Birdbrain Stuff

Monday, June 29, 2015

Lazy Swillington Ings

Courtesy of DP. A slow but very pleasant session in warm sunshine with a laid back aura, as most birds were getting over the task of raising young. Some of course were still undergoing the process and to our delight this gave us the opportunity to watch c10 Common Tern moving from and back to their island.
I never said it wasn't noisy! A horde of BHGs made sure of that, completely dominating the whole site. There were plenty of Greylags too, far more than I've seen in the Spring months.

One Black-necked Grebe put in appearance along with GC & Little plus their offspring. Reed and Sedge Warbler were busy with both sp. giving brief views. 4/5 GBBG were in among the c20 LBBGs, c12 Cormorant, 4 Pied Wagtail, a few Sand Martin & Swift but I didn't notice too many Swallows. Also: Common Sandpiper, Lapwings, 1/2 Redshank, c9 Oystercatcher, Shoveler, Pochard with young, ditto Tufted.

Friday, June 26, 2015

System Meltdown

My laptop collapsed this am so I am uploading this from my mobile bone. I will not be able to post photos until I have repaired said laptop or smashed it to pieces and bought another.
Soil Hill - sadly the diggers have wreaked havoc at the bottom bog and are going at a crackin pace. Nevertheless a Sedge Warbler was singing as was  Whitethroat with a pr Reed Bunting present at the almost drained pond. 3 LBBG also.

Ogden quietish but many Goldfinch present along with expected warblers and a few Goldcrest. Best of all tho' a pr Tree Pipit bred at GT.
Other: Nuthatch, 2 BHG, 2 Grey Heron, Jay, 6 Curlew, pr Red Grouse, Green Woody, LBBG.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Long Slog III

A Hard(castle) Day and this time the good bits came in the middle, with the third bit spent getting locally lost in the woods and wet through. But, hell, it's a living!
Yet again I was reminded of the tragic year we have had with migrants with vast empty spaces of woodland and their fringes. The joyful part was on reaching Gorple Res and the surrounding moorland.

Goldfinch have started to gather; one flock of c45 birds and a party of 10 being seen poles apart. Curlew and Oystercatcher still very busy with Mistle Thrush frequent on the moor edges and a Green Woody in support.

In addition to the Tufted Duck family, I was more than happy to see results from Common Sandpiper but even more important, Little Ringed Plover. A Burnley birder joined me for a few minutes watching the pr flying around but not stopping for photographs.

Snipe were busy too, in fact I can't remember the last time I was fortunate enough to catch them both in flight and showing very well in the open.
Others: 3 LBBG, c10 Lapwing, Kestrel, 6/7 Blackbird, Dipper, 4 Grey Wagtail, 3 Jay. Blackcaps, Chiffchaff, WW singing in low numbers.

Friday, June 19, 2015

A Rewarding Slog

Birds seen today at certain venues: Grey Heron, 1 GBBG, 20 LBBG, 3 Kestrel, 4 Redshank, 6 Golden Plover, 1 Common Sandpiper, 3 Lapwing, 3 SEO, several Curlew.
One super duper has to be suppressed owing to sensitivity issues but I wish others could have seen it and got the buzz I got.

Quite a few Swift knocking about despite the awful nagging cold wind, Swallows and House Martins too.
8 Goldfinch, 4 GSW, 3 Redstart, several WW, 2/3 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap and one uncertain lbj.

Juv Kestrel photographed on private land after an interested lady gave her permission for me to enter.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Cromwell Bottom NR

Approx 1040 hrs courtesy DP. Lots of singing from Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and WW with support squawks from a GSW family.
Best of all was a session from 1 Reed Warbler at one corner of a pool with 2 duetting Sedge Warbler in the other corner about 4/5 metres apart. I saw one of the latter and DP was informed that earlier one had been photographed by AN Other. Backing these up was a Garden Warbler, blasting loudly from the nearby footpath. 2 Whitethroat also singing in the wider area.
Other expected species very active but rather oddly just 1 mebbe 2 Swallow.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Denholme and Ogden

Denholme Clough and Doe Park 1030 hrs. 2 LBBG, 2 Canada, 1 imm Cormorant. 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Dipper.
4 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff, WW well into double figures due recently fledged young. It was great to see 4 Sand Martin at least, along with 8 House Martin and a few Swallow. Also 2 Song Thrush, 2 Grey Wagtail, ditto Dunnock. 5 Goldfinch, 6 Linnet, Great Tit family.

By contrast once again Ogden was rank overall. This Roe Deer skull, just like the one at Soil Hill a couple months back didn't have any carcass skeleton nearby.

Searched for Tree Pipit in a traditional spot - nowt, nichts, zilcho. 1 each Blackcap & Chiffchaff, few WW. I opted for the golf course once again which saved the session with a male Whinchat. About 8 Swift overhead, this Meadow Pipit and a Pheasant family of 7.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Soil Hill and Ogden Res

Not much activity on SH apart from the noise created by a family of Great Tit as the parents tried to control the fledglings. Dunnock too have had breeding success but their offspring were a bit more mature than the former.
Whitethroat, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Reed Bunting, Linnets etc. For the first time in years still no Grasshopper Warbler at this significant period for migrants. I put it down to the extended winter in the main, but the habitat at the bottom is being well ripped up also.
Ogden is hardly worth a mention; Bullfinch, Blackcap, Tufted. Nothing down the entire golf course but to break the monotony 3 Sparrowhawk/Kestrel really high up by Hunter Hill.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Hardcastle Crags Area

Again courtesy of DP. Were were joined about a third of the way into the session by a birder from Lancxx, Lanc-sxx, Lanccx damn I cant say it - the other side of the border, Ian. Good company, informative and a very good birder. (Yeah I know, praise from me is no praise at all)
Blackcaps had taken over the territory and seemed to be singing from every fourth bush, supported by Song Thrush which is also good stuff.
Although we had some good moments, yet again there were patches of inactivity in keeping with other venues.

