Sunday, November 30, 2014

Lee Mount

A Mistle Thrush singing full belt across mid-day today in St George's Church graveyard. Also c20 Redwings there feeding in Holly bushes and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers nearby.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Mixenden Res'r and Ogden

I ventured out again this morning in the drizzle and fog not expecting a lot but was rewarded at Mixenden Res'r with a drake Common Scoter.
Drake Common Scoter
Also present 1 Little Grebe
Nearby 22 Canada Geese, 1 Barnacle Goose and a Greylag Goose
c70 Jackdaws
1 Grey Wagtail
c160 B H Gulls, 12 Common Gulls and a juv L B B Gull on the res'r
Ogden - the fog was even worse though I did manage to find a Little Grebe which looked to be catching plenty of small fish.
c20 Chaffinch
2 Bullfinch
8+ Coal Tits
c60 B H Gulls and 6 Common Gulls
AND a male Mistle Thrush singing alreday !

Friday, November 28, 2014

Swales Moor

I did venture out this afternoon in the fog and gloom, hope it clears up soon !!
Just 2 Meadow Pipits on the top along with a single Fieldfare and that was it as the fog closed in.

No other news today other than 5 Tree Sparrows at Northowram from AC and that is good news.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Withens Clough etc

A report from Nigel G of a male and female Goldeneye at Withens Clough yesterday midday. Possibly a second male there too. Also 2 Tufted duck ( one male one female). 

And from Mike St.  this morning a Merlin through Colnebridge just in our area flew right over his head!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Not much reported so far today but a female Goldeneye is, as far as I know, only the second for Calderdale this back end again at Ringstone this morning from Steve L.

From Mike St at Clifton this p.m. Juv Mute Swan, a male Tufty, a Goldcrest, and a Kingfisher on the river. Always good to find a Mute Swan in our area these days !

Lumbutts, Tuesday

A quick look at what used to be my regular patch, taking advantage of the sunny weather.

Lee Dam

A Kingfisher on the top dam was a very pleasant surprise. I think this is the first one I have seen here, even though it always seemed a promising habitat.

Otherwise, it was rather quiet: one Moorhen on the lower dam, a flock of Canada Geese in the field to the east and a few Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Long-tailed Tits heard.

Longfield Dam

Rather sad to see this is now wired (although at least Lee Dam isn't), and totally devoid of wildfowl on this occasion.

Over the road, at least eight Lapwing feeding, along with at least one Rook and Starling - there may have been more of these hidden in the dip of the pasture, I suspect. There was also a flock of about thirty Black-headed Gulls further west in a field at the point the road bends right, and about twenty Canada Geese grazing near the riding stables.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


From (PG) Baitings Res'r today - 2 Kingfishers at this site was a very good find at this moorland location. They are usually lower down the valley

A pair of Wigeon at Ringstone today from (SL) and a buzzard sp. nearby mid morning (MH)

The Chaffinch flock at Ogden included a Lesser Redpoll today but no sign of yesterdays Bramblings (NK) though they could still be around.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Lee Mount etc

This morning - I amazed myself with an estimate of 150 Pink-footed Geese over >SE at 08:20. I got a photo on the phone and just had a count up.... 148 !
On past guestimates I usually over estimate but was more than pleased to get close today. It's not easy to count pinkies when they are on the move and changing position as they go. Lapwings are even more difficult !!!

I had a look out at some local sites with Alan T early afternoon. We checked Derby Delph for Twite but nothing doing there, though some were still about last week. 10 Herring Gulls (2 adults) >W returned >E a few minutes later !.We then checked below the res'r embankment at Booth Wood and found a Kestrel and a few Bullfinch but not a lot else. We were very surprised by a drone overhead, with camera lenses showing, for several minutes wondering if it was watching 'birders' for suspicious activities (as if) but we decided it was probably YW checking the dam wall. !
Nothing doing at Ringstone other than a number of B H Gulls and a few Common Gulls.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tree Sparrows

There have been between 5 and 8 Tree Sparrows in Northowram this weekend visiting my garden and the area/gardens  around the two Cricket Pitches...It was an area in the past that was a regular breeding site ( at least 12 years ago) , so lets keep our fingers crossed that they hang around till the spring..

