Monday, October 30, 2006

Jumble Hole

Nuthatch calling there this morning. Despite this being seemingly ideal habitat, this is only my second record for this patch, the other one being earlier this year. Hopefully, colonisation is not far off.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


29/10/06 Cold NW > 4-5 dropping by mid a.m. Clear blue skies
One of those dreaded moments with no birds for 1 hour then panic for 2 mins and its all over.
0910 at the NW corner of the res and suddenly 3 birds appeared from low over the water and straight over my head. I quickly got on the 2 closest together and found them to be Knot. When I went onto the third bird expecting another Knot it was a Merlin which had obviously put them up.When I looked back for the 2 Knot they were nowhere in sight and couldnt be seen flying off. The birds had either landed or more likely gone up high and away.
A walk round and a scan on the banks proved fruitless.
Also :- 1 Peregrine
4 Greylag >N
15 Fieldfare >S
22 Redwing >S
9 Mipits >
No Twite

2 Stonechat
5 Linnet
1 Skylark
No Twite

Friday, October 27, 2006


Visit earlier today but very wet weather. Just a Great Crested Grebe on the res'r. Checked the 'Giants Tooth' area but no sign of any Crossbills. Lots of Goldcrests in the woodland and c60 Redwings over >SW and 2 Grey Herons on the wall near the golf club below the res'r.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Luddenden Dean

2 groups of Fieldfares totalling about 140 birds going straight through west today over the Castle Carr area.

There are many Redwings and several Bullfinch in the dean feeding off a glut of Rowan, Hawthorn and Holly berries etc. Also a lot of Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Goldfinch (no Bramblings as yet) in the beech woodlands around Jerusalem Farm/Wade Wood and along the track that leads on the west side of the dean to the lower lodge below Castle Carr.


For the benefit of all, especially those who I missed from my email list. There will be a meeting of the conservation group at 8pm on Tuesday 7th Nov at Tiffany's cafe King Cross.

Matters to discuss include, Ringstone Management work, EGP, nest box project, Hardcastle crags survey and a private developement in Colden amongst others.

All welcome.

Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Heath Hill Road 24th October PM


Skys darken over Midgley Moor. A fair size flock of Black-headed and Common Gulls were present. Went through the lot of them ( why don't we get med gulls?). Posted by Picasa

24th October Fly Flats PM


A message from Dave Suttcliffe saw me back at Fly Flats with Roy this PM. I had been here yesterday looking for whoopers but had no luck. Took 94 shots in 15 minutes.
Roils Head PM- still 2 Stonechats present, plenty of BHGs and Common Gulls at Heath Hill Road. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 23, 2006

Pinkfeet movements

Lee Mount/Wheatley Valley
4 large skeins over this morning just after 9.30 totalling around 600 birds heading south east looked spectacular. At or around the same time 270 were also seen heading east over Shibden Valley.

Cold Edge - Fly Flats 23rd Oct PM

Dogs, Dogs, Dogs, everywhere Dogs.
Went to Cold Edge first and was greeted by several dog walkers allowing thier animals in the water and around the shore flushing all the ducks including a pair of Teal I was just about to photograph.5 Red Grouse 1 Greylag a Goldcrest and a Stonechat were recorded.
Ovenden Moor Wind Farm - 3 Stonechats.
Fly Flats - 4 Stonechats a Kestrel and 4 Red Grouse two dog walkers with thier dogs on leads.
Withens Hotel- 2 Stonechats a Goosander north and a Plover over calling was probable a Grey Plover but only seen briefly and could not make out black arm pits in the poor conditions.
10 Stonechats all together.

Andy Cockroft reports 3 Whooper Swans flying west at Northowram this morning and at least 600 Pink-feet went over Halifax around 9.30AM.

Andy has also informed me that the fishing club at Brighouse - Cromwell Bottom has been given a licence to shoot 2 Cormorants ( 2 only) if they shoot anymore they will have thier licence revoked. If you are visiting this site and wittness any birds being shot please make a note of it, how many and at what time.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

22nd October

Little Owl and 33 Common Gulls at Heath Hill Road. 2 Stonechats, 1 Redwing, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker. Bullfinch, 2 Goldcrests, Song Thrush, Long-tailed Tits at Ovenden Wood. Carrion Crow photo at High Road Well Moor yesterday. Posted by Picasa

Twite back at Soil Hill

After 3 weeks of putting nyger seed down on the top of Soil Hill we are now getting regular sightings of Twite.
NK feeds during the week and I feed at the weekends and the birds seem to favour the site where Nigel started feeding on the SE corner.
In that area late this afternoon were :-
32 Goldfinch
15 Mipits
6 Linnets
4 Stonechat
5 Twite, one of which was ringed with a Suffolk combination which I have had at Fly Flatts. BS

Fly Flatts

22/10/06 0830-0930 Near gale force >WSW 6 Heavy showers
37 Twite - 2 ringed, rest seemed like young unringed birds ? Click on this or use binocs.
1 Ring Ouzel - at last
2 Reed Bunting
Several grounded Redwing.

