Thursday, May 31, 2007

Luddenden Dene 4pm

Checked out the nest boxes, but no sign of any current activity in the boxes I could find.

Little Owl 2
Sparrowhawk 2
Cuckoo 1

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Sightings today

Courtey of John Crawshaw

Blake Dean Wed am May 30
Great spotted woodpecker 1
Green woodpecker 1
Dipper 1
Blackcap 1
Spotted flycatcher1
Buzzard over mobbed by curlew & lapwings

Luddenden Dean Wed am May 30
Green woodpecker 1
Cuckoo 1
Redstart singing
Wood warbler singing
Blackcap 2

green withens 1700-1900

oystercatcher 8
common sandpiper 6
golden plover 2
curlew 1
swift 3
swallow 2
lesser black backed gull 3 nw

Town centre peregrines

Anyone know what's happening down there? Had an enquiry from a Huddersfield birder who might come over for a look if they are still there.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


tawny owl and chicks just outside my house watched both adults feed both juveniles

ringed plover and lrp was here for a while both of them defending their ground

have a look at my website and let me know what you think

Jumble Hole

Over Callis this evening - 75 house martins, 35 swifts, 20 swallows
Cuckoo calling at 8:00pm (the first at Jumble Hole this year)
2 woodcock roding at 9:35pm

Website meeting

Last call for anyone interested in coming along, E mail me on if you want further details. Very poor response to suggestion for a nestbox check this weekend.

Goosander & mystery ducks

Walking around Cromwell Bottom this morning with Les Midgley we spotted a female Goosander just below the weir on the river section between North Bank and Tag Loop. We also spotted 4 ducks which Les did not recognise but thinks are perhaps some hybrid Mallards. Might be worth someone else checking these out to confirm exactly what they are. We spotted two of the birds feeding in an almost "Shoveler" like fashion in the shallows and then as we walked further along spotted another two weird looking ducks which are completely different in plumage. Eventually all four birds were swimming and feeding together so we assumed they were two pairs ?

Tree Sparrows at Jayhouse Lane

Les Midgely reports the following. At least three families of Sparrows are around the area. The only definite boxes he saw used were; the one on a telegraph post and one on a gatepost. The birds appear to use both boxes with no problems. He looked again yesterday (28th) and some birds seem to be about to start a second brood in boxes as they are taking in nesting material. Les also asked me to mention that the birds now seem to range over a much larger area along Jayhouse Lane than he remembers in the past, increasing population perhaps ?

Monday, May 28, 2007


making the most of the bad weather i was out from 0830 until 1730.

withens clough

stonechat 2

bradley hall farm

yellowhammer 3
grey wagtail 1
lesser black backed gull 2

blake dean

spotted flycatcher 3

hardcastle crags and crimsworth dean

great spotted wood pecker 4
chiffchaff nc
willow warbler nc

many of the nest boxes have blue and great tits in them,and some are falling apart!!

fly flatts

red legged partridge 1
common sandpiper 1

red legged partridge

spotted flycatcher


Goldfinch question

Sue & I did our favorite bike ride around the upper end of Calderdale today despite the occasional hail storm and heavy rain. We have noticed in recent weeks on this ride the large numbers of Goldfinch in Calderdales uplands. The route takes us from Elland up to Ringstone, onto Booth Wood reservoir, round via Pike End to Baitings Res, then up past the old Blue Ball pub to Huberton, before dropping down through Sowerby to Sowerby Bridge and back onto Elland on the Canal towpath. Goldfinch are probably the most common bird we see near to habitation or farmyards, far more common than Starlings or Sparrows. I did a quick count today on the ride and counted 40+ Goldfinch with a maximum count of 4 in one flock. Now maybe I am noticing these birds more these days simply because I am looking for them, but it seems to be more likely that Goldfinch are increasing in numbers in the uplands. They are such a stunning bird that it seems unlikely I have simply not spotted them before when out walking or cycling.

This leads me to my questions are Goldfinch increasing nationally in some numbers and secondly why do they seem to have appeared in such large numbers in Calderdales uplands in recent times ?

Fly Flatts

28/05/2007 0800-0900hrs icy cold N>4 Cloudy
4 - 1st summer Common Gulls low over water >N
3 Common Sandpipers
1pr Reed Bunting
No Twite, all seed disappeared from yesterday.
+ Usual sp.

