Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fly Flatts

Fly Flatts this morning
Common Sandpiper  7
Reed Bunting  2
Curlew 3
50 + Swift over the water
Meadow Pipits 
L B B Gulls  16 > W
Twite  1

osprey predation

Just back from Scotland.interesting item on Scottish T.V.footage from a at an OSPREY view point in Aberdeenshire of a BUZZARD snatching an OSPREY chick from the nest.The chick was found later dead but not ripped open. now some people are calling for a cull of BUZZARDS.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Ringstone Res'r

No sign of yesterdays Green Sandpiper which moved off overnight (SL TM)

Mixenden and Stodfold

This afternoon we checked the areas between the reservoirs, including the lower end of the golf course.
Lots of Swifts feeding on the move generally SW
c10 House Martins
c30 Swallows
1 Whitethroat
c20 Linnets
c20 Goldfinch
Willow Warbler with juv
Meadow Pipits feeding young
2+ Reed Buntings
1 Chiff-chaff singing
Tawny Owl singing in plantation near Stodfold
1 Sparrowhawk with prey
1 Stock Dove
30+ Jackdaws with several juveniles
And 3 Canadas on Mixenden Res'r

Fly Flatts

Fly Flatts
This morning - blowing a SW gale up there and heavy rain threatening so tricky conditions for finding anything.
Canadas still on the up with 388 + c60 juveniles and 10 Greylags - I think a fox must have spooked them out of the vegetation on to the water so they were easier to count - but I couldn't find the fox!
1 Oystercatcher
c10 Lapwings
4 Common Sandpipers
Curlews + juvs just starting to fly
3 B H Gull  >NW
11 L B B Gull 11>NW including one that looked to be carrying a small wader chick caught on the moor
c50 Swifts
1 Kestrel
No Twite - though seed is put down every week between BS and myself

Withens Head - opposite the wind farm car park
c40 Rooks including c20 juveniles
A good showing of Swifts all over this morning
Curlew juvs nearly flying

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ringstone Res'r

A great find today by Steve and Tony of a Green Sandpiper on the waters edge along the embankment. We did manage to call up there after 8 pm to find it still there busy feeding. Unfortunately didn't have the scope with me for a better view but nice to see this relatively scarce bird nowadays in Calderdale.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Langfield Edge

Good to see some Twite today with at least 11 adults and  2 Juvs ,2 groppers still reeling,4 Tufted Duck,plenty of Linnets,Reed Buntings, and Goldfinch .One male Wheatear and 1 Juv  ,1 Stonechat,2 Grey wags and 4 Curlew high west (the only waders seen??)

Fly Flatts

In the drizzle up there this afternoon!
320 Canada's plus chicks!
Greylag Goose c10 plus 3 chicks
Pairs of Curlew with young nearly flying - 3 pairs + 3+2+2 seen
1 Oystercatcher
1 Snipe
2 Lapwing
c40 Swifts
6 Swallows
2 LBBGulls
4 Reed Buntings
40 Rooks including juvs
1 Skylark
2 Starlings
A few Meadow Pipits feeding young


I had an hour there this morning but very little happening though 2 of the 3 GCG's were displaying
Several Reed Buntings from the hide along with a few Swallows, meadow Pipits feeding young and a pair of Linnets

New threat to our woodland

Not again! There are worrying signs that the government might be trying to revive plans to sell off England’s woodlands. We may have less than a week to stop them and keep our forests safe for future generations. Next week, the government panel will publish a new report on the future of our woodlands. [DEFRA] Insiders have started warning that the government is trying last minute lobbying to convince the panel to back another sell-off. We’ve got a few days to persuade them resist the pressure and stand up for our beautiful woodlands. Please add your name to the urgent petition now, and then forward this email to your family and friends. We’ll do an emergency delivery to each of the panel members before next Wednesday: LINK to petition

Coppy Nook Lane

Monday Evening

Lots of Linnets
Little Owl
5 Curlew
Willow Warbler
2 Grey Partridge

Monday, June 25, 2012

Longfield Dam

4 Tufted Duck this morning

'' RED'' Swallow

Yesterday whilst in and around crow Hill I noticed a large number of swifts heading north with a few swallows in with them also heading north one Swallow stood out a  beautiful-looking bird, with underparts and under-wing coverts a wholly deep-reddish colour, the red extended to the under tail coverts and made for quite a striking bird. I watched it for about 10 mins hunting insects low amongst the juncuss and around the manure piles ,it then headed off low n/w and was not seen again.Anyone else noticed one of these before.??


