Friday, September 22, 2017

Stodfold area

Had an hour up there this morning (between Mixenden Reservoir and Ogden) also nice to meet up with NK and have a chat as we walked round.
2 Grey Partridge
1 Green Woodpecker
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
2 Swallows >NW
30+ Goldfinch
c12 Linnets
2 Sparrowhawks
2 Kestrels
2 Jays
1 Pied Wagtail
+ a few other local species
Still a good show of Red Admirals (15+) up there along with 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 4 Speckled Woods and a single Small Copper

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Fly Flats and Withens Head

Had an hour up there late morning but the drizzle was pretty intense so didn't find much at all.
1 Wheatear at Withens Head opposite the former wind farm car park was disturbed by  a Grey Squirrel running the wall tops.
A good number of Meadow Pipits around the fields near the former Withens Pub area.

21st Sept

Last few days, Roils Head had 2 Stonechats and a nice Wheatear, yesterday the Wigeon was still at Ringstone Edge.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Pink-footed Geese....

Great sprinting from the Oxenhope (HC) and Queensbury (BS) relay team this morning with a call of 'pinkies'on their way around 08:45 . Looked like Concorde resurrected !!!
I make it 75 from a quick count I just got out in time to hear them right over the house - brill teamwork, thanks.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Jumble Hole

A few bits whilst out in the garden

- 2 buzzards around all day
- 2 chiffchaff in the garden
- green and great spotted woodpecker over
- nuthatch
- herring gull over, calling
- sparrowhawk being mobbed by swallows and house martins

Friday, September 15, 2017

Yesterdays Bairds Sand

DF took these last night but didn't think they were any good ! still there the best Ive seen so on they go.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Baird's Sandpiper re-located

Back up to Whiteholme this PM where DF relocated the Baird's Sand after it had gone missing for 3 hours, sadly most of the twitchers had gone home. The bird showed much better today and was so obviously a Baird's Sand viewed in good light. Managed a few half decent phone scoped shots. DF and AH will have much better ones so come on guys get them posted.

Baird's Sandpiper update.

Arrived at Whiteholme this morning at 7.50 and was surprised to see no cars. The long walk to the reservoir produced 3/4 Wheatear , 30 meadow pipits , 3 Pied Wagtail and a skien of 32 Pink Footed Geese. arriving at the res not a single birder looking. After an hour not a single wader had been  seen , Alan Nuttal turned up and we both gave the area a good scoping , but nothing , we then headed for the old twite feeding station to see if was in that corner....nothing. With now nearly 2 hours looking it was looking like the bird had moved on . Another scope of the mud banks , and in the far northern corner a small dot was picked up, I pointed it out to Alan ,,,he immediatley said we are going to have to walk all the way back round.
  Finally we made it to the back corner and there it was a stunning Baird's Sandpiper in all its glory with brilliant autumn sunshine picking out the birds beautiful plumage. It called twice 'prrrrt ' very similar to Dunlin  ,  white flanks , straight black bill, black legs with a slight greenish tinge in the sunlight, long primary projection , dark rump , scaly above with a slightly buffish   breast and head with the pale indistinct pale area between the eye and bill. Hope everyone gets to see it and well done to NCD and DFranz for there hard work in finding it ...Cheers all..hope there are some good pics from Allan

Baird's Sandpiper ??????

Its well past mid night and Ive had a few too many drinks but is this a Baird's Sandpiper. Me and DF found it at Whiteholme tonight in fading light. Im being very cautious, me and MH had one rejected in 1990 by BBRC. Sorry about poor quality of video shots. The primarie projections look very long a good sign for Bairds and White Rumped, only it didn't have a white rump. If people go tomorrow please don't flush it but try for some photos.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


7 Pintails were a nice find at Ringstone Edge tonight, also drake Wigeon there.

Friday, September 08, 2017


Checked the site again this morning following the heavy overnight downpours. Unusually quiet with just a solitary Goldcrest found and a female Goosander briefly and which soon headed off in the direction of Thornton Moor.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Beware of developments

The Local Development Plan for Calderdale could still have a serious impact on birding sites in our area.
The biggest housing site proposed is on the green fields between Jay House Lane and Wellholme Park, Brighouse (2000 houses).
The Woodhouse area of farmland next to Bradley Woods is also targeted.
As if our farmland and woodland species didn't have a tough enough time already !

