Birdbrain Stuff

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Soil Hill to Mixenden

Rather quiet in a cool NE'ly blow. Traffic works prevented me from inspecting Raggalds flood from the road, so I got the bins on it from top of Perseverance Rd. Hard to breakdown the species but there appeared to be approx 30 small gulls present. A smattering of Meadow Pipit were coming up the hill from Raggalds.

Soil Hill top had just 9 Skylark, 4 Meadow Pipit, c28 Linnet, 2 Stock Dove and my first Wheatear up here since early July.

Ogden Res 3 LBB alongside a handful of smaller gulls. Pr Tufted Duck and not much else. The GC was disappointing but a Linnet flock 40+ strong was notable. Also Kestrel, pr Golfinch, 2 juv Pied Wagtail.
Stodfold had a few Goldfinch, Meadow Pipit and also a juv Pied Wagtail.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Soil Hill & Ogden Pics

Soil Hell to Ogden Res

Site Name Soil Hill Time 09:50 - 10:50 hrs
Birds Species Name
Black-headed Gull c50  Carrion Crow 5 Common Gull 30+
Goldfinch 2 Jackdaw 3 Kestrel 1 Lapwing 6 Linnet 7 Magpie 4
Meadow Pipit 3 Skylark 8 Snipe 1 Starling 25+ Stock Dove 1
Swallow c7 Whinchat 1 (Migrant juvenile) Woodpigeon 4
Total Bird Species: 17 plus 2 Pied Wagtail at Raggalds.

Ogden Res (SE03 Q) Time 11:00 - 12:30 hrs
Black-headed Gull30+
Blackcap3 two Juv
Blue Tit1
Carrion CrowY
Common Gull5
Lssr Black-backed Gull1
Meadow Pipit1
Robin1 Juvenile
Tufted Duck2
Willow Warbler1
 Total Bird Species           22 and around 9 House Martin at Mixenden

PS This mess is proof positive that the recently changed Birdtrack data entry format just does not lend itself to copying, pasting nor easy editing of the html code in blogger like wot it used to do.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Around The Houses

Had a tentative creep around Queensbury S & N from 1145-1315 hrs. Overall quiet but ended on a moderate high.
Qby S - c75 Lapwing in field nr Cross Lane with a few Starling. Corporal Lane bottom fields had c65 small gull sp. mainly BHG with a LBBG overhead.
The Little Owl was out on parade and a few Greenfinch were about. 4/5 House Martin and a few more Swallow doing the rounds. 3 WW noted.

Qby N - 16 Common & 1 BH gulls in fields between Fleet and Old Guy Rd. I'm chuffed that my theory of Wheatear turning up was correct, with 2 birds seen here. A Pied Wagtail was nr the covered reservoir, quite a few House Sparrow seen (bucks the national trend of decline, our area does) and a Coal Tit singing it's head off opposite BS abode.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Out of Action

Had to abort a trip this morning and return home because of a corn on my toe I've been ignoring. Now I have to pay the price for being foolhardy and won't be out birding for a while.
I didnt miss much - Soil Hill had Grey Partridge, 6 Skylark, 2 LBB, 33 Common & 2 BH Gulls and a Kestrel.
I noticed about 250+ small gull sp. circling overhead at Bradshaw on the hobble home.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Today's Local Birds

Did a walk from Raggalds to Soil Hill top 1050 hrs then through Ogden and the GC down to Bradshaw.

Pied Wagtail - 16 in newly mown field opposite Raggalds flood.
Meadow Pipit - 6 Soil Hill
Tree Pipit - one in conifers end of Ned Hill track SH
Linnet - 4 SH. There was also Kestrel, 2 LBBG and a few smaller gull species here.

Curlew > 1 SW over Ogden Res
Blackcap - family of 5 Ogden.
Willow Warbler 6 Ogden
Goldfinch - c70 Ogden. Also Tufted, LBBG and small gulls here.
Little Owl - HX GC - otherwise it was almost sterile.

