Friday, September 28, 2018

Shibden Park

We received a report yesterday of a Mute Swan on the park lake showing signs of an injured leg.

In the meantime, Judy Hogg from Swan Rescue had checked out the bird in the morning. Judy responded - "It had a fishing hook in its left leg which we were able to remove. We will of course keep an eye on it for the next few days. The swan is Darvic number 628Y and was ringed as a cygnet last September at Shibden Park. It has been in the Brighouse area in between. "

Many thanks to Judy and co for the information and practical measures to attend to the swan thereby avoiding further distress to the bird.

Lee Mount and Swales Moor etc

c45 pinks over Lee Mount 10:15 this morning very high and very fast >W

Lat morning check up Ringby Lane.
7 Skylarks on the top along with a few Linnet, Goldfinch and Meadow Pipits.
2 Common Buzzards
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Kestrel
+ usual species

Moving birds >W - 48 Meadow Pipits high and 7 Siskin and 3 alba Wagtails >E

Also of interest from HC and DB at the Oxenhope watchpoint, just out of our area, 3 Ring Ouzels today and a Red-throated Diver yesterday may well have come into our area. (?)

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Cold Edge etc

Pretty windy up there this afternoon
1 Wheatear on the banking at the side of the top dam
2 Buzzards - distant
5 Stonechat together in the heather just on the top side of the lower dam plantation
1 Tufted Duck
22 Canada Geese
1 Sparrowhawk
2 Kestrels
A few Meadow Pipits scattered about

Further up towards the Withens
1 Chiffchaff in the shrubbery area by Moorlands Farm
2 Mistle Thrush
1 Little Owl
A few Linnets and Goldfinch's about on thistle heads

Earlier today
c70 Pink-footed Geese >E over Lee Mount around 09:00 were also seen a minute or two later, over Northowram (AC). Another skein, c60 'pinkies' around 11:30, went >W over Lee Mount late morning


this evening

1 buzzard over Tesco’s very low

Lots of pied wagtails
15 at spring edge
30+ manor heath
20+ beacon hill
Goldcrest beacon hill
Chiffchaff 1 beacon hill
Wheatear 1 beacon hill

More pink feet

46 pink feet battled against the wind at Midgley Moor today around 12:20, turning north west. A few more siskins starting to be heard flying over Jumble Hole

Pink-footed Geese

Yesterday morning 26th - 3 reports came in around 9 am ish - all >W - 40, 80 and 96 (Mike Henshaw and AC)

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Pink-footed Geese

A couple of reports of 'pinks' today from PG over Bridestones area with 10 >W around 10:00 and a further 52 around 10:50

Still a few reports of waders with 3 Dunlin and a Ringed Plover at Fly Flatts today - see BS's West Yorkshire Birding blog for recent reports.

4 Cormorants high >E this morning at 08:00 over Lee Mount

Hunter Hill

Had  a stroll around the hill this afternoon thinking maybe still some butterfly's about on the sheltered side of the hill facing Mixenden Reservoir and plantation - Wrong ! no shelter at all from the wind so butterfly's were at a premium.
1 Green Woodpecker - very vocal
1 Wheatear near the quarry. Didn't check the quarry as there were heavy plant operating in there at the time.
c60 in the finch flock near Nolstar feeding on thistle seed heads looked half and half Goldfinch and Linnet
1 Common Buzzard over Mixenden Reservoir and another 2 over Ogden in the distance
2 Sparrowhawk sightings and the same for  Kestrels
No migrants in Slaughter Gap - 2 Blue Tits a Jay and 2 Magpies
3 adult Common Gulls >W

Also I was pretty sure (but not 100% !) that 2 Crossbills flew over me from the direction of Mixenden plantation. They went down in the quarry - I thought -  I guess there's a puddle there and they've dropped in for a drink (as Crossbills do regularly after feeding). Up the hill to check - right about a puddle but the birds had gone !!! might have been's !!! so will have to let them go.
Mixenden Reservoir from Hunter Hill (looking >SE)

Monday, September 24, 2018


5 Crossbills in the plantation at Walshaw Dean on Saturday and 4 on Sunday. The ride through the middle of the wood seems to be the best place to see them mixed in with the 20 or so Siskins.

Out & About Today

    Castle Carr Area-:
    8 Stonechat
    2 Wheatear
    1 Little Owl
    10+ Meadow Pipits
    2 Reed Bunting which surprised me in that area.
    the reservoirs just had Mallard and Gulls.
    10 Canada Geese

    Nolstar had 50+ Goldfinch & Linnet
    Fly Flatts-:
    6 Kestrel
    4 Stonechat
    8 Meadow Pipits

    Soil Hill-:
    2 Skylark
    2 Kestrel
    6 Meadow Pipit
    4 Red Grouse
    1 Snipe.


