Monday, August 31, 2020

Roils Head Yellow Wagtail

At last a good bird at Roils Head today, a Yellow Wagtail feeding with Pieds in the horse paddocks. At first very flighty moving from field to field before settling in the one surrounded by Leylandii conifers. Good to see DJS arrive in time before it was flushed by a Sparrowhawk, it soon returned and was still there when we left.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Cold Edge dams etc.

 Nearly three hours there this morning and only 29 species - it's usually 39+. Chilly and a blustery northerly wind probably had something to do with it.

A single Wheatear was about the best along with 1 Cormorant, 1 Moorhen, 1 Buzzard and a Kestrel and maybe 60+ blogging Meadow Pipits plus a few other expected species. Good to have a chat on the way round with PB and later PJWS.

This afternoon we had a check in the area at the lower end of Ogden golf course. Miserable drizzle didn't help. Went in the hope of a finding a small flock of Redpoll and the female Redstart thanks to NK's message this morning. Try again another day !

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Swales Moor (Ringby Lane) and later - Withens Clough (Cragg Vale)

Not much to report from Ringby this morning other than a Chiffchaff in the cottage garden at the top of Ploughcroft. Also c20 House Sparrows including a good show of juvs at the same place.

Ringby Lane - no sign of anything moving at all. c100 Meadow Pipits in the fields and 50+ Goldfinch on thistles. Green Woodpecker and a Sparrowhawk but not a lot else.

Withens Clough. A good show of Stonechats around the site with family groups of 6, 4 and 2. They seem to have done well locally this year. 

8 Swifts over towards Stoodley Pike along with 2 Kestrels and 60+ Swallows over the clough below the reservoir. 4 Wheatear nearby and a few Meadow Pipits, Grey Wagtail and c10 Pied Wagtails in the reservoir overflow. 

Nothing on the reservoir - full to overflowing !

Juv Cuckoo

 Juvenile Cuckoo showed well around mid-day, same area as reported on Grapevine yesterday.

Highlight had to be a young (brown) Merlin that landed on a post whilst I was crouched down behind a wall watching the Cuckoo, sadly no photos, my slightest movement and it was off!

Pepper Hill

    Pepper Hill yesterday evening when the sun decided

    to show its face, Greenfinch, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Dunnock,

    8 LTT'S, Blackcap, Blue & Great Tits, a Hawk calling loudly

    but couldn't be seen and a Kestrel hunting well until disturbed

    by Magpies, lots of Goldfinch and Swallows & House Martins

    flitting about, sorry for the gruesome pics but it is nature.


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Swales Moor

Nothing at all moving this morning in a brisk >NW wind other than 3 Swifts and 1 Swallow >W and a single Wheatear in the top.

Plenty Lesser Black-back Gulls and Carrion Crows loafing around the processing plant.
1 Meadow Pipit
c20 Linnets

Later - Soil Hill - 1 Wheatear on the ruin was the only migrant, 2 Buzzards, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Ravens high >SW. Plenty Lesser Black-back Gulls >NW, 1 Common Gull.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Lee Mount - rain all day !

We sat in the conservatory for our lunchtime 'sarnie' shortly after a Sparrowhawk whizzed through and scatter the birds on the feeder. We don't know the outcome of the Starling that it seemed to lock on to !

The feeder went quiet, though after a short while I started counting the usual visits to the feeder at 12:55. Fifteen minutes later the count was ,,, Coal Tits - 30 visits, Great Tits - 5, Blue Tits - 4, Nuthatch - 2, Dunnock - 1...... then the Sparrowhawk returned with  a fly-past at 13:10 and not a single bird visited the feeder until 13 minutes later. They returned very warily. Probably quite wisely.

Not at all scientific I know but at least it gave me something to do for  a short while !!!

Coal Tits the commonest bird - probably around 6 individuals. We're hardly getting anywhere near normal Blue or Great Tit numbers. 


Pretty wet and windy but I gave it a go this morning. Nothing scarce but a decent mix of species.

