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BREEDING SEASON EXCLUSIONS.

As of now through the duration of the breeding season all schedule one birds , red status birds and birds of a sensitive nature to this area will be omitted from the blog or reported as undisclosed site due to the widespread persecution of nesting birds by unscrupulous parties including game keepers and egg collectors.
Any of the above species that are obviously on passage through the area will be reported as normal.
This also applies to wildlife such as Roe Deer, Badger and Hares which are badly under threat from poaching and long dogging in the area at present and unfortunately this exclusion of wildlife will have to continue throughout the year.
Just another sign of the times.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dotterel search Soil Hill

                                                Ideal Dotterel habitat

              Next time you see this photo there,ll be a Dotterel on it!

A quick p.m. visit to Soil Hill on the 3rd anniversary of the last Dotterel give or take a few days proved fruitless and very hard going in the howling ENE>6 gusting 7.
The habitat is ideal around the edges of the summit for a stop over bird but now very hard to bird with hills and trenches everywhere ideal for a bird to loose itself in.
The skies were quiet tonight with the wind detering any movement apart from Swallows piling through >SE.

2 Grey Partridge
3 Skylark
2 Wheatear
73 Swallow
1 Heron + usual mipits and corvids.
BS

Friday, April 29, 2011

Causeway Foot col strikes again

                                If you stand there you,ll end up falling off !
                                                  Oops, you wouldnt listen.

Causeway Foot Col from Soil Hill west.  1530-1630hrs
Warmer E>4 but sheltered in the lee of the hill. sunny with very hazy visibility.

A quietish session with only short range scanning possible. Target birds of Swift and hearing cuckoo were not met but a bonus when 2 Common Tern appeared through the col first seen with Ogden plantation as background then continuing low along the west shoreline of TMR and on towards Leeshaw, near enough the same route as the Osprey. If they had come in a straight line they would have come over Mixenden reservoir or just to the west over the trees.

2 Common Tern....................>N         1555hrs
3 Alba Wagtails....................>E
21 Swallow..........................>SE
5 Lapwing...........................>N
+ usual local Mipits, Linnets and 1 Wheatear.
BS

Fly Flatts

                                           Eck, its like Morecambe Bay
                                                           Plenty shoreline now.
0730-1000hrs   Icy cold NE>5 gusting 6 or in Queensbury terms, enough to blow thi cap off.
At least it was clear and dry after overnight fog and rain though too windy for any raptor movement.
The shoreline is perfect now with mud and islands at the sw and se corners and large expanses of mud up at the ne corner running right along the eastern shore.
Several Mallards now have chicks as do some Canada geese.
Plenty waders on the shorelines but no sign of the LRP today.
Nice to meet Bruce up there being wafted about in the wind but as he told me, just glad to get away from the tele and wedding, wise man.

Fly Flatts
1 Reed Bunting
7 Wheatear
5 Redshank
2 Dunlin
8 Common Sandpiper
2 Oystercatchers
+ usual grouse, curlews geese etc.
no Twite.

Dean Head
4 Common Sandpiper
1 Redshank
2 Greylag
1pr Tufted
11 Canadas with 5 young
6 Willow Warblers, 5 Chaffinch in surrounding trees.
BS

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Queensbury Today

                                                Another nester for the garden ivy

A bright sunny day with a cool NE>4 keeping temperatures down.
Two pair of House Sparrows are again starting nesting in the small patch of ivy in the back garden along with 12 roosting birds and  a single Starling that has been roosting there over winter has now brought a mate and is also nest building.
A quick look at the top of the Dailies at lunchtime produced very little in the way of movers other than 9 LBB gulls >N and 4 Mistle Thrush >NW.
Grey Partridge were calling and 2 noisy Green Woodpeckers were down in the station.
A day off tomorrow so lets hope traffic through the col is busy.
BS

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Re- DCBs Oxenhope Greylags

Following DCBs report of Greylags at Oxenhope, see vis mig blog, this was the scene at Fly Flatts this last weekend.
BS

Sourheads/ Catsteps .

                    Overgrown allotments on Sourheads

                                 Black Dyke Mill looking toward the top of the Cat Steps.

