Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Sparrowhawk seen by a neighbour to catch, struggle with then kill a green woodpecker. It took the bird in an open field, and plucked it in my garden mobbed by magpies. Assessment of the feather confirms it definately was a green woodpecker.

Triopod head needed/ Blackcap sighting.

Anyone got a spare head you'd like to sell?

It's for a Velbon tripod.

Male Blackap sighted today in the bowling green within Boothtown Park.

Monday, February 27, 2006


Sorry got behind with postings but on Saturday morning IG and myself headed up Walsden to Ramsden Wood and White Slack. Braving the biting easterly gale's, as a result not a great deal was seen but a few highlights are listed below.

Ramsden Wood
Green Woodpecker (heard)
Nuthatch coming to feeders in a garden along with numerous Blue/Great tits.

A pair of Stonechats by the Farm on the right of the footpath heading towards White Slack.
Another pair were seen near Cranberry Dam.

Solitary Skylark sticking low in the tusock grass at White Slack

White Slack Farm
3 Redwings
3 Chaffinch
2 Goldfinch
Pied Wagtail

On route several Owl pellets were also seen.

Fieldfare at Ogden

We saw 12 fieldfare on a wire alongside Keighley Road, Ogden on Saturday. Having seen a flock of around 30 here the previous week, they are probably still in the area.
S E Drake

Ogden/Fly Flats etc

Again today the cold wind keeping everything down!
Ogden - just a few Siskin but flighty - probably 20 or so but not much else.

Fly Flats - went looking in the quarries for Snow Bunting but nothing doing. 7 Canada Geese on the res'r (and another 7 on Dean Head above Castle Carr) 16 Lapwing on Cold Edge Dams put up by female Sparrowhawk and that was about it!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Wainstalls/Luddenden Dean

Wainstalls - Castle Carr Road - 1 Stonechat still, also 4 Stock Dove, 4 Redwing, 9 Fieldfare, 6 Starling - all toughing it out in the very cold wind!

Luddenden Dean (much calmer) 36 Stock Doves came down off the moor from Fly Flats direction and seen feeding together in field near Saltonstall. Also male Sparrowhawk showing well around Wade Wood area and 2 Kestrels nearby. Usual Green and Great-Spotted Woodpeckers in the dean and 1 pair Bullfinch but not many other small birds showing today because of the wind!

Crossbills 25th February

Gorden Denison found 7 birds at Roils Head early AM. I relocated at least 5 of these birds at 3.00PM on the north western boundary of West End Golf Course. Unfortunatly they dissapeared just before Roy and Sean arrived.Its worth visiting this site on a regular basis, because in the past birds have kept to the boundary adjacent to Roils Head, where small pools of water have formed on the track. Roils Head playing fields is also surrounded with pine trees and is worth checking out.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

High Royd Ringing Records

As far as the GBN goes, Ringstone Res. has been a successful community environmental project (see Nick's post, 18th February) and we were pleased to raise the majority of the grant aid. It fits well alongside another two Yorkshire Water projects we have, one of which is leasing a 34 acre Sewage Works in Wakefield. We're also running a Balsam Eradication research project. We are now looking for new conservation opportunities and hope to have firm news of a Pennine Haymeadows project (with knock-on benefits for Twite and upland waders) in the near future. As part of working up a large Lottery bid, I've been looking over the old '50s ringing records for High Royd SF which we were able to access thanks to Colin Shields. These are a great read and a precious archive. For at least the next month they are in the safe-keeping of Green Business Network at 5 Town Hall Street, Sowerby Bridge (faces you at the far end of Wharf Street, just before you go over the river bridge towards Ripponden, swimming pool/library just round the corner). This is now an open invitation for anyone to drop in during office hours to browse them. There is a copier available and unlimited tea/coffee! Someone is there most days usually Jim Porter (best to call ahead Tel. 01422 316661). Just mention my name - Nigel Oliver - and that the box file is on my desk. Nick Carter will confirm that dropping in is a relaxed affair. Happy reading.

Monday, February 20, 2006

20th February

Female Stonechat still at Norton Tower, 25 Fieldfares at Heath Hill Road and 2 Golden Plovers at High Road Well Moor.

PS There are still lots of people who have not yet subbmitted records for 2005. Could I please have them as soon as possible please.


I counted at least 17 in Boothtown today first light. There *may* be more.

Site of this count was the small park down Chester Road on the garden feeders.

There were some in Boothtown park but didn't count these as birds were flying between the two parks.

Very nice to hear and see a Song Thrush singing from the treetop.

