Sunday, June 27, 2021


Raft of  14 common scoter on Widdop reservoir  just now - our son watching them at the moment.  At 'narrow end' he says.


17.15 hrs.

Soil Hill & Whiteholme Reservoir; updates from the week

Another quiet but very enjoyable week with high overall diversity, with between 35 - 40 species recorded daily, peaking at 41 on the 23rd. More and more juveniles are starting to appear, with some birds already onto their second broods.

Soil Hill 21st June
-A Siskin was calling over Taylor Lane, but not seen
-2 Sand Martin were blogging over the NK Pond

Soil Hill 22nd June
-Around 75 Swift flew slowly N over Taylor Lane
-A pair of Siskin flew east over the Koi Farm Copse off Taylor Lane

Soil Hill 23rd June
-A juvenile Stonechat was on Taylor Lane. I have been unable to find any Stonechat this year, but this juvenile is presumably a good indication that they have successfully bred somewhere nearby

Soil Hill 24th June
-Grasshoppper Warbler was reeling intermittently in windy conditions

Soil Hill 26th June
-2 different Grasshopper Warblers were reeling
-An estimated 100 Swift flew through during an hours watching
-2 Sand Martin were blogging over the NK Pond

-Grasshopper Warbler
-Common Whitethroat

Just the one visit to Whiteholme Reservoir this week. There was a large influx of Common Scoter across the NW on the 24th but I could not make it up to the reservoir until the 25th, where I found no scoter. A female Teal was present in the ditch along Byron Edge and two Wheatear fledglings were feeding on the reservoir shore. Otherwise nothing of note.

A quick check of Blackstone Edge Reservoir found 7 Dunlin

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Cold Edge

 1 of 2 Oystercatchers

Still 3 Willow warblers singing

Friday, June 25, 2021

Cold Edge

Female Pied wagtail with 2 juveniles

Also 1 Common sandpiper

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Swales Moor

 Mid morning visit produced - not a lot - on the top of Ringby Lane

c50 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, mostly adults, on the roof of the processing plant. Also the possibility of an adult Yellow-legged Gull but I couldn't get enough on it without the scope so it will have to go down as a Herring Gull.
1 Whitethroat
4+ Skylark
10+ Meadow Pipits
8 Linnet
1 Swift (no Swallows or House Martins)!
1 Blackcap singing in the bushes at the bottom end of Ringby Lane
1 Kestrel
Plus usual species

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Ovenden Moor etc....

All seems pretty quiet at the moment but a male Whinchat on the fence-line on the edge of Ovenden Moor early on this morning was a nice surprise. I can't think its an early returning migrant just yet so perhaps has a territory nearby.
One Stonechat at the top of Skirden Clough.
It was good to record a good number of Curlew still  about and some Lapwing chicks as well as Oystercatchers and 3 Golden Plover fly-overs. 
Skylarks in good voice as well early on but think they go quieter as the day progresses.
Meadow Pipits still busy feeding young.

Surprise this afternoon was a pair of Siskin visiting the garden feeder. They have been reported on feeders from other Calderdale locations but these are the first here for ages - very nice but the camera was not nearby - as usual for me !!

Monday, June 21, 2021

Cold Edge

 2 of 6 Oystercatchers

Also Tufted duck 6m 2f

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Soil Hill; updates from the week

A quiet week generally, with nothing of real note until the 20th. The first migrant fledglings started to appear, with both Willow Warbler and Whitethroat juveniles observed. Blackcaps were still present until the 18th, but not subsequently. On the 16th two Sand Martin flew south.

Soil Hill 20th June
-A smart RED KITE flew low over the Hill before heading north, persued relentlessly by corvids. 
-Two House Martin flew south
-I counted 56 Swift blogging over towards Thornton Moor Reservoir, which is the first time I've seen any kind of numbers build up this year. 

-Red Kite

Also nice to find three Southern Marsh Orchid dotted at points around the hill. Can't recall finding any last year, so maybe a nice addition to the flora of the Hill. 

