Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Soil Hill

So after our trip to Bolton Abbey, sadly cut short because my brother had been punched in the face, I asked to be dropped off at the bottom of soil hill, the Bradford way up, to see what was about. ring ouzels had been reported from the hill a couple of times over the last few days, so I decided to try for myself, though my real target was one of the 2 partridge species, as they seemed more like bankers than the ouzels. 
It started well, an improvement on last time almost immediately, when by the bottom pool I spotted a pair of reed bunting, followed by a grey heron flushed from the sedges. I made my way up to the top flushing Meadow Pipits and Skylarks all the way. It surprised me given how windy it was. When I arrived at the top though, the wind did not feel so strong. 
It was while I was at the top that I spotted a black thrush dive off the top and back down where I had come. I was dubious, as there had been a blackbird singing down by the ponds which I also saw, so I anticipated it being another blackbird. I followed it, and though it took some tracking down I eventually found that there were 3 in the hedge on the Bradford side. I could not get a great view, due to the birds being mobile and the fact that my bins are not great. However, they soon decided to move location and flew past me. Then I saw it, a flash of white on the belly. I was over the moon. Ring Ouzel.
I spent the next hour following various birds around the hill trying, and failing, to get good photos. I was so pleased to have found them, only my second ever. They looked really good though they were very mobile and at points I would loose them for some time. I reckon there were at least 2, probably 3, possibly even more. I was over the moon, probably even more excited than the scaup yesterday. I followed them round for some time, but the sun had come out and was making it hard work, so when it looked like I would have to track them down again I decided to give it a rest for the afternoon.

-Ring Ouzel
There were other birds on the hill, no partridges, but there was a pair of mallards, and to my surprise, a pair of Fieldfare, which seem very late to me, probably the latest I have ever recorded them.
By most places standards today was a pretty good turnout, but for soil hill... well. I had a smashing afternoon, follows is the list of birds for the afternoon.

Species List: Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Blackbird, Ring Ouzel, Grey Heron, Pheasant, Lapwing, Reed Bunting, Common Gull, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Mallard, Fieldfare, Jackdaw,

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