Sunday, 30 July 2017

Birding In Newquay

Sat 29 July
A short break combining relatives with splendid scenery and some decent birding. Only 2 Buzzard seen on the way down a far cry from the day I once saw c19 of them. On arrival it was a stair rod job so no evening session.
Today Sun 30 was a bright sunny day with a wind that brought the surfers out in masses and the tourists wearing cheap sunglasses. (ZZ Top song)
Common Scoter.

A dark bird was offshore but came close enough for some reasonable photos. According to a local family it ranged from Cormorant, a Bird to Puffin. I'm pleased to say it was a splendid drake
5/6 Fulmar were gliding around the cliffs as were 5 Gannet one of the latter diving steeply a couple of times.

There were many Herring & c9 GBB Gulls plus 4/5 LBBG. One GBBG was bearing ring Green L91 on it's right leg which I'll pursue later.

A few Cormorant were seen along with a squadron of Oystercatcher & a dozen Turnstone.
Passerines: 6 Stonechat, Dunnock, 2 Blackbird, 5 Rock & 2 Meadow Pipit, c20 Linnet, few Linnet, 2 Pied Wagtail.
A Kestrel also clocked along with a few Swallows & House Martins.
TBC - photos.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Local Rubbish Birding XVIII

Ogden Res 5 Cormorant & few usual Gulls.
Golf course area offered brief respite with the 2 Stonechat otherwise down to Goldfinch, Swallows, Meadow Pipits & 3 WW. 

Green Woody heard nr Poxenden; the reservoir was an aquatic morgue with 5 Canadas being the staff and a rotting Pike providing nutrition for hundreds of flies. What a pile of merde. πŸ’©

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Fairburn and Swillington Ings

Fairburn Ings.
1 Spoonbill, 3/4 Little Egret, similar Common Tern. 1 Garden Warbler, several WWs, Sparrowhawk, Tree Sparrows.
A very distant (confirmed) Wood Sandpiper seen by DW only my eyes are due for a redundancy package.

Swillington Ings.
Red Kite, Black Tern, Common Terns,  Whinchat, probable Marsh Harrier flying over reeds briefly. Kestrel, Whitethroat, Sedge Warblers with a lesser no of Reed Warblers, 3 Reed Bunting. Multitude of Wildfowl, few Sand Martin but oddly enough not a single Swift.

My thanks to DW.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Ogden Res to Mixenden

As I was walking up the frog n toad from Bradshaw I got to Rocks Lane and saw a light mantled large gull fly from behind me and head for Ogden Res at approx 1040 hrs. YLG sprang immediately to mind and so I upped the canter sharpish.
Sure enough I caught sight of an adult Yellow-legged Gull in flight just up from Ducky Corner and proceeded to panic with the camera.

At one stage I thought there may have been 2 birds present but I'm more than happy to finally get fair confirmation photos of one of these uncommon gulls in our area.
Also present: 4 Cormorant, several LBB & BH gulls, 2 Chiffchaff, 4 Chaffinch, Grey Wagtail.

The golf course quiet but it did throw up an obliging Green Woodpecker besides the resident Reed Bunting.

Mixenden as usual was slumbering, just a Nuthatch was notable. 1 Grey Wagtail also there along with a few canoeists.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Local Movement

Queensbury via Soil Hill and back approx 0745 hrs. Mixed flock of Goldfinch, Linnet, Greenfinch & House Sparrow at Mountain. One LBBG > NE & a Pied Wagtail at Percy Rd where a few more Greenfinch were hanging, couple Swallows too.
Soil Hill top held 4 Mallard & c25 Meadow Pipit but no Skylark seen or heard. I traipsed down through the dense growth of the N slope to the very bottom, not to be recommended for the uninitiated. c75 Lapwing were present on the excavated muddy field along with a score of Starling. 1 Curlew was calling somewhere from the W edge, a WW was calling from the bushes and a Whitethroat scolding away from similar.

