Sunday, April 30, 2006


Still reelin' and easily seen, at 7.15pm. One Little Owl and 2 Partridge along the road by Norland Golf Course on the way back.

West End Golf Course

Pair of Siskin and a Redpoll in song flight. Plenty of displaying Collared Doves present in the Pellon area.

Fly Flatts

30/04/06 0745-1030hrs
15 Twite at feeding station
2 Common Sand
1m Wheatear
+ usual sp. BS Posted by Picasa

Grasshopper Warbler!!

A bird was reeling from 07:30-09:00 in a very wet field full of sedge grasses very close to the footpath that leads to Deanhead Reservoir about 200 metres south of car park at the western end of Scammonden Reservoir. I observed the bird about 6 times during the period. The best views are obtained by clambering onto a stone wall running south of the field and then looking at the sedges towards Deanhead Reservoir. Wellies are essential!
Unfortunately I haven't got a decent photo of the bird but if you look really really closely you may just see the outline of the bird in the middle of the frame!
Other birds of note were :
1 Common Snipe
Little Owl
5 Wheatear
2 Whinchat
1 Stonechat

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Whimbrel at Ringstone (07:00-07:20)

Distant digiscoped image of one of the birds taken from the roadside. Unfortunately the quality is poor as both birds were on the shoreline not too far away from the hide!
Both birds were still present at 07:20

Calderdale Birds

Calderdale Birds
Ringstone (07:00-07:20)
1 Canada Goose
5 Mallard
2 Oystercatcher
2 Little Ringed Plover
2 Lapwing
1 Dunlin
2 Whimbrel

Friday, April 28, 2006


An early record of a freshly fledged Blackbird being fed by its parents today in the village. Four Shovelers (2 pairs) at Ringstone tonight along with Redshank, LRP, Common Sandpiper and 20 or so Linnets on the seed in front of the hide.

High Brown Knoll/Fly Flats

Another check on the top for Dotterell! - nothing doing today other than a Raven high overhead.

20+ Twite at the feeding station at Fly Flats (none appeared to be ringed) and another 5 over the moor >N. Also Sand Martin and several Swallows going through. 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Wheatear 1 snipe and 2 Common Sandpipers on the res'r.

28th April

Redpoll in song flight at Roils Head this PM. Peregrine flew south west carrying large prey over Pellon this PM, heading towards Wainhouse Tower ??

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Lumbutts Area

Longfield Dam

The Lapwings again seem to have deserted this as a breeding site.
On the positive side, a pair of Oystercatchers were observed mating in a field between the dam and the Shepherd's Rest - although the prospective nest site may be elsewhere, of course.
Redshank - at least 3 around dam.
Reed Bunting - 1 pair at dam.
Canada Geese - 9 at dam.
Skylarks audible from the South (Gaddings Dam area - will have a look up here if I get some half-decent weather in the next couple of weeks).

Lee Dam

Canada Geese - 10 at various points around the complex.
1 Grey Heron.
Willow Warblers singing (also on Woodhouse Road).
Very territorial Mistle Thrush in the churchyard!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

High Brown Knoll/Fly Flats

Checked the site yesterday (25th Apl) for Dotterell as they have already been reported from Pendle Hill! Nothing doing - just an odd Wheatear and Sparrowhawk. Last year's date was 9th May so if anyone gets chance to check this site out in the next 2/3 weeks or so you never know - we might be lucky like last year!

5 Common Sandpipers at Fly Flats but no mud there as the res'r is full to overflowing. 4 Twite at the feeding station.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Ringstone Today

3 LRP(displaying for 45mins on and off)
2 Oystercatcher
1 Heron
2Pied wagtail
42 Golden plover(northern types)
2 pairs lapwing ( preparing nest site display)
9 linnet
2 greenfinch
6 mallard
2 Goldfinch

Monday, April 24, 2006

Jumble Hole / Underbank

8 willow warblers
2 sparrowhawks high over mobbed by corvids
+ usual woodland stuff
6 curlew over Erringden
4 curlew at Badger Lane towards Blackshaw Head
4 lapwing & 3 skylarks, 2 grey partridge also at Badger Lane
Woodcock roding this evening

Dozens of swallows (now c.60) still feeding at Callis Sewage Works, but very few house martins as yet.

