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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, November 30, 2013

Shelf Moor trailer park

       A total of 31 Snipe, this group of 12 very mobile whilst
     others were in the far horse field near the farm.







                                Around 200 Starling
                   A total of 278 Lapwing with possibly some stragglers

                                            Ghostly figure of a Heron
                                           off into the sunset.



                                   The overgrown and very wet footpath.
                                                Juncus field


A last light visit to the trailer park at 1515 hrs found it very lively with all the Lapwings settling down together in the left hand field so I was able to count them before the light went .
A good, but not record, count of Snipe with a group of 12 flying round before settling with a second group in the horse field near the farm. Also 3 were present in the juncus field.
The massive Starling flock moved on towards their roost Bradford way and a single Heron drifted over towards Ringby at sunset.
4 winter plumaged Reed Buntings were in the juncus field along with a Wren whilst at least 3 Golden Plover were near the stables.

278 Lapwing
31 Snipe
3 Golden Plover
4 Reed Bunting
3 BH gulls
1 Heron
1 Wren
+ usual corvids.

Please note that all these fields are private including the juncus field but the area can be viewed from the footpath between the juncus field and Tracys field.
BS

Friday, November 29, 2013

Back to the Dailies

                                  Good numbers of Collared Doves
     Looking across to a misty Yeadon Airport
     ( clump of trees on the far horizon)
                            Looking down to Bell Wood

A much colder day with a strong W>6 decreasing later in the day to W>4 with slight drizzle.
The cold wind made a difference from yesterday keeping the birds down in the shelter so no sign of the mobile tit flock at midday and only 2 Common gulls in Foxhill park.
A  re visit at dinner time to the top of the Dailie fields produced 9 Collared Doves and a single Grey Squirrel on the old allotment area whilst the skies were empty looking across the valley.
The Green Woodpecker was as noisy as ever though remaining unseen down in the holly bushes and a Snipe was chipping from the marshy area.
Walking back to work 3 Reed Buntings flew overhead which was unusual.
BS

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Dinner time Dailies Dash

                                                    Top ot Dailies
     Variety of colour in the old triangular railway station
     Nice bit of habitat at the top of the Dailies has
    been sold for building.

A grey, calm day with a real rise in temperature and a bit more in the way of bird activity.
Yesterdays Tit flock from Foxhill was in the grounds of the Willows medical centre at lunch time today with approx 15 Blue Tits moving around the shrubs.
At the top of Chapel Lane a flock of 21 Fieldfare went over >NW in the direction of Soil Hill and 23 Common gulls were in the park.
A quick visit to the top of the Dailie fields found :-
12 Goldfinch
2 Linnets
several Fieldfare and Redwings down in the station on the Hawthorns
6 Collared Doves
1 Green Woodpecker, heard calling
Several LBB gulls >N up the Aire valley


Re Calderbirds blog on, is the Lapwing field at Shelf Moor in the Halifax recording area, the map shows the boundary surrounding Queensbury  and the trailer field by Cross Lane, bottom right is well in the area. The only parts of Queensbury that are out of the Halifax recording area are squares 5, 6 and 8.
BS

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Amazing Queensbury Skies

                                        An amazing sunrise.

                                          Back ot Dyke


                                   Fiery sky from Chapel Lane


                 The finished product, the sky at midday
                                                  Foxhill Common Gull

An amazing sunrise this morning leaving a bright cloud mottled sky the rest of the day with a cool W>4.
No more Mistle Thrush sightings today but the unusual sighting of a flock of 11 Blue Tits working their way through garden trees along the edge of Foxhill park at lunch time.
A group of 4 LBB gulls went overhead high and >NW whilst a distant Cormorant went >N up the Aire valley.
BS

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Mistle Thrushes and Pied Jackdaws

After a red ball sunrise a dull cloudy day with a cold W>5 and rain after dark.
Mistle Thrushes were the bird of the day with 5 over >W first light , 3 >W mid morning and 4 dropping into trees down Station Rd last light.
Gull numbers are slowly increasing around Foxhill with 14 Commons and 11 Black Headeds over the rugby field at mid day although by now the Foxhill Common gull numbers are up to around 50 present daily.
A report from customer Roy today of the Pied Jackdaw, that I reported earlier on the blog, being present this morning around his garden. Roy has also had sightings of Woodcock down Queensbury old station and whilst dog walking between Shelf roundabout and Coley.
He,s hopefully going to send me some photos of 3 Glossy Ibis that his brother has been watching on a small marshland area near his home in Southport.
BS

