Thursday, February 28, 2019

Cold Edge

Cooler with a >NW breeze and overcast this afternoon but dry conditions.
3 Barnacle Geese - all un-ringed
190+ Canada Geese
2 Greylag Geese
1 Little Grebe
11 Tufted Duck
1 Redshank
10+ Curlew
6+ Lapwings 
2 Kestrels
Devoid of passerines and only one Meadow Pipit - hopefully they will arrive before too long !

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Hardcastle Crags and Crimsworth Dean

We started off with a look across Mixenden Reservoir at the 8 Whooper Swans that probably dropped in this morning and reported thanks to DW and BS. They stayed till at least late afternoon so they could still be there in the morning. Suspect they will be off tonight as it is a clear night for them to move. Let's see.

A good walk around this afternoon and very dry underfoot - we seemed to cover a lot of ground. Fantastic weather, not a bit like we expect in February !
Loads of Curlew and Lapwings in the upland areas with at least 80 Curlew and  maybe 150+ Lapwings. Great to see, though I guess most of them will be moving further north in the coming weeks with a few staying to breed in our area.
4 Pied Wagtails in immaculate condition at Walshaw and carefully checked.
A few Kestrels about and Sparrowhawks in the crags
Plenty Nuthatches calling but the woodlands were pretty quiet apart from 2 Tawny Owls singing briefly, as they do in the day sometimes.

Mixenden Whoopers

  8 Whooper swans on the reservoir,
  plenty of Treecreepers in the woods
  Little Owl and Skylark at Castle Carr
  but otherwise quiet.
  Thank You BS for the info.


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Jay house Lane area

Some nice shots below from JM
 Collared Dove
 Great Spotted Woodpecker

Brambling in my Garden

    Brambling in my garden this morning, its been here
    for 3 days now so well chuffed, its the first time Ive
    seen one in my garden for 8 years.
    Claremount Hill had 2 Kestrel, Green Woodpecker
    and a couple of Skylark.
    Garden had 8 Gold & 2 Greenfinch,  6 LTT's one without a tail,
    2 Blue Tit, 2 Blackbird, 2 Dunnock


Monday, February 25, 2019

More Whoopers today !

Following on from Charlie's post - the following Whooper Swans were reported from several observers on our upland reservoirs today
7 at  Green Withens
25 at Lower Gorple
9 at Whiteholme

Also from Ringstone reservoir today
2 Shoveler
1 Wigeon
Also our first returning Redshank from there this morning

Whooper Swans

I saw a fantastic, low-flying flock of c15 heading north over the house at Skircoat Green this morning at 10.00am. They were calling loudly in the clear blue sky. This is my 74th garden tick hot on the heels of No.73 - a Nuthatch in the garden in early January.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Lower Brockholes

Near lower end of Ogden golf course a lovely morning to be outside in the sunshine. Is it really still February !
1 Curlew
10+ Fieldfare
10+ Redwing
4 Mistle Thrush
3 Song Thrushes singing
1 Blackbird
2 Reed Buntings
2 Moorhens

Friday, February 22, 2019

Pepper Hill

The area on the hill-top between the ski-slope and Claremount.
The highlight was 8 Small Tortoiseshell butterfly's. Good to see them in the surprisingly (for up there) very warm conditions.
We were hoping for Skylark but nothing doing.
1 Green Woodpecker
1 Kestrel
1 Common Buzzard

Withens-Ogden new trees

I am sure you all know but 100's probably 1000's of saplings have been planted between the Withens and the gate in the track towards the golf course. I assume this will be good for bird species.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Midgehole and Crimsworth Dean

A lovely day but birds elusive. It was very busy there today with cars crammed into the car parks. Lots of families enjoying the fresh air. Wonder if there was something on for the youngsters. ? They all seemed to be enjoying whatever they were doing.
2 Buzzards
1 Kestrel
1 Green Woodpecker - very vocal
2+ Nuthatches also very vocal
1 Treecreeper
1 Dipper
2 Grey Heron

In Halifax - Peregrine on Dean Clough big chimney at 8 am.

Pepper Hill

    Pepper Hill today-
    2 Raven flying towards Swalesmoor
    2 Kestrel flying and hunting together over the hill
    7 LTT's, 4 Greenfinch, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Stock Dove,
    2 Bullfinch, 1 Great Tit, 12 Goldfinch, 2 Dunnock,
    4 Blackbird and huggings of corvids and Gulls.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Withens Clough

We had an hour or so around the reservoir this morning in the blustery wind, but it stayed fine.
1 male Stonechat in the gully below the car park
3 Canada Geese (no Goldeneye)
8 Reed Buntings making good use of the res'r cottage feeders
1 Red Grouse
4 Carrion Crows
2 Magpies
1 Pied Wagtail
1 Chaffinch
That was it !!

You dirty Rat

Have you ever seen anything like this before, a rat on a bird feeder at Woodlesford Pellon today.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Cold Edge and Ovenden Moor

We did a winter bird survey for the BTO this morning in that area. Not a lot, but it was nice to be out in the very fresh air up there !
7 Stonechats together in the area around Spring Dam was a bit special. 4 adult males looking immaculate with at least 3 females. Several Reed Buntings with them and Chaffinch's, Goldfinch's and 2 Meadow Pipits.
No sign of the recent Barnacle Goose though there were c120 Canada's and 10 Greylags.
2 Little Owls.
Plenty of vocal Red Grouse on the moor.
Nice to meet GS on his rounds, unfortunately having 'dipped' on the recent Barnacle Goose at Fly Flatts.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, February 18, 2019


Hello folks, I saw this cat above Widdop yesterday am. Can anybody identify it please?

