Thursday, August 31, 2017

Todays news

In brief
2 Redstarts, Chiffchaff and Willow Warblers at Roils Head (NCD)

Sparrowhawk took a Collared Dove at a Claremount garden this afternoon (Dave B)

Ringstone shoreline looking promising for waders - lets hope it stays down to attract some waders in. A few Lapwing and B H Gulls this afternoon  and a G C Grebe, Tufted Duck and Moorhens (AT DJS)

Several Whinchats and Stonechats appearing from Cragg Vale, Cold Edge and Fly Flats in the last few days.

Probable Curlew Sandpiper at Whiteholme Reservoir late afternoon (message from AN via AH)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Green withens

Nice to be back on the old patch

Merlin 1
goldfinch 2
Mallard 2
Meadow pipit 6
Buzzard 2


1 wheatear
1 kestrel

Monday, August 28, 2017

Ogden Garden

Spotted flycatcher in the garden this morning and six red admiral butterflies on the buddleia yesterday.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Roils Head

2 new Redstarts in at Roils Head today, also Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and a Sparrowhawk over Tower Hill.

Saturday, August 26, 2017


Single Parakeet turned up at the cricket today
A few Swallows still at Great Edge/Winterburn Lane

Cold Edge and Withens Head

This morning trying to catch up the butterfly survey, just can't seem to pick the right day for them.... too wet, come cloudy, too windy, too cool. Guess that's the order of this summer !
A good show of Stonechats with 1 male near the top dam with at least 2 juveniles then a pair at 'The Withins' with 3 juveniles.
The best bird though was a Yellow Wagtail that flew right over me to land in a wet field with horses. Just at the side of the Calderdale Way footpath. A really smart looking adult but just too far away for the bridge camera. I checked the same field again 2 hrs later but think it must have moved on. We don't get many Y wags in Calderdale nowadays, unfortunately.
1 Kestrel
1 Willow Warbler
Lots of Swallows and Meadow Pipits along with a few Linnets and Goldfinch.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Last few days

Last few days. Redstart still at Roils Head on Tuesday, had a juvenile Marsh Harrier at Ringstone on Wednesday, nearby a Kestrel with jesses on near Clock Face Quarry and a Ringed Plover at Whiteholme. 2 Chiffchaffs at Roils Head, 40 Mistle Thrushes and 2 Curlews at Howarth Old Road, Peregine over Cock Hill and 2 Barn Owls at an undisclosed site on Thursday.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Roils Head Redstart

First Redstart of the autumn found today at Roils Head, looks like a newly fledged juvenile, as usual in the northern shelter belt.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Fly Flats and Withens Head

Tricky scanning conditions this afternoon in the strong westerly
Nothing on the water, other than wind-surfers. I did manage to find at least 9 Wheatears on the walls alongside the top road and 3+ Kestrels about.

Withens Head. More Wheatears, with at least 6 on the walls opposite the wind farm site.
2 juvenile Curlew still in the fields
c40 juvenile Starlings as well as a Kestrel.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Roils Head Shortie

Got a surprise today when I flushed a Short-eared Owl from the heather at Roils Head, not much else doing just 3 Willow Warblers. 5 Ringed Plovers and a Redshank at Whiteholme last night.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


1m Kestrel
1f Kestrel
20 Swallows
9 Goldfinch
C50 Jackdaw

Swales Moor - Ringby Lane

It was good to meet up with JL doing the rounds late morning checking the 'wagtail' field. Quite a few Pied Wagtails including several juveniles but nothing out of the ordinary in among them.
1 Kestrel
1 Sparrowhawk being given a hard time by the corvids
1 Herring Gull >W
20+ L B B Gulls loafing around the summit.
A few Linnets and Goldfinch
1 Swift >W
30 + Swallows feeding high
1 Small Copper butterfly and 2 Small Tortoiseshells along Ringby Lane.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Quail 29th July Howarth Old Road

How about this for a record, Quail photographed on Howarth Old Road, Crimsworth Dean on 29th July by Nick Tonge. The bird flew in front of him before taking cover in the grass verge where he managed these pictures. Ive never seen one only heard a bird at Flamborough many years ago.

