Wednesday, March 31, 2010

EGP yet again!

I only went down there this morning to re-trace my steps as I contrived to lose one of my favourite gloves yesterday afternoon, no luck on that score but an interesting influx of hirundines in the area was apparent.

At least 20 Swallow and at least 8 Sand Martin were over the ski-lake.

14 singing Chiffchaff (same count as 28/3), no sign or sound of the Willow Warbler though, but a very early Blackcap was in full voice between the canal and the fishing lake.

Regarding the Blackcap, I have had the good fortune to have 2 male Blackcap over-winter in my garden, one arrived on 14/12/09 and the other arrived on 18/12/09. Both males were seen on 27/03/10 but have obviously departed for Germany or Austria or wherever they breed as I have not seen them since.

A bit more information for anyone who hasn't nodded off yet is that both males starting singing a 'sub-song' on 13/02/10 which continued right up until their departure, however I am confident that the EGP male is not an over-wintering individual as the location is ideal for summer migrants and I have regularly heard them in the same place in previous years and his song was much louder and more protracted.

One tip for attracting wintering Blackcap into your garden is to plant Mahonia as it flowers profusely in December and any insects around at that time of the year are attracted to the nectar produced which in turn makes it irresistible to Blackcaps in particularly although other birds such as Blue Tit and Dunnock also favour it.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mandarin Day.

Male Mandarin on riverbank by Avocet Works which flew upstream towards Elland, and later down to Anchor Pit lock on the Calder another male Mandarin with some Mallard, and on the walk back 5 singing Chiffchaff

Last Chance to buy Bird Reports

Roll up, roll up. The last few copies of the bird report are available from Woodlesford Newsagents. Once they're gone, that's it folks, so if you haven't got one already, don't delay, get one today.


Willow Warbler singing in the sunshine by the lake near Cromwell Barn this afternoon, also 1 Sand Martin through E, sorry Mike!

Wildlife Crime Reporting

To All

With reference to the entry by Mike Henshaw on the 20th March 2010 concerning the dead Heron at EGP and report of a Police investigation. The only Police log around that date is on the 15th March following a report of youths throwing bricks at a baby swan (not my words – just quoting!). Police did attend this report.

Following from the last CBCG meeting at which Police representatives attend and after discussion with Nick Carter & Tim Walker. My suggestion is that a central log is kept of all reports made to West Yorkshire Police Calderdale Division involving Wildlife Crimes and other problems such as use of Off Road Vehicles on Bridle Paths, Footpaths, Moorland etc.

I am sure you are all aware that reports other than emergency/immediate response are to be made to Police on 0845 6060606. The person taking the report will give a log number to which you add the date. Once a report has been made brief details, log number plus date are passed to a CBCG member by email who will then keep a record.

The next stage will be to write periodically to the Police asking for update/actions taken if no feed back is received. This it is hoped will help concentrate minds and show that CBCG are organised in their approach towards wildlife/habitat. At the moment it would appear to be very much on the back burner as far as the Calderdale Divisional Commander is concerned.

I have volunteered to keep the records if this proposal is accepted.

Look forward to feedback.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ripponden Churchyard

4 Goldcrest, 1 male displaying; Treecreeper; Pair of LSW chasing; dozen or so Long Tailed Tits.
Pair of Grey Wag, pair of Dipper and a Heron on the river.

Ogden Garden

A brambling was amongst the chaffinches at our garden feeders this afternoon.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Swallow at EGP

Swallow feeding around Cromwell Lock/Ski lake area at 0845 this morning and still there 1 hour later. Nuthatch nest building in last years site and pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers in and out of newly drilled hole at Brookfoot. 4 Chiffchaffs singing between Avocet Works and reedbed lagoon also 5 Grey Herons on Ski Lake,pair Great Crested Grebes, pair Tufted and 3 Lesser Black Backed Gulls and 8 Cormorant, 1 Sparrowhawk and 1 Kestrel.

