Thursday, July 31, 2014

Birders Against Wildlife Crime

Some interesting initiatives going on here

Check out the Hen Harrier Day stuff.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Swales Moor

I had an hour up there late afternoon but it was windy W F4 on the top
1 Skylark
1 Wheatear
c15 Meadow Pipits and some still feeding young
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Kestrel
10+ Linnets
6+ Goldfinch
2 Stock Doves
1 House Martin along with c20 Swallows and 10+ Swifts >N
usual corvids


We checked the res'r and plantation briefly this morning but didn't find a lot
A few Willow Warblers and a Chiff-Chaff calling
At least 2 juv Song Thrushes just out of the nest by the look of it
2 Cormorants
2 Meadow Pipits still feeding young near the 'Giants Tooth'
Nothing odd among the  60 B H Gulls, c12 Common Gulls and 3 LB B Gulls

Withens clough

Very windy even the swifts struggled. Lots of birds in the bracken near the wood

5 whinchats
6 stonechats
4 reed bunting
3 swallows
2 swifts
1 linnet
25+ finches flew into Sunderland pasture 

Ringstone Res'r

Drake Common Scoter at Ringstone this morning plus a mass of birds - mainly gulls and corvids nearby where farmer is cutting fields.  SL and TM.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


This is the best I could get of 20 or so in the fading light tonight as the Swifts charged about screaming. There were about 40+ sprea about and are fantastic to watch - making the most of them before they head off in the next 2 weeks to Africa.

Tawny Owl - In Warehouse

This Tawny Owl has been in the warehouse at work at Holmfield for the last 2 days.  I have been assured that it has gone out but returned and the warehouse door is left open 6am - 10pm.  I was a bit disappointed because they had told me it was Barn Owl until I saw it.

Fly Flatts

A quick visit early evening, but no  waders of note.
1 Common Sandpiper
20 Lapwings
1 Barnacle Goose still with c60 Canada Geese
4 Kestrels - 3 hunting close together were probably siblings (?)
Unusual for this site were 100+ Woodpigeons on the moor - on the billbery bushes !


A Lesser Whitethroat seen there this morning (SL and TM) in the willows near the north shore from the road - a scope job though! I think this is the first 'Lesser' reported in Calderdale this year (?) Also a Common Whitethroat there as well.
Plenty of shoreline - lets hope it stays for some returning migrant waders.

Monday, July 28, 2014


A quick check on the way home this evening
3 L R Plovers (2 juveniles)
c20 Lapwings
6 L B  B Gulls
5 Common Gulls
25 B H Gulls
Not much else other than a good number of mainly juvenile Pied Wagtails coming in to roost

Fly Flatts

This afternoon with Nick D but there was very little about, though the amount of shoreline is extending, which is looking good for some returning waders.
Unfortunately a probable Godwit had gone from this morning (NK)
1 Wheatear
4+ Common Sandpipers
c20 Lapwings
1 juvenile Curlew
c4 Kestrels
3 L B B Gulls
2 B H Gulls

Friday, July 25, 2014

Reminder !

Geoff Smith from the bird group will be down at Cromwell Bottom, bird feeding station or if raining in the car park, between 11am and 12 noon this Saturday 26th July if anyone would like to purchase a combined 2011/2012 report from him.£6.50 per copy (please have the correct change if possible) - a good interesting and informative reference.
Cash preferred OR a cheque made payable to C B C G (Calderdale Bird Conservation Group)

Lee Mount and Wheatley Valley

What sounded like a juvenile Tawny Owl was calling in Shroggs Park at 9:30 this evening. Later on towards 11 pm a male was singing in Wheatley Valley with the sound carrying a long way on the still evening. Great to hear them setting up / claiming territory.


No sign of the Yellow-legged Herring Gull this morning and the female Common Scoter though still present yesterday evening, had gone as well. Just a Cormorant there today.

Nearby at Upper Brockholes the white (not albino) Carrion Crow is still around after ? how many years??

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bird Reort update

The 2011 -12 bird report is now also available at Flying Saucers Hebden Bridge price £6.50.


