Monday, October 31, 2011

Re:Rough-legged Buzzard

In true Blue Peter fashion, here are some I took earlier. Pictures taken in Suffolk a couple of days after the Calderdale bird. It looks good to me. The tail pattern looks ok but the tail feathers look pretty worn in the close-up. I hope these comparison pictures help.

Cold Edge/Withens Head

2 Moorhen at Spring Dam
1 male Stonechat just above Haighcote Barn
6 Red Grouse
2 Kestrels
Not a sign of the usual Little Owls
and unusually for this time of year - a frog singing in a bog just below Moorlands Farm!

Swales Moor

1 Skylark
1 Meadow Pipit
75 Lapwings flying around over Shelf area and another 40 over Mount Tabor
1 L B B Gull >W
1 Herring Gull >W

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Various reports

From Niall.
Today pm :- 3 buzzards circling and calling BH Farm. One little owl.
Jay House Lane- five tree sparrows and ten model aircraft.
Track/hedgerow through Willow Valley golf course :- 3 tree sparrows and c.20 redpoll.

Buzzard ID

Any ideas on this one. Photos taken between Ringstone Edge and Boothwood on or abouts 15th October by a member of the public.
Top photo resembles Rough Legged Buzzard although the tail pattern looks a bit odd, bottom pic also resembles Rough Leg or abbarrent Common Buzzard ??. Another question is how do you get so close to a wild bird.

Ringstone Res'r

From TW - 4 Whooper Swan there today at 12.45 (but no update since then.)

Soil Hill

2 Twite creeping about in the weeds and approachable to 5 meters. Took some photos but the light was not good - this is the best I could do.
9 Linnets
1 Meadow Pipit
1 male Reed Bunting
7 Grey Partridge
3 adult Herring Gulls and 2 LBB Gulls west
The habitat looks ideal for Snow Bunting!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fly Flatts

40+ Red Grouse was about the best we could do this afternoon as they flushed off the moor when a Hercules Transporter went low over the moor at Fill Belly Flat
8 B H Gulls
1 Raven >N
3 Kestrels
1 Meadow Pipit
No sign of any late Wheatears and unfortunately, no Twite either although seed is still being put down. Have you got any Twite over at your site Tim?
1 Red Admiral was heading south as well, so that was a bonus!

Swales Moor

Lee Mount - c150 Pink-footed Geese headed high and due east at 09.45. Another skien of around 100 was reported via BS over Soil Hill/Queensbury around the same time heading south east.

Cold Edge was in the mist again this morning so I headed up to Swales where it was clear to see if there was any movement.
10.30 till 12.00
Woodpigeon 230 >W
Starling 80 >NW
Skylark 4 >NW
Linnet 1 >S
Fieldfare 1 >NW
Sparrowhawk 1 >E
Grey Heron 1 >NW
Goldfinch 10 >SW
Chaffinch 14 >SW
Lesser Black-backed Gull 8 >NW
Greenfinch 3 >W
Lapwing 20 high >W

Also present
8 Grey Partridge
1 Snipe
14 Meadow Pipit
2 Skylark
c50 CarrionCrows
c25 Magpies
2 Jays
1 Green Woodpecker

Twite Recovery Project Video

The Twite video that I made for the Twite Recovery Project is now live on the Pennine Prospects You Tube Channel.

Follow the channel link below.

The film is also being taken around to farms in DVD format and forms part of a presentation given to encourage landowners to take part in the project.

Thanks to all those who helped me in getting the shots I needed to make this work especially NCD, DJS and TW and Reg & Sue Slater for allowing me to trample all over their fields.

Buzzard Family?

Was treated to spectacular views this afternoon of 3 Buzzards, 2 adults I recognised so I am hoping that the other one is this years young. At one point all 3 were up being mobbed by two ravens. In just half an hour I also saw there were also 4 Kestrels and 2 Sparrowhawks. A Green Woodpecker also was nearby.

