swallow c8

Number of species 9 + DJS 1 = 10

On arrival at Gorple the sun was in full swing and the afternoon was very warm. Things picked up here a little.

c200 Canada Goose, Tufted Duck, 7 BHG, 5 Pied Wagtail, c16 Meadow Pipit, c9 Goldfinch, c30 Swallow, 3 Chaffinch. The highlight here was a Peregrine flying in low over the water and scattering the gulls and geese.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Doe Park

Dave Pinder visited Denholme Clough yesterday after reports of a Redstart last week. Sure enough, he got one showing well and also a Whitethroat. So we went down this morning at around 1010hrs for another look after DP had nailed a Jay & Tawny Owl at Oats Royd earlier.

We didn't find any Redstart but there were obvious indicators of migration, namely:

Pr Blackcap feeding on berries; Chiffchaff blasting out nearby. Just 60 metres or so from this was a Spotted Flycatcher giving a great display with a Willow Warbler in the same bush top. Others around Doe Park:

Kestrel, 6 LTT, 7 Jay, GSW, Green Woody, 2 BHG, 2 Pheasant, Grey Heron, 3 Willow Warbler, 5/6 Goldfinch and lots of Swallows.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

What a Day Part II

COLD EDGE DAMS SIGHTINGS FOR Wednesday, 1 September, 2010 1125-1330 hrs
Black-headed Gull 12
Chaffinch 2
Goosander 1
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1
Mallard 9
Moorhen 1
Raven 2
Swallow 10+
Whinchat 3
Wheatear 1 - leggy bird still in male breeding plumage.
Carrion Crow 2
Goldfinch 7
Kestrel 1
Linnet c15
Meadow Pipit 10+
Pied Wagtail (yarrellii) 1
Starling c13                                      Total number of species 17

Bumped into Dave Sutcliffe who reported juvenile Hobby earlier so after he departed I decided to return home the same way I had come and lookout for it. This was a good move because at Ovenden Moor, 1350hrs:

Marsh Harrier - adult female flying low down heading SW Cold Edge. The bird was about 40 metres away and actually below me on the edge of the clough some 200 metres below the old Withens Pub. Talk about deja vu, especially as it is probably only 500 metres away from where I saw the Spring bird.

Two other (Brighouse) birders came up to me and reported a probable Red Kite earlier over Warley Moor.

What a Day Part I

OGDEN RES (SE03 Q) SIGHTINGS FOR Wednesday, 1 September, 2010 0955-1045hrs
Black-headed Gull 40+
Chiffchaff 1
Cormorant 2
Green Woodpecker 2
Lesser Black-backed Gull 4
Swift 1
Willow Warbler 1
Blackbird 3
Common Gull 2
Great Crested Grebe 1
Grey Wagtail 1
Swallow c23
Teal 4
Tufted Duck 2
Yellow-legged Gull 1                        Total number of species 15

I was looking at the Swallows thinking Swift were a distinct possibility when BS rang me to say DJS had 5 at Hunter Hill. Sure enough 4/5 minutes later I picked one up flying over the golf course.

YLG was flying around, calling clearly and when it landed one LBBG chased it and it took off heading W to Cold Edge so I rang DJS - looks like it probably turned back as he never saw it. I think this is possibly the bird that BS saw recently but didn't claim as this species.