Birdbrain Stuff

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Gone Missing

I've had some reasonable, good and very good birds in the wider local area I survey in 2015 but the following failed to grace the optics:

Arctic Tern, Jack Snipe ( I don't believe it!) LSW, Mediterranean Gull, Pied Flycatcher, Ringed Plover, Waxwing, Wood Warbler.
I have Peregrine ticked but I'm almost positive that was a bird at Swillington Ings.
Grasshopper Warbler only just made it on to the list with one at Soil Hill at the start of Autumn migration. Let's hope this species has another crack at the bottom of SH before the excavators finally win.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Queensbury to Mixenden

Raggalds had 9 Lapwing and some small gulls. I got to Soil Hill at 0940 hrs to be informed by a local resident I'd nicely missed a pr Raven heading north by 10 minutes.
JL was also present so we did the rounds and were overjoyed to get:
Skylark, Grey Heron, Crows and some unid blob on the wretched, evilly named NK pond.

Ogden Res was full of people but not birds. Two attempts at the overflow failed to get the 2 star attractions seen lately by BS. 1 each Cormorant & LBBG. Some Canada, small gulls, poss brief Bullfinch, Goldcrest.

Mixenden Res produced f GOLDENEYE which is by far the latest autumn/winter bird Ive had. Also numerous small gulls, 1 LBBG and a few Chaffinch, Goldfinch en route.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Finally some local action.

Queensbury Sth and a bit more approx 0810-1045 hrs.
21 Lapwing constantly circling for about 35 mins between the trailer park and top of Northowram. The Cross Lane bog had 4 Snipe (same as my last trip on Xmas morning) a Reed Bunting & Kestrel. Hereabouts were couple each Pied Wagtail & Meadow Pipit with small gulls in groups heading generally SE.
4 Mallard were idling in the Green Lane pond and on the return leg here a Sparrowhawk put up c110 Common Gull from a field and also displeased c80 Jackdaw.
I did a Buzzard check and was happy to see a light phased bird out basking in the sunshine.
Others seen throughout: Mistle Thrush, 2 Blackbird, Pied Wag, Collared Dove, Woodpigs and for some reason a fair number of Gt Tit.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Exmouth Finalè

A big last day slog up to Bowling Green Marsh and back covering 5 plus miles there and a bit more back. I'll put some meat (bullshit?) on later but here are some of the birds seen.
5 Greylag, 1 Grey Plover, 2 Grey Heron, 18 Little Egret (17 in one field). Pr Egyptian Goose, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Mute Swan, 1 Kingfisher, 1 GSW. Finally bumped into a few Moorhen but just 1 Coot. I managed 1 Avocet but was told there were thousands round the corner!
Black-Tailed and Bar-tailed Godwit were present in good numbers. You should have seen them swirling around when an unid raptor put them up.
C14 Teal, 2 Shelduck, 1 fine drake Pintail, many Turnstone, Redshank & Oystercatcher, a few Shoveler and the ubiquitous gulls.

I got my first winter Chiffchaff in donkeys years just outside Exmouth on the way up. LTT were a new addition and yet again singing Song Thrush were a feature this time at least 4 birds.  What I thought to be an odd grunting Brent turned out to be an overhead Raven!
Just 2 Buzzard on tbe motorway back home.
Next time I'll give Dawlish Warren some 'ammer.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Exe Estuary Excites

I cant start at the beginning as Ive been overwhelmed by birds and numbers so here in ramshackle order we go. 45+ Curlew, 8 Little Egret (no Grey Heron). 3 f Pintail, 11 Mallard, 1 f RB Merganser, c20 Shelduck, c25 dark-bellied BRENT GEESE, 1 Mute Swan, c26 Wigeon.

These are just what I could see with bins, out on the far sand banks and mudflats were multitudes more.

