Sunday, March 31, 2013


this was sat on the wall this morning when I looked out................


27 Waxwings in tree in my neighbours garden this morning at 10.15

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Local bits

A huge female peregrine was soaring low over the house today. At Eastwood sewage works, there was 36 pied wagtails, 3 grey wagtails and 11 meadow pipits, and 2 goldcrest. A green woodpecker was high above Burnt Acres (below Stoodley Pike). No wheatear yet sadly!

Cold Edge and CB Today

I made a brief visit to Cromwell Bottom looking for spawning frogs this morning - no frogs, but odd patches of spawn, some fairly fresh and some deposited before the big freeze. I hope this extended cold spell isn't going to have to much of a negative effect on their breeding success.

Had plenty of Bullfinches and Siskins kicking around the feeders and a pair of Goosander on the river.

This afternoon, I made a quick visit to Fly Flat with ND. For the second time we had to abort trying to get over the top due to snow drifts.
A handfull of lapwings and the odd corvid was about it for Cold Edge and not a single Meadow Pipit in sight. This extended winter looks like holding everything back.


I’ve just seen my first Osprey outside of Scotland drift past from my bedroom room window. It was roughly over the Salterhebble area heading NE towards Siddal at 2.08pm this afternoon, maybe dropping off at Elland gravel pits? The views were brief but plenty of colour and plumage details were seen.

The bird of prey records from my bedroom are getting ridiculous now: 2 Hobbies, 1 Hen Harrier, 2 Buzzards, 1 Red Kite nearby, 2 Ravens and now Osprey. I suppose overlooking the lower Calder valley helps. I wonder what will be next, I'm plumping for a Honey Buzzard (or two).


At least twenty Waxwings on Highroad Well Lane at 10.45am

Friday, March 29, 2013

Other news today

Not much to report other than Martyn drew a blank looking for the Water Pipit at lower Gorple today. I guess the weather will have something to do with that!

c30 waxwings yesterday around Moor Close Road, Queensbury (NK) but none reported today as far as I know.

Mixenden Res'r this morning - 3 Goldeneye

Also just picked up a report on BirdGuides of a S E Owl at Brighouse near 'the mad mile' SE144225 on Wednesday 27th ! I guess this is the stretch from Brighouse towards the M62 ? but not sure!

Luddenden Dean & Castle Carr Road

Went looking for Wheatears down by the cati' where the big rocks are but nothing doing.
1 Green Woodpecker
2 Sparrowhawks and display
12+ Stock Doves
1 Grey Heron
20+ Lapwings in the lower fields away from the snow higher up but no sign of any Curlew today
35 B H Gulls
c20 Mipits - mostly singles moving through >N

Castle Carr Road
Not a sign of Curlew or Skylark but a Little Owl feeding on worms on fresh moles hills was interesting to watch especially when a mole hill it was standing on started to move from underneath!!I guess it would take a mole given half a chance.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Luddenden Foot area

By the bridge over the calder this afternoon
1 Dipper
2 Grey Wagtails
Adult Peregrine nearby
3 Grey Herons
2 Rookeries counted (10 and 5)
4 L B B Gulls >E
c40 B H gulls on Brearley Fields
c160 Jackdaws - probably a pre-roost gathering

Jay House lane

A good mix of birds up there today , The  rookery on the hill is a bit obscured but managed at least 17 nests,??is there access into the wood.??
Starlings 450 +
Golden Plover 20
Lapwing 5
Curlew 2
Skylark 1
Tree sparrow 15 +
Reed Bunting 1 (on feeders)
Goldfinch 20+
Stock Dove 2

Mixenden Res'r and Hunter Hill

An unprecedented morning with awful conditions E F5 to F6 gusting, with snow showers mixed with some sunshine!
1 Common Buzzard >NE over Ogden golf course at 11.15
Above briefly mobbed by a Sparrowhawk
1 female Merlin came along the full length of the res'r embankment at 11.30 putting up all the gulls and chasing after 2 passerines, but missed. It then flew around a bit to gain height then chased off low again across the fields towards Shaking House Farm where I lost it somewhere heading towards Pavement Lane
1 Goosander >S from the res'r
6 Goldeneye (2 drakes)
130+ B H Gulls
30+ Common Gulls
1 L B B Gull
2 Siskin over
1 Lapwing >NE
60+ Jackdaws
2 Stock Doves
2 Canada Geese

Rookeries and Heronries

If anyone can do a count of their local colonies of Rooks and Herons that would be appreciated.

