Birdbrain Stuff

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Walshaw Dean

Took a trip this am courtesy of  DW with Crossbills in mind. At least 15 birds were seen flying around the plantation with a few seen feeding/perching. 

The bottom 3 photos taken by DW.
3 Brambling, 1 GSW, 2 each Coal Tit & Siskin, c7 Goldfinch, 2 Stonechat, Dipper, c10 Goldcrest, c30 Fieldfare, 3/4 Redwing, 2 Mistle Thrush, Red Grouse also contributed to a cracking session.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Low Moor Dams

Harold Park Lake 1150 hrs in bright sunshine. 9 Mute Swan, 4 Goosander, 8 Tufted Duck, 5 Canada, Dullards, Coots & Moorhens. Several small gulls, pr Blackbird, Grey Wagtail.

Park Dam: 4 Cormorant, c70 Canada, 7 Goosander, 1 GCG, 4 Little Grebe, 12 Tufted Duck, 10 Blackbird, small gulls, Coots etc.

The way down via Queensbury Sth was bereft. Pr Fieldfare bottom Cock Hill. Return up Shelf Moor Rd ditto; a Meadow Pipit.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Ogden to Mixenden

Ogden Res 1050 hrs in brilliant blinding sunshine. As per my previous visit but without respite; pure unadulterated crap.
Dullards, small dulls. 1 each LBBG & f Reed Bunting.
A few Goldfinch at Stod Fold, 1 Jay and more dulls at Mixenden. I hope this is the worst it's ever going to be.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Queensbury South Surprise

1150-1350 hrs in mild conditions. Generally quiet with 2 highlights 7/8 mins apart.
Foster Park: singing Mistle Thrush, 1 each Redwing & Chaffinch, 4 Goldfinch, 3 Blue & a Gt Tit.
Cross Lane area: 10 Common Snipe, 1 Pied Wagtail, Wren, 9 Common Gull, c40 BH gull, an epidemic of Starling.

After crossing over from the trailer park, I headed up Shaw Lane and got a glimpse of a streamlined bird flying into a field. 2 mins later, luckily for me, it alighted on a wall to reveal itself as a Ring-necked Parakeet.

This is  certainly a local personal record  and a possible national too. I can't be bothered to check on the latter as I've seen scores of 'em in Amsterdam, less so in Eastern Europe. Still, I'm pleased to have broken the monotony of local birding.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Ogden to Hanson Lane

Ogden 1050 hrs was as putrid as only it can be with a ray of sunshine provided by a friend who turned up out of the blue.
The status quo was maintained re the Kingfisher at the embankment; 25 metres apart she got the bird while naturally I didn't.

Onward then for the Waxwings which I nailed in the second walk round. They were very flighty and kept whizzing around 3 trees in Stansfield Close. Despite the poor light, I managed to salvage a few photos.

Also a Pied Wagtail & Mistle Thrush here.
c70 Lapwing were flying around Raggalds sports field approx 1025 hrs.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Halifax Waxwings

Thanks to a call from DJS, DW went down to Hanson Lane this lunchtime and saw 20 Waxwing.

Photos by DW.
The same birds were also seen by DP.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Ogden Wash Out II

No respite for the unbelievers, again. Few gulls, usual Dullards, plenty of H2O. The Kingfisher was hanging round the Ogden Clough (eastern) channel.
DJS and I hung around for a 10 minute natter then we both legged it.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Ogden White Out

I've made some wrong moves at Ogden in my time but this has got to cap 'em all.
1245-1345 hrs damp but not too grim light conditions. The Kingfisher was moving round the overflow calling regularly but I couldn't pin it down.
The sleet increased as I circuited the water which was rather Mallardy to say the least. A Grey Wagtail hung around for a minute and the few small gulls sloshed around the middle of the lake.
Then the White Nightmare began as I had another crack at the overflow. After 2 mins of heavyweght snowflakes, the survival instincts told me to get home.
Only other birds: Blackbird, Blue Tit, Robin.

The Blind Lane Goldfinches still hangin round the 'hood as were a plague of Starling.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Washed Out at Ogden

Approx 1050 hrs. I knew the rain was due but still opted for the misery.
Good count of Goldcrest with a couple of Coal & Blue Tit thrown in. Along with this bunch were a pr Treecreeper that I was able to watch for almost 2 mins. These were warm brown birds, no hint of cold grey or extensive whites at all.

My status as a second rater is secured in perpetuity. While another birder present at the same time saw both Kingfisher and Dipper, yet again I failed dismally. Of course the few small gulls present were great compensation (yeah right).
c45 Canada were seen leaving the NE shore.

Raggalds sports field still sports good counts of Lapwing and gulls. c40 Goldfinch were hanging around garden feeders in Blind Lane Bradshaw.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Ogden Pintails Perform

Prior to visiting Ogden in more salubrious condtions, DP took us down to Raggalds Flood to check on the visiting Teal reported by DW at approx 1010 hrs. The 10 birds seen by DW were now down to 6 at 1125 but still a welcome sight as I had written this location off for the duration.
Thanks for the tip off  Dave.

On the way to the drink via Back Lane we got 1 mebbe 2 Crossbills calling quite clearly overhead, it/they seemed to head for the main reserve, change their minds and revert. 3 Goldcrest were also seen here.

