Friday, July 30, 2010

Crimsworth Dean

6 House Martins near the crags car park
1 pair of Spotted Flycatchers with their second succesful brood now fledged - still time for another brood!
c4 Green Woodpeckers including one adult with a juvenile
3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers

2 juv Little Owls now fledged
c10 (or more) Kestrels in and around the dean suggests an excellent breeding season locally for this small raptor
6 Curlew
1 Grey Wagtail
c6 Stock Doves

30th July

Quick visit to High Road Well Moor this pm produced 28 Stock Doves and amongst the Bhgs a single Common Gull and a second summer Lesser black back.

Problem solved

Last few days, Lapwing, Kestrel, Shortie and Sparrowhawk.

Last few days

Undisclosed site. 1 Buzzard, 3 Kestrels, 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Shorties, 6 Goosanders, 17+ Stock Doves, 1 Oystercatcher, 4 Curlew, Lapwing with well grown young etc.

ps Is there a problem with the blog, it dosn't seem to want to let me add photos at the moment.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Wallabies of Whirlaw

A pal of mine did the Calderdale Way last week and informed me he saw two wallabies on Whirlaw above Tod'. I have to say when he sent me a text at the time to tell me I thought nonsense, it was probably a couple of big hares. Well, I have just seen the photo and it is a wallaby. Are these a known Calderdale escaped species? Is everyone as staggered by this as I am? Can anyone tell me more?
I eagerly await some responses on this matter.

Regards, Chris

NERF Conference

Northern England Raptor Conference
20 November 2010
Rishworth School, Rishworth, Halifax, HX6 4QA

This year's annual NERF Raptor Conference is being hosted by Calderdale Bird Conservation Group at the prestigious venue of Rishworth School.

The conference committee has drawn together an exciting and varied program that will address a wide range of issues that are of interest to Raptor Workers, including habitat management, the use of technology to track and monitor individual birds as well as contributing to the debate surrounding the status of eagle owls and lowland hen harriers.

There is ample on-site parking. Registration, coffee and exhibits will be available for delegates from 0830 and the conference will open at 0915. Lunch and afternoon refreshments will be provided.

This year’s conference has four themes and each theme has two highly respected speakers. Some of the issues are extremely contentious and delegates will have an opportunity to put in-depth questions to the speakers at the end of each session. Paul Irving, NERF Chairman, will also bring us up to date with current developments within the Forum.

Habitat management
· Alistair Crowle, Natural England
The effects of 60 years of management of upland SSSIs
· Simon Thorp, Heather Trust
Heather Burning Regulations, three years on

Analytical science
· Lee Walker, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme
· Arjun Arun, RSPB
Peregrine persecution in the NERF region, a 10 years study

· Stephen Murphy, Natural England
Hen harrier dispersal - satellite tracking
· James Leonard, RSPB
The use of technology, including cameras for monitoring, research and crime detection

Species studies
· Dr Andrew Kelly, Belfast University
New research into the status of eagle owls
· Paul Castle, Wiltshire Raptor Group
Montagu’s harriers and lowland hen harriers

Delegate Fees
£10.00 for delegates aged 14 – 18 years and £20.00 for adults. Once again demand for places at this year’s conference is expected to be high. Please book early to avoid disappointment.
This is a high profile national conference and one for which we are proud hosts, any birder with an interest in raptors is bound to find something of interest here, to book please contact

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hunter Hill area

Juv Little Ringed Plover
Juv Gt Spotted Woodpeckers feeding in the top of gorse bushes - they just took off before I got them!

