Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Yesterdays Diver and Robin

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Not Calderdale, American Robin Bingley

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30th Jan Outside Calderdale

Fouth attempt at bloging. I know its not Calderdale but I thought people would like to know of the two superb birds within an hours drive. The Pacific Diver showed well this pm, even the chin strap can be seen on the photos I took. The American Robin showed even better than last week at Bingley. Not bad a First for Britain and a first for Yorkshire in one afternoon. More pics to follow hopefully.

Pacfic Diver Farnham

Third time lucky. Posted by Picasa

Pacific Diver at Farnham

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Calderdale Birds

Green Sandpiper still present at 9.45
If you walk to the Railway bridge and can climb up it and then walk across it you get great views of the filter beds.100 Pied wags,1 Grey wag,2 Stock Dove,1Cormorant and 20 + Mallard.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Cromwell Bottom.

Hi All
Regarding the incident at Cromwell Bottom on Sunday 28/1/07
I have been speaking today to PC Sally Smart (West Yorkshire Wildlife Officer) about firearms and the law. This it what she had to say:

An air weapon is regarded as a firearm and must not be fired within 50 mtrs of any public path. Any incident involving such weapons must be regarded as an emergency and you must dial 999 whether the weapon is being fired or not, they are treated as lethal. Even if the weapon is in a case then it can still be regarded as an (lesser) offence (intimidating behavour). In all cases take note of the persons appearance/dress and any vehicle they may have, if you can take covert photos then do so. The persons must not be approached - it is upto uniformed officers to do this, do not take any chances! Do not put yourself in danger.

To report other non emergency incidents then contact Roman Soltan on 07921 095413, or as Alistair says 0845 6060606

Romans email is:


Sunday, January 28, 2007

28th January

Ryburn late afternoon, 2 drake Mandarins, 2 Tufted Ducks, 2 Grey Herons and 3 Cormorants.

Elland GP early afternoon, 6 Goldeneye, 1 Pochard, 11 Tufted Duck, 25 Teal, 11 Goosanders, 6 GCGrebes, 1 Little Grebe, 3 Cormorants, Grey Heron, 8 Coot, 3 Moorhens, 3 Stock Dove, 1 Grey Wagtail, 6 Redpoll, 2 Bullfinch etc. (probably 7 Goldeneye present 4 males today and 3 females yesterday).
We also had an encounter with 3 idiots with an air riffle, who were seen to shoot dead a Mallard from the canal path. I made it known in no uncertain terms that we had seen them and approached to confront them, but they dissapeared and were seen speeding off in thier car towards Brighouse. Does anyone no where we stand in the future towards the law and air riffles ?? Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 27, 2007

27th January Shibden Park

6 canada geese, 50 BH gulls, 5 muscovy ducks, usual mallards, moorhens.

6 coal tits, assorted great, blue and longtailed tits. 1 nuthatch, 1 treecreeper. Flock of approx 20 chaffinch - didn't see any brambling . 30 redwing, 4 jays and 1 green woodpecker.

27th January EGP

Elland GP, late afternoon, 6 Goldeneye, 1 Pochard, 7 Tufted Duck, 7 Goosanders, 3 GCGrebes, 1 Little Grebe, 3 Cormorants, 4 Grey Heron, 7 Coot, Moorhen, Kestrel.

Bradley Hall Farm, 2 Grey Wagtails, 5 Goosanders, Little Grebe, Coot.

No sign of any Tree Sparrows at Jay House Lane site.

Calderdale Birds

Calderdale Birds
Cormorants Ogden Water 8.45am
3 cormorants flew over having come from a sw direction.They circled once and then flew off in nw direction over the windmills

Friday, January 26, 2007


At least one white Carrion Crow is still in the valley. It is usually around Whitegate where the hill goes up to Shaking House Farm.

The other one is usually around Mixenden Urban Park at the back of Woodbrook but couldn't find this one today! There are at least 60+ Carrion Crows regularly in this area between Mixenden flats and Ogden.

Green Sandpiper still at Brighouse Filters

5th time lucky! The wintering bird was seen at 10:30 this morning in exactly the same location as mentioned before by other birders on the first small filter bed on the left after the small hut opposite the lock-keepers house at the confluence of the River Calder and the Calder & Hebble Navigation. As reported in a previous posting it then flew across the river onto Heaton Lodge Sewage Plant which is full of birdlife, two problems however, one it is situated on the wrong side of the Calderdale Birding Boundary and secondly there is no obvious viewing point.
About half an hour later I watched a Common Buzzard soaring over woodland bordering Kirklees Hall (Grid Ref SE172217) running alongside A644 Wakefield Road. This is the second time I have observed a Buzzard around this area in the last month.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Male Goldeneye near hide and Stonechat on the wall of the west field. 5 Lapwing in north field, one Meadow Pipit, 150+ Black-headed Gull, 50+ Common Gull, 25 Fieldfare in east field, a few Brambling in trees nearby. Reed Bunting on feeders.

