Monday, April 30, 2018


A cuckoo was calling at Jumble Hole this morning.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Jumble Hole

A whitethroat arrived back today, and was singing lots (including from my garden!).

Green woodpeckers also being very vocal.
A treecreeper was seen to be taking wool from barbed wire for lining its nest.

In the rain on Thursday there was 300+ swallows feeding at Eastwood sewage works, but not a single martin (although there was a dozen house martins there earlier in the week).

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Buzzard - missing feathers

Went on my annual failed search for Redstarts. Did get at least one cuckoo, sparrowhawk, several chiffchaffs and willows,  kestrel and pair of buzzards.  Does anyone know why this one would have symmetrical missing feathers? Could it just be moulting? 

Cromwell Bottom

Two Common Terns found by somebody on the ski lake this morning

Luddenden Foot to Mytholmroyd

We had a walk along the Calder this afternoon. The wind was still >NE and cool.
Very few summer migrants other than one each Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff.
2 Swallows >W
A Dipper flew upstream as did a drake Goosander and a juvenile Cormorant.


Tried again in the woodland areas this morning. Dry weather this time but still a pretty cool >NE wind.

I was trying for Tree Pipit, a really scarce bird in Calderdale in recent years though there are a couple of traditional sights unfortunately now deserted. A shame to miss out on this summer visitors lovely song. Nothing doing !
A good show of Willow Warblers with 10+ singing along with a single Chiffchaff and a Blackcap.
Distant Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Buzzard and 4 Curlew over >N
16 Golden Plover, but distant over towards The Withens
5 Wheatears, 1 Linnet, 2 Swallows and 2 House Martins over the lower end of the golf course.

Piece hall Peregrines

Is not like me to put breeding raptors on the blogg and please do not put on any others but these two are all over social media so I have to let everyone know. There is a facebook site called CalderdalePeregrines by Andy Beattie and shows some great footage of local Peregrine Falcons

If you are not on Facebook I do not think the link works..??

Friday, April 27, 2018


Had a walk around the reservoir and some of the woodland in the rain with Alan T late morning. Conditions were far from ideal in the wet though we did manage 2 Jays and a few Willow Warbler sightings and singing.
Also a female Blackcap, a Grey Wagtail and a Treecreeper.
2 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls were on the water along with a few Mallard
That was about it - oh and a bonus bumping into the ever cheerful JL doing the rounds - in the wet again John !

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Jay House Lane

Some very nice pictures from JM late afternoon with 2 female Pied Flycatchers found feeding in the trees and bushes alongside the road. Migrants, probably heading for more northern woodlands, they probably came down in the rain showers earlier today.

A great find John and well done with the identification after never having seen this species before.
They will probably move on tonight if the weather is fine and the sky clear but still worth checking tomorrow (?)


Luddenden Dean

Thanks to Steve B for showing me around a part of the dean I'd not explored before.
A local heronry checked with just a single bird present.
One Swift was found with a few House Martins all high up near Oats Royd. The Swift drifted off >S but the House Martins were still there this afternoon when I revisited with Jen to see a lovely patch of Wood Anenomies which Steve pointed out earlier. This afternoon there were 30+ House Martins present with a similar number of Swallows - but the Swift had gone.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Jayhouse Lane

Six Wheatear and a Whinchat on the  manure pile today.


MEGA morning!

Dropped the wife of at work at silly o,clock this morning so took the opportunity to visit my local reservoir( 7-9am). not been out in a while so was hoping for something exciting,didn't disappoint.
Managed a few photos of this Osprey!
pretty low,straight over my head but only visible for 10 seconds or so before it went over lancashire way. calderdale first for me,after just missing one at leeshaw last year.

Also on the water a few different ducks that i am unsure of id

Sussed out how to link my old camera to my new laptop,finally! will try to add pictures to the blog as often as possible.


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Hardcastle Crags

A short walk today produced:

- male redstart
- 2 blackcap
- 4 goldcrest
- 11 swallows by the mill
- green woodpecker
- great spotted woodpecker
- curlew overhead from the farmland

Not a lot else in all honesty. Most of the migrant woodland birds have been back on territory in neighbouring recording areas (Bradford, East Lancs etc) for some days now, so maybe it's not going to be a great year on that front?

High Royd

I went to check the filter bed location adjacent to the canal about a mile west of Sowerby Bridge this afternoon in the search of hirundines.

I wasn't disappointed, though it's impossible to get a decent count with a mass of birds feeding voraciously on the leeward side of the filter beds. Maybe 180+ Swallows, 30+ House Martins and an occasional Sand Martin with them. Wonderful to see these birds fresh back from Africa.