Grapeviners !!! Please text me if you haven't received any texts in the last few days just in case I have got your number wrong in the new phone - like I did with BS (oops sorry Bri.)

Just a reminder that Brian Sumner is now sharing the texting with me so you can ring or send messages to both myself or Brian for sending out.

Thanks to everyone so far for the Grapevine funds received

Fly Flatts

Called at Hebden Bridge with Nick D this afternoon to drop off some Bird Reports for Matt at 'Flying Saucers' near the cinema. If anyone wants a report then call in (£6.50 per copy which is a 2 year report for 2011 and 2012 and well worth a read.

We called then at Fly Flatts but there were no migrant waders there yet though plenty shoreline showing.
1 Sand Martin >E
2 Common Sandpipers
1 Redshank
A few Lapwings
Canada's are down to about 100 now the moult is over and many have moved on
1 Wheatear
1 L B B Gull
At least 3 Kestrels


This morning I had a short walk up from the golf course to the Res'r and back. Though I hadn't planned on checking the Res'r until the number of butterflies spurred me on!
I'm glad it did check as a Yellow-legged Herring Gull was on the buoy until a Cormorant moved it on. Then I lost the gull so maybe it headed off towards Thornton Moor Res'r.
Also another bonus with a female Common Scoter out in the middle.

Yellow-legged Gull


No time for a woodland check though I did find a female Blackcap and a juvenile Whitethroat near the golf course.
16 Mistle Thrush were feeding in billberry bushes with around 30 Woodpigeons.

Butterflies were amazing with c30 Common Blues in one area, a Comma, several Ringlets, Meadow Browns and Small Skippers and Small T T'shell and Small Heaths as well as G V and Small Whites.
Very enjoyable and rewarding walk.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Other news

Can't catch up this week on the blog - just a few bits and pieces from the last few days.

Little Egret at Cromwell Bottom last Saturday 19th July (AW et al) - we dont get many of these locally though there are plenty in the country. Always a nice bird to find.

Ringstone Res'r - 7 Cormorants and c100 Lapwings on Monday evening 21st July

Norland Moor (Tuesday 22nd) - it was really good to have a wander round this site with Allan, a former very good school friend especially as we had not met up or been in contact since around 1962/63 or thereabouts, so we had a bit of catching up to do !
Not a lot on the moor in the heat of the day though the habitat is wonderful and it was good to see butterflys on the wing.
A few Meadow Pipits
1 Willow Warbler
2 Linnet
A few Swallows around as well

Ovenden Moor doing a butterfly survey (Tuesday 22nd)
1 Lapwing near the wind farm with a large (nearly flying) chick
1 Reed Bunting
1 Kestrel
1 juvenile Wheatear

Luddenden Dean today
1 Peregrine over this afternoon heading >S mobbed by 2 juvenile Kestrels

Lee Mount
A really good gathering of Swifts the last 2 evenings between 8 and 9 pm with up to 50 birds - fantastic to watch as they swarmed around screaming and chasing about. I guess there are a good number of juveniles with them making all the noise. Is anyone else getting concentrations like this in the evenings ?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bird Reports

Geoff Smith from the bird group will be down at Cromwell Bottom, bird feeding station or if raining in the car park, between 11am and 12 noon this Saturday 26th July if anyone would like to purchase a combined 2011/2012 report from him.
£6.50 per copy (please have the correct change if possible) - a good interesting and informative reference.
Cash preferred OR a cheque made payable to C B C G (Calderdale Bird Conservation Group)

Unfotunately no-one purchased any last Sunday morning so we hope for more luck this time round. Many thanks to Geoff.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Osprey - Jumble Hole

Finally saw a long anticipated osprey past Jumble Hole at 10:43am. I initially saw the large winged bird from my bedroom window, flying at a reasonably low level (below Stoodley Pike) east towards the edge of Erringden Moor. My first thought was that it was most likely one of the large gulls that have been on the move down the valley in the passed few days, but I quickly realised that wasn't the case.

I then did the familiar "WHERE'S MY BINS?!!!!" and ran outside to catch up with it passing opposite the house, still at a low level. Osprey! Its flight was purposeful, doing that slight 'swimming action', in fact it never glided in the c.2 minutes I was watching it. As it reached Hebden Bridge, it turned slightly left up towards the Robin Hood at Pecket Well, then on towards Cock Hill/ Fly Flatts?


