Monday, January 28, 2019

This afternoon !

This Barn Owl took me by surprise. Just wish I could have got the second shot in better focus.

Also at the same location
1 Crossbill - a green female type in the top of a spruce, then later, what was probably the same bird flew overhead and away >W. Quite an afternoon !

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Ogden area

Made an effort to have an hour or so out early afternoon.
Started off with c120 Pink-footed Geese high over The Moorlands >W at 13:20 (c100 also reported from Whiteholme (CJB) shortly afterwards would be  a different flock given the direction of the Ogden birds.
Also earlier today c80 >W over Brighouse around 12:10 (Mike H)
Also from BS - 4 >W over Ringby at 13:40

Kingfisher in the ponds at the lower end of the dam wall at Ogden
Stonechat at the lower end of the golf course
6 Siskin by Lower Brockholes

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Short-eared owl

Right place, right time and a bit of lady luck, got me this shot of a very obliging Shortie

1 of 3 out hunting the snow covered moors this afternoon

A beautiful bird, it was quite a special moment to be so close :)

atb, Phil


Sainsbury's Halifax and lower end of bus station - c25 Waxwings this morning around 11:15 (from PG) but when I finished the shop they had disappeared with a Sparrowhawk circling over Wickes. Plenty of Blackbirds and a few Redwings around Sainsbury's car park and a Grey Wagtail flyover. Good to meet Pete down there and have a chat.

Lane Head area of Brighouse and especially the west end of Piggot Street - still up to 50 Waxwings there this morning (Birdguides) (DF)

Adult Peregrine, probably a male, arrived to sit on the collar of the big chimney at Dean Clough late morning.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Lane Head, Brighouse

Waxwings turned up trumps this morning around the Lane Head area giving  a treat to a number of observers. Flighty at times but when they turn up they are a very special sight.
Photo's below all from JM showing around 54 birds - thanks John.

Monday, January 21, 2019


often hear parakeets here in sowerby bridge,maybe see one flying over towards sowerby every 2 months or so. finally found a pair today that were perched and managed to get some photos. made an other wise dull trip to lidl very rewarding!

Blood Moon

Best I could do with the full eclipse at 05:30

Also a Tawny Owl calling !

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Lunar Eclipse

Anyone up early in the morning ?? If it's a clear ski ...full eclipse of super moon. Starts at 03:34. Totality from UK 04:41 till 05:43.

Would be nice to get a skein of 'pinks' flying across it. !!
UPDATE ON TIMES - I think my books times are an hour out (?) it's still early !!

Maximum: Mon, 21 Jan 2019, 05:12 1.20 Magnitude
Ends: Mon, 21 Jan 2019, 07:48
Duration: 5 hours, 12 minutes

Friday, January 18, 2019

Pink-footed Geese - a big move !

A big movement of 'pinkies' over Calderdale today mostly between 09:00 and 11:00
At least 12 skeins totalling around 2,028 birds heading mainly >NW. Well done to a good army of observers out today.
See full report on West Yorkshire Birding blog from BS - link on right of this page

Ogden Garden

Two bramblings on the cotoneaster bush briefly this morning. Perhaps they had moved up from Lee mount

Lee Mount

Garden watch - 2 Brambling still around on the feeder today alongside 2 Nuthatches and the usual 'tit' species. Can't get them on camera other than through the window, but they will do for me.
 Male Brambling


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Halifax (Sainsbury's)

11 Waxwings reported this morning at around 09:50 in the top of the tall trees by the staff car park - thanks for the report Sean - we thought they had gone !!

c60 Pink-footed Geese >W over Jay House Lane, Clifton around 12:10 (DF)

Monday, January 14, 2019


Three nice shots of Redwings from Paul  B today as he was searching around 'The Range' in Pellon Lane after a report of 3/4 Waxwings near the traffic lights from Dave B early afternoon. No Waxwings but a good few Redwings feeding in Pyrecantha bushes.
Click on photo's to enlarge

I also checked the site and found more Redwings in the Cotoneaster bushes at the back of the Methodist Church opposite the Police HQ (not a place to hang around looking in the bushes).
I did find more Redwings and 6+ Bramblings there, could have been more, though they were feeding in the cotoneasters which are still loaded with green leaves making viewing a bit tricky !
No reports of any Waxwings today at Sainsbury's despite plenty of 'watchers'.


Waxwings - Only negative reports from a number of observers at the site this morning.
They were last seen there at 4 pm yesterday. (DW)

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Mark Avery petition


3 Waxwings showed very well today at Sainsbury's car park Halifax, the birds were on view from 2pm continuously until 3pm when I left.

Saturday, January 12, 2019


Had a fantastic adult male Kestrel land right in front of me today at Roils Head, also 1 Brambling there and 3 Herring and 150 Common Gulls nearby at High Road Well Moor.

Friday, January 11, 2019


I don't have any records for Shoveler and Jack Snipe for 2018, if anyone has any could you please let me have them asap, thanks.

Todays news

At least 10 Waxwings around Sainsbury's this morning around 10:15 though they moved to Goall Lane and Dean Clough area (JL) - no reports since then.

