Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dipper @ the Crags

A quick walk with the kids at Hardcastle Crags didn't produce much other than a dipper at the edge of the quieter mill pond up stream from the mill (to the left of the stream).

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Recent news

From 24th Christmas Eve
Fly Flats - nothing!
Withens Head - c60 Fieldfare in fields opposite the wind farm car park.
Cold Edge - 1 Mallard!
Mixenden Res'r - drake Goldeneye and a drake Goosander.

Today and yesterday from Elland ski lake , 14 Goldeneye (JB AC)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Waxwings in Brighouse

Here is a short film of waxwings in Brighouse today.

Filmed by Chris Burns. LINK to film

Hartshead & Bailiffe areas

A low flying Buzzard at Kirklees Hall and c90 Redwings feeding in the stubble fields, before gathering in the same tree.
In the fields above Bailiffe Bridge - 400+ BHGulls and a few Commons; 150+ Starlings; 50+ Fieldfares; and across the road - c200 Lapwings and c20 Golden Plover, but too windy up there to get a decent photo !

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Mixenden Res'r

Everywhere seems fogged out and rained off today but I did manage a peek at mixi res this afternoon. Just about 40 BH and a few Common Gulls and 5 Goosander and that was it!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Blog images

Following a recent post on the blog which included a superb photo of a Dipper it has been raised that the use of other peoples photographs without their express permission may be in breach of copyright. Whilst I am sure it wasn't the posters intention to in any way cause a problem (indeed was more to allow us all to appreciate a great photo) I believe there may well be copyright issues here.  I am no expert but the photographer concerned is a professional and has a copyright to the photo displayed on it.  I have attempted to search the web for guidance on this issue and although can't come up with anything concrete there are several documented bloggers who have been at risk of prosecution for using other peoples images without permission.  As a result and to err on the side of caution I have removed the photo, shame as its a superb shot.  If anyone disagrees with this decision and can prove that we are not putting ourselves at risk of potential copyright issues please clarify on here.

Caspian Gulls

There are 4 Caspian Gulls at Neepsend, Sheffield. Our turn now??


Monday, December 17, 2012

Various sites

Moor End - Mount Tabor landfill
11 Lapwings

Cold Edge
1 f Goldeneye
18 Carrion Crows
2 Rooks

Fly Flatts
2 Carrion Crows
2 'cronkers'
Red Grouse

Mixenden Res'r
10 Goosander
usual gulls including 1 L B B G

2 Reed Buntings by the 'Giants Tooth' and 6 Bullfinch came over high from Thornton Moor calling and dropped into the plantation
Red Grouse heard calling on the moor
1+ Goldcrest and 1 Great Tit but hardly any other small birds in the woodland
1 Dipper below the embankment
A big rock fall recently in the big quarry above Ogden Clough!

Urban waterbirds

Some great shots here..............
A walk down the Hebden on 2nd December produced no stream birds in the depth of the frost, but yesterday there was a dipper and a grey wagtail in the Hebble Beck just outside Dean Clough's Viaduct Cafe, a not unusual sight. Wonder if the water is warmer for them there . . . .

Sunday, December 16, 2012

More Waxwings.

At least two Waxwings and a couple of very vocal Nuthatches at the bottom of Manor Heath park this morning. Also three Waxwings briefly along the road at the mini roundabout at Free School Lane mid-week.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


According to Birdguides there were "6 on Heathfield Place early evening" today.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Todmorden Waxwing

A call was heard in the Burnley Road / Wellington Road area while walking home yesterday afternoon, seemed to be a single bird but could not spot it at the time.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sowerby Bridge & Private Site last 2 days

Dipper and Kingfisher on walk onto work near Asquith Bottom Mill in Sowerby Bridge yesterday and apologies for this one but I'll hopefully confirm this tomorrow morning. As I was leaving a bird flitted across my path my first instinct said Black Redstart but I was unable to relocate the bird though my search was brief as I had to be somewhere. It was the briefest of views so I told myself that it was unlikely and was probably just a robin.

Today whilst working on a private site I was surrounded constantly by 2 Robins that kept coming down to feed on the worms and other insects I kept turning up as a dug, not once did either of them remind me of the fleeting glimpse I'd had the day before. So tomorrow I shall return and have a proper search and I'll send a text to Dave so he can put it out either way on the grapevine. I certainly won't be claiming it if my search proves fruitless as it was the briefest of glimpses.

At dusk today witnessed an amazing roost as wrens/blue tits & great tits gathered in nearby bushes and trees before going to roost in the roof of the house where i was working, at least 20 wrens were seen to goto roost before we left. I've asked the owner to take a look in the morning to see if he can get an exit count and also to see if any other species have joined them. Add to that a weasel showing well, made for a good day at work.

The Sad Demise of Betty

The Sad Demise of Betty the Hen Harrier in June this year and the results of the post mortem is described here. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Local sightings

3 goosanders on river at Walkley Clogs: 2M 1F
A grey heron perched on a flimsy looking branch about 7' up a tree on the opp bank of river in Mytholmroyd
Dipper & grey wagtail seen last week from bridge over river in centre of Mytholmroyd: No sign today of pair of mandarin ducks seen on 3 occasions about a week ago from same bridge.  Thought at first they were wood ducks but I had a long time to study them and I'm clear what they were.

A pair of jays now come regularly to peanut feeders in patio garden at The Hatchery, Hall Bank Lane. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sowerby Bridge to Eastwood on the towpath

Plenty of the usual birds about today including a total of 7 Jays, 2 Treecreepers and a Grey Wagtail but the highlights were 7 Redwing at Brearley and 4 Goosander on the canal at Eastwood. 20+ Fieldfare were at Middle Stoodley, out of the valley from Eastwood.

Halifax Scientific Society Xmas Social

Among the usual attractions of artifacts and books etc. from our library to look at, there will be a couple of really interesting dead birds on display, found recently in Calderdale :-

The Common Scoter found by Andy Cockroft at Baitings reservoir. (It's been in a freezer.)
And the Great Grey Shrike that was picked up near a window in Southowrham with its prey, a headless Blue Tit.

The Xmas Social  consists of conversation over tea/coffee and cakes. Bring cakes etc to share. Drinks provided.

Downstairs at the Central Library, Halifax 7.15 to 9.00. (No formal Business tonight.)
All welcome.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Various sites

Mixenden Res'r
1 drake Goldeneye plus the usual gulls

Hunter Hill
3 Meadow Pipits
1 Kestrel

Cold Edge
1 f Goldeneye
12 Mallard

Pepper Hill & Claremount
12 Mistle Thrush
5 Fieldfare
35 Redwings
30 Common Gulls
5 Grey Partridge
c20 Woodpigeons feeding on holly berries
3 Kestrels

Sunday, December 09, 2012

CSI Great Grey Shrike

Well what a story ,I met with Sue at Southowram on sat morning to collect the Shrike and unbeknown to me a headless Blue Tit.The Shrike and Blue Tit were found on her door step just like the bottom pic.The Shrikes bill is full of bits of Blue Tit,the head was not found unless its in the Shrike,Sue said her cat had been in all night as sometimes cats bring in there kills.I can only think that the shrike must have been fighting with the Blue tit and flew into the door and killed itself.??I think the Shrike is an adult male.??Many thanks to Sue Holden for all her efforts to find out about the Shrike...

