Birdbrain Stuff

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.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Round and About

70+Common Gulls on the rugby field this morning at about 7:00

It seemed pretty quiet at Ned Hill from 7:15 'til 8:00 with only 14 Meadow Pipits passing>S but there seemed to have been a bit of a movement of alba wagtails with 27 in 5 groups also >S. Some other groups were passing down by the road, but too far away for me.

I dropped down to Ogden where today's interest was this white-ringed BHG (which flew off before I could get a decent shot) and also the fact that Wrens seemed to be particularly noisy and conspicuous; I saw 8. Three more alba wagtails went over.

Back at Old Guy Road, I stopped at a recently-mown field when I heard Skylarks. There were 4 of them along with 70+ Meadow Pipits, two Magpies and 3 Crows. A Sparrowhawk watched from a nearby rooftop. This particular crow was a surprise-it obviously owes some of its genes to a Hooded Crow. Is it an individual you're familiar with already?