Saturday, May 31, 2008


not much there this morning
a grebe sitting on the lake
chiff-chaff heard in the wood

sparrows taking a dust bath outside my house this afternoon
left when i came with the camera (typical)

Fly Flats

No sign of the Ringed Plover this morning
4 Dunlin
5 Common Sandpipers
4 Redshank
2 L B B G's
1 B H Gull
Again - no Twite

Luddenden Dean

Cuckoo in the dean this morning from a distance!
Not a sign of Pied Flycatcher or Redstart at the usual spots.
1 Chiff-chaff
1 Blackcap
1 Little Owl
1 Common Buzzard high drifting south towards the Calder Valley (2 inner primaries missing on left wing)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Undisclosed site

7:30 - 8:30pm

Rechecked the site from yesterday. No LEO seen but I definitely heard juveniles calling.
Several kestrel
4 curlew

Lots of skylark and meadow pipit

Undisclosed site - 9:10pm

Short eared owl. First one there in a while. Also, 2 little owl.

10:00pm - woodcock roding over Jumble Hole Clough

Cold Edge

Posting for Nick Dawtrey
1 superb male Whinchat behind the sailing club hut this afternoon

Fly Flats

Eventful afternoon!
2 Turnstones through >N at 14.50
1 Ringed Plover - still in front of the sailing club hut at 16.30
2 Dunlin
4 Common Sandpipers
2 Redshank
1 Roe Deer swam right across the res'r
Jen found a Weasel biting at the feet of a pheasant which kept jumping in the air instead of flying off!!
No Twite

Undisclosed site 29/5/08

Good but brief views of Long eared owl. Also a very close encounter with 2 roe deer.

Ogden 28/5/08

Several spotted fly catchers in the woods + usual species. The only two water birds were the two great crested grebes seen through the fog. They have been present now for at least two weeks.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hardcastle Crags

Woodlands at both sides of the river were checked this morning from the crags car park as far as Blake Dean on the right of the river and back down along the other side.

I checked all the known haunts for the following targets species but drew blanks on Spotted & Pied Flycatchers/Wood Warbler/Redstart/Tree Pipit. I am sure Spotted Fly will be about but if they were they were being very elusive. Worrying times locally for these 5 species!

Not much success for a hard mornings slog but some rewards with 2+ Cuckoo, c10 Blackcap, 2 Chiff-chaff. 3 different Great-spotted Woodpeckers with chicks, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Nuthatch (FY), 1 Sparrowhawk and several Treecreepers and Goldcrests singing and 3 pairs of Grey Wagtails. Also a first for me for the crags pr Tufted Duck. 1 Tawny Owl raiding a Blackbirds nest!

White Holme 29/5

1 Sanderling in summer plumage
1 Ringed Plover
3 Dunlin
5 Twite
usual LRPs and Common Sands

Undisclosed site

7pm - 9:30pm Overcast then rain.

Out with Nick Dawtrey checking a long eared owl site. LEO seen on 2 occasions: first time entering the wood with a mouse/vole, second time hunting over nearby fields.

Also seen little owl

meadow pipits
skylarks (including one singing from a perch)

3 lapwing
male stonechat

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


2 Great-crested Grebes there this afternoon

Monday, May 26, 2008


i think the nuthatch and great tit that visit my garden must have young!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Calderdale - Buzzard

Another picture from today showing the prey being carried in one talon. Like the other photo, click on it for a bigger version.

Calderdale - Sunday 10:30am

Quick trip out this morning. Was lucky enough to see a common buzzard carrying half a rabbit.

Crags nestbox survey Saturday 9:00am to 1:30pm

Surveyed all the 48 boxes in the Crags and Crimsworth valleys. No target species appear to be using them. However, the occupancy rate of even tits appeared to be less than 25%, which led to the theory that birds are sat on eggs, therefore are between noisily displaying and busily feeding chicks. The boxes will be checked again over coming weeks.

With thanks to Niall Roche, Ian Scott, Nick Carter, and Maggie and Craig who made the workload significantly lighter, and the day more enjoyable.