3 fledlings with the adults this afternoon.  Also there Green Woodpecker, Cuckoo and a juv siskin.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cold Edge

This afternoon it was quite blustery with showers threatening but just about stayed dry.
c180 Swifts over the top dam looked fantastic chasing about. I did check them all as I gather a Little Swift was over the Mersey yesterday!!!
Several Reed Buntings and mipits and a lot of Linnets around.
1 Little Grebe
Several Curlew and a few Lapwings about along Cold Edge Road.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Other news today

From Steve L - 1 'commic' tern over the ski-lake at Elland GP at around 12.20 today but viewing difficult from the road and Steve didn't have time to stay and check its I D. DavidF went to check to try get a firm identification but the bird had probably moved on by 13.20 which is a shame as we have  hardly any tern records this year!

From an undisclosed site, a very welcome report of a pair of Redstarts feeding at least one fledged young this afternoon (SteveC).

And from a week last Thursday (14th June) a Red Kite moving through over Ovenden Moor area (MartynH)

Various sites

Ringstone Res'r this morning
3 Oystercatchers
3 Great Crested Grebes
1 Grey Heron

Booth Wood Res'r
1 Cormorant

Baitings Res'r this evening
6 Great Crested Grebes
2 Common Sandpipers
1 f Sparrowhawk
1 Siskin

Friday, June 22, 2012

Various sites

Various sites this afternoon in the pouring rain and driving NW wind. I did wonder if something might have been blown in - even though it is still June!! No gulls.
Fly Flatts
1 Swift and c300 Canada Geese

Cold Edge
1 Little Grebe

Mixenden Res'r
12 Swift
6 Swallows
2 Canada Geese

Ogden Res'r
11 Canada Geese

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Also There...

Glad to have my tentative id of 2 Sutcliffes (one carrying food) confirmed. A pair of Curlew with three juvs near the road. I missed your Little Owl, David, but there was one below at Lumb Terrace and this one on Castle Carr Road.

Other news

Up to around 18 Crossbills at Ogden but they can be elusive till the pine cones start raining down. See BS blog and some great photo's including shots of juveniles yesterday.
A few Siskin around including od flyovers on two occasions this week over Lee Mount plus others at Withens Clough and Ogden.

Also from an undisclosed site a Hobby has been seen on two days this week.

Still very few House Martins about - is anyone else getting them in the usual areas. Lots of Swallows around though, thank goodness but Swifts seem to be down in numbers!

Also from yesterday via BS of two Kingfishers at a site in north Halifax.

Fly Flatts

We went up there this afternoon to put some more Niger seed down for the Twite though it will probably get washed away again in the next day or two. NK had 4 Twite there yesterday but not a sign of any today! Thanks as well go to BS for topping the feeding station up on a regular basis.
7 usual wader species but no mud for them as res'r still full to overflowing.
Pair of Kestrel
6 Swifts
Usual mipits, skylark and 1 Reed Bunting.
Little Owl opposite the wind farm car park.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Birders get together

There will be a Calderdale birders get together this coming Thursday, just a few beers and chat, e mail me for further details if interested

Jay House Lane

Went for a drive up to the top this afternoon qute a lot of birdsong about with skylark singing away, a curlew loudly calling away which eventually took flight & landed in an adjacent field. On the manure heap were 4 juvenile pied wagtails, 1 adult, 3 tree sparrows and 2 linnet. Further up the road at least 10 tree sparrows chirping away but was unable to see them in the dense cover. A further 2 linnets were spotted on the way back to the car.