Mute swan

Mute swan is still on the canal at Hebden Bridge, but has moved from Stubbings down to Hebble End, down near the Alternative Technology Centre.

Pink Feet - Luddendedn Dean

I estimate around 90 went SW over Ludd Dean at 14.30ish.  They were flying in very neat formation.  I'm sure a few others got them and might show my number estimate up as I had no bins!

Rough Leg ?

DFs distant shot of a Buzzard species at Ringstone Edge yesterday. Looks good for RL Buzzard, any thoughts?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Swales Moor, Soil Hill and Ogden

A couple of hours out this morning to check the local sights
Swales Moor - 9 Linnet, 1 Skylark and 3 Meadow Pipits on the top but no sign of the recent Twite.

Soil Hill - pretty dead, just 3 Grey Partridge and a Pied Wagtail

Ogden - a stunning drake Wigeon on the reservoir along with c60 B H Gulls and c30 Common Gulls with 3 adult Herring Gulls pondering through >SW and 2 Raven >E very high.
Drake Wigeon
This is the best I could get across the reservoir!

Just one other report today so far with a drake Goosander on Ringstone Reservoir (AT). There don't seem to be many about yet and there is a distinct lack of Goldeneye reported (we have only had one autumn record and that was a female type at Ringstone on 5th  November). They usually arrive in mid to late October and stay in small numbers on the local reservoirs throughout the winter.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Fly Flatts and Soil Hill etc

Fly Flatts
It was hard to find anything up there though 46 Mallard on the res'r is a decent count for this site.
2 Kestrels, 4 B H Gulls and some Red Grouse and that was it, not even a corvid!

Soil Hill
I guess NK will have checked earlier but I gave it a try mid afternoon, always in the hope of a 'gem' !
3 Grey Partridge along the Ned Hill track and just a single Skylark on the top
50+ Common Gulls were together feeding in a field towards Ogden

Also a report from Steve L this morning of 2 drake Mandarin on Bowers Mill pond near Barkisland

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


From Mike Stead yesterday, unable to post on the blog - recent sightings
I came across a cracking male Stonechat at Old Lindley (just in area) today, perched on a stone wall; it's not one of my usual areas, so that was a pleasing find.
At Kirklees Hall there are still one or two Yellowhammers about , and a  Buzzard nearby. 
38 Lapwings flew over as well, yesterday.
At Clifton Lagoon, Redwings and Blackbirds seem to have arrived in force - the bushes and trees are full of them.
And 'our' Pied Wagtail (one of two) that visited the garden all last winter popped up on the bird table last week !

Swales Moor and Oats Royd, Bradshaw

Late morning I got a report from Pete S about a distant flock of P f Geese >W seen from Shibden at 09:55

Swales Moor - just 2 Skylarks on the top and not much else in the fog

Oats Royd - I thought it might be worth checking just in case the Black Redstart from last week was still about. Looks like it's gone and just found a male Stonechat on the walls on the east side of the track near the bottom.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Out and about

Last couple of days I've visited several sites
From yesterday
Swales Moor - the solitary Twite was still there but it soon flushes ! Also 2 Skylarks, 20 mipits and 10 Linnets with c130 Fieldfare in the fields near Ploughcroft.
Soil Hill - 3 Grey Partridge, 2 Common Snipe, and 2 Reed Buntings
Mixenden Res'r - 4 Goosander
Ogden  - Back Lane - 8 Grey Partridge

Cold Edge - 2 Stonechats, 4 Reed Buntings, 1 Cormorant, 1 Tufted Duck
Fly Flatts - 35 Mallard
Swales Moor - 2 Skylark, c20 Meadow Pipits
Pepper Hill/ Claremount - 3 Grey Partridge, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel and 1 Jay

Fly Flatts this morning


A report today from Pete Gr about a Shelduck at Warland this morning.
Nice one Pete hope you didnt get caught up there in that torrential downpour this morning !

Amazing re-encounter with a bird by a ringer - copied from email from BTO Demography Unit


Ringer migration confirmed by a Blackcap

Back in September, we posted about the large numbers of Blackcaps that were moving through the central and western parts of the country. We were contacted recently with a fantastic story of a chance re-encounter between a member of the Brewood Ringing Group and one of these migrants.

