Monday, 16 July 2018

Low Moor Dams

The paucity of birds is locally widespread. Harold Park Lake was a write off; I suppose the wealth of green algae didn't help. I did get several Swift and House Martin on Halifax Road just before I arrived at Low Moor and a couple of large gulls over.

Park Dam: 1 each Little & GC Grebe, 1 Kestrel, 3 BHG, c10 Tufted Duck, 3 House Martin, 2 Swift, 2 Blackbird, several House Sparrow, 2 Collard Dove, Dunnock, Coot, Moorhen, Dullards.
Roll on Autumn or mebbe 2019.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Soil Hill to Mixenden

Another exasperating walk thanks to the lack of birds. Soil Hill had a Kestrel, 7/8 Skylark and the residue of Thursday's sizeable Meadow Pipit influx. However the 8 Curlew and large Lapwing flock from the week before have dwindled to nowt, nada, nichts, zilch.

I tried to reacquaint myself with the 4 Spotted Flycatcher from last week at Ogden Res to no avail. However I did manage to encounter the Siskin pair/family thanks to the racket they made.
A pale mantled large gull was in among the LBBG crowd on the water so I started to check on YLG features with difficulty as it remained at distance. The legs remained hidden so it was down to the primary wing mirrors and black tips; as much as it causes me great angst I have to conclude Herring Gull.

Across the golf course and track to Mixenden took me back to my desert days but without the sand. A Swallow and Meadow Pipit had the affrontery to permeate the clear blue skies.
There was no sign of Thursday's long staying f Goldeneye but this is understandable given the heathen hordes present, in fact they may be responsible for the loud shriek issued by the Moorhen.

Here is a pic of a mega I picked up, again on Thursday a personal tick to boot, a Turkey.

The Mixenden Gobbler

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Rodley Nature Reserve

Courtesy of  DM along with DW. A very enjoyable session culminating with a look inside the visitor centre which contained information of value relevant to many of the plants and insects we'd encountered.

A welcome surprise bird came in the form of a Pintail, either a female or juvenile judging by the plumage. At this date I don't think it was a male in eclipse.

Grey Heron, Red Kite, Kestrel, Kingfisher,  Cormorant, Pintail, Tufted Duck, GC & Little Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Reed Bunting, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Sand Martin, Swallow, Swift, Whitethroat, Song Thrush.

A Tawny Owl was heard calling for a few minutes during the walk to the reserve but eluded us in the foliage.

Friday, 22 June 2018


A warm morning with clear blue skies made for a pleasant if almost birdless trudge from home to Mixenden Aqua Sports centre.

A pr Curlew and a Kestrel graced Soil Hill.

I found this exceptionally big mouse at Ogden Plantation

An all out effort at Ogden for Spotted Flycatcher turned up a couple of  Blackcap and Chiffchaff plus the inevitable few WW. c27 LBBG were on the drink.

5 Linnet, a GSW & 2 Little Owl were at Hunter Hill bottom.
The 2022 Olympic Kayak and Canoe team were on Mixenden Res along with the f Goldeneye, 2 BHG, Moorhen, 2 Pied and Grey Wagtail, ditto LBBG.

DW saw interaction between 5 LBBG and a Buzzard in the Old Guy Rd area this afternoon.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Ogden Res Provides

I reckoned it would be worth a reservoir check given the weather and it turned out to be the case at Ogden.
There were 10 BHG, 13 LBBG at the start with 2 Yellow-legged Gulls joining in at the end of the circuit.
Also 1 each Kestrel, Grey Heron and GSW.

Mixenden Res: f Goldeneye, 2 BHG, 5 LBBG, 1 Moorhen, Grey Wagtail, 2 Pied Wagtail, several House Martin, few Swallow. 3 GSW were heard and seen - part of a family.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Usual Mixenden Route

An early start as my plans to sell cheap Tunisian football shirts at expensive rates to Irish, Scottish and Welsh fans were thwarted. I suspect that swine Pierre Merdemanger has something to do with this, I shall investigate further.

Soil Hill was passage only again, 1 RLP. Kestrel.
Ogden had a pr Grey Heron on the W shore, 3 Curlew over N, 3 Bullfinch, 1 each Blackcap & Chiffchaff, 3 WW.

The golf course stretch to Hunter Hill bottom had Reed Bunting, Snipe, Whitethroat, pr Swift, 9 Mistle Thrush, Linnet, Swallow, House Martin, Blackbird

Mixenden Res was swarming with the Canoe and Kayak fraternity but still had Redshank, Goldeneye, Moorhen,  a few House Martin, 1 each BHG & LBBG.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Soil to Mixenden Res

A soporific start that ended satisfactorily.
Soil Hill served as passage only and Ogden was only slightly better. Gulls are back on the scene: 5 BHG & 10 LBBG. A Grey Heron was on the W shore.