Drove down past Cat int Well to dead end then part way back to parking place and walked up
hillside public footpath to N of road ?. Dont know that area but looked good for Redstart
although didnt get any,is this where the nest boxes are, everywhere else looked private.
Got.. Willow Warbs, 1 Garden Warb, 2 Blackcap, sev Pied Wags.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Making the best of it ...

... around and about today, dodging the rain. Two sessions at Ringstone, but very quiet: 7 forlorn Lapwing on the shore wondering where their nice meadow in the North Field has gone (scalped for silage on Friday). Reed Bunting by the feeding station. Walking along the Black Brook from West Vale to Branch Road had three singing Chiffchaff and a Kingfisher. Tonight at Oxygrains, a great Dipper nest with three well grown young.

And, generally, a lot more House Sparrows around Greetland and Barkisland this year, a noticeable upturn. Had them along the main road through Greetland, the first for several years.

Fly Flatts

27/05/2007 0800-1015hrs Typical Bank Holiday weather.... ENE>4 Heavy showers, early mist.
1pr Reed Bunting
4 Common Sandpiper
4 Lapwing on shoreline
2 LBB Gull
Several Swallows >S, probably going home.
Down to 2 Twite
+ usual. BS
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 26, 2007


visited blake dean this morning and walked to gibson mill and back(a long walk but save's money!)

great spotted woodpecker 1
cuckoo 1
gey wagtail 2
dipper 1
blackcap 1 male

great spotted woodpecker blake dean

also went to elland gp at midday,still 2 reed warblers in the 1st pool reedbed,and a mute swan on the river by the wier,that was it really just the usual stuff.
late afternoon went to luddendean,

tree pipit 1
redstart 1 singing
cuckoo 2
green woodpecker 1
jay 1

cuckoo luddendean

also some pics of the 'saker' from green withens yesterday, nick d and harry (from ireland) are thinking it may be a lanner or hybrid,(pics are heavily photoshopped)
any more comments are welcome.

Website and where we go from here

Andy Crystal has agreed to help with the setting up of the website, all we need to do now is decide what we want it to look like, what content etc. With this in mind the evening of 31st May (ie next Thursday) will be set aside for a meeting for anyone interested in setting this up. Please let me know if you are interested so we can decide on a suitable venue.

What we don't want is to create a website and then receive criticism from people who weren't involved at the outset, this is your chance to get what you want from a site.

Widdop - 23 May

Merlin at Widdop reservoir.

Also, cuckoo at Ogden for the past 7 days.

Sightings courtesy of John Crawshaw.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Norland Moor - 12:30 to 1:30

Several swifts flying over, at least one pair of linnets, 2 singing skylarks and several meadow pipits.

Also plenty of willow warblers singing in the birch trees below the rocks.

Don't be shy now...

In the last 24 hours the blog has had precisely 150 hits, and yet only a couple of people seem to be contributing by posting or commenting on it.
If the posts dry up, the whole thing will collapse, as there will be nothing to look at! So please post any sightings, questions, info etc.

If technical problems are preventing you from doing so, you can either go to the blog help page which is very helpful, or email me on the address above and where I can I will help.

green withens 1600-1800

saker 1
wheatear 3
golden plover 2
curlew 2
common sandpiper 6
stonechat 2

plus the usual

twite breeding site check

Tim Melling of the RSPB has requested that we try and survey all known Twite colonies locally with a view to estimating how many (if any!) pairs there are present. Andy Cockroft has suggested we try and do this in one concerted effort, maybe the evening of the next CBCG meeting (5th June) so we can compare notes at the meeting. Anyone interested let me know.

Tree Sparrows

Les Midgeley asked me to pass this on. Yesterday afternoon (24th May) at Jay House Lane he watched 3 Pairs of Tree Sparrows with fledged young out in the open. Les thinks that the birds now range further through this area with more birds present than he remembers in the past. He also thinks the birds nested in both upper and lower chambers of the boxes, unless there are an upper & lower hole into the same compartment in the boxes ? He noted this as birds seemed to utilise both holes in the nest boxes. Its looks like the boxes have been a great success and something all concerned with the boxes should be very proud of.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Anyone fancy a co ordinated survey of the nest boxes we have put up this year? Next weekend is out for me but I could do the following one

