Saturday, August 31, 2019


Golf course again looking for migrants this afternoon.
2 Whinchat and 2 Stonechat at the lower end of the course plus a Stoat running their wall - better watch out !!
1 Swift >W over Mount Zion Chapel at Upper Brockholes.
Plenty Swallows and House Martins still about in the shelter of the valley

Friday, August 30, 2019


Lower end Ogden golf course yesterday afternoon.
It was good to find a few migrants including Whitethroat, Whinchat, 6 Stonechat, 2 Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, a few Meadow Pipits and 2 Reed Buntings.

In the fields below Hunter Hill were 140+ Jackdaws ( including a lot of juveniles) and c60 Linnets and c80 Goldfinch on thistles and seeded grasses. c150 Swallows and c40 House Martins we're making the most of the sheltered conditions in the valley finding lots of insects around the herd of cattle.

Great to find a good number of birds in that area though Mixenden reservoir and plantation were more or less devoid of birds other than a calling Nuthatch and a small flock of Long-tailed Tits.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Cold Edge - 27th August

Pictures courtesy of Paul B.

 Willow Warbler

Grasshopper Warbler
'Click' on photo's to enlarge

Most unusual to find a Grasshopper Warbler out in the open and to get such a great photo is amazing. They are usually well hidden, heard rather than seen, often located in summer by a  'reeling' song from reeds or long grasses, or typically in rushes such as juncas in our area. I think this is an adult bird but I'll stand corrected.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Ogden Garden

Unusual bird on our feeders today. Initially we thought it was an escapee. However on further consideration we think it may be a leucistic blue tit. We manged three photos on an iphone using a telescope but have been unable to post these on the blog due to our limited computer skills on our new computer.

Lee Mount

30+ House Martins at the back of the house and over the park this afternoon plus a single Swift >W late morning.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Cold Edge dams

? Scaup. What do folks think?
It looked bulkier than the nearby Tufteds, and the bill seems larger. I did not see it flap its wings.

Cold Edge and Ovenden Moor

Cold Edge
Two Whinchats still on the heather below the lower dam with a male Stonechat but no migrants around other than a male Wheatear
2 Buzzards over
1 Little Grebe
3 Moorhen
2 Barnacle Geese (both unringed) in the lower field with c35 Canada Geese
A few Linnets and Goldfinch about.
Plenty Swallows and a lot of Meadow Pipits moving over the wind-farm >Sw


Friday, August 23, 2019

Lee Mount - 23rd August

Swifts still hanging around with six this morning.

Reports still coming in of summer migrants on return journeys including Spotted Flycatchers, Redstarts, Blackcaps etc. Tomorrow could be another good day - hopefully !

Fly Flatts

Yesterday afternoon.

Not a good afternoon trying to find Bs's 6 Ringed Plovers. I had to give up scanning the mud from the top road with the scope after over an hour looking for them on the extensive mud which was glistening in the sunlight and that's my only excuse !

BS did his best to point me in the right direction but I had to give it up in the end ! Try again another day.
Not much else either
3 Kestrels
2 Tufted Duck


Yesterday in the drizzle did not disappoint. I started off with a Dipper and a Grey Wagtail in the pump house area below the embankment. Two Magpies we're giving the Dipper a hard time but it seemed to easily avoid them.
Also an adult Green Woodpecker.

Lower down the valley near the lower end of the golf course by the hedge and fence line was a juvenile Green Woodpecker, a Spotted Flycatcher and an adult male Redstart along with 2 Chiffchaff.
A bit of a soaking, but it was well worth it.

5 Cormorant, a Great Crested Grebe and an adult Herring Gull on the reservoir.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Roils Head

At last some migrants at Roils Head today, Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher and Chiffchaff.

Cold Edge area

Two very nice finds from CJB yesterday.
2 Whinchat with around 6 Stonechats just near the lower dam and a Black Redstart briefly near The Withens. The latter seemed to move on quickly along the stone walls but despite several searches it could not be re-found. Though it could still be in that area ?

The Whinchats and Stonechats are still along the track near the lower dam this morning. (DP)

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Lee Mount

Still getting some Swifts, with 5 this morning.
Tawny Owl singing in the park last night was good to hear.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Various !