-Southern Marsh Orchid

Friday, June 18, 2021

Cold Edge

Lapwing chick

Meadow pipit

Also 1 juvenile Swallow

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Cold Edge

I think this is a juvenile Common Buzzard. The greater coverts and upper scapulars look pale, and there is no dark tail band.

Little Grebe

Also a party of 5 Linnets

Monday, June 14, 2021

Cold Edge

 Common frog

Birds:  Little grebe 1

            Tufted duck 6m 1f

             Herring gull 2

             Lesser black-backed gull 1 north

             Collared dove 1 singing

             Swift 6 north

             Dunnock 1 singing

             Reed bunting 1 singing

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Soil Hill & Whiteholme Reservoir; updates from the week

There were a few highlights from what was a typical early summer week of birding, especially in warm, generally still conditions. All the migrants remained present, including Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Whitethroat. 

Soil Hill 8th June
-A RED KITE flew south distantly over Denholme Velvets. It was moving slowly but I had to take my eye off the bird to get my camera, and subsequently failed to pick it up again. Given the pace of the bird it almost certainly landed somewhere, but in the hour I waited it did not reappear.
-3 Sand Martin flew south

Soil Hill 9th June
-On Taylor Lane there was a NUTHATCH! Only my third sighting of this species here. It was very vocal, before flying north towards perseverence road.
-A RED KITE was soaring distantly over keightly, before drifting slowly east. It was very very distant and not in the Calderdale area.
-Red Kite

Soil Hill 12th June
-A Cormorant flew west, distant to the north of the Hill
-2 Sand Martin flew south

Soil Hill 13th June
-A Siskin flew north over the North Slope

Due to the time of year I only made a single visit to Whiteholme this week, and it was as quiet as expected. There were five Oystercatchers together, which is my highest count of the spring, but otherwise very quiet. Just two Dunlin were present. 

Friday, June 11, 2021

Ogden etc

This morning there were 2 Great Crested Grebes together on the water - and suffering a lot of unwanted attention from an immature Herring Gull every time they came up with a small fish.

Not a lot else other than  Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcap still singing. Also a Song Thrush and a Treecreeper in the woodland and a Grey Wagtail down the outflow along with  Green Woodpecker down near the golf course.

Cold Edge

 4 young Canada geese, and 2 male Tufted ducks (out of 5m + 1f)

A Barnacle goose with 8 Canadas flew over at 1035, heading SE

Sunday, June 06, 2021

Soil Hill & Whiteholme Reservoir; updates from the week

While there is nothing new to report on Soil Hill during the last week, the local birds seem to have enjoyed the warmer weather which will hopefully improve their breeding prospects. There was nothing much in the way of new migrants, and there does not seem much chance that there will be any major arrivals with spring almost over. 

Blackcap: The only noticable arrival of the week was a singing male Blackcap, with first appeared on the 1st of June, and has been singing every day until the 6th. The song is very interesting, as it seems to be throwing in some Nightingale sequences.
Whitethroat: 10 on the 1st
Willow Warbler: 5 on the 2nd
Sand Martin: 3 on the 31st

I was unable to visit Whiteholme during the early part of the week, but managed to make up for it towards the end of the week with daily visits. The shoreline still looks fantastic and hopefully will remain intact for the autumn wader passage.

Dunlin: 7 on the 4th & 6th
Ringed Plover: 2 on the 5th

Whiteholme 4th July
-2 Grey Heron flew southwards over the reservoir

Whiteholme 5th July
-The highlight of the week was a cracking LITTLE STINT which was on the exact same date as last year. It showed well at times, and delighted many during the day

Whiteholme 6th July
-The Little Stint from the previous day was still present, but appeared mobile and restless
-A pair of Teal were on the reservoir early morning, both drakes
-2 single Twite flew over Byron Edge

-Little Stint

Saturday, June 05, 2021

Little Stint

 Little Stint found by Daniel Branch at Whiteholme today.

Thursday, June 03, 2021

Dog walkers at Ringstone

Taken on Monday. Happily throwing sticks for the dog along the shore line