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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gulls Galore


The fields between Old Guy Rd and Fleet Lane held a good count of gulls this evening after none being present last night.
Apart from the gulls several Skylark were flocking and Swallows were busy feeding low over the grass.
A few Meadow Pipits were scattered about on the wall tops.
No sign of any sky movement this morning on my way to work.

Black Headed Gull.....................................42
Common Gull............................................87
LBB Gull...................................................4
Skylark......................................................16
Meadow Pipit...........................................11
BS

Friday, July 30, 2010

Vis Mig, something to look forward to.

Heres a list from days when I did vis mig at TMR with HC and DCB. These are total birds recorded from 3 sites, Paul Clough , Denholme Clough and TMR  12/8/2001 to 18/11/2001 with was by no means an exceptional year. The watches took place Saturday and Sunday mornings apart from the fogged off ones.

Lapwing........................................523
Woodpigeon...............................1675
Fieldfare.......................................11,125
Redwing.......................................3665
Mistle Thrush................................120
Song Thrush..................................18
Blackbird......................................47
Ring Ouzel.....................................16
Starling..........................................2127
Swift.............................................145
Swallow........................................1601
House Martin................................250
Sand Martin...................................50
Grey Wagtail..................................60
Alba Wagtail..................................309
Meadow Pipit.................................30,746
Tree Pipit.......................................16
Skylark..........................................125
Reed Bunting..................................28
Stonechat.......................................36
Twite.............................................14
Linnet............................................268
Goldfinch.......................................970
Chaffinch.......................................3476
Greenfinch....................................311
Brambling.....................................22
Redpoll........................................148
Siskin...........................................577
Coal Tit........................................126
Snow Bunting.............................. 9
Pink Footed Goose......................1976

Total birds counted     56,570
And as I say, that was just an average year with a lot of mornings fogged off  and only the commoner vis mig movers listed so it just gives you an idea what to expect from Aug to Nov. Apart from this theres always a rarety or two thrown in.
BS

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Meadow Pipits under starters orders!

Ogden and Ovenden Moor from Soil Hill
Mixenden Reservoir from Soil Hill
Queensbury underground reservoir last light.

A flying visit to Soil Hill tonight was as expected, quiet, but Meadow Pipits were everywhere ready for a move with some already taking off and heading west. These birds must be fresh in as NK was up there today and reported nothing doing. The first batch of autumn moving Mipits always head off in a westerly direction but by the end of August the direction turns south west then south, correct me if Im wrong DCB.
Another Black Redstart discovered in the nearby B.O.G. area yesterday means that at least 6 birds have passed through our area on dispersion in the last few days. In the past we have always had the odd Black Red at the beginning of November so theres plenty time to get the count up yet.
On my weekly pilgrimage through Wilsden tonight I saw a dark bird flitting on the wall but after an emergency stop and a quick reverse I discovered a Dunnock, must have Black Redstarts on the brain.
BS

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Good Walk , Shame about the birds.

A scattering of Common Gulls
Mountain underground reservoir

A much quieter night tonight on the gull front with the only grounded birds to be found  up in the reservoir fields.  Several LBBs were in the sky but the only gulls on the deck were Common and Black Headed. The northern fields around Low lane and Raggalds Floods were deserted, as was Roper Lane.
Several Swallows were moving >S over Bradshaw but no Swifts tonight. A single flighty Wheatear was in the reservoir field amongst the gulls along with 2 Pied Wagtails whilst Linnets chattered on the wires .
Several Goldfinch were on thistles behind the Pineberry and 6 Meadow Pipits flew over >SW.
BS

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Local fields, gull count

LBBs and Common in Old Guy Rd

A  walk around local fields this evening on a gull count produced :-

Low Lane
11 LBBs 
9 Commons

Raggalds Flood
18 LBBs inc 2 dark mantled birds
1 Herring Gull
27 BH gull
7 Commons

Old Guy Rd
6 LBBs
2 Common
4 BH gulls
+ 1 Wheatear

Reservoir field 
2 BH gull
1 LBB 
+ 1 Wheatear and several flocking Meadow Pipits

Several LBBs were also moving over >N.