Good Day - Bad Day

The day started with a plan to get some shots of Magpies building their nest just down the road followed by some sound recording and filming of skylarks before giving Nick an alarm call and heading out further afield for Snipe, Curlew, Lapwings, possible Lagomomorphs and maybe some late calling frogs.. The first indication that things were not going to go to plan was the lack of Magpies at their nest. Whilst waiting for the elusive corvids, I realised that the wind was getting up and a return home would be necessary to pick up a heavy-duty wind-shield for my microphone. After wasting ages turning the house upside down trying to find a mis-placed bit of kit, I eventually got under way and went to collect ND.
First stop was that quagmire known as Soil Hill. Yes, there were plenty of Skylarks around, and some were even performing song-flights, but their song was lost amidst the roar of the wind. The chill factor was decidedly Arctic up there, so we headed west to check out some better locations.
Stopping off at various locations en route, we eventually ended up on the Widdop Road which provided the same difficult filming opportunities as the other sites due to Arctic winds. Frustratingly, there were plenty of birds around, especially Curlew and Lapwing. It was whilst pulling in to the side of the road to check out some fields that ND noticed a gull in the distance....or was it? Sitting in the car, we waited for it to re-appear over the horizon in the distance. When it re-appeared we scrambled out of the car, Nick getting his scope on it, and me struggling to find the distant Osprey in the viewfinder of my camera. Whilst the bird was struggling against the wind, I was struggling against the laws of physics and my car was succumbing to the laws of gravity. What was that blue object moving at the periphery of my vision? Oh, that's just my car rolling down-hill. Errrrrr....... Luckily, I had seen all those Starsky and Hutch films in the '70s, so knew how to perform the "chase-after-runaway-vehicle-jump-in-and-wrench-on-the-handbrake" stunt. And, yes, I can run that fast.
So, now that I had saved my car from impending doom and the Osprey had departed for Lancashire, we decided to chuck everything in the boot, spin the car round and whizz across the border into Lancashire. Once over the border, we relocated the Osprey but I still failed to squeeze off any footage as it was too distant.
Having had enough of freezing winds, we headed for lower ground to visit one or two more sites before retiring for the day.
During the course of the day I failed to get any decent footage of my target species, failed to get any sound recordings of my target species, failed to get any footage of a bonus Osprey on two occasions and nearly trashed my car. However, we did get to see a passage Osprey and several other good raptors. I also managed to film a pair of Woodpigeon displaying, copulating and preening which I will upload to thebaldibis channel in due course.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Midgley twite

Four at the feeding station today, lets hope there's more to come!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Birds seen building so far are a rook, struggling to start a new nest at Barkisland, collared dove, greenfinch. Nests found are blackbird, a part-finished nest in my hedge, and a robin with 2 eggs last Monday, 5 eggs today at West End in an open fronted box wired into thick ivy. BTO particularly needs records of open nesting birds, especially warblers.

Birders are welcome to attend the attached event in Halifax:
Double click image to enlarge.

soil hill

plenty of stuff on soil hill this afternoon. when i first got there at least five skylarks were singing, which is always a good sign. i was desperatly hoping for a male wheatear but instead i got four. they are obviously on the up. also presant were:
a stunning male reed bunting on the wires over the pool
a heron that flew right over me
2 lapwings on one of the lower layers
surprisingly few mipits
pied wagtail chiruping on the roof

a skylark in fullsong

at least four male wheatears on the hill, most by the pools, but surprisingly no females
the first swallow of soil hill zoomed past me whilst i was on the Bradford side. please dont tellme that this photo is rubbish, because i know full well and if you doubt it please take my word for it

Sowerby Bridge

Hollins Mill/Rose Grove, 2pm

2 m GSWpecker
4 Chiffchaff
2 Coot at High Royd - no teal

usual tits, corvids etc

Gorple Lower and Upper and Walshaw Dean Lower

Misty and drizzle early on but the weather and visibility improved through the morning.
Both reservoirs full and overflowing, so no visible shoreline to entice waders.
Skylark - 2
Mipit - 6 all at Lower, none at Upper
Curlew - 3
BH Gull - 2
Mallard - 13
Canada Geese heard but over far side of res so no count as visibility down to about 50 yards.
Red Grouse also audible but didn't see any.
Gate/Car Park area
Pied Wagtail
Mistle Thrush - 5
Walshaw Dean Lower
Almost full, just a couple of feet short of the overflow so not much shoreline visible.
Lapwing - 7
Curlew - 5
Oystercatcher - 2
Snipe - roding
At one point, for about 5 seconds, I could hear Lapwing, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Snipe and Red Grouse all calling/singing/roding at the same time. Brilliant.
Wheatear - male, on the wall along the Eastern side of the res. My first of the year.
Stock Dove - 2
Mipit - 6
Mallard - 8
Canada Goose - 27

Chiffchaff in the garden - Jumble Hole

One of the two chiffchaffs now present is now calling, albeit very weakly, around my garden.

