Birdbrain Stuff

Friday, April 28, 2017

A Busy Morning

Soil Hill 1010 hrs in an E'ly breeze. 1 House Martin ditto Swallow. 5 each Pied Wagtail & Wheatear. Pr Raven, 1 Whitethroat. A drake Tufted Duck flew W and subsequently landed on Ogden Res. 1 Kestrel and the usual residents.

DP was on the promenade at Ogden and reports several Wheatear and a f Stonechat from the Cold Edge area. 3 LBBG were on the drink and the GC Grebe is still hanging around.

The route to Mixenden produced 1 Reed Bunting, 1 each Curlew & Linnet, a probable singing Tree Pipit (same area as t'other day) JL, a few WW, 2 Wheatear, 1 Little Owl.
Mixenden Res: a noisy pr Common Sandpiper, ditto Redshank, pr Grey Wagtail, pr Tufted Duck. Also 4 Canada, WWs & Chiffchaff.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Raggalds Route Etc

Nowt bar a stiff breeze on the flood and a Pied Wagtail over.
Basically same as previous up the hill and at Ogden but a GC Grebe was fresh in.

Below the embankment in the open was a Tree Pipit with a nearby Meadow Pipit emphasising the plumage difference.
2 Wheatear, 1 Reed Bunting ditto Curlew.
Also 3 Swallow, 1 Cormorant, pr Redshank and usual Warblers.

I had been up Giants Tooth gasping away previously with nothing to show but a Red Grouse. While we're at it when is this fwicking winter going to expire? 😨

Monday, April 24, 2017

Raggalds to Mixenden

Raggalds Flood 1130 hrs. 2 LRP, 1 Swallow,  ditto LBBG over.  1 each DJS & AT also Pied Wagtail nearby.
The farm field up Perversion Road is being excavated; this attracted a Wheatear which perched on a nearby rooftop. Soil Hill top just held a Kestrel & the usual larks etc and the wind drove me off it real fast.

Ogden Res and golf course were insipid. 1 Cormorant, 2 Swallow, few WW, 1 Chiffchaff.
Once again things picked up over the stile to Mixenden. 3 Wheatear, pr Linnet & Meadow Pipit, 1 Curlew, ditto Mistle Thrush.
The reservoir held 4 Canada, 1 Swallow, pr Grey Wagtail, pr Redshank and a few WW. A bonus bird was my first Common Sandpiper of the year.

Crow Food
Both Ogden and Mixenden reservoirs had Mallard duckettes on them. I got to a family on the path at Ogden just in time to scare a Crow off from nabbing a young 'un.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Raggalds to Mixenden

Raggalds Flood 0930 hrs nothing; it needs topping up. (That statement will haunt me I'm sure)
Soil Hill bottom: Reed Bunting, Snipe, Wheatear, Pheasant, Lapwings. Pr Grey Partridge on top.
Ogden was full of WW also 1 Jay, ditto Grey Wagtail..
The golf course was quiet apart from 2 mating Crows. Another Crow was sat on a nest.

I'm becoming addicted to Hunter Hill bottom as it produced 4 Wheatear, 2 Curlew, 1 Mistle Thrush with a calling Tawny Owl across at Stod Fold. A drumming GSW and a Green Woody were also at the latter location.
One of the Wheatear perched in a tree for a couple of minutes an event I've only seen twice before.
Many won't believe this but I got my first Little Owl of 2017 by the brewery at Stod 😌😏 A Goldcrest was singing by the roadside in Mixenden.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Blacktoft and Swillington

Blacktoft Sands:
Montagues Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Garganey, Yellow Wagtail, Cettis & Sedge Warbler, Sand Martins, Grasshopper Warbler, Little Egret, GBBG, Avocets, Shelduck, Shovelers, Tree Sparrows, Greylags, WW, Chiffchaff.

Swillington Ings: Common Terns, Bittern booming, Long-tailed Duck, Black-tailed Godwit, Blackcap, WW, Chiffchaff. Wheatear,  Pochards, Sand Martins, Swallow, Gadwall, Redshank, Reed Warbler.

