Birdbrain Stuff

Monday, August 01, 2016

Swalesmoor to Ogden

Arrived Swales at 0945 and found it busy with c10 LBBG, 3 Whitethroat, 2 Swift, c6 each Linnet, Meadow Pipit, 2 Swallow.
I went up to the top end of the field and went through the gap where the style was in order to go down the far side, where at the bottom I saw 1 juvenile Yellow Wagtail.

The farmer drove across the field from the track and after a very civilised chat it became apparent that although I was in his field he had provided the style years back so that walkers could access the track skirting the top outer field boundary.
I told him I thought he had removed the wooden posts and he responded somebody had actually stole them! We parted amiably and he asked me if I would close the middle gates after he had driven out of the field.
BS has circulated a msg round to various birders stating that any further viewing attempts of birds in this field should be made from the track only and I certainly support this as I now know the land is private.

I decided I'd do the walk from the Brookhouse track at the HX golf club bottom and end up at Ogden Res. At 1140 hrs I saw a large female raptor which I believed to be a Hen Harrier fly from the top end of the juncus field wall. It went straight across my field of vision, low over the vegetation heading in the direction of Mixenden Res and out of sight.
I walked up to the track that leads to the style and in the area where the Harrier was seen I came across yet another bird on the ground. 

Woodpigeon hiding in stone wall
It was an adult Woodpigeon and looked in peak condition but as it scrambled to escape my embrace I could see it was bleeding from the mouth. It eventually got to the wall where it hid and I managed this poor pic with my mobile bone.
So, a large raptor seen and then within 6/7 minutes in the same area a potential victim found bleeding. I feel I was probably responsible for denying one bird a meal and on the other hand committing another to a fairly rough time over the next day or two until nature works it's course.

I continued up the track with a Sparrowhawk overhead > E, Curlew, 2 BHG, 2 Swift and 2 WW for company until I bumped into DJS and we had a bit of a natter to say the least.
Ogden res held the usual BHs along with 6 LBBs and a similar count of Common Gulls. 3 Grey Wagtail were on the top Ogden Clough pool actively destroying the thousands of annoying midges. For the third time now a Sparrowhawk flew up the reservoir carrying prey, a small unid bird.

Approaching Ducky Corner, I saw a very strange sight. A black creature came out of the woods and twice scraped the right side of it's face leisurely along the track as if to remove an itch. Said critter then almost strolled into the vegetation on the waterside, leaving a good 6 inches of tail protruding. I thought If I'm quick I could grab the swine and rotate it 180 degrees before smashing its head against the stone wall. Then I thought, if the critter is even quicker it could separate a couple of my fingers from the beer glass holding hand in a breath so I passed. It was, horror of horrors a juvenile Mink.