Ogden - the recent Redpoll flock was checked first thing this morning with Lesser Redpolls and possibly up to 3 Mealy Redpolls with them (AC).
The busy-ness around the reservoir track seemed to have dispersed the birds or they moved into the woodland later in the morning though I managed to find just 1 Lesser Redpoll with a group of Bullfinch, 3 Goldcrests and a Treecreeper in the woodland near the golf course.
Good to meet up with Pam and Tom and later on with JM and JL as we continued the search for the redpoll flock without success. Always another day !!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Ogden and Mixenden Reservoirs

Ogden  -lower end of golf course and up to the reservoir
Not a lot - 1 adult Herring Gull on the water was about the best I could do apart from a good numbers of Black-headed and a few Common Gulls moving through after a temporary stop !
AT and JM had a 30+ flock of Redpoll, still feeding around the reservoir footpath in a group of alders. Also 3 Treecreepers.Worth keeping a check on.
No sign of JL's Kingfisher from yesterday.

Mixenden Reservoir
5 Goldeneye (2 males)
3 Goosander (2 males)
150+ Black-headed Gulls
c40 Common Gulls
c80 Mallard

Halifax - Winding Road

We relocated 12 (maybe 13) Waxwings this morning around 9:45. Some were in the very tall trees above Sainsbury's staff car park.

For feeding they seem to favour the tree opposite the RSPCA but a Mistle Thrush was guarding it and 2 Sparrowhawks about as well so the Waxwings were 'flighty'.
Hope others get lucky today as it was 6th time for us !

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Swales Moor

Swales Moor, Ringby Lane - it's really gone off up there ! No mipits or Skylarks (traditional wintering area over recent years). Just 2 Blackbirds, a Stock Dove, loads of Carrion Crows (80+) and c180 Common Gulls.


JM RR et al and me checked the site this morning without a show. I did find 4 Bullfinch in the trees by Wickes but that was it - no further reports come in today.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019


12 Showing well at bottom of bus station at 10:50 (AC)

Sent from my iPhone


Sainsbury's and Wickes checked this morning (AH, DW and DJS) in case of Waxwings. Plenty Redwings, Blackbirds a few Mistle Thrush, Bullfinch and a single Brambling by the Leisure Centre.
This was to follow up a BirdGuides report yesterday of  11 Water Pipits there ! - surely an error...perhaps a 'typo' for Waxwings ???

I contacted BirdGuides - they have acknowledged an error on the 'drop down box' - should have read Waxwings

Monday, January 07, 2019

Mixenden Reservoir etc

Got out too late this morning arriving at Mixenden just as it started pouring down. Plenty of Black-headed and Common Gulls then I gave it up as a bad job !

Lee Mount
Male Brambling and a Greenfinch on the feeder late morning. Greenfinch are very scarce around here nowadays, not had one on the feeder for ages. Also a Wren bathing in the bird bath was a bit special.

Jay House Lane, Clifton

DF and JM had a Peregrine with trailing jesses along Jay House Lane on Saturday. Identified as a female, probably juvenile. It eventually landed in a field near Whiteacre Wood.

Also from there last week - up to 9 Tree Sparrows nearby.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Lee Mount and Hag Lane/Pepper Hill

Peregrine (adult male) over at 09:30 heading up Wheatley Valley - probably the bird that roosts on Dean Clough big chimney. Also one seen on Square Church spire earlier today could be the same bird (Dave P).

Hag Lane (track to rear of ski-slope)
Goldcrest in the holly bushes along with usual 'tit' species
3 distant Common Buzzards
1 Kestrel
200+ Jackdaws going to roost

Green withens

Foggy but mild here this morning
I was joined by a nice guy called boothe my memory is lacking so cannot remember the chaps first name sorry

Kestrel 1
Red grouse 7
Meadow pipit 1
Carrion crow 3
Twite 9 still at the far end
Goosander male and female circling just disappeared into the fog good 2nd record
No sign of the water pipit

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Cold Edge, Ovenden Moor and Soil Hill etc.

Struggle to find much this morning at Cold Edge and then Ovenden Moor, behind the windfarm, other than plenty Red Grouse making themselves heard. Pretty chilly up there too !
1 Cormorant on the lower dam
1 Kestrel
1 Raven
c120 Canada Geese
30+ Fieldfare and 100+ Starlings in the fields by the mast near 'The Withens'

Soil Hill this afternoon
1 Kestrel
2 Snipe
18 Meadow Pipits near the ruin on the top
c60 Fieldfare in the fields to the east of the mast along with a big flock of Starlings , maybe 600 +. They all got flushed by a female Sparrowhawk as did c60 Lapwings on the north slope, they headed off high >E

Also below on the River Calder - some Dipper shots from JM.
Also a Dipper reported on the beck in Wellholme Park today.

Records Wanted

Its that time of year when I am starting to collate the bird report records for 2018. I have already done over 8000 which is the most we have ever had for a single year, so if you are sending any in could I please have them asap within the next two weeks if possible. Many thanks to all those of you who have already submitted sightings.