A cool day brighter p.m.and getting warmer in the sun. Clear blue skies.
A quick look along Sourheads which is a path along the top of the now disused allotments then down the fields by Queensbury school to the bottom of the Catsteps which are steps up into Brighouse Rd built to be used by the mill workers in years gone by.
Up to 4 Willow Warblers were in the area and a charm of 7 Goldfinch all in the old allotments. A Little Owl was down the fields and 2 Mistle Thrush flew over towards Shibden. Several Swallows were over the fields.
At 1625hrs this afternoon as I walked out of the garage to fetch a car in a Buzzard sp was high above the garage heading >NW towards raptor alley( Causeway Foot Col ) but I could only see it from behind  though the height of the bird made me think it was probably just a Common Buzzard.
BS

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Soil Hill

                                   How much more digging can the hill take?
A bit of rain at last but not enough to safeguard the moors from springtime fires. The moors have been ablaze on Ovenden moor today by the wind turbines,hopefully the quick response of the fire brigade caught it in time before too much damage was done.
Soil Hill had the whole of its summit scalped and roughed up making it now water and vegetation less and now the clay extraction means all the eastern slope is being ripped away as well as the bottom pond and NK pond being left useless. Im suprised any birds now use the hill but still they stick on in there returning year after year to find another chunk of habitat gone.
With the vegetation and scrapes gone from the summit there has been no wader presence this year as yet and it looks unlikely that a visiting Dotterel will be tempted down but we shall see, watch this space.
Needless to say, back at work and no birds to report today, hence the babbling on like something from an RSPB documentory
BS

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dip Meter, Ring Ouzel 3 BS 0. Soil Hill

                                  Ring Ouzel alley but not for me.
                                       Colourful male Linnet
                                       Meadow Pipit

Soil Hill was a different world tonight from last night with a cold NE>4 and hazy visibility.
No gull movement at all although the hill was alive with Swallows moving in no particular direction.
I went up, again for Whitethroat and Ring Ouzel, both of which NK assured me this morning that they were still there and waiting for me.
I eventually got onto the elusive Whitethroat after 30minutes of it teasing me with short outbursts of song until I finally got a 30 second sighting.
The third attempt at the Ring Ouzel turned out to be a mega dip after trudging round and round the soil piles and up and down the clay extraction area so I think I can forget this one and move on.
Back to work tomorrow but a nice short week and then we,ve to decide on Friday whether to sit and watch the royal wedding or go out birding, thats going to be a hard one !

11 Linnet
1 Whitethroat
6 Wheatear
usual mipits and skylarks
umpteen Swallows
BS

Ogden/Back Lane

                                      Heron. Ogdens regular visitor

                                        Tufted duck, not a common sight at Ogden

Hot and sunny, NE>2 good vis.
Limited for time this morning so a quick skim around Ogden and back via Back Lane.
1 Common Sandpiper was still present but flushed twice by a Labrador running through the waters edge.
Bird of the morning was a Tree Pipit briefly landing in Back Lane plantation then off >NW calling.

2 Green Woodpecker
2 Tufted
1 Common Sandpiper
Heron
Willow Warbler in every tree, nearly.
2 LBB gulls >NW
1 Song Thrush
+ usual sp.

New sign for Ogden and EGP..
IRRESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERS WILL BE SHOT.
BS

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Osprey. One or Two ? Soil Hill

                                    The first bird, looks good to me
                                        Wheatears all to the eastern side
                                

