Monday, April 29, 2013

Bar-Tailed Godwits

2 bar-tailed godwits this afternoon at ringstone,from the roadside,in a howling wind. the 'photo's where taken with a hand held camera at a distance. the birds where initialy bathing & preening,so i had to wait a few minutes for these record shots.hope others saw them.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mystery Photo !

Identity revealed - easier now!!
Lapland Bunting

With apologies to David Crawshaw for the delay in posting this mystery photo he took from Orford Ness recently.

Any takers ??

Other news today

A Marsh Tit reported today from Stev L near Bowers Mill Barkisland/Stainland - upstream from the pond. This is a real rarity for our area so if anyone gets chance to check the site out and re-locate it that would be a great - and try to get some record shots if you can (photo's)!!.

Several Swifts reported from the ski-lake area at Cromwell Bottom again today

Pair of Blackcaps still feeding on our garden fat-balls again today - they move all other birds on and they even see off the local Nuthatch. I think the Grey Squirrels might be tougher opposition !!

6 Common Sandpipers and LRP reported from Green Withens Res'r as well today. (GS)

Waxwings still about with 21 reported at Valley Grove near Bradshaw this morning before moving off south (PR and BH)

Redstart today in a large garden near the golf course between Midgley and Mount Skip (MH)

Hunter Hill and Mixenden Res'r

Mixenden Res'r
2 Great-crested Grebes this afternoon
1 Grey Heron >SW
1 Goldcrest singing
1 Nuthatch

Hunter Hill (in heavy drizzle)
An obvious 'fall' with 21 Wheatears (19 in one field and 2 near the golf course) together with c40 Meadow Pipits and 4 Pied Wagtails. They were all low down on the east face seeking shelter out of the wind and rain.
2 male Ring Ouzels were a nice surprise feeding in Slaughter Gap, then headed off towards the top fields near Cold Edge Road
1 Green Woodpecker calling
No hirundines

Wheatley Valley

Early start this morning looking/listening for warblers, but the weather was cold and not much song at all though a Vixen was doing her rounds and looking heavy with milk !
1 Roe Deer
1 Chiff-chaff
1 Whitethroat
2 Blackcap
8 Willow Warblers
1 Goldcrest
2 Bullfinch
4 Song Thrush
1 Jay
No hirundines through

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Other news today

White Stork dropped in to Brearley Fields near Mytholmroyd this morning (Andy H)around 9.30. It had a small ring on its left leg - this is probbaly one of the Harewood birds roaming around as they seem to each year around this time! Still a good bird to see - Nice one Andy.

King Cross

7.30 this morning 30 to 40 Waxwings flying around near the big road junction. They must have found a few berries, probably the same flock reported in the area the last few days. Good to see them still around.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Lee Mount

An 'Eagle eyed' daughter this early evening spotted a pair of Blackcaps in the garden on the fat ball feeder. Unfortunately they were soon disturbed by one (of the many) local cats that pass this way. Good spot though, a first for us on a feeder. They are seen/heard in summer in the trees at the back and we have had winter records of them eating raisins and apples on the grass but good to see them on the feeder - maybe the cooler weather with fewer insects about today was a factor (?)
Yesterday as I drove down the Valley from Halifax to Tod.  I had the pleasure of seeing a flock of 30-40 waxwings in the trees across the Burnley Road from the Allan Fold.  later I had the joy of seeing hundreds of Hirunidae over the Calder especially near Sandbed.  Possibly even a Swift amongst them.  A spring like no other!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Wheatears & Waxwings

3 Wheatear Butts Green Lane at 4.45pm

My neighbour saw c20 Waxwings at Newlands Rd earlier today (I thought they would left by now?)

Callis Bridge

The first young 'uns of the year this morning at Callis - 8 Mallard ducklings. Also a Dipper, 2 Grey Wagtails, a Chiff Chaff and 2 Willow Warblers.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


A buzzard calling over Mytholmroyd today at 8.45am.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ogden Garden

Two redpolls on the garden feeders this afternoon. Hopefuuly three photos attached

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Jumble Hole

Bits seen whilst gardening today:

- willow warbler and 2 chiff chaff
- green and great spotted woodpecker
- goldcrest
- buzzard over the house mewing twice this morning
- sparrowhawk
- 2 curlew over

After the rain shower at 5pm, the first house martins of the spring (here) were at Eastwood sewage works (9 of them) joined by more than 41 swallows.


