Birdbrain Stuff

Friday, September 30, 2016

Fri 30 Sat 1/10 Sun 02/10

Local  around Ipsos Beach Friday
Lanner Falcon, Buzzard, 2 Blackcap, Blackbird, 3 YLG, c10 Jay, 2 Grey Wagtail, Robins, House Sparrows, Blue & Gt Tits, Sardinians chuntering, 3/4 Greenfinch, similar Goldfinch, Cettis Warbler.

Sat 1/10 Kanoni Lake am.
Not much change from previous visit  with the exception of Great White Heron allowing distant photos and a Buzzard. Curlew, Sandwich Tern still present and pr Sardinians. A White Wagtail flew over making a change from the usual Greys.
Definitely not the place for an inveterate bordering on the psychotic birder this.

Sun 02/10 Last local walk down to the harbour and beach. 1 each Grey Wagtail & YLG. Hit the jackpot on following up a bird flitting around the rocks; 3 Kingfisher together. It then nosedived with just a Cettis Warbler picking things up slightly.
Roll on you big silverbird.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Corfu Cracker

Wed 28/09 Her indoors wanted a trip to Kassiopi so the wetlands were postponed. At around 1020 hrs stood by the bus stop I noticed a falcon flying from S to N over the beach then the road. It was a belting adult Lanner and brought much joy to a man's sore and troubled mind.
Another new holiday species was encountered at the destination - Jackdaw, c10 of 'em. Also 5 Swallow, Grey Wagtail, Hooded Crow, YLG & a c14 flock of distant unid gull sp. Back in the badlands an hour round the back fields gave up a pr Spotted Flycatcher, 1 each Blackbird & Blackcap, 3/4 Goldfinch & Greenfinch, Cettis Warbler, Grey Wagtail, shoreline YLG and to tail off the local Buzzard pr put on a show high above the hotel environs.

Thurs 29/09 Found the route to the airport lake but quickly realised only 20 percent is reasonably viewable from paths and roads. However it was still a welcome sight to see this site with jets landing and taking off every 7/8 mins and not upsetting the birds. Speaking of which, the few species encountered included c20 Grey Heron, c10 Little Egret, 1 each Kingfisher & Mallard, 4 Cormorant, 3 YLG, 1 BHG, 2/3 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Common & 1 Sandwich Tern plus a small Marsh Tern sp. which is proving hellish to id because of distance and autumn/winter plumage. So far I've got it down to either Black or Whiskered with a bias toward the latter. 3 Grey Wagtail and a pr Sardine Can Warbler seen with the usual skulkers being heard.

A Grey Heron came overhead as I disembarked the bus on return to the hotel. This about wraps up my birding exploits for the remainder of the trip, I'm hoping to have some rest before gearing up for the delights of birding back home (surely a southern rock band can see a song in that phrase?). Once again the Buzzard pr came out to play and are doing so as I write this finalè.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Slight Improvement

Mon 26 approx 1455 hrs cont. The rain did turn things around as anticipated. Had I reached the seashore some 50 seconds earlier I feel I could have got an acceptable shot of the probable Osprey disappearing over the sea towards Albania! Also 1 Buzzard, 3 YLG on the beach. 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 each Blackcap & WW, pr Stonechat, Cettis Warbler, Grey Wagtail.

Tues 27/09 A trip to ponder Corfu Town which has got to be one of the most beatiful places I've ever seen. Just 1 YLG overhead and a Buzzard from the coach. A brief walk around the back of the town on returning to the hotel coughed up 1 each Cettis & Sardine Can Warbler.

Tomorrow I intend to try the vast wetland area around the airport. My first attempt had to be abandoned but at least I now know valid directions and where not to go...

Monday, September 26, 2016

Sod You Corfu

Sun 25/09 Now fully resigned to another week of totally crap birding. It started off ok with 2 YLG lending themselves to a spot of photography but soon zeroed in. The most frustrating aspect is Warblers chuntering away but never showing. One Sardinian being the exception in allowing a 2.5 second view. Plenty of Jays as ever, several House Sparrow & Robin, 5 Serin. 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Buzzard, Blackbird.

Mon 26 approx 0945 hrs a Kingfisher flew near the balcony coming from the sea over the woodland. There are no rivers here so presumably it was heading for the opposite coast. The species count went up by 1 when I found a f Mallard resting on it's side at the road edge, in attendance were numerous flies. 4 YLG were in the harbour, 2 of them are now on video, to be shown later. Also 1 each Grey Wagtail & Blackbird, 2 unid unseen skulking warbler swine and a tribal Jay gangsquawk.
Oh lovely now we have a thunderstorm, mebbe something will drop in, or out...

