Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Everything hiding away this morning!
1 Chiff-chaff (short bursts of song was a surprise) in the willows near the top eastern pond
1 G C Grebe
8+ Goldcrests

Monday, September 29, 2008


Very quiet bird - wise this afternoon
1 G C Grebe
60 B H Gulls
2 Common Gulls
16+ Goldcrests

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sat 27th September

First outing in calderdale in a long while, had a drive up to Widdop reservoir.

2 Stonechat in the bracken at the far end of the dam.
4 goldcrest in the sycamores round the far side.
A few mipit and heard a grey wag.

Drove back down the road, stopping near the quarry.

2 more stonechat,
female wheatear
2 little owl.
Merlin hunting the gorge.

Quickstop off at Jerusalem farm and surprised to see no more than a couple of chaffinch, woodpigeon and carrion crow.

Shibden Valley/Swalesmoor

This afternoon;
Shibden Valley (upper)
14 Swallows (several young birds but adults still going into buildings around Scout Hall (so probably still have young!)
1 Treecreeper
c10 Goldcrests
2 Kestrels

1 Wheatear
12 Grey Partidge (together in one of the old tip sites)
20+ House Sparrows at Ploughcroft
1 Sparrowhawk


still around ripponden area been showing all day so far. seams to do the same circuit , i wonder if it could be resedent hope so

Lee Mount

Chiff-chaff singing this morning in Shroggs Park 7.30 till 8 am - must be thinking it's spring!
Also Goldcrests present

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ringstone Saturday

3 House Martin
200 Lapwing
1 Jay
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
2 Sparrowhawk
3 Goldcrest


ogden this morning;
goldecrests-so close you could toch them if you had very long arms
gc grebe-so far away you would struggle to see it through bins
plus usual sp.
barnacle goose not there


My wife spotted this opposite her work in ripponden and then phoned me to bring my camera, it has been around for most of the day, she has seen it numerous times

Ringstone Friday

20 Goldfinch
1 Raven
2 kestrel
1 Sparrowhawk
4 Goldcrest
87 lapwing
4 Snipe
2 Common Gull
150 BH Gull
30+ Meadow Pipit
2 reed Bunting

Friday, September 26, 2008


3 Stonechats flitting next to road above Sowerby.

Than on way home home saw this and it seemed different. Quite distant but seemed to have really grey head and deep black face through bins. Got this v poor pic but can anyone confirm from this that it is a 'chat?(may need to double click but doesn't get much clearer).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ringstone today

300 blogging mipits
2 Stonechat
3 Redpoll
4 Widgeon
2 GC Grebe
70 lapwing
2 Common Gull
9 Goldcrest

Jay House Lane, Clifton

Over 50 Meadow Pipits feeding across a newly ploughed field this afternoon- the ground seemed to be lightly heaving with Mipits !
Little Owl near the road flew off just as the lens cap came off the camera....
A flock of 20 Lapwings overhead

Luddenden Dean

Not a lot moving in the dean today - no Swallows or House Martins
Meadow Pipits on the move in small numbers only over Midgley Moor >SW
2 Green and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker in the dean
1 Sparrowhawk
c6 Kestrels
c6 Siskins over Spa Wood
1 Treecreeper by Jerusalem Farm (lots of Coal/Blue and Great Tits there along with c10 Long-tailed Tits)


just seen 2 fly up bradshaw lane
were flying together but parted when i saw them
this is good because before there was only 1 of them
it is good to see they are increasing
they are magnificent when you see them close

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Birdwatching in bed - Jumble Hole Clough

Got up this morning, made a cup of tea and went briefly back to bed to drink it after opening the curtains, as I always do. I was thinking I'd love to do a bit of birding today, but I've too much work on. At that moment, a bird appeared on the telephone wire outside my window - c.4-5 feet from my head. 1st year spotted flycatcher. It flitted on and off the wires for 30 seconds, then disappeared. Just brilliant. If Mohammed won't go to the mountain....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ogden/Fly Flats

