Birdbrain Stuff

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Soil Hell and Raggalds

After lunch, cool NE'ly breeze. SH. 2 Goldfinch, 2 Blackbird, 4 Pheasant, 3 Swallow, Mallard, 2 Curlew, Lapwing, 3 Reed Bunting, c7 Linnet, plus Mipits n Skylarks. An unid small gull sp > W and a LBBG > E. For once, the Whitethroat remained silent.

Raggalds Flood. Presumably it was the same Oystercatcher that AC saw this am still present. 2 Lapwing, pr Mallard, 2 Pied Wagtail, c10 Swallow.
I thought there were about c40 Starling present busy feeding, until something 'orrible but unseen by me spooked 'em. There must have been c220 birds sweeping over the fields into the nearby bushes, until the danger passed on.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hard Wet Work

It was nose to the grindstone in the rain this morning with scant reward. Raggalds Flood only produced 2 Lapwing, Pied Wagtail and a Blackbird. However AC did see the Redshank and another one for the species list - pr Collared Dove, on a separate visit.
Soil Hill - Grey Heron, 3 Greenfinch, Chaffinch, 3 Curlew, Skylarks, Meadow Pipits.
Ogden Res - again very disappointing. Tufted Duck, Grey Wagtail, 2 BHG > NW without stopping and expected woodland types without the much desired migrants.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Raggalds to Ogden Res

Raggalds Flood 0940 hrs. Blackbird, Goldfinch, 3 Lapwing, 2 Redshank, 2 Mallard, Pied Wagtail, f Wheatear still present, couple Swallow. No sign of RP and not there on return leg.

Soil Hill. Pr Wheatear, Whitethroat, 6 Linnet, 2 Chaffinch, Willow Warbler. 4 Reed Bunting, a pr of which were having an altercation with the Sedge Warbler. Few Swallow around and my first Moorhen in quite a while here.
Ogden really isn't worth mentioning - almost sterile. Willow Warblers, LBBG.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Raggalds Ringed No.3

Nearly missed this Ringed Plover at Raggalds Flood today at 1355 hrs due to the gusting wind and the fact it was on the far shore. Only by walking on a few paces and having a second sweep did I pick it up (I wonder what birds I've missed by not doing that).
Also 2 Lapwing, 2 Pied Wagtail, 4 Mallard, c8 Swallow.

Took a walk via Roper Lane down to Queensbury South but it was hard work and didn't turn up the much desired House Martins. A single Swift seen, Skylark, Meadow Pipit.

Bolton Abbey

Courtesy of DP. Started off well with a Buzzard being mobbed by Crows at Denholme 0940 hrs.

LBBG eating Crayfish

A great day's birding away from the local patch, highlights include Cuckoo, Wood Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, Crossbills, probable Spotted Flycatcher (distance). A fascinating observation was this LBBG swimming on the Wharfe. It dived and came up with a freshwater Crayfish which it took to a nearby rock and consumed in a breath.
Other: 2 Garden Warbler, Blackcaps, Buzzard, Common Sandpiper, Sand Martins, Siskin, Oystercatchers, pr Mandarin.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Around The Area

1145 hrs. Just a Lapwing and 2 Swallow at Raggalds so I went down Roper Lane to Oats Royd.
Roper Lane - Chaffinch, Willow Warbler, Sparrowhawk, 2 Canada (on the pond in Bradshaw) 2 Skylark, Meadow Pipit.
Oats Royd - very busy but still no Garden Warbler nor Spotted Flycatcher.
Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 8 Willow Warbler, 5 Bullfinch, pr LTT gathering moss. Moorhen with recently hatched young. 7 Blackbird, Song Thrush, 3 Greenfinch, Chaffinches, singing Goldcrest, Goldfinch. LBBG > W, singing Whitethroat.
There was also a female Roe Deer with a very young fawn.

Queensbury South - Blackcap heard singing at Shibden Head. Whitethroat singing at the clough head, Deanstones Lane.

What you lookin at, never seen leucism before, or is it my beard?