Depite the weather the Rooks certainly do not seem put off by it so far and they have been busy building for several weeks, though maybe if this cold spell continues as predicted they will start to struggle to feed up for egg laying.

I will not post the full list of sites here but would appreciate any offers of help - comments box, email or text as to which areas/sites you can do!

Sites already covered are Barkisland area, Northowram, King Cross, Ovenden, Mixenden, Illingworth, Bailiff Bridge, Ripponden, Siddal and Warley/Newlands.

Sites where we will need some help are Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Greetland, Mytholmroyd/Cragg Vale, Sowerby/Boulderclough and Brighouse/Clifton plus a few more.

Counts can be done now but suggest the optimum time will be during the first 2 weeks of April.
Many thanks

Monday, March 25, 2013

Mixenden Res'r

Terrible conditions this afternoon 0 degrees c with wind E F4 to F6 windchill and gusting and blowing snow all over the place!
The Goldeneye have gone - don't blame them
90 B H Gulls
10 Common Gulls
3 L B B Gulls
1 male Sparrowhawk over
1 Starling
6 Mallard
+ a few corvids

Then went to Ogden - planned to park on Per Lane and walk the rest but no safe place to leave the car with tons of snow piled high snowdrifits/gritters/tractors etc so gave it up as a bad job!
Took one look at Soil Hill and thought - time to put the kettle on!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Had a look on Coach Road this morning but failed to see any Lesser Pecker.  A Redwing and Song Thrush foraging in the Ivy were the best birds there.  Called in at Jay House Lane on my way back, a pair of Curlew seemed to be doing OK despite the conditions, about ten Tree Sparrows on the feeder.

Female sparrowhawk  in Mytholmroyd garden this am, plus 3 bullfinches, (1 m, 2f ),  8 goldfinches and 12 long tailed tits.

Raven over also.

Short eared owl

There has been a shortie kicking around Norland Moor for the last 10 days,seen from the road and play ground area.....

Lee Mount

Garden birdwatching this afternoon was about the best I could do in the conditions - still covered in deep snow E F5 gusting and overcast.
1 Redwing feeding on quaker oats but it didn't seem to like dried mealworms for some reason unlike the Blackbirds (10+)
2 Bullfinch
10+ Blue Tits
8+ Great Tits
4+ Coal Tits (they like dried mealworms)
Plus the usual Robins, Dunnocks, Magpies, Collared Doves and Woodpigeon

Ogden Garden

Two flocks of curlews have flown over this morning both flocks going NE and calling. Each flock was at least 20 strong.It was good to hear them perhaps spring is finally approaching

Thursday, March 21, 2013


15 Whooper Swan early this afternoon on the choppy water. We seem to have had fairly impressive numbers of them not only flying over but actually landing locally during the past month, presumably the prevailing weather conditions have had a lot to do with this occurrence.


46 meadow pipits yesterday lunchtime in a freshly manured field on Cross Stone Road, Todmorden.
30+ pied wagtails, and 3 grey on the filter beds at Eastwood Sewage Works today. A pair of goosander were on the canal there, plus a dipper on the river.


There were 9 Curlews and a Lapwing in the fields at Cock Hill by Little Valley Brewery this afternoon.

Ogden Garden

A female sparrow hawk sitting beneath one of the feeders this afternoon


From Martyn yesterday afternoon the Water Pipit still there.

Ringstone Res'r

15 Whoopers dropped in this morning at 9.30 (Steve L)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fly Flatts

Early afternoon - conditions just as bad as Queensbury!
4 Canadas and nothing else

Ogden Water

Seven whooper swans on the water this afternoon

Ogden Garden

There has been a male reed bunting on the cotneaster in our garden on each of the last two days.

Various sites

Had a ride round this morning giving a quick check at a few sites in the poor weather.
1 Chiff-chaff at Elland G P in the bushes near the road around the ski lake and viewed from the roadside lay-by.

Male Peregrine on the side of Wainhouse Tower roosting on a ledge facing Copley, half way up the tower. It did have a fly round but soon went back to the ledge in the sleet!

Also checked out some local rookeries with a varying degree of success. Details later.

cyprus birds

thanks andy, no cyprus wheatear,but directed to warbler stronghold no sightings but plenty of noise from thick cover.picts of sardinian+cretzschmars bunting+black francolin(what a bird)

Local stuff.

