Monday, August 31, 2009

31st August PM

Out with SC this PM. Not much at Cold Edge Dams, 1 Tufted Duck being the highlight? Moved on to next site and had 3 Common Buzzards, 2 Kestrels, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Ravens and 2 Stock Doves.


Had a bit of a clear out tonight and have a lot of Birdwatch magazines heading for the recycle bin, if anyone wants them let me know

Cold Edge

1 pair of House Martins on the mill at Wainstalls this afternoon and young birds looking out of the nest.
4 Wheatears on walls adjacent to Lumb Cottages

Cold Edge;
1 Tufted Duck
25 Canada Geese
18 Mallard
1 Grey Wagtail
1 Reed Bunting
c30 Meadow Pipits
1 Kestrel
c30 Swallows - many fewer than last week

Withens Head - opposite the wind farm
4 Wheatears
1 Little Owl

Last call for grapevine

Final reminder for those who are still outstanding in their payment for the next round of grapevine texts. Anyone who is planning on dropping out please let us know.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

30th August Roils Head

At last lots of birds this PM. The place was crawling with small passerines, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 20+ Willow Warblers, 30+ Long-tailed Tits, 30+ Blue Tits, several Great Tits, 15+ Greenfinches, 15+Chaffinches, 50-100 Meadow Pipits, 30+ Pied Wagtails, 1 Skylark, 50+ Swallows, also the usual Black-head Gulls and a few Common Gulls. 1 Golden Plover flew west at High Road Well Moor, 7 Common Gulls, 7 Goldfinch and 4 Linnets there also.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Seeds Project Video Online

The second video about the Calderdale Seeds Project is now online at
Hopefully it will encourage more landowners to get involved in regenerating upland meadows and provide better habitat for Twite and other species.

Centre Vale Park

c.120 house martins gathering by Todmorden swimming baths early evening

Friday, August 28, 2009


2 f Goosanders and 1 Cormorant today

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Other news today

Tree Pipit over Northowram at 8 am (AC)

Whiteholme Res'r
10 Ringed Plover and 2 Dunlin there between 11 am until and 3 pm

Ringstone and EGP

Out again tonight with Roy, at least 800 BHGs, 5 Common Gulls and 3 LBBGs at Ringstone. Also GC Grebe 50+ Lapwings and the White Grey Lag/farm Goose in with the Canada flock.
Down to Elland Gravel Pits for the Swallow roost again, but arrived a little late, most birds had already gone in or the roost is decreasing daily. We did however have a Female / juv Merlin make a brief pass at them.


Syke Lane - 40+ Lesser Black Backed Gulls at 3 pm this afternoon in nearby fields. Also c200 Black-headed Gulls took off from the adjacent fields heading down towards Bradshaw before we got chance to check them out.

Soil Hill - south facing slope had at least 6 Kestrels up over one slope together. Looked like a family party!

Back Lane - very quiet on there with very little about other than 1 m Sparrowhawk, 2 Meadow Pipits, lots of Swallows, 2 House Martins, 4 Stock Doves and c20 Woodpigeons.

Wheatley Valley

2 Swifts through across lunch time today

Roils Head Hobby

At last a good bird at Roils Head.
Usually this site is good for passerines in August and I sometimes check it out twice a day, but this year as been particularly poor for anything small. After drawing a blank earlier at Mount Tabor I strolled around searching the bushes but nothing again. Then suddenly an early juvenile Hobby shot across the horse paddock and flew straight towards the usual group of Swallows. It then did a U turn and flew back in the direction of Heath Hill Road unsuccessful. It all happened very quickly and I didnt have time to get my camera out of its case but I did note that the bird appeared very dark above almost black with pale edges to the feathers, its face was a creamy almost peachy colour where as an adult or first summer bird would be white. It also showed the typical black moustaial streak. Under-parts appeared heavly streaked with no ruffous on the undertail. Mike Harrop showed up later but the bird did not return. Also present Sparrowhawk juv, Kestrel and 12 Pied Wagtails.

