Made a short visit to Ogden after doing the rounds on Soil Hill this morning, in the hope of finally getting Kingfisher for the yearlist, which did the decent thing and was below the dam wall fishing. While birding there, a flock of 9 Waxwings flew over heading north. Initially picked up calling, my camera settings were completely wrong and I only managed a blurred record shot, but at least the birds are identifiable. Otherwise a female Teal on the reservoir.
Saturday, December 02, 2023
Friday, December 01, 2023
In the last few weeks there has been many reports of Waxwings from around the country, particularly Scotland and the north east as well as other parts of West Yorkshire, Lancashire and elsewhere. With the report of 4 in Norland, (from AT) last week and those in Todmorden yesterday and again today then there must have been a good chance locally.
On checking some traditional sites for Waxwings I eventually came across 15 in the tops of trees in the St Albans area. Always a nice surprise. Plenty of Blackbirds along with a few Redwings and Mistle Thrushes and Greenfinch were also enjoying the feast of berries. Spectacle also enjoyed this afternoon from residents as well as local birders (SM, DJB, AC).
Maybe, hopefully, they will stay around that location a few more days until the berries are gone. There is always a chance of these, or others turning up elsewhere in Calderdale where there are berries, particularly Rowans. Sometimes even in small gardens.
Apologies no photos to post as I only had the phone camera but maybe someone else will get some shots to post at some stage.
Thursday, November 30, 2023
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
A very pleasant morning to be out on the Hill today. Walking down the North Slope I heard what I thought was the call of a Snow Bunting, but it sounded far and I only heard it once, so after a short wait I decided that I must have imagined it, or the bird must have flown over unseen.
Fortunately, a couple of meters further down and this superb male Snow Bunting flushed off the path in front of me, before landing again a few meters ahead. It spent the next 10 - 15 minutes feeding here, sometimes at quite close proximity to me, before it flushed and flew south, appearing to drop onto the summit.
Sadly the bird could not be relocated to the summit after over an hour of searching, including myself, DJS, JJL and DP. It may be it continued on its way south, or that it went into another area where access is more limited, such as the quarry. Hopefully, it will reappear.
Either way, a brilliant bird to liven up the cold morning.
Snow Bunting is my 100th species on Soil Hill this year!
Monday, November 27, 2023
Had a short visit to the Hill at lunchtime, between the snow showers. Did not expect anything exciting to happen but was pleasantly proven wrong with two Little Egret that flew south at 12:05, before dropping into the trees around the Ogden Golf Club car park. Per BS via the Grapevine, they later relocated to Ogden.
This is just the second time I have seen this species from Soil Hill, after a single flew south over Bradshaw on the 20th July 2020. It is also the 99th species I have seen on Soil Hill in 2023, which is remarkable given how much time I have had to spend away.
In total managed 28 species this lunchtime, the full list here; https://ebird.org/checklist/S155306810
Trektellen count here; https://www.trektellen.org/count/view/767/20231127