Waders close to shore: 3 Dunlin, c10 Redshank, c28 Turnstone, c34 Oystercatcher.
Usual gulls with at least 50 GBBG. Cormorants, Shags, 5 Pied Wagtail, House Sparrows, Starlings, Blackbirds. Just low numbers of Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch. I may have had a Rock Pipit among the few Meadow Pipit there  based on call difference.
What does one do on Thursday I wonder, umm.
PS Surprisingly not a single raptor seen.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Exmouth Soaking Redeemed

Morning kicked off dry but grey with a hightide so I kicked off in the direction of the cliff tops. It was mild despite the headwind and there were quite a number of passerines about about including a Song Thrush at full throttle (throstle?)
Sea watching was hard graft and I did have that sinking feeling for a while. This picked up after the tide had gone out exposing more beach and significantly rocks. 33 Oystercatcher, 4 Pied Wagtail, several Cormorant, c6 Shag & the numerous small/large gulls. I encountered many Herrings both obvious and suspicious plumage types. Caspian cant be claimed but it was good to see good numbers of GBBG.
Must mention the cliff top Goldcrest before moving on to the last gasp reward which appeared as the rain finally got down to the skin. I went to the harbour area, The Point, turned a corner and bumped into a pr RED BREASTED MERGANSER close to the beach. The male was photographable and I will do the honours when I can transfer from camera to laptop.
Just overheard a conversation; its forecast fine weather tomorrow. I wonder if tomorrow will ever come.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Exmouth Exravaganza

Journey down from  Worcestercestershire onwards  Buzzards started to appear even in the dark often rain filled skies probably got 6 in all. Picture of Dunnock at close quarter but the Robin shied off. 3 Pied & 1 Grey Wagtail, Cormorant, BH & Common Gulls. Couple Herring & LBB Gull and one that never landed but screamed YLG. This reminds me that Caspians are reported here just down the end of the esplanade. Ill be up wi' lark in t' morning.
Small world aint it, the brave lady sat alongside me on the coach knows messrs S Blacksmith & B Hoyle from HX Scientific Soc.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Christmas Without Bunty

My much cherished pet Bunty died in a freak  accident today at the age of 3. Its always sad losing a companion but at Xmas its a deeper emotional burden.
I shall remember the good times such as  the incident when a boring relative came to stay and saw Bunty sat  on my face. Aunt Warthilda didnt even scream she just went white and climbed out of the front window.

An attempted burglary was thwarted when my brave little darling nipped the offender in the trouser leg dept. To this day I still dont think the man can pole vault.
Oh Bunty sweetheart I never had to put you on a lead. We never had a harsh word and in previous years I used to cross your dead husbands with a chicken so all 8 of us round the dinner table had a leg each.
I will miss you terribly RIP my angelic BLACK WIDOW SPIDER.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Soil Hill & Ogden

Nothing on RF at 1030 hrs. C35 Fieldfare and a few Starling were in a field below Sun Hill Farm SH. Just 5 Goldfinch some small gulls and JL were on the top. After discussing how brilliant local birding is JL and me went down to Ogden Res for the obligatory soaking. A few small gulls, Mallard and a single Cormorant were all the water had to offer. The woods were gash; Blackbird, 3 Robin, Jay. C30 Canada were in a upper Bradshaw field below Roper Ln and the usual Lapwing flock plus small gulls were on the Raggalds sports field.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Reservoir Round Up

Visited 4 reservoirs in the wider area courtesy DP and found it to be hard work. The fresh air, (very fresh) was appreciated as was the exercise and sound bytes.
Leeming Res approx 1025 hrs. Small gulls, number of Mallards, few Blackbirds, prob Sparrowhawk giving briefest views ever. Kestrel, Chaffinch and a couple of smaller finches calling that remained unid.

Leeshaw - full to the brim and windy. More small gulls, 2 Cormorant, 5 Canada (partially hidden in field) Mallards.
I can't remember the name of the next res down which had, you guessed right, some small gulls on it.

Ponden Res. Again the gulls and a few Mallard and Muscovies.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Low Moor Dams

Queensbury Sth: 15 Lapwing, Grey Heron, c22 small gull sp. c35 Fieldfare. Not a single Snipe, but I did find a pothole about 9 inches deep.

Harold Park Lake produced a pr Goosander, otherwise it was rather humdrum. Coots, Tufted, 2 Mute Swan, 2 Greenfinch, pr GC Grebe, Moorhens.