The stretch from the top of the hill via Taylor Lane was a non event and of exercise value only with a Dunnock and a couple of Swallow present.
Old Guy Rd was in deep slumber, the only birds being seen were 1 each Blackbird & Pied Wagtail plus 3/4 crows.
On a positive note yet again the House Sparrows around Foxhill served as a reminder that Queensbury bucks the national trend in that it has a healthy population present.
I did have one puzzler that I can't solve; what sounded like a Jay was calling from a Hawthorn at the edge of the park. I couldn't see the bird which ain't exactly commonplace around this area.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Swillington For Caspian Tern

Having had a poor run with local birding and since it's  been almost 30 years since my first and only sighting of CaspianTern, I motivated myself to visit Swillington Ings despite the rain. After all its a lot closer than Lake Skadar on the Montenegro/Albanian border.

Within 20 minutes of arrival and a good dosing of rain I was onto the cracker which although not close up was instantly recognizable. The distance and conditions weren't conducive for good photos but I managed a few of just about publishable shots.

I then went across to the other side of this large reserve and was rewarded once more with the Black Tern. Other players include Common Tern, Little Egret, Avocet, Reed & Sedge Warblers, Kestrel, several Swift and the multitude of water fowl.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Soil Hill to Mixenden

A fog covered the hill at 1035 hrs so I opted for the Ned Hill track where I managed a pr of Whitethroat. Others: pr Greenfinch, Goldfinches, House Sparrows, Pied Wagtail.
8 Pheasant including 6 young and a couple of Goldcrest were all that the plantation offered mainly due to being inundated with Homo Sapiens.

Ogden Res had many LBBG & BHG but only 1 Common Gull. By now it was obvious that WWs were dispersing and this trend continued throughout.
Others 3 Cormorant, Jay, Kestrel, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap.

I was escorted on the stretch to Mixenden by around 32 youthful orienteers so that wrapped up more birding really. I did see the Little Owl briefly, Meadow Pipits, Swallows, Reed Bunting, Linnets and a Grey Wagtail.
The reservoir was virtually mummified.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Wainstalls to Mixenden

A really quiet session overall in the sunshine and noticeable NW'ly blow. 4 Tufted Duck on the lower dams at Cold Edge with some Canadas and Meadow Pipits. A single calling Golden Plover was all that the walk up to the Withens could offer and from there down to Ogden it was dire.
Ogden Res was almost a copy of my previous visit on Saturday.
The section from the rough ground above Brook house to Mixenden proved a little better. 2 Stonechat which I'm certain are the same birds from the last 3 sightings were on the fences.
Also 1 each Curlew, Grey Heron & Reed Bunting and 2/3 Linnet. The reservoir ain't worth mentioning apart from the GSW.

DM got a Buzzard over Corporal Lane at approx 1440 hrs.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Back To Reality

0gden Res 1050 hrs. 16 LBBG, c23 BHG & 1 Common Gull, 2 Cormorant. 1 each Grey Wagtail, Blackcap & Chiffchaff.
Golf course to Mixenden Res: 2 Reed Bunting, 3/4 Linnet, few more Goldfinch, 1 each GSW & Green Woody, Meadow Pipits, Swallows.
2 immature Moorhen on Mixenden plus 5 Canada, Mallards & 1 Grey Wagtail.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Blacktoft Sands & Swillington

A great birding session courtesy of DW.

Blacktoft Sands 0900 hrs. 3 Marsh Harrier, 6 Spoonbill, 2 Shelduck, 3 Green Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, 5 Redshank, 8 Spotted Redshank, 2 Snipe, c30 Ruff, 1 GBBG, 5 Little Grebe, 2 Little Egret, ditto Shoveler, 1 Pochard, several Gadwall & Teal.

Top Pic DW; lower NK

Top pic NK; lower DW

Both NK

Cettis Warbler singing, Reed & Sedge Warblers, 2 Blackcap, several Tree Sparrow. A Barn Owl standing at the entrance to its nest box & a calling Green Woodpecker.

