Friday, July 31, 2020

Little Critter asleep on path At Cromwell Bottom.

Can anyone give me ID for this little fellow please

Soil Hill

Very enjoyable morning today, as opposed to the last few mornings which have bordered on a complete waste of time.
A nice fall of juv Willow Warblers, maybe somewhere between 10 - 15 individuals around the Summit, North Slope and Ned Hill Track. I could only find one yesterday afternoon so a few certainly arrived overnight. 
The highlight this morning was a cracking Tree Pipit, my first of the year here and 96th species on the Hill this year. It was present in the trees on the northern edge of the Summit, moving between bushes calling often. At times it showed very well, perched up in bushes and on the ground. These bushes especially were very lively with Willow Warblers, Whitethroats, Reed Buntings and Meadow Pipits all abundant.
Complete list from this morning here;
-Tree Pipit

Ringstone Res’r

2 Little Egrets there around 09:30 this morning left >W shortly after.
Also from AT - a Redstart by Scammonden Bridge.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Sand Martin challenge !!!!

I was surprised to come across a pair of Sand Martins this afternoon at the lower end of Ogden golf course. Not a usual site for them. Lets try get some pictures.....!!! I thought Swifts were tricky but these are a nightmare to get in any sort of focus - with my set up anyway ! This was the best of a lot of very blurred shots.

Several of the shots would suggest a small falcon, but for the bill, and I was surprised how some of the images show how long the wing is in comparison to normal views where they look much shorter and tucked in at times.
Anyone else up for a challenge ????

These two must, I think, be feeding young somewhere with beak fulls of insects in some of the shots.

Also nearby
Family group of 5 Stonechats
Green Woodpecker
A few Linnets 
2 Red-legged Partridge
8 Mistle Thrush
Adult Common Gull over
Lots of butterflies about as well.

Barn Owl

 Barn Owl showing well last night and this morning,
 brilliant to see it and only a mile from the town centre,
 amazing watching it gliding and turning in the air.
 If this post isn't allowed for safety I apologise and
 please remove my post.
 They seem to be doing very well in Calderdale
 this year which is fantastic.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Swales Moor - Ringby Lane

Juvenile Wheatear on the track up to the top. Don't get many at this location sothat was nice.
Green Woodpecker calling but unseen
30+ Meadow Pipits came out of the quarry though a pair are still feeding young in the nest
A continuous stream of Swifts high >W
c20 Linnet
1 Lapwing
40+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls (mostly adults)  'blogging' around the processing plant along with 2 adult Herring Gulls

Earlier over Lee Mount - a Peregrine heading towards Halifax but couldn't get much on it other than silhouette.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Fly Flats etc.

A nice find by BS this morning at Fly Flats with 2 Sanderling arrived overnight. Appalling conditions on and off up there today but I got a break from the rain late morning and managed to find them in the scope (impossible without). Great little birds probably just returning from the Arctic.
2 Barnacle Geese out on the mud.
2 Kestrels both still hunting in the pouring rain as I left.

Mixenden Reservoir - always worth a check in bad weather. Not  a lot...
1 Tufted Duck and just a few hirundines including 6 Sand Martins

2 adult Great Crested Grebe
2 Cormorant
1 Sparrowhawk
1 adult Common Gull
15+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls, with others passing through as were a few Black-headed Gulls

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Fly Flats etc

Late morning visit - the reservoir is filling up now. I viewed  from the top road with the scope.
2 Wheatear along the top road walls
1 Kestrel
Juvenile Merlin took what looked like a Meadow Pipit and went to finish it off down by the reservoir
Usual load of Canada Geese with 2 Barnacle Geese, all out on the mud
4 L B B Gulls
I couldn't find BS's Ringed Plover from the top road but I suspect they were there somewhere.

Withens Head - opposite the wind -farm car park
1 Wheatear on the farm roof at one point
Family group of 4 Kestrels hunting close together

2 Little Owls including one juvenile

Thursday, July 23, 2020


After yesterday's good results I was back up at Ringstone hide today. List: 1 Tufted Duck 2 Great Crested Grebe 1 Little Grebe 14 Black Headed Gull 7 Swallow 5 Lesser Black Backed Gull 3 Moorhen 2 Carrion Crow 1 Common Sandpiper 6 Swift 11 House Martin 2 Lapwing 1 Jackdaw BONUS: There were 4 moths in the hide, Large Yellow Underwing x1 and Dark Arches x3, these would have died if they had been in there two nights so I think someone may have been there last night or something? There is no way apart from flaps so perhaps somebody was there in the night?


