Saturday, February 29, 2020



Four Whoopers this morning for five minutes then headed west.


Common Sandpiper still.
Curlew  2
Oystercatcher 2
lapwing C200
Golden Plover C50

Friday, February 28, 2020


This morning - mostly concentrating on the woodland areas with snow coming down most of the time.
2 Curlew went over making lots of noise - great to see them return !
Kingfisher was nice to see around the reservoir
Pair of Goosander
c90 Mallard
2 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls looking immaculate
Just a few Black-headed Gulls, 2 Herring Gulls and a Common Gull

8 Long-tailed Tits
Blue, Great and Coal Tits, the latter being the most numerous
3 Nuthatch
2+ Treecreepers
1 Chaffinch

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Cold Edge

This afternoon:
Tufted duck  3m 1f
Common buzzard  1 west
Moorhen  5
Oystercatcher  2
Mipit  2
Woodpigeon  1 singing

Swales Moor

Like JJL described after a Soil Hill visit earlier, four seasons in one !! No Snow Bunting !

Ringby Lane
On the most exposed slope this afternoon 25+ Pied Wagtails, 6 Meadow Pipits, 3 Skylarks.
2 Ravens up there upsetting all the other corvids
Female immature Peregrine went over >N
12 Stock Doves
2 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls loitering on the top
A few Herring Gulls >W
1 Buzzard
No Snow Bunting !

Also today from Green Withens
A Snow Bunting - very nice from TW mid afternoon.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Mixenden Reservoir

This afternoon
1 pair Goldeneye
4 Tufted Duck (3 drakes)
24 Mallard
4 Herring Gulls (2 adults) in with the Black-headed and Common Gulls
I keep thinking this ongoing bad weather will turn up something out of the ordinary on a local reservoir - keep trying !

Rishworth-last day

Yesterday 3 buzzards circling and mewing over the wood 18:05

Today 1 buzzard landing near the stream 16:16

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Swales Moor

Ringby Lane - biting cold wind on the top this afternoon but some birds were not deterred by the windchill.
1 Grey Partridge
1 Snipe
15 Pied Wagtail
4 Meadow Pipits
3 Goldfinch
1 Buzzard
Masses of corvids

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Annual Species Champion

This trophy was the inspiration of Gordon going back as far as 2003. Thank you Gordon for the update of the trophy with the annual champions engraving and to Nick for keeping a check on the annual totals and ensuring there validity !

The latest recipient for 2019 with 142 species in Calderdale is Andy - well done Andy !

Thus far there has been  6 individual winners (AC, JB, SG, DJP, DJS and DF)
The lowest year maximum was 129 species and the highest 149 from DF in 2014.
Yearly average 136.7

Who's up for it in 2020 ??? for the Double-headed Eagle to grace your trophy cabinet...

Crimsworth Dean and Calder Valley

Spent all morning in the dean - very windy conditions but it was dry and even some sunshine.
2 Buzzards
2 Sparrowhawks
1 Kestrel
Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Blue, Great and Coal Tits. 3 Goldcrests and a few other usual species with lots of corvids up on the ridge and a few Black-headed and Lesser Black-backed Gulls moving through.

Highlight was a Dipper, high up in the woodland feeding in the steep run-off from the fields. It was unusual but probably up there by necessity considering the torrents in the valley bottom streams.

This afternoon we checked a couple of Heronries thinking "have the nests got blown, or washed away in the recent atrocious weather" ??  The nests were still intact but of the four nests previously occupied two looked empty and no sign of adults in attendance (?)

Brearley Fields looked interesting from a distance, now well flooded with plenty of Black-headed Gulls, Canada Geese and Mallard. Worth keeping an eye on but disturbance could be an issue if any waders drop in (?)

Big Accipiter !

 This one was from DP and posted on the blog in March 2009 (with a very full crop)

13th Feb this year from JJL.... Interesting comparison !

Kebroyd.Sowerby bridge

A buzzard circling at 15:10 viewed v. High up from road, also a heron presumably from the triangle heronry nr Victoria bridge in sowerby bridge

Friday, February 21, 2020

Its not been a good week - weather !!

Persistent rain this last week but a few items of note.
Several reports of Skylarks starting to appear but they will probably need a fine spell to find some more - same for Meadow Pipits.
A few Curlew and Oystercatcher's nearby in the Bradford area though just a few scattered reports in Calderdale so far. Lapwings starting to appear in the uplands
Still a few Goldeneye around with reports from Ogden , Mixenden and Withens Clough Reservoirs.
Redwings reported today from Savile Park, c40 in Norland and c60 in Shroggs Park
Woodcock today flushed from the edge of a footpath in the woodland at Ogden.
Pair of Robins feeding 4 young ones in a window box nest near Willow Field

Lets hope the weather 'picks up' soon.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Cold Edge

Canada goose  89
Mallard  11
Red grouse  2
Moorhen  3
Woodpigeon  36

Wednesday, February 19, 2020


Breaking the silence of the blog...
14 pink foots over this afternoon SW 12:56

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Monday, February 10, 2020

Mixenden Res’r and Swales Moor

7 Goldeneye this morning with displaying males
1 adult Cormorant
1 Grey Wagtail
Fieldfares, Redwings and Starlings flyovers
2 ad L B-b Gull
3 Herring Gulls
+ usual species

