Monday, November 30, 2009

Calder near Elland pm

A Woodcock flew up snipe-like in the scrubby area between the river and canal: giving a good but brief view, it flew upriver towards Elland.
Also -
female Goosander
12 Mallard
35+ Goldfinch moving through treetops
small flocks of LT Tits - largest 15
GS Woodpecker
GC Grebe on water skiing lake


I went to look at the whoopers was sat in the hide and a golden eye landed right in front of me this is just a quick grab shot before it dived and went away from me.

Ogden and Mixenden Res'r

2 Fieldfare
1 Snipe on Back lane
1 Red Grouse by the 'giant's tooth'
Goldfinch - c60 in the trees (pre roost) by the 'Causway Foot'

Mixenden Res'r
1 Cormorant
1 f Goosander
No sign of the juv Mute Swan

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pink-foots moving in dark.

Not as exciting as the diver, but heard these last night at 10.30 at Skircoat Green, in heavy rain.
Sounded to be quite low, but we couldn't see them or tell their direction, or estimate number.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Various sites

This morning
Sunny Vale
1 Kingfisher
3 Teal

Ringby Lane
No sign of the Snow Bunting
9 Skylark
1 Meadow Pipit
94 Carrion Crows
1 Sparrowhawk

4 Redpoll over

Mixenden Res'r
1 Mute Swan - immature

Cold Edge
1 Grey Heron
1 Little Owl

Fly Flats
1 Kestrel

Longfield Dam

Walked past Longfield this afternoon - 31 Mallards; 7 Lapwings; 17 BHGulls; 1 Moorhen; 2 Tufted Ducks

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ringby Lane (Swales Moor)

No Snow Bunting today, but the views were stunning looking over Halifax.
10 Skylark
c12 Meadow Pipits
1 Sparrowhawk

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

BTO Atlas

Survey work this morning covering Tetrad SE02X for 2 hrs limit (mainly covering Halifax Town Centre as the centre of the tetrad) for the BTO atlas survey 2007 -2011.

623 individual birds from 21 species

No surprises other than 327 Feral Pigeons - well, perhaps not a surprise!
22 Blackbirds
93 Mallard and 28 Carrion Crows in Peoples Park

Only 2 Starlings, no Collared Doves and no House Sparrows recorded in the survey - but they must be there.

Frigate Bird

Amazing sighting flying SW at Lockwood in Huddersfield raises the thought thought it could have been in calderdale airspace.

Changing jobs in January and back to Calderdale so hopefully I will be able to post more reports next year.

Monday, November 23, 2009

a challenge!!

they have these birds at martin mere. they are a hybrid and i was just wondering if anybody would like to guess at what they are a cross between!!
good luck
p.s-if youve been to martin mere and know what they are, dont tell

Ringby Lane (Swales Moor)

1 very flighty Snow Bunting at 1.30 this afternoon by the manure heap flew to the back of the large metal fence where there are lots of weeds.

2 Ravens passed close by me on the ridge calling away and heading towards Soil Hill
6 Skylarks
23 Meadow Pipits
3 Pied Wagtails
4 Fieldfare >NW
12 Common Gulls
lots of corvids

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Various sites

From BS -12 Crossbills this morning at Ogden flew into Skirden Clough plantation

No news on the Snow Buntings at Ringby Lane yet today.

I decided to check out the Waxwing locations around Halifax this afternoon. Lots of sorbus berries in and around Hope Street/Raglan Street/Stansfield Close/bottom of Gibbet Street and the areas below the bus station/Wickes car park. No sign of any Waxwings - we probably need some E/NE winds before we have a chance. Only 2 reports on Birdguides so far in England this autumn of 25 in the northeast on 6th Nov and 2 in Sheffield on 17th Nov.

Twite recovery project

Link below for an article in The Yorkshire Post by Bill Teale, which eventually gets round to the twite recovery project.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ringby Lane (Swales Moor)

Snow Buntings - 2 still there this afternoon - very flighty, mostly around the muddy area and the manure heap.
Pied Wagtail c12
Meadow Pipit c7
Skylark 6
Starling 1
Lapwing 17 >SW
Herring Gull 2 >N
Stock Dove 16
Kestrel 1

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ringby Lane (Swales Moor)

From NCD - 2 Snow Buntings still present near the manure heap at 2 pm this afternoon.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ringby Lane (Swales Moor)

2 Snow Buntings there today - (with apologies for the poor shot, yes they are both there, but it was difficult to stand up on the top today, never mind get some decent photos)!
5 Skylark
1 Common Snipe
6 Meadow Pipits
1 Kestrel
45 Starlings
c120 corvids

Garden Birds (brambling)

i seem to be over run with chaffinch in my garden is any body else

My first Brambling this year and a first in my garden

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ringby Lane (Swales Moor)

1 Snow Bunting there this afternoon on and around the weedy areas surrounding the very muddy patch of ground on the top - this is a different bird from the female I saw on the 9th and 13th November which was very approachable.