Hardcastle Crags - 9+ blackcap calling, 2 grey wagtail, 3 spotted flycatcher, 1/2 cuckoo. 4 willow warbler
Crimsworth Dean - Male redstart. Acting very 'coy' for a redstart and barely calling at all. Already found a mate??? Boxes will most certainly be checked in that vicinity. 1 kestrel, 2 willow warbler, 1 lesser black backed gull. 1 roe deer. Unusually, no sign of spotted flycatcher so far.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

short ear + kestrel

out with Nick Dawerty last night and saw this kestrel having a go at the short eared owl,

Friday, May 23, 2008

Undisclosed site 4

Posting for Nick Dawtrey
Long-eared Owls located at a fourth site tonight with 3 or 4 young birds hunger calling around 10 pm.
Also Short-eared Owl in the vicinity and Woodcock 'roding'

Thursday, May 22, 2008


22/05/08 6:15 - 7:15 pm

Thought I'd check out Ringstone even though the weather wasn't very good; overcast, fairly strong easterly and spots of rain.

6 meadow pipit
2 lapwing
4 great crested grebe
1 dunlin
3 pied wagtails
5 mallard arrived from Booth Wood direction
2 greylag geese

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hardcastle Crags - 4:30 to 6:30pm

Main carpark, past the mill to the fork and back

3 spotted flycatcher
1 blackcap
2/3 small groups (2/3) of siskin
1 green woodpecker
1 gs woodpecker
3 goldcrest
1 raven
3 lesser black backed gull
1 treecreeper
1 roe deer


our neighbourgh-hood has many local cats but one has been taking birds from our garden. it has on previous occasions taken birds in mid air and this has ernt it deep hatred on our behalf. however a few days back my neighbourgh said it was trying to raid a blackbird nest box. today he has seen it catch a baby blackbird-can anything be done to stop this. we have poured water on it before but have failed on the later occasions.

Brighouse and Elland - yesterday pm

1 yellowhammer singing in scrub opposite Holiday Inn nr. Brighouse. This site is North of the M62, so maybe they're spreading from Bradley Hall?

Also, a quick visit to the EGP are produced 2 coot, 7 chiff chiff, 6 willow warbler, 2 blackcap, 1 reed warbler, and 3 whitethroat - one of which was a female carrying nesting material.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fly Flatts

Fly Flatts Dunlin. BS
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Monday, May 19, 2008

Hardcastle Crags

Just a reminder that the nest box survey is this Saturday - 9:00 am start. Please contact me if you intend to help out, then I can know what sort of numbers to expect. Again, whatever happens in the nestbox survey itself, it should be a good opportunity to pick up pied flyactacher, spotted flycatcher, redstart, wood warbler etc.

Mallard Record Brood ?

I spotted a female Mallard with 18 newly hatched ducklings this morning on the canal. This must be an exceptional sized brood even for Mallard ? When I spotted all the ducklings I assumed there were a couple of broods mixed together but only one female was present and she was definitely caring for the whole brood. I forgot the camera this morning but will try and get a shot of them tomorrow assuming they all survive overnight.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Undisclosed site

Posting for Nick Dawtrey
3rd site for L E Owl tonight - out hunting at 8 pm.
If anyone is up for monitoring the species again this year then please liaise with Nick.

Fly Flatts

18/05/2008 0730-0930hrs cold NE>4 bright.

2 Dunlin
4 Twite
6 Common Sand
1 m Whinchat
2 Reed Bunting
54 Canadas + 22 young.
+ usual sp.
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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Little Egret

Posting for Nick Dawtrey confirming the sighting at 06.35 at Elland G P this morning from Nick Cunningham. The bird was flying west and could still be in the area? There are lots of places along the Calder Valley such as Copley/High Royd etc as well as many suitable locations along the river Calder and the canal - or maybe back at Elland in the next day or so?


Message just come through on grapevine that Sean G has had 3 Sanderling fly west at Whiteholme this lunchtime. Will any grapevine members please send all texts to me between Monday and Thursday next week as Dave is unavailable. Thanks.

Little Egret Elland GP

Report on Birdguides etc of a Little Egret flying through Elland GP early this morning, no further details I'm afraid.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Fly Flats

4 Dunlin still there and very approachable on the embankment
2 pairs Common Sandpiper and another one hanging about with the Dunlin

Luddenden Dean

Male Redstart singing this morning in the dean - very elusive with short bursts of song then going quiet and moving around the wood. Heard at the far end of Spa Wood from the track that leads towards Castle Carr lower lodge. Also seen later down near the stream. No sign of a female.

