Saturday, March 31, 2007

2nd Rock Pipit

Darrel Prest reported a second Rock Pipit at Green Withens Reservoir yesterday evening. It was present at the same time as the Blackstone Edge bird.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Osprey - Blake Dean

A report of an osprey around lunchtime over Blake Dean.
Martin Hayes.

Rock pipit

I happened to look at the Rochdale Wildlife website today, and there's a report (and photos) from yesterday of a rock pitit, of the race littoralis from Blacksone Edge res' yesterday.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


c200 Golden Plover in North field at Ringstone at approx 14:30, also a Grey Heron over. nothing on the Res.

2 Little Owl together along Widdop Rd nr Packhorse Pub

Near Widdop Res Pair of Stonechat and further along a single male.

Tawny Owl found roosting in the plantation at Widdop Res yesterday.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Shame about the late evening light still this Kestrel was hunting on Davey Lane Blackshaw Head.

1 of c15 along Widdop rd this afternoon feeding in rd side fields.

c50 Golden Plover nr Cross Stones Todmorden this evening.

Little Owl on Widdop Rd this afternoon.

Barnacle Goose at Ogden, surely we're not counting this one are we guys?

Cold Edge 28th March 2nd attempt


Male Shoveler, Pochard, Goldeneye, 2 Tufted Duck, 11 Greylags, 2 Grey Herons, 1 eating a huge frog, 4 Redshank, 15 Golden Plovers, 2 Curlew, 40 Lapwing, 2 Sand Martins north, Kestrel and a Meadow Pipit with a very short tail doing a goood immpresion of a Wood Lark(birders beware).

3 Wheatears reported on Soil Hill. Posted by Picasa

Castle Carr 27th March

The 15 Whoopers that were at Ogden flew west over Castle Carr just before 7.30PM (hard luck Dave).15 sightings of at least 3 roding Woodcocks between 7.46 - 8.10PM.Also Tawny Owl and Little Owl heard, Green Woodpecker, Song Thrush and Kestrels.
A Long-eared Owl search at last years breeding site proved fruitless.
Missed out on the Whoopers tonight. Had a quick look at Ogden at 7.30 pm but they had gone!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


27/03/2007 1800hrs
15 Whooper Swans
1 Barnacle Goose
This sighting for me thanks to grapevine. BS Posted by Picasa

Today'S Garden bird

This was here for a few minutes looking for tea, talk about panic i had to rush to set up my camara and got about 20 shots

green withens 26 03 06

this evening produced 2 male goosander on the res which were a nice patch tick.
also 2 lapwings flew north.4 curlews and the usual.

Monday, March 26, 2007

26th March

A 2 hour watch from my watch point produced all the usual suspects, noteable was a large flock of Fieldfare that flew east.
This evening visited Castle Carr with Gordon in the hope of seeing roding Woodcock - we were not disapointed with at least 3 birds in display flight, it may have been as many as 6 individuals ?. We had between 15 and 20 sightings between 7.45 and 8.05 PM. It was the best night I have ever had for this species in Calderdale.
We also checked out the woodland where permission has been given to put up nest boxes in the hope of attrackting Redstarts. We will need many more boxes to cover the area well, if anybody could nock some together it would be apreciated.

Nesting Time again 2

Another picture of long tailed tit . Looks more like a fan dancer dont you think Posted by Picasa

Swales Moor

Shore Lark still present this afternoon at Pule Hill and looking good. I am surprised it is still there after all this time but guess it will be on it's way before long???

Great records of Whooper Swans in last two days with Bruce's 62 over Illingworth yesterday morning is unprecedented and another 16 reported from Elland and presumably the same group heading over Shibden Valley this morning.

Nesting Time again

Had this long tailed tit and partner in the garden today lining a nest in a conifer with bundles of feathers. At times you couldnt see the bird for the feathers . Lets hope they have a some success . Posted by Picasa

Mystery nest...

This is one of the nests we removed from previously placed boxes at the Crags yesterday. It was made up primarily of grass, and was significantly different to the others we removed.
Any ideas in terms of identification??