Tree Sparrow
Pied Wagtail
Carrion Crow

Monday, June 18, 2012

Withens Clough

I went up there late evening but not a lot doing. The res'r is full to overflowing so not much doing for waders other than 1 Curlew, c4 Common Sandpipers and a fly through LRP.
Several Siskin were to and fro into the plantation and Greenfinches in there along with a few Chaffinch and Blackbirds. Nothing doing on the moor except Skylarks still singing and Meadow Pipits feeding young and 1 Reed Bunting, 6+ Linnets and a few Swallows.
Works are still continuing up there so no access to the car park (it says) so its a bit of a slog up from Cragg Vale.
Plenty midges!!
Nearly forgot - 1 Grey Partridge


2 G C Grebes on the res'r this afternoon. Elsewhere 2 pairs of Tree Pipits and a small group of Crossbills heard over the pines, but not seen.
Not a lot else other than a few Willow Warblers still singing and a Chiff-chaff.
1 Curlew over Ovenden Moor and a male Sparrowhawk about.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


 Tree Pipit , Curlew and 10 + Crossbills up by the Giants tooth  this morning

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ringstone Res'r

Just a Great-crested Grebe today plus a few Swallows.
At least 1 Sand Martin still by the embankment in the corner of the res'r near the cottage - wonder if there is a pair there?!

E mail received to blog

Hello, some of your members may be interested in a talk which has been arranged by Wadsworth Environment Group. It is about the Twite Recovery Project, and is to be held in Wadsworth Community Centre, Old Town at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, 20th June. It will be given by Charlotte Weightman (RSPB Habitat Intervention Officer) and Robin Gray (Project Manager) who both work for Pennine Prospects and The Watershed Landscape Project.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Walk to Hoofstone Heights invitation.

Hoofstone Heights is the highest point in Calderdale.There will be a walk through upper Colden Dale and Noah Dale to Hoofstone Heights on Saturday, unless the rain is very heavy. I think I have worked out why one of the stones is called the Hoofstone. It has an interesting link with another high point just outside the area

If any birders want to get to know some of the footpaths that weave through, they are welcome to join us.

Meet outside New Delight at Jack Bridge 10.30 for a 10.45 start.
Bring packed lunch. No charge.

This is one of the monthly Halifax Scientific Society rambles, but distance and available time means we won't be stopping to look at every blade of grass.

Baitings Res'r

I checked the site tonight on my way home to see if Matt's 8 Great Crested Grebes we're still there. I found 5 on the choppy water but there could have been more.
Also 1 Common Sandpiper and 1 Grey Heron there near the top end by the bridge.

Jumble Hole area

Garden Warbler
Visited Matt's "warbler alley" this morning and he put me onto the place where Garden Warblers are usually seen. Sure enough they were there. A pair were chacking at us with food in their beaks so they probably were feeding chicks.  3 Blackcaps, a couple of Willow Warblers and a single Chiff Chaff also about.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Langfield and Gaddings this morning

A good walk this morning despite the rain at Gaddings, with a few different birds seen:

Little Owl - ruined barn at Cross Lane, Mankinholes
Little Grebe - 2 at Lee Dam and 1 at Longfield Dam later in the morning
Swallow - 6 or so feeding over Lee Dam
Grasshopper Warbler - 1 reeling in the patch of juncus, bracken and rosebay willow herb at Croft Carr. None at Horse Wood which is where they were last year and a few weeks ago, but Croft Carr is only about 400 yards away so one could have moved down.
Reed Bunting - 3
Twite - 2 at Langfield (not ringed)
Raven - 2 over Langfield
usual good numbers of Skylark and Mipit around Gaddings
Swift - about 14 feeding over the water along with a few Swallows
Ringed Plover - 1 on the shore at Gaddings

The House Martins are nearly finished building their nest on the gable end of our house. This was a complete re-build as the previous nest fell down over the winter in 2009 and they didn't build here in 2010 or 2011 so it's good to have them back again. They're very late in nest building but not too late to breed I hope.

Luddenden Dean

This afternoon
1 Cuckoo seen and heard in the upper dean
1 Grey Heron flyover with 2 L B B Gulls
2 Nuthatch and 1 Chiff-chaff in Wade Wood
1 Dipper near Jerusalem Farm
2 Blackcaps and several Willow Warblers in the dean
1 Green Woodpecker heard
4 Stock Doves

Tree pipit

It was nice to see a Tree Pipit today just below Great Bridestones near Stannally Stones, a new site for this species .Also in the area good numbers of young Redpoll,Linnet and lapwing.Best year for SEOwl that i can remember and one was seen hunting along the road in this general area not bothered by cars at all.

