Saturday, December 31, 2016

Waxwings, Todmorden

My wife reported a small number in the Myrtle St car park when she was shopping this morning.

When walking through to catch a train at 1200, a flock of 40-50 was very flighty over the bus station, landing briefly on a single tree there before moving off back towards their previous haunt.

Norland Moor 31st December 2016

1 Little Owl , 28 Lapwing , 9 Golden Plover , 100 BH Gull , 30 Common Gull , 18 Reed Bunting , 6 Meadow Pipit , 150 Fieldfare , 60 Redwing ,50 Starling , Carrion Crow , Magpie , Jackdaw , Rook, Woodpigeon and Stock Dove  .

Friday, December 30, 2016

Todays news

Lots of reports today - Waxwings and Pink-footed Geese flyovers.
Waxwings started with reports from Pellon Lane/Queens Road early on (AH) with c30 there at 08:50 then dwindling, though Fieldfares and Redwings arrived later on. A few Waxwings at Lane Head, Brighouse and Brighouse Library (AC and MSt)

Soon after lunchtime came a spate of  'pinkies' >W or >NW. c100, c200, 68, 52, with another 55 over late afternoon. (PG, AC, MBr, MSt, AH, NCD et al)

Ringstone today (JB) - 355 Golden Plover and 285 Lapwing

Still another day of this year - wonder what will turn up tomorrow !?

Waxwings, Todmorden

Didn't get down to look today until 1500. There appeared to be a bigger flock now (perhaps 40+?) in Myrtle St car park, which flew off E shortly after I arrived. The trees have few berries left, although there are other trees and bushes not far away.

Ringed Waxwing

                        Waxwing with silver leg ring

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Icelandic Redwing ??

Interesting today , I was watching the Waxwings at Lane Head Brighouse , after half an hour or so a  flock  of Redwing joined them.One of these birds was very dark and immediately stood out , I thought of Icelandic Redwing and tried to remember the main id features, super seemed bright and the breast streaks seemed to cover most of the body its back was also dark . I did not get the dark undertail coverts so will have to leave it for now, but its worth taking a close look at he large number of Redwings feeding along side the large numbers of Waxwings. Any photos would be a help

The above pics taken today on Pellon lane by Andy Huyton .The different undertail markings are clear on these two shots. I also went back today to see if i could relocate the bird i saw yesterday it was not present but I did notice that one of the birds present showed the same pattern as the pic above. ?Strongly marked undertail coverts seem to be a feature of Icelndic birds

Colour ringed Waxwings

Keep a look out for colour ringed birds - photos if possible if anyone finds any....

Lee Mount and High Brown Knoll

Lee Mount -c140 'pink's on the move this morning >W at 11:24 - I think I missed another lot just in front of these but lost them as I shot inside for the camera !

 c140 Pink-footed Geese
This afternoon had a walk up on to High Brown Knoll (above Pecket Well) looking for Snow Bunting, without success, but I came across this lovely Golden Plover on the moor. Lots of Red Grouse and one very distant Raven but the views are stunning up there - well, on an afternoon like today !!
 Golden Plover

Pellon Lane

c150 Waxwings this morning by Burwood Motors then mid morning took off and headed up Pellon Lane.  Not yet relocated. 11:00 (JW)
c50 back there at 15:15 (VJ)

Waxwings, Todmorden

32 present this morning at 0900, plus at least 2 Redwing. They are flying from the tall trees on Halifax Road (roughly opposite Lidl) down to small trees with yellow berries on Myrtle Street, which is the Bramsche Square car park exit road.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Pellon and Norton Tower

c80 Waxwings in Pellon Lane at Burwood Motors this afternoon around 15:15 was a very good count from VJ
Also nearby 7 Waxwings with additional flyovers near Westfield Terrace, Pellon with Waxwings, Redwings, Filedfare, Mistlle Thrush and Blackbirds seen feeding in the same tree (AH)

14 Waxwings in a garden at Vicar Park, Norton Tower just before dusk late afternoon - a nice garden tick PG !

Lots of Redwings being reported especially in built up areas where there are berry bearing trees and shrubs - Cromwell Bottom, Brighouse, King Cross, Burdock Way, Pellon........etc...

Waxwings, Todmorden

The flock was still present around Lidl at 1400 Wednesday, according to my wife. Hopefully they will be there tomorrow when I am not at work!

Walshaw - Gorple

Walshaw Dean at least 5 Crossbills still in the plantation with lots of Siskin also present. Gorple 150 Pinkies west 3 GBBGs and 3 Herring Gulls west. 5 unidentified Geese east and 2 Woodcock near the Pack Horse Pub.

Pink- footed Geese

A substantial movement of 'pinkies' over Calderdale this morning mostly >W or >NW. Who knows what other geese were with them?
The movement was picked up by JB at Scammonden, AC at Northowram and I was on Swales Moor and Mat B at Mytholmroyd.
Tricky in the glare of the sunshine as most birds were to the south of Swales and Northowram with some flocks very high and gaining height over the Pennines though a few also headed over Soil Hill.

