Friday, October 31, 2008
Kestrel just behind Bradford Road
20 Long Tailed Tits in the wood
30 Redwings going towards Jay House Lane, but only a couple of Fieldfares
6 Mistle Thrush
2 Pied Wagtails by the muck stack
Slightly different ratio of Lapwings to Golden Plover, today Muxy, with approx 200 Lapwings and nearly 250 Golden Plovers. They made a really impressive sight in one large,mixed flock, which became even more dramatic as a female Sparrowhawk put the lot up !
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I am aware some of you have prior arrangements but can the rest please give me some indication of your intention to either attend or not by this time tomorrow evening.
Given the amount of time that both of them give to the group I'm sure we can all either take the time to add a comment, email me firstname.lastname@example.org or text me if you have my number that is.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
1 (f) Goldeneye
10 Golden Plover
220+ B H Gulls, 80+ Common Gulls, 2 juv Herring Gull (types)!
1 Reed Bunting
2 Meadow Pipits
1 Pied Wagtail
70 Fieldfare >NW over Barkisland and another c60 >E over the Ryburn Valley
6 Mistle Thrushes
4 Pied Wagtails
12 + Mipits (I think, any tips on confirming little brown bird types would be welcomed)
Then just out of our area 3 Cormorants over and 1 Heron.
I didn't think that was bad for a drive to work.
Are the Tree Sparrows there all year and where is the best place to look?
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
NOW as previously mentioned this Friday 31st October we are planning on having a get together to celebrate Nick Carters and Matt Bells recent/upcoming birthdays. This is start at The Works in Sowerby Bridge at 8pm before moving onto The Puzzle to take in some live music.
I'm sure alot of you who have known Matt and Nick for many years would like to join us to help them Celebrate.
I would welcome RSVP's either posted here or if you want your attendance to remain a surprise then please email me at email@example.com
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
1 Stonechat by the wind farm car park
No Twite - and the area of the feeding station is taken over by contractors vehicles etc at the moment as they carry out some work on the res'r bankings. Seed put down nearby but think we might be very fortunate if we see any Twite there now until the spring(????)
2 over upper Crimsworth Dean
Also 3 Kestrels at various points between Fly Flatts and weather station, I know it has been said before but there seems to be loads about.
Now in the next few months I'm hoping for my first Merlin!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
As not much seems to be happening around Calderdale at the moment, I thought I would post an update on the bird life we have around my new home on the Llyn Peninsular in N Wales since we moved in July.To someone like myself who is only a novice bird watcher its been a real eye opener moving here due to the sheer numbers and variety of birds seen. Most days we get Ravens and Choughs passing over the van on their journeys to and from the mountains to the coast and back. Often we will not see the birds but note their calls as they pass. Although its usual to see Merlin, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, and Peregrines on most walks along the coast its very rare we see any raptors near the caravan site. We do have a rather spectacular Jackdaw roost at the bottom of the site in some large conifers. Its an amazing sight to watch the birds displaying in their hundreds as they come in to roost at dusk. they spend a long time settling down for the night and its not unusual for them to be flying around displaying long after the sun has set.
Cycling round the peninsular at the moment really brings it home to you just how rich the bird life is around the area. Many of the local farmers (its all small scale mixed family farms here) have grown maize this year, not as I thought as bio-fuel but as a food crop for sheep and cattle as bought in food is very expensive. This maize crop has just been harvested and the stubble fields are full of finches. Its not unusual to see seperate flocks of over a couple of hundred Chaffinches, Greenfinches and Goldfinches and often there are many flocks together numbering hundreds of birds. Its hardly surprising that raptors are common around here ! Any cycle ride on a sunny day will have anything up to 20 Buzzards spotted as we cycle round the coast. We have large colonies of Sand Martins all along the coast and the Merlins hang around outside the nest sites trying to catch them. Swallows and House Martins seem to breed on most farms and other out buildings, The last flock I saw was last week as they headed off back SE behind the van. I have not seen any Tree Sparrows yet but House Sparrows are around in massive numbers on all the farms.
