Friday, October 18, 2019

Swales Moor etc..

An interesting morning once the mist cleared from the top with a good movement of some species including...
Westerly movers
44 alba Wagtails
135 Woodpigeons
240 Meadow Pipits
9 Fieldfare
1 each of Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Skylark
+ a few other sp. from the Calder Valley including 65 and 40 Pink-footed Geese (CS and RB)

5 Raven
3 Goosander
1 Sparrowhawk
45 Lapwings
2 Jays

1 Greenfinch near the top - an increasingly scarce bird locally nowadays !

Also a Black Redstart near Bradshaw this afternoon - a gem from JJL with photo's on his Bradshaw Birding blog.  Certainly a different bird form the one we had recently at Withens Head though it's not been reported there since around 1st October.

1 drake Teal on the long pond near Hollas Bridge
1 Moorhen - half-grown chick with an adult

Unnamed site

Barn Owl

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Ring-necked Parakeets - 15th October

2 reports from yesterday - with one over Ovenden towards Shroggs Park at around 08:20 (SC) and another, or the same bird in Skircoat around 09:00 (WG).

We have had reports over recent years from around Sowerby Bridge, Warley, Greetland and Bradshaw, as well as a few other places. Anyone else seen any recently at these or other Calderdale locations ?

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Mixenden Reservoir etc

Checked early afternoon including a walk around the plantation (that's a wet, soggy job)!
2 Cormorant
1 Tufted Duck
1 Green Woodpecker
2 Raven
100+ Woodpigeons - making the most of this years beech mast

Withens Head
Still no sign of the recent Black Redstart
13 Magpies, and a Raven had a serious go at one but it just escaped in time !

More “Pinks” !

This morning another good move of Pink- footed Geese

First report from BS of a skein over Fly Flatts heading towards Halifax at around 08:45. I think I saw the same flock over Lee Mount with 67 >SE at 08:56. Thanks for the E W S Bri.
c150 > SE over Beacon Hill at 09:30 (PJWS).
c80 >NW over Hipperholme at 09:30.
Massive flock of 2 skeins >SE over Lee Mount at 10:13 - the count from phone photos is 245 - update from computer later. !
Also from SB c150 >E over Halifax at 10:15.

Might be some more today !!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Cold Edge ad Withens Head

Cold Edge
1 Little Grebe
1 Grey Heron
2 Tufted Duck
2 Barnacle Geese
c120 Canada Geese
2 Greylag Geese
1 Little Owl
5 Stonechat together near the top dam
c25 Goldfinch
2 Kestrel
2 Raven

Withens Head
1 Little Owl
2 Kestrels

No sign of the Black Redstart today - but it could still be around that area !

Pink-footed Geese

Plenty 'pinks' moving west and sw over Fly Flatts earlier on this morning (BS)

Also around 30 Redwings >SE followed by 2 skeins of 'pinks' totalling around 190 birds over Lee Mount >W around 10:20 closely followed by reports of c. 300 in 3 skeins west over Skircoat Green 10.44 (SB) and c200 over Cromwell Bottom around the same time (GWH).

Saturday, October 12, 2019


Reports of Pink-footed Geese this morning, first from JJL of a flock heard over Bradshaw around 09:15 but unseen in the mist. Also from AvH and SB c100 >E over Holywell Green area at 11:15.

Over Lee Mount this morning - 5 Swallows over the park and earlier I called in at Jay House Lane. Nice to meet up with DF and enjoy the Tree and House Sparrows, both with lots of chirping in the shrubbery and on the building.. A lot of birds in that area. It's a shame that some of those very productive fields will probably be lost to housing development. Let's hope not !!!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Around and about late morning.

