Friday, 8 December 2017

Shibden Valley Trek

An exhilarating yomp  through the light snow, ice and thick mud of the valley in brilliant sunshine, the kind of day that makes you feel alive (zombies - I didn't mean to upset you).
Some good news about the NW track that leaves Swalesmoor Road and heads down in the direction of the old YWA building. Men in machines have cut a swathe through the area and done away with the potentially dangerous overgrown ditch, also removing fallen tree trunks.

(Hoss thought:This poor sod must be a simpleton)

Birds were sporadic but there were some quality moments, e.g at Bare Head Tunnel I disturbed a male Sparrowhawk that had just made a kill. It flew a few metres into the undergrowth carrying off a Robin sized bird. Presumably the same hawk was seen about 50 mins later flying across Shibden Head.

A Buzzard came out to do a lap and a half for 2/3 minutes. I walked past a bramble patch and was surprised by a Thrush type that twice called loudly as it flew close toward me. It veered off and dived into cover but was so quick I could only narrow it down to Song Thrush or Redwing respectively by sight. Hopefully when I play the call back from Xeno Canto I'll nail it.
Others: 1 Grey Wagtail, Kestrel & 1 Fieldfare, 5 Redwing, 8 Blackbird, 2 Jay ditto Chaffinch, 1 Pheasant & several Jackdaw.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Swillington Ings

Courtesy of DW with DM representing Northowram on a mild calm day. In no particular order: Red Kite, Buzzard, c12 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Goldcrest, 5 Reed Bunting ditto Pied Wagtail, c20 Goldfinch, 4 Chaffinch.

The water was Fowl: a really good count of Pochard all things considered c22 birds  present. 6 Goldeneye, similar Pintail, several Goosander, Shoveler & Gadwall, numerous Tufted, a few Wigeon.
2 Redshank, c300 Lapwing, c11 GBBG, few Herring Gulls, Cormorants, Greylags, 2 Grey Heron.

Not forgetting Willow TitπŸ‘€πŸ˜, (Pics by DW) Kingfisher, Stonechat.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Saved By The Swans

Raggalds to Mixenden via Soil Hell and Ogden approx 1020 hrs. 11 Lapwing on the Flood, few small gulls in the vicinity.
Once again the Hellish Hill had nothing to offer on the top but a Kestrel. Down at the bottom were c210 Lapwing and a Grey Heron.
At 1125 hrs I had just gone down the Adventure Centre slope toward the Ogden plantation when I turned round for some inexplicable reason. Oh boy! 7 Whooper Swan were flying over > SE going across Soil Hill southern slope in a direction that would take them over Bradshaw and Queensbury.
Ogden Res had 2 drake Teal out in the middle, 1 LBBG, small gulls and a few Canadas.
The walk to Stod Fold and Mixenden Res produced a couple Chaffinch, 4 Blackbird, ditto Redwing, 1 each Mistle Thrush, Sparrowhawk & f Goldeneye.

PS A Tawny was hOwling at nightmare o'clock this morning over the back yard and a Grey Wagtail was on BD Mills roof as I returned home.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Low Moor Circular

Queensbury to Low Moor and back via Shelf Moor. It's the old story: drop below the heights of the parish and you will get birds.

Low Moor Dams: 30 Tufted Duck, 11 Goosander, (26 & 8 at Harold Park respectively. 2 Herring Gull and numerous smaller varmints.

1 each Cormorant, Grey Heron & Grey t Crested Grebe πŸ˜πŸ˜€. 2 Little Grebe, c50 Canadas, 8 Mute Swan, c8 Moorhen & an epidemic of Coot. 2 Chaffinch, 1 Mistle Thrush, 8 Blackbird.

Shelf Moor: c22 Lapwing, c18 Meadow Pipit, 1 each Pied & Grey Wagtail, 3 Blackbird ditto Fieldfare - my first local of the winter.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Dire Straits

Except there was nothing strait about today's quick outing from home via the Raggalds upto Soil Hill down Taylor Lane thence back home. Dire it certainly was; amazing that somebody who is obsessed by birds should visit Soil Hill.

Raggalds had a few small gulls present. Persecution Rd had a sizeable number of House Sparrers. The hill from a medieval horror story had no sign of life whatsoever on the top. Down in the bottom field were a large number of Lapwing along with some Starling.

