Birdbrain Stuff

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Goodbye Little Owls

Queensbury Sth approx 1005-1210 hrs. Did the whole route this morning, finishing off up Green Lane to Jackson Hill. The header picture clearly shows the destruction of the Little Owl breeding site and the construction of a new dwelling. There was a screeching Jay in this area and also a bird that just seems to be getting much scarcer here - a Greenfinch.

Foster Park was busy with the usual species but nothing special; a singing Song Thrush and 9 Goldfinch being notable.
Also seen throughout: 2 Meadow Pipit, 3 Pied Wagtail, GSW, 2 Snipe, m Sparrowhawk, several Jackdaw and small gull sp.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Local Jack Snipe

Very murky and damp this afternoon down south from 1410-1515 hrs. The marsh field produced 1 each of Common and Jack Snipe plus a Meadow Pipit. In the adjacent field there were around 125 small gull sp. mainly BHG, also 10 Rook flew overhead.
Other birds elsewhere: 3 Bullfinch, Little Owl calling, Jay - all in the park/golf course. 2 Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, c44 Crow, 10 Rook, Pies. Generally very quiet but worth the mudbash.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Peering Through Fog

Site NameOgden Res and Soil Hill (SE03 Q)DateThu, Nov 27, 2014Time10:45 - 12:35
Species NameCountCommentsI still can't fully crack the HTML to edit this BIRDTRACK Table

Black-headed Gull 45c Blackbird 1 Blue Tit 7c Carrion Crow Y Chaffinch 4 Coal Tit 3 Common Gull 11c Dipper 1 Dunnock 1 Goldfinch 1 Great Tit 5 Jackdaw 3 Jay 1 Lesser Redpoll 1 Little Grebe 2 Magpie Y Mallard Y Meadow Pipit 1 Mistle Thrush 2 Pheasant 1 Pied Wagtail 1 Robin 5 Siskin 8 Snipe 2 Teal 1

Total Bird Species: 25

NB Not a 'crest species seen nor heard.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Soil Hill and Ogden II

A different day from yesterday in many respects but it still had some interest.
SH 1245 hrs. Meadow Pipit, Grey Heron, 2 Skylark, Lapwings present but not counted. Herring Gull > W, 2 Pheasant.

Ogden Res incl Plantation. 4 Moorhen, 9 Pheasant, GSW, 2 Green Woodpecker. Owl sp. not determined but one of the larger types.
12 Blackbird, Little Grebe this time with 2 attendees although the Common Gull didn't seem as keen as the BHG. 9 Long-tailed Tit, several Blue and Gt Tit, Goldfinch, Jay, 3 Collared Dove.
The Chaffinch flock was found, this time on the LH track and was c30 strong. I was able to comb through them and find that no Brambling were present but a Lesser Redpoll was.

Now the contentious bit which took place down by Boggart Brigg. I was attempting to pin down some quick flyers and managed to nail 5 Goldcrest when another similar sized bird flew from across the track and joined them. The jizz of this bird when it landed plus the back and shoulder colouration prompted me to react with Firecrest. Within 5/6 frantic seconds it took off again without any sound and disappeared into a not too distant bush but my problem was I had a deadline to get home and ran out of time.
I must stress that I am not claiming this bird because I failed to see that all important broad eyestripe clearly.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Brambling and Buzzard

A very good session this morning from 10 minutes after leaving the hovel till about 1230 hrs. 2 groups of large gulls moving over the village > E at approx 0940 hrs. The bins were still in the rucksack but presumably these were LBBGs totalling c23 in number.

Soil Hill 0950 hrs. Short-eared Owl in flight showing briefly but clearly. Pr Kestrel, c38 Lapwing, 8 Meadow Pipit, 2 Mallard, Reed Bunting, Dunnock, Robin.

Ogden Res approx 1120 hrs. The above Common Buzzard had the good grace to fly out of the bottom end of the plantation and circle above Ogden Lane 5 times; it then decided to lollop off E over t'hellish hill. Much appreciated.
There was more joy to come: almost at the end of the RH path to Ogden Clough bridge I noticed a busy party of c12 Chaffinch. Among this active crew were: 3 Bullfinch, c7 Siskin and 2 maybe 3 of my bogie bird - Brambling. This makes for another tick on the annual list.
Also: pr Nuthatch, 3 GSW, pr Mistle Thrush, Grey Wagtail, Little Grebe, Cormorant and the ever present gulls.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Queensbury Sth Recent

Friday 21/11 Queensbury Sth am in a noticeably cold E'ly wind that kept the birds down.
5 Chaffinch, c400 Starling, 1 each of Jay, Snipe. No Lapwing.

