Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Roller accepted

The Roller at Crimsworth Dean on 2nd June 2019 as been accepted by the BBRC, so well done to everyone involved. The 2018 bird report as now sold out, so don't bother at the shop. I am now starting to put together the next Bird Report so can I please have your records in asap, before the end of January at the latest, thanks.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Mixenden Reservoir and plantation

Mid/late morning - plenty of activity
5 Goldeneye (2 drakes and some displaying)
1 Goosander
2 Cormorant
2 Moorhen
16 Mallard
1 Great Black-backed Gull adult
7 Herring Gulls
c130 Black-headed Gulls
c60 Common Gulls

The woodland is a bog so if anyone goes there make sure you have wellies on !
Plenty of activity from smaller birds in the plantation including Goldcrests, Blue,Great and Coal Tits, Chaff's and Goldfinches, Nuthatch x 2 and 2 x Great Spotted Woodpeckers as well as corvids, 120+ Woodpigeons and 2 Raven >W.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Mixenden Reservoir

Early afternoon
3 Goldeneye (1 drake)
1 Cormorant
1 red-head Goosander
c500 Woodpigeons  disturbed in the roost, many flew off towards Ogden
c45 B H Gulls
10 Common Gulls

Elsewhere - 80 Canada Geese at Cold Edge but no sign of the Barnacle Geese - not much else.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Mixenden Reservoir

I had  a check, always in the hope of something new arriving in inclement weather conditions. Nothing new this morning.
1 female Goldeneye
3 adult Herring Gulls
1 adult Lesser Black-backed Gull
A few Black-headed and a Common Gulls
No sign of the recent Chiffchaff despite a careful search of the scrub areas

Thursday, December 12, 2019


Not a lot to report recently though I did check Sainsbury's car park in Halifax this morning. Plenty of Redwings (maybe 40+) all very flighty with regular disturbance from the traffic and shoppers. Quite a few Blackbirds, Mistle Thrushes and a Song Thrush plus a few Chaffinch in among. The berried trees are rapidly being stripped !

Also from Steve C this last couple of days, lots of Redwings around Lee Mount / Shroggs Park with a good supply of holly berries in the area. Also a small family group of very confiding Goldcrests by Wheatley Close this morning.

Friday, December 06, 2019

Mixenden Reservoir

A nice surprise was a Chiffchaff which appeared four times in the hedge near the top gate this morning along with a Robin, 2 Chaffinch and a Blue Tit. No chance of a photo with it skipping about after the few insects on the leeward side of the hedge. Checked for the other sub sp. possibilities but I couldn't be sure of anything different from collybita though photographs might help if it stays around. Hardly any green on the bird, mostly brownish above, black legs, very pale buff supercilium and buff face , chest  and belly looking slightly paler towards the vent.
2 Goldeneye present - 1 female type and the other a juvenile drake
11 Mallard
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Stock Dove
100+ Woodpigeons
1 adult Lesser Black-backed Gull, 5 adult Herring Gulls and a good mix of Black-headed and Common Gulls

Also reported on BirdGuides on 3rd December - a Waxwing near St Peters Church, Sowerby. Could be worth a check if anyone's nearby !

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Byron Edge

Stonechat - 30x optical zoom - taken ('point and shoot') with Lumix TZ80 pocket camera

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Shibden Park

First winter: white line through lores from eye to bill.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Cold Edge Dams

1st winter goldeneye (brown iris, fairly tame).
I think it is a male because of the amount of white on the breast. There's some sort of mark on the bill, -
nearer to the face than the yellow band on an adult female's bill - ? mud.

Snow bunting

Thanks to Dave F for the text saying he'd re-located the elusive Snow bunting up at Whiteholme on Saturday.