Enjoyed finding four of these this morning though they took a bit of finding among the House Sparrows.
 Tree Sparrows

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Mixenden and towards the golf course

Started off the day with a Green Woodpecker in the trees at the back of the house, yaffle-ing. Didn't see it, but nice to hear by home.

Later on another Green Woodpecker at the back of Mixenden plantation. Saw this one as well as hearing it.
Also towards the golf course
3 Red-legged Partridge
3 juv Stonechats - spreading out on their own now with no adults seen
2 Reed Buntings
2 Mistle Thrush
1 Kestrel
5 Whitethroats together in a small group of hawthorn looked like a family group with the juveniles still being fed occasionally by the adults

Mixenden Reservoir
4 Sand Martins
1 House Martin
1 Sparrowhawk
8 Canada Geese
1 Greylag Goose
1 Cormorant
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
Also a group of 30+ in a feeding flock on the edge of the plantation included Chiffchaffs, Blue and Great Tits - and Coal Tits being the most abundant species in with them.


Popped up to the Ringstone hide this afternoon, only for 40 mins, but it was quite fruitful. Theree is a picture attached of a mystery bird that I can't put my finger on from a rubbish shot as it kept diving.

3 Mallard
1 L.B.B. Gull 
c30 Black Headed Gull
3 Lapwing
3 Curlew
1 Oystercatcher
2 Linnet
1 Pied Wagtail
1 Moorhen
c50 Jackdaw
c25 Carrion Crow
2 Magpie
2 Great Crested Grebe
1 Common Sandpiper
Mystery bird - Click to enlarge

Soyland Moor

Redshank 1 calling from a post


Wheatear 5 juveniles
Ringed plover 1
Swift 640 SW

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Pepper Hill

 Lots of Swifts & Swallows flying over Pepper Hill
 from Hag Lane area going towards town yesterday
 morning, Linnet, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Blue Tits,
 Dunnock, Sparrowhawk and GS Woodpecker in garden.

 When do the Swifts & Swallows start to leave these
 shores ? as there seemed to be a lot of them heading
 in the same direction.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Soil Hill

Another patch tick for me on Soil Hill this morning. Spotted this Little Egret drifting over Bradshaw and after circling a few times dropped onto the farm pond behind Bradshaw Park, where it stayed, out of sight, for no more than a minute before taking off again. It then circled up and although initially did not seem to know where it wanted to go, eventually gained height and headed southwards towards Swales Moor, where I lost it.
Otherwise usual setup on the Hill; Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Grasshopper Warbler yesterday, pair Blackcap today, pair Bullfinch and a flock of 24 Mistle Thrush.
-Little Egret

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Ogden Walk

   Yesterdays walk around Ogden produced, Swift, Swallows,
    Kestrel with prey, Stonechats, Meadow Pipits, LBB Gulls,
    Dipper, Wrens and Robins down by the stream and a Southern
    Migrant Hawker Dragonfly. Saturday afternoon a Red Kite could
    be heard from my garden but not seen.


Friday, July 17, 2020


'British' cormorant, P c carbo, juvenile. The rear edge of the yellow gular patch slopes forwards below the gape.
Stonechat 1 male and 2 juveniles
Reed bunting 1 singing male

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Swalesmoor and Castle Carr Road

Ringby Lane late morning and onto the top field
Juvenile Wheatear on the track was nice to see. No adults so it's probably one that's on the move now. Similarly there was another juvenile along Castle Carr Road this afternoon.

Not a lot else to report though an adult Kestrel with 2 juveniles chasing it for food on Swales was good to see. 30+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls, mostly adults also around the top along with a  Whitethroat still in song and a few Swifts along the top but only 2 Swallows and a single House Martin.

