Sunday, December 31, 2006

31st December Roils Head

Reed Bunting and 1 Goldcrest present, Little Owl and c 80 Common Gulls at Heath Hill Road, 4 Bullfinch at Ovenden Wood.
The Shorelark is still showing well at Swales Moor, and DJP reported 6 Mandarin at Ryburn yesterday.

Grapevine funds have run dry so could all members of the text survice please forward your fivers to me or Dave Sutcliffe as soon as possible. TW, AH, NC, BS, PJWS and DJS have already paid so they can ignore this notice.
Interesting picture of Golden Plover by sg, was it taken at Swales Moor.

Calderdale Birds

Happy new year to you all.
anybody know the link to the new Huddersfield Bird Watcher's website?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Swales Moor

Shore Lark still present on site this morning again with Skylarks and reported by Sean Gray.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

27th December Swales Moor

The best I could do in very poor conditions. Iain Greenwoods Shore Lark showed well at Swales Moor this PM.This is the 5th record for Calderdale and the 7th bird. Previous records came in Dec 1971, Nov 1997, Nov 2002 and Nov 2003 when 3 birds were seen together. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Nick D has asked me to post the grid ref for the shore lark found today off the Queensbury Road:
It was found by Iain late afternoon associating with a small flock of skylarks.

Monday, December 25, 2006

25th December Roils Head

2 Stonechats, Bullfinch and a Goldcrest.

Xmas Greetings from Kathmandu!

Just returned to Kathmandu after completing the Langtang Trek (brilliant birding) and since today is Xmas day thought it appropriate to post a Xmas greeting to Calderdale birders, hope you all have a great festive season and a bird filled 2007. See you in mid February!


PS Could someone ask Dave Sutcliffe to take me off the grapevine please, I have managed to lose my mobile whilst over here (prat) and have had to put a block on my number.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

24th December Elland GP pm

Having trouble posting pictures again.
Elland GP, 30+ Goosanders, 7 Cormorants, 2 GC Grebes, 1 Liitle Grebe, 1 Pink footed Goose flew in and joined the Canada flock at dusk. 1 Goldeneye, 3 Teal, 1 Pochard, 9 Tufted Ducks, 2 Grey Herons, Kestrel, 2 GSWPeckers, Long-tailed Tits, 3 Jays, 2 Siskin, 2 Redpoll and 2 Bullfinch. 5 Coots and 4 Moorhens. Also a fox made several attempts trying to catch Canada Geese without succsess.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

23rd December

Roils Head
2 Stonechats still present. Another one at Heath Hill Road and a Little Owl also there.

My advice to Andy is to leave the cat alone. Its my view that humans have a much more negative effect on wildlife than moggies do.

NEW Location

Well actually it's not that new because it's only a couple of fields down from Matt Bells house, however during this festive season I have relocated to the Jumble hole area whilst we house sit for the father in law. So up went the feeders and a garden list begins already we have:-

Longtailed Tit
Great tit
Blue tit

now I've just got to make sure the resident cat behaves it's self.

Short of adding more bells to it's collar or shooting it anybody got any ideas to ensure the only bird it has this xmas is turkey?

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Also 30 Pinkfeet passed over Halifax town centre this afternoon going west just after 3 pm.

21st December

Usual afternoon walk produced a Sparrowhawk and c30 Common Gulls followed by c200 Pink feet flying west at 3.25pm. Less than 10 minutes later another 150+ flew west in the company of a single Barnacle Goose.A Mistle Thrush was in full song at dusk at Pellon.


I got Nick D's grapevine text about pinkfeet, and popped outside for a look just as the first group passed over, followed by the second about 5-10 mins later. Approx 240 in the first group, and 205 in the second.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Making a difference

At the risk of sounding like a vicar, I heard this story the other day and loved it:

Once a man was walking along a beach. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. Off in the distance he could see a person going back and forth between the water's edge and and the beach. Back and forth this person went. As the man approached he could see that there were hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand as the result of the natural action of the tide.
The man was stuck by the the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish. Many of them were sure to perish. As he approached the person continued the task of picking up starfish one by one and throwing them into the surf.

As he came up to the person he said, "You must be crazy. There are thousands of miles of beach covered with starfish. You can't possibly make a difference." The person looked at the man. He then stooped down and pick up one more starfish and threw it back into the ocean. He turned back to the man and said, "It sure made a difference to that one!"