2 ravens over yesterday, cronking.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Stodfold area
1 Green Woodpecker
1 Little Owl
1 Sparrowhawk
c30 migrant mipits in the fields

Golf course
2 Skylarks
Meadow Pipits singing

1 pair Goldeneye
3 Common Gulls
1 Goldcrest
1 Redpoll flyover over plantation

Cold Edge Road/Fly Flats

2 male Wheatears in the field opposite Nolstar Kennels along Cold Edge Road this afternoon - with apologies for the poor quality as I was digiscoping in a strong wind!
Fly Flats
2 f Goldeneye
No Twite
2 Skylarks
15 Meadow Pipits
usual Canadas!
Withens Head Farm
1 male Stonechat but no Wheatears there

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fly Flats

View towards Castle Carr and Midgley Moor this afternoon
Shelduck at Fly Flats this afternoon
Also present 2 Oystercatchers
2 Twite (both with BTO rings on right and one of these had blue/white/pink on left (from lower)
Pair of Goldeneye
2 Skylark
No Meadow Pipits

2 Wheatears at a distance near Withens Head Farm on 21st March

Fly Flats

At Fly Flats Tuesday. One wheatear by the bridge on the reservoir. Lots of GP calling & distant curlew xcalling a few sky lark and lots of mipits, several Canada on far shore.

Common Buzzard

Flying south over Deanhead this morning.

No Wheatear around Scammonden or Deanhead although 2 females seen just outside the Halifax Birding Area earlier.

2 Goldeneye & 6 Goosander on Deanhead Res.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Jumble Hole

Chiffchaff calling in front of the house when the sun came out after the rain at about 4:30pm

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Strait Hey

Green Woodpecker
Curlew and 2 Skylarks heard over towards Erringden
Meadow Pipits back on the hills in good numbers today - 15 counted this morning

Withens Head

2 Wheatears this afternoon on the walls around the farm opposite the wind farm car park
Golden Plover and Curlew also heard nearby

Cold Edge
c80 Canada Geese, 9 Greylags and 1 Barnacle Goose in the fields

Elland GP and High Royd

Elland GP (looking for Sand Martins but couldn't find any!)
1 Chiff-chaff singing along the canal near Brookfoot this afternoon
1 drake Goldeneye
G C Grebes displaying
1 Little Grebe singing

High RoyD SF
1 Grey Heron
140+ Carrion Crows

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Calderdale Rookeries

Following my attempts to find an eye-level rookery or one that can be overlooked, I received a spreadsheet of last years survey from Dave Sutcliffe (cheers Dave!), as I went through them I soon found myself mapping these soI've put a link at the bottom for the result if anyone is interested. Unfortunately it hasn't transferred the colours - on google earth it is colour coded with respect to usage so I'll try see to this over the next week or two. It has shown up a couple of rookeries missing from last years survey (Hartshead Moor service station and one at Ripponden ) I've coloured them purple.

I thought I'd leave it open for anyone to amend, I can always re-upload the original so move the sites if I've put them in the wrong place.,+Hertfordshire,+United+Kingdom&msa=0&msid=115437265760301155888.00048241a1a44a2b22d24&ll=53.720279,-1.949387&spn=0.196246,0.438766&z=11

Chiffchaff and Dead Heron EGP. Fri/Sat.

Met up with Dave Tattersley on Fri am and on the way back came across a dead Heron and then we met a regular dog walker who told us that last Sunday 14th, police were down at the pits looking for 2 persons who had shot 2 Herons and she didn't know the outcome,has anyone heard of this incident,this is bad news for the pits.
Chiffchaff singing this morning midway between Brookfoot Lock and Cromwell Lock almost at the same point that Dave thought he heard one yesterday.
2 Great Crested Grebes displaying even a mini water dance, 5 Tufted, 5 Cormorants, 1 Goldeneye (M), 2 Lapwings, 2 Grey Herons and 2 pair Goosander.
At least 11 Reed Buntings, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Coot, 2 Moorhens.
2 Nuthatch, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 3 Reed Buntings, 2 Tree Creepers,5 Song Thrush, and lots of Wrens,

Sean Gray

 You can tell the best photographers from the number of shots they throw away. Since I came across this the other day, you can draw your own conclusions. It was taken on Soil Hill and, as with all bad pictures, comes with instructions: see Sean; see turquoise twine: see Dotterel behind it. It just kept on walking towards him-in the way that birds don't for the rest of us. When I snapped it, I felt it should be captioned, "Ah, Mr Gray, where would you like me to stand?"

