Friday, January 27, 2023

Cold Edge

Male Goldeneye


Thursday, January 26, 2023

Cromwell Bottom etc.

Spent some time there from mid morning. It's such a good place for a mix of species with a range of habitats. Thirty-nine species was a decent return and it was good to have a nice cuppa in the visitors center and a chat with one or two friends there.

Nothing out of the ordinary. A Kingfisher by the weir, always good to see, along with a single drake Teal. Just one female Goldeneye showing on the ski-lake and 6 Tufted Duck with a pair of Goosander and two Cormorant fly-by's.

A mixed flock of tits with a few Siskins and Lesser Redpolls with 3 Goldcrests, Bullfinch and Goldfinches on the mound woodland Alder and Birch areas being preferred. Five Redwings flew overhead.

On the way over towards Southowram, a single adult Great-black-backed Gull was taking a rest in a field. Such large impressive gulls not all that common over Calderdale.

Tawny Owls have been singing in the Wheatley Valley this week.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Ogden Water and Withens Clough

Four Whooper Swans, adults with two juveniles, on the res'r this morning (from CS) seem to have stayed most of the day - at least until 14:30 as far as we know. The mist may keep them there overnight (?)

Several skeins of Pink-footed Geese also reported from this morning - mostly >W.

Withens Clough this afternoon turned out not too bad with the mist persisting. Noted 25 species including a Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, pair Goosander, pair of Stonechats, 3 Mistle Thrush and at least 15 Reed Buntings near the res'r cottage.

Late report of a male Blackcap in a Wheatley garden on Sunday along with a regular Grey Wagtail under fat-ball garden feeders.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Castle Carr Road and Saltonstall

Weather still very cold with a light snow covering and frozen ground. 

It was a welcome surprise to find 2 Lapwings in the fields just near  Upper Green Edge Farm. Both in the same spot as a few weeks ago. We don't usually get them in this area until spring. Also a pair of Stonechats near the farm seem to be overwintering around the same spot.

Around 40 Fieldfare in fields near 'The Catty' with 8 Mistle Thrush and 16 Rooks foraging in the fields just past the big rocks. No sign of any Little Owls but a pair of Kestrels hunting from the top of telegraph poles. A single Greenfinch near feeders at the top of Kell Lane was a first for the year. 

Lots of Pink-footed Geese on the move heading >W through Calderdale this morning with a good number of skeins reported from those who were fortunate enough to be birding out of the fog !!

Friday, January 13, 2023

Cromwell Bottom

 Always worth a check here, any time of year. Thirty species today.
The ski-lake produced the best I could find this morning - and the weather stayed dry !
6 Goldeneye - included just one male.
12 Tufted Duck - included one female
7 Goosander - included one female
19 Cormorants.

Plenty of activity in the woodland area around the bird feeding area and 6 Lesser Redpoll feeding in the top of a Silver Birch were a bit special though I failed to find any Siskin this time.
Well done to the group down there with plenty of restoration work to improve the habitat especially in and around the lagoon.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

January 2023 update to 12th.....

 Plenty of wet weather so far this month has definitely curtailed activities on the birding front. Not for some, the lack of getting out there. It just makes finding things a lot trickier !

1st Jan - A Shelduck at Ringstone  Res'r (AC PD). A Goldeneye on Dean Head in the Scammonden valley (PD). Flock of c170 Fieldfare in Walshaw Dean (MB). Kingfisher at Salterhebble (WG).

2nd Jan - Pair of Stonechats on Castle Carr Road near Wainstalls and c180 Fieldfare nearby. Shelduck and Barn Owl at Gorple (AC Ncd et al) and a Kingfisher on the canal at Mytholmroyd (DW)

3rd Jan - A Woodcock was flying low over Todmorden station car park (CMS)

4th Jan - male and female Goosander on Withens Clough res'r (NG)

5th Jan - Pink-footed Geese went over Ogden in the mist unseen with 30 over Todmorden shortly after (JR) and c180 over Lee Mount across mid-day with possibly the latter over Todmorden half-hour later (SB). Another 88 'pinks' >W over Green Withens at 13:20, 40 over Northowram at 15:09 then over and Lee Mount at 15:15. Another 218 >W over Jumble Hole at 16:20. Two Goldeneye were on Cromwell Bottom ski-lake with 7 Tufted Duck and 5 Mute Swan, 10 Cormorant,6 Goosander and a Kingfisher in that area (JJL)

6th Jan - 44 Pink-footed Geese >W over Swales Moor at 09:45 (DJS) were also seen over Wainstalls at 09:50 (MM) and probably the same lot over Hebden Bridge shortly after (SD).