2 of the 3 Lapwing chicks

Cold Edge/Hunter Hill/Fly Flats/Ogden

Nothing doing at all at Hunter Hill vis mig spot this morning other than 41 Swifts >SW at around 08:30
2 juv Great spotted Woodpeckers were feeding on the edge of the moor in the top of gorse bushes - unusual!
1 Little Owl

Cold Edge
2 LRP's
2 Oystercatchers
1 Lapwing with 3 large chicks in nearby fields - not flying yet
No sign of the Black Redstart

Fly Flats
c60 Swifts feeding over the res'r
1 Golden Plover
1 Oystercatcher

Ogden golf course - loads of Meadow Pipits on the deck and lots of juv Swallows

27th July Evening

Out and about with SC last night. Shortie carrying prey to young on the ground at last. Was becoming very worried about the lack of sightings of this species this summer after good numbers arrived back at traditional sites in April. Also 6 Kestrels, 1 adult Peregrine, 2 Oystercatchers, 5 or 6 Curlews etc.

Of note just seen on the news, the Catalonia parliament have voted to ban Bull Fighting from January 2012, lets hope the rest of Spain follows soon.

House Martins

I found egg shells under our House Martin nest this morning so their second brood must be hatching.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Withens Clough

Common Sandpiper 6 incl juvs
LRP 1 adult
Short-eared Owl 1
Oystercatcher 1
Reed Bunting 2 incl 1 carrying food
Canada Goose 18
+ usual

Monday, July 26, 2010

Withens Clough

Two Twite there this evening

Cold Edge

No sign of the Black Redstart this afternoon
2 Dunlin
1 Oystercatcher
3 Curlew

Another Path at CB(there obsessed)

Why have one path when you can have two.This one goes straight over a small colony of Common Blues..I am sure they did' nt mention this at the latest meeting ...or is it just me.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

2nd Black Redstart

BS found an adult male at Soil Hill this pm. Unfortunatly it disappeared soon after and could not be relocated.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dave's Black Redstart

Went up with SC after tea to look for Daves Black Red and found what appears to be a juvenile. Still showing slight yellow at base of bill. This as moved hear from somewhere else, they have not bred here, we would have known, the site as been checked regularly throughout the spring and summer. Still a great record Dave well done.

Cold Edge/Hunter Hill

I tried vis mig this morning between 8 and 10 am at the Hunter Hill watchpoint but hardly any birds moving today.
54 birds of 7 species mostly moving very high
4 LBBG, 34 Swifts, 2 Skylarks, 2 Meadow Pipits, 4 Mallard, 3 Goldfinch, 5 B H Gulls

Plenty of birds around the site mostly feeding in and over the surrounding fields including
c50 Swallows, c50 Meadow Pipits, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Pied Wagtail, 5 Stock Doves, 1 Green Woodpecker, 11 Skylarks and 65 Jackdaws etc..

This afternoon was more productive with a Black Redstart (fem/juvenile ?) near Cold Edge and 2 Grasshopper Warblers singing in short bursts from the surrounding vegetation.
A pair of Lapwings with 3 large chicks was good to see in a field down Cold Edge Road below the Withens.
1 Little Grebe on a small dam below Cold Edge dams was a surprise.


A Goldcrest was in the garden early this morning in the fir trees - first one I've seen here in over 10 years.

At 08:30 I heard a Grasshopper Warbler at Strait Hey. BL said he'd had one last night about a mile away at Jail Hole so it could possibly be the same bird?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Red Kite at Lightcliffe

A Kite was reportedly seen in the Till Carr area of Lightcliffe sometime in the past week.
Full story on the front page of the 'Brighouse Echo'.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fly Flats and Cold Edge

Above - Fly Flats looking one way

View looking towards Cold Edge at 5 pm today

Fly Flats
4 Common Sandpipers
2 Oystercatchers
2 Curlew
250+ Canada Geese
c70 Swifts drifted through >SW between 2 and 3 pm
3 Kestrels over Cold Edge area and 1 Lapwing

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bird Report 2009 update

Could CJS and Muxy please give me there proper names for inclusion on the contributors page.
Report almost finished just putting together final draft before proof reading.

Just as many thought!



