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.

Lee Mount

Not had much chance to get out the last few days other than doing the Tree Sparrow survey on Sunday afternoon, which was very rewarding.
This lunch time I sat out in the garden scanning the skies for anything that might come over like a possible raptor! No raptors YET but I was rewarded at 12.15 with  a Swift >SE. It was really high and only chanced on it because I was scanning the sky with binoculars. I took the bins away and lost it in the blue .
2 House Martins >NW

Sunday, September 02, 2012


Trip over to Walshaw to see Andy Cs Little Egret this tea time.Still showing  well at 19:30

Little Egret

A little Egret today at lower walshaw , from at least 12.00 - 15.30,bad photos but may be a little better if someone could crop them.Still only 7/8 caldedale records so well worth a look.It has P1 missing on both sides so distinctive in flight.1 Redstart.1 Whinchat, 8 Wheatear,5 grey wags ) usual stuff no raptors about.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Booth Wood Res'r

Drake Common Scoter from this morning still present at 7 pm this evening.

Lower Gorple & Lower Walshaw

Lower Gorple

20 Scoter this afternoon

Lower Walshaw
Two long distance Raptor shots hoping for Marsh Harrier.

Ringstone and Booth Wood res'rs

I checked out both sites first thing to find 3 Cormorants on Ringstone and a Spotted Flycatcher in the thorns around the horse paddock just past the res'r keepers cottage. Possibly other migrants in the hedges but ran out of time!
At Booth Wood there were another 3 Cormorants roosting and a drake Common Scoter on the reservoir so that was a bonus. The last Common Scoter was the one Andy found dead at Baitings a few weeks ago. I got the impression this bird would be away before too long as it looked very uneasy on its own.