Bailiffe Bridge

Seen,this afternoon, a large winter flock of feeding birds in fields on the right at the top of the hill from Bailiffe Bridge crossroads towards Dewsbury. ( just about still in Calderdale?) Golden plover 50+ Lapwing 40+ Starlings 450+ Gulls 120+ B.H., and common ( might be worth a good search for a rarity ) Rooks and crows

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Other news today

From Nigel at Soil Hill - 4 Snow Buntings briefly this morning (could still be there) but a pair of Stonechats is a great record for that elevation in these weather conditions. feeding in the furrows caused by the excavators.

And from Brian - the Siskin flock was at the back of Sainsbury's fuel station in Halifax this afternoon.

Swales Moor

11 Linnets up there this morning was a nice surprise but little else other than 80+ Carrion Crows on the top.
2 Sparrowhawks and 2 Kestrels hunting across the Shibden valley
c30 Lapwings in the distance towards Ogden were heading straight through in a NW direction

Friday, December 07, 2012

Mixenden and Ogden

Treacherous under foot this morning and hard to find any birds!
Mixenden Res'r
3 drake Goosander
Pair of Goldeneye
1 L B B Gull among c 60 mixed B H and Common Gulls

Ogden Res'r
Drew a blank other than the usual Mallard and a a few B H and Common Gulls

1 Herring Gull adult flew over the golf course >SE
1 Kestrel

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Halifax - Sainsbury's

No, not Waxwings but c30 Siskin this morning, flyovers went towards the trees at the back of the fuel service station.

Also if anyone reads the 'Independent' there was a very good article on the status of Kestrels in the country and some interesting observations on motorway verge populations in Britain compared with 20 years ago and a comparison with motorways in France. If anyone gets chance it's well worth a read!
Trying to see if there is a link for the article.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Other news today

From Jim W - 6 Waxwings in Sainsbury's car park in Brighouse at 8.0 am but not many berries left for them!

Mixenden and Ogden

Mixenden Res'r
1 pair Goldeneye + a few B H and Common Gulls. No Goosander today

Ogden golf course - just one bird - an unidentified lark/bunting on the golf course flew off in the direction of the sun and couldn't get anything on it and heard no call. Most frustrating!

2 Teal
1 1st winter Goldeye drake
c80 Mallard, c40 B H Gulls and a few Common Gulls
1 male Kestrel

Jack Snipe from NK on Soil Hill but a lot of excavation work going on with a large digger on the top so wonder what will happen next up there? We will be lucky if it's for the benefit of the birds!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Mixenden and Ogden

1 pair Goosander and 1 pair of Goldeneye on Mixenden Res'r this morning but not much else other than 1 L B B Gull and a few Common and B H Gulls

1 1st winter male Goldeneye
4 Goldcrests
2 Reed Buntings by the 'Giant's Tooth'
1 Common Buzzard sitting it out a snow/sleet shower on a fence post headed off NE struggling to get any lift in the awful conditions

Nestboxes further delays

Unfortunately I'm having to work again Saturday and as there was only Howard available we have had to postpone until 15th.

We would welcome extra hands and ladders to assist in this vital work of protecting the nestboxes from predators so if you have done all your xmas shopping why not join us.

10am Jerusalem Farm car park, the sooner we get done the sooner we can have a festive drink in a local pub :-)

Please let us know if you plan on coming so we know if everyone has arrived or not.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Shrike photos

See earlier post re dead shrike found by Sue Ludhill at Southowram last month, Sue has now sent her photos.....a sad end to a great record.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Booth Wood Res'r

Male Stonechat showing well this morning just past Booth Wood Res'r along the A672 near the bridge in the dip! Not sure what the bridge is called?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lee, Longfield and Gaddings Dams, Common Scoter

A reasonable day at last so went out for a walk around the dams.
Mankinholes – a Little Owl  and a Kestrel on the ruined barn
Lee Dam
Goosander    1
Teal – 7
Moorhen  – 3
Dipper – 1
Jay – 1
Little Owl - 2
Longfield Dam
Lapwing – 15
Mistle Thrush – 1
Meadow Pipit – 1
Pied Wagtail – 2
Gaddings Dam
Goldeneye – 7 all females….and another bird that I took for a Great Crested Grebe at first, based on colouration and white cheeks. It was over the far side of the dam but I’d seen GCGs there in the past so even though it was a poor view, it was most likely another one. I texted Dave S to let him know. A few minutes passed and I looked again, got a better view and I wasn’t so sure so I waited to see if the birds would come any closer but they didn’t. I walked round the dam, out of sight, hoping to come up behind them and get a closer view but when I popped my head up they had gone over to the other side.This was repeated a few times! I took a few photos to try and get a better impression but they were inconclusive for me, although I was sure it wasn’t GCG now, so I rang Andy H for help.
Andy had a great idea to zoom in on one of the photos on my camera and take a snap of the screen with my phone, then send the photo to him. Meanwhile I told Dave S that the GCG id was being reviewed and I sent the same photo to him. It was poor quality to say the least but almost simultaneously both Andy and Dave came back with female Common Scoter. My first Common Scoter in Calderdale and my first female Scoter thanks to Andy and Dave.
I was able to get a few better photos a little later.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

National Trust High Peak Vision Consultation

Please see the following in relation to the High Peak

The National Trust is currently consulting on plans for it ambitious new 25 vision covering its High Peak Estate within the Peak district National Park.
The High Peak estate has the potential to be a sustainably managed landscape, home to a diverse range of species and habitats and a place that all of society can enjoy. The High Peak, like many upland areas across the UK has its challenges. It is currently at the mercy of its current land tenure and has been ravaged by the effects of bad burning practice and the effects of overgrazing. This area, notably the Derwent Valley is also one of the worst parts of the UK for illegal persecution of birds of prey – this is simply unacceptable on National Trust land in one of the UK’s most prestigious national parks.

If fully deployed, the Trusts vision for this upland landscape could be revolutionary in how it manages this large upland landscape. In summary, some of its main aims include:
·         Removal of inappropriate burning practices from deep peat blanket bog – current burning practices cause damage to bog vegetation, risking carbon loss and exacerbate run off and water storage. Current burning creates heather dominated monocultures that benefit few species, by removing burning and deep heather from bog and associated hydrological restoration it should create wet diverse bogs that are home to iconic species like golden plover and dunlin.
·         An ambitious program of moorland and bog hydrological restoration techniques to restore hydrology and restore damaged peat soils.
·         Sustainably managed grazing that looks at preventing damage to delicate upland dwarf shrub mosaics. The use of different grazing animals such as cattle in appropriate locations that will facilitate the recovery of upland vegetation.
·         An ambitions woodland vision that creates a network of upland woodland and scrub habitats that create future homes for some of our important upland woodland species. These plans will also improve moorland edge habitats for species for key species such as whinchat and tree pipit and allow these upland habitats adapt to the challenges of climate change.
·         Create a landscape that is home to all nature including iconic species such as birds of prey. The Trusts High Peak estate should support key populations of species such as hen harrier, merlin and goshawk that are currently prevented colonising by illegal persecution. Future land management tenants will be partners in the National Trusts vision and birds of prey will be key indicators of success of tenancies. Robust action will be taken against future tenants who don’t share the Trusts desire to see birds of prey on the estate.