Cold Edge area

We intended doing a butterfly survey this afternoon but despite the lovely sunshine the wind curtailed butterfly activity. We only managed 3 Green-veined Whites and a Small Tortoiseshell.
1 male Stonechat
2 juvenile Curlew
1 juvenile Peregrine had a go at a Pipit - but missed it !
5 Wheatears at Withens Head
Moorhen with 5 juveniles well grown but still seeking food from the parent near the lower end of Cold Edge.
1 adult Common Gull and a few B H Gulls
Plenty of Swallows , Linnets and Goldfinches around with juveniles.
A great afternoon to be out for a walk - the extensive views from up there on Cold Edge Road/Withens Road are fantastic.

Update - via BS from HC -  2 Whinchats around the conifers near Cold Edge dams this evening.

Roils Head

Tree Pipit and 20+ Willow Warblers at Roils Head today, Red-legged Partridge close by at Highroad Well Moor.

Roils Head

Whinchat at Roils Head yesterday. I have been told that this site which was under treat from developers has now been saved, which is great news.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Recent news - (and a few thoughts) !

Have checked Swales Moor - Ringby Lane a few times recently without a lot of success though yesterday afternoon was a little better with a Kestrel, Up to 3 Sparrowhawks and 2 Buzzard fly - through >S. Linnets and Goldfinch's all have  juveniles with them up there so it looks as if these 2 species have fared better than some of our summer migrants.
Wheatears appearing now in plenty around the upland reservoirs.
A Whinchat reported today from Roils Head (NCD) and Willow Warblers are also appearing.
A few Spotted Flycatchers are returning but little sign of Redstarts yet though some can be expected in the next few weeks.

It's a good time to check the garden shrubberies. Watch out for the small birds flitting about as these groups could include Willow Warblers as well as Whitethroats and Blackcaps etc - especially first thing in a morning or after overnight rain or mid-day downpours !

Adult Cuckoo's are mostly well on their way back to Africa now - some are even in the process of crossing the Sahara (per BTO and RSPB information on satellite tracked birds). It is time to look out for juvenile Cuckoos on moorland or in moorland cloughs.

An Osprey was seen yesterday near to Oxenhope - ( see BS's West Yorkshire Birding blog -for  an interesting and comprehensive report.)

There are till quite a few Swifts about (over Lee Mount at least) but they won't be around for long now - signs of autumn....... It's still a good time for Swallows and House Martins in the next six weeks or so as they gather to feed in suitable locations and as many pairs continue the breeding process.

A few Common Gulls are also appearing from their breeding grounds along with Black-headed Gulls.
It's a great time of year to expect the unexpected  !

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Sunny Vale

The pair of Little Grebes are now feeding four young out on the lake.
An adult Kingfisher was with another bird which was finding it hard to perch, and dive - probably a juv
trying to adjust to it's new surroundings.
Two juv Herons flying around the lake; an earlier brood of Mallard ducklings were recently polished off by an adult Heron. They make such easy targets unfortunately !

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Swales Moor and Fly Flats

Checked the wagtail field this morning hoping for new arrivals after the overnight rain. Nothing new in other than a pair of Reed Buntings and a few more Meadow Pipits.
Biggest surprise was a male House Sparrow with the wagtails !

Headed off to Fly Flats and it was good to meet up with HC and chat for a while as we scanned the extensive landscape.
Quite a few Wheatears on the stone walls along with a few Meadow Pipits. Plenty of Swallows feeding low over the eastern side of the Reservoir.
No Swifts while I was there.
A female/juvenile Merlin went low across the water and down towards the dean.
2 Barnacle Geese still there.
1 male Reed Bunting at Withens Head was unexpected.


