Birdbrain Stuff

Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Birds of 2010

Sporadic movement throughout todays walk from Queensbury to Oats Royd via Mount Merde and Ogden Res.
Queensbury - 7 Woodpiggies > E; 3 LBBG > W; 15 Fieldfare > E at Raggalds.
Soil Hell 1035hrs - bleedin deadly: BHG & Common Gull. 2 LBBG > N; 60 Starling, sod all else 'cept Caawvids.

Ogden Res - Usual BH & Common Gull on slowly receding ice. 5 Goldfinch, 4 Goldcrest, GSW, Great, Coal & Blut Tit around Lodge House.

Bradshaw had c40 Redwing moving around in seperate small groups with mebbe c7 Fieldfare in among.

Oats Royd had 5 Mistle Thrush, 2 Jay, Green Woody, Grey Heron, c35 Crows. Jackdaw were moving throughout.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hard Work II

Soil Hill approx 1230 hrs 5 Grey Partridge.
Ogden Res - LBBG, Lots of BHG, less so Common Gull. Only real passerine activity was by Lodge House feeder mob apart from 2 Goldcrest, 2 Redwing and a Nuthatch.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hard Work in the Mist

1145hrs Horton Bank Top CP - inspired by BS birds on Sunday. It was a different picture today with hardly no movement in the mist. No sign of Coot or Moorhen, but around 15 BH & 2 Common Gull on the ice. Given the number of footprints on the ice I was surprised not to see the hands of the local numpties sticking out of it.
Passerine activity was mainly provided by Great Tits but I did find a Brambling in with 4 Chaffinch and pr of Bullfinch.

Shelf Moor on the return leg was dire; pr Collared Dove, odd Crow and 3 Greenfinch were only birds seen.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cold Weather Movements!

2 Curlews going NW over the house this morning and the hibernating hedgehog ventured out for a snack.

Market Robin Beats Freeze

I had to go to Bradford today (note the word had) and visited John Street Market where I saw a Robin on the ground by one of the stalls. It then flew up onto one of the stall tops making me think that indoors amongst an avalanche of food is a premium winter residence. Then on arrival home I saw this news article; the market is a big place, plenty of room for more birds.

Prior to that I had bumped into one of the residents that lives very close to Soil Hill and is interested in the wildlife there. Just when you thought it safe to go back up Old Nick's Midden, you are reliably informed that somebody has applied for clay extraction rights. The location is in front of the farm house about halfway down on the RH side coming down from the top.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Soil Hill Bonus

After a quiet Ogden where there was no sign of the Med Gull I decided reluctantly to return home via Soil Hill. This was hard work and I was surprised to find a Goldfinch and Pied Wagtail on the bottom N slope but even more surprised at around 1440hrs. A pr Whooper Swan were flying low down, heading S toward Raggalds where I lost sight of them. It was a good job they angled a bit and showed all white because up until then in silhouette flying directly away, I was struggling to id them. Another local annual, I'm pleased to say - only others were well outside the area.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ogden Res again

The thought of Xmas shopping was too frightening to contemplate so I went to Ogden where the winter phase imm. Mediterranean Gull was on the ice at approx 1035hrs. I got good views of it in flight at 1120hrs, when unfortunately it flew S toward Mixenden.
Also present were single figure BHG & Common Gull and a very light mantled LBBG type larger gull flying NE; this was too dark for Herring and did make me think YLG. However as this thought was quite some time after, and I didn't get close views, I won't speculate further.

A very pleasant surprise here was a party of c11 Siskin feeding just off the path on Alders.

I went to Soil Hell acting on the possible Jack Snipe report on the Ned Hill track reported by BS. This was a big mistake; previous name calling has obviously been taken into consideration and the place opened up on me. Wind driven horizontal snow drove into my face then drove all of me off the hill as fast as I could go. No surprise then that I didn't see a bird, which means my first pure blank for the location - yippeeee, I think.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Three Time Loser

Mistake No.1 Getting out of bed; No.2 Visiting Ogden; No.3 Visiting Soil Hill.
Ogden was crap; a pr Jay and pr Reed Bunting at the Lodge House feeder plus a Treecreeper alleviating the crushing boredom.

The place where the Devil does his dirty drawers was really crap; I mean mind numbingly, teardrop inducingly so. Conclusion: today's experience proving that local birding can be and usually is CRAP!