Atop Taylor Lane a Robin was perched in the ancient harvesting machine, needless to say the Little Owl wasn't there. No other birds were seen save a few small gulls.
At least my new boots passed the test.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Raggalds Flood Delivers

1030 hrs full to the brim the flood held 2 pr Wigeon and some small gulls. The corner where the Snipe hang is covered in H2O as is the adjacent section over the wall.
Soil Hill had to be abandoned in a wall of water coming down from the sky with not one bird apart from a few caaawvids being seen.
Ogden was the pits 'nuff said.
Mixenden Res had 1 Cormorant present with the 2 f Goldeneye reported previously still there. Also a number of small gulls.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Slippin N Sliding down South

Chronic Birding Land approx 0915 hrs Cold with some ice underfoot. Littlemoor Park was being prepared for a cycle race and although a number of homo sapiens were about I can't blame them for scaring birds away particularly as there were none to scare. 
Psycho Nuthatch was evident along with a couple of Blackbird and a Chaffinch.

The remainder of the walk through High Cross Lane to lanes Corporal & Green produced:
1 Lapwing, 1 Mistle Thrush, mebbe a distant Redwing & 1 Goldfinch. 2 Meadow Pipit, 15 Canada Geese, c25 Common Gull, similar Jackdaw (no Nordics I'm afraid) Starlings Wrens n Robins.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Blown Away

I was wrong in thinking Soil Hell has the monopoly on strong wind. The gale I experienced today took my back to the halcyon days of hurricanes in Belize. When I got back to the hotel I took time out to scoop sand out of my eyes.

I came across this Redshank resting on the beach so sneaked one in with the mobile. It was more of the same species generally but Black-tailed Godwits had shot up to around 220 birds. Oh and the wind had blown the Twite out of sight.

Posting pics from Blogger Mobile is one helluva pain, hopefully I may be able to tidy up on arrival back in Queensbury the home of chronic birding.

PS I did.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Down Came The Rain

Not too much wet stuff but enough to invoke a half days rest.
I recced an area to south of the pier which is sandhill country. Probably ok for SEO & Harriers when dry. Relocated theTwite flock now at c50 birds.
Pinkies in small groups over the town, I suppose local birders don't bat an eyelid. Same applies to the Oystercatchers that group together on the grass adjacent to a large retail building. This am there were probably 20 of them making a racket.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Still They Come

A morning start revealed more of the same as yesterday for example Black-tailed Godwit numbered around 80 birds and Pintail were off the scale. Pinkies continued to delight giving good photo opportunities and with the high tide Shelduck were showing well.
Toward the end of the long trek I encountered c20 Twite in the same area as yesterday and they were in camera range as a bonus.
New birds today were 8 Gadwall, numerous Teal, Wigeon & Tufted Duck, several Canada & a few Greylag Geese, pr Stonechat, 1 each Reed Bunting & Kestrel, c10 Skylark, c24 Meadow Pipit, 4 Pied Wagtail. Gulls plentiful and one Herring sneered at me as I got a shot of it with the mobile bone.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Birder Outnumbered

What an assault on the senses this afternoon has been; so many Pinkfeet,  they even flew over the town centre. Shelduck were in the highest numbers I've ever encountered pity the tide was out.
A mind blower after just 20 minutes along the beach was a party of c15 Snow Bunting flying around. Shortly after a similar sized group of brown jobs did the same but they were briefer and I really can't bring myself to say they were Twite. I hope to encounter them tomorrow when I take an extended walk along the beach.

Other players: 7/8 Black-tailed Godwit, c45 Oystercatcher, 2 Curlew, c20 Redshank, c12 Little Egret, 6 Little Grebe, ditto Pintail, c400 Coot. Also Lapwings, Cormorants, Mute Swans and other watery fowl.
Some photos to follow whenever.
This location is almost as good as the flood 😆

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Quiet Queensbury South

Bright Sunny Calm conditions. A very conspicuous noisy Nuthatch in Littlemoor Park along with a few Blackbird & Chaffinch.
22 Lapwing, 2 Bullfinch, Jay, several Jackdaws and small Gulls, pr Mistle Thrush, 4 Redwing and that's it.