Colin McShane writes:

Over the last 8 years I have been leading an Autumn ringing trip to the Parque Ambientale, in Vilamoura, Portugal with support from Vitor Encarnacao who heads up the Portuguese Ringing Scheme. Our trips have been successful on several levels and many British ringers have joined us over the years to expand their experience.

We have also controlled a number of birds from northern Europe, including Reed Warblers from Belgium, France, Germany and Sweden, and Bluethroats from France. On 06 October 2014 during this year’s trip, I extracted a male Blackcap from one of our standard mist nets and was very pleased, although not too surprised, to find that it was carrying a BTO ring. Back at the processing station, Dave Clifton (who has been an ever-present fixture on these trips) was doing his stint as the scribe. Having announced to the group what I had extracted, I began to process the bird - first reading out the ring number several times for accuracy.

Dave went quiet. He quickly got onto the phone to his wife, who checked in his ringing book back home. Hey Presto!! The bird was indeed one (of only two Blackcaps ringed at the site) he had ringed at Duckley Plantation, on the north shore of Blithfield Reservoir, Staffordshire on 11th September 2014 - only a few weeks before we had left for Portugal!!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Whooper swans - Todmorden

Seven whooper swans seen approx. 2.30pm this afternoon (Saturday) on the pond off Lumbutts Road.
Think 3 were juveniles.  The lady at the cattery had seen them some hours earlier circling the pond before landing.

Huge number of cars parked (fell race) at the side of Lumbutts road didn't seem to faze them

Testing, testing

I'm just testing to see that I'm posting correctly. 

I posted a sighting of 7 whooper swans on the pond off Lumbutts Road over a week ago but it hasn't made it's way to the reports page.

Can this note be shown on the thread page otherwise I need some tuition I'm afraid


Canal, Charlestown

No sign of the mute swan for a couple of days, but a kingfisher at Callis was a nice surprise.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Swales Moor

Poor day today with constant rain this morning and not brightening up much so got a few jobs done at home !!!
I ventured up Swales late on for a bit of fresh air and it was a bonus to see a nice sunset.
1 Little Owl calling
4 Grey Partridge on the top
1 Kestrel
c80 Lapwings flying over the fields at Shelf Moor in the distance
Lots of corvids going to roost >E and a few Pied Wagtails heading over the top towards Halifax  - I guess to roost in the town centre.

Jumble Hole

A common buzzard flew low south over Jumble Hole at 3:15pm, and turned towards Hebden Bridge. It was moving pretty swiftly, as a corvid was giving it some stick.
Just 3 redpoll today, and 2 goldcrests. Green and GS woodpecker still very apparent at the moment, with the GS just started to re-visit the feeders after a summer break.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Swan, Hebden Bridge

A mute swan was reported by Paul Knights, having been told by a neighbour of his. It's on the canal by the Stubbing Wharf pub. It has a metal ring on its right leg (BTO?), and was still there this evening. Not a common bird in Calderdale! And it has been said before, probably statistically not our most 'common' swan either!

Other recent bits - a raven was over the house today, calling. Small flocks of 10-25 siskin are bouncing around Jumble Hole in recent days, feeding briefly but usually moving on quickly. 11 redpoll were at Callis Wood (opposite Jumble Hole) last Friday.

Bradshaw/Oats Royd and Swales Moor

Thanks to the help of NK this morning I was able to see the Black Redsart without any difficulty once I found the track down to Oats Royd from Bradshaw. A great bird thanks to John finding it yesterday. It was a bit too distant for photos but was showing well on the stone walls.
Also 3 Ravens over >NW
c50 Goldfinch nearby

1 Twite still present on the top
1 Skylark
c20 Meadow Pipits
And on the way down c20 Linnets


A very good find near Bradshaw yesterday by John, with a Black Redstart on the walls on the track leading to Oats Royd. Some nice pictures on Bradshaw Birder blog. Hopefully it may stay around for a day or two?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Swales Moor

The single Twite was still there this morning but really elusive creeping about in the weeds
Not much else there other than c 20 Meadow Pipits and 2 Kestrels along with the usual glut of corvids.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Fly Flatts and Cold Edge

 Fly Flatts
28 Mallard
10 Teal
Red Grouse
2 Kestrels

Cold Edge
12 Canada Geese
30 Mallard
1 Tufted Duck
1 drake Wigeon
2 Kestrels
and a nice flyover with a Green Woodpecker

