Sunday, January 23, 2022

Shibden Park Mute Swans

For much of last year, after the male with a damaged bill was taken away, there was a lone female on the lake. In December it was joined by a second bird (reported to, not seen by, me). Then both birds departed, so that in late December no swans were present. Now, however, there are again 2 swans present. I think they are a pair, from the size difference of the swellings at the bill base. And the distal half of each bird's bill is pink: does this mean they are quite young birds?

Friday, January 21, 2022

Ogden and Luddenden

This morning - really quiet in the woodland and no sign of the recent Iceland Gull since Monday.
1 Green Woodpecker heard
1 Treecreeper
6 Lesser Redpoll
Plus just a few of the usual species.

Luddenden this afternoon
1 Dipper in the stream near the church and Grey Wagtail there also.
2 Long-tailed Tits in the graveyard
1 Great-spotted Woodpecker heard
c70 Jackdaws over Booth

Late afternoon move of Pink-footed Geese heading >W with 4 skeins between 15:50 and 16:30 - 167, 60, 40 and 44.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Ringstone Whoopers

Great find by AT yesterday with 9 Whoopers on Ringstone.

I was undecided  whether to venture out but his whatsapp alert made it an easy choice, cheers Alan

As it turned out, it was a good decision and I was fortunate to be stood in the right place when they took to the air.

The birds left at 15.50, first flying South/West before doubling back and heading North.



Some recent news...........

The recent 2nd winter Iceland Gull was seen at Ogden on Monday 17th early afternoon (BS) but no reports since then, though it could still be about.

Nine Whooper Swans were on Ringstone Reservoir yesterday (19th) leaving to the north late afternoon (AT and PD). 

I managed a couple of visits to Cold Edge dams recently - 38 Greylag Geese and 6 Canada Geese there today (20th) but on the whole the area was pretty quiet in the icy cold conditions though the dams were still clear of ice. There were 2 Meadow Pipits near the top dam and 2 Moorhens by the bottom pond. Apart from that there was little else other than Black-headed and  Common Gulls loafing around with one adult Herring Gull flyover.

'Winter Watch' on Tuesday got off to a great start with an amazing presentation about Jack Snipe. We don't get many records of them in Calderdale but we know they are here in winter - they are just so difficult to find. Well worth watching on 'catch up''.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Cromwell Bottom 17/01/22

 Good day out at Cromwell Bottom yesterday, was chuffed to see

lots of Siskin & Goldcrest but no Redpoll which I was looking for,

and also good to see 4 Goldeneye and 3 Tufted Duck on the Ski Lake 

though at a distance. 2 Buzzard were overhead, GS Woodpecker and

Green Woodpecker in the woods. sorry for so many pics.

Saturday, January 15, 2022


 A 2nd winter Iceland Gull has been seen on and off at some point each day in the last 3 days (12th, 13th, 14th January. Some nice shots on BS's 'West Yorkshire Birding' blog.

Elsewhere still a few Trans Pennine flocks of Pink-footed Geese being reported most days recently heading >W or NW.

Pair of Stonechat on Ringby Lane off Swalesmoor Road yesterday as well as a fly-through Great Black-backed Gull.
From NCD - a small flock of Brambling, with Chaffinches, around the shelter belts at Roils Head.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Withens Clough

 Late morning we had a trip up there. very few species but some quality
First off with an adult Great Black-backed Gull fly through >W. It was the only gull seen but that will do !
Peregrine distant and a pair of Goosander on the res'r.
25+ Reed Buntings were around the reservoir cottage - highest count for me here.

As we were about to head home then two skeins of Pink-footed Geese (94 and 41) came over close together at 13:45. Always a bit special as they to and fro across the Pennines in winter.

Mixenden Res'r and Cromwell Bottom - 10th January

 Mixenden Reservoir. A report from BS on 9th Jan of a flock of 35 Redpoll  adjacent to the reservoir tempted me up there - but they had disappeared without a trace. They could still be around the site .

Lots of gulls on the reservoir banking with a total around 400. Mostly Common and Black-headed Gulls with just 3 immature Herring Gulls. 1 Grey Heron and not a lot else.

Early afternoon with a scout around Cromwell Bottom I searched some of the tree belt areas and was fortunate to come across a decent sized flock of small finches. Mostly Goldfinch - feeding in the alders - fairly flighty as they kept moving around en-mass. Finally tracked them down without further disturbance. With them were at least 6 Lesser Redpoll and 8 Siskin.

A 'tit' flock was also about in the shelter belt with a few Blue, Great and Coal Tits, though the dominant birds were Long-tailed Tits, around 20+ and 3  Goldcrests.

Birds around the site came to 35 species including 4 Mute Swans, two of which arrived from high and landed on the ski-lake. Also nearby, 2 Teal, 1 Cormorant, Little Grebe, Goosanders, and Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker.

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Soil Hill etc....

Freezing cold conditions with underlying snow up on the top this morning. JJL had the same thing in mind - possible Snow Bunting, but we drew a blank there.

16 Pink-footed Geese went west soon after 11 am but very little else on the top other than 17 Fieldfare feeding along the shelter of a stone wall must have been struggling to find food.
One Sparrowhawk flypast as well as a few gull species. That was it !

Another small flock of 'pinks' heard heading west in the dark tonight around 20:45 over Barkisland (TW)

First light this morning over 50 Magpies were seen over Lee Mount coming out from the local roost.
One pair of Magpies are already attending to a nest in Shroggs Park. A Song Thrush was also singing at first light but it didn't sing for long.