This afternoon
1 Great Crested Grebe
8 Lesser Black backed Gulls - and a few moving through
c40 B H Gulls
2 Common Gulls
1 Green Woodpecker

Cold Edge

Yesterday afternoon
1 juvenile Stonechat
Little Ringed Plover
1 Oystercatcher
1 Redshank

This morning
c4 Kestrels
Poor for waders as dog walkers were along the shore-line!
1 Willow Warbler
2 Reed Buntings
It was good to meet up with NK and DP who had been rewarded by 2 Ravens earlier on.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

West Yorkshire Ecology - Tuesday's meeting cancelled

Nick D has contacted me this evening to say he is ill and wants to cancel the meeting with WYE on Tuesday, he says there is also at least one other key HBWC member who is unlikely to be able to attend. I have suggested to WYE they re arrange any meeting with HBWC directly.


Good views yesterday of a redpoll stuffing itself on grass seed (Yorkshire Fog - Holcus lanatus) in Withens Clough. Other birds elusive in the wind and rain and sunny intervals.

No sign of the dark green fritillary seen a week ago, but lots of meadow browns and large and small skippers visiting bramble flowers going up lane at SD987234. (where the DGF was.)

HSS ramble. (Adjourned to Todmorden to visit an orchid site.)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cold Edge/Hunter Hill

Cold Edge
Meadow Pipits and Linnets all over the place this afternoon including lots of juveniles.
L R Plover and Oystercatcher
2 Kestrels

Cold Edge Road/Hunter Hill
18 Skylarks together in one field - maybe brought down by the heavy rain this morning.
18 Golden Plover
2 Snipe
1 Lapwing
4 Curlew

Thursday, July 15, 2010

West Yorkshire Ecology

Just a reminder about next weeks meeting where West Yorkshire Ecology( will be meeting with local birders to discuss their desire to include the Club's records in their database. At the meeting they will give full details of why they would like the information, what conservation value this will have and how it will be used etc. Obviously a decision as to whether this data is passed on must be made by those that provide it so I would invite anyone with an interest to attend. The meeting is planned for Tuesday 20th July at the offices of Calderdale Countryside Services (above the Library) in Mytholmroyd with a 7-15pm start. Please note this is not a CBCG event, the records are the property of HBWC and therefore any local birder who submits their info to HBWC is encouraged to attend.

Ghost Dance
They're in Calderdale, they've got wings, a respected local birder put me on to them.......and I bet Nightjars would rellish them....if we had any Nightjars that is.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cold Edge/Hunter Hill

Hunter Hill watchpoint (vis mig 8.15 until 10.30)
12 species of 240 individuals on the move this morning including ;
143 Swifts >S (136 in the first hour and a quarter then only 7 in the last hour)
52 Swallows >S (2 groups of mainly young birds)
2 Great Black-backed Gulls >S
1 Herring Gull>S
1 Common Gull >S

Green Woodpecker, Little Owl, Grey Heron and 6 Stock Doves also around the site

Cold Edge (pm)
1 Oystercatcher
42 Lapwing
Little Ringed Plover

Cottonstones/Mill Bank

Buzzard being mobbed by a Crow took refuge in the trees that run from Cottonstones towards Mill Bank yesterday evening appx. 5pm. Unfortunately it settled on the opposite side to my view point, waited for 15 minutes but did not see it move on.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fly Flats and Cold Edge

This morning - Fly Flats
c250 Swifts and 12 Swallows - all feeding over the res'r
2 Oystercatchers
2 Common Sandpipers
1 male Blackbird was unusual at this site - around the boat house

Cold Edge
28 Golden Plover in the fields along Cold Edge Road
6 Lapwings
4 Curlew
1 Snipe
1 Tufted Duck

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cold Edge

Gull movement this afternoon between 3 and 4 pm - 60 L B B Gulls >NW along with 35 B H Gulls (this co-incides with other noticable gull movements at Soil Hill late afternoon (BS) and all day apparently at Thornton Moor (DCB) where some Common Terns were also seen moving through and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit - correction)
1 Green Woodpecker over Mixenden Res'r

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New video uploads

As Birdlife Malta are rolling out their recruitment drive for the next Raptor Camp, I've uploaded the first three parts of Birds, Bins and Bullets...edited for the web.

