Thursday, March 30, 2017

Withens Clough

Incredibly foggy start to the walk,visibility down to 100m max.cleared up later though and managed to see a few good birds.Plantation was buzzing with small birds,couldnt work out what they all were though as light was terrible. Anybody care to ID these for me? where in a flock of at least 50.

top bird is reddish and the one lower and to the left is green. maybe redpoll??

Plantation looks like a good spot,ill probably go back later in the week when the skies are clearer. moors up by stoodley pike were full of meadow pipits and the reservoir edge produced a pair of stonchat and a reed bunting. the water itself had a pair of goldeneye and a mallard.

Birds seen

meadow pipit
reed bunting
canada goose
pied wagtail

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Jumble Hole

3 buzzards around for the past few days. Very vocal, and ranging widely.
Siskins have re-appeared on the feeders, and the males are in full song. Redpoll appear to have moved on.

Withens Head

Late afternoon
3 male Wheatears on the farmland walls opposite the wind-farm car park area
6+ Snipe drumming all at the same time


Taylor Lane area in the fields this afternoon
200+ Fieldfare
c300 Starlings

Fly Flats and Withens Head etc

Fogged off this morning with heavy drizzle, not good. ! Perhaps it will clear later ??
Fly Flats
1 Red-legged Partridge and not much else other than a few Meadow Pipits

Withens Head
1 Pied Wagtail
3 Linnets
1 Fieldfare

Castle Carr Road
1 Kestrel
1 Little Owl

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


c60 at Crow Hill, Sowerby this afternoon

Monday, March 27, 2017

Sowerby Bridge to Mytholroyd

Few hours in the woods and fields alongside the river and railway. Plenty of birdsong in the woods,multiple chiffchaffs singing (thanks David for the ID video). Thrush and Goldfinch everywhere. Highlights included a buzzard very low over Luddenden Foot and two Kestrels mating on a telegraph tower by Brearley. Pleasant suprise on the way home when 3 Jay and 3 Bullfinch appeared in neighbouring gardens on Hollins Lane.

Birds seen

long tailed tit
2 goosander on the Calder at Sowerby Bridge
grey wagtail

and bizzarely a female peacock at a farm close to mytholmroyd/scout road

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Calder Valley

Yesterday Mytholmroyd PM

1 Buzzard over
1 Raven over
5 chiffchaff
1 willow warbler by station
c100 goldfinch by Redacre sewage works
1 grey wagtail
1 small tortoiseshell


M'royd am
1  willow warbler
6 chiffchaff
1 sparrowhawk
1 gs woodpecker drumming
1 curlew over

Hebden Bridge & back pm

7 chiffchaff
2 willow warblers
3 grey wagtail
1 dipper
2 raven

Saturday, March 25, 2017

spring is back!

first day out birding for a while.making the most of the sunshine. Along Hollins Lane, Sowerby Bridge then back along the canal. is this a chiffchaff or willow warbler??

pretty new to the area and birding so any help with id or good spots much appreciated.
plenty of birds along my usual route


Friday, March 24, 2017


Scout Bottom area.

Two chiffchaffs singing c5.30pm.

Copy Nook Lane/Crow Hill

Still some Fieldfare in flock with Starlings
6 Lapwing
2 Curlew
Skylark singing up against the blue sky
Usual corvids
1 lovely Buck Roe Deer

Lee Dam and Longfield Dam

At Lee Dam:
2M 6F Goosander on main dam.
2M 1F Tufted Duck on main dam and 1M1F on lower dam.
6 Canada Goose.
Nothing noteworthy heard singing, Robin and Goldfinch most vocal.

At Longfield Dam:
1M1F Goldeneye.
4 Lapwing.
7 Canada Goose.
2 Greylag Goose
c20 Starling.
1 Pied Wagtail.
Meadow Pipit heard calling.
Few Carrion Crow around fields.
Magpie nestbuiling in tree by Shepherd's Rest.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Lee Mount + other news today

This morning I went out to top the feeders up at 08:05 and heard Whooper Swans calling! Looked up and  4 went right over the house in the  direction, I thought, of Ogden or Mixenden though  4 were at Cold Edge lower dam mid morning(AT and DP) so I guess they were the same ones.