Several Jackdaw, few Swallow, a solitary Swift. Try as I might, still no House Martin to be found. 2 singing Skylark, 2 Linnet, Pied Wagtail, 2 Blackbird and others.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Another One for the Flood

Nothing on Raggalds Flood on the first sweep at approx 1330 hrs, however this 'Magpie' on the far bank luckily turned round for me on return at 1505 hrs. Oystercatcher racks the total list for the site up to 40 now. Also present Lapwing, Pied Wagtail, 4 Swallow.

Soil Hill - had to consign a distant percher on a telegraph wire with a bright yellow back to the cud 'ave bin, bin. Discounted Yellow Wag, leavin me with possible Yellowhammer, but impossible to confirm as the blighter flew just as I tried a photograph.

Wheatear, Whitethroat, 2 Curlew, 2 Lapwing, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 LBBG > W, 6 Linnet, 2 Swallow, Dunnock, 3 House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Blue Tit, Starlings Skylarks, Mipits and a Roe Deer.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Raggalds Flood Species List

Here is an unfinished list of birds reported todate at Raggalds Flood.  I have to confirm exact dates from my Birdtrack records and credit other observers who have seen species I am unaware of. If you have got an addition to the list, please let me know at your leisure. The current count is 39.

As I write, I have just had a call from BS to say that KM reports another RINGED PLOVER there now. Click here for video of distant views
I apologise for the quality, there has been some slight deterioration on upload to Youtube; it is clearer when played straight from camera or PC.

Soil Hill. Checked the scrapes and pools - nothing. A solitary female Wheatear was present on the top field along with several Skylarks. Breeding was confirmed here when a bird took off about 1/2 metre from my left foot - no harm done and the scene was left in a hurry.
I went down the N slope and got 2 each of Pheasant, Curlew, Lapwing and Whitethroat. After about 10 minutes of listening to singing Linnet with another bird in the background, I can confirm there was a Sedge Warbler down in the reeds too. This bird fortunately got in a couple of bursts of uninterrupted song eventually.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Raggalds to Mixenden

Raggalds Flood 0750 hrs. An early start to find just Reed Bunting singing and pr Lapwing present, a pr Canada flew over > S.
Soil Hill despite the calm, just a Wheatear and 6 Skylark seen on top fields only.

Ogden Res 0900 hrs. Cuckoo calling loudly from Skirden Clough area on 3 occasions. Tree Pipit, pr Coal Tit, Lesser Redpoll, Willow Warblers. Still no Blackcap, Garden Warbler or even Chiffchaff.

Meadow Pipit - yer can't fool me lad.
Halifax GC 2 Curlew, few Meadow Pipit, few Willow Warbler, Whitethroat. A singing Chiffchaff was at Stod Fold and another Chiffchaff at Mixenden, along with a Lesser Redpoll and 3 Swift.

Willow Warbler

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Another Queensbury Record

As I was preparing lunch with a view to going up the road a piece, I got a call from BS to say that AC had just called in to report a rather tasty morsel at Raggalds Flood. Ditching all thoughts of food, I got geared up and shot out of the front door in record time, here's why:

This pr Shelduck on the flood at 1240 hrs are not only an annual and local record for Queensbury, they are the first I've seen in over 13 years of birding the wider area.
Also present 1 Lapwing, 1 Mallard, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1 Starling & 2 Swift.

The birds were also seen by BS, KM, GH and a passing stranger in a van. Interestingly GH informed me he had great views of a Yellow Wagtail there on Saturday afternoon. The man in a van, asked me to confirm what species they were, owing to his small size binoculars and mentioned they had been present on Friday 10th afternoon.

A direct N'ly blast drove me off Soil Hell after finding just 4 Skylarks and a Crow present. However, the pools and scrapes have all been fully refurbished with rain, so all we need now is a dry day or three to see what turns up.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Queensbury Dunlin

Oh how the wind blew and it probably blew this little gift in for me at Raggalds Flood, around 1240 hrs.
This Dunlin is not only a personal site tick, it just happens to be an annual too, it was still present at 1620 hrs. Sadly, on both visits, there was no sign of the Redshank, but a male Reed Bunting, 2 Pied Wagtail, Lapwing, Mallard and 7 Swallow were seen.