These are most but not all of the species seen today on a memorable trip thanks to DW.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Miss Then Big Time Hit

An appalling start at Raggalds Flood with nothing showing. The Hill too wasn't big shakes though I did spend some time with some photogenic Skylarks (pics to follow if I find time). 6 LBBG > N.
Ogden Res was also comatose: GSW drumming, Coal Tit carrying nest material, WWs and couple Chiffchaffs. I thought call it a draw and go home but my inherent stubborness and love of depression forced me on like a zombie.

Then up the track from Brookhouse in the rough ground, it started to happen.

I checked the wall and got a Linnet but then 3/4 minutes later I clocked this cracking male Whinchat which hung around for about 10 minutes. This certainly lifted my spirits and so I ventured on over the style and on to Mixenden.

Checking the spot where I nailed 4 Wheatear a couple days back, I got sight of a dark thrush type in flight and could tell it weren't yer average blackbird by the slender body and flight pattern. Was I over the moon when it stopped and perched atop a tree at Hunter Hill bottom.

As expected but in reality more hoped for it turned out to be a belting male Ring Ouzel which is a first for this location about 300 metres away from Mixenden Res and only my second of the year.
Shortly after taking these shots the bird flew off up the hill only to land atop another tree and survey it's surroundings.

The reservoir calmed things down: pr Grey Wagtail, 2 Chiffchaff, WW, 5 Swallow, no sign of  the Redshanks.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Raggalds Flood Delivers

RF 0900 hrs in a biting E'ly wind and bright sunshine. 2 Redshank and 2 Charadrius Plovers feeding in the open. The wind stung my eyes so it was difficult to split the latter but one did give the impression of LRP. Luckily DW responded to my msgs and turned up with his 83 x Howitzer. The images he took confirmed it was Little-ringed Plover.

Pictures DW
Soil Hill: pr Oystercatcher, chipping Snipe, Lapwings, Curlews, Linnets etc. Newbies for me were a Wheatear in Coal Lane and a brief Swallow across the road.
Ogden Res: 1 each Cormorant, Grey Heron, LBBG. c26 Canada. 2 Chiffchaff, 8 WW, 1 Blackcap ditto Nuthatch, 2 Song Thrush.

The walk across the golf course proved of interest with a singing Green Woodpecker down at Stod Fold and a Stonechat also singing near the footpath to Mixenden. 4 cracking Wheatear were at the foot of Hunter Hill flitting along nearby walls. 4 more WW were singing and a pr Curlew were bubbling along up the hill.
Mixenden Res: pr Redshank ditto Grey Wagtail, 4 Canada, 1 each WW & Chiffchaff. No Swallows seen today.

PS Dave went back to Raggalds Flood and was able to photograph both plovers and confirmed the other one was also LRP.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Reservoir Round Trip

I set off resolutely up to Soil Hill early to seek out Wheatear but DP kindly kidnapped me en route and we visited Fly Fly Flatts briefly, then Cold Edge Dams and Mixenden Res.
3 Golden Plover were at Nolstar and my first Wheatear of the year was a fine male in a farm field opposite the wind turbine site car park.

Fly Flatts was hard work in the blustery wind: couple Lapwing, Skylark, chipping Snipe. Had a natter with BS before moving back down to Cold Edge. A pr Red Grouse were flushed at close range here and a Snipe seen briefly with Curlews very much evident. Barnacle Goose with leg ring TA8 or BVT was in company with a few Canada and 3 Greylags. A pr Redshank were moving around, 4 WW were in the small plantation and a Swallow briefly zipped across the track never to be refound. This inspired a move to Mixenden in order to get DP his first annual Swallow.

Mixenden Res turned up trumps with Swallows seemingly moving in; first count 5 then after a 15 minute watch we both agreed there was a total of 11 birds skimming across the water. Also here was a pr Grey Wagtail, a Redshank wading just offshore and a singing Song Thrush performing with gusto. 1 singing Chiffchaff  heard.

PS I searched EURING which shows the Barnacle Goose was ringed in the Solway Firth Scotland and probably originated from Svalbard Norway.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Hit and Miss

Raggalds Flood 1345 hrs 1 Redshank & 1 Pied Wagtail, a few Starling and a Lapwing turned up later.
Soil Hill had c14 Fieldfare on the E slope in with a bunch of Starling. 2 Oystercatcher and the Lapwings, c40 Woodpigeon, 1 Kestrel and the Meadow Pipits and Skylarks. A Kestrel was seen over the Ned Hill track.
About a third of the Coal Lane pottery building has been demolished - the one where Swallows bred in 😢

A pr Red-legged Partridge were in a field near the plantation at Ogden but the reservoir was eerily quiet, lacking birdsong. Exceptionally there were brief interludes from 2 WW and a Blackcap. 2 LBBG were on the buoy then a Cormorant took over.

