Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lee Mount

2 Mistle Thrush males singing in and near Shroggs Park these last 2 days.
Also 2 Grey Wagtails over yesterday and 2 Nuthatches still coming to the garden feeders - they have been here about a month or so now so hope they stay the winter!

Is anyone getting Song Thrushes ? Iv'e not had any for weeks, though there are plenty of Blackbirds and Mistle Thrush about.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


The 2010 Halifax Bird Report is almost ready to go to print. Is every body happy with the binding of previous reports ie ring binding or would people prefer staples. The printers seem to think that ring binding is the better option. Any thoughts are welcome.

Mixenden and Ogden Res'rs

I did check both sites out this afternoon in the hope of something blown in with the gales but couldn't find anything other than the usual Black-headed and Common Gulls.

News from Sands Lane gravel pits near Mirefield (just outside our area) is that the adult Ring-billed Gull was back there this morning (Ref BirdGuides). I think this could be the third winter it has turned up there.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ogden & Mixenden

This afternoon
1 Little Owl along Syke Lane
A pair of Stonechats at Stodfold
1 drake Goosander on Mixenden Res'r
Several Stock Doves and lots of Woodpigeons about
1 Lesser Black-backed Gull over NW

NERF Review 2010 now available


The Review opens with reports from Paul Irving, Chair and Ian Court, Secretary. The thought provoking foreword by Richard Saunders, Ornithologist, sets the tone for the Review.

Part 1: summaries the activities undertaken by the Forum during 2010, including geographical and habitat coverage, conservation status of raptors in the NERF region and persecution data recorded by members.

Part 2: the species report, covering all 23 species of raptor, including raven, that occur in or transit through, the NERF region. Each species report includes a historical overview, population and conservation status together with threat assessments. Monitoring and productivity data from each NERF Group is presented in a tabular format followed by individual group reports.

Part 3: the following articles are presented in this section
• A Review of the RSPB Birdcrime Report 2010: Guy Shorrock, Senior Investigations Officer, RSPB
• Monitoring Raptor Demography on a National Scale: Dr Dave Leech, Senior Research Ornithologist, BTO
• Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme: Lee Walker, PBMS, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
• A Tale of two Ospreys, a report from Cumbria detailing the different stories of 2 chicks as they migrated from the UK to Western Africa: Phil Cheesley & Pete Davis Lake District Osprey Project
• Monitoring Nests with Cameras: Nigel Butcher, Technical Development Officer, RSPB
• National Merlin Survey 2008: Steve Ewing and Mark Eaton, RSPB
• Conservation Project for Lesser Kestrels in the Alta Murgia National Park, Italy: Pino Giglio & Marco Gustin, [translated by Gabriele Zambelli]

The Review is printed on high quality paper, in A4 format, perfect bound; c72,000 words across 112 pages, full colour throughout, including 46 photographs.

Copies can be purchased from Steve Downing for £12, including p&p. Email

A small number of copies of the 2009 Annual Review are still available at the reduced rate of £5 per copy. £17.50 including p&p for both Reviews.

Swales Moor

Nothing at all doing up there this morning other than the usual corvids and just one Kestrel. I thought something might have been doing after a call from NK who managed another Snow Bunting along with a Grey Plover on Soil Hill this morning.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sites for Barn Owl Boxes

Calderdale Bird Conservation Group are currently looking for sites in which to erect barn owl boxes and would be interested to hear of any potential structures, trees, buildings etc., near to suitable foraging habitat, to which boxes may be attached.

Ogden Garden

A male sparrow hawk was on the feeder this morning see photos attached hopefully

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cold, windy and getting dark

But this evening was brightened up by the sight of a juv Hen Harrier.

Cromwell Bottom

There will be a site meeting at Cromwell Bottom this Saturday 26th November at 9:30am to look at various areas with regards to the development of wildlife habitats. Everyone welcome to attend.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Answers to the quiz - not too difficult it seems

Well done if you correctly identified the SEO with it's head down having just caught a vole and the scraggy looking Firecrest which had just had a bath.

