Tuesday, March 31, 2009
5 Goosander on R Calder
2 Cormorant on ski lake
1 Grey Heron
1 female Sparrowhawk
1 LBB Gull
1 adult Herring Gull W up R Calder
2 Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming
11 Sand Martin
2 singing Song Thrush
1 singing Blackcap
6 singing Chiffchaff
25 Lesser Redpoll
2 Roe Deer near railway line south of Tag Loop
1 guy firing a shotgun by the fishing lake around 10:00hrs this morning scared me and other passers-by witless so I suspect the Cormorant number was less than 2 after I left.
Nice to meet another birder (Mike Henshaw) who happened to be tucking into a butty with relish at the time from the thriving mobile snack bar by the Avocet empire.
Monday, March 30, 2009
1 pair of Goldeneye there plus lots of Siskin about especially on the lodge feeders. Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers.
1 ad LBBG, 6 Common Gulls and 2 B H Gulls
Fly Flats - no Twite but 2 Wheatears on the big rocky area near the overflow
Cold Edge - 3+ Redshanks and c25 Lapwings
3 Tufted Duck
1 Little Grebe
1 Grey Heron
2 LBB Gull
1 Green Woodpecker (heard)
1 Siskin over
20 Lesser Redpoll
2 Oystercatcher on W bank, incidentally 1 Common Redshank on W bank yesterday morning.
Deanhead Reservoir (09:30-10:00)
2 Herring Gull (1 adult & 1 1st winter) SW then W
2 GBB Gull (1 adult & 1 1st winter)) SW then W
1 male Northern Wheatear
2 Raven SW (second sighting this year at this location)
Undisclosed location yesterday:
1 1st winter male Ring Ouzel (garbage digiscoped picture due to incorrect settings on camera, haste to get a record shot, looking directly into the sun and lack of sleep!)
Sunday, March 29, 2009
1 Nuthatch calling near the Castle Carr lower lodge and a Green Woodpecker there also.
Elsewhere lots of Mipits and Curlew along with min 10 Oystercatcher (seen together) others were seen but could well have been part of this group. 3 pairs of Pied Wagtails, 2 calling Little Owl, 1 seen, 1 heard only - definately seperate birds.
2 pairs of Stonechat, a single Grey Heron, too many Canada Geese, numerous Mallard and a lone male Goldeneye on top Walshaw.
Surprisingly only 1 Skylark was heard all day.
7 Red grouse were also seen as were numerous male pheasants (females nowhere to be seen - sitting on eggs perhaps?)
A Pair of kestrels hunting together clearly indicating no egg laying there just yet, a lone male Sparrowhawk perhaps suggesting the opposite to be true with this species.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Peoples Park colony - 12 nests there over the last 2 weeks with 2 appearing 'empty' however this evening I checked about an hour before dusk and all nests had birds sitting around them so presumably the occupants had returned to roost at the nest site.
Not always practical to visit before dusk - and there aren't always calm evenings!
Lets hope too that the strong winds recently ease up a bit to give the birds a chance to breed succesfully this spring.
Friday, March 27, 2009
As I sit working at the computer I can watch the coming and goings at the feeding station and have noticed that the more "advanced" the breeding plumage of the males of various Greenfinches and Chaffinches that the more dominant or more aggressive they are towards other males. I assume these are not just the older birds but the more dominant in the flock pecking order who tend to come into breeding plumage earlier. Many of the males who have not yet reached full colour are less likely to be aggressive towards other whilst feeding but the more advanced males will not tolerate any other males anywhere near them and spend more time chasing off other males than feeding ! By far the most aggressive species on the feeders (after the Nuthatches) is Goldfinch. Whenever I hear a squabble start up outside I know at once the Goldfinches have arrived to feed.
A final question; I have noticed in recent weeks that Buzzards are around again in groups of anything of up to 7 birds at a time. Most of the winter the birds have been seen as singletons but have now obviously grouped back up again. I would have thought I would have seen pairs together now readying for breeding but its seems they have mixed in larger groups which do not seem to be in conflict/competition. Are these groups likely to be family groups from last years breeding or do Buzzards display in groups before pairing ?
Thursday, March 26, 2009
2 tawny owls calling from two adjacent copses of trees in Walsden - dusk and dawn. But both with the same sound - the 'trembly' call rather than the screech. So both same sex? Heard this call for the past 4 weeks or so.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Several nil counts from former rookeries, quite a number of colonies with up to 12 nests and one of 43. Further details to follow in due course, can anyone check Cragg Vale?
Thanks to all - Dave
The hawk stayed with it's prey for 40 mins before deciding to eat and could easily had been run over in the middle of the road had not a passer by picked the pigeon up and put it by the edge of the road where the hawk returned to the prey and was approachable to within 5 or 6 feet! Lucky escape for the hawk - but not the pigeon.
In the right place at the right time Nick/Ady - well done with the camera
I am in the very early stages of working on a draft business plan, and want to know how much you would expect to pay for this product. Just 1st thought, straight off the top of your head. Don't be influenced by what other people put!!
