Birdbrain Stuff

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

I'll save you from a drenching if you want to add Brambling to your list, Nigel. They were a one-day-wonder, I'm afraid but I'll let you know if they re-appear. Everything else is still around.

Happy hunting, all.

Friday, December 30, 2011

EOY Low Note

I thought Soil Hill was crap at 1045-1125 until I got down to Ogden and did a session from 1135-1210 hrs. It was so deadly quiet here, I staggered back up the hill to try and salvage the morning with Snow Bunting.
Sure enough 7 SBs were present if somewhat flighty. I kept hearing this dry rattling sound from one bird which was new to me so I checked out Xeno Canto bird sounds for Lapland Bunting also. What I did find out, almost by way of reconfirmation is that the two species have soooo many sounds in common that if you ain't getting Laps regularly, there is no chance to define the species.
DJS put it beyond doubt after a phone call as he had good sightings of all 7 birds on the deck together.
Others: 4 Skylark, 4 Pheasant, 8 Fieldfare, Blackbird, Grey Heron.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Windy Hill Part 137

Site Name:Soil Hill
Date:Wed, 28 Dec, 2011Time:9:40 - 11:20
SpeciesCommentBreeding Status
Carrion Crow    5
Lapwing    9
Linnet    3
Magpie    2
Reed Bunting    3
Skylark    1
Snow Bunting    5
Woodpigeon    20
Total number of species

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

More Bramblings

I managed to catch up with Snow Bunting this afternoon.

While my back was turned six Bramblings dropped into the garden. I wonder if they've been in Mark's garden again. They were still here when I got back so I'll be looking out again tomorrow morning. The garden has continued to be busy: 2 Stock Doves, 2 Jays, Nuthatch, male and female GSW, 2 male and 2 female Bullfinch and Treecreeper today, along with the usual suspects.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day

Soil Hill 1030-1125 hrs in a perky SW'ly.
8 Golden Plover, 7 Linnet, 2 Skylark, 6 Snow Bunting. 5 of the latter were airborne a few times traversing from W to SE; a single lone female was on the deck at the N end.

Raggalds flood held 6 Mallard and c60 gulls, mainly Common.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Xmas Eve on Soil Hill

Approx 0945-1115hrs rain being driven from SW by a cheeky little breeze.
10 Golden Plover, 2 Blackbird, 4 Fieldfare, 18 Linnet, 4 Skylark, 6 Snow Bunting.
I was joined halfway through the session by BS who eventually with help from a break in the sky went on to hold a great photographic session with the Buntings.
Thanks for the lift back, Brian.

Merry Christmas

It's traditional to send robins so here are three from Australia (Scarlet, Flame and Pink).

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Blown Away

There are 4 birds here - I had a helluva time finding the brown jobs!
Soil Hill 0945-1055 hrs. Strongest winds I've experienced in years but despite this 8 Snow Bunting feeding out in the open terrain!
Also present: 4 Skylark, Reed Bunting, 2 Linnet, 6 Grey Partridge, Lapwing, Golden Plover. Thanks to the wind there was one flying jackdaw size bird that I failed to identify. A few Common Gull and Corvids were knocking about the bottom field.

Raggalds flood held 14 Mallard and c60 Common Gull, with the odd BHG.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Win Some Lose Some

Shelf Moor approx 1200-1230hrs Blackbird, 2 Mistle Thrush, Grey Wagtail, several smaller Gull species, few Goldfinch. DP and myself aborted the mission after consulting my mobile phone containing the information of the true id of suspected Ring Ouzel. After the initial disappointment one thinks (one does) how dire the ire would have been had the bird been the real thing and we hadn't ventured out. Horton Bank CP for a quick perusal of the lake - 2 Moorhen, Crow, Dunnock and many smaller Gull sp. Thanks for the lift Dave.

