Saturday, March 30, 2024


Greylag pair - just arrived

Singing Skylarks: 1 here and 1 on Byron Edge. And 1 Wheatear on Byron Edge

Friday, March 29, 2024

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Request for HELP from the Stop the Calderdale Wind farm Campain..

 Would it be possible for you and your fellow birdwatchers in Calderdale Birds and other local ornithology groups to help with the Stop Calderdale Wind Farm campaign? As the ground-nesting birds are now back in residence on and around the Walshaw Moor Estate, it would be helpful to record as many bird sightings as possible in this location (including Hardcastle Crags and Crimsworth Dean) so that we have evidence of their numbers and diversity. Could you flag this up amongst your networks and encourage local birdwatchers to visit Walshaw Moor as often as possible over the coming months to record and photograph as many birds as possible.

As well as recording sightings on the Calderdale Birds blog, it would be helpful if sightings were recorded on the BTO's BirdTrack website, then they're more widely available.
I'd also be really grateful if people could send us photographs so that we can put them on the Tweet of the Day page of our website The way for people  to do this is to sign up to the mailing list on our website, then send photos as jpeg attachments to the confirmation email they will receive or by replying to our newsletters.
The more evidence we can collect and record over the coming months, the better, so it would be really great if you could spread the word.

If you are for the wind farm..please do not comment..there are plenty places to comment if you are in favour..I dont think this is the place to start a pointless argument for the for and against ..
Andy C 

Blackstone Edge

Another male Goldeneye. Orange leg just visible


1 Pied Wagtail - adult male:  jet black back, and sharply demarcated dark grey flank. Female Pied has a similar flank (with a dark grey back), while White Wagtail has a pale grey flank.

Blackstone Edge also had just 1 Pied Wagtail

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Byron Edge

1 of 4 Wheatear (3 male, 1 female)

Monday, March 25, 2024

Whoopers still coming through.

Thinking the recent move of Whooper Swans had just about dried up, more appeared today with 4 on Mixenden Res'r this afternoon (DJB and MM). Then another message with 26 on Ringstone Res'r late afternoon (TW).

I tried this afternoon and met with Mick, at Cromwell Bottom ski-lake and lagoon both of us in the hope of some hirundines. No sign of Saturdays Sand Martins and no Swallows as yet - though it is still very early ! Ski-lake getting harder to view with the emergence of leaves on the hawthorns but I did manage 6 Goldeneye, 1 Goosander and Little Grebes were on the lagoon with several Coot and Moorhens. 
Chiffchaff singing every 50 m or so from each other.
Dipper on the river.
At least the mornings rain had dried up by then but not a lot else other than 2 L B B Gulls, 2 ad Herring Gulls and 4 Black-headed Gulls.


 Male Wheatear. Probably 2cy because the back has a brownish tinge.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Early birds (very early)

Two House Martins over Ringstone res'r today (AT GS PD) - this must be the earliest ever record in Calderdale for this species.
In 2022 the earliest records were on 11th April. Not had time to check dates between 2000 and 2021 but previously - up to the end of 1999 - the earliest then was in 1975 on 7th April.
Hope that makes sense ..........

Saturday, March 23, 2024

A wild, wet, cold windy day...

Headed up to Castle Carr Road again this morning to see, what turned out to be a viscous hail storm approaching from the west. It hit hard, lasting a while before a brief break then the next one came in just about the same time as PB arrived to check if any Ring Ouzels had come in too. I think he drew a blank there. Even so at least 5 Wheatears were still showing well. even when hiding behind tufts of grass and sedge but still finding food, including some substantial caterpillars.
Then the next hail storm came in and I lost them from view.
Tried a few photos but they are not great so might not bother posting them !!

5 Sand Martins on Cromwell Bottom ski-lake from JB were not too unexpected but finding insects in flight today must have tested them. Several Chiffchaff around the same location and still 5 Goldeneye and 6 Tufted Duck on the lake.

