Friday, July 31, 2009

Fly Flats

This afternoon:
2 Twite (1pair) feeding on thistle heads. Male with a BTO ring on right tarsus, no rings on left though! Unable to see the other bird clearly to identify any ring combinations.
3 Meadow Pipits
1 Willow Warber (in Fly Flats 2 bushes)
1 Golden Plover
110 Canada Geese
1 juv Wheatear
3 Kestrels
5 Swifts
2 Swallows

Thursday, July 30, 2009

30th July evening

2 hours out this evening with SC was dissapointing, not alot about except 6 Kestrels, 1 Oystercatcher, 3 Curlew, 2 Redpoll, Grey Wagtail and a few Goldfinch. No sign of any Owls ! perhaps the breeding season as come to an end ?

30th July

Usual walk across Roils Head and Heath Hill road produced nothing special, a single Stock Dove, a Kestrel and c30 Linnets. The gull man was feeding the BHGs again, so stopped to take a few photos and noticed one bird was ringed ? anybody any ideas to who may be ringing gulls apart from Dave Sowter.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


This afternoon
1 Crossbill - possibly more in the area below the 'Giant's Tooth' along with a large flock of tits/finches and Treecreper
1 f Goosander
3 Curlew >NE
2 Cormorants >N
8 LBBG's >NE
35 B H Gulls

Monday, July 27, 2009

Calderdale Seeds Project Video

A short video to promote the Calderdale Seeds Project is now online on TheBaldIbis Channel - -

27th July Evening

An evenings birding with Steve Cummings brought another Peregrine, interacting with a Short-eared Owl, 2 Kestrels, 1 Grey Heron, 8 LBBGs, 4 Green Woodpeckers including 3 juvs, 2 Stock Doves and 200+ Swifts.

27th July PM

Usual afternoon stroll over Roils Head produced 5 Pied Wagtails. 2 BHGs one of which was a juvenile. Heath Hill Road produced 1 Kestrel followed by 2 Peregrines which came screaming over my head calling to each other. The same two birds as a few days back, an adult and juvenile. The adult dived at incredible speed into the valley before both birds drifted off towards Midgley.
High Road Well Moor produced c30 Linnets and the bottom of my street c40 House Sparrows.

Lee Mount

Small movement of Willow Warblers through this morning

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lesser Whitethroat 26th July

A Lesser Whitethroat was reported at Oats Royd, Bradshaw, this afternoon

Other reports today

This morning
Yellow-legged Gull at Ringstone Edge Res'r
11 Crossbills and 1 Cormorant at Ogden

This afternoon
1 Wheatear - Soil Hill

Wainstalls - Castle Carr Road

A poor afternoon for birding in the steady drizzle.
2 Linnets
1 Curlew
2 L B B G's
No Twite in the usual haunts
A few Rooks, Meadow Pipits and Swallows - and that was it!
Only 1 active House Martins nest found at Wainstalls (usually 20+)


Thought this might be worth looking at folloing Nick's photo of a Peregrine with prey.
This stunning photo af a juvenile Peregrine was taken by David Crawshaw. Not in Calderdale I must add, but at Orford Ness (Suffolk). I thought the plumage detail/colour of the mantle etc was worth making a note of. A very sorry end to a Green Woodpecker, unfortunatley! Many thanks for the photo David.
Click the photo to enlarge.


Id just like to thank all those who contributed to the new bird report, especially Nick Carter and Dave Sutclife for the mamoth task of proof reading it. Also thanks to Darrel Prest, Nick Dawson and Ian Scott for submitting thier photos. Thanks must go to those who helped with the LEO survey during the summer months, inparticularly Steve Cummings and Ian Scott whom I continually pestered for lifts when they probably had other things to be doing- sorry guys.

Finally thanks to all those who submitted records, keep them comming and we will try to make the next one just as good.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Snowing in July,

Peregrine with prey over Pellon on 24th July.

25th July

A short walk over Heath Hill Road this PM produced a superb Hobby hunting swallows. It failed on two occasions and had to settle for some kind of insect before being escorted away by 5 Kestrels. 2 Peregrines were over Norton Tower on 23rd July.
Up date on LEO survey, 4 pairs proven to have bred so far. Probably just another week or so left to prove any others. A bit dissapointing on the last two years 7 pairs.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

2007/8 HBWC report now available

The Halifax Birdwatchers Club annual report covering 2007 and 2008 is now available at a cost of £6 from Woodlesford Newsagents Pellon or from Nick Carter via Reports requiring posting please add £1 to cover P & P.