The National Trust will no doubt be under a great deal of pressure over their new vision from interested single-issue groups who do not like the thought of these much needed changes. Previous public consultations appear to have been overtaken by vocal minority groups, much of this can be seen from the results of the Trusts previous consultations available on the High Peak moors website that contain worrying statements like “more shooting and burning”, “less access and anti-shooting”, “less vermin” and “continued moorland management to favour red grouse production”.

The National Trust is now carrying out its final public consultation on the contents of its vision and is keen to hear views from a large proportion of individuals, organisations and interest groups. The current consultation ends on the 30th November and I would urge you all to go and look at the draft vision and comment on it, either by answering the small number of questions or just to say if you agree with its direction of travel. This is a key opportunity for you to engage your friends, colleagues and members in supporting the National Trust in the deployment of its vision which should aim to make its High Peak estate better for biodiversity and priority species such as birds of prey. Without your support, the Trusts vision may stall in this currently difficult political climate.

In order to view and comment on the vision, please visit the High Peak Moors website:
Please circulate the consultation details to your friends, contacts and members and encourage them to comment by the 30th November.

Although this does not specifically relate to our area I feel it worth circulating, whatever goes ahead in the Peak District could form the blue print for other upland areas including our own.  I have commented on behalf of CBCG and comments have also been submitted on behalf of the Raptor sub Group, if anyone else wishes to comment the questionnaire is brief and easy to complete.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ringstone Res'r

I had a short time up there this afternoon - pouring rain sideways!
1 female Teal
5 Herring Gulls (4 adults and 1 first winter) dropped in for 10 minutes, bathed, then headed off high west into the worst of the weather - what hardy birds!
23 B H Gulls
14 Common Gulls


There was a large flock of Fieldfares and Starlings feeding in the fields East of Mankinholes this morning. They were quite mobile and the fields are rough with large patches of juncus but I estimate there were over 90 Fieldfares there. Didn't see any Redwing at all.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Great Grey Shrike

Received an e mail today via Brian Armitage from Huddersfield birders from a lady saying she had found a dead bird by her doorstep along with a headless Blue Tit, she subsequently identified the unknown bird as a Great Grey Shrike and wanted to let people know, she lives in the Southowram area overlooking Cromwell Bottom.  I have asked for any photos or indeed the body itself to be able to confirm the identification and arranged for an invite to post to this blog to go to her.  Watch this space!

Birds of Prey
The RSPB currently has an appeal on to save the Hen harrier from extinction in England. Only one breeding pair in 2012 despite enough habitat to support around 300 pairs.

RSPB quote - "Scandalously, this situation is due to calculated, deliberate persecution by humans. RSPB teams of investigators have uncovered evidence of birds being illegally shot, poisoned and trapped, in an attempt to maximise grouse numbers for shooting"

Please support the appeal if you can - further information on the web site.

Some Excellent Waxwings .......

Goosander Sowerby Bridge

Real shame the Panasonic FZ38 doesn't perform better in low light, still a good little camera to carry around, Goosanders are in my opinion one of the hardest common birds to photograph as they are always alert and very wary so got lucky with this one as I left work today, pity the light wasn't better.

Oxenhope Moor

15 Nov 10.30am

8 golden plover, 1 woodcock - just over border in Bradford MDC but flew into Calderdale! 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Waxwings Sainsbury's Brighouse


Some on a small roundabout near Sainsbury's in Brighouse early this morning according to Birdguides.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Cromwell Bottom

A quick look at the  new bridge today and very useful it was,also the new feeding station was very busy with people and birds.It certainly has a good feel to the place at the moment and well done the the new friends for all there hard work.
 A large flock of Siskin 100 + was very mobile and seen all along the canal,a few Redpolls as well, Bullfinch, Goldeneye,10 Cormorants,Jays seemed to be everywhere,3 Grey wags,GCGrebe and a few Goosander.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

last few days catch up

Tuesday 13th


jay 2
grey wagtail  3
goosander 1 f
coal tit 1
kingfisher 1
moorhen 1

Slate Delfs Hill

merlin 1 f

Wednesday 14th


a nice movement of redwings west through the calder valley from 22:30 - 0000

Thursday 15th 

Norland Moor

Pink Footed Goose apx 3 skiens totalling apx 250 what got me was they came from the direction of Elland and headed NW, the direction of the geese along with the mild weather and flowering plants gave the moor a spring like feel.

grey partridge 1
meadow pipit 1
starling small groups moving west

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Any gull fanatics.

Found this yesterday and briefly today in Foxhill park Queensbury along with Common gulls.
Still in summer plumage with characteristics of Common but much smaller, BHG size, with very slender neck and thin bill. Poor photos as through the mist. Mew has been suggested, any thoughts.

     Subspecies or just oddball ?

                                  Common for comparison

End of Autumn Sale & repairs

Ok everyone Autumn is at an end and winter is upon us for 2 things to make you aware of:

First is I'm selling my scope, it's a Kowa TSN-823 Prominar, comes with an 20-60 zoom lens and Skua stay on case. Offers over £450

There is also a 32x wide angle lens for it available separately for £80 or just £50 if purchased with the scope.

It really is an excellent scope and it's been a tough decision having to let it go but needs must.

The Second thing is nestboxes, looking for a team to head out and fix the remaining plates to the front of nestboxes in the Luddenden Valley, probably involve chasing off some squirrels - looking at doing this 1st/2nd December. Please note this will only take one day so whichever date proves most popular will be the chosen date.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pine Groses
You never know/////////////////


Had the first Brambling of the Autumn in the garden this morning.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Mixenden Res'r

1 Goosander this morning
1 L B B Gull
50 B H Gulls
25 Common Gulls
c50 Jackdaws

A big bonus was 3 Woodcock sightings in the plantation in the space of 15 minutes. 2 flushed as I walked through and 1 flew in from the res'r area giving fantastic views flying around me - at speed! Not sure if they were all different birds or just the same one!! Enjoyed it all the same, and a first in Calderdale this year for me just when I thought I was going to dip!

Other news today

A good one from Andy C with 5 Waxwings through Northowram south early on this morning.

24 Pink-footed Geese west through Luddenden from Martyn around 11.50

60+ Waxwings being reported in Huddersfield(Queens Road/Merry Road) as well today via Andy K.

No reports of Waxwings yet in Calderdale as far as we know other than the 26 reported by Dave B at the Oxenhope watchpoint on Wednesday 7th flying over Thornton Moor towards the coll at Ogden.