Went for a cycle ride yeaterday from Copley Church and round Norland Moor. No bins and thick fog but thought I did OK with Kingfisher, Fieldfarer x 12, Stonechat x 2 and Sparrowhawk sat on the path.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ploughcroft and Pepper Hill

This afternoon
2 Little Owls at the usual spot and another calling in Shibden Valley
2 Sparrowhawk
c3 Kestrel
1 Redwing
c12 Goldfinch
Rooks flying over west with beak and crops full of acorns

Mixenden Res'r

Late morning, nothing on the res'r other than the usual gulls.
The plantation was more rewarding with 2 Crossbill, 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 1 Treecreeper, and several Goldcrests with the tit flock.
130 Woodpigeons S/W

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Water Rail

Roy Allinson took this picture on his mobile of Water Rail this evening, nothing unusual about that but the location was outside the town hall in the centre of Halifax.

Various sites

Ringstone Edge Res'r
5 Lapwings S/E
B H and Common Gulls
Peregrine hunting over towards Norland Moor

Mixenden Res'r
Just B H and Common Gulls on the res'r
Great-spotted Woodpecker
c50 Fieldfares >W

Ogden Res'r
Just B H and Common Gulls and 1 LBB Gull
1 Sparrowhawk

And from Andy C - 20 Whooper Swans west over Northowram at about 5.35 pm (maybe heading towards Ringstone)?

Vis Mig - Hunter Hill

Cold Edge, Halifax (W Yorks, England)
Tuesday 25 October 2011
Counting period: 9:15 - 10:45
Weather: wind SE4, cloud-cover 7/8, temperature 11 ℃, Thick hill fog first thing so waited till it started clearing before I started up there.

Mallard 3 S/E
Jackdaw 1 S/E
Sparrowhawk 1 N/W
Starling 2 S 142 N/W
Herring Gull 1 S/E
Chaffinch 5 S/E
Woodpigeon 35 S/W
finch sp. 2 S/E
Collared Dove 3 S/E
Greenfinch 1 S/E
Fieldfare 49 N/W
Crossbill 2 N
Redwing 14 N/W
Bullfinch 2 S/E

Totals: 263 individuals, 14 species, 1:30 hours

Present: Goosander 1, Sparrowhawk 1, Black-headed Gull 130, Common Gull 15, Lesser Black-backed Gull 3, Little Owl 1

Cromwell Bottom area

There were 7 Herons on the skiing lake/lakeside this morning,
and yesterday -
12 Cormorants
4 Tufties
2 Goldeneyes
1 Little Grebe
12 + Redpoll reported from the canalside

Monday, October 24, 2011

Swales Moor

Late morning - very quiet in that strong S/E wind.
1 Stonechat still from last week
3 Skylark
8 Meadow Pipits
1 Reed Bunting
1 Green Woodpecker
3 LBB Gulls >S
15 Fieldfare >E
28 Starling >NW

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Roils Head

Posting for Nick D - 35 Herring Gulls west early afternoon was a good count for the usual movements we get through Calderdale as we move towards the late autumn/winter period.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Vis Mig - Hunter Hill

Cold Edge, Halifax (W Yorks, England)
Friday 21 October 2011
Counting period: 7:45 - 10:45
Weather: wind SW5, cloud-cover 8/8, temperature 8 ℃
Observers: David Sutcliffe

Grey Heron 1 N/E
Fieldfare 729 N/W
Sparrowhawk 1 N
Redwing - 4 N/W
Golden Plover 1 S
Jackdaw 18 S
Black-headed Gull 35 S 8 N
Raven - 2 N/W
Common Gull 7 S 1 N
Starling - 51 N/W
Woodpigeon 209 S/W
Chaffinch 49 S/W 10 N/W
Meadow Pipit 2 S/W
finch sp. 8 S/W

Totals: 1136 individuals, 14 species, 3:00 hours

Present: Sparrowhawk 1, Carrion Crow 15

Comments: A promising start with Fieldfare coming through heading N/W including 2 flocks of 100+ with an odd Redwing in with them. Woodpigeons coming through low in the valley S/W over Mixenden plantation towards the Calder Valley. Everything stopped at 09.45 and nothing other than odd Chaff's after that.

Ogden Water

Five Whooper swans on the water at 4.00pm today

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Todays reports

Ringstone Res'r
No sign of the Great Northern Diver today (has anyone checked Scammonden to see if it's turned up there?) but 12 Whoopers turned up this afternoon and were around there about 3 pm (TW) but will probably be on their way by the morning (?)
Also 30+ Golden Plover

Queensbury - Calder Valley (Jumble Hole)
A large skein on Pink-footed Geese came over Queensbury around lunch time today (heading towards the Calder Valley (BS) and what was probably the same flock over Jumble Hole in the upper valley around 15 minutes later (MB) with around 145 birds.