Also 3 Barnacle Geese now reported from Cold Edge this morning along with a good showing of Golden Plover at and around Fly Flats and up to 7 Wheatears also from there as well as Stonechat (BS)
Pair of Goosander at Dean Head above Scammonden (PD)
Buzzard over Claremount late afternoon >SE (DaveB)
2 Shelduck and  2 Ringed Plover also , from Whiteholme Reservoir this morning (DF)
2 Wheatear near Scammonden on Tues and Wed (PD)

Golden Plover - Mount Tabor

I know there have been some much more impressive counts today but 13 Golden Plover left the fields at Mount Tabor and flew off calling towards Norton Tower at 6.30 ish.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sparrow hawk today the others over the weekend (garden)

Decided to get friendly with my camera this weekend, not picked it up for a while.
also had Siskin and Greenfinch along with the normal garden birds.


Ringstone Reservoir - 8 Whoopers there at 09:30 this morning. AT.

Monday, March 20, 2017


Just 2 reports so far, both from MM
One at Ogden GC on a fence by 13th March flew off in direction of windfarm.
One in the fields along Castle Carr Road, near Wainstalls yesterday afternoon.

Sunday, March 19, 2017


2 redpoll around today under the feeders at Jumble Hole. This is the best photo I could manage.

Tripod wanted

Still a few Brambling at Roils Head today in horrible conditions. My friend Roy is after a pair of tripod legs with a standed quarter inch thread, he already has the head, if anyone as a tripod for sale or just the legs please let me know.

Saturday, March 18, 2017


It's not often I get a new garden tick, but today I saw the first redpoll here in the 14 years that I've been here. It was a single, feeding on the spilt nyjer seed. In fact it was on the floor with a female bullfinch, 3 goldfinch, a chaffinch and 2 female siskin! I tried and failed for a photo, but hopefully it might be around for a while.

Fly Flats

Despite the early fog up there it did start to clear but the wind was gusting probably F6 so viewing was pretty tricky !
No sign of yesterdays Kittiwake unfortunately and no sign of any moving gulls
c70 Golden Plover and c40 Lapwing on Fill Belly Flat (the moor to the south of the reservoir)
2 Oystercatchers and a few Curlew about with plenty of Canada's on the moors

High Royd

Went to check the S T Works this morning in the chance of Sand Martin or maybe even Water pipit on the filter beds. Neither, the beds were very quiet apart from the Carrion Crows
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
At least 4 Nuthatches
Not much else !

Bramblings and Siskins

Still have a few Bramblings vising my garden at Highroad Well on a regular basis.  Pleasantly surprised this morning to find 5 Siskins on my garden feeders.  There dont seem to have been many Siskins about this year.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Calder Valley

Between Luddenden Foot and Mytholmroyd late morning + a 'butty' stop in Mytholmroyd and return.
1 Common Buzzard >W
2 Grey Wagtails
1 Goosander
1 Dipper
1 Chiff-chaff in a garden near the weir at Brearley
Lots of corvids - mainly Jackdaws
3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 1 Herring Gull >W

Ogden Garden

A pair of brambling on the garden feeders yesterday afternoon and again this morning. The male already changing to breeding plumage.

Fly Flats

Some rough weather and heavy rain but went up in the hope of something blown in. Not disappointed!
3 Common Gulls came through > NW at 08:35 over the reservoir with an adult Kittiwake. I watched them head off over the moor.
Then a minute or so later I found another adult Kittiwake on the Reservoir with 2 x 2nd winter Herring Gulls. I left them - still there at 09:15.
I think there must have been 2 'kits'. Though I can't be sure if the first one didn't return in the atrocious conditions (?)
1 Raven >NW over Cold Edge.

Update - Kittiwake still there at 14:10 from BS. Tricky to find out in the middle of the reservoir - look for the very white head bobbing about on the water (as in the lower shot)!
 Adult Kittiwake

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Lee Mount - Godwit flyover !

Out checking the moth trap around 22:30 last night. I heard a wader calling as it was flying over in the dark. Sounded to be going >SE. It gave several interspersed quite loud calls interpreted at the time as Wi, wi, wit.......... Wi, wi, wi, wit........wi, wi, wi wit.....and gradually fading in the distance. I immediately thought - Godwit sp. - certainly not a Greenshank or Redshank.
Listening to recordings on xeno-canto later on, I suspect Bar-tailed rather than Black-tailed - but I will never be 100% sure !!!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hardcastle Crags etc

A lovely day to be out with a perfect sky, wind strength and sunshine.
2 Grey Herons - one went very high >E
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker seen and heard 'drumming'
1 Green woodpecker heard
1 Tawny owl singing
1 Raven high >W
3 Common Buzzard
4 sightings of Sparrowhawk probably referred to just 2 birds
2 Kestrels
Goldcrest singing (well Nick heard it but I didn't)!
Plenty of corvids - mainly Jackdaws
1 Herring Gull
2 Greylag Geese went >E
Distant Curlews and Lapwings

 Grey Heron - heading high overhead
Common Buzzard
On the way back we checked the Pecket Well to Oxenhope road, then Fly Flats and Withens Head in the hope of Wheatear (without success).Then we got a call from BS of a Red Kite over Soil Hill and heading low over Ogden golf course and Hunter Hill though we couldn't pick it out unfortunately. Earlier Daniel B had seen one over Soil Hill heading >N - though it may well have been the same bird (?)