Also of note, I have been told of a regular nuthatch at Mayroyd Hall, Hebden Bridge (not far from train station) which as far as I know is a new site for this spreading species.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Pictures from Ringstone Saturday morning

Withens Clough 16:00 - 18:00

2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Curlew, 2 Mistle thrush, Canada Goose, 4 Mallard, 1 Pied Wagtail, 2 Grey Wagtail, Pair Wheatear, Male Reed Bunting, Meadow pipits a plenty, 2 Wren's, Snipe, Kestrel and 2 Swallow's. Also heard Ring Ouzel and Red Grouse.

Cold Edge Dams

23/04/06 1830hrs
14 Linnet on seed + few Chaffinch
2 Oyks
2 Redshank

Cold Edge and Fly Flatts

23/04/06 a.m.
Cold Edge.. 1 Common Sand

Fly Flatts... 2 Common Sand
4 Wheatear
1m Reed Bunt
2 Twite on seed.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Cold Edge Dams

22/04/06 1800-1900hrs
3 Redshank
1 m Tufted
60 Canadas + 1 white goose
Good passage of Swallows--48 in 1hr >N.
1 m Reed Bunting
+ usual. BS

22nd April

Male Whinchat at High Road Well Moor, Mount Tabor with 2 Wheatears this PM.No sign of yesterdays Grapper at Roils Head.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Cold Edge Dams

21/04/06 1800hrs
3 Redshank
1 Oyk
6 Swallows
4 Heron on moor on frog watch
+usual. BS Posted by Picasa

First for Roils Head

21st April Roils Head. A Grasshopper Warbler gave good views this PM. Thankfully Roy and Ady managed to see this much predicted first for my local patch. Will try again this evening in the hope of any reeeling.Also 2 female sparrowhawks hunting starlings and several willow warblers singing and one displaying.The grapper was at the bottom of Roils Head below the playing fields in the scrubby area. Access at the top of Rye Lane behind the bus terminus.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Ringstone this evening 18:00 - 19:10

As you can see all the usual subjects around the feeding station, 4 Greenfinch, 3 Goldfinch, upto 6 Linnets, pair Chaffinch, Robin and Dunnock. (NB not all photos taken at Ringstone.)

On the Reservoir Pair Goldeneye, 3 LRP, 5 Lapwings, 2 Pied Wagtails, c15 Swallows over scrapes + at least 1 Sand Martin. c100 Golden Plover in summer plummage in North field.
Greylag singing happy birthday. Well it amused me anyway! BS Posted by Picasa

One year old today

The Calderdale blog is one year old today! Many thanks to those who have and who continue to post sightings and information. We are getting around 100 hits a day, and rising, but people will only come back if there's stuff to look at, so please keep posting.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Pete Smith reports an Osprey flying over the Shibden valley at 1640 this evening.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


The intrepid and seemingly fearless Steve Downing going 'over the edge' to mark peregrine eggs at an undisclosed site this evening. One of a number of nests he did today. Sterling and absolutley invaluable work.

Fly Flatts

18/04/06 0745hrs No fog today, just mist , drizzle then rain.

2 Swallow
2 Linnet
1 Redshank
2 Goldies
+ usual sp.
nowt on seed, bumped into GD who had just had Linnets on seed at C.E.D. BS.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Cold Edge Dams

17/04/06 1800hrs Strong >W Cold and showers... so whats new?

