Sunday, 5 April 2015

Soil Hill

Not been much going on recently as I have been mainly birding Soil Hill, where there tend not to be many birds. However, there was a little bit today so I may as well do a round up of the last few days.
Nothing happened yesterday, though I bumped into Nigel up there and we had a chat about the remarkable lack of wheatears up on the hill. Was there anything else up there? Nope! Just the usual suspects, though there was a reasonable fall of Mipits and Skylarks, better than any of my previous visit.

Species List:
Soil Hill: Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Lapwing, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Grey Heron, Kestrel

Today was much better, probably as a result of the weather, which was very warm. Still no wheatears but plenty of Mipits and Skylarks and other usual suspects. I had hoped to maybe pick up an osprey moving but no joy. However I did pick up a raptor moving over Ovenden moor. It was soaring and appeared to have broad, rounded wings with a short, rounded tail. Sadly the haze meant I could get nothing much on it, but on profile and giss I put it down as a Buzzard, which is a patch tick for me (Somehow).
Also, on the way up I spotted my first caterpillar of the year though I seem to recall this species (whatever it is) that I have seen it before in November, so I am familiar with this species in odd seasons.
Species List:
Soil Hill: Sparrowhawk, Curlew, Lapwing, Meadow Pipit, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Common Buzzard, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Skylark, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, 

We also had a fantastic day in the garden with the warm weather. We must have had about 15 frogs in the pond, and they spent all day singing. I took a few shots but not as many as usual. We have no frogspawn yet but it shouldn't be long, that's for certain.
-Common Frog
While waiting for dinner I set up the scope in the back yard on the decking and scanned the horizon for stuff. I picked up a Grey Heron flying over the hills, as well as a descending Skylark, which is a garden tick technically. There remained Mipits flying overhead, which has been a regular feature of the recent time at home.
In the evening when I was outside I heard the local Little Owl calling. I decided to get up my new scope and see if I could find it. I spent a while looking before I picked it up in a tree on the far hillside. The scope more than rose up to the challenge, though the view was not exceptional I did manage to get a very poor record shot. Still, its great to have seen it again, since its always around and I have only ever seen it twice before. Fantastic!!
-Little Owl
So its been a pretty good day, and have got some really nice birds to show for it...

Species List:
Garden: Grey Heron, Little Owl, Chaffinch, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Woodpigeon, Blue Tit, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, 


  1. Cheers Andy, am I right in thinking they are around at odd times of the year?

  2. They over winter as a fully grown larvae and come out to feed on warm sunny days in the spring.