Whooper Swans

There were 62 Whooper swans flying in formation with ocasional calls NW Sunday 25/3/07 at 11 am over my house (Bradshaw) at no more than 80 foot high. - awsome sight!

testing testing will this work?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Hardcastle Crags - II

A few pics from today - GPS'ing locations, numbering boxes, and the full set first thing - 49 hole fronted and 3 open fronted boxes, made from 1.25" crags-cut-beech. Go ahead squirrels, give it your best shot.

Hardcastle Crags

7 people turned up in all to put up the 50 or so nestboxes targeting pied flycatcher, redstart and to a lesser extent spotted flycatcher, and remove old nests and un-usable boxes from the last time we put 50 up!

It was a successful, if long and tiring day. Around 80% of the 2005 boxes had old nests in, most presumably tits, but we unfortunately do not know due to lack of surveying. Two or three of the nests removed were significantly different though, consisting mainly of grass. Also, one of the open fronted boxes had a nest in.
The National Trust have this time allowed us to place the boxes visibly - something we had to avoid in '05. Therefore, surveying by the group, and in some cases the public, should be far easier. The boxes the Crags kindly put together for us are fantastic - very very substantial. They should last for many years. The boxes we placed today were in a variety of locations, habitats, tree types, heights, orientations, etc, so we are very positive that we should make some highly relevant findings, and ultimately boost the pitiful number of pied fly' and redstart in Calderdale.
Photos and more details to come, but thanks go to the team of:
Nick Carter
Andrew Crystal
Steve Cummings
Sean Johnston
Matt Bell
Tim Walker
Andy Huyton

Fly Flatts

25/03/2007 0800-1015hrs Cold NE>5 Murky
Several Curlews now established on moor
Several blogging Mipits
1 Singing Skylark
1 Pied Wag
2 Twite on seed,one ringed,one unringed
1pr Stonechat
2 LBB Gulls on water
+ good raptor morning. BS Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 24, 2007

24th March

12 Twite at the seed at Cold Edge this PM.2 Golden Plover, 3 Curlews and a few Lapwing over. 1 LBBG and sevearal Canada Geese.

Walshaw and the Garden

Walk up Walshaw this morning to the res produced this Buzzard drifting west at 12:35, seen from top res,

Also 4 Oystercatcher on Lower res, male Reed Bunting east shore of Middle Res and Bottom West hand edge of Lower Res.
Serveral Mipits, Curlew heard calling, Pied Wagtail and a Mistle Thrush on dam side of Lower res.

The garden continues to pull in new visitors with a pair of Stock Dove's being the latest new arrivals. Also flushed female sparrowhawk whilst putting some apples out this morning. (watch out all you doves!!)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Garden Birds (rishworth)

These are a few pictures of some of our garden visitors. Blue tits,great tits,coal tits,long tailed tits,dunnocks,robins,bullfinches-(male and female)greenfinches,chaffinches,blackbirds,great spotted woodpeckers,pied wagtail,wrens were all visitors today.

Garden Visitor's

I returned home this afternoon and as I got out of the car a female sparrowhawk lifted off from our garden and flew prey in talons into our neighbours garden. Only just insight I watched he for 5 mins as she plucked away at her prey, I inched forward in the hope of getting a line of sight capable of a photograph but she took off still carrying the unfortunate bird with her, revealing at the sametime that it was a collard dove she'd taken. Within 20 mins this male arrived in the garden and stayed for approx 5/10 mins affording excellant views from my kitchen window if not the best of photo's.

Sowerby Bridge - 21.03.07 pm

I received this report via email from a member of the public who lives outside of our area but was in Sowerby Bridge for a business meeting, and found the blog through a search engine. Many thanks to Stef Jones.

Dipper downstream on the Calder
Kingfisher upstream, then across the weir by the slalom course.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Another test - I am on a roll now!!!

Fieldfare at Hardcastle Crags some weeks ago

Another test!