Swales Moor

This morning, not much sign if vis mig first thing
53 Starlings NW
2 alba Wagtail SW
2 L B B Gulls SW
20 Common Gulls NW
That was it apart from the usual corvids hanging around

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

around mytholmroyd this morning

kingfisher 1 on the canal
goosander 1 pair
common gull 1 ad on floods
b h gull 65 on floods
sparrowhawk 1
long tailed tit 8
coal tit 2
grey wagtail 1
grey heron 1
pied wagtail 2

also went to whiteholme this afternoon which resulted in nothing! not even a carrion crow

A few dams around Tod

A Grey Heron and a Grey Wagtail on the River Calder at Callis Bridge.

New Mill Dam
Goosander - 4 females

Longfield Dam
Black-headed Gull - 24
Canada Goose - 26
Mallard - 11

Lee Dam
Teal - 2 pairs
Goosander - 2 males
Tufted Duck - 1 pair
Moorhen - 1
Long-tailed Tit - 7
Great Spotted Woodpecker

Little Owl - 2 at Mankinholes

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Sowerby Bridge

Pair of Goosander on the canal  just down from the bottom of Tuel lane towards the Moorings at 14:30 today.

Mixenden Res'r

1 pair of Goldeneye on there this afternoon
5 Goosander
c40 B H Gulls
15 Common Gulls
1 L B B Gull

Also this morning 1 Brambling calling in a roadside tree at Lee Mount flew off SW


6 goosander flew flew east at 07:10

Monday, November 05, 2012

sowerby bridge to mytholmroyd

a very nice morning,walked the canal from sowerby bridge to mytholmroyd

nuthatch 2 around high royd
jay 1
sparrowhawk 1
grey heron 1
siskin 6
redpoll 1
goldfinch 13
bullfinch 2

Mixenden Res'r and Stodfold

This afternoon
1 female Goosander on the res'r along with 2 L B B G's, c40 B H and c25 Common Gulls
1 adult Herring Gull SW
2 Kestrel
1 Meadow Pipit
2 Pied Wagtail (flyovers)
1 Green Woodpecker
1 Jay
No thrushes around other than the occasional Mistle Thrush and Blackbird

Swales Moor

Poor do up there at the moment since all the weedy areas have been cultivated and sown down with Rye grass - a disaster. No Skylarks or mipits and not looking good for Snow Buntings either!.
Small amount of movement through over the top mid to late morning - all SW.
23 Fieldfare
2 Mistle Thrush
3 Goldfinch
1 Blackbird
1 Sparrowhawk
63 Woodpigeons
1 B H Gull
5 Common Gull
usual corvids with up to 60 Carrion Crows
Grey Partridge heard calling nearby

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Cold Edge

Just over an hour out this afternoon with Nick D around the dams and up to the Withens.
1 drake Goldeneye and a Grey Heron on the dams
1 male Stonechat near Moorlands Farm
One or two Reed Buntings about
1 Kestrel
12 Lapwings east
A few B H and Common Gulls about
1 Moorhen
Red Grouse on the moor

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Swales Moor

Just over an hour on the top this morning but not pleasant with the wind gusting to F5 though visibility was quite good
Most interesting feature was 4 seperate Sparrowhawks heading high, all west
2 Greylag Geese
12 Fieldfare >E
1 Starling
23 Common, 1 B H Gull and 1 L B B Gulls >SW
10 Goldfinch on thistles
1 Kestrel at Ploughcroft

We also had a check at Fly Flatts, Withens Head and Cold Edge this afternoon but conditions were not good and nothing of note - other than a big pack of hounds etc... chasing about in Clunters Clough just up from the Twite feeding station.

Redpoll - Cromwell Bottom

The redpolls are back at Cromwell Bottom, 5 there yesterday lunchtime, just waiting for a nice mealy to turn up now!

Monday, October 29, 2012

More Buzzards

Buzzard drifting low over Norwood Green/Lightcliffe this morning, heading in the Shelf direction.

Another Buzzard this pm perched on a fence post near Church Farm,Hartshead , watching over a newly ploughed field with 100+ B H Gulls, 6 Common Gulls, 80+ Starlings, 90+Lapwings, 16 Pied Wagtails. Possibly the same Buzzard that was on the other side of the M62 at Jay House Lane earlier in the afternoon ?

Mixenden Res'r

2 Goosander on the res'r
2 L B B Gulls with a few B H and Common Gulls
c15 Fieldfare in the big hedge feeding on hawthorn berries along with a few Chaff's and Goldfinch
1 Little Owl

Hunter Hill
Very quiet apart from a few gulls moving through including 4 Herring Gulls SW


Jay House Lane  12:00 to 12:45

Little Owl
Moor Hen
Redwing C40
Fieldfare C50
Starling 500+
Goldfinch C50
Lapwing C200
Meadow Pipit 9
Pied Wagtail 3
Tree Sparrow C20 on and around the feeders.
Buzzard from the direction of Bailiff Bridge then dropped in to Willow Valley.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

2012 NERF Annual Conference

Booking is now available for the 2012 Northern England Raptor Forum Conference.  This year the event is being organised for NERF by Northumbria Ringing Group and will be held on Sunday 18th November at Northumbria University in Newcastle.   

As well as an interesting program and the usual networking opportunities there will be some chances to do some early Christmas shopping with stands from Paramo clothing, Second Nature books, bird artists and photographers.

Please book (by 31st October).   Booking forms must be posted with payment (cheque) to the address indicated on the form.  Booking forms are available from

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Lee Mount

Soon after 7.30 this evening I heard a large noisy skein of Pink-feet heading over in the dark. Despite some moonlight I could not locate them or direction of flight but they were probably heading west by my guess!!?

Booth Wood Res'r

I had a short time there this morning on the way up to the M62. I scanned the ridge and located a large swan coming in from height and thought the likelyhood would be a Whooper. It turned out to be a juv Mute Swan which did not dissapoint me as mutes can be scarcer in Calderdale than Whoopers nowadays!
Not a lot else there other than c130 Woodpigeons heading SW, 30 Fielfare and 2 Redwings heading west.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Raptor persecution

The goverment response to the e-petition advocating the introduction of a vicarious liability offence for raptor persecution in England is given below. Such an offence has been put on the statute book by the Scottish government. The e petition can still be signed:-

As this e-petition has received more than 10 000 signatures, the relevant Government department have provided the following response:
Defra is aware of the Scottish Government's decision to introduce a vicarious liability offence under the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act (Scotland) 2011, which came in to force on 1 January 2012. The new offence is targeted principally at addressing the persecution of raptors. The new offence will mean employers or agents may be prosecuted where an employee is found to have illegally killed a bird of prey (or other wild bird) - in effect they may be prosecuted for the same offence. There is, however, a defence that an employer or agent can rely on, this being that they did not know an offence was being committed and that they took all reasonable steps to prevent an offence being committed.
It is unclear whether in practice the new offence will result in successful prosecutions of employers or agents. There are no immediate plans therefore to introduce a similar offence in England but Defra will look carefully at how the offence works in practice in Scotland. The development of our future wildlife crime policy will include consideration of how effective the new offence in Scotland has been in helping to address raptor persecution.

This e-petition remains open to signatures and will be considered for debate by the Backbench Business Committee should it pass the 100 000 signature threshold.
So, nowt's happening for the moment.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Walshaw and Blake Dean looking for winter thrushes

Although the mist was quite low, visibility was OK up at Walshaw and I could see almost the length of the lower reservoir. Just did the lower res circuit though as visibility was poorer the higher you went.