Chiffchaff - one piped up briefly in Bradshaw. Plus Swallows and odds n sods throughout.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Not Quiet Anymore

Something in the air this morning told me Soil Hell would be a good bet today so I got up there at about 1005 hrs. I started in the reedbeds at the N slope bottom and within 10 minutes got onto a warbler alarm calling. Luckily for me it flew in my direction and continued this behaviour for 5 minutes at least. I managed to get a good audio recording of it before seeing two birds in the bottom of a bush. Adult and juvenile Grasshopper Warbler! This is the first breeding evidence I know of, having done this dum...this nice place for 12 years now.
Some 10 minutes later disaster struck, I don't know quite how but some imbecile, no doubt caught up in the excitement went through the images I'd taken (one poor bird shot) and accidentally deleted the Video recording. If I ever find the idiot who did this, I vow I will give him a pull through with an Acacia tree.

Other birds: Yellow Legged Gull > SE from TMR direction. 4 LBBG, c12 Common & 20+ BH Gulls in a field. 3 Willow Warbler, Reed Bunting, Pied Wagtail, 7 Linnet, Collared Dove, c9 House Sparrow.
The top field produced 1 Snipe flushed while feeding in the track pool by the rubble mounds. A Swift flew over > NW. Also 7 Woodpigeon, 1 Skylark, 1 Pied & 1 Grey Wagtail, pr Kestrel plus  4/5 Meadow Pipit. Swallows were much in evidence all over the hill. Once again not a single Wheatear, but I can live with that for today.

I met a guy I know who reports single distant Buzzard over Oats Royd on Wed 15th and a pr Buzzard much closer on Friday 17th. 300+ Starling were on the wires at the old Mountain reservoir.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Quiet Once Again

Yet another poor session at Ogden Res and the GC 1035-1210 hrs. 2 LBBG in the air; c20 BH & 3 Common Gull, 1 Canada and this f Tufted on the drink. 2 Willow Warbler on the res track and 1 more down at Brockholes where 22+ Linnet had gathered. Only other birds at this end were 4 Chaffinch. Forget the Stonechats, Whitethroats and Whinchats - none seen nor heard.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Queensbury N & S

A Wren's pygostyle better than yesterday (which means not much when translated into citizen speak). Roper Lane area just had Swallows, 3 LBBG > SE and a Common Gull. Shibden Head produced 5 Willow Warbler, otherwise the woods were silent. Picking up a Whitethroat at juntion of Deanstones/Green Lane reminded me of what it's all about. Also here were c45 BH, 3 Common & 1 LBB gulls. I got another 2 WW and House Martin before I got the Little Owl which immediately flew out of sight.
c30 Lapwing were in the field nearest Cross Lane along with a Pied Wagtail with a Linnet overhead.
 A couple more days like these last two and blank entries sure will save on Google servers storage space.

PS Ford, Queensbury 2025 hrs. A flock of c70 large birds flying N;  they were lightly coloured so could have been Gulls. I've settled for possible Herring because of the size - I saw about 18 BHG a few minutes later, providing good size comparison. I still have a problem and can't definitely state the species because, they were in almost perfect V formation!

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Bird With The Supercilium

The mystery bird that Brian refers to.
I made an un-planned trip to Fly Flats on Sunday morning after a vain attempt at catching up with the terns at Ogden. Sole purpose of visit was to see some Wheatears and I saw 8 from the road. As I was watching them, another bird caught my eye but it was too far away to see properly so the default setting was to point the camera at it.  When I got home, I was checking through the pictures and discovered the obvious supercilium-Whinchat. I went back later to have a better look and saw the juv.  Also there 3 Reed Buntings, plenty of Meadow Pipits and a Snipe. I went back to check this morning but they seem to have moved on

Local Interesting Birds Today

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Around The Block

Much cooler this morning.
Old Guy Road
32 Common and 5 BhGs, usual crows and a Kestrel with three Magpies in attendance.
Taylor Lane
92 BhGs and 3 Commons, Little Owl, 17 Linnets.
Ned Hill
12 Meadow Pipits, Pied Wagtail, Kestrel
Ogden/Golf Club

74 BhG, 3 Commons and 2 LbBs,Tufted Duck, Cormorant, Chiffchaff, 7 singing Willow Warblers plus others, female and juvenile Blackcaps, Kestrel, 35 Swallows in the air when a Sparrowhawk cruised by, Grey Wagtail and 2 Pieds. Not a single bird at the woodland edge and no sign of Spotted Flycatchers or chats.