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

elland gp

decided to go to elland this evening,

a pair of tufted ducks on the sking lake,plenty of warblers,chiifchaffs,willow warblers,garden warbler,blackcaps,whitethroats,also 2 reed warblers singing in the reedbeds on the 1st pool(one at each end)
2 pairs of bullfinch,2 great spotted woodpeckers,jay.
swifts swallows and house martins high up over the valley towards southowram.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Lower Calder Valley

Visit to Elland GP and surrounding area etc this morning with plenty warblers including 1 Reed Warbler, c12 Whitethroats, 6 Garden Warblers, c7 Blackcaps, 4 Chiff-chaffs and c20 Willow Warblers. Kingfisher along the Calder and several Reed Buntings.

Bradley Hall Farm area produced 2 Kingfishers along the Calder and at least 3 Yellow-hammers around. Again plenty of warblers - especially Whitethroats and up to 3 Reed Warblers at Cooper Bridge.

No sign of any Sedge Warblers!

Hardcastle Crags

1 Spotted Flycatcher found in the crags between the car park and Gibson Mill this afternoon. No sign of Wood Warbler today though.

Jumble Hole - 9:00am

Fairly quiet. Everything seemed to be around in singles today.

- 1 garden warbler
- 1 whitethroat
- 1 blackcap
- 1 green woodpecker
- 1 jay
+ usuals

Notable by their absence, for some time now, are treecreeper, nuthatch and cuckoo.

Help Requested

I am looking for help in finding larvae if a "plume" moth which is very rare (we think) in Yorkshire. The moth is called Capperia britanniodactyla. This is one species the bird club members who work upland cloughs, quarries and heaths will be likely to find. Its very easy to recognise and you are very unlikely to mistake anything else for it. I would be grateful for any records of this species, with GR please and a short description of the habitat and numbers of larvae or pupa. Rather than duplicate images and descriptions, all you need to know about what to look for and what the moth looks like are at If you can find this species it will give you a cracking record for Yorkshire lepidoptera and help me with building up my local lepidoptera records.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Wheatley Valley

Former landfill sites at Birks Hall and Shroggs checked this afternoon. These are the areas between Brackenbed Lane/Pellon Lane and Shroggs Road and mostly now planted up with trees. Lots of young hawthorn, rowan, birch, oak, willow and alder etc but also some open areas of boggy grassland and some stands of mature trees, mainly beech and sycamore.

5 Blackcaps, 1 Garden Warbler, 3 Chiff-chaffs, c10 Willow Warblers and 1 Whitethroat was a bonus. I made a quick exit when the scramblers arrived!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Luddenden Dean

Male Redstart still in the same spot as last week but in and around the beech trees this time instead of the holly's. Still singing on and off but no sign of a female.

At least 1 Cuckoo higher up the dean calling away. Also f Sparrowhawk and m Kestrel along with Green and Great-spotted Woodpeckers.

One Garden Warbler singing in the thorn scrub in the 'rabbit' area near lower lodge and several Willow Warblers in the dean.

Not a sniff of any Twite anywhere these last few days - anyone had any?

Wade Wood also checked, but quiet there except for the four 'tits' and Treecreeper.


after the weather yesterday i decided to spend most of the day out in the field

bradley hall farm 900-1100

1 turtle dove flew east down the river calder first ive seen in calderdale since 1997
1 yellowhammer
1 kingfisher
1 grey wagtail
+ the usual warblers

also here was a male and female banded demoiselle which were the first ive seen in calderdale since a male by the canal at elland gp in 2002,also azure damselfly and large red damselfly.

deanhead res 1130-1230

1 pair stonechats
5 linnets

ringstone 1235

mute swan

at two i met up with nick d and spent the rest of day birding

luddendean 1415-1530

1 cuckoo
2 green woodpecker
2 garden warblers

no redstarts though djs was more lucky!!!

fly flatts 1545- 1630

3 dunlin
2 redshank
1 common sandpiper
4 curlew
2 golden plover
1 lapwing
1 red grouse
40+ swift
5 lesser black backed gulls

elland gp 1710-1830

2 reed warbler
+ the usual though very quiet.

ringstone 1845-1900

mute swan (again)
2 stock dove

undisclosed site 1910-2030

2 grey partridge
1 ring ouzel
1 wheatear
5 curlew
1 tawny owl
17 lesser black backed gull flew west

Withens Clough today

Emailed courtesy of R. Neville

Pair stonechats at the car park gate
Male Whinchat 200 yds below car park stream side fields by the road

Not a bird, but a local birders record !