Fly Flats
33 Twite this afternoon at the feeding station (including young birds ringed at Fly Flats this year)
6 Golden Plover through over Oxenhope Moor
2 Ravens over Nab Hill going towards Thornton Moor
2 Wheatears
4 Kestrels

1 Stonechat at the top of golf course
1 G C Grebe
1 Swallow >SW
1 Stock Dove
Still plenty Meadow Pipts around
1 Grey Wagtail

Monday, September 22, 2008


3 Ravens through over Syke lane this afternoon at 3 pm >SW
2 G C Grebes
2 Siskin
1 Little Owl
2 Kestrels
1 Stock Dove
1 Grey Heron
c70 Goldfinch on thistles along Back Lane
1 Barnacle, 1 Greylag and 9 Canada Geese

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Jumble Hole Clough

A buzzard sp. drifted fairly low SW down the valley at around 11:30am. I couldn't get enough IDing features on it to be sure, as it was flying away from me at 45 degrees, but on balance it was most likely common buzzard. It dropped quickly into fields at Higher Eastwood.

Also up there, 4 chiff chaff together.
Green woodpecker in the garden this afternoon.

Fly Flatts

A couple of hours spent this morning hoping for a decent raptor (Honey Buzzard?) only to be beaten to it by Nick this afternoon! Never mind there were

Sparrowhawk 1
Kestrel 2
Twite 27 (incl at least 13 combos determined)
Cormorant 2 South

No twite at the Midgley feeding station

An hour or so at Ringstone with Niall this afternoon produced

Pochard 1 male
Mallard 2
Lapwing 110
Pied Wagtail 1
Grey wagtail 2
Grey Heron 1 (taking small fish from the east pool)
Black headed Gull 30
Common Gull 4
Pheasant 1
Great crested Grebe 2

Whilst Driving Today

2 Cormorants - on Booth Wood Res.
1 Goosander - flying above Elland Bypass

Undisclosed site

Posting for Nick Dawtrey (rewards for persistance) One fantastic male hen harrier going north west this afternoon.
2 peregrines
1 common buzzard
5 goosanders

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fly Flats/Castle Carr/Cold Edge

2 Meadow Pipts this morning along Castle Carr Road. Also along the road were
6 Stonechats together
1 Sparrowhawk
4 Kestrels
1 Little Owl
c200 Meadow Pipits, 8 Skylarks, 2 Swallows and 2 Linnets moving >SW

Cold Edge
1 Common Buzzard over
1 Little Owl
Fly Flats -
2 Swallows, 2 Skylarks and c50 Meadow Pipits moving >S
2 Ravens >NE
1 Wheatear
3 Kestrels

soil hill

a look this morning when the text came through about the hobby

mass mipit movement there

20ish skylarks

1 male spoarrowhawk

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mytholmroyd to Hebden Bridge

Posted on behalf of Colin Shields

Walk over tops from Mytholmroyd to Hebden Bridge via Stoodley Pike 19 September 2008.Broadhead Clough had a Green woodpecker and about 80 Siskin feeding on Birch. Walk over top on Dick Lane was quiet. About 10 Meadow Pipit and 2 Skylark. Peenine Way down through Callis Wood had 12 Mistle Thushes and about 30 more Siskin in the Birches. With them was a Chiffchaff.


No not a foreign language just a notification that the Conservation Group are holding their AGM next Tuesday (23rd) at the offices of Calderdale Council above the library in Mytholmroyd beginning at 8pm.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cold Edge - Falconer

Concerned at approach to Cold Edge (6.15pm) to see med/large bird of prey on guys arm. He aslo has a gun dog so I assume he was hunting. He made a swift exit as when he saw us. Is it legal for him to hunt up there?Also:-

20+ Mipits between Cold Edge and Castle Carr Road

2 Lapwings over >S

20+ Mallard

4 Greylag (I assume feral)

4 Tufties

3 Goosander flew in from South jo join a further 4 to roost (sorry about pic quality)

Small wader flew out of grass at in high speed, twisting flight - think Snipe

Honey Buzzard Cold Edge

Pete Atkins reports a Honey Buzzard around 5 o clock this evening at Cold Edge.

