Thursday, May 31, 2018


The 2016 - 2017 Bird Report is now out, at the moment you can only pick one up from the GO Local store at Woodlesford News, Pellon or from Dave Sutcliffe or me. With it being a double report it will cost £6.50 to buy, but its full of goodies including 4 new species for Calderdale in 2017. I would like to thank all those who contributed to it by sending in records, photos or articles and especially to Dave Sutcliffe and John Marsh for their help with the publication side. There are only 60 copies so if you want one get one soon. For the last two years the bird club has made a loss in profits so all the help is needed to keep it going in the future, Thanks very much Nick D.

Fly Flatts

Unusual to have such a warm, humid morning at this location. it's usually freezing and blowing a gale !!
Started off well with a male Wheatear, they have usually, in recent years,  gone further north so late in May but I accepted it all the same !
1 Reed Bunting
A good show of Meadow Pipits
3 Skylarks up singing briefly
A few Swallows and Swifts >SW
At least 5 Dunlin present interspersed between the west embankment and the eastern shoreline, very vocal and flighty but these two below were very 'friendly'. Also present, Common Sandpipers, Redshank, Curlew, Snipe and Lapwing.
2 Kestrels
25+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls soared high overhead >NW
 Distant male Wheatear
Also nice to see some decent sized Lapwing chicks near Withens Head and a single Golden Plover in the fields.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Lee Mount

A few more Swifts about today across lunchtime and again mid afternoon with 20+ feeding low over trees in Shroggs Park. Encouraging !
Also BS had a good number over Mixenden Reservoir this afternoon

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Wheatley Valley

This morning I checked the landfill site - nice and quiet down there today. One area is now well overgrown with trees and shrubs and there is a good large area of damp grassland.
Singing warblers included 3 Blackcap, 2 Garden Warblers, 2 Whitethroat, 3 Willow Warblers and 3 Chiffchaff.
Also 2 Bullfinch, a few Goldfinch and a Coal Tit singing as well as a pair of Great Tits feeding young. Several Wrens and Blackbirds and 2 Song Thrush in good song !

Monday, May 28, 2018

Lee Mount

At last, double figures for Swifts this afternoon with 10 together feeding high above the park.
They are still in very low numbers locally this year. That is, compared with previous years round here.

A nice singing Garden Warbler across lunchtime, in the trees at the back. A first for the year up here.

Walshaw area

Nice bank holiday walk. Loads of lapwings, mippets, curlews. Heard a distant cuckoo.
But the star was a pair of spotted flycatchers.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Today's news

The day started off with news from RR of a Wood Warbler singing in Hardcastle Crags, heard on the Dawn Chorus walk. Also a Redstart in the crags as well.

Yellow Wagtail over the res'r house at Ringstone this morning.
5 Dunlin at Fly Flatts this afternoon  (BS)
5 Dotterel reported on the moor near Warland Reservoir yesterday though  a check on the site today unfortunately failed to relocate them but could they still be there (?) (BL)

Swales Moor - Ringby Lane this afternoon.
I went to check the bare ploughed field on the top where I thought there might be a very remote possibility of Dotterel - no joy there, just 2 Lapwing
Ringby Lane field with Soil Hill in the background
Present nearby
I was very surprised to see a sub adult Common Gull as they are usually well away from Calderdale at this time of year.
c10 Lesser Black-backed Gulls over the processing plant and at least 70 Carrion Crows, including a good number of young birds.
1 Linnet
2 Skylark
2 Meadow Pipits
1 Common Buzzard
2 House Martins, a few Swallow and c20 Swifts over Shibden Head

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Recent photo's

Photo's from JM this week at various sites in Calderdale
 Black-headed Gull

Willow Warbler

Friday, May 25, 2018

Weather about to break so must have a look at
the Peregrines at Square Chapel Spire (Piece Hall or Library Spire to some.) Peregrines originally reported by AB this year I believe, also by MSt.

04.31 Male Peregrine appeared straight away, flew in and perched on the outside.
04.58 Male and female Peregrine flying round.
05.00 Male Peregrine flying round calling.
05.12 Female Peregrine flew out from spire and perched on the outside, preened.
If there is a Peregrine nest it could be on the balcony behind the north facing balustrade.
Fewer Jackdaws than two years ago when I counted birds prior to building work, when Kestrels were  present. Kestrels missed a year during building project.
One Jackdaw nest on east side, another over the yard in the Industrial Museum, and another in the Hughes Corporation building, just over the road.
05.15 One Pigeon flew out and back into the spire.
05.16 Male Peregrine flew out from balustrade ledge and flew directly north.
05.24 Pigeon flew away.
05.29 Female Peregrine had gone - didn't see it go.

(Edited notes - several other sightings of Peregrines circling spire.)

Female who came out to preen.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Hardcastle Crags, 20 May

Took a long walk from the top car park to the mill, and up past the fork and back.
Similar experience to Dave's the other day - basically sod all! Not even the shy redstart. Can there really be neither flycatcher up there (or anywhere else in Calderdale?)? I even watched each of the trios of boxes I found for 20-30 minutes, and nothing went in or out. Not even blue or great tits. It would seem that whatever is in there (where the boxes are occupied) is sat on eggs. So maybe in 2 - 3 weeks time, there will be more to see.

And it's exactly the same picture at Jumble Hole. Where in the past couple of years there has been pied & spotted flycatcher and wood warbler, this year there's nothing.


