Birdbrain Stuff

Sunday, September 30, 2012

More From Ogden

Two of yesterday's un-sung heroes which attracted my attention in the first place.

The heron pictures I mentioned: catching one stickleback (?) and swallowing another.

Ogden Again

0725 hrs 3 Cormorant splashed down. GSW, Grey Heron, Dipper, LBB and few small gulls. Chiffchaff, 10+ Goldcrest, Blue Tits etc. DS got a Sparrowhawk shooting through the willows, which I missed. No sign of yesterday's YLB but visibility was pretty ropey.
Thanks for the lift back Denise. Good to see BS and Bruce also searching.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Another Shot

Looking forward to seeing how Brian's shot came out.


Yellow-browed Warbler.

Ogden and soil hill Saturday 7.30 to 9am

First visit to Ogden for 2 days. Managed to avoid the showers, walkers, dogs, etc by getting there early. rewarded with 3 Cormorant up and down the Res. then the showers and quick vist to Soil hill, 5 wheatears still present.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Roper Lane

A brief run round this afternoon. Very quiet but 20+ Common Gulls  and 50+ Goldfinches trying to avoid a Kestrel and a passing Peregrine in Roper Lane. Needless to say, the Peregrine was on its way before I could grab the camera so a couple more in the dreadful record shot series.

Soil Hill to Stod Fold

A good session starting off at 0950hrs, Soil Hill. Hard to count Meadow Pipit accurately as once again they were on a scattered broad front, but about 50+.
Skylark = 12+; Goldfinch = c22; Chaffinch = 1; Reed Bunting = 1; Swallow = 5;  Siskin = 1; Common Gull = 1; Pheasant = 1; pr Canada Goose; Curlew = 1; Snipe = 1; Lapwing = 14. The Curlew was flying E as were the Canada, the Lapwing were circling. The Siskin appeared out of nowhere but flew around low, calling often before heading to Ogden.

Ogden Res 1105 hrs. Same LBB, 10 Common & 11 BH Gulls. 2 Cormorant, 2 Grey Heron (away from the water) 6 Goldcrest, GSW, Chiffchaff, Grey Wagtail. A report of the Dipper in the overflow from a local walker. We appear to have had an influx of Robins - I gave up counting them in the general area.

2 Whinchat were on the track at Brockholes along with a m Stonechat which had a large caterpillar in it's beak. Stod Fold for once had only 1 each of Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail in company with 11 Woodpigeon. However it turned up my first Green Woodpecker for this location also.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Something told me it was wet today; when I got home and stripped I discovered a kayak seat, a crayfish skeleton and a rusty anchor blade in my boots. Enough of this frivolity:
Raggalds Flood 1245 hrs 8 Mallard, 4 Lapwing, 5 small gull sp. The sportsfield had c65 small gulls and 20+ Canada Goose.
Soil Hill - no complaints as I got what I went for. 2 pr Snipe flushed from top field scrapes. 10 Skylark and similar Meadow Pipit, 60+ Linnet flock, BHG.

Ogden Res 1 Canada, same LBB, 5 Common and c9 BH Gulls. Grey Heron and Cormorant both showing well but badly affected with bird photographers malaise thus:
In the hour I was there 5 people were present including me, so crowded is a non applicable label.
Screaming pitch incident No.1. The Heron was in the middle of the path 80 metres up front, so I prepared to get the camera ready. Out of nowhere comes a jogger heading for the Heron which of course flies off.
Screaming hair tearing incident No.2 15 mins later. The Cormorant lands on the buoy so I prepare once again. Along comes 2 walkers with one of those things on four legs that makes lots of noise - this time the bird not only flies off but leaves the area.
However, compensation came in the form of not 1 but 2, a pair of Chiffchaff mixed in with a Robin, Great Tit and couple Blue Tit.

Monday, September 24, 2012

First time Blog

Ok Folks, anything could happen here. This is the first time I have added anything to a blog ( could be my last ,,,,).Had a visit to shibden valley and got very wet in the rain, the swallows. did'nt seem to mind me or the rain.

,,,, and the Deer was quite unmoved too.

Thanks for the invite to the Blog Nigel. I just need to raise the standard of pictures now.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Wigeon etc

A few shots from this morning. I didn't stay long so only a Grey Wagtail in the overflow and a large, noisy flock of LTT heard in the lodge gardens to add. The Soil Hill Wheatears disappeared over the back of the rise before I could get a look at them but there was a Grey Heron over >N and a Skylark dropped into one of the fields. One Kestrel at Ned and another over a field in Taylor Lane. Also in Taylor Lane, 30+ Meadow Pipits which I had seen on the way to Ogden had increased to 50+ and crossed the road at Bradshaw Hill heading across to Roper Lane. 48 Lapwings with the gulls at Corporal Hill.