Crimsworth Dean

12.30 today

2 Buzzards circling overhead.
2 Kestrels
1 Goldcrest
1 Chiffchaff

Jumble Hole / Underbank

A quick 20 minutes at 10:00am. Mostly common species, but notable were:

- 2 redwing
- 1 nuthatch
- 2 bullfinch
- 22+ robins

There seemed to be a real lack of berries on hawthorn, holly, rowan and elder.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fly Flats

This afternoon
25 Twite at the feeding station with various colour ringed combinations
2 Wheatear
4 Kestrels
1 Willow Warbler in the two bushes by the bridge (reluctant to leave)!
c20 Meadow Pipits
18 Canada Geese

Honey Buzzard

Hi all sorry for late post but I've been at work.Spent most of the afternoon at Ringstone and it was apparent that there was a big movment of hirundines when I arrived .About 400 + Swallows,50 House martin and 10 sand martin all south west,'Sean of the rings' was just leaving and he told me of Goldcrest and willow warbler in the hedge.3 Great C Grebes ,2 Teal,8 LBBGull,70 BHGull and 2 Common Gull.Around the walls looking for migrants turned up more Mipits,Stonechat,Wheatear,flushed a Grey partridge ,Whintchat(thanks SeanOTR)and a few Pied Wags overhead.Then in the distance a large raptor over Krumlin heading towards Ringstone looked imediatly good for Honey Buzzard with flat long wings and protuding head.i eventually got it in the scope and watched it for a couple of minutes before it headed of towards scammonden.Description to follow.

My Garden

2 Siskins on the feeders this lunchtime as well as the usual Greenfinches & Goldfinches


This sparrowhawk was on the wires outside my house for about 15 minutes at 11:15am. Shot taken with a standard digi camera - if only I had decent kit!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fly Flats

Flock of 25+ Twite at the feeding station at 3.45 on Saturday afternoon. (Haven't been able to get on to the blog since).

Norland again

This is a bit late, I know. I'm a Huddersfield birder and have only just joined the blog.

Anyway I went looking for the reported Wryneck at Norland on Sat, 13th, late morning, and found singles of both Pied and Spotted Flycatchers in birches directly opposite the Moorcock, just where the slope starts getting steeper. Yesterday, Monday, the Spotted Fly was still there but there was no sign of the Pied (or the Wryneck).


1 G C Grebe
1 Gt Spotted Woodpecker
12 Swallows
c12 Goldcrests
c15 Robins
1 Grey Heron
200+ Meadow Pip1ts in Back Lane fields
3 Kestrels

Soil Hill
c50 Jackdaws
1 Wheatear - yesterday evening

Monday, September 15, 2008

Midgley Moor

Posting for Nick Dawtrey at his Mount Tabor watch point
Osprey at 12.40 circling over Crow Hill -headed off south west. Also 2 Ravens,1 buzzard and 4 kestrels .

Saturday, September 13, 2008

No Wryneck


This is my first blog as I am a pretty poor and inexperienced birder - but keen! I haven't dared blog previously as I don't see many rarities and don't want to bore but with the recent request for more blogs I thought I'd join in.

I have been up to the Wryneck spot for half an hour up to dusk but no joy. Very quiet with not a single swallow and only one mipit. Only other birds seen were corvids, a skein of 25ish geese heading W (think Canadas but at distance) and a beautifil sunlit kestrel on a wire just above Copley Wood. Also saw two bats and a nice young fox on the climb back to Birdcage.

My wife claims to have seen a carrion crow at Warley with brown (not white) wing feathers. Is this likely as I thought the juveniles just showed some white? Also in previous years I have seen up to 4 SEOs at Fly Flatts at once but none on several visits this year. I have noted several blogs with sightings at other sites so has it been a bad year or am I just being unlucky?

Mount Tabor (raptor watch point)

Posting for Nick Dawtrey
Red Kite this evening at 6.30. The bird was seen coming over from Stoodley Pike area, over upper Luddenden Dean and Cold Edge then off towards the area between Ogden and Thornton Moor. I think this is our third record of Red Kite this year - well done Nick.

