Sunday, August 31, 2008


peregrine there yesterday

also heard a herring gull over bradshaw
and saw 5 by the peoples park


Not in Calderdale I hasten to add but I had my first ever close up views of an Osprey this morning on our drive back from Nefyn beach. The bird was actually sitting on a fence post !!! At first we thought it was a Buzzard as we drove past in the gloom but the jizz was all wrong. On stopping the car and creeping back there it was sitting as bold as brass on a fence post 20 feet from us. I only managed a quick look through the bins before the bird took off and disappeared over the horizon. To say we were shocked to see an Osprey in such a situation with no water in sight (except for the rain) is an understatement. I can only assume the bird was from the Glaslyn Osprey project, perhaps a young bird moving out on its own ?

Ogden Garden Bird feeders this week

Among the usual visitors this week are included at least four juvenile bullfinches.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Fly Flats

Early evening with Nick D
Millions of winged ants!
7 Wheatears
2 Whinchat
1 Willow Warbler

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ringstone Hide 12.00-1.20

Shelduck 12 + 12 over
Canada Goose 110
Mallard 22
GC Grebe 1
BH Gull 40+
LBB Gull 1 + 1 juv
Carion Crow 5
Peregrine 1 juv - chasing BHGs
Curlew 2
Oystercatcher 2 over
Snipe 6

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

More tracking info

For any who are interested there is also Highland Foundation for Wildlife site where Roy Dennis posts tracking information for three osprey as well as marsh harrier,honey buzzard and sea eagle. Fascinating stuff!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Loch Garten Osprey over Calderdale

Satellite tracking the 2 Osprey chicks from the RSPB's Loch Garten site has shown that the juv female (Nethy) has, in the last day or so flown directly over Bailiff Bridge and Brighouse (Armitage Industrial Estate)heading due south. Any Brighouse birders see her going over!!!?)
The latest update position is she is now near Cheltenham and her male sibling (Deshar)is on the south coast. We have not been able to get a time fix (or height of flight)on the web-site.

You can get an update (with a link to google earth)at

Fly Flats/Ogden

Wet and windy at Fly Flats this afternoon!
2 Wheatears
1 Mallard
3 Canada Geese

2 G C Grebes
c400 B H gulls
c50 Common Gulls
2 Gt Sp Woodpeckers
c60 Swallows

E mail contact

Apologies to anyone who has attempted to contact us via the e mail address given at the top of this Blog, I was under the impression that this address was being checked regularly but it would appear not. Included in the unread mails were two from Nick Wilkinsion who has been working on twite in our area giving details of colour ringed birds that were reported on here, if anyone wants these details please e mail me at

Monday, August 25, 2008


just seen an albino starling flying past with the normal starlings

Castle Carr Road/Cold Edge

Visit yesterday afternoon with Nick D
Castle Carr Road - No Twite
4 Ravens through >NW
1 Common Buzzard
1 Little Owl
3 Kestrels
2 Stonechats

Cold Edge
2 Whinchats
c3 Kestrels
Lots of Swallows about

Sunday, August 24, 2008

White Holme Resr

Alan Nuttall reported a Grey Plover and Greenshank present at 12:30 hrs.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ringstone Edge R & Scammonden today

Ringstone E Res

09.50 - 12.00 WNW2-3-4 sunny 50% cloud

Great Crested Grebe 1 ad

Cormorant 3 imms

Teal 1

Mallard 9 + fem with 7 week old ducklings

Kestrel 1

Lapwing 95

Com Snipe 6

Curlew 1

Bh Gull 130+

Common Gull 4 juvs 2 ads

Swallow 30+

House M 5

Sand Martin 1

Willow Warbler 1

Stonchat 2

Scammonden Valley

12.05 - 15.10

Kestrel 3

Swallow 25+

Tree Pipit 1 high overhead West + 1 probably landed in valley

Whinchat 2

Stonechat 6+

Redstart male + juv

Com Whitethroat 1

Willow Warbler 10+

Fly Flats

No Twite there this afternoon - probably all over Midgley!
6 Wheatear
6 Kestrels
1 Stoat

1 Common Sandpiper on Dean Head Res'r (upper)

Midgley feeding station

36 twite here this afternoon including at least 16 colour ringed birds, combos have been sent to the ringers. Earlier this week Dave and Jennifer Sutcliffe and I attended the feedback meeting for those involved in the Recovery Project's preliminary survey of breeding twite in the South Pennines, best estimate is that there are now only 100 pairs of twite left breeding in the S Pennines. As our area accounted for around 30 of these the importance of Calderdale to this threatened species cannot be over emphasised.

Hardcastle Crags and Walshaw Dean

Saturday am.
Quick (!) walk up through Hardcastle Crags to Walshaw Dean reservoirs.
In the woods - coal tits, great tits, 2 GS woodpecker. Not much else noticed.