Swales Moor
Mid afternoon - Snow Bunt target bird absent -it was a long shot !
1 Grey Partridge
18 Pied Wagtail
3 Meadow Pipits
2 Stock Doves
Usual corvids and Common Gulls
4 Greenfinch near the ski-slope

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Rishworth garden

Had a nice stock dove, two wood pigs, three Nuthatch, a siskin and four goldfincs

Long-Eared Owl

I came across this beauty on one of my rare ventures
out lately, bumped into DS and got the heads up from
him about a Long-Eared Owl being seen by him.
There it was posing on a fencepost, got a bit soaked
 laying in the wet grass so as not to disturb it, but
 was well worthwhile.

Friday, February 07, 2020

Cold Edge

Teal  2m 1f
Tufted duck  5m 2f
Greylag  14
Fieldfare  40

Thursday, February 06, 2020

Cold Edge ...

Cold Edge
9 Whooper Swans on the lower dam found mid day and still present 15:00. Martyn H.
Also mid afternoon 22 Lapwing arrived and landed on the moor
39 Greylag Geese arrived from Fly Flatts direction (thanks for the call Bri)

Also 6 Whooper Swans on middle Walshaw today (PGr).
Hopefully we will find a few more in the next week or two !

Withens Head
380+ Fieldfare with c300 Starlings
1 Kestrel

Elsewhere, I also came across this beauty later in the afternoon.
 Long-eared Owl

Feeding Finches

Whilst walking round Hollas Lane Nature Reserve yesterday I noticed a couple of finches feeding on what seemed to be Rosebay Willowherb seedheads. Fully expecting them to be Linnets I took a few shots and was pleasantly surprised to find they were in fact Lesser Redpolls. I've  always associated them with birches and alders, usually feeding above the skyline near the tree tops.

Throughout the winter I've had Goldfinch flocks visiting the garden feeding on the Verbena Bonariensis seedheads. Here's a small part of a record 17 birds a week or so ago. They're also great for attracting late summer butterflies and moths.

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Rishworth Garden

Between 14:00 and 14:25. In the garden:

4 Goldfinch - lovely to see on our sunflower hearts as they prefer the neighbour's nyjer seed compared to ours. Very very fussy eaters

12 Long tailed tits - extremely gregarious on the fatballs here.

4 Jackdaw - They all clean up the lawn of dropped seeds and breed in next doors chimney thankfully not ours as we use the fire often.

Plenty of coal, blue and great tits. Lots of chaffinch.

4 Nuthatch -  they visit every 2mins taking up to 3 seeds in there bill at once back to the big horse chestnut tree.

All in all a v.productive 25mins in the garden.

Fly Flatts and Withens Head

Fly Flatts
1 Raven
30+ Red Grouse
(BS's earlier shift produced better than this !) see West Yorkshire Birding.

Withens Head
Well worth a stop towards dusk with a massive flock of Fieldfares - probably a pre-roost gathering before heading down into local woodland.
Counts from photos of the birds on the wires accounted for c380 though there were also birds in the fields so the count is in excess of 400. Just a few Starlings with them.

Distant photos only of the Fieldfare flock.

Click on photos to enlarge
 Also below, some Fieldfare shots taken locally in December 2019 by JM - thanks John.

High Royd

Sewage treatment works just west of Sowerby Bridge. This used to be a great site for bird-watching and in days gone by the site of a bird ringing station with many interesting recoveries all documented in a Halifax Scientific Society publication printed in 1965.

The lagoons are now well overgrown with willow and virtually impossible to view. The filter beds are usually worth a check especially in spring and autumn for Swallows and Martins on migration. I gave it a check this afternoon with the filter beds producing....
1 Moorhen
30+ Pied Wagtails
1 Grey Wagtail
110+ Carrion Crows
c30 Magpies

Also in the woodland the other side of the canal were Nuthatch, Blackbirds, Song Thrush, Long-tailed Tits, Blue and Great Tits etc.


c80 Pink - Foots  Going over the wood which garden overlooks. Heading SW looking like they had just come from Ringstone and heading to green withens. 10:24am.

Monday, February 03, 2020

Fly Flatts etc....

Fly Flatts
1 Raven
1 Peregrine
4 Carrion Crows
..and that was it - heck it was bleak up there !!!!

Withens Head
1 Greylag Goose over high >W

Hunter Hill, a bit more productive !
1 Meadow Pipit
c480 Starlings
c20 Fieldfare

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Cold Edge

This afternoon..always need an extra coat at this site !!
8 Moorhen (6 at the bottom pond by the terrace and 2 at the small top pond)
1 Grey Heron
1 Kestrel
c25 Red Grouse together on the moor put up by a Carrion Crow
c80 Canada Geese
1 Buzzard
28 Meadow Pipits
c25 Fieldfare
Pair of Stonechat
c80 Canada Geese
2 Greylag Geese