I have a feeding station set up at the back of the van around 6 feet from my office window. Its the same station I had in Calderdale but the difference in birds is remarkable. As my back garden in Calderdale backed onto Park Wood most visitors were of the Tit family and Blackbirds. Here the bulk of the visitors are finches. Chaffinches predominate along with Greenfinch and Goldfinch. I have a pair of Greater Spotted Woodpeckers down every day on the nut feeders. There is also a pair of Nuthatch with an occasional foray by other Nuthatches until the resident pair spot them and drive them off. As I sit typing this I have a flock of Chaffinches feeding on the floor under the feeder, 2 Nuthatches feeding on the peanuts, a Goldfinch hanging on a nut feeder (weird this as Goldfinches seem to prefer the nut feeders to the seed feeders ?) and two Coal tits searching for Sunflower seeds the Nuthatches keep hiding in the ivy on a tree trunk just behind the feeder. Thrush and Blackbird are noticeable by their absence at the station even though they are around in huge numbers all along any lane you walk. One thing I have also noticed is that the birds are far less likely to fly off if they spot movement through the window. I could almost reach out and touch the birds on the feeders but as long as I don't move around too much they ignore me and carry on feeding. Just behind the feeding station is a low banking/hedge, called a Clouth around here, just over that is a small field in which one of the local farmers keeps small flock of sheep (they seem to lamb the whole year round here). Its very entertaining every morning when the sheep and lambs are let back into the field as a small number of Jackdaws, Magpies and Ravens suddenly appear and start to move amongst the sheep flock looking for disturbed insects. Quite often most of the adult sheep have at least one passenger corvid keeping an eye out for insects from its woolly vantage point.
I have not really had the time to do much sea watching as yet due to settling into the van and my book business is still busy despite the downturn. We enjoyed watching Gannets plunge feeding only a few yards offshore as we walked along Nefyn beach in the summer. Most days the Gannets were feeding we also saw Common Tern feeding as well. At least one pair of Ringed Plover bred on Nefyn beach and we think they got at least one youngster safely reared. hopefully in winter we will get some time to go bird watching along the shore (its around 20mins walking from the van).
We have so much wildlife here its almost like a David Attenborough film compared to Calderdale ! Sue and I do not regret for one minute leaving Calderdale, although we do miss the many friends we made in the area. Judging by the amount of tweeters I have spotted, I dread to think just what a proper bird watcher would have seen that we have missed ! Our star spot so far was the Osprey perched on a fench post at the edge of a road some weeks back. My fav birds are Ravens (we save chicken carcases and take them up Garn Fadryn to feed the resident Ravens), but I spend far more time than I ought to simply gazing out of the office window watching the bird behaviour on the feeding station.
If any of you are ever in the area please feel free to drop in for a cuppa and some grub and you can point out all the things Sue and I have missed :-))
PS I mentioned the lack of Raptors earlier, just had a male Sparrowhawk take a chaffy from the shed roof 12 feet away from my window, amazing !
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
c 6 Kestrels
6 Red-legged Partridges
c30 Meadow Pipits
No winter thrushes - wonder if, after the influx last weekend, they nearly all carried on going west. Crimsworth Dean is usually a really good area for them.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
- 800+ redwing
- 90 fieldfare (one group of 5, one of 85)
- 1 goldcrest
- 1 kestrel
- 1 raven
- 3 jay
Friday, October 17, 2008
Nick Dawtrey reported c40 Redwings over Roils head this afternoon going west. c30 were around Shroggs Park this morning and others as already reported in Luddenden Dean were feeding on hawthorn berries. Redwings were also heard going over Southowram at 9.30 pm tonight. Plenty Blackbirds and Mistle Thrushes also around but no reports of Fieldfares yet as far as I am aware (?)
Pink footed Geese (part of the flock) over the Calder Valley from Midgley Moor at 1 pm today heading west. Perhaps the same flock Matt saw a few minutes later. I overestimated at c200! Digital photography even at a distance confirmed the flock we saw from here was close on 147 birds.
Also present on the moor c40 Meadow Pipits, 1 Skylark and c6 Red Grouse heard and 1 Snipe.
BASIC METHODOLOGY…… very simple!
Anyone in the UK can take part. The more contributions and the wider the spread the better.
The "counting period" is as stated above, if you wish to go on longer than 1000hr then do so but keep this supplimentary total outside the "counting period" separate.
Count each species in increments of 15 minutes starting at 0700hr ie incremental periods for us all will be:
0700 – 0715hr
0715 – 0730hr
0730 – 0715hr
and so on……
This incremental counting will enable immediate comparison of results between each site.
Identify and count all of the moving birds you see or hear at any distance using bins, scope or unaided vision and note their main or various directions of movement.
Record basic weather as we are all in the habit of doing, specifically noting any factors you may think are affecting the movement of birds.
If possible take a few digital photos of your outlook / counting conditions.
Write your basic report as we are all in the habit of doing but including both incremental totals and grand totals for each species. Finally simply attach a couple of your digital photos and email all to the VisMig Group as you would normally do for all to see.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I will be emailing Andy Crystal shortly with our requirements.