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Fly Flatts
0800-0915hrs Cool >W 2-3 Sunshine
1pr Mallard
1 Goldeneye
1 pr Stonechat
No Twite

Soil Hill
0930-1015hrs W > 3-4 Sunny
Another flying visit to SH proved fruitful when 4WHOOPER SWANS came over at head height as I got to the brow of the hill.It looked as if the birds had just taken off and they left >SW flying away in the distance over Wainhouse Tower.
also 1 Stonechat
6 Linnet
2 Goldies
The morale of the story is; keep your camera in your hand, not zipped up in your bag. BS

Friday, December 15, 2006

Polite Reminder re - Lease at Ringstone.

During a recent visit to Ringstone Edge I noticed that the east wall had partially collapsed, in accordance with the terms of the lease I have email Geoff Lomas to inform him of the damage.

I would ask that if anyone notices further damage to any sections of the wall boarding the area covered by the lease that they inform myself in order that I can then let YW know. If you have contact details for YW yourself then please feel free to email them directly, although I would appreciate it if you could CC me in just so that I am aware.

If you are in any doubt as to where the boundary lies please let me know and we shall air on the side of caution and inform YW regardless.

Many thanks for your help in this matter.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Not just Duck weather

These starlings were making use of the puddles to bathe in despite more water falling from the sky than even Noah knew what to do with.
The Fieldfares are part of a flock of approx 40 seen along Widdop Rd today which were being harrassed by a pair of Mistle Thrush who were not just intent of protecting their berry bush but also the field it stood in.

14th December

Elland GP- 2 Great Crested Grebes, 7 Cormorants, 7 Goosanders, Grey Heron, 7 Goosander, 6 or 7 Tufties, 3 Moorhen, 7 Coot, lbbg, 3 Redwings, Treecreeper, Long-tailed Tits, 3 Goldfinch 1Reed Bunting.

Baitings - c2000 Black-headed Gulls at roost, 4 Grey Partridge nearby.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Visit again today in wind and driving rain! Great Crested Grebe and Little Grebe present, along with a Dipper still on the top pond. No Goldeneye today but 25 Common Gulls and 60 Woodpigeon. 6 Goldcrests were feeding together on the west side of the res'r in the low scrub and I managed to get a photo of one about 2 mtrs away but I havn't discovered yet how to put photos on the blog!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Brockholes Quarry Appeal

Anyone still wishing to assist the Lancashire Wildlife Trust in its efforts to buy this site near Preston, please note that the deadline is Friday 15th December. Details at

Pintail on Garden List

When i was getting the milk in this morning i noticed a duck fling towards the House.As it got closer I realised it was a Pintail ,flying low over the house and off in a north westerly direction.Great stuff

Ogden etc

Visit there late morning in a howling gale and pouring rain! Thought about the possibility of Leach's Storm Petrel as several have been reported inland in the last week or so after the bad wether and there have been plenty on the coast - no luck! It's time we found a decent seabird locally!

1 f Goldeneye on the res'r but couldn't find the Little Grebe today. The Dipper is still on the top pond and showing well.

Mistle Thrushes have been singing this week 1 in Shroggs Park and another in full song between Sainsbury's and Wickes at the bottom end of town.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Of interest to all bird feeders

CJ WildBird food are currently selling the traditional style plastic seed feeders, thats the ones with the peg perches rather than the new style ring perches for £1.99.

Photo's from today at Nutclough

Not only where the Mallard displaying all be it half heartedly but this flower had come through (can anyone identify - if so when do they normally flower?) there were bulbs pushing shoots through either Snowdrop or Crocus and some of the trees were budding. Has anyone else noticed similar spring time signs/events.

Nutclough wood Hebden Bridge

My first visit to Nutclough wood today in search of the reported Kingfisher, it didn't put in an appearence but several other species did, 9 pairs of Mallard (displaying - although not whole heartedly), pair Dipper, pair Grey Wagtail, Nuthatch, Robin, Wren, several Blue and Great tits, single Coal tit. Surprisingly no Chaffinch.

I run up on the local moors produced no more than several pheasant.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

1Oth December rain rain rain


Ogden - Dipper, 2 Goldeneye, 2 Herring Gulls, Little Grebe.
Cold Edge Dams - 2 Goldeneye, 16 Greylag Geese.
Ryburn - 4 Mandarins, 1 Wigeon, 50+ Brambling LBBG,
Baitings - Gull Roost- 900+ BHGs,100+ Common Gulls, 1 black -backed Gull possible lbbg intermeidiate- worth keeping a check here this winter.