Nuthatch, GSW, 2 Green Woodpecker, Treecreeper, Redstart.  Cuckoo were heard and then 1 seen, I think we agreed on 3, although I'd be happy with 4 birds in total.
Out in the dean were Curlews, couple Lapwing and probably 6 Oystercatcher. A Spotted Flycatcher was launching itself from a fence and I believe we got another 2 in the woods.
Oops nearly forgot, for the first time in weeks, 1 Wheatear seen well but again in keeping with the trend, no Tree Pipit.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

F Flatts & Lou Denden

Courtesy DP. FF 1 each Snipe & Dunlin, pr Oystercatcher, 3 Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Kestrel, pr Raven & one other. We spoke about lack of Red Grouse then a pr popped up close by. 1 m Tufted Duck on the drink.

Mistle Thrush were active in Luddenden Dean
JL turned up so the 3 of us went down to L.Dean which although generally quiet produced 1 each of m Redstart, Cuckoo & Buzzard. The latter being harrassed by a pr Kestrel. Blackcaps notably singing throughout but Tree Pipit absent.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Moorland Yomp

Up early again so I decided on another killer trek starting off from home to Fly Flatts and ending up not quite on my knees. This was a day of poor and good patches; the former outweighing the latter overall. However  the good patches really rocked and such was their nature even I have to conform to suppressing locations. I just had a flash of inspiration: why don't I suppress both species and locations and at a stroke make birdblogs redundant?

Linnets have dispersed and small flocks are starting to appear. A Snipe seems to be still breeding up by the Withens as do a Curlew pair. Redshanks were audible and Common Sandpiper had raised young.

2 each of LBBG & Kestrel, 1 Buzzard, 2 Garden Warbler, WW, Chiffs, Blackcaps, Jay. In an area that should have been lousy with Tree Pipit, not one was seen, nor were any flycatchers etc.
One bird was seen well enough to almost arrive at an id conclusion by a process of elimination. I daren't mention it in case it finds out my address, rips me out of the door and drops me into the middle of the traffic.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Hipperholme Search

Approx 1400 hours with DM looking for the LSW family discovered in the Wood Lane area around last W/E. Dave took me to the tree where the sighting had taken place but as was feared, the family appeared to have fledged and moved on. The tree had 3/4 holes in it and feaces were evident; I also discovered a small spotted feather which looks appropriate.

The wind was influencing avian behaviour throughout the 2 hours walk and generally it was disappointing, however it did have its moments. Breeding pr Whitethroat and Willow Warbler in the open space nr the quarries. Song Thrush, pr Swift, Jay, 2 Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff and a Weasel.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Back Down to Earth

Soil Hill. Sedge Warbler showing, 2 Whitethroat, Chaffinch, 2 Swift. The Oystercatcher still sitting, Kestrel, Lapwings & Curlew and others. 2 LBBG were overhead and 6 returning BHG in various plumages went straight through West.

Ogden Res was quiet with the expected present. I did get close to a pr Treecreeper working the walls but of course when I focussed the camera off went the mobile and up came some walkers.

One day I will do some research on why I never hear or see Garden Warbler once June appears.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Good Birds Finally

Blackbird 2
Carrion Crow
Curlew 8
Grey Wagtail 2
Hobby 2 - 1 seen same area as HH flying S; the other top end track chasing and catching prey.
Lapwing 1
Linnet 6
Mallard 4
Oystercatcher 3
Pied Wagtail (yarrellii) 1
Skylark 5
Swift 2
Canada Goose 100
Common Sandpiper 5
Great Black-backed Gull 1
Hen Harrier 1 - Male flying low over heather heading generally S
Kestrel 2
Lesser Black-backed Gull 4
Meadow Pipit 10
Redshank 1
Total number of species 23

If I hadn't met PA who told me about another special bird in it's own right I wouldn't have diverted to the track where I discovered the first Hobby and the HH. No small thanks to you Pete! I didn't see the bird but I won't be shedding tears.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Queensbury Return Trip

Taking in the extended wintry weather, Soil Hill, Ogden and Mixenden.
SH 0850 hrs. Good to see Oystercatcher settling down. It was also encouraging to see the earthworks haven't encroached any further into the rushes and sedges which as it happens didn't throw up anything new.

c6 Jackdaw, Grey Heron, Whitethroat, c11 Skylark, Meadow Pipits, Linnets.

Ogden Res - For once 5 Blackcap outnumbered singing WW & Chiffchaff until the golf course was reached where WW came into their own. 5 Curlew, Grey Wagtail, 7 Swift, pr Swallow, pr Dunnock.
GT was poor as was the water. I couldn't face Mixenden Res so I returned closer to home. On the way into HX I saw the unusual site of a pr Jay on the pavement just a metre or so from the fast flowing heavy traffic.

South of Queensbury produced a good number of House Martin, few Swallows and Swifts. Blackcaps were active here too along with WW. Good views of 2 Buzzards ended the trip on a hight note.