5 Redshank
63 Canadas
3 Greylag
1 White Goose
1 Golden Plover
+ usual species.
Nowt on seed but nearly all gone from last week BS Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Peering through the fog. Fly Flatts

16/04/06 0800hrs. Fly Flatts. Bright start then thick fog and drizzle.
1 m Stonechat
1m Wheatear
1 House Martin
100s of frogs in water in quarry bottom.
+ usual species. BS Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Ringstone Edge

Another full day at Ringstone finishing off the hide showed the value of prolonged coverage at one site with three (possibly four) fly over Yellow Wagtails all going west plus Oystercatcher, Redshank and three Little Ringed Plovers on the scrape. Five Wheatears were on the walls and several Swallows and two Sand Martins over the reservoir, Willow Warbler singing in Clifford's garden. Many thanks to Dave Sutcliffe, Steve Cummings, Nigel and Geoff Smith for help today.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Grey Plover seen earlier today by Brian Leecy. Little Ringed Plover on west scrape at Ringstone this morning watched from new hide, RESULT!

Callis sewage works

40+ swallows now attracting the attention of a male sparrowhawk. No sign of the house martins so far today

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Nearly there!

Work on the hide is now nearing completion with the flaps being fitted tonight and finished off tommorrow. Apart from this there is not much left to do, the shelf will be fitted tommorrow and JB is making the seats.
The lower photograph shows the view of the hide from the roadside.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


c350 Golden Plover (hard to count in the strong wind!) in the fields this afternoon - all took off towards Dean Head at 2.30pm. Also Oystercatcher and a pair of Goldeneye.

Callis Sewage Works, Hebden Bridge

Feeding late afternoon:
115 pied wagtails
3 white wagtails
1 grey wagtail
65 meadow pipits on the deck
18 swallows
2 house martins

Monday, April 10, 2006

Withens Clough

Disappointing visit this afternoon: Pr Stonechat, Reed Bunting (m), 1 Swallow.


Following the success of this weekends trip to Spurn a second trip is being planned for the weekend of 27th and 28th of May. This last weekend we racked up a possible Surf Scoter along with great views of Barn Owl (flying low overhead), Male Hen Harrier, Cuckoo (only the 3rd reported in the country and first for anywhere north of the south coast), Several Wheatears and a Willow warbler. Also racked up several pints on Saturday night. A total of 74 species were seen over the two days.

We would expect to surpass this next time given the later date and more favourable weather conditions. It's bound to be a great weekends birding regardless.

Anyone interested add a comment to the board, We'll be staying at the Obs again £7 per night or £5 for Friends of Spurn members. If you wish to stay elsewhere and still join us feel free to arrange your own accommodation.

I'll be sending an email with the confirmed numbers on Friday in order to reserve the accommodation.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Weekend photos

An amazing weekend of effort!

This weekend has seen the biggest push towards finishing the Ringstone hide, we've had all four seasons in one day with everything from sunshine to snow blizzards! A really big thank you to all who have helped in whatever way with a special mention for John B without whom all we "labourers" would be lost. The hide is now virtually fully clad with just the finishing touches required before we get to work on the door and flaps etc.

Soil Hill

09/04/06 1630hrs in snow and hail storm
3pr Wheatear
4 Skylark
1 Curlew
1 Golden Plover
Several Mipits
BS Posted by Picasa

Day 16, noon: blizzards!

First sheet of cladding goes on at exactly noon. Fruit des Mers and Goats Cheese pizza (builders these days!!) cooking in Gordon's "chuck wagon" in the background. 300 GP + 1 LRP. Thanks again to everyone who provided a 'pair of hands' in whatever way - every little helps.

Braving the Blizzards to entertain guests from the south!

Longfield Dam
c20 Canada Geese
6 Redshank (at least)
1 F Goldeneye
1 Swallow feeding over dam
1 Sand Martin joined it briefly

Presumably a different Swallow seen later at Mankinholes.

Wheatear seen by passenger in my car between Widdop and Gorple car park.
Little Owl in tree at cottage just this side of Gorple car park.

If I've missed something that's already been mentioned then I apologise, but does anybody know the function of those wooden constructions alongside the road up to Walshaw Dean? Surely they aren't shooting butts are they?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Day 15: "Topping Out"

on the roof
... in the "command centre"
job done!

(Click to zoom)
(Tomorrow its snagging, then green zinc cladding)
(Surf Scoter at Kilnsea ... who cares!)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The first sod!