Many thanks in advance. Matt
- Birdbox with high quality integrated cctv camera
- works in colour during the day, and switches to black & white at night
- full audio
- 30m of cable, and scart socket connecting to your television
25 canada geese
In field opposite
11+ meadow pipits
3 pied wagtails
Monday, March 23, 2009
It looks like it might offer an interesting alternative.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
1 pied wagtail.
c80 meadow pipits.
1 wheatear; first of the year for me.
5 skylarks seen, and others heard.
No lapwing, or curlew in the top fields at Crow Hill as yet. All were showing in the lower fields.
Plus usual finches, tits, corvids and large nos of starlings.
1 brown hare.
4 horses ridden by ladies.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Online version is available here - http://www.halifaxcourier.co.uk/news/Conservationists-building-homes-for-the.5088298.jp which includes the video piece.
1 Wheatear today - along Widdop Road west of the Coach and Horses pub towards Clough Foot car park. (Apologies for the error on the grapevine when I put Widdop Gate instead of Clough Foot)
Lots of Curlew around and 20+ Lapwings, 1 Redshank at lower Gorple along with 8 Oystercatchers. 1 Dipper at Blake Dean
Canada Geese everywhere around the res'rs at Gorple and Walshaw Dean along with c4 pairs of Greylags
At Lee Dam:
Long Tailed Tit - 2, collecting nesting material
Jay - 2
Goosander have disappeared as is usual around this time of year.
Meadow Pipit - 14
Skylark - 11
Reed Bunting - 3
No sign of Twite or Wheatear yet.
along with 1 Moorhen and 3 Goldeneye (1 male)
At least 3 Gt Spotted Woodpeckers drumming (and possibly LSW but not confirmed)
c20 Siskin over and 1 m Sparrowhawk
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
2 oyster catchers.
8 greylag geese.
25 meadow pipits.
1 red grouse seen. Many calls.
1 little owl.
Plus canadas, corvids, wrens etc.
55 frogs. A whole lot of croaking going on. Spawn seen; not of the devil.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
2 long tailed tits + usuals
An unseen woodpecker was drumming in the woods behind the road, and is definately worth investigating further, as I certainly couldn't be sure it wasn't a lesser spotted. Unfortunately, just as I was tracking it down it was disturbed by a dog walker and not heard again.
A surprise considering the time of day was a bat sp. (presumably pipistrelle?) hunting over the canal and the rough field behind it. Finally, a roe deer was lying down in the woods behind the houses.
2 Little Grebe
6 Cormorant (5 1st year & 1 sinensis type looking adult)
1 Grey Heron
2 adult Lesser Black-backed Gull
20 Lesser Redpoll feeding on alder
Elsewhere, lots of earth moving taking place at Ringstone and 3 Mallard on the water
A pair of Goosander at Deanhead and 1 tough Little Grebe that has been on Scammonden Water since last autumn, 4 Grey Heron still around that have been nest building (or attempting to) in trees on the west bank for the past week or so plus 2 Oystercatcher on a boating holiday.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Fieldfare - 34 (Lumbutts in fields by Top Brink)
Goosander - 4 (Lee Dam, 2 male and 2 female)
Reed Bunting - 5 (Withins Clough by farm building)
Curlew (above Withins Clough)
Skylark - 3 singing between Withins Clough Res and Stoodley Pike
Meadow Pipit - 2
Still quiet on the moors around Stoodley Pike, but at least the curlews are returning. I expect Meadow Pipit and Skylark numbers to increase significantly over the next two weeks or so, and eagerly anticipate the return of Wheatears, followed by Twite.
Nick - question. Do we post sightings of "sensitive" species on the blog?
Friday, March 13, 2009
Gordon D also had a Redshank at Cold Edge
No sign of any Wheatears today (Crimsworth Dean also checked) and no Twite yet at Fly Flats although some Nyger seed has been put down for when they do arrive.
Lots of Curlew
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
A couple of photos from this morning. One thing that struck me was how prominent the red markings were. Normally the ones I see in early winter don't have much colour.
Also the GS woodpeckers are drumming away in the park. Plenty of coal tit and nuthatch calling too.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
We still need help to check the following sites (nil returns are still important);
The valley from Hebden Bridge to Midgeholme (crags car park)
Luddenden Foot to Boulderclough (49 nests in 1964)
I will put a summary on the blog of where we are with counts later this week as initial counts are coming in most days.
Active rookeries seem to have birds in residence all the time now, however it has also been noticed that new nests are still being built (maybe by late comers or non-breeders having a go?) So late checks before the leaves come on are most important.
No matter if you check sites where someone else has checked as it's better to double up than not at all. Many thanks everyone.
Monday, March 09, 2009
Sunday, March 08, 2009
All birders/ naturalists are invited to attend Halifax Scientific Society's monthly indoor meetings.
This Tuesday, 10th March, the title of the talk and slide show is "Humbugs and Honeybees" to be given by John Phillips of the Beekeepers Association. 7.15pm for a 7.30 start at the Calderdale Central Library, Halifax, downstairs.