PS A Pox on the Weather Forecasters!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jack Snipe Hill

Site Name: Soil Hill
Date: Tue, 20 Dec, 2011 Time: 10:45 - 12:45
Species Comment Breeding Status
Blackbird 1
Blue Tit 1
Carrion Crow 4
Common Gull 7+
Grey Heron 1
Grey Partridge 5
Jack Snipe How this bird missed being trod on, I'll never know 1
Linnet 18
Magpie 2
Meadow Pipit 1
Pheasant 4
Skylark 4
Snow Bunting 1
Starling 5
Total number of species

Monday, December 19, 2011

Misty Soil Hill

SH 0945-1100 hrs in very limited visibility. 4 Pheasant, 4 Skylark, Linnet, 8 Snow Bunting, Blackbird. I wonder did a Gyrfalcon take the 9th Bunting - Mwuuuuuaaaaaaahhhh.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Soil Hill Blank

Well, almost as I managed 3 Skylark, Pheasant and a Magpie between 1350-1455 hrs. I met KM on the way up there who told me that 9 Snow Bunting were still present but had flown "to the far end". Perhaps the two other birders who turned up 15 minutes before I left connected with them. KM reports sight of a Lapland Bunting on the top field on Monday 12th December. As far as I have been able to search, this is a first record of this species actually on the hill.

PS Thanks ever so much for that framed photograph of the Snow Bunting, Brian. I'll mount it on the wall a.s.a.p

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Frozen Hill

Site Name: Soil Hill
Date: Wed, 14 Dec, 2011 Time: 10:45 - 11:50
Species Comment Breeding Status
Black-headed Gull Bottom field 10+
Blackbird 1
Carrion Crow 5+
Common Gull Bottom field 20+
Magpie Present
Pheasant 1
Skylark 4
Snow Bunting Feeding among the top field frozen furrows. 9
Total number of species
Raggalds Flood had 12+ Common Gull and 10 Lapwing present.

Monday, December 12, 2011

sNOw Buntings

Soil Hill in a rather brisk W'ly to say the least 1045-1145hrs.
Blackbird, 3 Common Gull, 4 Skylark, c20 Linnet, Caawvids - nothing else to report.

Plenty of Common Gull at Raggalds flood and several at Foxhill also.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

SH Buntng Check

Soil Hill 0945-1050 hrs 3 Snow Bunting still present but very mobile this morning. Also 6 Skylark, Blackbird, Wren, Pheasant 3 Carrion Crow.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Soddened on Soil Hill

SH 0940-1040 hrs in a driving SW rainstorm. I may have been wetter than this fully clothed at some time in my life but I really cant remember when.

At the far end of the track on the E side I flushed a Jack Snipe from just over 2 metres; it performed as per usual, dropping down onto top of N slope. Turning the corner and heading back down the track I then flushed 3 Snow Bunting from the stony mound area. On the flooded area where the pools and ruts are I flushed 6 Lapwing and yet again was another Plover sp. This bird first of all flew toward me before taking up and flying alongside the lead Lapwing > W. I tried my best to turn it into a Golden Plover, especially as this time it didn't call. However, even in those dank conditions I could see it flew like a Grey and I managed to catch sight of dark axilliaries - certainly not white.

Reading up on Grey Plover, the one factor on Soil Hill that supports a Winter bird is the terrain which certainly bears a resemblance to a stony shore line. Furthermore Goldies are not waders inasmuch that they like drier pastures and fields. Anyway, please oh Bird God let some bugger else see it well and confirm the mystery.
Other birds: 4 Skylark, Pheasant, 6 Grey Partridge. Quite a few smaller Gull sp. and 9 Mallard at Raggalds.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Buntings and Snow

Sunny Soil Hill

Site Name: Soil Hill Date: Tue, 6 Dec, 2011 Time: 9:45 - 10:50
Species Comment Breeding Status
Blue Tit 1
Carrion Crow 4
Dunnock 1
Grey Partridge 6
Kestrel 1
Linnet 1
Magpie 2
Pheasant 1
Skylark 9
Snow Bunting Showing well feeding close by on top field. 6
Total number of species

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Hellishly Wet

Soil Hell 1140-1310 hrs in fairly strong N'ly switching later to W/SW,ly. The bottom of the hill is now dangerous as a result of excavation, mud and water. The Vehicle Wash is now flooded; perhaps we will get some wildfowl on it, lol. Seriously, I do not advise anybody to negotiate the surrounding area; remember I do it so you don't have to. Leave it to the imbeciles and you'll be OK.

