Friday, April 30, 2010
recent news reports suggest the way that snipe make a drumming noise. Quote ...
"A team of UK researchers found the birds' tail feathers "flapped like a flag" in the wind, something that had not been seen before.
When attempting to attract a potential mate, the males perform a dive to create the drumming noise.
The findings appear in the Journal of Experimental Biology."
And these "researchers" actually get paid for this!! Or am I a bigot? (there's that word again)
Thursday, April 29, 2010
The chart here shows Skylark numbers each year and there is a definite downward trend (I still have to add the number from the late visit this year). This is a single 1km square, one observer, twice a year so it isn't statistically significant, but it tells me that I'm seeing fewer Skylarks now than I used to. There have been several small changes to the landscape, such as stable blocks being built and the Pennine Bridleway being improved, but nothing major. My early visit is always done at the end of April so no variation there. The largest step down coincides with the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak.
I'm not sure what this proves, if anything, but I just thought I'd share my concern.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Apologies for the quality of the photo’s taken yesterday evening using a real Heath Robinson system to capture.
Had suspicions that a Peregrine was around for a while and got a brief view just over 2 weeks ago. Found him with his kill at about 6.30pm yesterday evening, spent a good half hour watching even though he was disturbed twice. No evidence of being ringed but never got a good view of the right leg.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Male Stonechat seen briefly which is heartening after the severe winter weather.
Main feature of the visit though was the number of Northern Wheatear seen between Ringstone and Deanhead with at least 20 individuals counted (sorry Jeff!). The new fencing on the moors has provided these cracking birds with an abundance of posts to perch on so it was much easier than previous years to actually see them simply by scanning all the posts and walls.
There were at least 2 likely Greenlanders ('leucorhoa' race) present amongst them.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
I've seen bullfinches pecking into buds on winter plum twigs, a habit for which fruit growers can apply for a license to shoot them in certain parts of the country.
I've not heard of nectar sipping by any northern bird, only tropical species. Has anyone else seen it or read of it?
PS first bats for me over tree tops in Bankhouse Wood tonight.
Important moorland habitat destroyd by fire. This destruction will effect such species as Curlew, Lapwing, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Short-eared Owl and possibly Long-eared Owl and other woodland species. Part of the woodland as been completly destroyd while other areas remain untouched. Remarkably Woodpigeons were displaying over the burnt wood whilst it was still smouldering.
23/04/2010 12:31 - Shuttleworth Moor, Widdop Road, Heptonstall
Moorland fire, make pumps 10. 2 square miles involved with 800m fire front. 20 beaters and 4 hose reels in use.
Appliances from Todmorden, Mytholmroyd, and surrounding area in attendance along with 2 Wildfire units and a number of specialist officers.
ND will upload some pictures in due course, and I am currently editing some video material.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Is it me or does their seem to be less meadow pipits on the tops this spring and none today were displaying.
Total bird spp this year 27 as opposed to 23 in 2009.
Ripponden river bank to Turner Clough, up to Heys Lane (where owl was) then back along the contour and down to Ripponden.
Migrant songbirds. Willow Warbler 2, Chiff-chaff 2, Blackcap 1.
Woodland. Blue, Great, Coal (building nest) and Long-tailed Tits. Jay, Wren, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Sparrowhawk, Robin.
Waterside. Dipper, Heron (3 nests, at least 2 occupied), Mallard, Mandarin, Grey Wagtail.
Field and Hedgerow. Little Owl, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Pheasant.
The notable plant in this area is native daffodil, flowering well in its usual wood, but far more garden varieties seen planted out in the wild by people!
Butterflies seen were Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Green Veined White, Orange Tip.
Sorry for the poor picture. I had only had time for one before it disappeared. I waited around for an hour but it didn't appear again (email me if you want location details). While waiting I saw a redwing. I'd expected them to have left by now.
At the same site - 4 willow warblers.
