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Friday, October 31, 2014

Winter Thrushes start to arrive.

Another calm mild morning with wind increasing p.m.
By 0800hrs the first flocks of Redwings were coming over closely followed by Fieldfares all >S.
By mid morning several large flocks had passed but nothing like the rush we,re expecting. Constant contact with HC at Oxenhope found he was getting the same as me along with a few Woodpigeons.
By late morning all was quiet with just 1 flock of around 150 Fieldfare over early afternoon.
With casual observations from work I totalled c 400Fieldfare and c 200 Redwing along with about 60 Woodpigeons.
Dog walking in the dark this evening produced a few Redwing contact calls over Foxhill until the fireworks started and the dogs dragged me home at great speed.
Luckily we,ve had no trick or treaters knocking at the door tonight sending the dogs mad but that could be something to do with the cable ties around the gate latch, miserable, who, me ?
Must remember to cut those off before the postman comes in the morning.
Have a good weekend and watch for those Thrushes..
BS

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A calmer Queensbury.

             An influx of Collared Doves and Jackdaws
                         in the village
                                        Bit of a scrap going on.
 Jackdaws try to nest under the flat stone on
         the right every year but never make it.

Thick fog started off the morning but this cleared by 0830hr leaving grey damp skies but very calm and mild.
A few left over Woodpigeons were going over >S which seemed insignificant after yesterdays bonanza. Its amazing how so many woodpigeons throughout the country all know to go on the same day. Thanks to HC for texting me their yesterdays total Woodpigeon count which was a record busting 61.000 birds. All results from around the country can be found on Trektellen.org.

Otherwise today the skies were quiet but with several reports from different sources of winter thrushes coming in off the North sea onto the east coast brings us to expect a mega invasion of Redwing and Fieldfare over our area either tomorrow or the weekend if conditions are favourable.

Thanks to Bradshaw John for checking out Royds Hall Dam for the yellow billed swans reported by G.J.Wood but unfortunately they had moved on as expected. See Johns blog for his report and pictures.
No news today on the Woodlark or Richards Pipit.

Hope you enjoy Halloween tomorrow if you,re partying or dressing up, just keep the fireworks down, they scare my dogs witless!
BS

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Woodpigs, The big one.!!!!

                                       And how they came
 Impossible to get the full flocks in
        Near on 400 in this flock, pic showing just a portion of it.




  Coming over at 2 levels, some low, some very high.
;'


With a window in the weather today and a mild calm start, the Woodpigeons took advantage of it and how they came.
First light saw them coming through in small numbers all >S then a text from HC at Oxenhope simply saying " PIGS< PIGS > PIGS " and that was enough to know that today was the mega push day.
On my way to work the flood gates opened and clouds of Woodpigs piled over on a massive broad front, some low over the rooftops but most flocks very high, with several groups of around 400 birds.
This has got to be the largest move I have ever seen with swarm after swarm filling the skies.
A word with HC mid morn as it was slowing down summed it up when Howard described it as a "spectacular sight."
Things began to quieten down around 1030hrs but smaller groups kept coming until midday.
I clocked in excess of 5000 birds, before, on the way to, and at work with just casual observations so the Oxenhope team must have had way into the teens of thousands but I have,nt had a total from them yet.
Anglers country park had over 16000 over and nearly 17,000 passed Manchester whilst 24.700 passed over Widnes.
Two flocks of Fieldfare went over the garage , the first of 43 >NW which could have been overnight roosters and the second of near 200 Fieldfare>S which HC picked up scoping and alerted me as they were over the top of the garage.
CK at Oxenhope picked out a flock of Whooper Swans going down the Aire valley.
That was some morning.

Halifax again struck gold this afternoon when I got a call from NCD saying he and DF had gone to Norton Tower to try to re located yesterdays Woodlark, which had now gone, but amazingly found a Richards Pipit in the same area, An even better record than yesterdays bird. See Calderbirds for full report and photos.

