Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hardcastle Crags 6:30-7:45pm

Wood warbler seen and heard singing, followed by two calling to each other at the lower carpark.
Nuthatch calling.
Green woodpecker heard.
Song thrush seen with nesting material.
Great spotted woodpecker seen feeding young.
No sign of pied flycatcher at the bench. Anyone else had it in recent days?

A Good Year ...

... for Turnstone. A full summer adult male at Warland 13.30 today.

Monday, May 29, 2006

White stork/Northowram

WHITE STORK......An adult fully winged and flying with purpose west at 7'o clock.It was been mobbed by 2 LBBGull.(day tripper from Harewood ?)

Hide noticeboard now in place

The rear interior wall of the hide at Ringstone now sports a large cork noticeboard, apparently the glue takes 24 hours to fully set so please be careful for the next day or so. Not much on the res whilst I was there, four Dunlin the only things of note, worryingly no sign of LRP or Common Sands hope the recent poor weather hasn't done for them!


As a starter, "Nick Failed to spot the Sandwich tern"

Fly Flatts

29/05/06 0715-1015hrs cold W>4-5 Showers.
4 Turnstone N W corner then off >NW
1 Snipe
3 LBB Gulls
3 Golden Plover
38 young Canadas
1 Stoat
Not a Twite in sight
Rewarded at last for watching this desolate site. BS

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Stonechat success at Cold Edge Dams

1 young out and female sitting again.
Poor photos but sold digiscope tackle and just using 10x zoom. BS Posted by Picasa

Cold Edge Dams

28/05/06 1800-1900hrs Cool W >3-4
1m Stonechat feeding 1 young
6 Canada chicks
2 Common Sand
+ usual. BS Posted by Picasa

Fly Flatts

28/05/06 0730-1000hrs Freezing cold gale force wind , rain mid morn.
4 Common Sand
1pr Reed Bunt
2 Grey partridge
3 Golden Plover
1 Oyk
+ usual.
Again no Twite. BS. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Jumble Hole

1 cuckoo, 1 green woodpecker, 1 gs woodpecker, whitethroat, garden warbler, tawny owl, dipper, a pair of grey wagtails, + usual woodland stuff

Friday, May 26, 2006

Tree Sparrows confirmed

I spent an hour at Jay House Lane tonight, had a chat with the lady. I got definite confirmation that there are Tree Sparrows in one of the boxes (adult seen coming out, then taking food in). [Matt, this is the single box in the tree just to the right of the one with the double box]. You can just see the hole from the road, its got a white smear of droppings coming down from the hole.

Another pair are nesting in a hole in the wall behind a drain pipe above her front door - nestlings can be heard easily. She reckoned there are more pairs in the eaves of the two cottages.

Overall half a dozen or more birds around and about. Blue Tit in the box directly opposite her front window at the end of the lawn.

She made it known that we are welcome to go into the garden to watch, even when she's out (it's hard to see most of the boxes from the road). No evidence of any birds in the boxes around the farm.

Luddenden DeanWainstalls

Luddenden Dean yesterday - at least two cuckoos up the dean from Jerusalem Farm, calling most of afternoon and visible. Also a lot of Willow Warblers and 2 Blackcaps. No sign of Redstart, Tree Pipit or Spotted Flcatcher in traditional haunts.
Vixen with two well grown cubs in one area.

Wainstalls ( Castle Carr Road) produced two pairs of Lapwing with one small chick each - but there are a LOT of Carrion Crows in the area! Also 4 (unringed) Twite in possible nesting territory. At least 50 Jackdaws on the edge of the moor and lots of Swits moving through.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

North Dean, failed again

No sign of Wood Warbler, or anything else for that matter, at North Dean this evening.

Sunny Tod

Raven circling high over Cornholme (Todmorden Moor) this lunchtime.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Hardcastle Crags

Wood Warbler still singing away in the crags car park area despite the downpours and hail storm. Also Pied Flycatcher - male singing in the woodland down the banking from the seat at the brow of the hill. 2 male Redstarts in the area between Gibson Mill and the fork in the track - both singing in different areas at the same time. Tawny Owl roosting in a picea near the fork.

Several Spotted Flycatchers around and 2 pairs of treecreeper towards the top of the valley and also several Goldcrest in full song.

All the old and previously reliable haunts in beech woodland checked for Wood Warbler - but non. No Tree Pipits either in the areas they were not too many years ago, including a check at Blake Dean where there was one last year - but still a chance as the weather was not very favourable!

