Saturday, April 29, 2017


I know its not in Calderdale but just had to post these I took of the Adult male Pallid Harrier at Dunsop Bridge Lancs today. Me and DF had a drive up and met up with BL and were not disappointed. Its probably the best bird Ive ever seen, its well worth the trip if your mad on raptors like me. Will post more pics later on heavybirder blog (see link opposite)when Ive been through the 294 shots I took.

Buzzards over Claremount

   2 Buzzard soaring and calling above Claremount hill
   before heading off toward the Shibden area, Linnet
   was on the feeders in the garden which also had,
   Blue Tit, Robin, Starling, Great Tit, Greenfinch,
   Goldfinch and Collared Dove.


Friday, April 28, 2017

Hardcastle Crags

We had a walk from Midgehole to Gibson Mill and beyond, to 'The Crag' this morning on the lookout for summer migrants. Not a great deal doing, the woodland was very quiet, perhaps just a bit early and maybe they are waiting for the weather to warm up a little !
2 Blackcaps singing
Hardly any Willow Warblers till we got higher up near 'The Crag' - then there were quite  a few
2 Green Woodpeckers singing
2 Goldcrests singing
3 Grey Wagtails at Gibson Mill area
Also from 'The Crag' - a few Swallows >W and we were fortunate to latch on to 4 House Martins high up, also heading >W and a solitary Siskin in the same direction
No raptors other than one distant Common Buzzard but we did hear 1+ Oystercatchers flying over >E

Sowerby Crow Hill & Flints

12 Lapwing
2 Swallows
12 Wheatear
3 Curlew
1 F Ring Ouzel
1 Coot

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Late afternoon scan across the water.
1 Great Crested Grebe
2 Moorhen
c25 Swallows
6+ Sand Martins
1 Willow Warbler singing

Fly Flats and Withens Head

Around 20 Herring Gulls on the water at Fly Flats late morning including just one adult bird. Also present were 9+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls patrolling the moor, just at the time when the Canada Geese are on eggs or have small chicks !
1 Common Sandpiper
2 Oystercacthers
1 Wheatear

Withens Head
3 Wheatear
1 Redshank

1 Golden Plover

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Luddenden Dean

Cuckoo singing almost continuously this afternoon in the upper dean area.
No sign of any migrants other than a few Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff by Jerusalem Farm, a Blackcap and a few Swallows.
Pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers excavating a hole in a dead beech tree in Wade Wood.
2 Nuthatches
1 Grey Wagtail

Jumble Hole

A mixed flock of swallows and house martins were near the sewage works at Eastwood yesterday, where they often come to feed when it rains. Approximately 20 swallows and 45 house martins. No sand martin yet though.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


I still have a pair of Siskin appearing daily on my garden feeders at Highroad Well.

Does anyone think there is a chance they might be sticking around and breeding?

Fly Flats and Withens Head

Grim up at Fly Flats with hail storms chasing through from the north. Nothing moving other than 2 Herring Gulls >NW
2 Common Sandpipers
2 Oystercatchers
1 Redshank
1 Wheatear
pair Tufted Duck

Withens Head
2 Swallows
Lapwings, Curlew, Redshank and Golden Plover
2 Wheatears

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Green Withens

2 Common Sandpiper
1 Male Wheatear
3 Curlew
1 Pied Wag
Loads of Mp's
1 Dunlin

Last few weeks I've been watching a pair of Long-eared Owls, sadly just outside our area. Not many shots, most in poor light but still superb to watch.


3 Wheatear
3 Dunlin
2 Common Sandpiper
1 Little Ringed Plover

7 Wheatear
1 Ringed Plover
1 Dunlin

5 Wheatear
1 Redshank
2 Little Ringed Plover

5 Wheatear

Cold Edge,Ogden Golf Course

Plenty of wheaters at the top end of the golf course by the withens road,also my first calderdale little owl on the course


Had a brief look round a local valley hoping for Redstart and Ring Ouzel.  Failed but happy enough with Cuckoo and Wheatear instead.  Other birds - Swallows, 3 Buzzards, several Willow Warblers, Lapwing and Curlew.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Bradshaw etc.

