Friday, February 28, 2014

Crow Hill Sowerby

Crow Hill near Sowerby late am, early pm.

2 curlew.
2 lapwing.
4 golden plover flew in. Flighty.
9 skylarks seen.
35 meadow pipits. 30 in a flock.
32 redwing.
6 fieldfare.
1 pied wagtail.

Plus usual species.

1 weasel.

From Gordon Denison

A message from Gordon on the annual species championship trophy

Thursday, February 27, 2014


From Steve L this morning - 2 Shelduck flew in to rest but not sure how long they stayed!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tester !!

A little tester from David Crawshaw at Orford Ness this last weekend - anyone like to have a go?

Other news today

All from Steve L - Ringstone Res'r this afternoon
1 Oystercatcher
1 Curlew
c300 Redwings in surrounding fields

Cromwell Bottom
Drake Scaup still showing on the ski-lake (but it can be difficult to find)

Hardcastle Crags/Crimsworth Dean

Had a few hours up there this afternoon with Nick D mainly in Crimsworth Dean but it was pretty quiet.
1 Kestrel
2 Sparrowhawk sightings
1 Jay - mimicking a very convincing buzzard call! that was a new one on me.
2 Treecreepers
c20 Lapwings high over >W
2 Nuthatch
2+ Grey Heron
70+ Jackdaws
A few finch sp.. mainly Chaffs and Goldfinch but no Brambling found
And in the crags 300+ Woodpigeons

Sunday, February 23, 2014


No news on the adult Kittiwake at Shibden Park yesterday but it could still be there?

200 or more Bramblings in Crimsworth Dean - the have been there several weeks now in the beech woodland. Also a Woodcock nearby. (Ncd and DF)

Red Kite over Cromwell Bottom early afternoon >N (JU)

No further news on the Waxwings around Skircoat Green , but they could still be there?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Other news today

Adult Kittiwake still present today at Shibden Park boating lake.

c70 Pink-footed Geese over Lightcliffe area >NW  around 11.20 from M St probably went over towards Queensbury as I couldn't pick them out over Lee Mount or Swales Moor. (AC and PG)

Skircoat Green

We got a report across lunchtime from Jeff C to say Gus R had seen some Waxwings in the same general area as yesterday behind the hospital. We had a trip down and drive round in the pouring rain trying to find them. We eventually did, 9 Waxwings in the top of a berrying sorbus right at the bottom end of St Albans Road. They were all having a good preen after the downpour.
Many thanks for the message passed on. I gather Nigel and others saw them later on in the same spot.

Ogden Garden

A male brambling in part breeding plumage on a cotoneaster bush with two chaffinches this afternoon

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Shibden Park & Elland GP

Kittiwake still at Shibden Park this afternoon.
Drake Scaup still on the ski lake at Elland GP-Ncd/DF

Ogden Water

Wednesday afternoon. A number of black headed gulls some in breeding plumage and a few common gulls. One male goldeneye.


At least eight, very vocal birds in a large Ash tree in the upper corner of the hospital grounds on Godfrey Road at 11.00am today - next to the allotments.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Other news today

Another Curlew this morning over Stainland (Nick Dawson) so looks like they are filtering back now after one yesterday over Soil Hill (NK)

Shibden Park

An interesting message via the BS hub at Queensbury this afternoon of a possible Kittiwake on Shibden Park lake. PS confirmed the birds identity shortly afterwards and we managed to get down late afternoon along with Ian S - his local patch!
The bird is an adult coming out of winter plumage and was very confiding as it paddled around on the lake next to the footpath. It was not seen to feed though it was alert but we were not sure whether or not it was exhausted though it showed no apparent damage to plumage. It was not seen to fly but did flap its wings a couple of times.  See what tomorrow brings!
Some photos later.
A very good find for our local area. Well done to the person who passed the info on to Brian.


No time for blogging last night so it's a catch up from yesterday!
c20 Redwings were in Shroggs Park yesterday morning still feeding on holly berries and last night, just on dark, a Tawny Owl was singing from the same holly bushes!

Checked some Calderdale Heronries yesterday for the BTO long running census and found 3 occupied nests each at 2 colonies. A lot of activity and squabbling at the nest sites which I guess is a very good sign.

I paid a visit to Hardcastle Crags later on in the afternoon but it was very quiet other than 1 Dipper and 70+ Jackdaws. Also Nuthatches and a Song Thrush singing near Midgehole car park and a few small tit flocks.
Crimsworth Dean was quiet as well with just 2 Kestrels, 2 Treecreepers, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker and 2 Stock Doves. I couldn't find any sign of the recent Brambling flocks in the beech woodland but I guess there is a possibility they are still around with so much beech woodland to go at between there and the crags.

