Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Scottish Golden Eagle news

Not local of course but of great interest. 

Fly Flatts and Withens Head

This morning, then the fog came down!
Fly Flatts - 1 Peregrine, 3 Buzzards, no waders, 10 Teal, 3 Tufted Duck.

The weather cleared up for Withens Head - 1 SEOwl, 5 Wheatears, 25 Golden Plover >NW. djs

Also from Castle Carr Rd, a pair of Stonechat - (DS)

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Swales Moor

An hour or so on Ringby Lane this afternoon. It's an area with a working quarry and recycling plant with fields which are mostly infilled quarries. All overlooking Boothtown and Halifax as well as an all round vista of the surrounding hills and countryside. Fantastic views on nice clear days.
It's been fairly quiet bird-wise over the summer, though it's been good for butterfly's. The site comes into it's own in autumn and winter when it can be good for migration watch (otherwise known as vis mig) and wintering birds.
This afternoon
1 Swift with 30+ Swallows feeding high over the ski-slope
2 Common Buzzards
100+ Linnets with a few Goldfinch's in among them
1 Sparrowhawk
2 Kestrels
30+ Pied Wagtails in the newly seeded fields at the Ambler Thorn end of the site. Carefully checked for Yellow Wagtails but none found
1  Skylark and  a few Meadow Pipits
c80 Carrion Crows
25+ L B B Gulls, 1 adult Herring Gull and a few B H Gulls and Common Gulls

Ring necked parakeets

over the last 2 months I have noticed a very similar pattern

Firstly there are now 3-4 birds, seeing 3 poss 4 about 2 weeks ago sat in tree tops in pye nest,
They appear to roost down Copley as I saw 3 last evening near the caravan dealer by the canal.
All my sightings are either dawn or dusk

Friday, August 24, 2018


Expect Terns moving through at this time of year in this sort of weather with heavy downpours so I went to check Ogden and Mixenden reservoirs - just in case - no luck !
10 Cormorants at Ogden along with a Little Grebe and a Kestrel but little else other than a few Swallows and 2 House Martins. Nice to see Muxy as well on the bike run. Hope I recognise you next time with the helmet on !!

Mixenden still has the female Goldeneye. Also 1 Moorhen and c50 evenly mixed Swallows and House Martins

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Fly Flatts

Early start as jobs to do later !
A bright sunny day with clear views but a lot cooler up there this morning and looking like cloud thickening from the west.

One Buzzard, 4 Kestrels and 2 Ravens flew threw but not a sight or sound of a single wader on the extensive mud at Fly Flatts.
7 Teal, 8 Tufted Duck and a few B H Gulls. The Red Grouse sounded happy !

5 Wheatear, 2 Whinchat and 50+ Meadow Pipits and Little Owl at Withens Head on walls opposite wind farm car park.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2018


Photo by DF. Is it just me or does this bird look a bit odd. At first at a distance in bad light I called out Bar-tailed Godwit then as we got closer we thought oh no its a Black tailed. Looking at the flanks they seem to be reddish which is a strong indication of Icelandic Black Tailed Godwit. What do others think?????

Black-tailed Godwit

Whiteholme this evening, very misty and murky but me and Dave managed a Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Dunlin, 1 Common Sand, 1 Snipe, 5 Curlews and 3 Wheatears.

Ringstone Reservoir and Whiteholme.

From PJWS - a drake Common Scoter on the water around 14:15. Always nice to see these sea duck at our upland reservoirs.

Also at Whiteholme Reservoir tonight at 19:30 - a summer plumaged Black-tailed Godwit along with a Common Sandpiper, Dunlin and a Ringed Plover with 5 Curlew also dropping in there. (NCD DF)

Fly Flatts

Late afternoon check for me after BS had a Sanderling earlier in the afternoon, though it headed off high whilst he was there. I chanced it, after the rain and fog drifted on to the tops there, thinking if it did clear then something else might have dropped in !
Nothing new other than the usual Tufted Duck, Mallard, a few Teal and Canadas.
Just about to head off when a S E Owl landed on a nearby wall, looking  a bit wet. Quite a dark bird with a very prominent white facial disc. Well worth the visit.

