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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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gulls on the move

A murky dull day here in Queensbury with a sprinkling of snow this morning just enough to give us a white covering. An icy E>4 blew throughout  the day but not enough to lift the low cloud.
As I opened up at 0800hrs a group of 11 Herring gulls came over >WSW closely followed by LBBs in 2s and 3s but heading >NW.  LBBs continued to come over is small numbers most of the day but no more Herring gulls were seen.
At midday 2 Gt Black Backed could be seen in the distance from Foxhill park heading up the Aire valley >N.
Passerines around the garage were less active today with the lack of sunshine.
BS

Monday, January 30, 2012

A photo from Soil Hill yesterday.

A snap of 3 Skylarks , or 2 and a wing, skimming over the bumps on Soil Hill yesterday like they had been shot out of a gun.
BS

A Birdy Day, Queensbury


                                Local Blue Tit checking out a nest site

                             Black Headed gulls starting to get summer plumage.

A real lively birdy day today compared to yesterdays drab empty skies. Nothing special seen but around the garage Robins, Blue Tits, Dunnocks and a single Wren were busy feeding and flitting about around the conifers.  A Blackbird kept on starting a few notes of song and there was plenty sky movement with Starlings, Woodpigeons and gulls with just 3 Herring gulls over >WSW at last light which came over unusually low skimming the top of the Victoria Hall.
Foxhill park at midday produced 7 Common gull, 8 BH gulls and 2 Grey Squirrels raiding a garden feeder.
BS

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Yes, its more Snow Bunts.






                                                 Bit of an eye problem with this bird.


With an hour to spare late afternoon I had the usual ,where shall I go thought, and decided on Soil Hill with the intention of ignoring the Snow Bunt area and concentrating on the NW corner of the hill looking for Goldies and big gulls coming in to Thornton Moor to roost but when up there the summit was empty and a misty murky sky blanked out any chance of skywatching so it was back to the SE end to save the day with the old faithful Snow Bunts.
After a bit of searching I came across the 4 feeding in the bumps. Oddly they were by the seed that has been put down but none were touching it, instead, pulling at bits of vegetation or pecking in the soil.
They were a bit fidgety as the machines and wagons were working the hill which is unusual for a Sunday and every time the JCB bucket banged the birds took off sometimes going so high they were out of sight,
BS

Nice skies, nice walk , no birds! Fly Flatts

           Sunrise beyond Queensbury, Drax power station.
                          Sunrise from Soil Hill over Queensbury
                                         A frozen Ovenden Moor
                                                                   Bleak
                                   Water 80% frozen

A calm clear morning with a bright sunrise which was soon lost in the cloud. The mist was hanging in the bottoms so conditions looked ideal for a Pinkie movement but it was,nt to be.
The whole of the area was strangely void of birds and after 2 hours trekking I came away with 6 Red Grouse and 1 Carrion Crow. Just nothing on the water which was 80% frozen and not a bird in the sky, although it was pleasant up there without the usual fog or wind.
The Delvers held a few Chaffinch and a couple of Blackbirds, and 4 Mallard flew >E over Soil Hill on my way back.
Raggalds flood was also deserted, roll on spring.
BS

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Blackbird, by Eric Langford.

Eric Langford, Queensbury is a keen poet and forwarded the following ,to be put on my blog, written by himself inspired by his love of birds, especially the Blackbird.


BLACK AND GOLD

Black as night
And wary too,
Into the shadows
He will retract,
Just as others
Who are wary do.

Yet he need not fear
This common man,
For he too, though
Majestic, proud and joyful too,
Is of common line.

Black as night
And yet eclipsed
By the sunshine’s glow,
That highlights features
Oh so grand.
In orange hue, echoing
The music of this,
Black Nightingale.

What artist with an eye
For bliss, and with an ear,
Would miss this song?
This icon in the midst of noise
This solitaire of wing.


Ploughcroft / Swalesmoor Rd / Shelf Moor.

A quick buzz around late afternoon found very little at Ploughcroft with no signs of the usual Little Owls but nice to bump into AC doing his rounds.
Swalesmoor road produced the usual Linnet flock though smaller than usual as was the Lapwing flock at Shelf Moor.
A bright sunny day with some thawing in the sun but still plenty snow and ice this evening.

Ploughcroft.
2 Greenfinch
3 Goldfinch
3 seperate Herring gulls >W
Usual Woodpigs and corvids.

Swalesmoor Road
12 Linnet
1 Wren
1 Sparrowhawk
4 Fieldfare
Sev Corvids.

Shelf Moor.
18 Fieldfare
2 Mistle Thrush
120+ Lapwing,  no Goldies.
80 + Starling
3 Canada Geese.
BS

Friday, January 27, 2012

Havoc in the snow.

