Saturday, February 28, 2015

Around and about!

This afternoon
Bowers Mill - 2 Teal, 1 Grey Heron
Ringstone - 4 Shelduck
Ryburn - 1 Tufted Duck drake, 1 Moorhen and 2 Cormorant
Baitings - 1 G C Grebe
High Royd - 2 Coot, 2 Teal and several Grey Wagtail and 2 Jays
Tower Hill - c60 Common Gulls and 2 Golden Plover flyovers
Cold Edge - 1 Pink-footed Goose still with 2 Greylags away from the 150 Canada's, 2 Lapwing displaying and Golden Plover heard on the moor. 4 Goosander flyovers. 2 Kestrel and a Red Grouse.

Swalesmoor Crow Festival

                    Had a walk around Swalesmoor today and nothing
                    about apart from Crows, Crows & more Crows 100's of em oh and 1 Rook
                    and a couple of Magpies.
                                                            Couple of Chaffinch at bottom of Ringby Lane
                    and a few Great & Blue Tits down lane at back of Sportsman Inn not even a
                    sight of the usual Kestrel & Sparrowhawk.
                                                             In the Garden I had 5 Greenfinch which was nice to see
                    2 Chaffinch and 8 Goldfinch, 2 Blackbirds and 2 Collared Dove and a Kestrel
                    hovering in the back field.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Hartshead area

2 Buzzards overhead, dropping into the trees.
Kestrel hunting over the fields.
80 Redwings in one of the trees.
6 Fieldfares in a nearby tree.
Just one Yellowhammer calling - so far.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Jumble Hole

First house sparrow on the feeders so far this winter. A male turned up for all of about 30 seconds this morning. Not a common sighting here at all.

Then late morning, the first curlew of the spring flew over the house towards Erringden.

A cormorant was reported as being on the canal at Brierly 8:00am.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Garden sightings

Hello, just wanted to let everyone know about the birds visiting my garden over the past month or so.

I have feeders with Sunflower hearts and Nijer seed in.  Also scatter some on the floor for the blackbirds (which are my favourite) and sometimes put out old apples.  Costs me a fortune but worth it to see  all the lovely birds coming down for the food

Brambling - about 17 counted last week
Redpoll - 2
Song Thrush - not seen it for a while but there was a Thrush singing when I got home today so assuming its the same one
Blackbirds - about 15.  Get a lot this time of year but will soon be back down to the odd one or two
Goldfinch - more than I can count most days but guessing about 25
Chaffinch - about 8
Greenfinch - about 3
Goldcrest - seen briefly one morning before work
Starlings - there is a group of about 50 which hang about and sometimes come into the garden if I put bread down
Then I have a few House Sparrows ,Dunnock, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Robin, Wren, Also have Collared Dove & Woodpidgeon which are a bit of a nuisance scoffing all the food!

Havent seen any Siskin yet but I did have about 15 turn up about this time last year.

Un-scientific observations of my feeders

A few very un-scientific, un-empirical observations on my garden feeders nr Jumble Hole this winter. Feeders are peanuts, nyjer seed, mixed seed, and various fat balls, coconuts filled with fat etc.

- great spotted woodpecker: both m&f visit more or less every hour, whatever the weather. Hard to tell if it's the same two birds or not, although one was seen flying off the feeders, over the valley and lost sight of almost a mile away. Prefers the square shaped suet block.

- nuthatch: despite being very regular in recent years, and as numerous as ever in the woodland around (and often in the garden) I haven't had one single visit on the feeders this winter. There must be ample food about elsewhere.

- siskin: very regular flyover, but only one feeder visit from a female earlier in the winter. Also never had a redpoll on feeders, despite being around in the woods.

- goldfinch: stupidly, I didn't bother putting nyjer seed out until about a month ago, as there didn't seem to be goldfinches about. The day after I put the seed out, they arrived, and have been a more or less permanent fixture since

- greenfinch: a worrying one this. One of the commonest birds on the feeders in previous years, I saw my first a week ago. Been back twice since then, but that's it. Could be related to the virus that's being written about?

