Thursday, January 30, 2020

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Mixenden Reservoir

1 pair of Goldeneye this morning
2 pairs Goosander
1 Cormorant
8 Herring Gulls
Pair of Mistle Thrush

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Lee Mount - 28th January

Didn't get much chance to get out today but some of the best birds can turn up in the worst of weather. The garden was no exception with this very obliging female Blackcap in the garden showing a lot of interest in the bird bath and the flowering Mahonia 'Charity'.
I guess it was finding maybe some greenfly or other small insects in the flowers, I can't think it was taking necter !

Female Blackcap

This follows on from a male Blackcap seen in the same spot on 3rd and 13th January this year. Hopefully the male is still about and maybe get the two together in the next few days.

Despite being scarce winter birds in Calderdale, both Blackcap and Chiffchaff are increasingly being seen during the winter months. They normally spend our winter in Mediterranean regions and into North Africa.

A Chiffchaff was also seen at Ogden today (BS). This follows on from one at Mixenden on 6th December 2019 and another at Cromwell Bottom on 9th January this year (JB).
Have I missed any ??

Monday, January 27, 2020

Redcar Tarn (just out of our recording area)

This afternoon with Nick D to this site near Keighley. It's well worth a visit especially if you like gulls..!! A chance to see, among Herring/Lesser Black-back/Common and Black-headed gulls  two 'specials' ie Caspian Gull (2 present recently) and an Iceland Gull. We managed one of each thanks to updates and recent messages from BS, JJL and AC and these original finds by KM. It's a bonus to park right on the edge of the tarn and view the hundreds of gulls there.

We managed one Caspian Gull as soon as we arrived and right next to it the Iceland Gull, both 1st winter birds. The Caspian moved off after several minutes and was not re-found though the 'icy' stayed there all afternoon giving brilliant close views.

Not got around to pictures yet but there are plenty on Brian's blog and Nick also managed to get the two together.

 Iceland Gull

Ringstone Reservoir

I had an hour there late morning even after being for-warned by AT earlier how cold it was up there !
Worth the visit though.
c320 Lapwings in the west field - counted from photos as they flew around after some disturbance.
9 Golden Plover with them along with a number of Starlings, gulls and a mix of corvids.
1 Mallard flew in as did a Cormorant.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Big Garden Birdwatch

Still time today to take part In Big Garden Birdwatch and help the RSPB Build A Picture Of Garden Wildlife. 

RSPB Website for further details. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Green Withens - a gem !

A really good find this afternoon (MSt) at this quite remote location. Well done for getting a photo as well as correct identification,
Water Pipit
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The bird was first seen in the conduit behind the small Yorkshire Water building at the far side of Green Withens reservoir. It then flew into the nearest – and only – tree nearby !

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Cold Edge

Mistle Thrush singing

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Calder Valley

Pink-footed Geese - another single flock reported today with c70  >W over Greetland at 14:30 (RR) and presumably the same flock over Mytholmroyd around 14:40 (NR).

Also reported this afternoon was a good flock of c70 Siskin in and around the conifer plantation at Walshaw Dean. (NCD DF).

This afternoon a Snow Bunting was reported along the track between Blackstone Edge Reservoir and Whiteholme (info via AH).

First Curlew flyovers reported today as well, with 2 over Bridestones (BL) and another 2 over Fly Flatts (BS).

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Lee Mount

47 Pink-footed Geese >WSW this morning at 11:35 looked to be making good speed despite the blustery westerly. Making plenty of noise. A great sound to hear.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Fly Flatts and Withens Head etc

Fly Flatts - not a lot doing there in the wind, cold and wet.
1 Greylag Goose came over the moor but flew straight through towards Cold Edge
Apart from that just singles of Raven, Carrion Crow, Kestrel and Woodpigeon.

Withens Head
60 Starlings, 15+ Fieldfare and 2 Red Grouse

Shroggs Park
Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush and a Nuthatch all in brief song first thing.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Lee Mount....

A very good birding day today to say most of it was spent at home in blustery and inclement weather.
A Raven and a Peregrine over this morning at different times.
A male Blackcap in the garden shrubbery

Then a Early Warning Call from AC - Pink-footed Geese heading my way. Right on queue thanks Andy, they came high over the house 114 of them (count from photographs) around 12:30. Maybe the same skein seen by JM over Erringden Moor heading >W shortly afterwards. Erringden is just about due west from Lee Mount so it's a possibility.

