Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dipper @ the Crags

A quick walk with the kids at Hardcastle Crags didn't produce much other than a dipper at the edge of the quieter mill pond up stream from the mill (to the left of the stream).

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Recent news

From 24th Christmas Eve
Fly Flats - nothing!
Withens Head - c60 Fieldfare in fields opposite the wind farm car park.
Cold Edge - 1 Mallard!
Mixenden Res'r - drake Goldeneye and a drake Goosander.

Today and yesterday from Elland ski lake , 14 Goldeneye (JB AC)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Waxwings in Brighouse

Here is a short film of waxwings in Brighouse today.

Filmed by Chris Burns. LINK to film

Hartshead & Bailiffe areas

A low flying Buzzard at Kirklees Hall and c90 Redwings feeding in the stubble fields, before gathering in the same tree.
In the fields above Bailiffe Bridge - 400+ BHGulls and a few Commons; 150+ Starlings; 50+ Fieldfares; and across the road - c200 Lapwings and c20 Golden Plover, but too windy up there to get a decent photo !

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Mixenden Res'r

Everywhere seems fogged out and rained off today but I did manage a peek at mixi res this afternoon. Just about 40 BH and a few Common Gulls and 5 Goosander and that was it!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Blog images

Following a recent post on the blog which included a superb photo of a Dipper it has been raised that the use of other peoples photographs without their express permission may be in breach of copyright. Whilst I am sure it wasn't the posters intention to in any way cause a problem (indeed was more to allow us all to appreciate a great photo) I believe there may well be copyright issues here.  I am no expert but the photographer concerned is a professional and has a copyright to the photo displayed on it.  I have attempted to search the web for guidance on this issue and although can't come up with anything concrete there are several documented bloggers who have been at risk of prosecution for using other peoples images without permission.  As a result and to err on the side of caution I have removed the photo, shame as its a superb shot.  If anyone disagrees with this decision and can prove that we are not putting ourselves at risk of potential copyright issues please clarify on here.

Caspian Gulls

There are 4 Caspian Gulls at Neepsend, Sheffield. Our turn now??


Monday, December 17, 2012

Various sites

Moor End - Mount Tabor landfill
11 Lapwings

Cold Edge
1 f Goldeneye
18 Carrion Crows
2 Rooks

Fly Flatts
2 Carrion Crows
2 'cronkers'
Red Grouse

Mixenden Res'r
10 Goosander
usual gulls including 1 L B B G

2 Reed Buntings by the 'Giants Tooth' and 6 Bullfinch came over high from Thornton Moor calling and dropped into the plantation
Red Grouse heard calling on the moor
1+ Goldcrest and 1 Great Tit but hardly any other small birds in the woodland
1 Dipper below the embankment
A big rock fall recently in the big quarry above Ogden Clough!

Urban waterbirds

Some great shots here..............
A walk down the Hebden on 2nd December produced no stream birds in the depth of the frost, but yesterday there was a dipper and a grey wagtail in the Hebble Beck just outside Dean Clough's Viaduct Cafe, a not unusual sight. Wonder if the water is warmer for them there . . . .

Sunday, December 16, 2012

More Waxwings.

At least two Waxwings and a couple of very vocal Nuthatches at the bottom of Manor Heath park this morning. Also three Waxwings briefly along the road at the mini roundabout at Free School Lane mid-week.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


According to Birdguides there were "6 on Heathfield Place early evening" today.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Todmorden Waxwing

A call was heard in the Burnley Road / Wellington Road area while walking home yesterday afternoon, seemed to be a single bird but could not spot it at the time.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sowerby Bridge & Private Site last 2 days

Dipper and Kingfisher on walk onto work near Asquith Bottom Mill in Sowerby Bridge yesterday and apologies for this one but I'll hopefully confirm this tomorrow morning. As I was leaving a bird flitted across my path my first instinct said Black Redstart but I was unable to relocate the bird though my search was brief as I had to be somewhere. It was the briefest of views so I told myself that it was unlikely and was probably just a robin.

Today whilst working on a private site I was surrounded constantly by 2 Robins that kept coming down to feed on the worms and other insects I kept turning up as a dug, not once did either of them remind me of the fleeting glimpse I'd had the day before. So tomorrow I shall return and have a proper search and I'll send a text to Dave so he can put it out either way on the grapevine. I certainly won't be claiming it if my search proves fruitless as it was the briefest of glimpses.

At dusk today witnessed an amazing roost as wrens/blue tits & great tits gathered in nearby bushes and trees before going to roost in the roof of the house where i was working, at least 20 wrens were seen to goto roost before we left. I've asked the owner to take a look in the morning to see if he can get an exit count and also to see if any other species have joined them. Add to that a weasel showing well, made for a good day at work.

The Sad Demise of Betty

The Sad Demise of Betty the Hen Harrier in June this year and the results of the post mortem is described here. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Local sightings

3 goosanders on river at Walkley Clogs: 2M 1F
A grey heron perched on a flimsy looking branch about 7' up a tree on the opp bank of river in Mytholmroyd
Dipper & grey wagtail seen last week from bridge over river in centre of Mytholmroyd: No sign today of pair of mandarin ducks seen on 3 occasions about a week ago from same bridge.  Thought at first they were wood ducks but I had a long time to study them and I'm clear what they were.