DEFRA reply to CBCG Buzzard e mail

Dear Mr Carter, BUZZARDS Thank you for your email of 25 May to Richard Benyon about the Defra research proposals looking into the impact of buzzard predation on pheasants. I have been asked to reply. The success of conservation measures has seen large increases in the numbers of buzzards and other birds of prey over the last two decades. The Minister for Wildlife celebrates that and since 2010 we have championed many new measures to benefit wildlife across England – set out in our England Biodiversity Strategy. In January this year, Defra formed a working group that was charged with gathering the best available evidence on the current impact of buzzard predation on pheasant poults and other game species. The group included a wide range of people from both the shooting and conservation sectors and was formed because Defra was made aware that Natural England had received several applications to lethally control buzzards where it was alleged that damage caused by buzzards was having an unsustainable impact on rural businesses. As part of the work of the group, Defra commissioned the Food and Environment Research Agency to undertake a desk study into the available research regarding the impacts of buzzards on game birds and other livestock. This study recommended that more research was required and that field studies should be undertaken to gather more evidence about the impact of buzzards on pheasant poults and to look at how non lethal methods could be used to prevent the damage buzzards can sometimes cause. This resulted in proposals for field research being drawn up and it is these proposals that have caused a good deal of public concern. In light of these concerns we have decided to look at developing new research proposals on buzzards to understand better the whole relationship between raptors, game birds and other livestock. We will collaborate with all the organisations that have an interest in this issue and will bring forward new proposals in the near future. Yours sincerely, Edward Keenaghan Defra - Customer Contact Unit Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)


This morning still at least 3 Tree Pipits singing as well as 2 Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and a Chiff-chaff.
1 Tawny Owl giving a good view but the highlight was 3 Crossbill feeding in a Scots Pine. They were very quiet but my attention was drawn to pine cones dropping onto the path. I expected a Grey Squirrel but was pleased it wasn't.
1 Blue Tit nest active with young being fed.
7 Curlew headed due south over Soil Hill.

A very grey looking Tawny Owl

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


A very quick look in passing:
- 8 great crested grebe (4 pairs)
- 3 grey heron
- male blackcap

Fly Flatts etc

This morning
3 Black-headed Gull
1 L B B Gull
1 Grey Heron
2 Common Sandpipers
2 Redshank
10+ Curlew (all over the place)
c10 Swifts
1 male Stonechat and 1 male Twite at the feeding station
c60 Rooks feeding in the fields above the res'r - this is usually a very rare bird At Fly Flatts - but there were around 25 juveniles with the adults and they had obviously found a decent food source there.

Also at the top end of Luddenden Dean - 1 Tree Pipit singing

Monday, June 11, 2012

'Flock of nuthatch'

5 nutchatch together in Jumble Hole today - parents feeding 3 newly fledged young, and a treecreeper in the same tree for good measure. Still plently warblers singing here (willow, garden, chiffchaff and blackcap) but still not had a whitethroat yet.

Keep Britain Messy!

I've just (ratheer belatedly) read the article in June Bird Watching mag entitled 'Lost World: how tidying up our countryside has created a fatal mess for our wildlife.' It begins 'we stand on the brink of the first mass ornithological extinction in recent times .... the countryside is sick, and much of it is dying.' It contrasts the profusion of a Constable landscape (or an eastern Polish meadow) with modern Britain and explains why we no longer watch Corncrakes, Wrynecks and Red-backed Shrikes. The reasons: what he calls 'tidiness', monoculture, insecticides. The article calls for a campaign to 'Keep Britain Messy'. Maybe things we know, but well worth reading (even if only while standing in Smiths) and a reminder of why our common passion for birds needs also to be a passion for the environment.

Other news from yesterday

Spotted Flycatcher and Cuckoo at Walshaw (PJWS)
Cuckoo and a Hobby (a first for Calderdale this year I think) near Mixenden (AC) and a single Common Sandpiper on Mixenden Res'r first thing.

Also the Common Scoters had moved on overnight from Ringstone

Sunday, June 10, 2012




Saturday, June 09, 2012


Four Drake Common Scoter in bad weather this morning

Friday, June 08, 2012

Fly Flatts

This afternoon - terrible conditions with wind and drizzle!
c60 Swifts and 2 Swallows feeding over the res'r
c300 Canada Geese + chicks
8 Greylag Geese + 3 chicks
3 Oystercatchers
2 Redshank
2 Lapwings
c8 Curlew
23 L B B Gulls
1 Carrion Crow
Meadow Pipits

Article on the Walshaw case being dropped

No surprises.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Bridestones above Todmorden

Spent the afternoon up there yesterday. A group of 16 Lapwings including presumabely birds of the year, seems to indicate a good year for them.
Several pairs of curlews all around, very vocal.

