Thursday, April 09, 2020

Lee Mount - 8th April

Garden watch !
Pair of Nuthatch coming regularly to the garden feeder
Also Blackcap and Chiffchaff singing in the park on and off during the day.
Tawny Owls calling and singing most nights after 23:00
Red Kite over mid afternoon (from Steve C) but I couldn't pick it out due to surrounding houses !
I did have a Buzzard and 2 Sparrowhawks together earlier but generally the sky was very quiet apart from 1 Herring Gull and several Lesser Black-backed Gulls loitering. They had probably been feeding in freshly manured fields over towards Ploughcroft.
Peregrine flyover towards Halifax early evening.
Not a bad day in all that hot sunshine !

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Cold Edge

The Mandarin found by PB on Sunday is still here.
Also, a pair of Goosander, and 2 singing Willow warblers

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Lee Mount - watch-point !

Garden watch most of the day.
1 Buzzard very high over >N
Female Sparrowhawk seen overhead twice
Blackcap male singing in the park most of this afternoon. Also a Chiffchaff
1 Swallow over - brief view over the trees in the park - always nice to see them back from Africa for our summer.
2 Nuthatch coming to the garden feeder.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Other news today - brief summary....

Summer plumage Water Pipit located at Green Withens Reservoir this afternoon (PG)

A few reports last couple of days of Swallows and a couple of House Martins. (AC MBr BS MM NCD et al.....

Willow Warbler in Jumble Hole (MB)
Mandarin drake on Cold Edge dams yesterday (PB)

Ring Ouzels - one each Crimsworth Dean(HBB)  and Rishworth Lodge area (PG)

An encouraging number of Greenfinch reported in the last week or two. They have been getting really scarce in the last few years so we hope they are on the up again though Chaffinch's are now the ones that are in rapid decline. The BTO are gathering data to try and work out what's happening with them.

Ospreys - see post and comments below from Soil Hill

Soil Hill

A long awaited patch tick today. Osprey flew slowly north at 12.25. Nothing else of note in windy conditions

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Soil Hill - updates from the week

Just a few bits from a daily walk around Soil Hill during the past week.

30 March
Still 9 Fieldfare in the fields around the top, feeding with Starlings

31 March
At least 4 Buzzards drifted north, also 2 Sparrowhawks circling

02 April
5 five flocks of Common Scoter flew E over the Soil Hill/Bradshaw area between 21.15 and 21.45

03 April
3 Buzzards drifted west towards Fly Flatts
Still 6 Fieldfares in the fields
1 Snipe drumming
2 more flocks of Common Scoter flew E, one at 21.32 and another at 21.49

04 April
Steady morning of VisMig, all north between 08.00 and 09.00; Woodpigeon 18, Fieldfare 52, Meadow Pipit 92, Linnet 2
3 Oystercatchers blogging around

05 April
1 Swallow flew through N 8.16, my first of the year. Another was blogging over Bradshaw around 11.45
2 Snipe drumming
2 Redwing flew west with 14 Fieldfare
Also rather sadly found one of the sites Little Owls dead on the side of the road.

Ogden Garden

A buzzard flying over this morning from Mixenden direction over the windmills in the direction of Oxenhope

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Recent news !

Despite the 'islolation' plenty of local birders seem to be doing their local patches. It seems to be paying off with no shortage of news this last few days. I''l try summarize some of the highlights.

Male Ring Ouzel today in the fields opposite Withens Head (formerly the wind-farm car park) (AR)

2 Ospreys - one over Jumble Hole yesterday (MB) and another today over Ringstone (JB). Also at Ringstone the overwintering Common Sandpiper seems to be still around though the summer migrants will also be arriving soon.

Lots of singing Chiffchaffs being reported from a wide range of locations and a Swallow over Barkisland today (GC). 2 Siskin from a garden feeder in Brighouse (RB)

White Wagtail at Norton Tower around the manure pile this afternoon (NCD).

Several reports of Green Woodpeckers singing from a number of locations and Great Spotted Woodpeckers 'drumming'.