It was still showing well when I got there, a great bird to see despite the thick fog, a lifer for me.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting showing well in the fog at Whiteholme this afternoon.PD,DF

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Elland Gravel Pits

Cormorant 16 on pylon
Little grebe 2

Mixenden Reservoir

3 Goldeneye again this morning (2 drakes)
2 adult L B-b Gulls in with B H gulls and Common Gulls
5 Herring Gulls (4 ad and 1 first winter)
3  Mistle Thrush

Also from Booth Wood Reservoir
3 Whooper Swans there this morning (PD, LD)

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Snow Bunting

One Snow Bunting still at Whieholme Drain this morning.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Mixenden Reservoir

Mid-morning visit in the hope of - well whatever, after the easterlies.
1 pair Goldeneye
2 Cormorant
c200 gulls on the embankment including 1 immature Great Black-back standing head and shoulders above the rest, 2 adult Lesser Black-backs including a very dark backed individual probably intermedius, 3 adult Herring Gulls, around 40 Common Gulls and the rest were Black-headed Gulls some showing the head darkening.
That was about it, with mist on the tops and constant drizzle throughout !

Friday, November 22, 2019

Halifax Town Centre areas

Well worth a check at the moment where there are berrying trees and shrubs especially around supermarkets.

I checked the lower end of Gibbet Street and Pellon Lane this morning. A lot of birds in the area, mainly around 'The Range' car park, 'Halifax Police Station' and 'Salem Methodist Church'. Plenty Redwings, Blackbirds and Mistle Thrushes ansd Starlings as well as Jackdaws and a mass of Goldfinch. All were temporarily 'spooked' by a female Sparrowhawk. No Waxwings found as yet but there is a possibility one or two could be around somewhere !!?

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Various sites

Swalesmoor - Ringby Lane - heck, this site is hard work nowadays. Lots of the previously decent habitat has gone off since the fields were weed-killed and sown with mono-culture grass and constantly sprayed with slurry.
The processing plant seems to tempt most birds in.... Carrion Crows (120+ today), Jackdaws (similar number..120+) and Magpies (30+). Also in the manured fields at Ploughcroft were 60+ Common Gulls.
Apart from that 2 Meadow Pipits, 1 Pied Wagtail, 3 Stock Dove, 1 Kestrel. Nothing on the move !

Mixenden Reservoir
3 Goldeneye - including 2 stunning drakes

Wednesday, November 20, 2019


No Snow buntings but 4 Whoopers, probably same birds as reported  earlier over Baitings by PG.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019


No sign of any Snow Buntings at Whiteholme today but me and DJS had 5 Mandarins at Ryburn opposite the picnic area.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Byron Edge drain

This is the drain running alongside the track between Turvin Road and the South corner of Whiteholme reservoir. (Whiteholme drain runs into the North corner of the res.)

Snow bunting 1 male. Andy C asked me if it could be the same bird as the one seen on 6 Nov. I said no, but thinking about it I suppose it could be; it certainly looks the same at rest and in flight.

Monday, November 11, 2019


Photos taken late morning of a couple of the birds mentioned by Dave.
It's a 'Continental' cormorant, P. c. sinensis. The rear edge of the bare yellow skin drops vertically from the gape.

(Vinicombe et al in the Helm guide to Bird Identification, 2014, say that the shape of the 'gular patch' is the only way confidently to separate the two races).

Mixenden Reservoir and Fly Flatts

North-westerly gale with heavy rain at times - but always a chance of some good birds !
Mixenden Reservoir
1 pair of Goldeneye (including a stunning drake)
1 Cormorant
6 Redwings
1 Blackbird
2 Mistle Thrush
I was just about to leave when 4 Whooper Swans came over the top of Hunter Hill but went straight over >E at 13:45. No photo but they looked great against the dark sky.