Withens Head - looking immaculate, adult male Black Redstart still, showing well on walls around Farm with at least 4 Stonechats at around 11:45

38 Mallard, 2 Tufted Duck on Fly Flatts.

3 Goosander and 3 Cormorant on Mixenden Reservoir

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Hunter Hill

This afternoon I tried the east side of the hill overlooking Ogden golf course and Mixenden - mainly to get out of the blustery wind and to check the hill for Ring Ouzels. It used to be a favoured place for them and in the light of several reports in the last few days I thought there might be chance though I didn't score !
1 Swallow >W along with several Meadow Pipits
c80 Goldfinch - a nice flock on thistle heads (no Linnets with them)
2 Red-legged Partridge

Shibden Park

Wigeon male moulting out of eclipse

Monday, October 07, 2019

Ring Ouzels

1 of 4 Ring Ouzels found at Blake Dean today.
Also in the same area ,70 + Mistle Thrush , (must be a calderdale record?) Fieldfare , Redwing, Blackbird  and a single Song Thrush . Buzzard , displaying Raven , Goldfinch , Chaffinch , 3 Stonechats , Merlin , Barn Owl and Great spotted Woodpecker.

Mixenden Reservoir

Tried Fly Flatts and Withens Head first - heavy drizzle and fogged off....go home !! No.... I'll call at Mixi....
2 Swallows
1 Little Grebe
2 Cormorant
1 Moorhen
1 Common Gull
1 Fieldfare flyover >W
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Kestrel

Plenty Redwings over Shroggs Park earlier in the day - very flighty - mostly >W

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Ogden golf course and Withens Head

Had an hour at the lower end of the golf course mid afternoon but it rained heavy and I gave it up as a bad job after 2 Bullfinch, 2 Chaffinch and c20 Goldfinch down in Carrs Beck area.

Called at Withens Head for 40 minutes or so just in case the Black Redstart was still about - drew a blank with that one as well. Wondering if it's gone now ?  It's been  there at least since 2nd September and possibly even longer. I'll give it another try at some point this next week.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

A Redwing Day

A few Redwings about today with c18 over Shroggs Park mid-morning and later on in the day we had 14 over Jerusalem Farm in Luddenden Dean.
Also earlier from AC with c120 Redwings over Northowram and a massive day from the Oxenhope watch-point with over 2,600 >W (DCB HC).

Also we had 3 Stonechats along Castle Carr Road late afternoon though not a lot else in the dean but it was most enjoyable to call in at Bob's Tea Room !!

Friday, October 04, 2019

BTO Train the Trainer - Hollingworth Lake Wed Oct 16th

Nick Moran (BTO Training Manager) has sent the following email which may be of interest to anyone involved with training volunteers for bird and other wildlife surveys.

Dear all
I'm writing to you as BTO Regional Reps, Assistant RRs, BBS Regional Organisers, WeBS and Heronries Census Local Organisers and GBW Ambassadors to invite you to a free 1-day Train the Trainers event at Hollingworth Lake Country Park, near Rochdale, on Wednesday 16 October. This is part of a wider programme of similar events that has been made possible by a generous donation from the late Pamela Rhodes.
Travel expenses will be covered and refreshments provided, though participants will need to supply their own lunch. Further information about the day, including the topics to be covered, can be found here:
We're keen to make the most of this opportunity so if you are not in a position to attend yourself, we will welcome recommendations of others from your region who might benefit, including those involved in delivering Nest Record Scheme and Ringing training / demonstrations.
If you'd like to register for the event, please visit the following link:
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any queries or suggestions of others from within your local BTO community who might be interested in this opportunity.
Kind regards,
Nick Moran
BTO Training Manager

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Gorple and Blake Dean

Gorple - 2 hrs of not much at all. ! No sign of the Rock Pipit.
1 male Stonechat
c80 Mallard
3 Greylag Geese and a Canada
17 Lapwing high. >Nw
2 alba wagtails
2 Red-legged Partridge

In contrast Blake Dean was 'buzzing'
Male Ring Ouzel with c15 Mistle Thrush all in the field, near Widdop Gate pull in, got 'spooked' by a Peregrine
2 Sparrowhawks
6 Redwing
c10 Reed Buntings
6 House Martins
c20 Swallows
Plenty Meadow Pipits

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Rock Pipit

A few more photos

Rock Pipit still at Lower Gorple

Me and DF refound the Rock Pipit today at Lower Gorple feeding in the inflow for 30 minutes before flying in to the outflow where AM and SBP also had great views.

Withens Clough Reservoir

We had a mid-morning visit in glorious sunshine and a cool wind, very pleasant and great to be outside and staying dry after all the rain the last few days.

