Birdbrain Stuff

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Terrific high pressure and temps of c30C all day so I impressed the local wasps hornets and skin cancer specialists by exposing myself to the suns rays.
I cracked up at 2pm and went to the headland where c7 YLG were loafing at distance. A couple Rock Nuthatch started duetting and for the 3rd time I got song from either Blue Rock or Rock Thrush. The swine didnt show so I cant confirm but I hope twas Rock.
Came across a Grey Wagtail in the tidal stream but I hope I come across a thunder storm in the am which should drop sumfink in.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Another long haul

Mon 28 Sept Koycegiz Day 10
Waders appeared 1 each Redshank, Snipe, Green Sandpiper. Marsh Harrier, 5 Grey Heron, 3 Little Egret, c32 Little Grebe, c5 RBS. Grey Headed Woodpecker, flava Wagtail & Whites, Crested Larks,  c6 Kingfisher, Hoopoe, c6 Cettis Warblers, 2 Swallow. Cormorant.                
Last time here the joint is finished.
Sent from my Samsung device

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Sat 26 Birds

Sat 26 Sept Icmeler day 8. Walk to headland. 3 Rock Nuthatch very noisy. LANNER flew high up and direct. 6 YLG, Cormorant. Gt Tit, Kingfisher flew across rd. Back near hotel a pr Kingfisher flew under the canal bridge. Just 1 Whinchat in back fields and an unid.
After lunch same route picked up a singer but couldnt see and song unknown. Kept surveying mountains for raptors and got lucky with EAGLE species. Need to inspect pics further in order to id, then picked up a Buzzard  and Rock Doves.
The fields held Whinchat, f RBS and Im almost  certain this time a Northern Wheatear. Usual Jays White Wagtails but no hirundines.

This f*ckin bone well pisses me off. I updated the eagle to SHORT TOED earlier with the usual claptrap of why use 12 words when 29 will do. All to no avail; one day Ill terminate this bleedin blog before it does me in. Bassa!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Everything is relative

OK you muthas yr gettin the goodies while Im havin nightmares separatin f black eared wheatear from lsabelline.I can stand the angst cos this mornings high up flycatcher turned out to be Krupers Nuthatch how dya like them apples? You win toerags, I aint had a Stonechat yet. Not 1 Swift in the week I been here but Bee Eaters now on a daily basis. Keep on keepin on.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Trial post frm mobile

Ortaca day 6 Sept 24
Hard graft. White Stork, Golden Oriole, Greenfinch, 4 RBS. Many Bee-Eaters, 1Spotted Flyctchr, Icterine Warbler photo? Chk Tree Pipit call. Sand Martins. 2 Blackbird, Lesser Whitethroat, 3 WW. Sparrowhawk & Red rumped Swallow frm Coach and usual Jays etc.               
Swallow nrs building up; moving through. Grey & Flava Wagtail calls to chk Whinchat
Sent from my Samsung device
Laugh? I nearly got the beer in.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


While downtrodden in Icmeler at the paucity of birds, I heard a familiar guffaw emanate from a nearby hostelry. Snert! I cried out. But surely not, for the old legend must have been gone some 40 years now.
Peering through a window I saw a half naked Parisienne courtesan cradling the head of a bearded fellow in her lap. The mutton chop sideburns, gave her away it was Madam Catherine Slack the latest acquisition no less of Baron Marmaduke Fudbucket Snert. The long lost heir to the fortunes of Small Page Fold Mansion.

Kerwin! You remnant of a bowel movement, he cried, Come in Pull up a floorboard and enjoy a glass of Chateau du Lac Ordure Nord. Not being one to refuse such hospiitality, I sat on an old dog and drank lustily.

Oh how joyful were the next 8 seconds until I remembered the absence  of birds. After listening intently to my tales of woe and smoking 2 pipes of Wun Hung Lo opium this giant of a man rose to his full height of 5' 3" poured himself a schooner of Absinthe, farted and philosophised thus:
Kerwin you gnat didnt your trips to the land of Buddha teach you anything? When species are plentiful it is wise to rejoice in their bounty but not be unhappy and pissed off in their absence or scarcity. For in such moments then each individual bird is to be savoured and their existence...

