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Lawts Wednesday 11th April 2007 22:14

I've had one of those nights, which you get sometimes, which makes you question your individual approach to the hobby.

I needed Stone Curlew for Yorkshire, having previously missed a couple. I arrived home from work, found out about 6pm that it had been seen, and set off with youngest daughter riding shotgun and eating her tea in the car.

Arrived at Bewholme without specific directions, (my fault but expected to find some birders and cars). Drove around the side roads at Bewholme until eventually I managed to get my car stuck in a ditch. Was rescued by two kind locals who towed me out, whilst on the 'phone to the AA. Fortunately no lasting damage done.

These two chaps also explained where they had seen a birder earlier, so eventually got to the site in the fading light. No birders, no sign of the bird, and drove home past the Red-necked Grebe which I didn't have time for.

A quarter of a tank of juice lighter. Hopefully a little bit wiser.

I was looking forward to working Losh tonight as well. I just had a feeling there would be some new birds in with this recent surge of migrants. At least Hotspur checked it out for me and it was only the usual gang!

bitterntwisted Wednesday 11th April 2007 23:09

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lawts
...No birders, no sign of the bird, and drove home past the Red-necked Grebe which I didn't have time for....

I'm glad I didn't detour for the stone curlew then, Lawts. The red-necked grebe was not great, either. I'm pretty sure it has a broken wing. I know divers and grebes have tatty wings in moult, but it was really dragging it in the water, struggling to preen it. You can see see the exposed primaries in the photos on Birdguides. I actually noted the injury on my Birdguides report but it got edited out. Wonder what the thinking is there? I feel a little sad to find I've twitched sick, injured or even possibly dying vagrants and I thought others might want to know in advance. Ingsbirder? JohnnyMac?

On the plus side there were two, probably three Willow Warblers warbling in nearby willows to add to my first of the year at North Cliff earlier. Later had turnstones turning stones at Welton Water and all day 10+ Chiffchaffs chiff-chaffing. Is there a nominal determinism listing thing here? How many birds can you see doing what it says on the tin? Hopefully a Little Gull being little and a gull wouldn't count because I dipped that at North Cave. And the sparrowhawk needs to be renamed the avocethawk I reckon. That's be another tick. Anyhow, a lovely afternoon in the sun and 67 species for the day can't be bad. 100+ avocets flying in the sunset over Read's Island capped it wonderfully.

Graham

bitterntwisted Wednesday 11th April 2007 23:21

Failed to report back from Sunday in the dales earlier. Ring Ouzels and Stonechat back on territory, first 4 Wheatears of the year for me, Black Grouse, drumming Snipe, a cracking Peregrine, really close Little Ringed Plover at Hellifield Flash, but no Osprey through Stocks Reservoir that night (since it's on the dark side it don't matter). Sure I heard lesser spotted woodpecker near Langcliffe. Is that a known area? Anyone local want to check it out and confirm?

On a glorious spring day the dales are amazing, even with the mad motorcyclists, but it's still chilly on't tops. Weird thing is I got to Arkengarthdale quicker on the way up that it took from Skipton home. Pays to leave before dawn and/or to go up the A1 to the lonelier northern dales.

Graham

Hotspur Thursday 12th April 2007 00:18

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lawts
James, pleased you scored with LRP. It's a good feeling for me that Losh has supplied a tick. I did pm you yesterday to assist but you've reached your message limit.

No doubt you'll appreciate how lucky you are working Wheldrake as a local patch after seeing Losh!

Decided i wanted to get LRP this week instead of waiting for uni to begin again and get em at North Cave and wanted to check Losh out as it seemed promising. Nearly as close to me as wheldrake. I know it seems basic but it has so much potential and is easily covered, magic for passage migrants. Who owns it? Totally different type of environment to the LDV. Gonna have to work it more intensively-its already appeared on my spread sheet :) Will have to birdtrack it as well.

Lawts Thursday 12th April 2007 06:49

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hotspur
Decided i wanted to get LRP this week instead of waiting for uni to begin again and get em at North Cave and wanted to check Losh out as it seemed promising. Nearly as close to me as wheldrake. I know it seems basic but it has so much potential and is easily covered, magic for passage migrants. Who owns it? Totally different type of environment to the LDV. Gonna have to work it more intensively-its already appeared on my spread sheet :) Will have to birdtrack it as well.

Local farmer owns it. Plans to turn it over to fishing, which should improve it in some ways and not in others. Interesting to see how fish cope because it takes all the run off from the A1 - winter salt and gunge etc.