Swales Moor

Shore Lark still present this morning with 11 Skylarks. Seen on the northerly bare landfill area then on the pile of stoney rubble over the metal fence near where all the pallets are.

Sparrowhawk through Swales Moor Road heading into Shibden Valley. Also 60 Chaffinch at Shibden Head but no Brambling with them.

Just over 100 Lapwings seen in the distance towards Shelf area.

Nothing doing at Ogden other than 1 Sparrowhawk and c60 Black-headed and 30 Common Gulls and 1 Siskin over.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

24th January, over the border

Oh Dear, drifted into the Bradford area today with Darrell for the American Robin (we can only dream in Calderdale)and got a few shots off. Also saw the Firecrest nearby.
Back in Calderdale DJP had Jack Snipe at Ringstone Edge this AM and we both had Goldeneye and the usual Dipper at Ogden. Posted by Picasa

Wood pigeon

Went out to the car at first light, and there was a flock of wood pigeons passing over. Some may have already passed before I came out. I counted between 4,600 and 4,800. Every time I thought the flock had finished, another wave would start!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

High Royd

40+ Teal
2 juv Mute swans
4 Brambling
1 Water Rail showed very well.
Coot ,moorhen,Mallard ,Grey Heron

Monday, January 22, 2007

Sunny Vale Lake

IKingfisher;2 gooseander,2 Siskin,Moorhen Mallard and Little Grebe,Green Woodpecker and plenty of Redwing

Saturday, January 20, 2007

20th Jan, Green Sand and Yellowhammers

Not much at EGP so we went to Brighouse Sewage Works where the Green Sandpiper flew from the only filter bed to the other side of the river, also 19 Pink Feet flew west.
Bradley Hall Farm produced two Yellowhammers(almost as scarce as the Green Sand in Calderdale).Also the remains of a deer strapped to a tree, is this some kind of strange hunting practise.
Like Phil Wood I also suffer from vignetting when I zoom in with my camera, does anybody know of a reasonable priced camera that does not do this. Posted by Picasa

Digiscope Warning - Canon A710IS

May I pass on the following cautionary tale to any digiscopers out there?
As some of you may know, I have always used the hand-held technique for my (limited) amount of digiscoping, and late last year I decided to replace my Canon A85. After much research I settled on the new Canon A710IS, which has a 6x optical zoom and an image stabilisation system, and purchased one from Jessops in Manchester.
Vignetting was not a huge problem with my old set up, and zooming in a bit soon got rid of any dark corners. I got the new one home and tried it through the scope - wow! A lovely, full picture at normal magnification. BUT, zoom in, and it rapidly disappears to a small disk (a bit like zooming out fully on Google Earth, for those who've tried it!), and only returns to anything like a full picture on the maximum zoom.
Due to work (and lousy weather) I have not had enough chance to fully assess the situation, and maybe the increase in pixels will enable me to use the normal magnification setting.
I presume other higher magnification compacts may exhibit the same problem, and of course, it never shows up in the reviews you read! Incidentally, the camera is excellent in every other respect.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Luddenden Dean

Jerusalem Farm area and up the dean to Castle Carr, Lower Lodge this afternoon and back to Wainstalls.

1 male Sparrowhawk and 1 Little Owl but no Kestrels today.

Lots of thrushes scattered about the dean including just over 200 Fieldfares and c80 Redwings going to roost in Castle Carr along with c75 woodpigeons. Several tit flocks including one with 20 + L T Tits in with Coal, Blue and Gt Tits, Treecreeper and Goldcrests. Also Green and Gt Spotted Woodpeckers and quite a few finches going over high towards Castle Carr at dusk.

19th January Walshaw Dean

3 Peregrines, 1 mobbing Raven, 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 159 Pink Feet west, 3 GBBG west and 15 Goldfinch. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Tree Sparrow boxes

Yesterday I got round to confirming that we need another 11 boxes making: 10 single, 1 communal (triple). Hopefully these should be ready for Half Term (mid February), when we will need another small work group to get them up in Brighouse asap.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Just recieved info on the Long-eared Owl survey to be carried out this year by the World Owl Trust and the Hawk and Owl Trust. It seems they want volunteers to go out in March and listen for calling birds. This may tie in with the Halifax Birdwatcher's continued monitoring of this species.Anyone interested contact me asap.

