Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Luddenden Dean

Cuckoo singing almost continuously this afternoon in the upper dean area.
No sign of any migrants other than a few Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff by Jerusalem Farm, a Blackcap and a few Swallows.
Pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers excavating a hole in a dead beech tree in Wade Wood.
2 Nuthatches
1 Grey Wagtail

Jumble Hole

A mixed flock of swallows and house martins were near the sewage works at Eastwood yesterday, where they often come to feed when it rains. Approximately 20 swallows and 45 house martins. No sand martin yet though.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


I still have a pair of Siskin appearing daily on my garden feeders at Highroad Well.

Does anyone think there is a chance they might be sticking around and breeding?

Fly Flats and Withens Head

Grim up at Fly Flats with hail storms chasing through from the north. Nothing moving other than 2 Herring Gulls >NW
2 Common Sandpipers
2 Oystercatchers
1 Redshank
1 Wheatear

Withens Head
2 Swallows
Lapwings, Curlew, Redshank and Golden Plover
2 Wheatears

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Green Withens

2 Common Sandpiper
1 Male Wheatear
3 Curlew
1 Pied Wag
Loads of Mp's
1 Dunlin

Last few weeks I've been watching a pair of Long-eared Owls, sadly just outside our area. Not many shots, most in poor light but still superb to watch.


3 Wheatear
3 Dunlin
2 Common Sandpiper
1 Little Ringed Plover

7 Wheatear
1 Ringed Plover
1 Dunlin

5 Wheatear
1 Redshank
2 Little Ringed Plover

5 Wheatear

Cold Edge,Ogden Golf Course

Plenty of wheaters at the top end of the golf course by the withens road,also my first calderdale little owl on the course


Had a brief look round a local valley hoping for Redstart and Ring Ouzel.  Failed but happy enough with Cuckoo and Wheatear instead.  Other birds - Swallows, 3 Buzzards, several Willow Warblers, Lapwing and Curlew.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Bradshaw etc.

A nice male Ring Ouzel for JL off Taylor Lane, Bradshaw today. Nice one to get photo's as well John.

Also Common Sandpipers starting to arrive (see BS's blog)
West Yorkshire Birding

Crow Hill Sowerby

Linnet pair
M Pheasant

Cold Edge/Withens Head

Male Ring Ouzel yesterday in the fields below The Withens but no sign of it today. I did get some distant shots in the drizzle yesterday but they were not good for posting !
Also from BS yesterday, another female Ring Ouzel was in Slaughter Gap - down the Pennine Way from Nolstar in Withens Road. See West Yorkshire Birding blog with some photos.

Withens - 10+ Wheatears in that area this morning, mostly males, looking in immaculate plumage.
Pair of Stonechats at Cold Edge. Plenty mipits and a few Swallows and Linnets
1 Little Grebe
1 Moorhen
2 Tufted Duck
 Female Stonechat
Male Stonechat

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Withens Head

2 Wheatears on the walls around the farm
2 Pied Wagtails
2 Swallows
1 Little Owl
+ usual species

Mixenden Res'r

Around 10 Sand Martins there late morning with 20+ Swallows but no House Martins while I was there.
2 Grey Wagtails
1 Nuthatch
Snipe heard drumming at the back of the plantation.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Swales Moor and Raggalds Flood

Swales - Ringby Lane late morning. Not a lot doing in the cold westerly.
1 Kestrel
1 Sparrowhawk
2 Skylark
1 Linnet
4 Stock Doves
11 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls + loads of corvids but no hirundines

Raggalds Flood - it's just a field pond at the top of Bradshaw - drying out quickly
A call from BS late afternoon - just had time to head up there for the rewards of migrant waders..(thanks Bri)
2 Little Ringed Plover
2 Redshank
2 Wheatear
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Pied Wagtail

Ludd ft to Mythomroyd

Had a walk on the cycle way yesterday afternoon. Pair of Blackcaps, 1 Willow Warbler. Only one active nest at the heronry at Ludd Ft with parents feeding two chicks.

I was at Scammonden on Monday - lots of Willow Warblers & Goldfinches, 1 Heron, 1 female Roe Deer

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Luddenden Dean

Not a great deal about this afternoon in the dean though it was very enjoyable in the sunshine out of that pretty cool NE wind.
1 Green Woodpecker heard
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
2 Sparrowhawks and 1 Kestrel distant
A few Willow Warblers and a Blackcap singing at Saltonstall
Just 2 Swallows also at Saltonstall
1 Linnet though there were plenty Goldfinch and Chaffinch with 2 Greenfinch and Blue, Great and Coal Tits in the woodland
2 Skylarks and a few Meadow Pipits on the top

These two were giving me the 'eye ball' treatment this afternoon
 Little Owls

Lee Mount

Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers today - though the Green Woodpecker was only heard in Shroggs Park but it was seen in the park woodland late morning. (JS)
Also in the garden today 2 Nuthatch, 1 male Blackcap and 2 Bullfinch + the usual spp.
Female Great Spotted Woodpecker
(through the glazing)

Roils Head Redstart

Back at Roils Head today, the male Redstart is still present in the middle of Roils Head near the house. Its favouring the area where the track forks between the Larches in the garden and the small clump of pines. It often feeds on the track out in the open. Managed to get some better pics today with the Lumix, will put some more up on heavybirder blog later if any good.