If you have a garden then it could be well worth watching from in these next few weeks as some more of our summer migrants arrive.

Ogden Garden

Ten waxwings on the same tree this morning at 7.45am. Then flew to the same tree with berries in an adjoining garden which suggests may be same flock from earlier in week.

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Common Scoters - 2nd April

Well done Mat Br for picking up flight calls of more Common Scoter flocks tonight heading probably >NE over Mytholmroyd around 21:30. Good work too from Dan B also picking them out over Bradshaw shortly afterwards  with several flocks heading over. Fantastic work you two.

I was out till 23:30 but didn't pick anything definite up over Lee Mount but the moon and the stars look great !

Another small Scoter flock heard over Mytholmroyd at 23:37 (MBr).

I wonder if the birds have been wintering along the west coast and around Ireland and been waiting for the recent prolonged easterly winds to drop and change direction before heading over to our east coast and beyond (? - just a thought.) I can't recall reports of scoters passing over Calderdale in this way previously - though I suspect they do. We do get occasional small flocks on local reservoirs.

Hopefully we might get some more flyovers after dark. Keep listening !!!

A big number overnight at Spurn as well.

Today’s news.

At least 2 flocks of Common Scoters reported flying over Mytholmroyd yesterday evening (MBr) and possibly a single bird on Cromwell Bottom ski-lake yesterday late afternoon. (Jeff M).
Might be some more about on local reservoirs but with the 'lock down' - who knows.

Local walk for me this morning in the Wheatley Valley. Nice to hear a Green Woodpecker singing away near Wood Lane. Also 3 Chiffchaff singing and a pair of Grey Wagtails by the stream near the viaduct at the bottom of Boy Lane. Also evidence of Dippers down there but I didn't seen one.

Male Brambling reported still at the feeders in a Norland garden (AT).

Nothing to update on yesterday's Waxwings at Ogden so looks like they've moved on.

Stay safe everyone.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Beak of the day at Cromwell Bottom

Photo below from Mike H - this poor Blue Tit has been coming for a while to the feeders down there. It's amazing it's survived from at least last summer and through the winter so it must be able to feed ok !
Thanks Mike
Blue Tit

Ogden Garden

Twelve waxwings in garden this afternoon. Now in adjacent garden eating few remaining berries

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Question ?

   Are Starlings known for imitating other birds,
   the reason I ask is because I was up in the garden
   and heard a Curlew calling and thought wow that's
   a good one for over this area, so looked up into the
   sky and in the fields at the back of my house and
   nothing, I then spotted a Starling on a neighbours
   roof singing its head off with guess what? the song
   of the Curlew, I kid you not. It was amazing to watch,
   with hindsight I should've filmed it on my mobile phone
   but I was that gobsmacked I never even thought, it also
   did its normal Starling song in between blasts of the Curlew.

Soil Hill

I'm lucky that I can visit Soil Hill as part of my daily exercise during isolation. Normally I have headed up first thing in the morning, to help avoid people and hopefully get some VisMig, but today decided to try the afternoon to hopefully get some raptors.
It certainly paid off when I flushed this stunning Jack Snipe. It initially got up right next to my feet, flying right past me showing off its golden stripes. The bird never made a sound. I followed its flight to a dense grass thicket but unfortunately could not find it on the deck before it flushed again. This time it did a big flight and descended to the bottom of the Hill where the marsh used to be.
-Jack Snipe
Fairly standard affair otherwise. Four Buzzards and two Sparrowhawks made up the best of the supporting cast. 

Hebden Bridge

Pink-footed goose. Went to Hebden for organic bread and other supplies, and saw this goose on the towpath with a Canada goose. Could approach it to about 10m.
In the light through clouds the bill looked orange, and the legs pinky-orange. This, and the amount of colour on the bill, made me think it is a Bean goose. However, my photos looked at indoors show that the bill and legs are pink. Also, the bill is too short for Bean, and the bird is quite a lot smaller than the Canada next to it (ruling out Taiga Bean).
It gave some short, quite high-pitched calls - like the yelp of a small dog. This also rules out Bean.