A couple of noteworthy records for Skircoat Green in the shape of a low flying Buzzard yesterday over Dudwell Lane being mobbed by a couple of crows and a Woodcock in Bankhouse wood on the 15th of this month - my first ever there after many years.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cold Edge

This afternooon
c160 Canada Geese
6 Greylag Geese
6+ Curlew
6 Lapwings
2 Golden Plover
4 Oystercatchers
c65 Jackdaws
1 Kestrel
1 Little Owl
1 Stock Dove
24 Starlings

Swales Moor

Late morning vis mig in a freezing cold ESE up there but a few birds were moving N or NE (unless stated otherwise)
2 Greylag Geese
1 Mallard
1 Sparrowhawk
2 B H Gulls
38 Common Gulls
1 Gt B B Gull
38 Meadow Pipits (all singles and a group of 6 and all high)
1 alba wagtail >SW
2 Raven >SW

Also present
1 Common Buzzard
4 Skylark
8 Magpie
28 Jackdaws
76+ Carrion Crows
4 House Sparrows

Coach Road, Brighouse

Early morning revealed a female Lesser 'Pecker drumming repeatedly.
Also a pair of G S 'Peckers mating, 4 Song Thrushes singing, and 80+ Redwings still in the field at the back of St Matthew's church.
A male Goosander kindly flew over the cafe in Greenhead Park, Hudds this afternoon !

Long eared Owl pellets

Hi all,i have been searching through 140 LEO pellets recently and found these bits of bird beaks ,I also found 1 dunnock feather  in and amongst all the fur.Can any one put them to family or know a good web site or blogg that may help.??135 Field Vole,1 Mole,1 Pygmy shrew,1 wood Mouse,3 caterpillar skulls, 30 beetle larvae,1 adult beetle,1 skin Moth larvae,1 parasitic fly sp and at least 5 bird sp.??


just back from cyprus & need help in i d's if any one can help!    2 picts of same bird &1of different bird(on a mound)i think they could be red throated pipits.(common winter visitor & passage migrant,according to the info.   the other bird could be a female reed bunting but the facial markings look a bit severe i would be grateful for any help.

Monday, March 18, 2013


Male at Ringstone at 16:30hrs this afternoon Perhaps more noteworthy was the fact that 33 Common Scoter flew high north into HBW airspace just east of Wholestone Moor at 17:16hrs this afternoon. I observed this event from Blackmoorfoot Reservoir, record photos and further details are on the Huddersfield Website Forum if anyone is interested.

Raptor Persecution

See link below to an article in the Yorkshire Post about raptor persecution in Yorkshire and the possible benefits of   legislation using the vicarious liability principle in legislation in England.

Not a bad article for the Yorkshire Post.

High Royd

I went down there out of the fog! Just trees to peer through (not much better than fog)!
2 Canada's
2 Coot
6 Moorhen
20+ Pied Wagtails on the filter beds
6 Teal
1 Grey Heron
6 Mallard
c90 Carrion Crows on the filter beds
2 Grey Wagtails
1 Gt Spotted Wodpecker
1 Green Woodpecker
2 Treecreepers together
1 Goldcrest + a few L T, Blue and Great Tits
3 Jays
1 Dipper on the Calder

Mixenden Res'r

4 Goldeneye this morning (3 beltin' drakes)
Foggy !!!
Oh - and 1 Siskin flyover

Ogden Water

A single whooper swan was on the water at 8.30am today clearly visible before the mist came down.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Other news today

From Martyn - the Water Pipit is still at lower Gorple - seen at the overflow around 5 pm this afternoon

From BS - a flock of 72 Waxwings heading over Queensbury at dusk heading towards Ovenden/Mixenden area probably to a roost

Cold Edge and Hunter Hill

This afternoon, checked all the usual spots for that early Wheatear but no luck!
Amazing for me this year, my first Meadow Pipit!
12+ Curlew
9 Lapwing
2 Golden Plover
1 Teal
1 Goldeneye
160 Canada's
4 Greylag Geese
1 immature Peregrine over
2 Kestrel
1 Moorhen
Red Grouse

Soil hill yesterday

Had a quick walk round the top at around 2.00 yesterday afternoon. There was not much going on; 5 lapwings on the top which took off and headed off towards Denholm and a kestrel hunting.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Reptile records wanted

This year I will be conducting Amphibian and Reptile surveys and would be interested in any historical reptile sightings that would help decide which areas to concentrate on. Any info would be appreciated.

