Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Cold Edge

A goose day !

Pretty hard work in the freezing cold wind up there this morning. It ended up with a big bonus with c242 Pink-footed Geese right overhead following the EWS from Andy at Northowram.
 c180 in this group (above) closely followed by 11,25,12 and 14 (below)
Earlier on there were 30+ Canada's at Cold Edge along with 19 Greylags and a tired looking 'pinkie' type in with the domestics, It's not usually there with them but need to check it again as I couldn't get any leg colour - it just looked worn out (below).
Also in that area a flock of c130 Fieldfare, 1 Redwing 3 Mistle Thrush, 3 Blackbirds and c250 Starlings.
1 Reed Bunting
A male Peregrine over a couple of times
Plenty of B H Gulls and a few Common Gulls about as well as usual corvids
1 distant Little Owl near Wainstalls
UPDATE - with thanks to BS for checking out the 'pinkie' though I did manage to get up there later in the afternoon with Nick D and we met Pete S on his way down from that cold winter bite up there !
Besides the Pink-footed Goose showing better  and showing it's leg colour we also found a pair of Stonechats by the small upper pond along with a Moorhen and then a single Little Owl on Castle Carr Road.
(See BS's blog - West Yorkshire Birding - and comments on the leg colour + photo's of this individual).

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Cold Edge

This afternoon - not much change in the weather up there this afternoon in the cold wind - though it had stopped raining !
c320 Fieldfare flew over in a big flock along with c60 Starlings and just a few Redwings with them, most of them heading down towards Castle Carr Road/ Luddenden Dean. Guess they were put up by a raptor, unseen, though a lot of smaller gulls and Jackdaws were also disturbed at the same time.
1f Goldeneye
1 Grey Heron
11 Canada Geese
1 Greylag Goose
2 Moorhen
14 Mallard
2 Mistle Thrush
Plenty Red Grouse evident on the moor
2 Kestrel

A nice view looking west towards Stoodley Pike beyond Midgley Moor as I came back down Withens Road after  quick check at Fly Flatts where I bumped into BS after doing his rounds at Fly Flatts. Bracing up there this aft Bri !!
c20 Fieldfare were in the fields just across from the wind-farm car park area.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Garden feeders

This male Great Spotted Woodpecker, along with his mate, has been a daily visitor to the garden feeders for at least 12 months now. I have only been able to get him through the window as he is still very wary and only appears when no-one is about.

We also get a pair of Nuthatch regularly along with 4 tit species etc. Yesterday was a surprise with a Goldcrest on the fat-filled coconut. We do see Goldcrests occasionally but never before have we seen one on the feeders. I tried hard for a photo without success as the bird darted around snatching morsels of fat.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Mixenden Res’r

2 drakes and 2 f Goldeneye there this morning
4 Cormorant
1 Great Black-backed Gull >W
2 Herring Gulls
2 L B B Gulls
A few B H Gulls and Common Gulls
1 Grey Wagtail

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Hebden otter

Picture borrowed from Facebook. Apparently another youngster taken into care near Callis Bridge.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Mixenden Reservoir

3 Goldeneye (including 1 drake) this morning along with 5 Cormorants and that was about it !

Mammal news

Not birds, I know, but it's an exceptional record.

It was being widely reported on Facebook on Thursday that a 'baby otter' was making a load of noise on the riverbank opposite Cambridge Street, Hebden Bridge. Most people were saying the same as I was thinking - surely it's a mink?

The animal rescue people came out and captured it, and sure enough it was an otter pup! They searched for its parent without success, so it was taken to a wildlife centre in Cheshire. They have pledged that once it's strong enough it will be brought back to this area and released.

I wish I'd seen it, but caught the thread on fb too late!

Tame Grouse???

Took my Scouts on our annual hike starting at Hardcastle Crags today. We were walking on the path under Shackleton Knoll when a Grouse turned up just a metre away from us chattering away to us. Despite my Scouts being noisy etc it stayed with us and then followed us when we moved off

Friday, January 19, 2018

Mixenden Reservoir

Late morning - with snow showers continuing
Just 1 Shelduck
3 Goosander including a male
3 Goldeneye
5 Cormorant
5 Herring Gulls >W

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Mixenden Reservoir

This afternoon
2 Shelduck - initially found one bird on the water which then moved on to the top of the embankment then I found another one hiding away on the shoreline just over the banking near the gate. (BS and AT arrived on a 'twitch' ......and it was good to have a chat in the sleet !)
6 Cormorant
Pair of Goldeneye
4 Mallard
A few B H Gulls, though Common Gulls notable by their absence, other than just a few adult birds.
1 Herring Gull flythrough >W
2 Jays and a few Goldfinch
I also checked the woodland plantation in the hope of a Woodcock - what a bog - but all I could find was a Kestrel sheltering from the elements.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Red Grouse behaviour

Posting from Rob G on Sunday 14th Jan. Thanks Rob. An interesting encounter of territorial behaviour !