Peregrine and 2 Ravens high over Blake Dean heading south.

Walshaw (lower area) - 3 Redpoll over towards the plantation, 6 Oystercatchers and a Ring Ouzel calling. Mallard +7 and +3.

On the way back around 160 to 200 Swift over Crimsworth Dean must have found lots of insects in the sheltered valley. Also a male Sparrowhawk with prey. Several Willow warblers and Blackcaps.

Not a bad day considering the weather! No sign of Wheatear or Cuckoo today.

Tree Sparrows

3 Tree Sparrows seen today on Jay house lane.At one point they were in the tree with the nest boxes ,but no evidence they are in use was seen.I was only there about 5 mins.If anybody has any time this is worth a look they may well be using the boxes provided.?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Wood warbler

Reported as singing in North Dean Wood on Sunday evening (Steve Blacksmith)

Monday, May 22, 2006

Calderdale Birds

Ringstone today
5 turnstone on the shore then flew off high west.
12 Ringed Plover on shore then flew off high west
2 Oyks
1 Common Sand
2 GCGrebe(display)
4 Canada Goose
6 Swallow
1 Skylark

Singing in the rain....

Pied fly and wood warbler both giving it plenty non-stop throughout torrential downpours this morning at the Crags.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Withens Clough 0600--0830

The first visit of this year's BTO Breeding Bird Survey to my square at the top of Withens Clough managed to tie up with the only dry period of the weekend (or so it seemed!). Not a bad mornings birding either with reasonable numbers of the expected species plus 5 Golden Plover, Snipe, Little Owl and a family party of Ravens, a pair of Ring Ouzel although not in the survey square were not far away.

Grey Wagtails

Pair of grey wagtails seen at Ogden Water, apparently feeding young, in a downpour this morning. Also several skylarks on adjoining moor and many willow warblers singing. Forgot to blog sound of cuckoo calling on two separate days last week near Ogden Water. Has anyone else heard it here recently?
S E Drake

Odd parents at Fly Flatts

21/05/06 0730-1015hrs. No fog for a change , just mid morning rain.
This odd couple had 6 young and a pr of Canadas had 8 young.
1pr Reed Buntings
4 Common Sand
1 Redshank
sev Swift and Swallows + usual sp.
No Twite present.
BS Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Hardcastle Crags

Widdop Road car park, past the mill to the fork

Redstart singing at the clearing again. At one stage, it was singing right by a trio of nestboxes Nick C and I put up. Worth keeping an eye on.

Also, min. 9 spotted flycatcher, , 2 garden warbler, 1 song thrush, 1 gs woodpecker, peregrine over.

20th May

Undisclosed site.
Male Goshawk watched circling and soaring at 15.25PM for 6 - 7 minutes before diving at high speed presumable at prey. At one point it was over the house of a member of the HBWC, and although I tried ringing him he failed to answer his mobile was in the garage whils't he was in the living room. A detailed desription will be submitted for this rare visitor to our area.

Elland Gravel Pits 18.00 - 20.00 PM
Usual stuff, Garden Warblers, Blackcap, Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers and 3 Kingfishers. Lots of Swifts.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Hardcastle Crags again 1.30-2.30

1 male pied flycatcher
(just past - and on the same side as - the bench on the crest of the lane. By Public Footpath sign)

1 wood warbler
(in the Pay & Display/overflow carpark)

Stunning views of both birds just metres away. Nothing in the clearing.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Hardcastle Crags, car park to Gibson Mill. 2pm

1 male pied flycatcher (opposite the bench on the crest of the lane, 300m from car park
1 wood warbler (50m up towards Crimsworth Dean from the lower car park)
4 spotted flycatcher
9 goldcrest
1 GSwoodpecker
I didn't get as far as the clearing or the bulk of the nestboxes, so I don;t know if the redstart is still there or the boxes are being used.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ringstone today

4 LRP displaying most of day
2 Common sand
2 Great crested Grebe displaying
2 reed Bunting
1 Ringed plover
6Mallards(all male)
2 pied Wag
2 House Martin
4 Swift
10 + Swallow
4 Lapwing
1 Lapwing

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Underfloor heating

BS Posted by Picasa

Strange Nesting sight

This Collared Dove was reported nesting on a security light on the side of a house at the Queensbury end of Shibden valley.The owner has had to stop using his patio doors so as not to disturb the bird.
Many thanks to Mr Campbell for the report and use of his kitchen for the photos. BS Posted by Picasa

