Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Hen Harrier breeding success at last..


Good news and well done to all those who worked and continue to work so hard......

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Conservation fundraiser

If you can spare a fiver, and 2 minutes to follow the link and have a read, I'm raising funds to buy night vision optics to help a turtle rescue centre in Costa Rica so they can reach the laying turtles before the poachers.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Fly Flatts

This morning. I got a reasonably early start in the hope of BS's Turnstone still being there especially with unprecedented shoreline showing. Not to be. It must have moved on overnight.

Tactics were...check the shoreline from a distant first to try avoid any waders seeing me first and spooking them. It paid off. ! At the south end in-among the stones I located a few Lapwing and some larger brownish waders in with them. All preening and bathing in the shallow pools. As I got closer they looked to have the head pattern of Whimbrel. Scope to the fore to check the head pattern. Sure enough Whimbrel confirmed 6 of them all showing the same characteristics. After a few minutes I heard their call several times and suspected they they were about to move. Sure enough they lifted altogether giving several more calls and off they went high >SE at 08:55

Also down by the former Twite feeding station a Cuckoo (probably a juvenile) was on the fence hopping down for insects on the ground. Then it was off down towards Dean Head/Castle Carr
Also a family group of 4 Kestrels hunting the West Bank
1 Short-eared Owl distant
1 Common Buzzard
2 Ravens high >E
1 Dunlin
c20 Lapwing
1 ad Common Gull
c25 L B B Gulls to and fro-ing
c40 B H Gulls
Still no sign of any returning Wheatears, no hirundines or Swifts and just a few Meadow Pipits about.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Fly Flatts

A dash to Fly Flatts before tea after BS had another cracking bird there this afternoon - Turnstone.

We 'dipped' ! No time to go on the west bank so scoped from road with light not good from up there. 4 lots dog walkers between west and south bank so odds on it would be on north/east shore. Couldn't find it though always some bits can't see from up there.
32 Lapwings, 1 Common Sand and 5 Teal. I guess it was still there though. Good find Bri.

Some cracking shots on West Yorkshire Birds blog. There is a link on our main page.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Out and about

Jobs this morning not before a Swift watch first. Around 30+ over the house. So that was a good start.

I had a check at Ogden, lower end of golf course and the Clough below the Reservoir. Not a lot but enjoyed it all the same with lots of butterflies to keep me interested. 2 hours out in that heat was enough !
1 Green Woodpecker
1 adult Whitethroat
1 Kestrel

Got home sitting out with a cuppa watching Swifts.
1 adult Peregrine soaring high over the house followed by a Sparrowhawk. They saw the afternoon through nicely.

Leo update

Following new info we now have 14 pairs of breeding LEOs with at least 36 young, which is a Calderdale record.

Pennine Optics

Just heard from Phil D that the shop in Rochdale has now closed and Mike has retired. So save a wasted journey if anyone was planning going there !

I know he has supplied several of us with optics, cameras etc and always given good service and advice.
He also sponsored one of our bird reports some time ago so his support was greatly appreciated.
All the best Mike.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Todays news (well, some of it )

Mixenden Reservoir
Female Goldeneye still there
3 Moorhen including a chick being fed by the adults

Fly Flatts
1 drake Common Scoter still
2 Barnacle Geese still with 300++++ Canadas
1 Common Sandpiper
5 Lapwings
c30 Black-headed Gulls and a few L B B Gulls on the shoreline

Cold Edge - Cuckoo earlier on today from PB - probably a juvenile as most of the adult sat tagged birds are well on their way back to Africa. See latest update from BTO here..

Also 42 Lapwing at Cold Edge, but they had gone by afternoon.

I went Cold Edge this afternoon doing a butterfly count - but that was nearly a waste of time - hardly any about with 100% cloud cover and cooler with some light drizzle. Bonus was bumping into BS as he travelled up to his second home for his daily check on Fly Flatts. Nice to see you Bri.
2 female Tufted Ducks with 7 and 2 half-grown ducklings on the dams
1 Little Grebe with 2 well grown chicks
1 Kestrel
5 juvenile Stonechats together as I came back down across Ogden golf course mid afternoon but no sign of any Whinchats.
2 Curlews still on Hunter Hill

Also earlier today a Red Kite in our area is always special (DF)

Bird Report update

Woodlesford Newsagents at Pellon only have 5 copies of the bird report left so if you want one I would get one soon. This is the only outlet, otherwise you can get one off myself, Dave Franz or Dave Sutcliffe. I have 7 reserved for other people. When Woodlesford have sold out I will give them some more if Ive any left, cheers Nick D.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Today’s news.

I tried Swales Moor, Ringby Lane this afternoon. Very good for butterfly's but not many birds.
2 Meadow Pipits
2 Kestrels
c12 Linnets
Swallows, House Martins and a few Swifts about over the top
c20 L B B Gulls.
Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers also reported from there by a resident this afternoon.

See Brian's blog for a great report and photos from this afternoons session at Fly Flats. Another gem with a fly through Marsh Harrier.

Common Redstart, male from PD and LD at Scammonden this afternoon.

8 Common Scoter on Ringstone yesterday from AT GS and VJ.
2 Dunlin at Ringstone earlier today. PJWS.

Plenty of Swifts over Lee Mount this morning with 30+ screaming all over the place. I suspect these noisy flocks include juveniles recently fledged. They will be setting off back to Africa in the next 2/3 weeks so enjoy them while they are still here !