Earlier on a single Whooper Swan was on Ringstone Reservoir (AT)

Fly Flatts - atrocious conditions but I went on the off chance of finding the 2 Twite seen earlier near The Withens  (from BS). Sideways rain at a pace stopped that one !
50 Mallard on Fly Flatts, 2 Kestrels, 2 Carrion Crows and a lone Meadow Pipit
2 Common Gulls and a Herring Gull trying to go >NW gave up and went down towards Luddenden Dean

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Elland Gravel Pits 9 November

Cormorant 15 (7 then 6 on pylon)
Great crested grebe 1
Goosander 3m 7f
Kingfisher 1

The photos were taken with a Panasonic Lumix TZ80 (a pocket camera with a 30x optical zoom and a viewfinder). When I'm birding I catch buses and walk miles, so I don't want to carry the weight of a scope and tripod. I've found that this camera gives me a decent chance of identifying birds beyond the range of my 10x30 binocs (Kite Lynx, not heavy to hold, great optics). Looking at, and maybe sharing, photos (even printing difficult ones) has I think given me as many - if not more - distant birds as when I used to scope them. Of course my photos are nothing like the quality of those taken by NCD, DF, and others. My last photo gives an idea of the possibilities and limitations of the TZ80. It was taken behind the Casa restaurant, and the goosanders were at the other end of the skiing lake - 600 metres away.

Elland Canal 9 November

Mute swan 1 pair
Grey wagtail 2
Mistle thrush 1
House sparrow 20

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Red breasted - Merganser

Great find and photo's today at Ringstone by Phil D ...They were still there at dusk so could be there in the morning...

Byron Edge

A fine adult male snow bunting was here today. I first saw it only about 5 metres ahead of me, on the path that crosses the summit plateau (altitude 415m). It flew off south before I could take a photo.
Byron Edge is the ridge that separates Blackstone Edge and Whiteholme reservoirs. The path I was on is called Toad Lane.

Thursday, October 31, 2019


We had a look this afternoon and found a drake Mandarin Duck, looking very smart, near the duck feeding area hiding away near the willows. Never seen one here before though they are regularly seen in the Ryburn Valley.
Kingfisher briefly near the outflow
1 adult Herring Gull among the Black-headed and Common Gulls

Mixenden Reservoir

Right in queue for the time of year and this cold spell turned up 2 female type Goldeneye. One arrived as I was there.
1 Lapwing in the reservoir banking was unusual.
3 Tufted Duck (female with a large pure white blaze like a Scaup) but it's definitely a Tufted.
A few B H Gulls and just 4 Common Gulls and a single Cormorant.

Also checked the passerine tree belt alongside the west side but nothing doing there probably as there was no shelter from the easterly wind.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Gorple, Walshaw Dean & Blake Dean

We went to see if we could re-find the recent Water Pipit but we drew a blank after quite an extended time looking for it. No matter, it was a fantastic afternoon to be out despite the coolness after this mornings frost.
Birds not easy to find today though masses of Woodpigeons in the area and a good number of Red Grouse as well as a flock of c60 Redwings and another flock of c130 Fieldfare all >W. No Ring Ouzels though we heard from BS that he had one at Fly Flatts mid afternoon. Nice one Bri.

Walshaw plantation was well worth a check with a nice mixed flock of small birds in the tops of the spruce trees - maybe 40+ Siskin, 15+ Coal Tits, 20+ Lesser Redpoll and  a few Goldfinch with them along with a Great Spotted Woodpecker flyover.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Water Pipit

Water Pipit at Lower Gorple tonight.NCD,DF

Lee Mount and Ogden

First thing this morning - lots of Blackbirds about in the park and along St George's Road, maybe 25+ with a few Mistle Thrush's and Song Thrush's. Probably overnight arrivals.

We took an afternoon walk on Cow Hill Gate Lane this afternoon and then down to the reservoir and back along Rocks Lane. We didn't find a lot but at least it wasn't raining after 24 hrs of it !
15 Greenfinch was quite exceptional near the farms not far from 'The Moorlands'. It's a long time since we managed more than just one or two in our area.
1 Kingfisher on the reservoir
1 Kestrel along Rocks Lane

Friday, October 18, 2019

Swales Moor etc..

An interesting morning once the mist cleared from the top with a good movement of some species including...
Westerly movers
44 alba Wagtails
135 Woodpigeons
240 Meadow Pipits
9 Fieldfare
1 each of Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Skylark
+ a few other sp. from the Calder Valley including 65 and 40 Pink-footed Geese (CS and RB)

5 Raven
3 Goosander
1 Sparrowhawk
45 Lapwings
2 Jays

1 Greenfinch near the top - an increasingly scarce bird locally nowadays !

Also a Black Redstart near Bradshaw this afternoon - a gem from JJL with photo's on his Bradshaw Birding blog.  Certainly a different bird form the one we had recently at Withens Head though it's not been reported there since around 1st October.