That's it for me; back to my embroidery kit and knitting needles down at the rub a dub.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Southlands

Went down Whinney Royd Lane and back up via Score Hill from approx 1245-1410hrs this arternoon and there was quite a bit going on.

Paw Lane had pr Mistle Thrush and Common Snipe with 6 Lapwing across Briguss Rd in the usual area.
WRL halfway down had small numbers Fieldfare, Redwing and Blackbird with c16 Goldfinch moving around.

On the way back, Gulls started to move which seems consistent with the birds BS was getting through the week from his observation post. Two lots of large types which must have been LBBG (not near enough to id) totalling c45 and a party of c14 Common. All were going loosely NW.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Ogden On Wednesday

Thanks for the call, Nigel. I did catch up with it later.

Ogden Res

The Med Gull was on the ice until around 11:40hrs today when I left after succumbing to the numbing wind. This was no cake walk today as everything had moved nearer the middle of the lake and the footpath was lethal. Other than the Lodge House feeder, I didn't see one woodland species about.

Soil Hill was empty and Raggalds flood held 16 Common Gull.

PS relevant to the phone call and text rcvd about the Mt Tabor bird limping, I could see nothing untoward with this bird. However, I emphasise visibility was not good.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

You won't believe this

...but yet another annual!

I should compile wish lists more often. This Mediterranean Gull was at Ogden Res this morning giving me yet another Xmas present. The Danish ringed BHG reported by Denise previously was still there but there was little else worth mentioning.

The return trip via Soil Hill to search for the SEO proved fruitless, only birds apart from corvids were 7 distant Partridge sp. in flight. I'm not bothered!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Park Lane

Today's surprise in the garden.

Soil Hill Prezzie

Today at 1200hrs on that savage mound of icy misery I was most unirked; hard to believe that just 48 hours after my moan a Short Eared Owl turns up. It was perched on a farm buildinging on the hill top and then flew about 10 flaps over the crest of the N slope and disappeared. This was doubly welcome as it had been deadly quiet prior to this sighting; other birds here were just Kestrel, Corvids, Common Gull and LBBG.

Ogden Res at around 1020hrs was really the pits, totally the opposite to BS haul of yesterday. Gulls aplenty and a Canada Goose but nothing else stirring on the drink other than ducks. GSW, Siskin, Bullfinch, c18 LTT and usual bunch in small numbers.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

To Those I Miss

Sat here reflecting on what a good birding year I have had in 2010, it's worth mentioning absent friends; some I should have had perhaps and those that would always be tricky. So I raise a toast and look forward to meeting up with you in 2011, for I know there is no time left this year.

Barn Owl - tricky
Black Redstart - possible
Green Sandpiper - possible
Lapland Bunting - possible
Med Gull - possible
Pied Flycatcher - tricky
Redstart - possible
Ringed Plover - possible
Ruff - tricky
Sedge Warbler - possible
Short Eared Owl - possible and one that irks
Tree Sparrow - tricky
Wood Warbler - tricky
Yellowhammer - tricky
White Wagtail - possible.

All relative of course subject to right time, right place; some birders no doubt wondering what the problem is.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Garden Birds

Since I haven't been tempted out, I did a count in the garden. 
4 Woodpigeon
2 Collared Dove
3 Stock Dove
Sparrowhawk through once
Great-spotted Woodpecker (snow-clearing)
3 Dunnock (one with no tail)
2 Robin
31 Blackbird
5 Great Tit
2 Coal Tit
7 Blue Tit
2 Nuthatch
5 Magpie
2 Carrion Crow
23 Chaffinch
8 Goldfinch
5 Greenfinch
Today's surprises were a male Bullfinch(briefly) and 4 Starlings (a rarity here!). Also, a  very entertaining squirrel.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

What's that on your leg?

This is the ringed BHG I mentioned, Nigel, which was at Ogden on the 19th November. The answer to the question, according to my sources, appears to be that it's a Danish ring. Unfortunately, it flew off before I could get all the details. I'll be giving the gulls a bit more than a cursory glance in future.

Plenty of birds in the garden.  Collared Dove and Stock Doves (2 of each) back after an absence of 3 months. Nuthatch/es still coming in also Sparrowhawk and Jay yesterday and a maximum count of 24 Blackbirds.