Recent publicity about the plight and the paramount importance of wild bees to our ecosystems (inc. birds ) and our agriculture makes this a topical subject. It only struck me lately that if there were no bees, we would have not only no fruit, but hardly any plants which depend on bees to pollinate them. That is we would only have wind-pollinated grain and grass crops, a few nut trees, etc.
It follows that many species of birds that rely on seeds and insects which live on flowering plants
would also go extinct.
Curlew - 2
Oystercatcher - 9 (2 at Walshaw Lower and 7 at Gorple Lower)
Lapwing - 15 (flying over)
Fieldfare - c. 20 (flying over)
Red Grouse - 7 seen and lots more heard
Pheasant - 2
Goldeneye - 2 (male and female)
Canada Goose - 17
Mallard - 31
Goldfinch - 4
Mistle Thrush - 2
Meadow Pipit - just 1
Saturday, March 07, 2009
The final total raised is yet to be determined but will be announced in the near future when an official presentation will take place at the school. Thanks again to all involved and to those members that attended on the night.
PS Don't forget tomorrows nest box event at the Crags!
Friday, March 06, 2009
Thursday, March 05, 2009
But then, and this is what I thought was apposite to our bird populations, he said that farmers routinely dose their stock with insecticide, which passes through them and so effectively are spreading insecticidal dung.
If all the sheep on the moors are dosed, it's no wonder we have far fewer Whinchats, Ring Ouzels, Cuckoos and Wheatears than we used to have. It seems the farmers are killing the insects via their stock.
I know organic meat is more expensive, but the more people demand it, the cheaper it should become.
Ringstone Resr, from the road
Numerous starling, lapwing, carrion crow (30+ each)
400+ common and blackheaded gulls. About 50/50; (arrived in mixed flocks of up to 20, performed amazing aerial display with lapwings and starlings, then left en masse.)
2 goosander, pair
Norland moor and town
2 Mistle thrush
LTTit, blue tit, great tit, blackbird, robin, dunnock, mallard, canada goose.
3 Golden Plover
3 Stonechats (1 male 2 females)
20 Canada Geese and 1 Greylag
c12 Red Grouse
Withens Gap; (Withens Head Farm)
15 Golden Plover (1 northern form)
2 Stonechats (pair)
1 pair Goldeneye
25 Canadas and 2 Greylags
No Skylarks or Meadow Pipits
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
The purpose of the work is to survey/clean out/bag any old nests from the nestboxes in the Crags.
With over 40 boxes to clear we need as many hands as possible equipped with ladders/plastic bags/rubber gloves(to avoid flea bites)/recording equipment ie:- sticky labels for the bags/cordless screwdrivers/claw hammers/manual screwdrivers.
Please add your name to the comment list - NB If you can't make it for 9 but want to be involved please let me know as mobile signal is poor so we need to arrange to meet in advance.
Please use the top car park if you are not a member, if you are bringing a car if you let me have your reg number I'll see what I can do re arranging free parking for the cars we won't be using to drive to the sites.
Any queries please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
The 1964 list (number of nests in brackets) is more or less all covered now except for;
Hebden Bridge area -Hawksclough (16) , Albert Street (10) , Mytholm Church area (27).
The only other area from 1964 is the Luddenden Foot to Boulderclough area (49)
Please let me know, or post on the blog if you can take any of these on.
There are also some other general areas where we have no previous records of rookeries. We could do with some careful checks and counts of 'active nests' of these areas as below. Again please let me know if you can take any of these on.
Hebden Bridge to Midgeholme, Crimsworth Dean and Hardcastle Crags
Hebden Bridge towards Todmorden
Colden Valley from Hebden Bridge
Shibden Valley - upstream from Shibden Park
Brighouse/Clifton (east of Brookfoot as far as Kirklees Hall/ Cooper Bridge)
BTO advise that if colonies are 100m apart then we should class them as seperate colonies.
Many thank's everyone.
1 G C Grebe there today in full breeding plumage
1 drake Goldeneye (and Barnacle Goose still there)
2 Grey Partridge and 2 Lapwings by the golf course
1 female Sparrowhawk at Stodfold
2 drakes and 1 f Goldeneye
30 Canada Geese and 6 Greylags
1 Skylark over
1 Curlew over
1 Meadow Pipit
Monday, March 02, 2009
15-16 inches, long and sleek, shiny blue/black back and tail, red on bib or chest, brown/orange or red legs. Face not visible.
Perching on a log, watching river, allowed me to get quite close (6m?) then swooped fast and low to river and took something from the surface, making a splash.
I’m not too good on raptors and it was getting dark. Definitely not kestrel or peregrine. Any ideas please?
Sunday, March 01, 2009
c 25 fieldfares
1 snipe being pursued by a raptor, possibly a merlin
Plus the usual corvids, tits and finches.
Also, 1 brown hare and 4 rescued greyhounds; not in the same field.
Good to be out.