Blackbird - 4
Song Thrush - 2
Red Grouse - 2 calling
Canada Goose - 5
Mallard - 15 (incl 2 hybrids)
Little Grebe - 1 (first one I've seen up here)
Coal Tit - 4
Treecreeper - 1

Blake Dean
Grey Heron - 1 preening by the stream
Fieldfare - c.35 flying to and fro but didn't land, nor did they call. They flew overhead going upstream then came back downstream, flapped around for 10 or 15 seconds then disappeared further downstream towards Hardcastle Crags.

No Redwing unfortunately but Andy H had c.80 over Sowerby Bridge this morning.

Grey Heron preening

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


A few redwings could be heard over Jumble Hole tonight, moving in the gloom.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dipper in Sowerby Bridge

There's also a couple of juv Grey wagtails on the same stretch of water just up from the Sports Centre but they are always too flighty to photograph.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

RSPB Golden opportunity to crack bird of prey persecution, before it's too late

Hi all

Something stinks!!! The number of signatures is stuck on around 10,542 surely after several days this should have increased a bit. Is someone leaning on this petition - or is it me that is becoming paranoid?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Red Kite

There is a record shot of a Red Kite on the Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group site taken by Barry Nield on Sunday.

Nice pic.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Would it be possible to activate the search feature, so everyboby can use it.??

Friday, October 12, 2012

RSPB Golden opportunity to crack bird of prey persecution, before it's too late

As the Hen Harrier teeters on the brink of extinction as a breeding bird in England, Coalition and Welsh Government Ministers have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tackle the illegal killing of birds of prey in England and Wales, and must not waste it. That's the message from the RSPB as it publishes its annual wildlife crime figures showing yet another shameful year of poisoning, shooting and trapping for Red KitesGolden EaglesPeregrine FalconsGoshawks and other persecuted species. Just one pair of Hen Harriers bred in England in 2012, with Government's own studies suggesting that illegal killing is the major factor in their decline.  See more of this report.

Please sign this petition here now before it's too late. We need 100,000 signatures before the government has to take notice, we have to date under 11,000 and it has taken almost a year to get that far!

The RSPB aren't pushing this, or have I missed something? I won't say what I think! 

It is therefore up to us to act now. sign this petition here we have only a few weeks left to sign.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fly Flats

Fly Flats with DJS this PM. 11 Wigeon flying about and landing on the reservoir, also 1 GBBG south. 130 Pinkies over Pellon earlier and a Chiffchaff calling at Pellon Reservoir.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Swales Moor

Vis Mig
Tuesday 9 October 2012
Counting period: 11:15 - 12:30
Count type: all species
Weather: wind NE1, cloud-cover 4/8, 8c degrees. Reasonably good visibility though a haze over distant hills. All movement S W or SW unless stated
Grey Heron 1
alba wagtail sp. 7
Chaffinch 2
Sparrowhawk 1 and 1 N
Blue Tit 5
Greenfinch 6
Common Buzzard 1
Great Tit 2
Goldfinch 4 E
Golden Plover 20 E
Jay 1 and 4 NE
Linnet 30 and 2 N
Meadow Pipit 6 and 3 NE
Jackdaw 2 E
Crossbill 4 N
Grey Wagtail 1 E
Rook 1 E

Totals: 104 individuals, 17 species, 1:15 hours

Present: Grey Partridge 4, Little Owl 1, Magpie 15, Carrion Crow 45, Linnet 17
Comments: An interesting hour or so with a nice mix of birds moving through

Monday, October 08, 2012

Hunter Hill

Female Merlin from last Sunday afternoon at Hunter Hill, this was the best I could do with the digiscope !

Swales Moor

Very misty up there this afternoon and no wind (just cool from NE)cosequently there was very little moving.
Resident birds included
1 Green Woodpecker on the western slope
2 Skylark
9 Meadow Pipits
2 Pied Wagtails
2 Grey Partridge calling
2 Sparrowhawks
2 Kestrels
c30 Goldfinch
1 Linnet
Just over 100 Carrion Crows on the top plus other corvids and 1 Jay over

Also (I'm not that up on moths)! but thought I had some Small T butterflys flying around but they turned out to be moths - almost certain they were Silver Y's - at least 3 feeding on Ragwort flowers but they would not stay still for photo's.

Kirklees Hall habitat under threat

The fields near Kirklees Hall contained over 50 Linnets today, with 3 Mistle Thrushes and a single Yellowhammer.
The roof of the old shelter at the field edge was being used as a perch by one of the Little Owls, which was harassed by 2 Magpies (successfully-it disappeared !)
In the bushes were 2 Redwings, and along the path 2 male Pheasants.
Nearby there were at least 12 Chaffinches, a Kestrel, a G S Woodpecker, and a Buzzard flew directly into the wood not far away.
A fairly typical hour in this area, but for how much longer ?
Kirklees Council has plans for a 42 acre business park which would destroy prime farmland, woodland and hedgerows in the Green Belt, and create untold disturbace to the neighbouring habitat. A large portion of this land is in our area.
How can 'the greenest government ever' allow this sort of environmental vandalism ??
Details of the plans are on Kirklees MDC's website. There is still time to object.

Black Stork Record

Ive just found out that the BBRC have NOT accepted the record of Black Stork seen over Mixenden last year. Its a shame but we will have to abide by their ruling.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Cottonstones, 7th October 2012

Still around nine swallows enjoying the autumn sunshine in the vicinity of the Alma Inn, at Cottonstones this aft'.

Regards, Chris

Dishfish reaches 5!

Congratulations to Dishfish on maintaining his highly entertaining birding blog for five years, check out the link to it from this blog and enjoy the experiences of a young local birder, wish there were more like him!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Swales Moor

Vis mig on the top this morning from 8.30 till 11.00 am. Reasonably good visibility though some surrounding tops (including Cold Edge) were still shrouded in mist. Wind SW F1 to F2. 2/8 cloud cover and 9c to 11c.

Wheatear there this morning
Moving birds
c45 Crossbill 'hugging the ground' on the top headed through >N at 08.45 in a direct line with Ogden!
194 Meadow Pipits >SW
11 Greenfinch >SW
11 unidentified finches >SW
35 Chaffinch >SW
2 Bullfinch >SW
13 L B B Gulls >W
9 Woodpigeons >W
3 Sparrowhawks 2 >S and 1 >E
2 House Martins >S
3 Swallows >S
1 Snipe >S
3 Skylark >W
10 alba wagtails >S
6 Linnet >W
1 Common Buzzard >S
5 Jays passing over high - 2 and 1 >W and 2 >N
2 Coal Tits >W (this was a surprise, I just got back to the car and they came through by the ski-slope and got higher and higher till out of sight.)

Also present around the top - 2 Kestrel, 5 Skylark, c30 Linnet, c40 Goldfinch plus the usual corvids in abundance.











Friday, October 05, 2012


Possibly brought down by the constant showers today, 2 Willow Warblers were at Duke St today, the first around 10:30 was joined part way through the day by a second following another shower.

