Birdbrain Stuff

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Soil Hill Snow Bunting

Having found the little cracker when it was very misty in the morning, I went back for a modest photo shoot in the arternoon.

When it's gone, it's gone!
Also present: 7 Skylark, 14 Linnet, 20 Lapwing, pr Mallard, c35 Crows. In the am session a Dog Fox flushed 14 Lapwing from the top field in the mist. Prior to that Raggalds Flood had a Curlew and 4 BHG.

Busy Session

Site Name:Ogden Res (SE03 Q)
Date:Wed, 29 Feb, 2012Time:11:00 - 12:50
SpeciesCommentBreeding Status
Black-headed Gull    16+
Blue Tit    Present
Canada Goose    6
Carrion Crow    Present
Chaffinch    circa 10
Coal Tit    1
Common Gull    5+
Cormorant    1
Curlew  F - Flying2
Dunnock    1
Goldcrest    3
Great Tit    4+
Greenfinch    circa 6
Jackdaw    2
Magpie    Present
Mallard    Present
Mistle Thrush    2
Pheasant    3
Red-legged Partridge    2
Robin    3
Skylark    1
Song ThrushPr and another singing maleS - Singing/breeding calls heard3
Starling    Present
Stock Dove    2
Treecreeper    1
Woodpigeon    11+
Wren    1
Total number of species   

Monday, February 27, 2012

Ogden and Soil Hell

Ogden Res 1250 hrs - quietest I've ever seen the water for some time although the Cormorant was bouyant. 2 Herring Gull & 3 LBBG > SW; c7 small gull sp.
Walked on the outskirts to Back Lane area: 3 Goldfinch, singing Coal Tit, Chaffinch. Couldn't id two thrush sized birds at distance.
Lapwing > SW and in the fields with the Woodpigs and 2 Stock Dove were 2 Curlew.

Soil Hell 1400 hrs - yet again turned a solitary male Snow Bunting up. This bird flew out of the grass by the mounds, perched on a brick and stared at me for over a minute before hopping off.
Also here were 7 Skylark, Pheasant, 2 Common Gull, a single Curlew and the crows.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mount Miserabl├ęs

Soil Hell 1445-1555hrs in a brisky litte W/NW'ly at one time I though my flapping earlugs would blow into my eyes and blind me.
1 Skylark, 9 Linnet, pr Grey Partridge, Grey Heron > E (rather rapidly too). Along with the corvids there were some Lapwing down at the bottom but I couldn't count 'em.

Raggalds - c11 Common & 3 BH Gull, 2 Pied Wagtail. Out of the blue flew 6 Canada Geese low down > W.

Swalesmoor and Shibden

Swalesmoor approx 1100hrs started off with a climax! then fizzled out rapidly. A juv/imm Peregrine flew across me and had a crack at a Magpie in the grass. Methinks it was a trial run because the Magpie then retaliated and the falcon flew off in not much of a hurry. Apart from a few Crows were 5 Skylark and nothing else.

Shibden Valley was rather subdued apart from there being a couple of hundred small gull sp present throught, the majority being Common. Others noted were: Bullfinch, Jay, Green Woodpecker, 6 Mallard, Corvids.
There were 30 Lapwing and 1 Golden Plover in the fields at High Cross Lane.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ogden and Soil Hell

Ogden Back Lane with DP 1150 hrs amazingly not a single bird for about 15 minutes then they all kicked off together.
Curlew > NW passing  a Lapwing overhead. Skylark > N, 7 Fieldfare in with about 80+ Starling. c30 small |Gull sp. flying around and 10 Woodpigs.

Ogden Giants Tooth - Nuthatch calling incessantly close by but managed to keep hidden as did a single Crossbill that chipped 3/4 times. 2 Meadow Pipit > W.
As reported yesterday by DJS the reservoir area was deadly quiet - Cormorant, few small Gulls, Mallards. Couple Goldfinch, Goldcrest, Coal Tit.