1 drake Teal on the long pond near Hollas Bridge
1 Moorhen - half-grown chick with an adult

Unnamed site

Barn Owl

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Ring-necked Parakeets - 15th October

2 reports from yesterday - with one over Ovenden towards Shroggs Park at around 08:20 (SC) and another, or the same bird in Skircoat around 09:00 (WG).

We have had reports over recent years from around Sowerby Bridge, Warley, Greetland and Bradshaw, as well as a few other places. Anyone else seen any recently at these or other Calderdale locations ?

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Mixenden Reservoir etc

Checked early afternoon including a walk around the plantation (that's a wet, soggy job)!
2 Cormorant
1 Tufted Duck
1 Green Woodpecker
2 Raven
100+ Woodpigeons - making the most of this years beech mast

Withens Head
Still no sign of the recent Black Redstart
13 Magpies, and a Raven had a serious go at one but it just escaped in time !

More “Pinks” !

This morning another good move of Pink- footed Geese

First report from BS of a skein over Fly Flatts heading towards Halifax at around 08:45. I think I saw the same flock over Lee Mount with 67 >SE at 08:56. Thanks for the E W S Bri.
c150 > SE over Beacon Hill at 09:30 (PJWS).
c80 >NW over Hipperholme at 09:30.
Massive flock of 2 skeins >SE over Lee Mount at 10:13 - the count from phone photos is 245 - update from computer later. !
Also from SB c150 >E over Halifax at 10:15.

Might be some more today !!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Cold Edge ad Withens Head

Cold Edge
1 Little Grebe
1 Grey Heron
2 Tufted Duck
2 Barnacle Geese
c120 Canada Geese
2 Greylag Geese
1 Little Owl
5 Stonechat together near the top dam
c25 Goldfinch
2 Kestrel
2 Raven

Withens Head
1 Little Owl
2 Kestrels

No sign of the Black Redstart today - but it could still be around that area !

Pink-footed Geese

Plenty 'pinks' moving west and sw over Fly Flatts earlier on this morning (BS)

Also around 30 Redwings >SE followed by 2 skeins of 'pinks' totalling around 190 birds over Lee Mount >W around 10:20 closely followed by reports of c. 300 in 3 skeins west over Skircoat Green 10.44 (SB) and c200 over Cromwell Bottom around the same time (GWH).

Saturday, October 12, 2019


Reports of Pink-footed Geese this morning, first from JJL of a flock heard over Bradshaw around 09:15 but unseen in the mist. Also from AvH and SB c100 >E over Holywell Green area at 11:15.

Over Lee Mount this morning - 5 Swallows over the park and earlier I called in at Jay House Lane. Nice to meet up with DF and enjoy the Tree and House Sparrows, both with lots of chirping in the shrubbery and on the building.. A lot of birds in that area. It's a shame that some of those very productive fields will probably be lost to housing development. Let's hope not !!!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Around and about late morning.

Withens Head - looking immaculate, adult male Black Redstart still, showing well on walls around Farm with at least 4 Stonechats at around 11:45

38 Mallard, 2 Tufted Duck on Fly Flatts.

3 Goosander and 3 Cormorant on Mixenden Reservoir

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Hunter Hill

This afternoon I tried the east side of the hill overlooking Ogden golf course and Mixenden - mainly to get out of the blustery wind and to check the hill for Ring Ouzels. It used to be a favoured place for them and in the light of several reports in the last few days I thought there might be chance though I didn't score !
1 Swallow >W along with several Meadow Pipits
c80 Goldfinch - a nice flock on thistle heads (no Linnets with them)
2 Red-legged Partridge

Shibden Park

Wigeon male moulting out of eclipse

Monday, October 07, 2019

Ring Ouzels

1 of 4 Ring Ouzels found at Blake Dean today.
Also in the same area ,70 + Mistle Thrush , (must be a calderdale record?) Fieldfare , Redwing, Blackbird  and a single Song Thrush . Buzzard , displaying Raven , Goldfinch , Chaffinch , 3 Stonechats , Merlin , Barn Owl and Great spotted Woodpecker.