27th August

First visit this autumn to my watch point produced 1 Grey Heron, 2 Goosanders, 4 or 5 Kestrels, 2 Stock Doves, 4 LBBGs, 2 Swifts, 4 House Martins, c150 Swallows and a distant Raven. Not much else.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

25th August

3 Ringed Plovers in the ploughed field opposite Ringstone Edge Reservoir this evening. 1 Great C Grebe and 3 Moorhens at Ringstone.

c3000 Swallows roosting at EGP this evening, also Sparrowhawk there and brief views of a Whitethroat.

Nick Wilkinson

Nick will be leaving Calderdale at the weekend after a summer season here working on Twite for the RSPB recovery project, this is his second year with us and he will return next Spring for a third season.

By way of a "farewell" I have arranged to meet him for a pint at The Bridge Inn in Ripponden on Thursday night at 8pm, if any other local birder would like to join us please feel free.

Nick C


Black Redstart this afternoon in the pouring rain around the farm opposite the wind-farm car park (Withens Head Farm). Probably the same bird that was seen last Friday around the next farm down towards Cold Edge at Moorlands Farm.
2 Whinchats there along with at least 5 Wheatears
The walls just in front of and to the east of the farm are a good bet for these migrants.
1 Little Owl on the walls lower down

The Black Redstart was till there at 4.30 pm seen by JC and PJWS

Widdop Road

Juvenile Spotted Flycatcher

In the valley leading up to Clough Head from National Trust car park this morning;
5+ Spotted Flycatchers (thank's Andy)
c12 Redpoll in the clump of Alders
12 Linnets
c5 Willow Warblers
2 juv Kestrels
No sign of the Redstart but lots of Swallows and several House Martins

1 Swift >S
1 Curlew
1 Common Buzzard
1 (juv) Peregrine
c40 Jackdaws

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lottery numbers Dave?

Following on from a comment on an earlier post in which Dave Sutcliffe suggested the next good bird at Whiteholme might be a Grey Plover I have returned from the birdfair to find an e mail from Martyn Hayes saying he had just that on Saturday, not just a Grey Plover but also 3 Ringed Plover and 2 Dunlin. He visited again today when the Ringed plovers had increased to 7.

What next Dave, any chance a request?

Cold Edge

I checked the Black Redstart spot for an hour and a half this afternoon without success. Just a Willow Warbler and 5 Blackbirds in the shrubbery and a few Mipits and Swallows going through.
3 Little Owls still nearby along with 1 Whinchat

Sandwich Tern

A Sandwich Tern has been reported flying south at Soil Hill this AM.

23rd August

Returned with SC to Widdop road but no sign of yesterdays Redstart. At least 9 Spotted Flycatchers present, 8 Mistle Thrush, 2 Willow Warblers, lots of Goldfinches and Swallows. 1 distant Common Buzzard and Kestrel and a Red Grouse calling.
Crimsworth Dean produced 2 Ravens.

Ringed Plovers, Ringstone Edge

3 there late morning today, 23 Aug.

22nd August Widdop Road

Widdop Road near the Craggs car park. At least 6 Spotted Flycatchers, ads feeding juvs, 1 Redstart, several juvenile Redpolls, several juvenile Goldfinch and a few Willow Warblers.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Widdop Road

1 Redstart and Spotted Flycatchers reported from AH today in an area near the NT car park

Baitings Res'r

1 Common Sandpiper there this morning
1 Grey Heron
24 Canada Geese
3 juv L B B Gulls, 2 Common Gull (adults) and c50 B H Gulls

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cragg Vale and Stoodley Pike

Family party of stonechats near the car-park below Withens Res', also a willow warbler singing in the bracken here. Also, three young grey wagtails just below the dam wall. Following the Calderdale Way towards Withens Gate, three wheatears as well.

Regards, Chris

Cold Edge

I was very surprised to find this Cuckoo above Cold Edge dam this afternoon. I managed one or two shots through the digiscope but not very good in the rain at 150 mtrs or so.

