Thursday, April 30, 2009

Brookfoot to Elland GP 0700/0930 30/04/09

River Calder. 1 Little Grebe, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 Kingfisher, 1 Goosander(M), Ski Lake. 2 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Redshank (on ski ramp), 16 House Martins, 9 Swift, 2 Swallows. G/P. 2Green Woodpecker, 1 Kestrel(M), 4 Little Grebe, 2 Bullfinch, 6 Song Thrush( all singing) 1 Whitethroat(singing) , many W/Warblers, Blackcap and Chiffchaff. Fishing Lake 2 Mute Swans very tame, Coot on eggs, Canada Goose on eggs, Goose eggs on another island scattered all over. Finished off VISIT with bacon butty.

Withins Clough res.

Common Sandpiper - 2
Pied Wagtail - 4
Skylark - 5
Meadow Pipit - 14
Curlew - 1

Fly Flats

Adult Mediterranean Gull went through there about 10.25 this morning. It appeared from the north end and flew down the length of the res'r and then headed off east over the sailing clubhouse and then over the wind-farm in a direction between Thornton Moor and Ogden.
No Twite
3 Wheatears
4 Common Sandpipers
1 Oystercatcher
1 Raven over Withens Gap >SW

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Posting on behalf of Andy Huyton

Calderdale Council are planning, quite rightly, to eradicate Japanese Knotweed from the Copley Valley area outside Sowerby Bridge. However, at a time when birds are beginning to nest, there is a concern that the people undertaking the work may inadvertently disturb some sensitive species.
The council have agreed that if any particular area is shown to have breeding birds in it, they will remove this from the early stages of the knotweed bashing.

Could anyone volunteer to do a mornings breeding bird survey to establish what species are showing nesting behaviour, and where? The survey would ideally need to be completed by the end of this weekend.

The full article from the Courier website is here

Hardcastle Crags - am

A couple of hours there this morning from lower car park, past the mill to 'the fork' and back. It was more about what was not there, rather than what was (neither flycatcher, no redstart, no wood warbler, no cuckoo). However, there's time yet........ (it's deja vu isn't it?!)

Most common bird today was siskin. They were everywhere, and very vocal. NO idea of numbers, as the whole of the route they were just busying back and forth in the treetops
3 nuthatch in the car park area, 2 very bold ones outside the cafe taking crumbs from diners
1 grey wagtail
2 dipper
2 goldcrest (h)
gs woodpecker (h)

Nestbox moths

Post on Calderdale Moths Blog from Charly Streets.

The first moths emerged today from old bird's nest collected from Nick's just over 5 weeks ago. After placing the nests in a large plastic box with cling film over it and a small vent in the middle the box gradually turned into one giant fly breeding flea pit (not to mention the slugs,spiders etc).
Due to the accumulation of mini swarms of flies building up I decided to let everything go outside and leave the box open inside the garage next to the window so anything emerging would fly straight to the window and rest there - well that didn't work either as three Skin Moths were found today resting on the inside of the box - result!
The nests originated from Upper Hey wood. Here's hoping to more emergences over the next few weeks.

Thanks to Charly for the feedback, Andy C also took some nests so there may be more to come!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Undisclosed moorland site

Posting on behalf of Andy H

6 wheatear, inc. 1 female
3 male reed bunting
1 short eared owl
1 little owl
1 pair of ring ouzel, plus another singing male
11 golden plover
1 ad lesser black backed gull
4 oystercatcher
2 willow warblers
1 greylag
pair of tuted duck
Snipe drumming
2 tawny owl
Woodcock roding

plus numerous curlew and mipits

Jumble Hole area - 1:00pm

A quick but relatively productive 10 minutes between showers:
- 1 garden warbler in full view and full song back on territory
- 1 blackcap
- 2 chiffchaff
- 2 willow warblers
- green woodpecker

Over Callis Sewage Works
- 3 swifts
- 70+ house martins
- 11 swallows

Sunday, April 26, 2009


I`m offering this kit for £140 (delivery included.) (Only 2 months old.)The kit consists of the following: Camlink 15~45 x 60mm Spotting Scope Kit (Kit includes carry case & mini tripod) The spotting scope is nitrogen filled and it fully weather proof and can be used in adverse weather conditions. Camlink tripod TP PRO 32B is a high quality three section professional tripod with high low angle feature. It is constructed with a 32mm black anodised aluminium leg with quick release leg facility and incorporates a three way pan and tilt head with quick release plate. Camlink DSA1 Digi Scope adapter is included – This attaches to the spotting scope viewfinder and enables a digital camera to be mounted to the scope. Casio EX19 brand new metal body 9mp high quality compact digital camera with 3 x Optical Zoom & 2.6” TFT screen. (Guarantee registered online at Casio)Camlink 2gb SD Card”See: pictures of everything included. In addition I`ve included an extra digiscope adaptor to the one supplied in this kit. It is a far stabler platform for the compact camera and easier to set up and use.