The 3 Snow Bunting were still present on the far E side of the top field, creeping around ever so creepily. When they took flight, they had no choice to return here because of the wind. When I first encountered them, I tried to attract the attention of another birder who had started off back down the track. The wind must have drowned out my shouts and perhaps he took fright of my manic waving.

The Short Eared Owl was seen again in flight over the reed beds, giving about 2 seconds worth more views but impossible for photography. Also present: 4 Skylark, Reed Bunting, c22 Lapwing, and distant small gull sp.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Soil Hill Convention

Joint SOE Bunting Hunters Soil Hill
Two Special Operations Executives from the Cross Border Force were present on the hill this morning. Their mission was accomplished when 3 Snow Bunting were seen shortly after this photo was taken. Nothing more is known about the photographer who has been reported MIA.

During the past two months I noticed the Eastern slope excavations have created fresh scrapes now full of water. No birds have been seen here yet but I shall certainly step up observations once March is upon us. Ideally, one should stand on the foreground ridge and look down, but I advise against this when the machinery is working, often close by.

Then they were Three

Site Name: Soil Hill
Date: Thu, 1 Dec, 2011 Time: 9:40 - 11:55
Species Comment Breeding Status
Carrion Crow 5+
Common Gull 2
Grey Heron 1
Grey Partridge 6
Lapwing Bottom field circa 21
Linnet 8
Magpie 2
Mallard 1
Meadow Pipit 1
Peregrine Pr together low down > S F - Flying 2
Pheasant 1
Reed Bunting 1
Short-eared Owl On N slope flew from W > E dropped and stayed down. 1
Skylark 3
Snow Bunting A third bird joining the orig pr or different birds? 3
Total number of species

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

More from the Hill

Soil Hill 0930 hrs 10 Linnet, pr Skylark, Jack Snipe and pr Snow Bunting

reported by Dave Pinder (I had to go shoppng).

PS Went down south to High Cross Lane area to count the Lapwing flock at 1355hrs - 125+ birds present.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Early Bird...

The Hill won today 29/11 1005-1045hrs. Strong wind drove birds and me off after just 3 Skylark, 14 Lapwing on the bottom field. Mebbe Bruce persevered and picked something up...

Such was my comment made on yesterday's post (now deleted) because I didn't think a full post was warranted today, however:

DP just rang to say he was up on the hill while it was still dark before approx 0800 hrs. He flushed a pr of birds thought to be Snow Bunting and persevered walking the top field until he encountered them again at 0910 hrs. This time he clinched the birds with certainty, watching them for around 20 minutes. Just goes to show, never say never and thanks for the encouraging info Dave.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Soil Hill Pinkies

I missed out on the SB with my camera but managed to get some ropey shots of these c400 PFG which took me by surprise at 1035hrs.
Pink-footed Geese over Soil Hill on a Seek and Digest Mission

Another Good Session

Site Name: Soil Hill
Date: Mon, 28 Nov, 2011 Time: 9:45 - 11:30
Species Comment Breeding Status
Carrion Crow 4+
Common Gull circa 11
Grey Plover Top field with 8 Lapwing flew off calling > N. 1
Lapwing 8
Linnet 18
Magpie 1
Mallard 3
Meadow Pipit 1
Pink-footed Goose Directly over my head, top field > N then veered W F - Flying circa 400
Reed Bunting 1
Skylark 5
Snow Bunting Male on top field 1
Starling circa 50
Total number of species

