Sunday, October 30, 2016


Flock of 17+ Common Crossbills at Walshaw Dean Plantation today. Record shots digi scoped in poor conditions, note one of the males is sporting 2 wing bars, first time Ive seen this in Common.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Bradley Hall Farm area

Male Mandarin with a pair of Mallards on the river by the Corn Mill pub.
Male Goosander downstream at Colnebridge.
Redwings 'all over' in the bushes /trees around Bradley Hall.
No sign of Yellowhammers for a while down there.

Cold Edge and Ogden

Cold Edge Dams, 2 Barnacle Geese, 1 Goldeneye, 1 Teal, 1 Tufted Duck, 2 Buzzards and a Raven. Not much doing at Ogden just a Cormorant, Herring Gull and a few Lessers.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Driven Grouse shooting - Calderdale RSG submission to Parliamentary debate.

Please see the link below to read the excellent submission to the parliamentary debate on banning driven grouse shooting submitted by CRSG chair Steve Downing.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Ogden Garden

This Sparrowhawk was photographed through the window watching
one of our bird feeders.We do not think it caught anything.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Long-tailed Duck

Managed to get a record shot of the Long-tailed Duck this pm. Very difficult to digiscope because the bird was playing at submarines all day only spending a few seconds on the surface. DF also had 2 more Whooper Swans over Whiteholme and a Ringed Plover and Dunlin at Warland. A birder we met also had 2 Golden Eyes on Whiteholme.

Blackstone Edge Res'r...etc

Long-tailed Duck still there at 07:35 as reported on BirdGuides - no updates from then until confirmed still there at 14:10 and showing well. (GS and AH). Still there 17:30 (CJB)

Anyone got any photos of the 'duck' to post - even if they are just record shots ?

Also from Ringstone Res'r earlier today - 2 Whooper Swans at 11:20 (DF)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

20th Oct

A few birds noted on the move in the Pellon area today. A Buzzard circled over Rye Lane then moved off east, 2 Goosanders flew north and a Sparrowhawk south at Roils Head and a Herring Gull flew north at Moor End Road. Sadly this Song Thrush had just been killed by a car, I picked it up and it was still warm, shame.

Blackstone Edge Res'r

Long-tailed Duck fem/imma there still at 13:40 from Pete G - a great find !
Near Cragg Road end of reservoir.
Still there, out in the middle at 14:30 but too distant for photo in the 'choppy' conditions.

Birds on the move !

80 Pink-footed Geese yesterday over Manor Heath at around 09:30 >E (WG)

c225 'pinks' over Withens Clough, Cragg Vale >ENE at 10:30 (PG) - later reported over Norwood Green area soon after at about 10:55 (DB)
24 Whooper Swans over Oxenhope watch-point >SW (HC via BS) around 11:00 towards Fly Flats area. No sign of them at Fly Flats or Mixenden early afternoon.
2 Whooper Swans over Ogden >SW at 11:12 (CS)
1 Barnacle Goose with Canada's at Cold Edge (PJWS)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Wildlife welcome in Halifax Town Centre

We were informed at a meeting today that the swift boxes we were promised to accommodate them in Halifax's New Central Library have been built into the top roof-edge.

 Also bat boxes in the refurbished Piece Hall. 

Thanks to CMBC managers Carole Knowles, Andrew Pitts and David Garner for taking up my suggestion for the swifts, an idea that came from Leeds Council via Dave Sutcliffe.

Club Lane, Ovenden

From Andy H. Possible Yellow-browned Warbler calling but not seen this morning first light in the graveyard at the rear of Providence Church. Opposite Beechwood Medical Centre in Keighley Road.

I went to check and had a good half hour but I ran out of time - not a massive area but it has potential - plenty tits etc and Redwings over but no warblers found !
Thanks for the call Andy - though they can quickly move on. !?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Sunny Vale

6 Teal on the lake
6 Little Grebes, with two juvs being fed by an adult
10 Moorhens
2 Coot
15 Mallards
Grey Heron
Mistle Thrush
Buzzard overhead towards Southowram

Stern Mill Weir, Copley

From yesterday afternoon-
2 Dippers
2 Grey Wagtails
1 Kingfisher
2 Grey Heron flew through together

Warley Moor

Snow Bunting - still in summer-ish plumage -yesterday afternoon on Warley Moor between Castle Carr Road (top lodge) and Slade. Photos seen from D and J W

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Warley Moor

Managed to find the Black Redstart again this afternoon with Bri. The bird was located at 'Slade' on the surrounding walls and gave us a bit of a run-around. Tricky to get a decent shot of - this below was the best I could do but the 3 Wheatears it was generally with, were just a bit more obliging. At least one of them was probably a Greenland bird. We left them on the walls opposite the wind-farm car park at Moorlands Farm area around 16:15.
Bad luck for Steve B who missed out on it earlier.
If anyone goes for it then try to locate the Wheatears first then check closely for the 'little smoky looking one with the red tail' flitting about with them !!
A few mipits about as well as some Red Grouse.
See Brian's blog for more photo's of the bird - link is West Yorkshire Birding. Nice one Bri.