Now I am up and running again also attempting to upload a Dunnock taken in the snow recently


Just testing this out as I have not been able to post on the blog for several weeks now - see how this goes

22nd March

Hardcastle Crags Car Parks with DJS.
2 Nuthatches calling and inspecting holes at the Car Park, 2 or 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers drumming, 1 Green Woodpecker, 2 Treecreepers, 2 Song Thrush, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tits, Goldcrest etc.
Upper Crimsworth Dean
2 Oystercatchers, 30+ Curlew, 2 Golden Plover, 16 Lapwings, 2 Greylag Geese, Kestrel, 200+ Fieldfare, 3 Redwing, 2 Common Gull, 2 Stock Dove, 6 Pied Wags, Goldcrest, Dipper, Reed Bunting, Pheasant.
Moor End Road
Sparrowhawk seen twice. Posted by Picasa

Chif-Chaff Influx

I noted two Chiff-Chaffs calling at Cromwell Bottom LNR last Friday (16/3/07) my first migrants of the year. Yesterday (21/3/07) it was noticable that several male Chiff-Chaffs were calling along both sides of the canal towpath all the way down from Rawsons pool on the canal and throughout the LNR, at least 8 birds were in residence. In the afternoon I cycled up to Littleborough on the canal towpath. Its was very noticable that Chiff-Chaffs were in evidence in some numbers in the scrub along the twopath as far as Hebden Bridge. After Hebden Bridge I cycled onto Littleborough then up the road to Blackstone edge, down the road through Crag Vale to Mytholmroyd and then back onto the towpath back to Elland. No calling Chiff-Chaffs were heard from Hebden Bridge until I got back on the canal towpath just below Sowerby Bridge. I cycled more or less the same route last week and did not hear a single Chiff-Chaff. Yesterday gave me a wonderful illustration how migrants spread (and how quickly)from the lower Calder valley to the upper end. I am cycling to the upper Calder valley on Sunday and will make note if the Chiff-chaff influx has spread futher up the valley in the intervening days.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Around and About today.

Colden in fields adjacent to the planned development 2 Curlew, a male Pheasant and a male Kestrel which was successful in catching a vole, also a Brown Hare showed to within 12ft of the car (see my Wildwindow.blogspot for photo's)

Lower Gorple

On the res:- Several Canada Geese,5 Mallard and 2 Oystercatchers on the Dam wall.

A Minimum of 4 Curlew in nearby fields and moorland, constant movement made it impossible to say if there were more than 4, although I would have to say that there probably is.
Raven heard calling but not seen.
Pied Wagtail on Dam wall also another near the car park at the bottom.

First plantation on your left as you walk upto Upper Gorple:-

Flock of between 6/10 Brambling feeding in the tops of the pines incl 2 Males in near full Summer Plummage.
Coal Tit, Great tit, 4+ Goldcrest's and Chaffinch.

Second plantation on your left produced Goldcrest, Coal tit, Chaffinch and a Male Siskin also female Kestrel.

Upper Gorple:-

2 Mallard and c20 Canada Geese.

On surrounding moors 1 Red grouse was seen with several others heard, also numerous Mipits.

Wainstalls rd between the Crossroads Inn and the top of the Luddenden Village Rd produced a Male Northern Wheatear late afternoon a very flighty individual, my first for the year.

Fields nr Baitings Res produced a flock of c20 Curlew as I drove to Ringstone in a vain attempt to see the Kittiwake - Ringstone did have a Pair of Goosander.

21st March

Cold Edge, 12 Twite at feeding station,Sparrowhawk, Kestrel 20+ Curlew, 2 Stonechats at Fly Flats.
DJP reports an adult Kittiwake at Ringstone Edge this PM.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

20th March Red Kite seen.