- chaffinch: common

- long tailed tits: due to the weather being relatively mild, I've seen less of these too. Also, they come in 2's and 3's, rather than 16-20 like in harder winters.

- great tits, blue tits and coal tits all regular, in descending order.

- likewise dunnock, robin and blackbird.

- goldcrest and treecreeper have both come in once
with tit flocks, and searched for insects around the feeders

(spot the gs woodpecker)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


A cold blustery day
Mixenden Res'r - just a female Goldeneye, One 3rd winter Herring Gull and an adult L B B Gull with the B H and Common Gulls and 10 Canada Geese

Cold Edge - c135 Canadas, 2 Greylag Geese (but no sign of the recent 'pinkie') 1 f Goldeneye, 1 male Tufted Duck and 23 Lapwings

Mount Tabor - I also checked the fields alongside the main road between Pellon and Mount Tabor where Nick has had the recent Skylarks in the freshly manured areas. I found c25 Skylark in one area which was giving a bit of shelter from the westerly wind. I checked through them carefully as there is always a chance of something different with them.

Ogden (from PS) - the Barnacle Goose was still there in the morning with 7 Canadas

Ringstone (from SB) - c150 Lapwing and c100 Golden Plover

Monday, February 23, 2015

Mealy Redpoll ???

Took these pics of a Redpoll at Roils Head this pm. There were 2 birds present, the other one was a very bright pink male. This one seems to show features of Mealy Redpoll, any thoughts welcome.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Highroad Well Moor

56 Golden Plovers with 10 Lapwing today, also at least 70 Skylarks still present.

Sunny Vale & Coach Road

At Sunny Vale yesterday - a Little Grebe, 2 Teal, 10 Moorhen.
And over Coach Road - a Buzzard being mobbed by Crows,heading towards Bailiff Bridge at speed.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Fly Flatts

Freezing cold up there this morning along with a light covering of fresh overnight snow.
70+ Canada's was the best I could do on the Res'r and 4 Mallard.

Cold Edge
74 Canada's and 2 Kestrels

Friday, February 20, 2015

Wheatley Valley

Coming back from the 'chippy' ! at tea time just on dark - a Tawny Owl flew across right in front of the car heading towards the tree belt on former landfill site - first sighting this year.

In Lee Mount up to 2 Grey Wagtails have been around daily in the last 2 weeks with a pair of Nuthatches still visiting the garden feeder and also a report of another 2 Nuthatch visiting garden feeders at Cragg Lane towards Mixenden.

20th Feb

150+ Redwings at Tower Hill Norton Tower and at least 70 Skylarks now at nearby High Road Well Moor.

Mixenden and Fly Flatts

First thing, just a 1st winter Goldeneye on Mixenden.

Fly Flatts was much more productive despite 1c and a freezing cold westerly! Getting soft - scope out of the car window!!
1 f Goldeneye
2 Tufted Duck
4 Mallard
c60 Canada Geese with a few pairs already on territory!
2 Curlew came in from the west to rest by the res'r
3 Lapwing
2 Skylark >N
Plenty Red Grouse

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Mixenden and Ogden

Poor conditions in the pouring rain this morning - very few birds about !
Mixenden Res'r
6 Goosander (2 drakes)
1 Goldeneye looked like a 1st winter male
2 L B B Gull adults and a few smaller gulls

c100 Mallard and little else other than a solitary Song Thrush and c20 Goldfinch chattering in the top of a pine

Highroad Well Moor

30+ Skylarks yesterday feeding in the Muck Spread at Mount Tabor.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Shibden Valley from Pepper Hill

We walked along Hag Lane, at the back of the ski-slope, this afternoon but couldn't find a lot, just enough to keep us interested. The view from up there is really good whether looking East or West.
1 Little Owl
1 Kestrel
1 Sparrowhawk
c35 Redwing
c30 Starlings
c80 Jackdaws
1 Jay
c20 Chaffinch in the beech woodland but no Brambling with them
At least 2 Mute Swans on Shibden Park lake viewed from Pepper Hill.
No sign of any gulls moving today

Recent news

Ringstone - up to 100 Golden Plover and 150 Lapwings on and off in the last few days though Golden Plover down to c40 this morning.  Everything went up this morning when a female Sparrowhawk came through and stayed in the willows in the edge of the Res'r.