Park Dam again not spectacular; unseasonal warm temperatures to blame methinks. 5 Little Grebe, GSW, Blackbird, Pied Wagtail, multitude of small gulls. A pr Mute Swan gave a spectacular fly over, fly around, fly past including dodging the overhead electricity cables before heading back to HPL. Moorhens, Coots, Tufted in higher numbers than the a/m, herd of Canada Geese.
About 350 metres up the road apiece from here in Fenwick Drive 2, if not 3 Redpoll flittng about - niceeee.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Disappointment down South

After the gunge sorta cleared up around 1330 hrs, I decided to trundle down Queensbury Sth to see if I could avoid seeing any birds at all. This being the best method of not encountering boredom and probable deep depression had I been full of hope. Needless to say I failed as some birds had the temerity to actually show themselves, the swine.
1405 hrs trailer park area: although busy with lorries and plant machinery c25 Lapwing and c50 small gulls were present. I couldn't bring myself to enter the marsh field, the thought of probable Snipe was too much to bear. I did however encounter 2 Meadow Pipit, c30 Jackdaw, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Blackbird on the way home.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Recent Breakthrough

After the longest period of a local birding drought I've had to endure since my arrival here there was a glimmer of hope today. The timing was horrendous but I suppose had it been an hour later the traffic would have prevented the occurence of...
a TAWNY OWL flying around the house front calling on two occasions in the early hours as I almost slept.
If this filth clears up and it dont piss down, why I may subject myself to the delights that only Soil Hell and Ogden Res can offer.

I took the chance even though it was still raining: RFlood approx 1230 hrs - 2 Mallard.
Soil Hill was suffering the onslaught of a prime SW'ly and was verily crap. Blackbird, 2 Mistle Thrush, Meadow Pipit, some small gulls. A flock of unid winter thrush types numbering around 25 went north.

Ogden Res: c13 Goldcrest, Blackbird, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, usual small gulls. Grey Heron flying over. Few Gt/Blue Tit but not a single Robin. I hope the one that fed out of my hand last week didn't get food poisoning.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Low Moor Dams

For the first time since I started birding this site, it was a disappointment in the main. The Gadwall could not be found, same applies to a couple Mute Swan and no big gulls present. Worth mentioning however is the fact that Park Dam held 5 Little Grebe; 4 together and this 1 individual.

There were a couple hundred small gulls and c60 Canada. 2 Pied & 1 Grey Wagtail, 3 Mute Swan, 12 Moorhen, c40 Coot, c34 Tufted Duck & the Mallards. 2 GC Grebe, 1 GSW briefly. This being the total for both bodies of water.

On the return leg home, I checked out the southern fields - a few gulls only. c400 Starling were hanging around Qnsbry Golf Course.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

God and Lawn Care

GOD to ST. FRANCIS: Frank, ... You know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet?  What happened to the dandelions, violets, milkweeds and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colours by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles.

St. FRANCIS: It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers 'weeds' and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

GOD: Grass? But, it's so boring. It's not colourful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and sod worms. It's sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

GOD: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it-sometimes twice a week.

GOD: They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?

ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

ST. FRANCIS: No, Sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

GOD: Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

ST. FRANCIS: Yes, Sir.

GOD: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

ST. FRANCIS: You aren't going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

GOD: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It's a natural cycle of life.

ST. FRANCIS: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

GOD: No!? What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

ST. FRANCIS: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

GOD: And where do they get this mulch?

ST. FRANCIS: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

GOD: Enough! I don't want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

ST. CATHERINE: 'Dumb and Dumber', Lord. It's a story about....

GOD: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Queensbury to Mixenden

Usual Lapwing on Raggalds sports field; the flood being frozen.
SH One unid calling passerine, 2 Blackbird & a Crow was all.

Ogden Res 1 each HERRING & LBBG + small uns. 4 Bullfinch, 1 each Grey Heron & GSW, a few Blackbird.

En route Mixenden 4 Goldfinch, 5 LTT, 44 Canada. Res: 3 Roe Deer, GSW, 2 Goldcrest, c11 LTT, small gulls, several Blackbird

Friday, November 20, 2015

Snow and more Rain

After deciding today was cook a chicken curry day, I did just that then found 25 mins to spare...
Soil Hell was windy for a change and still dry for another one (tks BS for txt msg) as I searched for the SNOW BUNTING. I got it after a struggle on the W side as it flew high calling before a steep descent, a male methinks.
En route to Ogden Res I met DJS who after a chat ordered me not to get wet again. I do apologise for disobeying your orders Sir! The rain nailed me halfway round with nothing to show until I was stopped in my tracks by the W shore Alder patch. 5 Juicy REDPOLL were feeding long enough for me to take 5/6 ropey photos. Not an abundant species for moi this year so most welcome. Also  there 2 Chaffinch, ditto Bullfinch & LTT with c5 Goldcrest. 1 Cormorant, 1 LBBG etc. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Blacktoft Sands

A deliberate late start c/o Mr DW, in order to optimize the chances of catching Harriers & Barn Owls that are known to come by the Singleton hide at last light.
Lucky for us the incessant rain had cleared as we passed into the E side of the country and we wasted no time in visiting the hides, starting with the Ousefleet at the top of the chain. For once this hide was full of duck and waders but our joy was relatively short-lived when those marsh hosses galloped up right in front, scaring the nearmost waders off. They did eventually return and we satisfied ourselves we'd id'd the lot before moving off.