A very windy day at Crow Hill Sowerby

Curlew heard
A number of lapwing
9 Fieldfare
Meadow Pipits
One clump of frogspawn in water hole on Aaron Hill

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Recent news

See West Yorkshire Birding blog from BS for reports of some very special birds - a Red Kite over Queensbury on Sunday 12th March and an Osprey >NNW over Ogden on Monday 13th March at 08:15.

Nest boxes etc

With the help of Alan T we put up another 12 boxes in a woodland in the dean this morning. It was pretty wet with drizzle first thing but we were not deterred. Surprising how difficult it was to fasten the boxes onto Oak,  they just didn't like the nails, though the birches were much more accommodating.
All today's boxes made by Roger R for National Trust funds and purchased through the contributions from the 'Grapevine' alongside those previously installed from Calderdale Birds Conservation Group (CBCG) Thanks to Alan, Roger and the 'grapeviners'.

AT demonstrating working practices to H & S standards (19..)
So far this year between us and Matt and Andy we have put up....
9 at Jumble Hole and 4 in Ludd Dean - funding from CBCG
4 near Northowram (hoping for Tree Sparrows) and around 25 in Ludd Dean funded by grapeviners along with some home made boxes thrown in.
Hardly any birds found down there this morning so after the boxes we headed up to Fly Flats for a quick check for Wheatears, none found, though there were at least 2 Stonechats at Withens Head (opposite the wind farm car park).

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Jumble Hole

2 chiffchaff appeared around lunchtime, singing at times from the garden.
2 buzzards were around the Erringden area.
A male siskin was on the feeders, and turned out to be incredibly tame, staying put when people were shouting to each other 8 feet away from him!
Up in Jumble Hole itself, I've cleaned out all of last year's nestboxes in anticipation of the possible return of flycatchers. If they do return (in around 44 days - not that I'm obsessively counting....) it will be interesting to see if they're ringed birds (and therefore we should be able to determine if they're last year's Jumble Hole young) or unringed, and possibly the adult birds from last year.
Birds seen whilst spring cleaning:
- a pair of great spotted woodpecker, moving silently together from tree to tree
- singles of green woodpecker seen and heard
- treecreeper
- tawny owl
- meadow pipit over
- curlew heard calling

Castle Carr Road

An hour or so late afternoon along the road towards the top lodge. It was good to meet KL and PL also doing the rounds. Unfortunately the drizzle came in so it curtailed picking up much overhead movement. I went in the hope of early Wheatear, without success ! - maybe later this week....
1 drake Goosander >W
Snipe 'chipping'
A good number of both Curlew and Lapwings
2 Fieldfare
1 Meadow Pipit
2 Little Owls
2 Song Thrushes belting out their song
40+ Jackdaws
2 Stock Doves

Lee Mount

c40 Redwing in the trees at the lower end of Shroggs Park across lunchtime along with a Great Spotted Woodpecker

Friday, March 10, 2017

Ringstone, Baitings and Cold Edge

Called up there for a short while this morning to collect more nest-boxes from RR - thanks Roger.
1 f Goosander
2 Tufted Duck
2 adult Cormorants
5 Mallard
c90 Canada Geese
2 Oystercatchers
c70 Lapwings
Just a few few Common and B H Gulls in the north field
3 Meadow Pipits
c20 Pied Wagtails lower down around the farms big manure pile near Barkisland

Elsewhere from DF - 18 Whooper Swans were on Baitings Reservoir at 10:15
Also from BS at Cold Edge were 3f and 1 m Goldeneye and a pair of Tufted Duck but no sign of the recent 2 Barnacle Geese

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Fly Flats

Just a quick look up there late morning but the westerly wind was pretty strong making holding the binoculars steady, quite tricky !
4+ Stonechats near the northern end where BS had 6 yesterday and again later today
1 Cormorant came in from the north to settle on the water
1 Raven >N
19 Golden Plover high >W over the moor
+ usual sp.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Blue Tit with yellow face??