E petition - please consider signing

Introduction of offence of vicarious liability for raptor persecution in England

Responsible department: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Scotland, recognising that those who persecute birds of prey frequently do so at the direction of their employers or others with vested interests, has introduced an offence of vicarious liability, the purpose of which is to bring those parties to justice. This petition calls on the government to introduce an offence of vicarious liability to bring to justice those who direct or turn a blind eye to raptor persecution in England. As an indication of how bad thing are, in the last year only four pairs of hen harriers successfully reared chicks in England, fourteen peregrine falcon territories failed on grouse moors in Lancs forest of Bowland, and only one successful goshawk nest was recorded in the Derwent Valley, Derbyshire. Current legislation is not enough to deter those who break the law and destroy our heritage; the introduction of vicarious liability would hit those directing the slaughter.

Cromwell Bottoms

In case anyone is down there tomorrow, received the following message today;

I was walking on the canal just where the bridge goes over to the car park from Cromwell Bottom nature reserve was watching a goosander. Finally caught it in the bins to reveal something tangled around its beak and it could only just open its beak, it was clearly distressed. It dived & surfaced near me and flew off in panic towards the direction of the lake where they do the watersports. I reported to RSPCA when I arrived back in the office, they asked me to go back to try to locate again which I did, walked all way down to cromwell bridge/lock but no sign at all, suspect its gone onto the lake. I've sent this to as well but in the meantime wondered if you might know anyone who might be able to help locate it? Im not in brighouse until next week now so im trying to get word out so hopefully it can be freed. If anybody finds it please report to RSPCA, I did call them again to say couldnt find it so they weren't wasting their time.On a positive note saw a kingfisher not far from the weir on the river!

Weather Link

The post below has been updated with a better camera link and also a link to the east coast.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Huddersfield BC 2010 Report

The 2010 report of the Huddersfield Birdwatchers Club is now available to buy for £6.00 plus £1.50 p&p. Details at

At 154 pages plus colour plates the report details 173 species recorded in the club area in 2010 and is the culmination of a major club effort to get report publications back on schedule.

A cracking good read for the winter evenings.

ID Quiz - photo's taken outside Calderdale

Anyone care to have a go for fun?

Useful Local Weather Station

Hi all.
For a full screen update for temperature, humidity, dew point, rainfall, Pressure and wind speed/direction updated every few seconds go to:

For a daily (or weekly, monthly, yearly or select your own day) graph of local readings of rainfall, pressure, wind speed/direction etc. Plus Web Cam. Readings every few seconds.

The Station is located on the Illingworth Road area and looks towards Queensbury with a web cam.

And for an east coast check:

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Birding Frontiers

Whist we're on with meetings and stuff, Hudds Birders have got Martin Garner doing a gig in a couple of weeks time,

Cromwell Bottom Development Group

The next meeting of the Group will be on Wednesday the 23rd of November at the adult learning centre Chapel Lane, in Brighouse (opposite the bus station) at 7:00pm. Please come along and show your support. ALL WELCOME
Map of venue.

New link added
Ive added a link to trektellen its an excellent site for those interested in migraion watch.It has regular updates from all over the UK and europe ,so you can see whats on the move..well worth a regular look...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Looks like 2 different RLBs

 Rough-leg on 13th October.
Rough-leg on 17th November.

Looks like weve now had 2 Rough -legged Buzzards this year, the head pattern looks totally different to me. Others have also said the tail pattern appeared differnt. Sadly negative news today, no sightings despite people out looking. Yesterdays bird did go missing at one stage and was not seen for at least an hour and an half, so still worth looking for over the week end.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

More Rough Pics!

Don't know why Nick thinks I'll have some better pics than him, as I'm a complete plank with a camera -but for what they're worth, here's a few of my better ones:

All taken with Fuji Finepix HS 20 EXR.


