Grouse, Quail, Crakes

QUAIL   Coturnix coturnix     Scarce summer passage visitor
1989  A nationwide invasion by this species in 1989. A bird calling at Oxenhope on 14th June preceded a similar occurrence near Doles Wood at Tong, on 19th June.
1992  A bird flushed at Toad Holes Beck on 22nd May was the Group’s first record for three years.
1996  A welcome and interesting record was of a bird flushed at Farnhill Ings on 9th April. After being flushed, the bird landed a short distance away,extended its neck, wings and tail, and held its beak open. It stayed in this position for approximately five minutes before running off into long grass. (We have been unable to find any mention of this type of behaviour in any birding literature, and so would presume it to be some kind of threat or camouflage technique.
1998  1998 was the Group’s best year yet, with a total of six records involving at least three birds, all in Airedale and all on ‘typical’ late-June dates. The first bird was heard on Cross Lane, Wilsden on 25th June and 26th June. What was assumed to be a second Wilsden bird was heard calling at Lower Bents Farm, some way off the first, on 27th and 30th June, and there may well have been two individuals present at this site on the earlier date. A bird was heard calling on Cottingley Moor on 28th June.
1999  Up to two calling males were present in hay meadows on the edge of Farnley Moor, off the lane to Dob Park, from 23rd June to 5th July. As usual, they were heard more than seen, but some observers had good views of the birds too. Mowing of the fields began on the evening of 4th July, and, although it made the birds easier to see next day, there was no sign of them after that and they had clearly moved on as a result of the disturbance and loss of cover..
2010  A bird calling from dense crops at Leeshaw on 21st and 22nd June was the first record since 1999
2011  A bird heard at the Oxenhope watchpoint on 2nd June (DCB) provided a record for the second successive year.
2013  A single Quail was heard calling repeatedly on the 6th June from fields above Wilsden and another was flushed a week later above Riddlesden.
GOLDEN PHEASANT Chrysolophus pictus   Scarce visitor
1993  Recorded in Steeton, thought to be an escaped bird.
1997  A male bird was seen at Greystones Beck (near Lindley Wood Reservoir) on 13th October and 17th November.
1998  A male bird was seen at Lindley Wood Reservoir on 21st and 23rd April, while single male birds were seen at Daisy Bank in Cragg Vale on 2nd May and at Luddenden Dean on 23rd October.
1999  Luddenden Dean produced two birds on 21st February, while a male was seen at Lindley Wood Reservoir on 24th September and 15th November. Presumably, the Luddenden Dean birds include the male seen there in 1998, and both the Lindley Wood Reservoir records involve the individual first reported in 1997.
SPOTTED CRAKE    Porzana porzana    Scarce passage visitor
2009  Undoubtedly the bird of the year, and a first for the Group area, one was discovered at Snaygill on 14th September, and delighted many observers during its ten day stay

CORNCRAKE   Crex crex   Scarce passage visitor
1987  A bird was heard calling at dusk on Burley Moor on 10th July.
1992  The Group’s second record was a bird seen calling at Lower Saltonstall in the second week of June.

CRANE   Grus grus    Vagrant
1993  A first for the Group. A single was reported flying east, high over Lady Lane, Bingley on 10th October. It was watched for over a minute and two nearby corvids gave a useful size comparison.
1996  The first report was of two birds flying high to the east over Timble on 13th April. The second report was of a single bird that gave brief views as it flew low up the valley at Barden on 8th September.
2001  The first bird was watched from Barden on 18th April for almost 15 minutes as it soared over the North Nab area to gain height before finally disappearing over Hazlewood Moor.  The second bird was observed as it flew over Silsden on 20th October. It arrived from the north-east and passed directly over the town, dropping down into the flooded ings area of the Aire Valley, but could not be relocated.
2002  Two birds were watched over Elland Gravel Pits on 16th March.
2010  Two reports from the same general area are the first records since 2002, and become the Group’s seventh and eighth. Two birds were watched over Silsden Reservoir on 7th April, and another was seen over Silsden itself on 2nd October.
2011  April in Silsden is clearly the time and place for this vagrant, as one was seen here for the second year running, on the 20th of the month.
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