Sat 22/11 1340-1445 hrs. A milder, brighter day with a bit more action.
1 each of Mistle Thrush, Jay, GSW, Pied Wagtail, Grey Heron. c45 BHG. 5 Snipe but once again no Lapwing.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Todays Birds

Skylark, Pied Wagtail, Red Grouse, 2 Snipe, 3 Grey Partridge, 6 Pheasant, 4 GSW, 2 Jay, Kestrel,
Pr Long-eared Owl and others. A great morning which tapered off dramatically.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Catch Up

Monday 17/11 1355 hrs SH - poor. No sign SEO but there is construction work going on at the exact location I saw it. The mist didn't help and I just managed a Pheasant and a Grey Heron on the top field. On the way down to Ogden I did get sight of 7 Lapwing and c50 small gull sp.
Ogden was terrible: Bullfinch, 6 Goldfinch, Goldcrest, Little Grebe, LBBG, Gulls. Bumped into Dave and Jen who had fared a little better.

Tues 18/11 1400-1510 hrs Queensbury Sth. Noticeable contrast to Sunday; hardly anything goin on.
3 Collared Dove, Mistle Thrush, Blackbird, few Woodpigeon, Goldfinch and Tits.
The fields by HCL/Cross Lane held c150 small gull sp. (more BHG than Common) c7 Meadow Pipit, 12 Snipe. Conspicuous by their absence: Lapwing.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Queensbury South

The mist cleared so I went for a gander from 1120-1235 hrs.
Numerous Blue and Gt Tits, Treecreeper (uncommon here) Bullfinch, 3/4 Chaffinch, c80 Starling, c9 House Sparrows.
2 Pied Wagtail, 1 each of Grey Wagtail and Kestrel. 12 Lapwing, 2 Meadow Pipit, 19 Snipe (numbers building). 15 BHG.

c12 Crows, 2 Jackdaw, 5 Rook, 2 Wren.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Soil Hell to Oats Royd

SH 1250 hrs in the murk. c9 Meadow Pipit & 1 Skylark. There were no game birds present at all but I am certain I know the reason for this. A Short-eared Owl was doing the honours around the top fields, looking rather spectral as it did so. This is a most welcome sight, as it turned out to be an annual and not before time! A Dunnock creepin up the track wall to the mast gave me a turn, before full id kicked in.

So, down to Oats Royd via the track from Bradshaw, the only bird apart from a magpie or two being a Mistle Thrush. As at 1430 hours there was no sign of the Black Redstart but nor was any other species active. Therefore I don't think it prudent to completely consign it to history just yet.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Oats Royd Success

I walked down the track described yesterday in John Little's blog at about 0950 yrs looking for the Black Redstart. 2/3 Pied Wagtail stepped up my vigilance and then about 90 seconds after seeing these I caught a movement out of the corner of my right eye. Oh my! this was the sought after bird flying up from the ground to a wall; I'd nailed it on the first sweep much to my surprise and delight.

The only downside of the experience was that the bird had moved a field back from the track and was extremely prone to poor photographs. However it performed very well and both DJS who came down like a bat out of hell and myself gloated over it's displays.
A trio of Raven flying roughly W and low down to boot, provided a bonus. There were also c50 Goldfinch in the vicinity.

Dave then kindly offered to take me to Swalesmoor for a crack at the Twite. This bird too behaved rather sociably and was shortly found in it's favourite area.

Also here were c20 Meadow Pipit, 1 Skylark and corvids.
It was great to chat to DJS again, especially in such hallowed company!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Soil Hill Jack Snipe

I had intended to visit Swalesmoor this morning but the rain put paid to that idea, however things turned out OK in the pm.
SH 1250-1355 hrs. Jack Snipe flushed from approx 0.5 metre on edge of N slope which it promptly flew down and dropped. The second of the autumn but the first for this location and one of the latest here for me.
Also: Grey Heron, 3 Grey Partridge, 2 Pheasant, Red Grouse, Wren, 5 Goldfinch, 4 Moorhen (another record no.) c20 Lapwing, c15 Meadow Pipit, Reed Bunting. There was a large thrush flying about the top but was always in silhoutte so I couldn't nail it.
3 Roe Deer together appeared to be all immatures.

Raggalds Flood both going and on return produced one small gull sp overhead.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Soil Hill Mystery Update

I couldn't let the Pipit I saw on Nov 3 rest without giving it another few attempts at id so I persevered with photos and calls. Sizewise I knew I could abandon Tawny Pipit along with dozens of other reasons!

I looked at Water Pipit and Rock Pipit as both still are in the size range and the calls I heard both fit, especially the former. The bird I saw was actually paler than a Rock, suggesting Water but of course the environment and altitude probably favours Rock. Still can't manage a positive conclusion but this is one "could have been" problem I have enjoyed tackling.