Sunday, July 22, 2018

LEO update

Long-eared Owl survey results so far; 13 breeding pairs located with at least 33 young reared, one pair apparently having a second brood which is uncommon for this species. The 13 breeding pairs were found at 8 sites across Calderdale, there were also adult birds found at 4 other sites but no evidence of breeding. Thanks to all who helped out its been a great year for Leos and there is still time to find a few more, Cheers Nick D.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

River Calder

Plenty of juvenile House and Sand Martins by the Calder this week in Brighouse.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Other news

Male Siskin at a feeder near Brearley, Mytholmroyd since 19th June turned up with 2 juveniles today so confirming a local breeding record from LM.
They are certainly scarce breeding birds in Calderdale. Many thanks for the report.

Juvenile Yellow Wagtail at Ringstone Edge Reservoir yesterday from AT. Another scarce bird for Calderdale. Also reported there on Sunday 15th from GS. AT. JM.
Yellow Wagtail also reported from Dean Head, Scammonden on Sunday along with 2 Grasshopper Warblers 'reeling'.

Mute Swan at Ogden yesterday from DW.


A couple of nice shots from local sights recently from JM.
 Little Ringed Plover
Meadow Pipit

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

King Cross

A single spotted flycatcher in the cemetery by wainhouse tower, also 2 buzzards single jay and great spotted woodpecker and a lbb gull over
A few swifts about in the area


Walking along the path by the bus station yesterday (Tue 17th), I heard some calls from the Calder and found a couple of Mallard chicks, the first I have seen here this year. There appeared to be only two, and they were quite well-grown, so presumably they have spent the time since hatching downstream somewhere.

Also an adult Dipper was present, which flew upstream and was around the Wellington Road bridge when my wife passed a few minutes later.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Ringby Lane

This afternoon for an hour or so. Pretty breezy on the top.
2 Skylark
4 Meadow Pipits
1 Kestrel
A few Linnets and Goldfinch about on the top as well as Swifts, Swallows and a few House Martins.
12 Pied Wagtails in the recently ploughed field
Usual corvids and L B B Gulls.

Monday, July 16, 2018


a single Sand Martin giving great views over brierley fields this morning came as close as few feet

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Ringby Lane

Hec it's hard work in this hot sunshine !
1 Grey Heron high > NW
1 Common Buzzard
1 Kestrel
2 Meadow Pipits
c12 Linnet
30+ L B B Gulls loafing over the processing plant with c80 Carrion Crows
1 Herring Gull > W
2 Stock Doves and a few Swifts and hirundines over the top.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Insect feast !

Report from GS this afternoon of loads of Black-headed Gulls aerial feeding, probably on flying ants, over Elland.

Same thing happened later on over Lee Mount between 6 pm and 6:30. All of a sudden the Black- Headed Gulls appeared above the trees in Shroggs Park, maybe around 40 of them flying over snatching at insects. They were soon joined by at least 1 Herring Gull, a dozen or so Lesser Black- backs and 3 adult Common Gulls. A few Jackdaws also joined in as well as c20 Swifts and a similar number of Starlings. Great to see Gulls feeding in this way as they coincide to feed as these insects emerge, as is usual around this time of year.

Sent from my iPhone

Mixenden Reservoir area

Female Goldeneye still there late morning.
Green Woodpecker calling behind the plantation
Little Owl at Stodfold along with a juvenile Curlew.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Withens Clough, Cragg Vale

A great morning to be up there with a cool breeze keeping the temperature manageable.
Not many birds about, but plenty butterflies to enjoy.
1 Green Woodpecker
1 Common Buzzard
2 Kestrels
1 Lapwing
1 Red Grouse
Just a few Reed Buntings, Meadow Pipits and juvenile Pied Wagtails as well as a few Swallows and 2 House Martins but no sign of any 'chats'.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Dipper and plastic !

From Rob G - "I think this photo nicely sums up the current debate around plastics .Young Dipper spotted behind the railway station on the Calder in Hebden Bridge this morning." (5th July)
Thanks Rob

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Moor adj Ogden Golf Course

A short eared owl quartering the moor this evening about 8.30 pm  adj to the 15th green.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Sean Johnston

For those who knew him, we received the news earlier this week that Sean Johnston passed away suddenly. Sean was an excellent birder, locally in Calderdale and abroad as well as a regular east coast watcher and great company.

Below are details for Sean's funeral for those who might be able to attend and/or support the work at Spurn. 

Tuesday 10th July at 12 noon at Lund Methodist Chapel, Lockington Road YO25 9TG followed by a service at 1.30pm at East Riding Crematorium Octon YO25 3BL nr Driffield then returning to Lund for refreshments.

Joanna has asked for family flowers only and for anyone wishing to make a donation in Sean's memory to please donate to Spurn Bird Observatory Trust, there will be a box available at the funeral or alternatively bank transfer can be made to the following account

HSBC Sort Code: 40-40-22 
Account Number 11749056.

Please mark any bank transfers as in memory of Sean.

Anyone preferring to send a cheque please make it payable to Spurn Bird Observatory Trust and send to

Henry Naylor Funeral Directors
Easterfield House

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Mixenden Reservoir

Female Goldeneye still there yesterday.
3 Green Woodpeckers together - distant but looked like an adult and 2 juveniles.

Other news from yesterday was a Drake Pochard on Ringstone Reservoir (from PJWS). A very scarce bird in Calderdale in recent years.