Res'r and plantation late morning
1 Moorhen
1 Cormorant
21 Canadas
2 Redshank
No Gulls
No hirundines - think the cold NE wind has moved them on to a more sheltered location
Plantation was very quiet with just Chaffinch's, Mistle and Song Thrush and Blue and Great Tits.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Roils Head

Thanks to HeavyBirder for the previous posts,prompted me to go up to Roils Head looking for the redstart. Never been up before,really glad i did,good hour produced loads of birds. will definatley be heading back. Found the redstart in the tree line at the far mount tabor end.very flighty but managed to get a few photos.Also my ongoing quest to get a good goldcrest photo got a little closer,can never manage to find one that stays still.managed an impressive back shot today!

Birds seen included

pied wagtail
meadow pipit

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Roils Head Redstart

Returned to Roils Head today and was surprised to find the cracking male Redstart still present for its third day. Managed a few very poor record shots in dreadful conditions. The bird was in the garden of the big house in the centre of Roils Head, its possible it will be still there tomorrow with luck. Also new in a very dull Chiffchaff.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Walshaw Dean

Another White Wagtail yesterday this one on lower Walshaw Res. A lot of Pied Wagtails about up there as well

Friday, April 14, 2017

Roils Head Redstarts

Yesterday had my earliest Redstart at Roils Head, a female briefly. Returned today to find a superb male in a different area (sorry no photos). Also today a male Wheatear, a Swallow and 3 Willow Warblers.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


A quick look there late afternoon in a blustery >NW wind
1 Wheatear on the embankment wall
1 Great Crested Grebe
1 Swallow
18 Canada Geese
1 Willow Warbler singing near the cottage

Fly Flats etc

Dreadful weather up on the top with driving rain, mist and a blustery F5 to 6 westerly so headed back to the relative shelter of Withens Head. !
2 Oystercatchers
2 Golden Plover
2 fantastic looking male Wheatears opposite the wind farm car park
A few Meadow Pipits, Lapwings and Curlew
8 Golden Plover near Nolstar
Then gave it up as bad job and hope it clears up a bit later on.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Mixenden area and other news

3 Swallows feeding over the Reservoir this afternoon. Not a lot else about, or perhaps it's been keeping down in the cold westerly
1 Little Owl
A few Meadow Pipits
2 Grey Wagtails
1 Chiffchaff

Swallow over Mytholmroyd this morning.
A very early Male Pied Flycatcher appeared at one location yesterday. Keeping a close eye on your local patch, as in this instance, can occasionally turn up those special moments when you least expect them.

Camera equipment

Is anyone selling any decent bird photography equipment? Nothing on a professional level, but the kit I've got is outdated and even when I get pretty close to birds in good light, the results are not a patch on the photos that some of you lot seems to be able to achieve!

Any thoughts welcome.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Swales Moor

Ploughcroft - opposite the ski-slope, the garden feeders were 'buzzing'.
1 Brambling with c 20 Chaffs and similar number of Goldfinch and a few Greenfinch with them.

Ringby Lane
1 Skylark
c20 Meadow Pipits on the top
1 Raven >N chased off by Carrion Crows
Big gulls moving through >NW - great to see them close by drifting along the ridge -  2 Great Black-backed Gulls, c15 Herring Gulls and 20+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls

Last few days

I heard this year's first willow warbler at Jumble Hole on Friday - now there's stacks of them! A very confiding blackcap is still in and around the garden.
Swallows have arrived at Eastwood sewage works.
A woodcock has been roding at Jumble Hole the past few nights.