Saturday, July 19, 2014


4 ravens over the house at around 8 o clock heading towards cragg vale also a Sparrowhawk earlier and the first chiffchaff in the garden

Friday, July 18, 2014

Booth Wood Res'r

As we were passing early evening 13 Cormorants were there roosting but they had all gone except one an hour and a half later.

Fly Flatts

I gave it a try this afternoon thinking the conditions might not be favourable in that strong Easterly. It was unusually calm given the protection of Ovenden Moor and Nab Hill though the surrounding moorland was misty. so not good for 'scanning'
1 Barnacle Goose still there, though it can be elusive hidden away in the juncus an the east side of the res'r
c100 Canada Geese (mainly those with juveniles) - the rest have moved on
c40 Lapwings resting on the shoreline banking
Lots of mipits about
2 Redshank
1+ Common Sandpiper
1 adult Herrring Gull and 6 L B B Gulls >NE towards Thornton Moor Res'r
No Swifts or Hirundines this afternoon

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lee Mount

Just had a flock of around 70 gulls circling over Shroggs Park at 7pm - all fly catching fairly high up.
Mostly Black- headed Gulls with around 3+ Common Gulls and c6 L B B Gulls. I got the bins on them to check for a Med Gull - just about the right time for them. No luck this time!
Max of 6 Swifts today, that's all.

Calderdale Bird Reports

Geoff Smith from the bird group will be down at Cromwell Bottom, bird feeding station or if raining in the car park, between 11am and 12 noon this Sunday 20th July if anyone would like to purchase a combined 2011/2012 report from him.

£6.50 per copy (please have the correct change if possible) - a good interesting and informative reference.
Cash preferred OR a cheque made payable to C B C G (Calderdale Bird Conservation Group)

Well done to Nick D for collating the records and putting it together so well. Thanks to Geoff for making these available on site (unless it's pouring down !.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

15th July

Me and DF finaly caught up with a Hobby last night, putting us both on 131 for the year same has DJS.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


We set off from Mixenden Res'r, over Hunter Hill to Fly Flatts then along the catchwater drain to High Brown Knoll and over Limers Gate to Crimsworth Dean and back to Hebden Bridge - a fair walk, but it was perfect conditions for walking though we had hardly any birds of real note.

Plenty of Swifts feeding high today all over the place along with a scattering of Swallows

1 female duck with 3 chicks on Mixenden Res'r looked perfect for a Shoveler (given the size and shape of the bill) but it didn't seem to add up - must get back there with the scope and for a photo - perhaps a hybrid ?
1 Moorhen there as well was a bit unusual along with a G C Grebe

Hunter Hill - c30 House Martins feeding over newly cut fieldsWithens Head - 2 juvenile WheatearFly Flatts - nothing out of the ordinary except for 1 juv Wheatear and a lingering Curlew

High Brown Knoll - 1 Red Grouse but little else - other than the spectacular scenery!

Crimsworth Dean - 1 Sparrowhawk was the only raptor seen all day and a Gt Spotted Woodpecker flyover

Ringstone Res'r this evening
1 Little Ringed Plover
1 Ringed Plover
c40 Lapwings
25 B H Gulls
3 Common Gulls
7 L B B Gulls

Booth Wood Res'r
6 Cormorants

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fly Flatts

This afternoon the wind was quite strong >SW  with light rain threatening so I ended up scoping the res'r and the moor from the shelter of the car - which was quite productive !

168 Swifts >SW between 2 and 3 pm over Nab Hill towards Midgley Moor/Luddenden Dean. Some of the birds were very high and others skirting the moor but all travelling at speed - amazing birds to watch.
40+ Lapwings on the res'r banking
1 Common Sandpiper
1 Curlew
3 B H Gulls >SW
1 L B B Gull >W
c100 Canada Geese (I wonder where the other 200 went from last week!!?) though some were flying about so maybe they have moved on - lets see what the next few days brings
1 Barnacle Goose still there
2 Kestrels
1 male Stonechat

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Ogden Common Scoter

             Distant shot of todays  Common Scoter, Ogden. Why do they always stay out in the middle?

