Wednesday, April 30, 2014

30th April

A male Whitethroat back at Roils Head today. Last night 3 Grasshopper Warblers reeling at Scammonden and 1 reported at Soil Hill also.

Blackshaw Head and Jumble Hole

Did my early visit for the BTO Breeding Bird Survey at Blackshaw Head this morning and met a lady called Debbie who said she heard a Cuckoo down Jumble Hole on Monday.

Lapwing - 4
Curlew - 2
Linnet - 4
Meadow Pipit - 3
Skylark - 1
Swallow - 2
Reed Bunting - 2

Walked back down Jumble Hole and checked for the Garden Warblers that Matt reported but no sight or sound for me today. Lots of ChiffChaffs and Willow Warblers, a Grey Wagtail in the stream, and 2 Blackcaps singing as well. The highlight was a Willow Warbler that landed just 2 yards from me and started to sing - fabulous. Don't take the camera with me on BBS visits as I don't have enough hands to sort out pencil, recording sheets, bins and camera :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Important Meeting re North Loop, Cromwell Bottom

On the 8th May there will be a meeting to discuss the proposals relating to the restoration of North Loop Closed Landfill Site, Cromwell Bottom. This meeting will provide a forum to input and discuss matters relating to the creation of biodiversity and access features on this unique development opportunity. The meeting will also provide further information and update on proposals surrounding the installation of a fish ladder and hydro-electricity option at the weir.

As usual, the meeting will be held at the Mulberry Suite, Brighouse 6th Form College, at 7:00pm on Thursday the 8th May.


Cold Edge and Withens Head

We went to do the BTO annual Breeding Bird Survey this morning in the mist and the day came out in glorious sunshine.
Nothing out of the ordinary though a decent mix of birds and a few butterfly's
Plenty Wheatears about including at least 12 in one small field opposite Nolstar Kennels.
A few Linnets about as well
1 Little Grebe
2 pairs Tufted Duck
A Greylag looks to be paired with a Canada - that could be interesting!
Several Reed Buntings, mipits and Skylarks plenty but not many waders other than the usual.
Still no Swifts and just a few Swallows
No raptors at all

Plenty Small Tortoiseshell butterfly's 100+
A few Peacocks and Small Whites and in one spot on Ovenden Moor 6+ Green Hairstreaks

Yellow Wagtail

JB sent me this pic of the Yellow Wag at Ringstone Edge yesterday, nice!!!!!

Roils Head

Sorry guys not a bird but I thought people might like to know, took this pic of an Emperor Moth at Roils ead at the weekend, its only the second one Ive seen on the ground. Lots flying around over the heather.


Digi scoped this Whinchat at Walshaw car park on 27th, also had Reed Warbler and Whitethroat at EGP and possibly Garden Warbler singing briefly 115.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Jumble Hole

2 garden warbler back on territory. Also 3 blackcap, 7 willow warbler and 4 chiffchaff. Green woodpecker looking like its building a nest  in an undisclosed location. 7 house martins around. Woodcock roding this evening.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Soil Hill and Mixenden Res'r

Soil Hill
A brief visit to check the top!
2 male Wheatear
Several Skylarks, mipits and a few Linnets and Swallows

Mixenden Res'r
c100 Swallows feeding low over the water
c6 Sand Martins but no House Martins
1 Common Sandpiper
1 Grey Wagtail
5 LBBG's on the water and another 13 >SW along with 2 adult Herring Gulls

Comic Tern

                     Comic Tern at Ringstone this morning.

Blake Dean to Holme Ends

1 tree pipit
11 willow warbler
Dozens of chaffinch
Siskins heard
2 goldcrest
1 pied wagtail
1 grey wagtail

6 oystercatcher
2 willow warbler
C. 8 curlew
9 lapwing
2 pied wagtail
Pair of blackbirds
2 siskin over
3 skylark
3 swallow
11 meadow pipit

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Weystone Moor

I walked the tops above the M62 for a couple of hours around mid-day in the hope of finding special migrants in the moor! Nothing doing.
c10 male Wheatears
A few mipits and Skylarks
1 Red Grouse
2 Curlew
2 Golden Plover
1 Swallow >W
1 Raven over high heading towards Lancashire!