DM reports 1 Buzzard in Shibden Valley.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Raggalds to Mixenden

When I looked out the window early on I thought only nutters and the mentally unfortunate go out in this filth. At 1035 hrs I was watching a Redshank on Raggalds Flood prior to going up the hill from hell.

It was just that, I got off sharpish with just Meadow Pipits and Skylarks to show and went down to Ogden. Moving on rapidly after just 1 WW heard I braved the golf course  and picked up another one and a couple of Curlew calling.

Stod Fold produced a few Goldfinch and a Grey Wagtail then Mixenden proved to be a fair choice. 1 each WW & Chiffchaff, pr Linnet, 6 Canada, pr Mallard, pr Grey Wagtail, 3 Swallow, 1 each LBBG & Redshank.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Today's Birds

Raggalds Flood 1235 hrs 1 Redshank on what is left of it.
Soil Hill this am had 7 Wheatear on the S slope (Bradshaw) DP. I had limited time so had to do a quickie and got only 1 Lapwing, 2 Canadas, Meadow Pipits & Skylarks.

Notice the detritus adhering to the base of upper beak.

Oh I do wish that photographer would disappear.
Ogden Res migrants came in two's but not pairs. WW, Chiffchaff & Blackcap, all singers as was a Nuthatch. A pair of Bullfinch seen.

A Cormorant was on the buoy and a drake Tufted was alongside the E bank.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Queensbury Circular Walk

At 0650 hours Raggalds flood was still present but no birds were. Soil Hill fared better: 3 Pied Wagtail, several Linnet, usual array of Meadow Pipits and Skylarks, 3 Pheasants.
A pr Oystercatcher were mating, c14 Lapwing seen and a pr Snipe. One of the Snipe was displaying with gusto and at one time it perched on the telephone wires - BS also witnessed this in a recent visit.
Also 4 Canada, Moorhen, Chaffinch, Blackbird (thoroughly checked out) pr Dunnock.

Raggalds flood on the return leg had 2 Carrion Crow on it. Old Guy Rd produced 2 Skylark ditto Meadow Pipit.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Final Push For Glory

More like final stagger; I badly need new legs and probably a hip replacement soon 😮.
Still not much to crow about, no newbies and the first time I've crashed in the Mediterranean with flycatchers.

6 Corn Bunting, Stonechat, Zitbag carrying nest material. 3 Cow Egrets, Purple Heron, 10 BHG, Marsh Harrier male.
A noticeable increase in hirundines, also WWS & Chiffchaff. Redstart no.4 seen - yet another male.
2 Common & 1 Green Sandpiper plus uggins of BW Stilt and waterfowl.

Talking of crows there have been no Hoodeds in the area (thankfully it's Magpie free too) but there was a Crow around 3 days back which showed again this morning. This bird had all the traits of a UK type Carrion and the size was right too, seen close up. So why did it Krok Krok deeply like a Raven - a much bigger bird?!
My sanity is borderline at best I think I won't push it with this one 😨.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Local Area Upgraded

On the basis of another below average performance here in the S'albufera de Mallorca I have reviewed my appraisal of birding back home.
This morning was warm and dry but once again a nagging variable N'ly breeze was present. Activity was minimal and quite a few Waders were gone with just 2 new species to report. The first was a Sedge Warbler, the second was a House Martin.
A bit of positive action took place when a Purple Swamphen came out of the reeds with 2 youngsters in tow.

Summarising the past 10 day's birding here after comparisons with visits both last year and ones prior to that I wholeheartedly upgrade birding in areas such as Queensbury Soil Hill and Ogden from Abysmal to Appalling 😆.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Half Day Stroll

Having taken a full day off yesterday I decided on a half day this am looking around the agricultural fields. It paid off in the sense that I finally managed a pr Stone Curlew flying around calling loudly but not settling to give any type of view. Perhaps in the remaining 2 days more may arrive hopefully.