4 Swifts flew over >S and several Swallows were blogging.
BS 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Searching Soil Hill

Breeding success for Grey Partridge
The shale area where yesterdays Black Redstart turned up has today been turned into a top soil tip.

Soil Hill  p.m.    A search of the area this evening proved fruitless but this is hardly suprising as several wagon loads of top soil have been tipped on the shale banking where yesterdays bird was first found.
Good news on Grey Partridge when I flushed a family from the long grass, 6 young flew into the next field followed by the parent birds after they had hung back to give me a bit of verbal first.
A single Linnet was feeding a juv on the wall and several Mipits were still food carrying.
LBB gulls were  heading for TMR and several Swallows were blogging around the hill.
BS

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Black Red. for Soil Hill

Soil Hill alive with Tortoiseshells
Gulls a Common sight now
Unusual for us to see Common Gull in summer plumage

Soil Hill once again produced the goods this afternoon in the form of an adult male Black Redstart.
Id been skywatching and finished off with a full circuit of the summit and was near the mast when 4 Mipits erupted and started flying round as I was obviously near a nest site. One of the Mipits landed on the shale hill close to another bird which when I got my bins on it there was a cracking adult male Black Redstart , its white wing bar standing out. As I said a few choice words and grabbed my camera it flitted across onto the wire compound fence then dropped straight down below the mast inside the compound. Unfortunately after 30 mins searching we were unable to re locate the bird.

1 Black Redstart
3 Wheatear
19 LBB gulls  ...........>N
7 BH gulls.................>N
2 Skylark,  blogging
6 Meadow Pipit  blogging
BS

Fly Flatts

There,s a Wheatear on that rock......Honest !
Black Headed moving through

Dean Head from Fly Flatts

Fly Flatts    0730-1000 hrs  A bright start with blue skies and sunshine but but 0800 a bank of low cloud wiped out visibility. Luckily it soon cleared leaving grey skies and a strong W>5.
The moors were quiet other than a few Meadow Pipits still carrying food and even the water was void of birds apart from 6 Canadas. Wheatears were on their return journey but very flighty, hence the photo, and Swifts poured through after 0930hrs. A walk down to just above Dean Head and a scope of the shore produced a juvenile Greenshank which DCB later informed me that 1 had flown over him and in my direction earlier so it was possibly the same bird.

Movers :-

113 Swift ..............................>S
11 Mipits..............................>SW
12 Linnet.............................>SW
38 BH Gulls.........................>W and >NW
4 Wheatear on deck
2 Oystercatchers.................>S  possibly local birds.
1 juv Greenshank...............on deck

Other :-
sev Mipits
3 Kestrel
2 Lapwing
BS

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Foxhill/ Shelf Moor

Common Gulls and BH Gulls now re appearing in Foxhill Park
A bright sunny warm day untill early evening then heavy drizzle and low cloud.
Common gulls and BH  gulls are back in the park now feeding on the football pitches. Commons are about a month early this year usually arriving in early September and peaking to about 75 by November.
LBBs were moving over >N and 2 Herring Gulls headed >NW.
Shelf  Moor produced 4 Swift >S,  several blogging Swallows and 14 Linnet as well as a steady flow of LBBs >N.
BS

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dont mess with Queensbury crows

                               We breed good stock in Queensbury, this bruiser of a bird has been in the area many years and successfully rears young every season.

A quick scout about tonight produced :-

Cockin Lane
9 Lapwing
2 Grey Partridge
1 Willow Warbler
2 Wrens.

Tanglewood Farm
1 Little Owl
1 Pheasant

Carter House
1 Gt Spotted Woodpecker
11 Goldfinch
4 Linnet

Several LBBs >N
1 Swift >S
sev blogging Swallows.
BS

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wilsden Tonight

Low cloud base looking north from Wilsden.