On the way back through Sowerby Bridge a Ring-necked Parakeet flew over the road and into trees near Crow Wood Park. Occasionally one has been reported in this area over recent months. There was one in the Shibden Valley as well a few years ago (PS) so they are not common around here, unlike some areas of the country and London parks !!

High Royd

This morning
c100 Swallows and c50 House Martins and a few Sand Martins feeding in a frenzy around the filter beds but no sign of any Swifts yet.
1 Grey Wagtail
1 Whitethroat singing
1 Blackcap
A few Willow Warblers
1 Chiff-chaff
Pair of Nuthatches copulating
c40 Carrion Crows on the filter beds
1 Jay
1 Sparrowhawk over high

Friday, April 25, 2014

Another murder mystery

Found these feathers up Jumble Hole today, but this time I don't know the victim. I have an idea, but don't want to jeopardise anyone else's suggestion. Any thoughts?


In search of the Tree Pipits this morning but drizzle and fog was not a help so drew a blank!
2 Reed Buntings near the 'Giants Tooth'
15+ Willow Warblers in and around the plantation
1 Chiff-chaff
1 Blackcap

Golf Course
1 B H Gull >NE
4 Common Gulls >NE
1 Wheatear
Willow Warbler
Pied Wagtail
...and a few mipits

Elsewhere a Green Woodpecker excavating a nest hole

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Other news

From today
An Osprey was seen heading north over Rishworth , Booth Wood Res'r at 6 pm today (TW) always a special bird wherever you are.

Migrants - a Whinchat and a Whitethroat at Scammonden / Dean Head earlier today and a few Green Hairstreak butterflies in the same area (SL)

Tree Pipits at Ogden and a Grasshopper Warbler heard nearby on Ned Hill (NK)

A Cuckoo heard near Mytholmroyd yesterday (AG, SB and NR)

A good number of Wheatears reported widely over the last few days

Cold Edge and Withens Head

An interesting late afternoon visit in overcast conditions and some heavy rain showers which probably contributed to a good number of birds on the ground especially with 30+ Wheatears - these were maybe Greenland/Icelandic birds as they nearly all looked really bright, large and stocky.
1 male Common Redstart around Moorlands Farm shrubberies was also a nice surprise as this has occasionally, over the years,  been the spot for Black Redstart!
1 Cuckoo singing
c50 Starlings
10+ Reed Buntings
1 Kestrel
5+ Willow Warblers
1 pair of Tufted Duck
1 Greylag Goose
20+ Canada Geese
1 Oystercatcher
20+ Lapwings
6+ Curlew
10+ Snipe both 'drumming' and 'chipping' gave a fantastic ariel display
1 Golden Plover
1 Redshank
20+ Swallows but no Swifts (maybe tomorrow)??
10+ Red Grouse
No Grasshopper Warbler, though conditions were perfect


2.30pm. Mytholmroyd.

 Buzzard flying west mobbed by corvids. It didn't hang around.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Condor Moment

At the court

Judge: Young man, it says here you shot and killed a California Condor. How do you plead?
Defendant: Guilty your honour.
Judge: GUILTY!? Don't you know how endangered these condors are? There are hardly any left at all.
Defendant: Yes sir, I know, but I had to feed my family, we're so poor.
Judge: That's no excuse. I fine you 30 days in jail. By the way, what does California Condor taste like?
Defendant: It's real good your honour, kinda like a cross between Bald Eagle and Whooping Crane! 


1 Common Sandpiper on the Res'r edge this morning
1 Grey Heron
No gulls
Plenty of Willow Warblers
2 Chiff Chaff's
1 Blackcap

1 Cuckoo calling on the golf course
1 male Stonechat
Several Reed Buntings
2 Skylark
2 Curlew
Plenty of Meadow Pipits on territory

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fly Flatts

Late evening visit
3 Oystercatchers
6 Curlew
4 Lapwings
1 Redshank
2+ Snipe
2 Golden Plover
c200 Canada Geese spread all across the moor and on the res'r !
2 L B B Gulls
2 Swallows
1 Kestrel
2 Skylark
A few mipits and Red Grouse

1 Wheatear at Withens Head opposite the wind farm car park

Ringstone Res'r

This morning in the mist and gloom !
1 Dunlin
1 Redshank
No sign of the Jack Snipe but visibility was not good, so it could still be there?
Otherwise just a few Lapwings, Linnets, Reed Bunting and Swallows

Monday, April 21, 2014

Luddenden Dean

This morning in the dean
1 Kestrel with prey
1 Cuckoo
1 Little Owl
1 Tawny Owl
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
8 Stock Doves
10+ Willow Warblers
2+ Chiff-chaff
1 Blackcap
1 Redstart
15+ Linnet
1 L B B Gull over
30+ Swallows
2 Jays

Distant Cuckoo - it could be heard a mile off !

