Monday, June 29, 2015

Pied flycatcher

Over two weeks ago a female pied flycatcher was seen around a nest box in a large Calderdale woodland. I went down to see it at the time, and the bird was returning to the box every 10-15 minutes, but only for seconds at a time. The box is not one of CBCG's and the hole is at the bottom of the front of the box, rather than the top. As a result you could see straight in. A quick look revealed 6 eggs. Tonight, I checked again, and the same 6 eggs are still there, with no sign of the female. I'm hoping she maybe found a better more secure box to start a new nest in? Though that may be wishful thinking.

In better news, a pair of blackcap were feeding well grown young.

Back at Jumble Hole, there are two singing whitethroat in close proximity, with one taking up residence in the garden. Notable by their absence this year are woodcock, for the first year in the last 12 I've been up here.

Ogden Garden

A lesser redpoll was on the garden feeder this evening

Friday, June 26, 2015

Thursday AM

Cormorant at Hardcastle Craggs on the dam at Gibson Mill and on Hebden Water.

Fly Flatts

Nothing extra last 2 days other than usual waders with plenty Snipe 'drumming' this morning and Dunlin and Golden Plover on the moor.
1 Barnacle Goose still with 290+ Canada's and 1 Greylag Goose with 4 chicks

A bit of  a shock came when 11 large corvids went >SE - Rooks - they are a surprise bird up there, looking more like Ravens than Carrion Crows do - but when you see birds out of the usual context it's always worth a double check !
Alsoa surprise bird Blackbirds nesting up there !

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Lapwing behaviour

Hartshead area - in the same field, two pairs of Lapwings have nested.
Today one adult was guarding one wandering youngster, and three adults were
keeping an eye on four more.
A fox got to within a few yards of the larger group, but was eventually driven
off by the adult birds. Lets hope the Buzzards get the same treatment.
Sad news about another long-serving birder; Les Midgley died recently - many
people will have come across him walking the stretch of towpath between Brighouse
and Cromwell Bottom over the years. He was extremely knowledgable, but very
modest about anything rare or unusual that he'd found. He was a real gent.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Ploughcroft and Pepper Hill

Great Spotted Woodpecker
Pair of Kestrels with the male doing his display flight
Male Sparrowhawk
1 Black-headed Gull >N
2 L B B Gulls
3 Skylark
1 Meadow Pipit
Plenty Swifts and Swallows and 2 House Martins

Lee Mount

Half hour gems !
Sun warming up and thermals rising across dinner time - garden watch time..
1 Common Buzzard high over >W at 12:30
Male Sparrowhawk over >SE carrying prey towards Shroggs Road around 12:45
Adult Hobby over just before 13:00 catching insects then drifted off high >NE
That's what I call a good lunch!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Soil Hill

Nice to be back home and back on Soil Hill, and what better way to mark the return than with an absolute patch Mega! Nuthatch! Caught about 30 seconds with it in the group of small trees just opposite the main track, before it vanished back into the trees!
Also on Site were 
-Carrion Crow (8)
-Meadow Pipit
-Linnet (10)
-Blackbird (5)
-Dunnock (2)
-Chaffinch (3)
-Goldcrest (2)
-Coal Tit (2)
-Swallow (1)
-Feral Pigeon
-Swift (14)
-Lesser Black-Backed Gull (2)
-Moorhen (2)
-Kestrel (1)
-Magpie (1)
-Great Tit (1)
-Pied Wagtail (1)

Fly Flatts

2 hrs or so there this morning in very calm condition though overcast.
Not a lot to add to yesterday as bird were much the same except the Ringed Plover had definately  moved on.
10 Black- headed Gulls went through high >NW
Still plenty of Swifts about up there.
Niger seed put down for any lurking Twite but the outluck for any up there is not looking good.
1 Pair of Grey Wagtails nesting nearby

Monday, June 22, 2015

Fly Flatts

Late morning and a pretty cold > NW for mid-summer!
1 Ringed Plover near the boathouse was probably encouraged by a bit of shoreline appearing!
Several Common Sandpiper
Several Snipe drumming
1 Dunlin
Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Curlew, Redshank
1 Barnacle Goose still with the Canada's
Greylag Goose pair + 6
Meadow Pipits and 3+ Skylark
A few L B B Gulls patrolling the moor
It was also good to meet up with Andy and catch up with a few things.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Luddenden Dean

Went to check for Pied Flycatcher and Redstart but drew a blank on both. Heavy rain probably didn't help !
1 Cuckoo still in good voice
1 Blackcap
A few Willow Warblers in song
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker at Jerusalem Farm
2 Nuthatches
Mistle Thrush still feeding young
1 Song Thrush

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Called up there late evening
1 L R Plover
2 Common Sandpipers with one adult having 2 juvs tucked under her wings. Looks like the third juv is missing?
1 Redshank
2 Oystercatchers

Malta Documentary In Green Unplugged Film Festival

The full length film of Calderdale Bird Conservation Group members in Malta that I shot in 2007 and 2008 is now showing live in the Green Unplugged online film festival

To watch the full length version of Birds, Bins and Bullets just paste the link into your browser

Monday, June 15, 2015

Claremount Buzzards

           2 Buzzards circling above  Claremount & Shibden, stayed for
           quite a while even though one was being pestered by Gulls.