Yesterday at Gorple - a Woodcock at dusk and a Grey Partridge calling.
A number of Chaff's heading up the valley at Blake Dean late afternoon and at least 6 Stock Doves and 14 Lapwings.

At least 15 Twite at Rishworth recently. We are hoping for some at Fly Flatts this year after last year when none were reported!
2 Siskin and 2 Nuthatch on garden feeders at Lee Mount today.

Monday, February 16, 2015


Edge Lane, Colden, Saturday. Buzzard flew south. 5 fieldfare with c.150 starling. 2 red grouse were calling from the moor.

Jumble Hole, Sunday. Scanning with binoculars from the garden, I was pleased to see a common buzzard on a fence post in the distance. It eventually took off, being harassed by corvids. A total of 190 herring gulls flew NE in the morning. A goldcrest joined a tit flock on the feeders, though obviously looking around for invertebrates.

Swales Moor

Top - Stonechat
Lower -Group of Herring Gulls
Late morning
A male Stonechat was a nice surprise along Ringby Lane along with 2 Skylarks and 12 Meadow Pipits
c40 Herring Gulls and 5 L B B Gulls went >NW in small groups along the ridge
c80 Carrion Crows in a freshly manured field along with c40 Jackdaws, 20+ Magpies,2 Pied Wagtail and c40 Common Gulls
6 Stock Doves
1 Kestrel


Very little reported over the weekend. We could do with some clear weather and fog clearing from the tops!
Mixenden this morning but still hill fog above 800ft. Just a pair of Goosander and 12 Mallard and the usual small gulls checked carefully!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

First post from Highroad Well

I've been enjoying following the Calderdale Birds blog for some time and am now looking forward to contributing. I'm based around Highroad Well so can keep you all posted on birds in my area.
Vicki J

Friday, February 13, 2015

Mixenden Res'r and Cold Edge

Mixenden Res'r
1 Great Crested Grebe
A pair of Kestrels

Balkram Edge
1 Little Owl

Cold Edge
The Pink-footed Goose is still there with 7 Greylags and 53 Canadas - in the fields near the lower pond
2 f Goldeneye on the lower dam and 3 Tufted Duck
15 Fieldfare nearby
Several Red Grouse

There is also a single Pink-footed Goose at Scammonden Dam with c100 Canadas (Steve L)

13th Feb

c100 Redwings at Norton Tower and 87 Lapwings at Mount Tabor. No sign of the Mealy Redpolls at nearby Roils Head though.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pink-footed Goose

It's unusual to find a 'pinkie' on the ground in Calderdale (but its still great to see the skeins flying over) but this is the one at Cold edge found the other day by Alan T. Still there today.



Just posting some photo's from Nick - seen this afternoon at Roils Head.
Trying to ascertain whether they are Lesser Redpoll (Carduelis ssp. cabaret) or Mealy Redpoll (Carduelis flammea) or perhaps some of each?
Difficulties posting photos so might have to put them on separate postings ??

Lesser Pecker

It was heard clearly drumming in trees next to the main path at Coach Road. But it never managed to reveal a good view of itself !
About 100 metres further up the track from most of last year's sightings.
Also a male and female G S Pecker were noisily chasing through the trees nearby.
Hope this is the first of a few more posts !

12th Feb

Roils Head, 7 Redpoll, a few of them may be mealys ?? (Still can not post photos). 6 Skylarks at Tower Hill and 12 at High Road Well Moor.

Today's news

From Pete G - Oystercatcher at Baitings Res'r and a Shelduck at Ringstone Res'r.

Cold Edge - the Pink Footed Goose still there with 53 Canada's and 7 Greylag Geese. Also a f Goldeneye on the lower dam and 10 Lapwings nearby
1 G C Grebe on Mixenden Res'r

Hove Edge area from Mike St. A Common Buzzard over this afternoon and earlier today a L Sp Woodpecker drumming nearby.