No shortage of gulls in the skies over Wilsden tonight with Black Headed and LBBs heading in several directions. Most seemed to be heading for Daves watchpopint although he says there is no gull roost there as yet, just birds stopping off to drink and rest before moving on.
Several House Martins and Swallows were on the tops over the Duke of York and 2 Swifts powered south, otherwise things have been quiet after another wet and dismall day. Torrential rain again this morning walking to work but arrived dry after sporting full vis mig waterproofs.
Dread to think what the TMR shoreline is looking like now.
BS

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Swifts,Sunshine and Showers

Another day of mixed blue skies and sunshine followed by grey skies and torrential rain. Strangely the showers always occur when Im walking to or from work.
Black Headed gull movement has taken a change the last two evenings with all birds heading south peaking around 2000hrs.
LBBs continue to move north, even at midday during the worst of the rain they still battled through.
Swift numbers are falling during the evening now with just odd ones and twos heading down country, soon they,ll be gone!.
A few House Martins tonight were in amongst the Swallows blogging over Foxhill ,where they,ve all been this summer I dont know but they certainly havent been around here. All the usual nest sites have been deserted which is the first time for many years.
BS

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Jays on the move.

Walking to work this morning 2 Jays flew over high and west which in itself was an unusual sighting for this area. By the height and direct flight they were obvious movers going in the direction common to migrating Jays. As I got nearer work another 3 came over in the same direction but much lower this time and on arriving at the garage 2 were flushed from the conifers which also made off west.

Thirty minutes of sky watching yesterday evening produced :-
143 BH Gulls        >N. These were possibly going to roost as several of the same species move back >S early morning.
4 Swifts     >S
11 Swallows blogging.
BS.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lessers in the rain

Low cloud base over the Calder Valley

Another mixture of weather in Queensbury today with sunshine and blue skies, drizzle and grey skies, followed by  an evening of heavy rain.
Black Headed gulls were moving well this a.m. all >NW and a steady flow of Swifts moved >S, not long now before we,re looking for our last sighting.
Once the rain started p.m. so too did the LBB gulls coming over in good numbers all >N and >NW but by early evening the skies were quiet.
Black Headed gulls were in Foxhill park at midday picking up scraps left from yesterdays Donkey Derby but they too had moved on by tea time.
Whilst Im typing this 3 Mipits  have flown past the window >S, thats a bit of a strange sighting ?
Better do a bit of sky watching now to see if owt else is going on.
BS

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A boggy, breezy Soil Hill

Corvids love to get up in a strong SW
DCBs watchpoint from Soil Hill.

A visit to Soil Hill this p.m. proved hard work to say the least. After the rainfalls the ground is back to a muddy and hazardous state where you can sink up to your knees if you step in the wrong place. I do ok now as I know all the bad spots because Ive been in most of them. So far up there Ive wrecked 2 pair of boots, 1pair of trousers, 3 pair of socks, 1 jacket and worse of all my scope which didnt seem to like being 2ft under muddy water, oh well, its back to the Mighty Midget for now.
Birdwise it was a bit too windy for much movement, force 6 >SW, but still got a few gulls and Swifts moving through. More Oystercatchers were present with 3 in the Shay fields and 2 Stock Doves were unusual.
DJS this morning predicted Green Sandpiper turning up next and sure enough 2 were found by DCB today at Oxenhope. Wonder if Dave can predict me next weeks 6 winning numbers ?

Movers
18 LBB gull    >N
3 BH gull  >N
3 Oystercatchers  on deck
4 Swift   >S
Other
3 Stock Dove
6 Woodpigs
18 Linnet
+ usual Mipits and Skylarks etc
BS

Oyks at Ogden

Oystercatchers,Dunlin , what next ?
BS

Ogden, well worth the soaking.