The Rough Leg at Buckstones Moss showed very well today, many thanks to Tim Walker for the lift. Found yesterday by Roger Ranson it was picked up again mid morning and showed on and off all day. The bird is just in the Huddersfield area, but if you stay long enough it occasionally strays into Calderdale and so tickable to any Calderdale birders. More photos to follow later on Heavy Birder blog.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


From MH - 40 Pinkfeet low over Luddenden at 10.10 this morning going east low down in the mist.


From Steve L - Red-throated Diver there this morning around 9.45 in front of the boat house but flew off towards Ringstone direction aroung 10.35 after being disturbed by dogs. Drake Pintail still present there from yesterday is also a good find. Well done Steve.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mixenden and Ogden (golf course)

3 female Goldeneye on the res'r along with c140 B H Gulls and c40 Common Gulls
Also nearby 17 Stock Doves by Stodfold
1 Kestrel
1 Sparrowhawk
The White Carrion Crow was at Lane Head Lane near Upper Brockholes, Ogden.

Swales Moor

Still very murky up there this morning with a brisk easterly but I thought I would give it a try seeing as Soil Hill had already turned up a Snow Bunting and a Jack Snipe! Well done NK.

4 Skylarks - with 2 of them singing!
1 Meadow Pipit
1 Kestrel
1 Redwing >E
usual corvids

I also got a message from Steve C about 8 Whooper Swans heading east over Withens Clough so I scanned from the top for a while but assume they headed down the Calder Valley which wasn't visible in the mist, unfortunately, otherwise I guess I would have seen them had it been clear.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Recent bits

- A kingfisher near the back of Innovation, Hebden Bridge, yesterday
- A woodcock was flushed by the dog at the top of Jumble Hole this morning
- A buzzard flew over Jumble Hole on Wednesday
- 2 raven very low over Cock Hill today

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pied Wagtail Roost

Driving home, I was cosidering posting a heads-up for winter wagtail roosts, when I drove straight into one.......Tescos car park at King Cross. I don't know how many birds are coming in to roost as many were already in bed when I came across them. I would estimate around 150 but this could be wide of the mark.
I counted 200 going into a larger tree by the Woolshops on October 14th 2007 and in Manchester in the late 90's I seem to remember around 500 going into a single tree outside the BBC.
These birds are congregating on Tescos roof, probably around 4.00 - 4.15 and going into the tree between the car wash and the zebra crossing. There was plenty of traffic, people using the crossing and two guys making plenty of noise washing cars right next to the tree, but the birds did not seem the least bothered.


It's worth checking out your local stands of Beech for Bramblings at the moment. I had a small flock above Withens Clough last Monday in pretty poor weather conditions. I had intended to look for Crossbills in Sunderland Pasture but the mist and drizzle made it a no goer.
A return visit today in order to try for better pictures of the brambling flock came to nowt. Although I had a few sporadic flyovers of what may (?) have been bramblings, I wasn't able to locate the 20 - 30 strong flock of last Monday. There is still mast on the trees, but it is difficult to say how much of it still bore seed, and how much had already been plundered.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Swales Moor

Foolish I know in that pea souper - just 1 Skylark!

Mixenden Res'r

4 Goldeneye there this afternoon in the mist (1 drake)
1 Lapwing on the banking along with the usual gulls

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Swales Moor and Pepper Hill

Dull and misty today up there - not very inspiring!
Swales Moor
3 Reed Buntings
1 Meadow Pipit
c40 Fieldfare in the top fields
No Skylarks today - very unusual for none at this site!
1 Kestrel

Pepper Hill
2 Green Woodpeckers
40 Fieldfare and 1 Redwing >west mid afternoon
1 Little Owl

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Popped home at lunch today & found 18 Collared Doves on my apple tree. If it had been 18 Goldfinches it wouldn't have been unusual but never had so many Doves.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Mixenden and Ogden Res'rs

Very quiet today - hard to find anything.
Mixenden Res'r
2 Goosander
1 Great-spotted Woodpecker
A good number of B H gulls and Common Gulls at both sites and a few Goldcrests.