A bonus bird as we walked down a trail was a briefly singing Cettis Warbler - a great find on a gloomy November afternoon. At this rate of expansion, I won't be at all surprised if someone reports a 2016 bird in a place such as Cromwell Bottom.

We ended up with time to spare and settled down for the vigil (sounds like Stallone & Statham don't it). We counted 7 Marsh Harrier moving, thousands of distant birds coming and going which offered hardly any clues to id until they came a bit nearer later. One astute guy finally managed to state the majority were Golden Plover. A Barn Owl was doing the rounds in the distance too but not all of us had the eyesight to get any glimpse as it swept along just above reedbed height. Luckily DWs eyes are still in very good shape and he caught several sightings of the bird.
The star of the performance failed to turn up which I'll put down to theatrical histrionics, nonetheless we enjoyed the session.
Snipe in good numbers, 2 Redshank. c10 Shelduck, c20 Shoveler, c16 Gadwall, c30 Snipe, numerous Lapwing, ditto Teal, several Wigeon, Mallards, Pheasants.
Reed Bunting, Tree Sparrows, many Fieldfare, 2 Goldfinch, Blackbird.
7 Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk, probable Merlin, Barn Owl, c45 PFG. 2 Grey Heron, 2 Mute Swan, 3 Little Grebe, Kingfisher, Cormorant, Moorhens.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Gift from Hell

Early start and a soddened finish with every item of clothing and gear saturated. RFlood: 1 Canada, 2 Fieldfare, 3 BHG. Lapwing were 4 fields apart, starting on the sports then ending in the muddy field immdly after the last house on right.

Soil Hill approx 0835 hrs. RING OUZEL seen heading toward radio compound from bottom track conifers. Subsequently seen twice until lunchtime. Note there was a Blackbird about 90 metres further down. Also Redwing & c 23 Fieldfare.
I went onto the top looking for the SEO (djs) without success. As I was cursing over having nudged a mobile bone key that caused havoc, something really cool occurred. I almost trod on a DUNLIN! It was alongside a very small puddle, huddled down in the grass no more than 1/2 metre away max.
Oddly enough the bird didnt stop to say Hi Nige, instead it gave one call and dived over the N ridge where it was looked for after trying to ring  out to others but not found.
More may follow depending on what mood I'm in after some beer...

Monday, November 16, 2015

RFlood to Ogden

c75 and 5 Common Gull on the sports field; nothing on the flood. Soil Hell was just that, unworkable in WNW gale. Mistle Thrush, 3 Magpie, 2 Crow.
Ogden Res: Jay flew up to Ned Hill. M Sparrowhawk tried a failed sweep over the feeders. Brambling, Siskin, 4 Goldrest in among c30 Chaffinch on W shore.

A drake Wigeon also feeding W shore. Once again the odd light mantled LBBG was present on the E side but when I went round for photos it had moved to the W. Also 6 Blackbird, 4 Robin, Blue Tits.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Soil Hill Goody

Male RING OUZEL. I was halfway down the N slope long edge trying to id what turned out to be fieldfares. An unseen bird gave out two loud high pitched, shrill notes which stopped me in my tracks. I couldn't reconcile them with any known species so I plodded down and back up. After hearing this male on the track give its alarm call it prompted me to listen to Xeno Canto recordings and I now know it was this bird. Interestingly the notes were part of it's song repertoire and not the chattering subsequently heard in flight.

Also Grey Heron, c50 Fieldfare, c85 Starling, Pied Wagtail.
Previously Raggalds Flood was void of birds but c70 Lapwing were on the sports field.

Ogden Res: BHG wearing leg ring. I took plenty of pics but the ring wasn't exactly pristine; I'll see what I can do.