A large tit flock is forming and seems to be doing a big circuit, in amongst them are at least 3 Goldcrest, 1 Nuthatch and a Treecreeper.

Swales Moor

Some Vis Mig this morning from Ringby Lane was a bit of a struggle in the blustery wind and showers but was very productive. 9.15 till 11.50. SW F4 to F5/6 on the top. 10c bright with showers and reasonable visibility throughout.
The highlight was 8 male Crossbills >W at 11.45 just as I was about to leave
83 Meadow Pipits >SW
11 Chaffinch >W (but I think I missed a lot going over high)
1 Pied Wagtail >SW
3 Greenfinch >W
1 Linnet >W
1 Coal Tit >W
1 Sparrowhawk >E
1 L B B Gull >NW
3 B H Gulls >NW

Also present on the top were 7 Skylark, 2 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk, 6 Goldfinch and c100 Linnets around the quarry area. Nearly forgot - loads of Carrion Crows as usual !! maybe about 60 plus a few other corvids.

I just missed out on c220 P F Geese heading east towards Shelf Moor just after 9.0 am (they were seen by HC at the Oxenhope watchpoint who alerted us through BS)

Later on in the day we checked Pepper Hill and Claremount hillside tops but the wind was keeping everything down. One flock of c100 Goldfinch, c50 Starlings, a few corvids, 1 Common Gull, a Sparrowhawk and Kestrel and that was about it.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Red Kite Copley

For the 2nd time this year a Kite very low over Copley School at 15:30.  Was getting attention from the corvids.

Cold Edge

Fairly quiet this afternoon but some fantastic clouds.
1 Wheatear along Cold Edge Road
c3 Kestrels
c30 Meadow Pipits
1 Little Owl
1 Little Grebe
2 Ravens high heading over towards Soil Hill

No Swallows or House Martins today but I gather Nigel had one Swallow over Soil Hill this morning and also a Yellow Wagtail through which is always a special bird locally nowadays.


I met up with Nigel this morning to check the Yellow-browed Warbler locations without success. It's probably gone now but who knows!
1 Chiff-chaff singing
4 Cormorant
1 female Wigeon
2 Grey Wagtails
1 Dipper feeding in the overflow
Very few small birds about and Goldcrests had thinned out from earlier this week

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Mixenden and Stodfold

Not a lot about this afternoon but interesting all the same.

Stodfold - 1 alba Wagtail >SW, 1 Grey Heron

Mixenden Res'r - 2 LBB Gulls, and a Nuthatch in the plantation

Ogden golf course - 1 male Stonechat and a Little Owl - also a few mipits and L T Tits about with other tits and a few Goldcrests

Negative reports today from Ogden - nothing on the Y B Warbler!


I know this is not a Calderdale report but I find this information amazing about migrating Blue Tits over the last 2 days at Nabben, Falsterbo, Sweden.
21,660 on 30th September and 87,400 on 1st October

I can't say I ever thought Blue Tits were 'big movers' but this proves otherwise !!
If you start seeing a lot of Blue Tits on your garden feeders in the next few weeks, who knows where they might have come from?

Monday, October 01, 2012

Jumble Hole

Clinging on to the last of summer....
4 swallows flew West
A chiffchaff was calling from scrub on Underbank


The Yellow Browed Warbler was seen this morning (NK and MM) around 11.20 near the top end of the reservoir but despite intensive efforts from 10+ local birders this afternoon we produced no sighting - until last light when Ady picked up 2 calls as the L T Tit flock came through and went to roost in the rhododendrons.

Several of us noted that we had not had a sign of L T Tit flock all afternoon until they turned up last light so it's worth checking the L T Tit flock for the YBW tomorrow if anyone can find the LTT's !

Also present
20+ Goldcrests
1 Treecreeper
1 female Blackcap
2+ Chiff-chaffs
1 Siskin
Coal, Blue and Great Tits...
Juvenile Grey Heron
1 Peregrine over briefly
1 Sparrowhawk >E

Swales Moor

Some Vis Mig this morning between 10.15 and 11.45
Westerly F4 on the top. 11c cloudy with intermittent drizzle
360 Meadow Pipits on the move >SW
2 Skylark >W
2 alba wagtails >SW
2 Siskin >W
3 Chaffinch >W
1 Greenfinch >W
6 Linnets >W
1 adult Herring Gull and 24 L B B Gulls >W
1 Sparrowhawk >SW
1 Kestrel >SW
22 Canada Geese >SE
Lots of resident corvids around the site

Saturday, September 29, 2012


An amazing find by Denise today with the Yellow-browed Warbler still present and showing well till just before 6 pm in the lakeside willows along with a Chiff-chaff and Goldcrests, L T Tits etc. hopefully some photos from Denise and Brian later.

Yellow-browed Warbler at Ogden

A couple of shots: one from this morning at around 11:30 and one from this evening at around 6:45.

29th September Ogden

Zoomed up to Ogden with AZ to see the Yellow-browed Warbler but despite a 3 hours search it failed to show. Did have 1 Crossbill over, 2 Cormorants and a couple of Lesser Black Backs. White Crow still in the usual fields above Mixy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hartshead area

There were some large flocks in the newly ploughed fields around the church area today -

80+ Lapwings - presumably the same flock from Jay House Lane area.
200+ Woodpigeons
200+ Starlings
plus 2 Wheatears
and 3 Swallows

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Elland G P and Ringststone

From Steve L - around 400 hirundines over the ski-lake area this morning (c300 Swallows and c100 House Martins)

and from yesterday at Ringstone - 3 Sand Martins and 1 G C Grebe

Ogden and Mixenden

I checked the reservoirs yesterday in the pouring rain thinking maybe 'seabird' time!
Not even a gull in sight on either reservoir.
2 f Goosander on Mixenden
1 Cormorant and 1 Wigeon on Ogden (3 there on Sunday) and that was it other than 2 Swallows near Syke Lane

Calder in spate at Copley Valley, Hollas Lane


The river is up to four courses of stone still showing of the old bridge whose demolition was summarily imposed upon us by the council, (far right.) On the left four mallards have found slack water with good feeding opportunities.

Three drakes and a duck. One of the drakes hasn't completely come out of eclipse plumage. He still has a brown head and no curl on his rump. Or is he a bird of the year just getting his first adult plumage? I'm sure somebody will know.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Jay House lane Monday

96   Lapwing
12 Mallard
55 swallows
8 BHGull

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Birds on the boundary

Seen on today's annual Brighouse Boundary Walk

Dipper -at Wellholme Park
c25 Goldfinches at Rastrick
c20 House Martins at Rastrick
Heron over the M62- Rastrick
Kestrel by the M62- Rastrick
2 Buzzards over Kirklees Hall
c90 Starlings at Hartshead
c100 Lapwings over newly ploughed fields at Rastrick
c200 B H Gulls in "               "                          " + 6 Herring Gulls and 7/8 Common Gulls
c90 Starlings on wires at Clifton
c 25 H Martins with 6/7 Swallows at Clifton
2 sore feet after 14.3 miles......!


 20+ Siskin on the feeders this aft

Walshaw Dean 1:00pm

Fairly birdless to be honest, though pretty windy.