Two Common Sandpiper at Ringstone this morning and a Ringed Plover at Whiteholme saturday.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Blake Dean

Did another circuit of The Ridge, from Blake Dean, hoping to pick up my first ring ouzel of the year.  I failed on my mission, but did see a good cluster of perhaps 4 or 5 wheatears across from Brown Scout, plus the usual lapwings, curlews and oystercatchers.  There was also a willow warbler singing near the old churchyard.
I also had a quick look up Withens Clough, Cragg Vale on my way home, but the only thing of note here was a male stonechat and a couple of linnets.


Jumble Hole evening dog walk - 9pm

- 5 separate tawny owls calling (3 m, 2f)
- 2 woodcock roding. The first of the year here
- 3 pipistrelle bats

During the day, a green woodpecker was in the garden, and 3 jays were flying slightly excitedly around, with one doing an excellent impression of a lapwings call. Never heard that before!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Arctic Tern

Long shots  of the Arctic Tern at Elland ski lake tonight. 5 Whooper Swans still there at 19:00.

Other news today

An interesting day today !

From Soil Hill this morning - 1 Ring Ouzel (NK)

Ringstone Res'r - the first returning Common Sandpiper (DF)

Elland Gravel Pits ski-lake - 5 Whooper Swans still there late morning from yesterday (DF) - but no further reports this afternoon so guess they have moved on ? Update, still there at 7 pm. (DF)
Also located on the ski-lake early afternoon an Arctic Tern (SL) and still there early evening (DF)

Also from Elland a report (via TM) of a flock of 30+ Waxwings this morning around Lower Edge and Lowfields area so guess they could still be around the area tomorrow

4 House Martins around King Cross early evening (DJS) and a flock of c15 Swallows over Pellon, straight through this evening (NCD)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Other news

From yesterday - 3 Ring Ouzels near Midgley on their way through (NC) and 1 at Roils Head headed off towards Norton tower early evening (NCD)

Today - 2 Ring Ouzels on Wholestone Moor this morning (RR)

Doing well for migrant Ring Ouzels so far this year! - with another last Sunday at Fly Flatts (BS)

Another Ring Ouzel at Roils Head today (17th) from Nick

Elland GP

5 yellow-billed swans (2 adults) on the ski-lake late morning but difficult to confirm i d through the trees - thanks to Mike for the report and Andy C and Dave F for checking them out in case of Bewicks! - via the 'Rapid Response Unit' - confirmed as Whoopers. Thanks and well done.

Also from Mike this morning
3 Shelduck
1 Blackcap singing
Lots of hirundines on the ski-lake

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Callis Bridge area

A 5 minute dog walk produced
- 2 willow warblers
- 3 chiff chaffs
- swallows now over 20 (no martins as yet)

Monday, April 15, 2013

High Royd

Walk on an hour before dusk revealed

1 singing Chiffchaff
1 Nuthatch calling
1 Teal (male)
1 Grey Heron flew over
1 Goosander - male flew down the river
1 GSW - male
several Swallows and 3 Sand Martins

but where last year we had Shoveler we now have Roe deer strolling around and where 2 pairs of Moorhen and 1 pair of Coot nested, now all we have is mud, only 1 pool left.

Very very sad demise to witness

Dawn Chorus - Hardcastle Crags !

Roger Ranson has asked if anyone can help him out by leading a 'Dawn Chorus' in the crags for the National Trust on Sunday 23rd May. He really would appreciate help. Please ring him direct on 07966 261 761. Many thanks.


1 Swallow over Tesco in Brighouse just now heading towards elland. Spring has arrived!

Sunday, April 14, 2013


4 swallows this evening over the SF but very little else

Friday, April 12, 2013

Lee Mount

Nick rang me this afternoon with the news of a Jack Snipe over him at Heath Hill Road, a nice record that. As we we chatting, I was in the front room with the family, a Woodcock flew across just over the house tops and heading towards Wheatley. I guess it must have been disturbed somewhere nearby.
Strange that we both managed to see unusual waders within a few minutes of each other. Makes you wonder if this was part of a bigger movement of birds as the cold spell eased?

Callis Bridge

Walked down to the sewage works at Eastwood to see if any 'early' swallows or martins had arrived. They hadn't as yet. They'll be here in numbers by next week - surely? But was pleased to see 2 chiff chaffs, one at the bottom of Jumble Hole, and the other by the canal next to the sewage works. Not a big haul, but other birds included
- 32 pied wagtails
- 21 meadow pipits
- 3 grey wagtails
- a sparrowhawk trying to catch any of the above
- gs woodpecker drumming at Jumble Hole

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Lee Mount

A very interesting afternoon in the garden - watching concrete go off and posted on 'cat watch'!!
Well worth the effort with c35 Waxwings directly over the house heading >S over Wheatley valley towards Pellon around 2 pm
Also at 4.30 a single Sand Martin went over heading north.