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Quiet but Good

Site Name: Soil Hill
Date: Sat, 26 Nov, 2011 Time: 9:40 - 10:55
Species Comment Breeding Status
Carrion Crow 4
Jack Snipe Great views when flushed from 2 metres and kept being blown back by strong SW,ly before dropping down. 1
Linnet 3
Pheasant 2
Skylark 3
Snipe Flushed on top field 1
Starling 2
Total number of species

Raggalds 1110 hrs 500+ Pink Footed Geese flew over > E/SE I am pretty sure this is the same bunch or thereabouts that went over St Ives t'other day as the timing is bang on. Also here were 4 Mallard and c25 Common Gull.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

St Ives Bingley

Went to foreign parts this morning courtesy of Dave P and within a few minutes of disembarking in Altar Lane at 0955 hrs we were given a great display of nature. 3 waves of Pink-footed Geese came over giving very good views as they flew low down over the estate > E. I didn't have much chance of an accurate count because of the speed and treeline but I can happily say they must have been c600 birds.

Coppice Pond had 5 male and 3 female Goosander present along with the numerous Gulls, Mallard, Coot and Moorhen. The nearby hide had several members of the Tit family hammering the feeders along with 2 Nuthatch. This bird was just simply too active for me to capture a crisp shot in the subdued lighting. Others: Siskin, pr Pied Wagtail & 5 Bullfinch among usual expected species.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Down Under Plover

We don't get too many of this species in the Queensbury area, in fact we don't get many at all in the UK. It's a Spur Winged Plover and was photographed in Victoria, Australia just outside a house. Didn't see any point in ringing you with this one Brian! My thanks to the sender for making me envious - I've only ever seen one before in my life on a Turkish holiday in April this year.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Hill

Soil Hill 0940-1055 hrs; calm with weak sunlight and intermittent mist.
21 Fieldfare, c50 Starling, 8 House Sparrow (in flight which is unusual here) Robin, Blackbird, pr Dunnock. 4 Mallard Ogdenei flew W.
The top field failed to produce Snipe today and just 2 Pheasant, 7 Linnet, 2 Meadow Pipit, 5 Skylark materialised. OK also 2 Magpie and 4 Crow if you insist.

PS Noticed at least 4 Redwing contact calls in the village tonight between approx 1800-1930hrs from my house up to Chapel Lane. Has to be local movement at this late date I reckon.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Home and Away

Home, approx 0800hrs. 20+ Fieldfare > S, White Crow with 4 other in standard issue plumage.

Away - Ringston Edge 1140-1220hrs. Quiet with numerous small gull species only on water.  A flock of 25 Golden Plover flew around twice before landing in an adjacent field. Other - 2 Pied Wagtail, plenty of Starling.

Greetland - Coal Tit, deceased, presumed roadkill. Ah well that's one less bird terrorising the neighbourhood.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Local White Crow

Not bad for a venture out into the back yard at 1415 hrs.

Soil and Water

Site Name: Soil Hill
Date: Thu, 17 Nov, 2011 Time: 8:05 - 9:20
Species Comment Breeding Status
Black-headed Gull 2
Blackbird 1
Carrion Crow 5
Chaffinch 1
Grey Heron 1
Grey Partridge 10
House Sparrow circa 6
Kestrel 1
Lapwing 10
Linnet 8
Mallard 2
Meadow Pipit 2
Pheasant 2
Reed Bunting Male still in bright summer plumage 2
Skylark 11
Snipe 1
Starling circa 35
Woodpigeon 7
Wren 1
Total number of species
Ogden Res 0930hrs was quiet but alleviated by my first local and national Kingfisher for the year! Others: Cormorant, Grey Wagtail, Kestrel and several smaller gull species.
I decided to give SH top field a second sweep on the way home to no avail. 3 people enquiring about Snow Bunting presence were disappointed by their absence; at least they were local birders who hadn't travelled far.