Watch out for Waxwings as just a few have appeared in the country in the last few days!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Cold Edge/Withens Head

14 Golden Plover flew over west mid afternoon and soon after 9 Herring Gulls headed in the same direction. Apart from that there was not a lot else about.
2 Kestrels
8 Fieldfare
1 Little Owl
1 Meadow Pipit

Also from Northowram today - a massive count of 16,000 plus Woodpigeons this morning from Andy's watchpoint - see Northowram link for further details.

Yesterdays report

Saturday 5th November
In addition to Pink-footed Geese from Muxy below - other reports from yesterday included:-
36 Whooper Swans seen from the Oxenhope watchpoint (HC via BS)heading into Calderdale at around 08.30
100+ Pink-feet north east over Mixenden at 09.15 (AZ)
100+ Pink-feet east over Northowram at 09.20 (AC)

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Soil Hill

1 Snow Bunting still at Soil Hill this afternoon, also 4 Linnets, 2 Skylarks, 1 Kestrel, 2 Golden Plover north and several LBBGs.

North Loop Re-Capping

A reminder that there will be a meeting in Brighouse this Wednesday, November 9th to discuss the capping of the North Loop at Cromwell Bottom L.N.R. This will inevitably affect ground and scrub nesting birds as well as other vertebrates.
For full details go to:

Pink Feet

At least 100 over Tabor this morning (10.40) going East.

Mankinholes, Lumbutts and Gaddings Dam

A good, calm day for a walk up to Gaddings Dam. It was a bit wet underfoot but overall a grand morning with plenty of birds about.

Long Tailed Tit – 7
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Little Owl in usual place
Goldcrest – 5 in the church yard
Nothing at Lee Dam again, not even a Mallard.
Longfield Dam
Black-headed Gull – 34
Common Gull – 2 (1st winter)
Lapwing – 10
Canada Goose - 19
Gaddings Dam
Goldeneye – 4 (1 x ♂ 3 x ♀)
Tufted Duck ♂
Golden Plover – 20 on South East shore
Raven -2 flying over
Red Grouse – 2

Friday, November 04, 2011

not birds BUT!

its not to do with birds but, i had my bike nicked on Tuesday night, it has been seen with a scum bag riding it round mixenden dam , the police have been informed and know all about it .if any body notices it could they call the police (999) and/or me 07788925466 (Nick Dawson)


Soil Hill

Following a call from NK this morning that the Snow Bunting was still there I headed up mid morning. It took an hour and a half to find it, which I eventually did, near the mast. It flushed and flew over towards the north facing slope.
c4 Twite, c11 Linnets and 3 Skylarks on the north slope.
1 Kestrel

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Soil Hill

I went up late afternoon on hearing the news from NK about a Snow Bunting there first thing this morning (5 yesterday!)Jane and Celia were there as well but we had no luck with the bunting - but it is a big site to check and the light was not good.
2 Skylarks
1 Reed Bunting

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Jaw dropping photos, what a great find

Juvenile - first winter Rough-legged Buzzard found by Karen Mather off Smithy Lane/Withens Lane End 1km west of Ringstone Edge on 13th October, the day after the Great-northern Diver turned up. Unfortunatly Karen did not know who to contact but did manage to get these superb shots of the bird which was present from at least 11AM until dusk. Unfortunatly there was no sign of the bird the next day or thereafter. Wheather or not it is the same bird that was near Bacup also on 13th is unkwown but I could probably check with Rochdale birders to find out the times of both sightings. What a great record.

Mixenden Res'r and Ogden

1 late juvenile Swallow south west over Stodfold and Mixenden plantation was an unexpected surprise (my first November record in Calderdale)
1 Goosander on the res'r plus the usual gulls
2 Stonechats at the lower end of Ogden golf course with 2 Cormorants on Ogden Res'r and Sparrowhawk there as well.