Thursday, December 31, 2015


After the devastation in Mytholmroyd, I automatically stopped on the bridge on way to work yesterday morning, looking towards Brierley. There, in its usual place, was a dipper! On the same stones as I see it most mornings! Where on earth had it been sheltering from the floods, I wonder? Looking further downstream were 2 pairs of mallards & a pair of goosander. I see 2 dipper regularly but on a couple of occasions a some months ago there were 3 - one very vocal juvenile.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

East of Brighouse

Usually it's pretty quiet at Clifton Lagoon - apart from the noise from the M62 !
But today there was a cracking male Goldeneye, a male Goosander, 14 Mallards and 2 Coot.
On the river was a female Goosander, 12 Mallards, 3 Cormorants and a Kingfisher.
Not a bad finish to the year.

Fly Flats and Mixenden etc

Nothing other than a solitary Kestrel at Fly Flats late afternoon - couldn't stand up, but surprisingly the 3 peaks were all visible despite the weather conditions with a strong blustery wind and intermittent heavy showers.

Nothing at Mixenden Res'r either, other than a c50 B H Gulls

Cold Edge - c60 Mallard, c80 B H Gulls and 1 Lapwing flyover

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Apologies all this is not about birds but an appeal for anyone who is in the Elland/Cromwell Bottom area to keep an eye out for Robin who is currently missing.  He was in his home on a barge moored in Elland but has been missing for the past few days so may have got spooked during the recent floods and ran away.

If anyone does come across him please post on the blog or let the grapevine know.  Owner is desperately missing her beloved pet. image on Twitter

Woodcock at Baitings

Thanks to Jan G for these photos of a dead Woodcock found at Baitings on 27th December.
It looks like the bird had either been hit by a car or flown into the railings on the bridge. A very sad end to a beautiful (and not often seen) bird.

Shibden Head

I couldn't find many birds up there this morning - just a few small tit flocks about with Bullfinch and Chaffinch, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Kestrel and 1 Sparrowhawk - though plenty of corvids especially when I got back and up to Swales Moor/Ringby Lane.
No reports yet of any Pink-footed Geese on the move today though it did look the sort of day for them !

Also at Swales Moor this morning - just up Ringby Lane - 7 Linnets on the weedy banking at the top of the lane.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Out and about

We walked on Castle Carr Road late morning but didn't find a lot other than a flyover of 22 'pinkies' >W over  Wainstalls at 11:55 - dead quiet, not a sound from them  !

I checked Fly Flatts briefly this afternoon - just a female Goldeneye.

Luddenden Dean - I went down to see if the Chaffinch roost flight was doing anything as it's usually quite good in winter but only managed 25 heading up to Castle Carr with 1 Brambling with them. In cold weather this roost can go on for over an hour before sunset with  a lot of birds heading up the valley in small groups.

Mount Tabor

Nothing spectacular but interesting walk produced Sparrowhawk (M), Little Owl, Green Woodpecker, Lapwings x 12, c 50 Gulls (BHG and Common) and corvids including 7 Rooks.  Also 1 x Roe Deer.
1 of the BHG nearly had full summer plumage.  There are midges in the garden and yesterday I had 11 Meadow Pipits which is unseasonal for up here.
(p.s. I know the pics aren't great!)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Pinks on the move again

40ish going W over Tabor at 09.45.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Mixenden and Fly Flats

This afternoon - at long last something on Mixenden Res'r with 3 female type Goldeneye and a f Goosander.

Fly Flats
I didn't get out of the car !
Wild with heavy blustery showers though there was a great sky.
Just a few Red Grouse, a distant Buzzard and 1 adult Herring Gull >W.
I heard via a passing bush telegraph cyclist that Dishfish was doing Soil Hill this afternoon. I bet that was pleasant - wonder if you got blown away Daniel ?!! Well done.

Have a great Christmas everyone.

Pinkies - Mount tabor

About 40 Pinkies in nice formation WSW over Mount Tabor at 15.30.  Small flock of Lapwing still around, c 20 BHG and 12 Rooks.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Jumble Hole

Been a bit quiet round here recently. A raven flew over cronking at lunchtime. The GS woodpecker has arrived back at the feeders for the first time this winter (but the nuthatches have come and gone again).
A tawny owl can be seen in the woods now and again.
And it looks highly likely that 2015 will be my first year in 13 years at Jumble Hole that I haven't encountered woodcock. That seems to reflect a local trend - is this a national problem?

Saturday, December 19, 2015


One was feeding in the Calder in Todmorden town centre this morning. It flew off upstream, but how it dealt with the culverted section at Wellington Road I don't know.