Soil Hell, now very muddy. Top field c20 Linnet; Bottom field c70 Lapwing and nothing else apart from caaawvids!
Raggalds sports field c80 Common Gull.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Up Down and Back Up

Site Name:Ogden Res (SE03 Q)
Date:Tue, 21 Feb, 2012Time:10:50 - 12:35
SpeciesCommentBreeding Status
Black-headed Gull    circa 15
Blackbird    2
Blue Tit    Present
Bullfinch    1
Carrion Crow    Present
Coal Tit    2
Common Crossbill2 Back Lane call only. 4 Giants Tooth, one male singing just above my head.  6
Common Gull    8+
Cormorant    1
Goldcrest    3
GoldeneyeA pair  2
Great Tit    Present
Greenfinch    1
Lesser Black-backed GullAdult and 2 imm phases > WF - Flying3
Long-tailed Tit    4
Magpie    Present
Mallard    Present
OystercatcherCalled twice > N over Giants ToothF - Flying1
Robin    2
SparrowhawkMale  1
Woodpigeon    circa 10
Total number of species

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Moving Birds

Not too long now before things move in earnest; even this morning there were a few indicators. Foxhill Park had a flyover GBBG - one of the closest I've seen, with LBBG and poss Herring also. Raggalds had 4 Skylark feeding in the muddy horse field next to the boozer and also a few small gull sp. present.

Soil Hill 1030-1145 hrs - 12 Lapwing and 2 Mallard down at the bottom field plus the caaawvids. The top field had 2 Common Gull flying around and also 2 Kestrel. Snow Bunting are now down to 2 birds, JW was also present and he too only counted this number. Interesting that a couple who arrived stated the Yorkshire Post is still publishing 12 birds, but, what do we know, we're just local birders after all. The Linnet flock has now grown to c44 birds and I counted 9+ Skylark, however JW had c12 prior to my arrival.

The fields at Old Guy Rd had c100 Starling, 17 Common Gull and a Skylark plus several chirping House Sparrow at the farmhouse.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Two Barred Crossbill

My final input on this subject: as I and many others would expect a full report has been requested by BTO on submission of the record to Birdtrack. The entry has been accepted on the database, but will not be treat as valid without the report as it is deemed a National Rarity.
I won't lose any sleep over this, I've been around birding far too long. There have been far more substantially detailed submissions of rarities than mine that have been rejected. So, my sympathy goes out to  any local record keeper who sees a Pechora Pipit on his patch and he is alone and the camera is safely back in his house!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Crossbills at Ogden Res

Here is a report of a Two Barred Crossbill submitted to Birdguides a few minutes ago:

Submission delayed owing importance of claim and time needed to cross refer calls, pictures and descriptions. A single male bird called 5/6 times then flew in front and away from me giving good views. It showed two distinct white wing bars and a noticeably darker back than Red Crossbill. There was a party of Red Crossbill also present here but seperate from this bird. 2 Males and 3 Females were counted in total. The males were typical plumaged showing no white at all and amplifying the markings of the Two Barred. Previous experience of this species is of one male seen close up with Red Crossbills many years ago.

Male Red Crossbill

I couldn't get any closer to this male - the other male and 3 females were just out of sight.When I returned here almost an hour later they were still present but hidden.

Other birds: Cormorant, 6 Herring Gull > W, Nuthatch, 6 Goldfinch, f Sparrowhawk and the usual.

Soil Hill

I eventually found 4 Snow Bunting still by the mounds on the top field but it took two visits as they weren't seen between 0945-1050 hrs on the first round.
Also present 6 singing Skylark, c28 Linnet, pr Grey Partridge, 3 Fieldfare, c250 Starling, Caawvids.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Away Day at Pool

Feeling the need for some volume birding I went to Pool in Wharfedale and walked via the River to Knotford Nook and back. Amongst those species that obliged were:
Oystercatcher 2, Curlew 40+, Coot c23, Cormorant 6, Goldeneye c11, Goosander 12+, Tufted c12, Wigeon c35, Greylag Goose 1, Canada Goose c14, Mute Swan c16, GC Grebe 1.
The small sp. Gull count ran into over 130 but no large Gulls were seen.

A Red Kite was seen for a couple of minutes along the river, but the highlight was in Pool itself when a different bird circled above my head in the village centre.
Passerine types weren't as prolific as my last trip to EGP; perhaps those feeders are more influential than meets the eye.
Pr Song Thrush, 5 Blackbird, 3 LTT, Great, Blue and Coal Tit, Kestrel, GSW, c30 Fieldfare with a few Redwing, c25 Woodpigeon. Several Rooks were seen at or on nests and I got a distant view of a very pale headed Jackdaw.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Soil Hill 1350-1450 hrs. The 4 Snow Bunting were very flighty today and only showed briefly a couple of times. This may be down to the fact that a Bulldozer has been tickling the top field - including the grassy area opposite the Radio Mast. Other birds: 1 Common & 1 BH Gull; 2 LBBG; c18 Linnet; 3 Skylark, Corvids.

Ogden Res 1505 hrs - bloomin quiet on the whole. 13 Goldfinch, 2 Greenfinch, 4 Goldcrest, 2 Coal Tit and a singing Crossbill. Apart from the small Gull sp. an immature phase large Gull flew NW. As BS stated previously; where are the Goldeneye?