Called in at Cromwell Bottom to have an hour at the feeding station when I noticed this Blue Tit with a yellow face!
A bit of a Google doesn't come up with much other than it could be pollen staining??
Anyone seen it before or have any ideas as to the cause/reason behind it? thanks

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Other news today

3 Sand Martins over Northowram >N first thing this morning (AC)

Water Pipit at Lower Gorple again (MH) - proving to be very elusive and difficult to approach once found

Fly Flats and Withens Head

This morning
c10 Curlew and very vocal
1 Oystercatcher
1 Redshank
35 Golden Plover high over >W
20+ Lapwing
90+ Canada Geese
8+ Greylag Geese
+ Red Grouse
3 Reed Bunting by the boat house
3 Meadow Pipits
20+ Starlings >NW
c20 Redwings > Castle Carr

Withens Head
20+ Curlew
20+ Lapwing
Pair of Stonechat

Lee Mount

Recent birds in and over the garden
 Female Blackcap (through the double glazing) the best I have been able to get - so far. It's off in a flash !
 Adult Common Gull
Kestrel - a rarity over the house in recent years

Monday, March 06, 2017

Today (and recent news)!

Chiff-chaff in a Brighouse garden today (MH) along with a Goldcrest and a Common Buzzard over.

Up to 11 Whooper Swans at Ringstone yesterday (DF) and again today with probably the same lot seen later at Cold Edge dams (PS and MH)

3 Stonechat at Dean Head above Scammonden today (GS)
7f and 2m Goosander on Ryburn Reservoir yesterday (GS)
Pair of Pintail at Ringstone yesterday flew off >W (DF)
Pair of Shoveler at Ringstone on Saturday 4th Mch (DF)

Also on Saturday between Walshaw, Blake Dean and Lower Gorple (NG, CBJ, MH, NCD, DF et al)
25 Curlew
40 Fieldfare
6 Siskin
8 Whooper Swans
8 Oystercatchers,
Snipe display
Apologies for any omissions - not had time to keep up to speed last few days !!
Water Pipit at Lower Gorple brief views only on Saturday (DF and MH)

See Brian's blog (West Yorkshire Birding) blog for details of an Iceland Gull near Keighley and Sand Martins already appearing at Barden near Bolton Abbey today.

Jumble Hole

Feeders still full of (in order of numbers showing up) - goldfinch, chaffinch, greenfinch and siskin (up to 4 at a time)
Buzzard calling over Erringden again today.
A cormorant flew in circles down the valley yesterday, not a common site from home!

Sunday, March 05, 2017


2 parakeets becoming very regular in my Sowerby Bridge garden,No need for an alarm clock with the racket they make!

Marsh/willow tit

Without reading through dozens of threads, which is most likely the bird my son has just had in his garden on Burnley Road  : marsh or willow tit. He says it had creamy cheeks and a bib(says definitely not a coal tit) but I think they both have these, and the difference is in the cap  I may be wrong.  But if I can tell him he may get a better look next time.


4 fallow deer seen in Calderdale this week - a lifer for my son.  4 adults and a juvenile.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Little Owl Pair

Earlier today while about I spotted a Peregrine bothering gulls (record shot below so I am not accused of pigeon).
Then later near home the pair of Little Owls are back in their usual spot.  Curlew also in the local field.
In a different area in early evening there was a very large and dark Buzzard mobbed by two Carrion Crows and  (she?) settled in a small wood.

Friday, March 03, 2017


A group of about 10 still in trees at Catherine Slack near Coach Road, Brighouse.
Also 4 Tufties on Clifton lagoon and a Buzzard overhead.
Teal numbers down to 3 at Sunny Vale, but plenty of Coot, Moorhens & Little Grebes.

Green Withens

4 Curlew  SE>  over Ringstone 8.30 am

Green Withens before the rain started!

2 pair of Mallards
2 Canada Geese
1 Male Stonechat
1 Wren
1 Meadow Pipit
2 Dippers, one in top drain into resi, one in stream below the overflow
1 Buzzard circling then flew north

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Dean Clough etc and Baitings Reservoir

Not much time for getting out today though I did walk past Dean Clough twice.
First trip - 1 Dipper in the stream just where it emerges from the culvert. Also Grey Wagtail there.

Second trip - 1 male Kestrel on the roof of one of the mills. Plenty Jackdaws about there as well

Also a rarity nowadays for our garden feeders - a Greenfinch !! but no sign of the recent Blackcap today.

Also from Pete G - another great find with an adult Kittiwake on Baitings Res'r around 09:20.


     2 Ravens over Ogden doing plenty of Kronking.


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Today's Barn Owl Sighting

       2 Barn Owls seen today in Calderdale at undisclosed site-: