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.