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Corfu Disaster

Start Tues 20/09
Several YLG, 7 Jay, Magpie, few Collared Dove, Hoopoe, Unid Raptor, few Swallow. Numerous Robin, 1 Gt Tit, 2 Blue Tit, several House Sparrow incl one with aberrant head plumage.

1 each Spotted Flycatcher, Chiffchaff, Cettis Warbler, 2 White Wagtail. A Lesser Whitethroat in hotel garden also Goldfinch. 3 Buzzard circling and another raptor; check Sparrowhawk. A Warbler to check as in silhouette, 2/3 Greenfinch.

Oleander Hawk-Moth on hotel floor
Wed 21 Hooded Crow, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Buzzard, Cormorant, few Swallows, Olivacious Warbler to check. Serin, Greenfinch, Collared Doves.

Thurs 22 Grey Wagtail, 2 Buzzard, 1 each Blackbird & Blackcap. Jays, Gt & Blue Tit, 2 Goldfinch, Swallow, 2 Serin. Scrub Warbler song to id. House Sparrows commonplace.
Friday 23 5 Swallow, 1 each WW, YLG, Spotted Flycatcher Cettis Warbler & usual.

Sat 24 A great day for body function trials  After a surfeit of spicy sauces, beef, wine and 2 very large brandies. Sufficient to say aim & control deteriorates as one gets nearer to the reaper. Birds not worth mentioning - again.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Queensbury Sth & Nth

Hoss/Trlr park fields clear. Corporal Lane held 2 Wheatear, few Meadow Pipit, 1 Common Gull, 2 House Martin, c 12 Swallow, few Jackdaw. Green Lane had Kestrel, couple Goldfinch, few Swallow. A single House Martin was at top Deanstones Lane.

Old Guy Rd coughed up 4 Rook, ditto Linnet, 1 each Skylark & Wheatear, few Meadow Pipit & Starling.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Ogden Res Redeemeth

3 Teal, 1 Shoveler, 1 drake Gadwall, 2 Little Grebe & 2 Cormorant. Also Chiffchaff & probable Blackcap heard only.

Best I could do given the hazy sunshine.

My first ever record for Gadwall at Ogden Res.
SH previously 1045 hrs. Pr Wheatear, 2 Pied & 1 Grey Wagtail, 3 House Martin, numerous Swallow, c12 Linnet, similar Meadow Pipit, 2 Skylark, Blackbird, pr Robin.
The walk from Ogden via Brookhouse to Mixenden suffered a narcoleptic fit; Little Owl called and a Meadow Pipit but today I ain't bovvered.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Swillington Ings

On a sweltering day.

2 Spotted Redshank, 1 each Common Sandpiper & Greenshank, 2 Snipe, c7 Dunlin, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, several LRP, numerous Lapwing.

Whinchat, Wheatear, Sedge Warbler, 3 Reed Warbler, 6 Reed Bunting, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 1 each Pochard & BNG, many GCG, few Little Grebe.

Many Gadwall, Tufted, few Teal, Wigeon & Shoveler, 2 juv Pintail, good number of Grey Heron & Little Egret.

2 Chiffchaff, 1 WW. Several Swallows.
Thanks once again to DW.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Queensbury North And South

Raggalds approx 0900 hrs clear.
First Farmhouse on right going down Roper Lane: Green Woodpecker, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Swallow.
Old Guy Rd: 6 Common Gull on cricket pitch. 3 Skylark & handful of Meadow Pipit in fields through to Fleet Lane.

Deanstones Lane: 2 pr House Martin, one of which still visiting nest site.
Beyond this down Green Lane and back home: Several Swallows, 1 each Grey & Pied Wagtail, 6 Blackbirds, 1 WW, few Goldfinch, 3 Linnet, several Jackdaws, 1 Stock Dove, few Woodpigeon.

19 Lapwing in field near to top High Cross lane with a few Starling. The finalé came in the form of a f Sparrowhawk flying across the road from the golf course > SW.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Queensbury North

DS via BS reported Wheatears down Old Guy Rd and NK thought he'd give it a try post lunch, seeing DW sent a text at 1222 hrs saying the first two fields above the cricket pitch were "Quite lively".
NK gets to Raggalds at 1415 hrs to find 6 Pied Wagtails & 2 Wheatear in the same field as yesterday's trio.

NK then arrives at the fields between Old Guy Rd top and Roper lane top to find: 8 Swallow, 5 Goldfinch, c75 Linnet, 1 Dunnock, 4 Woodpigeon & c22 Meadow Pipit.
Old Guy Rd and fields through to Fleet Lane cleared of birds 'cept Starling flyovers at 1505 hrs.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Almost A Birdless Walk

I still can't get it right; some birds turned up and ruined the morning. Raggalds started off badly with 3 Wheatear but things improved on Soil Hell with just 3 Skylark & c12 Meadow Pipit.
Ned Hill performed very well - nothing and from there through to Back Lane was also very enjoyable being free of aviformes.