Chaffinch, wren, great tit, coal tit and a party of 4 treecreepers.
dipper, grey heron, herring gull, sparrowhawk, canada and greylag geese, 2 common sandpiper, numerous curlew and lapwing.
plenty of the commoner birds but most special was that fect that I managed to get the skylark Photo i had been seeking
Friday, April 23, 2010
(looks good for waders this spring)
Later out with SC, 2 Long-eared Owls and a male Sparrowhawk at an undisclosed site.
23rd April, Checked another LEO site but no luck.
Hope Im now back on line with no more problems (Fingers Crossed).
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
5 nests have hatched young, one of which has at least two chicks in.
If you have wondered how such long-legged birds manage to mate, all is revealed in the clip below. I will make more video available in due course.
Also, for fans of large lagomorphs, the following was the closest I got to boxing mad March Hares....
and a Great Crested Grebe by the Barge and Barrel is here.....
Sadly, I never caught up with the displaying pair on the ski lake. This bird may, however, have been one of them.
1 male golden eye
1 golden plover
3 tufted ducks 2m,1f
Numerous grey lag and canada geese and mallard, ofcourse
2 curlew only
Many skylarks and mipits
3 male wheatears luring me down the path presumably far away from their breeding area
4 twite at the feeding station(3 had bright pink rings above pale ones on the left leg; the 4th one had no rings I could see. some of the others may have metal rings on the right leg. perhaps someone could tell me where they were ringed. I hadn't appreciated just how difficult it is to see their legs)
4 willow warblers
1 mistle thrush
Sunday 18th Midday till approx 17:30 :-
3 Little Owls
5 Wheatear (4 Males 1 Female)
2 Red Grouse
2 Mistle Thrush
3 Teal (2 Males 1 Female)
2 Common Sandpiper
1 Greylag Goose
2 Goosander - both female
3 Ring Ouzel (1 Male 2 Female)
11 Golden Plover
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
Common birds with no counts incl:- Mipit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Robin, Pied Wagtail, Blackbird.
Tuesday 20th April 13:30 - 16:45
2 Grey Wagtail
1 Chiffchaff (seen - numerous calling)
2 Willow Warbler
1 Blackcap - male
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
1 Common Buzzard
2 Stock Doves
2 Sparrowhawks (male & female)
1 Tawny Owl (calling)
again common birds with no counts incl:- Coal Tit, Goldfinch, Robin, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Rook, Woodpigeon.
Same day 17:30 till 19:00 Callis Bridge sewage farm
20+ House Martins
1 Sand Martin
20+ Pied Wagtails
1 Probable White Wagtail
12+ Meadow Pipits
this place is definately worth a regular check for Red Rumped Swallow and when Swifts come in then eyes open for Hobby.
Swift feeding over Ski Lake and Sandpiper feeding on the lake bank
2 Swifts over lake and 1 Sandpiper on Riverside feeding and 15min later 1 on the Ski ramp might be same bird. 2 Mute Swans.
Swallows,Sand Martins and House Martins over the lake and numerous W/Warblers,Chiffchaffs,Blackcaps and Reed Buntings all over the area.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Skylark singing on Edge End Moor
18 Wheatears on the fence by Lodge Hill - here are most of them
5 Reed Buntings on the telephone wire just above the Wheatears
a few Mipits around, but not many
4 Skylarks together just before Stoodley Pike
7 Swallows feeding at Lee Dam
Later this afternoon we had about 40 Mipits on the field wall behind the house, about 1/2 mile from Mankinholes.
Monday, April 19, 2010
During the first week of Spring Watch, BirdLife Malta volunteers have suffered several violent attacks while carrying out their duties recording bird migration and reporting illegal hunting and trapping incidents to the police.The following attacks have taken place:
1. Sunday 11th April - a team was harassed and verbally abused at Nadur Tower.
2. Monday 12th April – after filming an illegal hunter, the team at Mtarfa was threatened by men with sticks.
3. Wednesday 13th April – a team discovered hate messages, swastikas and threats at the Mtahleb watch point.
4. Friday 15th April – a team discovers hate messages, swastikas and threats at the Dingli watch point.
5. Saturday 17th April - stones were thrown at team members in Has-Saptan
6. Saturday 17th April – a team at Mtahleb was verbally abused and the team leader given a death threat.
7. Saturday 17th April – windscreen of a team’s vehicle parked in front of the Manikata village church, 20 mt away from a children’s playground, shattered by a shot from a shotgun.