NOW the really important stuff.
As most of you are aware our Chairman Nick "Grasshopper" Carter is turning 50, what some of you may not be aware is that within weeks of this Matt "Ding Dong" Bell turns 40.
In order to help celebrate these 2 momentous events we have agreed to have a night of high spirits fueled by alcohol and live music.
You are all therefore invited to attend the birthday celebrations to be held on Friday 31st October commencing at 8pm at The Works in Sowerby Bridge before moving onto The Puzzle (also in Sowerby Bridge) for the live music and of course more of the high spirits.
I would welcome an RSVP from everyone so that we have an idea of the numbers to expect.
It is sure to be a great night and it would be fantastic if as many of you as possible are able to come along and help our friends celebrate.
Back to the dull stuff, I'll keep you all posted on the progress of the website as soon as there is any news.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
4 house martins
23 canada geese
1 pink footed goose - might be the same one that appeared here last year
8 BH gull
8 BH gull
3 grey heron
LTT, robin, wren, goldcrest
1 grey wagtail
12 redwing feeding on hawthorns
1 goldcrest having a bath in a pool at the side of the track
28+ Red Grouse
2 Ravens and 1 Common Buzzard over high
c20 Goldcrests in the crags
3 Stonechats at middle Walshaw res'r
7 Meadow Pipits for the day (all keeping out of the wind)
1 Grey Heron
c6 Kestrels and that was about it
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
well grown young still in nest and three flying birds at Bowers Mill, Barkisland.
This is on Branch Rd. Great cafe there, good food and cheap, unfortunately not open weekends.
Someone mentioned bats recently. If anyone is interested, Hugh Firman, Chair of the Yorkshire Bat Group, and Chief Conservation Officer for Calderdale, is giving this month's talk with powerpoint presentation at Halifax Scientific Society. His title is "Bat Conservation in West Yorkshire and what we can do to help them". Open to the public, 7.00 for 7.15, downstairs at Halifax Central Library, Northgate.
Next Tuesday, 14th October.
Monday, October 06, 2008
Sunday, October 05, 2008
1 Grey Wag
1 Peregrine Juv.
24 Reed Bunting
2 Red Grouse
6 LBBG >W
5 Wigeon (probably the ones I put up from Boothwood)
1 Merlin M
1 Grey Heron
2 Pied Wag
1 House Sparrow
Saturday, October 04, 2008
1 Pink-foot associating with 28 Canadas this morning after the influx last Sunday. Other birds of note:
16 Tufted Duck
1 Great Crested Grebe
2 Grey Heron
3 Common Gull
1 LBB Gull
Notable SW movement of 200+ Woodpigeon
20 House Martin still around
1 Pied Wag
1 Grey Wag
1 Chiffchaff singing sporadically
1 Lesser Redpoll over
Friday, October 03, 2008
12 Mallard on the canal.
A Little Grebe on the lagoon.
Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, 3 Common Gulls and c 100 B H Gulls on the lake.
Back home, the Coal Tits were busy hoarding sunflower seeds in the rockery and the small garden wall !
Thursday, October 02, 2008
The tawny owls are also pretty active at the moment.
The hawthorns in the valley have a good crop of berries on them as do the rowans in Sainsbury's car park and the streets around.
I thought the house martins had left our street but there were 3 flying around this teatime.
1 chiffchaff singing at the weekend.
River Ryburn, rear of West St Mills, S/B - 1 Grey Heron flying low over river. 2 Dippers. 1 Grey Wagtail Flock of mxd Tits
(This is quite a good spot so close to S/B Centre - always Dipper & Grey Wagtail, Tits etc. Sometimes Kingfisher & Heron. I've also seen Daubentons Bats here in the evening. Unfortunately I've also seen Mink here)
New Mill Dam, Todmorden - 1 Grey Heron
Eastwood - 1 Grey Heron flying east along Halifax Rd
2 juv Swallows >S over Syke Lane at 10 am (also 2 juvs through by Mixenden Res'r at 2.30 pm)
1 Grey and 2 Pied Wagtails
1 Green and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
13 + Robins and 12 + Goldcrests
1 L B B Gull
1 G C Grebe
1 Grey Heron
10 Linnets on the Mixenden side of the golf course and 5 Stonechats together there
4 Stonechats together along Cold Edge Road
1 Wheatear in the fields opposite the wind-farm car park
5 Twite - but very flighty
Also the white Carrion Crow is still around Whitegate (near Shaking House Farm) just above Mixenden