Just received an e mail from blog watcher G J Wood reporting 3 adult and 4 young yellow billed swans on Royds Hall dam annoying the Mutes. Said to be Bewicks but more likely Whoopers , worth checking out if anyone is near that area tomorrow.
BS

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Gulls for Queensbury and a mega for Halifax

                A bright sun up this morning
                      Taken from Chapel Lane

A bright start to the day with mild temperatures but still the strong SW>5.
Smaller numbers of Woodpigeons were still moving over >S from first light but no signs of winter thrushes today.
Big gulls were on the move most of the day with a steady flow of LBBs >NW  but stopping as the rain got heavier mid afternoon.
3 Great Black Backed were amongst 4 LBBs just after lunch and at least 5 Herring gulls were seen heading >W.
A report today of a late Wheatear on the wall opposite Keelham farm shop yesterday afternoon.

A phone call today from an excited NCD saying he was sure he had just flushed a Wood Lark from his watch area at Norton Towers, Halifax and by the time I,d got the message out on the grapevine he rang again to confirm he had re located and photographed it and it was a definite Wood Lark. A great bird for the area  and hopefully the poor weather will keep it down so others can see it tomorrow.
See Calderbirds blog for details.
BS

Monday, October 27, 2014

More windy weather for Queensbury.

A few left overs from Leeshaw yesterday. I always take a few views for if the birding is bad but luckily yesterday the geese turned up.

 Bottom track looking >N. The trees are good for winter
 thrushes and have had Brambling in the past.
    Same track looking >S with the overflow on the right.
  Below the res looking down the valley to the old mill
                           The largest skein of Pinkies, 59.

A wild start to Monday morning with a strong SSW>6 but very mild with temperatures up at 15 deg in the garage.
Woodpigeons continued to move from first light but in much smaller flocks now battling into the head wind and these were joined by several Green and Chaffinches all very low ground hopping >S.
Well done to Bradshaw John for checking the local reservoirs at a time when anything can turn up, his reward was 5 Pinkies >W over Leeshaw, see his report.
Good to see customer, blog watcher Peter Turner in the garage today when he called in to tell me he was the mystery texter who reported the Pinkies over Northowram which I got at Queensbury due to his quick report which was,nt easy as he was on the bus at the time. Thanks for that Peter, keep em coming.

All quiet in Foxhill park at midday other that a few Common and Black Headed gulls on the pitch and a small flock of Goldfinch dodging around the bushes.
Poor do tonight walking home from work in the dark at 1715hrs, had to make do with listening for Redwing contact calls but the noise of the wind did,nt help that.
BS

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Soil Hill skywatch, last light.

           SW over Mixenden reservoir to Saddleworth Moor
W   across the Causeway Foot Col to Withins
   NNE to North Yorks moors and Malham
          N  across Thornton Moor

Bright skies and good visibility from Soil Hill late afternoon but could have done with some lead boots on to weigh me down in the strong SW>6.
Pinkies were still on the move with a small skein of 31 heading >SE down the Aire valley but unable to get a photo due to the distance and due to the fact they were keeping below the horizon, ground hopping to keep out of the strong head wind.
3 Cormorants came up out of Ogden to roost heading off >NE, again keeping low below the skyline.
Around 60 LBBs, 40 Commons and several BH gulls came >N through the col heading for the Oxenhope roost.
Other birds seen in the sky were 2 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk and a single Canada goose heading >NW towards Fly Flatts.
BS

More Pinkies, Leeshaw reservoir

                           Pink Footed Geese moving West to East


                                           Fieldfares moving through

The extra hour of daylight was somewhat wasted this morning when I arrived at Leeshaw at 0700hrs to find heavy drizzle and a strong SW>5 with dark clouds overhead.
The reservoir was quiet other than a few gulls and Cormorants but as soon as the skies started to clear things livened up.
An early skein of geese came over >SE, very high up in the mist and this was followed about 1 hour later with 2 more smaller skeins >NE.
Starlings were moving well >NW and a couple of flocks of Fieldfare came over low and >SW so what looked as if it was going to be a washout turned out to be a decent watch which is usually the case.

Vis Mig

 Pink Footed Goose..................58 >SE     42 >NE    18 > NE
c 150 Starling..........................>NW
c 100 Fieldfare.........................>SW
39 Lapwing..............................>E
4 Snipe......................................>W
3 Herring gull..........................>W

Present
3 Cormorant
28 BH gulls
5 LBB gulls
5 Mistle Thrush
+ usual sp.
BS

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Reet good do, Pinkies overt village.