2 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Cormorant, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Dipper, Blackcap female, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, 30+ Swallows >W, Blue, Great, Coal and 2 Long-tailed Tits, 1Common Gull, 6 LBB Gulls and a few Black-headed Gulls plus other expected species.

Sent via BT Email App

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Wellholme Park

Time with the family - play area included - a single Swift with around 30+ House Martins and c20 Swallows with a single Common Buzzard over >NE

23rd August

5 Spotted Flycatchers and 1 Redstart at Roils Head today.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Swales Moor etc....

This morning along Ringby lane and Ringby top. Very quiet apart from the Carrion Crows and Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the roof of the processing plant. 

Not a sign of any movement other than 8 Swallows >SE 

A few Meadow Pipits and Goldfinches about as well as 2 each Kestrels and Sparrowhawks.

Later in the day a Peregrine was calling over Lee Mount and just 1 Swift over mid afternoon >NE


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Mixenden and Stodfold

2 Green Woodpeckers on Hunter Hill and a female Redstart still at the lower end of the golf course late morning. Also a Willow Warbler there but no migrants at all in Slaughter Gap. Nice to catch up as well with NK doing the rounds.

A solitary Tufted Duck on Mixenden Reservoir and a feeding frenzy of 40+ Swallows on Hunter Hill, they drifted off towards Cold Edge. Not a lot else about but a Swift earlier over Lee Mount was nice to see.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Whiteholme Reservoir

Had a look at Whiteholme this afternoon to see if the Hollingworth Lake Pectoral Sandpiper had relocated here this afternoon, but nothing doing. A single Ringed Plover was the only wader I could find. Was a surprise to find a Dipper up there though.
Total species list here;
Also 3 Tree Pipit on Soil Hill this morning (2 Tayor Lane, 1 North Slope), as well as a single Sedge Warbler. Reasonable sized large gull flock in the bottom field but difficult to sift through without a scope. Picked out a single juvenile Yellow-legged Gull but could have been other birds in there.
Total species list here;
Also a juvenile Redstart on Taylor Lane on the 15th

Saturday, August 15, 2020


 20 Geese Sp.   E towards Ringstone 08:11

Friday, August 14, 2020

Soil Hill - 100 species in 2020

Reached my 100th species on the Hill this year when this cracking Short-eared Owl flew past being mobbed by crows. 
It was fogged off this morning so had an afternoon visit instead today. Good numbers of large gulls moving, mainly LBBG but two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls flew East. Migrants were poor, just 3 Willow Warblers in total.
total species list here;
-Short-eared Owl

Mixenden area

 I went in the search of returning migrants this morning. Not many migrants ...but good enough...

Mixenden Reservoir - 2 Sand Martins, 10 Swallows, 1 House Martin, 2 Grey Wagtails. Chiffchaff in the woodland and a Common Buzzard over >SW. 

Lower Brockholes - male Siskin in the top of a Spruce in one of the gardens there.

Hunter Hill - 4 Wheatear (2adults and 2 juvs together) Green Woodpecker, Jay and Mistle Thrush's scoffing rowan berries. Best of the day was a Tree Pipit - heard the call and it came over and dropped into the woodland at Slaughter Gap. Searched for it till it flew out again and moved further up the clough.

Carrs Beck - 2 Sand Martins at the lower end of the golf course still ! I had a search in the heath-land area and checking the fence line came across male and female Redstarts.  both were very wary and very reluctant to show again after the initial sightings.

Kestrel was getting plenty of aggravation from the local Jackdaws until this Raven went over and diverted their attention. It went off high >NE

Green withens

 This morning green withens

7am till 10am

Kestrel 1 f
Buzzard 1
Carrion crow 6
Wren 4
Meadow pipit -
Reed bunting 3
Goldfinch 7
Twite 50+
Pied wagtail 4
Grey wagtail 5
Stonechat 1 juv


Sedge warbler 1 in the bracken below the south dam

Willow warbler 2 in the eastern bracken 6 south dam 5 m62 pond

Whinchat 1 m62 pond 1 in the clough
Wheatear 1 on the track

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Ogden plantation

Checked quite a lot of the woodland this morning. Quite misty but pleasantly cooler than of late. Pretty quiet on the whole other than a foraging 'tit' flock in the area just above the pond, mostly in birch and pine. 

