Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Lee Mount

Still 2 Swifts about here - usually between 7 and 8 am as happened again this morning, then they disappear for the day. At this rate I might manage a September Swift - hopefully.

Photos - best I could do........


3 Wheatears

Blackstone Edge:  1 Wheatear

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Stodfold and Hunter Hill

It turned out to be quite a morning after early morning mist was slow to clear. The small conifer plantation just off Lane Head Lane was 'buzzing' with activity. It was impossible to count the number of birds working the tree line and wondered if they had arrived overnight and got grounded in the mist and light drizzle. Coal and Blue Tits formed the bulk of the birds along with Great and Long-tailed Tits, even Goldcrests, Nuthatch, Great-spotted Woodpecker and a few Chaffinches. There were a good number of phylloscs with them, again impossible to count, including both Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff. The prize birds were two Spotted Flycatchers. 
Everything was moving so quickly and in and out of the trees, an amazing sight but not easy to get to grips with or get reliable counts with so many birds present.

I left them to it and headed up Carrs Beck. Big raptor heading over the golf course and up towards Hunter Hill at 09:55 - cream crown Marsh Harrier. Quick text to BS who I guessed would be up the top there somewhere and managed to get the bird over the moor a few minutes later. Well done Bri.

Can things bet better - well they did today- with an Osprey over at 10:45, heading high along the east side of Hunter Hill towards the gap in the hills at Balkram Edge. Also over there -  1 Swift, lots of Swallows and House Martins, Goldfinch and Linnets and Green Woodpecker.

No camera today... bins and scope enough to cope with though I did get a distant video of the Osprey but it's just come out as a speck !

Certainly a morning to remember - it's not often like this birding in Calderdale !

Shibden Park

 Common Sandpiper 1

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Beacon Hill

Juvenile Linnet. Fairly tame. Quite pale. Lacks the adults' pale cheek spot. 

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Lee Mount

Sky watch in the garden late morning / early afternoon. Hot sunshine and a strong south-westerly though the shelter of the nearby treeline was welcome. 
1 Buzzard >SE
5 Swifts (2+2+1) all >SW generally accompanied by a few Swallows. Also 4 House Martins and a Sand Martin same direction.
1 Sparrowhawk 
16 Starlings
3 LBBG's >S
2 Kestrels distant over towards Swales.

Saw this and thought of you.............. A play about birders in Sowerby Bridge.

Friday, August 18, 2023


This morning in the drizzle and descending mist.
Not a lot to report.
3 Cormorant
1 Tufted Duck
1 Dipper in the outflow
1 Chiffchaff and 2 Treecreepers in the 'tit' flock near the top end of the west bank
8 Common Gull some B H Gulls to and fro.
1 sickly looking Lesser Black-backed Gull
1 Great-spotted Woodpecker
11+ Swallows
plus usual species 

Monday, August 14, 2023

Fly Flats and Withens Head

Late afternoon check once the mist had cleared, though a blustery wind and intermittent heavy showers.
1 Kestrel, 2 Ravens, 1 Swallow, 1 Meadow Pipit, 4 Carrion Crows, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull and a Mallard.
At least 17 Wheatears around the site with approx 11 in the area of Robin Rock, 3 near the boat-house and another 3 on the res'r walls. Probably more hidden away in the conditions.

Withens Head watch-point was devoid of birds apart from 1 Canada Goose, a Kestrel and 3 Swallows.

Friday, August 11, 2023

Lee Mount - 11th August

Several sighting of  Swifts with 2 over early morning, perhaps the same ones early afternoon and up to three later in the day. One juvenile Buzzard over, as well as a Sparrowhawk mid afternoon. Also 2 House Martins mid afternoon.

Yesterday I was fortunate to see a Red Kite over Hunter Hill late afternoon. Always a bit special.

Cold Edge

 Juvenile male Stonechat with deep orange flanks

Juvenile Linnet (1 of 2). Field guides do not seem very interested in juvenile Passerines, and I have not found a good description of juv Linnet. Two things were noticeable in the field: tameness - they perched closer to me than adults would have done; and they were paler than adults. The photo shows reddish-brown flanks, brown greater and lesser coverts, and pale bordered median coverts.

Wednesday, August 09, 2023

Cold Edge

Juvenile Stonechat

Tuesday, August 08, 2023

Round and about

Last few days - quite a few Wheatear moving through some of our upland sites by now - with more to come ! Stonechats and Whitethroats seem to have been doing well with several juveniles about near Ogden, Wainstalls, Cold Edge and Ovenden Moor. A single Curlew was still on the moor near the wind farm this afternoon.

4 Swifts this morning has been the normal count around Lee Mount this year - the few we have will soon be heading off back to Africa though we can still get the occasional one even into September.

A nice surprise this afternoon was a Black Redstart near the wind-farm car park. It seems to be a regular late summer/autumn arrival though at times they can be very elusive. It was with a Wheatear this afternoon. They can be found on stone walls, rocky areas. Upland farms are always worth a check at this time of year.

Other late summer migrants are also starting to move through with Willow Warblers and Common Redstarts (not so common nowadays) also starting to show. Three of the latter were near Ogden golf course yesterday. 

Cold Edge

Whitethroat: 1 female, 2 males

Wheatear: 2 adults