Along with the Black Redstart, Little Owls were also nearby along with 1 Whinchat, 1+ Reed Bunting and earlier on a female Merlin went through towards the wind farm. Lots of Swallows.
1 f Goosander on the lower dam at Cold Edge.
If anyone goes for the Black Redstart (it is elusive) please take care and don't go around the ruined farm buildings. They are 200 m or so down the track from the old Withens pub and please be aware (even though you might not think it) that someone lives there.

Cold Edge - Black Redstart

Photos from Sean Johnston:
Great shots Sean - now wait for my Cuckoo!
We think this is probably a young bird as there are still signs of the gape, especially if you click on the photo to enlarge the image.

21st August Black Redstart

Roils Head produced the usual Long-tailed Tit flock with several Willow Warblers mixed in, 10 Pied Wagtails and lots of grounded Meadow Pipits after the rain. Then recieved a call from DJS saying he had just had a Cuckoo at Cold Edge, half an hour later arrived with SJ and Dishfish to find Dave still there but no sign of the Cuckoo. I decided to check the old decaying building in the hope of finding a Black Redstart, and low and behold whats the first bird I see{a Black Redstart}. All got reasonable but brief views of the bird and Sean managed some pictures, hopefully to follow. On the way back to Wainstalls half way down the road the Cuckoo flew across directly in front of us and directly behind the departing Dishfish.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fly Flats/Withens Gap

Fly Flats late morning;: Very windy and heavy showers.
1 Twite at the feeding station (BTO ring on right but unable to see other leg due to windy conditions and vegetation)
1 Wheatear
2 Meadow Pipits
1 L B B Gull
1 Canada Goose with damaged left wing and unable to fly (no other Canadas present)

Withens Gap:
1 Whinchat
1 Wheatear

Luddenden Dean

Report recieved of a probable Nightjar mid last week hunting at dusk over an area of moorland scrub near the lower lodge at Castle Carr. No further details at present.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Grapevine due

Sorry chaps the recent run of waders has depleted the grapevine funds to the point where another contribution is due. The following people are in credit, the rest payment is due please. BS, GD, MH, AZ, SG, TW, PJWS.

If anyone would like to join the grapevine please contact either myself or Dave Sutcliffe for further details.

19th August

Usual walk over Roils Head produced a large flock of Long-tailed Tits with 6 or 7 Willow Warblers mixed in. Not much else but a female Sparrowhawk shooting across Pellon Lane.

18th August Swallow roost

Evening out with SC, we decided to check Elland Gravel Pits to see if the Swallow roost had built up and were delighted to see at least 5000 birds come in to the reed beds at dusk. Its worth keeping an I on this as the numbers may even double in the next few weeks. Also present 1 Tawny Owl and a Grey Heron, just missed a Sparrowhawk go through the Swallow flock.
A brief visit to Ringstone Edge prior brought a Great Crested Grebe, 1 LBBG, 1 Common Gull, 100 BHGs and just 6 Lapwings.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Late morning;
1 Cormorant
1 f Goosander
2 Willow Warblers

Back Lane;
c100 Swallows
2 Golden Plover flushed by a Sparrowhawk
6+ Kestrels
c40 Meadow Pipits, 30 Goldfinch and 2 Linnets in the thistle areas
c20 Lesser Black backed Gulls S>

Also a report from NK of a juvenile Hobby on the northern slope of Soil Hill early afternoon

Waders at Whiteholme

But sadly not a Phalarope!

Received a text from Alan whilst at work to say there were waders at Whiteholme, a Whimbrel, 2 Ringed Plovers, 2 Redshank and a Dunlin to be precise. Dave S made it there by 5 o clock when the birds were still present, by the time I got there around half past seven there were only the 2 Ringed Plovers left. Good to bump into Martyn Hayes birding Whiteholme again though.