DJP has seen 60+ Black-tailed Godwits flying west at Elland GP this pm, the largest flock ever reported in Calderdale. Also a Goldeneye at High Royd (small influx) 1 also at Walshaw Dean yesterday. Posted by Picasa


Dean Head from Fly Flatts
A bright start with red sunrise rapidly turning to SW>6-7 with showers then horizontal rain.
1pr Stonechat
4 Golden Plover
3 Twite on seed
and that was it. BS Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 09, 2006


130 Pinkfeet west
6 Meadow Pipit
Northowram this morning

Jack snipe - 1 December

Just noticed a report on the Wildlife of Rochdale website ( a jack snipe nr. Blackstone Edge res (SD968184).

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Visit this am but not much about in the strong winds and driving rain! although I would expect some duck like Goldeneye or Tufted etc at this time of year.

Still no sign of the Great Crested Grebe however a Little Grebe was fishing close up to the embankment wall near to a very sick looking Black-headed Gull.

The Dipper is still moving around between the two ponds at the top end of the res'r. That was about it!

By the way has anyone been watching 'Natures Calendar' on BBC2 this week at 6 pm. Some excellent bits about birds and some very knowledgble comment. I'ts on again tomorrow.

Walshaw Dean - 2:30 - 4:30pm

Very little about!

Half a dozen mallard and a dipper on Lower Walshaw, 2 red grouse, 3 pheasant, small flock of goldfinch, flock of possible siskin.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Davey Lane Blackshaw Head

Just a brief addition to the sightings I'm behind on, Pair of Stonechat on the right hand side of Davey lane at Blackshaw head, also several Meadow Pipits and c50 Fieldfare on Saturday Morning.

Also in addition, a report of Kingfisher in Nutclough wood at the pond.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Got a little behind with my blogging so here's a quick update.

Garden - Widdop Rd,

Regular visitors now incl upto 20 Collard Doves, several Jackdaws, House Sparrows,Rooks and Chaffinch's, 4 Blue tits, 2 Great Tits, 2 Reed Buntings, 4 Dunnocks, Wren, 2 Robins, 5 Blackbirds, 2 Pheasants, also occassional Coal tit, Sparrowhawk.

Ringstone briefly yesterday only c 25 BH Gulls on water, 4 Goldfinch at feeding station along with singular Greenfinch, Robin and 2 Dunnocks.

Today Sparrowhawk flew through feeding station just as I was pulling up nothing else.

Krumlin yesterday c 50 Fieldfares, small mixed flock of Blue tit, Great tit and Chaffinch attacked by female Sparrowhawk.

Brearley Fields today c150 BH Gulls with only half dozen Common Gulls, 4 Mistle Thrush in bushes opposite cricket club also 2 Song Thrush and upto 6 Blackbirds along with small numbers of Blue tit, great tit, Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Chaffinch.

Luddenden St Marys Church Wier 2 Dippers and 2 Grey Wagtails today.

Calderdale Birds

36 Gooseander
3 Great Crested Grebe
14 Cormorant
10 Tufted Duck
15 Canada Goose

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Just a reminder that the next meeting of the conservation group will be this Tuesday 8pm @ Tiffany's, As always all welcome hope to see you there.

3rd Dec Elland GP and Ryburn

Elland GP 60+ Goosanders, 18 Tufted Duck, 2 Cormorants, 2 GC Grebes, Siskins, Kingfisher and GS Woodpecker.
Ryburn 9 Mandarin, 1 Wigeon, 1 tufted Duck, 1 male Sparrowhawk Posted by Picasa

Exchange birders at Withens Clough

Interesting how the weather can be so different within a few miles (ref Brian's post). The exchange birders from India (some of you may be unaware of this element of Nick's trip) seem to have had a pretty good day at Withens Clough to judge from this brief video clip.

Beware Soil Hill

03/12/06 1500hrs Gale force SW>8 Showers.
Just a warning if you bird Soil Hill.
I went up late pm in a howling gale and showers to get some seed down and see if the weather had blown owt in. After Id put the seed down I went over to check the scrapes but as I stepped onto the banking above the main track I suddenly sank above the knees in the mud. The heavy mud closed in around my legs and there I was, stuck solid. The more I tried to pull my legs out the deeper I went in, which is a bit of a scare when its starting to get dark. Luckily I was wearing Rigger boots so all I could do was pull my feet out leaving my boots deep underground. The only problem now was I was stood on the top of Soil Hill in my socks with half a mile of rough ground between me and the car. I got back after a lot of jumping and a few choice words ,and all this for 1 Skylark and 3 Mipits. At least it cheered Lynda, my wife up, she hasnt stopped laughing yet.
When they dig Soil Hill up in 100yrs time to build houses theyll find a pair of antique rigger boots belonging to a mystery birder. BS Posted by Picasa

Jumble Hole, Hebden Bridge

Four ravens over the house all afternoon, cronking away like mad. Seemed to be moving as two pairs. I have seen one here before, but never four!