If you are interested please ring me on 01274 880801
Or email me at
I only live at Queensbury so if you wanted to come and look at the kit that is no problem.

Alan Magson

ovenden moor-friday

a bleak afternoon up there about 1.00.
there were 2 curlews
and 3 grouse flushed (although one was sat on a fence post)
numerouse skylarks singing but only 2 seen
4 mipits

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hardcastle Crags/Crimsworth Dean

1 Redstart singing today - lets hope it stays for the summer and is not just moving through!
Lots of Siskin still about and some Redpoll over and lots of Woodpecker activity and Treecreepers
Nuthatches seen around the car park and near Gibson Mill
1 Song Thrush feeding young
1 Tawny Owl singing at 11 am

Cuckoo - Todmorden

Report on Calderdale Wildlife Network of a cuckoo in Lydgate, Todmorden at 8:30am this morning.

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Same location as Seans photos yesterday.Along with Andy C we observed the male excavating the hole.The female arrived and they flew off to an adjacent tree where copulation occured at 10.10.I left the location at 10.50 with the male back excavating.Noted this morning 1 Swift over heading towards Cooper Bridge.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hove Edge 'pecker

At the end of a pleasant but uneventful walk around Hove Edge, it was great to have super views of a male Lesser S 'pecker drumming away at the top branch of a dead tree - about 200 metres from my front door (Catherine Slack). Even more intriguing was watching it disappear into a freshly created hole on the same tree trunk; this looks like one to keep a careful eye on !

Avocet/Elland GP 0600-0900

Ski Lake. 1Tufted(M),1 Reed Bunting(M),1 Kingfisher. River Calder 1 Dipper, 4 Grey Wagtails 2 Kingfishers. Canal and GP 12 Willow Warblers, 10 Blackcaps, 8 Chiffchaffs, 12+ singing Wrens,10 Song Thrush(8 singing) 4 Grey Herons at nest site ,6 Jays in a group and 1 Skylark rose from the council site. 1 Canada goose on nest and 1 Coot on nest. Observed nest material being collected by Blue Tit,Great Tit, Blackbird and Robin ,finished off with bacon butty

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Undisclosed moorland sites - 6:00pm to 9:00pm

Had a good 3 hours birdwatching tonight with Andy H and Sean J. No 'rarities', but some lovely birds.

Possible whimbrel in at last light? Noticably faster wing beat, shorter bill and smaller in general.
10+ wheatear
A pair of ring ouzel on territory
2 short eared owl
4 common sandpiper
3 redshank
6 oystercatcher
1 woodcock, roding
Snipe drumming
4 red grouse
10 lapwing
8 curlew
1 tufted duck
1 teal
2 grey wagtail
5 reed bunting (all m.)
1 buzzard
2 kestrel
1 tawny owl
Apologies for poor photos - click on image for larger pic:


2 Nuthatch together and very vocal this morning
1 Grey Wagtail on the Calder and Mallard with 6 chicks
Chiff-chaff, Blackcaps, Willow Warblers
2 Treecreepers and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
1 Redpoll over

Also reported (SG) from Ringstone Edge Res'r yesterday was a singing Sedge Warbler

Jumble Hole 9:30am

Nothing unusual, other than the numbers of some birds

- A minimum of 16 willow warblers were calling up the valley and in the scrub on Underbank. Just a constant noise
- 11 jays very vocal too (group of 7 and group of 4)
- 5 chiffchaffs
- 1 blackcap
- 5 house martins over
- 2 bullfinch
+ usual stuff

Withens /Cold Edge

Emperor Moth from yesterday on Ovenden Moor just above Ogden res'r.
Cold Edge
3 Redshank and still 2 Pink-footed Geese there with Canada Geese
Withens (fields opposite the wind-farm car park)
1 Whinchat with 4 Wheatears
2 Golden Plover and 1 Snipe

Dotterel in Lancs

Two reported this morning at Hustwood reservoir which is a couple of miles west of Upper Gorple. Keep you eyes peeled!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Shroggs Park

Chiff-chaff, Blackcap and 1 Garden Warbler singing there this afternoon

Fly Flats

4 Wheatears there this afternoon (3 by the boat house)
1 Reed Bunting
6 Lapwings and 2 Curlews
3+ Common Sandpipers
No Twite - a bit of a concern!
3 Golden Plover in the fields opoposite the wind-farm car park
Also a Mallard with 3 chicks

Winter meets Spring

In the fading hot sun at 7 this evening, 2 fieldfare in the field in front of my house made a somewhat strange sight, with swallows swooping overhead.

