Sunday, November 29, 2015

Calderdale Development Plan

The proposed LDP for Calderdale has possible major implications for important bird sites in the district, if the plan goes through next year.
The following places in the Green Belt are earmarked for housing developments -
Mount Tabor/Sentry Edge; Highroad Well Moor inc Tower Hill; Shelf inc Cockhill Moor; Jay House Lane to Wellholme Park, and lots of other small places.
These can be seen on the map at the following link -
Or in local libraries. Objections can be made for each individual site, but 18 Dec is the closing date !
I'm working my way through all the Brighouse/Hipperholme/Lightcliffe/ sites, but it's a very slow job.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Merlin, Cromwell Bottom

A male merlin shot through the car park on Wednesday the 25th seen by several people. Unfortunately no pictures - too fast.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Woodcock - Withens

For the second time in a week I have flushed a Woodcock off the bridleway above Ogden GC near the Withens.  I was within a metre before it flushed.  It made me jump as it was well after dusk.  I thought they would be sheltering in wooded cover now?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Cold Edge

From Pete G - just a female Goldeneye on the dams this morning with no other reports coming in today. Thanks Pete.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Bird Report Update

Half of the bird reports have already been sold, so if anyone needs one you can get them from the 2 outlets or send a cheque to me at 11 Mile Cross Road, Halifax HX1 4HN. Price with postage is £8.50 make payable to The Calderdale Bird Conservation Group. Thanks to DJS for selling them at the Raptor Conference at the weekend. I would also like some feedback on how to improve future reports, IE what to add or take out, weather people prefer the double two year report or an annual one, cheers Nick D. Ps had a quick look at Soil Hill today but no sign of the Snow Bunting.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Walshaw Dean

At last - some Goldeneye, with 2 females on top Walshaw Res'r on Sunday afternoon. Andy H

Monday, November 23, 2015

NERF Conference

A very big thank you to everyone who was involved in organising the venue and the programme - as well as the excellent catering arrangements.
I couldn't fault anything as the day was so informative and inspiring even though some of the news on illegal raptor persecution (particularly Hen Harriers) was depressing. It's good to hear of positive action all round and the patience to try to get to grips with what is happening especially on our uplands.
Well done for all the fieldwork and investigations as well as bringing everything together so well on the day.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Soil Hill

Snow Bunting still there this morning from BS - on the top NW slope so it could take some re-finding but with stealth and patience !!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Snow Bunting

Managed to get photos on to the phone so just a couple of poor shots in fading light.

Soil Hill

After a dismal wet and windy day I looked for a dry spell ( not much hope of that) but I decided to head up 'The Hill' just in case.
Bingo - a Snow Bunting on the top and with stealth got to within 4 metes.
If anyone goes up tomorrow then try the flat, low vegetation area just past the mast and to the right before the mounds. Wonder if this is an omen for the weekend with maybe snow forecast??!
I got some photos but no computer to get them on the blog yet.

NERF conference this weekend!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Mixenden and Soil Hill

Nothing doing at Mixenden Res'r this morning though there were a lot of Black- headed and Common Gulls all over the place in surrounding fields but I couldn't find anything different with them.

Then Soil Hill where I met up with Alan T on a search for NK's Ring Ouzel which he had found up there earlier in the day along with a single Dunlin. Weather was atrocious, driving rain and a strong gale making conditions impossible though we saw NK looking as if he'd taken a dip in Ogden Water!! Hope you are now dried out Nigel.
As we set off, a Turdus sp flew across the road from the mast towards the small copse and we lost it. It could have been a Blackbird but that area is well worth a check for the Ring Ouzel when the rain and wind eases !

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mixenden and Soil Hill

Nothing much on Mixi - just 2 Cormorants on the res and c80 Woodpigeons and c60 Starlings >SW

Soil Hill was a little bit more interesting with a S E Owl hunting the north slope staring me in the eyes as it went right in front of me ! Not much else on the top other than 6 Goldfinch and then a big flock of c100 Woodpigeons and c40 Redwings >W
Then the drizzle and mist came in and that was it !

Monday, November 16, 2015

Swales, Mixenden and Fly Flats etc

Tricky trying to find anything in the very strong wind this morning
Not much along Ringby Lane other than 3 Goldfinch, Sparrowhawk and the usual mass of corvids

Mixenden Res'r - 36 Canada's and a few gulls

Fly Flats - getting blown away 1 Kestrel and1 B H Gull

From Pete G at Withens Clough in Cragg Vale - another gem with a late Ring Ouzel (in addition to one last week on Soil Hill from NK) This is unusual to get them so late though they seem to arrive with Fieldfares as they come in from Scandinavia. I wonder if we have had  records previously for Ring Ouzel in November?
Also a Merlin through Withens Clough this morning for PG and 5 Stonechats in that area

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Yesterday afternoon - but didn't have time to stay - with a lot of birds there though mostly a scope to to pick out any rarities !
I guess the glut of birds up there is due to the very wet ground and lots of earthworms on or near the surface
c230 Canada's and a lone Pink- footed Goose in the middle if the flock
200+ Golden Plover
50+ Lapwing
A lot of B H Gulls
c35 Feildfare
+ Starlings and corvids

Friday, November 13, 2015

Mixenden and Fly Flats

This morning I went on the look out for Goldeneye - none recorded yet this autumn locally as far as I know and they are usually here by late October and seem to be arriving later than ever in recent years.
Mixenden - just 5 Goosander and 4 Mallard
Cold Edge - 120 Canada's and 3 Tufted Duck. 34 Fieldfare
Fly Flats (down to 3c up there) - 35 Mallard and 1 Kestrel