Ogden Garden

A brambling was among a mixed group of goldfinches chaffinches and greenfinches in the trees at lunchtime today

Dog control orders consultation

Proposal to introduce five Dog Control Orders to Calderdale.

The document can be viewed in full here:
You can respond to the Consultation here:
and the on-line questionnaire is here:

Original post from Hugh Firman
Conservation Officer
Calderdale Council

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Great Northern Diver

Nipped up after work hoping for some close views in the lovely sunshine, still there but keeping to the far side. Thought it was calling at one point but couldn't be certain it wasn't a tape lure as it was close in to the hide but two photographers were cammo'd up and were in the grass in front of the dam wall and will have some awesome shots.

Fly Flatts

Wheatear opposite the wind farm car park this afternoon

A strong N/W wind, 7c, but some welcome sunshine and fantastic clouds.
Went up with Niger seed for the Twite today but it looks like they might have moved on for this year as not a sign of any. Maybe still time for one or two!
12+ Red Grouse
1 female Sparrowhawk
2 Kestrel
1 Common Buzzard

Cold Edge Road
1 Wheatear opposite the wind farm car park, feeding on large light brown hairy caterpillars.
2 Raven over Wainstalls
1 butterfly at a distance looked like a Red Admiral. Cold weather for butterflys!

Swales Moor

Views from Swales Moor this morning

Late morning
1 Wheatear about near the quarry
7 Great Black-backed Gulls and 2 Herring Gulls >w
2 Skylark
2 Reed Buntings
c 40 Pink feet at 11.30 heading west in the distance somewhere over M62

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cromwell Bottom link

I have added a link to the Cromwell Bottom LNR blog to our list of links.

Cromwell Bottom Development Group

 Many thanks to those who attended the meeting, we have a new committee member in Mike Henshaw  who's knowledge of the reserve will be invaluable to our group. Thanks to Mike for accepting the invitation.

North Halifax

I checked out several sites this morning but it was very unrewarding in the strong westerly and heavy showers.
1 Grey Wagtail at Mixenden Res'r along with a Treecreeper.
Fly Flats - difficult to stand up! 6 Red Grouse and nothing else.
6 Golden Plover heading south over Cold Edge Road below 'The Withens'. Also unfortunately, a road casualty Brown Hare by 'The Withens'


Great Norther Diver still there this morning at 11.30 (SL).
No sign of the female Scaup from yesterday at Scammonden

Monday, October 17, 2011

Other news today

Great Northern Diver still showing well at Ringstone and a female Scaup at nearby Scammonden Res'r - from Steve L.

Ogden and Mixenden Res'r

We couldn't find much this afternoon in the strong blustery wind - but it was a nice walk around Stodfold.
Black-headed (60) Common (20) and LBB Gulls (4) at Ogden and not much else other than a few Goldcrests in the plantation and c30 Chaffinch feeding on the weeds at the reservoir edge.

1 Moorhen at Mixenden Res'r and 1 Goosander along with a few B H and Common Gulls and 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker and a Jay, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel.

Swales Moor

1 male Stonechat up there this morning
2 Skylark
2 Meadow Pipits
6 Goldfinch >W
2 Sparrowhawks > E
1 Kestrel
Usual corvids

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Also earlier today from Tony M - 6 House Martins around the flats in the centre of Elland stayed for a short while to feed around the buildings before moving on. A nice late record for our area.

Ringstone Res'r

Had a great afternoon at Ringstone with Daniel - with the Great Northern Diver giving excellent views from the hide. Unusually at this time of year (as far as I know) the bird gave a burst of it's eerie song which I guess is only heard on it's breeding grounds in Iceland or Northern Canada. I know Mike H also heard it calling/singing earlier in the week and wonder if anyone else also heard it over these last few days?

1 Cormorant also present along with 19 Golden Plover in the fields and c40 Lapwing

Unfortunatley not managed to upload any photos yet as trying out a new programme which doesn't seem to want to know!

Blowing away the cobwebs

Met up with Jeff Cox this morning and headed off upto Ringstone, as we approached it became clear that finding the GND was going to be difficult due to fog. Fortunately the stiff wind soon started to move it on just as we spotted the GND a Kingfisher flashed past (possibly a rarer bird at ringstone than the GND).

