Saturday, April 30, 2022

Cold Edge

 Whimbrel found by Djs. Thanks Dave.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Cold Edge

 4 singing Willow Warblers

Camera:  Lumix TZ80 pocket camera,  30x optical zoom,  Intelligent Auto setting

Soil Hill & Whiteholme Reservoir updates from the week

A few highlights from the past week from these two sites. 

Soil Hill

-Jack Snipe flushed at the bottom of the North Slope on the 25th
-Male Whinchat on the fence-line surrounding the NK Pond on the 29th 
-At least 2 Grasshopper Warblers reeling on and off since the 23rd

Other birds of note include a pair of Grey Partridge along Taylor Lane on the 27th. Also 2+ Jays blogging, Lesser Redpoll flew north, as did a single Sand Martin. On the 26th a male Bullfinch was along Taylor Lane. At least six Willow Warbler singing by the 29th, as well as at least 2 Whitethroat.

-Jack Snipe

Whiteholme Reservoir

-On the 24th at 07.55 an Arctic Tern flew slowly NE, struggling into the wind
-An hour an a half later at 09.34 a BAR-TAILED GODWIT flew quickly through also heading NE. Differing extents of the white on the coverts indicates this is a different individual to the one found at Ringstone shortly after.
-A pair of Shelduck dropped into the reservoir mid-morning on the 25th

At least one Dunlin has been around on and off during the week, as well as a Common Sandpiper and 2 Ringed Plover. On the 25th a pair of Goldeneye were on the reservoir, and a Jay flew south over Byron Edge. On the 28th two drake Goosanders flew over heading east. 

-Bar-tailed Godwit
-Arctic Tern

Monday, April 25, 2022

Cold Edge

5 Stock Doves

Red Grouse 1 male calling

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Mixenden Reservoir

 I tried there this morning with that strong easterly in the hope of something blown in or dropping in for some recovery time.

Single Swallows were appearing and 20+ had arrived by the time I left, feeding at speed low over the water - no Sand or House Martins there as yet. 
Two adult L B-b Gulls arrived for a bathe as did 2 Herring Gulls adult and 3rd winter type - but they didn't stay long.
Unusual to see 2 Kestrels sparring over the woodland before they both left towards Mount Tabor and a Ring-necked Parakeet was in the trees by the mini-roundabout.

Cold Edge

2 Linnets,  male Reed Bunting

Herring Gull 9 NE,  Lesser Black-backed Gull 3 east

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Cromwell Bottom

Swallows and Sand Martins feeding generally quite high over the ski-lake in fading light last night. Impossible to get an accurate count - maybe 10 to 20+ of each (??!) 
Adult of Herring Gull and a Lesser Black-backed Gull along with 6 Black-headed Gulls also appeared to come in to roost.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Cold Edge

 Tufted Duck: 5 males, 4 females.

Also 3 Swallows

Tuesday, April 19, 2022


 Reports the last few days with one at Walshaw Dean and another in Luddenden Dean this morning.

Swift !!

 This was the juv Swift we got back in the nest - a few years ago now.


Had a Jackdaw stuck in the chimney for 2 days, super Dave came round with his bag of tricks and we removed the fire place to get to the bird. It fell out and did two flights around the living room before Dave caught it. We released it in the back yard and to my suprise it flew off strongley.

House Martin, Todmorden

 When I was walking back home from the town centre on Friday (16th), I was very surprised to see a House Martin flying over the rooftops on Nutfield Street, which is one of the local terraced streets that usually supports a few nests. Indeed the bird swooped up into the eaves of a house as we were passing. This seems remarkably early - quite often we've been well into May before there seems to be any activity with these nests, even if the odd individual bird has been spotted flying around.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Mixenden Reservoir ....area

Thick mist this morning, it wasn't easy up there even to see the water till I returned later just to find 4 Canada Geese on the water and a Ring-necked Parakeet in the top of a tree on Clough Lane - but it was off directly.

Dipper and a Grey Wagtail at Stodfold.
3 Linnets on Hunter Hill
3 Chiffchaffs singing and a Blackcap in Mixenden plantation with a Green Woodpecker nearby.
At least 4 Willow Warblers singing at the lower end of the golf course along with a Snipe 'chipping' from  a fence post.
Not much else..

Cold Edge

 Male Wheatear

Friday, April 15, 2022

Cold Edge

 'British' Cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo carbo

The April 2022 issue of British Birds has an inspiring obituary of Ian (DIM) Wallace, written by Anthony McGeehan. It says that Ian deplored "the overlooking of subspecies". This makes sense, not least because subspecies are often elevated to full species, and if they have not been documented it is not possible to see population trends. It is good that The Calderdale List at the end of the Halifax report includes subspecies, (although 'Continental' Cormorant, P. c. sinensis, has yet to make it onto this list).

P. c. carbo and P. c. sinensis can only be separated by looking at the rear edge of the 'gular patch', the bare yellow skin around the proximal part of the bill. 

In carbo, the rear edge below the bill slopes forwards from the gape. This results in the angle between the rear edge above the gape and the rear edge below the gape being about 90 degrees - a right angle. See photos above.

In sinensis however, the rear edge of the gular patch drops vertically from the gape. This leads to the angle of the rear edge around the gape being an obtuse angle - perhaps 120 degrees.

Cold Edge

 Male Stonechat

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Castle Carr Road

This afternoon - still no sign of Wheatear or Ring Ouzel - they usually appear up there at this time of year.

Pair of Stonechat and a pair of Linnet, Great-spotted Woodpecker heard drumming in the valley. 
1 Skylark, a few Meadow Pipits, Kestrel in display flight, pair of Little Owls and a few Lapwings and Curlew with 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls patrolling the moor !
8 Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies scattered about alongside the road. Some on Dandelion flowers.

Cold Edge

 3 Willow Warblers (2 singing)

Little Grebe

I also today had the 100th lifer for my 2.6 sq km patch: Red-legged Partridge.

Monday, April 11, 2022

 Male Ring Ouzel in the garden early this morning. Stock Dove in the garden mid morning.

Saturday, April 09, 2022


 Singing Greenfinch

Thursday, April 07, 2022

Recent news

First Swallow at Cromwell Bottom Ski-lake on last day of March. At least 10 there this morning (7th Apl) in awful wet, blustery conditions. Mainly feeding high above the lake and coming to low level occasionally.

A Common Scoter was found in a street in Hebden Bridge earlier this week. Reportedly there for 2 days before it was collected and as far as we know taken to an animal rescue center ?? We have not had an update or heard of any injury to it so if not perhaps the best option would be to take it to the coast promptly. 
Flocks of Common Scoters - sea duck - often pass overland on migration to more northern climes at this time of  year, usually at night. Maybe this was a tired bird and landed in a rather unusual location. 

Sunday, April 03, 2022


 2 Oystercatchers