Monday, August 31, 2009
4 Wheatears on walls adjacent to Lumb Cottages
1 Tufted Duck
25 Canada Geese
1 Grey Wagtail
1 Reed Bunting
c30 Meadow Pipits
c30 Swallows - many fewer than last week
Withens Head - opposite the wind farm
1 Little Owl
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Hopefully it will encourage more landowners to get involved in regenerating upland meadows and provide better habitat for Twite and other species.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
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.
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.
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.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
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.
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
5+ Spotted Flycatchers (thank's Andy)
c12 Redpoll in the clump of Alders
c5 Willow Warblers
2 juv Kestrels
No sign of the Redstart but lots of Swallows and several House Martins
1 Swift >S
1 Common Buzzard
1 (juv) Peregrine
Sunday, August 23, 2009
What next Dave, any chance a request?
Crimsworth Dean produced 2 Ravens.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
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.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
1 Twite at the feeding station (BTO ring on right but unable to see other leg due to windy conditions and vegetation)
2 Meadow Pipits
1 L B B Gull
1 Canada Goose with damaged left wing and unable to fly (no other Canadas present)
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
If anyone would like to join the grapevine please contact either myself or Dave Sutcliffe for further details.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
1 f Goosander
2 Willow Warblers
2 Golden Plover flushed by a Sparrowhawk
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
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.
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
Sunday, August 16, 2009
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!
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?
Friday, August 14, 2009
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
3 Sand Martins through and lots of Swallows (c100) and just a few House Martins in the dean
Thursday, August 13, 2009
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.
20+ meadow pipit
7+ Spotted Flycatcher at the new site, no sign of the redstart though!.
2 Willow Warbler
8 Mistle Thrush
1 Green Woodpecker heard only
2 Curlew (flew over)
1 Little Owl
2 Collard Dove
A little further a field
40 Canada Geese
2 Pied Wagtails
7 Mistle Thrush
12 Goosander (all red-heads) >N towards Thornton Moor
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
1 Stock Dove
1 Little Owl on Syke Lane
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
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.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
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
Sunday, August 09, 2009
2 Adult and 2 Juv Spotted Flycatcher (at a previously unknown site for this species)
1 Juv Male Redstart
1 Willow Warbler
also c40 swallows, several Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Blackbird (2), Linnet, Magpie.
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Friday, August 07, 2009
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.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
If anyone wants a copy please contact John Beaumont or myself (via firstname.lastname@example.org )
A full overview of the book can be found at
First deliveries are expected this weekend.
Little owl (at the breeding site)
Stock dove (4)
Kestrel (6) three together
and Willow warbler
also a probable female red deer, large, no visible horn, dark red body, rump patch slightly paler than body - any thoughts?
BHG and Common G (3)
Good view of a green sandpiper which flushed from the first pool and flew south.
and a few Meadow pipits.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
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.
Back Lane - movement
c50 Meadow Pipits
3 LBBG >S
1 Stock Dove
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?
Monday, August 03, 2009
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Saturday, August 01, 2009
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.
Plenty of shoreline though so hopefully will pull in a wader or two in the coming weeks.