Daisy Bank, S/B

1 pair of Blackcaps seen this morning.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Recent sightings around the area

Quite a few notable reports this weekend on the grapevine, but none of them have made the blog. We are still getting literally hundreds of viewings every day, but very few posts. Please keep your posts coming - they are the only content on here, so the blog relies entirely on your input. Many thanks in advance.

This weekend:

- 3 separate lesser spotted woodpeckers in our area (locations withheld, as they are a sensitive species, and a rare breeder)
- 4 whimbrel and common sandpiper at Blackstone Edge
- Common buzzard in the south of the area
Longfield Pond this afternoon was quiet , a few canada geese, a lot of walkers going by - but there were swallows sitting the telephone wires by the farm!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday 18 April

Nice afternoon, lovely male Ring Ouzel - silvery wings looking great in the sunshine.
Pink footed goose next the canal between Mytholmroyd and Luddenenfoot.

Went up to Oxygrains bridge, one wheatear, a couple of mipit, Grey Heron heading to Green Withens and loads of burned moorland. Never a good time...

Rookery Survey 2009

Results are coming in now as we seem to be on the last few days before the leaves make it very difficult to count the active nests. Please let me have your results in the next week or so.
Thanks Dave

Friday, April 17, 2009

Undisclosed location

Spent this evening watching display flights by SEO. Nothing else of note.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hi All
Not to report anything- other than a few grouse on the road from Hebden Br to Oxenhope - but to ask about the herons nesting by the canal and river at Luddenden - does anyone have any idea about how successful these birds have been? Walking along the canal on Monday I saw a few herons but not much nest activity??

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cromwell Bottom & Gravel Pit

Monday 13th April

Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Blackcaps.
Snipe (heard)

also, near Mirfield, 12/4

8 Sand Martins
1 Swallow
Pair of Yellowhammers

Monday, April 13, 2009


At least 6 now feeding 4-5 times a day in the garden. 1 female has silver ring on right tarsus.

Early Gropper 13/04/09

1 reeling in the Scammonden area this morning from 08:30-09-00 before thick fog and a Yorkshire Water employee curtailed my visit.

Earlier, 2 Oystercatcher and 1 Common Redshank just about visible in the gathering gloom at Ringstone.

Later 3 Ring Ouzel (2 male & 1 female) and 4 Wheatear observed in beautiful sunshine at another site.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


A couple more of the harrier pictures posted at the request of Nick Dawtrey.

Bowland Eagle Owls

Tony Cooper from East Lancs Ornithologists has requested we post the following

The East Lancashire Ornithologists' Club has been requested by the Police Wildlife Unit to remind everybody that there is NO public vehicular access up the Dunsop valley. [A limited number of permit holders are allowed]. Cars must be left in Dunsop Bridge and those wishing to visit the site must walk from there. Please be aware that this is a 5km walk with a steep climb at the end, then a 5km walk back again!The road, which belongs to United Utilities, is private and as such is subject to Section 59 of the Road Traffic Act. Briefly, anybody found driving up the valley will be turned back and subject to a prohibition order by the police, who will be present for much of the time. Under the terms of this order, if that person goes up the valley in a vehicle again, that vehicle will be impounded. This will apply even if the prohibited person goes as a passenger and even if the vehicle belongs to somebody else.Clearly, ELOC would not wish this to happen to any birder, so please pass this information to anybody who might wish to visit the site.

Tony Cooper - Chairman ELOC

Jumble Hole

Whilst working outside this morning:

- Buzzard over calling > north was the highlight
- green woodpecker, 2+ willow warb's, 3+ chiffchaffs, pheasant all heard

Montague's Harrier video

Great record!! Well done.

Click here for video of it

Montagu's harrier

An amazing record for Calderdale initially id'd as a Male hen Harrier(not suprising in April)but re identified on this photo by our recorder as an adult male Montagu's Harrier,brilliant well done to all concerned.A first for Calderdale.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Baitings/Booth Wood Res'rs

Baitings (this morning)
2 Oystercatchers
1 Grey Heron
1 f Goosander
1 Willow Warbler singing
2 Swallows around the concrete embankment

Booth Wood
2 Oystercatchers on top of the overflow

Langfield Edge and Gaddings this morning

Linnet (male) first of year for me, on dead ferns below Langfield Edge
Goldeneye (1 male 1 female) at Gaddings
Redshank - 2 at Gaddings
Wheatear - male at Gaddings
Lots of Meadow Pipits and at least 10 Skylarks
Swallow - 2 on wires at Mankinholes

Quail at Salterhebble.