18th August

Seems to have been a movement of Sparrowhawks this afternoon, I had three different birds fly south within 1 hour, 1 at Roils Head then this bird over Heath Hill Road followed by another at High Road Well Moor a few minutes later. Still not much at Roils Head only 1 Willow Warbler and 10 Pied Wags.

Bird Report 2007 - 2008

The latest bird report is now available at Todmorden Tourist Info Centre, price £6.00. There are only a limmited number this year and half have already been sold. Its still on sale at Woodlesford News Agents Pellon/Mount Tabor or by post from Nick C.

Still not much happening at Roils Head. August is usually the best month here for migrants dropping in but all Ive had so far is Willow Warblers. Last night though there were at least 50 Meadow Pipits and 10 Pied Wagtails. The Linnet flock at High Road Well Moor was down to c40 Birds.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Worth the walk tonight with 5 Ringed Plover and 2 Dunlin on the considerable mud

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Jen and Dave

Best wishes for your 35th tomorrow.

Swifts (still)

4 past Greetland saturday evening during a squally shower


We still have a male Blackcap visiting our garden and feeding on honeysuckle berries, it's been here well over a week now coming back to the same spot.

I was out in the garden this afternoon and heard this really quiet muffled warble from within the bush and crept nearer to where the sound was coming from. It was the Blackcap singing it's usual song about 3m from where I was standing except the song was so quiet it could hardly be heard, even when I was so close to it. I wonder if anyone else has experienced bird song like this as Blackcaps usually 'belt out' their presence in no uncertain manner!


Evening walk over High Road Well Moor Mount Tabor and the Linnet flock has risen to c80 birds. Juv male Sparrowhawk flew past woodlesford news agents and across Moor End Road, probably heading for the linnet flock ?

Wilson's Phalarope. Whiteholme.

Now that I have your attention – don’t panic. It’s just reminiscence. Pulse rates back to normal please.

As things are a little quiet this time of year the recent observations at Whiteholme reminded me of what was probably my best find in Calderdale. It was mid June 1978; I had been married a few months earlier so I must have been on day release! I remember sitting on the north edge of Whiteholme looking into the sun (bad idea) when a wader just on the shore close by caught my eye. It was clearly a Phalarope, Grey? Red necked? I eventually picked out the neck pattern and my heart missed a few beats. I cannot remember what I muttered – something like “goodness me it’s a female Wilson’s.”

Now you Birders of a young age will not appreciate the dilemma we older ones had. – Totally isolated – mobile phones were not invented, at least 20 minutes from my car and then find a phone that works, or do I stay and enjoy the bird? If I stay and the bird goes will I be believed? I can’t remember how long I stayed but did eventually get to a phone. Now from this point I have no memory! I know that Nick and Nigel saw it, did you David? Who did I ring? Anyone else see it? It arrived about noon and stayed until the next day. When did you all get up there, what are your memories?

16th August

Roils Head, very dissapointing with just 2 Bullfinch and a couple of Stock Doves. Heath Hill Road, a juvenile Peregrine came out of the gloom and I managed to get one poor shot in the dismal conditions. Above that an adult male taken in better light in June.

Fieldfares at Jay House Lane

At 0830 this morning 27 Fieldfares feeding in field opposite the cottages along with 56 B/H/Gulls, 2 Common Gulls and 3 Lapwings is this one of the earliest records.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Just a peregrine of note in the gloom tonight but Alan Nuttall reported 34 twite and 2 oystercatchers earlier today.

Wheatley Valley

1 male Blackcap again in the garden this afternoon feeding on Honeysuckle berries

3 Swifts over early evening

Luddenden Dean

No Twite at the usual early autum spot on Castle Carr Road

2 Ravens and a female Merlin came over the moor from Fill Belly Flat this afternoon and all headed across the dean and off over Midgley Moor
1 Willow Warbler in the dean
1 Treecreeper in Wade Wood near Jerusalem Farm with a mixed flock of tits
1 Little Owl
6+ Kestrels
3 Sand Martins through and lots of Swallows (c100) and just a few House Martins in the dean


Clifton Beck Ford (a.m) - Kingfisher x 1, Grey Wagtails x 4
Canal near Cromwell Bottom (p.m) - Kingfisher x 1

14th August

Seems to have been a big clear out of Willow Warblers at Roils Head over night with none seen or heard today. The only birds of note were 2 Kestrels and a Sparrowhawk at Heath Hill Road.