Male Pied Flycatcher still singing in the dean but still no sign of a female there.
At least 2 Cuckoos singing around Spa Wood
1 Dipper

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Undisclosed site2

From Nick Dawtery tonight - L E Owl, Woodcock and Ring Ouzel

Hardcastle Crags

Male Pied Flycatcher located tonight in Hardcastle Crags from Sean J.

Jumble Hole Clough

- 2 garden warbler
- 4 willow warbler
- 2 chiffchaff
- 1 green woodpecker
- 1 gs woodpecker
- 1 male pheasant
- 6 swallow
- 2 Jay

Fly Flats/Castle Carr/Cold Edge

Fly Flats
1 of 4 Dunlin there this afternoon and very approachable
4 Common Sandpipers
1 Redshank
2 Twite
1 Cuckoo in Clunter Clough

Dean Head
2 Tufted Duck on the top res'r
2+ Twite in the area

Cold Edge
1 Whinchat still behind the boat hut above Haigh Cote Dam
1 Snipe
2 Grey Partridge
20 Greylag Geese

Castle Carr Road
4 Twite in the field after the old railway cabins

Also - from Nick Dawtrey 2 Red Legged Partridge near Roils Head

High Royd

Very very short of water, including all but one of the back beds.

- 4 whitethroat, showing well
- 3 willow warbler
- 2 chiffchaff
- 2 blackcap
- 21 mallard, including 2 sets of duckings (x7 and x4)
- 2 grey heron
- 1 gs woodpecker

Singing Male Whinchat at Widdop

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Undisclosed Site

Tawny Owl brooding at nest in Beech tree this morning

Garden warbler

Garden warbler, taken by Denise Shields at Cromwell Bottom, 11 May. Note heavy beak and prominent dark eye, and the solid look of the bird.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Undisclosed Site

Posting for Nick Dawtrey

2nd Calderdale site this year for Long-eared Owl this evening. Hunting at dusk and seen to catch a vole and head straight into a potential breeding site.
Also present at the site was 1 Tawny Owl and 1 Woodcock 'roding'

Also Ring Ouzel nearby

Various bits

Jumble Hole Clough - 2 woodcock roding, 2 tawny owl calling. 4 male blackcap, 3 willow warbler, 4 chiffchaff. 1 dipper, 1 grey wagtail.
My garden (also Jumble Hole) 1 blackcap, 1 chiffchaff, 1 bullfinch, 2 collard dove, 4 jays. Large raptor through yesterday pm being mobbed by a carrion crow. Raptor was c. 50% bigger, fought the corvid off with its feet, and was in partial moult. It stayed in total silhouette the whole time, so was very hard to positively ID, but marsh harrier was the most likely. Moved east towards Heptenstall.
Mytholmroyd - 2 dipper on Elphin Brook
Todmorden Sport Centre - 10 house martin, 16 swifts, 2 blackcap.

Luddenden Dean

Male Pied Flycatcher singing - still in usual spot but no sign of a female!

Brief song of probable Redstart this afternoon. It only sang once and dissapeared in an area upstream from Spa Wood and not relocated.
1 Blackcap
12 Meadow Pipits
1 pair Kestrels
c12 Linnets along Castle Carr Road
c 4 pairs of House Martins in and around Wainstalls Village


1 more starling nest found with some chicks in it-have heard them calling
the 1 in our roof has also got chicks
as has the one in the school kitchen

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Cold Edge

Posting for Nick Dawtrey - unable to post on the blog

1 superb Whinchat behind the sailing club hut this evening
7 species of wader in the area including Snipe 'drumming'
No sign of the Grasshopper Warbler

Only one pair of breeding Lapwings along the route from Withens to Wainstalls! It's only a year or two since c14 pairs bred in this area. Evidence of a serious decline? Has anyone else noticed a similar pattern locally?

Heptonstall Pinfold Sunday

I had some time to kill so I sat in the Pinfold in Heptonstall and just watched and listened -Swifts screaming over head Robin displaying and singing. a blackbird sang for all the time I sat there but one unusual sight was a Juvenile Robin. This seems a bit early to me - anyone got any comments?