Saltonstall and Castle Carr Road

Yesterday and this afternoon.
Best we could find was c70 Fieldfare in the field just past Bridge Terrace on Castle Carr Road. All looking immaculate but very wary. A few Redwings with them yesterday.
Pair of Little Owls in the usual spot
70 Lapwings in the moor yesterday but we failed to find them today
1 Buzzard
3 Kestrels
A few vocal Red Grouse
8 Herring Gulls > W

Sunday, February 17, 2019


Nice Stonechat at Ringstone this morning.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

'Pinks' and Whoopers !

Up to 150 Pink-footed Geese over Cromwell Bottom at around 10:40 this morning (DH). Also two skeins of 78 and 64 over Walshaw Dean area today (AC)

22 Whooper Swans on the reservoir at Lower Gorple this afternoon (DF) - maybe the same birds that were reported flying over Hardcastle Crags yesterday with an estimate then of 20+ (?)

Curlews, Oystercatchers, Lapwings and Skylarks being reported as starting to appear on our uplands. Let's hope the weather doesn't start to go downhill as they begin to prepare for the breeding season or perhaps even further migration into more norther areas.

11 Cormorants on Mixenden Reservoir at one point today from Craig via BS
Also from BS this afternoon at Fly Flatts with flocks of Lapwings on the move and a total of 232 - all >W or >NW.

Swales Moor

On the top along Ringby Lane this afternoon. A bit of a struggle to find much as the fields are pretty dead, other than corvids and Common Gulls and the latter won't be around much longer as they will soon start disappearing, heading off to their breeding grounds further north as we get into March. Most of the birds (60+) up there at the moment are nearly all juveniles !
2 Common Buzzard
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Kestrel
2 Meadow Pipits
Best of all - 7 Grey Partridge on the top - these are increasingly scarce birds in Calderdale compared with times gone by !
Sparrowhawk harassed by corvids

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Today’s news.

7 Whooper Swans>W over Norton Tower around 9:30 this morning. A very nice garden flyover 'tick' for PG whilst out in the garden.
We will hopefully be getting a few more flyovers in the next few weeks as wintering birds start their return migration towards Iceland.

With thanks to grapevine funding we were able to install 10 new boxes in a local woodland this morning all purchased via RR to support National Trust funds. With thanks to AT and SD for their practical support.
We disturbed a Woodcock, probably the same bird twice, but it was off like a shot.!! Also Nuthatch and Green Woodpecker heard, they seem to very vocal presently. Also a small Goldfinch flock feeding in and under a Silver Birch.

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Pepper Hill

Along Hag Lane at the back of Ploughcroft ski-slope for an hour or so this afternoon.
1 Green Woodpecker
1 Great Black-backed Gull >W
41 Herring Gulls >W
1 Buzzard
2 Kestrels
2 Mistle Thrush
c40 Magpies going to roost

From a distance I could just about pick out 2 Mute Swans on Shibden Park lake.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, February 08, 2019

Mixenden Reservoir

Mid morning visit in the rain and gale force winds. Anything can turn up in these conditions.
4 Goldeneye (pair moved off >N)
1 f Goosander
2 adult Cormorant
2 Mallard
3 Herring Gulls and plenty Black- headed and Common Gulls stopping to bathe and moving through.

Other bad news...
From yesterday from a BBC news report - thousands of Guillemots washed up dead or dying in the coast of Holland may well affect our own breeding populations. Suspected poisons and plastics in the North Sea (???) with lots of investigations going on into the cause of deaths. Not heard anything since.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Lee Mount

Flock of Pink-footed Geese heard, unknown number, over >W in the dark at 19:40 - is the best I could do today !

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Mixenden Reservoir

Mid morning
6 Goldeneye feeding close together in the south east corner (including 2 drakes)
1 female Goosander
1 Moorhen
7 Mallard
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
2 Herring Gulls
c40 Black-headed Gulls and 15 Common Gulls on the banking

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Wainstalls and Castle Carr Road

This afternoon, not  a lot about in the conditions, including snow flurries.
Little Owl sitting out on the top of a wall is always nice to see. Apart from that a few Red Grouse, Carrion Crows, c20 Common Gulls and 1 Black-headed Gull.
1 Kestrel

It was nice to find 3 Reed Buntings at the end of Castle Carr Road, in the bushes by the Top Lodge. This used to be  really good spot for  a small winter flock but they are just about hanging on there this last two winters.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Swales Moor etc

Nothing doing along the hilltop on Ringby Lane this morning. A beautiful bright, sunny and frosty day with fantastic 360degrees views.
Still lots of corvids, mainly Carrion Crows and a few Magpies and Jackdaws along with c20 Common Gulls and 3 Stock Doves.

Earlier 2 Raven >E over Lee Mount was a treat to see, and hear. They were probably the same birds as BS saw over Ogden earlier.
I also checked Wade Street in Halifax but there was no sign of yesterday's Waxwings with the favoured rowan tree taken over by 2 Mistle Thrush.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, February 01, 2019


Thanks again to JM for some very nice shots of Redwings.

Click on the photo's to enlarge.


A flock of 30 were in the trees at the bottom of the bus station in Halifax this afternoon between at least 15:15 and 16:00. Very few berries left in the single rowan so I was surprised they were still there.

1 Waxwing from Lane Head area, Brighouse mid morning but it sounds like the berries are getting sparse there too. (AC).

10 Bramblings also reported by Sarah today in the area of Stansfield Close, Hanson Lane.

Photo's of Waxwings below from JM.
Worth taking note of the second photo showing the under-wing and what I think must be the wax tips showing as extension like streamers from the secondaries. Never noticed that before but I guess they may only show up like that on a photo (?)

Very nice photo's John.
What fantastic birds they are. No wonder everyone want's to see them !