Swales Moor

No sign of the Twite today though dogs charging about on the top didn't help!
35 Fieldfare >NW with c20 Starlings
4 Reed Bunting on the top and c 40 mipits
2 Kestrels
2 Jays

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Swales Moor and Soil Hill

The single Twite was still there this morning but can be very tricky to find skulking among the weeds on its own on the top.
1 Fieldfare also on the top along with a female Stonechat near the quarry and c30 Meadow Pipits, 4 Reed Buntings and 7 Linnets.
I ventured up Soil Hill but the rain and mist had set in so I didn't manage a proper check and in the conditions soon gave it up. c 20 mipits that was all.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Fly Flatts

After a call from Martyn H across lunchtime of 2 Whooper Swans on the res'r I called up later but they had gone. Not surprised either in those conditions with wind and driving rain !! I also checked Cold Edge Dams and Mixenden Res'r to see if they had moved on there but nothing doing.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Swales Moor

I had an hour up there this afternoon.
Hardly anything moving (late in the day I know) other than 5 Woodpigeons,  28 Fieldfares and 1 Redwing >NW and a Great Spotted Woodpecker >NE

c6 Meadow Pipits about but a bonus bird was a Twite on the top (unringed). I guess its a female/juvenile with no sign of any pink on the rump.
I thought afterwards - I go with Nyger seed for the Twite to Fly Flatts without success then find one this afternoon at Swales. Better start taking some Nyger seed up there !

Fly Flatts

This morning. How unusual to get a southerly wind that was so cold and blowing F4 to 5. At least it was dry with good visibility but nothing moving and birds were hard to find.
26 Mallard
1 Carrion Crow
1 Kestrel
2 B H Gulls
Plenty Red Grouse

I went round to check the Twite feeding station and put niger seed down probably for a final time? !! By the look of things they have gone from there. Not one Twite record there this year for me.  If anyone has please let me know.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Fly Flatts and Ringstone

Fly Flatts (still plenty shoreline)
1 winter plumage Dunlin on the shore
16 Mallard
1 Kestrel

Ringstone (no shoreline at all)
1 female type Goldeneye
6 mallard
1 Little Grebe

I also checked Buckstones area mid afternoon which is just out of our area but nothing doing !

Swales Moor

Movers >W between 08:20 and 10:00
493 Fieldfare
1,340 Woodpigeons
1 Redwing

Local birds on the top
6 Reed Buntings
15 Meadow Pipits
1 Jay
2 Pied Wagtail

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Rough-legged Buzzards

Nice article and pictures here about Rough-legged Buzzard at Grindale (4 mile west of Bridlington)

Swales Moor

A very decent move of Woodpigeons this morning during a 2 hr watch with a count of 4,279 >W
Other movers >W or >SW
c180 Pink-footed Geese
226 Fieldfare
35 Redwing
2 Song Thrush
2 Mistle Thrush
23 Starling
Plus a few others including >N or >NE
1 Jay, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker and 2 Ravens

Other birds on the top besides the corvids-
16 Meadow Pipits
1 Grey Wagtail
6 Reed Buntings

Jumble Hole

A short dog walk this afternoon produced over 25 different species. Nothing too out of the ordinary, but the highlight was a mixed feeding flock in birch trees that included c.30 redpoll, 2 siskin, 4 bullfinch, treecreeper and nuthatch. Small numbers of redwing were feeding up on berries.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Rough legged buzzard sighting, Hardcastle Crags 2nd Nov'.

I've just noticed on Birdguides that a RLB was reported at the Crags yesterday and was wondering if anyone had any more details.? After enjoying the RLB spectacle on Saddleworth Moor at weekend, I've become quite fixated with this species!

Regards, Chris

Swales Moor and Soil Hill

1 male Stonechat on the top
2 Meadow Pipits
4 Red-legged Partridge

Soil Hill
After a report from NK of a Snow Bunting on the mounds this morning I gave it a try, but without success unfortunately. There is much more vegetation on the top after this last summer and not a lot of bare ground, making it more difficult to find anything.
c18 Meadow Pipits
1 Common Snipe
1 adult Herring Gull >W

Mixenden Stodfold yesterday - 2 Barnacle Geese there now, along with 5 Canadas

Also a report from PG of 10 Brambling in Withens Clough this morning