Short-eared Owls

I've been watching the Short-eared Owls for a few months, mostly from a distance. I was very fortunate the other week when one flew quite close then landed in the grass around 40yrds away.
An hour later I was watching a Kestrel hunting, it swooped down and perched on a fence post no more than 20yrds away.
I managed to get a few photos and thought I'd share a couple, thanks

Friday, December 18, 2015

Waystone Edge and Buckstones Moss

Several red grouse, two ravens, an unseasonal skylark and best bird, a woodcock.  I also flushed a beautiful white mountain hare.  This is the northernmost Pennine one I've even seen, several miles north of the Saddleworth Moor population.

Merry Christmas, Chris

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Lee Mount

After a re-count from photographs in poor light it came to 54 Pink-feet over at 16:15 - they changed direction from >W to >N then eventually >WNW so it wasn't easy to tell which direction they were heading - Ogden or Wainstalls though as they went out of sight it was probably the latter.

This follows on from another skein heard over Ripponden last night (TW) at around 19:25.
These are probably movements of birds already in the country commuting perhaps between The Humber/Linconshire/Norfolk and Lancashire/Cumbria (?)

Swales Moor

Ringby Lane
I just had an hour or so on the top late morning - masses of corvids in the top fields (200+) - mainly Carrion Crows and Jackdaws with a few Rooks and Magpies mixed in and 40 + Common Gulls
3 Linnets feeding on the embankment
2 Pied Wagtails
1 Stock Dove
and a first for me along Ringby lane - a Goldcrest
2 Sparrowhawks high  >W
2 Meadow Pipits >W

There are a few shrubs at the lower end of Ringby Lane at the back of the cottage opposite the ski-slope and these were full of small birds mainly Blue and Great Tits, c30 Chaffinch, 11 Greenfinch, c10 House Sparrows and Bullfinch heard. I was on the lookout for Tree Sparrow as well as in former years I used to get them occasionally in Lee Lane! I wonder if your Northowram ones will turn up this winter Andy ?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Ogden and Soil Hill

Mid afternoon - and still drizzling !
1 Kingfisher along with a Dipper in the pump house area below the embankment. I guess with the stream in full flow down the valley and the choppy water on the reservoir that the two of them found a relatively sheltered spot to feed. The Kingfisher finding several small fish down there even though the water was pretty murky.
1 Cormorant and c60 Mallard on the reservoir but not much else other than a few Robins around the edge and a single Goldcrest found in the shrubs. Other than that just a few Black-headed and Common Gulls moving through.

Distant Kingfisher
Soil Hill
I tramped round the top for an hour - glad I had the wellies on !
Just 6 Goldfinch and 1 Meadow Pipit was all I could find.
I am surprised by  the shortage of Snipe and Jack Snipe on the top, as in previous years it has been quite good for both species though 'Jacks' are less common of the two. Perhaps some really cold weather might fetch them in !?

Mixenden and Mount Tabor

Mixenden Res'r
Just one drake Goosander there this morning + c80 B H Gulls and c25 Common Gulls

Mount Tabor
I checked around the fields this morning where Nick's Woodlark and Richards Pipit turned up last year around the big manure heap. Also where he had a female Yellowhammer a few days ago.
Conditions were pretty atrocious with driving drizzle but did find 1 Skylark, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Fieldfare and a Wren - all in the manure heap area but the birds soon hide away in the surrounding vegetation and are difficult to get to grips with.
12 Lapwings and c40 Starlings nearby along with corvids and some B H Gull moving through >W

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Fogged off - again !

Nothing doing today in this murky stuff so I headed up to Coley Garden Centre for and hour - no need to take the camera of course but inside one of the greenhouses a small bird was flitting about - a female Siskin. I got my hand within 6"of it and it moved off before I could get hold of it. Unfortunately it flew into the roof space - looking tired !
I opened the door and asked the staff to leave it open if possible to allow it to escape - I certainly hope it gets away. Lovely bird but certainly not at home in a greenhouse.
There are plenty of Alders surrounding the nursery so it could soon be feeding if it gets out !

Friday, December 11, 2015

Cold Edge

This morning in a cold westerly F5 to F6 with intermittent wintry showers between dry spells.
A interesting visit and despite the conditions there were just a few birds about. The highlight was a female Merlin which shot across the top dam heading for 2 Stonechats which had been feeding from the fence line across the juncus field just above the top small pond. It chased one of them for 5 or more strikes with the outcome unknown as they were lost from sight below the top small pond with the Merlin still in pursuit.
Another pale looking Stonechat was by Moorlands Farm (just down the track from Withens Gap)
2 Kestrels
1 f Goldeneye on the lower dam
c20 Mallard
47 Fieldfare
1 Redwing
1 Mistle Thrush
c40 Starlings
2 Red Grouse
Usual corvids and small gulls


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Mixenden, Soil Hill, Fly Flats etc

Nothing on Mixenden this morning and I couldn't find anything at all on Soil Hill other than a perishing cold wind !