Prior to this at 0800hrs Raggalds had c45 Woodpigeon > SW, 7 Lapwing > S plus a Pied Wagtail.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Whooper A Daisy

Site Name: Soil Hill
Date: Tue, 15 Nov, 2011 Time: 8:35 - 9:55
Species Comment Breeding Status
Blackbird 2
Carrion Crow Present
Chaffinch 2
Great Tit 1
Grey Partridge 10
Lapwing Flying around the top 7
Linnet circa 14
Meadow Pipit 1
Pheasant 4
Reed Bunting Top field 4
Skylark 8
Snipe Flushed from top field 1
Snow Bunting Top field 2
Whooper Swan Came in calling in a bank of mist then > W 2
Total number of species

Monday, November 14, 2011


Site Name: Soil Hill
Date: Mon, 14 Nov, 2011 Time: 9:40 - 11:15
Species Comment Breeding Status
Blackbird 1
Carrion Crow 8+
Common Gull 1
Grey Partridge 13
Jack Snipe Flushed close up flew approx 30m dropped into cover top field. 1
Kestrel 1
Linnet 17
Magpie 2
Mallard 1
Meadow Pipit 1
Pheasant 4
Skylark 7
Snipe One flushed top field the other top of N slope 2
Snow Bunting Male flew up and circled singing then joined by another bird 2
Starling 9
Total number of species
A very good morning thanks to the weather and E,ly wind. There was movement all around too as on arrival home a Sparrowhawk flew over Black Dyke Mills and there were 3 Blackbird, 8 Long-tailed Tit, Greenfinch and Robin in the trees beyond my back yard.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Morning Walk

Site Name: Soil Hill
Date: Sat, 12 Nov, 2011 Time: 9:40 - 10:45
Species Comment Breeding Status
Carrion Crow 7+
Dunnock 1
Fieldfare 10
Golden Plover Over top field in flight called 3 times 1
Goldfinch 1
Jackdaw 3
Kestrel 1
Lapwing Bottom field 12
Lesser Black-backed Gull Looked like 1st winter 1
Linnet 4
Magpie 2
Mallard 2
Meadow Pipit 1
Skylark 5
Starling 5+
Woodpigeon 1
Wren 1
Total number of species

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Sucker Punch

Looked out the window after lunch and thought the bit o blue sky hangin 'round might lend itself to an afternoon trip up Soil Hell. Arrived at 1355 hrs to find 170+ Fieldfare skimming over walls and fields heading toward Bradshaw. 15 mins later the blue went and in raced the grey clouds, just as I was halfway round the top field. 3 Skylark, 4 Pheasant, 4 Grey Partridge and a Linnet later, I  was on my way back home after less than an hour's birding.
Apart from smaller gulls hanging around Raggalds, I did notice that House Sparrer appears to be thriving at Mountain, judging by the racket.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Ogden Yesterday

It was as David said,very quiet. Only 3 Bullfinch to add (male, female+1). They were feeding in the rose bed by the building and hovering to pick something off.

The only real entertainment provided by these gulls. Look carefully-answers on a postcard........

Monday, November 07, 2011

Local Movement

Soil Hill for a quick visit 0945-1055 hrs in an E'ly with overcast sky.
5 Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, 3 Skylark, 3 Linnet. A c50 strong flock of Redwing went over the top toward Mixenden. The bottom field had c70 mixed smaller gulls and a LBBG, a few Lapwing were also present.

