Friday, November 29, 2013


We get over 100 Starlings in garden at once from the 100's that are in the field behind the house.  We see Sparrowhawks almost delay as they have obviously taken an interest.  This one was taken from our bedroom window by my wife.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Halifax Birdwatchers Club map

Around the year 2000 one of our esteemed members produced a detailed map showing the HBWC recording area, highlighting key sites and including a list of the birds of Halifax from 1991 - 1999 (at the time 201spp).  As we will shortly be leaving Calderdale I think it only right that the map should stay here.  Initially I wish to offer it back to its "maker" Gordon Denison, does anyone have contact details for him please?  If Gordon doesn't want it then I can offer it to a Calderdale birder, please let me know if you are interested.  The map measures approx 80 x 60 cm and is framed in a thin metal poster frame.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Other news today

Common Scoter - female still today reported on BirdGuides at Blackstone Edge Reservoir viewed from the dam wall.

Lapwing flock with good numbers again today in fields between the Stone Chair roundabout near Shelf and Queensbury from Andy H. See Brian Sumners Blog for regular updates on the wintering flock at this site which has also had a good number of Snipe there in recent weeks along with Golden Plovers.
I'm still not sure if this is just inside, or just outside our recording area ?

Couple of recent sightings

Monday morning a juv male Goosander on the river Ryburn in the centre of Sowerby Bridge

today c70 Lapwing and 1 Golden Plover in fields at Jay House lane.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Mixenden Res'r

Nothing exciting! - though maybe the gull flock could turn something up now that numbers are building at the day time roost.

1 drake Tufted Duck
220+ B H Gulls
c80 Common Gulls
2 ad L B B Gulls

Friday, November 22, 2013

Lee Mount and Mixenden Res'r etc.

38 Fieldfare and 2 Mistle Thrush >W first thing over Lee Mount

1 Teal (female)  at Mixenden Res'r along with 1 drake Goosander mid morning

1 Grey Wagtail in Sainsbury's car park this morning. Lots of berries on the shrubs and trees around the car park so hope something interesting turns up there soon !

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mixenden Res'r

After the overnight gales I thought there might be a chance something decent had been blown in but there was only a juvenile male Goldeneye there - still it's always worth a try !

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Swales Moor

This afternoon - nothing on the move other than 5 adult Herring Gulls >W (3,2,)
30 Common Gulls
1 Red-legged Partridge
5 Meadow Pipits
80+ Carrion Crows
20+ Jackdaws
10+ Magpies
21 Linnets together, seeking safety in the top of a bush. I managed to scope them but there was no sign of the recent Twite

1 Little Owl was chasing after Blue Tits, Great Tits and House Sparrows around the house at the top of Ploughcroft but they were too alert for it!

Fly Flatts and Withens Head

Plenty of Red Grouse on the moor and very vocal. Nothing on the res'r though a Peregrine at a distance was a welcome sight.

Mixenden Res'r

Common Scoter now gone - though it was there yesterday (NK) - still it did stay longer than expected! Just a drake Tufted Duck this morning and c60 B H Gulls and a few Common Gulls and that was it.

David Franz- Your prestigious award awaits you

Your Firecrest award is ready to take its place on your fireplace Dave.
See" West Yorkshire Birding" for details.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Castle Carr Road / Luddenden Dean

Earlier today
A pair of Stonechats on Castle Carr Road just 200m past Bridge Terrace and a Little Owl nearby.
Also further along near Top Lodge a pair of Little Owls together

In the dean 2 Bramblings were with Chaff's, Goldfinch and Greenfinch near The Lowe along with a Bullfinch
Also in the dean 100+ Fieldfare and just a few Redwings
No raptors, not even a Kestrel but plenty Woodpigeons

Ring-necked Parakeets?

Posted on behalf of Hugh Firman who received this message today:   “I live on Prospect Avenue, Pye Nest - for the last few days we have had, what I presume to be, ring necked parakeets in our garden.”
                                 Mandarins                                                                                                                                                  Are Are the Mandarins  at Ryburn&Rishworth the same birds? These  images where taken at Rishworth,but are they moving about?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Out and About

EGP Ski Lake
14 Tufted Ducks
1 female Goldeneye

Ryburn Res
4 Mandarin ( 2 Drakes)

Baitings Res
1 female Shelduck
1 Cormorant
1 Great Crested Grebe

Blackstone Edge Res
1 female Common Scoter

Whiteholme Res
 1 drake Common Scoter

Light Hazzles Res
Male and female Goldeneye  

Clear out

As we expect to be moving out of the area by Xmas it is time to start sorting stuff out prior to the move. As a result I think its time to thin the stocks of old reports, magazines etc. I have the following available if anyone wants all or any. They are free of charge to a good home but a small donation to the work of the Calderdale Bird Conservation Group would be appreciated.