One of the most under recorded groups of moths in the UK are the Tineidae, one of the "micro moth" families. Many of these breed in detritus such as old bird nests.I asked Matt Bell and Nick Carter if they would be so kind as to collect any old nesting material from the boxes at Hardcastle Crags earlier this year. I eventually ended up with a bin bag of assorted nest material. I have had this stored in a couple of special jars I constructed to see what if anything would emerge. The first emergence's were various flies and beetles which I released. But today the first moths have started to emerge with two individuals so far from each jar of a moth called Skin Moth (Monopis laevigella). The photo shows a typical example of this moth on my mate Ian Kimber website, its wingspan is only around 15mm and in length its only around 5mm, so it really is small. Now although a common species nationally and which I have recorded from Calderdale as an adult, this is the first confirmed breeding record from Calderdale and its a definite first for the Crags. So the first record of this moth as breeding species in Calderdale is down to the team from Halifax Birdwatchers who gathered the material, a first for Halifax Bird Club I expect ! If Nick or Matt will contact me and let me know who they wish to have down as named recorder for this record I will enter it into my records with myself as determiner. Cooperation pays and off shows yet another reason for the proposed website to cover all local wildlife not just birds.

Fly Flatts

20/05/2007 0800-1000hrs Foggy start then sunshine, W>2
5 Common Sandpiper
1 Redshank
6 Wheatear
3 Twite
1 Grey Wagtail
+ usual sp. BS
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 19, 2007


in response to paul talbot's post on lowfield's (and comment's) i thought it deserved more than a comment.

many place's in calderdale are underwatched,i myself live by stoney royd cemetary and very rarely go there! if i had more time i would try to visit the more underwatched areas these would be rishworth valley from ripponden to boothwood as the area looks very good for wood warbler,pied flycatcher and redstart,large areas to the eastern and western edges of calderdale would also be a good bet,as david tattersley has shown with the bradley hall farm area.todmorden also but i know little on the area.also any south westerly heading uphill valley on the moors would be interesting even if it only has bracken.
my advice to anyone who has the time to have a look somewhere different if ever you get a spare hour or two

re the website,though iam mainly interested in birds and dragonflies i would also like to see the website covering all wildlife

Industrial Estates

I pass through Lowfields "Business Park" most days of the week in the course of my work. Recently having started to note down which birds I spot locally, I realised Lowfields seems to contain a large and varied bird population. Some birds that I see around Calderdale occur in large (or large to me anyway) numbers on Lowfields. For example I might be lucky to spot Goldfinch on my morning walk with the dog down to Cromwell Bottom, but can guarantee to spot anything from a dozen to thirty on a quick walk around Lowfields. I had a quick look round yesterday and spotted Geenfinch, Goldfinch. Bullfinch, Willow Warbler, Linnet, Jay, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Blackbird, Missle Thrush, Song Thrush. OK,nothing particularly exciting, but I did spot the birds in larger numbers than I do around Cromwell Bottom and imagine what a proper birder might have found ? The birds were all seen in one small section of Lowfields in around 20 Minutes.

I have a few points to make about this:
Does anyone check such industrial or former industrial sites in Calderdale ? If not it might be worth someone going round a couple just to see if they are worth investigating in Calderdale.
They might be good sites to stick up nest boxes and feeding stations as A/ its very convenient as most sites have roads running all round and through them. B/ Many of the companies on such sites would be happy to pay for boxes and stocking feeding stations as its good publicity and good for staff morale.
As many will know my main interest is in Moths and such industrial sites are one of the first places I check for moth species that are spreading North and might hopefully be found in Calderdale. Industrial estates are very good for finding such moths as some moths will inadvertently "hitch" a lift on lorries from other areas and secondly many of the micromoths can be found on the plants brought in large numbers to plant such places. I wont go into details but I tracked one new micro moth to Calderdale on Sycamore by driving round and checking Sycamore near major roads in Calderdale. It was very common on roadside Sycamore but almost impossible to find a few hundred yards from the road on seemingly ideal looking Sycamores. Had I looked for this more pleasant traditional recording areas I would have concluded it did not occur in Calderdale......perhaps we are missing some birds in Calderdale for the same reason ? I realise of course that birds and moths are completely different, but perhaps by concentrating on "traditional" bird watching areas important birds or migrants are being missed in industrial sites ?

