Friday, March 31, 2006


17 Teal
1 Cormorant
4 reed Bunting
3 chiff-chaff
10 Sand Martin
2 Bullfinch
1 Green and 2 GS Woodpecker
4 goosander
10 LTTit
2Orange Underwing(moths)

Migrants arrive

Ring Ouzel at Withens Clough today, GD. 3 Wheatears at Blake Dean, DJS, and a Swallow and Sand Martin at Elland Gravel Pits, GD.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

WITHENS CLOUGH 18:15 - 19:45

First visit to Withens for many a month now produced some good birds incl:

Roding Woodcock seen from the car park at 19:45
2 Reed Buntings
4 female Goosander
2 Mistle Thrush
1 Song Thrush
2 Curlew displaying over the Res.
Several Meadow Pipits
Chaffinch, Pied Wagtail, Woodpig, Carrion Crow, Mallard, Canada Goose.
Also Skylark heard.

Ringstone hide

All six footings now fully concreted and setting nicely (mostly due to an early start by Sean, Steve then Andy C.)

Tree Sparrows

Job done (or half done when I left)! 11 single and 1 double box thanks to The Pitstop Project via Green Business Network. Transport courtesy Matt Bell. Liaison with residents thanks to Iain G.


16 Sand Martin this morning(30th March)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


The hide work at Ringstone continues apace, following the sterling efforts of Steve and Sean this morning we now have three of the footings concreted in with the other three hopefully to be completed by weekend. Following the receipt of the official handover certificate from YW (expected tommorrow or Friday) we will be in a position to begin the building of the hide itself. It has now been decided to build the hide on site, hopefully beginning on Saturday morning, anyone who wants to help is asked to meet at Ringstone early Saturday.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Ringstone update

This evening John B, Nigel and myself completed the preparations of the footings for the hide in readiness for the next stage. The steel plates on which the hide will be mounted are now in position and will be concreted in tommorrow and Thursday, anyone who wishes to assist please contact me or John B.

Tree sparrows

As many of will know, there is a small colony of tree sparrows in the south of our area. Iain and I are going to the site on Thursday afternoon to put up several nest boxes to attempt to improve breeding success, and involve the local comminity in looking after and growing the colony. If anyone is available to help Thursday pm, then please let me know.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Ringstone digging completed

The digging for the footings for the hide at Ringstone was duly completed this morning, the next stage is to receive the concrete and set the supports for the hide, this will hopefully occur this week. Anyone who is interested in becoming involved in this project can E mail me on for further details. Up to press the work involved in the securing of the lease area and the hide etc has been carried out by a small but very hard working group, we are always open to offers of help!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

It's all happening at Fly Flatts!

Following on from this mornings Marsh Harrier I received a text from Brian Sumner to say an Osprey passed through this afternoon. Ring Ouzel seen today at Walshaw Dean also.

sat 25th

Warm S/w wind and sunshine at last ,the first Bumble Bee and a very vocal Song thrush this morning with 25 meadow Pipits n/w.
Digging gets underway on hide at Ringstone ,thanks to Gordon Denison for breakfast. meadow Pipits moving all morning.8 Snipe,2 reed bunting and 1 pheasant also Posted by Picasa
2 shovelers at Ringstone today Posted by Picasa

Marsh Harrier

Male Marsh Harrier seen passing through Leeshaws this morning was later seen soaring over Fly Flatts area.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Ringstone 18:00

Quick stop off on way home tonight (great these light evenings) revealed c30 Golden Plover circling around also c20 Lapwing in Eastern fields down the road again restless.

And a Grey Heron on the East Scrape.

37 Canada Geese and that was all.

All you diggers looks like you'll need waterproofs on Saturday and don't forget your bins especially now the migrants are coming through who knows what may show up. I reckon we may get a shoveler (cringe, bad joke I know!!)

Wheatear in Bradford area

First Wheatear in the Bradford area found today at Whetstone Gate.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Bramblings still in Boothtown park with 4 seen there today. Another 6 birds were seen on the feeders in a garden off Chester Rd. Be interesting to see how much longer these birds are around.
Also a single siskin in the park. Other birds of note in the park were 2 Mistle Thrushes and 4 Redwings. No sign of the Blackcaps.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Calderdale Birds

hi All
Has anyone got a copy of 'Sounds of Migrant and Wintering Birds by Claude Chappuis'1989,I think it is only on tape?Or anyone know where i might be able to get a copy.Thanks Andy

Monday, March 20, 2006

Whooper Swans on Ogden Water

28 Whooper Swans on Ogden Water, seen at 8.00 am.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Woodcock tonight

Sat in the car park at West Vale at 17:50 waiting for my daughter. Roding Woodcock went over, completely unexpected. On reflection, I guess it had come from North Dean Woods. I didn't see it do any circuits, just the one pass overhead.

Whooper Swans

Aprox 38 Whooper Swans flew very low north calling loudly over Northowram at 6.45.1 large(about swan size) very dark/black bird was in with them but unable to get anything on it?