Few Common in with the Black Headed
Oyks on the move

Ogden.  0730-1000hrs.  Heavy rain early on turning to horizontal drizzle throughout. SW>5
Fly Flatts was fogged out with low cloud base so a quick change of venues which proved to be a good move. A good collection of gulls ,mosty black headed with several juvs in with them. 3 adult common were present and a 2nd year bird. 4 Oystercatchers were on the shoreline but very mobile later joined by another 2. When they all took off west an undetected Dunlin was in amongst them. A Common Tern came through from the south, dipped in the water once then off north towards Oxenhope, unfortunately DCB had not quite arrived at his watchpoint when I rang him.  An early movement of Meadow Pipits was probably the birds reported grouping yesterday at Oxenhope.

Movers :-
6 Oystercatchers  on shoreline the >W
58 Meadow Pipit    >SW
1 Common Tern     >N
1 Dunlin                  >W

Other :-
78 BH gulls inc sev juvs
4 Common gulls inc 1  2nd year bird
1 Jay
Mallards going into eclipse
+ usual sp.    No Warblers.
BS


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Foxhill

Post breeding House Sparrows in the garden. Max count 42.
                                               Fast skies over Foxhill in the strong westerly

Front and back garden heaving with House Sparrows now, 42 counted early evening today. Moved the feeders under the edge of the Hawthorn this year and so far this has stopped any Sparrowhawk kills so far which was a bit of a nuisance last year.
One hours skywatching from home yesterday evening produced :-
179  BH Gulls   >N
21 Swift           >S
11 Swallows blogging
9 Lapwing          >E
132 Starling     >SE going to roost
3 Chaffinch       >S
BS

Friday, July 16, 2010

Shelf Moor

Goldfinch
Looking across to Shat country, Emley Moor from Shelf Moor
Shelf Moor pond

A better evening after a very breezy day with less rain about. Reasonably quiet around Shelf Moor with very few movers. Lapwings are getting back in the fields as well as BH gulls and Goldfinch numbers are rising.
Several Linnets were in the gorse field but the Little Owl family seem to have moved on.

Movers :-
13 Swift   >S
4 Greenfinch very high and >W
31 BH gulls       >N

Other :-
1 Moorhen
16 Linnet
2 Pied Wagtail
200+ Starlings in field
sev blogging Swallows
9 Lapwing
1pr Mallard
BS

Thursday, July 15, 2010

In the Garage and Roper Lane

End of another day over Soil Hill
Not the best place to set up home
Not unusual to find snails stuck to cars and usually alive, this one wasnt so lucky with the heat from the brakes.

More torrential rain today and mostly over lunchtime to give me a good drenching.
Wilsden was again alive with gulls tonight, mostly LBBs and mostly heading >NW.
Half an hour on Roper Lane skywatching produced :-
Movers....
29 Swifts   >S
4 Meadow Pipit  >SW
18 Lapwing       >E

Other
72 Jackdaws in fields
Several Crows and Rooks
12 Blogging Swallows.
1 Pied Wagtail.
BS

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Queensbury Today

The Storm moves away over the Pineberry Inn
A mishmash of various clouds in the troubled skies
A real mixture of weather today with a fine start till midday then light rain followed by torrential rain and thunderstorms. The evening saw brighter blue skies but the rumble of thunder was never far away.
All quiet on the bird scene today with very little movement at all. A few BH gulls mooched about in no particular direction and tonight 15 Swifts were counted >W probably skirting around the weather. Hope DCBs still got some shoreline after todays downpour.
You,ll notice on the right is a link to another birding site which is well worth a look at and the photos are great. The site is  The Shat Birder and no it doesnt mean what you think. The area is Skelmanthorpe up above Huddersfield near Emley Moor mast, and locally known as the Shat and the inhabitants Shatters.
Anyway , its a good upland site in Mick Cunningham country, give it a try.
BS