Soil Hill

Just a couple of sightings from the last few days up on Soil Hill.
Yesterday had a single RAVEN fly N mid afternoon. A pair of OYSTERCATCHER were feeding on the field at the bottom of the hill.
Today had a WILLOW WARBLER singing from first light in the small plantation at the top of the hill, just at the base of the track up to the mast. Also had a patch tick in the form of a drake TUFTED DUCK which circled the summit with a flock of Mallard. A SWALLOW was flying around the hill this pm, with another (Or the same) flying around Bradshaw Lane.
No sign of the Black Redstart today, which would have made for a nice 2 pointer for my patchwork challenge effort for the hill.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Mytholmroyd Saturday AM

Mytholmroyd Scout area

2 siskin m & f
2 nuthach
7 chiffchaff
1 green w pecker heard
1 willow warbler
1 gs w pecker m seen
1 grey heron

1 small tortoiseshell


4 grey wagtail
1 pied wagtail
4 chiffchaff
2 treecreepers
3 nuthatch
1 swallow
4 goldcrest
1 kestrel
1 grey heron
1 green woodpecker
1 gs woodpecker
1 moorhen

2 small tortoiseshell

Black Redstart at Buckstones

Managed a very heavy cropped record shot of the Black Redstart at Buckstones this morning. Surprised, thought  I'd missed it in frame, got quite a few shots of empty rocks, it wouldn't keep still!

Black Redstarts etc

Unprecedented for 3 individuals to be located locally today. Hope some-one got some pictures. Try Brians (West Yorkshire Birding) blog later this evening, he might have some (??)
1 from Buckstones this morning (PD)
1 from Walshaw Dean this afternoon (MH)
1 from Soil Hill early evening (BS and JL)

They might still be about tomorrow or maybe some others around as well.....

1 Swallow for me at Scammonden this morning and a Willow Warbler singing at Ringstone and that was about it for me today other than checking a few Rookeries and Heronries.

Yesterdays Osprey

Yesterdays Osprey that flew north at Lower Gorple at 18.55PM NCD, DF. Pics by DF.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Cold Edge and Withens Head

Cold Edge
3 Barnacle Geese back there today with the Canada's, including the ringed bird which BS is still awaiting information on the birds origin.
2 Tufted Duck
1 Little Grebe
2 Moorhen
2 Redshank headed high >E
+ other usual spp..

Withens Head
3 Wheatears
1 Kestrel
1 Stonechat
1 Lesser Redpoll feeding on the ground in a with a flock of Meadow Pipits was unusual, though it did keep heading back into the tree belt then coming back again to feed in the field !

Wednesday, April 05, 2017


Half a dozen or so swallows over the sewage works in Mytholmroyd for most of the day today. None yet at Eastwood.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Ringstone Res'r

A few Swallows (6+) about feeding over the water this morning (AT)

Cold Edge and Withens Head

This morning with JS and AT doing the rounds starting off in drizzly mist which took a while to clear.
1 Willow Warbler singing in the trees just below the lower dam on the way down
3 Wheatears (2 at Withens Head and 1 near Haigh Cote) Sorry you missed them Alan !
1 Little Grebe
2 Goosander (AT)
Plenty Snipe drumming and 'chipping'
1 Cormorant high >W
22 Golden Plover high over the moor >NW
A good few mipits about and 2 Skylarks
1 Weasel


During the breeding season , Calderdale birdwatchers  would  prefer if post about birds of prey /owls are photos only and no site details at all. I remember not so many years ago Peregrine  and Buzzards etc were very rare and did not breed in Calderdale . there are still many people who would do harm to these residents of Calderdale....Thanks for your co-operation

Upland site

Up to the reservoir again 6pm-7.45

Hoping to spot some raptors,have previously had SEO and Merlin at this site. No luck though apart from 2 kestrels.

Not much on the moors apart from meadow pipits,reservoir now has 2 pairs of goldeneye

Birds seen

pied wagtail
grey wagtail
meadow pipit
canada goose

Monday, April 03, 2017

Jumble Hole

A blackcap was singing in the garden for an hour or so first thing this morning.


Still at least 2 Crossbills in the Plantation at Walshaw Dean yesterday.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Wainstalls Little Owl

Not the usual ones I see at Tabor but this one was on a wall near Wainstalls.

Ogden Garden

A lesser redpoll on a feeder this morning and a male reed bunting on the garden wall yesterday afternoon.


Willow Valley Golf Club 

Two Willow Warblers


Two Sand Martins

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Withens Head and top end of Cold Edge

Late morning with the drizzle coming in turning to heavy rain.
5 stonking male Wheatear between the top dam and Withens Head feeding on the mole hills.
Plenty Blackbirds about but no Ring Ouzels (one female yesterday on Soil Hill - see BS's blog West Yorkshire Birding)
1 Little Owl
1 male Stonechat
Female Sparrowhawk
12 Goosander on the top dam
Plenty Snipe about 'drumming' and 'chipping'
+ other usual spp.
Distant male Wheatear - what a belter this was - just a shame it was 100m away in pouring rain !

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Withens Clough

Incredibly foggy start to the walk,visibility down to 100m max.cleared up later though and managed to see a few good birds.Plantation was buzzing with small birds,couldnt work out what they all were though as light was terrible. Anybody care to ID these for me? where in a flock of at least 50.

top bird is reddish and the one lower and to the left is green. maybe redpoll??

