Birdbrain Stuff

Friday, June 23, 2017

Mixenden For The Scoter

Drake Common Scoter as reported by DJS  still on Mixenden reservoir today at approx 1205 hrs. It looks like staying today due to the rain and slight mist which didn't inspire any attempts at photography especially as the bird kept itself at distance at all times.

The same conditions gave rise to low flying Swifts at head height allowing very good views with the naked eye. Also several House Martin few Swallows & 2 Pied Wagtail, 6 Canada, c8 Mallard.

Thanks to DP for the journey and Dave for the alert.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Cold Edge to Ogden

Little Grebe, 3 Tufted Duck, pr Common Sandpiper then at 1110 hrs in the juncus below the farm house nr top dam a Grasshopper Warbler let rip for almost 15 minutes.
Also pr Curlew & Lapwing, 1 Reed Bunting, Meadow Pipits.

From Withens down via golf course to Ogden it was quiet. Meadow Pipits, 2 Whitethroat, pr Curlew, WWs, 3 Mistle Thrush.
Ogden had c40 LBBG, 4 BHG and usual.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Wainstalls Killer Walk

Took the hard way up those bleeding steps top of Luddenden Dean to do the moors after the Wainstalls easy peasy start. Thing is the moorscape was frighteningly torpid I got about 4 birds not counting  Meadow Pipits.
1 Common Sandpiper in a drain, 1 Red Grouse, 1 Golden Plover chick I think at my feet & 1 unknown sp. dead chick in a drain. I found a couple of old what I presume to be SEO pellets.
Birds seen prior to this in the dean: 1 each  Buzzard, Grey Heron, Green Woody, GSW, Dipper, Nuthatch, pr Grey Wagtail.

Definitive ace drake Wigeon shot at 10 miles
Fly Flatts produced a nice surprise: 6 Wigeon, 5 if not all were drakes. 2 Redshank, 4 Lapwing, ditto Common Sandpiper, 5 Curlew, 1 each Dunlin & adult Golden Plover and the Canadas.

Ogden Res was boredom enshrined with c75 LBBG & 1 Herring Gull to break the monotony.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Soil Hill Sunshine

SH Approx 0815 hrs on a glorious summer morning. Nothing spectacular which is what I expected as I give the entire hell hill the once over from top to bottom and then some.
6 Greenfinch including young which is good for this area. House Sparrows, 2 House Martin, Swallows. 1 Lapwing ditto Curlew but the Oystercatcher(s) have legged it.

I may have had a smidgin of singing Sedge Warbler down in the remaining juncus patch but the problem is many Linnets were also screechin and singing and I couldn't get enough on the notes the bird rattled out on 2 occasions.
A pr of Whitethroat are breeding in an area formerly known as a regular spot now rendered inaccessible during the week owing to the ongoing excavations. 2 other Whitethroat were singing in the usual places.

The bottom pond gave cause for confusion: 3/4 juvenile Moorhen were floating around and in the heat haze I couldn't discern if the Little Grebe from a previous trip was still there.
2 male Reed Buntings were seen as were a pr Mallard, 1 Pied Wagtail, Skylarks and plenty Meadow Pipits. One of the latter, a juvenile was just quick enough to prevent itself from having 194 lbs of solid gristle and brittle bone step on it in the thick grass.

3 Skylark singing in Old Guy Rd Queensbury.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Local Doldrums Arrive

A quick tale of some enthusiasm that waned halfway round Ogden Res before giving way to abandonment at Stod Fold.
SH - providing a walkway only in a strong wind with a pr Swift struggling through not without valour.
I was surprised to find this Shrew on top of the hill which is officially 403 metres above sea level. I wonder did it die of hunger or from exhaustion after attempting to savage perhaps a passing Goshawk?

Pygmy Shrew
Ogden LBBG count upto 23, 4 BHG, Cormorant, Tufted Duck, pr Grey Wagtail, Coal Tit.
Stod Fold: few hirundines, 2 Pied Wagtail then I sued for peace and went shopping.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Dump The Airhead

For chrissakes BBC2 get rid of that female doyen of personification NOW!

Swillington Last Gasp Success

With summer finally arriving even if only for a day or so I thought I'd go for the Black & Little Tern at Swilly.
It was a dour struggle to get to any decent watch point as the land is not managed nowadays and the vegetation is well overgrown.

After 2 hours of seeing the the regulars here I accepted defeat and prepared for the return home when the Black Tern swept over and circled a few times giving very acceptable views.
There was an additional bonus just 25 minutes later I encountered 2 duetting male Yellowhammers a bird I've seen only on Springwatch certainly this and probably last year also.
Others: Avocets with chicks, pr Shoveler & Shelduck, several Gadwall.
1 Garden Warbler, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, WWs, Reed & Sedge Warblers. c12 singing Reed Bunting, Common Terns, 1 Little Egret, 2 Grey Heron, Kestrel, Cormorants, Gulls, 1 Redshank, 3 Lapwing.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Soil Hill and Ogden

Afternoon visit 1440 hrs. SH 2 Curlew, 1 Oystercatcher ditto, Kestrel, Lapwing & Little Grebe. 2 Whitethroat ditto Roe Deer one of which barked like a dawg.
The bottom of N slope will soon look like a motorway development.

Ponder ponder

Ogden c30 Canada, 6 BHG, 15 LBBG. One of the latter had me pondering; let's see what the photographs reveal. Pr Grey Wagtail, usual Warblers, 2 Song Thrush. Rocks Lane Whitethroat at full throttle.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Soil Hill Mixenden Walk

SH 1045 in blustery conditions. 3 LBBG, Pr Stock Dove ditto Canada, 1 each Oystercatcher & Whitethroat plus the residents. I disturbed a Little Owl on the track over the frog n toad from Coal Lane.

Ogden Res: 1 Common Sandpiper, 5 BHG, 24 Canada, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, WWs.
Halfway up from Skirden Clough bridge to Giants Tooth a Cuckoo called for up to 20 mins often almost overhead. Despite a concerted effort to latch my eyeballs on to it denseness prevented me from success. I'll point out right now the tree cover too was dense.

The second half of the walk to Mixenden was mundane apart from me disturbing Little Owl no.2 again perched on a wall. Several House Martins, less so Swallows & 3/4 Swift. 6 Pied Wagtails seen around the reservoir banking.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Windy Bank Environment

Last couple of days I’ve driven down Priestley Hill and at the top of Windy Bank, looked across towards the lane that leads down to Oats Royd, from Roper Lane
Friday am I Wandered down to the bit overlooking the wind turbines and there was a reasonable number of birds and plenty vocals. Stopped for maybe an hour and saw plenty Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, a quick glimpse of the arse end of two Partridge that were beating a very hasty retreat, Green Woodpecker (not seen, but calling on and off throughout), Bullfinch, Linnet, Goldfinch and various other common species.  Towards the end, a Sparrowhawk glided through, close to the ground and although the calls continued, the sightings were then much less

PS Thanks Dave. As you said it is an under recorded area; I've been twice I think. I know that Wheatear and Buzzard have been clocked there.