Saturday, February 25, 2017

Upland tree planting

Does anyone know if there are considerations for ground nesting moorland birds (curlew, dunlin, twite, lapwing, golden plover etc etc) in these plans? Also, if there are 'wetlands' being established, the sooner the input from the bird/wildlife groups to help steer the design, the better.

Swales Moor

Ringby Lane - on the top, the Snow Bunting was still there in the rough field on the west side of the track till at least 09:45. Looking good though as we left it went down in the vegetation at the top of the west slope near the small puddles.
Also at various times this morning were Dave B, AT, VJ, NK, Larry. Dave P just arriving as we left.
1 Skylark
1 Curlew high >W
1 Kestrel
Lots of Common Gulls loafing along the ridge with corvids
1 Blackbird
1 Redwing
1 Meadow Pipit
2 Stock Doves

Friday, February 24, 2017

Swales Moor

Ringby Lane this afternoon strolling around on the top looking for - well whatever might turn up.
Started off with distant Common Buzzards, 1 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk - not a bad start.....
1 Snipe flushed off the top
3 Skylarks
1 Meadow Pipit
c20 Herring Gulls >NW
2 Great Black-backed Gulls >NW
1 Lesser Black-backed Gull >NW
c40 Common Gulls loafing along the ridge
2 Stock Doves
usual corvids.
About to stroll back - "what's that skulking about in the tufts of grass" ? Ah Snow Bunting - "what a beauty." Put the word out and BS came after half-hour or so after a dash from Fly Flats. Well done Bri great to see you up there. Hope you've recovered ?
Nice to bump into JL as well on the way up as I came down.
The bird was still there at 16:30

Also check Brian's blog - 'West Yorkshire Birding' - always an interesting, informative and amusing read !

Snow Bunting

Cromwell Bottom

We suspect the Mute Swan found in the field on Thursday is now back on the lake there.
6 Mute Swans there this afternoon along with 1 Whooper Swan (AW, DF, AT)
One of the Mute Swans has a red ring 377Y (AT) + a metal ring which we assume is the BTO ring.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Mute Swans

We had a report last week of a dead Mute Swan at Cromwell Bottom, possibly the victim of a Mink attack (?)

Today we had another report (RD) of another Mute Swan, near the same site, looking as if it might be injured - perhaps sick/exhausted or maybe even after a collision with overhead obstacles ? - we don't know. The bird was able to walk but did not fly when approached.
It also has an identification ring so we are hoping we can identify the bird.
Someone is checking the site in the morning so lets hope it recovers.

UPDATE Thursday 11:30
No sign of the tired/injured swan this morning so let's hope it's ok. From the ring number, 376Y, it has been confirmed by Judy Hogg that the bird is 2016 male bird from Shibden Park.
Please report any further sightings of this or any other ringed bird if you are able to get the ring number.

Also the dead Mute Swan seen on the canal bank last week by Mike H et al also had a ring number 366Y was a 2015 female cygnet, also from Shibden Park.

National Nest Box Week

As part of our contribution to our local area 10 new boxes were installed in the Luddenden Valley this morning with AT (after seeking permission from the landowner last year) - thank you.
Nearly all H & S adhered to !!
We just hope for some good results this summer as most of the previous boxes are well past there sell-by date.

Not a lot of time for birding this morning though a great looking Green Woodpecker was fantastic to see close to. Also a few Brambling along with Nuthatch, Bullfinch and Common Buzzard over near Jerusalem Farm area.
Thanks to CBCG for funding 4 of the nest-boxes and the other 6 funded through grapevine funds so far received along with 10 more boxes already on order  to be used in other areas of the valley.
Thanks for all the support.


After all these years I've finally seen a buzzard in Calderdale. Watched huge bird flying towards our house over Walsden rec from the direction of Bacup Road and thought it was a heron.  Really big wings.    It veered off over the garden centre towards the canal where it was joined by a smaller buzzard which must have been already in that area and they were mobbed by a jackdaw.  By now I was looking out of the front of the house and lost track as they flew off towards Lanebottom. 