17th January

Shibden, 5 Long-tailed tits, Treecreeper, Redwings.
Ogden, Dipper, 4 Goldcrests.
DJP reports Green Sandpiper at Cooper Bridge and Willow Tit and Woodcock at Bradley Hall Farm. Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 15, 2007

Bradley Hall Farm Area

I frequently visit this area along with a nearby sewage plant (see Green Sandpiper comment) and as far as I am aware no other birders of either Halifax or Huddersfield origin visit the area (Grid Reference SE165218).
The area is not easily accesible but is situated between the River Calder and the Calder and Hebble Navigation and is in the main an area of immature damp woodland.
At this time of the year Little Grebe, Cormorant, Goosander and Grey Wagtail are seen daily on the River Calder along with occasional sightings of Kingfisher.
I have covered the woodland area extensively over the last three weeks with regular sightings of Redwing, Goldcrest, Treecreeper and Siskin.
Having visited the area six times since just before Christmas I have flushed Woodcock three times and more interestingly viewed a solitary Willow Tit (amongst a mixed tit party on both occasions) twice.
Any Halifax birders who may wish to visit the site would be well advised to park in the lay-by nearest the derelict farm building on Lower Quarry Road and then walk across the railway line towards Bradley Hall Farm.
On a completely different tack my garden is currently host to 3 male and 1 female wintering Blackcap


I found the archives! They were in an old coat pocket, along with my spare house key.
There are now on the right, under the 'Previous Posts'.

Swales Moor

Spent over an hour there this afternoon looking for the Shore Lark without success. Found 11 Skylarks and one Meadow Pipit. They were all in the longer grass on the east side of the track so not easy to locate in the very windy conditions so the Shore Lark could still be there..?

Shibden Valley - Sunday AM

I did my usual walk from Stump Cross up to the Bradford boundary at Shibden head.

3 GS Woodpeckers.
1 Green Woodpecker.
1 Coal Tit in a large flock of Long Tailed.
Blue and Great Tits.
Several flocks of Redwing scattered throughout the valley - there seems to be plenty of berries left on the holly and hawthorn.
1 Fieldfare.
5 Mistle Thrush
2 Song Thrush
1 female Sparrowhawk.
Plus usual crows, jackdaws and magpies.

It seems to be a good year for the LT Tits. They are outnumbering all the rest combined so far.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

14 th January Walshaw Dean PM


Walshaw Dean PM
A slow start with nothing but a single Redpoll in the first hour. Then a duck flying north west was probably a Pintail but distant.c80 Pink Feet then came over from the east and flew west then south before reapearing from the east again 5 minutes later and finally flying west. A Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel were picked up but also distant, the Sparrowhawk putting up 100+ Fieldfares. Posted by Picasa


Sunday 14 January at 2.10 pm

Heard, then saw approx 150 pinkfeet flying over Ogden from Halifax in a northwesterly direction. They had difficulty staying in formation due to the strong wind. A little later watched a mixed flock (about 50) of fieldfare, redwing and starling at Brockholes, Ogden.
S E Drake

Green sandpiper

A green sandpiper was reported by a Huddersfield Birder, just inside our area at Cooper Bridge (approx' SE178207).
Flushed just at the side of the sewage works at 9:50am, then heard in the same place at 11:50am.
Many thanks to David Pennington for the record.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Shibden Park

Saturday morning 9-11am

Approx. 50 BH Gulls, down to 2 canada geese now, dipper in the stream below the lake.
1 pied wagtail and 1 grey wagtail.
Nuthatch on the way up to the hall.
Several mixed blue, great and long-tailed tit groups.
Small flock (8) fieldfare flew over but none seen in the park.

Crossed over into Cunnery Wood - small flock (6) of goldfinch and about 100 redwing. Heard several green woodpeckers but didn't catch sight of any.

13th January


Pellon Lane
60+ Pink feet flew west at 1.15PM
Elland Gravel Pits PM
3 Pochard, 5 Goldeneye, 29 Tufted Duck, 7 Goosander, 1 Cormorant, 4 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Herring Gull, 1 Sparrowhawk, 3 Grey Herons, 1 GSWPecker, 3 Grey Wagtails, 60+ Redpolls, 20+ Goldfinch and 2 Bullfinch + all the other usuals.
2000 Black-headed Gulls and 12 Common Gulls at the roost.
Can I remind people to let me have their 2006 Calderdale records as soon as possiblr please. Posted by Picasa


I cant find the link to the archive to look back to some of last years reports! Any advice anyone as cant find it on the page? Thanks

Friday, January 12, 2007


Adult Little Gull on the river feeding with c50 Black Headed Gulls at the Brighouse end of the river. By 15:00 almost all gulls had headed of WSW to roost.
Also on Ski Boat Lake

2 Pochard
1 Goosander male
19 Tufted duck 17 male 2 female
3 Cormorant
1 Grey Heron
2 Coot

On Scrape with open water

9 Teal 5 male 4 female


5 Goosander 2 male 3 female

In General over rest of reserve

Wren, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Blue tit, Long tailed tit (11 in one flock) at least 2 other smaller flocks, Jay, Chaffinch, Mallard 10 male 2 female, 2 Moorhen and a further 4 Coot.