As the afternoon wore on a touch of Spring was in the air: 6 Fieldfare, 3 Mistle Thrush and 5 Meadow Pipit in the fields opposite the Moorlands Pub and closer to home c14 Fieldfare at the Raggalds.
PS I am reliably informed that yet again somebody is posting 12 Snow Bunting on Birdguides. I am not being drawn into this argument any further, for as Confucius says:
Man who mistake Linnet for Twite is Human; Man who mistake Linnet for Snow Bunting is fookin dangerous.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

4 Snow Bunting SH

Site Name:Soil Hill
Date:Sun, 12 Feb, 2012Time:9:30 - 10:35
SpeciesCommentBreeding Status
Black-headed Gull    2
Carrion Crow    circa 40
Chaffinch  S - Singing/breeding calls heard2
Dunnock  S - Singing/breeding calls heard2
House SparrowPerseverance RdS - Singing/breeding calls heard6
LapwingProbably more  1
LinnetFlying around at times in company with 4 Snow Bunting  8
Magpie    2
Robin    1
Skylark    5
Snow BuntingThese birds were flying around in company with 8 Linnet.  4
Starling    1
Wren    1
Total number of species   

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Good Day at EGP

Site Name:Elland GP (SE12 G)
Date:Wed, 8 Feb, 2012Time:11:00 - 13:20
SpeciesCommentBreeding Status
Black-headed Gull    circa 50
Blackbird    3
Blue Tit    14+
Bullfinch    8
BuzzardDespite RLB like white patch noted rump/tail general features appear more like CommonF - Flying1
Canada Goose    circa 75
Carrion Crow    Present
Coal Tit    2
Common Gull    30+
Coot    6
Cormorant    1
Dunnock    2
GoosanderOn River Calder  5
Great Tit    5
Greenfinch    1
Jackdaw    5
Jay    2
Kingfisher    1
Lesser Redpoll    10
Little Grebe    1
Long-tailed Tit    circa 8
Magpie    Present
Mallard    Present
Moorhen    7
Pied Wagtail (yarrellii)  F - Flying1
Robin    4
Siskin    1
Song ThrushOn ground by feeders.  1
Starling    Present
Woodpigeon    circa 12
Wren    circa 7
Total number of species


Monday, February 06, 2012

Soil Hill Woodcock

SH 1045-1210 hrs. Splendiferous Woodcock flushed from just over 1.5 metres giving great views of the cryptic plumage. It had been sat on top of stones on the ground that had fallen from the walls and when I opened the wooden gate, it took off; thank the lawd I went by this track and not the main one.
Also here the 4 Snow Bunting continue to laze around on the mounds, looking at the strange creatures on two legs that have come to admire them.
c30 Linnet were flying around as were 6 Skylark.

Ogden Res 1225 hrs. Isn't evolution marvellous, especially the speed it works at? This Greylag, two minutes previously when it had been in the drink and in the shade, as I was, had been a PFG, but hey presto onto the ice and it metamorphises!

A few woodland birds were calling and singing (Greenfinch) and several small gull sp. were on the ice, but basically that was it.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

A Wintry Walk

Soil Hill 0945-1025 hrs. Windy and frozen solid, nevertheless:

7 Skylark, 3 Common Gull, 10 Lapwing > S, 5 Fieldfare, 4 Snow Bunting.

Ogden Res was quiet: Cormorant flying N; a few small gulls on the water. Woodland birds very thin on the ground, or anywhere else - 2 Robin, Blue Tit, 6 Greenfinch.

Bradshaw - 15 Goldfinch. Oats Royd - 7 Lapwing > W otherwise deadly quiet well, apart from a raucous Jay.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

South O' The Border

Site Name:Queensbury South (SE12 E)
Date:Thu, 2 Feb, 2012Time:13:30 - 15:15
SpeciesCommentBreeding Status
Black-headed Gull    4
Blackbird    3
Blue Tit    2
BullfinchIn the copse down the footpath 200 metres down Corporal Ln  2
Carrion Crow    Present
Common Gull    3
Fieldfare    3
Golden PloverHalfway down Corporal Ln  7
Goldfinch    6
House Sparrow    1
JackdawChecked for Nordic - not seen.  circa 55
LapwingHalfway down Corporal Ln  40+
Magpie    Present
Mistle Thrush    4
Rook    circa 14
Starling    circa 20
Stock DoveA pr, my first of the yearF - Flying2
Wood Pigeon    9
Wren    2
Total number of species

Wednesday, February 01, 2012