Maltese migration

Shooting time again, Chris Packham is doing a video blog every night this week.

Jack Snipe at Ringstone Edge

Record shots of the Jack Snipe found by DF this morning and refound at dusk. A real little craker to be found bobbing up and down out in the open, with Cuckoo and LRP seen today, now on 111, 2 behind DF. Have got some distant video footage of the Jack Snipe but not sure how to post it.

Walk around the Moors

Went for a wander round all the usual moorland spots this afternoon. Ogden Golf course had good numbers of mipits, kestrel and curlew.
On Cold Edge there was a Tufted Duck, Canada Goose, Reed Bunting, Wheatear, Oystercatcher and House Martin
On the moors above Luddenden Dean I stumbled across the best find of the day. A black thrush landed on a fence post in front of me. It took off almost as soon as I raised my bins, but as I watched it fly it revealed itself to be a stunning male Ring Ouzel. It flew down into the Dean but we were unable to relocate it. It is probably the rarest self found bird I have ever found.
On Fly flatts there was a Redshank, Wheatear and Red Grouse
It was a very enjoyable walk. The only downside was that on the moors above Luddenden we found this magpie trap. You can clearly see the bait-bird in this photo, with an unsprung trap either side. I can't see any reason conservation-wise for this. I wonder what you guys think about this, and what should be done...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Three Wheatears on the walls and fields at Shaw Bottom, Colden at lunchtime today.

Langfield this morning

A wonderful morning for a wander up to Langfield and Gaddings with Wheatear and Grasshopper Warbler as target birds. Only 10 minutes in and a Grasshopper Warbler was heard reeling in the juncus at Horse Wood just below Langfield. Hung around for a while to see if I could catch sight of it but didn't, so onwards and upwards to Langfield and Gaddings.

3 Linnet and a Reed Bunting along with numerous Meadow Pipits kept me company up to Gaddings where Skylarks were singing as usual. During the morning I counted at least 10 singing Skylarks on the tops. There were no birds at Gaddings itself apart from a single Red Grouse - not even a Mallard or Canada Goose there. However, the lovely views from Gaddings have been ruined for me by these articles on the skyline.

If the application for 4 more of these things at Gorpley is passed then there will be 9 turbines on the same hill marring the views. Only my opinion folks, others are available.

A single Lapwing was displaying and calling above the fields opposite Longfield Dam. I spent the rest of the morning enjoying the hills in search of Wheatear but none were found. The good thing is there's always tomorrow and it's set to be another cracking day so get out there and enjoy the lovely Spring weather. I will be!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

16th April

Grasshopper Warbler reeling at Middle Walshaw tonight also Woodcock roding and Common Sandpiper at Upper Walshaw, 108.

Luddenden Dean

I got a call from NR around 12.30 about a male Redstart in the Saltonstall area this morning but despite and extensive search this afternoon I was unable to re-locate it - still a very good find for our area.
1 Little Owl
2 Willow Warblers
1 male Sparrowhawk
2 Kestrels
c8 Stock Doves
2 Curlew
A few Swallows around but no House Martins up there yet

Also some good news this evening of a Cuckoo singing in the area (JM) late afternoon. This is another early record for Cuckoo heard on the same date and in the same area as one in 2012.

Lee Mount

What an hour or so in the garden across lunch time
1 female Sparrowhawk over high in perfect conditions with warm rising thermals
A few Swallows then a Peregrine over high about 1.30
Followed by a first sighting over the house, a Red Kite at 1.45 rising on thermals then drifting very high towards Halifax or maybe Beacon Hill area. I tried hard for a photo in the bright sunshine but I couldn't get the camera to focus so missed out there! A fantastic sight (no wing tags seen).
Also an adult Common Gull went over >NE
All sightings today thanks to and eagle eyed daughter enjoying the sunshine on 'raptor watch' !