I gather that Sean should be in the IOM by now, so best wishes to him. May they all be as co-operative!
Denise Shields

Friday, March 19, 2010

Various sites

Ringby Lane (Swales Moor)
8 Skylark
2 Meadow Pipits
2 Pied Wagtails
1 Reed Bunting
1 Sparrowhawk
2 Little Owls and 1 Kestrel at Ploughcroft

No signs of yesterdays Waxwings
1 pr Goldeneye
8 adult Common Gulls

Cold Edge
2 Stonechats
1 drake Tufted Duck
4 L B B Gulls >W
1 Meadow Pipit (they should be coming through in numbers soon!)
6 Curlew and 2 Lapwings
Loads of Frogs!

Luddenden Dean
1 Nuthatch, 1 Green Woodpecker and 1 Gt spotted Woodpecker near Jerusalem Farm
65 Fieldfare

Castle Carr Road
2 Grey Partridge
1 Reed Bunting
2 Little Owls
1 Sparrowhawk

Shroggs Park
2 Redwings

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Callis Bridge area - 3pm

Had a walk down by the sewage works in the vain hope of an early hirundine. No luck.

On the Calder - 2 grey wagtails, 1 dipper
On the sewage beds - 68+ pied wagtails, 4 grey wagtails, 32 meadow pipits
2 raven over Erringden, curlew and skylark heard but not seen. No sign of wheatear as yet.
No sign of little owl in the usual spot at Burnt Acres.

Ogden Garden

A flock of circa 15 waxwings landed in the trees in the garden at approx 3.00pm. They stayed for about 5 minutes and then flew off north west in the direction of Ogden Water. They were last seen perched in the fir tree behind the old keepers cottage.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ospreys on the move!

Outside Calderdale - 1 over just north of Bolton Abbey today at 12.50!

Crimsworth Dean

(DJS and NCD)
Lots of Lapwings (c40), Curlew (c25 and singing a lot), back in the dean
2 Oystercatchers
2 Kestrels
10 Fieldfares
1 Tawny Owl male singing mid afternoon in the woodland
c40 Woodpigeons
2+ Stock Doves
1 Green Woodpecker
Lots of corvids
No Little Owls in the usual haunts!

1 female Stonechat as we passed Fly Flats along the top road
15 Curlew on the mud at Cold Edge top dam

Ringby Lane (Swales Moor)

5 Skylark this morning (13 there this afternoon per NK)
2 Reed Buntings
4 Meadow Pipits
1 Kestrel
1 Little Owl at Ploughcroft


2 females and a male Goosander on the river by Anchor Pit Lock - near Bradley Hall, and mating observed between the male and one of the females; will they stay and nest, I wonder, like the pair at EGP last year ??
Also a Dipper and Yellow Wagtail
Sparrowhawk overhead
Mandarin still with the Mallards on the canal.

Fly Flats res and Gaddings

It was a bit breezy around Fly Flats this morning but still:
Oystercatcher - by the sailing clubhouse
3 Goldeneye on res (1 male 2 female)
7 Mallards
16 Canada Geese
2 Redshanks - flew from Northern end to the dam wall
6 Red Grouse
8 Fieldfare over, flying SW towards Dean Head

2 Goldeneye at Gaddings
5 Skylarks in song flight around Gaddings and West Scout
no Meadow Pipits or Wheatears up here this morning, but saw 2 Meadow Pipits on the field wall at the back of my house later
A single Goosander (female) and a Grey Heron were at Lee Dam

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A (very) early Common Sand?

Comment from Charlie Streets on the Calderdale Moths blog

Of interest to the birders amongst you was a sandpiper sp. briefly seen from the bridge at the recycling plant at Sowerby Bridge. I think it's at the junction of Fall Lane and mereclough road?As I stopped to let vehicles pass I looked down onto the Calder and it appeared from underneath the bridge showing Common Sandpiper type wing bars.It landed briefly on the bank before scooting off up stream in typical sandpiper fashion.It's a while since I've seen a Common Sandpiper in Calderdale so I'm not sure how early this one is?

Jay House Lane

Called on the way to work this morning, still loads of Field fare on the field at the top, 3 skylark displaying/scrapping, Lapwing displaying and a hare ran along the wall at the far end.