Jumble Hole

Had a quick look this morning for lesser spotted woodpecker, as Jumble Hole was a stronghold until the mid 90's, but unsuprisingly didn't see or hear anything of them. I'll keep trying though!
2 GS woodpecker
1 green woodpecker
9 bullfinch
2 mistle thrush
1 dipper
12 long tailed tits
multiple blue and great tits!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Ringstone Edge

As many of you will know the Halifax Birdwatchers' Club has a satellite group known as the Calderdale Bird Conservation Group which was set up by members who wished to be involved in local conservation work rather than just the production of an annual report. As a result of the efforts of its members the CBCG has been involved in many local conservation issues including helping to draw up the Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP), raptor protection work, assisting with Twite conservation projects, nestbox schemes in Hardcastle Crags etc. One of our main achievements so far has been to lease the north shore of Ringstone Edge from Yorkshire Water and the creation of pools and scrapes with the aim of encouraging species such as LRP to breed. Along with this we have also applied for planning permission to erect a hide on site, this permission has now been granted and we are in final negotiations with YW to begin construction. As a condition of the lease and insurance the group is obliged to control and regulate visitors to the hide and north shore area, therefore it is important to note that these areas are NOT public access, indeed to have it so would cause unnecessary disturbance to the birds. In order to allow keen local birders chance to use the hide and watch the area we have agreed to control access by means of a permit/key arrangement with a proposal to charge £15 which will include a key for the hide and a copy of a baseline report for the Ringstone recording area. The money received from this will go towards covering the cost of the insurance premiums, Further details of how to obtain a permit/key will be posted on here when the hide is complete.

All this could not have been achieved without the efforts of a relatively small number of local birders who have given much time and effort to the Group. Equally we are indebted to Marshalls plc, the Hanson Environment Fund, and the Green Business Network (GBN) whose generous donations of landfill tax credits made it all possible. Anyone who wishes to become involved in our work can contact me on midgleybirder@yahoo.co.uk

Roils Head 18th February

2 female Crossbills were watched feeding in Pine trees for 10 minutes this afternoon before being spooked by a dog walker. Also present 5 Sklarks and a Kestrel.

Lapland Bunting?

Report received today from an unknown Lancashire birder of a Lapland Bunting on the twite seed at Lighthazzles, Andy and Iain were there soon afterwards but couldn't locate it, investigations are ongoing.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


7 Skylark (2 singing)
3 Snipe (2 very silent when flushed?)
20 Greenfinch
9 Bullfinch
6 Goldfinch
6 Great Tit
10 LTTit
2 Stock Dove (new this Year)
15 +10+7 +11Woodpigeon(small parties seem to be on the move heading N/E)
LTT(pair displaying in next
doors garden)
1 Herring Gull west
11 pied Wagtail(1 First winter with yellow face still)
1 Pair of Kestrel Display

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Another Shibden Report

2 Tawnys heard calling briefly at 2pm this afternoon.
1 Goldcrest
15+ Long Tailed Tits
15+ Blue tits
8+ Gt Tits
1 Wren
2 Dunnocks
4 Chaffinches
1 Bullfinch
3 mallards- on/around small pond
2 Moorhens- as above
1 Jay
4 Robins
2 Coal Tits
C.15 carrion Crows
5 Greenfinches
Magpies of course- c. 12
Starlings 6 over.
Colony of House Sparrows c.15 birds at Ploughcroft

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


The North Pennine Bird survey starts in the first week of April.They are looking for good field ornithologist you must have a car and be avaiable to work until end of June .Any one interested call me for details.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Male Blackcap

Sighted today at Boothtown park. This means there is still at least one male and one female of this species in the park area. Seem to be frequenting wider areas than previously.


Several Pied Wags
Song Thrush
Mistle Thrush
One Long tailed tit
4 Blue Tits
4 Gt Tits
Carrion Crows
Several Magpies
C. 20 Starlings impersonating other species.
1 Blackbird


Mixenden area - 2 white carrion crows - one in the fields down Straight Lane with another further up the valley at Whitegate/Shaking House and both visible at the same time.

Mixenden Res - Great-crested Grebe and also Green and Great-spottted Woodpeckers calling in the plantation. Also one Curlew flew over high >NE calling.

Pair of Goldeneye at Ogden Res - immaculate male starting to display. AlsoDipper on the top pond.

Ogden golf course area/Brockholes - Kestrel, 80 Starlings, 30 Redwing, 15 Fieldfare, Grey Partridge and Skylark. Also c35 Greenfinch and c6 Siskin on a garden feeder.

Bulk buy bird food

Is anyone interested in joining together to buy bird food in bulk hopefully with a view to saving money? I am keen to continue using CJ Wildbirdfoods as they have donated seed to the Twite supplementary feeding work etc in the past and deserve our support as they make sizeable donations to bird conservation charities. To see what they have to offer go to http://www.birdfood.co.uk/ if you are interested E mail me at midgleybirder@yahoo.co.uk


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Early Nesting

The BTO are asking to be informed of instances of early nesting to investigate possible causal links with global warming. At Wirral a nest of Blackbirds actually fledged on the 2 Feb.

To add to the recent list of 'urban' birds (Peregrines, roosting Pied Wags etc) there has been a Dunnock sighted by myself on the water under North Bridge. Anyone any species to add?