Ringstone today

7 dunlin
6 ringed plover
3 common Sandpiper
2 Oystercatcher
4 Lapwing
1 grey heron
4 House Martin
2 swift
1 Wheatear(female )
2 pied wag(pair)
1 white wagtail(injured Left foot)
4 Linnet
The hide is great I agree.hick,hick

Sunday, May 14, 2006


As many of you will know a group of local birders has recently returned from a highly successful birding trip to Bulgaria (188 spp in a week including gems such as Wallcreeper, Eastern Imperial Eagle etc), whilst there we were very impressed by the efforts of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) who are doing a brilliant job on a low budget and with limited Bulgarian membership. We would encourage anyone who is thinking of a trip to this fantastic country to seriously consider organising it through the BSPB who run a tour company called Neophron which is actually part of the BSPB with profits going directly to the society to further their work. The Neophron website can be found at and the BSPB website is at Anyone wanting further information can contact me.

Roils Head 14th May 3.30pm

1 Tree Pipit flushed from ground, flew in to a pine tree and gave good views for 5 minutes. Amazingly a few days ago could'nt find any at the crags or Blake Dean. 2 Willow Warblers still singing.

Summer at Fly Flatts

14/05/06 0800-0930hrs cold wind , drizzle,thick fog....lovely!
1m Stonechat
1pr Canadas with 8 young
2 Twite
Put plenty nyger down. BS Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 12, 2006

Roils Head 11th May PM

yesterday evening, 3 Redpolls, 1 in song flight, pair of Siskin, male in full song at close range, 3 willow warbers singing.
West End Golf Course, another pair of Siskin and a pair of Coal Tits taking food in to nest site.

Ludenden Dean

Area between the Lower Lodge and Jerusalem Farm this afternoon.
1 Cuckoo, 3 Green Woodpeckers, c6 Kestrels, 1f Sparrowhawk, several Willow Warblers, one Blackcap and a Dipper.

Also a male Whinchat on Castle Carr Road just past Bridge Terrace at Wainstalls and 3 Twite further along the road ands nearby 2 Grey Partridge.

Also no sign of Dotterell at High Brown Knoll on the area they appeared last year - been up there 5 times in last two weeks but nothing doing! Curlew and Golden Plover nearby and Dunlin in full song on Wednesday 10th.

Hardcastle Craggs 11th May

Hardcastle Craggs early PM. The only birds of note were a Redstart singing in the clearing just past Gibson Mill and a Spotted Flycatcher. There was no site or sound of any Wood Warblers, Tree Pipits or Pied Flycatchers. This is very worrying as 5 or 6 years ago these species would be certain at this time of year.
Blake Dean - top Walshaw mid afternoon.Almost nothing, the only bird of note being a Ring Ouzel heard singing at Middle Walshaw.

Sedge warbler

Sedge warbler reported singing at Cromwell Bottom this morning (Paul Talbot and Les Midgely).

Also grasshopper warbler reported last Sunday on Norland Moor (PT)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Ringstone Species List 2006

3 Wigeon (2 male 1 female) on 22/01/06 between 09:30-11:20
1 White Wagtail briefly on 01/05/06 at 09:00 from hide (JB & myself)

Ringstone (06:45-07:15)

2 Great Crested Grebe
Mallard with young
4 Little Ringed Plover
1 Ringed Plover
2 Lapwing
1 Dunlin
1 Common Sandpiper

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Cold Edge Dams

10/05/06 1800-1900hrs
2 Common Sand
3 Redshank
1m Stonechat
2 Grey Partridge
1pr Tufted
+ usual sp. BS

Underbank / Jumble Hole / Staups

1 garden warbler in full song and full view
1 whitethroat
6 willow warblers
1 cuckoo
2 dipper
1 pheasant

Staups Moor -
5 pairs of curlew
2 snipe 'chipping'
3 red grouse
9 skylarks
10 mippits

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Sparrow hunting

I thought I had a Tree Sparrow at the roadside as I drove through Norland this morning (but couldn't stop). Went back tonight but only found a noisy crowd of House Sparrows. Even so, it's quite a treat to see House Sparrow locally these days!

Fly Flats - Cold Edge 9th May

Back on my old haunts at last this PM. Fly Flats, 4 Common Sandpipers, Reed Bunting, Red Grouse and two doggy Red-legged Partridge, Golden Plover, Curlews etc.
Cold Edge, 4 Redshank 4 Greylag Geese, Snipe and a Stonechat.