Marcus Conway - ebirder Thursday 12th April 2007 08:05

More than likely I will be working Losh tonight. Have the car and a license to bird for a few hours so could be there, unless something gets reported in the interim. LAWTS I got a sudden vision of RR Swallow at Losh, had the feeling for a while.

Saw my first hirundines and willow warblers on the farm this morning, seemed to arrive here later than everyone elses reports.

Have a very strong feeling for Spurn this weekend, looked at some weather charts and their could be some drift from eastern Europe.

rozinante Thursday 12th April 2007 08:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by bitterntwisted
Sure I heard lesser spotted woodpecker near Langcliffe. Is that a known area? Anyone local want to check it out and confirm?
Graham

Interested to hear of the lesser spotted near Langcliffe Graham. I don't think I would be able to distinguish it by sound alone but if you can give me a location I would like to have a look.

bitterntwisted Thursday 12th April 2007 10:55

Quote:

Originally Posted by rozinante
Interested to hear of the lesser spotted near Langcliffe Graham. I don't think I would be able to distinguish it by sound alone but if you can give me a location I would like to have a look.

PM on way. G

Birdstarr Thursday 12th April 2007 15:34

I've donated (well my employers unwittingly have) a couple more log books at the Wheldrake hides. The one I left at bank Island a couple of months back as proved popular so I've left others in Tower Hide and Pool hide on the Ings. I seem to be dipping out on quite a bit though. Dodo and Golden Eagle were recorded in the Bank Island book lately.

Hotspur Thursday 12th April 2007 18:28

Dem pesky kids!!!

Had a good afternoon, went to Filey. No Little Gull at the dams but got a Willow Warbler for the year singing his little heart out. Moved onto the old tip looking for Rouzels, added a Wheatear for the year and a pair of swallows. Mipits aplenty and then... a dog walker overtook me. The dog flushed three thrushes high inland. Chacking away like Fieldfare, the white cresent on the breasts resplendent 3 Ring Ouzel. A re-instated lifer (not convinced i clinched the one at Bempton last autumn). Now its time for Spurs to fill their part of the bargain.

Marcus Conway - ebirder Thursday 12th April 2007 18:56

Called in at a birdless Losh for 1/2 hour. No hirundines, no common sand piper, no ducks.

Nice weather, and spent my time learning the subtle differences between the two plovers, so I could do jizz seperations, but that got boring after a while. Interestingly the flight action is different in both, LRP's almost pratincole like as they skirt the fringes. Now that would be something.

bitterntwisted Thursday 12th April 2007 23:12

Has anyone else tried just getting out the local OS map and trying to find public footpaths that look like they should be good for birds? I had a go and although I saw nothing of real note I enjoyed exploring for myself in areas that may be fairly little birded. Hills, woods, fields away from towns and water were my guide, as well as looking for tributaries of the larger rivers. I tried 3 walks last week, with the results below. I thoroughly enjoyed all of them and although it had the least diversity with only a stream and no lake or river, the Hetchell Wood walk was full of birds. Finding both Willow and Marsh Tit, and 17 chiffchaffs was very pleasing.

Thu 05-Apr, River Nidd, Little Ribston to Knaresborough, c. 3 miles, 2 hours. 40 species inc:
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
10 Fieldfare
1 Song Thrush
5 Chiffchaff
2 Nuthatch
1 nesting Treecreeper
1 Jay
4 Linnet
6 Goosander
3 Buzzard
3 Grey Wagtail
2 Yellowhammer

Fri 06-Apr, Carthick Wood, River Aire nr. Harewood, 1 mile, 1 hour. 38 species inc:
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
7 Chiffchaff
2 Bullfinch
1 Goosander
3 Red Kite
3 Grey Wagtail
2 Willow Tit

Sat 07-Apr, Scarcroft to Hetchell Wood, Barker's Plantation & return via disused railway , 4 miles, 3 hours, 30 species inc:
3+ Great Spotted Woodpecker
First Swallow of summer
17 Chiffchaff!!!
2 Treecreeper
1 Jay
3 Bullfinch
2 Green Woodpecker
2 Marsh Tit
1 Willow Tit
2 Yellowhammer

Graham

Lawts Friday 13th April 2007 06:13

Quote:

Originally Posted by bitterntwisted
Has anyone else tried just getting out the local OS map and trying to find public footpaths that look like they should be good for birds? I had a go and although I saw nothing of real note I enjoyed exploring for myself in areas that may be fairly little birded. Hills, woods, fields away from towns and water were my guide, as well as looking for tributaries of the larger rivers. I tried 3 walks last week, with the results below. I thoroughly enjoyed all of them and although it had the least diversity with only a stream and no lake or river, the Hetchell Wood walk full of birds. Finding both Willow and Marsh Tit, and 17 chiffchaffs was very pleasing.