Cutting the first sod at Ringstone, Day 1. We've come a long way in 13 days. (sorry for the time lag in getting this off the camera)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Red Kite!

Seen at Walshaw Dean this evening by Alan Holmes (around 6-15 I think). Ringstone work continued tonight, special thanks to Sandra for her help, the first non birder to get involved! Work will continue in the evenings with as many people as possible required for the final push to completion, the cladding arrives on site tommorrow.

Cromwell Bottom

Courtesy of Paul T on the Calderdale Wildlife network from a walk this am:

6 chiffchaffs (min)
2 willow warbler
Green woodpecker
Lesser spotted woodpecker again at Rawsons Pool on canal towpath. It seems to favour the dead birch tree with bracket fungus growing from it, I have seen it twice now on this particular tree

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


3 Wheatears this evening on top fields above Claremount. The Anglo-Saxon name for these birds is/was 'White Arse'!

Hide Progress

The hide construction continued tonight keeping everything on track for the weekend topping off ceremony. Can I just say what a great effort has been made by all so far, However tomorrow night our site foreman JB is quite rightly having the night off to celebrate his wife's birthday "HAPPY BIRTHDAY BEV".

In order to put John's mind at easy we need as many people as possible to keep an eye on me tomorrow evening from 6pm onwards, no blame or responsiblity will be levelled at you if we cock something up, I promise! but a few extra hands would be welcome to assist Nick C and myself.

If you are coming and have either a Saw or cordless powered screwdriver please bring those with you.

Hope to see some of you then. Cheers.

Fieldfare Gathering at Ogden

A flock of 150 - 200 fieldfare circled our garden off Keighley Road at 8 am this morning before flying towards Soil Hill, probably on migration. We had a better view of the goosander on Ogden Water on Sunday (3 males, 6 females) but these have now gone, as have the golden eye which had been there previously.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Calderdale Birds

Last one before dark!

Hide photos from tonight

Ringstone update

Further sterling work put in by "John and his disciples" both this afternoon and evening until dark. There is an amazing amount of effort going into the hide from virtually everyone involved in the Group, at this rate we'll have it finished within the next week or so. I took more photos tonight to illustrate the progress made and have passed them onto Sean for posting on here.

3rd April

Peregrine hunting a pigeon at Heath Hill Road, made two attempts then gave up. Also Sparrowhawk and 2 Little Owls present. 4 Goldcrest and 8 Skylarks at Roils Head.

Lumbutts Area

Longfield Dam
Notably, no Lapwing. I hope they haven't abandoned this as a breeding site.
1 F Goldeneye
26+ Canada Geese
4 Redshank (minimum)
1 Oystercatcher

Lee Dam
3 Moorhen, (apparently 1 pair and a hopeful suitor being driven off)
8 Canada Geese

Also, Ring Ouzels were found (1 pair and 1 M), I'll email the locations to Nick C if anyone wants to know (although you can probably guess), but no Wheatears.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


A further 6 hours put in today by five of us in near continuous torrential rain, grateful thanks to John, Sean, Iain and Steve C. The floor boarding is now complete on both levels and the beginnings of a doorway under construction. In order to keep on schedule we intend to continue working in the evenings this week, all help gratefully received. I am unable to post photos to the Blog so will pass some onto Sean who will hopefully post on here. Birds seen today include 2 Peregrines, 4 Wheatears, 3 Oystercatchers and a Swallow.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Calderdale Birds

COLD EDGE DAMS 1800-1900hrs 1/4/06
First visit for 6mth. Still windy,still raining,still no birds but enjoyed it and got plenty nyjer seed down..just
108 Canadas
5 Grey Lag
2 Curlew
2 Red Grouse
Plenty Mipits around. BS.


1 Swallow sighted today over Boothtown Rd.

Guess the caption!

'Work called to a halt at Ringstone today due to a lack of Goats Cheese' or 'if only there was a hide here ...'

Goosander on Ogden Water

2 male and 4 female goosander spotted on Ogden Water this morning.
S E Drake