Thursday, February 29, 2024

Soil Hill / Cold Edge

 Soil Hill (am). A decent show of 12 Skylarks including some song. Also 12 Meadow Pipits on the top.
1 Curlew >NE, 1 Kestrel, 40+ Common Gulls nearby as well as c40 Lapwings and c100 Starlings.

Cold Edge (pm) At least 110 Canada Geese and 25 Greylags.
2 Curlew were the only waders around the site and no duck other than a few Mallard.
2 Reed Buntings and a Grey Wagtail.
Pair of smart looking adult Herring Gulls were with some B H and Common Gulls feeding in a field

Cold Edge and Hunter Hill

Tried for more Skylarks this week, after last weeks birds on Cold Edge Road peaked at 48 (BS). They seem to have moved on now probably with a few local birds remaining. (?)

Yesterday in the drizzle 35 migrant Curlew were feeding in fields on the slopes of Hunter Hill but got spooked by a loose dog and the birds headed off noisily >NE. Not a lot else in the conditions but a Green Woodpecker seems to be about in that area.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Blackstone Edge


Also: Great Black-backed Gull 1 SW

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Cold Edge

Tufted Duck pair

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Out and about.....highlights !

A god day for Stonechats...............

Fly Flatts - scoping from the top road in among the showers
2 Stonechats, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Curlew, 8 Oystercatchers, 3 Reed Bunting

Withens Head - watch-point
7 Skylark, 1 Pied Wagtail, 2 Stonechat, 62 Starling, 2 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls >W

Cold Edge
40+ Common Gulls

2 Barn Owls, 2 Stonechats, 3 Curlew >NE, 1 Sparrowhawk, 20 Stock Doves

Soil Hill
1 Barn Owl

Just outside Calderdale recording area, a cream crowned Marsh Harrier was a great record as it was observed and photographed heading >NW over Queensbury early afternoon (CS and DS)

Also from yesterday - 2 Whooper Swans were found on Cromwell Bottom ski-lake (MS) but they had moved on elsewhere by this morning.

Cold Edge

2 Oystercatcher

Some of 130 Fieldfare, with a few Starling


Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Lee Mount - 20th February

75 Pink-footed Geese went over Lee Mount >NW around 11:40 - probably the same skein that JM reported over Clifton, Jay House Lame heading this way soon after 11:20

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Castle Carr Road

16 species. Fog had lifted this afternoon but a light drizzle. 1 Curlew flew over calling and 28 Lapwings were on the moor though couldn't find the usual Stonechats or the Little Owls !

Cold Edge

Covered in fog up there this morning but some brief clear(ish) spells just enough to make the walk worthwhile.
Walking up the lane, 120 Fieldfares and 110 Starlings were on the overhead wires so I managed a fairly accurate count before they all headed off towards Hunter Hill.
Otherwise, the best was an early returning Redshank that flew over calling, but unseen.
Around 55 Black-headed Gulls nearby, a pair of Goosander on the top dam with 10 Common Gulls.

Manged 29 species in total including a Stonechat, c50 Canada Geese and 4 Greylags, 1 Grey Heron and 2 Moorhens.. Despite the fog, singing birds included Stock Doves, Robins and Chaffinches

On the way home a Ring-necked Parakeet was in the top of the tall alder trees by the mini-roundabout at the top of Clough Lane. BS also had a drake Goldeneye on Mixenden Res'r this morning, it left as the fog lifted.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Cold Edge

1 Oystercatcher.

Also: 1 Curlew, 1 Lapwing

Fieldfare 43, Starling 350

1 Pheasant


4 Greylag Goose

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Ogden area

Nearly two hours this morning checking the fringes of the golf course in very low overcast cloud - but it stayed dry, so that was a bonus.

c40 Lapwings very mobile moving overhead then returning towards Back Lane area fields. 
Single Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers with both Song and Mistle Thrushes in good song along with very vocal Robins.