Linnets, meadow pipits, grouse.
2 female crossbills.
2 weasels.
2 tufted duck, 6 canada geese (more flew in), mallard. All 3 reservoirs are full so not much for passing waders.
6 wheatear

2 whinchat

3 pied wagtail
Small numbers of swallows also.

Lee Mount

1 Swift over this morning heading >SE

Another Swift over going >W at 4.20 pm

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bird Report

Copies of the 2006 report were delivered this afternoon to Todmorden Tourist Information Centre. Cost is £5 and well worth the read, full of interesting information on the birds of Calderdale.
The report is still available at Woodlesford Newsagents in Moor End Road, Halifax.
The bird club would be very grateful for your support.

Undisclosed site

With Nick Dawtery this afternoon
Flock of around 50 Hirundines - mostly House Martins
5 Common Buzzards
2 Peregrines
5 Kestrels
Just like Wales!


Winterburn Lane
c80 Linnets and c30 Goldfinch in the fields near the rugby pitches
Also lots of Swallows about

(1 Swift yesterday evening over Salterhebble)

Ogden/Fly Flats

1 Teal today with the usual sp.. and Grey Wagtail

Fly Flats
6 Wheatear together + another c4 in other areas

Withens Gap
1 Little Owl
1 Wheatear
c50 Meadow Pipits came down after a heavy shower then quickly moved on

Sea watching & stuff

Hello all from Sunny (at last) North Wales. I am posting to ask for a little help. As most will know I am only a part time novice birder but as I have moved to an area which it is suggested should turn up some nice migrants and seabirds I thought I better brush up on tecniques. Can anyone recommend a good book or website with some tips on watching for seabirds ? I have never done much seabird watching apart from the seabird colonies at St Abbs Head in the Scottish borders where its simply a case of setting up the scope and wading (pardon the pun) your way through hundreds of birds to try and spot something different. I have no idea how one goes about watching seabirds apart from wader spotting whilst walking the beaches around here. Does one simply set up the scope in a suitable spot and keep watch ?

Not bothered with the Glaslyn osprey project which is nearby as I have been told its not very good for views unless one is very lucky on the day. But seen lots of other birds of prey and found at least two Buzzard nests with young. Buzzards are very common here and seem to escape persecution despite some areas having Gamekeepers. Its hard to believe just how rich and varied the bird life here is compared to Calderdale. Merlin's can be seen on most coastal or hill walks and one does not have to go far to spot Peregrines All the hedgerows are absolutely stuffed full of birds as its all small scale farms with small fields here so the hedges are left in place with just a trim in August. I have never seen so many House Sparrows in all my life, its hard to believe they are in decline in other parts of the country.We usually wake up to the sound of Ravens cronking around the site...and rain this month, we also get the occasional Chough passing overhead from their stronghold on the Pen Llyn. We had a Wrens nest around 6 feet from our front door earlier in the year and a pair of Robins nested around 6 feet away from my office window and managed to fledge 5 young in early July. If anyone fancies a trip down to North Wales you are welcome to call in. We don't have enough space to put people up but we do know some good reasonably priced local B&Bs and we are happy to supply some grub and booze should you require it :-))

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Keep watch!

Lots of reports on BirdGuides of Ospreys moving through the country in the last few days. We were fortunate enough to see one going over Etherow Country Park nr Stockport today! So keep a look out in Calderdale in the next few weeks.

Roils Head

From Nick Dawtery - 5/6 Crossbills again this afternoon and early evening.
They seem to be feeding in the pine trees around the golf course and drinking in puddles along the track that leads from near the top of Paddock Lane along the wall that runs along the top side of the golf course towards Rye Lane.
Please do not go into the golf course land!


Any thoughts on this bird seen in the long grass on Aug 15th alongside Castle Carr Road? On first site (head above the grass)we had it down for a Red Grouse! Then, on closer approach it did not flush but started contact calling and we located c6 3/4 day old chicks with it! Just didn't look quite right for a normal female Pheasant!!! Do keepers keep Black Francolins??? Any ideas.........?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ryburn and Baitings Res'rs

Ryburn Res'r this afternoon
2 Cormorants
2 Grey Herons
1 Willow Warbler
c30 Siskin in larches near the car park

Baitings Res'r
1 Great Crested Grebe
1 Grey Heron


This afternoon - No sign of the Yellow-legged Gull seen by Sean this morning
80 Starlings
12 Lapwings
14 Canada Geese
18 Mallard
15 B H Gulls

Monday, August 18, 2008


Pair of Sparrowhawks successfully fledged 3 young in woodland near to my home.
Redstart seen at Ringstone this evening. SEO hunting at Deanhead (Scammonden) 9.15pm.

Young Birds

Saw an adult and a juvenile dipper in the Calder (Walsden Water) at the end of Strines Street, Walsden last week.