Having enjoyed viewing the GND for a short while we set off to take a walk over Norland moor, plenty of Mipits moving through, while a kestrel patrolled the quarry's. A Reed Bunting sheltered in the centre of a gorse bush before popping out to show really well only feet way before shooting off when a suggested Jeff take a pic. 28 Lapwings were in a freshly ploughed field, which was also being enjoyed by a small flock of starlings and c20 Black headed gulls.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Vis Mig - Hunter Hill (yesterday) and Swales Moor

Friday 14th Oct
Counting period: 7:30 - 10:30
Weather: cloud-cover 8/8, precipitation drizzle, visibility 100m, temperature 10 ℃, Thick hill fog and drizzle throughout the watch.
Meadow Pipit 29 s/w
Chaffinch 7 s/w
Fieldfare 60 w
Goldfinch 16 s/w
Redwing 3 s/w

Totals: 115 individuals, 5 species, 3:00 hours

Present: Goosander 2, Little Owl 1

Comments: A miserable morning with hardly anything heard or seen in the thick mist (even though some other watchpoints in the Pennines were clear and Caldene Fields in Bradford had in excess of 30,000 thrushes through!) Gave it up as a bad job at 10.30 with little sign of the mist clearing. Pink feet heard in the mist at 10.15 as well as Golden Plover going over calling but not counted as no numbers to guess at!

Later on in the morning (12 till 1 pm) I tried at Ploughcroft/Swales Moor where the mist had cleared and movement was evident.
Redwing 282 w
Fieldfare 352 w
Lapwing 42 w
Linnet 1 w

Also on the top were 3 Skylark, 15 Meadow Pipits and 20 Goldfinch

Great Northern

 Digi Scoped images.
Great Northern Diver showed well again today at Ringstone Edge, well worth another visit. Also 118 Lapwings, 70 Golden Plovers, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 1 Snipe, 1 LBBG, 10 Common Gulls.

More Diver photos

Friday, October 14, 2011

Various sites

Great Norther Diver still showing well at Ringstone today.

Massive thrush movement through the Pennines today with various Vis Mig sites reporting record numbers. Nearly 30,000 Redwings through Caldene Fields, Bradford this morning with good numbers at Oxenhope the last two days. The watchpoint at Hunter Hill produced a poor return between 7.30 and 10.30 as it was in thick mist. I did check Swales Moor later in the morning and 300+ Fieldfares and 200+ Redwings passed over the Ski slope in half hour heading west so it could have been a good count if I'd had time to stay.

Elsewhere today 5 Whooper Swans went south, mid morning over Widdop Reservoir.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Various sites

A fantastic day with the Great Northern Diver showing so well at Ringstone at least till 3 pm but maybe still there till dusk?

2 Swallows also passed through Ringstone this morning (TM and SL)

Around 10 am c100 Fieldfares and c20 Redwings were around the fields at Barkisland looking disorientated in the misty conditions and a passing Sparrowhawk showing interest in these migrants from northeren Europe!
Thousands of Fieldfares and Redwings counted today just outside our recording area moving over the Oxenhope watchpoint with other flocks passing over Soil Hill (along with Meadow Pipits and some Skylarks), Queensbury, and Ringstone in the afternoon and probably many other areas of Calderdale. Also several reports of lots of Goldcrests around at Ringstone and Roils Head yesterday and today.

Ringstone - Thursday 13/10/11

Great Northern Diver still present at 15:00. Early morning fog cleared to give reasonable but distant views.

A pity it wasn't as obliging as:

Also fishing the reservoir were 3 cormorants.

30 lapwing
33 BH Gull
10 Golden Plover circled over but I didn't see if they landed
2 Jays

Ogden Garden

A much larger flock of redwings in the garden this morning. Difficult to count in the fog but estimated at least 30 birds.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Great Northern Diver

DJP finds a cracking adult summer Great Northern Diver at Ringstone Edge this evening. Arrived on site at about 17.30PM to be greeted by thick fog. Had a breif veiw before the bird dissapeared into the gloom. Six of us seached and the bird was refound at about 18.00PM. Managed to get two record shots of this superb summer plumaged adult, the best GND Ive seen in Calderdale and well worth a look tomorrow.