Friday, May 18, 2007

High Royd

Over 100 carrion Crows on the filter beds - what were they eating!!!!
Also Garden Warbler and Chiff-chaff along the canal towpath and 1 Grey Heron on the settling lagoons.

Fly Flatts

Yesterday - 2 Ravens heading north high over the moor. Redshank, 2 Dunlin and 5 Common Sandpipers. No Twite but several Wheatears still around. 12 Lesser-black backed Gulls stopped off and despite the strong wind Swallows were moving through going north in 1's or two's for over an hour.

Withens Clough

Lots of shoreline on the res - Common Sandpiper this afternoon.

Cuckoo calling in the plantation and Redpoll in the conifers at Sunderland Pasture as well as 2 Snipe displaying and drumming over the open fields. Also a pair of Stonechats found but no Whinchat.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sedge Warbler at Cromwell Bottom

One Sedge Warbler seen and heard at Cromwell Bottom this morning at around 9am. The bird is in the reed bed at the end of the open water lagoon on Brookfoot Loop. Follow the canal towpath down to just above Freeman's Bridge and then cut across onto the path between the open lagoon and the lower overgrown one. The bird was displaying and singing in the reedbed nearest to the river Calder. I didn't hang around for long to look for any others as I had the dog with me and didn't want her running through the reedbed scaring any nesting birds.This is my first Sedge Warbler at Cromwell Bottom since 2003 ,when I last saw them in the scrub on the ski club side of the canal towpath just below Crowther Bridge.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Roils Head

Nick Dawtrey's persistance at Roils Head paid off this evening with a female black redstart flitting about on the walls around the horse field near Norton Tower. Other grapeviners were not so fortunate as the bird could not be relocated despite a search 'til 9pm.

A yellow wagtail, found in the horse field along with at least two wheatears, flew off in a north-easterly direction soon after 7:30pm.

Well done Nick!

High Royd

Water levels extremely low - just dried mud on a couple of beds. However, birds still around:

- 2 singing sedge warbler
- pr. of reed bunting
- 5 moorhen
- 2 coot
- 1 little grebe
- 1 swift
This could be a fantastic site with a bit of management.

Re: the website, we intend to meet within the next couple of weeks to discuss the future and content of the club's 'official' website (, led in the technical aspects by Andrew Crystal. I will publish in advance the time and place for this meeting, so if you have an opinion please try make it along, or at least feed your thoughts to Nick C or myself. If you don't do either the site might not end up being what you want.


Following on from Sean's post re Birdlife Malta and their efforts to stop illegal hunting I have received the following E mail from Andre:

Hi all.

This is a very important poll, so could everyone please vote YES on it if they havent done so already, and to forward it far and wide! The government needs to know that they did a good thing here by closing the spring hunting season 10 days early!!

cheers -andre

For background to this issue go to

The Times of Malta regularly hold web site polls to judge public opinion on recent events and these have become an important tool for birders to have their voices heard, please take a look and vote.



Monday, May 14, 2007

green withens 1700-1845

dunlin 2
common sandpiper 6
curlew 2
wheatear 2
red grouse 1
kestrel 2
swift 2 north

halifax birders

the last time i posted this link the server was down for the whole weekend,because they moved the whole thing onto a new server.
like the blog you have to register but forums in my opinion are a lot more reliable and post's do not get 'lost' as they do in the blog.

if no one is interested then all i can say 'is i've done my best' i could do a website but that would have to go to higher levels

Jumble Hole

A quick 15 mins up there brought 3 singing male garden warblers - in view down to 12 feet. It's a bird we get semi regularly here, but not in those numbers.
20 swifts screaming overhead, 2 bullfinch, 4 goldcrests, 3 willow warb's, 12 chiffchaff + usuals

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Luddenden Dean

Visit yesterday afternoon to look for Pied Flycatcher in the same spot as where one was seen earlier in the week at Wade Wood. No sign of it so it has possibly moved on although a Nuthatch was still there. Also 1 (or possibly 2) Cuckoo heard in the dean. The highlight of the afternoon was the male Redstart showing well and singing but no sign of a female. Let's hope!