By the way last thursday in the woods near Beacon Hill in halifax -I experimented with my Mobile phone and an MP3 of a GSW drumming - and after a liitle while - a male GSW turned up to investigate this strange looking woodpecker - Cuckoo in Crimsworth dean next ?? (or is this cheating !!)


The promised late picture of Willow Warbler at Blake Dean last week.


Sunday 8:30 - 10:15

2 grasshopper warblers reeling
6 chaffinch
2 kestrel
4 curlew
numerous willow warbler
1 grey heron
4 adult canada geese plus 4 young.

Met up with John B and as we were checking out one of the gropper patches he picked up 4 crossbill passing over. The circled around for bit before heading north.

(the best I could get)

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Saturday am 8:30 - 10:00

1 reed warbler (about 10 mins after you left John)

3m reed bunting
4 whitethroat
3 garden warbler
willow warbler and chiffchaff
kingfisher on the river

willow warbler

1 common sandpiper on and just below the weir

2 jay plus usual blackbirds, tits, wrens, robins.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Fly Flats/Cold Edge/Ogden

Nick Dawtrey located a singing Grasshopper Warbler in Juncus this evening at 6.30 pm. I joined him later and after a few quiet and short bursts of 'reeling' it started to sing louder and for longer by 8 pm. Check with Nick for location.
Also around there
2 Oystercatchers
1 Snipe
2/3 singing male Reed Buntings
Moorhen and usual sp...

Fly Flats
1 S E Owl
1 Redshank
1 Snipe
1 L B B Gull
2+ Common Sandpipers
Red Grouse + usual sp...

1+ Woodcock roding and a fox


We went through the woods this morning with Wood Warbler on the agenda (they used to be here not many years ago!) Not a sign of any, unfortunately.
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
1 Tawny Owl
1 Nuthatch
6 Willow Warblers, 1 Blackcap and 1 Chiff-chaff
+ other usual sp...
Along the river were Kingfisher, pair of Grey Wagtails and Dipper collecting food.

Scammonden Grasshopper Warbler

No sign all week despite two visits till well after dark. Has anyone else been up and had any luck during the morning ?

Hello Everyone!

New starter here. I work in Halifax so have kept an eye on here for a while.

Went up to Warley Res after work last night and had a walk round the flats. Not too much to see, 4 twite, 2 Golden Plover, plenty of curlew and mipits. A Hercules transport flew over very low and a large corvid managed to fly along a ridge with only its top third showing for most of the time so no firm id possible. Managed to get a few nice pictures of an obliging Common Sandpiper

Photo exhibition

Well done to Andy Huyton for hosting last night's launch of his exhibition of photos at Nelson's Wine Bar in Hebden Bridge and also to Philippa for acting as a more than capable auctioneer! The exhibition continues for around six weeks, contains excellent photography and has already proved succesful with 7 of the limited edition prints sold, don't forget Andy has offered to donate half of the profits to the CBCG so please take a look.

Luddenden Dean

Nick and Steve erecting nest boxes in Luddenden Dean this evening.
2 Cuckoos also heard along with Green Woodpecker and a pair of Kestrels

Thursday, May 08, 2008

White Holme 8/5

A Sanderling and a Ringed Plover this morning found by Alan Nuttall. Also 1 Wheatear and the usual LRPs and Common Sands.

Simon Hitchen


swifts at my school today screaming their heads off in history
i'm surprised nobody said "mrs, i think somebodys been murdered" :)


A Hobby today travelling high up roughly NE from Elland in the direction of Siddal at 4.20pm.

Charly Streets.

Crags nest box survey

The proposed date for the Hardcastle Crags / Crimsworth Dean nestbox survey is Saturday 24 May. 9:00am in the bottom car park. I reckon depending on numbers of surveyors, it should take no more than the morning. Please let me know if you will be attending so I can work out a plan, either by adding a comment or emailing me on the address in the header of the blog. The more volunteers we get means the more thorough a job we can do, so please try and make it (the photo is of the boxes put up early Spring 07)

Fly Flats

This afternoon
4 Common Sandpipers
1 Dunlin
1 Golden Plover
4 Wheatear
6 Swallows
and usual sp..

Up to 5 Twite (but not all at the same time)
First 3 - one ringed - pink on left BTO on right
Two others one with left down pink/greenish?/yellow
the other bird pink/white/then a dark ring looked black?