Also today, several site reports of singing Chiff-chaffs and a Blackcap at Elland GP (GS), a single Swallow over Northowram late afternoon (AC) and 2 at Mytholmroyd early evening (MB)
From Walshaw Dean, fields near the plantation - a White Wagtail there this afternoon (MH)

Swales Moor

Late morning (E F2 and 5c)but not a lot doing with the sun trying to get through a haze over all areas around the vantage point
Moving birds all >NE
1 Curlew
3 Linnets
24 Meadow Pipits
1 Chaffinch
1 alba wagtail >SW

Birds on the deck
10 Meadow Pipits (singing and displaying)
c8 Skylarks
3 Stock Doves
c80 Carrion Crows and a few other corvids

Langfield Edge and Lee Dam this afternoon

It was a great day for a walk so I set off for a long-ish wander in the sun this afternoon, intending to look for Wheatear and Twite up at Langfield and Gaddings.

Langfield/Jail Hole
There were a few Mipits about but not as many as expected for this time of year so spring is definitely delayed. Wheatear were not to be found and no Reed Bunts or Linnet yet either. However, there were 2 Twite at Jail Hole so one target bird out of two wasn't bad.

Gaddings was bereft of birds too, apart from just 2 singing Skylarks.

Lee Dam
Was significantly more interesting today than yesterday. The same 3 Mallards and f. Goosander were there, along with 2 Canada Geese, but as I watched the Goosander was joined by 2 Pied Wagtails, bathing at the water's edge and these were then joined by a Grey Wagtail.

The wagtails were then scared off by 4 Teal landing in the water a few yards away.
The Goosander just went back to sleep.

As I couldn't find any Wheatear up at Langfield I decided to walk over to Swillington/Rough Head to try my luck there, but no joy there either. They are their way, so another few days and things will change I'm sure.

Walking down Stoodley Clough the afternoon finished off nicely with a Jay and a Dipper.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Hove Edge and Ringstone

We tried hard for Mike's lesser pecker today but tricky in the windy conditions so we drew a blank!
2 Nuthatch
1 Great spotted Woodpecker
1 Sparrowhawk

124 Golden Plover in the big field, many if them are the northern form coming into their amazing plumage
2 Oystercatchers
c20 Lapwing
2 Curlew
No sign of LRP's or other waders though there is a narrow shoreline
1 Reed Bunting
6 Meadow Pipits >NE

Mankinholes/Lumbutts area this morning

Shaw Clough
1 Nuthatch calling
1 GS Woodpecker drumming
1 Song Thrush

Lumbutts Clough
2 Nuthatch, 1 calling
1 Goldcrest
2 Dippers

Lee Dam
2 Goldcrests
1 f. Goosander
3 Mallards
1 Moorhen

Only 1 Little Owl at Mankinholes today.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Crow Hill Area Sunday

Crow Hill near Sowerby, early pm.
Still plenty of snow in drifts in places up there. Good to be out  in the sunshine without a biting wind blowing. It beats shopping.

20 golden plover.
29 lapwing
9 curlew.
5 skylarks.
40+ meadow pipits.
2 reed bunting (1m & 1f.)
2 pied wagtail.
15 goldfinch.

No wheatear.

Possible Lapland Bunting?

Andy H and myself were up in the Blake Dean area on Saturday afternoon and had a fly over passerine that caught us unaware and called as it passed, neither of us really got onto it in time, initial impressions of the call were "Snow Bunting like" but since we hadn't really been concentrating we let it go. Today I have had an e mail from Gary Waddington who was at Gorple on Sunday where he had a brief encounter with a possible Lapland Bunting, sadly he too was unable to confirm an ID but it clearly mustn't have been a Snow Bunting as he saw it in flight. Surfing the web and listening to calls it has become clear to me that both species can sound similar at times (see am now beginning to think that we may have had the same bird? Worth a check in the area if anyone is up there.

Stoodley Pike area - Sunday

Took a long walk around the Stoodley Pike/Horsehold/Rough Head area yesterday afternoon, mainly searching for wheatear, but nothing doing at all. Not a lot about at all, considering good conditions.