Down the road near the wind-farm car park it suddenly poured down and c20 Pied Wagtails and a dozen or so Meadow Pipits came down in then rain to feed on the roadside. Signs of movement there !

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Fly Flatts

Pretty quiet this morning with no sign of moving birds in the calm, humid conditions. Unusual for this upland site to be so still and no wind.
1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin and a few Lapwings were the only waders seen.
3 Wheatears were on the walls at the NE corner of the Res'r.
Only one Meadow Pipit, though in the coming weeks we would expect a lot more as they start to move south. No Swallows either.
2 Ravens earlier, 3 distant Buzzards, 2 Sparrowhawks also distant and the usual Kestrels.
Usual duck species present and just a few Canada's.
Hopefully something will turn up for BS's visit this afternoon. Stand by !!
KM. GS. AT. JM. djs

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Monday, August 20, 2018

Mixenden reservoir etc

Early afternoon
The female type Goldeneye is still on Mixenden - looking much greyer now. Also 95 Canadas there this afternoon is a big number for this site.
c50 Swallows and 20+ House Martins feeding over the reservoir as well, with other groups moving through and feeding higher >SW in the very humid conditions.

3 single Curlews also went >W over the lower end of the Ogden golf course between 15:30 and 16:00
1 Common Buzzard >SE
1 Kestrel
1 Nuthatch in Mixenden plantation
A few Willow Warblers around were probably migrants but no sign of and other passerines in the scrubby areas.

Lee Mount
B H Gulls and L B B Gulls along with a few Common Gulls passed over late morning in  a bit of  a feeding frenzy after swarms of flying insects/ants.

A call from AC late afternoon about an Egret species (probably Little Egret) heading my way failed to materialise from my viewpoint. It maybe went up the Shibden Valley out of sight. Wonder if it dropped in at Ogden(??) A watch from the garden did however result in the very welcome sight of 2 Swifts along with a large group of Swallows and a few House Martins >SW.

Ringstone (Sunday) 3 Arctic Terns there briefly (JB)

Plenty of waders at Fly Flatts the last few days. See BS's report on his West Yorkshire Birding blog. Well done Bri, what next ?

Ogden Kirk

A walk round the kirk and the reservoir revealed over the week end a dipper just beyond the bottom bridge of the clough, a female wheatear higher up and five curlew flying over in a SW direction. A female  kestrel was also very active hunting. There was a spotted  flycatcher in the garden this morning.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Fly Flatts

Grey Plover still in summer plumage this morning on the muddy shoreline. A nice find for JM  and AT.The bird still there at 13:15 (DF)


Grey Plover - photo's from JM

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Whiteholme Reservoir

Whiteholme this morning

      Juvenile Little Ringed Plover

3 Dunlin
1 Adult Ringed plover
2 Juvenile Little Ringed Plover
1 Common Sandpiper
3 Peregrines
4 Wheatear

Saturday, August 11, 2018


3 Crossbills showed really well today in the plantation at Walshaw Dean, adult male and female and a juvenile.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Ogden Water etc.

An hour there across tea-time produced a couple of nice surprises...a bit distant for any photo's  unfortunately.
1 Green Sandpiper
1 Dunlin

Also, amongst the usual species
2 Cormorant
2 Willow Warblers
2 Herring Gulls
c25 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
30+ Black-headed Gulls
3 Common Gulls

Also from yesterday as I was waiting at Halifax Railway Station, an adult Peregrine was soaring about over Square Chapel and then over Beacon Hill. I guess this was one of the birds that attempted to nest there earlier in the year (?)

River Calder

Yesterdays walk along the river Calder-:

  Cormorant, Goosander, Jay, Canada, BH Gull, Mallard,
  Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, Blackcap, Moorhen, Wren,
  Dunnock, Blackbird and Otter

Hebden Bridge Rally Saturday 11th August

Thursday, August 09, 2018


Last nights juvenile Cuckoo at Crimsworth Dean taken through car window.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Lee Mount

Just 3 Swifts through today and 4 House Martins early on and that was about it for today.