It's a shame the former sludge beds are now well overgrown and impossible to view with the mass of vegetation and trees. They used to be so good for waterfowl especially in winter.

Lee Mount

Out in the garden this morning - a Common Swift went over >W at 08:35. A very nice early surprise.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Today's news

Good to see a few observers out and about covering some of the local sites.
At least one Cuckoo showing well at times in Luddenden Dean this morning, and in good voice.
2 Little Owls also found in the usual spots
A few Willow Warblers, 1 Chiffchaff and 2 Blackcaps heard singing in the upper dean and 4+ Skylarks along Castle Carr Road

Not many Swallows about yet though a report of quite a few at Shelf Moor (DBr)

A Shelduck, Wheatear and  a single Twite at Whiteholme along with a Common Sandpiper (CJB)

A Shelduck this morning on Ringstone Edge Reservoir (DF) who also found 5 Goldeneye on Withens Clough Reservoir

Friday, April 20, 2018

Ogden, Cold Edge and Ringstone

A Cuckoo at Ogden up by the 'Giant's Tooth' this morning (CS).

I was at Cold Edge - an interesting morning as the mist lifted very slowly with much of the usual species. The best bird for me was a Sand Martin fly-through >N and 7 Lesser Black-backed Gulls went right over me >W in the mist with a single Herring Gull
3 Linnets were new for the year for me
1 Little Owl
6+ Skylarks up singing as the sun came out
2 Wheatears at Withens Head
One or two Swallows passing through >N
2 Willow Warblers

2 Coot were unusual birds for this site (AT)


Just a reminder to let me have the results of any Rookery counts in the next week or so before the leaves hide the nests. Many thanks to all the results so far with just a few more to come in. Thanks. Dave

Luddenden Foot

A House Martin over the canal there this morning  (M Br)

Catch up !

Some recent news from around and about.
Some nice pictures from an undisclosed Calderdale site below (JM) yesterday. Also other Yellowhammers reported recently (M St) and yesterday briefly in the Shibden Valley (D Br).

Also from yesterday - early Cuckoo singing in the Luddenden Valley (DP). Grasshopper Warblers singing in the Scammonden area.
A few reports recently of other summer migrants appearing,  including Blackcaps, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaff's and a few Swallows about as well though Wheatears are still sparse with probably more birds to follow soon.
Common Sandpipers also starting to appear from 15th April (BS) (PJWS) (GS) on local reservoirs along with the already present Lapwing, Curlew, Redshank and Snipe.

Ringstone still supports a 300+ flock of wintering Golden Plover and a few Lapwings along with 2 Great Crested Grebe's and 3 Tufted Duck and 2 Oystercatchers earlier this week.

A Ring Ouzel in fields near Bradshaw on 9th April (JL) and 3 at Ringstone on 7th April (JB).

I might think of some more to add later.............!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Osprey at Castleshaw, South of our recording area

Hope no one minds but thought I'd share a couple of Osprey shots the wife and I were very fortunate to see at Castleshaw Res nr Delph on Friday

Weather was poor and all the shots we got are heavily cropped but it put on a great show. Hovering, diving and making two successful catches for around half an hour, before we lost it heading up the valley at the back of one of the large plantations.

It was superb to see such a stunning bird 'fishing' so close to home, an  amazing sight and a lifer for us both.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Cromwell Bottom

On the Amphibian walk today:

We spent some time at the bird feeding station, and among the commoner residents (Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Jay, ) we saw Bullfinch, Male Blackcap, Chiff-chaff and four Redpolls. The Redpolls were feeding on insects high in the Goat Willows, as were the Chiff-chaffs.

We are getting less surprised at the regular Buzzard souring over the reserve, but the views were beautiful in the sunlight when one came quite close. Kingfisher was also seen by one member.

(Further details of amphibian/plant/butterfly sightings over on the

Friday, April 13, 2018

NOT LOCAL BIRDS !! Gull ID confirmation please.

Apologies for posting these photos as they are from Majorca where I have just been on a family holiday.  I only had a 18-200mm zoom 'holiday' lens as I expected no good birds as we were in a busy resort.