Today, goldfinch feeding two young (I'm assuming a second brood) in tree near house.


No terns here! Sean

1 Swift over by the wind farm
2 G C Grebes still
3 Gt Spotted Woodpeckers
Flock of c12 L T Tits/c10 Coal Tits/1 Godcrest/ 3 Willow warblers
c42 Lapwings in the fields between Ogden and Soil Hill

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Fly Flats

Twite yesterday

The bird on the left had P/Y/B on left tarsus and BTO ring on right

(double click on left mouse button for a larger image!)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fly Flats


This afternoon - very quiet two and a half hours intil the last half hour!

34 Twite on the embankment and around the feeding station on thistles. Lots of birds had colour rings but all very flighty so hard to get details other than off two birds ie 1) P/W on right and Y above BTO ring on left and 2) P/Y/B on left and BTO ring on right.

5 Wheatears
1 Whinchat
1 Pied wagtail
15 Meadow Pipits
1 Red Grouse
c6 Kestrels

Also 14 Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies (news report recently said they were in a drastic decline this year due to another insect pest eating their eggs and larva).

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Well done Daniel reporting the Oystercatchers there this afternoon.
Dipper again in Skirden Clough
5 Siskin
11 Swifts >S at 13.30 in the area between Soil Hill and Ogden


the waders have at last arived on the ogden mud:
7 oystercatchers with the black headed gulls this morning (computer been down since then)

coal tits presant
1 dipper flew up one of the 2 rivers
1 grey wagtail flew down the same river
plus usual speices

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Surprise eggs.

Last week we trimmed the top of a Virginia Creeper to keep it off a roof, and whilst checking for birds' nests I saw one 20ft up with fresh droppings round it, indicating a recent successful brood which I missed.
Today, admiring my handiwork, I saw a greenfinch fly out. On getting the ladder, I was delighted to find a beautiful repeat clutch of 4 eggs.
It's important to check all creepers and hedges before trimming. Wet summers encourage pairs to try to keep on breeding, especially finches and thrushes.
As many birders know, if anyone fancies nest recording, the BTO provide guidelines and recording cards or you can submit electronically.

Willow Warbler in a large Saville Park Garden 7 days ago and a Chiff-chaff today at Blackshaw Head in bushes. (Neither singing.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Late afternoon till 6.15 pm
220 B H gulls
34 L B B G's
12 Common Gulls
2 G C Grebes
4 Swifts heading north away from the storm brewing at 6 pm!
18 Swallows
1 Kestrel
2 Siskin
2 Treecreepers + usual woodland sp... including 4 Goldcrests

Fly Flats

Shooters on the Castle Carr Estate today -'Glorious 12th'!!
Visit late afternoon
Still 3 juv Wheatears by the boat house
50+ House Martins over the far end of res'r and heading down into Castle Carr area(Not one Swift or Swallow with them)

Cold Edge/Withens Gap

(Mon)light to heavy drizzle all afternoon.
1 Whinchat at Withens Gap
1 Wheatear at Cold Edge and that was about it!

Roils Head

Posting for Nick Dawtrey (Monday)
3 Crossbills there this afternoon in Larch trees along with several migrant Willow Warblers

Monday, August 11, 2008

Moth trap

I am off to Cornwall(pendeen) for 2 weeks on Friday if any body would like to borrow my (very bright)moth trap for two weeks they are more than welcome.Please leave a comment below.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sun 10th August Rishworth Moor.

Pair of Whimbrel, 2 Merlin, 14 Twite, Grey Wag, Pair Dippers, 2 Peg, 48 Reed Bunt, 4 Stonechat, 4 Red Grouse, 2 Raven. Not bad for a crap day!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Fly Flats

Earlier today
1 Twite
1 Redshank
3 Wheatears - one of which (a juv) had a BTO ring on right tarsus

Soil Hill

14.30 - 15.30

1 Peregrine flew north.
2 wheatears.
several mipits and two twite flew west.
Gull movement west with several dozen BHG, 1 common and 1 LBB.
2 juv pied wags being fed by mum.
A large dark raptor drifted east between Thornton and Yeadon - very high, not identified!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Booth Wood Res'r

2 Oystercatchers in the fields with 68 Canada Geese this afternoon

Fly Flats

8 Twite today - similar colour combinations as a few days ago all on right tarsus RW/B, RW/Y, ?/?/G. Other birds were ringed but they were off before I could log them.
3 Wheatears by the boat house


50 + Willow Warblers (and 1 Chiff-chaff)early this morning after an overnight 'fall' Lots were in Skirden Clough and also in the bracken area leading up to the 'giant's tooth.
Also a similar number of Coal Tits coming through but even more difficult to count! along with a few Goldcrest and L T Tits
40+ House Martins also through with 6 Swallows and 1 Swift