And this really was my first sighting - I've lived here for 50 yrs! and began to think these were the figment of someone's imagination. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Several calls this morning around 11:15 with Pink-footed Geese on the move WNWseen  over Brighouse,then Northowram and Beacon Hill. Think possibly one flock (?) This one below came over Lee Mount at 11:20 and a count of 111. Thanks for the calls (MH, DF, AC, PG)

Sunday, February 19, 2017


Mytholmroyd, Scout Bottom area am

2 great  spotted woodpeckers drumming.

1 m sparrowhawk.

Crow Hill area

11 lapwing
15 fieldfare
c200 starling
1 m kestrel
5 mipits
2 pied wagtail
2 goldcrest

Plus usual species

PM Cragg Vale

1 gs woodpecker

Jumble Hole nestboxes

Thanks to the bird group for providing the extra nestboxes for Jumble Hole, targeting pied flycatchers and redstart. All these 9 have gone further up the valley this time, well off the beaten track. I have tried some variety, as it's all something of a test and learn strategy. I have varied tree species, height, distance from the valley bottom, grouping in 2's and 3's, etc. Time will tell. Roll on May! I can't wait to see if any get used by target birds.


A colleague in Mytholmroyd's cat brought this unfortunate woodcock in last week.

Cold Edge

This afternoon
2 Barnacle Geese in the area one of which is colour ringed (AR)
c80 Canada Geese
c15 Greylag Geese but mobile some flying towards Fly Flats
1 Little Grebe
Drake Goldeneye on the top main dam
Masses of Starlings and Fieldfares in one field this aft. Will get a guestimate count from photos later.

Just trying these 'doctored' photos to try demonstrate how many birds there were in 2 large flocks which included c300 Fieldfares and most of the rest were in excess of 1,700 Starlings.
Click on the photo's to enlarge

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Goldie Silhouette

Best I could do from the aforementioned Plover bonanza.

Quite a day !

Started of with reports of 25 Pink-footed Geese moving >N over Shibden Valley at 11:25 (JL). Another skein of 100+ about the same time over Lee Mount >NW from Steve C. Above - correction - from JL's photo's c85 birds were probably the same lot over Shibden and Lee Mount.

Then a Peregrine over Boothtown also late morning (Dave B)

Male Hen Harrier heading down the Calder Valley >E at 11;55 from Mike H and Steve M at Cromwell Bottom causing commotion with at least 12 Grey Herons put up from nearby trees as it flew over showing great plumage detail.
Also from Mike at Cromwell Bottom - a dead Mute Swan possibly a victim of a mink  ? with one Mute Swan still there.

Female Blackcap on our Lee Mount garden feeder just across lunchtime looked to be taking suet nibbles from the feeder.

Still a few Brambling reports coming in from other areas including a few regularly at a garden feeder in Norland along with several Lesser Redpoll, Chaffinch and Godlfinches. (AT)


7 Crossbills at Walshaw Dean plantation including at least 1 juvenile today, also Jack Snipe over wood, 2 Brambling, 2 Siskin, loads of Lapwing at Gorple with 2 Curlew, 4 Oysters 30 Goldies etc.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Fly Flats etc

This afternoon - an interesting hour or so viewing from along the top road at Fly Flats.
1 Stonechat
1 Red-legged Partridge
1 Woodpigeon on a wall (unusual on the ground for this site) looked unwell (?)
Even more unusual - a single Magpie heading towards Slade
2 Carrion Crows
13 Lapwing
17 Canada Geese
1 Golden Plover
1 Oystercatcher
5 Mallard
No Kestrels
Plenty Red Grouse on the moor

Cold Edge Dams
1 f Goldeneye

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Oystercatcher on dam wall at Ringstone this afternoon.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Siskins today at Jumble Hole, on and near the window feeders. 2f, 1m. Apologies for the dirty window!!! I'll try for more photos this week.


5 Whooper Swans there this morning around 09:30 (CS) though they left >N shortly afterwards at around 10:10 (DW).
Still plenty time for some more Whoopers moving through (the big push north in 2015 through Calderdale was 22nd March) !