Raggalds 1105 hrs c10 Meadow Pipit went over toward SH. c150 Fieldfare flew > E and I can't be certain but from the call I think a Brambling may have been with 'em.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Quiet Soil Hill

An almost 2 hour session (0840-1035) 'pon the Hill produced these birds only:
1 Woodpigeon, 2 Meadow Pipit, 3 Skylark, pr Kestrel, 1 Linnet, 1 Greenfinch, 2 LBBG, 20 Lapwing (bottom field), Crows.
Raggalds - 4 Meadow Pipit, several smaller gulls, mainly Common; Pied Wagtail.
Queensbury - GSW constantly calling from Tesco car park. 12 Woodpigeon, 1 Redwing, 1 Mistle Thrush.
Bring on some lousy weather.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Soil Hill and Ogden

Rather than blow anything juicy in, the N/NE'ly blew those birds previously present off the hill top; Swalesmoor might be worth checking up on just down the road.
3 Skylark, 5 Goldfinch > NE, Lapwing > S, 7 LBBG circling, BHG, Kestrel, c30 Carrion Crows.

Ogden res 1120hrs, bit of an improvement today:
2 Cormorant, 20+ Common Gull, c30 BHG, Grey Wagtail, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, 3 Bullfinch. A very tame Robin allowed my outstretched (empty) hand to with 6 inches before casually hopping to a nearby twig.
Most of the BHG were doing what they did this time last year, i.e hovering and perching around the tree tops feeding on unknown insects.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Changeable Soil Hill

When I arrived on that hellish hill at 0945hrs 'twas damp and murky, so much so I got disorientated once or twice. Fortunately, I soon blundered into 4 Twite on the N edge, followed shortly after by the Snow Bunting. Despite a long slog searching the pools and ruts for possible Snipe/Jack Snipe nothing materialised. DJS turned up and shortly after this the sun broke through and we were blessed with good visibility. Even so it took another complete overhaul of the top field before Dave nailed the Snow Bunting by the Radio Mast after we had decided to go home at about 1150hrs.
Others: 5 Skylark, 1 Meadow Pipit, 6 Pheasant c12 Linnet.

Fingers crossed something naughty could turn up following the change over to NE'ly winds overnight.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Picture Imperfect

Poor pics of a Snow Bunting still on Soil Hill this morning at 1130hrs. KM and I had probably walked within 3 metres of this bird on what appeared to be a fruitless search; indeed the entire top field was quiet. However on setting off to search the N slope I flushed this bird which flew toward KM and we managed to get very close to it at times. This bird behaved as Snow Bunt should; it never flew away from us, just crept along and proved hellish to focus on.
On the final sweep of the N end of the top, I almost trod on a Twite! When it flew, so did another one nearby, so it looks as if they were the pr DJS found on Sunday.
Other: 5 Skylark, 6 Grey Partridge, Grey Heron, 3 Lapwing, 14+ Crow.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

SH Snow Buntings

Soil Hill approx 0930-1110hrs in a fresh SE'ly and fairly clear skies, with Dave Pinder (thanks for the ride).
Not much doing for the first 20 minutes or so until we got to the well vegetated mound by the trackside. I flushed a pr of birds, one of which showed an obvious white patch on it's rump; the other one was a brown and white job. Although I debated with DP it may have been a Wheatear, I was far from happy because of the bird's jizz and the way it dropped into sparse grassy cover.
We got to the area and this time DP flushed the pair, one of which flew across my field of vision and dropped down revealing it as a Snow Bunting! We had to scour the entire top field area in order to stand a chance of getting good views as the birds were flighty. Some 15 minutes later on returning to within 60 metres or so of the original id spot, DP flushed a party of 5 birds.
Other: 4 Pheasant, 3 Skylark, c14 Linnet, 7 Meadow Pipit, LBBG, Corvids.

Ogden Res 1125hrs - eeeeeeeewwwwwww, well, apart from around 10 blogging Lapwing.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Soil Hill Morsel

SH 0945-1110hrs Top Field. I was fairly happy to have encountered a big robust Wheatear with a large supercilium at close range; I'm counting this as a Greenland. However at approx 1018hrs this was overshadowed by a Grey Plover in company with a pr Lapwing. The bird took off calling and didn't seem in too much of a hurry as it climbed to a moderate height and circled, giving good views and calling a couple more times. It then flew into the headwind from the S, leaving me with a another personal location tick.
Also present: 6 Grey Partridge, 7 Meadow Pipit, c15 Linnet, 5 Fieldfare > N and down in the rushes 5 Reed Bunting.
Watch out down by the RH Pond excavation and running water have made it rather mushy as my boots will testify.