Also 3 Goosander >N
Meadow Pipits moving through

Take a very careful look, if you see any Buzzards in the next week or so as there has been numerous Honey Buzzards moving through on the east coast in the last day or so!

No reports from the Wryneck location today.

Beacon Hill Looking towards Shibden Hall Rd

Sqaturday 4.30pm
Green Woodpecker using turreted chimney as a perch & searching stonework for insects.
5 Goldfinch.
I Owl flying low over field jusy below Shibden Hall Rd, didn't see enough of it for a definate id (Short Eared?)
30 or so House Martins flying overhead.
3 Redwing

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ringstone - Norland - Ringstone

Well no sign of the Wryneck but an unbelievable movement of Swallows, when I got to Ringstone about 12.30 there were 12 Widgeon,3 Great c Grebes, grey heron,2 Stonechat,10 greenfinch,20 Golfinch and 20+ Linnet .Then I noted about 400 Swallows low over the north field mainly Swallows with a few house Martins these moved off s/w then about 300 were over the water mainly Juveniles and House Martins,then the call from Nick about the Wrrryneck so I shot off to Norland every field had Swallows hunting just above the ground ,,Norland Moor was also thick with Swallows and Meadow Pipits.Its difficult to put a total on it but I would say at least 2000+ Swallows,100 House Martins and 300/400 Mipits all moving in front of the bad weather heading s/w.Good Stuff

Norland Moor

Report to Nick Dawtrey of a WRYNECK yesterday afternoon at 3 pm in birches.
Area checked this afternoon by TW/AC/NCD/NR/DJS et al without success so far. This is a very rare bird in Calderdale so well worth having a look for this evening or over the weekend!.

From the car park opposite the Moorcroft Pub go straight up the moor to the top of the hill. The bird was seen around the ridge to the right of the quarries in the birch trees. Apparantly it gave clear views including sitting on a branch of a birch turning its head from side to side.

Also present on the moor edge:
1+ Wheatear
200+ Meadow Pipits
1 Reed Bunting
2+ Kestrels and a few Swallows

Luddenden Dean

Luddenden Dean today looking north towards Castle Carr and Warley Moor from Midgley Moor (Garnett Edge)
c400 Hirundines all morning feeding all along the edge of Midgley Moor - mostly Swallows including lots of juveniles and a few House Martins.
1 Chiff-chaff
4 Stonechats
1 Grey Heron
3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers
1 Green Woodpecker
c15 Siskin and 1 Redpoll over towards Spa Wood
1 Little Owl
c5 Kestrels (must have been a good breeding season as lots of them about)


Is the following of enough interest for someone to post it on Calderdale Moths please? Can't seem to sign on to that site.

A Canary Shouldered Thorn moth on the outside of our main entrance door this morning - Mytholmroyd. Main thing that struck me was the bright yellow furry body. Wings held folded up. not spread out.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Beacon Hill

Report from Nick Walsh of 30+ redwing at the top of Beacon Hill, Halifax around 1pm today. Also green woodpecker and Stephen Fry with a film crew!

Fly Flats

Fly Flats
c30 Twite at the feeding station this afternoon but very flighty and unable to get any ring combinations
10 Wheatears

Dean Head (top res'r)
1 Stonechat
4 Stock Doves
1 Chiff-chaff


1 Dipper in the silt trap pond at the top western end.
2 G C Grebes
15+ Goldcrest
80+ Meadow Pipits put up by a Sparrowhawk on Back Lane
2 Grey Wagtails
2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers
1 Barnacle Goose!
1 House Martin through and Swallows seem to be moving out now
2 L B B Gulls

Chiffchaff - Jumble Hole Clough

One very vocal chiffchaff outside my bedroom window at dawn.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Booth Wood Res'r

1 Cormorant there this morning

Ringstone today

3,GC Grebe,1 Shelduck,10 Snipe,90 Canada Goose,30 Meadow Pipits s/w,15 swallows and 5 House martin.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Early afternoon (thick mist and drizzle)
2 G C Grebes
5 Tufted Duck
1 Dipper
1 fem Blackcap eating rowan berries
12+ Goldcrests (numbers starting to build up)
16+ Robins (numbers also increasing)
12+ Coal Tits
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
95 Black-headed and 10 Common Gulls

Books for Sale

I have several used copies of some old but very useful lepidoptera books for sale cheap to Calderdale moffers.

