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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Soil Hill, p.m.

                  Plenty Mipits on the hill
                           My first Willow Warbler of the year




On the eve of May and not a warbler on the year list yet, which is understandable working Fly Flatts and Soil Hill, I set off at 1600 hrs heading for Ogden even though wood watching is not my thing.
As I drove up Perseverance Road the sky was blue and clear, just right for sky watching and with the pull of Soil Hill as I approached the next thing was I was parked up and walking up dog cack alley.
Probably the wrong decision as all was quiet but a pleasant hour up there away from the maddening crowds.
Soil Hill
Around 12 Skylark
18 Meadow Pipit
2 Grey Partridge
3 Kestrel
1 distant Peregrine
1 Curlew
9 Lapwing
Field full of Woodpigeon and Stock Doves.

Home for some tea then after a lot of pacing about in the house like a caged Bear it was shackle up the dogs and off to Ogden, much to Lyndas relief to get me from under her feet.
Arrived at Ogden at 1900 hrs which was late in the day for warblers but a walk on to passerine alley produced 2 very mobile Willow Warbs and a single Chiffchaff along with a few Wrens and Robins.
The water held the usual Mallards, now in small numbers , and 2 Canada geese.
Looks like the Kingfisher has moved on to a breeding site.
BS

Friday, April 29, 2016

Snow, Goslings and a Dunlin

        First job this morning, dig out
      A snowy walk to work

              Christmas card material
                           Scratting for food


                                         Send it down

          Good news, 5 Canada goslings





  Nolstar kennels this evening and the Dunlin DJS  found.


                Wheatear in the same field
  Very distant photos in poor evening light.



After overnight snow continuing into the morning Queensbury got a good covering but by late afternoon most had cleared in the rising temperatures.
A lunchtime check of yesterdays garden breeding Canada to see if it had abandoned the nest with the overnight conditions brought a nice surprise with 5 goslings following the parents round. Not a good time to be hatched on probably the worst night of the year but they seemed happy enough. All they have to do now is keep their heads down when the Heron and Carrions appear.
Last year just 2 survived thanks to Carrion Crows.

With a text today from DJS of a Dunlin in with the Golden Plovers at Nolstar kennels, and working on the assumption that birds attract birds, and still having an obsession of a local Dotterel I took a trip up there at 1900 hrs.
Nine Goldies were in the field with a single Wheatear and sure enough dashing about in the reeds was the Dunlin. Dave did well to pick this bird out as they were all distant at the far side of the field and by the time I got there the light was poor. Unfortunately no Dotterel but a pleasant hour out.
A walk up towards the Withins provided another 3 Wheatear and 4 Pied Wagtails whilst a steady flow of Swallows were overhead >N.
BS

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Glutten for punishment, Soil Hill

Soil Hill tonight 1900 hrs - 2015 hrs in what I class as exciting conditions with a strong W>5-6 and heavy rain showers coming through on fast moving clouds. Ideal for dropping a passing wader down to lie low overnight. It was conditions exactly like tonight when I came across the Purple Sandpiper on the hill but that was an autumn bird in 2006.
No such luck tonight just getting chance to check the tree line and summits between the heavy showers but at least it put my mind at rest knowing that I,d missed nothing.
Plenty bird activity up there with the usual Skylarks and Mipits whilst 2 Lapwing were bombarding everything in sight.
2 female Wheatear were at the bottom end of the tree line near the NK pond along with a Curlew but it looks as if the Lapwings in that area have seen off the pair of Oystercatchers that looked ready for breeding on the Shay.

Few pics from during the course of the day :-

                             Collared Dove above the garage

                                       Female blackbird in the graveyard

              Woodpigeon up on the aerial

                          Canada nesting in a Queensbury garden
              Male watching on doing a seal impression

                                   Bit of an exposed spot but
                          successful last year.

BS

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

If at first you don,t succeed, get back up that hill.

Soil Hill 1900-2000 hrs.

                   A low cloud base from Soil Hill
                            Fly Flatts getting a hammering
         This ones got my name on it
                                  Let it snow.

  Foxhill Robin from dinnertime
              An amazing bird taken for granted.

With Dotterel and Ring Ouzel still in mind it was a Sainsburys shop then back up on the hill.
What crazy weather this is. I went up on the hill following the worst hailstorm ever hoping for 1 hour of dry. From the summit you could see hail and snow showers all around mainly to the east although a heavy snow shower slipped past me through the col. Half way through the watch the fog dropped making me think game over when suddenly it lifted again as quick as it came down, weird!
As I left, the snow flakes were coming down like half crowns and quickly starting to cover.
At least it was pleasant to have only a light breeze up there.
A full shufty round including to the bottom of the tree line found the usual sp. including 4 Grey Partridge and 2 Greenfinch which were unusual up there.
A Fox scurried from the corner of the mistle flushing a Short Eared Owl from just beyond which immediately disappeared over the banking towards the Ned Hill track.
BS

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Thunderstorms, Snow Blizzards and a cold spell on Soil Hill.

                Just another spring day in Queensbury




A stonking day in Queensbury with a bit of everything. Heavy hailstorms turned to snow with thunder and lightening for a while with spells of sunshine in between but remaining cold in the north wind with a temperature of -1 deg first thing.
With all this going on and the decorating finished, for now anyway, I thought I,d better get up Soil Hill to see if the storms had dropped anything down but if it had I didnt find it.
1900-2015 hrs with a temp of 1 deg but feeling much colder with the wind chill N>5-6 but sunny and clear.
Plenty bird life up there with the usual Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and Lapwings along with 1 Snipe briefly.
The habitat on the east summit is ideal for Dotterel but a thorough search of the whole area tonight including the tree line found nothing untoward.
Fast approaching another Bank Holiday so hopes of warmer weather to give the migration a shove is needed.
BS