Another new bird was seen in flight giving fairly good views but not near enough for any contre joure photos. This was a Purple Heron which eventually landed in the reeds.
Another 2 Nightingale were singing and I was happy to get my 3rd male Redstart which reminded me with its flitting around that flycatchers are yet to appear.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Manifestations Of A Rancid Imagination

A birder I knew got quite flustered He really was keener than mustard. This came to an end one April weekend when he got kicked in the teeth by a Bustard.

There was a wealthy birdwatcher from Doha who booked a self drive bird trip to Goa. There was a big hitch he drove into a ditch and lost his Leicas, Manfrotto and Kowa.

There was an old birder called Drew who had a penchant for Pochard and Smew. Eyebrows were raised when he said he liked braised but he also would have them in stew.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Happy Monday

A much better day for being a birder with a fair bit of action and new species to boot, namely 4 Little Stint, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Blackcap, 3 Moustached Warbler, 2 Sand Martin. A Nightingale or Thrush Nightingale was singing from thick cover so I switched on the camera video recorder and hopefully playback and listening to Xeno Canto this evening should resolve matters. Also in new for me were 3 Redshank which is hard to believe for such a widespread wader.

Other players worth a mention: 1 Purple Swamphen, c23 Ruff that came swooping down in a rush, 2 Greenshank, 4 Green Sandpiper, 1 LRP that came close for average photos and 3 Garganey not quite so close. 4 Pochard besides the c20 Red Cresteds. 4 Corn Bunting and a Hoopoe I managed a snap of.
I searched 2 historic Stone Curlew sites that normally produce by this date but none so far. Wound up the session with Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk.

PS The singer was Common Nightingale I would've preferred Thrush but let's not be churlish.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Sunday 2 Apr

Not up to a big slog after a Hoopoe in the hotel grounds did the job of an alarm clock so I did the southern shore in a cool NW'LY blow. As a result it was hard graft albeit there was one moment of interest. A Kentish Plover was holding territory among the rocks on the beach. This gave me time to fire off 4/5 decent shots before I scarpered. The bird is in for a rough time though, the area is a popular tourist spot.

Also 1 each White Wagtail, Meadow & Tawny Pipit, 3 Crested Larks, 2 Stonechat, 4 Linnet, 2 Turnstone, 1 Cormorant, few Audouins & 2 YL Gulls, Little Grebe, 3 Swallow and the ubiquitous Sardines.
I had fancied a Sandwich but no worries I'll make do with whatever is served at lunch (Tern 😆).

I slipped up real bad in the afternoon by visiting the salinas; the wind had turned to the NE and it was diabolical. Yesterday's Swifts had gone and apart from a Kestrel the skies were empty. I managed a Woodchat Shrike, Hoopoe, Chukar and Serins oh and I must give the many Cettis a mention having not done so previously.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Birthday Gift

I did the agricultural fields today and got 6 singing Corn Bunting, also 6 Hoopoe and a Zitter that stayed still for 5 seconds 😮. Also Crested Larks and Stonechats.
Swifts are now well established.

Inside the reserve I noticed another raptor interacting with the Marsh Harrier I was taking pics of. Twas only an Osprey which I accepted as a gift and not bad for ones fiftieth doncha think 😆

It was another busy session including 4 new Sanderling, 7 Garganey, ditto Green Sandpiper, c10 Spotted Redshank, new Great Reed Warbler & Woodchat Shrike plus those mentioned previously.
Then it pissed down.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday 31st

My resolve to knock it on the head almost worked when I set off on a basic needs stroll. The Devil changed matters 😈 soon after as Apus and The Apodidaes struck up a few chords in the skies above. 5 Swift came flying around the hotel soon to be joined by c15 more.

So once again I was on  the southern rocky shore chalking up a couple of White Wagtails, Kentish Ps, Crested Ls & a Common Sand. Also the Adouin crew, 2 Ron Cormos, Stonechat, Linnets,  Lil Egrets & YLG.
I screwed the bobbin  and returned to the hotel for lunch to fined Apus and his ensemble had moved on.