ringstone edge res

dunlin 2
wheatear 4
grey heron 1

bradley hall farm area 1000-1130

buzzard 1
sparrowhawk 1
dipper 1
kingfisher 2
yellowhammer 5
grey wagtail 4
jay 1
great spotted woodpecker 2
green woodpecker 1
blackcap 3
garden warbler 4
whitethroat 12
chiffchaff 6
willow warbler 7

green withens 1600-1700

dunlin 2
common sandpiper 6
wheatear 1


Following on from the Rochdale birders' success at Whiteholme over the last week Andy Huyton and myself decided on a mornings birding up there, we were not disappointed. As well as the expected species we also had three Whimbrel along with Common Sandpiper (6), Dunlin (2), Wheatear (4), Raven (2) and Peregrine (1). Unfortunately a total of only 9 Twite were seen. Click on photo for larger image.

Fly Flatts

13/05/2007 Quick visit- 0730-0900hrs slight W>2 cloudy
2 Dunlin
8 Common Sandpipers
1 Redshank
2 Grey Wag
1 Pied Wag
1 Golden Plover
2 Wheatear
2 Twite...Unrung
11 Greylag
22 Canada chicks
1m Reed Bunting
+ usual s.p. BS
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 12, 2007


hardcastle crags 0900-1100

1 wood warbler between box 30 and gibson mill
plus the usual, no pied flys or redstarts

withens clough 1120-1150

stonechat 1 male
lesser black backed gull 1

green withens 1300-1700

sand martin 1
house martin 1
swallow 14
swift 3
wheatear 1 male
common sandpiper 6+
curlew 2
kestrel 1 male
lesser black backed gull 5
plus the usual

Wildlife of Rochdale

As we think about how to move the Blog forward and whether to perhaps set up a full blown website we couldn't do better than have a look at the Rochdale website at might give us food for thought? Their birders have been active in the Whiteholme area also with 1 Sanderling, 10 Dunlin and 2 Ringed Plovers there on 9th May and a superb collection of waders on 11th when there was 1 Turnstone, 1 Whimbrel, 3 Ringed Plovers, 2 Redshank and 5 Common Sandpipers.

Friday, May 11, 2007

green withens 1550-1830

grey heron 1
lapwing 3
curlew 2
common sandpiper 7
swallow 4 blogging the res
mallard 2
wheatear 2
meadow pipit 14
skylark 1
reed bunting 1
canada goose n/c still 5 chicks
carrion crow 2

Ringstone (13:30-15:00)

1 Oystercatcher
1 Ringed Plover
2 Lapwing
4 Dunlin
1 Curlew
2 Wheatear
Nice to see a few of Darrell's waders here for a change!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Jumble Hole - dusk

2 woodcock still roding up and down. Possible noctule bat, but didn;t get a good enough look at it. Have had them here before.

green withens 1650-1845

dunlin 2
common sandpiper 5
curlew 1
wheatear 2
kestrel 1
carrion crow 20
magpie 1
reed bunting 1
wren 1
meadow pipit 17
canada goose n/c but the first young of the year
mallard 3 males
black headed gull 1 2nd summer
swallow 1 south
swift 1 north then south at 1755/then 2 south west at 1830

Hardastle Crags (High Brown Knoll)

Walk through the crags today - up one side via Gibson Mill to Blake Dean and down the other side. 2 Wood Warblers (1 singing near the car park and the other on the left hand side of the path 2/3rds of the way to Gibson Mill).
1 Redstart, in the same area as last year but singing higher up in the woodland. No Pied Flycatchers found despite an extensive search. No Tree Pipits or Spotted Flycatcher yet!
2 Blackcaps and c15 Willow Warblers and 1 Chiff-chaff. One toad in the road!

Sparrowhawk (m) over Crimsworth Dean along with c40 Swifts. Nothing doing at High Brown Knoll other than 1 Wheatear, 2 Red Grouse, 1 Golden Plover and c20 Skylarks.

