Sunday, 26 February 2012

Garden reed bunting

Unfortunatly, when we had only our third ever visit of a reed bunting to the garden, my telephoto lense was being fixed, Again! its frustrating, so the photos below, of the reed bunting in our garden are really poor, good luck if you can find the reed bunting, becuase theres a dunnock in the photos as well. Either way, its a another great sighting for the garden.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Curlew's over the house

Going out of the house on the way to school this morning and I heard a curlew. Naturally we assumed that it was a starling, as it frequently is. However, we were shocked to see 5 curlews flying overhead, which were calling. A nice start to the day.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Little Owl

Walking home from the bus through bradshaw park I spotted a little owl flying between telegraph poles. It landed on one and stayed there, and its where I left it. It looked pretty commical hunched there, even though I could only make out its outline due to the limited light. Even so, it was great to see, and pretty exciting since its the closest I've ever been to one.

Trains today

Had an eventful set of train journeys today, But on the way saw some interesting wildlife. Leaving blackburn there was a handsome male roe deer on the side of the track, standing motionless.
Bird wise, a flock of long-tailed tits flew overhead. And driving over a waterway Spotted tufted ducks and goosander fishing in the water there. It made the journey interesting at least.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Burnsal Today

Driving down, I spotted a kingfisher as we drove over a bridge somewhere, which was nice.
No photos from todays day out due to the camera being repaired. Luckily though, that diddnt stop the birds, as all the usual suspects were out. The river was well swollen, so there were no rocks for the dippers. Hence, we only saw two, sat together on the bank of the river.
Other trademark species were also amiss. There were only two goosander, though one of them we passed about 4 times, and both were females. There were plenty of mallards, and a few long tailed tits with the blue tits and chaffinches in the riverside woods.
So overall a good day out

Saturday, 11 February 2012


Driving with my dad to work today we past a feild full of feildfares. Sadly we couldn't stop, but they were quite close so we still got a great view.
My camera is also being fixed so there will be few photos coming up over the next few weeks!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

A Day Out With The Northern Long-Tailed Tits

After Finishing at Ogden in the morning, I decided to make an effort to try and see the Northern long-tailed tits in Luddenden dean. There was an issue in that the forecast said that there was large amounts of snow on the way, and as I got a lift there the first flakes began to fall. My mum had said that she would give me a lift there, but I would have to walk back over the moors in the snow.
Thanks to Dave, I had a rough idea of where to look for the birds, but unfortunately, it was case of looking for a small bird in a big valley. I started at the bridge, where I had been dropped off, without much success, as in there were no birds there at all. I moved on down the road to where there were the houses, in case one of these was the garden I had heard about. Down there I found another birder who said that he had heard them around there, but had not seen them yet. He moved on up the valley though, so I began looking at the feeders in the garden. There were lots more birds around here, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Chaffinches and Robins, but no sign of any long-tailed tits.
The snow had begun to fall more readily, and areas of grass were beginning to get covered. I made my way back to the bridge to see if I could hear or see them round there. After waiting there for around 10mins, the other birder came running down the from my right and said that he had seen them in the tops of the trees up the bridleway. Its funny that he should be running away from the birds though...
I made my way up the bridleway and had no joy at all in the tops of trees. I began to feel a case of hopelessness, in that today was just not going to be my day. I carried on up the bridleway, not wanting to give up yet. Further up, I began to hear noises which I reckoned were long tailed tits. I am not good with bird calls, and I couldn't see them because they were in a birch plantation.
I moved round the plantation to try and get a different angle and sure enough I managed to find them, they were indeed long tailed tits. I decided to try and get a photo of them, to prove I actually saw something...

-Long Tailed Tit
I followed the long tailed tits as they moved through the bushes, and then , joy of joys, I spotted a northern long tailed in the bushes. I watched it for a few seconds, as it balanced upside down, and then it was gone. It just disappeared, and so did all the other long tailed tits, into a denser bit of the birch wood. They didn't come out again, I heard them constantly, and spent around half an hour looking in the birch, until I couldn't hear them any more.
In despair, I decided it would be wise to head home, before i ended up walking across the moors in the dark. Luckily as I wandered back down the bridleway, I reheard the tweeting and spotted the flock in the trees to my right. And not only that, I managed to spot the northern long tail amongst them, and therefore managed to get some record shots.

-Northern Long Tailed Tit

I watched them move upstream towards the house that goes over the bridleway. I noticed that the normal long tails were moving into garden there, so i walked down and positioned myself there, to see if the northerns would come. I was in luck, as it did, and then i realised why, with a small fat ball type feeder thing hanging off the door, and the long tails where heading for it.
The northern long tail came and landed in a bush about 1m away, but I struggled for a photo with the hedge in the way, But I managed to get some great record shots.

-Northern Long Tailed Tit

I was incredibly please with these, but then they all flew off, I think the camera click may have upset them.

I decided it would be wise to get home, with the snow still falling and the light pretty poor, but at least I wouldn't have the feeling of disappointment and dipping out weighing down on me whilst I made the trek home.

I made my way home by walking over Warley moor which was eerily quiet due to the snow, and also void of birds. I think at one point I lost my mind, as I swear i saw a wind turbine, but it then disappeared into the falling snow, and I didn't re-see it until I had walked about another kilometer, and it seemed no closer.

I heard a few grouse, and saw a few fly off in the distance. When I reached the road, I managed to find one grouse that didn't fly away as soon as it saw me. so i managed to get a few grouse record shots from this trip. That was the only bird that I saw on the Warley moor side of the road.

-Red Grouse

I crossed the road and began to make my way down to Ogden. The falling snow had begun to cover the moor, and the track was a giant sheet of ice. It made for an interesting walk down, and made the moor very atmospheric.

-Ovenden Moor

I spotted two birds on my descend to Ogden, one of which was a wren, hiding in the drainage ditch that was frozen. the other was a stonechat, which I was pleasantly surprised to see. It was quite obliging too, not shy for a photo, providing I didn't get too close. It steadily made its way up the track.


I finished at Ogden without much happening, there were very few birds. I then made my way over soil hill, I was exhausted by this time, shows how unfit I am, and against my better judgement decided to have a look on soil hill. Big mistake as I didn't see anything except a handful of skylarks.

I made my way down the hill and in the last field before my house i spotted a kestrel hunting, which is a bird i have not seen much off round our house lately. So a nice end to a really nice day.