Birdbrain: Soil Hill Mystery

Monday, November 10, 2014

Soil Hell to Mixenden Res

SH 0945 hrs in a grim depressing mist not improved by the SW'ly light wind. Despite a thorough search of the top all I could come up with was:
c16 Meadow Pipit, 3 each of Grey Partridge, Pheasant and a few small gulls.

Ogden Res proved worthwhile; 6 Teal were at the far end of the drink. I quickly found that this was a nervous bunch, they took to flight several times; pictures were out of the question as a result.
I did get lucky with another species, to a degree on arrival at the north end.

The reserve polizei are lopping off branches of trees adjacent to the footpath and as I stopped to admire the destruction a flock of c35 Pink-footed Geese came over the conifers. Obviously not keen on landing upon the water (now up by about 1 foot) they did a quick swerve NW and headed for Cold Edge.
Also present 1 each of Cormorant, GCG, GSW, Jay. 8 Chaffinch, 6 Bullfinch, several Blackbirds.

Stod fold still had 23 Canada & 1 each of Greylag and Barnacle Goose, with plenty of Jackdaw standing by. The reservoir was disappointing - 1 each of Grey Wagtail, Coal Tit and Mallard. Also present 5 members of the Police diving team fully geared up - I don't know who they were trying to drag out.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

The Weekend

Sat 08/11 0945 hrs Had a look at Raggalds Flood which is around a third full; 11 Mallard overhead.

Soil Hill was grim: 1 Meadow Pipit, Kestrel, 2 Mallard, 3 Grey Partridge, c50 Lapwing. Ogden hardly worth a mention: 2 Jay, c32 Common Gull, outnumbering the BHG for a change. GCG, LBBG, Cormorant.

This morning 0920-1040 hrs Queensbury Sth.
Pr Bullfinch, Jay, GSW, 6 Blackbird, 5 Robin, 3 Wren, Gt and Blue Tits very active. 4 Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, 2 Common & 1 BH Gull. At one stage I caught sight of c7 small birds really high up which were behaving like hirundines! I was almost glad to lose them very soon after - I coulnd't stand the anguish.
8 each of Lapwing and Snipe, 5 Mallard, Grey Heron.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Soil Hill and Ogden

SH 0945-1045 hrs. The cool E/NE wind was counter productive and probably blew any incomers off the top. Common Snipe, Sparrowhawk, 6 Meadow Pipit, Blackbird, 9 Canada and 1 Greylag with two or three small gulls.

Greylag at the Coal Lane pond
Ogden Res proved much more worthwhile.

Teal, 1 each of Cormorant, Little and GC Grebe, LBBG. 6 Chaffinch, 1 each of Goldfinch, GSW, Green Woodpecker and Nuthatch. I also ended the session with a single Fieldfare - my first of autumn!

I watched 4 Goldcrest performing for over 10 minutes but as always photography proved difficult.

PS Spoke to DM tonight who was in the Haworth area yesterday 04/11 and reports 2 skeins of PFG flying into Lancashire.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Saved by an Owl

Tues 4/11 1345-1455 Qby Sth hrs quiet. Pr Bullfinch, Grey Heron and 1 Snipe Cross Lane. Further up nearer to HCL c30 Lapwing.
Improved around 1800 hrs when a Tawny Owl decided to fly around the back field calling for nearly 10 mins

Monday, November 03, 2014

Soil Hill Mystery

SH 0945-1230 hrs. This trip involved 2 sessions with an interlude across to Ogden Back Lane in between. The second trip was an attempt to verify a couple of briefly seen birds, which failed.

1st Winter Snow Bunting on the mounds took off and is it passed over the track another 2 Bunting types joined it briefly before going to ground. I didn't get much on the latter and abandoned any ideas of identity almost immdly.
About 20 minutes later a large Pipit took off from the W ridge giving me very reasonable views for about 20 seconds before it too went to cover. The first thing that sprang to mind was Richards pipit and I resolved to listen to the couple of calls it made, on arrival back at the hovel. Subsequently after doing just that I have decided I cannot reconcile Xeno-Canto recordings with this species, so this too has to be scrapped.

The recently leveled out field on the N Western slope is proving attractive to Lapwing - c27 were seen on the initial trip, building up to c75 on the final one. Other birds:
Snipe, c20 Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, 5 Pheasant, Blackbird.
The trip across the road produced Mistle Thrush, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, before I turned back.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Queensbury South

1000-1135hrs Foster Park to Green Lane. Tawny Owl in the park - well dead. Also a GSW with much activity from Blue and Gt Tits and a few Robin.
5 Snipe, 2 each of  Dunnock, Grey and Pied Wagtail. c22 Goldfinch, 5 Chaffinch. 2 Redwing, c27 Lapwing, 5 Meadow Pipit, c50 Jackdaw, several small Gull sp, 15 Woodpigeon. Again no sign Little Owl.