Monday, November 25, 2013

Icelandic Snow Bunting for Soil Hill Dec 2011

                         Snow Bunting- Plectrophenax  insulae,  Iceland

Going back Soil Hill Dec 2011 DJS told me of a very dark Snow Bunting on Soil Hill and on the day after I found the bird and got the above photo.
The bird was dismissed as just a dark phase but looking back now through photos and using the I.D. info from the links provided by Ian Hargreaves I,m sure that this was of the race insulae, Iceland, as opposed to the nominate race nivalis, Greenland, Scandinavia.
It was an interesting bird and I should have gone into it at the time but things tend to let slip and then forgotten.
BS

Queensbury Today

                          male Chaffinch with a muddy face.
A cool day of mixed sunshine and grey skies with temperatures never rising above 5 deg.
Several small groups of Woodpigeons flew over >S around 1300hrs which were probably re locating birds at that hour of the day whilst 4m and 3f Chaffinch were rummaging through the fallen leaves in Chapel Lane graveyard, an odd sighting for that area where Chaffinch are not usually found.
A noisy Jay dropped into trees down Station Rd whilst the large female Sparrowhawk performed a low fly over of the garage car park.
Three and a half weeks now to the shortest day, these dark evenings play havoc with the birding.
BS

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Snow Bunting I.D.

Ian Hargreaves, ( B.O.G. ) was looking at my Snow Bunting photos on the blog and has kindly sent me 2 links explaining the race, sexing and ageing of Snow Buntings which are very explicit and interesting to all of you that spend time trawling the wild exposed tops in the hope of a Snow Bunting sighting.
Thanks again Ian.
BS

Hi Brian
 
I hope that you are keeping well.
 
I've just been catching up on your Blog and was interested in the Snow Buntings pics from last year and also the report from Whetstone. I follow the Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society website and earlier this week there was a discussion about the sexing of a Snow Bunting following a photo posted by one of their members and thought the link might be of interest to you:
 
 
The article links to another site where there is a series of annotated photos that indicate how to determine the race of individual birds - http://mikesbirdnotes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/snow-buntings.html (click on the pictures to enlarge). I hope that you find them of interest.

 

Shelf Moor

                                      Shelf Moor Lapwing flock increasing



                                              An amazing sight.
          The full flock of 244 up + 48 still on the ground,  Total 292.

Not back from family duties until 1545hrs when the daylight had almost expired so no chance of a teatime session.
Part expecting this I called at the trailer park on the way home from Ogden this morning to find the Lapwing flock almost up to record level with a count of 292 birds. The count had to be done from photos as the flock was very mobile , again due to a gulley wagon being steam cleaned on the lay by.
I had to revert to the small camera to get the full group in ( bottom shot) whilst 48 remained on the deck.
Strangely, no Goldies or Snipe present although I did,nt have time to go into the juncus field.
Plenty water on Raggalds Flood but void of birds.
BS

Ogden

                                          Still water

                                   Leaves almost gone now

A calm grey dark morning at Ogden with nothing to get the taste buds going throughout.
The water was very still but only held the usual Mallards and around 30 Black Headed gulls.
Passerines were very limited around the reservoir perimeter with a few Blue and Great tits, 2 Goldcrests and 3 Bullfinch plus the usual Robins.
Several LBBs went overhead >NW
BS

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Soil Hill p.m. visit





                                           A barren Soil Hill
                                  Across towards Mixenden Reservoir
                                        Frozen scrapes
                                Teazels, getting desperate for snaps now
            Sun going down but bank of cloud prevented sunset pics.

A bright crisp day with temperatures never rising above zero out of the sun.
Driving back from Halifax this p.m. a group of 15 Herring gulls were flying >W over Ringby and on arriving home 3 flocks of 15, 27 and 32 Lapwings came over the garden very high and >NW.
From there it was all downhill with Soil Hill failing to produce anything other than 2 Meadow Pipits and 1 Skylark dropping down into the long grass to roost.
Nice to meet John the Bradshaw birder up there looking for  Snow Buntings same as me with no joy although John had flushed a Jack Snipe on the summit earlier in the day.
Several banks of fog on the distant horizons last light which look as if they are waiting to come in overnight.
BS

Friday, November 22, 2013

Something to look out for, Snow Buntings. Coming to a hill near you soon.

        All pics B.S.  Soil Hill  Jan/Feb 2012











A bit of a non descript day being dull and damp throughout and very little bird life overhead.
Foxhill Park was poor at midday so a quick dash to the top of the Dailies produced 4 Linnets on the Ragwort seeds, 6 Fieldfare overhead >NE and 2 Herring gull very high and >W.
Hopefully the weekend will produce us with some goodies despite the fog warnings.
Target birds for the weekend-Snow Bunting of course on Soil Hill and Goldeneye, Teal, Wigeon at Ogden.
Not a lot to ask !
BS