Scuse me Kerwin you foetid dog vomit I just realised youre the screeching dindab that wastes good drinking time proof reading the contours of Soil Hill. Forget what has just spewed out old chap, do join me in a bottle of Napoleons Nemesis Absinthe and believe you me in no time at all youll be seeing Lark Sparrows in Sandbeds and Grackles doing the Foxtrot in Mrs Delaboles Pie Shoppe.

I indulged my host and we reminisced fondly about such events as the Bulwers Petrel at Mountain found by Uncle Algernon; it was a particularly wet September we cried hysterically.
Well its time for me prepare for the next   foray but not before jotting down a note to regale you in the near future of Clarissa Thunderbolt Snerts spoof Wildcat of Ogden (oh she does like a laugh that one)

PS It is with deep regret that I report the passing of Teddy Hummingbird Hawk Moth of Foxhill the dedicated Queensbury Recorder of Aviformes. We may not have seen eye to eye but you should have seen him on drums in Champion Jack Duprees Barrel House Blues Band.

Sent from my Samsung device

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Catch Up and OSPREY

Tues 15/09 After subjecting myself to the horrors of Shopping for clothing and footwear in HX, I just had to rush out of the hovel after returning home.
Swales Moor 1440 hrs hopefully to catch sight of the Twite seen by MW. The basic problem was the wind was a fair old blow from WSW and all the birds were being driven in to the prison camp side of the fields and tracks.
I heard 2 Twite like calls and 10 minutes later I watched 2 dark finches perched on a wire fence albeit at a distance. I managed to get the head and beak shape and breast pattern before they flew off. My reaction is that they were most likely this species and on the bright side there were no Linnet at all in the area.
Other: c22 Goldfinch, c11 Meadow Pipit, c14 Swallows, 1 each LBBG & Buzzard, c30 Jackdaw, few more Crows.

Thurs 17/09 Soil Hill approx 1030 hrs. I'd mentioned briefly to DP I was gonna try a quickie up the hill as I'd a couple of hours spare. He responded kindly by driving us both up there to find about 5 Skylark, House Martin a Swallow or two, Meadow Pipits and another birder AT (Shelduck finder). I mustn't forget the flock of c150 Goldfinch that festooned the roadside thistles.
Halfway along Coal Lane we stopped to slot in a Grey Heron just taking off from a field. I turned around and saw a 'Buzzard' so I mentioned it to Dave who turned around just as I whipped off a casual shot.

I had a quick look at the one decent shot and thought umm wings look a bit long but tail seems ok and we plodded on like Laurel and Hardy.

On arrival at Ogden we yet again met up with AT who reported an Osprey over Ogden via the BOG grapevine and our response was casually to say we'd had a Buzzard over SH. STILL THE PENNY NEVER DROPPED!
Some 20 minutes later the alarm bell went off in the cluster of brain cells that dwell between 4 inches of solid bone between each ear. After ripping the camera out of its case, I tried to be calm on inspecting the image in greater detail. The looks on DPs face when I told him it was an Osprey was priceless. Sufficient to say we spent the rest of the trip backtracking, speculating and thrashing ourselves with blackthorn bushes for not being vigilant.

Also few Swallows, 3 Cormorant, GC Grebe, Kestrel, Stock Dove, usual gulls etc.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Ogden and Soil Hill

I reckoned the mist and general E'ly blow might drop something in at Ogden or on the top of the hill. I was wrong.
Ogden Res 1055 hrs. 4 Cormorant, 1 each Grey Heron & GC Grebe. Met PS who reports a Dipper, which I failed to clock.

7 Meadow Pipit flew down the length of the water > S. 5 Grey Wagtail and similar no. of Chaffinch were feeding among the shore stones, with a brief shot of Chiffchaff song from the willows. Also Nuthatch, WW, Goldcrest, 6 LBBG, c10 Common & the BH Gulls, 2 Swallow.

