Birdbrain Stuff

Sunday, September 29, 2013


It felt promising this morning with 2 Chiffchaffs in the garden.

Chiffchaff singing in the car park at Ogden. A good flock with Long-tailed, Blue, Great and Coal Tits, Chaffinches, Goldcrests, a Treecreeper and 2 Chiffchaffs.  GSW over and Bullfinch heard. One Cormorant, a male Tufted Duck, 2 Teal and 2 Little Grebes on the water. Jay and Green Woodpecker as I left.

Didn't go near the golf course so missed the Red Kite! (Calderdale)

Monday, September 23, 2013

One Trip 3 Annuals!

Ringstone Resevoir approx 1455-1600 hrs; a memorable last minute visit courtesy of DP.
Stonechat seen in the shrubs n stuff from the track adjacent to the hide.

My first of the year for UK, I've spent hours searching for them around Ogden etc!

We then found the Grey Plover by a rock in the sandy beach corner followed by the Ruff in the same area but a bit more hidden.
Also numerous Lapwing, 2 Cormorant, 4 Wigeon, 1 poss 2 GC Grebe, small Gull sp. c35 Linnet, 3 Pied Wagtail.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

North Queensbury

0730-0840 hrs to Raggalds via Denholme Rd and back down Roper Lane/Old Guy Rd.
A thin spread of Meadow Pipit throughout the walk, mainly moving from E-W. At Mountain I encountered a party of 9 finches flying from the domed building garden across to a stand of conifers. They only uttered a few brief calls and the total sighting was about 3 seconds; I know they weren't Goldfinch but can't say definitely they were Siskin. Elsewhere there were 3 Pied Wagtail, Collared Dove, 2 Linnet, Goldfinch in groups of 4/5.

Things didn't really get interestng until Old Guy Rd around the cricket club. c13 Pied Wagtail, 4 Goldfinch, c27 Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Linnet & 2 Wheatear. A pr Blackbird in the church yard rounded it off.
No Hirundines seen nor heard.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Taylor Lane

A similar range of birds at Ogden earlier. I also caught sight of a Nuthatch and a GSW but only one Bullfinch.

Taylor Lane was very busy for once:
6 Swallows
30+Linnets at the bottom of the lane.
Further up, I stopped  when several Meadow Pipits dropped onto one of the walls. On a nearby pylon, down the slope, were 15 Mistle Thrushes (and a couple of Starlings). There were several Magpies in the area and more came in so the total was 11. A Kestrel sat on a nearby wire and, suddenly, a flock of 100+ Goldfinches burst out of one of the fields. A few of the Magpies dropped into the top of a tree and pushed out a raptor which, given the brief view I had, and the assembled audience, I assume was probably a Merlin.

Ogden A Bit Livelier

Soil Hill 0945 hrs top field only, 18 Skylark, similar Meadow Pipit, Linnet, 8 Goldfinch, Swallow, Kestrel.

Ogden Res 1035 hrs. Cormorant, which flew off toward TMR after 5 minutes. 2 Little Grebe, the first I've had in nearly 2 years at this site. 1 adult and 1 juv which really seemed to be struggling in the middle of the lake as it followed the lead bird.
Also 24 Swallow, 6 Bullfinch, 8 Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Treecreeper, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, GSW, Coal, Blue, Gt Tits. There appears to have been an influx of Robins.

Stod Fold was quiet: c10 Swallow, GSW. 4 Pied Wagtail flew over Mixenden.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ringstone Reservoir

DP offered a trip to Ringstone; we arrived there at approx 1350 hrs. Conditions were pretty rough and this coupled with lack of site knowledge made for some but not total satisfaction.
1 each Meadow Pipit and Skylark, 4 unid passerines in the mist.
GC Grebe, 2 Cormorant, 80+ Lapwing, 9 Snipe, handful of Golden Plover. We examined the c40 strong flock of Canada Goose for PFG - none seen. The Grey Plover may well have been present but we couldn't pick it out and the Goldies only called about 4 times, so no give away on that aspect.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Denholme Clough to Soil Hill

DC 1005-1210 hrs. Good to see the weatherpersons got it wrong; I ended up soaked to the skin. Nevertheless there was quite some activity.

3 Jay, 24 Mistle Thrush, c16 Meadow Pipit, 3 Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail. 9 LTT along with a sizeable flock of Blue and Great Tit, which also held 2 Willow Warbler. A further 2 of the latter seen plus 3 Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Spotted Flycatcher. When it didn't rain there were c20 Swallows doing the rounds
Doe Park lake - 15 Canada, 2 Goosander, Moorhen and Kestrel overhead. 60+ Goldfinch by the overflow.