Plantation looks like a good spot,ill probably go back later in the week when the skies are clearer. moors up by stoodley pike were full of meadow pipits and the reservoir edge produced a pair of stonchat and a reed bunting. the water itself had a pair of goldeneye and a mallard.

Birds seen

meadow pipit
reed bunting
canada goose
pied wagtail

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Jumble Hole

3 buzzards around for the past few days. Very vocal, and ranging widely.
Siskins have re-appeared on the feeders, and the males are in full song. Redpoll appear to have moved on.

Withens Head

Late afternoon
3 male Wheatears on the farmland walls opposite the wind-farm car park area
6+ Snipe drumming all at the same time


Taylor Lane area in the fields this afternoon
200+ Fieldfare
c300 Starlings

Fly Flats and Withens Head etc

Fogged off this morning with heavy drizzle, not good. ! Perhaps it will clear later ??
Fly Flats
1 Red-legged Partridge and not much else other than a few Meadow Pipits

Withens Head
1 Pied Wagtail
3 Linnets
1 Fieldfare

Castle Carr Road
1 Kestrel
1 Little Owl

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


c60 at Crow Hill, Sowerby this afternoon

Monday, March 27, 2017

Sowerby Bridge to Mytholroyd

Few hours in the woods and fields alongside the river and railway. Plenty of birdsong in the woods,multiple chiffchaffs singing (thanks David for the ID video). Thrush and Goldfinch everywhere. Highlights included a buzzard very low over Luddenden Foot and two Kestrels mating on a telegraph tower by Brearley. Pleasant suprise on the way home when 3 Jay and 3 Bullfinch appeared in neighbouring gardens on Hollins Lane.

Birds seen

long tailed tit
2 goosander on the Calder at Sowerby Bridge
grey wagtail

and bizzarely a female peacock at a farm close to mytholmroyd/scout road

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Calder Valley

Yesterday Mytholmroyd PM

1 Buzzard over
1 Raven over
5 chiffchaff
1 willow warbler by station
c100 goldfinch by Redacre sewage works
1 grey wagtail
1 small tortoiseshell


M'royd am
1  willow warbler
6 chiffchaff
1 sparrowhawk
1 gs woodpecker drumming
1 curlew over

Hebden Bridge & back pm

7 chiffchaff
2 willow warblers
3 grey wagtail
1 dipper
2 raven

Saturday, March 25, 2017

spring is back!

first day out birding for a while.making the most of the sunshine. Along Hollins Lane, Sowerby Bridge then back along the canal. is this a chiffchaff or willow warbler??

pretty new to the area and birding so any help with id or good spots much appreciated.
plenty of birds along my usual route


Friday, March 24, 2017


Scout Bottom area.

Two chiffchaffs singing c5.30pm.

Copy Nook Lane/Crow Hill

Still some Fieldfare in flock with Starlings
6 Lapwing
2 Curlew
Skylark singing up against the blue sky
Usual corvids
1 lovely Buck Roe Deer

Lee Dam and Longfield Dam

At Lee Dam:
2M 6F Goosander on main dam.
2M 1F Tufted Duck on main dam and 1M1F on lower dam.
6 Canada Goose.
Nothing noteworthy heard singing, Robin and Goldfinch most vocal.

At Longfield Dam:
1M1F Goldeneye.
4 Lapwing.
7 Canada Goose.
2 Greylag Goose
c20 Starling.
1 Pied Wagtail.
Meadow Pipit heard calling.
Few Carrion Crow around fields.
Magpie nestbuiling in tree by Shepherd's Rest.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Lee Mount + other news today

This morning I went out to top the feeders up at 08:05 and heard Whooper Swans calling! Looked up and  4 went right over the house in the  direction, I thought, of Ogden or Mixenden though  4 were at Cold Edge lower dam mid morning(AT and DP) so I guess they were the same ones.

Also 3 Barnacle Geese now reported from Cold Edge this morning along with a good showing of Golden Plover at and around Fly Flats and up to 7 Wheatears also from there as well as Stonechat (BS)
Pair of Goosander at Dean Head above Scammonden (PD)
Buzzard over Claremount late afternoon >SE (DaveB)
2 Shelduck and  2 Ringed Plover also , from Whiteholme Reservoir this morning (DF)
2 Wheatear near Scammonden on Tues and Wed (PD)

Golden Plover - Mount Tabor

I know there have been some much more impressive counts today but 13 Golden Plover left the fields at Mount Tabor and flew off calling towards Norton Tower at 6.30 ish.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sparrow hawk today the others over the weekend (garden)

Decided to get friendly with my camera this weekend, not picked it up for a while.
also had Siskin and Greenfinch along with the normal garden birds.