Thursday, 14 November 2019

Coach Road, Lightcliffe / Soil Hill

A Sparrowhawk flew past the kitchen window this morning.

2 degrees of coolness, in Bradshaw,  this morning with a strong NNE wind saw me abandon a visit to Soil Hill in favour of Coach Road.

10:40 - 12:20 - Coach Road, Lightcliffe.

2 overcoats warmer and sheltered to some degree here.
I was hoping for good numbers of Winter Thrushes or maybe a Brambling.
Thrushes were hard to come by and no Brambling were seen.


3 Jay, Mistle Thrush, 1 Geat Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Nuthatch.
Good numbers of Long Tailed Tit flitting through the trees all the way down Coach Road bridleway.
6 Redwing, high in the dark tree canopy, and a few other sp.

I don't mention my Little Pecker any more.

Soil Hill.

After lunch I took the car up to Soil Hill to search for Snow Bunt.
A Sparrowhawk was seen from the car - probably the same bird as this morning.
I just did a quick circuit of the hill and Ned Hill Track in a bitterly cold N wind.
A few Gulls and a large flock c200 Starling about.

Not a lot happening - no Snow Bunt.

Coach Road:-

Soil Hill:

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Out and about Wednesday 13th

A walk this afternoon along the canal and River Aire at Saltaire.
No bins, no camera on a cold day.

7 or so Jay knocking about.
2 Cormorant enjoying the fast river currents.
Heron, Nuthatch, Goldcrest, 1 Greylag Goose, Canada Geese, A small Group of Gulls on the cricket pitch.
The river is very full with water cascading from the weirs.
The cricket pitch café was closed and so was the main cafe in the arts centre.
A second café in the arts centre had sandwiches at £7 so we had a 'bellyfull' of those!
Nice soup in a cafe in the village though.

Soil Hill etc - very late outing.

Very quiet today.
Sparrowhawk seen as I left the house.
Couple of Pheasant.
Pied Wagtail.
3 Wren.
and a few other sp.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Bradshaw - Soil Hill Circular

13:00 - 15:00

The usual birding walk up to and around a lonely and cold Soil Hill then a look along Ned Hill Track before dropping down Ned Hill Lane, a left at the bottom through the farms.

A cold NNW wind was blowing on the very top c400m (1312ft) according to the OS map, it's probably higher now with the quarry 'piles'.

The Snow Bunt, Lapland Bunt, Snipe or Twite hunt failed again.

I cannot compete with the 'Gorple Birders' here, but I've not written Soil Hill off … yet.
I've promised myself a photo of a Mega up here this winter.
I'll probably have to take my Bird Guide out of the sack and take a photo of page 368! to achieve it (or maybe follow local birder Dan Branch about , one day over Christmas)!

Sue's dad Ken is 99 years young today, but old age can be a curse as well as a blessing.
I saw my first Black Redstart on his Birthday a few years ago, when he was a lot more mobile than today alas.


Taylor Lane was good with a Little Owl, Stock Dove, Mistle Thrush and 15 Starling.

Soil Hill.Apart from a couple of Airborne Common Gull I cannot remember seeing another bird here.

The farm track held the usual crew:
Chaffinch, calling Bullfinch (not seen), Blackbird, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Dunnock, c30 Goldfinch, Coal Tit,  2 Herring Gull overhead.

Nearer Home Collard Dove, 6 Mistle Thrush.

Common Gulls were 'common' throughout with fewer Black Headed Gull.

Song Thrush seems a rare bird for me these days?

Stock Dove

Common Gulls struggling in the wind


Sunday, 10 November 2019

Ned Hill to home Sunday 10th

14:30 - 15:30

A short outing on a cold dry afternoon.
Noting much moving at all today.

I went along Ned Hill Track, up and around Soil Hill, skirted the quarry top and along field paths to exit on Percy Lane corner. A right and then a left down Taylor Lane, Bradshaw Lane and home.

No sign of Snow Bunt (again) but probably some snow tonight?

A few Gulls, Wrens, Robin,Dunnock and Starlings was all I came across.

A speculative photo of Dean Clough chimney from TK Max's car park, earlier, revealed a Peregrine!

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Bradshaw - Soil Hill Circular

13:30 - 15:30

Abi and Emma to entertain today.

An unusual sight this morning as I was washing up the breakfast things - a Cormorant flew past the window!

A very cold , short outing, but dry today.

The usual walk up Taylor Lane, Soil Hill, Ned Hill and back via the Bradshaw Farm Track.

Taylor Lane revealed 2 very distant Stonechat.
Soil Hill's Snow Bunt, hunt came up blank.
It was cold and quiet here with a couple of calling Meadow Pipits.

The resident Moorhen was on the lower NK pond.

The shay fields were devoid of birds, a few Gulls passed overhead.

I see now that the General Election date nears, all parties seemed to have found a Wallet full of dosh under their sofa cushions!
My Wallet need a 52 digit code to unlock it.
By the time I've keyed in the long code, the pub's shut - result.

Wainhouse Tower Lit up as we took Abi back to Heckmondwike this evening.

Friday, 8 November 2019

Swalesmoor Area and a Barn Owl elsewhere!

9:40 - 11:40

A birding day today starting with a walk up Ringby Lane and along Ringby Top, followed by  the Hag Lane circular bridleways.
I was on the Snow Bunt. hunt.

The weather was bright and breezy to start but very cold and windy on Ringby Top.
The rain just started as I got back to the car.
The ski-slope was having an autumn clean up.

After lunch I had a drive in the sleety rain to see what might be about.
After sitting in the car for 15 minutes until the worst of the rain had gone I got me boots on and had a gander about.

I put some meal worms out for the birds this aft.
My 'pied' Blackbird came along and enjoyed a few, eating the Mealworms very dignified like the Queen might - then 3 Starlings arrived - end of finesse!


Ringby Lane area:

The usual Corvids and c70 Small Gull with a few Herring Gulls passing overhead , a few Meadow Pipit. Goldfinch, Dunnock and Starlings was about all I could manage here.

Hag Lane circular:

1 Redwing, 12 Fieldfare, 2 Goldcrest.
Starlings, Rooks and c40 Woodpigeon was about me lot.


The sleety rain abated and I was rewarded with a Barn Owl hunting - magic.
Yesterday's wet weather, probably bringing the bird out earlier today, to find food.
I manged a few record shots.

A rare bird to report , for a change, makes going out in this rotten weather,  worthwhile.

Herring Gull

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Ogden Thursday Afternoon

14:00 - 15:30 (ish).

After a real soaking doing the Aldi shopping with Sue this morning, I thought I'd try for second helpings at Ogden this aft.
Enough stair rods  to complete a stairway to heaven earlier, but amazingly I had only one major downpour to enjoy, early on, along the Ogden circuit.

With the very wet stuff, I took my smaller camera today.

The water was deadsville with just 2 Black Headed Gull on my arrival.
The Gull numbers did improve with c20 small Gulls at one point.

The first squint down the dark sluice area from the Prom, revealed nowt, but a second gander as I was leaving got me a feeding Dipper and a Kingfisher flying out of sight under the 'bridge'.

There were plenty of small birds feeding lower down in the trees because of the heavy rain.

Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit.
5 Treecreeper were a real bonus.
A Jay was making a rare old racket.
Goldcrest were 'everywhere' along passerine alley, never stopping for long, they are hard to photograph.

Edinburgh fringe joke.

A cowboy friend of mine asked me to round up 18 cows for him.
"OK" I said "You've got 20 cows".

The rain in Spain (ain't like this):-