Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Bank Top

 Green Woodpecker

Monday, August 30, 2021

Lee Mount

 Bird bath has been busy last few days including these two juvenile Willow Warblers. I think they arrive when there are Blue and Coal Tits around - safety in numbers ? Photos through the window !

Also a ringed Nuthatch here the last few days so I''m trying to get the ring number with photos but that's certainly not easy !!!

Willow Warblers

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Whiteholme Reservoir Sat 28th Aug

 A Greenshank flew low over the south side of the reservoir at 14:30 hrs heading west and looked to be dropping down onto Light Hazzles Res. 

One wheatear foraging on the shoreline. 

Friday, August 27, 2021

'In the bath'.......

 At one point there were seven Blue Tits and a Coal Tit at home - all in the bird bath at the same time but by the time I got the camera on them through the window they were reduced to four !

Later in the day I checked out the top end of Cold Edge dams as far as Withens Head. Just above Haigh Cote and on the edge of the shelter belt a nice show of migrants on the fence line including a Spotted Flycatcher, Whinchat, Wheatear and 2 Stonechats.

In the fields up by the mast the freshly cut fields  had another 5 Wheatear and a lot of Meadow Pipits.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Swales Moor and Fly Flatts

An interesting day today starting with an hours VisMig first thing in the strong North easterly wind - frustrating sight of a very fast flying probable Diver species. Going away from me to the north all the time. If i'd been on the coast I wouldn't have hesitated to call it. I hate those that 'escape' but if there's an element of doubt I'll have to leave it and move on.
1 Swift, 7 Swallows and 3 Greylag Geese high over the ski-slope.
2 Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk

Message from BS to say the juvenile Spotted Redshank at Fly Flatts was still about so headed off up there early afternoon. Great views of it at the north end. A real beauty of a bird. Thanks again Bri.
See photos on West Yorkshire Birding blog. I took  a phone video but don't think I can get it on this blog. The bird was still there this evening (AC) but flighty and calling a lot so maybe it will be up and away tonight. 


 I've just read in The Oldie how the flick-football game Subbuteo got its name. Peter Adolph, its inventor, wanted to call it 'The Hobby', but this was vetoed. So he used the bird's species name: Falco subbuteo.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Fly Flats etc....

Another good bird for BS at Fly Flats his morning with a Knot. Busy this morning so I headed up there early afternoon. Thanks again to Bri for directing me to the bird on the eastern shore. Almost the same colour as the stones so good job I took the scope ! I suspect BS will have some decent photos on his blog - West Yorkshire Birding.
Five Curlew flew over >NW earlier, really high up but they kept calling, thankfully so they were easily located.

Later in the afternoon - sitting out with a cuppa - a juv Willow Warbler and a female Blackcap came to join 2 Coal Tits in the bird-bath. A lovely sight but no camera nearby and they didn't stay long !!!

Monday, August 23, 2021

Yellow-legged Gull

The moulting adult Yellow-legged Gull came in to roost at Lower Gorple at 20,15PM

Swales Moor

Ringby Lane - hardly anything moving at all except 1 Woodpigeon and 34 Swallows >SW

Around the site - again very quiet apart from 1 each Wheatear, Green Woodpecker and a Kestrel.

Saturday, August 21, 2021


 One swift soaring above Walsden cricket ground amongst half a dozen house martins.

Wednesday 18th August 8.00pm


Walsden II Correction

 My previous post re swift in Walsden : time should be 7.00pm if that's important.

Beacon Hill

 5 of 13 Linnets

Friday, August 20, 2021

Soil Hill & Whiteholme Reservoir; updates from the week

Its been an excellent week on Soil Hill so here is a quick summary of some of the highlights from the past few days.

Soil Hill 16th August
-1 Swift flew south.
-2 Grasshopper Warbler present.
-2 Wheatear.
-3 juvenile Bullfinch on Ned Hill Track.

Soil Hill 18th August
-A RED KITE flew W over Taylor Lane, but made slow progress against a strong SW breeze before dropping low over Bradshaw.
-1 immature Common Redstart was in the garden along Taylor Lane. Initially very elusive, it became more showy later in the morning.
-7 Swift flew south.
-A Great Spotted Woodpecker was calling on Taylor Lane.
-2 Grasshopper Warbler.
-2 Wheatear.

A full checklist from this date can be found here; https://ebird.org/checklist/S93394174

-Common Redstart
-Red Kite

Soil Hill 19th August
-2 immature Common Redstart together in garden along Taylor Lane. On first passing c.07:00 they were actively chasing each other round, but on my return at c.09:00 they seemed to have established their own stomping grounds at opposite ends of the garden.
-9 Willow Warbler, the highest count of the week.
-3 Wheatear, also the highest count of the week.
-1 Grey Wagtail flew south.