Garden Warbler showing quite well on and off was the best I could do. Definitely camera shy ! In with c 8 Chiffchaff and  a similar number of Willow Warblers (mostly young ones), 1 Treecreeper, 1 Nuthatch, just 1 Blue Tit, no Great Tits with the commonest bird Coal Tits - maybe 15+.

Nearby 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and Green Woodpecker calling, 1 Jay, 1 Sparrowhawk.

A Kestrel and a Reed Bunting down the side of the golf course

3 Cormorants on the water. Pair of Blackbirds carrying food to a nest site.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Mixenden and Lower Brockholes

 This morning - before it got too hot...! but it was hot - no escape !

Nothing much on Mixenden Reservoir other than 2 Swifts and a female Tufted Duck. On my return I came across 6 Chiffchaff feeding together on the edge of the plantation - a family group I suspect.

Slaughter Gap was worthwhile checking with a Spotted Flycatcher on the fence line. Camera shy was a bit of a disappointment ! Also quite a number of Willow Warblers down the tree line and a group of 6+ Mistle Thrush and 5 Jays stripping berries off a Mountain Ash. Also nearby, a Green Woodpecker, Kestrel and a few Swallows.

Another camera shy bird with a female Redstart in the hedge / fence line near the lower end of the golf course became very elusive. Migrant birds seem to like this area near Carr's Beck.

20+ Swifts over Hunter Hill - make the most of them now until next April / May !

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Cold Edge

 This morning. Temperature and conditions totally unprecedented up here. Not living up to it's name at all ! No sign of any migrants in the small plantations other than a Willow Warbler half singing.

Lower Dam

6 Teal kept flying in then out due to disturbance. 1 female Tufted Duck. 1 Grey Heron, 1 Moorhen

1 Common Sandpiper on the island along with a few Black-headed Gulls and a single Lesser Black-backed Gull

Spring Mill Dam

2 Little Grebe and some juvenile Mallard along with a Buzzard sitting on  a nearby post

2 Kestels, 2 Stonechats, a pair of Pied Wagtails, a few Reed Buntings, Linnets, Goldfinch and Meadow Pipits and a Greenfinch.

No Swifts, just a few Swallows plus the usual species

Green withens am


Green withens 07.00-9.30

A lovely south east wind misty and a balmy 17•

Very quiet as I parked up, very little moving

The walk to the res

Kestrel 2 juvs
Buzzard 1
Curlew 1


Mallard pair with ducklings
Canada goose 4
Common sandpiper 1
Pied wagtail 4
Lbb gull 1 ad

East bracken

Willow warbler 2
Reed bunting 3
Wren 2

M62 pond

Whinchat 1 juv
Wheatear 2
Willow warbler 1
Reed bunting male
Stonechat male and juv

Monday, August 10, 2020

Soil Hill

This Juv. Yellow-legged Gull flew south past Soil Hill this morning. The pale primary windows were the most striking feature in the field but I had some concerns about the amount of markings on the tail. However, have discussed it with some of the guys from Spurn and the tail markings are apparently within an acceptable level of variation for YLG, with other features combining to confirm the ID.
Full species list here;

Speaking of Spurn, had a visit over this afternoon for the Collared Flycatcher, and came away with an awesome supporting cast of Pectoral Sandpiper, White-winged Black Tern, Red-backed Shrike, Icterine Warbler (Trapped and ringed), 2 Spoonbill, Great Egret, 2 Little Stint and a random August Redwing. Back to the Hill tomorrow... 
-Juv. Yellow-legged Gull


 Took the dog in the garden this afternoon and heard an unusual call thinking Im sure I know what that is and to my amazement a female Crossbill flew off from a tree across the road and over my head not bad for an urban area about 5miles from the nearest conifers. Makes me think about taking up birding again. (maybe not) 

Various today

Shopping first thing so I took the opportunity to check the stream at Dean Clough / North Bridge - 1 Dipper and 1 Grey Wagtail wasn't bad for a start.