Crimsworth Dean

Poor day today for finding anything in the woodland.
1 Raven high over the crags mobbed by other corvids
3 Kestrels including juveniles begging for food
2 Willow Warblers

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Twite update

The RSPB's Twite Recovery Project fieldworker Nick Wilkinson has generously given permission for me to post his update on results so far this year from his and his co workers (Judith?) fieldwork. If anyone has any info on twite locally please forward it onto Nick (via me if you wish). As you can see from their efforts the RSPB are very serious about saving this seriously threatened species.

Several of our core sites appear to be a lot quieter now and have the ‘end of season’ feel about them, especially those that have experienced a high proportion of nest failures, even though there’s still another 10 days or so for new clutches to be started (going by Andre's latest first-egg date). We’ve found a few more nests in the last week, and with several pairs having recently fledged broods it will be interesting to see if many or indeed any of these carry on breeding.

A brief summary of our productivity monitoring so far:
84 nests recorded from c.50 pairs
nest outcomes: 36 fledged, 30 failed and 2 unknown
14 pairs have started second broods after fledging an earlier brood (3 of these 2nd broods have failed); 2 of these 14 pairs have now started their third brood (1 nest building and 1 at incubation)
it is important to note however that there are quite a few pairs for which we have incomplete histories, i.e. we’ve missed earlier or later nesting attempts, or missed the identity of the adults (a few cases) and cannot therefore confidently link nesting attempts
42 broods ringed, of which 40 have been colour ringed, 190 chicks in total
resighted 34 of 69 birds colour ringed in spring 2009, 30 of which we’ve found nesting
resighted 5 of 54 birds colour ringed as nestlings in 2008, 2 of which we’ve found nesting

One recent surprise was discovering a pair that had moved colonies (a distance of 1.3 km) after two failed nests. Another pair at one site moved quite large distances (>0.5 km) between each of their 3 or 4 failed attempts.

Please note some of the report has been withheld by myself due to the (remote?) possibility the specific naming of sites might lead to egg collector pressure, if anyone wants to see the edited section please contact me directly.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Blackshaw Head, Noah Dale

Today a Short-eared Owl hunting near Sportsman Inn at Kebs and over to Bridestones.
Gap in inner primaries on right wing.

Last Wednesday in Noah Dale, it was alive with game birds; a pair of Grey Partridge had about 20 young, half their size but able to fly (downhill at least), a pair of pheasants with a handfull of flying young, and 9 young Grouse on the tops.

Five Twite near "Hoar Side" SD939296

Curlews seen and one Golden Plover heard. One Kestrel, many Meadow Pipits.

Also on the moor was excited to flush a young red deer hind. First I've seen in Calderdale, but a friend had seen one or the same 9 days earlier down the valley at Land Farm Gardens.
I am leading a "Wildside" walk to this area - 10.30am Jack Bridge Weds 22nd July no dogs or children under 10 please.


Yellow legged Gull there today

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Report from Rob Henry & Roger Ranson, NT Marsden Moor Estate, of singing male Quail on Buckstones Moss, part of which is in our recording area (SE 003 136 approx, 1535 ft). Been there for over a week.

Ringstone Edge Res

Windy, overcast and wet this morning but the sun broke through just before I left. On arrival noticed a female goosander on the res with something stuck (could have been baler twine) on its lower mandible and looking in some distress. It put its head into the water every 5 or 10 seconds, probably trying to dislodge the stuff but when I lost sight of the bird about 30 minutes later it was still struggling with it. Checked with Nick C as to what could be done but we agreed unfortunately that it would be very difficult to catch it. Hopefully it will manage to remove it sooner rather than later.