Green withens

Water pipit by the boathouse this morning seen briefly before heading off towards the back of the res
Also twite still present 9 at the pump house put seed down by the bridge
Meadow pipit 1
Kestrel 1
Raven 1
Red grouse 6
Carrion crow 3

Friday, January 04, 2019

Todays news

2nd January - 4 adult Whoopers on Warland Res. late morning.   Very vocal, and left to the east at noon.
Thanks for the report (KM)

Peregrine again on Dean Clough chimney this morning. On the ridge about 10m or so down from the top - but I didn't go measure the distance !!

Good news from Nigel - reference the blog posting on 10th December 2018 of the injured male Kestrel that was taken to a bird hospital in Bury in the hope of recovery.
Nigel G messaged this afternoon -  "Excellent 2019 news from Greenmount Bird Hospital. The Kestrel was released on New Years Eve and was 'raring to go'..."
"Blwyddyn Newydd Dda"
Spoken by a true Welshman
Many thanks for the update - great news.
The Bird Hospital have a website, they're a charity and offer opportunities for donations towards their work.

Green withens

very cold with a biting sw wind

3 carrion crows
2 raven
1 black headed gull
9 twite one had rings red over white and orange over white one of the white rings was probably a bto ring


A Dipper was feeding in the Calder downstream of the town centre on 2nd Jan.

No Waxwings on the Mytle Street berry-bearing trees, but around 20 Redwing there on 1st Jan.

This rather odd Mallard was on the Calder in the town centre on 2nd and 3rd. It appeared to be slightly larger than the other drakes present, and the speculum was green rather than blue. I assume it is a hybrid with some domesticated variant rather than with another wild species?

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Cunnery Wood and Beacon Hill then Ogden

We took a walk up the hill from Shibden Hall this afternoon to the top of Beacon Hill. Decent footpaths, thanks I think to Calderdale Countryside Service, and great views from the beacon.
Not many birds about
2 Jays
1 Kestrel
A few gulls passing over and the usual corvids around

 Views from Beacon Hill

I tried late afternoon at dusk on an owl survey - nothing doing on that score but a nice Woodcock flew close by me a couple of times just as I was about to leave. Always a nice bird for the year list !

Cromwell Bottom etc

Redpolls and Siskins being reported from Cromwell Bottom again today (AW and JM) photo's from JM.

Also today from Ringstone Reservoir
2 Shelduck
Female Goldeneye
6 Teal
c80 Pink-footed Geese >W over Scammonden around 14:25

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

NEW YEAR’S DAY BIRD COUNT 1st January 2019 Hx Sci Soc Walk

Route from Clay House through North Dean Woods, around Norland Moor, and back through the woods a different way. 10.30 till dusk.

1          Jackdaw
2          Blue Tit
3          House Sparrow
4          Dunnock
5          Robin
6          Collared Dove
7          Blackbird
8          Magpie
9      Great Tit
1           Long-tailed Tit
1      Coal Tit
1         Feral Pigeon
1          Crow
1           Redwing
1           Dipper
1          Chaffinch
1          Black-headed Gull
1          Wren
1           Woodpigeon
2            Bullfinch
2            Raven
2           Buzzard
2           Nuthatch
2            Jay
2           Pheasant
2           Stonechat
2           Mistle Thrush
2           Starling
2            Little Owl (2)
3            Rook
3            Mallard
3            Song Thrush = 32           Previous maximum 31 on 1.1.2017 on same route.

         Seven walkers in 2019.     
         Walkers may bring their counts from home on the day and journey to the meet. With thanks to MH     for prior knowledge of the Little Owls and patience in finding them.  Other species noted as we          walked                                                                                                                                                    The Raven was spectacular - cronking loudly and playing in the air with a flock of Jackdaws.             

Swales Moor

Ringby Lane this morning turned out not so good when the scramblers turned up ! Before that..
2 Jays
1 Green Woodpecker
2 Meadow Pipits
120+ Common Gulls
A trickle of Herring Gulls high >W

1 Brambling, 6 + Greenfinch a few Chaffs and 20+ Goldfinch behind the cottage at the top of Ploughcroft.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Lee Mount

Happy New Year to all. With special thanks to all those who have contributed to the blog throughout the year with messages, postings, comments or emails and photographs.

This morning, with the family here, my limited opportunity for 'a watch' was first thing, in and from the garden for just over an hour of concentration before everyone else appeared !

26 species was not a bad start with the highlights being …
2 Brambling on the feeder
1 Common Buzzard >W
5 Long-tailed Tits
2 Nuthatches

I hope you all have a good year, especially for 'birding' !

Green Withens

Happy new year to all

A dawn start, very windy up here with water blowing over the dam wall.
Quite a interesting visit

1 fieldfare 3 redwings and a male reed bunting in the tree by the pump house, a male peregrine flew towards rishworth moor. The track back to the van saw 1 meadow pipit and 2 red grouse, 22 wood pigeon flew west and 2 gbb gulls and 16 herring gulls went east also the usual carrion crows.

Male and female goldeneye on boothwood and 20+ lapwings near ringstone