A nice male Ring Ouzel for JL off Taylor Lane, Bradshaw today. Nice one to get photo's as well John.

Also Common Sandpipers starting to arrive (see BS's blog)
West Yorkshire Birding

Crow Hill Sowerby

Linnet pair
M Pheasant

Cold Edge/Withens Head

Male Ring Ouzel yesterday in the fields below The Withens but no sign of it today. I did get some distant shots in the drizzle yesterday but they were not good for posting !
Also from BS yesterday, another female Ring Ouzel was in Slaughter Gap - down the Pennine Way from Nolstar in Withens Road. See West Yorkshire Birding blog with some photos.

Withens - 10+ Wheatears in that area this morning, mostly males, looking in immaculate plumage.
Pair of Stonechats at Cold Edge. Plenty mipits and a few Swallows and Linnets
1 Little Grebe
1 Moorhen
2 Tufted Duck
 Female Stonechat
Male Stonechat

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Withens Head

2 Wheatears on the walls around the farm
2 Pied Wagtails
2 Swallows
1 Little Owl
+ usual species

Mixenden Res'r

Around 10 Sand Martins there late morning with 20+ Swallows but no House Martins while I was there.
2 Grey Wagtails
1 Nuthatch
Snipe heard drumming at the back of the plantation.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Swales Moor and Raggalds Flood

Swales - Ringby Lane late morning. Not a lot doing in the cold westerly.
1 Kestrel
1 Sparrowhawk
2 Skylark
1 Linnet
4 Stock Doves
11 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls + loads of corvids but no hirundines

Raggalds Flood - it's just a field pond at the top of Bradshaw - drying out quickly
A call from BS late afternoon - just had time to head up there for the rewards of migrant waders..(thanks Bri)
2 Little Ringed Plover
2 Redshank
2 Wheatear
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Pied Wagtail

Ludd ft to Mythomroyd

Had a walk on the cycle way yesterday afternoon. Pair of Blackcaps, 1 Willow Warbler. Only one active nest at the heronry at Ludd Ft with parents feeding two chicks.

I was at Scammonden on Monday - lots of Willow Warblers & Goldfinches, 1 Heron, 1 female Roe Deer

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Luddenden Dean

Not a great deal about this afternoon in the dean though it was very enjoyable in the sunshine out of that pretty cool NE wind.
1 Green Woodpecker heard
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
2 Sparrowhawks and 1 Kestrel distant
A few Willow Warblers and a Blackcap singing at Saltonstall
Just 2 Swallows also at Saltonstall
1 Linnet though there were plenty Goldfinch and Chaffinch with 2 Greenfinch and Blue, Great and Coal Tits in the woodland
2 Skylarks and a few Meadow Pipits on the top

These two were giving me the 'eye ball' treatment this afternoon
 Little Owls

Lee Mount

Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers today - though the Green Woodpecker was only heard in Shroggs Park but it was seen in the park woodland late morning. (JS)
Also in the garden today 2 Nuthatch, 1 male Blackcap and 2 Bullfinch + the usual spp.
Female Great Spotted Woodpecker
(through the glazing)

Roils Head Redstart

Back at Roils Head today, the male Redstart is still present in the middle of Roils Head near the house. Its favouring the area where the track forks between the Larches in the garden and the small clump of pines. It often feeds on the track out in the open. Managed to get some better pics today with the Lumix, will put some more up on heavybirder blog later if any good.


Res'r and plantation late morning
1 Moorhen
1 Cormorant
21 Canadas
2 Redshank
No Gulls
No hirundines - think the cold NE wind has moved them on to a more sheltered location
Plantation was very quiet with just Chaffinch's, Mistle and Song Thrush and Blue and Great Tits.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Roils Head

Thanks to HeavyBirder for the previous posts,prompted me to go up to Roils Head looking for the redstart. Never been up before,really glad i did,good hour produced loads of birds. will definatley be heading back. Found the redstart in the tree line at the far mount tabor end.very flighty but managed to get a few photos.Also my ongoing quest to get a good goldcrest photo got a little closer,can never manage to find one that stays still.managed an impressive back shot today!