                        Greenfinch & Goldfinch in garden and a couple of Chaffinch

Sunday, June 14, 2015


2 still calling at jumble hole today along with: All the usual species, a juvenile grey wagtail, whitethroat, garden warbler, blackcaps, willow warblers, chiffchaffs, a kestrel, tawny owl heard but not seen, about 5 young robins, lots of wrens, 4 green woodpeckers, 3 jays.

High Royd

A difficult site to check nowadays since the sludge beds were discontinued. The habitat is still very good even though it's overgrown including marsh and a phragmites bed - you just can't see anything. !
A big plus was the filter beds with anything up to 400 (impossible to count)!! House Martins and 100+ Swallows and c50 Swifts. They were all massing around the beds, an amazing site which was probably due to the overcast and muggy conditions and mist and drizzle on higher ground and loads of insects hatching. No Sand Martins found.
Chiff-chaff and Blackcap around and 100+ Carrion Crows on and around the filter beds and 1 Grey Heron and a pair of Grey Wagtails on the river.


                A Woodcock showing well at Walshaw Dean tonight.

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Hi, I'm Matthew, a fourteen year old who's very keen on birding.
On a walk around Ogden and up to Ogden Moor:
2 kestrels
2 jays
lots of skylarks and meadow pipits
3 wheatears 2m 1f
a few linnets

Woods and around the reservoir
at least 2 goldcrests
2 spotted flycatchers
willow warbler
a few blackcaps
pair of whitethroat
about 6 grey wagtails
tufted duck with the mallards
green woodpecker yaffling

Sparrowhawk above Brearley Wood too

Scammonden and Ringstone

Early afternoon at Scammonden a Grasshopper Warbler showing briefly and singing from a bramble bush. A very ragged looking Common Buzzard over but not a lot else.

2 G C Grebes at Ringstone
A few Linnet and Goldfinch about
2 Sand Martins
4 House Martins and a few local Swallows

Luddenden Dean

Yesterday morning a female Pied Flycatcher but when I called back at the spot late morning I wasn't able to relocate it !
c10 pairs of Linnets
1 Skylark
c12 pairs Meadow Pipits feeding young
A few Willow Warblers, a Chiff-Chaff and 2 Blackcap
Cuckoo still calling in the upper dean
Plenty Kestrels on the moor so maybe juveniles have fledged?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Red Kite at Soil Hill

            Got a nice surprise after an uneventful day up at Soil Hill
            when a Red Kite went flying past, couldn't get a good shot of
            it though, which was a shame. Plenty of birdsong down at
            Cromwell Bottom but not a lot showing.

Stoodley Pike.

Lots of activity up there this morning including a reeling Grasshopper Warbler (not seen and never have!) and these two little Owls.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pied Flycatcher

Female Pied Flycatcher - this afternoon in a local woodland - these are the best I could get without disturbing it too much. It wouldn't go side on for the camera to see the white wing markings though.
Also male Redstart nearby and one Spotted Flycatcher but no sign of any Wood Warblers or Tree Pipits. On a positive note a good number of Cuckoo's still being reported. It's been a good year for them in our area though the adults will be heading back to Africa soon !!


Walked from Back lane Ogden to Mixi res this morning. There was a Cuckoo calling at Ogden when I was walking on back lane, 1 calling from the Golf course and one in Mixi res plantation, Either it was following me around or there were 3 different birds.?? One juv little Owl , Oystercatcher , Lapwing ,Curlew and Snipe on the Golf course. Loads of Linnets and Reed Bunts and a couple of pairs of Lapwing with 1 flying juv (just) and a couple of young grey Wags at Mixi res. Lots of House Martins , Swifts and Swallows . Two  Great crested Grebes flying over the golf Course towards Ogden  were superb in the sunlight.
 Had 2 adults + 2 Juv Wheatear and another agitated male Wheatear (different site) from an upland site on Monday.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015


This evening
1 Little Ringed Plover
Pair Common Sandpiper + 3 juvs
Grey Heron lurking near the Common sands!
Pair of Goosander flew in - female and a juvenile
2 G C Grebe
At least 4 Sand Martins and a few Swallows

Wheatley Valley

A check on the former landfill site this morning thinking there might be a few butterfly's about - just 2 Sm T T S and a  male Orange Tip
3 Blackcap
2 Chiff-chaff
2 Willow Warbler
1 Garden Warbler
No Whitethroats
1 Jay

Fly Flatts

Yesterday afternoon for a short while - pretty windy from the >E
Usual sp + the Barnacle Goose is still with the Canada's
c50 Swifts feeding over the res'r looking fantastic charging around at speed
Lapwings and Culrew with quite well grown chicks

Monday, June 08, 2015

What's this??