A Good Morning

Soil Hill approx 1045 hrs bumped into Ken Jarvis (click) about to go up the Radio Mast track, so we joined forces. A search of the top field brought little reward, probably due to the E/SE'ly wind: Pheasant, c10 Skylark, Meadow Pipit or two. However on arrival back at the main road, 3 Wheatear were present in the reservoir field, one of which was almost certainly Greenland.

We then bumped into Denise who told us there were 3 Cormorant and 3 Wigeon down at Ogden Res. The latter were the ducks that BS had seen earlier up at Fly Flatts, having been spooked by a boat.
2 of 3 Wigeon present at Ogden

One Cormorant was still present along with 2 LBB and 12 or so smaller gull sp. Below the embankment I got my first Jay of autumn, along with a Kestrel. Oats Royd also had Jay and Kestrel, GSW and a couple of LTT.
OGR could have been a blank report apart from a pesky Meadow Pipit!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sunny and Quiet

Soil Hill 1000 hrs this was as good as it got and didn't last long. A Buzzard sized raptor was high up and I could not pick any colours out and the shape was not readily definable. I confidently can say it was not a Kite nor an Harrier, but I can't say what it was. For mental health reasons, I'm consigning this one to the bin.
Anything that was present was in subdued numbers compared to recent forays, the exception being 3 Grey Partridge (1 extra). Meadow Pipits, Skylarks, Swallows (hardly any) Linnets c20, 1 Kestrel, 2 Robin. One unusual sighting for here was 3 Great Tit together in the N slope reeds.

Ogden Res - 2 Mistle Thrush, Skylark, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, again very high up. 2 House Martin among c14 Swallow over the drink. The same LBB and c 12 BH gulls plus 4 Canada also seen.
The GC and Stod Fold were pretty desolate apart from 5 Pied Wag at the latter.

PS I received a phone call from BS at 1626 hrs informing me the raptor was most likely to be a Buzzard as 21 birds were seen by the TMR vismiggers (DCB et al) during the course of the late morning! All's well that ends well.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Queensbury South to North

Quiet was the order of the afternoon. High Cross Lane 1355 hrs just c35 Lapwing and a bigger no of Starling present.  2 LBBG were above the site in Green Lane where the Little Owl was keeping watch. A handful of Meadow Pipit were knocking around and a couple of Swallow; c 25 small gull sp. were at top end Green Lane.
Old Guy Rd - 4 Skylark feeding on the cricket pitch. 7 Meadow Pipit and c20 Linnet in field below covered reservoir, couple Swallow also.

I half expected to see or hear reports of Fieldfare and Redwing after the NE'ly blow but nothing transpired.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Soil Hill to Mixenden

Quite busy with the exception of Mixenden Res which was baht. On Arrival home I got txts from BS and DJS about the unconfirmed Hen Harrier above Giants Tooth; ironically I didn't get a single raptor in the area today.
Soil Hill 0950 hrs top field only. 3 Wheatear, pr Grey Partridge, c18 Skylark, Snipe, LBB & a few small gull sp. Several Swallows and a broad front movement of numerous Meadow Pipit, also a few Linnet.

Ogden Res. Just a handful of small gulls and 1 LBB present on the drink. I came across a small moving party of Goldcrests, Coal Tits, Great Tits, single Wren. ditto Treecreeper. A Blackbird down in the bottom of a lakeside Willow chuntering away quietly ensured I got the dipstick of the month award, thinking it was a juicy migrant warbler initially. On the bright side, a Chiffchaff did pipe up briefly in the next plot.  Again Swallows were in good numbers.

A Willow Warbler was by the GC Clubhouse. 3 Stonechat were in the usual area along with a couple of  Meadow Pipit and a Chaffinch.
Stod Fold was awash with moving Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails (no passing strangers today) and Swallows must have been in the region of 100 birds.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ogden to Stod Fold

Pr Kestrel, Pheasant, Skylark, Goldfinch (no signof large flock) Swallows at Back Lane. The lake was quiet with 1 LBB and a few BH gulls plus two Grey Wagtail on the overflow.
Just one Meadow Pipit, 1 Linnet and a number of Swallow were at the Brockholes track. Stod Fold produced 1 GSW and 10 Alba Wagtail; 9 of these Pied the other a White.

Soil Hill Movement

1045 hrs Top field only. c20 Meadow Pipit, 15 Skylark, 7 Linnet, Reed Bunting and Whinchat on the track end mounds. I'm so glad I walked toward the Ned Hill side hoping to flush a Snipe as 4 Crows started to crow loudly and harrass a raptor: hey presto the lucky (for me) victim was a Buzzard!
Other birds: Kestrel, LBBG, c14 small gull sp. few Swallow.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Queensbury South to North

0940 hrs c45 Lapwing in fields nr Cross Lane. Very quiet from Corporal up to top end Green Lane apart from crowd of Jackdaw. Then picked up 1 Willow Warbler, 3 Goldfinch and a male Sparrowhawk with a bunch of small gull sp. in Long Lane. About 5 Meadow Pipit seen in flight with a few Swallow and  House Martin. Most encouraging was a new breeding sight for the latter discovered up Deanstones with young being fed on the nest by a very noisy adult.