Soil Hill was really hard work, but it rewarded my effort with a superb female Peregrine coming in from E and battling the headwind > W before turning off S. Also 4 Linnet, 1 Mallard (preceding the Peregrine rather quickly!) 3 Skylark.
Ogden Res was not only disappointing but worrying - no Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher yet this year. I could only scrape up a solitary Swift, 3 Swallow, 3 Willow Warbler, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Blackbird, 2/3 Goldfinch,  Robins and 6 Canada.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mixed Fortunes.

Out in the blustery rain this morning with birds hard to chalk up. Redshank and Blackbird at Raggalds.
Wheatear, Whitethroat, Curlews, Lapwing at Soil Hill, also c9 Linnet there.

Ogden proved an almost non event: Grey Heron, Lesser Redpoll, few Willow Warbler, Goldfinches. I gave up looking for the Tree Pipit I'd seen previously. 2 Curlew flew over the GC.
There was just a couple of Meadow Pipit at Stod Fold, however one presumed escapee foreign Partridge type proved interesting. It was dark brown, without any other obvious color markiings and had a rudimentary Pheasant like stubby tail. I watched it creep out of the reeds and onto the path then back into the reeds again. It seemed to almost hug the ground on it's belly and went along at a steady pace, at no time showing fright at my presence. This is going to be a difficult one to sort, but it's not like I don't have the time.

Mixenden Res or rather the road around it, provided me with my first Swift of the year - 2 of them, plus 4 Swallow.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

A Quick Sortie

Raggalds Flood, Queensbury.

1355 hrs. Reed Bunting, Pied Wagtail, 2 Mallard, Lapwing, Redshank, 4 Swallow, 5 Canada Sheep.
These links for Raggalds Flood, Queensbury are interactive which means you can zoom in and out and manipulate views of the location by rotating the compass points. This is providing your computer has enough system requirements to do so.
It can clearly be seen there are no access points other than viewing from the main road, which in this case is probably a good thing.

The SW'ly blowing over Soil Hill meant for a quick return home: Curlew, Lapwing, Whitethroat, 2 Pied Wagtail, Skylarks and Mipits.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Ogden Environs

Time 10:00 - 12:30
Species NameCount

Blue TitY
Canada Goose8
Carrion CrowY
Chaffinch10S - Singing male
Common Crossbill6S - Singing male
Cormorant1F - Flying over
Cuckoo1S - Singing male
Goldcrest1S - Singing male
Great Tit1
Lapwing1F - Flying over
Lesser Redpoll1S - Singing male
Linnet5P - Pair, suitable habitat
Meadow PipitY
Mistle Thrush5FL - recently FLedged
Skylark1S - Singing male
Song Thrush2S - Singing male
Tree Pipit1S - Singing male
Whitethroat1S - Singing male
Willow Warbler12C
N - visiting probable Nest site
Complete List? Y Total Bird Species: 33 

Monday, May 06, 2013

Sunny Soil Hill

Time09:15 - 11:15
Birds                                                                  Count
Canada Goose2
Carrion CrowY
Grasshopper Warbler1S - Singing male
Grey Partridge1
Meadow Pipit18c
Pied Wagtail (yarrellii)1
Reed Bunting3S - Singing male
Sedge Warbler1S - Singing male
S - Singing male
Whitethroat2S - Singing male
Complete List? Y Total Bird Species: 22 

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Soil Hill Again

Time07:35 - 08:30

Blue Tit1
Canada Goose2
Carrion CrowY
Chaffinch2S - Singing male
Curlew2T - permanent Territory
Greenfinch2S - Singing male
Lapwing3T - permanent Territory
Linnet6D - courtship and Display
Meadow Pipit9CT - permanent Territory
Reed Bunting2S - Singing male
Skylark8+T - permanent Territory
Whitethroat1S - Singing male
Complete List? Y Total Bird Species: 19 
Raggalds Flood - start and end of session. Pied Wagtail, Lapwing, Mallard, 2 Swallow - no sign of Redshanks.