All 3 DW

Dave wanted a crack at the Swillington Black Tern so we arrived there at about 1150 hrs. This bird didn't show today, maybe the fresh wind was influential but a few Common Terns were undaunted.
The next bird seen first by himself  was a cracking Bittern low over the reed bed giving clear views. 😜 It's been a biblical period since I last had one of these beauties.
Others include Black-necked Grebe & GC, Avocet, several Sand Martin and as per my previous trip Wed.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Skelton and Swillington Ings

I responded eagerly to an invitation from DP to try for the Black Tern & WWB Tern seen together at Skelton lake and then the ings at Swilly on 11 July. We had a rough time finding Skelton Lake - even the locals admitted the access was troublesome. Birds seen here included 12 Mistle Thrush, pr Garden Warbler, 2 Buzzard, pr Kestrel, Lapwings & Oystercatchers. A Yellowhammer was heard but could not be seen; the vast amount of yellow ragwort in the field didn't help.

We both breathed a sigh of relief on arrival at Swillington Ings - a much more user friendly environment. It was evident that we are in July for sure - things had quietened down considerably since my previous visit.

These poor pictures do not reflect the great views we had of the the Black Tern which at times flew very close to us, albeit with some speed. It was generally accepted by all birders that the WW Black had moved on.
Other birds include: 1 Avocet, 3 Oystercatcher, 1 Black-necked Grebe ditto Little Grebe, GC Grebes, 1 Pochard, Cormorants, several Tufted Duck, Common Terns, Reed & Sedge Warblers, few Sand Martins & Swallows, couple Swift, several Lapwings.

Note that WW doesn't mean Willow Warbler; in this instance it's White Winged πŸ˜‹

Monday, 10 July 2017

Ogden Res to Mixenden

Ogden Res approx 1050 hrs in light rain. c75 LBBG were present on the W shoreline so I wandered round and after a while something caused the gulls to disperse and take flight. I scoured them on the drink and came up with an adult YLG which was later joined by a second bird. The second bird hung round a bit so I managed some more gash photos, so much so I can't determine whether it was a 3CY or a sub-adult.

The first bird was seen to take flight and what seemed to be 10 minutes after there was no trace of the younger one. In fact the total count of the LBBG went down rather dramatically too. BHG = 15.

There was a singing Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff and a WW seen here before I moved to the usual site adjacent to the GC. Here were 1 Pied Wagtail, 2 Stonechat, several Meadow Pipit, 2 Reed Bunting, 3/4 Goldfinch ditto Linnet & a Whitethroat.

Mixenden Res was poor just producing the usual wagtails and a few hirundines. However from the plantation a Tawny Owl called a couple of times and another replied from the trees scattered up Hunter Hill where another Reed Bunting was singing.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Blogger Posting

Test Post from Blogger App on mobile bone to Birdbrain blog.

A Fresh Start

I deleted the old blog which has been going since 2005 for a number of reasons. One was to get rid of clutter - I found I'd deleted dozens of photographs from my google account meaning they don't appear on any posts. Another was to shake off that bogged down feeling of being trapped by ones past. I hasten to add I'm sure this will return fairly soon once I've gone out into our birding wilderness a few more times. Have you noticed my positive attitude hasn't changed? πŸ˜€πŸ‘πŸ‘.

My brief affair with Twitter is over; it doesn't allow me to ramble on incessantly and bore people to thinking that cricket and dressage are exciting by comparison. Truth be known there were a couple of elements I struggled with and wasn't prepared to battle through with what is basically a pile of 🐎manure for the masses. Simple text messages or voice calls are more effective - granted there aren't too many of those knocking around due to the prevalent suppression culture in this area.

The Racing Pigeon I found dead t'other day hadn't flown far - it came from a farm off Giles Hill Lane about 800 meters up the frog n toad.