Elsewhere a Red Kite was over the former gravel pits at Elland/ Cromwell Bottom early afternoon briefly but drifted of >SW. A nice surprise for DF.

Oops nearly forgot! - an early Curlew over Soil Hill for NK yesterday.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Barn Owls

 I'm sure you will all wish to sign this petition

Monday, February 17, 2014

Jumble Hole area - 16 Feb

A pair of goosander were on the canal right by the sewage works. On the filter beds there was around 20 smart looking pied wagtails. A dipper was on the usual spot on the Calder nearby.

In Jumble Hole, nuthatch are as vocal as ever, as are green woodpecker. A single fieldfare was squaring up to a mistle thrush defending a berry bush. A raven flew over very low, cronking away.

Ringstone and Scammonden

Ringstone with Nick D this afternoon but not a sign of the Med Gull from yesterday though there were a decent number of smaller gulls in the fields plus around c40 Lapwings and 9 Goosander (7 drakes) displaying later on in the afternoon in the middleof the res'r..

1 Kestrel
9 Grey Herons
1 Cormorant
2 Pink-footed Geese with the Canada Goose flock of c65 birds

Sunday, February 16, 2014

What a day !

Some fine weather and a few birders doing the rounds turned up some very good birds today.

Ringstone Res'r - c40 Snipe and 2 Jack Snipe on the north shore late morning (GS) and later in the afternoon an adult Mediterranean Gull (black hood almost complete) with a large gull flock feeding in the fields near the res'r followed by a winter Dunlin with the Lapwing flock (NCD and DF)

Whiteholme Res'r turned up an early Ringed Plover this afternoon (PGr)

Soil Hill produced  a Woodcock this afternoon (BS)

Elsewhere I found 5 Little Owls (2 and 2 and 1) in the upper Ludenden Dean area. Also 9 Stock Doves and 2 Kestrels but no sign of the recent Stonechat.

It's really good to get some good local birds after all the bad weather in recent weeks didn't seem to turn up much!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Bins for Sale

I have a pair of Leica Ultravid 8x42 BR's for sale

They are showing signs of wear but then after 12years of use in the field around the world nothing out of the ordinary and optically they are as good as the day I bought them.

Come with case, strap and eye-cup guard.

£800 ovno

Friday, February 14, 2014


Not a lot to report in the last day or so - the stormy weather hasn't helped, though several sites have been checked in the hope of something storm blown inland.
Ringstone and Scammonden checked and Cromwell Bottom where the 1st winter Scaup was showing again this morning. (SL). The few Golden Plover at Ringstone earlier in the week seem to have moved on but it will be good to look forward to numbers building in the coming weeks.

Ogden and Mixenden also checked this afternoon.  
At Mixenden there were 5 female type Goldeneye and the dead drake is still floating about in the middle of the water. Only 6 B H Gulls was an unusually low count for this site. 5 Canada Geese flew over towards Stodfold with the usual Jackdaws nearby.

Ogden was deadly in a prolonged hail storm and I gave it up as a bad job with just around 120 B H Gulls and a few Common Gulls braving it out in the middle and 3 Canada Geese with the Mallards at the feeding area.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

More pinks!

138 over Northowran at 15:40 (AC) were over towards Swales Moor/Ploughcroft at 15:55. They were very high and only seemed to be making slow, but determined progress and changing direction though generally >W to NW.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Other news today

c300 Pink-footed Geese reported >W over Barkisland soon after 11:00 (SB) and another skein over Soil Hill around 11:30 (via NK)
Also from Soil Hill today (NK) 7 Skylark and some singing!

Lee Mount

Not a lot about today but  a nice surprise was a Common Buzzard drifting high overhead around 14:30  >SW closely followed by 4 Carrion Crows giving it some rough close encounters!

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Hardcastle Crags

c.70 Brambling up the path 100 yards from Gibson Mill on the way towards Widdop Road this lunchtime. Plus a grey heron on the mill pond, 4 nuthatch near the mill,  and c.90 fieldfare battling strong winds up near the Widdop Road car park.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Shibden Park - 08/02/14

The 2 mute swans are still on Shibden Mere.
Also present were:
4 coots
6 moorhen
4 canada geese
A large selection of mallard and other domestic type ducks.

Mistle thrush singing
Also a few calling nuthatch

Not much up on Beacon Hill but it was very windy.