Then later in the afternoon, more 'pinks' high up >W making a lot of noise with c160 at 15:35.

Also from SB today - another skein of c150 >W over Barkisland around 11:45.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Early birds...!!

Was awakened this morning, it was raining heavy at the time, at 05:25 by Pink-footed Geese. They must have been low down and right over the house and very noisy and sounded to be heading >W.
All the same a welcome 'year tick' after I missed all of the big move over Calderdale on Friday afternoon.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Had the daily Grey Heron on Booth Dean Clough, where the house is on, we are at the Turner Wood part.

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Mixenden Reservoir and Soil Hill

4 Goldeneye (1 adult drake)
2 Goosander
1 Cormorant
1 Canada Goose
2 adult L B-b Gulls
1 Herring Gull among around 100 Black-headed and Common Gulls

Soil Hill
Heck it was cold up there !
1 Common Snipe flushed on the summit
1 Meadow Pipit
1 Jay in the spruce plantation on the south slope near the road along with 6+ Fieldfare

Also a rarity for me at home this morning!! - a Kestrel - so scarce at this location nowadays.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Rishworth, Ripponden

Hello all,
My first post on this blog.

Ripponden Bus Stop
Had c60 Common gulls heading WSW towards Ringstone at 15:47.
Followed by c40 same direction at 15:51.

Rishworth garden feeder.
At 1600 I counted 7 Greenfinch on the feeder. Highest count since October. They are regulars here.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020


Mid till late afternoon...very blustery conditions
1 Kingfisher in the area below the embankment was a good start along with a single Grey Wagtail
11+ Long-tailed Tits on the west side footpath

Tried hard to locate the Siskin/Redpoll flock but they eluded me though I did find a 'tit' flock comprising of at least 14 Coal Tits, a few Goldcrests and just a single Great Tit and 2 Blue Tits though there were other small birds flitting about in the canopy of pines making identification difficult. All near the north east inlet.
c120 Mallard

The rest were gulls. I've never seen so many there as they usually gather prior to moving off to roost at Thornton Moor. Maybe 800+, mostly Black-headed Gulls and a good number of Common Gulls with them. Just one first winter Herring Gull.
I also picked out a Herring Gull type bathing. An adult with a totally white head and as it kept lifting out of the water it showed distinct yellow legs. The conditions were not good and it didn't help when all the gulls went up and with the light going at 15.20 I lost DJS

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Mixenden Reservoir and plantation....

Mid morning visit for an hour or so. Plenty of activity in and around despite the light drizzle
5 Goldeneye (3 drakes)
1 Goosander
1 Cormorant
11+ Herring Gulls
1 adult Lesser Black-backed Gull
120+ Black-headed Gull
40+ Common Gulls
33 Canada Geese >SE
300+ Woodpigeons  in and out of the plantation

Fly Flatts
52 Mallard

Withens Head
2 Ravens
1 Fieldfare
1 Red Grouse

Cold Edge
82 Canada Geese (no Barnacle Geese)

Lee Mount mid afternoon
2 very large flocks of Woodpigeons went over high >SE.... up to maybe 650 birds

Nice assemblage of wildfowl to be disturbed from their preferred dam

Smart male Goldeneye on Lee Dam, Lumbutts, quite a small dam with a mirror-like surface very often. Along with three Teal, (one female,) four Goosanders (one male), Mallards, two Moorhens.
All due to be scared off from their important winter feeding water when the New Year Community Swim takes place tomorrow, 5th January 2020.

Of four dams in the Lumbutts/Woodhouse area this is the only one that regularly atttracts wildfowl, and yet this is the one they choose for the New Year Swim. Sorry for the short notice; I only saw the banner advertising the Swim this morning.

Friday, January 03, 2020

Lee Mount

Not managed to get out much yet but as soon time allows....

Brown Rat on a garden feeder on New Years Eve was not  a pleasing sight so the feeders are all away now, for the time being at least. Not seen it since so that's a good sign.

Local birds are looking lost indeed without the feeders but a male Blackcap was in the garden today, mainly around the flowering Mahonia 'Charity'. A great shrub once established for loads of yellow flowers from November till maybe the end of January into February (?)

No photos of the Blackcap but this is the Mahonia.

Thursday, January 02, 2020

Annual New Years Day Bird Count and walk.

Yesterday's count equalled last year's record of 32, but included 9 different species!

Ten people took part  (8 last year.)

Full details and photo of the walkers on -
New Year bird list

Bird list 2019