 Black Redstart

Friday, October 14, 2016

Fly Flats and Withens Head

Blustery and showery afternoon with mist on and off in between just one or two bright spells.
Fly Flats
21 Cananda Geese
28+ Mallard
20+ Meadow Pipits and a single Skylark with them feeding in the grassland
1 Lapwing on the mud
1 B H Gull >N
Red Grouse vocal

Withens Head
I tried at Slade, checking the piles of rubble and stones for yesterdays Black Redstart and 2 Wheatears. No luck there at all after nearly an hour so on leaving I checked the walls at Withens Head Farm (opposite the wind-farm car park) viewing from the road with binoculars and scope. Just as the weather improved I spotted a bird flitting about on a wall near the farm with a single Wheatear and there it was again- the Black Redstart. Too distant for a any photos but I got it through the scope pretty well. Don't think it's an adult male - maybe a juvenile male (?) but need better views to confirm.
I went away well pleased with the afternoons outcome !

Hope someone else can get it before it moves on - a good idea to try find the Wheatear/s with whom it seems to associate though it is pretty elusive and more or less the same colour as the dry stone walls (except for its tail) !

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Warley Moor

Black Redstart with 2 Wheatears on the piles of stones at Slade. The farm just after the wind farm car park at Ovenden Moor but elusive this aft till at least 3pm.
A scope is a big help !
Also just out our our recording area, another Black Red near Oxenhope this morning.

Nothing to report today on yesterday's Hoopoe above Cottonstones

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


A video of the bird we saw today.

Our Garden

As Dave said we had a hoopoe outside the kitchen window.  First spotted through the washing on the line!  It fed up and down on the short grass on the track for about 20 mins. or so.  Pics taken through dirty windows so not very good but better than nothing.


Around 12 noon I got  a phone call from Jan G - Hoopoe near Cottonstones (above Mill Bank) -what a find.!     Alerted the troops.... and got up there with DF and NR soon after 1 pm.
Jan and Alan showed us the photos taken of the bird, late morning, just outside their house.!!

Despite  a search this afternoon also with NCD and AT et al, we could not relocate the bird. It may well be around as we did meet another lady who had seen the bird on and off during the last week or so.

Hopefully Jan will be able to post some photos later.
Thanks for the phone call Jan - what a great find ! A rare bird for Calderdale.


First thing. A bright start to the day with clear, dry weather with the North Easterly still going strong.
Redwings piling over up until around 09:30 in flocks of 100+ with up to 900 or so. Though they came over high, most dropped straight into the plantation at the top end and started stripping the Rowan berries. We tracked them closer but they were very flighty and wary and hard to get close to but they were a fantastic sight to see.

Alongside the Redwing  were a few Blackbirds and Song Thrushes and with them were Goldfinches, 1 Lesser Redpoll, Siskin heard, a good number of Chaffinch and 3 Brambling feeding in the top of Silver Birch (though there were probably a few more Brambling we weren't able to locate in the canopy). Also a few Jays though couldn't find any warblers but they were probably there somewhere !
No Fieldfares found though I hear they have been arriving at inland sites.
1 Cormorant
7 Wigeon arrived on the reservoir as we were about to head home.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Fly Flats

This afternoon - plenty drizzle but it was clear for a while !
4 Tufted Duck
38 Mallard
1 Grey Heron

Withens Head (opposite the wind-farm car park)
1 Little Owl
3 Wheatears
20+ Meadow Pipits

Also see West Yorkshire Birding blog for BS's report on the Bramblings at Ogden - 17 still there this afternoon.

Monday, October 10, 2016

10th October

A rare visit to Ogden produced 10 Goldcrests and a Cormorant + the usual gulls. On to Roils Head where a Wheatear was present along side a pair of Stonechats.

Fly Flats etc

Went up there to try for yesterday's possible Ring Ouzel, without success.
2 Wheatear there - along the road between the wind farm car park and the reservoir - just past Slade.
2 distant Raven
15+ Grey Partridge including juveniles
2 Canada Geese
Just 1 Meadow Pipit !
Red Grouse

Cold Edge
1 Cormorant
2 B H gull
10 Canada Geese
11 Mallard

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Fly Flats and Withens Head

An hour or so up there this afternoon - a Blackbird type - almost certainly a Ring Ouzel - disturbed by a dog from the moorland as I drove along. It flew away from me along the road and I only got a less than 100% view through the 'bins' and through the windscreen - it looked to have pale panels on the wings but I lost it as it went around towards 'The Nab'. Despite a search among the piles of rocks and the small quarries up there I couldn't relocate it. One that got away unfortunately - as I just didn't get enough to be sure to confirm the identification.

8 Greylag Geese on the reservoir along with 11 Mallard.
Lots of mipits - maybe 100+ blogging in fields along the top road, with another 80+ or so near Withens Head opposite the wind-farm car park.