Yellowhammers under pressure

A quick look around Bradley Hall Farm area today only came up with a single Yellowhammer. The fields are full of grass rather than arable crops and the once lush hedgerow has been cut back to about 5 feet in height. Such changes in habitat and land use are sure to have a negative effect on this vulnerable species.

Lower Gorple

From MH this lunchtime. Water Pipit still present around the overflow area. It soon flies off when disturbed but usually comes back to the same spot after a while!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fly Flatts and Cold Edge

A real struggle to find anything at all this morning in the wintry conditions and rain and sleet. I did manage to get some nyger seed down to add to BS's - all in the hope we get some returning birds soon, we live in hope!
1 Oystercatcher
1 Lapwing
c50 Canada's and a few Red Grouse.
I did have a careful look for Wheatears as there are usually od ones about by mid March even with snow on the ground. Not today though!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Coach Road, Brighouse

A male Lesser 'Pecker was showing really well this morning - drumming loudly on a tree branch; two LSW's together were apparently seen a couple of weeks ago.
A Great Spotted and a Green were also calling further up the track.
At least 3/4 Nuthatches were calling loudly, and 10 Redwings were in the field nearby.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lower Gorple Res this morning

I walked up to Lower Gorple Res this morning in bright sunshine and clear blue skies, so it was a pity about the biting stiff breeze that lowered the temperature so much! I was going in the hope that the Water Pipit was still about as it was last seen Monday afternoon. Approaching the reservoir I could see people working on the path from the small car park and also a couple of diggers by the dam wall so I was expecting the worst as the Pipit had been reported as flighty. Luckily the machinery by the wall wasn't in use so I settled myself in the lee of the parapet looking down the narrow drain to keep out of the wind, with a couple of Pied Wagtails for company.

After a while I heard a call behind me in the wide run-off drain, so I had a look and the Water Pipit was in the drain. I have to say that without seeing the photos previously posted on here and without hearing the call I wouldn't have picked it as a Water Pipit as it looked very pale. It flew onto the grass by the diggers and then away onto the shore line, and I didn't find it again. I took a few photos but they weren't good enough to post.

Also seen:
Curlew - 2
Golden Plover - 5
Lapwing - 11
Skylark - 3
Pied Wagtail - 3
Red Grouse - 1 calling
Song Thrush - 1

Later at Mankinholes:
Little Owl - 2
Mistle Thrush - 2
Redwing - 1
Raven - 1 overhead

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Other news today

From Chris at Southowram this morning
c95 Golden Plover in fields near Pinnar Lane
1 Skylark singing

Various sites

Brackenbed (former landfill)
This morning
4 Bullfinch
1 Goldcrest

Swales Moor
5 Common Gulls >NE
96 Carrion Crows
25 Magpies

5 Curlew >W - off back to the coast if they have any sense in this icy blast!
c80 Carrion Crows where the farmer was spreading 'slurry'
Couldn't find the Golden Plover (from Tim yesterday) but maybe the farm machinery had moved them off?

Stainland Dean - Bowers Mill pond
11 Teal
2 Moorhen
12 Mallard
1 Grey Wagtail

Monday, March 11, 2013

Water Pipit, Woodcock & Hen Harrier

Water Pipit still present Lower Gorple outflow yesterday afternoon. Two ringtails to early roost. I'd have stayed longer to check if any more, but was in fear of losing my extremities!
Two ringtails also seen at Windy Hill headed W/NW earlier in the day.

Woodcock this afternoon at top of Barkisland Clough.

At least 400 Golden Plover on west field at Ringstone at dusk.

Mixenden Res'r and Stodfold and Fly Flatts

Cold -1c NE F3 to F5 occasional white out with driving snow then 5 minutes later glorious sunshine but bitterly cold in the wind.
Mixenden Res'r
3 Goosander
3 Goldeneye (1 drake)
60+ B H Gulls
5 Common Gulls

Mixenden - Stodfold fields
6 Curlew
6 Lapwings
2 Skylarks
1 Pied Wagtail
2 Sparrowhawks
2 Kestrels
60 Jackdaws

Fly Flatts
c60 Canadas
Red Grouse


First Curlew at Noah Dale above Cottonstones on Saturday afternoon, found it again on Sunday morning on the field where they usually breed.