Soil Hill 20th August
-A superb juvenile Whinchat was in the Reservoir Field but was always distant before, after about 10 mins, it flew strongly south down the Hill.
-A Tree Pipit flew north over Ned Hill Track, calling three times. 
-Just 1 Common Redstart remained in the garden on Taylor Lane.
-2 Grasshopper Warbler were still present, even uttering some short reels.
-A juvenile Sedge Warbler was at the bottom of the North Slope.

A full checklist from this date can be found here; https://ebird.org/checklist/S93477357


I only had time for a couple of visits to Whiteholme This week, but there were a few birds around. The shoreline seems to have dramatically reduced since last I was up there about 10 days ago, but still plenty for migrant shorebirds to go at.

Whiteholme Reservoir 17th August
-Female Goldeneye present.
-5 Oystercatcher roosting on the shoreline.

Whiteholme Reservoir 19th August
-A superb adult GREY PLOVER was on the island. It stayed present for the hour I was there, looking very relaxed and feeding away on the island. 
-Female Goldeneye still present
-3 Wheatear

A full checklist from this date can be found here; https://ebird.org/checklist/S93437222

-Grey Plover

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Withens Clough reservoir

Unfortunately heavy rain curtailed the proceedings ! 
3 Oystercatchers on the shoreline with 3 Pied Wagtails and 2 Grey Wagtails around the outflow.
3 Stonechats were spread about and a juvenile Green Woodpecker calling for food went quiet after the adult arrived.
c40 Swallows - some around the reservoir cottage but others were moving through west heading up and over the moor in the drizzle along with a single adult Common Gull heading in the same direction.


Ringby Lane first thing to see what, if anything, was on the move as autumn approaches.
Best I could do was this distant shot of a single Whinchat also with 2 Wheatears in the same vicinity.

Moving birds, all  >SW included 35 Swallows, 40 House Martins, 1 Sand Martin and 2 Swifts - then by 09:00 most of the movement just stopped or the birds went higher and out of sight.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Yellow-legged Gull

4th year Yellow-legged Gull was again present at Lower Gorple last Night, phone scoped at 96X NCD, DF.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Withens Clough

 Withens Clough This Morning.

3 Whinchats

6 Stonechats

1 Redstart 

1 Red kite


Cold Edge

 Barnacle Goose - first seen by NK

Also a Buzzard and a singing Willow Warbler

Monday, August 09, 2021

Lee Mount and Cold Edge

Lee Mount
8 Swifts the top count today - first thing in the morning seems the best time to see them here. 
Buzzard over >W early afternoon (SC)
Plenty of Blue, Great and Coal Tits visiting the feeders (sunflower hearts) along with Nuthatch's and House Sparrows and a few Starlings, with Collared Doves and Woodpigeons cleaning up underneath the feeders.

Cold Edge
Still a bit of a struggle to find much up there but suspect it will improve as autumn draws on. (juv Cuckoo would be nice) though a number of the adults Cuckoos being satellite tracked are already across the Sahara !!
Meadow Pipits - still at least one pair feeding young in the nest
A few Linnets and Goldfinches about as well as B H Gulls and c100 Canada Geese. 30+ juv Swallows enjoying the feast of insects in the warmth after several days of heavy rain showers.
One Buzzard and a Kestrel was about it.

Sunday, August 08, 2021

Lee Mount

Didn't get out far today.
Nice to still have 4 Swifts about here. I suspect they are the local birds with max of 4 most days throughout the summer, certainly well down on previous years. Don't think they will be around for much longer but there will be chance of other moving birds during the next couple of weeks with maybe the odd chance of late movers even into September.

Let's see what this next week brings though it's unlikely we will have any reservoir shorelines after all this rain. Maybe Whiteholme is still the best bet for any migrant waders. 

Saturday, August 07, 2021

Cold Edge

Tried around the site this afternoon - in the rain. It didn't stop !

A Merlin was a bit of a surprise as it flew over nearby and landed on a gate post - probably a juvenile.Apart from that, 5 Moorhens in one field included 3 juvenile.s
90+ Canada Geese
c180 Jackdaws with c40 Rooks making the most of feeding in the wet fields
Only saw 6 Swallows, 5 Black-headed Gulls, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull and 2 Mallard.

Yesterday late afternoon in the downpours at Fly Flats I was hoping maybe some terns passing through but that was not to be. 7 Wheatears on the south shore-line and a single Kestrel and that was it.