A pair of jays now come regularly to peanut feeders in patio garden at The Hatchery, Hall Bank Lane. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sowerby Bridge to Eastwood on the towpath

Plenty of the usual birds about today including a total of 7 Jays, 2 Treecreepers and a Grey Wagtail but the highlights were 7 Redwing at Brearley and 4 Goosander on the canal at Eastwood. 20+ Fieldfare were at Middle Stoodley, out of the valley from Eastwood.

Halifax Scientific Society Xmas Social

Among the usual attractions of artifacts and books etc. from our library to look at, there will be a couple of really interesting dead birds on display, found recently in Calderdale :-

The Common Scoter found by Andy Cockroft at Baitings reservoir. (It's been in a freezer.)
And the Great Grey Shrike that was picked up near a window in Southowrham with its prey, a headless Blue Tit.

The Xmas Social  consists of conversation over tea/coffee and cakes. Bring cakes etc to share. Drinks provided.

Downstairs at the Central Library, Halifax 7.15 to 9.00. (No formal Business tonight.)
All welcome.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Various sites

Mixenden Res'r
1 drake Goldeneye plus the usual gulls

Hunter Hill
3 Meadow Pipits
1 Kestrel

Cold Edge
1 f Goldeneye
12 Mallard

Pepper Hill & Claremount
12 Mistle Thrush
5 Fieldfare
35 Redwings
30 Common Gulls
5 Grey Partridge
c20 Woodpigeons feeding on holly berries
3 Kestrels

Sunday, December 09, 2012

CSI Great Grey Shrike

Well what a story ,I met with Sue at Southowram on sat morning to collect the Shrike and unbeknown to me a headless Blue Tit.The Shrike and Blue Tit were found on her door step just like the bottom pic.The Shrikes bill is full of bits of Blue Tit,the head was not found unless its in the Shrike,Sue said her cat had been in all night as sometimes cats bring in there kills.I can only think that the shrike must have been fighting with the Blue tit and flew into the door and killed itself.??I think the Shrike is an adult male.??Many thanks to Sue Holden for all her efforts to find out about the Shrike...

Bailiffe Bridge

Seen,this afternoon, a large winter flock of feeding birds in fields on the right at the top of the hill from Bailiffe Bridge crossroads towards Dewsbury. ( just about still in Calderdale?) Golden plover 50+ Lapwing 40+ Starlings 450+ Gulls 120+ B.H., and common ( might be worth a good search for a rarity ) Rooks and crows

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Other news today

From Nigel at Soil Hill - 4 Snow Buntings briefly this morning (could still be there) but a pair of Stonechats is a great record for that elevation in these weather conditions. feeding in the furrows caused by the excavators.

And from Brian - the Siskin flock was at the back of Sainsbury's fuel station in Halifax this afternoon.

Swales Moor

11 Linnets up there this morning was a nice surprise but little else other than 80+ Carrion Crows on the top.
2 Sparrowhawks and 2 Kestrels hunting across the Shibden valley
c30 Lapwings in the distance towards Ogden were heading straight through in a NW direction

Friday, December 07, 2012

Mixenden and Ogden

Treacherous under foot this morning and hard to find any birds!
Mixenden Res'r
3 drake Goosander
Pair of Goldeneye
1 L B B Gull among c 60 mixed B H and Common Gulls

Ogden Res'r
Drew a blank other than the usual Mallard and a a few B H and Common Gulls

1 Herring Gull adult flew over the golf course >SE
1 Kestrel

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Halifax - Sainsbury's

No, not Waxwings but c30 Siskin this morning, flyovers went towards the trees at the back of the fuel service station.

Also if anyone reads the 'Independent' there was a very good article on the status of Kestrels in the country and some interesting observations on motorway verge populations in Britain compared with 20 years ago and a comparison with motorways in France. If anyone gets chance it's well worth a read!
Trying to see if there is a link for the article.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Other news today

From Jim W - 6 Waxwings in Sainsbury's car park in Brighouse at 8.0 am but not many berries left for them!

Mixenden and Ogden

Mixenden Res'r
1 pair Goldeneye + a few B H and Common Gulls. No Goosander today

Ogden golf course - just one bird - an unidentified lark/bunting on the golf course flew off in the direction of the sun and couldn't get anything on it and heard no call. Most frustrating!

2 Teal
1 1st winter Goldeye drake
c80 Mallard, c40 B H Gulls and a few Common Gulls
1 male Kestrel

Jack Snipe from NK on Soil Hill but a lot of excavation work going on with a large digger on the top so wonder what will happen next up there? We will be lucky if it's for the benefit of the birds!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Mixenden and Ogden

1 pair Goosander and 1 pair of Goldeneye on Mixenden Res'r this morning but not much else other than 1 L B B Gull and a few Common and B H Gulls

1 1st winter male Goldeneye
4 Goldcrests
2 Reed Buntings by the 'Giant's Tooth'
1 Common Buzzard sitting it out a snow/sleet shower on a fence post headed off NE struggling to get any lift in the awful conditions

Nestboxes further delays

Unfortunately I'm having to work again Saturday and as there was only Howard available we have had to postpone until 15th.

We would welcome extra hands and ladders to assist in this vital work of protecting the nestboxes from predators so if you have done all your xmas shopping why not join us.

10am Jerusalem Farm car park, the sooner we get done the sooner we can have a festive drink in a local pub :-)

Please let us know if you plan on coming so we know if everyone has arrived or not.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Shrike photos

See earlier post re dead shrike found by Sue Ludhill at Southowram last month, Sue has now sent her photos.....a sad end to a great record.