I realise this blog is for local birds and I apologise again if this post annoys anyone but I was after confirmation that the gull is an Audoin's if anyone has experience?  I have been through my Collins and can't put it as anything else. Even I know what the second photo is!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Flock over Gorple

Had this flock over Gorple Reservoir yesterday but couldnt i.d. Im sure there will be someone who can .They were circling between Gorple and Widdup

Monday, April 09, 2018


14 swallows feeding at Eastwood Sewage Works this afternoon were my first this spring. No martins as yet.
3+ chiffchaff and 1 willow warbler were around Jumble Hole, and a woodcock was flushed.
 A flock of around 25 thrushes flew east at Jumble Hole, but I was too slow getting my binoculars. Looked the right size for redwing though.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Blackstone Edge

With grateful thanks to Simon Hitchen for allowing us to post his photograph of a Water Pipit he found at Blackstone Edge late afternoon. A very smart looking bird and quite a rarity for us just inside our recording area !
Thanks to Andy H as well for passing the message and photograph on to us.

Unfortunately the bird could not be relocated after it was last seen flying towards a roadside drain in Halifax Road. Well done Simon.
Water Pipit

Cold Edge

This afternoon. the only migrant I could find was a Swallow on the wires at the farm just down from then dams.
I was in a mind to check the migrant Ring Ouzel spot but there was nothing doing there.
No a lot else other than the 2 Barnacle Geese with the Canada flock of 70+ Canadas.
4 Redshank, 2 Oystercatchers, Several Curlew and 2 Snipe in display and only 2 Lapwings
I was surprised to find a solitary Redwing in bushes at Moorlands Farm and that was about it.
1 Little Owl calling and some Red-legged Partridge heard
1 Kestrel

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Last day or two.

Things hotting up now with migrants arriving / passing through including several reports of Swallows and Wheatears from scattered locations.

3 Ring Ouzels at Ringstone briefly this afternoon and a staggering count of 19 just to the south of our area.
A Great Crested Grebe and 600+ Golden Plover also at Ringstone (JB)

Black Redstart at Lower Gorple on Thursday. (GW)

A single Whooper Swan on Ogden most of the day today (CS and BS)

Male Blackcap also seen near Lee Dam, Lumbutts along with a Chiffchaff and more Swallows (SB and AVH)

And to finish the day, see Nick's post below of the Kittiwakes !!

7 Kittiwakes

Me and DF found 7 adult Kittiwakes at Lower Gorple this evening, thought it might be a record count until I checked the history. There's been a few records of 7 or 8 birds, but the largest gathering was an incredible 39 adults at Fly Flats in March 1981.

Ogden Garden

First swallow of year flew over before rain started. One solitary whooper swan on ogden water at 12.30 pm.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Its that time again........

It's that time of year again when it's important not to reveal details of the whereabouts of scarce and rare breeding birds. This includes all raptors and Owls . If you are posting images please leave out site details. Thanks.

Monday, April 02, 2018


2 Ring Ouzels in the Luddenden Valley were a very good find (SF)

Single Wheatears reported from Fly Flatts (BS) and the Scammonden area ((PD)

Jayhouse Lane

A couple of hours at Jayhouse Lane today.

2 Wheatears on the manure pile
9 Skylarks
15 Meadow Pipits
2 Pied Wagtails
4 Golden Plover
1 Lapwing
4 Curlew
4 Common Gulls
C100 Starlings
1 Little Owl

Recent report

Walked from Widdop Road to Gorple Lower on Friday afternoon. Skylarks in brilliant voice above about half way up the track. Only saw one but sounded like several. Oystercatchers and 2 Greylag geese on Gorple lower as well as a pair of Mallard and several Canada Geese. Lots of lapwings and several curlews.
On electricity wire, on left (north) just past The ridge, there were several hundred starlings . They dropped to the ground to feed intermittently and then most flew up and did a mini mid-afternoon murmuration.
Previous Sunday (25th).  flock on about 100 lapwings in air above Gorple Lower. Skylarks heard and seen that day too.
Hen pheasant regularly visiting my small garden in Mytholm
From Nina Smith

Edge Lane, Colden 1 April

Not a great deal about in truth.
A pair of goldeneye flew up the valley towards Gorple area.
A couple of red grouse on the moor. A scattering of meadow pipits.
Lots of curlew, fewer lapwing.

One brown hare was running across a field. A less fortunate one was shot dead and tossed in a ditch.

Sunday, April 01, 2018


Male and female yesterday evening, around 7pm,  last field on right past Moselden quarry,  B6114
Got a few record shots

Long-eared owl, undisclosed site later in the evening, , it was nearly dark by the time it showed.

This was shot at 1/20th, f6.3, 16,000 ISO, heavy crop

Also on way home, Little owl on lamp post near Moorcock, Norland