SOIL HILL Gale force winds and showers
2 Linnet on seed
2 Skylark
1 Kestrel
Sev blogging Mipits
Few Redwing over >S
BS Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Mount Tabor and Roils Head 21st Oct PM

5 Common Gulls and several Black-headed Gulls at High Road Well Moor, 3 Stonechats still at Roils Head, single Goldcrests at West End Golf Course and Ovenden Wood. Posted by Picasa

Underbank, Hebden Bridge

Large tit flock bustling around the trees and scrub on Underbank. Mostly long tailed, with a few great and blue tits. Also with them a late chiffchaff and two goldcrests.
Sparrowhawk, 2 redpoll and green woodpecker were the only other things of note.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Roils Head 20th October PM

Still 2 stonechats present, 1 Snipe flushed, 1 goldcrest, kestrel, little owl at Heath Hill Road and lots of BHGs and a few Common Gulls kicking around.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Cold Edge Dams 19th October PM

3 Tufted Duck, 1 Teal, 1 Greylag Goose, a superb adult male Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrels, 19 BHGs, 1 Common Gull and 6 Pheasants. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Bits and pieces

Monday - Raven over Cock Hill. Kingfisher and dipper on the river in the centre of Hebden Bridge
Today - Steady stream of redwing over south. Coming in parties of 30 - 40, low in the fog.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Roils Head 16th October PM

4 Stonechats, 3 Redwings and 2 Common Gulls. Tried posting photos of the Stonechats twice but with no luck will try again tomorrow.

16th October Roils Head PM

4 Stonechats still present, 3 Redwings over and a couple of Common Gulls.
Digiscoped Stonechats. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Fly Flatts

15/10/06 cold>E 4 misty 0745-0915
Near enough birdless with nothing in the sky or on the water.Dcb was getting the same effect at Oxenhope
Only birds to see were :-
1 Goldfinch
15 Twite.
Put nyger down every Sunday and its always gone the following week.

2 Skylark
1 Pied Wag
6 Linnet
5 Mipits.
Putting seed down there also,.. see hillbilly birder link. BS

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Roils Head 14th October

1 of 4 Stonechats present. Picture taken through binoculars.
3 Common Gulls south and 1 Goldcrest heard. Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 13, 2006

13th October Digi Bining

Cold Edge
9 Lapwing, 10 Greylags (digi bins) Grey Heron (digi bins)Stonechat, Reed Bunting, 2 Moorhens, 10 Grey Partridge, Song Thrush, 2 Stock Dove and 60+ Goldfinch.
Roils Head
Ring Ouzel, 50+Redwing, 4 Mistle Thrush and a digi binned Kestrel. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Whiteholme circuit

Did the rounds of Whiteholme (by bike) today.

Raven, 1 very prominent, calling loudly, flying low around a circuit between the White House pub and the far end of Warland.

Twite, 3 on Whiteholme shore near the seed when I arrived. 20 more flew in from the West, followed by a party of 14, then another five. One prominently colour-ringed (pink over blue/yellow) on left leg. Is anyone still analysing this data?

I struggled to get a sound ID on a wader nestled in amongst the peat island on Whiteholme. It was bedded in for the duration and wasn't going to help me out much. It goes down as GP but I'm less than convinced.

Starling, three parties of 20-50 birds going low West into Lancs.

Longfield Dam

I've been neglecting my local patch, but I finally got round to having a look this morning.
25 Tufted Duck, mostly still in eclipse.
12 Canada Goose.
60+ Starling.
1 Lapwing.

I recall that small groups of Tufted Duck were quite common here in early autumn, but nothing like this number.
Incidentally, for anyone visiting this area, the road into Lumbutts village is again closed west of the Top Brink.


A small flock of 35 redwing going north over my house this morning. Must have been females, as they had no sense of direction. ;-)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Ringstone Report

A really well put together report by Andy with cracking photos by Sean. A mountain of time and effort must have gone into it. A credit to you. Its for nowt at a fiver. BS

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Received via email from Steve Blacksmith -
Sat. 7th Oct
Large flocks of Lesser Redpolls in Hardcastle Crags possibly into 100s. Couldn't spot any Mealy with them, but a few Siskins.
They were at Overwood, the little ex-farm, high up near the pine wood below Blake Dean

Luddenden Dean (yesterday)

2 Nuthatches in Wade Wood opposite the camp site at Jerusalem Farm. Also lots of Blue, Great, Coal and Long -tailed Tits and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

Sparrowhawk nearby and 2 Stonechats on the bracken area leading onto Midgley Moor above Castle Carr lower lodge.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Elland Gravel Pits Meeting

A meeting was held this evening at Elland Gravel Pits with Tim Edge (Calderdale Countryside Ranger), Nick Carter, Andy Cockroft and myself being present. Tim informed us of the plans to return the site to it's former glory, with the help of the Environment Agency. Whilst no firm commitment has yet been made by the Environment Agency we hope to have some very positive news from them in the next couple of weeks. I shall inform you of that as and when I hear something.
For the record Kingfisher, Grey Heron, Teal, Sparrowhawk and a Water Rail were seen as we were shown the site and the areas where the work will take place.