My brother informed me today of a quail in his small garden on March 30th this year on Bankhouse Lane, Salterhebble. It was feeding underneath his bird feeders on spilt grain. I believe his identification to be accurate as it was very well seen and he is familiar with game birds and their young in general. However, due to the early(?) date and the fact that there is a pheasant (and maybe quail??) breeder on Dudwell Lane, not that far away perhaps this is more likely to be an escape.

Bushnell Rucsac Bargain!

Following on from the successful fund raising events held by Rishworth school in support of Calderdale raptor protection we have five high quality Bushnell rucsacs left (se above). If anyone would like to purchase one they are available for only £7-50 each from either myself or Steve Downing, all money raised will be added to that raised by the schools. This is a first come first served offer.

Rookery Survey 2009

The survey seems to be going well but we are probably into the last week, or two at the most, now the leaves are starting to come on the trees. Please carry out final counts at the latest the end of April and let me have details when complete. Thanks for all your interest and hard work in this survey.
Cragg Vale and the adjacent valleys up Cragg are the sites which have not had much coverage, also the Colden valley upstream from Mytholm in Hebden Bridge so if anyone one can check these areas that would be helpful. Nil counts are important.
Early indications suggest the number of nest will be about 2/3rds down on 1964 but the number of colonies remain about the same (but many in different locations)

Elland G P/Cromwell Bottom

Posting from Nick Dawtrey
Yesterday afternoon a Common Swift at the gravel pits was probably the earliest record for Calderdale. Also House Martins and Swallows present.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jumble Hole - Underbank - 6:00pm

A quick half an hour this evening

6 willow warblers (but no chiffchaffs calling today)
2 green woodpeckers
1 female greater spotted woodpecker feeding on the ground
5 bullfinch
20+ swallows and 5 house martins over Callis Sewage Works

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Gorple Lower Res

Curlew - 2
Meadow Pipit - 4
no Skylarks !
Oystercatcher - 4
Greylag Goose - 3
Grey Wagtail - on the stream by gate
Short Eared Owl

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Bit of a late posting, but one singing behind Todmorden railway station on Sunday 5th was my first of the year.
I did have a walk around Blake Dean / Lower Walshaw last Thursday, nothing unexpected and no migrants, but 8 Oystercatchers in the field by the Pack Horse was the highest number I have encountered in this area.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Cold Edge

2 Oystercatchers (one with a limp)
1 pair Tufted Duck
2 Pink-footed Geese still with Canadas and Greylags
2 Fieldfare with 6 Starlings
4 Linnets
c30 Meadow Pipits and 3 Pied Wagtails
1 Swallow at Wainstalls on Sunday 5th April


6+ Chiff-chaffs and 3 singing Blackcaps along the canal this morning
Kingfisher on the Calder

Monday, April 06, 2009

Hobby Descriptions

Nick D has been in contact to say he is now nearing the end of writing the two year (2007/8) Halifax bird report, he has six records of Hobbies without descriptions and asks that if the observers intend them to be included in the report they submit descriptions please.

More migrants

Willow warbler at the side of the river in Hebden Bridge this morning

Willow warbler and 3 chiffchaffs, and 4 swallows at Jumble Hole this afternoon.

Rishworth-pike end

3 swallows this morning

Swallows and Chiff Chaffs

2 ring ouzel (1 male and 1 female)

1 chiff chaff by The Hinchcliffe, Cragg Vale and 2 more between Mytholmroyd and Hebden

7 swallows over Eastwood sewage works early this afternoon (men working in the settling beds so no pied/white wagtails around, so can't add to the debate)

Sunday, April 05, 2009

East Hebden Bridge

1 common redpoll on seed feeder. Second only for my garden IIRC.
5 bullfinch.
3 siskin.
1 pheasant (m.)

1 pf (m) over.
1 raven over.


Calderdale Peregrination and foreign parts


With JVS

Elland Gravel Pits

c10 chiffchaff.
1 possible willow warbler. Fleeting view.
1 blackcap m by feeding station.
1 gc grebe.
1 sparrowhawk.
2 gs woodpeckers heard.
1 g woodpecker heard.
1 g heron.