Fly Flatts

Costa Del Fly Flatts Blue water and sky.
03/12/06 0800-1015hrs gale force SW >7 Heavy showers improving to above but still windy.
1 pr Stonechat
3 Twite on seed
2 Goldeneye on water
4 Red Grouse
1 BH Gull BS Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 02, 2006

2nd December

1 of 2 ringtails seen in Calderdale yesterday. Grey Heron at Blake Dean today, also 2 Ravens, several Brambling and 100+ Fieldfare. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hardacstle Crags/Walshaw/Gorple 28th Nov

Quiet day on the whole however a Woodcock along the side of the path from Lower Gorple res'r to Blake Dean was special. Sometimes these birds are so hard to find out of the breeding season. This one gave excellent views as it flushed right by me then in flight as it circled round and landed on the moor.

A Dipper was on middle Walshaw res'r and there were good numbers of Fieldfares in the crags and around the fields along Widdop Road. Very few Redwings though.

2 Nuthatches were also around the crags car park along with 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and lots of small tit flocks roaming in the crags along with Goldcrests and Treecreeper.


Short visit today but no sign of the Great Crested Grebe which has been ther over the last few weeks. Just a Dipper on the top pond, 80 Mallard and quite a few Goldcrests in the woodland pines along with Treecreeper and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

29th November

3 Bar-tailed Godwits flew west at High Road Well Moor, Mount Tabor at 2.45pm.

It now appears that the Barn Owl seen at the weekend is an escape for captivity. It appears to have 2 leather straps (jessess) dangling from its legs.

Wildlife Dairy

Vis Mig 1st sept - 20th Nov

Monday, November 27, 2006

Brockholes Quarry Appeal

I don't know if any of you have visited this site by the M6 / A59 junction E of Preston - there have certainly been some rarities, including a Collared Pratincole earlier this year, and it also hosts some important breeding birds. I have always been put off casual visits by the entry arrangements, as it is still a working quarry. However, Lancashire, Manchester & Merseyside Wildlife Trust are trying to buy the site to develop as a reserve, and need to raise £50,000 to "unlock" the rest of the funding - by the 15th December. Due to its prime location, there is a real risk it could be lost to housing or industrial development if this bid fails.
If anyone would consider making a donation, details are on their website at

Sunday, November 26, 2006


26/11/06 0730-0930hrs Blustery SW >4-5 Heavy showers
What a chuffing place this is. !
1 Goldeneye
6 Twite on seed
1 Linnet on seed
1pr Stonechat
1 Kestrel
1f Pheasant BS

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Final demand for records etc.

At the moment I am putting together the final touches to the 2005 bird report. Anybody with any articles or photos, could you please let me have them as soon as pos, for possible inclusion. There is still one outstanding record I have not recieved, which would be a new species for Halifax and is on the YNU list. It would be a shame not to include this record but the YNU insist on a Description.
There are still a few copies of the 2004 Halifax report left. Anyone wanting one can pick one up at a reduced price of 3 pounds from Woodlesford News Agents near Mount Tabor on Moor End Road.

Friday, November 24, 2006




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Clock Face Quarry

In tonight's Courier there is a front page article about Clock Face Quarry. This clears up what is happening. Marshalls sold it to Caseys (used to operate the former Blackley Tip). Caseys now want to change it from accepting only inert building waste into accepting contaminated soil, gypsum and asbestos etc - but not household waste (yet!). I think there are two stages they have to go through: 1) get a pollution control licence, 2) get planning permission for any physical changes, more traffic etc. We are at stage 1. I have been and looked at their proposals file but there is not much in writing on birds/habitat to report back on. Anyone wanting to make their feelings heard needs to write BY FRIDAY THIS WEEK to Kevin Hall, Environment Agency, Trentside Offices, Scarrington Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham NG2 5FA. I think the file reference is EA/PPC/CP3036LT. There could be another opportunity when a Planning Application is submitted.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Withens Clough, Sunday

Confiding Kestrel by the reservoir. Early afternoon there were Bramblings in the Beech woods along the north side of the clough. One flock of about 20 was west of Swan Bank and others were heard near the hall. In the past there have been big roosts / pre-roosts of this species in the clough. Might be worth checking out.