Wednesday. Short bursts of song from a juv male Redstart, GSW, a few swallows, goosander appears to be feeding without much difficulty, cormorant, BHG, CG and LBB

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Must be the day for accipiter nisus

Window strike tonight, female sparrowhawk, alive but very shaken. Following advice from Steve Downing this was the bird about an hour later when I went to see how it was doing. It had got out of the box we had put it in and was trying to get out of its temporary prison. A few minutes later it was flying off and none the worse, we hope.

Whiteholme area - 6:00pm to 8:30pm

11 wheatear, including 3+ juv's
20+ meadow pipit
Ringed plover (heard)
12 twite at Whiteholme, just one down by Warland (left leg rings = white over blue over yellow)
2 peregrine, including one on the shore at Whiteholme
2 f. mallard
Stoat by Lighthazzles

13th August evening

Speaking of accipter nisus, this bird came storming through a group of Swallows this evening whilst out birding with SC. Also Peregrine, at least 9 Kestrels, 1 Short-eared Owl, 200+ Swallows, 2 Stock Doves and a Willow Warbler.

Out this Evening

Walk out this evening revealed.....

7+ Spotted Flycatcher at the new site, no sign of the redstart though!.
2 Willow Warbler
1 Chiffchaff
8 Mistle Thrush
1 Green Woodpecker heard only
5 Greenfinch
2 Curlew (flew over)
1 Little Owl
2 Collard Dove
1 Hare

A little further a field

40 Canada Geese
2 Pied Wagtails
7 Mistle Thrush
1 Wheatear
few Mipits

13th August the work of accipter nisus

Usual afternoon walk over Roils Head produced the remains of a corvid, probably a young Magpie, most probable suspect Sparrowhawk. 15 + Willow Warblers present, 4 Common Gulls and about 20 BHGs. 8 Pied Wags at Norton Tower, 10 Stock Doves and lots of Swallows at High Road Well Moor, 2 Kestrels at Heath Hill Road and a Grey Heron over Pellon Lane.

Wheatley Valley

1 Swift over this evening - fewer every day now!


Back Lane this afternoon;

12 Goosander (all red-heads) >N towards Thornton Moor
1 Cormorant
3 Swifts and 56+ Swallows but no House Martins
c60 Goldfinch and 2 Linnets on thistle heads
Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers heard
6+ Kestrels and 1 Sparrowhawk
2 Goldcrests
1 Stock Dove
1 Little Owl on Syke Lane

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Moorland and Resevoir

Having been inspired by the Merlin pics but only ever seen one (and not locally) I ventured up to 1 one of our reservoirs this evening:-

Canadas x plenty
Curlew x 1
Swallow x 4
Tufted x 2
Grouse x 6
Kestrel x 2

Then I got a tantalising distant view of a bird of prey in an aerial chase with a small bird. They disappeared and we were just about to give up when we were rewarded with the superb sight of the Merlin flying across the reservoir and then low across the heather before coming down!

Also loads of Rabbits and 2 Roe Deer.


Out tonight putting seed down at Midgley feeding station for (virtually) non existant twite when a text message comes through from Alan Nuttall to let me know there are 2 Greenshank and 3 Ringed Plover at Whiteholme, first night in four I've not been!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Foggy Whiteholme

Clear when I set off but quickly closed in, just 8 Canada Geese in the gloom, reminded me why Brian Leecy once described birding up there like being on the moon, with fewer birds!