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Swales Moor

Ringby Lane - on the top mid to late afternoon. A very satisfactory afternoon.
A call from AC - 'pinks' coming my way - c30 of them. A few minutes later I picked them out at a distance heading up the Calder Valley and gaining height all the time. Thanks for the call Andy, I could well have missed them ! We are so fortunate in Calderdale to get such a good passage of these winter visitors in good measure.
Whilst watching the geese a Snipe also went over high >W, a single Raven >N and also for good measure, a Green Woodpecker came straight over the top, heading down into Shibden Valley.
Also from the top.....
c50 Meadow Pipits, blogging
8 alba Wagtails >W
1 Skylark >S
2+ Buzzards
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Kestrel
Loads of corvids as usual up there but no sign of the Linnet/Goldfinch flock

Lucky Raptor Day

    I stayed local today instead of going to Spurn Point for
    the day and Im glad I did, I ended up having a cracking
    couple of hours-:

    8 Kestrel
    2 Barn Owl
    1 Hen Harrier
    1 Short-Eared Owl
    1 Merlin
    1 Buzzard
    Lots of Meadow Pipit and a Skylark.


Saturday, September 22, 2018

Whiteholme & Blackstone Edge



Pink-footed Geese  C80 >SW
Wheatear 1
Ringed Plover 4
Golden Plover 11
Cormorant 1

Blackstone Edge

Ringed Plover 2
Dunlin 3
Wheatear 2

Castle Carr Road

Was hoping for Ring Ouzel but no luck.  Did get pair of Stonechat, Kestrel (taken through car window), Sparrowhawk and Little Owl.

Recent news

Yesterday - 21st September
c30 Geese sp.. >W over Jay House Lane, Clifton at 18:05 (DF)
Ringstone Res'r (from AC)- 2 Sandwich Terns > W around 11:30 in a strong gusting wind. Also 179 Lapwing and 7 Golden Plover there along with 304 Canada Geese in the fields.

Fly Flatts - 5 Dunlin briefly in the morning then they looked to head off >N after a short stay
Mixenden Reservoir - 50+ each House Martins and Swallows feeding over the water

Blackstone Edge Reservoir (AH) 3 Wheatear, 3 Dunlin and 5 Ringed Plover late afternoon

Pink-footed Geese - 80 at Ringstone on the shoreline this morning (DF), c80 >SW over Whiteholme Reservoir around 10:50 (DF) and another 40 over Walshaw area early on (AC)
Little Egret at Hollas Bridge, Sowerby Bridge this morning (MH and SB) then another / or the same one at Ringstone Reservoir at 15:15 (MH and JB)
450+ Swallows and 180+ House Martins feeding at Eastwood Sewage Works mid afternoon (MB)

Good movements of Meadow Pipits throughout this last week through our area, evident mainly at upland locations with probably many thousands passing through during the last few days mostly >W  or >SW and probably still more to come in the next few weeks ! They seem to keep going whatever the weather throws at them !!

Have I missed anything ?! oh a photo.
Fly Flatts - this morning

Marsh Harrier  at Walshaw Dead 23.sept .18

Friday, September 21, 2018

Thursday's Hen Harrier

Poor distant and heavily cropped back of camera record shot of the male Hen Harrier from yesterday morning.

It was in fields right by the road when I screeched to a stop in the car but by the time I'd grabbed bins and camera the local crows had ensured it moved off. Great way to start any day though.

Around and about !

Stormy weather overnight and this morning - anything can turn up !

5 Dunlin Fly Flatts.

50+ each Hs M and Swallows Mixenden.

Nothing doing at Ogden other than a few Lesser Black-Back, Black-headed and Common Gulls along with a single Cormorant and a Tufted Duck.

Thursday, September 20, 2018


Wednesday mid-morning: a Dipper in the Calder alongside the Bus Stn, and (presumably?) the same one early afternoon at the Wellington Rd bridge just upstream.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Ogden Water and watch-point

Mid morning - in the mist and drizzle
6 Teal
2 Cormorants
2 Tufted Duck
50+ B H Gulls
4 Herring Gulls
2 L B B Gulls
15 Common Gulls
3 Chiffchaffs in BS's passerine alley ! with brief song from one bird.

'Giants Tooth' watch- point 10:55 - 12:15 'VisMig' as the fog cleared with moving birds mainly >W and SW
769 Meadow Pipits
152 Swallows
2 House Martins
2 Mistle Thrush
2 Snipe
3 Chaffinch
1 Woodpigeon
+  a few gulls

C.20 Twite on Edge Lane, Colden, Sunday 16th Sept.