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Swales Moor and Raggalds Flood

A migrant male Ring Ouzel along Ringby Lane this morning and still there on the west facing hillside at 11 am with a Mistle Thrush. Took some photos but it was difficult to get within even 100 m before it moved further away. Will check the photos later.
1 Green Woodpecker
A few resident Meadow Pipits and Skylarks and the usual corvids around
8 Linnets
2 Kestrels
Red-legged Partridge heard
A good number of Small Tortoiseshell and a few Peacock butterfly's were nice to see as well

The only movers were
1 Lapwing > NW
1 Swallow >NW
1 Curlew heard high up and out of sight

Male Ring Ouzel in silhouette

Raggalds Flood
Later on in the day we called at the pond in the field near the Raggalds Pub above Bradshaw - NK had found a Little Ringed Plover earlier in the afternoon and fortunately it was still there though distant. Without a scope it was not easy to i d but modern technology with a digi camera resolved it though the shots are not good enough to post. Well done to Nigel for a great find.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


A hoopoe was seen yesterday and again this morning at Mellings Farm, Sourhall Road, Todmorden. It's up the Bacup Road. The initial observer apparently didn't know what it was, but knew it was something out of the ordinary (a lapwing crossed with a woodpecker is what they said!) so posted it on Facebook to get it ID'd.

I went up as soon as I got the text today. Tons of birders up there, but no hoopoe to be seen. The photo is from the 'Incredible Farm' facebook page. There's no specific name to credit.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Breeding season

For the duration of the breeding season, raptors and other breeding birds that may be sensitive to disturbance should not be reported on the Daily Sightings Blog/ Many thanks....

Other news today

Shelduck at Ringstone first thing (DF)

Little Ringed Plover at Gorple and Common Sandpiper at Lower Walshaw. (MH)

41 Golden Plover behind the 'Pack Horse' along Widdop Road - including 17 males of northern form looking good! (MH)

House Martin at Elland GP (PG)

3 Common Redpoll (Carduelis flammea) briefly on a garden feeder at Skircoat this morning but they were off before they could be photographed (SJ)

12th April

4 Herring Gulls west over West View Park and 2 stunning looking Golden Plovers at Highroad Well Moor, Mount Tabor this PM.

Friday, April 11, 2014


                                                       20 of 28 Whoopers
Whooper Swan 28
Ringed Plover    2
Redshank           2
Sand Martin      2
Swallow              1
Wheatear           2 m  1 fm

Other news today

28 Whooper Swans on Whiteholme Res'r mid-day were still there this evening - probably move on overnight (?) (DF and AZ)

Also from AZ - a Water Pipit found in the catch water drain this evening between the White House at Blackstone Edge and Lighthazzles Res'r.

Common Sandpiper at Ringstone earlier today (PG) following one yesterday at Elland GP (PG)

 A few Swallows and Sand Martins also reported today from various locations

11th April

Highlights of a great evening out included an Osprey flying slowly north followed 15 minutes later by a Red Kite sporting orange wing tags, puts me on 105 for calderdale and DF on 108 for the year.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Grey Wagtails

A pair displaying on the low roof above KFC in the centre of Halifax this evening, we also have a pair at Calderdale Business Park in Ovenden does this signal a slight shift in behaviour or an expansion of usual habitat location away from running water?

Anyone else had them in built up areas?

Upland area..

I decided to take a walk up to an Upland area this morning to see what was about. I arrived quite late in the morning but the first thing I spotted was a large falcon, which was difficult to identify because of the sun, but was a peregrine.
I also spotted quite a few kestrels along the road, one of which was much smaller. Again, it was difficult to judge because of the sun, but I thought it was a Merlin. I took some photos to check when I got back and it seems pretty good to me, the photo below clearly showing a lack of black bar on the end of the tail. Its only the second time I have ever seen one, so i'm not familiar enough to confidently identify one in the field.
Other notable birds included; Wheatear on the walls, a pair of redshank, 2 Sand Martins, a Swallow and my first Red-Legged Partridge and Stonechat of the year.