Reported today;
1 juv Cormorant still there
f Goosander - still in trouble
1 drake Tufted Duck

Wheatley Valley

4 Swifts through around 5 pm >S just before it rained this afternoon - there don't seem to be many about now!


2 Common Sandpipers there this afternoon and 25 Lapwings

Fly Flats

2 Ravens
3 Wheatears
5 Twite (4 birds unringed. 1 bird with rings on L = white lower/red upper and R = Red lower/ Green upper)

8th/9th August


Clough Foot – small flock of twite within 200yds of the gate, no sight of them on return leg but didn’t hang around due to the flying ants giving attention anything that moved.

Lower Gorple around overspill area - 4 Wheatears, Pied Wagtail & Kestrel over. Just one or two Canada Geese!

Upper Gorple nothing visible, 2 Juv Wheatears up in the former enclosure. Return route over Walshaw Estate produced numerous Red Grouse.


Flint’s area – plenty of Meadow Pipits. Linnet sat on the heather. 6 Red Grouse. Disturb a Kestrel on the ground with a kill.

Looking back from above Mill Bank towards Cotton Stones watched two adult Kestrels teaching two Juvs to hunt. Watched for about 10 minutes, they were still very active as I left

Monday, August 10, 2009


Some of the 20 + wheatear at Whiteholme / Lighthazzles this afternoon

10th August More Merlin Pics

I had to keep changing the settings on the camera due to poor lighting conditions. Thankfully the bird was very obliging often stairing right in to the car at us. On two occasions it dropped into the long grass, probably feeding on beetles. Ive seen juveniles before chasing beetles on foot at a site in Calderdale some 10 years ago, they too were very tame allowing very close views.

Whiteholme this evening

Not much to be honest, no sign of any Wheatears but a Peregrine, Red Grouse and a Dunlin and juv Ringed Plover (wingbars seen in flight) made the exercise worthwhile.

10th August MERLIN

Afternoon out with DJS, a juv Sparrowhawk hunger calling and 2 Nuthatches and a Dipper were the best we had in the Hebden Bridge area. On the way back however we had incredible close up views of a juvenile Merlin sat on a road side fence post. The weather was terrible thick drizzle and bad light, but I managed to take over 60 photos. We had to move the car twice for traffic and return but the bird paid no attention, it sat there within 12 yards for some 10 minutes before departing. We followed it down the road but only found (wait for it) a covey of 40+ Red-legged Partridge, obviously released birds for shooting. On the way back over Fly Flats two Ravens gave good views. Not bad for a missrable day in Calderdale. On returning home I recieved a phone call about another unknown pair of Merlins which were seen yesterday at a different location with their 3 young all mobbing a Peregrine.

Whiteholme area this pm

Went up with Matt Bell this afternoon from approx 14:15 to 17:00 nothing on any of the res today but.....

c20 Northern Wheatear
1 LRP juv
2 Peregrine
2 Twite (views not good enough to see any rings)
3 Carrion Crow

Sunday, August 09, 2009


1 juv Cormorant from mid morning
1 f goosander - still in trouble with a foreign object stuck in its bill
1 m Tufted Duck in eclipse
1 Dipper in the gully/pump station looking down from the res'r embankment

2 Tree Pipits over Back Lane this morning from BS

9th August

Afternoon out with SC. 2 Ravens, 2 Buzzards, 1 Peregrine, 1 Sparrowhawk, 7 or 8 Kestrels, 1 Short-eared Owl, 5 or 6 Red Grouse, 1 Curlew, LBBG, 3 Stock Doves, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Wheatears, 1 Reed Bunting, 17 Mistle Thrushes, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Jay, 40+ Goldfinches etc.

Undisclosed site this PM

2 Buzzard
4 Kestrel
1 Raven
1 Snipe
2 Adult and 2 Juv Spotted Flycatcher (at a previously unknown site for this species)
1 Juv Male Redstart
1 Chiffchaff
1 Willow Warbler

also c40 swallows, several Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Blackbird (2), Linnet, Magpie.

Absolutely electric start to the day

Imm. buzzard on pylon this morning. It was eventually driven off by crows.