Probable total numbers in excess of 800 including one flock of c300 (JB). I did manage some distant hazy photos so will try get a more accurate count later.
UPDATE - from photo's between 10:50 and 12:30 - mostly distant and with duplication avoided from the vantage point at Swales. I didn't see the Scammonden flock from JB  --- 65 + 60 + 68 + 300 + 106 + 11 + 73 + 125 + 44 = 852

Not much else in the move other than a few Herring Gulls > W over Swales and from JB a flock of c30 Brambling at Scammonden but mobile.

A single Fieldfare on Ringby Lane this morning

Immature Common Gull


At 10:50 this morning - 3 or more Waxwings. Waterloo Road near Lane Head Hotel. Brighouse. Mike H

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Ploughcroft and Pepper Hill above Claremount

This afternoon along Hag Lane looking over into Shibden Valley - alive with Redwings and Woodpigeons mostly feeding in the abundant Holly trees/bushes on the west side of the valley above Shibden Mill Inn. Maybe 200+ of each species but no chance of  a  count, all  very 'flighty'.
Also just a few Fieldfare, Blackbirds Mistle Thrushes and Jays
c40 Common Gulls in the fields along with c20 Meadow Pipits and c30 Starlings. 1 Grey Wagtail flyover

Other news today

c50 Waxwings late morning around the traffic lights at Pellon Lane junction with Queens Road (GWH)

15 Waxwings in Todmorden around the Lidl car park (from IC via SB)

Walshaw - Gorple

10 Crossbills still in the plantation at Walshaw Dean today. 6 Whooper Swans on Lower Gorple flew off south at dusk. 35 Waxwings came in probably to roost at Gorple. Also 3 GBBGs and 3 Herring Gulls west. Lots of birds about today Fieldfares, Redwings plus the usual raptors.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Herring Gulls

24 Herring Gulls flew west at Highroad Well today, + another 2 at Tower Hill. Also had a possible 2nd winter Yellow-legged Gull go west at Tower Hill, noticeable obvious black tail bar (will have to let that one go). 10 Herrings west at Roils Head yesterday.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

21st December

Still about 40 Waxwings at Long Lover Lane, Charlton Court today with a few Redwings and Fieldfares and a Huge Mistle Thrush with attitude.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Long Lover Lane

Went to see the Waxwings at Long Lover Lane, Pellon, about 60 feeding on berries with a few Redwings, 1 Fieldfare and a handful of Blackbirds. Roils Head, 1 Reed Bunting and 3 Lapwing on High Road Well Moor.

Cold Edge and Fly Flats

Cold Edge - living up to its name today !!
21 Mallard were the only wildfowl
c80 Fieldfare in the field by the lower pond
2 Common Buzzards high  >S
6+ Reed Buntings
2 Meadow Pipits
1 adult Herring Gull >W

Reed Bunting

Fly Flats
1 stonking male Stonechat was the only bird - other than Red Grouse heard and 2 Carrion Crows

Spring Hall Lane

Chanced on 50+ Waxwings in a tall  Lime tree outside Mount Garage opposite the top of Brackenbed this morning early on. They were a very flighty bunch and I later caught up with them at Long Lover Lane (as did Matthew B) and I  saw them there late afternoon in the area just at the back of Pellon  Baptist Church where others flew off towards Ling Bob area and a recount estimated the total flock at c60 birds. Still very flighty.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Bits from Jumble Hole

Recent sightings.

Buzzards seen regularly at the moment, between 1 and 3, including 1 today.
18 siskins were in a tree in the garden yesterday, but didn't make it as far as the feeders.
A woodcock was flushed from the floor on 15th.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Amazing bird behaviour

This isn't a native grey heron, but if you look on You-tube under "Heron using bread as bait to catch fish", you will find several clips.
This must put herons up with parrots and crows in the intelligence league!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Wheatley Valley

Fog....  not good today and closing in across mid-day so mid afternoon I went to check to see if the known Magpie winter roost site was still active, and it was/is with 206 coming in to roost between 14:45 and 16:00. I may well have missed some in the gloom so will try another check later in the winter when conditions are a bit better !
I have traced my previous winter  record count for Magpies at this site which was 262 on 17th January 2015 (between 15:15 and 16:40)

Also coming in to the roost this afternoon...
6 Jays
35+ Redwings
8+ Blackbirds
1 Woodpigeon

Todays news

20+ Waxwings in the trees on Burdock way roundabout this morning around 10:30 (GWH)

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Soil Hill

Solid couple of hours this afternoon at Soil Hill. Highlight was a skein of ~200 Pink-footed Geese that flew west at around 14.05.
I was disappointed to not see the Lapland Bunting that flew over. I picked up the bird calling (Seemingly fairly close, although in clear conditions the sound could have carried) and heading north but I was unable to get eyes on it. It continued calling but was noticeably getting more distant which leads me to suspect the bird did not drop in, and carried on going. It may have gotten up from the deck before it began calling, or may have just been flying over. Either way, I was unable to get eyes on the bird. A patch tick gone begging...
-Pink Footed Geese
Other bits and pieces:
-Male Stonechat still knocking about
-2+ Meadow Pipit
-Reed Bunting
-3+ Wren
-Teal in the pool on the N side
-4 Fieldfare
-~25 Lapwing