The highlight was a whinchat in a field close to the cattle grid by the bottom corner of the plantation.
Otherwise just 5 canada geese and 1 mallard on Lower Walshaw, around a dozen swallows moving through, 2 red grouse heard.

Nuthatches move in

One was calling constantly, in the fretful way they have, in the Albert Promenade area yesterday, and anothere in the wood here at Dudwell today.

Matt Bell noted them moving in to Jumble Hole Clough the other day.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Swales Moor - Ringby Lane

Just managed an hour up there this afternoon. Most of the birds were sheltering on the west side out of the easterly wind. 1 Green Woodpecker, c50 Goldfinch, 2 Mistle Thrush and 6 Linnets.
On the top - 1 Skylark, 3 Meadow Pipits and 9 Swallows with 8 L B B Gulls >SW

Thursday, September 20, 2012


From Andy H - 16 Pink-footed Geese low over Todmorden centre at 18.53 heading towards Bacup/Rochdale this evening

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Jumble Hole

2 willow warblers and 2 goldcrests were feeding in birch trees with a small tit flock this morning. A blackcap was around the day before. Nuthatch are now here daily, but few green woodpecker this year. 28 swallows of all ages gathered on the wires outside my bedroom window this morning.

Other news today

From Martynbirder - 'a large flock of Alba wagtails near Gorple today (60ish) contained at least seven White's that I could see well'. Well worth a look in the next few days if anyone is up there.

Also in the last few days lots of reports coming in of Pink-footed Geese on the move into the country - the first report from our area was from Andy of 10 over Northowran this morning struggling up the valley in the strong wind.
Also reasonably good moves op Meadow Pipits and Swallows reported today.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Swales Moor

I spent a blustery hour or so on the top late morning. There was a little bit of movement with birds mainly SW including 30 Swallows, 25 Meadow Pipits, 1 House Martin and 7 juv/sub adult L B B Gulls.
1 Wheatear probably Greenland race was feeding around the quarry along with Linnets and Goldfinch.
A Goldcrest in a solitary bush was a surprise at that elevation on such a windy day

Stop The Badger Cull!

I know its not bird related but this is something I feel very strongly about. The government has now issued licenses for the culling of badgers, despite scientific evidence given to them that culling would not stop the spread of TB but would in-fact increase it.

Please sign this petition and share wherever you think you can. We need 100,000 signatures to try get this decision reversed and we are a third of the way there.

‘I think the most interesting observation was made to me by a senior politician who said, “fine John we accept your science, but we have to offer the farmers a carrot. And the only carrot we can possibly give them is culling badgers”.’
Professor John Bourne
(Chair of the Independent Scientific Group (ISG) on bTB)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ringstone (Black-tailed Godwit)

I have just received this information from Sean Gray today on one of the 7 godwits that turned up at Ringstone on the evening of 21st July - one flew on west while the others came in to feed in the fields. Nick D got some shots and realised one of the birds was colour ringed - well done Nick. Sean picked up the information and made investigations, with thanks to his contacts Jose and Vigfus for the info below.

VWO-WRflag (the code by which the bird is known)was ringed as a pullus in N Iceland
on 13th July 2007.

Below are the subsequent sightings of this bird

WO-WRflag 13.07.07 Modruvellir, NW of Akureyri (road 82), N Iceland
WO-WRflag 02.11.07 Inch Island Lake, Speenoge, Co. Donegal, N Ireland
WO-WRflag 24.08.08 Slatty´s Bridge, Glounthaune station, Cork, S Ireland
WO-WRflag 04.11.08 River Shannon Callows, Shannon Harbour, Co. Offaly,
WO-WRflag 16.02.09 Bullock Island, Shannon Harbour, Co. Offaly, C Ireland
WO-WRflag 22.07.09 Lough Beg, Cork harbour, S Ireland
WO-WRflag 30.08.09 Barnawee, Dungarvan Harbour, Co. Waterford, S Ireland
WO-WRflag 12.07.11 Broadmeadow, Swords Estuary, Co. Dublin, E Ireland
WO-WRflag 28.08.11 Dungarvan Harbour, Co. Waterford, S Ireland
WO-WRflag 04.10.11 Dungarvan Harbour, Co. Waterford, S Ireland
WO-WRflag 21.07.12 Ringstone edge reservoir above Halifax, West Yorkshire, E England

Interesting that the first sighting on the mainland was at Ringstone !

Ogden and Mixenden /Stodfold

We had a couple of hours in the valley this afternoon and went to look at the wagtail fields to see if we could re-find NK's White wag from earlier today. No luck but the usual flock was well down to 6 so it had probably moved on.
Elsewhere 2 Dippers were together in the stream by Stodfold Barn with 1 Gt Spotted Woodpecker nearby and 1 Goldcrest.
In the valley a good number of Swallows (c50) and 2 House Martins. Also c50 blogging Meadow Pipits and 2 sightings of a female Sparrowhawk and 1 Kestrel. Also nearby - 2 foxes looking immaculate.

Swales Moor

Along Ringby Lane this morning
7 Skylark
c15 Meadow Pipits
1 Pied Wagtail
c120 Linnet on the long banking on the north side
c40 Goldfinch
2 Sparrowhawks
2 juv L B B Gulls >NW
c 30 Swallows over Shibden Head plus c25 others >SW
Usual corvids

Saturday, September 15, 2012


EGP this morning 09:00-11:30

House Martins C50> w
Cormorant 3 on ski ramp
GoldCrest 3
Siskin 5
Little Grebe & 2 chicks
Chiffchaff 3
Grey Wagtail 2
Goosander, and usual sp.

Booth Wood Res'r

This morning a good move of Meadow Pipits heading up the valley towards Jct22. Also a few alba Wagtails and 6 Siskin as well. I didn't have time to stay and count but there also looked to be a good number of passerines in the valley below the embankment and 40+ Swallows feeding in the sheltered areas.
Nothing on the Res'r though.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Spotted a report of Hobby over J25 today;

Other news today

Mostly reports of hirundines feeding in sheltered places today in the strong blustery wind and much cooler temperatures!
AH - good numbers of Swallows and House Martins moving down the Upper Valley this morning
SL - c150 House Martins at Elland Gravel Pits
TM - 1 late Swift through Elland across lunchtime
MSt - 30+ House Martins over Hove Edge this morning and 25 Mistle Thrushes in fields at Priestley Green (last week)

Hunter Hill - vis mig

Cold Edge/Hunter Hill, 
Friday 14 September 2012
Counting period: 7:30 - 10:00
Weather: wind West5, cloud-cover 4/8, precipitation rain, temperature 12 ℃
Cormorant  2  N
Mallard 1   S
Black-headed Gull 4  S
Common Gull 3  S
Woodpigeon 1  N
Skylark 1 S
Swallow 38 S
Meadow Pipit 49 S
Goldfinch 9 S

Totals: 108 individuals, 9 species, 2:30 hours

Present around the watchpoint: Black-headed Gull 25, Lesser Black-backed Gull 1, Swallow 30, House Martin 40, Wheatear 2, Magpie 2, Jackdaw 2, Rook 1, Carrion Crow 2, Starling 4

Comments: First opportunity to get up to the Hunter Hill watchpoint this back end for Vis Mig. Conditions tricky with a strong gusting wind to F6 and intermittent heavy rain between bright sunshine. Difficult to get out of the wind and hard to pick out any movement though a good numberof local birds in the valley with 2 Wheatears at the watchpoint.


