Thursday, November 26, 2020

Crimsworth Dean - fogged off !

Beautiful sunshine over Ogden and Denholme mid morning and then we went over the A6033 from Oxenhope towards Hebden Bridge in the hope the road was open - thankfully it was, after a long closure for road improvements. Unfortunately Pecket Well and the whole of Crimsworth Dean was thick in fog. What next ??

Blake Dean in the hope of finding some brightness - how fortunate was that ! A good walk up to Walshaw Dean and later on to Gorple. Birds were not jumping out at us but we found a few.

Blake Dean - checked the woodland for Brambling and Chaffinch without success but we did find Goldcrests, Coal, Blue and Great Tits and a Grey Heron in the stream. Higher up 2 Treecreepers together were working the moss low down on an old sycamore. A good chat up there with DJB was a nice surprise by the plantation where we spotted a rather distant flock of Fieldfares.

We managed a very pale Barn Owl a little further along and then below Lower Gorple a noisy skein of Pink-footed Geese went over high >W at 2pm. Unusual in that they were just in single file - follow my leader over the upland fog-banks !

Mixenden Res’r

This morning with fog in places on the tops but sunshine here !
3 f Goldeneye
6 Canada Geese
2 Moorhen
1 Grey Wagtail
c90 Common Gulls
c45 B H Gulls
2 Herring Gulls
1 Ring- necked Parakeet opposite the school.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Swales Moor

 Length of Ringby Lane this afternoon

1 Meadow Pipit.....and little else other than the usual corvids and Common Gulls - till I got to the far end fields. Bonus birds with 56 Lapwings, c50 Starlings and a distant Common Buzzard.

Lapwings with a few Starlings

Soil Hill beyond Bradshaw

Common Gulls

Fly Flatts

An hour or so up there late morning but little to report.
2 Stonechat along the top road
2 Kestrel
3 Canada Geese
Red Grouse on the moor very vocal
2 Carrion Crows

1 drake Goldeneye on the top dam at Cold Edge

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Mixenden Reservoir etc

 Had a walk between Mixenden and Ogden this afternoon via Hunter Hill

2 female type Goldeneye on the reservoir plus a good number of smaller gulls and 6 Herring Gulls loafing on the edge. No scope with me to check on the Herring Gulls after a suspicion of  a Yellow-legged Gull there yesterday (NK).

Green Woodpecker on Hunter Hill and a Grey Heron flyover but not  a lot else though we still seem to be coming across plenty of Coal Tits wherever there is shrubbery or woodland.

Earlier in the day a solitary Buzzard >E over Lee Mount and a Sparrowhawk soaring over Shroggs Park.

Sky looked on fire this morning and again this afternoon in the sunset over Wainstalls with Mixenden Reservoir just about showing. Viewed from Lane Head Lane

Monday, November 23, 2020

Swales Moor

 This morning along the length of Ringby Lane - it was perishing along the western ridge !!
46 Lapwing got flushed off the field at the northern end - unusual to see them up here.
2 Raven
2 Stonechats
6 Meadow Pipits
50+ Common Gulls and 1 Black-headed Gull
21 Herring Gulls >SW drifting high over the ridge
2 Stock Dove
15 House Sparrows in the shrubbery down by the cottage at the top of Ploughcroft along with 15+ Goldfinch
Adult Common Gulls


Raven and Carrion Crow
Meadow Pipit

Earlier in Sainsbury's car park
12 Blackbirds feasting on the berries along with 3 Mistle Thrush, Robin, Wren, Blue and Great Tits and Carrion Crows all got flushed by a Sparrowhawk

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Soil Hill (& other sites); updates from the week

Soil Hill
-SNOW BUNTING; 2nd of the week on the summit this morning (22nd). Initially heard which gave me chance to get my camera ready. Strangely the bird then flushed from long grass on top rather than a flyover as I anticipated. It then spent maybe two minutes flying in loops around the top calling frequently before flying south strongly. I followed it until it was a distant dot, which is why it was weird when it (or possibly a different bird) flew past me only around a minute later heading strongly north. Again I followed it and it gave the impression it was loosing altitude but it was extremely distant and I eventually lost it against the backdrop of the distant hills. A search of the habitat on the North Slope produced nothing. So possibly two birds, but unsure. 
-1 Jack Snipe on the 21st
-2 Raven blogging on the 22nd
-52 Fieldfare on the 22nd, best count of the week (44 in a single flock)
-54 Pink-footed Geese flew east