Thu 05-Apr, River Nidd, Little Ribston to Knaresborough, c. 3 miles, 2 hours. 40 species inc:
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
10 Fieldfare
1 Song Thrush
5 Chiffchaff
2 Nuthatch
1 nesting Treecreeper
1 Jay
4 Linnet
6 Goosander
3 Buzzard
3 Grey Wagtail
2 Yellowhammer

Fri 06-Apr, Carthick Wood, River Aire nr. Harewood, 1 mile, 1 hour. 38 species inc:
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
7 Chiffchaff
2 Bullfinch
1 Goosander
3 Red Kite
3 Grey Wagtail
2 Willow Tit

Sat 07-Apr, Scarcroft to Hetchell Wood, Barker's Plantation & return via disused railway , 4 miles, 3 hours, 30 species inc:
3+ Great Spotted Woodpecker
First Swallow of summer
17 Chiffchaff!!!
2 Treecreeper
1 Jay
3 Bullfinch
2 Green Woodpecker
2 Marsh Tit
1 Willow Tit
2 Yellowhammer

Graham

I think it's a very good point Graham. You never know what's lurking as well - look at Powys/Argyll over the last few days.

Hetchell has a good mix of habitats. I've done that walk myself before. Will try it again.

Lawts Friday 13th April 2007 06:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by jimmy2faces
Called in at a birdless Losh for 1/2 hour. No hirundines, no common sand piper, no ducks.

Nice weather, and spent my time learning the subtle differences between the two plovers, so I could do jizz seperations, but that got boring after a while. Interestingly the flight action is different in both, LRP's almost pratincole like as they skirt the fringes. Now that would be something.

I nipped up last night. Must have just missed you. It was pretty birdless. A few Sand Martins overhead. Funny you say about pratincole. On the first Sunday I found the LRP, momentarily I thought it was a pratincole sp. as I saw it first in flight. I think the lack of wing-bar is more noticeable than you realise, and gives it that effect.

I hope your RR Swallow vision comes true. I can see it myself.

jimarillo Friday 13th April 2007 13:00

Intro / Peregrines in Scarborough
 
Hi everyone, long time reader, first time poster - really enjoy the thread, thanks to all you regular contributors!

Quick question - i happend accross BF in general, and this thread in particular, last year having spent a fantastic May evening watching a pair of Peregrines off Scarborough Castle. Work takes me through there quite regularly, but despite many lunch breaks spent thereabouts, i've never seen them again. Am I just unlucky or have they moved on?

I couldn't find any info at the time, so no idea if they were residents or just passing through.

Keep up the good work, us newbies appreciate it!

bitterntwisted Friday 13th April 2007 13:49

Hi Jimarillo,

Welcome (to posting) to BF. Glad others find this thread interesting to read. I don't know the birds you mean, I'm afraid. I really hope this doesn't offend, but I'm not sure you will or should get an answer as a first time poster, about peregrines, at this time of year. I'm afraid there are far too many people still seeking this kind of info for many wrong reasons. The good news is that Peregrines are increasing and increasingly visible out and about. I've seen about twenty birds, in a dozen locations, this year alone. Also there are the established and publicised monitored breeders via RSPB watchpoints etc., but I guess the nearest to you would be Malham.

The benefit of posting regularly is, I guess, that people realise you are a genuine, considerate birder and are more open with info via PM etc. So hope you continue to post.

Once again, hope no offence is taken.

All the best,
Graham

jimarillo Friday 13th April 2007 16:42

Quote:

Originally Posted by bitterntwisted
Hi Jimarillo,

Welcome (to posting) to BF. Glad others find this thread interesting to read. I don't know the birds you mean, I'm afraid. I really hope this doesn't offend, but I'm not sure you will or should get an answer as a first time poster, about peregrines, at this time of year. I'm afraid there are far too many people still seeking this kind of info for many wrong reasons. The good news is that Peregrines are increasing and increasingly visible out and about. I've seen about twenty birds, in a dozen locations, this year alone. Also there are the established and publicised monitored breeders via RSPB watchpoints etc., but I guess the nearest to you would be Malham.

