Birdbrain Stuff

Monday, October 31, 2016

Queensbury to Ogden Res

At 0804 hrs BS sent me a txt msg about migrants pouring over Queensbury so I dashed out back to see many Woodpigeon heading SW. 8 LTT were highly visible in the tree over the back yard but after 4/5 mins they fled the scene.
Refer to West Yorkshire Birding for the fuller picture.

I legged it up to Soil Hill with urgency, picking up a few Goldfich at Mountain, c60 Lapwing & c28 small gull sp. on Raggalds sports field.
SH 0935 hrs a total clanger; for the first time in ages not a single bird on the top field nor N slope.

Ogden Res was quiet in the main but another leg ringed BHG black on yellow PA19 right leg, was found by DW and DS separately. I enjoyed a natter with both these stalwarts but I missed the gull.

Both pics courtesy DW
DW who arrived at Ogden at approx 0845 hrs also mentioned a Treecreeper, numerous Goldcrest and 5 Jays present at that time.
The Little Grebe was still present as were single LBBG, LTT, Chaffinch & a Raven flying around the W woodland. This is my first Raven in a long time in what has been a poor year for the species.
Finally a pic from DS that would have made the highlights on last weeks Autumn Watch...

Pic by DS

Friday, October 28, 2016

Queensbury To Park Dam

Cross Lane marsh field 1020 hrs. 3 Snipe, 11 Meadow Pipit, pr Pied Wagtail. It's apparent there has been no hosses grazing this field for a while; the grass is just below the knees in the main.
The adjacent fields were clear.

Nothing out of the ordinary on Harold Park lake. A Herring Gull stood among the small gull sp. It was good to meet J Hogg who I have to email with some Mute Swan info.

Park Dam cranked it up somewhat: 10 Blackbird, 3 Redwing, Blue & Gt Tit, Collared Dove, few House Sparrow in the hedges and a Jay overhead.

6 F Goosander, 5 Cormorant, 2 GC Grebe, 3 Little Grebe, Tufted Ducks, Coots, Moorhens. Mute Swan cygnet with white on red ring Y373 on left leg swam up close to.

Then disaster struck: almost on the 11th hour I caught site of a jet propelled bird flying low over the waters surface to land in a shore line tree. To think I was having great success missing the Ogden Kingfisher only to be stymied by having unavoidable views here.

PS Hi Nigel, yes the cygnet is one of five hatched at Harold Park this spring. 373Y was ringed as a male cygnet of 222Y ( previously Y275) and 468(yellow).
J Hogg.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ogden to Mixenden

Ogden approx 1055 hrs quiet. Little Grebe still present along with 7 Chaffinch.
The gull flock were on the western shore all bar one which was incapable of flight. The reason being it had been zero'd in by a predator; wings and feet marked it as a former BHG. 1 LBB was also hangin in the 'hood.

I'm taken aback by the skills I possess as a second tier birder; yet again I avoided the embankment Kingfisher.
5 Siskin flew over calling briefly. 2 Goldfinch in the Alders.

Stod Fold to Mixenden just produced 3 Pied & 1 Grey Wagtail, few Jackdaw & Woodpigeon plus 5 Goldfinch. The Res just held 1 LBB & a few small gulls. The woodland was in deep slumber.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Ogden Treecreeper Mystery

Denise Shields and I met at Ogden Res this afternoon and she photographed a Treecreeper which appears to be the same bird as BS got a week or so back. This bird has the appearance of a Short-toed Treecreeper in that it has very noticeable brown flanks and a long beak. Exceptionally it also has an extended supercilium which also brings into question the northern european race of this species.

Photographed by Denise Shields.
Isn't this black notch jutting into the gold wingbar diagnostic of Treecreeper rather than short-toed? 
Supercilium not white enough for Northern. Upperparts not cold greyish enough for Northern ie too brown and 'paler' areas
 eg feather tips too buffy, not white enough, Flanks within variation for British Treecreeper

A BHG with leg rings was also seen.

This maybe the same bird that I saw and reported to EURORING in 2015 as the ring VS20 certainly brings back memories. I will check my records and revert.

Addendum: 1 I'm glad I did check on the BHG ring as I told DS it was probably the NORWEGIAN gull I had in 2015 whereas this bird was ringed thus.

Add 2 MC took time off his busy schedule to comment on the Treecreeper which I have added below the photo. Any mention of Short-toed originated from myself; everybody else is Not Guilty!

Soil Hill & Ogden

Several Wood Pigeon, 2/3 Redwing and a Grey Wagtail over the Tesco car park on leaving the hovel.
Jack Snipe, 3 Common Snipe, c40 Fieldfare, 5 LBBG, c70 small gull sp, c50 Lapwing, few Meadow Pipit and a Goldfinch on SH from 0955 hrs.
An obvious example of migration being a Goldcrest in a stunted willow on the N slope of the top field.