Left leg ring Silver, Right leg Black code on White. May be VS20
Not the bird seen in July which had green ring.
c10 LTT, Nuthatch, 3 Coal Tit, 2 Goldcrest, f Bullfinch, Cormorant. Lots small gulls, 2 LBBG incl one with pale mantle. 2 Chaffinch; JLs big party had moved on.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Soil Hill to Mixenden

SH 0925 Hrs. 1 each Moorhen, Snipe, Fieldfare. 3 Meadow Pipit, 100+ small gulls. At one stage I heard the sound of approaching geese so I reached for the bone to alert BS. Im so pleased I wasnt too happy with the notes and when they flew overhead they turned out to be Canada. The same flock descended on Ogden res an hour later when I counted 40 birds.
Prior to this I checked the brimming Raggalds Flood: 2 Mallard, 10 Lapwing, Pied Wagtail with numerous Common Gull on the sports field.
Ogden Res: c12 Siskin, c22 Chaffinch, Ron Cormo, 2 Jay, Les Blackback. 

Hunter Hill bottom: Jay, Green Woodpecker, Jackdaws and small gulls in the fields below. 2 skeins of Canada went SW over Mixenden res approx 20 minutes apart. No.1 c18 birds; No.2 14 birds. Im certain these were the ones seen at Ogden earlier.
The res disappointed: small gulls only on the water. Also seen were Goldcrest, Blackbird, 2 Blue Tit.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Recent Trips

Sunday 08/11 Queensbury Sth & Shibden
Quiet start at 0915 hrs through the park which picked up on exiting. 10 Goldfinch, c25 Fieldfare. Cross Lane:  total 19 Snipe NK 7; DP 12 (Seen earlier, he out around 0800 ish). Starling nrs c300, 2 Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, few bhg.
Shibden: 6 Bullfinch, 2 Buzzard, Jay, Goldcrest, 2 Redwing, Chaffinch or three. A small flock of winter thrushes seen at distance.

Friday 06/11 Hoping to confirm LEOs still present - went down and up Soil Hill N slope at 1030 ish. Nothing doin, not a squeak. 5 Canada, 1 Fieldfare, 3 Pheasant, 1 Skylark, 2 Meadow Pipit.
Ogden res was the quietest I've known in a long time, nothng worth a mention. One thing was consistent: the killer SW wind.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Mixenden Wainstalls Walk

With DW & DM. Nothing much doing in the mist which threatened a reprieve nr Withens only to change its mind.
2 Fieldfare, 2 Canada, Pheasant, Meadow Pipit. DM was happy with the fieldfare for a first.
Ogden res was dank; Cormorant, 2 LBBG, small gulls. A Chaffinch flock about 14 strong, Bullfinch, Kestrel.

DM reports sighting of Buzzard in Northowram and further mention of the Wood Lane LSW by a neighbour.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Ducky Pics from Monday

From yesterday records shots of the Ogden drake Shoveler:

and now the Aytha bitch bird:

The "Scaup" type image still presents itself when the top two pics are viewed initially. However when you enlarge them all with the mouse click a rudimentary tuft appears on two of the 4 pics. Odd thing is on Oiseaux.Net the french website, I picked out two proven female Scaup pics with rudimentary tufts - among 30+ that presented the classic head profile. This problem has occurred before with this/these species in Autumn with other birders too and I'm sure I'll keep falling into the trap.

Received txt from DW the LEO still on Soil Hell in real nasty conditions at 0830 hrs.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Queensbury to Soil Hill

25 Fieldfare over BS house. Similar no Lapwing on the slick of water at Raggalds. 40 Fieldfare SH. Single LEO roosting on different stump 60 metres down treeline. Green Woodpecker flew across top and landed nr radio mast. 2 Singing Skylark, 3 Meadow Pipit then I had to dump everything as c120 PFG flew over heading SE. I managed to alert BS who ran out of the garage and nailed 'em.

The pace continued:
Ogden plantn. Buzzard, Grey Heron, Red Grouse, 10 Redwing.
Ogden resvr drake SHOVELER, GC Grebe, 2 Cormorant, Green Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail.
Hunter Hill Green Woodpecker, 9 Grey Partridge.
Mixenden Res f Scaup which was contested in part by a n other. Pics to be edited and published in my favour later (hehe). Grey Wagtail, 6 Goosander one of which was subject to query by all.
Then the fog came down.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Soil Hill Bonus

Got up to the hellish hill at 0645 hrs having had a few scattered moving Redwing, Fieldfare and small gulls on the way.
Within 5 minutes of starting down the N slope a Long-eared Owl was waiting for me, sat half asleep on a post. I whipped out the camera and blasted away in the hope that some acceptable pics may turn out in the still murky light.

