Saturday, November 18, 2017

Todmorden

Dipper in the Calder by Wellington Rd bridge this afternoon.

Swales Moor

Late afternoon along Ringby Lane, though the light was fading.

What I initially thought was another small group of 'pinks' at 15:30 heading my way from over Shelf direction turned out to be 11 Greylag Geese. They were high and getting blown about in the gusting wind and some struggling to keep up with the leaders. Five of them kept going high >W, 2 changed direction >N, and I lost sight of the other 4 !
At the same time a Common Snipe went over the top >W
1 Grey Wagtail
1 Pied Wagtail
c15 Meadow Pipits
4 Goldfinch
c40 Common Gulls
5 Herring Gulls and 1 L B B Gull >W
15 Starlings
1 Kestrel
Masses of corvids going to roost.

Lee Mount

A call at 10:00 from AC at Northowram  -  'pinks' heading in my direction ! Right on queue a small flock of 10 >WNW a few minutes later, they were pretty quiet though just a few calls from them. Thanks for the call Andy.They were also seen low over Mount Tabor from MM.

Later in the morning I heard another much noisier flock from Boothtown area heading towards Lee Mount. A much larger flock approx 200 to count later from phone photos, that was around 11:00 again heading >WNW.
We are very fortunate to get such a good move of Pink-footed Geese over our area from late September onwards till about March.

Update - recount from phone photo's of the skein at 11:00 was 185. A similar number were seen over Todmorden >W at 11:25 (SB) so guess they were the same ones.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Disappointing news from this spring

Early in April this year, a male pied flycatcher returned to a box placed in Jumble Hole, and started to sing and display to attract a mate. It was the same site as last years successful rearing of 6 chicks, so presumed to be the same bird.

After 22 days of patience on his part, a female finally showed up. They appeared to immediately pair up, and he never left her side for 3 days.

Then suddenly, the male went missing without trace. I checked the other boxes in the area to check if he had set up a second territory, but nothing. The female continued to nest build, but nothing more was seen or heard of the male. I strongly suspect he was predated, as previously he was constantly present and site faithful.

She actually went on to lay 5 eggs, and sat on them for more than 20 days occasionally nipping out for a feed, but eventually realised they were infertile. Disappointing outcome considering how scarce this species is in Calderdale, but encouraging that birds came back for a second year.

What will happen next spring is anyone's guess.



Willow Valley Golf Club

Red Kite again today at Willow Valley at the top of Jayhouse Lane.



Mixenden Reservoir and Ogden + yesterday

Mixenden Reservoir - a quick check first thing this morning (14th Nov) with mist on the tops and heavy drizzle.
Just one female Goldeneye, c80 B H Gulls, 18 Common Gulls and 2 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
Ogden  - late morning still in the drizzle covering the reservoir and parts of the woodland. Really quiet with hardly anything about other than the usual Mallard and small gulls with 2 Herring Gulls (adult and 2nd winter)
2 Treecreepers and 3 Goldcrests and that was about it !

Also from yesterday (13th Nov). In that cold spell a check on Swales - Ringby Lane and Hag lane - hoping for the possibility of Snow Bunting. Not to be !
Interesting move of large gulls with 7 Great Black-backed Gulls >NW and 3 more >NE plus a few Herring Gulls and one Lesser Black-backed Gull also on the move with around 45 Common Gulls loafing in the fields and along the ridge.
17 Fieldfares and 10 Redwings >NW and around 25 Blackbirds around the site suggesting they had arrived overnight.
1 Cormorant high >W
Grey Wagtail and an alba Wagtail >SW
2 Jays
1 Buzzard
A few Meadow Pipits on the top along with some Goldfinch, Bullfinch and 4 Greenfinch at the bottom of Ringby Lane.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Jayhouse Lane

Pink-footed Goose in with Canada's down by the pond  and a Red Kite over  North West this morning.


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Swales Moor

Ringby Lane - early afternoon.

Red Kite - flyover at 13:47 over Ploughcroft direction, very high, mobbed by corvids headed towards Shibden Head and maybe then over Queensbury? Tried to get some photo's but they are not good as had difficulty locking the focus on to the bird with it being so high and away from me, just a few blurred shots. A nice surprise.
 I don't think we have had many reported over Calderdale this year though of course they are reasonably nearby in good numbers in the Harewood area and seem to stay around there.

1 Stonechat
7 Linnet
3 Goldfinch
c40 Common Gulls loafing around the top
Grey Wagtail flyover >SE
3 Pied Wagtail
1 Common Buzzard
c15 Meadow Pipits
3 Great Black Backed Gulls >W

Friday, November 10, 2017

Cold Edge

Cold Edge and Withens Head (near the wind-farm)
The site certainly lived up to it's name this morning in the cold >NW gusting wind. On the plus side it was bright and sunny so a nice morning to be out suitably wrapped up !
2 Barnacle Geese still with the Canada Goose flock near the dams and now numbering 90. The Barnacles are looking in really nice plumage at this time of year. Tricky getting a decent photo at the distance with the strong wind.
1 Raven flyover
1 m Stonechat
3 Meadow pipits
1 Reed Bunting
3 Kestrels
3 Redwings >W and a few Blackbirds about
Plenty Red Grouse showing but nothing on the dams other than a few B H Gulls.
 Barnacle Goose with Canada's - size difference evident
 
 Raven

Find it very difficult to get a Raven shot other than in silhouette !

Mixenden Reservoir
1 female Goldeneye, a few B H and Common Gulls with 1 juvenile  Great Black-backed Gull >W

Swales Moor

From yesterday 9th November. Had a pleasant walk on to the top with JM, though birds were a little scarce with quite a strong >W wind on the ridge.
1 female Stonechat
A few Meadow Pipits about on the top
1 Pied Wagtail
2 Stock Doves
usual corvids and just a few Common Gulls
2 distant Buzzards and 3+ Greenfinch around the feeders at the bottom end of Ringby Lane along with a few 'tits', Goldfinch and Chaffinch. Worth checking that spot for Brambling during the winter months !

Monday, November 06, 2017

Swales Moor and Soil Hill

Had a go for Snow Bunting today after the cold overnight snap and keen frost first thing this morning - but to no avail.
Swales Moor
2 Common Buzzards distant
2 Sparrowhawks
18 Meadow Pipits
Female Stonechat
10 Linnet
3 Stock Doves
40+ Common Gulls
usual glut of corvids
60 Starlings >W
Gulls also >W - 2 Great Black-backed Gulls and 2 Herring Gulls
Also a Red Admiral >W was a big surprise

Soil Hill
Hard work tramping the top for over an hour and a half for not much !
36 Lapwing high >E
3 Meadow Pipit
1 Kestrel
1 Moorhen
c60 Common Gulls >W

Also noticed the heather moors being burned in Derbyshire and North Yorkshire.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Ogden, Mixenden,Fly Flats

Did the rounds this morning after reports of Whooper Swans again on the move over our area from HC and BS. I didn't find any but it was worth a check all the same.
Mixenden Res'r - 6 Goosander
Ogden - 1 Canada Goose, 4 Bullfinch around and c 250 Starlings >N
Fly Flatts - 32 Mallard, 1 Stonechat, 1 Meadow Pipit, Kestrel and Red-legged Partridge.

Sand Martin Wall

Well done to the Cromwell Bottom Wildlife
https://cromwellbottom.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/sand-martin-wall.html Group




Monday, October 30, 2017

Calder Valley

Yesterday pm.

3 cormorants. They have been around for at least three weeks.
Buzzard, peregrine and two raven over.
Male sparrowhawk.
Kingfisher.
Dipper.