Birds seen included

pied wagtail
meadow pipit

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Roils Head Redstart

Returned to Roils Head today and was surprised to find the cracking male Redstart still present for its third day. Managed a few very poor record shots in dreadful conditions. The bird was in the garden of the big house in the centre of Roils Head, its possible it will be still there tomorrow with luck. Also new in a very dull Chiffchaff.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Walshaw Dean

Another White Wagtail yesterday this one on lower Walshaw Res. A lot of Pied Wagtails about up there as well

Friday, April 14, 2017

Roils Head Redstarts

Yesterday had my earliest Redstart at Roils Head, a female briefly. Returned today to find a superb male in a different area (sorry no photos). Also today a male Wheatear, a Swallow and 3 Willow Warblers.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


A quick look there late afternoon in a blustery >NW wind
1 Wheatear on the embankment wall
1 Great Crested Grebe
1 Swallow
18 Canada Geese
1 Willow Warbler singing near the cottage

Fly Flats etc

Dreadful weather up on the top with driving rain, mist and a blustery F5 to 6 westerly so headed back to the relative shelter of Withens Head. !
2 Oystercatchers
2 Golden Plover
2 fantastic looking male Wheatears opposite the wind farm car park
A few Meadow Pipits, Lapwings and Curlew
8 Golden Plover near Nolstar
Then gave it up as bad job and hope it clears up a bit later on.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Mixenden area and other news

3 Swallows feeding over the Reservoir this afternoon. Not a lot else about, or perhaps it's been keeping down in the cold westerly
1 Little Owl
A few Meadow Pipits
2 Grey Wagtails
1 Chiffchaff

Swallow over Mytholmroyd this morning.
A very early Male Pied Flycatcher appeared at one location yesterday. Keeping a close eye on your local patch, as in this instance, can occasionally turn up those special moments when you least expect them.

Camera equipment

Is anyone selling any decent bird photography equipment? Nothing on a professional level, but the kit I've got is outdated and even when I get pretty close to birds in good light, the results are not a patch on the photos that some of you lot seems to be able to achieve!

Any thoughts welcome.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Swales Moor

Ploughcroft - opposite the ski-slope, the garden feeders were 'buzzing'.
1 Brambling with c 20 Chaffs and similar number of Goldfinch and a few Greenfinch with them.

Ringby Lane
1 Skylark
c20 Meadow Pipits on the top
1 Raven >N chased off by Carrion Crows
Big gulls moving through >NW - great to see them close by drifting along the ridge -  2 Great Black-backed Gulls, c15 Herring Gulls and 20+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls

Last few days

I heard this year's first willow warbler at Jumble Hole on Friday - now there's stacks of them! A very confiding blackcap is still in and around the garden.
Swallows have arrived at Eastwood sewage works.
A woodcock has been roding at Jumble Hole the past few nights.

Soil Hill

Just a couple of sightings from the last few days up on Soil Hill.
Yesterday had a single RAVEN fly N mid afternoon. A pair of OYSTERCATCHER were feeding on the field at the bottom of the hill.
Today had a WILLOW WARBLER singing from first light in the small plantation at the top of the hill, just at the base of the track up to the mast. Also had a patch tick in the form of a drake TUFTED DUCK which circled the summit with a flock of Mallard. A SWALLOW was flying around the hill this pm, with another (Or the same) flying around Bradshaw Lane.
No sign of the Black Redstart today, which would have made for a nice 2 pointer for my patchwork challenge effort for the hill.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Mytholmroyd Saturday AM

Mytholmroyd Scout area

2 siskin m & f
2 nuthach
7 chiffchaff
1 green w pecker heard
1 willow warbler
1 gs w pecker m seen
1 grey heron

1 small tortoiseshell


4 grey wagtail
1 pied wagtail
4 chiffchaff
2 treecreepers
3 nuthatch
1 swallow
4 goldcrest
1 kestrel
1 grey heron
1 green woodpecker
1 gs woodpecker
1 moorhen

2 small tortoiseshell

Black Redstart at Buckstones

Managed a very heavy cropped record shot of the Black Redstart at Buckstones this morning. Surprised, thought  I'd missed it in frame, got quite a few shots of empty rocks, it wouldn't keep still!