This bird is flightier, less approachable and was heard calling in flight.

Todays bird is similar to the earlier one but the head markings are slightly different and the rusty yellow brown marks on the side of the breast are broken with white on the front of the chest - the earlier bird had diffused orange right across the front of the chest. The most marked difference was the back which was slightly greyer and less streaked than the earlier bird. I would guess todays bird is a 1st winter female. it was still present at 15.30.

Also present on the top
Skylark 5
Meadow Pipit 15
Pied Wagtail 2

Herring Gulls (adult and 1st winter ) >N
39 Golden Plover came over high from the east at 15:00 then changed direction to SW to avoid a band of heavy rain approaching from the west

Deisel spill-River Calder

Link giving information from the Todmorden News about the diesel spill on the River Calder.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hebden Bridge 15th Nov' 2009

Male goosander on Hebden Water in the town centre on the 15th. Never seen on here before.

Regards, Chris

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Snow buntings - Blackstone Edge 11:30am. Unknown observer

From Birdguides today:

"Three north at Byron Edge late morning before flying south"

Friday, November 13, 2009

Shibden Park

Friday AM

First, a photo of a treecreeper from a few weeks back.

This morning there were:
30 canada geese
50 black headed gulls
5 moorhen
3 magpie
1 green woodpecker
usual mallard
1 kingfisher - seen to catch a small fish in the lake itself. Alternated between fishing from the overhanging trees and from the edge of the path.

Ringby Lane (Swales Moor)

Snow Bunting again there this afternoon along with c40 Meadow Pipits. It was on the area up Ringby Lane just up the banking from the bonfire site on the left as you walk up from opposite the ski slope.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pochard, Tufted? & Sean

Apologies for yesterday's news being posted today but whilst I was scrutinising the Tufted flock at EGP (11/11/09) a male Pochard landed on the water, a bird that is a fairly uncommon winter visitor to this area.

I have attached a digiscoped photo of the distant Pochard along with a particular 'Aythya' which caught my eye and which was feeding away from the Tufteds most of the time but presumably spooked by my appearance decided to join a small group close by.

I managed to get another shot of this bird as it was preening and stretching which shows a very prominent white wing-bar.

I would be interested in any observers comments on the id of this bird. Excluding this bird there was a count of 37 Tufted Duck on the water yesterday (11/11/09). Just for the record my maximum count thus far this winter is 38 on 09/11/09.

Now then some soothing words for Sean and anyone else who has been worrying about the decline of Stonechat in Calderdale this year.

I found a family party of at least 4 of them this morning near Deanhead and earlier in the summer I observed another family party of 5 at another location in the area and another family party of 4 just outside the southern boundary so it would appear they are still doing ok in the south of the area at least.

Cold Edge - Hunter Hill

Vis Mig
Counting period: 7:35-9:35
Weather: Mist down to 1000ft then clearing skies. 6c. Wind SW F1 increasing to F3
Moving birds (W to SW);

Grey Heron 2 >N
Starling 77
Mallard 13
Chaffinch 6
Woodpigeon 32
finch sp. 4
Meadow Pipit 22
Greenfinch 1
Redwing 51
Siskin 1

Totals: 209 individuals, 10 species, 2:00 hours

Present: Mallard 6, Goosander 1 at Cold Edge dams, Kestrel 1, Black-headed Gull 240, Common Gull 55, Stock Dove 2, Green Woodpecker 1, Great Spotted Woodpecker 1, Jay 1, Magpie 6, Carrion Crow 15

Very little movement evident here this morning

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lee Dam, Langfield and Strait Hey

Stretched my legs for the first time in a while. A nice change even though it was a bit wet:
Male Goosander on Lee Dam
2 Ravens overhead at Langfield and a Meadow Pipit
Birds at Strait Hey:
min. 44 Fieldfare
2 Mistle Thrush
5 Redwing
Flock of 5 Goldfinch and 11 L. Redpoll
53 Starlings on the wires


This afternoon:
Recieved a call from HF at lunchtime about an unusual bird on the feeder at Ogden (behind the lodge) which was seen earlier on the monitor. Little to go on other than red around the nape and finch size. Unfortunatley there are no facilities to replay the recording. we checked the site out without success other than Blue/Great/Coal Tits, Chaff's and Bullfinch etc.