Several Swifts today with at least 7 individuals over the ridge at Lee Mount accompanied by a few House Martins at times. Also 2 Swifts over Mount Tabor as I passed on my way up to Fly Flatts this afternoon following a text from BS of yesterdays Yellow Legged Gull still there on the mud.

Found the bird still out on the mud, and there's plenty of that! Andy was there too though the bird was distant it was a scope job from the top road to be certain of identity. Tricky in the wind which was quite blustery. Another nice find for BS. What next!

Withens Head
c180 Starlings, mostly juveniles
2 Pied Wagtails
2 Swallows

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Lee Mount

c35 House Martins went through mid morning. Feeding as they went >SE. Nice to see.
1 Swift so far today >W and another single bird early evening.

Jayhouse lane

Twelve Tree Sparrows at Jayhouse Lane this morning.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Hunter Hill

Still poor conditions but less windy than Fly Flatts and rain turned to spells of drizzle - not much better !

I also checked Slaughter Gap but nothing doing there. It can be  a good spot for migrants.

1 Raven
1 Green Woodpecker
138 Swallows >S
1 House Martin >S
1 Mistle Thrush >S
6 Meadow Pipits >S
80 Starlings nearby
6 Canada Geese in the fields
2 Wheatear

Fly Flatts

Wet and windy from the top road this morning. Even BS was on his way home !
1 Wheatear
1 Kestrel
1 Tufted Duck

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Luddendem Dean

We did the dean this afternoon heading up the valley from Jerusalem Farm where there was some shelter from the blustery wind. Think most birds were keeping well down for shelter.
Swifts were the exception, with a steady stream all very high >W.
1 hungry juvenile Buzzard called continuously and one adult seen.
1 Kestrel
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
A few Swallows
2 House Martins
1 Jay
Plus a few of the usual species, that was about it.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Peregrine on Dean Clough chimney - seen a couple of times up there today.
c100 mixed Swallows and House Martins feeding over the woodland at the rear of B & Q on the Pellon side mid morning. They must have been moving through and dropped onto  a feeding area, an hour later they were gone.

1 Swift today over Lee Mount- they have well thinned out now. Though a movement of 34 Swifts over Brighouse early evening was a nice report from Mike H. He has a flock of House Sparrow too, about 35+ with 3 fledged juveniles as well today. Thanks Mike.

This evening from PD - a Common Scoter on Ringstone reservoir along with two Tufted Duck, and a juvenile Green Woodpecker nearby.

Nearly forgot !! - from John M - a family group of Whitethroat at Jay House Lane as well today.

Not good for BS at Fly Flatts, oh dear, mostly  fogged off today but what will turn up there tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Ogden area

This morning
7 Cormorant
1 Green Woodpecker
1 Common Buzzard >NW
2 Curlew flyovers > W
1 Treecreeper
1 Raven
1 Great Crested Grebe
Swallows moving through >S from the 'Giant's Tooth' area
1 Swift - they are really getting scarcer now.
Nice to meet up with JL for a 'catch up'.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Fly Flatts

Another gem for BS this afternoon with a juvenile Turnstone (his 3rd within a week) and also a
Green Sandpiper.

Several of us headed up there and fortunately we had no trouble finding the Turnstone through the scope from the top road. 2 Dunlin and a Ringed Plover were in the same general area at the south end though we failed to find the Green Sandpiper. That was until Nick spotted a Peregrine starting to chase a small wader with a white rump, which was probably the Green Sand'.

We lost both birds in the distance but later on caught up with the Peregrine again before it headed off over The Nab, again chasing a small wader, zig-zagging as it climbed to escape the raptor. Outcome unknown !

Thanks to BS - see West Yorkshire Birding blog link for a detailed report of today's surprises at Fly Flatts.

Also from Soil Hill - a Knot flyover earlier today -think that's a first for the year in Calderdale (?) (Daniel B)


It was good to have a look down there this morning with Mick H and to meet up with Alan T as well.
Kingfisher was around the first bird we saw, on the long pond.
A brilliant looking site and looking so good for a wide variety of wildlife with Mallard, Moorhens , Grey Herons, Goldfinches etc. Lots of Buddleia in flower attracting Painted Lady butterflies in particular. Thanks Mick. Sorry you missed the Kingfisher Alan !