Elland G P

Hour and a half this morning.
c6 Garden Warbler
c10 Blackcap
3 Whitethroats
1 Reed Warbler
c8 Chiff-chaff
c12 Willow Warblers
4 Reed Buntings
1 Grey Heron
1 Kestrel
1 Shag - still on the ski ramp despite water ski-ers on the lake!
6 Bullfinch all adults together

Twite Survey

Found 3 pairs on territory's along with 2 pairs Stonechat,2 pairs reed Bunt,willow warbler,Common sandpiper and Grey wag

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Elland G P

The Shag still present this morning on the ski jump along with a Cormorant for good comparison.

Various sites - late pm

Crimsworth Dean - Cuckoo on the wires (photo taken on mobile down my bins in a high wind!).
1 treecreeper
4 willow warbler
5 goldcrest
1 oystercatcher over
East of Crimsworth Dean
2 kestrel
1 pair pied wagtail
3 curlew
1 willow warbler
5 swallow
Shackleton Knoll
5 pair lapwing
4 pair curlew
5 singing skylark
1 meadow pipit

Cragg Vale
Weasel raiding a long tailed tit nest, built only 2' off the ground in brambles.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Broadhead Clough/Stoodley Pike/Withens Clough

Broadhead Clough
1 Tree Pipit at the top end of the wood
Lots of Willow Warblers
1 Blackcap

Sunderland Pasture (plantation)
12+ Redpolls (males in superb plumage)

Stoodley Pike
Lots of Skylarks including a Kestrel raiding a Skylarks nest
1 Wheatear

Withens Clough
1 Whinchat
1 Reed Bunting

Not a sign of a Redstart - looked in all the traditional spots!

Widdop Rd this morning

No sign of Spotted Fly reported yesterday but a possible Tree Pipit seen briefly in same spot as last year.

Also SEO flying high SE then probably the same bird flying NW but lower. Lots of Willow warblers (photo's to follow). Grey Wagtail male.

Ring Ouzel singing again in usual spot, relieved to see it as not seen or heard for over a week now.

Pair of Common Sand on the Res.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Out of area - just

A pair of great grey shrike reported from Drop Farm, nr. Leeshaw Rs', Oxenhope yesterday. No sign today. Redstart present there.

Undisclosed Site

On a walk this p m watched an adult buzzard being mobbed by a very unhappy crow. The buzzard eventually retreated with the crow the winner on points. we also saw curlew, lapwing wheatear and several stonechat togethor with the usual others.

5th May

Luddenden Dean
Out with DJP this afternoon (didn't take my camera or scope). Male Pied Fly showed well holding two territories also Cucckoo perched on a wall for 5 minutes. All the other usual species also present.
On to EGP where we were told the Shag was still present sat on the canal wall only some 15 feet way. There it was only my second one in Calderdale and so close with my camera safe in the draw back home. Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Blackcaps, Chiffs and Willows and a Sparrowhawk over.

Grapevine Reminder

See posting for Sat 3rd May for details of funds due -
Don't leave it too long please!!! Thanks


The shag has been living on a barge since saturday and its bee eating tinned sardines.

fly flatts

fly flatts for half an hour this morning:
3 twite-my first, i didnt realise how small they were
2 redshank
3 curlew
4 graylag geese
12 canada geese
2 mallards
12 mipits
1 skylark, although many were heard in the background
2 grouse heard calling

Midgley feeding station

A minimum of 13 twite at the feeding station this morning though all very flighty, most birds were paired up and some song, song flight and courtship feeding seen. Spent another three hours or so covering the NE side of the moor but no luck with finding birds on territory, perhaps its still a bit soon? Several Stonechat, two Wheatears, at least 3 pairs of Curlew, a pair of Lapwing, Stock Dove, Reed Bunting etc were reward for effort though. Good for the Atlas.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Reminder 8th May Fundraiser Nelson's Wine Bar Hebden Bridge

Just a reminder that this Thursday there will be a fundraiser at Nelson's Wine Bar in Hebden Bridge starting at 7:30pm. Tickets are Free and incl a Free glass of wine.
There will be an Auction to raise money also over the course of the Exhibition of my photo's which will run until 12th June 50% of the profit made on the Sale of the photo's will go to the Calderdale Bird Conservation Group. Tickets available at Tuesdays meeting or from myself.