Ringstone Report

The Ringstone report has now been printed and all Key holders should be receiving their copy through the post very shortly, if you don't receive a copy please contact Andy Cockcroft. Anyone else wishing to purchase a copy may do so again through Andy for the sum of £5. Please note that at the moment Andy is not contactable through email due to computer problems, should you have any problems contacting Andy please feel free to contact myself. The report is superbly put together and has some excellant photographs in it, I'm very much looking forward to seeing the finished article.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

White Wag picture

Further to my comment on the White Wagtail debate, here is the picture I mentioned from Spain.
The lighting has obviously darkened the back, but it is uniform in colour.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Ogden/Fly Flats

Very windy!
Ogden - 2 Swallows still there along with Great Crested Grebe and a female Sparrowhawk hunting in the plantation and a male below the golf course. 350 Starlings in the fields along Keighley Road along with c20 Pied Wagtails.

Fly Flats - 2 f Tufted Duck on the res'r and a Curlew over going west. Also a f merlin across the moor chasing a Meadow Pipit. c22 Twite by the feeding station but nervous and c75 Goldfinch still on thistles down the lane.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

White Wag Debate

I realise that this is old news (5 months to be precise) however Andy queried the validity of my sighting. I have a few more pics of the bird in question (not great quality I know) but I would genuinely be interested in your feedback as I was convinced (at the time) that I was observing a White Wag.
I consider myself a very enthusiastic birder who is certainly not afraid to be proved wrong. I am sure if we are all honest with ourselves there may have been occasions when we have convinced ourselves at the time of observation that we have positively identified a particular species then on perusing our notes and guides at a later time thought well I'm not sure about that after all.
Anyway enough of that have a look at the pics if you are interested and let me know what you think!
On a more seasonal note 23 pinkies flew Sw at 19:20 on the southern boundary of the area this evening. Definitely!

Shroggs Park/ Lee Mount

At least 2 redwings over this morning, there also seems to have been an influx overnight of Goldcrests, Mistle Thrush and Song Thrushes.

Lee Mount night time check!

Went out tonight 23.15 to listen for any Redwings passing over, without success - but they should be coming into the area in next few days with a bit of luck. Anyone else had any yet?

Lapwing/s heard passing over but how to tell at night if it's one bird or a small flock?? and a fox calling nearby in Wheatley Valley.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

4th October watchpoint 2pm

50 Pink-footed Geese flying west, 9 Greylag Geese flying north, 2 Sparrowhawks and 3 or 4 Kestrels sighted.

Underbank/ Jumble Hole

Underbank - Mixed flock of 24 long tailed tits, 5 great tits and 8 blue tits and a willow warbler. Also, gs woodpecker, green woodpecker, and pied wagtail in the fields.
Jumble Hole/Marsh Lane - 4 skylarks in fields, 3 siskin over Jumble Hole valley moving west, 2-3 jays scrapping with magpies.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Another Red Kite sighting

Following on from recent sightings of Red Kite Owen Crawford reports one between Withens Clough Reservoir and Cragg Vale on Sunday 1st October, presumably the same bird lingering?

3rd October watch point 2.20 - 4.00pm

6 sightings of Sparrowhawks and several Kestrels, 2 LBBGs west and 30+Goldfinches.This male Kestrel made two attempts to take Meadow Pipits/ Posted by Picasa

Ogden & Fly Flats

Ogden - Great crested Grebe (1 immature), Little Grebe 1, Siskin several calling over the plantation. Chaffinch c30 Greenfinch c25, and c4 Kestrels and still a few Linnets about. Also 2 Swallows still probably feeding young in a barn nearby. c30 Meadow Pipits and 8 Skylarks passing through.

Fly Flats - 22 Twite at the feeding station and SEO on the moor along with c5 Kestrels.

Hebden Bridge

Chiffchaff still calling in my garden this morning, plus c.90 pink footed geese over at 17:40 tonight

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Fly Flatts

01/10/06 0730-1000. Heavy showers , some sun, S>2
6 Twite
9 Canadas
1 Seo
2 Kestrel
50+ Mipits >S
Mixed flock of birds on thistles, :-
16 Goldfinch
8 Reed Bunting
7 Mipits
2 Twite.
BS. Posted by Picasa

green withens 0700-1000


wheatear and pied wagtail Posted by Picasa

Alastair's Whitby Blog

Alastair has now set up a Blog to record his birding experiences on his new local patch in the Whitby area, I have added a link to this site. I expect it will be very different from Withens Clough!


Please would everyone currently on the local text grapevine note that as from today (1st October) Dave Sutcliffe has taken over from myself as receiver and "spreader" of sightings for the morning half of the day. Everyone on the grapevine should have received a text with Dave's number. With the exception of a few people most members now owe a further fiver, please let either Dave or Nick D have this ASAP or you may miss texts.

Thanks to everyone on the grapevine for their support and sightings during my involvement I think it has been a huge success!