Yorkshire Birding
Vols 14 to 18 inclusive (complete)
Vol 19 issues 1 to 3 only

Bradford Ornithological Group Reports

Huddersfield Birdwatchers Club reports

List of the Birds of Huddersfield up to 2008
Results from Bird Ringing in the Huddersfield area (1998 Denton)

Birds in Rochdale 1900-1977 P Hill

There will no doubt be more to follow so watch this space!

Anyone who is interested please contact

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Mixenden Res'r

After a female Common Scoter there all week it was a bonus to hear it had been joined by a drake today - well done to those who got there today!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Swales Moor

I was really fortunate to find this single Twite in the Linnet flock late morning and even more lucky to get a digi-scop shot of it feeding with Linnet's on a weedy banking. It was unringed and looked like a female with only a plain brown rump.

 Above - Linnet with a Twite just below it right

I started with some vis mig as there was still a lttle movement when I arrived up there at 10.15 till 11.50.
Wind SW F2  7c and 4/8 cloud cover, mild and dry
1 ad L B B Gull >W
2 Herring Gulls >W
7 Great Black-backed Gulls >W - they looked fantastic!
1 squadron of 20 Starlings >NW
5 Chaffinch >W
65 Fieldfare (2 flocks) >SW
1,100 Woodpigeons (320 >SW and 780 >NE)

Also present
32 Common Gull
1 Little Owl
18 Magpie
23 Jackdaw
c60 Carrion Crows
1 female Twite in with 25 Linnets

Mixenden Res'r

Common Scoter still present this morning

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Withens Clough

A pair of Stonechat and 4 Mipits at Withens Clough this morning.

Mixenden Res'r

This morning 8.30
Juv/female Common Scoter still there
1 Tufted Duck
1 Grey Wagtail
1 Great-spotted Woodpecker flyover
9 Redwings and 6 Starlings >NW

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ogden and Mixenden

We walked from Upper Brockholes to Ogden then across the golf course to Mixenden Res'r and back via Stodfold.
1 Cormorant
1 L B B Gull
1 Grey Wagtail

Mixenden Res'r
We think the Common Scoter was still there but it was across the far end diving. No scope with me and we were looking directly into the sun so not 100% sure of I D
1 drake Goosander
c130 Fieldfare went through >SW over Hunter Hill and the back of the plantation

1 Sparrowhawk
7 Meadow Pipits

Upper Brockholes
The totally white Carrion Crow is still showing near the top of Lane Head Lane

Swales Moor

Vis mig up there first thing today was a second choice, after Hunter Hill was totally fogged off.
Visibility was not good at Swales but it was an interesting 1hr 20mins especially with flocks of Woodpigeons coming through the gap just below the cloud base at Ploughcroft > SW - 1,148 in total with one flock up to 250 strong.
Other moving birds mostly >S or SW other than Starlings >NW
11 Redwing
53 Fieldfare
2 Linnet
17 Starlings
2 Chaffinch
18 Common Gulls
4 alba wagtails
1 Meadow Pipit
1 Skylark
1 Blackbird

Other birds around the site
c20 Goldfinch
c50 Linnets

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mixenden Res'r etc

Common Scoter still on Mixenden Res'r this morning but no Goldeneye first thing.

Fly Flatts
Red Grouse

Withens Head
2 Grey Partridge

Cold Edge
4 Goosander (2 drakes)

Hunter Hill
Starlings on the move NW with 765 between 9 and 10 am also 107 Fieldfare SW and 12 >E
1 Green Woodpecker nearby calling
1 Sparrowhawk

Monday, November 11, 2013


Quite a lot about today locally and Spurn and Filey had over 7,000 at each site today so we should get a big influx in the next day or two!!

Mixenden Res'r

An interesting afternoon continued. I thought the res'r might be worth a check - it paid off with a first for me at this site with a female/juv (I think it's a juvenile) Common Scoter, there till I left at 4.30 pm. It was feeding at the far end inlet near Hays Lane. Photo below was the best I could do in the fading light.
Also present, my first for this autumn, was a drake Goldeneye, a drake Tufted Duck, 11 Teal in the middle of the reservoir and 1 Grey Wagtail on the embankment.
Blackbirds were also coming in to roost  and a group of around 12 included one that looked more like a Great-spotted Woodpecker in plumage. I think it was just various white feathers in the wings, body and tail in the gloom, but it did look odd though definately a Blackbird.