Jumble Hole

30 mins this pm - not much around in the wind

4 goldcrests
2 bullfinch
Garden warbler
10 long tailed tits
2 great spotted woodpecker
5 willow warblers
2 chiffchaff
3 jay
Still very good numbers of hirundines over Callis sewage works, but I was too far away for a meaningful count.

this mornings garden bird

this was here yesterday so this morning i thought it might come back and it did what a good show

was here for about 20 min

along with,

  • greater spotted wood pecker 2 m+f
  • jays 2
  • greenfinch 6
  • chaffinch 5
  • 3 baby dunnocks
  • great tits first hatching in our camera nest box
  • robins 4
  • coal tits 3
  • blue tits 6
  • jackdaws 7

Tree Sparrows

Morning all, a message from Les Midgley. He watched the Tree Sparrows at Jay House yesterday and can confirm that two nest boxes in the open and one in a garden are in use by Tree Sparrows. He also noted that in each box the bottom entrance hole is the one used, not sure if this bit is of any importance as I have not seen the box design.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Not Calderdale - unfortunately

Went and saw the 3 dotterel south of Holmfirth yesterday evening. They were crouching out of the wind in a tractor rut.

Also just wanted to share one photo from the weekend. If only we could convince some to head our way.

blog problems ?

if not then i apologise.(no new posts for over a day)

3 wood warblers in hardcastle craggs,with one in the car park.(grapevine)

also a group from harrogate made a trip down to halifax to see the peregrines,apparantley the peregrines were on look north last night(i dont do telly)they stopped the traffic to let the male eat a pigeon!!! now thats a traffic report.

green withens 1655-1820

oystercatcher 2
common sandpiper 5+
dunlin 2
curlew 1
golden plover 2
black headed gull 2 adults
wheatear 1 male
red grouse 1
mallard 3 males
canada goose n/c
meadow pipit 20+
skylark 2
reed bunting 2
carrion crow 2
magpie 2

hello is anybody out there???

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

green withens 1650-1830

green withens


ringed plover 1 on the north shore
dunlin 2
little ringed plover 2 flew through east
common sandpiper 5/6
curlew 1
golden plover 2
wheatear 1 male by the boathouse

Fly FlattsLuddenden Dean

5 Dunlin this afternoon, 4/possibly 5 Common Sandpipers and 1 Redshank along with Wheatear and Pied Wagtail sheltering on the embankment from the strong wind.
(Photo not up to your Dunlin standard Brian! but I gave it a try)
Nothing doing at High Brown Knoll - strong winds and heavy rain - just a Golden Plover braving the elements and 6 Red Grouse.
Pied Flycatcher (m), Redstart and Nuthatch along with Treecreeper and Blackcaps and lots of Willow Warblers in the dean. Also Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers seen.

Nuthatch At Cromwell Bottom

Morning all, Les Midgley and I had excellent views of a Nuthatch at the edge of the angling lake this morning. The bird was totally unfazed by our presence and moved around a small tree looking for food no more than 6 feet from us. I have been told by one of the decent anglers on the lake that a pair of Nuthatches are breeding in the lake trees, is this pair know about by the bird club ?

Les also thought he heard a Grasshopper Warbler in the usual place on Brookfoot Loop at Cromwell Bottom on Monday morning, but did not get a view of the bird. We looked again this morning but could not see or hear one.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Twite crisis?

Can I make an appeal for local birders to check out any known or former twite breeding colonies please, I can't locate any breeding pairs on Midgley Moor as yet and have heard that numbers are seriously down at Brian Leecy's site and also at several sites in the Burnley area. Hugh Firman will be representing our area on the new south pennines Twite group and would like as much up to date info on colony locations etc as possible to take to the first meeting.

Nest boxes

Has anyone been up Hardcastle Crags in the past week? I went last Friday to check on all but the Crimsworth boxes, but got nothing. Is it that Calderdale is just without wood warb's, redstart and flycatchers, or is it that no-one is checking? Bolton Abbey now have min' 10 pied fly, and 3 singing wood warbs (5th May).