Fixby and Bradley

Upper Fell Greave wood (just in area):
12 Redwings
GS Woodpecker
Lower Fell Greave wood (just out of area):
2 Nuthatch
2 GS Woodpeckers
2 Bullfinch - males

Bradley Hall area:
Male Mandarin with Mallard on the canal
Grey Wagtail
Mistle Thrush
4 Pheasant
Sparrowhawk circling
2 Kestrels
3 Buzzards

Darrells Calderdales bird photos

Ive added a link to Darrells Zenfolio album,it has some great images of calderdales Birds and landscapes,Its well worth a look ,his recent photos of Red /black Kites in Wales are also awesome.

Fly Flats

No Twite (or Wheatears) there - yet!
1 Lapwing
1 Curlew
c60 Canada Geese
Red Grouse

Ringby Lane (Swales Moor)

1 Woodcock on the top at 08:15 headed off >W (unfortunatley it saw me first - as Woodcock do!)
3 Linnet
5 Skylark
1 Reed Bunting
2 Grey Partridge
2 Pied Wagtails
3 Kestrels together soaring over Shibden Head
2 Stock Doves
20 Woodpigeon >S
4 Meadow Pipits >N
1 Little Owl at Ploughcroft

Also a report via BS from IG of a Buzzard >W over Swales Moor this afternoon at 16:30

poss hammer

not 100% sure but fairly! as was distant and wind was cutting out song- top of jack bridge valley. worth a check if not previously recorded there...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Jay House Lane - am

Brief vsisit on way to work gave no raptors but a good view of four Tree Sparrows.

Gorple and Walshaw

Curlew 62 in the Packhorse fields with a few at Gorple
Oystercatcher 9 Gorple 4 Walshaw
all the Lapwing now back in breeding fields 22 counted
few Golden Plover displaying
Little Ringed Plover - Walshaw
Greylag Goose - Gorple
Canada Goose - scattered everywhere

only passerine seen 1 Mistle Thrush

Pink -footed Goose with Canada Geese near Mytholmoroyd


1 Great Crested Grebe this afternoon
1 pair Goldeneye
1 Dipper at Stodfold
White Crow - near Mount Zion Chapel

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Kestrels Under-recorded

N.D., the Halifax Bird Recorder noted that last year, there were only two records submitted for breeding Kestrels. Considering the numbers of Kestrels present throughout the Calderdale area, the number of breeding pairs is obviously being under reported. Please help us get an accurate picture of the status of these birds by submitting any records of birds displaying, mating, nesting and fledging to Nick Dawtry, the Halifax Recorder. Thanks.

Fly Flatts - Sat p.m.

Still partially frozen at Northern end.
Very little about and no waders, only saw Grouse x 3, Candas x 12 and there was a lone duck which stayed very elusive. Think it was a Goosander because had big white wing flahes but the rest of it looked vey drab.

Also saw Nick Dawtrey looking for frogs!

Forthcoming breeding season

As we appraoch the beginning of a new breeding season (at last!) can I please remind posters to this blog to be careful what they post with regard to raptors and rare breeders. This blog is open to all to view and we know it is monitored by falconers so anything that might put breeding birds at risk should be avoided. Of course birds in non breeding locations such as the recent post of Merlin at Jay House Lane are no problem but please avoid anything that may result in a potential threat. Please submit all records of breeding raptors and breeding birds in general to the HBWC recorder Nick Dawtrey for inclusion in the local report and record archive.

Merlin still in Clifton area

Merlin went through the field at the top of Jay House Lane this afternoon. Good numbers of birds in the field all went up at once and the merlin streaked across just inches from the ground, it went past about 10 yards from the car. In the field was about 80 Fieldfare, 150 starling, 20 Stock Dove and a good mixed selection of corvids.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Osprey on the move!

1 reported from Lincolnshire today and another in East Yorkshire at Hornsea Mere (thanks to Bird Guides) - watch out Calderdale!

Roils Head

From NCD - 1 Crossbill (bright red male) >N over the playing fields this afternoon - probably from the golf course pines. The bird returned a few minutes later to the pines but could not be relocated.

Fly Flats and Cold Edge

Fly Flats Res'r this afternoon. Yesterday it was 100% frozen over and today 90% clear of ice following a rapid overnight thaw. Bonus is there's a good edge now for waders if it stays dry for a week or two - lets hope it's for a month or two!

