Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Success story at C.E.D. Young Stonechat.BS Posted by Hello

Hardcastle Crags

Walk from Midgehole to crags and return, 0720-1030.
Good number Song Thrushes singing, plus Goldcrest, Chaffinch and a few Blackcaps (very vocal one showing around cottage at entrance).
Also, a Cuckoo called a couple of times from beyond the crags.
Highlight was what proved to be a Redstart singing opposite the crags - unfortunately I couldn't locate it (sun in the way not helping!) but it sounded quite close to the main path, just above the clearing with the log benches. Had to check the song when I got home, as it's not something I'm very familiar with, but I'm confident on ID.
Hope somebody has better luck seeing it!

Monday, May 30, 2005

Shroggs Park

Calderdale Birds
Garden warbler today mid-morning but not relocated and was probably just moving through. Plenty of Swifts over Lee Mount in the last two weeks but not sure if they are nesting nearby?

Rochdale Canal

Todmorden to Mytholm walk, 11am-1pm.
At last 8 singing Blackcaps en route.
Few broods Mallard, Canada Goose chicks.
Great, Coal and Blue Tits nesting in various structures.
Grey Wagtail at DSM factory.
Lucky there was a beer festival waiting at the far end!

Luddenden Dean and Cold Edge Dams

Luddenden Dean early a.m.
3 Twite 2 Wheatear 2 Pied Wags Sev. Linnet.

C.E.D. mid a.m.
2 Greylag with 2 young 2 Stonechat with 1 young 1 Redshank
1 Canada Goose with 3 young 1 Grey Wag 1 Common Sand + usual

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Gorple and Widdop

Walked from Gorple Car Park to Upper Res then over top to Widdop 9am-1pm.
Quite large numbers Canada Goose at all 3 res, only 1 brood of chicks seen at each.
2M, 1F Tufted Duck on Gorple Lower, also 2 Oystercatcher which flew off towards Walshaw Dean.
Good number of Curlew on tops, disturbed by a deer at one point!
Kestrel mobbed by pair of Grouse.
Pair Stonechat above Widdop, 1 C Sand at Widdop Res.
Willow Warbler, Goldcrest in plantations.
Male Blackbird feeding at Upper Res - flew in from Burnley direction.
Grey Heron in stream by car park.
For a more interesting sighting this morning, email NC.

Elland Gravel Pits and Cold Edge Dams

Early a.m. EGP
1 Common Tern over canal 4m Blackcap 2 Whitethroat
2 Garden Warbs 1 Green Wdpeck 1 Gt Sp. Wdpeck sev Chiffchaff
and W. Warbs + usual.

C.E.D. mid a.m. 2pr Reed Bunt 2 pr Stonechat 1 Common Sand 2Greylag with 3 young.

FOUND.... Minolta lens shade 35-80 EGP. is this yours Sean or anyone else. BS.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Halifax Town Centre

Anyone get 3 Large Crane like birds anywhere round the area today ?
The 3 were very high over Piece Hall ,Square Chapel spire today at 1250hrs heading >NNE. Wide square fingered wings, long necks,trailing legs I think?
Flight was a soaring glide with hardly any wing beats. Unfortunately I was stuck in queue to get into M&S car park so could,nt i.d. Rang DCB at Wilsden which seemed to be near direction of flight but he got nothing ? One of those exciting but frustrating sightings . BS

Friday, May 27, 2005

Hebden Bridge to Haworth walk today

Possible corn bunting well up the Crimsworth Dean valley. Also, 8 pairs lapwing, 4 pairs curlew, 2 pairs redshank, and one grumpy, paranoid and heavily armed gamekeeper.

Upper Valley upland pasture site.

It hardly seems worth concealing the name of what used to be my favoured local patch. Just 1 roosting Lapwing, if it had a nesting mate it was well hidden. What a decline in the few years I've been birding - in the late 90's I'd come here and have no problem in finding several broods. Today, a Carrion Crow landed on the power lines - not a single bird rose to mob it! The Redshank seem to be doing a little better - 2 seen, probably others hidden. Also, a nice group of Linnets, M Pipits and several family groups of Starlings.
I haven't visited since late April, when it was equally poor - if anyone has any better news from here, I'd be glad to know. If you can't guess, Nick C knows the location.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Undisclosed moorland site

4 pairs Redshank,3 pairs Dunlin,11pairs Golden Plover,12 pairs Curlew (first young today)7 pairs Lapwing,5 chipping Snipe and 1 pair of Wheatear.I will post pics of young Curlew when i sort out how to add pics.