Walshaw Dean, Sunday - reported owl sighting

Via Hugh Firman at Calderdale Council we have received a report of "....a very large white owl with black broken banded markings" flying out of the ruin on the North West side of Walshaw Dean. The observer flushed the owl, and it was seen at very close range. The lady who reported it to Hugh wondered what the owl could be. I have replied and suggested an escaped snowy owl, or more likely a short-eared owl with light plumage. The person reporting it is very familiar with barn owls and is positive it was not one.
Hugh is going up this afternoon to have a look around.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Fly Flatts

19/11/06 0745-1000hrs Icy cold WSW>4 Thick fog throughout.
All puddles frozen over.
5 Twite on seed
4 Goldfinch
1pr Stonechat
6 Reed Bunting in solitary tree

Saturday, November 18, 2006


The inviting scrapes at Soil Hill.
18/11/06 1445-1530hrs cold W >6-7 Drizzle
Ever the optimist I went up Soil Hill in conditions near the same as last week but the scrapes were empty apart from one heart stopping moment when a Goldie appeared from behind a rock.
4 Golden Plover
5 Linnet on seed
2 Goldfinch on seed
sev Corvids. BS Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 13, 2006

Soil Hill Sandpiper


photos taken with a fuji A204 through a Leica apo 77 tellivid x 32 eyepiece (hand held). Posted by Picasa

More Pictures of Purple Sand

  Posted by Picasa

Purple Sandpiper

  Posted by Picasa

Purple Sandpiper

  Posted by Picasa

Soil Hill Sandpiper 13th November


Calderdale's 5th Purple Sandpiper and first for 19 years. Very difficult to focus on due to howling gales.Most Calderdale listers have now clawed this bird back on me. More pics to follow. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Purple Sandpiper

This ones no better but if you click on it you can see a bit more detail. Honest ! Posted by Picasa


12/11/06 1615hrs Soil Hill
1 Purple Sand on scrapes on the summit of Soil Hill. Feeding well in the mud and moving about from 1 scrape to another.
Disappointing photo, best of 15 taken in very low light with camera telling me it couldnt be done, wheres Sean when you need him.
This bird looked well settled and hopefully will be picked up tomorrow, AC going up first light. BS Posted by Picasa

Fly Flatts

12/11/06 0730-0945hrs Icy cold WNW>6 dropping to W>3,drizzle
1pr Stonechat
3 Twite on seed
sev blogging Mipits
3 Goldeneye in from Sth as last week, could be same birds moving between here and CED. ?

33 Canadas
11 Greylag
Few Mipits over >W
6 Common Gull

Friday, November 10, 2006

Roils Head - Heath Hill Road 10th Nov

2 Stonechats still at Roils Head. Little Owl, Kestrel,50+ Woodpigeon Heath Hill Road.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

9th November Heath Hill Road - Mount Tabor

2 Goosander north over Wainstalls, 1 distant Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk.

Walshaw Dean

Checked all three reservoirs today but unfortunately no sign of the Red-throated Diver - also checked lower Gorple but nothing doing there. 2 Reed Buntings at middle Walshaw and 2 Kestrels on the moor.

Visual migration again (10 am till 2 pm) today including fairly large movements of Fieldfares (at least seven groups of between 100 and 140 birds in each group) and Woodpigeons (a steady stream of groups 20 - 30 each) all going straight through heading west. Also a smaller number of Starlings heading in the same direction. There were also around 80+ Fieldfare in the woodland at Blake Dean and just a few Redwing and Brambling with them.

Walshaw Dean plantation produced Redpoll, Siskin and 6 Brambling as well as Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Chaffinch - all very difficult to count in and out of the conifers. 2 Stonechats were feeding along the fence line of the Pennine Way and another 1 in Widdop Road near the Gorple footpath.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Roils Head 7th November

30 or 40 Blackbirds present, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Stonechat, Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch etc.60 Lapwings at High Road Well Moor, Mount Tabor.

Note, Red-throated Diver still at Middle Walshaw perPGri East Lancs.

Monday, November 06, 2006


saw it saturday morning at dawn when it flew a little,this was taken on sunday also got some video of it swimming and coming out of the water

also a buzzard over green withens in the morning Posted by Picasa