Got Dave Suttcliffes message at 2.30PM and jumped on the first bus. Arrived at my usual watch point at 2.55PM, 30 mins after the bird had drifted over the Luddenden Valley towards Midgley. I could see Dave scrambling up the steep slope of Midgley Moor through my scope, Smegol climing the stairs of Cirth Ungol came to mind. I gave it 45mins but the cold eventually got too much so I drifted home dissapointed. A Sparrowhawk over Ovenden Wood livened things up, then a pair of adult Peregrines flew directly over Moor End Road heading north.
It is worth people keeping a look out at upland sites because last year a Red Kite maybe the same bird was picked up on several occasions.

Withens Clough/Rishworth Res/Ringstone & EGP

Upto 9 Skylarks feeding on the Calderdale Way footpath on the right hand side of the reservoir also 3 female Reed Buntings and a single male, pair of StoneChats and several Mipits.
Also in adjacent field c50 Fieldfare feeding alongside c30 Starlings.
Pied Wagtail and a female Goosander on the Resevoir along with 7 Canada Geese and 3 Mallard - 2 male 1 Female.
2 Large Juv Gulls flew over see photo (click on photo for enlarged image).
Numerous Carrion Crows and Woodpigeons flying over constantly.

Rishworth 7 Canada Geese, 3 Common Gulls, 7 BH Gulls on the Res and an Oystercatcher feeding in fields on the far side.

Ringstone Edge feeding station, 12 Goldfinch,13 Greenfinch, Pair Reed Bunting, 4 Dunnock,5 Chaffinch, Male and female Blackbird, Robin. Later a quick stop at approx 6pm produced 2 Male Goosander on the Res.

EGP, several Common, BH Gulls and Coots on the ski lake (no ducks!), Little Grebe on the first scrape with 4 Coot. Chiffchaff feeding in scrub by the bend in the river before flying over to the large pylon on the other side of the river. At least 3 small flocks of Long tailed tit's, also Great and Blue tits.
2 Goosander on the river male and female also a Grey Wagtail, and several Mallard.
On the other side of the river a flock of c40/50 Meadow Pipits.
At feeding station near the Car Park, Great tit, Blue tit, Robin and a single Redwing in bushes near by.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Photo's from today in the garden and at Withens Clough.

Details on all sightings to follow after the football. As you can see a busy afternoon, help please on the Gull 1 of 2 which flew over Withens Clough (no expert on juv Gulls, all I knew is it wasn't a white winged.) Also visited EGP so sightings from there to follow also. Right thats it for now I'm off to the pub.

Jumble Hole - 8:30 - 9:00am

Green woodpecker (h)
1 Nuthatch
3 Jays
12 long-tailed tits
Several jackdaws nest-building at the quarry
1 Kestrel
1 male sparrowhawk
2 dipper
2 mallard on millpond
34 fieldfare over north
1 mistle thrush
Also, 22 pied wagtails at Callis Sewage Farm

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sunny Vale

Does anyone have Sunny Vale as a local patch ? Getting reports from a lady dog walker of regular sightings of Kingfisher and she wondered what else was down there. I havent been since the old days of stock car racing. BS

Crags nestboxes

Following on from the Tree Sparrow nestboxes and as part of our commitment to the Calderdale BAP priority species Pied Flycatcher and Redstart we will be erecting over 50 nest boxes at Hardcastle Crags next Sunday morning. We are meeting in the bottom car park at 9 am, anyone wanting to help or requiring further info please contact me at Ladders, equipment etc are also very welcome!

It dont get worse than this

Fly Flatts,height of the blizzard and as it cleared.
Fly Flatts. 18/03/2007 0800-0930hrs Gale force 9 >NW. Hail and Snow showers
6 Twite by top gate, none by seed
1 Goldeneye
3 Canadas
1pr Stonechat
1 Snipe, my first this year. BS Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Tree Sparrow update

12 single, 3 double and 1 triple nestbox put up today at Jay House Lane. Last year's boxes (a similar number) were also checked. Discounting 1 tit nest, there were 2 sparrow nests from last year - 1 in the Garden, 1 in the fields.

The nest in the Garden tallies exactly with my observation of the same box from May 26th last year:

"Tree Sparrows confirmed"

Thanks to Nick, both Andys and Matt (today's work party), plus Pitstop for the boxes again.