Other birds seen:
Oystercatcher - 4 (not in hide log as I saw these on my way out)
Cormorant - 1 on res, 2 over
Common Sandpiper
Great Crested Grebe
BH gull - 12
Meadow Pipit - 3
Goldfinch - 3
Swift - 2


Just a test, the blog was locked recently by Blogger as it flagged up as a possible spam blog, now resolved (if this post gets through!)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Lower Gorple Calderdales birding hotspot

A quick hike over yesterday and only 45mins by the dam wall with a pair of bins and no scope produced:-

9 Red Grouse - close to home on walk over

2 Redshank
1 Oystercatcher
4 Common sandpipers
8 Lapwing
1 Redpoll
1 Siskin - juv
4 Swallows
2 Pied Wagtail (incl 1 juv)
1 Grey Wagtail
min 2 Reed Bunting
1 Peregrine
1 Male Tufted Duck

and in good numbers the following

Mistle Thrush
Meadow Pipit
Canada Goose
BH Gull

lots of shore line so more time and a scope could well add Jeff's Dunlin and who knows what else,
the other negative (if I being picky) is that I was there between 14:45 and 15:30, definately worth a look in an evening/early morning.

Perhaps not today though unless you take your water wings with you, lets hope the res doesn't fill up completely.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

White Holme & Lighthazzles

Last Friday afternoon

Peregrine Falcon
Meadow Pipits
Pied Wagtails
1 common sandpiper - juvenile or moulting, ie tatty looking

Juv Siskin ?

Hi all

As most will know I am only a part time birder so my knowledge is not extensive as to plumage etc. I had the bird shown in the photos at the feeders in the garden here in North Wales yesterday and think its a young Siskin, could someone confirm it is a young Siskin or have I got this completely wrong ?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gorple Res

Lapwing - 2
Curlew - 2
Meadow Pipit - 5 (2 carrying food)
Common Sandpiper - 3
Mistle Thrush - 4
Grey Wagtail
BH Gull - 7
Canada Goose - 20+

Crimsworth Dean

1 Sparrowhawk
c6 Treecreepers
3 Nuthatch
Lots of juv Swallows in the upper dean
4 House Martins
c12 Swifts
1 Green Woodpecker
2+ Siskin


2 Cormorants this afternoon
1 Moorhen
18 B H Gulls

Dog Walking

Circular walk with the dogs this morning from home produced flock of 18-20 Linnet, also lots of Meadow Pipits still carrying food into cover, along with a single Dunnock doing the same.
Family group of 5 Mistle Thrush & another group of 6 Magpies. Lots of Swallows around and a few distant Swifts. One Willow Warbler gave a brief few notes of song but stayed out of sight.

No raptors today but yesterday evening produced 1 male Sparrowhawk and 2 Kestrels. Also yesterday a female Pheasant with at least 2 chicks but probably more had hidden in the long grass.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Crow Hill


Not a lot about.
One of the fields in the area suitable for snipe is being drained.

5 lapwing
1 curlew
2 reed bunting
2 pied wagtail
large nos of corvids, starlings, wood pigeons and meadow pipits

Also, one meadow brown butterfly, one weasel and five large lagomorphs.

Fly Flats and Cold Edge

Cold Edge - this afternoon
1 Barnacle Goose and 1 Tufted Duck on the lower dam

Fly Flats
1 Oystercatcher
2 Common Sandpipers
5 Twite sightings (flyovers - but some could have been the same birds. None at the feeding station !
1 Sand Martin through >W
1 female Reed Bunting
5 Rooks - not often seen at this site
c220 Canada Geese
several Meadow Pipits and 2 Skylarks

Oxenhope - just out of our area near the junction of the Hebden Bridge/Fly Flats road I was looking for Twite and disturbed an adult Cuckoo in heather/billberry - not sure if it was eating fruit or caterpillars, even so it was a very pleasant surprise.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Local Moor and Res

4 hour walk today produced the following:-

Pair of Stonechat with 3 Young (DJS this is a different family group to those mentioned previously)
Whinchat female (young calling near by)
6 Common Sandpipers
3 Redshank
4 Oystercatcher
2 Raven
2 Grey Wagtail
2 Male Tufted Duck
3 Redpoll
1 Kestrel

Other species incl Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Meadow Pipit, Canada Goose, Swift, Swallow, Pheasant, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Curlew

Also probable Siskin


Two present on the R Ryburn in Sowerby Bridge town centre Saturday eve, one definite adult and I think the second was too, but it was only a brief view and I can't rule out juvenile.
Also two Grey Wagtails there, and an adult of this species feeding a juvenile this morning in Todmorden town centre.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ringstone recently