Thursday, August 05, 2021

Cold Edge

 2 of 5 Teal. They flew west at 10:50.

Caspian Gull at Blackstone Edge Reservoir

Photos of this mornings peach of a juvenile CASPIAN GULL on Blackstone Edge Reservoir. 
The bird was initially on the southern shoreline, restricting me to scope only views. Helpfully it then flew onto the mud in the NE corner next to the road. After feeding here for a short while it then took off again and headed west, over the dam wall. Maybe heading towards Hollingworth Lake?
The pale underwing completely blew out on my camera in the early morning sun, but I have managed to salvage most of the details

A full description can be found here; https://ebird.org/checklist/S92788893

-Caspian Gull

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Ovenden Moor and Fly Flats

 Ovenden Moor
This morning early on - not  a lot about but on the edge of the moor at the top of Skirden Clough...
2 Whitethroat on the fence line with 3 Stonechats and 2 Reed Buntings
2 Buzzards went over >E high
2 Red Grouse

Fly Flats
I went on a bit of a search for BS's recent Black Redstart but I drew a blank there. Along the walls near the north end were 5 Wheatears , 2 Stonechats and 7 Red-legged Partridge along with 2 Kestrels

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Possible Osprey?

 Large Raptor seen flying over Bradshaw from Queensbury at

 about 8.30 last night, looked like Osprey I hope somebody else seen it

 I was driving just past Raggalds, so no bin's and no camera but it was biggish

 and large wingspan, I slowed down to have a better look but by then could only

 see the backside of it.

Monday, August 02, 2021

Cold Edge

 Juvenile Stonechat and 1 of 3 Willow Warblers

Female Tufted Duck with 6 young

Soil Hill & Whiteholme Reservoir; updates from the week

Last week was excellent for Willow Warblers, with a count of 17 on the 23rd and 13 on the 25th, and this week continued in much the same form. Small numbers of migrants were scattered around the hill on each day that I visited.  

Soil Hill 26th July
-2 Buzzard flew over
-1 Grasshopper Warbler 
-8 Willow Warbler juveniles scattered around the hill
-2 Grey Wagtail flew S 

In total I managed 45 species on this date. A full checklist from this date can be found here; https://ebird.org/checklist/S92314482

-Common Buzzard

Soil Hill 01st August
-A Green Woodpecker was calling from near Bradshaw

The midweek weather conditions, in tandem with the excellent shoreline on offer, really delivered at Whiteholme this week. Although wader numbers were, overall, quite low, there was some excellent species brought down by the weather.

Whiteholme 27th July
-Probably the highlight of the week was a fantastic adult RED KNOT which was initially residing on the centre 'island' but then flew to the near shoreline and became fantastically confiding. It was carrying a noticable limp but this did not seem to hamper it's feeding. Later in the evening, as I was leaving, it headed off towards Blackstone Edge. Presumably this was the bird seen by NK on the 30th.
-A single juv. Dunlin was also on the island
-3 Wheatear were present

A full checklist and description from this date can be found here; https://ebird.org/checklist/S92377644

-Red Knot

Whiteholme 29th July
-Despite the awful conditions, today was extremely enjoyable with 7 ARCTIC TERNs on the centre 'island'. Initially difficult to see due to the fog, they occasionally became more visible and sometimes would fly around only to then reposition themselves on landing. All 7 were still present when I left.
-A fantastic adult GREY PLOVER, complete in its summer finery, arrived mid-morning. Due to the weather views were difficult to obtain, and as soon as the weather lifted even a little the bird headed off towards Warland.
-3 fledgling Teal were in the ditch along Byron Edge

A full checklist and description from this date can be found here; https://ebird.org/checklist/S92451362

-Grey Plover & 7 Arctic Terns
-Grey Plover

Whiteholme 31st July
-A stunning adult TURNSTONE arrived mid-morning and after flying around calling landed in the top NW corner of the reservoir. It lingered here for all of about 30 seconds before it took off again. Frustratingly I was trying to digiscope the bird at the time and as such lost it as it flew off, so I have no idea which direction it went. I did however scour the whole reservoir, and it was certainly not present on Whiteholme, nor on Blackstone Edge. Turnstone is my 150th species in Calderdale and the 15th species of wader on Whiteholme so far this year.
-2 Oystercatcher were also on the shoreline
-a Grey Wagtail was in the ditch along Byron Edge

A full checklist and description from this date can be found here; https://ebird.org/checklist/S92534971

Whiteholme 01st August
-A Grasshopper Warbler was reeling in the sedge below the dam wall