A few pairs of Meadow Pipits and Skylarks.

One Kestrel hunting and one Pied Wagtail, plus the usual Crows, Jackdaws, Swifts completed the list.

Disappointingly no Wheatears found. And no owls or other raptors.


I went up early while it was still fine but the rain soon came in! No sign of Wood Warblers although other warblers were singing ie Blackcap, Chiff-chaff and Willow Warblers. A single Tree Pipit was still singing towards the open area near the NW corner.
Also while going next to some brambles I must have disturbed a group of around 8 Wrens sheltering, they were all fledglings just out of the nest by the look of it but they could all fly.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Cold Edge/Fly Flatts/Ogden

BBS survey work in the area this morning produced a nice mixture and a good count of birds amongst which were:-
Cold Edge
On the large dam - 1 drake Tufted Duck
2 Little Grebe nearby
1 Grey Heron
1 Little Owl
A good number of Linnets about, as well as Meadow Pipits and a few Reed Buntings but no sign of Grasshopper Warblers today although conditions were perfect to hear them if they had been there and singing.

Cold Edge Road
1 female Wheatear
1 Golden Plover
Plenty Skylarks and mipits about on the moorland fringe as well as the od Reed Bunting
1 leucistic Starling with a flock of c200 juveniles - first seen by Martyn H a few days ago - was showing on and off but not well enough to be able to get a photo
A first for me this year was a male Whinchat looking in fantastic plumage

Fly Flatts
No sign late morning of BS's Ringed Plover which he saw earlier in the day but I was struggling without a scope and a gusty wind. 2 Redshank, 2 Common Sandpipers and a Golden Plover as well as loads of Canada's!! and 11 L B B gulls headed west with c60 Swifts charging about feeding over the choppy water.

Other news today - the Wood warbler was singing again at Ogden in the plantation this morning (see Queensbury Birder for report and photo's thanks to DS and NK)

Monday, June 04, 2012


For the second year running a pair of goldfinch have nested in the creeper just under my bathroom window. I have been a bit concerned with the weather this past week as the parents don't seem to bother brooding the chicks and just leave them in the rain. This morning though I was treated to the sight of one of the chicks standing on the edge of the nest wing flapping. I think maybe 3 more days and they should be ready to leave. One thing I have noticed is that the adult birds only seem to feed every hour or so and appear to regurgitate seeds rather than bring in insects. They tend to stand on the window cill and have a good look around to make sure the neighbourhood jackdaws aren't watching before heading in to the creeper.


With thanks for the message from Chris K this morning via BS for the Wood Warbler found this morning singing in the plantation. It's only the 3rd record for Calderale this year as far as I know. Still singing ( NK)around 9.0 am and showing well in a stand of Beech. I managed to get up there around 11 am and it was still singing continuously but only fleeting glimpses in the canopy. Also Spotted Flycatcher nearby.
Elsewhere in the plantation a single Tree Pipit was still singing in the NW where I was fortunate enough to have 4 Crossbills overhead and a single Siskin.
1 B h Gull also went over and 1 Kestrel but nothing on the res'r

Friday, June 01, 2012

Other news today

A Wood Warbler was a great find - singing in Hardcastle Crags today and been there since at least Wednesday this week - half way along the track towards Gibson Mill (thanks to JohnM) also Cuckoo heard.

Lesser Redpoll from earlier this week at Withens Clough (digiscoped - djs)


In the mist this morning and a real struggle to find anything until this little beauty started singing in the plantaion near the golf course.
Tree Pipit

I watched the Tree Pipit singing for some time and was surprised when another one started singing nearby and the first bird went to chase it off, then both birds started singing. Later on I found another one singing on the edge of the plantation near the 'giant's tooth' so I came home well pleased. It has been a real struggle to find these summer migrants this year in Calderdale!
Elsewhere in the plantation:
2 Spotted Flycatchers along with the odd Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Chiff-chaff. A Tawny Owl was also heard singing briefly.

On Ovenden Moor the usual mipits, 2 Skylark, 1 Reed Bunting and 2 Snipe were heard 'chipping'

Birders get together postponed

As a result of a relatively low uptake for the birders curry on Monday it has been suggested by SJ that we postpone this until a later date, Sean has suggested mid June sometime.