The northern salinas provided 2 more newbies and better viewing conditions confirmed Slender - billed Gull,  3 of 'em. Incomers were Great Reed Warbler and a pr of Little Ringed Plover. 4 Marbled Duck were dozing with the Woodchat Shrike still present. Others: Hoopoe, Common Sandpiper, 4 Common Tern 2 Little Grebe et al.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

More Sufferring

Another hard days slog and all because I'm a pathetic helpless birder. New today were 6 Spotted Redshank, 1 Ruff, 3 splendid Woodchat Shrike one of which was rather photogenic. 3 BHG & a couple of possible Slender billed Gulls that need verifying as do a couple of distant marsh terns.
Event of the day has got to be when I let go a loud belch and flushed a Little Bittern.
The sun and distance is problematical e.g Ringed or Little Ringed Plover and at one stage are those all Green Sandpiper or is one a Common?
More to follow unless I get lucky and manage to get a cure for this debilitating illness.

PS I managed to verify all GREEN Sandpipers and the two Marsh Terns as WHISKERED which is splendid.  The Slender bills will have to be passed over.


Session 2. Went out at approx 1415 hours to an area of conifers which eventually lead to the southern rocky beach where I have had some good birding in visits of yore. There were stacks of Serin which nearly drove me nuts with their monotonous call. Also couple Blackbird, Great Tit, Goldfinch, Greenfinch and 4 Sardine Cans. The first 40 minutes on the beach nearly had me turning back such was the feeling of abject birdlessness. Sticking to it did pay off, I'm happy to say: 1 Tawny Pipit, 3 Stonechat, 4 Crested Lark, similar Linnet. c7 Kentish & 1 Grey Plover, 2 Turnstone, 1 Common Sandpiper. Returning to Base a male Marsh Harrier did 3/4 sorties and a couple of Swallow drifted by with a Cormorant flying NW. A check on the small well populated harbour area produced 2 YLG, 5 Audouins Gull and a welcome Green Sandpiper.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


Starting off on Monday afternoon with a soaring Black Vulture seen from the transfer coach giving good views. Only been 29 years since my last one. Then a session with the  camera and c9 Audouins Gulls in the air.

Tuesday 28 March. If your busy break away now - this is gonna take some time.
1 Great White Egret, c23 Cattle Egret, c10 Little Egret, 7 Night Heron.
c16 Red - crested Porchard, 1 Marbled Duck, 8 Gadwall, similar Teal, 1 Wigeon, 6 Garganey, c16 Shoveler, c22, Shelduck, 1 Cormorant, Mallards.

Some of the reed bed pools were flooded so a few Waders were missing but there were: 4 Kentish Plover, ditto Snipe, c14, Black - winged Stilt, 8 Avocet, 1 each Greenshank & Green Sandpiper. The jury's still out on distant Marsh Sandpiper.
Just 2 raptor sp. today: 1 Kestrel & 2 pr Marsh Harrier - the latter often causing hell for the Waders n Ducks.
A pr Commic Tern  seen all too briefly; c10 YLG were the only Gulls. Also present few Coot, 2 Red -knobbed Coot, 2 Little & 1 GC Grebe, Moorhens.

Other: 3 Linnet, 1 each Redstart, Stonechat, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler & Song Thrush. 4 flava Wagtail methinks Blue - headed but the sun was dazzling. 1 White Wagtail and the usual Sardine Can Warblers, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Serin & Zitbags.
The last bird I heard before I hit the Wine Store was a singing Hoopoe.
I hope it's a quiet day tomorrow I can't stand this pace for long.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Soil Hill On Form

SH approx 0955 hrs. 2 Drumming Snipe, one on top t'other down the bottom. The so called NK pond at the far left field held 3 Mallard, 1 Moorhen, a pr Wigeon and a pr Teal. I'm not sure if the Wigeon stayed or not as I couldn't relocate 'em 20 mins later; however if they were under the near bank it's impossible to view.
There were 4 Golden Plover one of which was being harassed by a Lapwing of which numbers were around the 18 mark. An Oystercatcher was also in the bottom field with a Curlew calling nearby. As well as the several Skylark and Meadow Pipits a pr of Linnet put in an appearance briefly.

I scoured Raggalds Flood before going up the hill - it was clear of birds. When I revisited at about 1120 hours the reason became clear also - a ginger cat was doing the rounds prowling through the rushes.😻.
Old Guy Rd was quiet: 3 Skylark, 1 Lapwing, couple Meadow Pipit.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Queensbury to Ogden

Old Guy Rd approx 0930 hrs. 2 Skylark, 3 Lapwing, c16 Meadow Pipit and DW who had got 4 Teal on Raggalds Flood previously. Sure enough they were still there feeding busily at 1000 hrs.