                       Chapel Lane this morning

                                       The rugby field
                                 Chapel Lane this evening

                                   Christmas card material

Overnight snow left a covering this morning but the sky was bright and clear until early afternoon when the dark clouds appeared. By 1500hrs the snow was piling down with flakes the size of half crowns and by tea time the roads were at a standstill with no gritters in sight , once again.
Even the roads low down were for some reason grid locked with only a dusting of snow, it took the daughter from 1630 to 1930hrs to get from Bradford, through Shelf and across Halifax into Sowerby Bridge with every route being blocked, I wouldnt want to be her boyfriend when she finally arrived home , I,d steam from her coming through my mobile.
Even now cars are grid locked at Queensbury over the mountain, makes me realize how lucky I am walking to work.
I dont know how we,ll go on if we get the 4 weeks of Siberian weather that we,re promised starting next week!
After all that I,ve nothing birdwise to report other than the usual residents and an unusually high number of Starlings around the area.
BS

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Snow for Queensbury


                                No Tree Sparrows in the garden yet.


                         All quiet at Raggalds Flood today. Shipley Glen in the background.

A pleasant day with a mild SW>4 and plenty of sunshine. By late afternoon the clouds were rolling in bringing light rain at first then 1 hour of heavy snow giving the roads a covering and making our car struggle coming back from Morrisons through Bradshaw and up The Bonnet.
Nothing untoward today other than the garage Dunnock up in full song and a quick check of Raggalds flood midday found half a dozen small gulls,
With January almost out and daylight lengthening another few weeks and we should be able to get back to some serious birding.
BS

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Spring feeling for the birds

                                    Yes, I,m afraid its gulls again
         To be different this one has a blade of grass hanging from it.


                 You,ve got to admit they,re a handsome bird,

A bright spring like day with plenty sunshine and a warm SW>4 bringing the temperature up to 9 deg in the garage doorway and probably higher in the sun.
The conditions enticed the birds around the car park to get up and start some song going with Robin, Wren and Dunnock up on top of the conifers marking out their territory.
A pair of Collared Doves were cooing most of the morning and one of the resident Blackbirds was carrying nest material into its annual nest area.
Foxhill park at midday was quiet overhead with just the usual scattering of Common and BH gulls.
Dont let this lull in the winter weather get you too excited, we,ve never gone through a February without snow in Queensbury yet.
BS

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Queensbury Today

                          Common gull showing the pale winter plumage legs.

                                       The scene in Foxhill park today

A miserable day with rain, drizzle and thick fog throughout with very limited visibility from mid morning onwards.
Due to the weather nothing was seen other than 11 Common gulls and 4 Black Headed gulls in the park midday, one of the Black Headed having nearly the full hood of its summer plumage.
Well done to JC and AH, ( Calderbirds ), for tackling Soil Hill in the poor conditions and re locating the 4 missing Snow Buntings.
BS

Monday, January 23, 2012

Some Cold Edge Dams pics from yesterday

                                     Bottom Dam last light
                                                High tide, rough water


                                          Top dam calmer but empty

A brighter day today with the wind dropped to W>4 with a mixture of sunshine and showers, the showers being rain, sleet and snow. Last light saw a cloudless sky and the daylight lenghtening showed well with last light at 1655hrs.
Apart from 5 Herring Gulls over the garage >SW at 0800hrs this morning nothing else reportable has been seen.
BS

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cold Edge Dams

                                                    First Greylags of the year

                                               1 m Tufted
                                      1 f Goldeneye in the distance

Cold Edge Dams  1445 - 1600hrs.  Cold NW>6 bright.

A bit blustery to say the least around the dams but dry and bright.
Haigh Cote dam was deserted with birds taking shelter near to the north banking of Leadbeater Dam whilst the Canadas skulked behind the island.
Other than Mallards the only ducks present were 1 male Tufted and 1 female Goldeneye whilst 5 Red Grouse were present on the moor. A small flock of 6 Linnet came in to the pines to roost at last light.
Nine Greylags were in the field at the opposite side of the track.
BS

Horrendous conditions at Ogden.

Black Headed gull thinking it was on the North sea
                                      Even the ducks were sheltering in the trees
                                         Quiet on the Raggalds Flood

Atrocious  conditions at Ogden with gale force NW>7 and torrential driving rain showers throughout. One of those mornings where you think I,ll not bother but luckily with 3 dogs you,ve no choice but to get out there and once out I enjoy it anyway, whatever the weather throws at me.
Gull numbers were up with 100+ Black Headed and 25 Commons although it was hard to check them out with high waves and white horses on the water.
The woods around the circumference were quiet but managed 5 Goldcrest, 6 Coal Tits and a few Blue and Greats mainly in Alders.
A check on Raggalds Flood on the way back found 2 Common gull, 8 BH gull and 7 Lapwing.
BS