Monday, December 17, 2018

Trip to Islay anyone ?

From Roger Ranson
Some details about our

Islay trip in February 2019 in case any Calderdale 

birders would like to join us.

I have been on this trip for at least 5 years and 

thoroughly recommend it.

We leave Halifax area on Fri. morning 15 Feb and

stay overnight at Ardlui ( Loch Lomond)

We catch the ferry from Kennacraig on Sat. lunchtime

and spend 5 nights at Red Lodge (near Bowmore)

We leave Islay Thursday a.m. and get back to 

Halifax area that evening.

The accomodation is run by "Aquila Ecology" who are 

personal friends of mine. Please look at their website.

I will take my car and will be joined by my son, so have

2 spare spaces available.

Costs are £300 for 5 nights at Red Lodge (sharing room)

or £360 for single occupancy.This includes breakfast, 

packed lunch and evening meal. All rooms en suite.

Overnight at Ardlui £35 each b&b sharing room

Foot passenger cost for ferry £13 return

Bird life is fantastic (Hen harrier roost close to Red Lodge)

Golden and Sea Eagles just about guaranteed

Geese everywhere .

For more info contact me on 07966 261761

Other news today

Ogden - 25 Redpoll along the west bank (MM)
Also from last week a flock of c30 Brambling feeding along the reservoir weedy embankments (JM)

Crowmell Bottom
c20 Redpoll along the canal side between the fishing lake and the iron bridge but mobile. 10 Cormorants and 2 Goosanders nearby (JM)

2 found today at King Cross and c20 at Barkisland, Field Hurst. (SB). Also recently a flock of c30 Bramblings at Coach Road, Hove Edge along with some Redwings and Treecreepers. (M St)

Popples Common (near Heptonstall) - 3 Reed Buntings there yesterday (NG)

Around and about !

Mixenden Reservoir
1 Cormorant and not much else !

Soil Hill
1 Snipe
1 Grey Heron
1 Blackbird
1 Kestrel
18 Magpies by the small shelter belt by the road

Pellon Lane (area just below Queens Road - checked the area with Nick)
4 Waxwings yesterday from BS but no sign of them today
Lots of thrushes feeding on the berrying trees. Mostly Redwings then Mistle Thrushes and Blackbirds though I found a couple of Song Thrush and a single Brambling along with a small group of Chaffinch's and Goldfinch

Wheatley Valley (Shroggs former landfill)
More Redwings, Mistle Thrushes and Blackbirds heading down there to roost
6 Bullfinch together near Brackenbed and 2 Jays
Flock of around 16 Long-tailed Tits
A nice count of 112 Magpies coming in to roost - but I had to leave before the main influx arrived so I hope to try a count again later on in the month

Friday, December 14, 2018


Following on from numerous recent sightings of a cormorant on a lamppost in Mytholmroyd, a couple of Hebden Bridge Birders members have reported a dunlin hanging out in the exact same spot. One of these was Ceinwyn Thomas who is an experienced birder and knows her stuff. Anyone seen anything similar? Strikes me as pretty unusual.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Another Calderdale First ??????????

Last Friday whilst on my way to a concert I received a call of a possible White-tailed Eagle seen flying out of Calderdale over Buckstones and in to the Huddersfield area. Nothing then came of it until I received 3 photos of the bird today. All 3 are very much the same not giving much away but the bird certainly appears very bulky and consulting Dick Forsman looks spot on in flight profile. I suppose people might think possible escaped Bald Eagle as one locally as done so twice. Anyway if it turns out to be correct then Matt Bell will have won his own competition. Any comments on the photo welcome.

Cold Edge Dams

No sign of the Red-crested Pochard on Cold Edge Dams today, we checked ever dam. Did have 2 Goldeneye, 2 Tufted Ducks, 1 Reed Bunting and a Pink Footed Goose in the wildfowl collection.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018


Plantation mainly
22 Canadas and lots of Mallard and a Dipper in the top east dam but tried the woodland after I drew a blank trying to find JL's Redpoll early on.
1 Green Woodpecker heard
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
2 Treecreepers
2 Reed Buntings
6+ Goldcrest
10+ Coal Tits
 Great Spotted Woodpecker - hanging on !
Unfamiliar habitat for Reed Buntings in our area (one on view in the middle)! - so I had a careful look at their identity


Fly flatts this afternoon.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Swales Moor and other news today

3 Fieldfare, 2 Meadow Pipits and a single flyover Reed Bunting were just about the best I could do up there late afternoon.

3 adult Whooper Swans  at Ringtone Edge reservoir earlier today (AT)

Several Redpoll reported along the west side of Ogden reservoir this afternoon (JL)

An injured adult male Kestrel, with photos below, was looked after overnight with a view to releasing it, hopefully, this morning. (NG)
Update from Nigel today (11th) - the bird was unable to fly so it's now at Greenmount Bird Hospital in Bury. Let's hope the bird recovers so it can be released back into the wild.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Red-crested Pochard

Up date, the Red-crested Pochard was still present at Cold Edge Dams today on the bottom dam on the west side.

Swales Moor

Ringby Lane
1 Meadow Pipit
1 Pied Wagtail
1 Kestrel
1 Sparrowhawk
c80 Common Gulls in the top field with 1 Black- headed Gull
30+ Herring Gulls very high >W
100+ Jackdaws and unusual for this site c180 Rooks heading to roost.
c40 House Sparrows at Ploughcroft.

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Cold Edge

Rained off and fogged off up there early afternoon. I couldn't hardly see the water on the lower dam so no chance of checking if the Red-crested Pochard was still there.
Lower down in the fields I did find  36 Canadas and a nice flock of around 135 Fieldfare with 5 Mistle Thrush - but that was it.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Bramblings and Waxwings - Skircoat Allotment area

One of around six Bramblings feeding in a Rowan tree at the Godfrey road end of the footpath. They don't seem to swallow the berries whole but tease out the seeds.

Not a species I've seen for a good while so it was quite a nice find next to my allotment whilst trying to re-locate the Waxwings.

Unfortunately none of the Waxwings I saw dropped below the skyline which was a bit frustrating.

Good to finally meet up with fellow moth-er Dave who spotted this male Blackcap in amongst the Waxwings.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Godfrey Road and St Albans Road

Just a few shots of the Waxwings this morning at the lower end of the allotments and on and off at the lower end of St Albans Road. First Waxwings of the winter in Calderdale(as far as we know) so a very good find by CS -  plus a bonus bird with a male Blackcap.
Quite a few other thrushes around as well including Redwings, Blackbirds and  Mistle Thrush's though we missed out on the Brambling there, though there are some in Manor Heath Park

 Male Blackcap - an unusual combination summer and winter visitors together.


Four Waxwings and six Bramblings in and around the berry trees along the bottom of Skircoat Green allotments by the hospital mid-morning.