QUAIL Coturnix coturnix
Scarce summer passage visitor
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.
A bird flushed at Toad Holes Beck on 22nd May was the Group’s first record for three years.
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 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.
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..
A bird calling from dense crops at Leeshaw on 21st and 22nd June was the first record since 1999
A bird heard at the Oxenhope watchpoint on 2nd June (DCB) provided a record for the second successive year.
A single Quail was heard calling repeatedly on the 6th June from fields above Wilsden and another was flushed a week later above Riddlesden.