pm visit  1700-1830 hrs ,Slight NE>4 . Sunny but perfect visibility 360 deg.
Went up on the hill looking for Whitethroat and Ring Ouzel and maybe even a Swift and came away with
0 out of 3.The hill was very lively with Linnets, Mipits and Skylarks everywhere whilst a good count of Wheatears were in the Trig Point field. A Reed Bunting was in the broom on the west track which is unusual and Swallows were moving over >N in good numbers.
LBB gulls were steadily flowing through all west and this is what caused me to get on the move of Osprey.
The first one was from the west track whilst trying to get a photo of the LBBs coming over and through the camera I got on a raptor below the gulls and just snapped before it disappeared behind the hill. I never relocated the bird and dismissed it until I got home and put the photo on the computer, looks good for Osprey to me.
The second sighting was as I was coming away I took a final scan round from the summit and again started to watch 4 LBBs heading towards the wind farm. All of a sudden they dipped down and started to mob a bird before carrying on west. At first I thought 1 gull had broken away but then saw it was an Osprey now low below the skyline just beyond the Giants Tooth at Ogden. It continued on low across the moor and over the SW corner wall of TMR keeping low over the water and skimming over the north wall towards Leeshaw reservoir. Unfortunately Id looked earlier to see if DCBs car was at TMR which it wasnt, he would have got a cracking photo of that.

Osprey 1 maybe two. >N  1730 and 1820hrs
7 Wheatear
5 Skylark
37 LBB gulls >W
12 Linnet
48 Swallow >N
2 Curlew
1 Reed Bunting, male
3 Lapwing
Mipits
Lots of Peacock butterflies
BS

8 Wader species for Fly Flatts.

                                                     Dunlins in the mud
                                           Red Grouse keeping an eye out
                                       Greylag in off the moor
Fly Flatts  0730-1000hrs. Cold NE>4 after overnight rain, dropping calm and warm with full cloud cover.
 A real birdy morning with something to watch throughout the trip. No sign of moving birds in the sky but several Wheatears around but the morning was dominated by the amount of waders on the extensive shoreline now showing. These birds were mostly confined to the east and north east shoreline so a scope is required for decent views. Very few hirundines moving through and no sign of Swift yet.

Waders :-
2 Lapwing
4 Golden Plover
sev Curlew
9 Redshank
6 Common Sandpiper
2 Oystercatchers
3 Dunlin
1 Little Ringed Plover
Other
Red Grouse
Pied Wagtail
12 Greylag
31 Canada
8 Wheatear
no Twite
BS

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Queensbury Today

A scorching day till early evening then an icy cold NW>4 making it feel bitter up Foxhill Park tonight.
No time for birding today but thanks to NK for the alert on a Soil Hill Ring Ouzel ,see Queensburybirder.
Just managed 30 minutes skywatching tonight from home which produced :-

4 Lapwing..............................>N
11 Swallow...........................>N
2 House Martin.....................>N
73 Starling............................>NE  roosters
120 Jackdaw,  82 Rook and Crow sp .....>NE   roosters
7 LBB gulls.....................>N
2 very high , very distant waders......>E  poss. Dunlin ?
Target birds for tomorrow,  Dunlin,  Swift,  Cuckoo and Red Kite
BS

Friday, April 22, 2011

Soil Hill /west.

                        Plenty blogging Mipits
                                          Swallows now established

Nice to get up on the hill after being dragged around Brighouse in the blazing heat this pm. Soil Hill was quite pleasant with a fresh SE>4 even making visibility a little better. No sign of this mornings Whitethroat along the track so probably one moving through.
1m Wheatear
17 Meadow Pipits
2 Lapwing
4 Linnet
2 Red Grouse in the heather
75+ corvids
18 Swallows >SE + some bloggers
3 Stock Doves
5 Woodpigeon
1 Kestrel.
BS

Ogden


                                      Very mobile Oystercatcher
                                                 Several Willow Warblers

Limited time this morning so did a quick skim of Ogden and despite the heat and hazy skies it didnt turn out bad.
A mobile Oystercatcher was moving around the shore along with a Common Sandpiper but the water itself was quiet with one BH gull and now just about a dozen Mallard left.