Soil Hill - 2 Blackbird, 2 Magpie, c14 Meadow Pipit, 3 juv Pheasant, 8 Skylark, 1 each Swallow, Chaffinch & Siskin, 2 Goldfinch.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Down South

Cross Lane 1315 hrs to Shibden Head - generally quiet in a S'ly breeze but had it's moments. The fields at Cross Lane just had a couple Swallow, similar Meadow Pipit and a Pied Wagtail, with 2 Kestrel hanging around the wider area.
A pleasant surprise halfway down Bare Lane, a small bush held Gt, Coal, Blue Tit, also a pr Goldcrest and my first Chiffchaff in a month. Other migrants in the valley were down to 4 WW, couple more Swallow and House Martin.
3 Buzzard came out for a tour round of about 10 minutes duration.
Others: Common & LBB Gull, Jay, 2 Linnet. 8 Rook, Jackdaw, 2 Woodpiggies, GSW, Blackbird, Chaffinch.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Right Time Right Place

I had a half hearted change of mind today from not going to Ogden Res to giving it a chance and arranged to meet DW at Giants Tooth. At approx 1245 hrs I was on the Ned Hill track which was quieter than my last trip, with the intention of bypassing as much as the lake as I could. 20 minutes on after just walking through Back Lane plantation, I had a call from BS that made me completely reverse my plans - 4 Shelduck on the reservoir!
Sure enough after almost galloping down to the waterside path, there they were and looking relaxed with it.

After taking more pics than I should have, I went on to discover that 9 Teal were also present. Interestingly all were showing female or juvenile plumage - no obvious males. DW met me coming down from GT looking somewhat cheesed as there was nothing doing up there at all. He ended up leaving rather happier, especially as we encountered a Sparrowhaw gliding over Soil Hill on the return home.

Others throughout: 2 Linnet, c50 Golfinch, 7 Siskin, Kestrel, 5 Swallow, Cormorant, WW & the gulls.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Fairburn Ings Walk

A pleasant perambulation with messes, messrs DW & DM, taking in pools, lakes, riverside and a most efficacious interlude skirting the fringes of woods and fields.
To start us off at Lin Dyke a Buzzard conveniently flew overhead and I think the same bird saw us off at journey's close.
On the lake were: Lapwing with a lurking Bar-tailed Godwit, Shoveler, Teal, Gadwall, Mallard, a number of Cormorant & Mute Swan. The main attraction for me here was a splendid drake Pintail.

Moving down to The Cut, DW picked up a Kingfisher which I chose to ignore for the sake of martyrdom, DM chose to side with DW. I wasn't wasting time however: a distance white egret species, shoulders hunched and head slunk was probably the Great White Egret given its bulk and which had been reported once again by the centre staff.
A Greenshank chose to fly around calling frequently for some time eventually showing itself a couple of times, which was awfully civil of it.
Also here were plenty of Canada & Greylag Geese, Grey Heron, 3 Little Grebe, Coot and less so Moorhen.

Finally we reached the centre hide and feeding station which were alive with Tree Sparrow, Greenfinch, Chaffinch and a Nuthatch. Star performer here was a bird that chose not to hang around - Willow Tit.
Also: 2 Kestrel,  another Nuthatch, Green Woodpecker & scores of Red-legged Partridge & Pheasants.

So overcome were we all in the evening with the days bounty, we repaired to Mrs Madgalene Snert's (no relation to the Queensbury family) Tea and Cake Shoppe and enjoyed a convivial soiréé.

Monday, September 07, 2015

What a Fly Fest!

After a reasonable trip up Soil Hill, I decided to have a gander up Giants (aka Devils) Tooth, Ogden Res at approx 1230 hrs. This was one of the best moves I've probably made since I came to exist up here.

The place was vibrating with Spotted Flycatchers! The bottom line count was 12, but I reckon it could have been 14 as the action was thick and fast. 'Orrible pesky little flies were whizzing around but for once I am glad to have been pestered by them.
2 if not 3 Redstart were enjoying the feast with a supporting cast of c11 Siskin, 2 Nuthatch, 3 Coal Tit, Gt Tit, 8 Meadow Pipit. 3 WW were in the waterside woods, plus the usual crew on the drink.