Since moving to mytholmroyd I have noticed there is a lot of nuthatch in the area. Today I counted 7 in various parts Of the area 2 brearley by the canal 2 redacre wood 1 broadhead clough 1 Stubbs (singing) 1 near the nest estate Very nice to see so many in the area they are doing very well. Not that long ago I think todmorden was the only place to see them.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Bewick swans over mytholmroyd

4 Bewick's swans just (18:49) flown east over mytholmroyd quite low and calling


One feeding on worms in a field just within Calderdale this morning.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Great News for Swifts in Halifax Town Centre

I suggested to LDN Architects that while they were building a new library, they might as well incorporate some Swift nest boxes in the structure. This was last year, and yesterday I found out that they are going in !
I had support from Andrew Pitts and Carole Knowles, senior managers with the Council. I also got them to consult Hugh Firman, Conservation Officer with the Council.

Alex Liddell has consulted and intends to source their nesting blocks. He had taken on that there should be more than one at a site to satisfy the Swifts communal nesting habit.

The building is due to be ready in 2016.

I've mentioned a Peregrine tray and it has been speculated that one could be fitted later; maybe in the Square Chapel spire, though the loss of Kestrels from there would have to be thought about, as Peregrines would probably drive them away.

I've been attending meetings as representative of Halifax Scientific Society, and let them know about Calderdale Bird Conservation Group. The project affects HSS because we meet and have our books/archives in the current library.

View looking across Winding Road with the Square Chapel Centre for the Arts on the left and Industrial Museum on the right. The new library will be wrapped round the unused spire that stands there now. The main access will be through the re-paved Piece Hall. You can see more design projections in the current library, if you enquire.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Mixenden Res'r

24 Whooper Swans still there this morning at 8.15. Quite a bit of wing flapping going on and the birds looked very alert so maybe they will be on their way this morning?
3 female Goldeneye still there along with what looks like the dead male still floating about in the middle of the Res'r upside down.

Whoopers in the gloom this morning

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Mixenden Res'r

Photo's of part of a group of 24 Whooper Swans at Mixenden Res'r this afternoon including 2 juveniles (lower picture - right hand bird shows one of the juv's).
All thanks to BS who earlier had a conversation with someone who had visited the res'r earlier and seen these yellow-billed swans. A great find, they are probably on a stage of heading back to Iceland in readiness for the next breeding season.
Also present at least 3 female Goldeneye and what looked like a dead male floating upside down in the middle.
A pair of goosander also present as well as BS and NK on a flying visit - like us!
Well done to the finder.

Monday, February 03, 2014


This afternoon
A single Woodcock flushed in the woodland late afternoon flew off at speed towards the golf course. I nearly trod on it before it flushed and it was in more or less in the same area I have had them occasionally before.

It was very quiet for birds in the woodland areas but I did find a flock of around 10 Goldcrests in an area of small pines, birch and hazel in the NW woodland. No other species with them which was unusual though they were also feeding at ground level in bilberry bushes.
1 drake Goldeneye on the res'r
1 adult Cormorant
1 Canada Goose
c70 Mallard
c250 B H Gulls
c20 Common Gulls
2 Sparrowhawks
2 Stock Doves along Back lane and c60 Woodpigeons

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Luddenden Dean

This afternoon I managed a good 2hrs or more in the upper dean area from Booth to Jerusalem Farm then on to Castle Carr lower lodge then up the hillside to top lodge then back to Wainstalls via Castle Carr Road. A nice afternoon out with some sunshine thrown in!
A single Brambling was the highlight, feeding in the beech woodland just before Jerusalem Farm
There were also lots of Blue, Great and Coal Tits on the feeders at J Farm - thanks Ted!
Elsewhere a Nuthatch was on other feeders at The Lowe
Plenty corvids about including c60 Rooks
13 Common Gulls >W
15 Pheasants at one spot
2 Kestrels were the only raptors
2 pairs of Little Owls
Plenty Woodpigeons and the usual finch sp.. going to roost towards Castle Carr woodland
This great spotted woodpecker is a regular to my feeders at Jumble Hole. Seems like there's less greenfinches this winter though? Could be because it's milder.
Elsewhere, and long walk at an area in the north of our region provided just one common buzzard, and around 18 red grouse. Nothing on the water at all.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Badger Culling in Calderdale

Badger culling could come to Calderdale!

If you would like this to be avoided please sign the petition and give your opinion to the council.

The culling of badgers is cruel. There are other ways to do this if badgers must be controlled. Science has proved that this is not the way to go. 

The Scientific Society feel that individuals should have the chance to voice their opposition.  Members may have varying views on the cull and by posting this the Society is not voicing the opinion of the Society as a whole.