Thursday, July 29, 2021

Withens Clough

Reservoir circuit this afternoon in a pretty gusty westerly wind and varying degrees of heavy drizzle !
Not a lot to report though the visit was aimed at picking up any movement of tern species. Failed on that score though a few others have been seen locally today.
1 juv/female Goosander
1 Wheatear
1 Common Sandpiper
6 Canada Geese
6 Carrion Crows
1 Chaffinch
1 Reed Bunting

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Fly Flats

Late afternoon visit - always worth a check especially in bad conditions ! Thunder and heavy downpours were certainly the order of this afternoon viewing from the top road. Even got pretty wet from inside the car (with the window open of course.) I must have just missed BS. 

1 Ringed Plover
1 of this years juvenile Black-headed Gulls
2 Wheatears
2 Reed Buntings
14 Meadow Pipits
1 Barnacle Goose - calling a lot on it's own on the far banking though still a good few Canadas up there.
Juvenile Peregrine high over >NE
1 Kestrel
2 Mallard

Castle Carr Road
1 Snipe on a gate post
2 Stock Doves
........then it poured down...

Monday, July 26, 2021


Hopfully I have finally fixed my problems with Blogger and Im back in buisness. Spot Fly at Walshaw today.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Shibden Valley

 No birds, so here are Poppy, White campion, Wild carrot, and drifts of Harebells

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Lee Mount - 22nd July

Green Woodpecker heard singing in the park (Shroggs Park) this morning along with a Great spotted Woodpecker calling. Tawny owl singing late on last night from the park as well.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Lee Mount

Mostly in the garden today trying to stay in the shade.

Daily sightings here are Lesser Black-backed Gulls and the occasional Herring Gull passing through on their foraging travels at this time of year. Black-headed Gulls are also returning from their breeding grounds with a flock of 30+ over the weekend catching flying insects.
One adult Common Gull also came over this afternoon heading >N

One Sparrowhawk also went through towards the Wheatley Valley carrying prey.
20 Long-tailed Tits also passed through from tree to tree and young Blue, Great and Coal Tits are visiting the feeder along with 2 Nuthatch's.

Cold Edge

 The Black-tailed Godwits

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Soil Hill & Whiteholme Reservoir; updates from the week

The first yellow Willow Warbler juveniles have begun to drift through in the week, but not in any substrantial numbers as yet. Lots of juvenile birds around so the bushes have felt very lively.

Soil Hill 13th July
-A Hobby came blasting across the North Slope, breifly pausing to chase a Meadow Pipit before continuing eastward 
-8 Willow Warblers  

A full checklist from this date can be found here;


Soil Hill 14th July
-A fledgling Blackcap was in the Koi Farm Copse. It was nice to confirm that this species has bred on the Hill, after being unable to confirm it in 2020

Soil Hill 15th July
-A juv. Great-spotted Woodpecker flew N over Taylor Lane, only stopping breifly to alight on a telegraph post

Soil Hill 16th July
-A pr. Bullfinch were in the bushes along Ned Hill Track
-Mistle Thrushes peaked for the week with 21

Soil Hill 17th July
-9 Willow Warblers, the highest count of the week

During the first couple of days of the week I visited Whiteholme and was rewarded with some reasonable Common Scoter passage and a few waders. Despite the heavy rain most of the shoreline still remains and it looks absolutely spot on for August and September.

Whiteholme 12th July
-A WHIMBREL dropped in c.15.00 in constant rain. Frustratingly I was only able to get some really rather poor record shots due to the distance and weather. 
-2 adult drake Common Scoter were in the centre of the reservoir
-A female Teal flew low across the water

A full checklist from this date can be found here;

Whiteholme 13th July
-2 juv. Dunlin were on the centre 'island', plus a third bird which I did not get a clear view of, but could also have been a juv.
-A Willow Warbler dropped in to the small bushes along the dam wall, before flying off across the moor
-Common Scoter

I also checked Blackstone Edge, despite it being just out of our area, on both dates, and on the 13th had a flock of 29 Common Scoter present; 28 drakes and a single female

-Common Scoter

Fly Flatts - 17th July

A great find for BS with a Black-tailed Godwit in the morning and staying for most of the day on the west bank even despite the water-sports activities. I missed the earlier text but managed to get up there mid morning. Thankfully it was still there though distant from the top road - a scope job ! The bird was just coming out of summer plumage still showing plenty of red on the neck and breast which made it slightly easier to pick out. Pictures on Bri's West Yorkshire Birding blog.

Also at Fly Flatts at the top end of the top road a pair of Stonechat still there having been showing most of the summer though I've not seen any juveniles there. It was sad to see a dead Brown Hare roadside casualty near Slade.

Another, male Stonechat was also at the top end of Skirden Clough - the valley that leads up from Ogden reservoir to the wind farm

A juvenile Wheatear was also down the track that leads from The Withens towards Cold Edge. Also 30+ Swallows, mostly juveniles, were heading >NW along the ridge and a single Curlew still about up there.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Soil Hill; updates from last couple of weeks

The last couple of weeks have been punctuated by a long weekend at Spurn and a visit to Bempton to successfully twitch the Black-browed Albatross, but in between visits to the Hill have still been enjoyable with a few highlights. Still lots of juvenile birds around, hopefully an indication of a good breeding season.

Soil Hill 28th June
-A pr. Bullfinch dropping into the scrub at the bottom of the North Slope Tree-Line. These are my first here this year, but coincides with dates from previous years, presumably dispersing juveniles from nearby locations

Soil Hill 29th June
-A juv. Great-spotted Woodpecker flew N over the Ned Hill Track. Again this coincides with last years records which all related to juveniles passing through

Soil Hill 01st July
-Juv. Stonechat present at the bottom of the North Slope
-1 Siskin flew over Taylor Lane calling

Soil Hill 09th July
-Juv. Stonechat on Taylor Lane
-Mistle Thrush numbers built up to 10 on Taylor Lane

Soil Hill 11th July
-My personal week highlight was a Chiffchaff uttering a quiet song from the top of the North Slope Tree-Line. My first this year, presumably a juvenile dispersing from Ogden.
-Managed 44 species in total, my highest daily visit total yet in 2021

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Castle Carr Road - 7th July

Pair of Whitethroat with at least 3 fresh out of the nest juveniles was a welcome find this morning.
Also a good show of Linnets, Goldfinch, Reed Buntings and Meadow Pipits, all with juveniles suggest a good breeding season locally for these birds. Also a pair of Greenfinch but no young seen.

The only waders were 6 Lapwings including a pair with 2 large juveniles. Thankfully these seemed to have survived where others have most likely suffered predation from the corvids.
1 Green Woodpecker but no sign of the Little Owls today.
2 Ringlet butterflies

Monday, July 05, 2021

Mixenden Reservoir etc.

Checked the site this morning in view of  5 Common Scoters (found by JM) at Ringstone Reservoir earlier on. They are normally sea-duck though they quite often have a trans-pennine crossing between the Irish Sea and the North Sea. Invariably drakes seen in our area, occasionally female/immatures with them. Maybe brought down with those really heavy downpours yesterday and overnight.

Mixenden was quiet - just 16 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls 'loafing' around and very little else.

At home a Grey Heron flew over high at 08:30 >SE and a Sparrowhawk took a tit species out of our garden tree across lunchtime. Earlier on I failed to locate the usual Dippers at Dean Clough though the Hebble Brook was flowing pretty fast after thunderstorms and heavy overnight downpours. They would be there somewhere !