As I left the golf club this two-for-one GSW was on one of the poles. At first I thought it was a juv, then when I saw it from the other side it seemed to be a male-I haven't seen one in this stage of moult before.
Raggalds Flood
30+ BhGs and 5 Commons at Keelham

The flood was busier than I've ever seen it: 21 Canada Geese (I forgot to mention seeing what I assume was this same  group in fields  along Roper Lane a couple of days ago), Mallard with 6 well-grown ducklings, 5 Pied Wagtails and a BhG

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Ogden Res

1005-1325hrs Nice start with a juvenile Siskin on the floor and a Green Woody close by; both at Boggart Brig (White House). I got another Green Woody up the track near the Spotty Fly family and this area was rotten with Willow Warbler and Great/Coal tit activity too.

Otherwise it was almost a repeat of recent reports: Kestrel, 5 Stonechat, 2 Whinchat, Little Owl, pr Blackbird and 5 Pheasant from the top end of the GC. Missing were Whitethroat and Swift; Swallows were thin on t, er, in the sky too. There were 2 LBBG on the drink along with a few BH and couple of Common Gull.

Soil Hill was painful once more: one unid large gull > SE. Grey Partridge, 3 Skylark, 4 Meadow Pipit, Linnet. This is the first August I have not had Wheatear - probably because the place is overgrown.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Quiet at Ogden

A male Blackcap at the golf club building and 3 Siskins at the woodland edge were the highlights. Just 2 Willow Warblers, a Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Linnet and a Reed Bunting on the golf club slope. The Spotted Flycatcher family were also at the woodland edge again.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Deluge and Delight

DP took us to DP (Doe Park) at approx 1100hrs which was quiet with just 4 LBBG and a few more BHG, Grey Heron and a Kestrel seen. Then the heavens opened up and give us a proper soaking so we headed for Ogden; this was a good move both weather and birdwise. 1 male & 2 female Tufted Duck we saw immediately had departed by the time we left but in the meantime:
Spotted Flycatcher family up the track - at least 4 seen.
Whinchat family side of GC - again at least 4 seen. 2 Swift over the GC.
Stonechat family middle of GC 5 seen. Here DP got the Little Owl he yearned for at the far edge of the GC.
Also present Reed Bunting, 2 Whitethroat, 5 Linnet, 6/7 Goldfinch, Kestrel and to cap it another Spotted Flycatcher by the white house.
Thanks for the ride, Dave.

These pics of the Dunnock family were from yesterday.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Ogden Res

A Yellow Legged Gull I saw flying up from Bradshaw and over Halifax GC landed on the water among 7 Common Gull at approx 1015 hrs. I was about 400 metres down the track and took a chance on going all the way round to try photograph it. Of course it had left, as had the other gulls by the time I arrived, so back in the pack went the camera. Cue one adult YLG flying over the Promenade and above the duck feeding area then back toward me before heading off in the Mixenden area. At least I got very good views of it with the binoculars. When I returned to the quackers area an hour plus later there was the YLG along with 1 LBBG circling above the other gulls on the drink - neither of these two even attempted to splash down.

Quite a busy morning really: 2 juvenile Sparrowhawk chasing each other among the trees and bushes plus an adult flying over the lake later. 2 Swift, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Grey Wagtail, (lets carry on with the 2s) 2 Whinchat, 2 Whitethroat, 4 Linnet & 4 Stonechat. A family of Dunnock and ditto Wren were seen also.

Soil Hell - 10 Meadow Pipit, 9 Skylark, 9 Woodpigeon, 23 Common Gull, 4 Pied Wagtail.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Queensbury South

1035-1140hrs Several Swallow were flying around the front of my house as I left; looks like my flies finally escaped. The Lapwing flock was in a field near Cross Lane but accurate counting was out of the question as they were in a hollow; I suspect c50 individuals. A single Pied Wagtail was here and a pr Swift flying nearby.
The fields at Corporal Lane bottom held 59 BH, 2 Common & 1 LBB Gulls and the L'Owl was hiding behind a wooden paling. I may have passed Tracy at this point - Black Vehicle? Other birds include:
Kestrel, 2 House Martin, Swallow, Willow Warbler, Linnet and a Sparrowhawk circling high over Queensbury High St carrying prey.