Soil hill was gash in a SE'ly wind just c40 Lapwing and the usual larks and pipits. Back lane was also comatose leaving Ogden to provide some stimulation.

13 Goosander were for once almost tightly bunched 12 f & 1 male. 9 Common Gull & a drake Tufted were also present plus  the Canadas.

Once again an annual cropped up in the form of a singing Chiffchaff. By sheer coincidence DW reported one singing in Halifax town centre shortly afterwards.
Again quite a bit of Tit activity and 4 Goldcrest, 1 each Song Thrush & Grey Wagtail.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Local Rarity

Decided to search for Wheatear up Old Guy Rd, arriving at around 1335 hours. I did find a pr Mallard, 1 Skylark, 2 Woodpigeon, 3 Lapwing, c11 Meadow Pipit, c150 Starling & 2 Snipe, but not the intended. I am not in anyway depressed by this, as I found something of  far more importance for the local species list. A male Ring Ouzel was sat in the middle of a field about 35 yards away from the track leading to Fleet Lane. It flew onto a wall for a few seconds before dropping down out of sight.
I alerted local birders and while in conversation with BS, I saw the bird again flying from the said wall back in the direction of Old Guy Rd. I tried to retrace the bird, camera at the ready but to no avail. Even with the help of messrs DP and DW the bird remained hidden or it had moved on.

DP and me then paid a flying visit to the Cross Lane area only to find 4 Meadow Pipit in the fields but were happy to get a low flying Sparrowhawk > S. DP was also happy to have had his first Merlin of the year at another location.

DW reports 3 Wheatear, 2 Stonechat in fields by the wind turbines and also a flock of Golden Plover in the vicinity plus one other.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Rained Off

Despite the rain I thought the E'ly blow would drop something in so I went up the hill from hell; the only thing that dropped was my body temperature. Just 1 Grey Heron, a few Skylark and Meadow Pipit present with a couple of House Sparrers in Perseverance Rd. 4 Redwing were in the plantation at Back Lane plus a couple of Pheasant.

2 Common Gull & 11 Goosander were on the water at Ogden with an Oystercatcher doing the rounds and 2 Curlew low overhead > W. There was a lot of activity from Blue/Gt Tits and for the first time in over a month a pr of LTT were seen - on and around the feeders. Two singing Song Thrush were nearby with a bunch of Goldfinch. A Grey Heron flew over > SW.

DW had a good sighting in the fields at Old Guy Rd, he reports c12 Lapwing and 10 Snipe the latter feeding out in the open and showing very well. Also present a large flock of Starling.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Old Birders Roll Over

Monday, March 20, 2017

Poor Start Good Finish

Ogden Environs approx 1255 hrs. Grey skies and light rain, winding up with sunshine and blustery NW'ly.
Not much change really: pr drake Tufted Duck, 10 Goosander, few Canada, singing Song Thrush, couple Goldcrest. one small gull, few Jackdaw.
Then a spirit bolstering loud chipping sound woke me up to see 4, probably 5 stonking Crossbills. Also couple Curlew, 1 Grey Wagtail and others.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Todays Birds

c30 Fieldfare, 2 Pied Wagtail, 4 Meadow Pipit, 19 Skylark, 2 Lapwing. Something orrible caused consternation among a party of Curlew for a few minutes.

It was very much now you see me now you don't on the H2O. In just over 20 mins the following splashed down and then moved on: 6 Common Gull, 3 LBBG & a juicy 2CY GBBG. There were 7 Goosander still hanging on and the 2 drake Tufted trying their best to get fat in ducky corner.
Also 1 each Bullfinch, Dunnock, Blackbird, several Goldfinch & few Chaffinch.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Soil Hill to Mixenden

SH 0950 hrs fresh SW'ly so got off asap just a few Skylark, 1 Kestrel.
On the walk to Ogden managed a flyover Siskin and Curlew.

Ogden Water Moorhen - a rare sight.

10 Goosander on the water, one female seen struggling with a frog which it eventually golloped down. Even scarcer was a Moorhen here; probably the 3rd record in almost 17 years on the main lake. 2 m Tufted Duck were iin the feeding corner.
A Green Woodpecker called twice.

