Monday, December 28, 2020

Beacon Hill

We don't often go up to the beacon but it was a good afternoon to do so. Perfect timing...with two big skeins of Pink-footed Geese 3 minutes apart over the top heading >W. I got a couple of shots on the phone but the first skein is blurred though it was a larger size compared with the lot below with c215 individuals. 
Pink-footed Geese

2 Grey Herons also went over the top (probably local birds) and a mix of corvids in the fields above Cunnery Wood

Sunday, December 27, 2020

 Sunday December 27th.

A walk along Thornhills Lane and Jay House produced the common birds expected but a couple of good size flocks of House Sparrows is always nice to see. They have bred well this year. Tree Sparrows are still present. Plenty of Blackbirds but no evidence of Continental visitors. Resident Alba Wagtails, Mistle Thrushes and mixed flocks of Jackdaws and Rooks were also evident. Plenty of Common Gulls (54 in one flock yesterday) and Blackheaded Gulls sometimes not mixed together. 23+ Redwings highly mobile and feeding on Hawthorn berries.. What would we do without these lovely winter visitors? No Fieldfare today but there were earlier in the week.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Cold Edge and Ovenden Moor

Cold Edge living up to its name again this morning. 1c with a biting cold northerly wind and icy underfoot in places, but it was bright and clear.
1 Stonechat, 2 Bullfinch, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Moorhen, 1 Kestrel, 37 Canada's and 8 Greylag Geese, 12 Mallard and not much else other than a few Common and Black-headed Gulls.

Wind Farm area 4 Fieldfare, 2 Raven, c30 Starlings, 2 Carrion Crows and several Red Grouse. 14 Herring Gull >NE.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Green Withens Res'r (and Pink-footed Geese)

 Went to check for the recent Water Pipit again. AT had the same idea so we checked the usual expected locations up there without a show. A lot of activity around the boat house looked like a team checking the premises and having a tidy up so no birds around there.

We came away with - not much... 1 Red Grouse, 2 Carrion Crows, c6 Mallard and a Dipper but it was a pleasant morning to be out in the fresh air.

Two flocks of Pink-footed Geese reported >>W today with c50 over Wainstalls around 15:45 (AR) and 154 over Lower Gorple mid afternoon (AC NCD). It's always handy to get a photo (if possible) of any 'pinkie' flocks as was the case with the 154 - a count off the photo later gives a reasonably accurate count. Hopefully more flocks in the next few days to round off a very good autumn for the Pink-footed Geese over Calderdale. Thanks for all the reports.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

EGP Skiing lake

 I've just seen Dave's comment at the beginning of this month on the difficulty of viewing the skiing lake.

Some of the lake is viewable from the road a little way east of the lay-by. But I'd say that the best coverage is from a point reached by walking down between the terrace of houses that is side-on to the road, and the Casa restaurant.

The photo of Goosander and Cormorant that I put on the blog on 10/11/2019 was taken from this viewpoint.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Cold Edge

Good to see Pete S up there this morning having done the rounds as I started off . Think we ended up more or less having the same birds !

Mistle Thrush in full song was really good to hear. Firstly on the overhead wires and later in the top of a Larch. It continued singing despite the breeze and drizzle.
2 Bullfinch in the small plantation
27 Canada Geese
4 Moorhen
1 Fieldfare
c70 Starlings
1 Sparrowhawk - female strafed through low over the vegetation obviously in hunting mode
No sign of the recent drake Goldeneye or the Stonechat and not  a lot else other than usual species.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Green Withens

I tried again for the recent Water Pipit but no show after trying a good stretch of both inflows and down to the bottom end of the outfall. A nice morning to be out with plenty sunshine and an occasional light shower.

Best of the morning was a female Pintail with 6 Mallard on the left side of the Res'r just from the boathouse. Not sure if the photos are any good as they were a bit distant.
2 Dippers
1 Stonechat
1 Twite (colour ringed but I couldn't get the full combination)
1 Carrion Crow

Not many birds but just a bit of quality !

Pintail with Mallard(best of a bad lot)!

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Lee Mount

78 Pink-footed Geese >W at 09:00 this morning

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Sunday, December 13, 2020

Water Pipit

 Water Pipit still at Green Withens this morning.


Thursday, December 10, 2020

Mixenden and Ogden - in the mist !