8. Sunday 18th April – 2 team members thrown to the ground and beaten in Dingli after witnessing illegal hunting in the area.
One of our local birders, Steve D, is currently on the island helping with the camp and hunting surveillance work.
For more information: www.birdlifemalta.org/hunting/actnow/
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
7 Goosanders, 2 male Reed Buntings, 6 Lapwings, a Skylark and 2 Curlews at Walshaw Dean Lower.
A male Wheatear, a Curlew, 2 Skylarks and 4 Twite at Lighthazzles.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
I was surprised to see them starting so early - I always associate it with a hot summer night!
Also, 5 chiffchaffs, 3 goldcrests and 7 willow warblers yesterday in the scrub up the Pennine Way on Underbank.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Willow Warbler at least 6 singing
and a female Stonechat.
No Blackcaps yet.
I had hoped for Whitethroat as
they bred last year there, probably too early!
There must have been a sudden fall of Willow Warblers, I had none
the other day and now many singing.
Friday, April 09, 2010
Thursday, April 08, 2010
Swallow near junction of Hob Lane/Lane Head. Watched for around 5 minutes as it appeared to be feeding just above trees on Lane Head.
2 Lapwings, one possibly sitting.
2 Sky Larks
Numerous mipits and corvids
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Following positive feed back, could I ask that any future reports made to the Police are also recorded with me.
I will need the log number and date of the report along with brief details of the content of the report made to the Police.
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your support.
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Elsewhere, no sign of G C Grebe but imm. Mute Swan still at Barge & Barrel.
Earlier 1 House Martin at EGP, also 25 Swallow and 15 Sand Martin around there.
Over the Easter weekend I found 3 LRP in Calderdale, no sign of any today though I'm not complaining!
Monday, April 05, 2010
8 Goosander, 1M, 7F
2 Goldeneye, M&F
Lots of Carrion Crow
Oddly there's loads of frogspawn along the path by the dam wall at Dean head as if it's been blown over the wall by the high wind. Was also puzzled by the gate that has appeared in the fence at the eastern end of the dam wall. There's no public footpath that it serves and allowing access would risk disturbance of ground nesting species in the head of the valley.
Saturday, April 03, 2010
And on the bird front.....Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Raven, Skylark, 2 x Lapwing, a flock of c. 35 Golden Plover, a few Curlew, Goldeneye and plenty of Mippits.
Friday, April 02, 2010
As the weather was looking pretty grim, I stayed at JHL to get some better shots of the Sparrows rather than risk a drenching at Scammonden. They were a bit more obliging today, but still managed to disappear for long periods of time.
The monotony was broken by a passing Buzzard and a solitary Lapwing intermingled with chats with the locals. According to the locals that I chatted with, the fields up there should be full of Lapwings, a comment that I have heard about other areas recently. Anyone else noticing an absence of Lapwings say, round Castle Carr or Widdop areas? Locals also commented on the absence of Yellowhammers in the area although I have no historical records of 'hammers from this site.
The highlight of my time spent here though was undoubtedly the appearance of two large lagomorphs. Whooppee! I was able to get some distant shots of the pair scampering about on the far side of a field before they disappeared. Sadly, they weren't boxing..they need a bit of warm sunshine, allegedly, before they'll box. A short while later and I was filming one of them at a frame-filling close quarters just by the hedge. Sorted!
When rain stopped play, I moved on but stopped by Avocet Works on my way back to look for Mandarin. No joy there, but the LTTs were still hard at it, and a male Goosander and a passing dipper made the stop worthwhile.
Mext, a quick leapfrog down to Cromwell Bottoms provided several singing Chiffchaffs, some displaying Dunnocks and the opportunity to film a Heron pretending to be a Kingfisher.