Mixenden Reservoir

Tried Fly Flatts and Withens Head first - heavy drizzle and fogged off....go home !! No.... I'll call at Mixi....
2 Swallows
1 Little Grebe
2 Cormorant
1 Moorhen
1 Common Gull
1 Fieldfare flyover >W
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Kestrel

Plenty Redwings over Shroggs Park earlier in the day - very flighty - mostly >W

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Ogden golf course and Withens Head

Had an hour at the lower end of the golf course mid afternoon but it rained heavy and I gave it up as a bad job after 2 Bullfinch, 2 Chaffinch and c20 Goldfinch down in Carrs Beck area.

Called at Withens Head for 40 minutes or so just in case the Black Redstart was still about - drew a blank with that one as well. Wondering if it's gone now ?  It's been  there at least since 2nd September and possibly even longer. I'll give it another try at some point this next week.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

A Redwing Day

A few Redwings about today with c18 over Shroggs Park mid-morning and later on in the day we had 14 over Jerusalem Farm in Luddenden Dean.
Also earlier from AC with c120 Redwings over Northowram and a massive day from the Oxenhope watch-point with over 2,600 >W (DCB HC).

Also we had 3 Stonechats along Castle Carr Road late afternoon though not a lot else in the dean but it was most enjoyable to call in at Bob's Tea Room !!

Friday, October 04, 2019

BTO Train the Trainer - Hollingworth Lake Wed Oct 16th

Nick Moran (BTO Training Manager) has sent the following email which may be of interest to anyone involved with training volunteers for bird and other wildlife surveys.

Dear all
I'm writing to you as BTO Regional Reps, Assistant RRs, BBS Regional Organisers, WeBS and Heronries Census Local Organisers and GBW Ambassadors to invite you to a free 1-day Train the Trainers event at Hollingworth Lake Country Park, near Rochdale, on Wednesday 16 October. This is part of a wider programme of similar events that has been made possible by a generous donation from the late Pamela Rhodes.
Travel expenses will be covered and refreshments provided, though participants will need to supply their own lunch. Further information about the day, including the topics to be covered, can be found here: https://www.bto.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=651
We're keen to make the most of this opportunity so if you are not in a position to attend yourself, we will welcome recommendations of others from your region who might benefit, including those involved in delivering Nest Record Scheme and Ringing training / demonstrations.
If you'd like to register for the event, please visit the following link: https://www.bto.org/civicrm/event/register?reset=1&id=651
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any queries or suggestions of others from within your local BTO community who might be interested in this opportunity.
Kind regards,
Nick Moran
BTO Training Manager

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Gorple and Blake Dean

Gorple - 2 hrs of not much at all. ! No sign of the Rock Pipit.
1 male Stonechat
c80 Mallard
3 Greylag Geese and a Canada
17 Lapwing high. >Nw
2 alba wagtails
2 Red-legged Partridge

In contrast Blake Dean was 'buzzing'
Male Ring Ouzel with c15 Mistle Thrush all in the field, near Widdop Gate pull in, got 'spooked' by a Peregrine
2 Sparrowhawks
6 Redwing
c10 Reed Buntings
6 House Martins
c20 Swallows
Plenty Meadow Pipits

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Rock Pipit

A few more photos

Rock Pipit still at Lower Gorple

Me and DF refound the Rock Pipit today at Lower Gorple feeding in the inflow for 30 minutes before flying in to the outflow where AM and SBP also had great views.

Withens Clough Reservoir

We had a mid-morning visit in glorious sunshine and a cool wind, very pleasant and great to be outside and staying dry after all the rain the last few days.