The golf course was just a pleasant walk while Stod Fold turned up 5 Curlew, 2 Mistle Thrush, 6 Stock Dove & Woodpigs. A f Goldeneye was on Mixenden Res along with c12 Canada and a bunch of small gulls.

PS Tawny Owl Hooting away from the trees over the back yard at 2035 hrs.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Redcar Tarn

Approx 1140 hrs in an overcast sky with a strong NW'ly blow. I was greeted by the most desirable sight of c22 Golden Plover whizzing around for a minute or so; although they flew low, they never stopped, sadly.

There was no trace of last weeks Iceland Gull: another birder RP, also failed to see it. A few LBBG and c10 Herring Gulls were present, along with a multitude of smaller gulls, mainly BHs.
Others: 2 Oystercatcher, several Lapwing, couple Curlew, many Tufted Duck, 3 Chaffinch, Skylark, Pied Wagtail.

RP kindly gave me a lift back to Denholme where I had intended to visit Doe Park, however I changed my mind and went via the moors to Ogden. Here were a couple of Curlew, Skylark, Meadow Pipit and a Red Grouse; the wind doing a good job in keeping stuff down.

Ogden Water still held the 8 Goosander, 1 Cormorant and several Canada with the above Gt Tit & 6 Goldcrest also seen.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Busy Queensbury South

0905-1020 hrs, the place was alive with avian activity from the park round through the fields to the bog at Cross Lane.
5 Brambling seen although I'm sure more were around. Drumming GSW, White Crow, Chaffinches, 1 Greenfinch, few Goldfinch, 1 Goldcrest, 4 Mistle Thrush, similar Redwing, c16 Fieldfare, uggins of Starlings. Several Blue/Gt Tits, 3 Blackbird, 2 singing Song Thrush, 2 Collared Dove, Woodpigs.
c10 Meadow Pipit, 3 singing Skylark, 1 Pied Wagtail, 4 Snipe, singing Reed Bunting.
Magpies seem to be swarming around but not a single gull sp. seen at all.

PS 51 Brambling seen by Denise Saturday afternoon !!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Todays Birds

c19 Skylark, 3 Meadow Pipit, 4 Curlew, c20 Lapwing, 5 Greenfinch, Kestrel, 4 Goldcrest, several Goldfinch.
2 pr Goosander, one pr certainly in breeding mood.

2 singing Song Thrush, 3 Blackbird, Collared Dove, Woodpigeons, 2 Chaffinch, 3 Pied & 1 Grey Wagtail.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Testing Witheld

Actually I'm doing a witheld test and not witholding any testing .
Yesterday Messrs Names Witheld visited Location Witheld and got a Brambling photo from about 2 yards. They also saw c10 Redpoll and later visited another Location Witheld failing to see a Witheld Species.

Elsewhere Name Witheld reports Witheld Species now standing at 10.

I'm getting excited by this new reporting format, perhaps my enthusiasm should be Witheld? 😎

PS This lunchtime I was assured that the Elsewhere Witheld Species has risen to 38.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Quick Swillington Trip

Thanks to DW I was unexpectedly on my way to Swillington Ings at 0935 hrs. 6 Shelduck, 14 Shoveler, 4 Pochard, 8 Gadwall, several Teal & Wigeon, hordes of Tufted Duck.

A surprise single Pinkfoot was in with a mobile 4 Greylags while many more of the latter were on the deck feeding.

4 Goosander chose to waddle across a partially flooded pathway giving us the opportunity to see this species actually walking on dry land, well almost.
Two annuals for the pr of us were seen: Black-necked Grebe & Great White Egret.
Other birds: 2 Curlew, 4 Oystercatcher ditto Reed Bunting, 1 each Meadow Pipit, Skylark & Tree Sparrow, pr Bullfinch. The floorboards were creaking under the weight of BHGs with a fair number of Lapwing also around.

One of the distant big gulls appeared to have dipped its head and shoulders into some red dye or a bloody carcass.

One Mute Swan was bearing a ring on the left leg: white on red Y830.