Old Guy Rd proved to be unrewarding in the main; the exception being a large richly coloured Wheatear gallivanting across the cricket pitch. Too distant and too overcast for a photograph but this muscular bird must have been Leucorhoa. Also 1 Goldfinch, 2 Meadow Pipit, 5 Common Gull, couple of Swallow.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hard Work Today

A Whinchat and at least 3 Stonechat (pics) on the track at Brockholes adjacent to the GC rescued the morning session; also here were 2 Chaffinch, Meadow Pipit and a few Swallow. Prior to this it had been sheer hard graft with no movement in the Ogden area other than 90+ Goldfinch on the thistles at Back Lane.
Stod Fold was quiet, just 3 Pied Wagtail, a couple Meadow Pipit and a GSW nearer Mixenden.

Kicked off on Soil Hell at 0950 hrs but it was still a bit windy up there to encourage a long stay. Several Meadow Pipit thinly scattered, c18 Linnet and 10+ Skylark, Kestrel, few Swallows.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


85 Lapwings in the usual field at Corporal Lane this morning. There were 40 in the horse fields on Friday when I passed by.  Also on Friday, at least 50 Swallows at Corporal Hill. There had just been a heavy shower and I imagine they dropped down as a result. Several were resting on the fences and gates and some juveniles still begging and being fed.

Yesterday, I went for a quick look round between showers: 4 Wheatears in OGR, 80 BhGulls with a few Commons in Corporal Lane and a similar group in Green Lane. 200+ mainly BhGs and a few Commons once again. Just the usual 2 LBBs in the usual place. 3 Meadow Pipits were grounded by the shower that sent me back to the car and a flock of 40+ Goldfinches  over the car park as I reached it.

Two GSW juvs in the garden yesterday.

Wet Suit Biding

...not the way it started off but certainly the way it ended up.
Soil Hill 1050-1135 hrs. 2 Meadow Pipit, 10 Skylark, 1 Goldfinch, 12 Common Gull.
Once again I was treat to very good views of the SEO in flight.

Ogden Res - a literal washout and a metaphorical one until the last 7/8 minutes A Cormorant flew over > W and a bunch of gulls settled on the drink during a two minutes respite from the rain. One bird, an LBBG settled on the buoy and it looked different from the regulars so I eyeballed it. Turned out to be Larus fuscus intermedius which showed a big strong head and bill with heavy streaking on the face. It's legs appeared pink, which reminded me of the bird I photographed here back in 2010, I think.
I looked at The Gull Research org. website and there are a couple of pink legged birds, but it's a minefield as they have mainly yellow legs. However, the inescapable issue is the powerful head etc.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Here are two shite shots of a Short-eared Owl on the shit hill. It gave very good views in flight however, actually returning to the same spot, with the classic clause: when I had put my camera back in the bag. 3 Wheatear were present, as were the Golfinch and Linnet flocks from yesterday.
12 LBBG were present on the landfill site at the bottom NW slope, also 2 Reed Bunting, 9 Skylark a few Swallow and Meadow Pipit.

c50 Meadow Pipit were in the field adjacent to Keelham Farm Shop. On the way back past Raggalds a downpour had cleared the flood of 15 Lapwing and 7 Mallard that had previously been there at 1245 hrs.
Old Guy Rd was almost void; just a Wheatear and 4 Common Gull present.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Soil Hill to OGR

Soil Hill approx 0845 hrs. Plenty of movement from Linnets & Goldfinch with support from a number of Meadow Pipit and Swallows. The SEO put in a brief appearance, flying low from behind me. I think this bird will have quite a good diet supplement over the next week or two.  Linnet = c80; Goldfinch = c30; Reed Bunting = 3, Wren = 2; Skylark = 3; Grey Partridge = 2. Other: Pied Wagtail, Kestrel, Blackbird, Robin, Blue Tits.
Wheatear showing Greenland characteristics
Two Wheatear were at the top of Old Guy Rd both showing signs of the Greenland race. One flew onto a house rooftop (pictured) the other landed atop a tree briefly before moving on. I've only ever seen Wheatears in trees or bushes once in my life before.
Further down OGR were another 5 Wheatear, but no Whinchat.

Saturday, September 08, 2012


The Whinchat in OGR was more obliging today. However, my camera is a stranger to the concept of focus. Also there this morning 20+ Meadow Pipits,  3 Wheatears and a Sparrowhawk.  Wheatear, 2 Pipits and Whinchat shown here.

30+ Meadow Pipits in the  field next to the pull-in by Cross Lane. Some were bathing in the little pool.