The same crows then switched their attention to a kestrel on the next pylon and saw that off as well.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Blackstone Edge/Baitings Res'rs

Blackstone Edge;
Still no sign of the Common Scoter this morning - in fact only 1 bird seen there, 1 Mallard!

2 Grey Herons
1 Wheatear
1 Kestrel
c45 Starlings

Friday, August 07, 2009

Whiteholme this morning

Large flock of twite (at least 32)

Walked on to Blackstone Edge, but no scoter or shoveler. 1 female and 2 juv wheatears though.


Before i begin, when we came back from our holidays on thursdays last week, we came home to find 2 dead greenfinches. one looked like it had been got by a cat and the other was just a rotten mess. however since then 2 more greenfinches have died recently. we rang up the RSPB this morning and they said that this was an illness they recognised. its a parasite that sticks to the back off the throat and stops the bird from swallowing therfore it regurgetates the food and leaves it so some other bird eats it and spreads the parasite. the RSPB has told us to take down all our feeders and clean them out-is anybody else having any trouble with dieing birds in this way.

on a brighter note, went to soil hill yesterday and i can now say that the green sand has gone. only 1 skylark and a flock of feral pigeons (2 off which crashed into the pilons this morning, one died on the way to the vet-spouting blood out off its mouth. the other was still alive but with a broken wing, the vet said it was probably going to be put down).

ringstone yesterday evening at the hide was a sand-piper that was flushed by the entrance. i assumed it was acommon sand because i didnt get a good enough view, is it likely to be otherwise. an assortment off gulls were there inc. a greater black back and juv. my dad said that he thought he saw the Y L Gull as when it flew off it turned towards him he saw its feet but when he saw seans photo he said that it was a bit too dark and the feet not yellow enough. as i saw it out of the corner off my eye it looked too pale to be a L B B Gull. thoughts please.
moorhen-no chick

Thursday, August 06, 2009


Walked on this evening, very little there apart from a peregrine but bumped into Alan Nuttal from Rochdale who is covering the reservoirs up there on a regular basis, he mentioned there was currently a Common Scoter and Shoveler on Blackstone Edge. Managed to catch up with the Common Scoter but there was no sign of the Shoveler in the fading light. Alan is keen to post his sightings on here but is having trouble accepting the invite I have sent, he just gets an error message when he clicks on the link, can anyone help?

Yellowhammer - but maybe outside Calderdale?

Going along the Brighouse Boundary Walk this morning heard then saw a Yellowhammer SE of Hollin Wood, in a bush bordering a wheat field, around SE 180 223. I think this is outside our reporting area? Can someone clarify this please as I'm unsure. Got a pic but quality nvg so not posted.

Cold Edge/Withens Gap

1 Sand Martin this morning
60+ Swallows
c60 Linnets and still feeding fledged young

Tree Pipit

Walk across Roils Head this afternoon produced 10 Willow Warblers. Heath Hill Road produced this Tree Pipit, several Meadow Pipits, 1 Grey Partridge, lots of Swallows, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Willow Warbler,1 Kestrel, 1 Common Gull and a few BHGs.
Tree Pipits have had another terrible year in Calderdale with only 1 or 2 reported in the spring.

New Book Offer

Russell Slack author of the soon to be published "Rare Birds, Where and When: An analysis of status and distribution in Britain and Ireland. Volume 1: sandgrouse to New World orioles" has offered Calderdale birders the chance to buy signed copies of this landmark publication at the reduced price of £29.99 (saving £4 on the Birdguides price).

If anyone wants a copy please contact John Beaumont or myself (via )

A full overview of the book can be found at

First deliveries are expected this weekend.

Green Sandpiper Soil Hill

A five mile walk on Wednesday from Holmfield via Oats Royd, Soil Hill and back produced
Little owl (at the breeding site)
Stock dove (4)
Kestrel (6) three together
Green woodpecker
Blue Tit
and Willow warbler
also a probable female red deer, large, no visible horn, dark red body, rump patch slightly paler than body - any thoughts?