A couple of recent photos showing the habitat in the west pool. As the breeding season draws to a close there is anticipated to be further work to improve the scraped area for breeding waders in the future.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Fly Flats/Withens Gap

Fly Flats (very wet there this morning) although from the top road Ingleborough, Penyghent and Whernside were all visible !
1 Twite (flyover)
1 juv Wheatear
Lots of Meadow Pipits - c60
2 Skylarks
3 juv Reed Buntings by the feeding station
2 Common Sandpipers
1 Curlew
1 Swallow and c30 Swifts moving through

Withens Gap
Lots of Linnets and Meadow Pipits around the edges of the uncut fields which are full of ripening seed - many thanks to the landowner for leaving some seed-heads for the birds to feed on.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Ringstone yesterday

Went looking for some roosting afternoon Gulls but there was only 1 BH Gull,4 lapwing,1 oyk,1LRP,2 Reed Bunts,1 Moorhen,10 Linnets,3 Mallard,20 swits ,2 House Martin ,10 Swwallows and 1 Pheasant.

Monday, July 06, 2009


Pair of Great Crested Grebes still present
2 Treecreepers
2 Bullfinch
55 B H Gulls
2 adult Common Gulls

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Right Thing ?

Hi all
I have some worries about the feeding station here in N Wales and wonder if I am doing the right thing in keeping it going 365 days a year. I have never set up an all year long feeding station before, only supplying food in winter at home back in Yorkshire. My worries are that as I provide a large supply of easy feeding the young birds in particular are becoming too dependant on the one food source and are not learning to forage properly. Daft as it sounds I now put out more food in high summer than I did in the depths of winter due to the huge numbers of fledglings arriving. When I got up this morning and checked through the window the feeders were OK I counted the 73 young Chaffinch feeding on seed under the feeders, 6 young Blackbirds, the feeders themselves had young Blue & Great Tits on them with adult Chaffinches and Greenfinches. Although I put good quality food out, scattered dried cat food (Blackbirds, Robins and Hedgehogs love it), Sultanas (Robins and Blackbirds) and good quality finch mixture under the feeders, Sunflower hearts and peanuts in the feeders I am worried that its making the birds, especially this years young too dependant on one food source. I will obviously keep up the regime in the garden so the food will never run out but should I reduce the amount down to reduce dependency on the one food source ? On another topic we did have a pair of Siskin that came to the feeders now and then and I hoped these might breed locally but in recent weeks only the male pays the ocasional visit, would they possible have a second brood by now ?

PS We now have at least three and possibly four Hedgehogs that feed nightly under the feeders on the dried cat and dog food which they love. The most notable thing about their arrival is that they head straight for the two water bowls I leave out and have a drink before feeding and then have a another long drink before leaving for their nightly foraging elsewhere

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Todmorden garden update

We now have 4 siskins joining the redpolls and goldfinches on the niger seed feeder. A male, female and 2 juveniles have appeared and have been regular visitors over the last 4 days. Maybe they have come over from the conifers at Sunderland Pasture as I don't think the 3 christmas trees in our garden have hosted this family.

The house martins are feeding chicks in the nest on the north-east gable end of the house and the volume of droppings under the nest is growing daily. I wonder if we'll manage two broods this year as the weather has been so good.

Young greenfinches are now visiting the sunflower seed feeder and 2 coal tits have re-appeared after several weeks absence to pinch seeds and fly off with them.

White Holme Reservoir

Had a walk round last night, plenty of meadow pipits about, juv wheatear on the dam wall, 6 common sandpiper, 3 little ringed plover, redshank +1 juv.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Motor Scooters?

Stuck at work (again) but thinking about birding, this time of year is about right for a few Common Scoter to turn up, I noticed Bradford have had some, hopefully our turn next?

Keighley Road;Another good sighting on my commute

On Tuesday morning at 9.15am on A629 near Soil Hill, travelling at 45mph I slowed when I saw an interesting bird on the verge; a snipe! Pulled in to watch it for 5 mins feeding on the closely mown verge a few inches from heavy traffic and and even hopping into the road. When spooked it simply flew over the road and carried on nonchalently feeding on the verge on the opposite side. I guess snipe growing up near Soil Hill are used to disturbance!