Birdbrain Stuff

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Frozen Hell

SH 1125-1235 hrs 3 Starling, Blackbird, Chaffinch at Perseverance, then the fun started, not.

A Grey Wagtail was calling in flight between The Lights pub and BD Mills on returning home. All I can say mate is, You dented the gloom, but you can't take away the misery.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Waxwings III

Decided to visit Halifax on a shopping trip and got real lucky when the bus stopped at corner of Swalesmoor and main Halifax Rd. 10+ Waxwing were feeding on a berry bush overhanging the opposite footpath, they took off but only to settle on the roof above.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Waxwings Still Present

Queensbury North approx 1255 hrs decided to walk round the area where Waxwings have been recently reported and got lost in a cul de sac at West Vale Rd. Being idiotic isn't always a bad thing; c30 Waxwing were in a tree there. I missed a photograph shoot because they took flight as I was yakkin to BS, but it didn't end there. Some 30 minutes later I found myself at the top end of Moor Close Rd and could see the flock, which had grown a bit, perched in a berry free garden tree. Just to be different I focused on the ground where 3/4 birds were excavating the snow.

When I decided to look at the perched birds, a male Sparrowhawk that I'd seen previously in Coniston Ave flew into an adjacent bush. This sent them packing and I never relocated them, not that I'm complaining.

The end of the road for this Old Guy
I decided to venture up Old Guy Rd but got about 120 metres from the Cricket Club and realised this was not a good move. Oddly enough I could see the tops around Soil Hill were fairly clear of snow - quite a lot of green was visible.
So Oats Royd was next where I flirted and skirted around The Gulf. Woodland birds were singing but there was no real movement. Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Coal Tits all at it.
Others seen today: a few Common with a few more BH Gull, Collared Dove, 4 Blackbird, Rook, Crows, Woodpigs.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Queensbury Waxwings Finally

I've never been a quitter but the ongoing Waxwing saga brought me close to the brink when I failed to get yesterday's birds at Edale Grove. I even told BS about them going missing when I bumped into him at lunchtime. Good old Brian rang me up about an hour later to tell me he had seen 6 at Coniston Ave during his lunchtime scramble.

So with a final mustering of resolve I set off once more resigned to going through the motions for old times sake. I turned into Coniston toward the end of the trek and started to hear birds before seeing around 10 settled in and around a garden there. They were very flighty but still within hearshot and as I exited into New Park Rd their calls were getting louder. No birds were flying about so it was head scratching time, after the first few scratches I looked up at the telegraph pole and hey presto! 32 birds stayed long enough for me to grab about 6 shots before they moved further up the road and settled in a bush. They took flight within a minute or so due to disturbance without malice from passers by. Another annual knocked up and a tonic to alleviate the extended winter gloom.

PS Acting on my tip off DP went up and found 53 birds in the Stone House Drive area off Moor Close Rd.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cool Birding

So cool there were hardly any birds about; take Soil Hell fr'instance the ice fields were void of life as we know it and just a Magpie and 2 Woodpigeon seen on the slopes at 1450hrs.
Ogden Res had an adult LBBG on the buoy and a drake Goldeneye at t'other end with a smattering of smaller gulls and 4 Canada. Only a handful of woodland types were seen or heard.
Oats Royd: Mistle Thrush singing, Kestrel, 5 Canada, Moorhen, 2 Chaffinch 4/5 Greenfinch. Also a single LBBG over > E.

Meanwhile, as if you haven't seen enough of the impending doom we're due for this weekend, click here!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Foxhill to Bradshaw

A morning of contrast, kicking off with bright sunshine which had me in a lather up Soil Hill, then clouding over and the temperature dropping just before noon.
A Grey Wagtail was singing it's head off at BD Mills on the usual corner. Nothing doing in Foxhill park, and all quiet down to Raggalds Flood, which held 11 small gull sp.
Soil Hill 1040hrs for 20 mins, just 1 Lapwing, 3 Skylark 2 Blackbird, Chaffinch and 3 Crows.

Ogden proved a bit of a struggle, particularly Back Lane compared to the last trip. However, it did turn up a Reed Bunting, Bullfinch, Lapwing and Meadow Pipit as well as Woodpigs and 2 Stock Dove.
The best bird was undoubtedly a Song Thrush, another annual. I saw this clearly on the top branches of a tree before finding it again near the visitor centre. You couldn't miss it as it was blasting away for all it was worth, the sound being heard at the far end of the reservoir.
The res had several BHG on it, most in full breeding plumage, plus a hand full of Common Gull. The probable LBBG mentioned yesterday was not present. Others: 4 Canada, 2 LTT, Goldfinch, Tits.

12 Meadow Pipit and a Pied Wagtail were at South Peat Pitts, Bradshaw.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Response: Away Day Eccup Res

Birdbrain: Away Day Eccup Res
Dear Sir
Thanks for your pictures of the B - h Gull at Eccup Res on 19th Feb.
As the res. is used by Gulls as a roost site, there is no knowing where any
Gull has been feeding during the day, and thus where any such toxic
substance may have come from - one year we had birds discoloured by a
chemical spill in Bridlington harbour, roosting on the res. the following day,
as an example of how far some birds can travel.
As the water from the res. goes through a very thorough filtration system,
i do not think that any toxicity will affect the drinking water, but thanks for
your concern.
Lastly as the recorder for L.B.C. who produces a report also for Eccup
Res. could i ask if you have any sightings from your visit to the area, for all
would be welcome.
Yours Paul Singleton. 