Whilst filming the Heron in the rain, a passing cyclist told me of a "bird with horns" on the canal up by Elland Bridge. Five minute later and I was filming a stunning Great Crested Grebe just a canal-width away. Sadly there was only one Grebe here. I half expected it to be displaying to a mate. Stunning bird nonetheless. So maybe tomorrow, I'll try for the Stoats.
The Sparrows, however, were feeling somewhat camera shy and seemed to disappear for long periods of time. I couldn't work out whether they were off foraging away from the site, or were simply getting there heads down in a quiet little corner somewhere.
When they did show up, I didn't observe any obvious courtship activity or any birds carrying nesting material, so I guess it's too early for them at the moment.
450 Golden Plover
35 Canada Goose
4f + m Goosander
12 Carrion Crow
27 Meadow Pipit
Reed Bunting, m
Norland Moor, 1900, below Ladstone - 70 M Pipit & a pheasant
Curlew singing and a Reed Bunting at Swillington
3 Skylarks singing over Erringden
2 Pied Wagtails at the farm house by Pennine Way
plenty of Mipits on the hills
Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming and 2 Treecreepers at Callis Wood
31 Pied Wagtails, 1 Grey Wagtail, 30+ Jackdaws and 2 Mipits at Eastwood Sewage Works
Dipper on River Calder
I haven't seen a Kestrel at Strait Hey since late last year, nor have I seen them yet over at Withins Clough this year. Probably just me missing them (I hope). Anyone else noticing fewer Kestrels around?
4 Teal, a Grey Heron and a Moorhen at Lee Dam
Thursday, April 01, 2010
In a public place the rifle should be in a gun cover and always unloaded.
Going on to private land, or water without permission is trespassing, and if you are carrying an air rifle it becomes armed trespass. Whether the gun is loaded or not is irrelevant – armed trespass is a serious criminal offence carrying heavy penalties.
It is an offence to fire an air rifle pellet beyond the land where you have permission to shoot, unless the occupier of the neighbouring land has also given permission.
It is also against the law to fire an air rifle within 50 feet of the centre of a highway if this results in someone being injured, interrupted or endangered. These offences could be committed when someone is shooting in their garden close to a road and the pellets ricochet onto the highway.
As long as the shooter is complying with firearms law, they can shoot certain pest bird species. These are covered by open general licences which means they can shoot the birds listed, provided they have the landowner’s permission and provided they are doing it for one of the reasons allowed by the licence.
These reasons are to protect crops, to protect game and wildlife and/or to protect public health or safety
Birds that are covered by the open general licences - crows, rooks, jackdaws, magpies, jays, woodpigeon, collared doves and feral pigeons.
Mammal pests can be shot at any time provided you have the landowner’s permission. Air rifles are deemed suitable (by BACS) for brown rats, grey squirrels, stoats, mink and rabbits.
Source - BACS
I’ve said it before, but the content on here is entirely reliant on you posting sightings, thoughts, photos, observations, questions etc. Without that, it is nothing.
If you are a regular reader, but not a regular poster to the blog, I would encourage you to join in! It’s very easy to post, and if you do not have a log in, get in touch and we will provide you with one. If you have been inspired to set your own patch blog up, great, but please keep posting on here. If we’re not careful there’ll be 30 separate blogs to look at just to see what’s about in Calderdale!
Lots of birds are on the move at the moment, and as ‘random’ findings in recent years have shown us, anything could turn up in Calderdale (woodchat shrike, montagu’s harrier, and just out of area: bluethroat c.2 years ago – Thornton Moor, maybe 1-2 miles out of area, richards pipit c.5 years ago - Mereclough, again maybe 1-2 miles out, and most randomly of all the frigatebird last Autumn in Huddersfield, maybe 4-5 miles out of our area!) who knows what next?
So happy birding, and thanks for making the blog what it is.
It is illegal to discharge a fire arm within fifty feet of the centre of a highway. Legislation - section 161(2)(b) of the Highway Act 1980.
The question I asked included paths & bridleways, I presume they are included in the definition of a Highway.
Hope this helps.