My daughter in law saw 3 Kingfishers from her window overlooking the river at Hollas Bridge yesterday evening.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Crested Tit reported in a brighouse garden

This is going around social media at the moment..herd singing in a garden at Rastrick....

Swales Moor

Checked the 'cow field' along Ringby Lane again this morning. There were definitely more Pied Wagtails and Meadow Pipits than yesterday so hope to keep a check just in case any Yellow Wagtails are tempted in !
I see from the BTO Bird Track site that the end of August/start of September is the peak time of the whole year for Y wag reporting, so plenty of time yet.

Not a lot else up there today other than a few Linnets and Goldfinches.

Twite recovery project

RSPB/Hudds birders are requesting some labour.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Swales Moor

Swales Moor Road and Ringby Lane this morning. This followed a tip-off from BS's contacts of what looks like the start of a build up of Wagtails in the cow fields where the Yellow Wagtails turned up last year.
There were around 15+ Pied Wag's there this morning. More 'munching' from the cows should help viewing once the vegetation gets cropped much closer.
2 Kestrels
c40 L B B Gulls in the cow field along with the usual corvids.
1 Skylark
10+ Meadow Pipits
Lots of Swallows over the field and a dribble of Swifts >SW
Green Woodpecker flyover >N
1 juv Great Spotted Woodpecker on the feeders at the bottom of Ringby Lane opposite the ski-slope.
A young Fox came to say hello !

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Castle Carr Road, Wainstalls

This afternoon before the rain came in, though it could be seen approaching from over the hills to the west.

14 Mistle Thrush together in one field - I don't think there are as many breeding birds about as in  previous years though late summer is a good time to see small groups foraging in the upland pastures.

2 Kestrels - these have been scarce or even absent this summer from several upland areas of north Halifax so it was good to see some returning birds. Perhaps the vole population is recovering (?)
2 Little Owls
8 Meadow Pipits
A few Goldfinch feeding on the numerous thistle heads and a few Swallows and Swifts moving >SW

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Swalesmoor etc

Had a walk up Ringby Lane late morning
1 Kestrel
1 Little Owl
40+ Linnets including lots of juveniles just out of the nest and the same number of Goldfinches now feeding on thistle heads
Meadow Pipit still feeding young
20+ Swifts moving through
c10 Swallows
2 House Martins
2 Stock Dove
c60 Carrion  Crows and 20+ L B B Gulls loafing  around on the ridge

A call from PG confirmed Allan N (Lanc's birder) had 5 Arctic Terns at Whiteholme Reservoir yesterday - staying on the small peat island for  a while till the weather eased before they moved off >W.
Also today - 2 Ringed Plover there (PG)

Friday, August 04, 2017

Fly Flatts (yesterday) and Stodfold area today

Fly Flats  yesterday drew a blank mainly - as did AT ! Really bad weather up there and we couldn't find anything !

Stodfold area this afternoon (between Mixenden and Ogden) - a decent afternoon for butterfly's but not many birds about other than a good show of House Martins and Swallows feeding in the shelter of Hunter Hill with at least 50 of each species.
1 Linnet
A few Goldfinch
1 Green Woodpecker heard
2 juvenile Stonechats at the lower end of Ogden golf course
1 Kestrel

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Other news this week..

From BS - at Fly Flatts on 1st August
6 Curlew, 4 Dunlin and 9 Herring Gulls >SW

Also from Brian on 1st August, a very good record from Ogden - Little Egret left >E soon after he arrived - good timing ! See West Yorkshire Birding blog for photo's and report.

From Monday 31st July another very good record, from JB - a Sanderling at Ringstone Reservoir found across lunchtime.

Fly Flats and Withens Head

I couldn't find much at Fly other than 60+ Canadas and, still there, the pair of Barnacle Geese.
1 Lesser Black- backed Gull flythrough >N
1 Kestrel

Withens Head
3 Wheatear on the stone walls near the farm buildings. Also one Pied Wagtail and 3 Swallows.