Ogden Res 1120hrs - eeeeeewwwwww!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bird Quiz Answer

The bird is a Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava) , but it is more typical of the ssp. beema which breeds on the Kirghiz steppe rather than feldegg which is associated with Turkey. Look at the supercilium which is very pronounced as in beema; this is not apparent in feldegg. Just to make life more confusing, the colour of the mantle and nape is right for feldegg! So, effectively nobody could accurately state the sub species without DNA samples.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Moving Day

A good day to be out birdin, starting off with small numbers of Woodpigs and a Redwing over the back yard at approx 0830hrs. BS was getting bigger numbers of Woodies and Thrushes, so have a gander at his blog. Talkin about gander...
Soil Hill 0943hrs c100 Pink-footed Goose overhead > SE, so low I didn't need the bins; this was good as I hadn't taken em out the rucksack yet. A large gull in the bottom field had all the hallmarks of  Yellow Legged, pity it was at distance. Also present here were 6 Lapwing with 3 Common Gull > SW. Others: 3 Woodpigeon, 3 Skylark, 2 Pheasant, 15 Linnet, Kestrel, 7 Meadow Pipit, Grey Heron and Crows. (Lots of threes, just remembered 3 Greenfinch & 3 Blue Tit.)

Ogden Res 1110-1150hrs - juv Cormorant, odd looking LBBG, just a few smaller gulls, 10 Canada, Bullfinch, 6 LTT. One Red Crossbill was heard calling from a conifer and some 10 minutes later another bird flew calling over the water from E-W.

Icing on the cake garden tick: out in the back again cleaning boots at approx 1345hrs when 3 (yet again) Cormorant flew over > SW toward Shibden. This was followed 5 minutes later by a female Sparrowhawk > E.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Easy Bird Quiz

Identify this bird for a laff; those who can provide the full species/ssp name win a one week stay in Queensbury. Those who can't but still get the species correct win a two week stay.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sunny Oats Royd

OR 1120-1225 hrs   
Species (Complete list) Count Breeding Optional Details
Black-headed Gull
Blue Tit
Carrion Crow
Common Gull
Great Tit
Grey Heron
Long-tailed Tit
Mistle Thrush
Pied Wagtail (yarrellii)
Red-legged Partridge
Comment My first observation for this site.
Comment Feather pile found of one, presumed Sparrowhawk kill
Number of species 20

Another Fine Day

Swalesmoor 1010-1110 hrs too bright and sunny for many birds:
Species Comment Breeding Status
Carrion Crow 10+
Dunnock 2
Goldfinch 1
Green Woodpecker 1
Jackdaw 6
Jay 1
Magpie 5
Meadow Pipit 5
Pied Wagtail (yarrellii) 2
Skylark 1
Woodpigeon Heading South F - Flying circa 90
Total number of species

Monday, October 24, 2011


After getting c85 Woodpigeon over the back at around 0840 hrs I thought the SE,ly would bear fruit on Soil Hill and mebbe Ogden so orf I went. I was well wrong:
SH 0945-1040hrs c14 Meadow Pipit, 1 Linnet, 6 Pheasant, c40 Fieldfare blogging.
Ogden Res 1055hrs - juv Cormorant still present. 4 LBB among the small collection of small gulls, Only other thing worth mentioning c50 Goldfinch blogging and small party of Great, Blue and Coal Tit.
Two Grey Heron over Bradshaw, one heading toward SH (fool) t'other Ogden (Idiot).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Alanya Birds

Blue Rock Thrush

Willow Warbler

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Blue Sky - Poor Birding

Now I know a direct S'ly with Blue Sky and Sunshine is even worse than the well documented dreaded SW'ly. Lurvely day for perambulating, but by crackey it made fer grim birdin.
Soil Hill 0945hrs - 9 Starling, Reed Bunting, c14 Meadow Pipit, c10 Linnet, Goldfinch, Kestrel. 8 Pheasant together were flushed from one small area of vegetation. (Jay over BS Garage on way up).