Pepper Hill

This afternoon
18 Redwings
c50 Meadow Pipits just by the ski slope along with 1 Little Owl

We then got a call from Nick to say a Great Northern Diver had turned up at Ringstone, so we shot off up there. Well done to Darrell for such a great find.

Hartshead, after (and during) the rain

Lots of recently ploughed and sown fields have attracted a few flocks -

35 Lapwings and 200+ Starlings near Hartshead church.
11 Pheasants nearby.
40+ Chaffinches and Greenfinches in a mixed flock, with
19, maybe more Pied Wagtails in the same Kirklees estate field.
And a lone female Yellowhammer calling from the hedgerow.

But no sign of Buzzards or Little Owls for a few weeks.

A Red Admiral was a pleasant surprise in the damp, gloomy conditions.

Ogden Garden

There was a small flock of redwings in the trees briefly this morning and there was also a small flock yesterday morning

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pepper Hill

Took a walk around the sheltered side if the hill looking down into Shibden Valley towards Claremount this afternoon. Despite the drizzle and strong westerly the birds were rewarding and were moving through the gap between Beacon Hill and Claremount and also the gully by the ski slope.
Redwings were moving through in small groups >W - 12,12,15,28,8 plus a few singles = c80
I was surprised to see 12 Swallows moving through in the same direction (5 and 7)
Meadow Pipit 30
Goldfinch c35
Linnet 1
Chaffinch c20
Mistle Thrush 8
Lots of Blackbirds about in the valley
2 Sparrowhawks hunting together over Claremount (probably trying to pick off tired migrants (?)

Roils Head

Flushed a Jack Snipe today at Roils Head, only second one Ive had at this site. 48 Lapwing, 200 Starling at Mount Tabor, 5 Grey Partridge at Tower Hill.

Mixenden and Stodfold

Late morning
3 Goosander on the res'r
2 Fieldfare in the big hedge with lots of Blackbirds
Crossbill heard in the plantation and 17 Siskin over.
4 Snipe flushed at Stodfold returned to the same spot after flying around high for several minutes obviously decided against moving in the mist and drizzle conditions

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mixenden and Ogden Res'rs

Thought they Might be worth a check this morning - never know what bad weather might fetch in!
Goldeneye and Wigeon gone today, just 4 Goosander, 1 LBBG, 20 BH Gulls and 3 Common Gulls as well as a tit flock with Goldcrests.

1 female Teal,
1 Great crested Grebe
112 mallard mix but the Wigeon have gone from yesterday
c 40 Chaffinch and a few Goldcrests

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Ogden Garden

A flock of at least 30 redwings landed in the garden trees briefly this morning before flying off in the direction of Mixenden reservoir

Wigeon visit for Ogden

Grazing Wigeon

Gt Crested Grebe hanging around with Wigeon

Ogden this a.m.
9 Wigeon
1 Gt Crested Grebe
15 Redwing
30+ LT Tits
100 + Chaffinch
22 Crossbill
+ usual sp.

Just out of area :- Queensbury north
85 Redwing high and >W
Posted by Picasa

Various site

It could be worth checking out local reservoirs today as 4 Red throated Divers yesterday at Blackmoorfoot res'r near Huddersfield!
1juv drake Goldeneye on Mixenden res'r this morning, 1 Widgeon and 2 Goosander.
Lots of Siskin heard in the plantation and 1 Redwing over.

Saturday, October 08, 2011


At least 1 heard over Lee Mount this morning and also heard over Queensbury (BS)and several flocks passing through Oxenhope (just out of our recording area) today. Large influx expected within the next few days (?)

Various sites (yesterday)

Fly Flatts
2 Wheatears

Scammonden area
(Tony M and Steve L)
c30 Crossbill
2 Chiff-chaff
c90 Pink feet through

c100 Golden Plover present in the nearby fields

c80 Pink-footed Geese west over the Calder Valley around 11 am (MH)

Shibden Valley (yesterday)

Late morning Friday 7th October
2 House Martins still present in the valley viewed from 150 meters along Hag Lane at the back of the Ski slope.
1 Crossbill over SW as well as Meadow Pipits, Chaffinch's and 2 Skylarks on the move
1 Sparrowhawk
60 Woodpigeon
Blackbirds and Mistle Thrushes have been more in evidence these last few weeks so these are probably some of the early immigrants
Rooks were carrying lots of acorns