1 Siskin
2 G C Grebes
1 Grey Heron
1 Sparrowhawk

Undisclosed Site

With apologies for the quality but this juv Peregrine and the Red Kite were taken at a distance this morning!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Ringstone Edge Res'r

Yesterday (5/08/08)pm
1 Common Sandpiper
1 Great Crested Grebe
31 Lapwings
2 Reed Bunting
30+ Swallows

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Ogden/Fly Flats

11 Siskin
2 Grey Wagtails
2 G C Grebes
1 Grey Heron
120 B H Gulls and 3 Common Gulls
Meadow Pipits still feeding young
Usual tit sp.. and 1 Treecreeper

Golf Course
55 Swifts, 2 House Martins and 33 Swallows passing through
2 pairs of Stonechats (one pair still feeding young)
1 Snipe

Withens Gap
86 Linnets
1 Curlew

Fly Flats
2 Twite (both with same colour rings - LEFT tarsus Red/White
1 Common Sandpiper
1 Curlew
1 Wheatear
Meadow Pipts still feeding young

Monday, August 04, 2008

Moorland Visit

Monday 7pm - 9pm
70 starling.
4 mistle thrush
2 goldfinch
4 curlew
1 oystercatcher

1 common sandpiper
1 stock dove
8 kestrel
3 common buzzard. They soared together and 2 of them landed for a few minutes but didn't appear to be eating anything.

2 short eared owl. One of them took exception to a kestrel hunting in the same area. It flew up behind and above the kestrel but before it attacked (assuming it was going to) the kestrel descended and then moved off. It didn't appear to have even noticed the owl.

2 tufted duck
30 canada geese
2 red grouse
1 meadow pipit

Right on my Doorstep...all this time????

Having believed the Grasshopper Warblers to have departed in a weather window I went out tonight to view over the valley, only on my midge bitten descent to be shocked to hear at least 1 reeling again. Went in search but didn't show before I was driven back my the midges, it begs the question when did they arrive? Matt had 2 and until recently most evenings I was returning home late and leaving in the morning in a car, so I do wonder if they have been here all summer long?? They maybe elusive but I still think it's a touch embarrassing, at least they didn't go completely undetected.
Pick is one of a bird taken elsewhere, just put it on to brighten things up.

Grapevine Reminder

Thanks to those who have sent grapevine money in so promptly. Still some outstanding ref the posting on 29th July.

Twite ring information

Received from Nick Wilkinson (RSPB Twite field worker)

Details of the colour-ringed twite seen at Fly Flats on 2 August (Red-White is a split colour ring):

R leg combinations:
RW/B; RW/O (in photo, poss the RW/Y listed); RW/R were all ringed as pulli in the same brood from a nest at Fly Flats in June 2008. The bird ?/G could also be from the same brood.

P/WR could be one of three birds ringed as pulli at other colonies in the south Pennines this year. Otherwise, it could have been mistaken as RW/P which was also a pulli this year from Fly Flats.

Twite pulli are being colour marked this year as part of our monitoring work for the Twite Recovery Project. The colour ringing is being undertaken to build up a population of marked birds to be able to monitor the number of breeding attempts made in a season by individual females. Birds are ringed with a unique combination (to allow individual identification) using a scheme of a colour above the BTO ring on the left leg and two colours on the right leg.

Thanks for these resightings.

Recapture History

Many thanks to David Sowter for this info on the LBB Gull at clifton
Ring Age/ Capture
numbe Typ Date Init Details
Lesser Black-backed Gull
GN86248 N 3 08/07/06 LEA S. Walney Nature Reserve, Cumbria
S 3 Sighted 06/11/06 APB Moana, Pontevedra, Spain (1369 km, SSW, 121 days)
S 7 Sighted 17/07/08 UF4 Clifton, Halifax, West Yorkshire (101 km, ESE, 2 yrs 9days)


1 Woodchat Shrike,4 Meditaranean Gull,2 Little Egrets and a Red Breasted merganser if this is July roll on October.Could we be lucky enough to get Two Barred Crossbill or even another Yellow Browed warbler.We must surely be due a Black necked Grebe or a Wryneck,good luck and get out there.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Fly Flats

10 Twite at Fly Flats today. At least 5 had colour ring combinations on right tarsus. Including

Also present
2 Kestrels
28 Swallows
41 Meadow Pipits (and still feeding young)
2 Curlew
58 Canada Geese
1 Common Buzzard at a distance

Friday, August 01, 2008

Woodchat Shrike NOT spotted!

Roy checked the site this morning 10.45 till 11.30 and we checked the area from 12 till 3 pm this afternoon without any success.
Just 2 Little Owls nearby with at least 1 juv
2 Kestrels, a few Linnetts, Swallows, Meadow Pipits and 1 Willow Warbler