Full checklist from the 22nd:

-Snow Bunting

Green Withens 19.11.2020

-WATER PIPIT by the boathouse but quite elusive. After the initial sighting, photographed below, only seen once breifly on adjacent wall despite searching
-17 Twite
-56 Pink-footed Geese flew West
-1 Raven

-Water Pipit
-Pink-footed Goose

Whiteholme Reservoir 19.11.2020
-2 Raven
-Not a single bird on the water

Ringstone Edge 19.11.2020
-1 Whooper Swan on the water

-Whooper Swan

Lower Gorple 19.11.2020
-10 Whooper Swan flew SE

-Whooper Swan

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Grey Wagtail - TEST

 Testing a very short video from the phone taken yesterday from the car as I pulled up ta home.

It might work ????

Friday, November 20, 2020

Ogden (yesterday 19th Nov)

 Lovely afternoon in the sunshine - not many birds about but it was enjoyable.

Looking towards Soil Hill over this area of moor grass in the foreground (Molinia - I think).
I found 11 Reed Buntings here and it seems a good wintering area for them.

According to some of the maps this rough old very stony road is called Withens New Road. Looked more like a stream yesterday. It was so peaceful so it's great that it's not accessible other than pedestrian, otherwise it would be full of vehicles !

Newly planted area looking down towards the golf course. It's now full of young trees planted in the last couple of years above. This could become a good area for wildlife in the next few years and hopefully improve the diversity - until the trees get too big and the understory will be blanked out.
Green Woodpecker, 2 Stonechats, 6 Blackbirds, 2 Redwings around this spot.

On the way back down a flock of 40 Fieldfares came into the plantation to roost.

Mt Tabor Sparrowhawk

Working from home on a dreary November day at 1100Ft and spotted this cracking little male sparrowhawk that has been doing the rounds of the local gardens.  I know not a prize winning pic through a damp window with a 200mm zoom lens.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Swales Moor - 18th November


A couple of hours on the top at Ringby Lane this morning. Weather not too bad when I got there but the gloom set in as the WSW wind started to blow bringing cloud and drizzle.
Ringby Lane >SE with Beacon Hill in the middle and Emley Moor mast just about visible at the left

Pair of Kestrels to start with but it went downhill from there with just 3 Meadow Pipits and the usual 'glut' of corvids on the top. 40+ Common Gulls also around the top with 6 Herring Gulls and 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull >SW. 
Then in the distance - a flock of Pink-footed Geese heading in my directions at around 10:30 - 62 (if I can count !) heading >NW but finding difficulty in keeping to any sort of formation in the blustery cross-wind.

Just got home and call from SC 11:35 - "pinks over Ovenden". I just got out of the car and there they were, another skein a bit distant having the same struggle in the wind. Managed some poor shots but this skein was 60 individuals (thanks Steve).

Monday, November 16, 2020

Soil Hill

A Snow Bunting was a nice surprise this morning. It flew from the shorter section of grass on the NW side of the Soil Hill Summit. The bird was flushed at a distance of around 10 meters, frustratingly not being seen on the deck prior to this. Upon taking flight, the bird began to fly straight up, emitting a soft whistling call a handful of times. When it reached somewhere between 10 – 15 meters in altitude it then flew strongly east, and began to utter the more familiar rattle like call, which I always consider very similar to Turnstone. It only did this call once, making rapid progress in an easterly direction. It did appear, once on the east side of the summit, that it was dropping in altitude but the bird disappeared behind the ‘Mounds’ and I could not confirm if it landed or not. Extensive searching by myself, NK and JJL produced no further sign. I managed, in my panic, to grab a handful of shots but almost all were useless except one which nicely shows the extent of the white in the wing. Just a bit disapointing that it did not sit on the deck a bit longer, or that it didn't linger in the area.

-Snow Bunting