The Pintail pr did give us a bit of a runaround but finally we got to them and enjoyed some really close up views of what is a very Admirable Anatidae 

Thanks for the ride DP, I will send you some pics a.s.a.p

Monday, November 14, 2016

Gloomy Ogden

Approx 1040 hrs in a NW'ly gale. Water levels up by a meter plus. A non event in reality; Mallards, 1 Teal, Mallards.
I searched for Pintail In the distance but couldn't see anything obvious and the one contender for male was just a distant blob in the murk. I simply didn't have the gall to backtrack and double check.

I just rcvd a text from BS stating Pintail present at approx 1545 hrs.

Others: pr Bullfinch, LTT, 2/3 Blue Tit, similar Goldcrest, small nr of gulls.

Friday, November 11, 2016


Hi Nigel, A nice find with the Mandarins, by-the-way,  you must have been dazzled!. Also, there was a ringed BHG from Poland a couple of years back too, I haven't checked the dates.
Business of the day: Waxwings in the trees on the south side of the garden this morning around 8am. Not that I had a decent look at them, never mind a shot. As I came through the lounge this morning I was vaguely aware of a good number of birds in the trees, thought they'd be the usual suspects. Dragged open the curtains on the patio door, scaring up another bunch including Stock Doves (up to 9  some days), Collared Doves, Chaffinches, Goldfinches-usual things. opened the patio doors, heard Waxwings. Stepped out in time to see birds fly off south from the very tops of the trees-no count but more than half a dozen at least.
Brambling in on 7th and I saw it again yesterday, although it doesn't appear very often.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Ogden Res

Wet, Windy, Cold and Bright approx 1045 hrs. 11 Teal, 3 Wigeon, 1 Goldeneye, 27 Canada & the Mallards.
Gulls down to c10 birds. 4/5 each Goldcrest & Coal Tit, 2 Blue Tit, 3 Chaffinch & Blackbird.
The low angle of the sunlight bouncing off the water into the bins lens made me forget about photos.
I reported 5 fallen trees, 2 being hazardous to the warden

DW reports the Kingfisher seen at around 1530 hrs and shortly after at the Corporal/Green lanes junction closer to home a Chilean Blue Eagle! (in the company of falconers) was seen by DM.

Both cracking pictures taken by D Miller

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Hartlepool Headland

Eastern Black Redstart giving reasonably good views as it flitted from shoreline rocks to the stone jetty and thereabouts.

Many Cormorant, 7 Eider Duck, 10 Common Scoter, Great Northern Diver. c20 Purple Sandpiper, several Oystercatcher & Turnstone, c12 Ringed Plover, 4 each Curlew & Knot, few Redshank. 2 Rock Pipit, Pied Wagtail and expected gull species. On the way to Saltholme a single Sanderling was on the beach.

All these pictures taken by Dave Wetherell
Saltholme RSPB

Long-tailed Duck, 2 Scaup, pr Goldeneye, 3 Pintail, pr Gadwall, 1 Pochard, c14 Tufted Duck, 6 Shoveler, Mallards, 2 Shelduck, numerous Teal & Wigeon.
c75 Golden Plover, numerous Lapwing, 2 Snipe, 1 Bar-tailed & 2 Black-tailed Godwit.
Little Egret, Kestrel, 3 Mute Swan, Canadas, Greylag, c12 Goldfinch, Greenfinch, 4 Reed Bunting.

Many thanks to DW for a memorable session.
Finally I must remember the rather handsome merino sheep that kept giving me the eye.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Dismal Monday

Soil Hell 1045 hrs the pits. Few Crows & small gulls. Passing Raggalds sports field I did see a handful Lapwing and more gulls.
Ogden plantation sported 8 Pheasant and a couple Goldcrest.
The reservoir was heartbreaking; even the gulls were down to c21. Sparrowhawk, Jay, 4 Blackbird, 3 Dunnock.

Friday, November 04, 2016

A Goody for Ogden

Approx 1100 hrs. Saw the light bouncing off a pr of kaleidoscopic ducks on W shoreline and galloped across. Manderins! A site record for me and possibly the location?

c26 Chaffinch, 7 LTT Tits and a Treecreeper plus DB & DW also turned up. Looking at the 'creeper through DBs splendid camera I thought (probably hoped) it was the potential Northern. However on viewing his post, I can now see the clear differences twixt the birds. We soldier on...

Thursday, November 03, 2016

BHG Ring Details

Click this link about the Ogden bird ringed in Lithuania

The Reporting Form doesn't have a field FINDER, therefore my appellation appears, replace it with DW & DS

In the space of 4 years we have had 1 BHG from Germany, 1 from Norway and this one. If I remember correctly there has been another ringed bird, but I can't recall the details.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Ogden Res

1040 hrs. A species I've not seen for months were on a wall at bottom Back Lane; pr Red-legged Partridge.
The small gull flock was greatly reduced, small in fact. A LBB with a black as coal mantle looked a dead ringer for fuscus.
The Chaffinches, c25 birds reappeared along with Tits and a GSW at the Skirden Clough bridge end. A Siskin was calling loudly from atop a Pine at Boggart Brigg, shortly after a Jay flew over.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Quiet Queensbury South

Kicked off in Foster Park at 1220 hrs which just had handful Goldfinch, Blue & Gt Tit throughout. Got to Cross Lane and ventured into the marsh field: 10 Snipe came up. Only birds in adjacent hoss fields were 14 Meadow Pipit.

Corporal/Green Lanes again nothing to boast of just 2 each Common & BH gull, few Jackdaw. One Holly bush had 3 birds in it: Blackbird, Fieldfare, Robin. c15 Woodpigeon seen in a 2 hour stint.
Back yard coughed up Blackbird, Blue Tit, Wren.