Hebden Bridge

Female ruddy shellduck still by the packhorse bridge

Monday, May 08, 2006

Hardcastle Crags 9:30-10:30

1 redstart
7 spotted flycatcher
11 goldcrest
1 blackcap
1 cuckoo
+ usuals

The redstart is by the clearing, 150yds past Gibson Mill. It is in full song, and I watched it as it broke mid-phrase to immitate both a willow warbler then a chiffchaff before finishing it's own phrase. The spotted fly's are by mill, by the clearing, and by the fork in the lane 250 yds past the mill.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Elland Gravel Pits

07/05/06 0800-1000hrs
8 Singing Wrens
2 Garden Warbs
4Willow Warbs
5 Chiffchaff
1pr Blackcap
2 Whitethroat
1pr Bullfinch
1m Reed Bunt
2 Kingfisher
1 Dipper
2 Grey Wags
2 LT Tits
loadsa hirundines and Swifts
BS Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Cold Edge Dams

06/05/06 1800-1900hrs
2 Redshank
2 Common Sand
1 Moorhen
1pr Mallard with 8 young
Several Linnets and Swift
Increasing numbers of Greylag and Canadas
1000s of flies. BS Posted by Picasa

Roils Head 6th May

6 or 7 Redpolls present and 3 Willow Warblers singing. Not much else except a Supermarine Spitfire and a Hawker Sidley Hurrucane north at 15.05 then south at 15.12.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Roils Head 5th May PM

Female Redstart, 2 Whitethroats, 3 Willow Warblers, 1 Wheatear 7 Linnets and a Lesser-black Backed Gull flew west.

Volunteers are required to take info off the blog site and copy it on to the group recorder programme. 4 people have so far committed to do this, I could use at least another 2. Contact me if you think you might be able to help.

Dated cuckoo report

Just been told of a cuckoo at Broadhead Clough calling almost daily from Sunday 23 April. Pretty early, but certainly not impossible.

Jumble Hole / Underbank

Cuckoo at the top of Jumble Hole Clough
1 whitethroat singing so far on Underbank (2 in 2005 and 5 in 2004)
2 Blackcap
2 Song thrush
7 jay
+ usual stuff

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Yellowhammer at Bradley Hall Farm (06:00-07:20)

I hope this post is relevant as I am not too sure that the site is within the Halifax Birding Recording Area! If it is then this is a very reliable site for Yellowhammer. 4 singing males observed in pretty dismal light early this morning. Other noteworthy sightings were:
2 Grey Heron
2 Kingfisher (on R Calder)
6 Common Whitethroat

3 Blackcap
3 Chiffchaff
1 Willow Warbler
2 Linnet
2 Reed Bunting

White Wagtail near Scammonden (15:45-16:15)

White wag observed between Scammonden and Deanhead Res this afternoon whilst looking for Grasshopper Warbler (2 reeling). Greenland Wheatear also around

Calderdale Birds

Calderdale Birds
thursday May 04 2006
Group of 6/8 swifts visible over sowerby bridge from
railway station whilst waiting for 8.50 am


I notice a few reports of Swifts heading N in the last couple of days. I heard calls in Todmorden most of yesterday, and there were 6-8 birds feeding over the Stansfield area in the evening, so I assume this is our breeding population returning.
Also, belatedly, from Tod railway station on Saturday could be heard Chiffchaff and a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker, amongst others.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A busy evening

A single Whooper Swan at Baitings, a fly through Black tailed Godwit at Withens Clough (both Ady) and 2 Grasshopper Warblers at Scammonden (JB) made for a busy evening for those lucky enough to be out birding!

Roils Head area 3rd May

Male and female Crossbill, Whitethroat singing, Redpoll in song flight, 1 Wheatear and 3 Willow Warblers singing. Weasel across Moor End Road.
Gorden reports a Cuckoo at Luddenden Dean this am.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

High Royd - 7:30pm

3 chiffchaff
1 whitethroat in brambles other side of canal
2 willow warblers
2 blackcap
1 goldcrest by house
6 house martins
c.20 swallows
1 swift over
1 heron
2 coot

Roils Head area 2nd May

5 Redpoll, 1 Twite north, 5 Wheatears and a Willow Warbler.

Jumble Hole area

3 blackcaps finally arrived. No sign of whitethroat yet
1 swift moving north west 11:15am
6 willow warblers
1 treecreeper
2 sparrowhawk
1 gs woodpecker
4 jays
Woodcock roding yesterday evening

Callis Bridge sewage works
110 swallows
25+ house martins