Friday, February 26, 2021

Ogden etc

Chris with sharp eyes this morning, spotted a flock of 14 Crossbills near the 'Giant's Tooth' area at the top end of the plantation on the edge of Ovenden Moor mid morning

3 skeins of Pink-footed Geese today - all >W >NW. 83 Lee Mount, 100 Wyke and 50 Soil Hill  (DJS, DH, AC)

83 Pink-footed Geese over Lee Mount this morning

Some more Wheatears (they are really early this time, usually expected mid March onwards) with 6 at Jay House Lane this morning (MSt).

Lots of other good reports from around today but can't go into them all just now !

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Todays Awesome Firecrest


          Firecrest at Cromwell Bottom showing brilliantly though very elusive

          but well chuffed to get some pics of it, I actually think there were 2 but

         no pics of 2 together as it was hard enough getting one, what a bird.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Green Withens etc

Must be a record today with a Wheatear - probably the earliest ever record for Calderdale (TW)
Also 18 Twite nearby.

I tried Mixenden Reservoir this morning. No sign of any Goldeneye but 3 Cormorants and 4 Mallard on the water.
40+ Herring Gulls, mostly juveniles with birds arriving to bathe before heading off >W. It's amazing the number of Herring Gulls we get passing through nowadays compared with years gone by.
A quick trip to Fly Flatts turned up nothing other than 2 Ravens. 
The amount of fly tipping up there is depressing to see.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Pellon Reservoir - Iceland Gull

Things occasionally happen very quickly in 'birding'. It did this afternoon. We were just setting off for Luddenden (via Nick's) with a USB with some photo's from Daniel.

Missed a call from Nick....... then a text......"Iceland Gull on Pellon Reservoir now" ! Got the message out to the troops and off we went. Well done Nick - what a belter - though difficult to see across the allotments and at times only viewable through the bushes. Along came Andy - just in time and after a few moments it took off and headed in the direction of Asda and not relocated.

Record shots only with the Panasonic Lumix as it flew off.
First winter bird as far as we can tell. White-winged gulls are always good to see.

How on earth did you spot that one Nick !!!!!!!

WhatsApp new group ...for Calderdale Birders

 After the massive success of the text message grapevine over the last 10 years it is now so popular that its taking Dave and Bri more and more time to keep up to date with it all.......They have both done an excellent job over the years....Whats app groups are used by many other bird groups and are a fast and effective way of getting news out straight away without having to wait for it to be re sent..!! Any comments welcome......

Pink Footed Goose

      Took a trip to Raggalds Flood to see if the Pink-Footed Goose was still there

      after reports on the grapevine and luckily it was, a bit strange it being on its own.

     Also on my travels I seen Owls in the sky, just waiting on the Waxwing to arrive

     now they're usually here by now.

Swales Moor

Ringby Top this morning  with a brisk >S wind but it was really clear to the south and west, slightly hazy east. It was so clear that what I'm sure was the Red Arrows miles and miles away in close formation doing loops in the sky towards Lincolnshire.

1 Skylark
2 Meadow Pipits
2 Buzzards distant
80+ Carrion Crows
Not a lot else !

4 Shelduck yesterday (AT) had gone by this morning

Monday, February 22, 2021

Cold Edge area

It was good to meet Mick up near the Withens this afternoon as we enjoyed the fresh air. What a great afternoon to be out on the upland in the sunshine. We tried earlier for Skylarks on the way up there but failed on that count though we are aware of a good few about in the last week or so.

2 Stonechats around the wind-farm building and on the way back 8 Fieldfare were in the top fields with c80 Starlings.

Near the lower dam a single Barnacle Goose was with around 60 Canada Geese and 10 Greylags
1 Golden Plover heard on the moor with  a lot of noise from Red Grouse
Elsewhere - 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Curlew, c45 Lapwings, 4 Moorhens and a pair of Pied Wagtails along with the usual species.

At least 4 skeins of Pink-footed Geese were also reported on the move today through Calderdale with a count of around 305. It's also around the time to look out for Whooper Swans as they start to move back to Iceland to their summer breeding grounds. 