Ogden Res'r

An interesting afternoon - again looking in and around the Firecrest spot along the edge of the reservoir on the western side. No Firecrest unfortunately (though I keep trying!!) but lots of Blue, Great, Coal and Long-tailed Tits. Also around 1 Gt-spotted Woodpecker, 1 Treecreeper, a Wren, 2 Robins and 15+ Goldcrests and an amazing group of 8 Bullfinch together feeding in the tops of Silver Birch and later on rowan berries.
c40 Fieldfare also flew over the plantation >NE
c80 Common Gulls unusually outnumbered B H Gulls (c60) on the res'r

On the res'r
4 Wigeon
1 Little Grebe
c50 Mallard
2 f Goosander arrived from Soil Hill direction thanks to a call from NK and DP up on 'the hill' in the fog - worthwhile for them with a Jack Snipe on the top though.

In Ogden woodland I surprised a female Sparrowhawk on a kill - a Woodpigeon - headless and breast being eaten. It shot off, the prey was still warm, but it returned to the kill once I had moved away. it still amazes me that a Sparrowhawk takes birds as large as a Woodpigeon but guess they make a good meal!!!

Soil Hill

Yesterday, Sunday afternoon
1 Grey Wagtail over>E
c2 Fieldfare over calling but unseen
7 Meadow Pipits on the top
1 Kestrel
5 Herring Gulls >SW
52 Lapwing down on the North slope fields
1 Moorhen on the north slope pond
Masses of gulls heading up from Bradford area to roost at Thornton Moor Res'r
On the way down from Soil Hill were some fascinating clouds from Bradshaw looking west.

Saturday, November 09, 2013


There were 13 blackbirds in the shrubs adjacent to the terrace at work (The Hatchery) in Mytholmroyd yesterday morning.  We've never had more than 2 in the past.  Where would these have come from?  Some were eating from a tree with orange/yellow berries on.


Friday, November 08, 2013

Fly Flatts and Withens Head

6+ Red Grouse and 2 Carrion Crows at Fly this afternoon - I went up there in the hope of a returning Goldeneye but the res'r was dead - and full to the brim now!
We usually get returning Goldeneye in October !! - has anyone had any yet?

3 Starlings >NW at Withens Head
2 Carrion Crows

On my way home, 23 Lapwings came over Cold Edge Road >W but guess they were probably heading for Cold Edge dams.

Thursday, November 07, 2013


At least 189 Fieldfare in the field behind our house just below Stoodley Pike this afternoon. There were more than this but this is the count from the photos I managed. They came into the garden onto the rowan trees, fir trees and the apple tree for a while before they flew off to the South West.


A common buzzard has been up and down the Calder Valley in front of Jumble Hole over the past few days, usually accompanied by a flock of crows. The raven was over again earlier in the week.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Lee Mount

c 40 Fieldfares went west mid morning, straight through closely followed by a female Sparrowhawk


Did the rounds again this afternoon, part of the time with Nigel. We found quite a few Goldcrest in the Firecrest spot but not a lot else other than Blue and Great Tits, a few L T Tits and an occasional Coal Tit, Chaffinch and a Treecreeper.
Later on I found a decent LT Tit flock near Ogden Clough bridge, along with a few Goldcrests and 2 Bullfinch but by then the light was fading. A few Blackbirds about today as well.
Little Grebe still there.

Monday, November 04, 2013


I tried in vain all afternoon searching for the Firecrest ! Everything was so quiet around the res'r that I even tried some of the woodland areas searching for the 'tit' flock. I only found an od Chaffinch and a few Blue and Great Tits.
Then right on dusk, 16.15, I came across 'the flock' near the bridge at the lower end of Ogden Clough - Blue, Great, Coal and L T Tits, Robins, Dunnock, Wrens, 2 Treecreepers, Bullfinch and 15 + Goldcrests. The fading light made it almost impossible with the Goldcrests to find anything different as they were all feeding up in the Sycamores (still with leaves on) and  nearly all silhouetted - so finding a Firecrest was almost impossible.
The flock was also surprisingly quiet so calls were not much help either.

I guess that if the flock could be located in good light then there might be a reasonable chance of re-finding the Firecrest ?? I know several other local birders (NK, BH, PS et al) also checked the site am and pm without success but lets hope between us we can re-locate the bird in the next few days !

Good to meet up with Bruce and Emma and thanks for pointing out the very, very rare fungus - forgotten what it's called if you can remind me Bruce !

Sunday, November 03, 2013


No reports today of any sightings of yesterday's Firecrest - though I tried up there late afternoon and good to meet Bri and Denise there and gather Dave ('the finder') had searched earlier without success.
We were wondering if the bird has moved on after all that terrible weather last night but felt maybe there is a chance it could stay around for a while if the weather stays mild - though they are birds that tend to like a milder and warmer climate than in West Yorkshire!
Lets hope someone can turn it up again this week.

I also gather Dave also found a very late Wheatear on Soil Hill yesterday - another good record for our area.

Saturday, November 02, 2013


Firecrest at Ogden today showing on and off till about 3:30.
SE 06186 30728