Elsewhere two pairs of Little Owls, both pairs with at least one fledged juvenile each.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Rishworth - Church

Went to the local church today as there is generally lots of  Bird of Prey pellets there on Sundays. I was rewarded with loads of these.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Cold Edge and Ringstone

Cold Edge dams this morning - a good show of the commoner birds up there with a juvenile Cuckoo the best of the lot. Also Little Grebe, Kestrel, Willow Warbler, 2 Moorhen, 2 Curlew, 10+ Greenfinch, Snipe, 30+ Swifts passing through >W but very few Swallows. Plenty Linnets and Goldfinch. Blackbird and Meadow Pipits still feeding young.

 Distant juvenile Cuckoo

Ringstone this afternoon after arranging to meet AT up there to look for DF's Mediterranean Gull (found on Sunday) - took and age to get there via Salterhebble !
Just got there, hardly a gull in sight. Then the first bird we saw was the Med Gull flying in to land on the water. It then flew off towards the embankment to preen. Looked to only have one leg (?) but apart from that a nice adult bird still in summer plumage.
Also Common Sandpiper, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe and at on point a lot of B H Gulls and several L B B gulls in the fields and at least one adult Common Gull, an Oystercatcher and a small group of Lapwings.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Fly Flats etc

Thanks to a text from BS - I went up to Fly mid morning in search of the female Common Scoter seen earlier. Things didn't look good going up past the Withens - thick fog !!
I persisted, thinking maybe  a break in the mist would give me a chance as it was likely to still be there (?) After half hour or so of drizzle, wind and fog I was ready for calling it a day when an opening came. Straight on to the bird, out in the middle as the mist cleared for a short while. Also a Cormorant on the shore-line and the mist came in, then clearing again I managed the scope on it. Well worth the trip up after all.

Mixenden Reservoir was quiet apart from 2 adult  L B B Gulls and an adult Black-headed Gull with a Great Spotted Woodpecker flyover. 2 Grey Wagtails and 8 Canada Geese on the water.

Nothing much doing on the fence line at Ogden golf course this afternoon other than Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers

Elland Gravel Pits

Mute swan pair with 4 cygnets, on canal

Ringstone Edge

Made a visit to Ringstone this afternoon to check if DF's excellent Med Gull was still around. Impressive numbers of gulls on the shoreline and in the fields, but was eventually able to pick the bird up in the fields. It was very mobile and I frequently lost it. Managed some distant record shots.
-Mediterranean Gull
Also visited Whiteholme but the recent rains have consumed the shoreline there and there were no waders besides the usual Common Sandpipers. 

Little Egrets

3 Little Egrets yesterday at  Lower Walshaw found by Aziza Mills and pics by Jen Coates ..well done you two....

Red Kites

Had a couple of Red Kites over the garden at Skircoat Green yesterday heading west at around 4.50pm. By the time I got my camera they were just dots in the sky and my camera stubbornly refused to lock on to them so they then became fuzzy dots in the sky. They must get great views from high up there on such a calm and sunny day.
A memorable garden tick :-)

Sunday, July 12, 2020


Long shot of  the Mediterranean Gull at Ringstone this morning.

Soil Hill

Excellent visit to the Hill this morning. A very fresh juv. Redstart was the highlight, in the top copse opposite the main track to the mast. It was not popular with the local Robins, and seemed to have departed soon after.
There was also a very smart male Whinchat in the fields at the bottom of the North Slope
-Common Redstart
Also present;
- 2 Bullfinch
- Stonechat
- c. 5 Sand Martin
- Common Gull
- Usual Whitethroat & Willow Warblers

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Withens Clough Reservoir

Took a walk up there this afternoon. Conditions a bit overcast but it stayed dry.
No sign of any Whinchat here. It used to be a good spot near the car park but there was, at least, a pair of Stonechat up the lane.

Family group of 6 Stonechats in the gully after the reservoir cottage and in the same place a family of recently fledged Reed Buntings.
On the reservoir - 98 Canada geese and 1 Greylag  Goose.

Not a lot else though I did check the plantation thinking maybe Siskin or Lesser Redpoll but nothing doing other than quite a good few juvenile Coal Tits with the adults.
4 Kestrels together nearby included 2 juveniles so some success there. It was nice to see interaction between the adults and juvs sparring on the ridge.