The stretch from the golf course produced distant Curlew, 1 Reed Bunting, few Linnet ditto Goldfinch, single Swift ditto Snipe. Bottom Hunter Hill had a couple Swallow & Oystercatcher. Here I conjured myself up a Little Owl which flew a couple metres away from me across a field to settle on a wall. Sometimes thought does produce a positive result.

Mixenden Res: long staying f Goldeneye lingering longer. 1 LBBG, 8 BHG insect scooping, few House Martin. A GSW called.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Luddenden Dean

Courtesy of DM along with DW. Continuing the pattern of a very pleasant walk in the scenery and good weather with minimal number of birds, especially sought after migrants. A Nuthatch was singing loudly from probably the tallest and loneliest tree in the centre of Booth with a few House Martin and Swallow knocking around.

I came across 2 Tawny Owl remains over the side of a wall top next to the road. One was an adult bird, the other much smaller one would probably have been a juvenile. The scenario I envisage, and there could be a few, was that they had been together when hit by a passing vehicle. The driver presumably picked up the corpses and placed them on the grass.
The bodies were covered in bluebottle flies but these flew away temporarily when they smelled my breath as I inspected the remains. A large pile of plucked feathers were evident and all the flesh of the birds had been stripped by an unknown predator.
Interestingly when we returned to the spot after our trek, the body of the juvenile had been taken away I believe by the predator, having been partially covered by the adult before I started rummaging around.

Living birds were: 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, WW, 1 Grey Heron, Cuckoo heard, pr Green Woodpecker, 1 GSW, couple Swift, Coal Tit family and a plethora of Robin.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Back Of Beyond

A long arduous day courtesy of DP that has left me wrecked hence the bullshit will happen tomorrow, meanwhile here's some pics...

...Fly Flatt's: c6 Common Sandpiper, 3 Dunlin, several Redshank, Curlew & Lapwing, few Snipe.
We moved on to Hardcastle Crags where yet again the evidence of a tragic year for migrants was proven. Just 1 Spotted Flycatcher was seen along with a few WW & 2 Blackcap.

Moving up to the lower Walshaw region we did have a lively session with displaying Snipe and juvenile Lapwing showing. A pr Common Sandpiper were showing some anxiety on the reservoir where 4 Oystercatcher and a bunch of Greylag were present.
Others birds: Curlew, Grey & Pied Wagtail, Buzzard, Kestrel being mobbed by Lapwing, a few Swallow ditto Goldfinch.

Friday, 8 June 2018

Undisclosed Everything

Courtesy of SP. I was invited to a garden by an old adversary to view this special bird that they had seen in the last couple of days.

What a cracker! It just stayed in the same spot staring me out and exhausting my camera battery. However after a few minutes I left it and withdrew to a suitable distance. Well worth the effort it took to get there and many thanks to the householder.

NB No one but no one gets to know any details so don't waste your efforts.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Langden Valley

Courtesy DW an enjoyable trek in testing terrain at times on a pleasant day.
Stonechat were on form with c11 birds seen incl a family group.
2 Cuckoo were heard and after a prolonged effort one was eventually seen in flight being mobbed by presumed Meadow Pipits.
We were both hoping to get Ring Ouzel and were duly rewarded when Dave got a male in flight which alighted on a fence and was soon joined by its mate.

Others: pr Common Sandpiper, few Oystercatcher, Kestrel, LBBG, BHG, Curlews, Grey Wagtail, few House Martin, couple Blackcap, several WW, pr Mistle Thrush.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Soil Hill to Mixenden

Soil Hill approx 0955 hrs: Whitethroat, RLP, Oystercatcher, Kestrel, Curlew. The pr Oystercatcher that were nesting at the E quarry bottom near the pond have moved on, hopefully with their young.

Although Ogden Res was quiet with just a Grey Heron around the shoreline I had the opportunity to record a Cuckoo. Click on the highlit bold link to hear the bird but turn your volume up! It went on to sing 9 times. There was no sign of Spotted Flycatcher again, nor Tree Pipit. Other birds: 2 GSW, Tawny Owl, 5 LBBG > E.

Golf course to Mixenden: Whitethroat, Linnet, pr Mistle Thrush. A fair number of Swift were busy along with a few Swallow.
Mixenden Res: 2 LBBG, BHG, Moorhen,  more Swift than  Swallow. One of the LBBG was following the example of the Swift and skimming the water to pick up insects, it did this 3 times.

Friday, 1 June 2018

Swillington Ings

A very warm humid session which lent itself to mediocre birding in the main; the exception being an almost constant booming of a pr Bittern.
Hirundines were absent and only one Swift was seen.
I missed the goodies listed on the local blog as did a couple of local guys I know who also mentioned they were on a mission to film BNG and hadn't seen one.

Common Tern were around in fair numbers and I managed a few clich├ęd photos.
Otherwise it was down to Gadwall, Tufted, Pochard, Shoveler, Shelduck, Cormorant, Reed & Sedge Warbler plus a range of gulls.
However in conclusion it was still better than being stuck with local birding.

Wood Pigeon Squab on popular footpath.

I hope it's a predator that feeds well and not a dog.