Fly Flats (sorry I missed you Alan)
32 Mallard
2 Kestrels
1 Red Grouse
11 Carrion Crows
1 Common Gull >N

When I got home I found this female Bullfinch by the feeder looking as if it was feeling the cold !! - (photo taken through the window)

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Mixenden Res'r and Soil Hill

Nothing at all on Mixenden mid afternoon other than c60 B H Gulls.

Soil Hill fared marginally better but the wind up there was up to it's normal speed !!
1 Skylark
2 Goldfinch
2 Pheasant's
I just got back to the car and rounded the afternoon off nicely with 2 small flocks of 'pinkies' high over Bradshaw heading towards Ogden/Fly Flats around 15:15 - they were getting blown about but made good headway all the same.
From photo's the first group was 19 strong and the second group 16

Pink-footed Geese

Taylor Lane - Bradshaw
c35 Fieldfare
c25 Starlings

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Cromwell Bottom

From Pete G today - 4 'cracking' drake Goldeneye on the ski-lake late morning and a good mixed flock of Lesser Redpoll, Siskin and Goldfinch - all feeding in alders and on the ground near the car park/bird feeing area.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Swales Moor

I tried Ringby Lane on the top this afternoon but there was very little about other than the usual corvids. The sky was brilliant to the west!
2 Meadow Pipits
2 Stock Doves
1  Pied Wagtail dropped in briefly

Pied Wagtail

Whiteholme Res'r etc.

c90 Pink-footed Geese >W this morning (PG) soon after 11:00

Also it's time to look out for G N Divers with 2 near Manchester yesterday at Audenshaw Res'r. Last year the long staying Mixenden bird turned up on 14 December so local reservoirs are well worth a check. !

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Recent News

Not much to report !!
BUT 3 Waxwings in the Woodhouse area near Brighouse/Rastrick on Thursday afternoon 3rd December is special enough ! (AC) Nice one Andy.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Roils Head tick

Sometime last week I came across some bird droppings in the heather at Roils Head, look just like Red Grouse I thought but not possible, so they must be Grey Partridge as there's been six birds present nearby at Tower Hill for a couple of months. Today however whilst walking over the same patch, what fly's out from cover but a Red Grouse, a very surprising bird for this site and as it happens a Roils Head tick.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Waxwings - maybe ??

Just a few reports today mostly along east and north east coast areas. Keep a watch and a listen out for them in the next few days near shrubs and trees with berries !! Let's hope we get a few this winter.

Bird photo of the week

Just got this from Nigel - ref the Birdguides web site for last week..

Not bad for ex Calderdale Birder !!
Just seen photo of the week on BirdGuides. Sean Gray won with a Sabine,s gull on the I of man . Dp

Mixenden and Soil Hill

Just 3 Goosander on Mixenden Res'r this morning along with c100 B H Gulls, c40 Common Gulls and 2 adult Lesser B B Gulls and a single adult flyover Herring Gull >SW.

I gave Soil Hill a check but climate conditions up there were pretty dire ! I stayed about an hour - and found absolutely nothing.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Mixenden and Fly Flats

First time out for a while and I was just fortunate to get an hour that was dry after all that wet stuff over recent weeks....when will we get some dry days ?

Mixenden Res'r was pretty dead with just 4 Mallard and, most unusual, not a single gull there this afternoon

Fly Flats was pretty dead as well especially with a continuous stream of heavy lorries trundling between the quarry and the wind farm along the top road. The dry spell turned up trumps just as I was about to leave with SEO,  1 Kestrel and  23 Mallard with 3 sub-adult Herring Gulls >SW

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Calderdale Development Plan

The proposed LDP for Calderdale has possible major implications for important bird sites in the district, if the plan goes through next year.
The following places in the Green Belt are earmarked for housing developments -
Mount Tabor/Sentry Edge; Highroad Well Moor inc Tower Hill; Shelf inc Cockhill Moor; Jay House Lane to Wellholme Park, and lots of other small places.
These can be seen on the map at the following link -
Or in local libraries. Objections can be made for each individual site, but 18 Dec is the closing date !
I'm working my way through all the Brighouse/Hipperholme/Lightcliffe/ sites, but it's a very slow job.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Merlin, Cromwell Bottom

A male merlin shot through the car park on Wednesday the 25th seen by several people. Unfortunately no pictures - too fast.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Woodcock - Withens