Larval Foodplants A Vade Mecum for the Field Lepidopterist by PBM Allan... £12 a copy including postage. I have TWO copies only spare.

The Caterpillars of the British Moths by Stokoe. Part of the Wayside & Woodland Series... these normally go for between £25 and £65 for ONE volume depending on condition. I have TWO sets at £45 a set including P&P.

I will happily hang on for payday if someone is financially embarrassed at the moment. I will be donating any cash raised to The Halifax Bird Club after my P&P expenses have been deducted in my annual donation to the club in January. Hopefully these volumes will go to keen local moffers and not be bought for re-sale on eBay....I will be watching :-))


Last evening c40 house martins feeding over the house in Walsden.

Mid-morning today c200 house martins on telegraph wires up Hall Bank Lane,
Mytholmroyd and circling over the building at work.

2 grey wagtails in the river at the end of Strines Street, Walsden 7.00am today

Monday, September 08, 2008

Green Withens

1 Common Scoter reported there this afternoon at 5 pm from DP

Swales Moor

1 Common Buzzard through there this morning at 09.48 >E from PJWS

Chough question

I know that Choughs feed on invertebrates and mainly on the ants Lassius flavious and L. niger, so did they at one time occupy coastal cliffs all around Britain ? The reason for my question is that I pointed out some Choughs today to some people whilst eating my butties at the top of Mynydd Mawr this lunchtime and when I told them this was one of the last strongholds of Choughs in Britain they asked why they did not occur in other areas of coast around Britain. I know Choughs are around in Cornwall, but I know of nowhere else that they occur or have occurred ? I assume that if they only occur in Cornwall and North Wales its because of lack of these sufficient numbers of these ants elsewhere ?

Not a bad spot to eat yer butties with glorious views across to Ireland and Ravens, Choughs and Peregrines to keep one entertained.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Osprey and Mipits

Osprey into Calderdale over Causeway Foot 07-09-2008 pm see:


Mipits on the move at Fly Flatts 07-09-2008 eve see:



Castle Carr Road/Luddenden Dean

This afternoon Castle Carr Road;
1 Redstart in the first garden past the old railway cabins, along the fence line at rear of garden
1 Whinchat
2 Wheatears
5 Stonechats (together)
10 Twite near the old railway cabins at the far end if the road. 2 with pink rings on left tarsus but others combinations hard to see as they perched on the telegraph wires.
1 f Sparrowhawk

Luddenden Dean; (near the lower lodge with lots of birds in the scrub banking area on the east side where all the rabbits are)
1 Redstart
c12 Siskin
1 Green Woodpecker
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
Mistle Thrushes now taking rowan berries
1 Little Owl
3+ Kestrels

bradshaw this week

1 sparrowhawk this morning
1 heron this morning
2 kestrels some time back

Whiteholme, Sunday first thing

Not much doing - 2 Raven, 4 Cormorant, 1 Wheatear. A small flock of c. 25 Twite on the reservoir embankment just behind White House pub. A quick check in heavy rain at Ringstone = 1 Wigeon, plus the usual.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


Checked the Twite feeding station this afternoon, very quiet only one (unringed) bird present, Sue who has been keeping an eye on it whilst I have been away reports 30 there at the end of last week. Twite are still in good numbers on the Outer Hebrides where we had flocks of 60+ last week, interestingly one of the plants we saw them feeding on was Ragwort, no shortage of that around here. Very little else bird wise of note at Midgley just a Sparrowhawk through this morning, Red Admiral butterfly just now.

Ringstone after the rain

Needless to say the water level is right up. 14 snipe squeezed on to a pitiful amount of shore. Plus 3 G Cr Grebe.