From Alan T - 2 Mute Swans at Cromwell Bottom. One on the canal and the other on the ski-lake

From GWH - A pair of Goldeneye on the  River Calder at Cromwell Bottom today just above the wier. Could be worth checking tomorrow.


From Mike St
Hartshead area am.
Buzzard, 2 Kestrels, Yellowhammer (at last), 3 Pied Wagtails, Pheasant, Song Thrush, GS Pecker, 300+ Woodpigeons.
EGP pm.
River - 3 Little Grebes together, 4 Goosanders.
Lake - 2 Little Grebes together, 4 Tufties, 4 Goosanders, but no sign of Gadwalls.
Canal - juv Mute Swan with yellow tag 106: it appears to be the same bird that was on the river at Colnebridge last year.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Well done Nick. A great idea, let's hope for some success!


We installed 2 baskets today for LEO's in a small area of local woodland.

Ogden etc

I make it 119 Pink-footed Geese - right overhead at Ogden Res'r heading towards Cold Edge at  around 10:35.
Thanks to BS for the alert - I owe you !!
Nothing else much there and yesterdays 3 Wigeon had gone.
Just a G C Grebe on Mixenden and a female Goosander
Earlier c200 'pinks' went over Brighouse >NW at 10:00 (DF)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Hebden Bridge and Hardcastle Crags

Start at the cafe and end up at the cafe was a good move for us today!!
We walked up from Hebden Bridge to the crags ie. Gibson Mill and return but birds were scarce.
1 GreenWoodpecker
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
2+ Nuthatch
Surprisingly only 1 Dipper, in the top pond at Gibson Mill
Blue, Great, Coal and some L T Tits and a Treecreeper.
A pair of Kestrels, one carrying long grass looked like nesting material though there is a possibility it had caught a vole with the grass and was being closely followed by the male?
Not a lot else but an enjoyable walk.
Grey Herons already on territories
No reports of 'pinkies' yet today.

Other news today

Just a pair of Goosander at Mixenden this morning.
From Steve L - 3 Gadwall at Cromwell Bottom ski lake as well this morning. 2 drakes and a female. Gadwall is always a good find for Calderdale!

From Ogden this afternoon - 3 Wigeon from John I.

Wainstalls - Cold Edge from Alan T this afternoon a Pink-footed Goose in with a few Canada's and Greylags.
7 Golden Plover at Ringstone Edge

Monday, February 09, 2015

Other news today

From NK - 2 Great Crested Grebes at Mixenden still and a pair of Goosander this afternoon and a nice early Oystercatcher. A flock of Pink-footed Geese were also heard over Mixenden plantation but not seen at 15:30. Though Nick D had a flock of 70 about the same time heading >W so were probably the same skein (?)

Another flock of Pink-feet also went over Lee Mount heard at 20:40 >W but not seen in the dark.
More tomorrow with a bit of luck.!!


Late morning
Lots of Coal Tits (maybe 20+) feeding with other tits in one area of woodland near the 'Giant's Tooth' along with a single Goldcrest, a Nuthatch and a Treecreeper
1 Sparrowhawk over
1 Cormorant on the water
12 Canada Geese
c80 Mallard
c80 B H Gulls and a few Common Gulls in with them
A call from BS alerting of a big skein of 'Pinkies' over Queensbury around 12:30 - we just managed to see them in the distance heading towards Thornton Moor though they changed direction >N against a big bank of cloud over the moor. I got some poor distant photo's but they were just good enough to get a close count of c215. Thanks bri we would have missed them without your call. !!