For the second time in a week I have flushed a Woodcock off the bridleway above Ogden GC near the Withens.  I was within a metre before it flushed.  It made me jump as it was well after dusk.  I thought they would be sheltering in wooded cover now?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Cold Edge

From Pete G - just a female Goldeneye on the dams this morning with no other reports coming in today. Thanks Pete.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Bird Report Update

Half of the bird reports have already been sold, so if anyone needs one you can get them from the 2 outlets or send a cheque to me at 11 Mile Cross Road, Halifax HX1 4HN. Price with postage is £8.50 make payable to The Calderdale Bird Conservation Group. Thanks to DJS for selling them at the Raptor Conference at the weekend. I would also like some feedback on how to improve future reports, IE what to add or take out, weather people prefer the double two year report or an annual one, cheers Nick D. Ps had a quick look at Soil Hill today but no sign of the Snow Bunting.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Walshaw Dean

At last - some Goldeneye, with 2 females on top Walshaw Res'r on Sunday afternoon. Andy H

Monday, November 23, 2015

NERF Conference

A very big thank you to everyone who was involved in organising the venue and the programme - as well as the excellent catering arrangements.
I couldn't fault anything as the day was so informative and inspiring even though some of the news on illegal raptor persecution (particularly Hen Harriers) was depressing. It's good to hear of positive action all round and the patience to try to get to grips with what is happening especially on our uplands.
Well done for all the fieldwork and investigations as well as bringing everything together so well on the day.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Soil Hill

Snow Bunting still there this morning from BS - on the top NW slope so it could take some re-finding but with stealth and patience !!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Snow Bunting

Managed to get photos on to the phone so just a couple of poor shots in fading light.

Soil Hill

After a dismal wet and windy day I looked for a dry spell ( not much hope of that) but I decided to head up 'The Hill' just in case.
Bingo - a Snow Bunting on the top and with stealth got to within 4 metes.
If anyone goes up tomorrow then try the flat, low vegetation area just past the mast and to the right before the mounds. Wonder if this is an omen for the weekend with maybe snow forecast??!
I got some photos but no computer to get them on the blog yet.

NERF conference this weekend!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Mixenden and Soil Hill

Nothing doing at Mixenden Res'r this morning though there were a lot of Black- headed and Common Gulls all over the place in surrounding fields but I couldn't find anything different with them.

Then Soil Hill where I met up with Alan T on a search for NK's Ring Ouzel which he had found up there earlier in the day along with a single Dunlin. Weather was atrocious, driving rain and a strong gale making conditions impossible though we saw NK looking as if he'd taken a dip in Ogden Water!! Hope you are now dried out Nigel.
As we set off, a Turdus sp flew across the road from the mast towards the small copse and we lost it. It could have been a Blackbird but that area is well worth a check for the Ring Ouzel when the rain and wind eases !

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mixenden and Soil Hill

Nothing much on Mixi - just 2 Cormorants on the res and c80 Woodpigeons and c60 Starlings >SW

Soil Hill was a little bit more interesting with a S E Owl hunting the north slope staring me in the eyes as it went right in front of me ! Not much else on the top other than 6 Goldfinch and then a big flock of c100 Woodpigeons and c40 Redwings >W
Then the drizzle and mist came in and that was it !

Monday, November 16, 2015

Swales, Mixenden and Fly Flats etc

Tricky trying to find anything in the very strong wind this morning
Not much along Ringby Lane other than 3 Goldfinch, Sparrowhawk and the usual mass of corvids

Mixenden Res'r - 36 Canada's and a few gulls

Fly Flats - getting blown away 1 Kestrel and1 B H Gull

From Pete G at Withens Clough in Cragg Vale - another gem with a late Ring Ouzel (in addition to one last week on Soil Hill from NK) This is unusual to get them so late though they seem to arrive with Fieldfares as they come in from Scandinavia. I wonder if we have had  records previously for Ring Ouzel in November?
Also a Merlin through Withens Clough this morning for PG and 5 Stonechats in that area

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Yesterday afternoon - but didn't have time to stay - with a lot of birds there though mostly a scope to to pick out any rarities !
I guess the glut of birds up there is due to the very wet ground and lots of earthworms on or near the surface
c230 Canada's and a lone Pink- footed Goose in the middle if the flock
200+ Golden Plover
50+ Lapwing
A lot of B H Gulls
c35 Feildfare
+ Starlings and corvids