Species Lists: 
Upalnd area: Starling, Carrion Crow, Mallard, Kestrel, Pied Wagtail, Jackdaw, Meadow Pipit, Red Grouse, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Skylark, Wheatear, Sand Martin, Swallow, Red-Legged Partridge, Peregrine, Merlin, Canada Goose, Lapwing, Stonechat, Graylag Goose,

Ogden/Golf Course: Sparrowhawk, Curlew, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Reed Bunting, Red Grouse, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Robin, Wren, Dunnock, Mallard, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Canada Goose,

Soil Hill: Wheatear, Lapwing, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Mallard,

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Ryburn Valley and Ryburn Res'r

Checking a few Rookeries today - AND - found a new one for the list though it looked a long established site in among a large newish housing development. Thank goodness the developers left the trees in the middle of the site - or perhaps thanks go to the Planners - I wonder ? At least 24 active nests so that was a real bonus.
1 Dipper
2 Grey Wagtails
2 Cormorants (juveniles)
2 Nuthatch
1 Canada Goose on a nest on top of a small cliff - precarious!
1 Willow Warbler singing
2 Chiff-chaff
1 Treecreeper
2 Small Tortoiseshell butterfly's

Ploughcroft and Pepper Hill

A nice walk from the top of Ploughcroft from Hag Lane and round the top of Claremount
1 Little Owl seemed to favour trees rather than dry stone walls
1 Kestrel carrying prey
Pair of Sparrowhawks
1 Green Woodpecker
1 Jay
1 Chiff-chaff - they are everywhere !!
1 Linnet flyover and a few mipits >N
1 L B B Gull >W
2 Roe Deer

Soil Hill

So after a family trip to Bolton Abbey I decided to see if I could get any Ring Ouzel on soil hill. I was rewarded by at least 3, but probably more birds, mainly in and around the young hedge on the Bradford side of the hill, but also around the mounds on the top. Its only the second time I have seen these birds, so I was well excited, though the photos are not much.

Another bird of note was 2 feildfares that I flushed on the top, it seems rather late for them?

Species List: Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Blackbird, Ring Ouzel, Grey Heron, Pheasant, Lapwing, Reed Bunting, Common Gull, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Mallard, Fieldfare, Jackdaw,

Also just a quick plea, I spotted the bird below at Bolton Abbey and due to not having exceptional binoculars I was unable to properly tell what it was at the time. I know the photo is not great, but its the best I managed. There were plenty of buzzards in the sky at the time, but the wings and tail just seem the wrong shape for buzzard. I know its not brilliant but thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks in advance

Elland GP yesterday

Took a trip down to EGP yesterday for the scaup. It was still on the fishing lake and looking lovely. I got about an hours watching before being turfed out by the bailiffs. It was a great Lifer for me.
Also on site I managed my first swallow of the year, that became four swallows over the canal. Also a male blackcap calling along the canal towpath

Species List: Scaup*, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Swallow, Blackbird, Blackcap, Great Tit, Robin, Wren, Mallard, Grey Heron, Grey Wagtail, Woodpigeon, Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Goosander, Treecreeper, Cormorant, Long-Tailed Tit, Coot, Great-Crested Grebe, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Chiffchaff,

Wheatley Valley

On the former landfill site first thing searching for Willow Warbler which would make it 99 for the year so far in Calderdale.  Success, with 2 singing and showing well near the Brackenbed end of the site.
4 Chiff-chaff
1 Blackcap
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
1 Stock Dove
c35 Woodpigeons
Several Song Thrush in full song and in one instance sounding exactly like a Nuthatch!
1 Grey Heron flyover >S
11 Meadow Pipits >N was unusual for this site though it should be coming up to peak movement for this species in the next week or two.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Withens Clough Res'r

The reservoir is still full to overflowing so no chance of any waders, in fact none on the moor either, not even any Curlews for some reason.
A pair of Stonechats at the top end of the res'r was a bit special
4 pairs Ganada Geese
2 Stock Doves
A few Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails
Not a lot else!