Green Withens and cloughs

yesterday, in search of .... anything. Saw nothing. Singularly birdless (more dead sheep than birds!). Great views of two occupied Heron nests at Rishworth - directly opposite the 'Rishworth School' sign. Two more nests further along without birds present. No Little Owls at Norland, although great views same time, same place last week. They seem to have been much more hit and miss in the last twelve months.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Typical Ringstone

Very Cold and Windy so sat in car by feeders and waited and in due course I was rewarded with the following:-

Reed Buntings 3 males 2 females
Pied Wagtail 1
Dunnock 3
Blackbird 1 female
Robin 2
Greenfinch 11 males 4 females
Chaffinch 9 males 3 females
Goldfinch 2
Rook 2

Also 11 Golden Plover in North Field

The pictures above were taken using my new Nokia N90 phone through my Leica Ultravid's 8x42

Also included photo of Mute swan taken at Fairburn recently through my Nikon 80 scope again using the phone.

Not as good as Sean's but worth while as a record I think you'll agree, especially until I get my camera back from being repaired.

Crimsworth Dean and Walshaw

Very cold and wintry today and snow flurries - not really expecting Wheatears/Ring Ouzel yet with this NE wind but I have had Wheatear on 13th March in this area several years ago so I had a look anyway!! nothing doing.

Near the head of the dean 2 Ravens went over high, also 2 Curlew displaying in a snow storm! 16 Lapwing, 3 Little Owl, 1 Skylark and 1 f Kestrel. 2 Robins near the head of the dean were feeding almost in the stream. Also a Stonechat there.

Walshaw produced 2 Red Grouse, 42 Curlew, 52 Lapwing, 1 pair of Stonechat, 6 Stock Dove and 60 Jackdaw. Also a Skylark singing into the bitterly cold wind!

c12 Siskin were feeding in the trees just by the crags car park.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


A few of the group have expressed an interest in having a weekend staying at Spurn Observatory in April. I'm willing to co-ordinate everything if people can let me know their favoured dates/whether they have transport or not etc.

The plan would be to go over Friday evening and come back Sunday night. The cost of the accommadtion is £5 per night for Friends of Spurn (£20 Joining fee) or £7 per night everyone else.

As the observatory is likely to get booked up at this time of year can people let me know by Sunday 19th. I will try to fit any late come'ers in.

I favour the first or second weekend due to the fact that after that I'm on Skye and then off to Bulgaria.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


I found a relatively large flock of siskins in birch trees near the centre of Hebden Bridge. Didn't have time to do a proper count, as I was actually just visiting a printer! There was certainly a few dozen, possibly more as the calls seemed to be coming from all along the bank.

High Royd

A flying visit to High Royd this pm:

Min. 38 teal (nearly all male)
1 little grebe
12 mallard
4 coot
6 moorhen
2 singing song thrush
1 water rail seen sprinting between pools

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Golden Eye, Ogden Water

Calderdale Birds
2 male, 1 female golden eye spotted on Ogden Water amongst the snow flakes at 2 pm on Sunday. Also a flock of 12 siskins plus a pair of bullfinch in a garden at Causeway Foot. S E Drake

Friday, March 10, 2006

Walshaw Dean

35 curlew (26 together in one flock)
6 lapwing mobbing carrion crow
2 stonechat
6 reed bunting
3 mallard
32 meadow pipits
2 pheasant
1 pied wagtail
Flocks of canada geese on all 3 reservoirs, esp. lower Walshaw
Unidentified wader heard but not seen on shore of middle walshaw.

March 10th

4 Meadow Pipit ,5 mallard,1 green woodpecker ,1 Great Spotted Woodpecker and 2 lapwing over house today all heading w/nw

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Rook Nests

33 Rook nests at Northowram today,a far cry from the 250 reported in 1967. Posted by Picasa

Portsmouth (searching for Firecrest)

No sign of Firecrest or even Goldcrest this morning in the area suggested, although I recall hearing the latter singing in past years just up the road by the Roebuck.
I did have a good wander around the back streets and estates, and it was quite encouraging to see the number of people with bird feeders in even the smallest gardens. In the absence of any mature trees, some guy had even wired a nest box onto a lampost!
There was a fair bit of bird noise, mostly Robin, Dunnock, Blackbird and Blue Tit. Highlights were a pair of Goldfinches on a conifer-type hedge very near the Glen View (surely not identifiable as Firecrest...?), a Green Woodpecker calling on the hillside to the NE of the railway line and a M House Sparrow - does anyone know if there is a breeding population here?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Unconfirmed Firecrest

A none birder has reported what he believes to be a Firecrest in a privet hedge at Portsmouth - Cornholme on the Burnley Road opposite the Glen View Pub. After talking to him for some 15 minutes I came to the conclusion it was probably a Goldcrest, although he said he had looked on the internet and still thought it may have been a Firecrest. He is going back to check it out tomorrow with his camera.His description gave no mention of a black eyestripe or strong WHITE SUPERCILLIUM and therefore I did not send out any text messages.If anybody is in that area it may be worth a check ????.