Soil Hill
BHG and Common G (3)
Good view of a green sandpiper which flushed from the first pool and flew south.
Skylark (1)
and a few Meadow pipits.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

5th August

Roils Head
7+ Willow Warblers, Robin feeding fledged young and 2 Pied Wags.
Heath Hill Road
Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and a few Swifts.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Wainstalls and beyond

House Martins - a pair in and out of a nest on the window frame of the old mill; another nest still intact, but 2 others damaged - either deliberately or 'accidentally' as the windows have been opened.
Swallows - at least a dozen around the village.
Pheasant calling nearby
Crows - flock of about 40
Meadow Pipits - not too many, but a few juvs on the moor
Goldfinch - 2
Kestrels - 2 hunting over the moor
Curlew - one in field by the road which then flew close overhead, seemingly not keen to see anyone near it's territory.


This morning;
Back Lane - movement
c50 Meadow Pipits
2 Skylarks
c40 Swallows
c30 Goldfinch
1 Stock Dove
c35 Woodpigeons
1 Gt Spotted Woodpecker

Ogden Res'r and plantation
1 large mixed flock of Blue/Great/Coal and L T Tits along with 2 Treecreepers, c20 Chaffinch, 2 Goldcrests (one singing), c15 Willow Warblers and 1 Chiff-chaff singing

On the res'r the female Goosander is still in trouble with plastic or something stuck in its bill (possible fishermans line and float?) and probably unable to feed. Not sure whether it was the RSPCA who turned up with nets etc across lunch time to try and rescue it?

Wheatley Valley

1 Whimbrel over calling this morning at 8.35 am >W
A few minutes later - just before it started raining, c30 House Martins and c50 Swifts >SW

Bird Report 2007 - 2008

Woodlesford News Agents have sold out of the Bird Report. I will be delivering them a new batch either this evening or tomorrow afternoon. We have only had a limited number printed so if you want one get one soon.
Not much at Roils Head this afternoon but Ovenden Wood, Pellon was alive with Long-tailed Tits and good numbers of Willow Warblers.

Black-headed Gull

A few days back I posted this picture on the blog, the bird on the left has a ring on its upper left leg. According to David Crawshaw all birds ringed in Britain have the ring fitted to the lower part of the leg, where as in Eastern Europe the ring is fitted to the upper part of the leg. Click on picture to enlarge.

3rd August

Evening at Elland GP with SC. 1000 Swallows roosting, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 1 Tawny Owl, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Goosander, 1 juv LBBG, 2 Reed Warblers, 1 Reed Bunting and several Swifts.

Monday, August 03, 2009

3 August

While out walking this morning I came face to face with...

I'm not sure which of us was the more surprised, but at 10:15 in the morning I wasn't expecting to see him wide awake and eyeballing me.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Fly Flats

Just one unringed Twite by the feeding station today - feeding on thistle heads
3 Kestrels

Callis Bridge - noon

Juv' dipper on the river.
An amazing 11 grey wagtails on the sewage works (possibly more).
Just 3 pied wag's.
8 willow warblers

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Gaddings and West Scout

A bit wet but still pretty warm today. Not much about apart from a female and juv Wheatear, a Raven, 2 Reed Buntings and 6 Meadow Pipits.

1st August

Afternoon out with SC, checked the weet/corn fields out east of Kirklees Hall. The area looks very promising for Yellowhammer and possibly Corn Bunting in the future. Part of the area falls within our recording area but most of it is just outside.

Ringstone Edge, 1 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 juvenile LRP, 3 Great Crested Grebes included a juvenile, 3 Pied Wagtails and a handfull of Common and BHGs.


First visit for a very long time, sadly not much to show apart from 2 Peregrines, 7 Black headed, 2 Common and a Lesser Black Backed Gull and a Wheatear. No Twite I'm afraid.

Plenty of shoreline though so hopefully will pull in a wader or two in the coming weeks.