 Canada Goose
 Meadow Pipit
Looking West

Coming back down towards Cragg Vale
2 Pied Wagtails with 2 Grey Wagtails
1 buck Roe Deer
4 Siskin - flyovers
1 Common Buzzard heading down the valley

Monday, April 07, 2014

Lee Mount

A Nuthatch entering a neighbours garden nest box late afternoon - I didn't think it would get in as Blue Tits usually occupy this box - but it did! See what happens next?

Lee Bridge

This morning at the transfer station a Dipper flew over calling several times. A nice surprise when clearing the rubbish!

Fly Flatts and Withens Head

Thick mist on and off this afternoon at Fly Flatts in awful conditions - didn't get out of the car!
Then the tops cleared a bit when the rain stopped.
Fly Flatts
 Stoodley Pike from Cold Edge over Midgley Moor

Withens Head

Withens Head was the most productive spot
1 male Wheatear
4 Curlew
2 Redshank
2 Oystercatchers
2+ Snipe
10+ Lapwing
A few mipits
2 Pied Wagtails
c80 Starlings
A pair of Tufted Duck on Cold edge

Then I got a call from NK with news of a male Ring Ouzel on Soil Hill, on the mounds, but it had disappeared down the north slope and not relocated. He also flushed some Golden Plover on the top and co-incidentally 6 appeared over Cold Edge heading over the moor >W a minute or so later!

Other news

Male Redstart on Saturday 6th April in a garden at  Skircoat (Steve B)
4 Ringed Plover at Whiteholme Sunday 7th (DF)
Wheatear, 2 Ravens and + 3 unidentified hirundines through Ringstone Sunday 7th (Steve L)
Also yesterday afternoon our first reported Willow Warbler singing in a garden at Luddenden (MH)
A single late Pink-footed Goose >N over Ogden yesterday (BS)
A couple of Short-eared Owls also reported moving through over the last few days.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Out of area, but only just

A great grey shrike is at Watergrove reservoir (nr Littleborough) for the second day. It's actually not that much more than a few miles (3-4?) as the 'crow' flies from Walsden.

Tawny owl casualty

A tawny owl was dead next to the railway line by the pedestrian bridge at Eastwood.


I've currently got a pair of pied wagtail and a pair of grey wagtail building nests in the wall next to the house. The pied wagtails have selected a hole and the male is busy taking in nesting material. 

The female is more interesting in attacking reflections of herself in car windscreens.

The grey wagtails are much better behaved but haven't picked a hole that they like yet.


I checked out the rookeries in Shibden Park and there are just 3 nests now in the section by the railway line. Two at least had rooks in them, the other is a new nest but I didn't see anything visit. I'll check again later this week. 

All of the other spots are devoid of nests.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Castle Carr Road and Luddenden Dean

Castle Carr Road
1 Little Owl in the usual spot
1 Wheatear along the road
A few Curlew over but not many Lapwings
1 female Merlin over Saltonstall seen chasing about and then stooping at something unknown and out of site.
9 Skylark together feeding in one field were all carefully checked!

Luddenden Dean
2 pairs of Kestrels + another one lower down then dean
1 Green Woodpecker
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
1 Nuthatch
1 Little Owl
1 Grey Heron over
4 Jays
1 Grey Wagtail on the roof of Jerusalem Farm
1 Chiff-chaff singing
1 Goldcrest
8 Stock Dove

Cold Edge

Plenty small stuff moving about first thing including Meadow Pipits, Chaff's, Greenfinch, Goldfinch and a few Linnets and a Reed Bunting.
Plenty Canada's (c60) and 6 Greylag's
2 Wheatears near Moorlands Farm
10+ Snipe drumming
3 Curlew high >W + others on the moor
A few Lapwing
2 Oystercatchers
40 Fieldfare
c160 Starlings
6 ad L B B Gulls >W
A single Raven over
1 Kestrel

oh and nearly forgot - a Weasel - in a dry stone wall was nice to see!

Jumble Hole

A pair of buzzards were over the house this morning, but one went west and one went east. Two swallows were feeding here yesterday.