Bracken area opposite the car park
1 Whinchat
4+ Stonechats
8+ Reed Buntings
20+ Goldfinch
Plenty of Meadow Pipits moving through and 'blogging'

Reservoir circuit
1 alba wagtail
1 Tufted Duck
2 Canada Geese

Moving birds - all >W
4 Swallows
1 Skylark
1 Merlin
2 Reed Buntings
8 Chaffinch
260+ Meadow Pipits - but they were moving on a very broad front so there were many more not counted

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Rock Pipit

Rock Pipit tonight at Lower Gorple, NCD, AC..It  was seen for about 10 minutes by to drain at the Keepers cottage side of the dam. It may still be present tomorrow morning....

Withens Head

Black Redstart still present in grim conditions, showed briefly around 4 pm around the farm.

Mixenden Reservoir

3 'Commic' Terns there at 09:45 but distant so went home for the scope. They'd gone by the time I got back there around 10:40 with BS soaked to the skin looking for them in the meantime.

A small flock of c30 B H Gulls dropped in while we there and 15+ House Martins and 30+ Swallows were there feeding low over the water.


Seen yesterday, not too far from where DF had his bird Saturday

Well done Lynn for getting on the bird with her camera and taking a couple of distant record shots, looks like a different bird to Dave's? Cheers

Monday, September 30, 2019

Lee Mount

This afternoon - out in the garden - Redwing call heard and 3 flew over >W just over the trees of Shroggs Park

Pink-footed Geese on the move as well this morning including 3 small skeins over Ovenden towards Claremount with other skeins reported over Leeshaw and Oxenhope as well as the Gorple area. BS, TM, HC, AC

Saturday, September 28, 2019


                                          Ringstone today

Merlin 1
Buzzard 1
Common Tern 3
Lapwing C300
Ruff 2
Golden Plover 9
Snipe 7
Canada Goose C400
Tufted Duck 2
Cormorant 2
Black-headed Gull 300+
Common Gull C20

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Fly Flatts and Withens Head

Fly Flatts
4 Stonechats along the top road.
12 Tufted Duck
6 Teal
2 Mallard

Black Redstart still at Withens Head Farm - this afternoon favoured the red tractor and sheltered side of the farm. Also 1 Wheatear
3 Buzzard and 3 Grey Herons, all high >SW


2 Ruff still present in the big field by the reservoir till at least noon today.
Lots of B H Gulls and a few Common Gulls.
11+ Golden Plover
3+ Snipe
Lapwings and Starlings as well as mipits and alba wagtails.
1 Cormorant
1 Common Buzzard

Wednesday, September 25, 2019


100+ Pink-footed Geese went over >E at 19:10 this evening.
We should be getting more in the next month or two !


The Ruff left Ringstone heading towards Scammonden at 17:15 tonight.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Ringstone Edge

2 Ruff there this afternoon around 16:30 (JB and PD)

Cold Edge dams

2 Barnacle Geese still, with 80 + Canada's
A Whinchat with c6 Stonechats on the area of heather between the lower dam and the track.
1 Swallow
Lots of Meadow Pipits about and a large flock of c120 Goldfinch but strangely, no Linnets with them.
Distant Buzzard
2 Raven
1 Grey Heron

Around 30 B H Gulls on the dams but nothing else other than a few Mallard.

Count of the day was the field on the right just after Lumb Terrace - with 11 Moorhen together (just 2 juveniles).

Withens Head

Black Redstart still showing this morning on the farm roof (BS). I saw it briefly, same place then it disappeared. Checked Moorlands Farm as well but it failed to show there.
4 Wheatears at Withens Head
5 Mistle Thrush >W and a continuous move of Meadow Pipits, mostly high.
2 distant Buzzards put c30 Lapwings up on the moor
2 Kestrels

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Yellow Wagtail

Thanks to Tom Balaam for these pictures of a Yellow Wagtail at Lower Gorple yesterday.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Pintails and Shoveler.

A few mega distant record shots of the three Pintails and one Shoveler identified by JB at Ringstone yesterday.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Black Redstart

Some nice pictures from John M from yesterday.

No further reports today as far as I know - but it will be there somewhere !

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Black Redstart....

Some of my better shots - for the record only !
 Showing the white wing patch indicating a male

 Signs of moult on the breast and flanks pose the question is it a juvenile

 Undertail !