1 Common Sandpiper
1 Oystercatcher
6 Willow Warblers
2 Chiffchaffs
1f Blackcap
1 Garden Warbler
1 Heron
2 Mistle Thrush..............>NE
1 BH Gull
7 Swallow
5 LBB Gull......................>N
BS

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Queensbury Today

More hot weather and misty skies, shouldnt complain but, being selfish, these are terrible conditions for my sort of birding when you are so limited for visibility of any distance in the sky with this dreaded heat haze , apart from that I cant stand the heat, Im like a dog and head for the shade. Probably because we,re not used to it in Queensbury and probably the reason that Ive never been abroad in my life and not likely to now.
House Martins are back in the village with 8 over West End, a popular breeding area for them, and 6 around the mill chimney this evening.
A report today from Ken, a resident of Perseverence Rd , of 4 Oystercatchers near the ponds on Soil Hill though these could have been the birds from Oxenhope.
A day off tomorrow with plenty running round to do but should still get time for a birding trip or two. Back to work Saturday then 2 days off, eck, whatever will I find to do?
BS

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Queensbury, Shelf Moor

Another scorcher today although not ideal birding weather. A quick look from the top of the Dailies today was poor due to limited visibility in the heat haze.
A few Swallows were moving through all >N and a Green Woodpecker was calling down in the station.
Shelf Moor this evening had a pre breeding flock of c 150 Starlings feeding in the Hawthorn field and several Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Linnets in the bushes.
The pond held 4 Canada Geese, a pair of Mallard and a single Moorhen. A pair of Reed Bunting were on the wires nearby.
BS

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Queensbury Today

                                     Kestrels on the move.
A real scorcher of a day today getting the raptors moving up on the thermals.Thanks, SC via DJS for alert of large raptor heading towards the village from Ringby Top which was just at lunch time so watched from the garden and then from Foxhill park on dog walking duty whilst NK watched from his garden but no sighting although visibility was poor at any distance due to the heat haze.
From Foxhill 2 Kestrels near together which had the look of movers headed >N  and mid p.m. a Sparrowhawk in the same mode headed high to the >NE over the garage.
NK today hit Soil Hill p.m. and asked me to report 14 Wheatear on the eastern side around the trig point area, otherwise the hill was not on its best performance.

BS

Monday, April 18, 2011

Back to reality, Queensbury

                                      House Sparrow guarding its territory
                                                     Woodpigeons nest building

Another bright warm day with a slight SE>3 till early evening then cloudy and light rain.
A quiet day today after the weekends activities with just the usually resident breeders present other than a few Swallows over >NE.
A panic this p.m. with a message of Red Kite possibly heading towards the garage but after a few minutes watching a second message to say it had turned direction back towards Oxenhope. Well spotted DJS and the super alert Jen.
Also today, nice to meet Steve Cummings who wandered off birding whilst I repaired his car. For both these reports see Calderbirds.
The third event today was a visit from NK  who had missed the Red Kite by 2 minutes and was just on his way home, good job there were no ladies or vicars present!!!
BS

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Soil Hill(west)

                                      Plenty Peacocks about
                                      1 of a pair of Wheatear

Soil Hill west. evening visit   WNW>4  Hazy sunshine causing poor visibility
One hours sky watching produced :-
49 Swallow......................>NE
2 House Martin................>SW
1 Cormorant....................>NE
5 Mallard........................>N
2 Goosander..................>NW
Other
2 Snipe
4 Skylark
1 Kestrel
11 Linnet
1pr Wheatear
18 Mipits in goose field, this field has got to produce a Yellow Wagtail, its ideal.
BS

White Stork bonus day

1222pm today on the way to Asda shopping I had a White Stork soaring over Halifax and re located it shortly after heading >N over Asda supermarket. See Calderbirds for full report.
BS

Surrounded with Wheatear, Fly Flatts


                                          Wheatears everywhere at last

                                                    Twite in small numbers
                                     Kestrel shopping for breakfast.

Bright blue sky and sunshine with a cold NW>4 easing slightly and becoming warmer mid morning.

A real birdy morning with plenty activity on the water and on the moor although the skies were quiet.
Wheatears were everywhere starting at Withins Gap , along the roadsides and at Fly Flatts with these birds being less nervy that the first 2 waves.
Common Sandpipers and Oystercatchers were on the tempting shoreline and Twite were on the Nyger seed.
None of the target birds met but nice to get amongst the Wheatear again.

