Birdbrain Stuff

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ogden Visitor Tick

I've never had one of these before so it's going down as a mega, even though I don't know what it is! It was with the Mallard at approx 1200hrs today and didn't seem bothered by me, so sadly I have to treat it as an escape.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Local Walk

I went down to High Cross Lane at about 1455hrs and was surprised to find 57 Lapwing still in the central field. Normally after a couple of days in a cold snap they depart down to Northowram where it is less harsh. There were no Golden Plover present this time, just a Grey Heron and a Kestrel which got lucky pouncing on prey.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Around and About

The cold bright weather put paid to much avian activity today after a start on Soil Hill at 0945hrs where there were 32 Lapwing, similar no of Common Gull, Kestrel, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit plus the caaaawvids.
Ogden Res was fairly putrid and Oats Royd fared little better. Greenfinch, Goldfinch & Chaffinch were seen in small numbers at both locations but not much else worth mentioning.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Way Down South

Took a walk past Stone Chair to Coley Church this arternoon, making a note to check the Lapwing flock at High Cross Lane on the return trip. I did just that at 1525hrs and was ever so pleased to find 10 Golden Plover with the c200 Lapwing in the centre field. It got even better as the lot of  'em took flight circling and the goldies piping away before settling down again. Also here were 2 BHG and a Pied Wagtail; only c17 Goldfinch were seen at Coley and a few gulls.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ogden Res

1115 hrs Visitor Centre closed again and not many people present which gave me the opportunity to have a bash at this pr beauties.

Jack Snipe

Soil Hill 0955hrs Oh what a pretty hill this is, for today it spewed up a little gem. Flushed a Jack Snipe at 3 metres from a very small pool in the only remaining rough grassy ground on the top field. The bird took off and flew just above a metre off the deck for about 30 metres or so before it dropped down. Ironically, it went into a furrow of the recently excavated section with the bulldozer heading toward it some 50 metres away!
Others: Grey Heron, Skylark, Pied Wagtail. Plenty of corvids and smaller gull species.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Waxwing reaches Queensbury

Today's session definitely had a beginning a middle and an end; pity I don't write opera. Started off on the black hole itself at 0940hrs where the Sun dared to appear. I flushed a big fat Woodcock on the N slope and then without intention flushed it twice more elsewhere - great close up views achieved thricely. Only other birds here were 7 RLP, 7 Mallard Ogdenii, Moorhen & Reed Bunting.

So down to Ogden arboreal desert where the lack of birds was alleviated considerably by Denise being plonked on a bench, camera at the ready. After a chat we parted and I went down to Oats Royd in an act of sheer desperation. Amazingly this paid off because on staggering up the steep climb to the area just above le residence I got two Waxwing trilling and flying about at 1255hrs. Only other birds here were Jay, Green Woodpecker & Mistle Thrush.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I went to Hollingworth Lake this morning for a crack at the Pied Billed Grebe and was duly rewarded. The bird was fishing when I arrived but then took a rest on a small reed patch before resuming it's activity nearer to it's audience.

A classic remark from a passing local couple: She "What are they doing?" He "The're looking at a Duck, there's bleeding thousands round the corner!"

3 Whooper Swan also provided an annual. Others: 2 Cormorant, plenty of Canada and hundreds of smaller gull species. I managed to pick up a pair of Teal in a nearby pool. Not a bad day at all methinks.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Good Weather Scarce Birds

Ogden Res was chronic; the only othe gull apart from BHG & Common was a LBBG.

Soil Hell - 3 Meadow Pipit, Grey Heron, Reed Bunting, Green Woodpecker, Gulls & CAWvids. At approx 1230hrs a flock of 100+ Fieldfare flying at such a height they were identifiable to the naked eye, came over Keelham from the N. They then veered NW, taking them over the bottom of SH. Question is: Was this vismig or given the time, simply area movement?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bad Weather Birds

Ogden Res approx 1000hrs in the rain. Nothing to start with then the Dipper put on a show before another blank period. This changed somewhat when the sun came out and a female Goosander seemed to appear out of nowhere on the lake. In the trees by the Visitor Centre the very weak call of what I strongly suspect of being the LSW came forth briefly.
Others: 10 Blackbird, pr Bullfinch, 2 Goldcrest, LTT, 10 Common Gull, 14 BHG & Kestrel.

Thinking I was due a break on Heavens Midden up I trudged where I was fortunate enough to meet KM at 1145hrs. He reported a Snow Bunting had been in the NW corner I had elected to walk past owing to the worsening weather. Sure enough within a minute the bird was seen to take flight and drop down a short distance away. We approached it and this time it repeated the performance, calling as it did so. Thanks to KM for a bird I could well have missed.
Others: 2 Skylark, Linnet, Kestrel. Bad weather then prompted me to return home via Raggalds flood which just contained the usual gull sp.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I won't Rail on but...

This bird was definitely not seen on Soil Hill

It's this Bird

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What's This Bird?

It's got to the stage now where even birds are tellin me to kiss their ass! No prizes for guessing what it is, just a lil ole game where you state your answer in comments please.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Queensbury Pinkfeet

Chapel Lane 1312hrs c50 PFG flying low down > NW This was a lifesaver upon returning home from a downer of a trip to Ogden. In fact the aquatic desert was so grim it forced me up to the cesspit of the gods via Back Lane, where at least there were 15 RLP.