Bracken area opposite the car park
1 Whinchat
4+ Stonechats
8+ Reed Buntings
20+ Goldfinch
Plenty of Meadow Pipits moving through and 'blogging'

Reservoir circuit
1 alba wagtail
1 Tufted Duck
2 Canada Geese

Moving birds - all >W
4 Swallows
1 Skylark
1 Merlin
2 Reed Buntings
8 Chaffinch
260+ Meadow Pipits - but they were moving on a very broad front so there were many more not counted

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Rock Pipit

Rock Pipit tonight at Lower Gorple, NCD, AC..It  was seen for about 10 minutes by to drain at the Keepers cottage side of the dam. It may still be present tomorrow morning....

Withens Head

Black Redstart still present in grim conditions, showed briefly around 4 pm around the farm.

Mixenden Reservoir

3 'Commic' Terns there at 09:45 but distant so went home for the scope. They'd gone by the time I got back there around 10:40 with BS soaked to the skin looking for them in the meantime.

A small flock of c30 B H Gulls dropped in while we there and 15+ House Martins and 30+ Swallows were there feeding low over the water.


Seen yesterday, not too far from where DF had his bird Saturday

Well done Lynn for getting on the bird with her camera and taking a couple of distant record shots, looks like a different bird to Dave's? Cheers

Monday, September 30, 2019

Lee Mount

This afternoon - out in the garden - Redwing call heard and 3 flew over >W just over the trees of Shroggs Park

Pink-footed Geese on the move as well this morning including 3 small skeins over Ovenden towards Claremount with other skeins reported over Leeshaw and Oxenhope as well as the Gorple area. BS, TM, HC, AC

Saturday, September 28, 2019


                                          Ringstone today

Merlin 1
Buzzard 1
Common Tern 3
Lapwing C300
Ruff 2
Golden Plover 9
Snipe 7
Canada Goose C400
Tufted Duck 2
Cormorant 2
Black-headed Gull 300+
Common Gull C20

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Fly Flatts and Withens Head

Fly Flatts
4 Stonechats along the top road.
12 Tufted Duck
6 Teal
2 Mallard

Black Redstart still at Withens Head Farm - this afternoon favoured the red tractor and sheltered side of the farm. Also 1 Wheatear
3 Buzzard and 3 Grey Herons, all high >SW


2 Ruff still present in the big field by the reservoir till at least noon today.
Lots of B H Gulls and a few Common Gulls.
11+ Golden Plover
3+ Snipe
Lapwings and Starlings as well as mipits and alba wagtails.
1 Cormorant
1 Common Buzzard

Wednesday, September 25, 2019


100+ Pink-footed Geese went over >E at 19:10 this evening.
We should be getting more in the next month or two !


The Ruff left Ringstone heading towards Scammonden at 17:15 tonight.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Ringstone Edge

2 Ruff there this afternoon around 16:30 (JB and PD)

Cold Edge dams

2 Barnacle Geese still, with 80 + Canada's
A Whinchat with c6 Stonechats on the area of heather between the lower dam and the track.
1 Swallow
Lots of Meadow Pipits about and a large flock of c120 Goldfinch but strangely, no Linnets with them.
Distant Buzzard
2 Raven
1 Grey Heron

Around 30 B H Gulls on the dams but nothing else other than a few Mallard.

Count of the day was the field on the right just after Lumb Terrace - with 11 Moorhen together (just 2 juveniles).

Withens Head

Black Redstart still showing this morning on the farm roof (BS). I saw it briefly, same place then it disappeared. Checked Moorlands Farm as well but it failed to show there.
4 Wheatears at Withens Head
5 Mistle Thrush >W and a continuous move of Meadow Pipits, mostly high.
2 distant Buzzards put c30 Lapwings up on the moor
2 Kestrels

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Yellow Wagtail

Thanks to Tom Balaam for these pictures of a Yellow Wagtail at Lower Gorple yesterday.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Pintails and Shoveler.

A few mega distant record shots of the three Pintails and one Shoveler identified by JB at Ringstone yesterday.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Black Redstart

Some nice pictures from John M from yesterday.

No further reports today as far as I know - but it will be there somewhere !