I rang BS and after our natter, proceeded down the hill toward the pond. Within about a minute a second LEO took off from the bushes some 25 metres away, flew about the same distance and landed back in the hedgerow. Bloomin Marvellous!
On the way back up after checking the pond for the Wigeon/Teal mix (hampered once more by dull light/location) I found the topmost bird still there. It appeared to be awake now as it tracked my progress until I reached the top track and encountered one DP. Dave followed my instructions and I'm pleased to say he too saw the sleeping beauty.

Not much else around, which doesn't faze me one iota. 3 Grey Partridge, Robins, 1 Kestrel, 2 Blue Tit & Blackbird, Small gulls. 1 Sparrowhawk & Grey Partridge seen separately by DP.

PS I got a txt from DW at 1009 hrs, referring to the Fleet Lane area: "I've been watching loads of thrush types going over as I look out of the front window".

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Queensbury Sth

18 Snipe, Grey Heron, Jay, GSW, c29 Fieldfare, 3 Mistle Thrush, 3 Meadow Pipit, c120 Common Gull, c60 BHG, c65 Jackdaw.
Bird of the season? See BS blog of today.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Raggalds Flood & Soil Hell

This is the fact post; bullshit and waffle will follow.
SH 5 WIGEON on bottom lh pond. Grey Heron nearby also Moorhen 2 Mallard.
C22 Meadow Pipit, Kestrel. Two Fieldfare flocks c60 & c100, 2 Pheasant, c10 Redwing.
Raggalds Flood 7 Lapwing, 9 Mallard and the F Teal returned for tea time.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

South to Low Moor Dams

15 Lapwing in the trlr park field when I went out after the deluge, also 1 Pied Wagtail. There were 17 two fields further up on the return leg. I decided not to disturb any Snipe present in the Cross Lane bog today. Quite a few small gull sp. present too.
There must have been c250 Starling on the wires at the bottom half of Cock Hill Lane. There were 2 Fieldfare in a Hawthorn here; of course when I got to the button pressing stage on the camera they flew off (disturbed by Woodpigeon and Magpie). A Sparrowhawk was in this area along with a Redwing or three and about 7 unid Sparrow size types.
DM in deepest darkest Northowram phoned me to verify a probable male Sparrowhawk he was getting reasonable views of.

c26 Fieldfare flew over the main Halifax Rd, heading SW. This is constant with the birds BS has been seeing all day. I went out into the back yard immdly after his last report but I missed 'em.
Harold Park lake was relatively quiet ( 2 GCG, 10 Tufted) so I didn't linger and went onto Park Dam to find it livelier.
Pr Gadwall still around, Cormorant, 3 LBBG & lots of smaller sp. 2 Little Grebe, c70 Canada, 3 Blue Tit, 2 Blackbird, House Sparrows. c75 Coot, c32 Tufted, Moorhens. Wigeon have departed.

The sun returned with a vengeance after the last downpour stopped and I was lucky enough to catch this juvenile Hedgehog on the grass verge. The animal was just as lucky as almost unbelievably a lady who looks after such critters was watching me. Turns out the lady was a former resident of Queensbury who had moved down to the area and cared for young "lost" animals.

Mute Swan: Park Dam RED Y725; YELLOW 468. Harold Park: YELLOW 900: 162: 212. all left leg.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Queensbury to Mixenden

Turned out to be a pleasant days hike with a smatterin of birds thrown in. All down to the varying S'ly winds.
Soil Hill 0935 hrs- Kestrel, Grey Heron, Pheasant, 2 Meadow Pipit, 10 House Sparrow.

Ogden Res was narcoleptic. 4 LBBG in with the smaller sp. 2 Coal Tit, Bullfinch and tree felling by the Council.

Hunter Hill Jay, 2 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and a LBBG ejecting its payload - missed yer bassa! 😂
Small gulls at Mixenden Res.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Pinkfeet Over Queensbury

Went into Foster Park at approx 0825 hrs to find it very much on the downside generally. Bullfinch, Greenfinch, singing Robins, few Blue & Gt Tits. I walked through the bottom golf course track then up the approach to junc. Giles Hill Lane with High Cross Lane. Yaba Daba Doo! At precisely 9 O'clock (10 if you failed to reset the timepieces) a skein of Pink-footed Geese came in from NW heading SE toward the power stations at Ferrybridge. Their route would have taken them over the W side of Queensbury.