Tawny Owls calling and singing most nights from the park and in Wheatley Valley.

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Mixenden reservoir

Female goldeneye still there this morning
1 grey wagtail

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Monday, August 06, 2018

Swales Moor - Ringby Lane

Plenty of gulls in north field, ie 'the wagtail' field, this afternoon following the plough. Around 150 gulls but nothing out of the ordinary - mostly L B B Gulls and B H Gulls with a few adult Herring Gulls and 3 adult Common Gulls.
Also 30+ alba wagtails - some looked very pale, possible 'White Wagtails' but with changing plumage of the Pied Wagtails and a large proportion of juveniles it was difficult to be sure of any 'whites' !
No Yellow Wag's...... but it's worth keeping a check on especially when/if we get some rain.

It could be fantastic up there if they sowed it down with wildflower seed. !!!!!

Also a few Linnets about as well as Goldfinch's, 1 Skylark, 2 Kestrels and c60 Carrion Crows, but they weren't showing any interest in the 'wagtail field' for some reason.

Withens Head

Viewpoint, opposite the wind-farm car park late morning.
2 Wheatear
c12 Linnet
1 Sparrowhawk
20+ Meadow Pipits

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Fly Flatts

This morning, no sign of the weekends waders.
Just 2 Dunlin along with a few Lapwings.
12 Teal
1 Buzzard
10+ Kestrels
50+ Swallows and Swifts passing through > SW
1 Common Gull
c30 B H Gulls and a few L B B Gulls over the moor
2 Barnacle Geese
2 Meadow Pipit
5 Ravens > N
For yesterday's concise update at Fly Flatts see BS's blog (West Yorkshire Birding).

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Sunday, August 05, 2018


I've just seen a request on FB for information on Twite, it's a chap from Slovakia who is trying to get some UK birding done whilst he is over here for Birdfair.  One target species is twite, so Derby Delph is an obvious site but are they being seen there at the moment, if so is there a preferred time to visit?

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Fly Flatts

Greenshank still present from yesterday and now with 2 Green Sandpipers, an early morning find for DF. All still there at 10:30 this morning. They were showing in the area at the bottom of the fence line, view from the large-ish car parking area on the top road but from there a scope is essential.
DF, DP, DJS (3 Dave's)!

Also this afternoon 2 Sanderling turned up along with a single Dunlin (which is under scrutiny?) see BS's photo's on West Yorkshire Birding blog.. (DF NCD BS)

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Friday, August 03, 2018

Recent news !

A few birds of interest this week including some wader species that we have expected with the shoreline of several of our local reservoirs. Still plenty time for some more !

Juvenile Greenshank at Fly Flatts today along with a Common Sandpiper and 2 Barnacle Geese still there. (DJS BS)

Blackstone Edge and Whiteholme reservoirs area has seen several Dunlin, up to 4 Ringed Plover, some Curlew and Oystercatchers this week with c25 of the latter still in the Gorple/Walshaw area earlier in the week. (PG NCD DF DW et al)

Little Egret briefly at Green Withens on Tuesday flew off >NW. (PD)

280 or so House Martins at Eastwood sewage treatment works. (MB)

2 Crossbills at Sunderland Pasture plantation (PG) and another at Walshaw plantation (NCD DF)

Lots of Kestrels about at a number of locations after what looks like a really good breeding season. Several reports of Buzzards, Short-eared Owls and Little Owls, and Raven etc along with  a Merlin near Widdop (PB) - plenty of voles for the raptors and owls this summer which is good news. Several reports of Buzzard juveniles fledged now as well.

Swifts now well on the move out of our area but some moving flocks around early morning and  early/late evening with 30+ this morning over Lee Mount and 40+ over Northowram on Wednesday (DJS AC)

Yellow Wagtail seen again at Ringstone this week (GS)
Yellow-hammer at Claremount last Sunday (DB)

Probably a few more 'bits' I've missed out as well, with apologies. !!
It's been good to get a few more 'birders' doing the rounds recently. Good work everyone.
Just need a few more to blog.