Previously at Soil Hill: Buzzard, Kestrel, c200 Starling, 5 House Sparrow, 6 Siskin, c100 Goldfinch, 5 Grey Partridge, 13 Common Gull, 3 Jackdaw, 7 each Meadow Pipit & Linnet, 2 Stock Dove.2 Skylark. Swallow's were very actively feeding; mebbe around the 50 mark.

Recent Walks

Friday 04/ 09 Ogden Res approx. 1045 hrs. Dark grey clouds in a fresh NW'ly. The wooded areas were virtually comatose, just a WW, 2 Goldcrest, Blackbird, Gt Tit. 3 Cormorant, 2 GCG on the drink, 7 LBBG, small nrs BH & handfull Common Gull. However there were several Swallow flitting round or perched on wires, including a very young bird. Also c12 Goldfinch.
Soil Hill was scoured by the wind with little to show as was Taylor Lane and Roper Lane.
SH - Common Gull, Skylark, 2 Meadow Pipit and in the distance, I think, 3 Kestrel.
House Martins were active in the evening, about 10 of them high up seen from the back yard.

Saturday 05/09 Not a birding trip, just walking along the road by Windy Bank. Crows were acting up but the hoped for Buzzard never materialised. However, I noticed 3/4 Greenfinch flying about hurriedly and calling. A bit of a bonus was a Jay over the main road coming in from the NW.

Sunday 06/09 Courtesy DP early doors Mixenden Res & Cold Edge. Mixenden Res was lively for a change: 5 Cormorant, 3 BHG, Coal Tits, Nuthatch, 1 Pied & 2 Grey Wagtail. Scores of House Martin mainly skimming over the water but also over the tree tops with a few Swallow. c20 Canada Geese in the nearby fields being chased around by cattle.

Cold Edge - Cormorant, Common Sandpiper, 5 BH, 1 each LBB & Common Gull, 7 Canada, Red Grouse, Mallards, c40 Meadow Pipit, few Swallow, 1 WW.
3 Chats grouped in a small bush caused me headaches after processing the photo.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

North Queensbury to Mixenden

Left the hovel early to try and have a gander at the Whinchats and Wheatears in Old Guy Rd reported yesterday. Nothing doing; BS was there also and reports 1 Wheatear at the cricket pitch, which I missed. A total of c38 Common Gull seen incl. a bunch in Roper Lane. 8 Pied Wagtail, 5 Linnet. 1 flyover Siskin, Chaffinch, few Swallow.

Soil Hill - an interesting record of a juv Bullfinch just below top of Taylor Lane. This bird eventually flew off heading N and it is a site tick for me. My records for SH show that this has not been recorded previously, at least for the 15 years I have been here.
Kestrel and a Snipe on the deck together at the same pond! Skylark, Great Big Bad Gull flying straight through > SW. 3 Blackbird, c25 Goldfinch, Robin, Dunnock, 3 Meadow Pipit.
Near the end of Coal Lane, two fields up from the track c70 Siskin were in the bushes there and also circling overhead. Across the road on the plantation track were a few Goldcrest, a Crossbill and GSW.

Ogden Res - 2 Nuthatch,  9 LTT, pr GC Grebe. Once again the gull numbers were low, pr Jay, few WW and Swallows.
The leg from Brookhouse via Hunter Hill to Mixenden Res was diabolical - couple Swallow, Meadow Pipit with just a Grey Wagtail at waters edge and a GSW in the conifers.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Green Withens Success

Jumped at the chance of a trip to Green Withens this morning with DP who had been up Soil Hill previously and nailed some of the Siskin there.
It was a very slow start and there were few birds initially of much interest. However it picked up and with perseverance and patience we and another (Oldham) birder managed to get reasonable views of the very flighty Black Redstart. It was hanging about the overflow area mainly with a brief pause on top of the small stone building nearby.

Other birds seen: Swallow, 5 Wheatear, c16 Meadow Pipit, couple small gull sp. and a great bonus in the form of a female Merlin whizzing low down across the water.

Dave decided to casually look over a wall at another location on the way home and we were rewarded by these beauties.