Lots of other sites can be found either on the following website - plan   or in the local libraries.
Objections can be made online (after registering) or on proforma sheets in the library.
Some other areas that I spotted include -
Land near Ovenden Wood Road.
Hays Lane Mixenden.
School Lane Bradshaw (a big site).
Near West End Golf Club.
Saddleworth Road Greetland.
Exley Lane Elland.
Freeman's Wood Brighouse.
Shelf - lots of sites.
Westercroft Lane Northowram.
It's quite a tedious job working through the details, and objections have to be in by the end of the month.
Good Luck !

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Stodfold - between Mixenden reservoir and Ogden golf course.

Late morning
Singles of....
Whinchat, Stonechat, Green Woodpecker and Spotted Flycatcher about in that area today.
Plenty Meadow Pipits, Swallows and 30+ House Martins as well as 20+ Pied Wagtails and a single Grey Wagtail.
40+ Linnets with a few Goldfinch
1 Kestrel

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Ogden, Mixenden and Fly Flats

Did the rounds in the pouring rain looking for Terns with the possibility of them coming down on local reservoirs in the downpours. Ogden, Mixenden and Fly Flats. Nothing doing, just 5 Goosander on Mixenden.

A good number of BH Gulls at Ogden along with a few Common Gulls and 25+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls but nothing else of note.
Not a sign of any Wheatears at Fly Flats .... hiding away somewhere in the torrential rain !

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Green withens

Spent a couple of hours from dawn

A juv yellow wagtail was my 3rd for the site
2 wheatears on the eastern bank
Reed bunting 1
Wren 2
Kestrel a female hunting
5 red grouse
3 mallards
2 c crows
1 lbb gull flew west
1 snipe in the channel
1 chiffchaff


Masses of House Martins over the woodland above Bowers Mill down Branch Road this afternoon. How hard is it to count frantically feeding House Martins ! Maybe 200+ with very few Swallows in among them. A great spectacle. They seemed quite unperturbed by a passing Common Buzzard.

It also looks like the pond there is being de-silted, maybe flood alleviation measures, which in the long run will surely benefit the pond and wildlife rather than allow the silt to gradually destroy the aquatic life.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Pepper Hill

This morning around the hillside overlooking Claremount on one side and Shibden Valley on the other.
2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers >SW
1 Green Woodpecker
2 Wheatears - unusual to see one of them perched on the top of a house roof opposite the ski slope.
Plenty of Swallows about and 30+ House Martins over Shibden Head.
2 Mistle Thrush >SW
2 Sparrowhawk
2 Kestrels
2 Common Buzzards distant

Friday, September 01, 2017

Ripponden to Ringstone

1  Sparrowhawk chasing Blue Tit
8 Willow Warbler
200+ Lapwing
1 Green Woodpecker
20 Goldfinch
21 Starlings
15 Pied Wagtail
4 Cormorant
Plenty of Swallows
Plus a good number of Butterflies - Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper

Ogden -golf course

I managed to find this pair of Redstarts near the lower end of the course this morning. Rather distant shots, they were being so elusive in and out of the hawthorn bushes and not giving chance to get anywhere near them. Female type at the top and the male lower photo.
The first local ones I have seen this year and a really scarce breeding bird for Calderdale nowadays though spring and autumn migrants, like these two, can be found locally as they  journey from and back to Africa for our winter.

Also nearby
1 Willow Warbler
A few Meadow Pipits
62 Canada Geese
c30 Linnets
12+ Goldfinch
30+ Swallows
6 House Martins
2 Mistle Thrush - already eating the rowan berries
1 Kestrel
1 Green Woodpecker on Hunter Hill