PS from Judy Hogg:
Here we go. This swan was ringed 22.07.11 as a cygnet at Pugneys Country  Park. Also sighted on 04.07.16 at Swillington and 15.11.16 at Allerton Bywater.
For a swan of that age it doesn’t seemed to have travelled far and there is no record of it breeding anywhere. Wonder where it was between 22.07.11 and the 2016 sightings. Wish we could encourage more people to read and report ring numbers. Thanks Nigel and hope this is of interest.

Very interesting and thanks.

Monday, March 06, 2017

A Moving Day

Soil Hill 1440 hrs. 8 Skylark, 2 Robin, Dunnock, Lapwings on bottom field. Conifers at end Ned Hill produced a much appreciated witheld which flew out  close by on my left hand side then 5 mins later after a brief sortie headed south, gained height and disappeared.
A Kestrel was seen giving good views as it carried a vole off.

The plantation area: 2 Redwing and individual Curlews in flight. While viewing, I stepped back and startled a Woodcock sat at edge of trees which it quickly flew back into.

On the drink: c40 small gulls; 3 of them being full summer breeding head BHGs. 1 Cormorant, 30 Canada & a pr Greylag Geese.

DW reports c10 Brambling at the usual site and a female Sparrowhawk over his garden.
DP reports the Tawny Owl blasting away around midnight maybe from his roof or nearest tree. (I was out for the count). He also got the 11 Whooper Swans on Cold Edge dams.

Saturday, March 04, 2017


After a report of a Barn Owl being seen, I visited the site with an optimistic air. This didn't last long upon encountering a person actually walking around the private land. Then to compound the issue a jolly family party let both their dogs loose, which then ran amok in the field that we view from the bridle path.

I went for a walk around the res which produced more tourists and gulls followed by a last gasp attempt at the track. A Raven called and I spent some time chatting to AC and watched 4 more people stroll the juncus field as 15 Curlew came over from NE. A small party of Goldfinch also turned up also Song Thrush, Blackbird, Bullfinch. Further down the road apiece a pr of Lapwing were displaying.

Owing to events occurring today which led to the infringement pertinent to the Schedule 1 Breeding Birds  list, I feel obliged to restrict viewing of this blog to those I feel are responsible people. In fact, I have to admit I slipped up by posting news of a sensitive species in the first place, even though the location was not specified.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Queensbury Update

This morning, a Buzzard which had perched in the trees opposite flushed by noisy and persistent corvids. It set off down the lane, in your direction.

Other than that, another Siskin on 25th Feb. Both ringed birds still here and the Brambling count was 38 yesterday.


Thanks for the info Denise, good to know it's still all happening in the reserve. I got some more audio evidence of a Tawny Owl in the 'hood at an unearthly hour this morning.


Thursday, March 02, 2017

Windy Ogden

In a bone chilling blast: 6 Canada, 1 Kestrel, few Goldfinch, c50 Fieldfare. Highlights were c40 Curlew feeding and a Raven. Plenty of Magpie knocking around, Woodpigeons.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Another Belting Bird

1435 hrs a Barn Owl watched in flight for well over a minute before it flew behind trees but appeared to stay in the general location.

Other birds seen today: 1 each Curlew, Kestrel & Sparrowhawk. 2 Jay, c50 Fieldfare, 8 Skylark, couple Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, numerous Lapwing. Only 7/8 small gull sp. throughout.

Monday, February 27, 2017

A Hectic Morning

After a txt from DJS via BS I was on my way courtesy of DW to find 13 Whooper Swan on Mixenden Reservoir (approx 1015hrs) which were greatly appreciated being camera user friendly as well as a local winter annual.

Cold Edge Dams: 1 Greylag, 2 Barnacle and several Canada Geese. 1 each Curlew, Oystercatcher, Red Grouse. A couple of  small flocks of Lapwing were circling. Also single Skylark, Reed Bunting & Goldeneye.

Then it was up to Swalesmoor for the Ringby Top (Pule Hill on Birdguides) Snow Bunting. How fitting that we should meet DJS on the way back complete with smiling face😁.
The bird appeared after a 10 min search and put on a great show for us both.

Thanks for the trip Dave.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Snow Bunting At Last

Thanks to DJS for his txts I eventually got a belated Snow Bunting for this Winter. The Swalesmoor bird was doing a better job of coping with the howling wind and rain than I was too.

Wait till I find the swine that posted these ropy pics on My Blog!