Hardcastle Crags - 12:00

Redstart calling again from 'the' Crags opposite clearing. Blue tits in nest boxes 15 and 28, great tits in 25. But not a sign of pied fly, even at last year's nest site.
Nuthatch taking nest material into natural hole.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Undisclosed moorland site

Male and female Merlin mobbing Carrion Crow,8+Twite in flight display,Female peregrine,3 pairs golden Plover,2 pairs Curlew,1 oystercatcher,1 wheatear and 5 Common sandpipers.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Cold Edge Stonechat B.S. Posted by Hello


22.05.05 a.m.
Cold Edge ---- 1 pr Stonechat busy feeding young 1 Common Sand.
1 Redshank 1 Wheatear + usual
Fly Flatts------ 14 Canada +18 young 1m Stonechat 2 Wheatear
1 Common Sand 1 Redshank Cuckoo heard towards Dean Head BS

Ogden / Ovenden moor

Sat 21 May.1 Cuckoo,Dunlin,Golden Plover,Curlew,lapwing and 1 Yellow Wag flew north calling loudly at 10.50.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Jumble Hole 5:00pm

Wood warbler singing. Either one very mobile bird, or possibly 2-3. Also, cuckoo, chiffchaff, whitethroat, willow warb's, blackcap

Friday, May 20, 2005

Black Brook valley

Lesser Whitethroat seen early today (per Ady Zabukas)

Hardcastle Crags (Blake Dean)

Calderdale Birds
Walked both sides of the valley today between the crags Midgholme car park and Blake Dean. Poor day for birds! Not a sign of Pied Flycatcher or Wood Warbler and just two Spotted Flycatchers ( one at Blake Dean and one in the crags 300m east of Gibson Mill). Only one Redstart found 500m west of Gibson Mill. One Tree Pipit at the bridge at Blake Dean and also a cuckoo there.


Buzzard north over Andy Cockroft's house at 12 50 today.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

A Bleak Calderdale Moor. BS Posted by Hello

Undisclosed moorland site

hi ALL
17 pairs Golden plover
3/4 Displaying pairs Dunlin
21 pairs lapwing
14 pairs Curlew
1 pair grey partridge
2 Cuckoo
2 pairs stock Dove

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Crimsworth Dean

At least 5 spotted flycatcher this morning. I checked nest boxes 1-12, and blue tits are using 3, possibly up to 5 of them. Still no sign of pied fly as yet.

Elphin Brook, Mytholmroyd.
Dipper feeding young

Underbank, Jumble Hole
Whitethroat singing

Still no Twite at C.E.D. This one is a Leeshaw bird. BS Posted by Hello

Ringstone Edge

2 Shelduck and a Whitethroat this morning (message ex Pete Grba)

Monday, May 16, 2005

To thank you for the invite!

Hi Nick etal
Just to thank all, for your kind invitation to join Calderdale Birds. Whilst technically not quite in Calderdale many of my birds here, just over the hill on the Denholme / Oxenhope side, have either just left Calderdale or are seen to enter it. The sites in this area of the Aire-Calder watershed are very closely linked, as both Brian S and myself have proved! I will therefore be very pleased to contribute where appropriate and look forward to yet more interesting comparisons!
Very best wishes to all, Dave Barker.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Proof of breeding for Stonechats at Cold Edge Dams. BS Posted by Hello

Jumble Hole Clough

Sod all this afternoon!

In all seriousness, I've pretty much given up hope of pied and sp. fly, redstart and w.warb's, all of which have bred successfully here in the recent past, but none of which turned up last year either.

Wainstalls - Castle Carr Road

Calderdale Birds
This afternoon 5+ Twite in a meadow area just past the two old wooden railway wagons - 3 Twite had (as far as I could see) the same combination of coloured rings. Red ring on left leg and silver(ish) ring on right leg. One may also have had an additional ring below the red one but difficult to see for certain without a scope.
Are these the locally ringed birds anyone?
No Cuckoo's or Redstarts in Luddenden Dean!

Cragg Vale Sunday

A BTO survey visit meant an early start. Of interest were:
Dunlin singing on the bank of the reservoir
Common Sandpiper 2
Nice selection of usual waders.

Many migrants now in with Whinchat by the car park, Ring Ouzel feeding on the dam (probably not breeding in the clough this year), Cuckoo, Wheatear, plenty of Willow Warblers and Swallows. In Cragg Vale plenty of House Martins now in.

There are at least 3 pairs of Stonechat

Kestrel are breeding in the church tower again.

Raven in the clough, seen once and heard several times - this species regularly over Cragg Vale in the last week.


15.05.05 0715-1100hrs
Last morning of Spring Vis Mig watch.
6 House Martin >N 22 Swift >N
1pr Stonechat feeding young 2 Snipe 2 Redshank 3m 1f Tufted
1 Common Sand + usual

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Undisclosed moorland site - 7:30pm

Female merlin low and fast over the moor. Also, s.e. owl on fence post by the side of the road.

