Friday, December 29, 2023

Soil Hill

  Been a steady December on the Hill, largely a consequence of the horrendous weather we have been enduring, but today I enjoyed probably the best views I've ever had of the local Grey Partridges. They were feeding near the Taylor Lane turnoff from Perseverance Road, a group of six. Presumably, the same family group that has been around since the summer, indicating another successful breeding season at this site.

  Other birds of interest; a flock of 99 Pink-footed Geese headed slowly west. They were picked up elsewhere, and they were distant already when I got photos, so my count is probably out by one or two birds.

-Grey Partridge

In total managed 28 species this morning, the full list here;

Tuesday, December 26, 2023



Adult female Goosander:  the bill is bright pink, and there is no white line between eye and bill

Hebden Bridge

Goosander pair

Monday, December 18, 2023

Beacon Hill

Some of 196 Common Gulls here

Sunday, December 17, 2023


Several more Waxwings reported again this last week including up to 9 at Silverwood Avenue, Pellon. Also up to 18 in the Lane Head area of Brighouse in the last few days.

It's definitely worth checking any sites where there are berries especially on rowan trees.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Winding Road Halifax

6 Waxwings here this morning

Friday, December 15, 2023

10 birds on the Calderdale list that shouldn't be,,,,

 Short toed snake Eagle

Red Footed Falcon

Black - headed Bunting

Woodchat Shrike


Great Shearwater

Wilson's Phalarope

Desert Wheatear

White's Thrush

Baird's Sandpiper

(Northern Long tailed Tit )

Merry Christmas..........

Thursday, December 14, 2023


Nick D found 5 Waxwings in a yellow berried rowan at Silverwood Avenue, Pellon on 13th. Still there on 13th, yesterday.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Winding Road Halifax

Thank you Dave S for telling me about these 2 Waxwings, a juvenile and an adult female. 

The juvenile has no white tips on the inner webs of the primaries, so there is just a yellow line down the outer edge of the folded primaries. 

The adult female has thin white edges to the inner webs of the primary tips (these are broader in the male), and the lower edge of the black bib is diffuse (it is sharp in male).

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Colour ring

On 30 November in Shibden Park I saw an adult Black-headed Gull with a blue ring on its left leg. I read the number, and dutifully sent it to the BTO. They have now replied: an all time mega control. The bird was ringed on 27 November 2023 - in Shibden Park!

Saturday, December 09, 2023

Hen Harrier Roost survey weekend of 14th to 17th December

 Hen Harrier roost watch next weekend , weather is looking good for a change so fingers crossed for a good weekend

Short toed Eagle , Walshaw Dean 29th April 2022

 There was a report of Short toed Eagle in the Scoping report for the proposed Windfarm at Walshaw Dean and  to be honest i thought it was a mis - identification either Osprey or other pale large raptor. After a few conversations it sort of tied in with the one seen in Sutherland , Scotland in late May 2022. I found the details of the observer and he sent me these pictures !!!!!! no doubt at all as to the identification ..So many thanks to Phil Bell the finder of this Mega on our local patch. He could not put the news out at the time but has been very helpful since the release of the scoping report.....Just shows anything can turn up......................................

Saturday, December 02, 2023


  Made a short visit to Ogden after doing the rounds on Soil Hill this morning, in the hope of finally getting Kingfisher for the yearlist, which did the decent thing and was below the dam wall fishing. While birding there, a flock of 9 Waxwings flew over heading north. Initially picked up calling, my camera settings were completely wrong and I only managed a blurred record shot, but at least the birds are identifiable. Otherwise a female Teal on the reservoir.


Given how poor my photo from this morning was, here are a few photos of the Waxwings on Skircoat Green yesterday. Thanks to DJS for checking all the hotspots and finally turning some of these beauties up in Halifax.


For Soil Hill this morning, was fairly steady in the cold conditions, but two Golden Plover flew south. 

In total managed 24 species at Ogden this morning, the full list here;

Friday, December 01, 2023

Skircoat Green

In the last few weeks there has been many reports of Waxwings from around the country, particularly Scotland and the north east as well as other parts of West Yorkshire, Lancashire and elsewhere. With the report of 4 in Norland, (from AT) last week and those in Todmorden yesterday and again today then there must have been a good chance locally.

On checking some traditional sites for Waxwings I eventually came across 15 in the tops of trees in the St Albans area. Always a nice surprise. Plenty of Blackbirds along with a few Redwings and Mistle Thrushes and Greenfinch were also enjoying the feast of berries. Spectacle also enjoyed this afternoon from residents as well as local birders (SM, DJB, AC).

Maybe, hopefully, they will stay around that location a few more days until the berries are gone. There is always a chance of these, or others turning up elsewhere in Calderdale where there are berries, particularly Rowans. Sometimes even in small gardens.

Apologies no photos to post as I only had the phone camera but maybe someone else will get some shots to post at some stage.