Swales Moor - Ringby Lane

After a call last night from Dave B about a large noisy flock of geese over Claremount in the dark at around 21:55 I thought it might be  a good day for some more 'pinkies'. Headed up to Swales but not a sign of any movement today - the gloom must have put paid to that !
Halifax from Ringby Lane
On the top I tracked down the Linnet flock - around 22 of them, very flighty but still nice to get local Linnets in December.
1 Skylark
18+ Meadow Pipits
2 Greenfinch
1 Great-spotted Woodpecker
1 Grey Wagtail flyover
9 Stock Doves
1 Redwing
Usual corvid flock of up to 100 birds - mainly Carrion Crows and Jackdaws with a few Rooks and Magpies in among.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Todays news

See West Yorkshire Birding blog from BS for a report on a big skein (100+) of Pink-footed Geese >SW over Queensbury today at 12:40 (and also some Waxwings on Burdock Way) - nice work Bri.
I went out looking for the flyovers but missed out on them but did manage a Great-spotted Woodpecker fly-over instead !

Also a report from Will G of 60 Pinks over Lightcliffe >W at 13:48 today. Thanks Will.

And a very interesting report from Kay R from yesterday -----"This morning while sitting in my car in Stoneywood cemetery it was hit hard on the passenger window. a flurry of feathers and a bird rolled down the bonnet. In swooped a sparrow hawk , picked up the probably dead bird and flew off along the road and up into a large tree. presume the bird was being chased by the sparrowhawk it looked behind and hit the car ! awesome." 

3 Wigeon at Ogden Water

          20+ Redwing & 2 Fieldfare in my garden and
          3 Wigeon on Ogden Water, Little Owl at Soil Hill.



Friday, December 09, 2016

Brighouse , Smith house lane

My dad found this Brambling  at the bottom of his bird feeders on Thursday...sad to see but there must be more in the area.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Anchor Pit Lock and river, Brighouse

Male Mandarin still there with 30+ Mallards.
5 Goosanders.
Grey Heron.
30+ Canada Geese.
Mute Swan on Clifton lagoon last week.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Recent news

2 Ring- necked Parakeets in the Trenance area of Greetland and being seen regularly on bird feeders on sunflower seed (RR)

Jackdaw in Wade Street, Halifax showings signs of the 'Nordic' type is worth looking out for (PJWS)

4 Teal at Ogden this afternoon (BS)

Recent news on Twite....

Various sites

This afternoon - checked the Hanson Lane site and Stansfield Close but no sign of the recent Waxwings though I guess they could still be in the area (?)

Fly Flats - thought maybe I could get above the fog - wrong move - totally fogged off.

Mixenden Reservoir
1 f Goldeneye

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Whimbrel migration...

How about this for a non-stop express !...

Soil Hill

Nice return to patch with a Red Kite through east at 13.30
Also present:
Starling ~50
Carrion Crow
Common Gull
Black-headed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Lapwing ~130
Herring Gull

Friday, December 02, 2016

Ogden & Soil Hill

          Couple of hours plodding around Ogden Plantation
          and Soil Hill produced very little, bumped into JL
          and DP who'd had the same lack of sightings though
          JL had spotted a Little Owl on his walk.

         8 Pheasant
         6 Wren
         8 Goldcrest
         2 Robin
         6 Wood Pigeon
         1 Possible Yellowhammer ?
         1 Calling Brambling but no sighting,
         Gulls, Crows, Magpies a plenty and a few un ID'd flyovers.

          Soil Hill-:
          1 male Stonechat
          1 Wren.

          8 Goldfinch
          2 Blackbird
          1 Mistle Thrush.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Swales Moor

An hour or so along Ringby Lane this afternoon. Fairly quiet apart from c40 Common Gulls "loafing"  along the ridge and a similar number of Carrion Crows with a few Jackdaws.
Just about to head home when a Sparrowhawk went over and flushed a flock of c22 Linnets from a weedy area at the north end of the site. I would have missed them otherwise.
c25 Starlings and 3 Stock Doves
1 male Reed Bunting on the way down
Reed Bunting

Oh and I also had a scan across to Soil Hill and saw a lone 'birder' wandering the summit - BS no doubt.!

Today's news

Still a few Waxwings about at Hanson Lane this morning.
Also from Goblin Wood at the back of Norland Moor - a few Brambling about there. (AT)

Mixenden and Stodfold

Met up by chance with AT at Mixenden so we did the Reservoir, Stodfold and lower end of the golf course at Lower Brockholes.

No duck on the Reservoir but 3 Herring Gulls with a few B H and Common Gulls

1 Great- spotted Woodpecker
2 Grey Partridge
1 Grey Heron
1 Kestrel
10+ Fieldfare
1 Jay
Quite a few Blackbirds about and 2 Mistle Thrush