I was confident Ogden wouldn't let me down but it did; a close up Chaffinch spoilt the walk round. Back to joy with nothing over the bottom golf course to Brookhouse track except 4 Swallows - ecstasy almost ruled.
However once over the style to Mixamatosis misery asserted itself. A few Goldfinch, more so Meadow Pipit, many Swallow, 5 House Martin & c36 Canadas.

My binoculars are no longer necessary and so are on the market. They are average performers so if you will take £130.00 from me they are yours.
I was going to invite any potential idiotic volunteer in for coffee and cakes but I don't really dislike people that much. 

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Swillington Ings Delivers

All thoughts of domestic duties disappeared this am when Dave P invited me on a trip to Swillington for the Little Stint & Curlew Sandpipers.
On arrival it became apparent that despite the bright skies and sunshine Autumn is upon us; Common Terns were down to 5 and we didn't hear any Warblers chuntering. This didn't detract from a great day out and after seeing Dunlin, Snipe & a Ruff DP picked up 3 Curlew Sandpiper through his mighty fine telling scope.

The water levels are really low so it was a real challenge to find waders but we got there culminating with help from a local birder in nailing the Little Stint. We then managed to get satisfactory views of this little gem in our own right, so to speak.

A Greenshank showed well; I've yet to inspect my photos and a Ringed Plover along with a few LRP were seen.
My first Wigeon of the autumn turned up and the Stint was an annual for me. DP got a well deserved annual trio: Curlew Sand, L Stint, Black-necked Grebe.
Hundreds of Lapwing kept taking to the air, GCG, Little Grebe, Gadwall, couple Teal & Shoveler joined the party. Magic Moments methinks.

Welcome Back The Nomad

Denise Shields has finally returned home to Queensbury after wandering the world this year.

This pic is of a Red-flanked Bluetail, taken in Finland. Welcome back Denise, I'd like one of those too.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Stod Fold Saves The Tears

This Little Owl at Stod Fold  was responsible for preventing an old birder from breaking down after an horrendous birdless trek from boring as hell Ogden Res across to Hunter Hill bottom. 

Also at Stod a Grey Wagtail, 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 LBB & c14 BH gulls, several Jackdaw, pr Linnet. A flock of c16 Swallow had 3/4 House Martin in among.

The Ogden experience yet again proves my point of a week or so back; birding here is best done in the pm.
It's worth mentioning that well beyond Cold Edge I twice heard faint calls that sounded more like Whimbrel than Curlew. This won't be hitting the Birdtrack sheets however.

This Moth sp. which I can't get anywhere near identifying was plonked on top of a step near Mixenden Res.

PS Thanks to AC for providing the moth identity - Large Yellow Underwing.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Migration in Denholme and Queensbury

A slow start at 0935 hrs in Denholme Clough then Doe Park but a very satisfactory finish, ending the morning in Queensbury.

DClough and DPark: 15 Mistle Thrush, 4 Blackbird, pr Whitethroat, 3 Grey Wagtail, Jay, 7 WW, Grey Heron, 2 Cormorant, 6 LBB & 5 BH Gulls. Gt & Blue Tits plus 2 LTT (my first in over 3 months).

Distant record shot Spotted Flycatcher
Several Goldfinch, numerous Swallow, Bullfinch, Moorhen, GSW. Pr Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Chiffchaff. It's good not to dip; I ended the session with a Dipper.

A Frog makes it in Denholme Clough

A Mole doesn't make it
Dropped into Old Guy Rd on way home and got a mix of 12 small gull sp, Skylark, 4 Wheatear & pr Linnet. Must have been c300 Starling knocking around top Fleet Lane.

DW reports a sighting of 2 Buzzard in Shibden Valley this afternoon.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Low Moor Dams

En route Queensbury Sth. 20 Lapwing, 1 Pied Wagtail & Grey Heron. I found a dead Little Owl at the junction High Cross Lane and Brighouse Rd presumably a road kill. Also 6 Swallow, 3 Goldfinch, 9 Linnet.

Harold Park Lake 1055 hrs. Overall quiet with mild SW'ly ish breeze. Nuthatch, Blackbird, c25 BHG, 3 Mute Swan ditto GCG, 6 Tufted, Coots and Moorhens.

I was surprised to find a juv Magpie food begging on such a late date.

Park Dam also quiet but really good to see 7 Little Grebe very active, also 6 GCG here.
2 LBBG but no other gulls. Pr Mute Swan, 60 Canada, Coots & Moorhens, 8 Tufted, 1 each  House Martin, Blackbird, Jay, 2 WW.

A Carrion Crow was carrying a twig in its beak. House Sparrows in good numbers.