10 Golden Plovers at High Road Well Moor and 12 Skylarks at Roils Head.

Tuesday 6th March

A very grey day , the long cold spell has ended and we have warm rain today.the first Curlew flew over heading back to the moors.There seems to be 4 pairs of Skylark today and 2 Stock Doves very little else except 3 Mallards at the top of the stream.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Heron Nest

Calderdale Birds

The Herons nest near Cromwell Bottom which was originally started in 2005 is now under construction and enlargement again this year. Les Midgely and I have been watching this for about 4 weeks now. The Herons disappeared from the nest around 1 week ago and we had seen neither bird anywhere near the nest for some time. I took a walk to the nest area again this afternoon and both birds were active around the nest again. One bird was actively adding twigs and arranging the nest and the other bird was nearby breaking off twigs and taking them back to the nest. As most in this blog will know, Moths are "my thing" and birds are only of secondary interest, so please bear with me if I ask any naff questions. So here goes, when do herons usually lay their eggs and how long before the chicks hatch ?

Paul T
Elephant Hawkmoth Northowram 2005 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Northowram Sunday

7.oo . 22 Meadow Pipit West
10.15 . 12 herring Gull west
10.30 . 4 Carrion Crow mobbing female Sparrow hawk
11.00 .2 little Owl and 2 Stock Dove near barn
12.00. 4 Goldfinch over
12.15 . 3 Skylark singing and 1 Snipe
5.50 25 Corvids going crazy opposite house.?
5.55 1 Barn Owl being mobbed by corvids flew across field and into conifers .
6.00 35 +Corvids going crazy around conifers,
6.02 Barn Owl flushed from conifers,seen very well with no jessies and fully winged (very pale above)
heavy snow and light fading fast hampered any other views.
8.05 Barn Owl called twice but could not be re -located.
I have notified local falconer to see if any one has lost a bird .But with the major increase in birds nationally you never know.?Will search tomorrow

Off road bikers

Anyone coming across off road bikers damaging habitat is requested to report this to the police on their non emergency incident report number 08456060606, when doing so please ensure the incident is logged and you receive an incident reference number. PC Roman Soltan has also requested that you ask for the matter to be flagged up for his attention. The more incidents that are officially logged the more likely the police are to take action. Please take as much detail as possible of the bikes, people involved etc. An incident on the moors at Blackstone Edge today has prompted this posting.

5th March

6 Water Rails reported at High Royd Sewage Farm by John B and a Barn Owl seen at Northowram by Andy C grid ref 116 269.

The Blogger is a good way of passing information around quickly but it is not a means of recording. Could people who have the group recorder programme please use it in future, as it saves me alot of time and should make the publishing of the report much quicker and easier.


Woods at the back of Elland crematorium produced 2 Yellowhammers and a Nuthatch yesterday (Sat. 4 Mar). Nick C, Andy H and myself were in search of LSW, not a whiff of this species. Several GSW knocking. Lots of tits in pairs and several Goldcrests.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Roils Head 4th March

3 Crossbills, 2 males and a female at West End Golf Course this PM, also a Siskin present.Best viewed from the track junction which leads up towards playing fields.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Roils Head 3rd March

3 Crossbills feeding in pines near house in the centre of Roils Head. Difficult to see but detected by the sound of pine cones cracking. Flew into West End Golf Course after 10 minutes. Also present 14 Skylarks and a Goldcrest. LBB Gull flew west.

Lumbutts Area

Lee Dam 0930
No wildfowl - partly frozen. Usual woodland stuff including a couple of Goldcrests showing well.

Longfield Dam 1000
12 very noisy Canada Geese - obviously beginning to pair up.
Only Lapwing seen was 1 flying N at some height
1F Wigeon still present.


Thursday, March 02, 2006


Anyone birding in this area is asked to look out for people with guns, as the shooting of wild birds is illegal.Around the fishing lake and in the surrounding woods are the main areas to keep a look out.Please call the police if you see/hear anything


4 Siskin,
19 + 22 Lapwing ssw
2 stock Dove
13 Woodpigs
5 singing skylark
1 Snipe
2 little Owl
1 GS +1 green woodpecker
1 treecreeper
2 Goldcrest
10 Pied Wags
2 Roe Deer
2 Bullfinch

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Crossbills at Roils Head

6 Crossbills at Roils Head this PM. 4 females and 2 cracking males. The last 3 days took camera with me and saw nothing. Sods law, didn't take it today and had great views of the birds feeding in larches near the big house at the centre of Roils Head.The birds are very flighty and do not seem to stay in one place for very long.Also 2 skylark and a Goldcrest Present. Stonechat at Norton Tower and 2 Golden Plover at High Road Well Moor.