Black Redstarts etc

Unprecedented for 3 individuals to be located locally today. Hope some-one got some pictures. Try Brians (West Yorkshire Birding) blog later this evening, he might have some (??)
1 from Buckstones this morning (PD)
1 from Walshaw Dean this afternoon (MH)
1 from Soil Hill early evening (BS and JL)

They might still be about tomorrow or maybe some others around as well.....

1 Swallow for me at Scammonden this morning and a Willow Warbler singing at Ringstone and that was about it for me today other than checking a few Rookeries and Heronries.

Yesterdays Osprey

Yesterdays Osprey that flew north at Lower Gorple at 18.55PM NCD, DF. Pics by DF.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Cold Edge and Withens Head

Cold Edge
3 Barnacle Geese back there today with the Canada's, including the ringed bird which BS is still awaiting information on the birds origin.
2 Tufted Duck
1 Little Grebe
2 Moorhen
2 Redshank headed high >E
+ other usual spp..

Withens Head
3 Wheatears
1 Kestrel
1 Stonechat
1 Lesser Redpoll feeding on the ground in a with a flock of Meadow Pipits was unusual, though it did keep heading back into the tree belt then coming back again to feed in the field !

Wednesday, April 05, 2017


Half a dozen or so swallows over the sewage works in Mytholmroyd for most of the day today. None yet at Eastwood.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Ringstone Res'r

A few Swallows (6+) about feeding over the water this morning (AT)

Cold Edge and Withens Head

This morning with JS and AT doing the rounds starting off in drizzly mist which took a while to clear.
1 Willow Warbler singing in the trees just below the lower dam on the way down
3 Wheatears (2 at Withens Head and 1 near Haigh Cote) Sorry you missed them Alan !
1 Little Grebe
2 Goosander (AT)
Plenty Snipe drumming and 'chipping'
1 Cormorant high >W
22 Golden Plover high over the moor >NW
A good few mipits about and 2 Skylarks
1 Weasel


During the breeding season , Calderdale birdwatchers  would  prefer if post about birds of prey /owls are photos only and no site details at all. I remember not so many years ago Peregrine  and Buzzards etc were very rare and did not breed in Calderdale . there are still many people who would do harm to these residents of Calderdale....Thanks for your co-operation

Upland site

Up to the reservoir again 6pm-7.45

Hoping to spot some raptors,have previously had SEO and Merlin at this site. No luck though apart from 2 kestrels.

Not much on the moors apart from meadow pipits,reservoir now has 2 pairs of goldeneye

Birds seen

pied wagtail
grey wagtail
meadow pipit
canada goose

Monday, April 03, 2017

Jumble Hole

A blackcap was singing in the garden for an hour or so first thing this morning.


Still at least 2 Crossbills in the Plantation at Walshaw Dean yesterday.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Wainstalls Little Owl

Not the usual ones I see at Tabor but this one was on a wall near Wainstalls.

Ogden Garden

A lesser redpoll on a feeder this morning and a male reed bunting on the garden wall yesterday afternoon.


Willow Valley Golf Club 

Two Willow Warblers


Two Sand Martins

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Withens Head and top end of Cold Edge

Late morning with the drizzle coming in turning to heavy rain.
5 stonking male Wheatear between the top dam and Withens Head feeding on the mole hills.
Plenty Blackbirds about but no Ring Ouzels (one female yesterday on Soil Hill - see BS's blog West Yorkshire Birding)
1 Little Owl
1 male Stonechat
Female Sparrowhawk
12 Goosander on the top dam
Plenty Snipe about 'drumming' and 'chipping'
+ other usual spp.
Distant male Wheatear - what a belter this was - just a shame it was 100m away in pouring rain !