8:30pm - Jumble Hole
2 cuckoo calling

Calderdale Birds

SOIL HILL 14.05.05 Early evening
2 Dunlin by pond , flew towards Bfd watchpoint.
1 Wheatear 2pr Lapwing holding territory
4 Singing Skylark Sev. Swift drifting >N


Sanderling and White Wagtail reported today (P Grba)

Wood Warbler

In Colden Clough today (per B Leecy)

Friday, May 13, 2005

Savile Park

I have received the following message from Steve Blacksmith ....

Lesser Whitethroat today singing all morning and well seen at lower end of Kensington Rd, ,Saville Park. Both sides of road in tall sycamores, feeding.
I have had one a few years back at the same spot. Gardens with mature trees and tall shrubs must suit it. Watchable from the Rugby pitch there if it stays.

Message relates to Wednesday this week.

Jumble Hole

Green and GS woodpecker, 2 treecreeper, blackcap, 2 chiffchaff, bullfinch, usual woodland stuff. No pied or sp. fly, no w.warb's, no redstart.


Hi all
The area between Blackstone edge and Stoodley pike must hold between 75 and 100 pairs of Skylarks.Great manshead Hill ,Gorple and many other hill sides still hold good populations.Calderdale must hold between 500 and 750 pairs at least what dose anyone else think.?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Stoodley Pike area

Calderdale Birds
Visit yesterday. Male peregrine over and two Ravens. Also 4 Redpoll in the larger forestry area above Withens Clough with lots of calling in possible breeding area.
Also encouraging were many skylarks on the moor between Stoodley Pike and Warland.
Whinchat in Withens Clough but no Redstarts!

Broadhead Clough

Calderdale Birds
Visit yesterday morning - very quiet other than Blackcaps and Willow Warblers and one Sparrowhawk over. No Redstarts which is a cocern as so far this year only managed one in Hardcastle Crags! Hope for some later arrivals?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

testing testing

testing testing

better late than Never

Hi all,Today on Shackelton Knoll i saw a male Peregrine take a Golden plover right out of the sky .it was then attacked by a male and female merlin they harrased it for at least 2 mins before it was forced to the ground.also on the moor at least 25 pairs of Curlew, 15 pairs of golden plover ,Short eared owl,displaying dunlin and 4 pairs of lapwing.I hope this gets on to the blog?
Cheers andy

Birding solicitor needed

We have recently received the draft lease for Ringstone Edge from YW and are looking for a solicitor to give it the "once over" for us, does anyone know a solicitor (ideally a birder) who may be able to help? Please E mail/phone me.


Following on from Pete Gee's Osprey at Blackstone Edge earlier today word has just reached me of a Sanderling at Whiteholme this evening (P. Grba)

Baitings yesterday

Good numbers of Willow Warbler on the north bank. Oystercatcher 2 came in to west end to feed at c 7.30

Cragg Vale yesterday

Cuckoo yesterday pm and 10+ House Martins some singing. It still seems a very cool slow spring.

Baitings meeting

Very good outcome from yesterday's meeting with Geoff. I will post the full details on Calderdale WN. In brief we are getting a decent deciduous woodland, with ponds, that we will be able to manage and put up nest boxes etc. A path and the ponds will go in soon. The trees will be planted in Autumn 2006 - Winter 2006/07. So in 30 years time ...... I will explain the thinking behind the time-scale at Cons Comm next.

Hardcastle Crags

Very very little around on the Widdop side of the crags this morning, despite it being sunny. Hardly anything calling. However, grey squirrels seemed to be in every other tree. God help any bird nesting on that valley!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Crow Hill

Quick check at Sowerby tonight. Just a handful of Swifts over the trig point and a couple of Curlews. Little else of note.

Hardcastle Crags

Calderdale Birds
Checked the known areas for Spotted and Pied Flycatchers but nothing doing. No wood warblers either! Just one Redstart singing above the clearing on the right hand side 300meters or so passed Gibson Mill.

High Brown Knoll

Calderdale Birds
High Brown Knoll - checked the site today at about noon but no sign of the dotterel.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Ringstone E R 09 05 05

2 x R Plover, 5 Dunlin, 4 G C Grebe.


The reference to an Arctic Tern at Ringstone yesterday should have read Elland GP apologies for that!

Whiteholme, Lighthazzles etc

Usual sort of stuff around this morning, including a drake Teal in the drain near Cragg Road, at least 4 Common Sandpipers, a pair of Stonechat and a reasonable number of Wheatears scattered about.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Undisclosed site - 7:30pm

Short-eared owl hawking for 15 mins at close range - up to 3 metres away. Looked very pale (or was this the evening light??)

Also, just out of area, two R.L.partridge.