Wheatear.................38
Twite.......................6
Common Sand.........3
Oystercatchers.........2
Greylag....................6
Canada....................42
Kestrel....................1
plus usual sp.
BS

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Soil Hill, evening visit

                                   The western track and slope

                                   The goose field,good for feeding birds

A bright almost calm evening as I arrived on the western end of Soil Hill to do an hour of sky watching.
The skies were quiet so I decided to scour the hill instead although it didnt look promising with only 5 Meadow Pipits in the usually busy goose field.
The summit of the hill is bone dry like the desert with very little vegetation and showed no sign of bird life, what a contrast to previous years before it got destroyed with the diggers.
One Skylark was up singing and a few mipits flying round otherwise the area was void of birds. At the eastern end in the trig point field I managed 1 Wheatear and that was it. Usually the hill is crawling with Wheatear at this time and even though there is a general shortage of Wheatears this spring I cant, help but think that the disturbance and alteration of the shape of the hill has taken away that magnetic pull for the birds. Maybe given time it will return to its former glory?
As it is at the moment the only thing going for the hill is the elevated vantage point overlooking the Causeway Foot col and the amazing 360 deg view during visible migration times .
Target birds for morning...   Swift,   Common Scoter, Wigeon, Bar Tailed Godwit.  Think big !
BS

Friday, April 15, 2011

Queensbury Today

A calm mild day, again with very little breeze and just an odd damp shower late afternoon.
Ended up working till 2000hrs tonight so a planned trip to Soil Hill had to be abandoned.
Nothing much about today other than a couple of Swallows >NW over the park at lunch time and the Woodpigeons in the garage car park still busy nest building and foraging in the leaf piles for food.
Hopefully the weather is going to be favourable for the weekend so lets see what turns up, I think a Swift sighting is on the cards!
27th April 2008 was the date a Dotterel turned up on Soil Hill so check those high spots.
BS

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Queensbury Today

                                            House Sparrows nesting in the garden ivy.
                                   Chaffinch nesting behind the house,a rare bird up here.

A very still day, cloudy but mild and dry.
A few LBB gulls were moving over >NW and a small group of 5 Swallow came over the garage >NE.
The local male Sparrowhawk skimmed across the garage car park narrowly missing the resident Robin, Ive told it about perching in the open singing its head off.
A kestrel was perched on the mill chimney alongside 3 feral pigeons and the tallest conifer in the garage car park is now home to a pair of nesting Magpies with a pair of nesting Woodpigeons just below them.
BS

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Dailies Dash

                                   Plenty Starlings nesting with a large variety of calls.
                                      The gateway to heaven, Queensburys Narnia.
                                       Trees almost in full leaf now, nice to see, hard to bird.

Another day of cold wind, this time from the SW>4, cloudy but dry.
A 10 minute lunch time watch at the Dailies produced :-
7 Swallow......................>N
2m Goosander...............>N
18 Woodpigeons...........>NW
1 Green Woodpecker
At least 3 Willow Warblers singing from the station
5 Chaffinch
+ usual sp.
BS

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Queensbury Today

An icy cold WNW>5 but remaining dry after yesterday evenings sleet showers. Its getting near easter now which usually brings a covering of snow to the village.
Swallows have been the bird of the day today with good numbers moving > NW and very high. Small groups of threes and fours came over throughout the day with 72 counted with just casual observations. Im sure a proper watch would have got well into the hundreds.
Otherwise all quiet apart from another Osprey through the area near Fly Flatts,see Calderbirds.
See tonights Halifax Courier headlines showing why we dont mention sensitive breeding birds on our blog sites.
BS

Monday, April 11, 2011

Queensbury Today

                                         Greylag at Fly Flatts
                                    Down the Calder Valley from Back Lane, Ogden
                                 Back Lane pond, Ogden.

Back to normal in Queensbury today with a strong WNW>5 and horizontal rain showers with temperatures well down.
Nothing in the way of bird sightings hence the photos in an attempt to keep you interested till something turns up.
A disappointment today when DJS turned up a Ring Ouzel at Fly Flatts in the knowledge that I probably missed it yesterday. It could have been a fresh in bird but more likely the same bird as he got a couple of weeks ago, if it wasnt for bad luck I wouldnt have any luck at all.
BS