Castle Carr Rd

2m 2f this afternoon. Plus 1 Buzzard, 35 Lapwing, Curlew calling from over the valley.
Good to bump into Dave & Jenny S on Cold Edge


Saturday, February 20, 2021

Cromwell Birds

        A few pics from the other day down at Cromwell

        lots of Nuthatch about along with Redpolls both 

        Common and Lesser, Siskin, lots of Bullfinch,

        Cormorant flyover and the Herons are beginning

        to build there nests again, sadly no Firecrest.


Thursday, February 18, 2021

Calder Valley

 A couple of shots from the Luddenden Foot / Brearley area today.

Grey Heron on the prowl for Frogs or Toads


1 Green Woodpecker
1 Sparrowhawk
140+ Jackdaws
1 Grey Wagtail
Pair of Goosander
1 Redwing
1 Moorhen
6 Grey Herons
Plus usual species

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Withens Clough........

Black Redstart still present this morning sunning itself on the stone walls and flycatching from there. At other times very elusive. I did get some distant photo's but I can't better those from JM yesterday.

A walk up and around the reservoir produced very little other than a Nuthatch, pair of Canada Geese, 2 Magpies, a single Buzzard, pair of Kestrels, 4 Reed Buntings by the res'r house with some Chaffinch. Mistle Thrush singing and 4 Herring Gulls high >W.

Common Buzzard
Elsewhere today from various sites. Reports of Skylarks in song, Curlews starting to arrive or pass through, Lapwings on the moorland fringes. An occasional Oystercatcher, some Golden Plover.

2 Whooper Swans >NE over Lower Gorple this morning (PG)

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Cragg Vale - Black Redstart

 A very nice find this morning for JM in Withens Clough with a surprise Black Redstart. We think this is the first February record for this species in Calderdale. Though they do have a habit of turning up in different months. They are still a scarce bird here though.

It was not seen today after 11 am ish though hopefully it will be re-found and stay around for a few days.

With thanks for the photos via MJB. 

Monday, February 15, 2021

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Firecrest Search

       Some pics from today at Cromwell on a very cold day

       minus 5 when I set off in search of the Firecrest again

       but no joy although DF dropped lucky with a good spot

       of it, Redpoll & Siskin kept popping up now and again

       along with Goldfinch and plenty of Jays knocking about

       I counted 9, but I dipped on the Dipper which Djs had seen.

       nice to see DF, DW, DJS, RH, SM, DP, AW a few of which Ive 

      not seen for a while. Buzzard was soaring overhead.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Cromwell Bottom

Firecrest photos with grateful thanks to Mike for his stunning photos from earlier this week. Certainly not an easy subject when they are constantly on the move and in and out of the vegetation. 

It was seen again earlier today by DF et al but despite several local birders searching throughout the day it wasn't re-found as far as we know. It has a good extensive habitat to hide away in but hopefully it will show again in due course. Thanks again Mike.

Friday, February 12, 2021


Off the beaten track a bit up there this afternoon thinking maybe Crossbills in the plantations but very few cones now on the spruce trees, so that idea failed .

I was surprised to find a group of 5 Goldcrests feeding on the ground in the snow underneath the spruce trees All feeding frantically for survival, obviously trying to pick out minute insects probably having been blown off the branches in the frozen and ongoing wintry conditions. For their sake I hope they survive to enjoy a bit of respite if/when the weather warms up a little for them.

I couldn't get all five together in the frame so this one will have to do

Wave after wave of gulls  passed over >SW late afternoon. I didn't start a count but maybe 1,000+++. They have been moving late afternoon in this direction for several weeks now being seen over Pellon, Highroad Well and West End. We don't appear to have a roosting reservoir in Calderdale so we're not sure where they are heading for - maybe to the Hollingworth Lake or Blackmoorfoot roosts ???
The majority are Common Gulls with a good number of  Black-headed Gulls, a few Herring Gulls and at least one adult Lesser Black-backed Gull.
Common Gull
Black-headed Gull
immature Herring Gull