Ogden Yesterday

I took the early shift yesterday.
Common Gulls were just dropping in at the cricket pitch in Old Guy Road at 06:30 (around 40 there with 18 BhGs on the way back). 25 Linnets were on the wires and 20+ Common Gulls in the fields behind the Raggalds.
It was a good woodpecker morning for me, with a Green overhead at Taylor Lane; one heard calling at the top end of the golf course at Ogden and a GSW over at the beginning of The Promenade. 2 juv Moorhens crossed the water and this aggressive head-to-head Mallard confrontation caused the ref to intervene.

There were at  8 Willow Warblers around the buildings and, as Brian says, several more at various points along the way with at least one Chiffchaff. I spent some time with the Spotted Flycatcher family, One of the Willow Warblers following the SF every time it sailed out, apparently a successful strategy. The woodland edge was busy with Coal Tits, Chaffinches, Goldcrests and a female Bullfinch with a juv. 30+ Swallows, some gathering on the wires near the lodge and 4 Swifts over the water, as I came back down. Pheasant (heard), 3 Grey Partridge, Meadow Pipits and Linnets and another Spotted Flycatcher higher up but no chats for me either! Lots of Ringlets in that grassy area by the lodge, several Meadow Browns, a single Small Tortoiseshell, a white which was too far away for me to identify ( "The Distant White" strikes me as a useful generic) and an Antler Moth (I think).

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Friday, August 03, 2012

Ogden Environs

Ogden Res 1005 hrs quiet. 8 LBBG in the air, more BHG on the drink. Spotit Flypastyer edge of GC approx 120 metres up from Promenade also Greater Spottypecker > SW.
The rough ground to the W here produced:
5 Stonechat, 4 Whinchat, 2 Whitethroat, 6+ Willow Warbler, 1 Reed Bunting, 4 Linnet, Song Thrush., 1 Swift, few Swallow. I've been ignoring this location for 12 years now!

Soil Hill produced, apart from a bout of depression, 1 Great Big Bad Gull > S, pr Grey Partridge, 6 Meadow Pipit, 3 Skylark, 2 Linnet.

A Quick Tour

A record shot (beyond the range of the camera really since I was part way up Corporal Hill) of what looks like a family party of Green Woodpeckers in Green Lane. With imagination switched right up, I think I can see speckling on the lowest bird!

One of 40 BhGs at Ogden yesterday afternoon; several plunge-diving successfully near the duck-feeding area. Also there, a couple of Common Gulls and a LBB. Very busy so I just looked over the water and walked the circuit, stopping only for 5 Willow Warblers, 3 Goldcrests and a Treecreeper.

The welcome return of Nuthatch to the garden yesterday after several week's absence. One of the juvenile Jays has learned to take advantage of the feeders.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Wandering Around

Soil Hill 0945-1030 hrs - getting more unworkable every visit. Swift, couple of Swallow, 2 Pied Wagtail, 10 Meadow Pipit, Blackbird carrying food, Kestrel.

Things picked up around 1040hrs at Ogden with quite some action at Back Lane. c45 Goldfinch gorging on thistles. 3 Whitethroat which I suspect were part of the same family. 7 Blackbird, which must have been 8 earlier had it not been for a Sparrowhawk carrying one off in it's talons (how else?). 17 Canada and Woodpigeons plus a bonus Curlew on the deck. Several Swallow were flying around.
A very brief call from a Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler were only sounds of warblers and the water was quiet once more. 1 LBBG was on the buoy and around 13 BH & 1 Common Gull had been perched on the overflow railings when they suddenly left; maybe this furry demon from Styxian hell had something to do with it.
Here are more pics of this little monster - thanks to Tony and Nancy of Wibsey, Bradford for bringing it to my attention.

A Swift, couple of LBB and a BH Gulls went > E at Bradshaw but even better was an imm. phase GBBG heading the same way. This is only my second Great Big Bad Gull of the year. Another Sparrowhawk was seen here, having come up from Oats Royd which saw a fall of c30 Swallow and 10 Goldfinch thanks to  a sudden downpour. Otherwise it was quiet here with just Bullfinch, Willow Warbler, Moorhen & 6 Canada.

Thanks for the text Brian, followed immediately by your call David on the Whinchats - I'll try and get to them tomorrer. I did get yr second attempt at calling but being indoors down here often screws the signal.