YNU update

The Red-footed Falcon found at Walshaw Dean found by Mark Fanshaw on 9th July 2017 as been accepted by the YNU rare birds panel.


A Redstart and a Spotted Flycatcher in the plantation at Walshaw Dean last night and a juvenile Cuckoo halfway up the valley near the house.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Castle Carr Road

This afternoon
1 juvenile Little Owl but I couldn't find the adults
1 Green Woodpecker heard
1 Kestrel
2 Buzzards over high >SW
2 L B B Gull
4 Linnets
3 Stock Doves
10+ Swallows
.... not a lot else

Thursday, August 08, 2019

South of the River Calder

Soil Hill

Made a post Little Bustard twitch visit to Soil Hill this afternoon, and it was well worth it. Clocked 30 species, included a few migrants. Highlights; 2 Spotted Flycatchers, a flyover Tree Pipit (Heard only but called twice) and a nice female/immature Bullfinch, which was a patch tick for me.
Other species of interest; two Juvenile Willow Warblers, a number of Whitethroats and what appeared to be a molting male Blackcap.

Species List:
Soil Hill: Common Pheasant, Feral Pigeon, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Sparrowhawk, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Blue Tit, Skylark, Barn Swallow, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Wren, Starling, Blackbird, Spotted Flycatcher, Robin, Dunnock, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Tree Pipit, Bullfinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Common Hawker, Wall Brown, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Small White, Small Copper, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Roe Deer, 

Ogden Garden

Seven Painted Lady butterflies on the buddleia this pm a real treat

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Fly Flatts

A couple of nice waders for BS so far this month with a Greenshank there on the 4th and a Turnstone today. I went late morning and John M went in the afternoon but we both 'dipped' !
Distant Buzzard, Kestrel and a steady stream of Swallows coming over Ovenden Moor wind-farm going straight through >SW - they are certainly on the move now though some will still be about into October.

Withens Head just produced 1 Wheatear though they are now starting to trickle through our upland areas, mostly from their more northerly breeding areas.

Swifts are also well on the move south now. Local breeding birds have all but moved on now though several movements of small flocks, or steady streams of birds, as over Moselden this afternoon with loads of them >S (PD)


Dunlin 2
Wheatear 2

Tuesday, August 06, 2019


Juvenile wheatear

Ringed plover

Monday, August 05, 2019

Ringstone Edge

Thanks to Charles (visiting from Devon) for conveying a message about a flock of Scoters on the reservoir this afternoon and then checked out shortly afterwards by AT. Difficult light conditions and they were in the middle of the water though some distant photos taken later from John M of  40 Common Scoters. A very good flock of these ducks for Calderdale. They stayed around until 19:45 when they left >W probably heading off to coastal waters which is where they are normally found.

Leucistic Jackdaw

A nice shot from John M with this unusual Jackdaw today along Thornhills Lane.

Our 2018 Report also includes a photo from DF of the same or a similar individual though with some dark feathers then, though these may well have grown out and been replaced with white ones. maybe the same bird, maybe not ?

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Green withens

Great birding this morning 

Arrived at around 07:20 

As soon as parked up the van I could see loads of meadow pipits darting about around 30, this looks good.
The small valley by the parking spot had a juv willow warbler juv blue tit (scarce up here) I hears the tack of a blackcap but never saw it, 3 swallows flew south a adult grey heron flew low down east
After a good while I set off the the res 
The track held more meadow pipits and a couple of pied wags, a bird calling overhead got my attention a faint "tsst" yellow wagtail get in ! Second record , eventually it doubled back and landed in the drain. It was very flighty saw it few more times but always briefly 
Cormorant went east high up 
More meadow pipits around the dam walls along with 3 wheatears on the dam fence and 4 twite on the overflow bridge 
6 swallows went south and 2 ravens went north 

A good mornings birding 

Saturday, August 03, 2019


This is the Black redstart found by DF