Only other worthy note was a Buzzrd on Sunday evening, flying low from Mill Bank going up towards Blackshaw Clough.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mixenden Res'r and Luddenden Dean

Bitterly cold in that driving northerly wind there this afternoon
3 Goldeneye
c50 B H Gull
2 Common Gulls
The plantation was 'dead'

I tried the dean for an hour late on trying for Bramblings coming up to roost with the Chaffinches but none came and very few Chaff's
1 Green Woodpecker calling
c20 Goldfinch
2 Kestrels
1 Stock Dove

Ogden Garden

A flock of at least 25 siskins in the trees in our garden yesterday afternoon. They stayed a while and then flew off in the direction of Ogden Water

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Lower Gorple Res', 9th March 2013

I dashed up late this afternoon in pretty poor weather conditions to look for the water pipit and came away empty handed. Perhaps the only creatures of note were five oystercatchers around the reservoir.

Regards, Chris

Ogden Water

Six whooper swans back on Ogden Water at 11.45am

Ogden Water

Six whooper swans still present early this morning. However they flew off in the direction of Mixenden reservoir about 9.00am.
Yesterday we had fourteen siskins on the feeders in the garden mostly males.

Friday, March 08, 2013


3 of the six there this afternoon, with thanks to Chris Sutcliffe for the call

Ogden Water

Six Whooper swans on the water this am.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Water Pipit news?

Does anyone know if there have been any further sightings of the water pipit since the last post on the subject?  I am considering whether or not to go up for a look on Saturday afternoon, but if it hasn't been seen for a few days I'll probably make alternative plans.
If it is still about, any tips/best spots would be very welcome.

Many thanks, Chris

Other news today

From Gordon - an adult Whooper Swan an the Calder between the viaducts across lunchtime. It was seen to fly and come back down so it may just be a tired bird or become disorientated in the upland fog?


It was so quiet this afternoon with hardly a bird about!
1 Reed Bunting - Giants Tooth area and 1 Red Grouse heard
30 B H Gulls
2 Common Gulls
7 Canada Geese
c40 Mallard
Oh - and 2 Robins singing!

Woodcock survey

A common wader in our valleys but how manybreeding pairs do we have.??

Monday, March 04, 2013

Another box up

Another Barn Owl box up this weekend, thanks to the efforts of Andy and Howard and the support of the land owner.

Lower Gorple

   Lower Gorple this aft  Water Pipit,Oystercatcher 4,curlew 4.

Sunday, March 03, 2013


Had a very interesting afternoon at lower Gorple this afternoon tracking Martyn's Water Pipit down with Nick D. Jim W had it earlier though it still took some finding! We located it on the far side but were not convinced about identification until an hour or so later with better views and a single call. What a good find though it was again very flighty and did not like approach. Good to see Steve C up there as well as Martyn. Circumstances not good for digi scoping though Nick has a record shot on his blog.
1 male Peregrine over
1 Common Gull
1 Tufted Duck
3 Oystercatchers
21 Golden Plover
30+Lapwings and c20 Curlew
Loads of Canada's and a few Red Grouse
1 Dipper up there was a nice surprise as well

Crow Hill - Sowerby

First lapwings I've seen in the Crow Hill area this year spotted today 11.30-12.30. 30 of them blogging on one side of the hill and 1 on the opposite side.
Otherwise not a lot:- 2 pied wagtail; the usual corvids, starlings, plus titmice and finches in the stands of trees. No lagomorphs seen.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Lower Gorple

Spent an hour laid in the run off drain this morning hoping the Water Pipit would approach.  No such luck, it really is a flighty bird, same can't be said for the locals.

Other news!

A fantastic find by Martyn H at lower Gorple yesterday. A cracking Water Pipit in the overflow area and lower down in the drain. Thinks its about 10 years since the last one, and in the same place. Well done Martyn. The bird is still there this morning. JW.
It's very flighty and soon flushes so approach with caution!
Hope someone gets some photo's

Also today from Derby Delph a pair of Stonechats but no sign of yesterday's Twite when I called this morning. Andy K had 8 Twite there yesterday.

Friday, March 01, 2013

derby delph/ringstone

at least 8 twite at derby delph quarry singing merrily away! ringstone- decided to try to survey the snipe,which involved walking by the scrapes(wellies recomended as very boggy in places) however at least 24 snipe where located plus 1 possibly 2 jack snipe.also present,68 lapwing,32 golden plover,8 common gull,22b.h.gull plus 1 mipit over(calling).