Friday, November 13, 2015

Mixenden and Fly Flats

This morning I went on the look out for Goldeneye - none recorded yet this autumn locally as far as I know and they are usually here by late October and seem to be arriving later than ever in recent years.
Mixenden - just 5 Goosander and 4 Mallard
Cold Edge - 120 Canada's and 3 Tufted Duck. 34 Fieldfare
Fly Flats (down to 3c up there) - 35 Mallard and 1 Kestrel

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Ringstone Reservoir

First post at last!
Had an hour at Ringstone this afternoon, very windy becoming fairly cold.
100+ Canadian Geese
30+ Lapwing
30+ Little Ringed Plover.......Apologises, these were Golden Plover, thanks Dave
Kestrel hunting on west side embankment
Plus one or two others I was unable to ID

Flock of  30+ Fieldfare at Scammonden on Tuesday

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


An hour or so this afternoon, though there was not a lot out of the ordinary
1 Cormorant
c60 Mallard
100+ B H Gulls, c30 Common Gulls and 2 L B B Gulls
1 Siskin in  a mixed tit flock with around 10+ Goldcrests (carefully checked !)

Shibden Head and Swales Moor

This morning - plenty of Redwings feeding on Holly berries (Ilex aquifolium) though it was not possible to get a count - there were probably 50+
Also several small tit flocks with a few Goldcrests
1 Woodcock disturbed in a clump of heather/bracken took off at speed low into the valley
1 Kestrel
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Common Buzzard

Ringby Lane
Very quiet up there except for c25 Fieldfares >SW and a few L B B Gulls >W

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Swales Moor

Ringby Lane - >WSW F6 or so up there this afternoon so it was difficult to find anything
8 Goldfinch
12 Linnet
1 Meadow Pipit
Lots of corvids as usual and a few L B B Gulls going over high >W

c35 Common Gulls in the fields facing towards Boothtown


3 Buzzards soaring and calling above Crimsworth Dean at 12.15 today (at the National Trust car park end).
A few minutes later one being mobbed by a Peregrine (or possibly a Merlin ? I'm not sure..)

Pink feet

A skein of c.40 pink footed geese flew over Jumble Hole at about 8:10 this morning headed SE. There also seems to be a lot of siskin movement at the moment.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Mixenden and Ogden

I gave both sites a go this afternoon just in case something had been brought in with the gale force winds and rain - nothing !!

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Today's news

Nothing much reported yesterday but a few Fieldfares and Woodpigeons over here early on today mostly ->WSW
Also from RR at Ringstone more Woodpigeons over this morning and plenty of activity in the surrounding fields now the water level on the reservoir is up to the top. Mostly Canada's, Lapwings and Starlings.

Shot Peregrine

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Bird Report update

The 2013 - 2014 Bird Report is also now available at Flying Saucers at Hebden Bridge, we dropped off 10 copies this afternoon, then went up Walshaw Dean for all the usual birds before being rained off and then crashing the car into a wall at Blake Dean. A word of warning the leaves on the road at Blake Dean don't look armful but if you hit the brakes coming down the hill you may end up in the wall like us.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Mixenden, Fly Flats, Soil Hill

Lee Mount - a small flock of 'pinkies' heard over the Wheatley Valley probably >W but I only heard them as couldn't pick them out through the trees

Mixenden - nothing first thing !

Fly Flats
3 Tufted Duck
c30 Mallard
31 Golden Plover high >W

Soil Hill
NK and Dave B were of the same mind to check the summit and tree belt but conditions weren't good with a strong and wet >SW
1 Skylark
1 Meadow Pipit
1 Common Snipe
2 Moorhen on the lower pond
No sign of the LEO's

Taylor Lane, Bradshaw
c 60 Fieldfare in the fields but mobile

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Bird Report 2013 and 2014

The 2013 – 2014 Bird Report is now out. Its available at Woodlesford News Agent (go local store) at Mount Tabor Pellon price £6.50, or you can write to 11 Mile Cross Road HX1 4HN £8.50 including postage. Make cheques payable to the Calderdale Bird Conservation Group ( please don’t send cheques to Woodlesford News). There are only 60 copies so if you want one don’t delay. The report covers the years 2013 and the record braking 2014, photos in the middle and articles on the Woodlark and Richards Pipit and the race to record as many species in a year as possible. Will try get them in to Flying Saucers at Hebden Bridge asap. Many thanks to all who contributed by sending in records and apologies if Ive missed anyone out.