Well worth the visit as an immaculate drake Shoveler was present - and still there at dusk. I cannot recall Shoveler at this site before on my list!
80 Fieldfares >N at dusk
c250 Starlings >S at dusk over Syke Lane were probably going to roost
1 Siskin
1 Kestrel
1 Green Woodpecker
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker

We also heard from the warden of a report of a Red Kite over yesterday afternoon seen by some birders - but we have no further details to confirm the sighting.

Cold Edge/Hunter Hill

Vis Mig - Counting period: 9:10-10:40
Weather: Persistent light drizzle throughout. No wind, low cloud, and temperature 5c degrees.
Moving birds >SW unless otherwise stated
Cormorant 2 N
Herring Gull 1
Fieldfare 1557
Grey Heron 1 N
Woodpigeon 58
Redwing 2
Pink-footed Goose 75 NW
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Mistle Thrush 2
Mallard 1
Skylark 1
Chaffinch 1
Black-headed Gull 2
Meadow Pipit 2
Common Gull 6 N
alba wagtail sp. 1
Totals: 1713 individuals, 16 species, 1:30 hours
Present: Mallard 25 at Cold Edge dam, Black-headed Gull 66, Common Gull 44, Wren 3, Robin 1, Jay 1, Magpie 4, Jackdaw 38, Carrion Crow 9

Comments: Unable to get on site early today but productive time all the same after a call from BS about Fieldfare movement over Queensbury/Oxenhope. A massive flock of 1,100 Fieldfare came through at 9:15 followed by smaller flocks of 120, 110, 90, 80, etc and movement tailed off by 10:15 - suspect it may have continued throughout the day (?). The P F Geese were heading NW at 09:25

Prediction of a big movement of Redwings expected in the next few hours or in the morning

Tree Sparrows

Click on the link below to see the Courier article on the SITA funding/Tree Sparrow project. Clicking on "comment" at the bottom of the article gets the Courier's editorial comment also.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Ringby Lane (Swales Moor)

No sign of the Snow Bunting this morning
2 Twite (both unringed) were another nice surprise on the top
1 Reed Bunting
c40 Meadow Pipits
9 Skylark
10 Pied Wagtail

Moving birds between 08.15 and 09.30 (all >NW unless stated otherwise)
70 P F Geese >E were seen coming over Midgley Moor then over to the north of Soil Hill at 09:05
75 Starlings
220 Fieldfare
32 Woodpigeons
1 Chaffinch
1 Greenfinch >S
4 Goldfinch >S

Common Scoter 09/11/09

Adult male at Scammonden late morning

Also there:

1 Little Grebe
2 Cormorant

2 Lapwing
130 Black-headed Gull
60 Common Gull
1 Skylark


I see there is a flock of 88 Twite at spurn(spurn website) are any of these our birds.???

Hollingworth Lake

Juvenile Great Northern Diver on there late morning today, not all that far to Whiteholme!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Ringby Lane (Swales Moor)

This Snow Bunting was a nice surprise on the old landfill site this afternoon (with apologies for the poor quality of the photos!)
Also present;
1 Skylark
11 Meadow Pipits
6 Pied Wagtails
1 Little Owl
2 adult L B B Gulls >W
10 Grey Partridge
Also nearby from PJWS was a Ring-necked Parakeet at Staups Lane Shibden this morning

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Cragg Vale and Erringden Moor and Broad Head Clough

On a walk today: four snipe and a single red grouse flushed on Erringden Moor, plus a huge flock (500+) of starlings flying up Broad Head Clough and over Erringden Moor. Also, green woodpecker and sparrowhawk in Spring Wood (Broad Head Clough) and 20+ lesser redpoll feeding on birch catkins, just above Higher Cragg. Lots of wood pigeons about today too.
I am very impressed with Spring Wood in Broad Head Clough. Do pied fly' or similar ever turn up here? I last walked through it a few summers ago and flushed a woodcock that day.

Regards, Chris


had a small skein of 25 geese go over school yesterday lunch. they were flying quite high going west/north-west

Ogden Garden

A flock of at least 200 fieldfare landed in the trees at the bottom of the garden. They took off and flew in the direction of Mixenden reservoir.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Another (or the same ) skein of PinkFooted Geese about 120 - 150 in number lowish over Halifax town centre at 14.00 today. Going west. Similar skeins have been reported over the last few days going in a variety of directions.