The Twite landed on the rocks above May's country shop on Edge Lane, Colden. Anyone with a long lens would have got a good picture as their warm brown breasts glowed in the low sun.
They were pecking at the seeding weeds on the rocks, and there is an area of disturbed soil just at the side of the old quarry which has plenty of other annual weeds.

As it was we only had compact cameras with us and couldn't get a good shot. Through my 30x scope I couldn't see any colour rings. None of them yet showed their yellow winter beak colour.

It was at 6.30pm. There's a good lay-bye conveniently in the best spot.

3 Owls a Day keeps the doctor away.

   Went to a certain area yesterday which I won't divulge,
   but just to say I was absolutely delighted with the few
   hours out that I had, 4 Barn Owl, 2 Little Owl, 1 SEO,
   6 Kestrels, 2 Buzzard and a cracking Peregrine flypast.
   Photos not very good with the low light and a good
   distance away but pleased to get them anyway.

                                          Barn Owl

                                          Short Eared Owl
                                          Barney With Prey

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Jayhouse Lane

Jayhouse Lane today.

Common Tern  2
Black-headed Gull C200
Lesser Black-backed Gull 2
Common Gull  1
Sparrowhawk  1
Buzzard  1
Kestrel  1
Snipe  1
Curlew  5
House Martin  14
Starling  C500
Mistle Thrush  8
Pied Wagtail  C30
Meadow Pipit  C20

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Fly Flatts

Late morning -great morning !
A skein of Pink-footed Geese came over high around 12:28, making a racket. Heck!! , they are early returners for our winter from northern climes. We usually get them late September and October.
I was surprised they landed, at first on the mud then, unsettled, they went up again and after some hesitancy they alighted on the north end pond area and started grazing.
Final count from flight photo's 95 + 1 straggler that came over later.
Also MH arrived followed by BV just in time to see them before they left >WNW at 12:53,unfortunately disturbed by a jogger.

Also this morning...…...
1 Pintail
37 Mallard
12 Teal
1 Cormorant >S
c6 Kestrels
12+ House Martins and 1 Swallow - all >S
40+ Meadow Pipits >NW
1 Raven
1 Merlin

Friday, September 14, 2018

Fly Flatts etc

Pintail still present this morning with 8 Teal. No sign of the recent Mallard and no waders.

Mixenden - water sport activities on the res'r so no wildfowl. Just a single flyover Skylark >W.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Cromwell Bottom

Little Egret and a Dipper this afternoon at Cromwell Bottom (DL) and from this morning, a Kingfisher (AT and JM) with nice shots below from JM.

Hag Lane and Shibden Valley

An hour up there mid afternoon.
An amazing number of House Martins feeding in the shelter of the valley, mostly in the area north and south of Shibden Mill Inn. Also lots of Swallows though these were feeding at a higher elevation. Impossible to count but maybe 100+ Hs M and 50+ Swallows (??)
Also a few Jays around and about and starting to show now that the acorns are ripening.

Fly Flatts

Late morning.
Pintail still at Fly Flatts (can be tricky to pick out even with a scope) with 34 Mallard and 9 Teal.
A few Kestrels and a Buzzard with a few Swallows and Meadow Pipits >W

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Lee Mount

Common Buzzard - juvenile over the house this afternoon. Had a dash for the camera !!

Mixenden Res’r

This morning - loads of hirundines 09:00 probably 100+ each Swallows and House Martins with a few Sand Martins mixed in. They all started to drift off >SW around 09:30
1 f Goosander
3 Moorhen
No sign of the f Goldeneye !

From yesterday
Pintail still at Fly Flatts. (BS AC et al)
5 Twite near the former Withens Pub - what a rarity this species is locally nowadays. (AC)

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Ringstone / Baitings / Blackstone Edge and Whiteholme Reservoirs

Met up with AT and JM for an hour or so though it was a struggle to find much in the blustery, pretty cool, westerly.
1 Great Crested Grebe
2 Tufted Duck
2 Moorhens
c40 Lapwings
2+ Linnet
A few Starlings dropped in and a few Meadow Pipits were attempting >W with quite a number also on the shoreline along with c20 B H Gulls

1 Cormorant  - I think it was lucky to find any water !
Baitings Reservoir

Blackstone Edge
2 Wheatear on the shoreline
Raven >SW

Not a wader in sight in nearly 2 hrs watch mainly with the scope. It was warmer and more sheltered than Ringstone
A few Meadow Pipits >W
Whiteholme Reservoir

Monday, September 10, 2018


Osprey over Whiteholme yesterday morning.