Ogden Res: 1 each Goldeneye, Little Grebe & Cormorant. A single Crossbill was in Back Lane plantation prior to arrival along with 3 Chaffinch and a couple Goldcrest.
The larger flock of Chaffinch were still in the usual place along with 6 Bullfinch, 1 Coal & 1 LTT also 2 Goldfinch.
2 LBBG  were in with the small gull flock which seems to have grown in number.
Denise came along and amongst a tit flock mentions a potential migrant Treecreeper doing the rounds.
I pulled off a bit of wizardry and avoided the embankment Kingfisher again.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Blackstone Edge Res

Courtesy of DW we took a trip to see if the Long-tailed Duck would grace us with it's presence and it eventually did. Never close, it intermittently showed from approx 250-350 metres out.
A poor record shot.
Better pics from DW:

I'd left my camera on the wall, DW to the rescue!
A flock of c110 Pink-footed Geese flew over N and a single Meadow Pipit was also seen.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Final Scarboro Walk

Decided to do the Harbour and Fish Quay before the return to the grim wastelands of W.Yorks.
First off were c25 Turnstone sheltering under a car! They soon came out and crept around and about pedestrians feet.

I met a local birder and we got nattering about the Black-necked Grebe that fooled me (Sorry but I didn't lose any sleep). The creature then came close to and we both fired away.

The harbour wall was next for Purple Sandpiper; I did something right and got reasonable shots of one. A Rock Pipit or two eluded my camera and I missed a Kingfisher as I turned around while chatting to another birder. A Skylark flew overhead and a Grey Wagtail was just behind my back as I conclude.

All in all an enjoyable 4 days; I can add 5 to the annual list and also saw a pr Dolphin I forgot to mention from Monday.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Scalby Mills and Scarboro

A blustery N'ly this am with intermittent H2O but I still got some interesting birds.
Scalby Mills had 2 Curlew and notably 2 Swallows along with c85 Wigeon, 10 Teal, c18 GBBG and other gulls. 3 Turnstone, 1 Redshank & 7 Oystercatcher plus an unid rotter skulking in a bush.

Walking back past the Castle I nearly fell over when a Barnacle Bill or Bella popped up and posed for a pic from my mobile. I tried posting the pic from my mobile but haven't the time to resize it suitably.

Camera shots.
7 Shag were just offshore and a Redshank and Turnstone were working the harbour mud.

In the afternoon I walked around the S Bay again but the wind had increased so I started back to give the Fish Quay a reet doin'. A Peregrine Falcon came out of the blue and had a half-hearted strike at a Redshank then flew back to the cliffs.

The Fish Quay had c20 Turnstone so used to people they were running around less than 2 metres from ones feet!

Just as I was due for a good scrubbing back in the hotel up popped the Black-necked Grebe close to. There were also 3 Purple Sandpiper and a Rock Pipit also in the wider area.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Filey Brigg and Dams

The magic continues. A small contingent of unid Geese in flight from the road into Filey (I've been told subsequently these were probably the White-fronteds). On the cliff top route to the brig Pink-footed Geese were bombing the place out in droves. 

A ringer let me photograph a Yellow-browed Warbler he was holding in his hand. While this was exciting I feel hypocritical as I believe in most cases netting is for the benefit of human interest and not birds. I had just seen an already ringed Dunnock frantically trying to escape the net; it did just as I started licking my lips!

I got a GSW in from the sea and a FBOG member assured me it was a migrant and not local from across the bay.
Also around were 2 Pied & 1 Grey Wagtail, c20 Turnstone, 5 Oystercatcher, Cormorants, 2 Razorbill, Meadow & Rock Pipits, Rock Doves, 4/5 Skylark, 1 Kestrel, 2 Redwing, 3 Blackbird, Chaffinches, Greenfinches. There was one Warbler I glimpsed which falls into the LBJ category for eternity.

Filey Dams: 1 each Pied Wagtail & Shelduck, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, Gadwall & Teal in small numbers, few Mallard, Coot & Moorhen, Tree Sparrows, 4 Blackbird, 3 Redwing, uggins of gulls.

Finally this was rounded off by a Rat on the bird table (no it weren't me).

This was an underperformance by the standards of the previous weeks but no complaints from me. FBOG not only gave me directions, one kind fellow gave me a copy of an annual bird report gratis.
On arrival back in Scarboro' I opted for a search of the South Bay which turned up: single Purple Sandpiper & Grey Heron along with 4 Redshank, c9 Oystercatcher and similar Turnstone. A lone Curlew flew briefly and settled but I failed to find it before the turning tide encouraged me to leg it.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Scarborough Delight

After a slow start at approx 1425 hrs I got to the final leg of my traipse along the North Bay and back and nearly blew a gasket when I inspected the harbour. I photographed a Rock Pipit and caught a glimpse of  Purple Sandpiper leading to more shots of a pr on the rocks at the end of the stone jetty (which turned out below par).

Then sitting pretty and giving itself up for photography was a smokin' hot Black-necked Grebe! The bird was totally cool calm and collected, unlike moi.

Others: GCG, Cormorants, Peregrine, 5 Gull species.