On arrival at SH, after refixing my toupee, I just managed Meadow Pipit, Skylark, 2 RLP and the Grey Heron before heading back via Raggalds flood. Here there were numerous small gulls, 4 Mallard and the increasing Lapwing flock now at 22 birds.

An afterthought - the bottom RH pond at Soil Hell is dying (drying?) out owing to massive silting up. However the NK pond over the NW side is growing bigger, or rather the marshy surrounds are. Fingers crossed.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Pastures New

Went with Dave P this morning searching the extreme SE part of our patch mainly to look at the potential sites on offer. Although the wet weather put paid to good views, there was some activity and certainly some promising spots for quick trips during the shorter days. Birds seen:

c40 Lapwing, c20 Fieldfare, 8 Redwing, c15 Woodpigeon, GSW, Kestrel, Mistle Thrush, Common & BHG Gulls, Blue/Great/LT Tits. We then suffered the effects of weather by being unable to identify a 12 strong party of smaller passerines whizzing along a stand of trees without calling.

Ogden Yesterday

3 Brambling in the garden and 60 Woodpigeons over, on the way to Mountain.

Ogden was as Brian said but I also saw a Reed Bunting and the pair of Bullfinches around the lodge. There was a small feeding flock with 4 Blue Tit, 2 Great, 3 Coal and 4 Goldcrests. I tried to play the Snap-the-Goldcrest game but they didn't know the rules. I heard Nuthatch, GSW and LTT but didn't catch up with them. 20+ Fieldfare crossed the car park, as I left, heading up towards Back Lane.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Hit Shole

Yet again nuthin doin on the latrine in the clouds:
3 Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Linnet, Goldfinch, Grey Heron, 8 Grey Partridge, 9 RLP, 3 Woodpigs, CAAWvids.

I was on the top field when BS txted me about Ogden; Old Nick musta pissed hisself laughing as I read the message whilst sinking slowly into the mire.

Raggalds Flood - 2 BHG, Pied Wagtail, 7 Lapwing.

Vismig still in evidence when I left my hovel at 0810hrs - 200 Woodpiggies over > SW.

Friday, November 05, 2010

More Frustration

Friday morning started off reasonably well but then I developed a depression caused by probable misidentification and a sudden absence of birds. Raggalds flood was throbbing with c90 BHG & Common Gull, 8 Mallard, 9 Lapwing, 2 Pied Wagtail. Walking up the middle of Perseverance Rd toward Earths facsimile of Hades, I got 6 Bunting types one of which was lightly coloured and calling similar to Skylark a la Snow Bunting. How the hell do you confuse Snow Bunting? So on this basis I rang DJS, telling him I would investigate further as the birds had appeared to go down in the field below Sun Hill Farm. I never saw anything further and continued on to the cess pit of Calderdale. Big mistake - not a fwiggin tweet apart from the mocking sound of Cawvides.

Ogden Res - the crap continues. I checked the Lodge House feeders which were still empty. Only decent bird was a GC Grebe on the drink. Interestingly I only saw one Chaffinch - compare this with the no. that DJS saw just up the road.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Ogden etc

My bird was a Pintail, just as I got out of the car-so no camera available. It was heading in the direction of the Giant's Tooth.

Up at Back Lane, other than the usual groups of Crows, Jackdaws and Magpies and a few Starlings, I saw  Meadow Pipit, 2 Mistle Thrushes and a Green Woodpecker.

There were still at least 6 Redwings in the trees in Green Lane and a couple of Jays in the same area. (I 'll mention at this point the strange sight, at about 11 am on Monday, of 7 Common Gulls chasing what I thought at first was a small bird but which turned out to be  a bat! It got away.) 

There were 144 Lapwings over Corporal Lane. 

2 Bramblings left in the garden today and a Treecreeper visited.

Ogden after Soil Hell

SH at 0945hrs was unbearable I couldn't find anything grounded by the strong wind and I've erased the paltry birds I did get from my mind.

So on to Ogden then at around 1010hrs when things improved by meeting Denise who had just completed her early tour. She has a bird of her own to tell us about so I won't mention it here. A trip round the lake produced 3 Goldfinch and this pr of Bullfinch.

As I was taking these shots I got real lucky - a LSW called twice and then flew in front of me across the water giving good views. It headed for the Lodge House and veered down right, into the area of the garden feeder. I went down there but sadly, there were no birds at all because for once the feeder had not been replenished.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Soil Hill & Ogden

Very much anticlimax today; quiet at both locations, particularly Ogden. The Grey Partridge count at SH is now c25 birds with the RLP count constant at 12. I managed 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Grey Heron, 3 Pied Wagtail, 2 Chaffinch, Meadow Pipit and c30 Common Gull plus the Cawvids (now in reduced numbers). KM was present and reported Skylark, Snipe & Stonechat.

Ogden Res
Few smaller gulls and ducks on the drink, nowt else. The woods were almost lifeless, just:
GSW, Fieldfare & 2 Siskin sticking in my mind plus a Lapwing > N.