Thursday, September 13, 2012


We got a surprise this morning at 10.15 as we were about to come off the flyover near Peoples Park - a Common Buzzard was circling low over the houses near the Elsie Whiteley Centre with Pigeons and Starlings everywhere and looking very unsettled with its' presence. An unusual spot for a Common Buzzard but we wondered if it had been passing over high and come down to investigate roof top pigeons?

Also out of our area, a lot of Pink-footed Geese coming into the country the last few days with some reasonably good counts from both east and west coasts and some over Oxenhope recently. A good chance of some for our area in the next few days...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Attention CBCG members

This year's AGM will take place at the volunteer centre in Mytholmroyd on Thursday 4th October beginning at 1930.  Please forward details of anyone who wishes to stand for election to any of the officers positions to me in advance of the meeting.

Hunter Hill watchpoint

Spent over an hour at the watchpoint late afternoon with Nick to see if there was anything moving.
Not much at all other than distant Lesser Black backs and other smaller gulls over the Coll at Ogden.
1 Wheatear
3 Grey Partridge
1 Kestrel
A few Meadow Pipits around the site as well as Swallows in the valley along with a couple of House Martins
The weather turned really cold and getting colder with the NW wind and temperature down to 12c when we left !

I also see that a juv Gannet went over Winter Hill, Lanc's today across lunch time. September seems to be a good month for overland records especially during windy conditions - the one we had over Ogden in 2010 was on 24th Sep in a NE gale.) Always worth keep an eye on the sky when the wind is blowing hard !

Lee Mount

Out in the garden this afternoon watching the skies for any movement - nothing that is till 2.15 when a Swift drifted over >W , always good to pick up September birds.
Surprisingly no sign of any Swallows or House Martins today.
Just a Great Spotted Woodpecker through with a good number of Coal Tits about on the feeders

Monday, September 10, 2012

Swales Moor

This afternoon, still in the drizzle!
1 Skylark on the top with 8 Meadow Pipits
20+ Linnets
20+ Goldfinch
c30 Swallows feeding high over the ridge by the ski slope
8 passing L B B Gulls >S
Usual corvids
c40 Lapwings at a distance over towards Brighouse and Denholmegate Road

Mixenden and Stodfold

Drizzle up there this morning but lots of birds about, especially Swallows, probably 150+ with a lot of juveniles. Only 2 House Martins though.
2 Common Snipe >SW
c40 Lesser Black backs >SW
32 Pied Wagtails (no whites) and c60 Meadow Pipits in the fields at Stodfold
1 female Stonechat lower end of golf course
1 Spotted Flycatcher in the big hedge along Hays Lane by the reservoir.
1 each Green and Gt Spotted Woodpeckers
1 Tree Pipit flyover at Stodfold
c20 Linnets and 30 + Goldfinch on thistles
1 Wheatear
No raptors but conditions were poor.

Juvenile Swallows

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Hunter Hill

I spent a while at the watchpoint this afternoon but there was nothing moving at al other than a few Swallows >SW
1 Common Buzzard was seen at a distance over Soil Hill constantly mobbed by Carrion Crows till it headed off round the north side. BS also picked it up in the same area later in the afternoon.
I also tried Slaughter Gap which is often good for migrant passerines but that was dead!
Lovely afternoon all the same!

Saturday, September 08, 2012


Ringstone this morning 4 Snipe,4 pied wagtails,Heron ,Great Crested Grebe, 200+ Gulls and hundreds of Swallows and House Martins.

Another Marsh Harrier

Just over 2 hours spent at my local watch point today was rewarded with a cream crown Marsh Harrier which came off the moor to the west of Castle Carr and circled high above the Luddenden Valley for over 20 minutes before flying over Midgley then up Cragg Vale towards Whiteholme. First picked up at 13.50 and last seen at 14.20PM. Wheaher or not its the same bird that was hanging around the Walshaw area a week ago who knows. Also 4 Ravens together.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Mixenden and Ogden

1 Raven over Stodfold high >NW
Lots of House Martins and a smaller number of Swallows in the valley between Mixenden and Ogden - included lots of young birds of both species especially in the Hays Lane area
2 Sand Martins at Mixenden Res'r
1 Spotted Flycatcher at Stodfold and another at Mixenden plantation
2 Cormorants at Mixenden Res'r along with 1 f Tufted Duck
Ogden golf course - one Short-eared Owl was probably flushed by golfers 'in the rough' then it headed off over the top end of Ogden plantation and out of sight.
No sign of NK's Yellow-legged Gull at Ogden with only 2 L B B Gull's present by the time we got there an hour or so after the sighting. Thanks for the call Nigel.

Lee Mount

1 Swift over >NW at 12.20
1 Sparrowhawk >SW mid morning
3 Cormorants >NW at 7.45
Not much else this morning other than Coal Tits on the garden feeders

This aftenoon a Nuthatch was heard calling in the park and seen to land in one of the Sycamores

Duke St

Whilst working up at Duke st today had 1 Raven over towards Stoodley Pike, 30+ swallows heading south and a Chiffchaff on site which sang occasionally. Also of note Small Cooper, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Green Veined White Butterflies all on the wing, by far the biggest number of butterflies all summer.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Stonechats on the up.

Had 5 stonechats((2 adult and 3 juvs) today near Mankinholes , 5( 1 ad 4 juvs) at Cold edge,and 4(2 ad 2 juvs) at withens Clough car park yesterday,looks like they have survived the hostile weather.Also a singing Chiff chaff today at mankinholes in full voice.any one else seen stonchats recently,??

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Other news

Several reports in the last few days of good numbers of House Martins including 30+ around The Alma pub near Cottonstones yesterday from Bruce. Also 40+ over Ripponden woodland opposite Brig Royd late evenings and more near Kebroyd and around 30 SW side of Ripponden along the A672. Good numbers also in the upper Shibden Valley in the last few days.
If anyone sees more concentrations of House Martins and Swallows please post them on the blog or text me so I can log the records and locations. Thanks. Dave

Blackshaw Head

Nick asked me to include this belated posting from 31st August from Brian L of a Sandwich Tern flyover at Hawkstones near Blackshaw Head picked up first on call. A very good record so well done Brian.

Birdwatching Survey

Hugh Firman has sent me the following link

A short questionnaire from a Cambridge university student on attitudes to birdwatching and conservation in GB to be used in comparison with China, the link gives a full explanation.


I called up there this afternoon to find Geoff S busy doing some repairs to the hide to prevent water ingress and ease the viewing flaps. Well done Geoff and many thanks for your efforts.
Also still on the water were a pair of Common Scoter found earlier by DF.
Also passing through were 2 Sand Martins
2 G C Grebes
2 Cormorant
c 40 Meadow Pipits on the embankment and a few Swallows around.