Mixenden and Swales Moor

Mixenden fogged off for me though PS did find a solitary Goosander.
Swales (Ringby Lane) produced a few birds as it was reasonably clear up there.
1 f Stonechat by the quarry
13 Meadow Pipits
1 Reed Bunting
8 Goldfinch
1 L B B Gull
1 Sparrowhawk
11 Mistle Thrush
1 Redwing
2 Stock Dove
2 Jays >W
5 Starlings >W
Usual corvids and mobbing a Fox

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Ogden and Mixenden

From yesterday (2nd Nov) a drake Shoveler was on Ogden most of the day. NK et al

Also from yesterday at Mixenden, a female Tufted Duck gave rise to the possibility of a fem/juv Scaup but from photos taken (NK) before the fog descended it was confirmed as a Tufted Duck though the white blaze around the bill was quite pronounced. Also 6 goosander there yesterday and in the afternoon in thick fog a Grey Wagtail and several Goldcrests and a Redpoll. (NCD DJS)

Nothing on the water at Mixenden today though quite a few Goldcrests in a tit flock along with 1 Treecreeper in the waters edge shrubbery.
1 Grey Wagtail

And yesterday coming down from The Withens - glorious sunshine with thick fog in the valleys

Monday, November 02, 2015


Four fieldfares on the holly bush yesterday eating the berries.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Goshawk mytholmroyd

Step out this morning at 07:10 and noticed a large bird flying south 
Despite only watched for a minute I noted the following 

Large buzzard/Raven size 
Very broad wings with bulging secondaries
Long tail 

The appearance of the bird was like a bateluer ! 

Seen a number of goshawks in Calderdale over the years 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Jumble Hole

The first fieldfare of the autumn at Jumble Hole went over today when 5 headed west. The noctule bat is still around. The bird feeders are getting busier, with 6 greenfinches making the biggest dent.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fly Flats

Just a quick check early afternoon (checking for Whoopers!! ) with the mist rolling in and out and a strong >NW blowing so I just checked from the top road !!! getting soft...
3 Tufted Duck
38 Mallard
2 Lapwings
25 Canada Geese
2 Kestrel
6 Carrion Crows

A quick reminder..........

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fly Flats

Not a bad return for mid to late morning today. 9c and a cold >NW wind on the top didn't seem to put the birds off.
4 Common Snipe and 1 Lapwing on the mud
28 Mallard
3 Tufted Duck
4 Canada Geese
6 B H Gull
2 L B B Gulls >W
5 Kestrel
2 flocks of thrushes through high >NE. 1st flock c30 Redwing and c8 Fieldfare and the second flock c45 Redwing and c25 Fieldfare
Highlight was a female Merlin chasing a small flock of Meadow Pipits that went high and she drew a blank on them!

Lee Mount

First thing this morning over the house
c60 Redwings >E and 6 >W
5 Fieldfare >W
18 Woodpigeon >SW
c35 Chaffinch >W
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker >W
2 Nuthatch on the feeder
6 Blackbirds and a Song Thrush were probably overnight arrivals

Monday, October 19, 2015

Cromwell Bottom

    3 hours late morning early afternoon

    3 Kingfisher
    2 Redpoll
    1 Dipper
    3 Nuthatch
    8 LTT
    1 Sparrowhawk
    2 Cormorant
    4 Dunnock
    6 Chaffinch
    3 Robin
    2 GSW
    Great, Coal and Blue Tits lots
    Gulls lots
    8 Mallard

Fly Flats

This morning
10 Golden Plover >NW
1 Lapwing >E
1 Skylark >W
1 Magpie (rare at this sight) very high >NE
2 Mistle Thrush >NE
c40 Mallard
7 Canada Geese
16 B H Gulls
Distant C Buzzard
c6 Kestrels
Red Grouse
Just a few distant Meadow Pipits
7 Carrion Crows

Friday, October 16, 2015


I check 'passerine alley' on the east side of the res'r late morning
50+ Chaffinch feeding on the weedy edges of the res'r taking refuge in the shrubs
1 Blue Tit
c10 Great Tits
1 Goldcrest
11 Siskin
2 Nuthatch
2 Bullfinch
1 Wren
1 Teal and 1 Cormorant on the Res'r along with a few Black-headed and Common Gulls and 1 L B B Gull
38 Redwings >E over Back Lane

Pavement Lane and Field Head Lane
580+ Starlings was a decent count seeing as we don't get many decent flocks nowadays in our area.
The totally white Carrion Crow was still in the field down Lane Head Lane.

Fly Flats

Fly Flats yesterday afternoon
48 Mallard
1 Tufted Duck
2 Canada Geese
Buzzard and 3 Kestrel
Plenty Red Grouse

1 Stonechat at Withens Head Farm opposite the wind farm car park

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Confusing Raptor over Gorpley Res last Saturday

It glided around and circled slowly over us in the very calm conditions.

'Scuse the bits in the camera !