Without checking my records, my first Calderdale Fieldfares were ones I saw yesterday. 7 birds were at the edge of the main road through Boothtown. Are they a bit thin on the ground locally this year? Redwings appear fairly numerous.

These messages appear courtesy of the hideous weather.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


Quick look at the res this morning produced very little apart from c50 Goldies. 25 Lapwing and a couple of Goosander, feeders quiet.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Keep your eyes open!

Just had a phone message left by Pete Grice to let me know that a Burnley birder has had what they feel sure was a fly over Rough legged Buzzard in their area heading our way.

10th February

Reed Bunting at Roils Head, Female Stonechat at Norton Tower and male Stonechat at Heath Hill Road. 1 Golden Plover and a Hare at High Road Well Moor.


I walked down from Lydgate into Tod this morning, and I noticed the Rooks have started work on their nests at Stoney Royd Lane - about 10 birds present and 7 nests in various stages of completion so far.
Also Coal Tit singing in grounds of Pennine Lodge nursing home, (opposite Centre Vale Park), and plenty of Dunnocks in song along the whole walk.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


4 Skylark,1 singing(first this year)
6 siskin
4 Bullfinch
2 redwing
1 Sparrowhawk
10 Meadow Pipit
2 Goldfinch (display and song flight)
1 Snipe
2 little Owl

9th February

Female Stonechat still at Norton Tower, 2 Little Owls at Heath Hill Road and 5 Golden Plovers at High Road Well Moor.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Boothtown Park

3 Bramblings showed well today in low trees between toilet block and old chimney. Allowed approach to within approx. 6ft, cracking views in the bright sunlight. At least three birds, 2 F and 1 M. Later a flock of birds, probably Brambling, passed overhead- 7-8 birds.

Female Blackcap still around in bowling green trees immediately opposite the lane behind. Possibly a second bird too but sun in my eyes. Tend to favour the tree behind lampost.

3 Pied wags, 1 Great Spotted Wood, 2 Coal tits, 8+ LT tits, 1 Song Thrush. Numbers of other tits, Carrion crows, Starlings etc.


5 Redpolls at Roils Head this afternoon, 4 of which were considered to be Mealy Redpolls. Appeared slightly larger with two pale streaks on the mantle, also very pink on breast and flanks. Undertail coverts pale with only one noteable streak. The one Lesser Redploll appeared to be slightly darker with no pink on the breast and more heavily streaked on the flanks, also lacked the two pale bracess on the mantle. Anybody else had any Mealys ??

3 Great Black- backed and 1 Herring Gull went west over Luddenden Dean PM.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Odds and Ends

I wimped out of my trip up to Lumbutts this week, but for the sake of reporting something, here goes.
Monday 30th: Green Woodpecker calling behind Tod Railway Stn.
Tuesday 31st: Grey Heron in R Calder, Tod Town Centre.
Thursday 2nd: Grey Heron in R Calder by Hebden Railway Stn, and 2 very pale Muscovy Ducks on Hebden Water near pack horse bridge.
Friday 3rd: M Kestrel near Bird'i'th'Hand, Warland.


There are still lots of people who have not yet submitted thier 2005 bird records. Could I please have them as soon as possible, so I can make a start on the next report. It would help tremendously if you would use the group recorder programme. For a copy of the group recorder programme, contact Nick Carter.

2004 report sales- We have just about managed to get our money back for the report, so any more sales would put us in profit for the year.

sunny Vale and Shibden Hall Road

Walked through this area today - not one of my regular haunts but some very good habitat - does anyone watch this area on a regular basis?

Sunny Vale - Grey Heron, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker with good numbers of Blue, Great and L T Tits and a Goldcrest. Also good numbers scattered about Chaffinch, Greenfinch and at least 3 pairs of Bullfinch.

Shibden Hall Road - 28 Redwing, Kestrel, Green Woodpecker and 106 Jackdaws in the field behind Pennine Parcels just by Godley Bridge.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Reported by Iain Greenwood in Boothtown Park again today between the toilet block and the old tower. :( No sign of the female blackcap.

Elland GP

2 Hrs this afternoon - 5 Grey Heron, 2 Cormorant, 50+ Mallard, 5f Goldeneye, c30 Goosander, 3m Pochard, c10 Tufted Duck.
Also on river - 3 Little Grebe, 4 pair Teal, Kingfisher, 2 Dipper. Also Green Woodpecker and good numbers of Blue, Great and LTTit and 1 Goldcrest, 5 Redpoll feeding on old willow herb seed and c30 Siskin on old tip and c4 pair Bullfinch.
30 Lapwing at Southowram this am.


15 Meadow Pipit
1 Woodcock(flushed from dence cover)
1 grey Wagtail9on cricket pitch)
1 Green Woodpecker
2 GS Woodpecker
20 Lt tit
4 redwing
6 Bullfinch
4 Pied Wagtail