"...at Walshaw Dean Reservoir this morning at the gate leading up High Rakes!! Refused to let me pass and blocked my progress for about 50 metres up the track. Kept flying at my legs and standing toe to toe with me."

Mixenden Res’r and Fly Flatts

3 Goldeneye (1drake)
2 Cormorant
1 Grey Wagtail
1 ad Great Black- backed Gull >W
c100 B H Gulls but only 6 Common Gulls
60+ Jackdaws
Green Woodpecker flyover towards Ogden

Fly Flatts
20+ Mallard
2 Raven >S
1 x 2nd winter Herring Gull >NW

Withens Head
18 Fieldfare

Saturday, January 13, 2018


A Cormorant in the Calder just upstream of the Huddersfield Road bridge. Not sure how unusual this is is, but I can't recall seeing one here before.

Ogden Garden

Reed Bunting perched on the cotoneaster and on the ground feeder most days in the last 10 day period.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Skircoat Moor

From WG - c30 Redwings on the sports pitch areas yesterday on the lower side of Skircoat Moor near the 'chippy'.
A traditional wintering area  and it's always worth to check for them there as well as in and around Manor Heath Park.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Warley Moor

Took a walk along Castle Carr Road this afternoon and at the end by the 'Top Lodg' ended up heading over Warley Moor to Rocking Stone Flat at SE035302 - what a bog, though I avoided the worst bit which is the moor to Slade and Withens Head. That's often a wellie job in summer, never mind winter !
On the top (412m) I could see BS just pulling up at Fly Flatts nearly a mile away so we had a nice  chat over the phone ! Look forward to tonights report Bri.

Very little to report bird wise....but enough to keep me going.
5 Herring Gulls >W
3 Kestrels over Midgley Moor
1 Stock Dove
Plenty of Red Grouse getting vocal
1 Reed Bunting at the top lodge - it used to be a good spot for a small wintering flock but only the one in evidence today.

2 Little Owls together near Wainstalls
Also a flock of 80+ Fieldfare flew over towards Cold Edge
 Looking east towards Slade and Withens Head (wind farm in the mist)
click photo's to enlarge
Looking west towards the 'top lodge' with Midgley Moor beyond

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


                   Male and Female Pintail at Ringstone today.MH,DF

Tuesday, January 09, 2018



Redwings etc

From Andy H.
Small group of fieldfare, Mistle thrush and redwings near craggies yesterday with a couple of the redwings showing characteristics of ssp coburni although I couldn't see undertail coverts as they were feeding on the ground. Worth checking any flocks you come across.
Will try post photos from Andy.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Lesser Redpoll

'listers' will probably be interested in this. Birdwatch January 2018.

Friday, January 05, 2018


Over Highroad Well  at 4.27 this morning.  There must have been a lot of them as they woke me up with all the racket they made

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Mixenden Reservoir and Fly Flatts

Mixenden - just a pair of Goldeneye late morning and little else.

Fly Flatts - don't know why I went up there in the driving rain and gale force wind conditions - but I did - though I did stay in the car.
A second winter Herring Gull came over heading >NW but the gale forced it sideways >SW
25+ drake Mallard on the peninsula - I guess females were with them but I couldn't see them in the driving rain !

Work opportunity

GFB has part-time flexible work in Elland for a local birder or naturalist with practical skills. Help us make nature conservation products, details here or contact John Beaumont.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Pepper Hill

This covers the hillside overlooking Claremount, Boothtown and the Shibden Valley.
A nice year tick from the top of Horley Green looking down the Shibden Valley - with 5 Mute Swans on Shibden Park Lake.
1 Common Buzzard
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Kestrel
2 Jays
2 Bullfinch
2 Herring Gulls >W
That was about it apart from corvids with a few B H Gulls and Common Gulls in the valley.
The daylight disappeared rapidly in the gloom this afternoon.

Baird's Sandpiper Accepted

We have just received news that the Baird's Sand at Whiteholme in September as been accepted by the British Birds Rare Birds Panel, thus making it a new species for Calderdale and probably only the 9th for Yorkshire ( need to check this). There's no problem with Brian's Great Egret and Caspian Gull so all we are waiting on is the Red-footed Falcon at Walshaw in July. The YNU judge this record and they can take their time about it, but I personally think its a sound record and am prepared to include it in the next bird report, anyone who hasn't seen the description is welcome to view it just drop me an email or leave your details. Its also that time of year when I start to hassle people for their records, its taking a lot longer these days to process them all so could I please have them in as soon as possible PLEASE.

Mixenden and Ogden etc

This morning.
Mixenden Reservoir
3 Goldeneye (2 drakes)
4 Teal
1 Cormorant
9 Great Black-backed Gulls >W (included 7 adults)
1 Common Buzzard in the sleet >NW was a surprise
c60 B H Gulls and c20 Common Gulls.

Usual species around the duck feeding area including 1 drake Tufted Duck
Nothing down the sluice area as workmen were down there doing repairs - I was hoping for Kingfisher and maybe Dipper or Grey Wagtail. One for another day !

Goldeneye reported from Ringstone Reservoir this morning (AT)