I phoned BS, mentioning there were about 100 birds; I'm innumerate, its closer to 60.
Meandering somewhat before heading for Cross Lane I came across 2 Mistle Thrush & 6 Chaffinch, 20 Goldfinch. Then I got Grey Heron & 18 Snipe; Lapwing were absent owing to the presence of a farmer and hoss.

A check on Corporal Lane failed to turn up Lapwing; the fields there produced a number of Common Gull, BH & 1 LBBG. Turning into Green Lane was a good move: eat your hearts out Fieldfares because I got a Redpoll halfway up. Also Jay, Rook Jackdaws and possibly Little Owl (speed of flight, distance).
I'm sure glad I forced myself out for this session.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Yet Another Local Trek

3 Mistle Thrush in the tree tops at Victoria Hall, Queensbury and another singing half heartedly at Raggalds. The desired Fieldfares never materialised yet another usually scarcer Scandinook migrant did later on at Ogden; wierd autumn migration this.
11 Lapwing and c35 small gull sp. were at Raggalds Sports field. Note that the long defunct flood has now got reeds covering half the field - nothing to show there.

Soil Hill Skylark, 10 Meadow Pipit, c28 Goldfinch, BH Gull. Pied Wagtail.
Ogden Res started off appallingly but then redeemed itself. A Brambling was calling for a while in the Willows/Alders area halfway down the track to Skirden Clough bridge. I waited and eventually caught sight of the bird albeit briefly. About 2 minutes after leaving that spot 7 Crossbill flew into the treetops, calling. I went to investigate and got a m Bullfinch, however the former had quickly moved on.
All that lovely expanse of shoreline attracted a single Lapwing, otherwise it was down to 2 LBBG and the smaller gulls. Other: Wrens, 2 Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Goldcrests,

Mixenden Res produced a first - not a single bird on the water. However there were a few small gulls and a Grey Wagtail on the shore. I noticed a fair number of Blackbird were flying about the woodland which also produced a Green Woodpecker.

All this pales into insignificance 'cos when I got home and got stuck into my Red Toadstool with White Spots toastie an announcement on the telly said that Daniel O'Donnell has released a new album!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Queensbury Sth Dash

Felt the urge to go inspect the fields before tea time. Got there at 1625 hrs with a gusty blustery W'ly ablowin. Just c40 small gulls in the farm fields so I went into Cross Lane marsh field. Within 2 minutes 8 Snipe flew up but that was the climax. All I got from a walk to Bracken Lane and back home was a few caaawvidd and a Meadow Pipit. Fieldfare next I hope!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Blogger for Mobile

I just downloaded Blogger for Mobile so lets see how it performs when Im out there in the field surrounded by White Wagtail, Jack Snipe, Brambling, Waxwing, Bewicks etc.
Previously I have simply accessed the Website from this bone without too much difficulty and all the functions are accessable. Surely with an App there must be limited functionality by definition.
Lets try an icon 😈
PS The BIRDTRACK App failed miserably but that could be down to me in part

Monday, October 19, 2015

Queensbury to Mixenden Rptd

Mist from the hovel up until 0950 hours when it started to clear on Soil Hill - the job not completed until 1030 hrs.
Queensbuy Nth 7 Woodpigeon, 2 Starling, Grey Wagtail, 3 Pied Wagtail.

SH - Blackbird, 3 Redwing, 3 Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Robin, 4 Dunnock, Pied Wagtail, Skylark, 3 Meadow Pipit, Pheasant, Snipe, c23 Goldfinch. Ned Hill track bushes produced a female Bullfinch which is only my second record for this site. There was quite a lot of activity here with birds flitting about (see start of list). As I got to the end of Coal Lane c38 Redwing flew across the main road heading in the direction of the hill top.

Ogden Res by now the sun was shining strongly. Had it not been I might have missed the drake Wigeon keeping close to the shoreline adjacent to the feeding area. It certainly did not come to bread!
A very dark imm. phase gull type about the size of Common/LBBG caused a helluva commotion when it flew around the lake. I tried to catch up with it but I reckon with nearly all the gulls chasing it around, the bird had moved on.
Others: Grey Wagtail, Green Woodpecker, Kestrel, 3 LBBG & the small gulls, limited no. of woodland types.

I noticed 3/4 Small Tortoiseshell en route to Mixenden which was rather putrid: Jay, unconfirmed raptor (either Kestrel/Sprawk) some small gulls.