Fly Flats

Late morning visit in spasms of light drizzle but visibility not bad across the moor
Surprise bird was a lone (first for the year for me) Whinchat. Picked out at the north end, gradually working the stone walls towards the boat house area where I lost it.
Not a lot else found from the top road other than Canada Geese and Meadow Pipits with  a couple of distant Common Sandpipers on the waters edge. Reservoir looks to be filling very slowly - but still a long way to go.

Withens Head produced a single Curlew, 6 Magpies on the roof of the farm and around 45 Starlings (carefully checked in case of  a stray Rose coloured)!


Me and DF had 3 Crossbills last night in the plantation at Walshaw Dean, also Green Woodpecker and Little Owl close by. Possible Cuckoo flew past the car at Blake Dean in poor conditions.

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Mixenden Reservoir and Ogden golf course

Mixenden was buzzing.... I called after a heavy shower and as I got to the SW corner 40+ House Martins and 2 Sand Martins, all feeding veraciously above the pines in a tight group. I got the video phone on them and logged a male Sparrowhawk on the chase. It missed and came to sit in a nearby tree. I don't seem to be able to load the video on to the blog from the phone but no matter !

In the trees and bushes above the access gate there were more birds flitting about including a Whitethroat, Blackcaps, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Blue, Great, Coal and Long-tailed Tits, Wren, Dunnock Robin, Blackbird, Nuthatch and the whole group included more juvenile birds than adults. Never know what might be found in a group like that but that was it.

Nothing on the water other than 8 Canada Geese

Ogden golf course
No sign of the recent adult male Redstart or the Stonechats - quite a difference from Mixenden !
Sparrowhawk and 2 Oystercatchers over and a few Swifts and Linnets as well as a Dipper in the stream at Stodfold.

Soil Hill

Just a quick update from Soil Hill. Have spoken to some of the ground staff who said they are starting to work again at the bottom of the north slope, and that this area is now out of bounds. However, I was told that it is still fine to walk 'anywhere with tall grass' but to stay off the tracks. This does mean that you can continue to bird the North Slope, and view the NK Ponds and fields from the unworked section on the left side, as viewed as you walk down, of the bottom. Hope that makes sense.
Todays delight was presumably the same bird heard yesterday by AC, a very vocal Grasshopper Warbler moving up and down the North Slope, showing occasionally.

Monday, July 06, 2020

Ogden golf course and Stodfold

Late post from 4th July !
Golf Course
Male Redstart briefly on the hedge/fence line - quite early for a returning bird but no sign of a female or juveniles
5 Stonechats (pair with 3 newly fledged juveniles
Willow Warbler and a good show of Linnets in the area
Pair of Dippers in the stream at Stodfold with at least one juvenile also looked just recently out of the nest.
Green Woodpecker off Lane Head Lane and a Grey Wagtail
2 noisy flyover  Oystercatchers towards Mixenden Reservoir

Friday, July 03, 2020

Mixenden Res'r and Ogden

Constant drizzle most of today !
Mixenden Res'r
4 Shelduck there, out in the middle this afternoon
2 Sand Martins still, along with just a few House Martins and Swallows

I went to check the woodland areas in the hope of Crossbills. Unfortunately most of the Scots Pines are without mature cones and there are very few Spruce trees. The latter being the favoured tree for Crossbills when the cones are mature.
One female Siskin was a nice surprise - seen collecting nesting material.
Pair of Willow Warbler still feeding young
1 Green Woodpecker
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
A few Blue, Great, Coal and 4 Long-tailed Tits
1 Grey Wagtail
10 Black-headed Gulls
15 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
1 Great Crested Grebe
c50 Mallard still one or two females with a few ducklings just about independent now

Thursday, July 02, 2020


Little egret at Ringstone this afternoon, looked settled until a Grey heron chased it off , it left flying  east


1 Herring gull
2 Black-headed gulls
1 common sandpiper
6 Tufted ducks
Plenty of Swallows, House martins and a few Sand martins
3 Great crested grebes, 1 collecting nesting material again!

Wednesday, July 01, 2020


Great crested grebe