Ringstone Res'r

c400 Golden Plover and c120 Lapwing in the fields along with c60 Starlings kept getting spooked by a female Sparrowhawk. The waders gave fantastic views wheeling round high overhead - nearly as good as Morecambe Bay!
1 m Wigeon
1 Cormorant
1 m Goldeneye
25 Mallard
c200 B H Gull
c60 Common Gull
1 Kestrel
4 Goldfinch

48 Pink-footed Geese seen high over the M62 heading west at 11:45
9 squadrons of Starlings (total of 230 birds) moving west skimming low over the ground at speed - fantastic birds to watch when they are on the move.

Gorple area - 10:00am

A walk from the car park to the rocks up above Upper Gorple. Birds seen include:

- 4 redwing
- woodcock flushed from plantation at Upper Gorple
- 30+ grouse (including one flock of 18 birds)
- 6 goldcrest
- 4 wren
- c.60 fieldfare > w
- kestrel
- sparrowhawk

No waterfowl whatsoever on either res. But still definately worth a visit.


Brookfoot 0800_0915 Quick look on both lakes revealed, 24 Tufted, 3 Goldeneye, 2 Gt Crested Grebe, 3 Little Grebe, 24 Coot, 14 Moorhen, 3 Kingfisher, 2 Nuthatch, 16 Great Tit, 12 Blue Tit, 1 Sparrowhawk, 4 Cormorant, 38 Black Headed Gulls and 4 Common Gulls.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Longfield - 1:30pm

5 tufted duck
6 lapwing
41 mallard flew in and landed on the pond
30+ meadow pipit

Colde Edge - Hunter Hill

Fieldfares passing through this morning

Soil Hill from Hunter Hill looking across the golf course towards Ogden

Vis Mig: Counting period: 7:45-10:45

Weather: Bright skies and clear visibility first thing. Wind W F3 decreasing to F1. 5c increasing to 7c with mist and light drizzle by 10am

All movement W to S/SW unless stated otherwise
Pink-footed Goose 110 E
large gull spec. 1
Redwing 3
Greylag Goose 11 N
Woodpigeon 21
Mistle Thrush 6 N
Sparrowhawk 1
Skylark 2
Starling 246
Common Snipe 1 N
Meadow Pipit 54
Chaffinch 13
Common Gull 24
alba wagtail sp. 1
Goldfinch 2
Herring Gull 2
Fieldfare 1972
Reed Bunting 1
Totals: 2472 individuals, 18 species, 3:00 hours

Present: Grey Heron 1, Pheasant 2, Black-headed Gull 110, Common Gull 35, Green Woodpecker 1, Great Spotted Woodpecker 1, Robin 1, Jay 1, Magpie 16, Jackdaw 46, Carrion Crow 13
Comments: A good movement of Fieldfares until shortly after 10 am when the mist and drizzle came in from the west - maximum flocks were 220,180,180,176 and 161. Pink-footed Geese came through at 09:05 but at a great distance original count I overestimated was getting on for 150 but HC also saw them from the Oxenhope watch point confirmed as 110 (thanks Howard)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


This afternoon;
c80 Mallard
1 f Goosander
1 Dipper (top NW pond)
1 Grey Wagtail
1 Meadow Pipit >NW
1 Treecreeper
6+ Goldcrest
2 Sparrowhawks
1 Kestrel
c80 B H Gulls
c20 Common Gulls
14 Fieldfare >SW
70 Starling >S

High Royd SF - quick visit, 1:00pm

1 widgeon
22 teal
1 kingfisher (flew from the ponds onto the canal)
2 grey heron
1 treecreeper amongst a tit flock
3 grey wagtail
2 moorhen

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A peregrine this morning at 08.27 flew over Burnley Rd. at Friendly, Sowerby Bridge.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Lee Dam, Lumbutts

A good day to be out and about after the weekend's wind and rain.

A decent sized (c. 25) mixed flock of Chaffinches and Bramblings feeding in a larch tree; 3 female goosander on the dam; a Jay and a Grey Wagtail were also in the trees around the dam.

6 Tufted Duck and 11 BHG's on Longfield Pond earlier in the day.

Ringby Lane (Swales Moor)

2 Whooper Swans (probably the Ogden birds) seen heading south from Ogden direction over Mixenden towards Mount Tabor at 15:37. They turned to head >E over Bradshaw at 15:44 towards Queensbury then turned >N towards the east off Soil Hill at 15:47 heading towards Thornton Moor.
2 Ravens were also seen heading towards the west of Soil Hill
Also present at Ringby Lane
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Kestrel
2 Common Snipe
5 Skylark
c48 Meadow Pipits
c100 mixed corvids


2 Whooper Swan (adults) arrived around 11:00 (per NK) - still there at 13:15

Click photo to enlarge

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Soil Hill

11 Common Snipe and 1 (possibly 2) Jack Snipe there this afternoon from BS - brave man!