Also, as the Waldrapp Projekt is preparing for another mammoth task of teaching Bald Ibis how to migrate, I have uploaded my "Return of the Waldrapp" documentary in four parts.

I promise to upload some more local bird and other wildlife pieces soon. Dippers or Lesser Peckers perhaps?

Friday, July 09, 2010

Goldcrest chicks

I came across a newly fledged goldcrest on a branch in Jumble Hole Clough, and it has to be the smallest bird I have ever seen in my whole life. I've seen bigger grapes!
The parent bird was then seen taking food into the remaining nestlings in the ivy.

Fly Flats/Cold Edge

This morning
Fly Flats
1 Twite down the track to the boat house
4 Common Sandpipers
1 Dunlin
1 juv Pied Wagtail
1 juv Grey Wagtail
c250 Canada Geese!

Withens Head - 2 juv Curlew now flying with adults

Cold Edge
2 Twite near Haigh Cote barn feeding on sorrell seed heads (both ringed birds but unable to get the combination of colours)
3 Redshank
1 Dunlin
1 Oystercatcher
1 Snipe
pr Kestrel
Lots of Linnet

Nyjer Feeders

Hi all
A quick question, can anyone recommend a decent Nyjer feeder as both the ones I have tried have been poor, losing large amounts of seed or ignored by the birds. Also my other seed and nut feeders are now starting to wear out. I used metal feeders from CJ Wildbird Foods previously but wonder if anyone has recommendations for feeders by other companies ?

PS Nyjer seed was always expensive back home in Yorkshire, here I buy 20 kilo bags from the local pet shop at £21

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Jay House Lane

A pair of stock dove on the field at the top this morning, nice surprise of a dipper sat on the ford at the bottom.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Ogden/Cold Edge

32 adult L B B gulls at Ogden this morning

Cold Edge as yesterday plus 1 Dunlin

Heads Up For Harpies

This is a must see, especially for anyone with an interest in cameras on raptor nests

The Natural World programme, "The monkey-eating eagle of the Orinoco", will be broadcast on BBC2 in the UK at 1900 BST on Thursday, 8 July 2010

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Cold Edge

Male Linnet

This morning
1 adult Common Gull
2 L B B Gulls
11 B H Gulls
2 f Goosander
1 Snipe, 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Redshank, 2 Common Sandpipers,
3 Curlew, 10 Lapwings
Linnets and Meadow Pipits with lots of fledged young
c40 Swifts >N

Monday, July 05, 2010

Recent reports

2 Common Terns through Fly Flatts >NW yesterday morning was an excellent record (BS) - is this the first report of terns in our area this year?
Also a Greenshank - a report via BS of one at Ogden this morning.

Crimsworth Dean

Evening visit, and out of the wind in the valley were perfect conditions for birding
Spotted Flycatchers - 1 pair with 3 fledged juvs
5 Green Woodpeckers in different areas including 4 juveniles now looking independent
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
c20 Siskin - including fledged juvs being fed
c40 Swifts came down the valley towards Hebden Bridge
1 Sparrowhawk
pr Kestrels
3 singing Goldcrests
juvenile Coal tits
c6 Nuthatches

A couple of weeks

Seen quite a few hare over the last few weeks, one in particular didn't seem too concerned as I crept forwards. SEO on a successful evening hunt.

9 twite this morning feeding on thistle heads and mixing with a few linnet, plenty of mipit on the hills.

BTO Atlas

4th - 2 hr survey covering Halifax Town centre area today
23 species including highlights below
1 Dipper in the Hebble Brook under north Bridge
5 adult Grey Wagtails in and around Dean Clough/Mulcture House
52 Mallard - Peoples Park
362 Feral Pigeons!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

1st July

Not many birds about and no football, so got my moth trap out for the first time in 4 years and was rewarded with Green Arches a new moth for my back garden (165 species of macros). Unfortunatly at 2AM in the morning BOOOM my mecuary vapour lamp exploded, does any one no where I can get another bulb from locally.