Calderdale Birds

SOIL HILL May 08th 2005 Rain hail sleet and snow Wind WNW 5-6 1730-1830
7 Wheatear
1pr Stonechat
Swifts pouring over at approx 100 per hour >NW
B. Sumner.

Ringstone Edge

Calderdale Birds

Arctic Tern again this afternoon during heavy rain

Calderdale Birds

COLD EDGE DAMS 08.05.05 0715-1100hrs
MOVERS :- 141 Swift >N 111 Swallow >N 19 House Martin >N
4 Sand Martin >N 3 Grey Wag >NW 5 Alba Wag >NW
OTHER :- 1 Whinchat 1 Wheatear 1pr Stonechat 1 PF Goose
2 Redshank 1 Common Sand 2m 1f Tufted 1pr Reed Bunt
16 Linnet on nyjer seed 2 W. Warbs + usual
Sean..Crippling photos, makes me feel like throwing my camera in Cold Edge. B. Sumner.

Friday, May 06, 2005


I'm sure some members will already have seen / posted to the site covering the next "patch" westwards, http://www.eastlancsbirding.co.uk, (note new name). If you want to look a bit further west, I've found a lot of info on http://www.deeestuary.co.uk, which covers both sides of the Dee in some detail, with daily sightings but rarely many photos.
If it's pictures you're after, Sue Tranter takes some fine ones, mostly of common species in the NW, at http://www.suesbirdphotos.co.uk, while http://www.nigelblake.co.uk has a more "twitchy" (often East Anglian) content.
Happy surfing!

Gray images

Calderdale Birds

I'm sure that visitors to this Blog will have been very impressed by the photos posted by Sean Gray, perhaps Sean is too modest to mention this on here but he has an excellent website for lots more of the same quality stuff! visit www.grayimages.co.uk

Whilst on the subject of websites the Bradford Ornithological Group also have an excellent website (which includes latest sightings pages etc.), go to www.bradfordbirding.org

Anybody else know any good birding websites?

Shroggs Park

Calderdale Birds
18 waxwings at 11:00 today feeding off greenfly in sycamores opposite St George's Church, Lee Mount. Flew off across football feild but not relocated but could still be around the park!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Swifts again.

One seen entering a nest site in the Stansfield area of Todmorden on Thursday evening. On exiting, it flew over the road and missed my head by about six inches - I could feel the draught from its wingbeats! I haven't seen a House Martin locally yet, though.

Hardcastle Crags

Still no sign of pied or sp. flycatchers, but male redstart in the rocks to the left of the path by the clearing (exactly where Andy said!)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Hardcastle Crags/Blake Dean

Calderdale Birds

No sign of Wood Warblers or Sp/Pd Flycatchers yet (looked in most usual spots!) Only one redstart heard in crags but 2 Tree Pipits at Blake Dean along with 3 cuckoo's, Ring Ouzel and two Oystercatchers.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Ringstone edge reservoir

Calderdale Birds

3rd May 2005 - 13:15 Whimbrel dropped in briefly before taking off towards Dean Head. Returned to Ringstone to preen and bathe before flying off north west at 13:30

Monday, May 02, 2005

Callis / Underbank

Just in 200m walking from main road to Underbank tonight I had willow warbs, chiffchaff, whitethroat (h), blackcap, song thrush, swifts, swallows and house martin. Looks like the migrants are finally here!

Fly Flatts Reservoir

1700hrs 02.05.05
15 Wheatear in one small area NE of reservoir,at least 3 of which were Greenlands.Much brighter birds with outstanding supercillium and of stockier build , real bruisers.Dave Barker had 44 out of area at TMR this a.m. with several Greenlands.


Brian Sumner reports a Cuckoo and 2 Tree Pipits passing through Cold Edge this morning with John Beaumont having a White Wagtail, Greenland Wheatear, 7 Dunlin and 2 Ringed Plovers at Ringstone also this morning. Other recent migrant records now filtering in are a Whinchat at Soil Hill yesterday, a Swift at Cromwell Bottom on 24th April with 2 there on 29th and another at West Vale on 30th April (HSS). Several people are still having problems posting to this site, please bear with us whilst we try and sort it out.


Calderdale Birds

Having virtually completed the nest box project in the Crags we find ourselves with several open fronted boxes left over, if anybody is interested in these please get in touch.


Sunday, May 01, 2005


11 swifts very high over Callis this aft, moving north. Chiffchaff calling, and f. sparrowhawk mobbed by swallows


did a circuit of Deanhead Res: 3 Wheatear, 1 Common Sand and pair of Reed Bunt. My first Swift of the year back home (over Upper Greetland/Branch Road area).

More migrants

Calderdale Birds

Redstart singing at the Crags today whilst Matt and I were putting up more nestboxes (total now 30). Text info also received from JB re Sedge Warbler at Moss Bog and 5 Garden warbler and Whitethroat at Elland GP