7th Jan - 5 Shelduck on Ringstone (PD). Kingfisher on Shibden Park lake (IS). Dipper, 2 Teal and 16 Moorhens at Sunny Vale (MSt). Barn Owl near Heptonstall (NG). Cromwell ski-lake held 24 Goosander, 8 Tufted and 4 Goldeneye (MH). A Water rail was photographed at Cromwell Bottom (AW).

8th Jan - 3 Whooper Swans briefly on Fly Flats (BS) had moved on by early afternoon. 60+ Redwing on the moor just above Manor Heath (S).  Flocks of 60 'pinks' went >W over Slack Top at 13:20 (SiB) and another flock over Pellon at 14:30.
A real bonus bird for Calderdale was a Hawfinch in Withens Clough feeding on beech-mast at around 09:40 - thanks to WG and JG for reporting this sighting and promptly sending in a description of the birds location and circumstances. Further checks at the site have drawn blanks though there is always a possibility it's still in the area.

9th Jan - 55 'pinks <W over Lightcliffe at 10:45 (WG) and 3 Shelduck on Ringstone (AC). 

12th Jan- 32 'pinks' >W over Northowram at 11:55 (AC). Withens Clough produced a male Brambling in with the Chaffinch flock in beech trees at the top of Withens Lane with a Green Woodpecker and Reed Buntings near the reservoir outfall (DJS). 

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Catch up with a few things from December 2022...!!!

1st Dec - adult male Black Redstart in Withens Clough (JM) - 25 Golden Plover on Standing Stone Hill (SiB).

3rd Dec - a new bird for Calderdale with a single Brent Goose in with a flock of Pink-footed  Geese  over Ringstone (JB DF). Plenty of 'pinks' passing over Calderdale early December.

4th Dec - a colour ringed Tree Sparrow at Jay House Lane = 3years and six months old (JM SD)

8th Dec - 2 Crossbills in Walshaw plantation (SiB). Barn Owls near Withens Clough (JM) and another near Ogden (DJS). 16 Goosander on the River Calder between Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd (AK)

10th Dec - Little Egret Cromwell Bottom and a flock of c 30 Siskin (MH)

11th Dec - Stonechat at Cromwell Bottom also Goldeneye on the ski-lake (BA). Up to 4 Treecreepers in Akroyd park, Boothtown (RH)

12th Dec - up to 12 Yellow-hammers in the Clifton / Kirklees area (MSt JM et al). Snow Bunting along Cold Edge Road near Wainstalls (AC). 7 Grey Partridge near Bradshaw (JJL)

13th Dec - 12 Lesser Redpoll along the canal between Todmorden and Shaw-wood (S). 34 Teal on Ogden (BS) and a Woodcock in Withens Clough (JM)

15th Dec - A single Waxwing on berries outside Kwik-Fit Pellon Lane (AC). Woodcock at Fly Flats (AC). Small dark wader, white rump flushed Jay House Lane - suspect Green Sandpiper  (JM)

16th Dec - the recent Waxwing still in trees by Watson Ironmongers in Pellon Lane (RH). Jack Snipe on pond near the viaduct at lower end of Jay House Lane (AC). 2 Woodcock came in high and dropped into fields near Norton Tower / Roils Head (NcD)

18th Dec - Red Kite over Mytholm steeps (AZ MF). A big move of Lapwings over Moselden in flocks of 40+ totals c 3/400 (PD)

20th Dec - Brambling in garden at Slack Top (SiB)

21st Dec - 2 Chiffchaff at High Royd sewage farm (PGr)

22nd Dec - 18 Golden Plover and 1 Grey Plover >SE over Hebden Bridge (MBr)

27th Dec - Chiffchaff along canal towpath   Hebden Bridge (MBr). 2 Short-eared Owls near Scammonden (DR)

With apologies for any errors / omissions. I couldn't fit everything in .! Lots of Redwings and Fieldfares reported throughout the month, as well as the trans-pennine commutes of Pink-footed Geese.  Generally a very good month with some exceptional reports and thanks to all.

Monday, January 09, 2023

Shibden Valley

Unusual sighting this morning! - white Zebra Finches. The male has a red bill, while the female's is orange. And the male has a black line running down from the eye (as also seen on coloured Zebras), and a black patch on the breast.

Sunday, January 08, 2023

Shibden Valley

An early singing Song Thrush

2 of 4 Stock Doves

5 of 7 Greenfinches


Wednesday, January 04, 2023


Coal tit

I made an error yesterday. One of my 'female' Teal is a young male: as shown by this shot with a different angle

Tuesday, January 03, 2023