Withens Clough and Staups Moor

Withens Clough: A tree pipit in semi-song was a pleasant surprise, having not seen one up here for a year or two.  Also, male stonechat, willow warbler contact calling in the bracken and several linnets. 
Staups Moor: Four grey partridge, a red grouse and a curlew further over towards the Cross Stones turning.

Regards, Chris

Common Scoters

This last week - unusually for sea ducks, they often turn up in our area in mid-summer so these are right on queue!
2 on Tuesday 8th July at Whiteholme Res'r near Blackstone Edge (PGr et al)
1 drake on Ogden Water this morning and still there at 17:00 (via BS)
1 also reported nearby at Leeshaw Res'r this morning (via BS)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Halifax Grapevine Subscribers.

DJS and myself  BS  have been working on a back up for the Halifax grapevine with the hopefully busy season approaching and DJSs holidays etc so as from tomorrow, Sunday 13th I will be backing Dave when he is not available or in an area with no signal, as happened the other day with the Gt Northern Diver when Dave was down Luddenden Dean with no communication.
The system will work just the same texting DJS unless instructed by DJS to send reports to me or if you have difficulty getting hold of Dave use my number instead which is   07771 705 024.
I have now all the subscribers numbers on my phone so the word will get round just the same.
Any sightings from myself will be sent to you all from my phone so don,t wonder where its come from.

We,ve had a load on numbers to re write and pass on between us so if you think you,re not getting texted let Dave or me know and we,ll sort it.  
Subscriptions, memberships etc is still in the hands of DJS and he will pass on new members or drop outs to me.
Brian Sumner,   BS

12th July

A walk along Cstle Carr Road produced a juvenile Redstart feeding in a garden was a bit of a surprise.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fly Flatts

No sign of the G N Diver this afternoon.
It's worth checking other local reservoirs over this weekend, who knows it might be nearby. ?

Other news

These long daylight hours with fine weather are great for birding and outside jobs etc but not good for keeping up with the blog and record keeping. Oh and the World Cup to watch as well. So have spent this morning getting up to date with Bird Track records and other records !... though I'd rather be out.

A few juvenile Wheatears have been coming back to our area this week (1 at Whiteholme, and up to 3 together at Withens Head) though we don't seem to get any breeding records locally these days - if anyone does have some then please let myself or Nick D know.

No sign of any Twite at Fly Flatts feeding station this year yet though we are putting Nyger seed down in then hope of some autumn birds. It's a shame Yorkshire Water have closed off our usual route to the site after all these years!
A rapid and sad decline with Twite in this area in the last few years despite the efforts of the RSPB and local volunteers.

Very few sites with any shoreline for migrant waders at the moment though some mud now at Fly Flatts and Ringstone. Whiteholme, Lighthazzles and Withens Clough are all to the top and these used to be some of our best sites for waders.

Looking forward to some autumn migrants already !

If anyone gets chance , have a look at Daniels Blog - (there is a link on this site to Dishfish birding blog) - his comments and enthusiasm have encouraged me recently so it would be good for others to keep up with his progress. He is now at Spurn doing some wardening.

Withens Clough Res'r, Cragg Vale
Fly Flatts (Warley Moor)
Golden Plover at Withens Head this week looks like a 'fading' Northern bird

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Great Northen at Fly Flats yesterday


Yesterdays Swift at Pellon, returned to nest by DJS lets hope it gets away OK.


Does anyone have an opinion on either of these pairs of bins?

Fly Flatts

Great Northern Diver still there this morning 07:00 (Steve L) and still present this afternoon till at least 16:30.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014


A first for Nick and me tonight with a young Swift in the hand - an amazingly beautiful bird.

Nick was passing the site where Swifts breed and some residents had a young Swift come out of the nest in the eaves a day or two early. Despite several attempts to get the bird airborne it just fluttered to the ground.

We thought, it's best back in the nest, so the owner borrowed a ladder and we got the juv back into what appeared to be the nest site. It scrambled in screeching, with a dozen or so adult birds flying around the site. Hopefully it will be out safely next time and flying soon.