Here it is zoomed in on. Little in the way of markings visible - I only saw it had dark carpel patches.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Dr Mark Avery

This is last minute but could you publicise on your blog, please? Thanks. Carole.

Wednesday 14th October
Conflict in the Uplands:-
Mark Avery talks about his new book on the grouse moor industry
A Ban the Burn fundraiser event
Admission by Donation

7.30pm Start. Hebden Bridge Trades Club, Holme St. Hebden Bridge.
Inglorious makes the case for banning driven grouse shooting. The facts and arguments are presented fairly but the author, Mark Avery, states from the start why he has, after many years of soul-searching, come down in favour of an outright ban. There is too much illegal killing of wildlife, such as Buzzards, Golden Eagles, and, most egregiously of all, Hen Harriers; and, as a land use, it wrecks the ecology of the hills. However, grouse shooting is economically important, and it is a great British tradition. All of these, and other points of view, are given fair and detailed treatment and analysis – and the author talks to a range of people on different sides of the debate.
Dr Mark Avery is an author, blogger and environmental campaigner who used to work for the RSPB as Conservation Director. He is campaigning for a ban on driven grouse shooting on the grounds that it is environmentally damaging and economically worthless. His latest book, Inglorious, makes the case for banning driven grouse shooting and mentions Hebden Bridge, its floods and the nearby Walshaw Moor in some detail. You can sign his e-petition on the Westminster parliament website at

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Mark Avery Speaking in Hebden Bridge Tomorrow Night

Mark Avery is speaking tomorrow night at the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge on the grouse moor industry, the subject of his latest book.

Admission is free.

7.30pm start.

Monday, October 12, 2015


Fly Flats and Swales Moor

With Nick D this afternoon we called at Fly Flats - pretty cold up there today in the northerly!
5 Wheatears (3 at south end, 1 on the embankment and another along the top road)
Plenty Red Grouse about
Buzzard and Kestrels
2 Meadow Pipits
2 B H Gulls
c20 Mallard and 2 Canada's.

Out of our recording area (Oxenhope area) was another Wheatear at Paul Clough and Red-legged Partridge calling.

Swales Moor
This morning
c40 Meadow Pipits on the top along with c70 Goldfinch and c20 Linnets
7 Redwings >E
4 Chaff's went high >W
18 L B B gulls went >NW high
Planty usual corvids on the top.
Jays seem to be all over the place scattered about just now and this seems to be fairly normal at this time of year as they appear for the acorns. Wonder if the are immigrants or maybe as I suspect from northern parts of the UK (?)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Cock Hill

An afternoon walk between Cock Hill and Fly Flatts

- 9 golden plover
- 1 snipe
- 30+ red grouse
- 3 kestrel
- plus the dogs flushed a grey squirrel, which ran straight at us, and seeing the dogs climbed up my partners leg and onto her back. I suspect most of you heard her scream, wherever you were in Calderdale.

Redwings were passing over Jumble Hole this morning. Hard to tell how many. More piling over tonight.


This afternoon I checked the valley leading down from the Res'r towards the golf course looking for any stray warblers!
I guess BS would have been doing 'passerines alley' today (bushes on the edge of the reservoir' ) with the same thing in mind...... Looking for Y B Warblers of course ! So I tried lower down the valley.

In one rowan tree full of berries was..
1 male Blackcap
8 Blackbirds
1 Song Thrush

Not much else other than a Green Woodpecker calling nearby and a Nuthatch.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


       V formation of pink footed geese flying over coley towards Halifax
        at about 11.00 very high up.

Friday, October 09, 2015


DF took this picture at Ringstone Edge today, potential Rock Pipit.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Ringby Lane and Cold Edge and Swallow etc

Today along Ringby Lane and on the top
1 Snipe
1 Common Buzzard over Wheatley/Ovenden
c80 Meadow Pipits
20 Linnet
c80 Goldfinch
c15 Skylark
1 Redwing >W
c20 Chaffinch high >W

Cold Edge
Not a lot...(butterfly's c10 Red Admirals and c10 Small Tortoiseshells  and 5 Silver Y moths)
1 Little Grebe
c70 Canadas and 3 Greylags
1 Kestrel
c30 B H Gulls and 1 L B B Gull
 Cold Edge top dam
lower dam

Lee Mount this morning c20 Redwings dropped into the trees in Shroggs park first thing

Yesterday from Mike Henshaw - Thursday 8th October 1 Swallow flying S over Brighouse at 13:30  and at least one Little Egret is still around between J25 and also seen late last week on the lagoon at Cromwell Bottom

Fly Flatts

Not a lot doing late morning
1 Stonechat on the rocks at the far end of the road on the right just before the steep down-hill
3 Skylark > W
3 L B B Gulls
c30 B H Gulls moved through > N
Distant C Buzzard
c5 Kestrel
A few Red Grouse on the moor

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Jumble Hole

Late post from the weekend.
- 4 chiffchaff in scrub land below the house
- 2 female type blackcap there also

Also, with the help of High Firman lending me a detector I've managed to identify a large bat around the house for the last 2 weeks as a noctule.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Lee Mount

1 Swallow over >SE at 17:30 was nice to see now they have mostly moved off on migration. Still chance for a few more yet though.


