Birdbrain Stuff

Monday, February 28, 2011

Wainstalls to Ogden

Wainstalls 1100hrs in a biting NE wind. At least 6 Brambling by the Delvers pub alongside Chaffinch and Goldfinch. Just round the corner was a pr of Mistle Thrush and a male Sparrowhawk plonked on the garden wall, which took fright on seeing moi.

The ^ wind put paid to any jollification or movement at Cold Edge Dams. The lower dam held 5 Canada and 2 pr Tufted, while the top was blankety blank. I managed just a Robin at the ramshackle farm house up the path.

Fly Flatts was baht - 10 Canada and a Skylark only! So, down to Ogden which had the most variety:
pr Jay on the Lodge House feeders. GC Grebe, f Goosander and a pr Goldeneye plus expected species.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Spring in the Air

Soil Hill approx 1115 hrs. No real change to previous visit except nrs of Lapwing, i.e only 2 today in Shay field. Blackbird, pr Stock Dove, 2 Common Gull, c16 Linnet, 2 Grey Heron, pr Grey Partridge, Kestrel.
Also 2 Roe Deer and J Fox Esqu.

Ogden Res 1225 hrs proved quiet again but it did provide me with another annual tick - GC Grebe. F Goldeneye also on the drink and several smaller gull sp. Two Grey Heron flew over SW here but I am certain they were the birds seen ^ there.

Oats Royd approx 1405 hrs. Perhaps tis a good thing there weren't no Heron knocking about here.

This pond had 7 pair of frogs mating in it. I've never seen Frogs in Feb before; certainly this is  the earliest date I've ever seen them. Birdwise, it was quiet: c30 Fieldfare, 4 Mallard, Moorhen, 4/5 Greenfinch.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Was outside cleaning soil hill from my boots at 0950 hrs when a single Brambling flew over the trees at the back, heading NW, calling. This bird is believed to be trying to lose weight after holidaying in the Park Lane reserve.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Early Curlew Soil Hill

Got to Soil Hill at around 1245 hrs and was delighted to get both an annual tick and my earliest Curlew record up here todate. I'd photographed the Lapwing in the bottom Shay field to get an accurate count (14 birds) when it took off from the same area, flew about 80 metres W and settled again.

There were 12 Skylark up there, about half of which were singing but as yet no Meadow Pipit have returned. Also Grey Heron, pr Mallard, 5 Woodpigs, 15 Linnet, 2 LBBG > W, Corvids galore.

I arrived at Ogden at around 1405 hrs along with a multitude of visitors out to enjoy the pleasant sunshine. There were quite a few smaller gull sp. on the drink but nothing else to write home about. Woodland birds present incl. Mistle Thrush singing, a solitary Fieldfare, male Bullfinch and those regular species recently recorded.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Movement on the Hill

Soil Hill approx 1415 hrs. 14 Skylark > NW plus 1 other elsewhere. 21 Lapwing > NW.
c65 Fieldfare were moving; the bulk in 3 lots > SW but on leaving the hill 6 > NE.
Some unseen critter put the big corvid flock up and there were 7 Mallard playing in the vehicle wash. Also: Kestrel, Woodpigeon, 3 Grey Partridge, 5 Starling, Robin, Dunnock. The Linnet flock has not returned and I did not see one gull sp. whatsoever. The gulls seem to have left earlier than previous years - there were none at all in N Queensbury.

On passing by BS house an imm. Sparrowhawk whipped by and flew down New Park Rd for about 25 metres almost scraping the surface before alighting on a rooftop.

Thanks for the call about the Ogden Waxwing flock Dave.


From Mr R Mitchell via Contact Point 21/02

About twenty to twenty five redwing on playing fields rawson road boothtown @ 12pm monday.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ogden then Soil Hill

Ogden Res approx 1130hrs poor visibility in SE breeze and light sleet.

Pleased to get 4 Redpoll feeding in the waterside track Alders as this beats my previous total here of 3 a couple of years back. I checked for Mealies but although visibility and photographic conditions were poor, I am certain these were all Lesser. The Lodge House garden was crawling with birds, mainly Coal, Great, and LTT; the latter being 10 in number. However there were only 7 BHG & 2 Canada on the drink apart from the Mallard. Other: 6/7 Goldfinch, pr Dunnock, pr Chaffinch, Blackbird, Robins.

Went to the Keelham Farm Shop via Soil Hell where the wind and snow was more obvious and not surprised to get just a few Crow, Grey Heron and pr Skylark.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Park Lane Brambling

A single bird came in with the Greenfinches this morning.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

From Ogden Res


This month's projects are tree guard removal and repairing the brashing around the reservoir after the high winds.
MEET, ready for action, at 10.00am


 OR PHONE  01422 243761

A Friends of Ogden practical day

Many hands make light work!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ogden Slaty Backed Gull?

Picture Downloaded from Web
Slaty Backed Gull was recorded at Rainham Marshes London, Today. Hard luck chaps we got it first!

As stated in the original post (click geen link above) it's the Pink legs that struck me. Suppose I should have pushed it more at the time; too late now, but they can't stop you dreaming!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Round The Houses

Soil Hill 1105-1235 hrs. Lapwings have moved on. Now c32 Linnet on N slope, pr Mallard, 4 Common Gull, Grey Heron, Stock Dove, 11 Skylark and Corvids.

Ogden Res 1250hrs - slow start but got better. Usual Gull sp. on water and 14 Canada present. Tawny Owl seen and heard calling. Finally encountered Song Thrush which sang briefly, in fact lots of singing from woodland species. Several Goldfinch. Moving Coal, Great and...

along with a couple of Gold Crest. Also m Bullfinch and 2 GSW, one of which was seen in flight showing plumage aberration.