Plenty small birds along Union Lane, Rocks Lane and Lane Head included a good show of Blackbirds,  2 Redwings, tit species and a small flock of Chaffinch with 2 Greenfinch being a first for me this year and a single Siskin on  a garden feeder.
A pleasing morning, 31 species was not a bad haul though I didn't get time to do a reservoir circuit.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Recent news

Not  a great deal to report of late but it's been good to receive messages of returning waders that seem to be coming back earlier each year, though many will be moving on further north and using Calderdale as a stopping off point in the meantime. Curlew, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, and Ringed Plover so far along with some wintering flocks of Golden Plover and the occasional Snipe.

The 1st winter drake Scaup was still around on the ski-lake at Cromwell Bottom yesterday along with several Goldeneye and Tufted Duck.

Song Thrushes have now stated singing in earnest along with Mistle Thrush, Robins and Great Tits.

3 Whooper Swans turned up on Baitings res'r on Sunday and last Thursday 5 Snow Buntings briefly on Rishworth Moor. Pink-footed Geese are still on the move over Calderdale with several skeins reported in the last week or so.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

 The Treesparrows on Jay House continue to thrive through feeding. These are our two oldest birds rung by Steve Downing in 2019. The Blue over BTO is the oldest being rung on 21st May. Photos taken today.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Mixenden Res'r etc......

Yesterday 10th Feb a nice find from NK with 5 Wigeon on the water included 4 males / 1 female type. We managed to get on there and see them at a distance. We also gather from BS that the Wigeon had gone this morning though 3 Oystercatchers were there first thing. 

Also yesterday afternoon just before the drizzle set in a Barn owl was about in that area with 2 Song Thrushes and a Mistle thrush singing near Stodfold. Earlier in the day, with plenty of snow still laying on the top there were 3 Skylarks on Soil Hill and 8 Meadow Pipits, but little else.

3 Whooper Swans reported from Baitings Res'r this morning (DF). They were still there at 11:45 (PGr) along with another single Oystercatcher flyover.

The recent first winter drake Scaup near Cromwell Bottom is still showing on the ski-lake this morning (JB).

Friday, February 09, 2024

Gordon Denison

Calderdale birdwatchers were deeply saddened today to hear the news that Gordon passed away peacefully at home yesterday. He reached a very good milestone in his life as he celebrated his 90th birthday in November 2023. 

This is the photo taken at his 90th seen here holding the 'Annual Species Champion' trophy, a double-headed eagle, which he initiated back in 2003. He used it as an incentive to local 'birders' to record as many species as possible in Calderdale in each calendar year. He also left some funds to continue the yearly updates !

A keen and knowledgeable birdwatcher for many years he was well placed to inspire us slightly younger 'birders' with such friendliness, good humour, generosity and lots of enthusiasm in shared interests. Thank you so much Gordon.

Many wonderful comments have been shared today. We will ensure these are passed on to Anne and his daughter Jayne and the family in a card and later in a tribute to Gordon which will be included in the 2023 Annual Report.

Wednesday, February 07, 2024

Cold Edge

2 Pink-footed Geese

Parts of a flock of 45 Greylag Geese, including 1 albino

2 of 3 Stonechats


1 of 2 Herring Gulls

Posting for Nick D - possible Caspian Gull ?

Photos taken in fields near Mount Tabor on Monday 5th Feb. 
Possible 1st winter Caspian Gull
Any thoughts welcome ........


Tuesday, February 06, 2024

Ogden and Cold Edge - 6th February


Another decent duck for Calderdale with a nice drake Shoveler from CS this morning. Seemed very settled with the Mallards at the duck feeding area. A reasonably common duck in other parts of West Yorkshire but still a bit 'hit and miss' in Calderdale. 

Drake Shoveler

Cold Edge 
The site certainly lived up to it's name in the gusty wind this afternoon. 
Nothing at all on the waters though I was hoping for Goldeneye they don't seem to be tempted at all to our upland waters as yet this winter (there were 8 on the ski-lake at Cromwell Bottom over the weekend.)
94 Canada Geese in the fields
135 Fieldfare flew over probably on a roost flight and managed to get a count from photos
1 Reed Bunting
3 Lapwing flyovers >SW
1 distant Barn Owl
1 Raven
A few each Black-headed and Common Gulls

Monday, February 05, 2024

Cromwell Bottom

First winter drake Scaup on the ski-lake located on Saturday (JB). Still there today though distant and this was the only half-decent shot I could get. Certainly a scare bird in Calderdale.