Edge Lane, Colden to Lower Gorple

An afternoon walk produced the following:


- a marsh harrier flew south along the ridge of what I think is called Heptonstall Moor, putting up clouds of meadow pipits as it flew low over the moorland.
- 2 reed bunting
- 60+ redwing
- 3 red grouse
- 2 goldcrest
- 2 kestrel

- common buzzard gave great view, and was harassed by a kestrel
- 2 reed bunting
- a flock of 15 siskin
- 7 lapwing on the shoreline
- raven (h)
- this red grouse in photo below. It was basically stuck in a boggy ditch, and allowed me to pick it up. I examined it, and although it looked a bit ruffled, there was no wounds or punctures, so I placed it down further onto the moor. I suspect a walkers dog had had hold of it

Ogden Garden

A male brambling with the chaffinches yesterday afternoon. A flock of redwings landed on a tree this morning.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Other news

From BS - 12 Brambling with Chaffinches at Ogden water yesterday - see Brian's blog -West Yorkshire Birding

From NK 1 - Jack Snipe on Soil hill this morning and from AC - a group of 45 small Geese heading >E this morning around 09:45 - (possible Brent's ?? maybe!)

Swales Moor - Ringby Lane

Vis mig first thing this morning till 09:30
3 Swallows >NE
and the rest were mainly >W and >SW including...
1 Lapwing very high
2 Snipe
289 Redwing
3 Blackbirds
1 Song Thrush
3 Mistle Thrush
13 Chaffinch
1 Goldfinch
+ 18 other unidentified finch sp.
+ a few others with 12 Long-tailed Tits opposite the ski-slope

Friday, October 07, 2016

Wheatley Valley

Spent an hour or so this morning on the former landfill site checking the scrub areas and tree belts. Drizzle did not make viewing very easy but I still managed  a few species
8+ Bullfinch feeding in Silver Birch
1 Chiff-chaff
2+ Goldcrest
Blue, Great and Coal Tits etc..
8+ Jays collecting and burying acorns in the grassy areas and making a racket !
2 Song Thrush
3 Blackbirds
1 Grey Wagtail and one alba Wagtail flyovers >SE

Tuesday, October 04, 2016


From last night (3rd October) - still at least 2 pairs of House Martins near Silk Mill Chase (but not sure where the nest site is) - wonder if they are still feeding young there (?)

Anyone else still getting any House Martins ?

Hunter Hill

Very misty first thing so slightly delayed for vis mig from the watch-point. Gradual improvement as the mist cleared but I suspect birds were moving over quite high and out of range. Most birds >S or SW to >W unless stated otherwise
125 Redwings and another 23 >N
1 Song Thrush
11 Mistle Thrush
1 Redshank with a flock of 30 Redwings was unusual
11 Teal
5 Swallows
2 Jay
1 Peregrine
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Kestrel
24 Lapwings
23 Meadow Pipits
1 Collared Dove >NE
+ a few other 'bits and pieces'

Also nearby
2 Little Owls
23 Canada Geese
1 Stock Dove

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Walshaw Dean

3 Brambling feeding with Siskin in the wood at Walshaw this afternoon - also 30 Redwing there - thanks to  Martyn H

Lee Mount

This morning first thing
1 Green Woodpecker calling in Shroggs Park
1 Song Thrush >S

Luddenden Dean and Castle Carr Road

More or less the same route as yesterday afternoon with different birds....
5 Stonechats together on Castle Carr Road c200m after Bridge Terrace
5 Little Owls in different areas
1 Dipper in the stream by the 'catty'
15 Starlings (wow)!!
No sign of yesterdays 5 Chiff-chaffs or the tit flock


Redwing flocks reported this morning from nearby at Oxenhope just out of our recording area. HC via BS

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Luddenden Dean

This afternoon - some interesting 'stuff' especially finding 5 Chiff-chaff's with at least 3 at the bottom of the hill just before the 'catty' pub and another 2 in the copse near Mr Schofield's farm. I did wonder if they had turned up after that wind turned easterly this afternoon and I was on the prowl for anything else interesting with them - but just found L T Tits, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Goldcrests and Bullfinch with them. Might give the same spots a try tomorrow depending on the weather (and time)!.

9 Mistle Thrushes ( after a lean spell with them ) - maybe incomers from the continent as I heard of a few Redwings inland as well in the last day or two at migration watch-points including Oxenhope and Winter Hill.
1 Green Woodpecker also heard in the dean
3 Little Owls in the usual spots

Jumble Hole

Plenty of siskins about today. Hard to count as they were back & forth, but a couple of dozen. 2 ravens over the house. 4 chiff chaffs still about. Tonight, the leisler's bat re-appeared after a long break.

Bird report

The 2015 bird report is now also available at Flying Saucers, Hebden Bridge, price £5. Last night 21 Pinkies flew west at Walshaw Dean, nothing much else but a Peregrine and Buzzard.


Where do all the Blackbirds go at this time of year?

I have a lot in the garden during Spring & Summer when they are feeding young and in the Winter when they are moving about looking for food but at this time of year I rarely seen any in my garden.  What happens to them?  I assume they are still about but I dont see them as there is a lot of their natural food available and they dont need to visit the gardens for the seed I put down?