          Just managed to get them through a gap in the rooftops
                                     Zoomed in
         45 here but not the full skein.
          As good as Ogden got, photographing BHGs

1st winter Black Headed

A good start to the morning with several Woodpigeons over >S as the sun rose along with small flocks of Fieldfare but by 0900hrs the sky clouded over bringing heavy drizzle.
A text message appeared late morning saying, geese over Northowram now, heading your way, so it was grab the camera and out in the car park just in time to get a skein of Pink Footed geese  over >NW but to the SW of me visible only for a couple of minutes before they disappeared behind the rooftops. Could,nt get to see the full skein but would guess around 80.
Thanks for the quick call from Northowram, unfortunately I did,nt have your name in my phone so perhaps you would like to let me know.

A last British summer time early evening check on Ogden proved fruitless and unbelievably bird less for this time of year. Just the usual Gt and Little Grebe, few BH gulls , 1 pr Bullfinch and a few crests and tits. Surprising to watch how many Goldcrests flew under the board walk of the small pond by passerine alley either to roost under there or looking for insects ?

Another disappointment on the way home checking Raggalds Flood to find it once again bone dry. The farmer seems to have got the drainage right this time, for him anyway.

See what tomorrow brings, don,t forget to put your clocks back !
BS                            


Friday, October 24, 2014

Dinner time at Shelf Moor

            A deserted trailer park field
          Few small gulls and Jackdaws in the horse field
           
                                 Looking across to the juncus field.

A late start at work this morning with a hospital appointment for Lynda but by the time I got back at 1000 hrs Fieldfares were coming over in small flocks of around 40 birds all >S, then by 1100 hrs all was quiet.
No sign of Woodpigeons but they would have been over early on.
The garage car park produced a Grey Wagtail, probably one of the mill birds, and the resident Sparrowhawk skimmed past the door but was gone when I got out.

A good scan of the trailer park field for Snipe at lunch time turned up nothing and no time to go down the footpath by the juncus field.
The horse field held a few small gulls and several Jackdaws along with 4 Pied Wagtails and a Meadow Pipit.
No signs of any Lapwing today.

A report today of a Heron on the Raggalds Flood by A.C. is encouraging meaning there must be some sort of food there. I,ve had them there before but usually in the frog season.
Hope you all have a good weekend and I,ll be waiting for those reports piling in. Last day of evening birding tomorrow with the clocks back and an extra hour birding Sunday morning unless you go for the extra hour in bed option.
BS

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Strange coincidence, speckled Jackdaw

 These photos taken down Chapel Lane 13/11/2013.


Walking to work this morning down Chapel Lane at first light several noisy Jackdaws were on the roof tops and amongst them briefly was the speckled Jackdaw seen there 12 months ago or a similar bird. Strange that I,ve had no sightings or reports of sightings then it shows again 1 year on.
A half decent move of Woodpigeons again this morning first light for around 1 hour then all quiet in the grey drizzly skies.
A couple of reports of Pinkies today via the Calderbirds grapevine but again well to the west of us and moving W and NW which seems to be the norm this time so again no sightings over Queensbury.

With vis mig winding down now for another year its time to start the duck hunt watching for Goldeneye, Wigeon, Shelduck, Pintail and thinking big, Smew, well weve got to get one sometime surely.
BS

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pictorial view of Ogden from Sunday

                                   NW corner looking south
   Water cascade down ihto a usually covered inlet
                     Water is usually up to the trees on the left
                                          Probably as low as you,ll ever see it
                West bank, again water usually up to the bushes
                               Early morning sun
                   Water getting too distant for wildfowl photos now.
                    More shoreline than Heysham Head.
                                       Tranquil scene from the prom.

A bright start to the morning and less wind than yesterday but a substantial drop in temperature.
Woodpigeons were coming over in good numbers early on as well as a few small flocks of Fieldfare but this petered out but 0930hrs as the skies darkened.
A new species for the garage list when 3 Cormorants came over heading >S but despite steaming into the garage for the camera at record pace the small camera would,nt focus fast enough to get them before they disappeared behind the buildings.

By lunch time the rains had come, no change there, the lady next door to us says she always takes her washing in when she knows I,m on my way home from work, so a wet dog walk and no birds other than the Foxhill park Common gulls.

A couple of good reports from HC at Oxenhope this morning with a Grey Plover over and a little later on 2 Whooper Swans heading towards Ogden but although I grapevined  this I did,nt here of anyone checking them out. Thanks for the up to date reports Howard.
BS