Soil Hill - 2 House Martin, 10 Swallow, Sparrowhawk, Goldfinch, 4 Linnet, c15 Meadow Pipit, 21 Skylark. This is the worst start to Autumn I've known here - no waders at all on the top despite the scrapes brimming over. In fact it's been wader poor throughout the year on recollection.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Queensbury South and North

Hard work finding birds. High Cross Lane area: LBB, 5 Common & c8 BH Gulls. 1 Pied Wagtail, c20 Lapwing, c130 Starling, 8 House Sparrow, Swallow.
Corporal Lane - Skylark, c12 small gull sp, Jackdaws.
Green Lane - Jackdaws, 2 Rook, 2 LBB & 1 BH Gul1s, Swallow.

Old Guy Rd - 1 LBB, 2 Common & 4 BH Gulls, 6 Meadow Pipit, 5 Pied Wagtail, Starlings.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hirundines Back!

A patchy day, both weather and birdwise but at least after Saturday's blank, hirundines were seen again.

Soil Hill 0950-1035 hrs. 12 Skylark, c25 Meadow Pipit, Kestrel, 2 Linnet, few small gulls. 5 Swallow around the SE slope.

Ogden Res. Tufted Duck, 3 BHG, Pied Wagtail, 3 Grey Wagtail, 7 Swallow. A moving party on the Skirden Bridge side track contained 5 LTT, Coal and Blue Tit, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff.

Stod Fold to Mixenden Res was quiet apart from c26 Meadow Pipit. The reservoir itself was a different story, being busy with feeding hirundines. Their quick movement prevented accurate counts but a conservative number would be 25+ House Martin & c38 Swallow. Also present 4 Mallard & 1 GC Grebe with a Willow Warbler heard.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Soil Hill to Stod Fold

There wasn't a single Hirundine seen at all in the entire outing! A wierd session in general with an overall feeling of emptiness.
SH 1150-1220 hrs, top area only. 17 Meadow Pipit, 6 Skylark, Goldfinch, Kestrel. 4 Teal were flushed from a pool formed in the end of track mounds. A Little Owl took off from a telegraph pole on the W Hill side.

Ogden Res - heavy footfall of both humans and canines made for sparse birding. Pied Wagtail, 3 Grey Wagtail, 3 LBB & several small Gull sp. Willow Warbler and a briefly singing Chiffchaff.
Then the bad dreams began with the often experienced autumnal confusion of a distant duck; was it a juvenile Scaup or a juv/female Tufted? I got over the white around the bill base fairly quickly but had to literally nail the nail area at the beak end.

Is that a small nail, without a pale band, I wondered?

The pale band before the broad black nail can be seen here.
Fortunately, it then became easier to photograph and the issue was subsequently resolved - Tufted.

The Golf Course and Stod Fold itself was unbelievable quiet despite the relative peace; just a Meadow Pipit or 4 present alongside a Magpie and a few Jackdaw.

Golden Plovers

Two on the cricket pitch at OGR at lunchtime.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Denholme Clough

1315-1505 hrs. 12 Mistle Thrush, Blackbird, 3 Chiffchaff singing briefly. 4 each of Willow Warbler, Coal Tit, Goldfinch.

Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard. Bullfinch, Blackcap, 5 LBBG & c40 BHG. Swallow have thinned out rather dramatically however Magpies seem to adore this place, must have been 20+

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Queensbury South Movement

High Cross Lane circular to Jackson Hill 0945-1055 hrs.
HCL c110 Starling, 100+ Linnet, 6 Goldfinch, 9 Meadow Pipit, 3 Pied Wagtail, BHG.
Corporal Lane - 2 Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Skylark, 8 Goldfinch, c40 Linnet. A Kestrel was in the same field as the Linnet and Goldfinch, this was soon joined by a Sparrowhawk which zipped in and cruised through the flock, without success.
A flock of c50 Lapwing and a number of Starling were seen in flight at the junction of Corporal/Green lane.
Green Lane - 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 House Martin, several Jackdaw and Swallow, the latter having been seen throughout.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Doe Park to Queensbury North

Started off quiet again Denholme Clough approx 1005 hrs, in fact patchy at best but the home stretch got rather busy.

DC - Buzzard overhead with Kestrel before heading off NE. 4 Willow Warbler, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, Blackcap. Bullfinch, 3 Grey Wagtail, 2 House Martin, numerous Swallow. A thin spread of Meadow Pipit throughout, 2 Jay, 4 LBBG, c35 BHG. Numerous Blue, Great Tit, 4 LTT. Doe Park lake very quiet, just Mallard on the drink besides the gulls.

Soil Hell - Snipe, Tree Pipit, c26 Meadow Pipit, 11 Skylark, Kestrel, 12 Goldfinch, 5 Linnet.