Several Swifts over Lee Mount mid morning - thanks to AC spotting 20+ Swifts feeding along the ridge over the trees. Also a Blackcap alarming in the bushes though it has been seen on and off scoffing the honeysuckle berries which have nearly all gone now !

2 Buzzards over Boothtown this afternoon with lots of interaction - perhaps a juvenile harrasing an adult for food (?)

This Chiffchaff arrives most afternoons late on to bathe. A bit ragged looking. It doesn't stay in the water for long but comes back soon after for another dip - or two !

A decent flock of Black-headed Gulls early evening looked to be having a small feast up in the air catching insects or perhaps the emerging generation of flying ants.

Lee Mount

 Still some Swifts around this morning 20+ - they won't be here for long now so enjoy them !

Sunday, August 09, 2020

Castle Carr Road and Saltonstall

 Pretty quiet bird-wise this afternoon

1 Whinchat was nice to find - they are scarce with us though we can expect a few returners in the next month or so.1 Wheatear and a few Linnets and Meadow Pipits

2 Little Owls nearby

Whinchat (still there this morning 10th along with 6 Wheatears - MJB)

Saturday, August 08, 2020


A red kite spotted yesterday soaring slowly above Kebs Road

Friday, August 07, 2020

Halifax Bird report.2019

  A fantastic year which will long be remembered for the Mega that was ...ROLLER....a great find by Richard Raynor....other great finds were a spring  Purple Sandpiper , long staying Rock Pipit and Great White Egret which gave a lot of people the run around..!!! . Good breeding numbers of Pied / Spotted  Flys and great numbers of waders through Fly Flatts .We will all remember...the churring NIGHTJARS.......well done to NCD for another excellent report.....

Thursday, August 06, 2020

Soil Hill

Another very lively morning on Soil Hill with 46 species recorded. The highlight was a cracking Pied Flycatcher on Taylor Lane, a patch tick for me. But other migrants were also in good numbers;

-2 Tree Pipit grounded
-Grasshopper Warbler reeling
-Sedge Warbler 
-Blackcap male
-19 Willow Warbler (6 Taylor Lane, 8 Summit Bushes, 3 North Slope, 2 Ned Hill Track)
-Great Spotted Woodpecker juv.

Full species list here;
-Pied Flycatcher

-Tree Pipit

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Various sites 4th August

Had a wander around Mixenden Res'r, Stodfold and lower end of Ogden golf course. It was really hard work with not a lot about at all. Nothing on the reservoir
Green Woodpecker, adult and a juvenile at Stodfold was about the best I could do with a Great Spotted Woodpecker flyover.
A few Linnets, a Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler.
Near the lower end of the golf course 3 Sand Martins still !. Hardly any other hirundines about at all other than a few Swallows and a House Martin.

Make the most of any Swifts you see in the next week or so. They will be gone shortly other than a few stragglers or migrants from other areas.

Norland area

Dead male Kestrel found dead the other day (AT) No visible sign of shotgun pellets or similar. We wondered if it had flown into something, a car or maybe overhead wires ?

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Soil Hill

Another very enjoyable morning on the Hill today, with another patch tick for me; Green Sandpiper.
While checking Ned Hill Track for Willow Warblers I heard a Green Sandpiper calling, but it sounded distant. After hearing it a few times, without sounding like it was coming any closer, I decided to record the call on my phone. However, half way through my recording the bird appeared over the edge of the Hill, and once I had got my camera out of my bag I was able to to grab a few photos as it passed over. Being in the gulley at the end of Ned Hill Track I could not follow the flight of the bird once it had passed over, but it headed in the direction of Ogden/Mixenden so could have potentially landed there.
Also a reeling Grasshopper Warbler on the North Slope and a juvenile Stonechat on the walls at the bottom of the Slope. Still reasonable numbers of Willow Warblers lingering as well. The North Slope Tree Line especially was lively with them.
Complete list from this morning here;
-Green Sandpiper
-Recording of Green Sandpiper