Plus usual species.

Met Pete Atkins.

Jay House Lane

8 tree sparrows.


Bradley Hall Farm area

6 Yellowhammers. (4 male.)
2 chiffchaff.


Plus, 1 peacock butterfly and 1 comma.

Ringstone Res area

7 lapwing.
c8 linnet.
2 meadow pipit.


1 Walker.


Swallow this morning

Saturday, April 04, 2009


The next round of grapevine payments are now due, several people are already in credit, these are IS, JB, NR, ND, SG, SJ, TW, MH, BH, JC & AZ, could the remainder please let either me or Dave Sutcliffe have their fivers ASAP.


Ringstone work party

An excellent mornings work, thanks to those that turned out who were
John Beaumont
Andy Huyton
Niall Roche
Jeff Cox
Howard Owen
Steve Element

It was especially good to meet up with more new faces, a warm welcome to Jeff, Howard and Steve.


one flew over my garden this morning in bradshaw and then went west up bradshaw lane

Friday, April 03, 2009

Ski Lake and Elland G P

Ski Lake 09.45. 2 Mute Swans,2 Little Grebe,2 Cormorant + Mallard and Coot. Tag Lock at 10.35 2 Willow Warbler and as one flew past me I caught the 2 White Storks heading in the direction of Brighouse so notified Nick C post haste. At 11.25 on the way back Swans still on lake and approx 20 Redpolls.


1 Swallow,205 Golden plover,15 Lapwing,2 Oystercatcher,2 Curlew,1 Redshank,1 LRP,1 Female Peregrine ,5 BH Gull,Reed Bunt and 6 Linnet

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Wagtails at Callis Bridge - Part II

Some more photos, this time taken on Tuesday, though still a little poor (again, click the photo for a larger image). This bird is thought to be a female / 1st summer male white wagtail. The key reasons are a good contrast between the black of the head and the mantle and the very clean looking flanks (some faint smudging of the flanks can still be visible, particularly on photos, even on white wagtails).

But any debate or other opinions are always welcome.....


1 Swallow over Lower Brockholes this afternoon (between Ogden and Mixenden Res'rs) and 1 House Martin between Stodfold and Cold Edge Road
c10 Siskin still around Ogden res'r lodge feeders

Ringstone work party

Final reminder for Saturdays work party at Ringstone, we are meeting at 9 am on site, please bring wellies, spade, garden fork etc if possible.


3 swallows over Jumble Hole, high > North, chattering. Made my day!

Rishworth Schools fundraising complete

The joint fundraising project between CBCG, Rishworth and Heathfield schools reached its climax last week when Tim Walker received a cheque for £2202.71 from pupils at the school. This venture has been a huge success and the CBCG would like to extend a public thank you to the heads, staff and pupils of the two schools along with the relevant PTA's for their support enthusiasm and generosity. The money has been raised to assist in the ongoing raptor protection work currently undertaken by the CBCG and will go a long way towards achieving our aims. Special thanks must go to steve Downing and Tim Walker for their hard work and considerable input into this and to all CBCG members who were involved or bought calendars. For those local birders who have still not got their 18 month calendar they are now available for £5 from either myself or Tim.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


1 Swallow reported today from Sean

White Stork 01/04/09

We all know what day it is but my eyes were not deceiving me at 16:40hrs this afternoon when 2 White Stork were circling about 50metres above Colnebridge Sewage Plant. I was in the car on the A62 at the time heading very slowly towards Cooper Bridge so I have no idea which direction they eventually flew but I had excellent views of both birds and having seen this species and Common Crane many times previously albeit primarily in Iberia I am 100% confident of the identification.

There have been quite a few sightings of White Stork recently notably one that turned up at Ossett last week which I trundled along to see, photographed it and then realised from my photo that it was ringed as vitually all of them are but to see 2 together, who knows?

Anyhow I bombed down to Colnebridge SP this evening and also carried out an extensive search of the Bradley Hall Farm area, not surprisingly no White Stork were around but it might cheer some Calderdale birders up to be informed that 3 Yellowhammer (2 male & 1 female) were seen.

It will be interesting to see if there are any other reports of 2 White Stork together in the next few days in nearby locations.

Ogden to Wind Farm to Ogden

Nice to be out in the warmth, although the sun wasn't shining much this morning.

Ogden was very quiet with not much around but still:
Goldeneye - 1♀ and 1
Common Gull - 2
GS Woodpecker - 2 drumming
Song Thrush
Meadow Pipit - 21
Skylark - 4
Red Grouse - 2
Curlew - 2