I also got a reply from Yorkshire Water who went to great lengths to follow my notification up, contacting the people on the ground at Eccup. They answered in a similar vein with reassurances etc but damned if I can find the email. Oh well, all's well that ends well.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Down South Again

Queensbury Sth 1115-1215 hrs. I think we can assume the Lapwing won't be returning to the fields now until the post breeding flocks start moving in July; not a single bird was present. However there were 2 Pied Wagtail, 6 Meadow Pipit, 2 singing Skylark and a Grey Heron in the general area. A pr of Rook were mating and c50 Jackdaw were displaying high up. Also seen c50 small gull sp., mainly BHG, 4 Woodpigeon and of course Crows.

Around 1 PM'ish Ogden Reservoir featured on Countryfile with Hannah Cockroft taking part. Andy was nowhere to be seen, lol.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Signs of Spring

Despite the wind driven rain which made this morning hard work, it was worth it.
Soil Hill 0950-1040 hrs: 10 Meadow Pipit, 5 Skylark, pr Lapwing, 2 Blackbird, 6/7 Common Gull.

Ogden - Back Lane, 2 fields up from the plantation: 13+ Lapwing, Curlew, chipping Snipe. Also another annual in the form of a single Grey Partridge amd several Starling.
The reservoir was really quiet: 2 Chaffinch, Redwing, 4/5 Goldcrest, Goldeneye, a few gulls, Mallards.

Oats Royd: Grey Heron, pr Mallard, 1 Canada in company with the domestic pr geese, Moorhen, Chaffinch. At last I got a species which is a personal site tick and also another annual - Reed Bunting. There may have been a pr present but I heard one calling and got a brief sighting. CK had one here a number of years back and I've always been puzzled why they haven't been seen more frequently.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Queensbury South

Despite the cold and snow shower I got a few birds after visiting the empty fields nr Cross Lane.
c13 Common & 1 BH Gull, Mallard over > SW, Little Owl, pr Mistle Thrush, 6 Goldfinch, Fieldfare. Also several Rook, Crows and numerous Jackdaw.
The White Crow put in an appearance at the Golf Club and a Grey Wagtail as knocking around the back field of the house.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Gorple Res Trip

Courtesy of DP arrived at Gorple to search for the Water Pipit and then courtesy of MB at the other end of the prom, we got distant views of it. Although never close enough for all 3 of us to get real clinching views, we arrived at the conclusion it was this species both by comparison with a nearby Meadow Pipit and a process of elimination.

Other birds seen on a cold wintry day: 8 Oystercatcher, Curlew, 2 Lapwing, pr Grey Wagtail, 3 Pied Wagtail, pr Kestrel. Also a Greylag Goose along with scores of Canada, 2 Mallard, 2 BHG, Chaffinch.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Low Moor Dams to Shelf Moor

I couldn't bring myself to get back to local birding by visiting Soil Hill in a biting NE wind and icy paths this morning so I dropped down about 90 metres or so to the dams at Low Moor.

Park Dam approx 0955 hrs 7 Canada, 4 Tufted, Moorhen, numerous small gull sp. The wind was blustery here so I went to Harold Park rather smartly.

There was a higher concentration of birds on the lake here: GC Grebe, 4 Mute Swan plus the Black. Again a multitude of smaller gull sp. 10 plus Tufted Duck, several Coot including this breeding bird about 2 metres away from the footpath! Also a good handful of Moorhen and Canada plus a couple of Blackbird.
The Friends of Harold Park have erected a sign showing the 'resident' species of the area. Among these 'residents' are Teal, Pochard and Scaup!!!

I was rewarded on arriving back up in the frozen grim wasteland by a 3 second glimpse of a Curlew flying across one field and dropping down behind a wall at Shelf Moor.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Recent Bırds

Thıs ıs not a UK mapped keyboard so the grammar and spellıng wıll be of the usual low standard but for dıfferent reasons.

Never thought Id get sıck of the sıght of Black Redstarts but by golly I have. Its the most common non flockıng bırd (eg plenty plenty Serın) but what makes me sıck ıs that they are so nervous and flıghty photgraphıng them ıs a nıghtmare.

Ideally to get mıgratıon ın good numbers I should have come here ın another 3 weeks tıme but thıs past 4 days has seen the lıttle blıghters trıcklıng through. Yesterday whıle the cleaners booted me out on to the balcony a Great Whıte Egret just happened to drop ınto the lagoon opposıte! That was after Id just copped for my fırst Whıte Throated (Smyrna) Kıngfısher ın a few years.

Theres a Long Legged Buzzard keeps gıvıng me the run around to but thıs one slıpped up at least I got a few half decent long range shots of the blıghter. I thınk there are at least 2 pr ın the general area ıncludıng dark and lıght phase bırds.

Pr LRP arrıved about 8 days back but the only other wader Ive had ıs Common Snıpe. A most oblıgıng Sparrowhawk went over the reeds 3 days back and sent 8 of em rocketıng out of the reeds.
Others Ive chalked up ınclude

Quaıl, 2 Northern Wheatear, 2 Lesser Whıtethroat, Pendulıne Tıt, Sedge Warbler, Short Toed Lark, Blue Rock Thrush. I must bore you to death wıth the Bımaculated Larks that feed ın the fıeld just 90 yards away from my balcony some tıme. You stıll have the last laugh good bırders - I,ve had some horrendous blank days too.