Golden Balls

Passed the Golden Balls award on to Brian Leecy  Friday night for the drake Eider find at Todmorden on the 2nd of March.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Lower Gorple and Blake Dean area

Plenty of waders up towards Lower Gorple on the moor there including Lapwings, Redshank, Curlews, Oystercatchers, Snipe and 12 Golden Plover in one field earlier today when the fog lifted. The res'r is full to overflowing so not much chance of migrant waders. No sign of migrant Ring Ouzel either.
2 drake Tufted Duck
100+ Canada Geese and 1 Greylag Goose
2 Grey Partridge
3 Sand Martins through >NW
1 Wheatear
1 Stonechat
1 Reed Bunting
1 Kestrel
1 female Merlin straight through >NW
1 Grey Wagtail
30+ Pied Wagtails scattered about but not a sign of any White wag's
Lots of Meadow Pipits on territory and others on the move
6+ Skylark
2 Stock Dove
4 Black-headed Gulls looking really smart
2 L B B Gulls >W
Plenty Red Grouse
 Pied Wagtail on the move
 Lower Gorple

Clough Foot - Widdop Road

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Local patch

Walked my local patch around Mankinholes today and found 2 Swallows at Lee Dam - I think this is the earliest Swallow I've had in Calderdale. When I saw the first one it was in a tree so reckoned I'd got it wrong but then it flew off and voila - Swallow.

Also at Lee Dam were 2 Goldcrest, a Moorhen, 6 Teal and the usual Little Owl. 2 further Little Owls were at Mankinholes.

Back home 3 Linnet on the nyjer seeds were my first this year and a single Brambling was with the many other finches. The Redpoll flock visiting the garden has grown to over 20 birds now but it's hard to count them accurately as they are so active.


8 Whooper Swans there this afternoon and still there at 6pm. Earlier this afternoon 8 Goosander were with them and a drake Goldeneye on the Res'r as well. 1 Chiff-chaff singing
Many thanks to John for reporting them and the message passed on to us via BS.

2 of the 8 Whooper Swans in the gloom

Not quite Calderdale but......

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Meadow Pipit race ?

Meadow Pipit at Castle Carr Road on 19th March. In the field appeared a very bright peachy orange on the breast, remember talking to DJS about it at the time but thought nothing more of it until I saw Andys link to Icelandic Meadow Pipit. Any thoughts !

EGP 2nd april

Blackcap singing this evening + the drake Scaup now looking splendid, also 2 Great Crested Grebes and 3 Herring Gulls over. Interesting Andys link to Icelandic Meadow Pipit, reminds me of a bird I saw at Castle Carr on 19th March, will try to dig out the photos.

Icelandic Meadow Pipits...??

Another interesting article ,Interesting to note that the first Meadow Pipits I had at Northowram were noticeably pale. Then over the last weekend they were bright and bold in colouration.


Drake Scaup still on the fishing lake this tea time and two Great Crested Grebes.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Staups Moor

I stopped the car on the way back from school run this morning, on a road I think is called Eastwood Road, linking the top of Cross Stone Road and Kebs. So effectively looking out across the upper end of Staups Moor.

In just 5 minutes, I counted

- 3 displaying snipe, right above my head
- 32 meadow pipits
- 13 singing skylarks
- 16 red grouse (including some impressive looking males with very red eyebrows)
- 14 curlew
- 1 golden plover
- 21 lapwing, mostly paired up and displaying

And then I just stopped counting, and enjoyed the sounds and sights. I was never more than 2 feet from the side of my car. I can highly recommend this spot to anyone wanting a quick fix of easy, satisfying birding.

And what cracking habitat. We must continue to guard this and similar habitats against drainage, development and well meaning but entirely misplaced tree planting programmes.


Withens Clough etc.

I started off this morning checking some local Rookeries but the mist took some time to clear.
1 male Blackcap singing and seen at Luddenden Foot along with several Chiff-Chaff's alongside the river Calder and the railway line. Also Grey Wagtail and Great-spotted Woodpecker.

Withens Clough Res'r
4 Goldeneye (1 drake)
4 Goosander (1drake)
Lots of mipits on territory but little sign of any 'movers' and a scattering of Pied Wagtails. Also nearby were 4 Curlew and some Snipe were 'drumming'
6 Fieldfare in the plantation
3 unid large gulls over high >SE
1 BH Gull >W
Also a Chiff-chaff singing in the Res'r cottage shrubbery. By then the mist had cleared and the temperature rising nicely.

 Goldeneye - 1st winter male
Pied Wagtail

Res'r full to the brim !