Seven swifts over the garden at Highroad Road Well today

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Swales Moor

A walk on Ringby Lane this afternoon and along the way chatting with Ian, in the same mind as me, enjoying the sunshine.
2 Herring Gulls on the top, one adult, and several L B B Gulls loafing around the re-cycling compound
1 Skylark
2 Meadow Pipits
1 Linnet
One or two Swifts high up and 2+ Swallows over the fields
Some Lapwings in the ploughed field.
Distant Buzzard
Generally pretty quiet other than the usual 50+ corvids on the top.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Blake Dean

                                   A Hobby over Blake Dean today

Hardcastle Crags

Really hard work finding any summer visitors today.
1 Chiffchaff, a few Blackcaps, 2 Willow Warblers, 2 Swallows at Gibson Mill.
Bird of the day was a Redstart singing but at the same spot an hour later all was quiet.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Hardcastle Crags

Pretty quiet in the woodland other than Nuthatches sounding off in several locations.
1 Chiffchaff at Midgehole
2 Willow Warblers
6+ Blackcaps
1 Goldcrest
1 Grey Wagtail
Not a sign nor song of Wood Warblers, Redstarts or Flycatchers

Not much else till we got up towards Shackleton Knoll with a few Curlew and Lapwings
1 each Buzzard, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk
Plenty of Jackdaws and a few Rooks
Not a sign of any Swifts, just a few Swallows
Still it was a lovely day to be out in the fresh air and sunshine


Does anyone know a decent printing firm, Ive just about had it with those prats in Hebden Bridge, they have had the bird report for 2 months and haven't even got back to me with a price yet despite me calling them last week.

Walshaw Track, Natural England & Mark Avery

A seemingly positive news update from Mark Avery  on the proposed Walshaw Track and the potetial legal action against Natural England:-

Monday, May 14, 2018

Withens Road

Some nice shots of a Cuckoo today from JM near Nolstar fields with Meadow Pipits in attendance !

Also a Cuckoo reported (Helen P) at Broadhead Clough area and another near Flints, above Baitings Reservoir (AH). Not doing bad for Cuckoos this year but where are some of the other summer migrants ?

Lee Mount

4 fledged Mistle Thrush with the 2 adults yesterday evening in the churchyard.
One of the juvs flew into a window but thankfully it recovered and flew up into a tree unharmed with the loss of just a few feathers !
A few minutes later they were all feeding on the ground when a Carrion Crow had a go at catching one. Amazing how quick a corvid can be when it's after fresh food. Another chick had a narrow escape with the loss of a tail feather.
It's a tough life being a young bird.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Green Woodpecker in Garden

       Nice surprise in the garden this morning with a
       Green Woodpecker calling and showing well, a
       bit of a bogie bird for me so I was well chuffed.
       2 Linnets keep visiting feeders and 2 Stock Dove
       also visiting regular along with Goldfinch,
       Greenfinch and Bullfinch.


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Cold Edge and Ovenden Moor

Not a great amount of birds today other than the usual species for that area
2 male Wheatears at Withens Head along with  a Little Owl
A single Little Grebe on 'the dams'
1 Oystercatcher and a few each of Snipe, Curlew and Lapwing
A few Swallows at Withens Head
4 Reed Buntings, 2 Linnets, 3 Skylarks singing and a few Meadow Pipits about

None seen up there today but still very few Swifts about generally with just a few reports of small numbers only.
1 Green Hairstreak butterfly on Ovenden Moor


Woodhouse near brighouse

2 lesser whitethroats in hedgerows by the cricket club also 4 sand Martins over the river 2 swifts and a nice selection of warblers

Reed Warbler

Some shots from JM earlier this week from an undisclosed site in Calderdale. A summer visitor usually recorded annually but still a scarce bird for us.

Reed Warbler

Thanks John - not at all an easy subject to get a photo of.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Jumble Hole

There are now two singing whitethroats close to each other, and the first has begun to show-boat as a result. The video was taken on an iPhone, so the bird was just feet away and didn't care I was there. He's also collecting cobwebs, but I think that's just display behaviour rather than nest building.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018


There were at least three Swifts over the house this afternoon. I've not seen any mentioned on other posts,are these our first ones?

Sunday, May 06, 2018


In the garden at Jumble Hole again today

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Norland Moor

A tree pipit was parachuting and calling this afternoon. Other birds included reed bunting, several willow warbler, 3 skylarks and a whitethroat near the Moorcock pub.

Wood Warbler

Heard a Wood Warbler at Hardcastle Craggs today.

Friday, May 04, 2018

Stodfold and Ogden golf course

Nice Grey Wagtail down by the stream at Stodfold
5 Wheatears together at the lower end of Hunter Hill
Green Woodpecker heard
1 Kestrel
2 Willow Warblers
4 Curlew

Jay House Lane

From JM - 2 Whinchats and 2 Wheatears together there late afternoon.
Distant shot of 2 Wheatear (left) and 2 Whinchats (right) size difference is interesting when seen together !


2 pairs of tufted duck on Longfield Damn
And a little owl in its usual spot in Mankinholes

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Jumble Hole area

3 garden warblers today - one in the garden, one on the Pennine Way and one in Jumble Hole Clough. Cuckoo still around.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Withens Clough and Reservoir

We had a nice walk up from 'The Hinchcliffe' to the Reservoir and a circuit around. A pretty cool wind today but bright, dry and clear. Res'r full so very little shoreline. A decent showing of birds but no 'chats'.
1 Cuckoo
Distant Buzzard
1 Tawny Owl
4 Common Sandpipers
4 Goldeneye inc 1 drake in display mode
1 Wheatear
6+ Reed Buntings
1 Lesser Redpoll
Just a few Swallows, Willow Warblers and a Blackcap as well as other usual Sp..
1 Curlew
One fly-by Small Tortoiseshell butterfly unfazed by the cold wind !