Fwd: Tortoiseshell

Taken by mobile bone at Ogden edited on said mobile and emailed to blog.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Nigel Kerwin" <>
Date: 19 Oct 2015 14:33
Subject: Tortoiseshell
To: "Nigel Kerwin

Friday, October 16, 2015

Home to Mixenden Res

Woke up ready to go 12 rounds with a garden gnome so I left the hovel early. Redwing parties and flocks were present throughout until they petered out with the light mist clearing at Ogden.
Queensbury North c90 Redwing, 2 Lapwing at Raggalds along with 12 Mallard. A flock of c40 small gulls on the sports field had a fair number of Common in among.

Soil Hill pr Goldfinch, c8 Meadow Pipit, 1 Common Snipe flushed from the E side of mounds, it didn't call but there was no confusion with it's smaller cousin. 2 Pheasant, Kestrel, 2 Mallard, 15 Canada, Pied Wagtail, c150 Redwing, 2 Blackbird, 3 Mistle Thrush, 3 Dunnock, 4 Blue Tit.

Ogden Res  c27 Chaffinch, 2 Cormorant, 5 Redwing, 2 LBBG and a very limited no. of small gulls. 2 Blackbird,
A duck sp. was in the middle of the drink and in the below par light I had to rely on extended zoom from the camera to have any chance of id. The poor pics suggested f Gadwall among others and at one time Scoter flitted through the scenario. I finally got one that discounted the latter but decided to contact BS & DJS about the presence of a 'scoper. A LBBG chased the duck closer and I could finally id it as a f Teal. I've always maintained it's worth the risk of embarrassment when id is difficult but believe me I felt a bit of a twerp for a few minutes with this one.
About 7 Red Grouse were disturbed by a golfer in the rough just a couple of hundred metres up from the Lodge House.

Stod Fold coughed up Dipper, 26 Canada, 1 each of Grey Wagtail  & Meadow Pipit. 2 Pied Wagtail.
Mixenden Res was really poor just c20 small gull species and 1 each Grey & Pied Wagtail. 5 divers from the Police were about to submerge, they didnt stop me as I sauntered through the open gate so it looks as though I got away with it!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Hebble Brook Walk

With messes messrs Miller et Wetherell. A great Autumn day, heading to Cromwell Bottom; not too much action but overall very enjoyable. Migration indicators came in the form of just one species: Jay, c13 of them. Kingfisher and Dipper really turned it on for us - 3 of the former and 4 of the latter.

3 Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Kestrel. As we were leaving the feeders, what appeared to be a first winter Sparrowhawk whizzed through the seating area and swerved past DW's head instead of crashing into it, wise move. Also here were Nuthatch, Blue, Coal & Gt Tit, Chaffinch and the above GSW.

DM reports 3 Golden Plover in the Coley area on Mon 12/10 and both he and DW report a figure approaching c300 Goldfinch on the track upto TMR Tues 13/10, otherwise very quiet.

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Quiet Session

Mountain to Raggalds produced 8 Lapwing, a few Meadow Pipit, 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 or 2 Goldfinch.
Soil Hill approx 0950 hours underperformed as only it knows how. 5 Meadow Pipit, Blackbird, 2 Common & 1 BH Gull, Mistle Thrush.
Ogden was rock bottom. A mobile flock of tits incl c10 LTT. 2 Canada, Cormorant & a limited nr small gull sp., Grey & couple Pied Wagtail, Mistle Thrush, c7 Blackbird.

Mixenden Res had 8 Canada in a nearby field, c11 small gull species and a saviour in the form of a singing Chiffchaff, one of the latest I've had. A few Meadow Pipit and c7 Pied Wagtail were flitting about.

DW was in Shibden Valley watching a Tawny Owl in a manner that recalls the song words: "I was looking back to see if she was looking back at me to see if I was looking back at her"

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Leighton Moss

I filled up the front passenger seat for mine host DW and enjoyed a great day out on a wonderful autumn day.
c7 Bearded Tit, 1 Reed Bunting, Nuthatch and other plentiful woodlands species incl Bullfinch. 1 LBBG, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, 2 Kingfisher, Buzzard heard only. 300 PFG and a few Greylag, c60 Lapwing, 2 each Grey Heron & Little Egret, Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler, few Gadwall, Pintail, Mixed flock c45 Godwits, majority being Bar-tailed. 5 Goosander, Family of 4 Otter (lifer!).
Here's some pics

Attention purists we did see them flying around reedbeds also.

Simon King appeared to be taking it easy rather than working; he also turned up in a hide and just missed sitting on DW's knee.

TBC hopefully...