Also a flock of c20 birds possible Siskin or Redpoll flew over head across river couldn't be relocated after I crossed river onto what I believe is the old landfill site.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hebden Bridge

Hebden Bridge Canal Marina - A male mandarin appeared in the same area as still present female wood duck. She's been there over 2 years now, but the mandarin is a new one.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Quick trip around.

Quick few stops during the last 2 hrs of light today produced the following:-

Nutclough Wood - Dipper, Grey Wagtail, several Mallard, Chaffinch, Blue tit.

Blake Dean - Little Owl,Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Pheasant, Blue tit

Near by Moorland viewed from road - Pheasant and a distant Owl sp (either SEO or LEO does anyone have any knowledge on wintering habits of these birds)

For those of you who have asked previously yesterday I got great views of the Firecrest at Bingley, for those who haven't been it's well worth a visit even if you don't get to see the Firecrest (took me 4 visits) other species seen on my visits include - Kingfisher, Grey & Pied Wagtail, Male Mandarin, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, GSW, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Long tailed tit, Goosander along with all our wintering Thrushes. Reports of a male Blackcap in the area and an Icelandic sub species of Redwing.

Swales Moor

Shore Lark still present on site this afternoon with 2 Skylarks.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Visited the shorelark site on Saturday morning hoping to get some photo's, having laid waiting in hope for the best part of 2.5hrs I had to give up although I had some great views no photo's were possible. 2 guys had turned up and with a football match waiting I decided to leave, before I did 1 guy from York allowed me to take this shot using my phone down his Kowa scope. Not the quality I was after but better than leaving with nothing, so a big thankyou to that man. A really cracking bird and well done to Iain for finding it, it's better than our first shorelark that we had at Minsmere last year and no doubt alot more rewarding for you.

Jumble Hole

Having seen a nuthatch in Jumble Hole Clough for the first time last year, today I saw a pair feeding in beech trees. Fingers crossed for the Spring.
Also, a female pheasant was a first for this site.
Several jays, GSW, + usual woodland stuff.

Friday, January 05, 2007

5th January Whoopers at Fly Flats

Gorden rang me late afternoon, 5 swans at Fly Flats, He picked me up and we ID them as 5 adult Whooper Swans.Also present was a Goldeneye a Tufted Duck 2 Mallard, 1 Red Grouse and a Kestrel.

Can all grapeviners please pay funds as soon as pos, to enable us to keep up the text survice.

Shorelark still at Swales Moor.

A short walk at Jumble Hole

Nuthatch again, gs woodpecker, 4 bullfinch, 20+ greenfinch, 10 chaffinch, 40+ fieldfare, 50+ redwing, 1 goldcrest, dipper, lovely peregrine over, tawny owl, male sparrowhawk. No green woodpeckers in ages.
2 roe deer, wood mouse

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Calderdale Birds

Still present and showing very well by seed ,3 Skylark,2 Goldfinch,1 wren,50 Jackdaw,3Herring Gull and 3 Mipits

Calderdale Birds

Still present and showing very well by seed ,3 Skylark,2 Goldfinch,1 wren,50 Jackdaw,3Herring Gull and 3 Mipits

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Swales Moor and Shibden Valley

Shore Lark still present this afternoon with 6 Skylarks but very, very windy so difficult to hold binoculars still although we saw the bird down to about 12 mtrs.

Shibden Valley (upper area from Shibden Mill Inn) was much calmer out of the wind. A Tawny Owl was found roosting in a holly bush and stayed on its perch as we looked at it from 5 mtrs or so. Also several Bullfinch and c200 Redwings (difficult to count as scattered widely in the valley with lots of hawthorn berries to feed on). Also 12 Fieldfares, Green Woodpecker, Jay, c60 Chaffinch and lots of Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits. A male Sparrowhawk complete with its prominent russet/red chest was hunting in the upper valley and also a female near the ski slope headed over Ovenden. 1 Grey Heron and c90 Woodpigeons in the beech woodland so not a bad afternoon birding.

Its also very encouraging to see the stream in Shibden valley looking now much cleaner than it did in previous years when lots of sewage came down from the treatment works at the head of the valley. Well doneYW/NRA - looking for dippers now? DJ & J S

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

South Pennines Twite

Don't know if everyone's seen this article? A recent publication by A Raine re local twite. Some suitable credits given at the end. Worth looking at for the title alone ...

Natal philopatry and local movement patterns of Twite Carduelis ...

2nd January Roils Head

Large gulls on the move. This PM 33 Great black Backs and 26 Herring Gulls flew west at 2.30pm ( where's a rubbish tip when you need one?). Also 1 Reed Bunting present.
Shore Lark reported again at Swales Moor.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Shore Lark 1/1/07

Bird still present on Monday with several Skylarks. It gave superb views in the brief midday sun. What a class bird!