Once out it will hopefully feed up for a constant life on the wing, travel to Africa for 2 winters then back in 2 years before reaching breeding age - then it will land again!!!
Nick has taken some shots so we hope to get them on later.

Fly Flatts

A brilliant find this afternoon by NK with a Great Northern Diver on the res'r seen at around 12:50 at the Oxenhope end and still present at 17:00.

It looks like this could be the long staying bird from Sands Lane, Mirefield which, we hear, left that site >NNW earlier today.
Hopefully some better photo's to follow !


Monday, July 07, 2014

Fly Flatts

This afternoon  - looked like rain but itcame out with  nice warm sunshine
2 Dunlin (1 juvenile)
1 Little Ringed Plover flew off towards Cold Edge
4 Lapwing
c12 Common Sandpipers including 2 quite small juveniles just about flying
3 Redshank
300+ Canada Geese
2 Greylag Geese but couldn't find the Barnacle Goose today but its probably still there
2 Kestrel
c30 Swifts
1 L B B Gull over >NW
1 Red-legged Partridge with c8 very small chicks - nearly trod on one!
Some nice shorleine to hopefully draw in some migrant waders!

Put a load of seed down for the Twite but not a sign of any yet - just hope we can draw in a few this autumn.

Fledged birds, Jumble Hole

The whitethroat is still in full song in and around the garden, so I had though he hadn't found a mate. Then a newly fledged bird appeared over the weekend. So it obviously had, but was possibly advertising for another!
A green woodpecker was feeding one young on top of a telegraph pole this morning.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Short-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl hunting at 17.00 on Staups Moor today.

Booth Wood Res'r and Ringstone Res'r

Booth Wood this morning
3 Cormorant
1 Kestrel
1 Oystercatcher

Ringstone with DF early afternoon. A strong W wind made scoping tricky
At least 2 Little Ringed Plover
1 Ringed Plover
1+ Common Sandpiper
1 Dunlin
40+ Lapwing
1 G C Grebe
1 Tufted Duck drake
1 juv Grey Heron
Several gulls coming and going including 30+ B H Gulls, c12 Common Gulls and a L B B Gull
A lot of corvids in the fields after the slurry tank spreading including a lot of Rooks there with juveniles.
3 Skylark
Goldfinch, Linnets and Pied Wagtails along with an occasional Swift, Swallow and a House Martin.
A Common Buzzard over but distant

Thursday, July 03, 2014


Tonight - though the wind was strong from >SW making scoping difficult
At least 2 Little Ringed Plovers and at least 1 Ringed Plover were present on the shoreline though there could have been  one or two more of either sp...?
Several Lapwings on the shore and a number of Pied Wagtails
2 Cormorant - 1 adult and one probably 1st summer
6 adult L B B Gulls including one with a very dark mantle - probably intermedius
2 Herring Gull types (possible Y L Gull/s) but they were hunckering down with heads tucked in so it was impossible to get positive identification. Also a few B H Gulls and one of this years juveniles.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Fly Flatts

This afternoon
2 Little Ringed Plover on the mud which is slowly increasing with the dry weather
8+ Common Sandpiper
4 Redshank
4 Lapwings
1 Curlew heard on the moor
1 juvenile returning Wheatear along the top road
1 male Stonechat
Several Red Grouse
1 Kestrel
No sign of any gulls at all
Also it was good to meet up and have a chat with some BOG members BV and K and V M - such a lovely day up there today - and to make the most of it as it soon changes up there !!

Yesterday !

Pair of G C Grebes
1 Commic Tern mid morning flew off >S ( BH )
1 Hobby also over near Ogden mid morning. (NK) and a Yellow-legged Gull at Fly Flatts late morning.

We did Fly Flatts mid afternoon - the Y L Gull had moved on unfortunately.
1 Barnacle Goose still there with 300+ Canada Geese
Usual waders around including c 12 Common Sandpipers and 1 large juv Redshank
1 Kestrel
1 Grey Wagtail
1 distant Common Buzzard
1 male Stonechat looking really good
Plenty of mipits still feeding young