Any idea of what is puzzling this BHG?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Park Lane

Two shots grabbed in the garden this morning. Treecreeper and GSW in the same tree and Siskin and Nuthatch on the feeder. If I was to categorise this posting, I guess it would be how-to-lose-friends-and-irritate-people. Sorry, Brian.  By way of compensation, at least I didn't get decent shots!

The single Siskin came in a few times but I haven't seen it since the fog lifted. Both Treecreepers were here yesterday and one was feeding on the ground, something I've never seen them do before. The white marks on the tree are crevices filled with a kind of bird-cake which has been very popular with a range of birds including Magpies, Blackbirds and Chaffinches. As well as the regular male, the female GSW came in yesterday. It's the first we've seen of her for a long time.

Bradford Herring Gull

Had to go to Bradford this am, but the agony was alleviated by the sight and sounds of an adult Herring Gull along with 4/5 Common Gull continually circling above the Westgate area.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

SH Skylarks

Being inspired by a Skylark calling over Chapel St, yesterday, I got myself upto Soil Hill at 0905hrs this morning. The Skylark population has shot up from the one bird that's been present for a few weeks to 10 birds, 6 of them arriving in one party.
The Linnet flock is at around c18 birds and there were no Twite squeaks heard at all. 5 Lapwing were on the top field with c20 birds down at The Shay. Also here were c100 Starling and 8 Ogdenii Mallard on the NK Pond.
Also a Grey Partridge, 6 Fieldfare > NE, Corvids and 2 unidentified small not-so-brown jobs > SE.
Two Roe Deer.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Soil Hill Dilemma

Started off at 1410hrs deadly quiet but picked up after 25 mins or so. I also have a problem to solve, thus:
The Linnet flock has increased to 23 birds, or so I thought. I noticed on 4 different occasions a splinter group of 7 birds formed and flew overhead but didn't settle on the deck. The lead bird was the only one calling and it happened to be a Twite; visibility was only fair and I couldn't identify the remainder satisfactorily. Now then guys n gals, do I follow the 'Birds of a feather stick together' theory and assume the other 6 were Twite. Or were they Linnets fancying a break; my leanings are that they were Twite, but of course I would want them to be!

A Herring Gull flew SW; 23 Common Gull went E. The Lapwing party has increased to 19 and several Crows mobbed a Grey Heron. Others: Grey Partridge, Skylark, Kestrel, 6 Mallard a la Ogdenii, 60+ Starling, Blackbird, Dunnock.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Pesky Birds

I got up to Soil Hill with the full intention of counting the ruts, potholes and wire traps when I discovered some rotter had packed my binoculars and camera.
Female Sparrowhawk
16 Linnet

Also 10 Lapwing, pr Grey Partridge, pr Stock Dove, Kestrel, c65 Fieldfare > E. Countless corvids including 2 Carrion Crow harassing the Sparrowhawk.

Ogden Res was noisy with woodland species incl 2 Goldcrest. There were plenty of small gull sp on the drink along with c8 Canada Goose and as I was departing 3 female Goosander flew in, presumably from Mixamatosis Res.

Park Lane Siskins

Very little to report recently but 4 Siskins dropped into the garden this afternoon. The two Nuthatches are still coming daily and we've had one and sometimes two Treecreepers in over the last couple of weeks.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Total Crap

Right, where do we start, ascending/descending order of crapness or start of venues. Ummm, OK lets do it the traditional way.

Soil Hill - Very windy as expected but far crapper than anticipated. I think exceedingly crap will suffice as there was just a Fieldfare and a Skylark.

Ogden Res - Really crap, sod all around the path. 6 small gull sp. & 14 Canada on the drink. Incoming female Goosander saved it from being downgraded further.

Mixenden Res - given the disappearance of the previous numbers of species plus the fact that it started raining this is the one. This is Ultimate Crap - f Goldeneye, 2 Goosander, 7 small gull sp.

I really should give fwickin birding up; pity I can't blame anyone but myself.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Round Trip

Horton Bank CP to Mixenden Res to Cold Edge courtesy of Dave Pinder this morning.
HB CP approx 1000hrs had a fair mix of BH & Common Gull, 2 Coot and a Moorhen. Passerines once again thin on the ground, just Blackbird, Great & Blue Tit.

Mixenden Res was swimming with aquatic types and also contained one DJS, who saved me a counting job, thanks Dave.
24 Goosander, 2 Goldeneye, 2 Cormorant, 1 LBBG and stacks of smaller gulls.
The trees and bushes coughed up Blue, Great, Coal (2) & LT Tit (2) with a GSW and numerous corvids.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Soil HIll & Ogden

Soil Hill approx 1245hrs absolutely nothing for most of the trip apart from caaaawvids. I almost gave up hope but decided to trudge round to the untouched area of rough in the corner where the old mistle is. Perched on one of the boulders on the Ned Hill side slope was a Peregrine Falcon which took off and circled around casually before going down on the NE side of the hill.

Let me assure you that my camera throughout the duration was safely tucked away in a pocket, switched off, lens cap firmly in place. Which means, I only got it to my eyeballs in time to see the bird sinking out of sight. 4 minutes later I flushed a Grey Partridge from the grass - a lucky bird I do believe. Also two Roe Deer

Ogden wasn't up to much neither but I had some excitement by the Lodge House. This wasn't by the feeders, which were relatively untouched, but in the Alders etc nearby. Among the Great and Coal Tits was another bird which showed a full black head and bib, lacking the white nape of Coal Tit. I'm afraid after some digestion of quite a few Marsh/Willow Tit photo sources and the fact the bird did not call, it will have to go down as a 'could have been'.