At Brearley this afternoon there are still 2 Pink-footed Geese and a Barnacle Goose (none with leg  rings) with the flock of Canada Geese.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Around and about

Wheatears have been arriving the last day or two at a number of Calderdale locations, mostly upland areas. Sites include Widdop, Soil Hill, Bradshaw, Castle Carr Road, Cold Edge, Erringden,.....most of these will be using our area as a staging post prior to moving to more northern areas.

Chiffchaff being reported from a number of areas with song from several sites during the last week or two.

Ring Ouzels - 2 today from a site near Scammonden. (PD)

Pintail - a drake was on Fly Flats last Saturday but appears to have moved on  rather quickly (JJL)

Common Scoters have been moving over the country, usually at night, this last week as they head generally from west coast locations towards the north sea and beyond. It seems like some tired birds have dropped in at a number of West Yorkshire waters including 2 on Blackstone Edge reservoir (see PJWS previous post). Also a surprise, was a drake photographed on a doorstep in Todmorden - though no further information on this bird as yet. Hopefully it will have recovered and moved on.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Blackstone Edge

2 male Common Scoter


Roe deer stag at altitude 405 metres (1330 feet)

Also 1 Raven north

Saturday, March 09, 2024

A Whooper Swans week.

Since last Sunday 3rd March good numbers of Whooper Swans have been reported over Calderdale with earlier ones from 11th and 21st February. Most, heading in a westerly or north westerly direction as they start their migration back to Iceland - maybe stopping off along the west coasts of England and Scotland as well as in Ireland.

This seems to be a pattern in Calderdale, certainly over recent years towards the end of February and March. A fantastic sight and sound. Sometimes also heard at night. 
Many just fly straight over our area but occasionally rest up at local reservoirs especially when visibility maybe restricts their orientation. Warley Moor this morning was one such occasion with 90 resting up and a further 21 at Ogden res'r, all probably affected by the misty conditions.

Nearly 600 birds in the last week from 10+ flocks, with numbers between single figures and a maximum of 158 on the 8th. 

There is time for more, so worth keeping a watch - and a listen.


Oystercatcher. 2 pairs here

Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Soil Hill and Hebble Brook

Soil Hill seemed out of character this morning as it was even warm on the top with no wind at all. 
Not a lot doing other than 40 Lapwings in fields to the north plus 8 flyovers high >E. Two Moorhen down there along with 4 Canada Geese with 2 Greylag Geese flyovers >E.
3 Skylarks singing on the top. 1 Meadow Pipit flushed
A pair of Little Owls nearby.

Hebble Brook below Ogden reservoir was worth a check this afternoon. Found a sheltered spot in some warm sunshine - so had a Chiffchaff - feeding continuously in and around an overgrown privet bush. I just managed a phone video as it flitted about but no song or call heard. Maybe an overwintering bird or perhaps an early migrant, who knows ?
Nothing much on the water at Ogden though a Green Woodpecker was calling nearby as well as a Greenfnch singing and plenty of small bird activity down towards the golf club house.


Another male Goldeneye

Monday, March 04, 2024

Sunday, March 03, 2024

Time for Whooper Swans !

A good start to March with 70 Whoopers over Barkisland around 08:20 this morning (TW) must have been a great sight, and sound. Hopefully some more flyovers or some to rest on local reservoirs in the next 2 / 3 weeks.

Garden visitors

 Two Nuthatch visiting the feeder over the winter and still here today - 3rd March. Seeming to feed exclusively on sunflower hearts.

Friday, March 01, 2024

Cold Edge

 A poor day today with lots of snow on the tops from this mornings weather. !

Hunter Hill - a check on the recent Skylark field drew a blank for the larks but 40 Lapwing nearby seemed very unsettled with lots of flying about then re-settling in the snow covered fields.

Cold Edge - 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Curlew, 100+ Canada Geese and pair Tufted Duck. All scoped from higher up on the moor.

Withens Head - 1 Red Grouse and a single Curlew

          A bleak outlook over the moor with mist rising from the valley beyond Rocking Stone Flat.

Cold Edge dams