Not many birds about, though c50 Canada Geese also came in overnight and they've taken up residence around the sailing club-house
2 Golden Plover calling

Withens Head/Cold Edge Road - no Golden Plover found this afternoon
1 Little Owl

Cold Edge Dams
1 drake Goosander
5 Lapwings
2 Curlew
11 Canada Geese
4 Greylag Goose
1 Barnacle Goose


I'm looking to photograph some rooks while they are displaying, so does anyone know a rookery that's at about eye level? The one at Hartshead service station is near perfect because it is next to the bridge but the sun is behind the birds when they are displaying at the nest site meaning there's not much detail. Birds that sit on the other side of the bridge are illuminated but not displaying! Cheers.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Crimsworth Dean etc

We went looking for Wheatears but sadly none there as yet. The head of the dean used to be a very reliable spot for March Ring Ouzel as well - but sadly not in the last few years - and none today.
c20 Curlew
c15 Lapwings
Little Owls were absent from the usual spots so they look to have moved out or succumbed in the cold winter (?)
c80 Fieldfares in the dean
1 Sparrowhawk over
3 Goldcrests in the top of the plantation leading down into the crags

Fly Flats - all still frozen but 2 Canada Geese there on the ice
5 Herring Gulls >E over Oxenhope Moor
Cold Edge Road - only 3 Golden Plover found there today

Please see the Queensbury Birders blog for NK's photos of the Common Buzzard seen over Bradshaw Oats Royd this afternoon. This is possibly the bird NCD saw earlier over Mount Tabor a few minutes earlier heading off in the direction of Soil Hill.

They're here!

Had an after work trip up to Scammonden, aside from the wheatear, there were a few carrion crows and a pair of mistle thrush. This bird wasn't hanging around, saw him for a couple of minutes in which time he made his way across a couple of enclosures and was off.
Had a look at Ringstone, six Canada's, plenty of Golden Plover in the field, some with black bellies already.

Gaddings and Langfield

Following Dave's heads-up to watch out for Wheatear arrivals I walked over West Scout to Gaddings and Langfield Edge to check if any had arrived early. My earliest record over the last 10 years is 20 March 2005 for a Wheatear up here, so I wasn't really expecting any yet....but you never know. It was a nice clear morning, but very quiet.
8 Canada Geese on Longfield Dam
2 Goldeneye at Gaddings (1 male, 1 female)
3 Skylarks singing
1 Meadow Pipit
The highlight of the morning was coming across a load of common frogs (I counted 51 of them but there must have been more) writhing about and making a racket in the reeds and pools below Langfield Edge.
No Wheatears though.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday Commute

Mute Swan - In canal near Barge and Barrel, one of the few I have seen locally in recent years

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Various sites

Male Stonechat at Fly Flats this afternoon

Fly Flats still frozen over - it was uncanny listening to the ice cracking! It should leave a muddy edge for some waders when it thaws - hopefully.

Shroggs Park
1 Nuthatch singing in the park this morning (3rd record of this species in the park in nearly 40 years)!!

Ringby Lane (Swales Moor)
c10 Skylark and 1 Pied Wagtail this morning

Fly Flats
1 Peregrine over towards Oxenhope
1 male Stonechat along the fence to the sailing club
Withens Head (opposite the wind farm car park)
24 Golden Plover
Cold Edge Road
25 Golden Plover in fields near the Calderdale Way footpath (view from the car if possible otherwise they are off) !

Also reported from Otley yesterday (Bird Guides)- 3 Wheatears so we should get some locally soon.

Walshaw Dean

Walk around sunny Walshaw this morning with SD.
Curlew - 11
Lapwing - 3
Oystercatcher - 8
Greylag Goose - 6
Several Red Grouse, a couple of Pheasant, a dozen or so Mallards and too many Canada Geese.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Dipper - Mytholmroyd

Glad to see a dipper in the Calder from the bridge at Mytholmroyd. Used to see one or two daily. Not seen any since the bad weather started - high raging river/snow/ice etc. It was chunnering on a stone at the water's edge.