This flew over the house last evening high up heading towards hebden cannot work out what it is, sparrowhawk maybe 

Dipper Update

Been away from work for bit and now returned,  and yes  good news  - Juveniles in the brook,  other colleagues have seen both parents out, but today a little buzzing Juve flew upstream!
Good news for a Town centre Location!

Raven flyover

           9.30 last night 7 Ravens flew over Claremount, never seen
           as many Ravens, they were flying low as well. I found it a
           bit strange to be honest but boy are they  BIG.
           Deffo not crows

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Withens Clough

Withens Clough this afternoon.
1 Whinchat
2 Stonechat
1 Grasshopper Warbler

Shibden Park

A quick walk through the park this afternoon to see the mute swan cygnets (a total of 5):

Gorple/Walshaw area

Just had a stroll either side of the Widdop road, did not  even make it far as the reservoirs!. Lovely day, sun warm wind - well windy ! but birds all over
Pheasant and many chicks,
2 grey partridge
2-3 pair Lapwing
Pied Wagtails
Female Ring Ouzel
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Willow warbler
4-5 curlew
Spotted flycatcher
2-3 Siskin
LBB Gull
H Gull
Wood pigeon
Song Thrush
Mistle Thrush
(missed a golden plover someone else saw)
oh and a nice roe buck with horns out of velvet!

Dead Jay

Found this Jay in Shroggs Road last evening which looked like it had been hit by a passing car?

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Cold Edge

A struggle today in the gusting westerly wind though the sunshine was warm and pleasant. Nearly got blown away at The Withens. !
Several Lapwings with well grown chicks
4 Curlew
1 Snipe
6 Reed Buntings, a few Meadow Pipits, 3 Skylark and a few Linnets
9 Golden Plover still in fields near Nolstar

Jumble Hole

Up to two cuckoos, 2 pairs of whitethroat, 2 pairs of garden warbler and several blackcap all in good song at the moment.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Cragg Vale and Withens Clough

We tried up there this morning in the hope of either Wood Warbler (heard near the Hinchcliffe Arms last week from BL), along with Tree Pipit and Grasshopper Warbler but drew blanks on all 3 !
A lovely day all the same we headed up the clough and around the res'r (no shoreline)
2 Stonechat
6+ House Martins at a nest site
2 Blackcap
1 Chiff-chaff
4+ Willow Warblers
1 Grey Wagtail
1 Kestrel
1 Green Woodpecker
c10 Reed Buntings
73 Canada's
1 Common Sandpiper

Back home this afternoon and had a great surprise with a Humming Bird Hawkmoth feeding around the garden planters - dashed for camera but it was off - as they do, at a sprint !

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Ringstone Res'r

This evening
1 L R Plover on the little bit of shoreline near the road headed off  >W at 20:40
2 Common Sandpiper
1 Grey Heron
4 G C Grebe
c25 Mallard
c30 Swallow
c5 Sand Martin
2 Willow Warblers
Pair of Linnet


Lots of swifts over the garden this evening about 40
Managed to get a photos 
Great birds 


We went looking at a traditional site for Tree Pipit without success. Not a sniff!
c3 Blackcap singing
1 Chiff-chaff
3 Willow Warblers
1 Goldcrest singing
1 Kestrel
1 Grey Heron
1 Treecreeper
2 Jays
1 drake Tufted Duck
A few L B B Gulls  high >SW

Monday, June 01, 2015


              Today's visit to CBNR produced -:

             10+ Willow Warblers, 2 Sedge Warblers, 2 Garden Warblers
             1 GS Woodpecker, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Kestrel, 4 Wren
             8 Goldfinch, 6 Bullfinch, 4 Chaffinch, 8 Wood Pigeon
             6 LTT, 10+ Blue Tits & Great Tits, 6 Coal Tits
             2 Nuthatch, 3 Jay, 2 Blackcap, 2 Chiff Chaff with more singing
             4 Whitethroat, 4 Canada's with 8 Goslings, 2 Grey Wagtail

Fly Flatts

A strong >SW gale blowing and gusting with drizzle kept everything down other than a steady stream of larger gulls - 18 mainly adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 11 Herring Gulls (mostly sub adults) >SW
1 Barnacle Goose with the Canada's but not much else other than usual waders mainly keeping out of sight.

19 Golden Plover are still feeding spaced out in several fields near 'Nolstar' along the east side of Cold Edge Road
At last I've been able to upload a photo after several weeks of not being able to do so !!!? even if it is a poor shot of a Golden Plover

Shibden Valley and Ringby Lane

Yesterday - Sunday afternoon at top end of Shibden Valley
A few warblers singing with Blackcap, Willow Warblers and Chiff-chaff present
Blue tits feeding young in a dry stone wall and similar with a pair of Great Tits
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker at a nest site
A few Swallows, Swifts and 2 House Martins
Pair of Long-tailed Tit
2 Bullfinch
1 Kestrel
Carrion Crows with 4 just out of the nest

Ringby Lane
2 Grey Partridge
1 Skylark
Pair of Meadow Pipits
4 Linnet