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Ringstone Reservoir

First post at last!
Had an hour at Ringstone this afternoon, very windy becoming fairly cold.
100+ Canadian Geese
30+ Lapwing
30+ Little Ringed Plover.......Apologises, these were Golden Plover, thanks Dave
Kestrel hunting on west side embankment
Plus one or two others I was unable to ID

Flock of  30+ Fieldfare at Scammonden on Tuesday

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


An hour or so this afternoon, though there was not a lot out of the ordinary
1 Cormorant
c60 Mallard
100+ B H Gulls, c30 Common Gulls and 2 L B B Gulls
1 Siskin in  a mixed tit flock with around 10+ Goldcrests (carefully checked !)

Shibden Head and Swales Moor

This morning - plenty of Redwings feeding on Holly berries (Ilex aquifolium) though it was not possible to get a count - there were probably 50+
Also several small tit flocks with a few Goldcrests
1 Woodcock disturbed in a clump of heather/bracken took off at speed low into the valley
1 Kestrel
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Common Buzzard

Ringby Lane
Very quiet up there except for c25 Fieldfares >SW and a few L B B Gulls >W

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Swales Moor

Ringby Lane - >WSW F6 or so up there this afternoon so it was difficult to find anything
8 Goldfinch
12 Linnet
1 Meadow Pipit
Lots of corvids as usual and a few L B B Gulls going over high >W

c35 Common Gulls in the fields facing towards Boothtown


3 Buzzards soaring and calling above Crimsworth Dean at 12.15 today (at the National Trust car park end).
A few minutes later one being mobbed by a Peregrine (or possibly a Merlin ? I'm not sure..)

Pink feet

A skein of c.40 pink footed geese flew over Jumble Hole at about 8:10 this morning headed SE. There also seems to be a lot of siskin movement at the moment.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Mixenden and Ogden

I gave both sites a go this afternoon just in case something had been brought in with the gale force winds and rain - nothing !!

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Today's news

Nothing much reported yesterday but a few Fieldfares and Woodpigeons over here early on today mostly ->WSW
Also from RR at Ringstone more Woodpigeons over this morning and plenty of activity in the surrounding fields now the water level on the reservoir is up to the top. Mostly Canada's, Lapwings and Starlings.

Shot Peregrine

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Bird Report update

The 2013 - 2014 Bird Report is also now available at Flying Saucers at Hebden Bridge, we dropped off 10 copies this afternoon, then went up Walshaw Dean for all the usual birds before being rained off and then crashing the car into a wall at Blake Dean. A word of warning the leaves on the road at Blake Dean don't look armful but if you hit the brakes coming down the hill you may end up in the wall like us.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Mixenden, Fly Flats, Soil Hill

Lee Mount - a small flock of 'pinkies' heard over the Wheatley Valley probably >W but I only heard them as couldn't pick them out through the trees

Mixenden - nothing first thing !

Fly Flats
3 Tufted Duck
c30 Mallard
31 Golden Plover high >W

Soil Hill
NK and Dave B were of the same mind to check the summit and tree belt but conditions weren't good with a strong and wet >SW
1 Skylark
1 Meadow Pipit
1 Common Snipe
2 Moorhen on the lower pond
No sign of the LEO's

Taylor Lane, Bradshaw
c 60 Fieldfare in the fields but mobile

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Bird Report 2013 and 2014

The 2013 – 2014 Bird Report is now out. Its available at Woodlesford News Agent (go local store) at Mount Tabor Pellon price £6.50, or you can write to 11 Mile Cross Road HX1 4HN £8.50 including postage. Make cheques payable to the Calderdale Bird Conservation Group ( please don’t send cheques to Woodlesford News). There are only 60 copies so if you want one don’t delay. The report covers the years 2013 and the record braking 2014, photos in the middle and articles on the Woodlark and Richards Pipit and the race to record as many species in a year as possible. Will try get them in to Flying Saucers at Hebden Bridge asap. Many thanks to all who contributed by sending in records and apologies if Ive missed anyone out.

Mixenden and Swales Moor

Mixenden fogged off for me though PS did find a solitary Goosander.
Swales (Ringby Lane) produced a few birds as it was reasonably clear up there.
1 f Stonechat by the quarry
13 Meadow Pipits
1 Reed Bunting
8 Goldfinch
1 L B B Gull
1 Sparrowhawk
11 Mistle Thrush
1 Redwing
2 Stock Dove
2 Jays >W
5 Starlings >W
Usual corvids and mobbing a Fox

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Ogden and Mixenden

From yesterday (2nd Nov) a drake Shoveler was on Ogden most of the day. NK et al

Also from yesterday at Mixenden, a female Tufted Duck gave rise to the possibility of a fem/juv Scaup but from photos taken (NK) before the fog descended it was confirmed as a Tufted Duck though the white blaze around the bill was quite pronounced. Also 6 goosander there yesterday and in the afternoon in thick fog a Grey Wagtail and several Goldcrests and a Redpoll. (NCD DJS)

Nothing on the water at Mixenden today though quite a few Goldcrests in a tit flock along with 1 Treecreeper in the waters edge shrubbery.
1 Grey Wagtail

And yesterday coming down from The Withens - glorious sunshine with thick fog in the valleys

Monday, November 02, 2015


Four fieldfares on the holly bush yesterday eating the berries.