Raggalds to Mountain was alive with birds. 18 Goldfinch, 6 Linnet, c50 Meadow Pipit, 3 Common & c35 BH Gulls, Swallows.
Old Guy Rd produced my best Wheatear count ever here - 9 birds. A very good candidate for White Wagtail also present, but I only got about 6 seconds on it. 2 Meadow Pipit and a Sparrowhawk plus c12 Starling seen too.

Finally, in the back yard cleaning my boots, the result of a Dunnock pr holding territory for the past 2 month - a recently fledged late juvenile creeping along the fence into the food supply next door.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Doe Park and Soil Hell

Denholme Clough and DP 1105-1300 hrs, a fresh breeze blowing from the S kept it a bit thin, but still worthwhile.
5 Willow Warbler, Mistle Thrush, 2 Goldfinch, 3 Greenfinch, 3 LTT plus other tits, a scattering of Swallows, 2 Meadow Pipit.

Doe Park lake had 2 Teal, c20 Mallard and down by the stone bridge and overflow this Buzzard flew around being mobbed by 2 Crow and finally a Kestrel before it headed off S. Also here was a Jay and 3 BHG flew over.

Soil Hell - Reed Bunting, 11 Skylark, 6 Meadow Pipit and surprisingly on the replenished flash by the mounds, 3 Teal (pity they weren't Pinteal hehehe)

This Robin was a very recent roadkill victim, found halfway down Perseverance Rd. If there are any budding biology students wanting the skin, get in touch via the Contact Point, it won't be going anywhere, it's in my freezer.
Also down the road, I examined the advanced decomposed body of what I took to be a Magpie; turned out to be a Lapwing!

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Queensbury South to North

An interesting session with notable movement. Corporal Lane approx 1445 hrs c35 Lapwing overhead with Starlings, these birds being very mobile.

A small mixed party c14 Linnet and Meadow Pipit, 20+ Goldfinch, Willow Warbler, 2 Wheatear, Little Owl, 3 House Martin, numerous Swallow.

Old Guy Rd. Pied Wagtail and the same flock c35 Lapwing which stayed in the field for a while then became flighty again.

3 Wheatear, c10 Meadow Pipit, Sparrowhawk over > W. A few mixed small gull sp, Starlings.

Pintails Over Queensbury

Instead of going local, as mentioned in the previous post, I wasted my life away elsewhere. This is the penalty I paid:

Hi Nigel
Tried to ring you a couple of times earlier for the House Martins and Pintails. Can't access the blog.
20 plus HMs at Deanstones this morning around 10:30. Looked like movers prospecting.
Pintails over at 5:10pm >SW very high and fast. Was down at the golf club earlier on: a flock passed through with Great, Blue and 10+ Long-tailed Tits,  2 Willow Warblers and a Goldfinch. Sparrowhawk and 2 Grey Herons over. 
Thanks very much Denise; what a fantastic record Pintail is for the local area. 

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

HX GC and Ogden Res

1300hrs started off ok at Brookhouse but as usual Ogden Res itself was a downer. I had to go just to remind myself why I'm getting to despise the joint.
3 Whinchat in the usual place at the Golf Course and 3/4 Goldfinch here too but nothing else. I walked back toward the res through the clough below the embankment (going to have to find a descriptive name for this) where there were troops of Swallows.

Also Mistle Thrush, Jay, 5 Willow Warbler, Grey Wagtail overhead. A f Tufted Duck and 13 Canada were on the drink plus the usual assortment of small gulls.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Denholme Clough & Doe Park

DC approx 1010hrs in a mild breeze and mainly sunshine. 5 Linnet, 7 Mistle Thrush, Blackcap, 6 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Bullfinch, 4 Greenfinch, 4 Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Jay, numerous Swallow.

Doe Park lake had 3 Teal, 17 Mallard, 9 LBBG on the mudflats among a party of c21 BH & Common gull. A Grey Heron and Common Sandpiper were also present with 3 House Martin and a couple of Sand Martin with the Swallows above.

A mixed flock, c60 strong of mainly Linnet and Goldfinch were at Keelham. Soil Hell turned up Kestrel, 7 Goldfinch, 10 Skylark, 3 Wheatear and a few Meadow Pipit.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Vismig Postponed

Soil Hell 0750-0815hrs. Gusting winds from the W kept everything down apart from me and another idiot walking his dog. 1 Skylark, 1 Meadow Pipit 1 BHG, 2 Woodpigeon but bucking the trend, several Swallow and a few Starling. A handful of Linnet were at Raggalds.
Swallow were also the predominate bird down in the Old Guy Rd area numbering c20, again backed up by Starling with 7 Common and 2 BH Gull.
Foxhill Close had a noisy gathering of House Sparrow on a hedge top, reminding me Queensbury is still a stronghold for this species.