The benefit of posting regularly is, I guess, that people realise you are a genuine, considerate birder and are more open with info via PM etc. So hope you continue to post.

Once again, hope no offence is taken.

All the best,
Graham

Hi Graham - No offence taken at all. Good point well made, i should have thought of that. I've been visiting Malham fairly regularly - the views always make the trip worthwhile!

Quite agree about how good it is to see more Peregrines around these days, along with Red Kites, Buzzards, Ospreys (i get to spend a lot of time in Cumbria too)... It's always been the raptors that have had me most interested in birding. Conversely, the bull finches, fieldfares and waxwings that used to visit my garden as a kid are now rarely seen around those parts (County Durham i'm afraid - i'm not even a legit Yorkie!).

I'll just have to roll up my sleeves and get stuck in to posting along with all you regulars! Thanks again for the tactful advice!

liverpool_bob Friday 13th April 2007 16:58

Quote:

Originally Posted by bitterntwisted
The good news is that Peregrines are increasing and increasingly visible out and about.

Are there any recent figures for population estimates? According to http://www.britishbirds.co.uk/apep.pdf (2006) the last estimate, about 1300 pairs in UK, was in 1991.

The change since then must have been significant...


Cheers,
Bob.

Keith Dickinson Friday 13th April 2007 18:40

According to BTO the Peregrine is now listed as Amber status, rather than Red status. This means medum conservation concern rather than critical concern.
The BTO is also looking at renewing the Atlas of Breeding Birds so is looking for people to get out there counting. If you could help then see Here

Lawts Friday 13th April 2007 19:24

Very enjoyable trip to Loshpotts this evening :-

2 LRP and a Redshank all on the scrape by the gate.
Defo. 4 LRP in total plus what appears to be one very frustrated Ringed Plover chasing the LRP's unless there's another one knocking about.
3 Little Grebe
3 Grey Partridge calling constantly and showing well. I've had them in the field at the back of my house before but never at Losh - so a Losh. first. Usually get Red-legged there but really nice to see what is a very attractive bird.
My first Swallow of the year by the farm buildings.
Chiffchaff calling and would have been a Losh first if I could have found him. He was in the wood at the other side of the A1.
A pair of Shoveler - Losh. first.

jimarillo Friday 13th April 2007 21:42

Quote:

Originally Posted by liverpool_bob
Are there any recent figures for population estimates? According to http://www.britishbirds.co.uk/apep.pdf (2006) the last estimate, about 1300 pairs in UK, was in 1991.

The change since then must have been significant...


Cheers,
Bob.


Up 13% according to the 2002 National Peregrine Survey - full details and further links here:

http://www.bto.org/survey/complete/peregrine.htm

Looks like the most recent in-depth national work.

Lawts Saturday 14th April 2007 09:10

Quick morning visit to Losh.

Probably 6 LRP - they're everywhere!
Shoveler still present
Superb Red Kite low above my head
Willow Warbler singing in the marsh - new for Losh.

liverpool_bob Saturday 14th April 2007 11:50

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keith Dickinson
According to BTO the Peregrine is now listed as Amber status, rather than Red status. This means medum conservation concern rather than critical concern.
The BTO is also looking at renewing the Atlas of Breeding Birds so is looking for people to get out there counting. If you could help then see Here

Nice one, might just try and get involved in that. Having 'retired' from birding for a while I've completely lost track of these sort of efforts... still feeling my way back in tbh...


Cheers,
Bob.

liverpool_bob Saturday 14th April 2007 11:55

Quote:

Originally Posted by jimarillo
Up 13% according to the 2002 National Peregrine Survey - full details and further links here:

http://www.bto.org/survey/complete/peregrine.htm

Looks like the most recent in-depth national work.

13% since 1991 still doesn't account for the significant rise in non-breeding sightings, I guess there must have been a good few years since 2002. There has certainly been a marked rise over this side of the country as well. Intriguing. Not complaining though :bounce:


Cheers,
Bob.

Chris-Leeds Sunday 15th April 2007 16:32

Here's a question for Graham being the authority on Swillington Ings,
last Weds evening I was at St Aidan's and I saw either a pair of ringed plover or LRP. I only just made out the birds with my small binos so it was almost impossible to tell the difference. What do you think?
Incidentally if you'd like a walk on a different footpath for birding try the Scholes to Barnbow, starting at SE3836 you should be able to notch up to 40 species on a good day.
Chris.


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