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Other news today

Some Bramblings still about at Krumlin along with some Redwings (GS)

2 lots of Pink-footed Geese 57 and 45 >W seen from Northowram around 09:00 (AC)

1 Jack Snipe disturbed at Widdop Reservoir this afternoon nearly got trodden on ! (SB)

Luddenden Dean and Castle Carr Road

This afternoon - the mist came in with a vengeance after a bright start to the day
1 Green Woodpecker
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Kestrel
8 Grey Partridge
2 pairs of Little Owls in the usual territories ( I couldn't find the other resident pair in the mist)
2 Jays
2 Goldcrest
1 Wren
1 Dipper in the stream by the 'Cati' pub

Near 'The Lowe' on the feeders it was amazing to see so many birds fighting for a place to feed 30+Blue, 30+Great and 10+Coal Tits, 1 Nuthatch, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, c15 L T Tits and several Bullfinch, Chaff's and Goldfinch.

Withers clough

Thick fog and heavy wind this afternoon, the house by the res has put up some feeders in the bushes which us attracting 3 reed buntings 

3 goldeneye (1m 2 f) and 3 gooseander (1m 2f) on the res which is mostly iced over 
A few red grouse calling from the moor 

A large finch flock over the hinchcliffe looked to be Siskin, also 2 raven over Mytholmroyd this morning and dipper displaying near hebden 

Saturday, February 07, 2015


C100 Brambling in the trees on Scammonden Road Krumlin this morning.SL

Jumble Hole

I looked out this morning to see what at first I was convinced was several very large flocks of geese, each in a neat 'V' formation flying east down the valley towards Hebden. I grabbed the binoculars and discovered they were actually 'long winged' gulls (too far away to get a definitive ID - what is most likely?). There was a procession of 15 flocks in total, and a total number of over 900 birds by the time they'd stopped.

At dusk, I got a new tick for the garden as a grey partridge flew past and landed in a field next to the house.

Mixenden Res'r and Fly Flatts

Just 2 G C Grebes ar Mixenden this morning.

Fly Flatts - walked on as the road was closed due to the ice.
A struggle to find anything other than 22 Mallard on the ice. 1 Carrion Crow, a B H Gull and lots of Red Grouse on the moor.

Friday, February 06, 2015

High Brown Knoll

I had a walk up there yesterday afternoon in the hope of perhaps Snow Bunting ! No success on that score but some very good habitat for them. Just lots of Red Grouse, 1 adult Herring Gull flyover>W and 9 Common Gulls >E.

It was good for walking on the top with soft snow on the surface and the ground underneath frozen so there were no bogs! Fantastic views all round. Not sure if I can get any photos on, though might try later.
It's worth a try up there in May for Dotterel !!

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Mixenden Res'r

No sign of the diver - as expected!
Just a G C Grebe this morning but this is definately a different bird from Tuesday. This one is in breeding plumage whereas Tuesdays bird was in winter plumage.
1 Kestrel doing a display flight over the plantation
20+ Magpies
That was about it but who knows what might turn up in these bitterly cold conditions?!
Another juv G C Grebe from Alan T turned up at Mixenden during the day and both still there this morning Fri 6th Feb

Other news

An update on Withens Clough from Nigel G
Thursday 29 January (the day of blizzards)  1 male and 2 female Goldeneye.
Sunday 1 February (sunny) 2 males and 3 female Goldeneye . Both males were doing courtship displays. Also one male and female goosander staying close to the Goldeneye.

Also saw a male and female goosander on 29 January on the canal half way  between Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge.

Brighouse area

From Mike St.
The Merrie England cafe (the outdoor seating area) has attracted a Grey Wagtail - seen boldly wandering between the tables, no doubt tempted by their fine range of sandwiches !
Not much else in the area, though a Great Crested Grebe was seen on the river from the car - just upstream from the town centre.
Three Mistle Thrushes, three Nuthatches and a Goldcrest were the best sightings at Coach Road.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Mixenden Res'r

G N Diver  - No sign of it today as I checked at 09:00 and still not there 13:30. If it's gone for good then with Pete's sighting yesterday it had been there exactly 7 weeks from December 15th.
A new arrival today with a G C Grebe and a Little Grebe still there and 12 Canada Geese.
1 male Sparrowhawk through the plantation.

Monday, February 02, 2015

1st Feb

Mixenden Res'r

G N Diver still present this morning, from PS.