'Hammers at Hartshead

Monday pm between Hartshead and Kirklees Hall:
4 male Yellowhammers calling from various hedgerows, right on the border of our area.
Merlin seen in the same spot last week.
Buzzard watched for 30 mins over the estate woodland, circling, calling and landing in trees near Robin Hood's Grave (allegedly !).
Kestrel hunting over farmland.
Pheasant calling.
And a huge hare just a fields' length away - first I've seen for a few years.

hardcastle craggs, yesterday

plenty of dippers on the river (though possibly the same two) notice that the top one was displaying, to keep a rival off his rock

a goldcrest, a few knocking about but still pretty scarce. lucky at least some survived the winter
also there were:
a heron
long tailed tit
tree creeper
a grey wagtail on the road
plus the usual

Gorple and Walshaw

a cracking sunny spring morning

Gorple area

Curlew 5
Oystercatcher 1
Lapwing 37 all in flock with GP's and 21 in breeding fields
Golden Plover 7
Canada Goose 26
Stonechat female
Skylark 9 all in flock
Meadow Pipit 3

Walshaw area

Curlew 16 all in flock
Oystercatcher 7
Mistle Thrush at least 3 pairs
female Stonechat
Canada Goose 33
Kestrel 3

nice to see some of the Stonchats have survived the cold winter - unless they are migrants


Sunday evening four Oystercatchers were still in evidence moving below Lower Gorple. A flock of 20 Curlew came over the dam and eventually settled in the fields opposite the Pack Horse. Apart from Grouse and Canada Geese it was very quiet in the area.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Talk with birding content. "Aletsch Glacier and its Surrounding Wildlife"

I was lucky enough to get some great pics and even some video of wallcreeper in Switzerland in '08.
If any birders want to see them, along with nutcracker, alpine chough, and mammals, (great shots of a chamois family group), insects, plants, etc, you are all welcome to watch my images at the Halifax Scientific Society's (Halifax Field Naturalists) monthly indoor meeting.

It's this Tuesday, 9th March, Halifax Central Library, Northgate. Doors open 7pm, talk at 7.30 till 9pm. There is no charge, but there is a retiring collection towards the hire of the room.

We are always open to new members who can do their own thing and we will help them publish their records. We send bird records to Halifax Birdwatchers Club for the report.

Things are moving

Cold Edge Road - Yesterday I was filming 6 Golden Plovers in the fields along here. A Peregrine also went over later. This morning I went back for more Goldies. 2 flocks in 2 fields, 13 and 18 respectively, plus 13 Skylarks.
Gorple in the afternoon gave me the chance to film a posse of 4 Oystercatchers. Earlier, 2 Curlew went over, and later, Lapwing flocks of 32, 25 and 15 or thereabouts heading towards Walshaw. Sadly, they did not come down where I expected to be able to get some footage. I have no idea where they ended up. Another flock of around 20 Goldies were kicking around the pub area. Buzzard and kestrels were kicking about the area, as were Stock Doves and the usual suspects.
None of the local pools have turned up any frogs as yet, and I am on the lookout for boxing mad March hares.....only t'other lagomorph seen so far.

Rochdale Canal to ridge by Stoodley Pike

Minimum of 216 Jackdaws in the trees near Lobb Mill early this morning

Green Woodpecker and singing Nuthatch at Lumbutts Clough
3 Skylarks and a Meadow Pipit
2 Ravens

Castle Carr Road/Luddenden Dean

This afternoon -no Curlew/Lapwing /Skylark or Meadow Pipits at this site yet!
2 Goosander >E
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Nuthatch calling in the dean
1 Grey Heron

Great raptor day

I'm currently sat viewing 2 valley's and so far it's been a good day with displaying sparrowhawk, plus a min of another 2 which didn't display, 4 common buzzards, 2 ravens directly overhead, 1 kestrel also singing nuthatch and my first moorland curlew of the year. A distant flock of lapwings with a distant probable golden plover flock. Anyone wanting to join me feel free to text or ring me for exact location.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Baitings Res'r/Booth Wood Res'r

2 Oystercatchers at each location this morning plus 1 drake Tufted still at Baitings

Midgley Twite feeding station

Midgley feeding station back in operation as from today, lets hope we get some back! For anyone wanting to keep an eye on it I put Nyjer down in the farmers storage area at the end of Thorney Lane just past High House where Dry Carr Lane and Thorney Lane meet.

ogden this morning in the fog

the goldeneye pair were near the duck feeding area this morning so hthey were easier to take photos of
a black headed gull near the feeding area
not much happening this morning despite whats here there were only two long tailed tits on the far side of the reser

Friday, March 05, 2010

Cold Edge/Hunter Hill/Ogden

Above - part of a flock of 45 Golden Plover in the fields alongside Cold Edge Road this afternoon along with 2 Skylark
1 Raven over high >E
1 Greylag Goose >N

