Birdbrain Stuff

Friday, October 31, 2014

Weeks Round Up

Mon 7th pm after another appalling session at SH and Ogden I decided to shut the blog down for a while until things improved plus a couple of other reasons. The area still continues to be covered by other bloggers as you well know so nothing was missed. The highlight at Ogden was c9 Goldcrest & c22 Chaffinch.

Wed 29th am/ pm brightened up somewhat as I caught the tail end of a considerable Woodpigeon influx from the E. This was enhanced by the presence of 2 Stonechat on top of Soil Hill & c110 Lapwing at the bottom. Also 2 Greylag & the Barnacle Goose plus 15 Canada at Stod Fold.

Thurs 30th pm decided to have another crack at Queensbury Sth and it paid off this time. Sparrowhawk, GSW, Jay, 15 Lapwing and my first Jack Snipe of the season. In the evening around 2100 hrs I heard calls from several Redwing moving around the High St, this lasted for at least 12 minutes.

Today Fri pm took a trip to SH hoping to capitalise on yesterday's Jack. That didn't materialise however I got another first for the autumn on the top field a superb Woodcock. Rather unexpectedly I flushed a Redwing from here too. Others incl 1 Reed Bunting, 2 Pheasant, c8 Meadow Pipit.

Improvement work to turn the reedbeds and ponds into agricultural land has started. Ciao Groppers, Sedgies, Reed Bunting and Whitethroat, it's been a gas.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Quiet Queensbury Sth

1020 - 1135 hrs. Incl Foster Park which wasn't worth the effort, never seen it so quiet.
5 Chaffinch & 2 Goldfinch, 2 Pied & 1 Grey Wagtail. Kestrel, c80 Starling.
2 Lapwing, c10 small gulls, 10 Snipe. This blog is due to expire quicker than I intend if this crap keeps up.

Friday, October 24, 2014


I thought I'd have a look at Ogden after the rain-just in case anything turned up.

The first bird,  from the car park, was a Sparrowhawk which drifted off towards Back Lane before I could get a picture. From then on it was usual suspects including 2 Cormorants and one each of the grebes. Green Woodpecker and Bullfinch heard. I met John on the last section. It's good to put a face to a name. Then a couple of minutes later, as I  walked back to the car park, a Peregrine passed overhead going resolutely south-dreadful picture, barely better than a silhouette.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Beyond Queensbury Sth

Another session of hard work trying to find birds. Started off with Low Moor Dams only to find it below average and certainly no kind of movement. Park Dam held more birds in total than Harold Park Lake but the species count wasn't much better.
Combined no's:
Mute Swan 9, Canada Goose c75, Tufted Duck c20, Coot c34, Moorhen 10, Little Grebe 3, GC Grebe 4, GSW, 3 Mistle Thrush plus the Mallards and small gull sp.

A walk up from Shelf Moor to home produced next to nothing other than another 3 Mistle Thrush. Exceptionally the marsh field coughed up 10 Snipe. I'm going to leave them alone for a while and let 'em mature a bit. There were no Lapwing present just 7 BHG, single Linnet and Meadow Pipit.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Raggalds Flood to Mixenden

RF 1045 hrs. Still only 2 unadjoined pools as yet but also another bird for the site list, taking the total to 55 species. A Snipe took off from the back, dashed around for about 45 seconds and then settled down again. The only other bird present was a Pied Wagtail.

Soil Hill - Skylark, 18 Meadow Pipits, 5 Pheasant, Blackbird, Robin, Dunnock, 2 each Woodpigeon, Mallard. A few smaller gulls, Pied Wagtail.

Ogden Res - 3 Cormorant, 1 each LG and GC Grebe, 2 LBBG and the smaller gulls. 5 Blackbird, 6 Bullfinch along with single Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, 2 LTT among a number of other tits, 3 Goldcrest, 2 Jay, GSW.

Mixenden Res - 2 each of Pied Wagtail and LBBG along with 4 Mallard & c7 BHG, c50 Jackdaw. It was good to top up the session with the Barnacle Goose here and 5 Canada.

Fieldfare and Redwings - it's ok, you can reveal yourselves, I'm waiting.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Queensbury South

A Grey Wagtail knocking around the back field all day.
Took a trip down to the fields at High Cross/Cross lane around 1545 hrs then to Corporal/Green Lanes.
c45 Lapwing, c180 Starling, c110 mix of small gulls, majority being BH of course.
c12 Common Snipe back in the marsh field.
1 each of Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Pied Wagtail, Goldfinch, Linnet, Blackbird, Kestrel.
Several Jackdaws and handful of Woodpigeon. No sign Little Owl - humans present.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ogden LSW

The mind numbing boredom of Soil Hill for a 40 minute spell was removed when I walked down Ogden Lane this afternoon. From the trees just above Rockleigh I heard another weak Dendrocopos call but this time it materialised into a tangible identification. A Lesser-spotted Woodpecker took off and flew directly overhead for c250 metres before dropping down into the trees W of Boggart Brigg. After doing a circuit of the reservoir, I went down to the haystack but failed to re-find the proverbial needle. Never mind, it's another annual for me.
Also: GC Grebe, Cormorant, Jay, Goldfinch, Goldcrest, several small gull sp and usual woodland sp.

SH - 11 Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Moorhen, Kestrel, a small number of gull sp. Tbe touchpaper for Raggalds Flood has been ignited; 2 pools have appeared but I couldn't spend time viewing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Most Unsatisfactory Affair

I´m sat at the keyboard of a 5 star hotel internet desk on my last day in Majorca. This is great for someone who is normally rated a 3 star or less birder. No, I aint loaded, I was upgraded from a 3 star for 36 hours because of the previous joint being closed down - no they didnt close it down because of moi, I think.

Now the groans, the birding has been shocking with migration having been non existent. A year ago I was raking em in, now I reckon I may have hit 30 species.
The reason is clear, 2013 saw me up in the north just a few kilometres from the Albufeira; this time for a lot of non birding reasons I chose to come to the SE where it´s all rocky headlands and countless coves. There isn´t an ├írea of wetland for many a horizon, so I´ve had to hit scrub and agricultural environs mainly as the coast was a total disappointment. Just YLGs and a Shag breaking the monotony.

Here´s a few from the good times:

Thekla Lark - loads of em and try as I might, not a Crested in sight which makes a nice change.
Eleonoras Falcon, Peregrine, Kestrel and Lesser Kestrel, Buzzard.
Sardinian Warbler in plague proportions, no other warbler species seen.
Hoopoe - always a cool bird to see.
Whinchat - just the one, contrast with Stonechat of which were regular.
Black-eared Wheatear - 2 both allowing some pics.
Crossbills - c4 seen about 4 times around the resort
Kingfisher - 1 just where you would expect it to be, in the resort centre!

A smidgin of photographs to follow, time permitting.

Jack Snipe - Daddies coming home.