Dotterel search draws blank

Checked a couple of likely Dotterel sites today, High Brown Knoll and Great Manshead but sadly nothing, in fact not much anywhere I visited today apart from a male Mandarin at Ryburn and a few pairs of Stonechat around. Five twite in the Midgley area.

green withens 0830-100

green withens this morning

common sandpiper 4
mistle thrush 1
swallow 2 flew north
kestrel 2

plus usual

Fly Flatts

07/05/2007 0800-1015hrs coldNW>4 dropping. slight drizzle
3 Dunlin
6 Common Sand
2 Grey Wags
2 Pied Wags
5 Wheatear
1 Twite, unrung
2 lots of Canada chicks, 5 and 3.
4 Golden Plover
+ usual sp. BS
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Grasshopper Warblers at Norland

Morning all, Two Grasshopper Warblers singing in full view on Norland Moor this morning. If you park near the bridge on Clough rd and then walk up to the small electric Pylon, cross the stream and take the left hand path along the bottom of the moor, around 100 yards along the path both birds are displaying and singing around 50 yards into the heather. First ever Grasshopper Warblers on the moor for me.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Three singing males at Bradley Hall Farm today was encouraging, also checked Jay House Lane for Tree Sparrow at least one occupied nest box with evidence of nests of some kind in two other boxes (at least), the house owner was out so a full investigation wasn't possible. Common Tern at Elland GP.

Callis Bridge

After the (brief) rain:

90+ house martins
30 swallow
1 swift (my first this year)

Fly Flatts

06/05/2007 0800-1015hrs W>6 gusting 7, early drizzle then sunshine.
1 Dunlin
7 Common Sandpiper
4 Wheatear
3 Unrung Twite
Canadas with young
1 Swift... my first
+ usual BS
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Saturday, May 05, 2007


with such a beautiful evening it seemed a shame to waste it.

gordon d,nick d and myself had a look to see if the nest boxes we put up had any redstart's,nothing doing,nick and myself walked to jerusalem farm to meet gordon(who had driven round to drop me off at the car) a nice walk with 2-3 cuckoo's,green woodpecker,plenty of willow warblers,little owl and great spotted woodpecker.

Jumble Hole

Pair of garden warblers
2 Blackcap
Raven over
3 Whitethroat still singing
2 chiffchaff
2 willow warbler
Robin feeding young out of the nest

Fly Flatts this evening

A quick visit produced...
Golden Plover 1
Curlew 4
Common Sandpiper 6
Redshank 2
Dunlin 3
Lapwing 2
Wheatear 2
Grey Wagtail 2
Grey lag Goose 1
Canada Goose Too many (incl at least 2 broods)
plus usual stuff (Mipit etc)

No Twite


grasshopper warbler scammonden

1 of 2 ringed plover whiteholme

sand martin lower walshaw

elland gp

garden warbler 2
whitethroat 5
blackcap 4
willow warbler
sparrowhawk 1 female


grasshopper warbler 4
stonechat male


ringed plover 2
dunlin 2
wheatear 5

lower and middle walshaw

oystercatcher 2
redshank 1
kestrel 1
greylag 3
grey wagtail 1
sand martin 2
cuckoo 1

Friday, May 04, 2007

Hardcastle Crags

Covered the whole of the main crags valley (i.e. not Crimsworth) and absolutley no sign of flycatchers, redstart or wood warblers. 2 nuthatch by the carpark, long tailed tit feeding young, pr of grey wagtail by mill, 5 gsw, 4 dipper in total, and a juv heron we the only 'highlights'
The photo of the female wood duck was taken later in Hebden Bridge, and shows the difference to the female mandarin nicely.

green withens 1545-1830

this evening was very quiet

common sandpiper 5
curlew 1
golden plover 1
wheatear 1

plus the usual suspects.

let me know what you think


Mandarin Photo's from Monday

On the canal at Mytholmroyd near lock 7 close to the gorilla statues.

News from Widdop Rd

Headed up to Widdop Res yesterday to follow up on report of Buzzard mewing in the area. Had several sightings of Wheatear and a new Ring Ouzel sighting to the right of the Res on the rock slopes a single male. Also male at usual spot at Lower Gorple. Both species clearly on the up this year.

Also at Lower Gorple, Grey wagtail and nesting pair of Dipper, plus usual Curlew and Red Grouse calling.

Returning to Blake Dean stopped to check for Pied Fly and Redstart with no success but did have my first Cuckoo which showed well before flying off up the valley in the direction of Walshaw Res.

As I was leaving a Buzzard came up the valley low, not sure exactly where it had come from but appeared to have come from Lower Gorple. It started to gain height over Blake Dean and headed off towards Hebden Bridge. Seen again over the National Trust Bunk barn before being lost to sight (direction it headed unknown).