Ogden Res approx 1110 hrs - really bad. 3 Fieldfare in flight, otherwise everything was dormant. 9 Canada Goose on shoreline and small number of gulls on the drink with one imm LBBG.

Juvenile Cormorant still making a living here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Holiday Drama

One of the most spectacular incidents on the birdin trip to Alanya took place one afternoon while walking along the extensive promenade. It involved a raptor known to birders worldwide and a bird that was a lifer for me, found in this part of Turkey, having spread westward recently.
This Peregrine Falcon flew low down nearby and caught a bird in mid air which it carried up to the 9th floor of this apartment block. Lucky for me it stayed for a good 7 minutes and started to pluck and consume it's meal.
The victim was a Spectacled Bulbul. These two pictured were sunbathing in an Orange Grove some days earlier.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Quiet Round Trip

Had a tour round courtesy of DP to Ogden, Mixenden and Soil Hill; although quiet it had it's moments.
Ogden Res approx 0940 hrs - juvenile Cormorant, 4 LBBG among the smaller gulls, Reed Bunting and a very tame Robin. The Lodge House feeders are obscured now by Hawthorn branches as well as the RBW Herb stems so it's going to be really hard work to nail any Bramblings there.

Mixenden Res - nothing on the water or embankment other than small gulls. Grey Wagtail, Goldcrest, a few Coal Tit and LTT seen and GSW heard.

Soil Hill approx 1140hrs top field only. Several Crows, Skylark, 8+ Meadow Pipit, c8 Goldfinch, c20 Linnet, Kestrel. As we departed, a very docile Wheatear was discovered, giving great close up views. This was the nominate northerner, nothing Greenland about this bird. Good to know I'd elected to leave my camera in the rucksack.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Very Small Humming Bird

Alanya was swarming with these beauties
OK this is supposed to be an Ornithological blog, but it is a kind of bird, isn't it?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Looking for Ogden?

Soil Hill

0830-0935hrs rather cool and somewhat breezy.
Skylark, c23 Meadow Pipit, c28 Linnet, 6 Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Golden Plover calling overhead.
6 Fieldfare flew over > SW.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Polish-ringed Gull

I thought you might like to know that I've just been told that the BHG with the white ring (T6NA), which was at Ogden on 1/10/11, was ringed as a pullus in Nowe Dwory, Poland on the 26/6/11. It had travelled 1021 miles to reach Ogden.


I had to travel 2000 miles to get this years annual Kingfisher. This one was working the rock pools on the beach; I probably got about 5 in total.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sunny and Quiet

Soil Hill 0945-1030hrs Bright blue skies so no sign of mass migration, which was confirmed by KM (Red Grouse) who had arrived earlier. Birds present: Kestrel, 2 Pied Wagtail, 4 Skylark, 2 Chaffinch, c20 Goldfinch, 2 Linnet and solitary Wheatear. I had seen a Wheatear at Mountain some 25 minutes earlier.

Ogden Res 1045hrs - managed to get c35 Redwing here and a smattering of Woodpigeon. Deadly quiet otherwise with GC Grebe being noted among the gulls. Also Grey Heron, Sparrowhawk, 8 Chaffinch, 2 LBBG and I think a calling Nuthatch.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Armenian Gull

A new bird and gull for me - not taken at Ogden btw.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Brambling in Park Lane

Our first one came in this morning. I only managed a couple of snaps before the Sparrowhawk dropped in and put everything up.