 Mixenden Reservoir
2 skeins Pink-footed Geese heading >W in the mist at 11:00 and 11:05 - I could only hear them 
1 female Goldeneye - yellow band on the tip of the bill suggests an adult (I think)
2 L B B Gulls
2 Herring Gulls
c200 mixed Black-headed and Common Gulls

Ogden - Giant's Tooth area - didn't have time to do the reservoir circuit
2 Green Woodpeckers together feeding on the edge of the heather moor
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker flyover >S
3 Red Grouse

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

more ‘pinkies’ etc

Soil Hill 
Late morning 18 Pink-footed-Geese >W at 12:05 high over the mast towards the wind-farm.
Lots of Common Gulls in the surrounding fields
1 Meadow Pipit
1 Kestrel
15 Fieldfare

100 + pinks >W over Ovenden 12:00 (JS)
60 pinks >W over Northowram 13:05 (AC)

Swales Moor
37 Lapwings in fields along Ringby Lane this afternoon and not a lot else other than corvids and Common Gulls.
4 Meadow Pipits

Monday, December 07, 2020

Green Withens

Tried again for the recent Water Pipit including another trip down the side of the outfall - but failed to locate it ! That's how it goes sometimes.
Female Merlin came overhead, so that made up for it. It didn't seem to be in hunting mode and went straight over towards Lancashire going higher all the time.
3 Reed Buntings by the outfall pump house but no sign of any Twite this morning
2 Red Grouse
1 Carrion Crow
That was it until 62 Pink-footed Geese came over heading >W high and fast at 11:45. A text followed a few minutes later from M St with c150 over Brighouse heading up the Calder Valley at around 11:50

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Soil Hill & other sites; Updates from the week

Soil Hill
-A Common Buzzard flew over during the late afternoon of the 2nd 
-1 male Stonechat on the 4th
-Raven have been present on and off throughout the week
-Common Snipe numbers peaked at 4 on the 5th, Jack Snipe numbers peaked at 2 on the same date
-1 Siskin flew over East on the 6th
-Various skeins of Pink-footed Geese have passed over during the week; 





















-Jack Snipe
-Pink-footed Geese

Lower Gorple 01.12.2020
-1 Adult Great Black-backed Gull flew over
-Single drake Teal

Elland Gravel Pits 02.12.2020
-Various Siskin and Lesser Redpoll flying around calling
-1 Raven flew over
-3 Whooper Swans were on the Ski Lake. At around 10:20 another flock of 5 birds arrived, circled the lake three times and then flew off towards Brighouse. The 3 birds on the lake then took off a few minutes later and flew towards Elland

-Whooper Swans

Saturday, December 05, 2020

Cold Edge

 Mid to late morning. Still a good covering of snow on the ground but it was fine and clear visibility.

1 drake Goldeneye on the top dam with around 20 Mallard on the lower dam
9 Canada Geese
1 Grey Heron
1 Moorhen
1 Kestrel
3 Stonechats
3 House Sparrows (not very common up here)
3 Bullfinch feeding on the heather by the plantation
Unidentified Pipit, I couldn't get any close enough views and it left high >S - but it wasn't a Meadow P - I have to let it it go but it's bugging me !!!

Plus some of the usual species including a call from NK -  "Pink-footed Geese over towards Cold Edge" just as they flew over. Maybe 70 they were high and fast >W at 11:20 as were another flock from AC maybe 80+ but these were more distant over the Luddenden /Calder Valley - again >W at 12:00. Only had the phone camera with me and not quick enough to get a shot for an accurate count.

Mixenden Reservoir

 Mid morning - nothing new. 2 Goldeneye including one adult drake, 2 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 2 immature Herring Gulls in among a few of the usual Common and Black-headed Gulls.

Friday, December 04, 2020

Mixenden reservoir

In the prolonged snow showers this morning. Thankfully the roads were ok.
1 Cormorant
1 Goldeneye
2 L B b Gulls
4 Herring Gulls
c40 mixed Common and B H Gulls
5 Bullfinch

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Thursday, December 03, 2020

Mixenden and Cold Edge this morning

 Forecast not good but when I got out it was better than I expected - stayed fairly dry most of the time.

Mixenden reservoir
1 Goldeneye looked like the immature drake
1 female Teal hiding under the overhanging trees
c120 mixed gulls, mostly Common's followed by Black-headed and among them 2 adult Lesser Back-backed and 6 Herring Gulls
50+ Starlings nearby but no sign of the parakeets.

Cold Edge - very quiet
1 adult drake Goldeneye 
Pair of Stonechats - (recent family groups seem to have dispersed by now)?
7 Moorhen
10+ Blackbirds
10 Fieldfare
2 Redwings
1 Mistle Thrush
1 Goldcrest
Plus a few of the usual species

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Green Withens

 Another try at finding the Water Pipit for a couple of hours this morning but no show. I even walked down to the bottom of the outflow twice to see if it was hiding away. Cold, with very icy paths on the way up though the sun was shining. Even the phone died with the cold !

Helicopter still working moving stone off the track to fill the eroded gullies on the moor so pretty noisy at times.

2 Dippers (one in the inflow and another at the lower end of the outflow)
3 Twite first thing increased to 17 when I left around 11am (3 colour ringed birds one each red, green and white - all on R and BTO rings on L - I couldn't see any other colour rings above the first colour ring)
2 Red Grouse
1 Kestrel
2 Carrion Crows
4 Mallard