Mixenden plantation
1 Treecreeper and 1 Goldcrest

Ogden plantation
1 Goldcrest
2 Treecreepers
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker

Ogden - Back Lane
30 Lapwing
c180 Starling
2 Stock Doves
1 Grey Heron over Soil Hill

Ringby Lane (Swales Moor)

5 Meadow Pipit >N
c10 Skylark
1 Pied Wagtail
1 Twite
3 Lesser Black-backed Gull >N
3 Herring Gull >E

1 Little Owl
35 Woodpigeon

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Cold Edge

Solid ice on the lower Leadbeater Dam
Some open water on Haigh Cote Dam

A good shore line on Haigh Cote Dam - lets hope it stays that way for some waders coming through! 13 Lapwing there this afternoon along with 3 Goosander and 1 Moorhen

Bradley Hall

1 male Yellowhammer this morning in the hedge by the farm (very brief song)
1 Common Buzzard over high mobbed by a Kestrel

Ringby Lane (Swales Moor)

12 Skylark this morning
1 Twite - headed off high >W
1 Meadow Pipit
1 Pied Wagtail

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Swans and Geese

Lone pinkfooted goose in with the Canada geese in Shibden Park this morning. It might be the one that hung around with them a couple of years ago.

12 whooper swans flew over the park at 8:30 - heading west. Possibly the ones that stopped over at Ringstone later on.

50ish Pinkfoot heading over the town centre at 8:45 - heading NW towards Fly Flatts. Seems to be a lot moving today.

Also in the park, at least 3 drumming GSW and a couple of Jays.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Yorkshire Birding Link

I've added a link to the Yorkshire Birding Blogg,keeps you up to date with rare birds and topics from around Yorkshire...Thanks Nick D.

Cragg Vale/Stoodley Pike/Withens Clough

From top:
View from the top of Broadhead Clough looking east
Towards Todmorden from Stoodley Pike
Stoodley Pike looking east
Withens Clough Res'r
Wonderful day to be on the tops!

Very few birds about
4 singing Skylarks
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Redpoll over the plantaion near Sunderland Pasture
3 Stock Dove
1 Raven
1 Great - spotted Woodpecker
1 Green Woodpecker

Lee Dam, Gaddings and Langfield Edge

Mistle Thrush - Lumbutts
Teal - 4 (2 male, 2 female) at Lee Dam
Goosander - 4 (3 female, 1 male) at Lee Dam
Grey Heron at Lee Dam
Meadow Pipit - 2 near Gaddings
Goldeneye - 5 (2 male, 3 female) at Gaddings
Skylark - 3 singing between Gaddings and Langfield Edge
Song Thrush - Woodhouse Road

Smashing day today with Blue Tits, Great Tits, Coal Tits, Dunnocks, Wrens, Robins, Blackbirds and the Mistle Thrush all singing away.

Ringby Lane (Swales Moor)

1 Twite still there this morning and giving lots of 'twangy' song from the bush
12 Skylark still around (along with song flights)
2 Grey Partridge
1 Pied Wagtail
1 Meadow Pipit over Ploughcroft >NE
2 Goosander >N

Monday, March 01, 2010

Fly Flats

Following the Twite at Swales Moor over the weekend we headed up to Fly Flats to put Nyger seed down at the feeding station. No sign of any Twite there but maybe in the next week or two!
c55 Pink-feet >NW (see below)
1 Greylag Goose >N
1 Red Grouse heard and not another bird seen - don't blame them!

Ringby Lane (Swales Moor)

Pied Wagtail and male Twite - yes in a bush!
1 Pied Wagtail and 1 Twite still at the site this morning - feeding along the fence line.
The Twite is a male - lovely pink rump and singing quite a lot (sounding as if there were half a dozen there - but only one!) No rings.
1 Curlew >NE
12 Skylark on the ground + 4 >NE
1 female Linnet feeding on the manure heap then with the Skylarks
2 Grey Partridge
1 Sparrowhawk
1 L B B Gull >N
3 Common Gulls >S
usual corvids

Pink-footed Geese

Pinkies in the distance from Fly Flats this afternoon
Several reports today of a movement W or NW over North Halifax/West Bradford
33 >W over Bradshaw at 09.30 (BH)
Another skein (no count)>W over Ovenden at 10.20
58 >NW over Pellon at 10.50 (MH)
Several hundred (6 Skeins) from Bradford reports this am (via BS)
c55 >NW over Oxenhope Moor from Fly Flats at 14.05