- single fieldfare at Swillington Farm
- small flock of redwing in trees at Lower Rough Head
- half a dozen curlew
- 3 skylark
- 18 meadow pipits
- 3 siskins in Sunderland Pasture
- crossbill calling from Sunderland Pasture
- 2 dippers together on the river at Callis

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Withens Clough

Handed over my BBS square to its new surveyor today (thanks Cathy), quite a strange feeling to think that we won't be covering it again after more than 20 years. Not much to report from up there but the lack of Meadow Pipits, Skylarks etc just goes to show how late a Spring this is, a Goosander and a pair of Goldeneye on the res were the highlights.

Luddenden Dean

At last !! 2 Wheaters near Saltonstall this afternoon near the big rocks and ruined farm 200 m or so after the cati' pub. Lets hope the weather improves for them now as well as for all the other migrants held up by the recent prolonged easterly blast.
Not much else other than a few Lapwings, 2 Curlew, 1 Little Owl and a few Stock Doves.
Also a few mipits moving through north.

Per Lane Ogden

A flock of between 40-50 waxwings were in the trees between Mount Zion Chapel and Field Head Lane this afternoon. They were dropping into the gardens to feed but we could not see what they were feeding on.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Lingering Waxwings

12 Waxwings were flying down to a neighbour's cotoneaster bush this pm, on Catherine Slack, Hove Edge. Presumably part of the 30+ flock reported earlier from Newton Park - just a few hundred yards away.
And in the same group of trees a Lesser Pecker was heard drumming earlier - the same area as the nest site of about four years ago.

Blake Dean 6th April 2013

On a beautiful morning, I took a walk round Blake Dean to see if any ouzels were back.  There weren't, but I did see numerous lapwings, curlews, displaying meadow pipits, singing skylarks and a couple of resplendent looking golden plover behind the Ridge.

Regards, Chris
I had a little stroll around Lumbutts this afternoon and saw a lovely Sparrowhawk circling over the Church and a Teal on Lee Dam (with mallard and canadas)  There was a nice pair of Mistle thrushes  and a bird with a very unusual song - thrush like but with a whipper-will whistle to it.  It was a fieldfare and there was also a flock of 7-8 of them around  - Quite late I thought but with one singing  - could it happen ??   It was snowy enough to be the Northlands!

Update  - Redwings in Tolson park in Huddersfield today 9th April - what is with our winter thrushes !!

Friday, April 05, 2013


A Chiffchaff singing around Tag Tip Pond and Tag Cut was the only evidence of any migrants that I saw today. This individual was quite mobile and could quite easily have been mistaken for three birds had notes not been taken of its movements. I'd had a Blackcap singing around the feeders on the 13th, but this could quite easily have been a wintering bird.
Still plenty of Siskins, Bullfinches and the odd Reed Bunting to be seen on the feeders.
Adult and juv Mute Swan still in the lagoon. A Coot appears to be on a nest here and Little Grebe can be heard calling.
Frog spawn evident in several ponds but no adults to be seen.
A small butterfly, possibly a Small Copper, flew past the screen hide, but was too fast for a positive i.d..
Pretty cold down there today so still waiting for things to kick off.

Thursday, April 04, 2013


Still lots of snow and little sign of life.  Had a walk round today and found a stonechat on the wire between Scammonden and Dean Head res.  Other than that a couple of carrion crows a heron and a wood pigeon.  Nothing on Ringstone.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013


a nice walk this evening not much birdlife but enough to encourage me around my recent move to the village

Brierley Fields

9 pied wagtails
7 meadow pipits
1 grey heron

Mytholmroyd SF

49 pied wagtails
2 grey wagtails
2 meadow pipits

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Luddenden Dean and Wainstalls

3 Little Owls - one in a tree near the cati' had a trailing left wing but could still fly ok the other 2 were near together higher up near Wainstalls
Not a sign of any Wheatears - all the usual spots checked
13 Stock Doves
4 Curlew
25+ Lapwings (one pair copulating)
6 Reed Buntings nr Wainstalls
1 Red Grouse
1 Kestrel
15 Fieldfare
A trickle of mipits moving through >N


Just had 11 in the apple tree in my garden. Assume they are being attracted by the fruit my neighbour has been putting out on the feeders.

Monday, April 01, 2013


a short walk this morning

Raven over the house
Dunlin 1 on the floods at brierley
Green woodpecker
Dipper 1
Grey wagtail 2

Todmorden Moor

A raven gliding overhead as we got togged up at the car looked a good omen, but 500 yards up the track we turned back - the bitter east wind was going right through us and we knew we would be walking back into it.

Carrion crows.
One Meadow Pipit.
But scenery like arctic tundra, streaked with snow.

So we went along the canal bank towards Summit.
One grey wagtail
Couple of robins singing.
Canada Geese
Again the best thing was the scenery!