Ogden Water

Two Canada Geese accompanied by one Barnacle goose flying above ogden yesterday at about noon

Friday, September 05, 2008

Blog records

Just a quick note to request / plead that people continue to post records / thoughts / questions on this blog. Recently it has dwindled down to a hardened few posting, yet hits (i.e. people viewing these few posts) remain higher than ever - well over 100 hits per day.

Posts don't always have to be spectacular or rarities, and without anything to fuel it, the blog will wither and die very, very quickly. If you go out birding, or see anything of interest then just pop it on here. A huge thanks should go at this point to Dave Sutcliffe, who's contribution over the past few weeks has been invaluable.

As we enter the peak migration period, please keep 'em coming. If you want to add to the blog, but for whatever reason can't then please let me know.

Many thanks in advance. Without you posting, this blog is nothing. The only content is what you put on here.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Walshaw Dean - 7pm

2 mallard, 2 kestrel, 3 red grouse, 1 pheasant, 1 stock dove and that was it. Both lower and middle reservoirs are overflowing.

Callis sewage works

A brief look after the rain stopped - 4:30pm
On/over the filter beds:
6 grey wagtails (at least 3 imm')
10 pied wagtails (at least 2 newly fledged)
c50 jackdaws
25 house martin
15 swallows
In scrub by canal:
2 chiffchaff (1 imm')
10 long tailed tit

Luddenden Dean

Unfortunately this is the best I could do in the drizzle when an Osprey went over Upper Heys Wood this afternoon at 12.50. It circled higher and flew off over Midgley Moor at 12.53.
We had lots of birds in the dean today (38 species) including;
2 Spotted Flycatchers on the heather/rowan banking at Dry Carr
1 Peregrine (juv)
1 female Sparrowhawk
100 + Swallows and c80 House Martins moving through
1 flock of 80+ Meadow Pipits
1 Wheatear
1 Stonechat
30 + Siskin in Heys Wood and 14 Linnets nearby
1 Little Owl

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Shibden Valley

Unconfirmed report via Brian Sumner of an Osprey >South towards Stump Cross over Shibden Valley on 2nd September mid afternoon. See the link to Queensbury Birders for that date.

Booth Wood Res'r

1 Cormorant there this morning

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Ringstone Edge Res'r

2 Cormorants there this afternoon and 2 G C Grebes


2 G C Grebes
c60 Lapwings in fields over Back Lane
1 each - Green and Gt Spotted Woodpeckers
1 Sparrowhawk

Fly Flats/Castle Carr

Fly Flats
6 Wheatear
2 Red Grouse
1 Dipper by the pump house sean by Sean Gray earlier in the day
c50 Meadow Pipits
4 Kestrels

Castle Carr from Dean Head (upper) Res'r
We went to check out the site of the Osprey that roosted last night - no sign of it today but conditions looked good for migration so it must have got on it's way earlier
2 Twite
1 Nuthatch
2 Treecreepers
c20 Siskin
1 Grey Wagtail
1 Common Sandpiper
1 Willow Warbler
1 Sparrowhawk
c30 House Martins and c12 Swallows

Ogden Garden bird feeder

An unusual visitor this week has been a nuthatch.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Fly Flats

From Fly Flats at 7 pm an Osprey came in towards the top end of Luddenden Dean (Castle Carr Estate) from Wainstalls area and landed in a dead tree. About 7.15 it circled around Dean Head top res'r probably looking for fish - without success, and landed in the top of a pine where it stayed until at least 8pm (nearly dark by then)
Also seen at a distance! by Nick and Roy.
The bird will probably roost overnight and assuming there are no large fish in Dean Head (?) then it will probably move off down the dean at first light? If anyone has a go for it in the morning then the best spot is probably down the dean, or from Fly Flats (from the Twite feeding area) take the track through the steel barriers (access is ok) and walk down the 200 meters or so to view Dean Head res'r and the woodland just beyond the res'r where it roosted.


jus my luck-went there this afternoon and decided not to go up to the giants tooth :(
what i did see was 1 wheatear on ogden moor and a few mipits there also


1 Crossbill (female type) over by the 'Giants'Tooth' this afternoon
2 G C Grebes
1 Grey Wagtail
c70 Swallows
1 Siskin