Breast and flanks with lots of moult ? Also is there still signs of a gape ??
Click on photo's to enlarge

Cold Edge and Withens Gap

Black Redstart present at Moorlands Farm this afternoon. Mostly brief views as it was always flitting about catching insects. This is probably the same bird seen at Withens Head Farm recently and is most likely flitting between the two sites. At Moorlands it is constantly harassed by a Robin which seems not to like its company, probably competing for the same food.
Seems like the bird had moved back to Withens Head around 4pm. (BS)
Nice to meet John M up there. We tried hard to get some decent photo's but I've not gone through mine yet ! I am looking forward to seeing shots of John's though !!

Not a lot else around the dams at Cold Edge but a Willow Warbler with 3 Coal Tits was nice to see.
2 Moorhen
2 Tufted Duck
44+ Goldfinch
1 Stonechat
1 Kestrel
Distant Buzzard

Wednesday, September 18, 2019


Several skeins of Pink- footed Geese over Warley Moor this morning >SE and >SW (BS). Counts will probably come later.

17th September

An interesting day...

4 Pink- footed Geese with 200 + Canada's at Ringstone (PD)

Highlight was a passing Honey Buzzard, distant >S over Ringstone at 12:30. (JB PD)

Black Redstart still at Withens Head. (BS AT JM et al)
Wheatears still being seen including at Blackstone Edge (AH), Fly Flatts and Withens Head.

Redstart and Chiffchaff at Roils Head. (Ncd)

Osprey and Red Kite earlier in the week (AC)

Commic Tern >N over the Oxenhope watchpoint (just out of our area) this morning 18th (HC)

Plus a few other 'bits and pieces' this week.
Quite a week so far !! What next.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Withens Head

Black Redstart still present this morning at the usual site (BS)

Unusual Sparrowhawk Plumage?

Had this in my garden on Sunday morning and I was struck by all the white in it's upperparts - can anyone age/sex it for me?

It had it's back to me for ten minutes and then, just before it took off it turned around for a couple of seconds - fantastic stuff!

Monday, September 16, 2019

N E R F Conference

Northern England Raptor Forum - their annual conference takes place on Saturday 23rd November 2019 (09:00-17:00 hrs)  at Chester University.

This is  a great day out to keep up with raptors news and lectures on specifics. As usual, there is an exciting and varied programme to enjoy covering a wide range of topics guaranteed to be of interest to raptor fieldworkers and general birders.

If you are interested then please email as below, a request for further information, topics and speakers and a delegate booking form and these will be emailed back to you. A conference not to be missed. £28 (includes lunch and refreshments) and a great opportunity to catch up with others.

Blackstone Edge

This Wheatear was quite grey - ? juvenile


1 Redstart still at Roils Head today and a Spotted Flycatcher, probably the latest one I have had locally, have they had a good year?

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Roils Head

3 Redstarts today in the northern shelter belt at Roils Head.

Swales Moor

Ringby Lane this afternoon. Not a lot doing other than 60+ Carrion Crows and 30+ L B b Gulls in freshly manure fields - what a stink !!
1 Common Gull
1 Sparrowhawk
12+ Swallows
5 Stock Doves
15 Goldfinch
1 Linnet
c12 Meadow Pipits
1 Skylark

Black Redstart at Withens Head - the latest report was from yesterday evening, no news yet today as far as I know. UPDATE - Reported on BirdGuides early afternoon today.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Luddenden Dean

Not a lot of birds to report from there this morning but it was a lovely day to be out.

Birds of the day were - 2 Spotted Flycatchers at the top of Dry Carr (Clough Lane) along with at least one Willow Warbler (singing)! and 3+ Chiffchaffs with them. Maybe up to 10 Bullfinch in the area and 2 Dunnocks hiding away with the warblers had us wondering, until we got good sight of them!

1 Green Woodpecker
2 Nuthatch
20+ Swallows
2 House Martins
1 Kestrel
2 Sparrowhawks
40+ Jackdaws
A few Meadow Pipit flyovers

Also from BS and JJL - Black Redstart still present at Withens Head today

Blackstone Edge

6 Canada geese.
Also, Whiteholme:  1 Wheatear

Roils Head

Found a Redstart this afternoon in the northern shelter belt at Roils Head, also a Wheatear here and another one at Highroad Well Moor.