This morning I checked to see if the Curlew Sandpiper was still there from the weekend but it had gone though I didn't have time to check Warland and Lighthazzles.
2 winter plumage Dunlin
3 Ravens high >S
c20 Meadow Pipits
2 Wheatear (looked like Greenlands)
Whiteholme Reservoir
Whiteholme Reservoir
No sign of any Redwings over Whiteholme today though there were reports, via BS, of a few over the Oxenhope watchpoint this morning including a flock of 21 and another of 85 as well as a few Song Thrushes.
We might hear Redwings tonight or the next few nights, calling as they fly over in the dark !? Always worth listening for at this time of year.

Fly Flatts

Yesterday afternoon with NCD. Rolling mist made viewing difficult
No waders
1 Tufted Duck
1 Wigeon on Dean Head Res'r
1 L B B Gull adult
1 Herring Gull type which eluded careful scrutiny being chased off by the LBBG and tricky in the mist it looked very long winged when flying with the lesser!
Several Red Grouse
2 Canadas and c 20 Mallard
A few Meadow Pipits
c2 Kestrels
And just as we were leaving a SEO put in a brief apppearance

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Curlew Sandpiper


1 Curlew Sandpiper
7 Wigeon
3 Teal


68 Wigeon
C60 Golden Plover
C350 Lapwings

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Green Withens

I called there early afternoon just to check in case the Black Redstart was still about - though I would have been surprised if it was still there. Loads of shoreline but no waders.
1 Dipper on the shoreline
A few Meadow Pipits about
2 Linnets
c4 Kestrels

Friday, October 02, 2015

Fly Flatts

This morning - flat calm conditions 16c hot sunshine - is this really Fly Flatts !!!?
1 Stonechat down the track at the far end (no Wheatears today)
1 Dipper singing in the outflow by the roundhouse
1 juvenile Peregrine chasing about and at on time stopped on the shoreline to drink and rest
1 Wigeon
2 Mallard
2 Lapwing
1 Curlew flyover high and calling >W
40+ Meadow Pipits around the site
1 distant Common Buzzard
c25 Black-headed Gulls
4 Kestrels
1 distant Raven
And how could I forget - a Wren at the far end on the walls with the Stonechat
A Grey Squirrel at the outflow as well was unusual and high up for this species

Cold Edge Road
c12 Swallows

Cold Edge


Early September  a male golden pheasant in next doors garden. Sorry forgot to post it in rush to pack

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Cromwell Bottom & Ringstone Edge

      Paid a visit to Cromwell Bottom today, which was a good
      move as there was plenty of bird life about and the members
      have done a good job with the viewing area-:

      8 Long Tailed Tit
      2 Nuthatch
      4 Siskin, which I was pleased to see
      4 Canada's
      5 Jay, 1 Kestrel, 1 Raven, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 male Bullfinch
      8 Goosander flyover, 1 GSW
      4 Mallard, 2 Moorhen, 2 Wren
      lots of Blue, Coal & Great Tits and Chaffinch.

     Now on to Ringstone in the bright sunshine but no rarities,
     100+ Lapwing
     20+ Canada's with 1 Greylag with them and lots of Gulls & Crows
     10 Meadow Pipit in fields opposite, also 2 Robin and 2 Dunnock
     1 Little Owl on Bull field wall.

     Garden had 20+ Goldfinch, 2 Coal Tit, 2 Great tit, 6 Green & Chafffinch
     4 Collared Dove, 10+ Starling and a 20+ Jackdaw flyover.

                            Sorry if there's too many pic's, won't do it again.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Whiteholme Res'r and Withens Clough Res'r

I gave Whiteholme a try this morning after PG reported the Morecambe Bay look-alike yesterday !!
Shame there were no ducks or waders..............
Pretty misty most of the time as well
5 Wheatears,
2 Twite (near the catchwater inflow)
50+ Meadow Pipits
A few Red Grouse
1 Kestrel
And most unusual for up there - a single Magpie and a Grey Squirrel on the shorelines big boulders.

Whiteholme Reservoir
Withens Clough
1 Green Woodpecker
1 Peregrine flyover towards Cragg Vale