Cold Edge (late posting)

Hunter Hill watchpoint
Friday 7 October 2011
Counting period: 7:30 - 9:45
Weather: wind NW4, cloud-cover 6/8, Cloud to the west and brighter to the east with some breaks in the cloud. S or S/W unless stated.
Grey Heron 1
Skylark 7
Siskin 11
Pink-footed Goose 3
Meadow Pipit 351
Lesser Redpoll 4
Hen Harrier 1
alba wagtail sp. 5
Crossbill 18 and 7 north
Merlin 1
Chaffinch 9
Reed Bunting 2 north
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1 1 north
Greenfinch 5
Woodpigeon 48
Goldfinch 2

Totals: 477 individuals, 16 species, 2:15 hours

Present: Goosander 3, Sparrowhawk 1, Kestrel 3, Grey Partridge 12, Woodpigeon 80, Green Woodpecker 1, Jay 4, Magpie 2, Jackdaw 35, Carrion Crow 20, Starling 6

Comments: A Merlin through north at 07.40 wa a nice one to start with. A steady flow of Meadow Pipits throughout with birds coming SW at all elevations. 2 Siskin flocks heard but not seen. 3 Pink feet through SW at 09.20 with another skien at 09.15 heard but not seen probably in the valley over the hill. Crossbills, with 18 south and 7 north were a treat. I had to get home for 10am but as I got back to the car I got a call from Howard at Oxenhope via Brian at Queensbury to say a Ring-tail Hen Harrier had just passed through their watchpoint and it was on its way in my direction. I did not hold out too much hope as it could take a number of directions but I was elated when it came through a few minutes later (09.40)over the fields with Carrion Crows in attendance, then it flew over Hunter Hill quarry and down towards the Calder Valley. Without the call I would have missed it so many thanks to the Oxenhope and Queensbury faithful.

Jumble Hole/Underbank

Very similar mix to yesterday.
- 3 chiffchaff and 1 goldcrest were moving with a mixed tit flock
- 2 f. siskin, with others calling unseen
- nuthatch calling
- male sparrowhawk
- 2 grey heron over

Friday, October 07, 2011

Manx Shearwater

There's been a report of a Manx Shearwater picked up dead about 2 weeks ago at Flints by a game keeper we all know and love! does anybody know anything about it ?

Jumble Hole 8:30am

A quick walk up the Pennine Way at Underbank found bushes full of finches where they are normal full of warblers in Summer. Autumn has truly arrived.

- 2 very smart siskin feeding in a hawthorn (other unseen birds were passing over)
- 25+ goldfinch (many of which were juvs)
- 20+ greenfinch (ditto)
- 3 bullfinch
- 9 chaffinch
- 1 chiffchaff
- 2 nutchatch
- 3 song thrush

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Shibden Valley and Mixenden

Late morning still at least 2 House Martins feeding in the shelter between Shibden Mill Inn and back of the ski slope along Hag Lane.
Birds moving along the hillside SW included 1 Crossbill, 55 Meadow Pipits and 15 Chaffinch. Also at 12.15 a single Pink-footed Goose headed up the valley struggling in the blustery wind. Surprisingly a single Pinkie flew NW at 12.45 over Mixenden Reservoir! Also at Mixenden a juv Great-crested Grebe and 2 Goosander

Wednesday, October 05, 2011


Coming down off the M62 tonight 1/4 mile down from J22 on the road towards Rishworth, what looked like 2 Common Frogs were crossing the road in the pouring rain. Dangerous tactics as there looked to be several squashed ones as well. Looked like they were heading down to lower ground off the moor near the Green Withens. Never seen this before at such elevation, and in the autumn and I have used that road regularly over a long number of years.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Various sites this afternoon

Shibden Valley - at least 6 House Martins in a sheltered part of the valley opposite the Shibden Mill Inn and a Sparrowhawk also seen there. Lots of Beech mast arround so could be good for Chaff's and Bramblings in the coming months!

And from Tony M and Steve L
c100 Golden Plover at Ringstone this afternoon
12 Grey Partridge and 2 Swallows at Scammonden
A large raptor was also reported by some walkers from Elland GP today - it headed up towards the Shibden Valley but we have no further details.

Hunter Hill (watchpoint)

'Early doors'over Windy Bank with the Canada's heading south

 Poor shot I know of this male Merlin this morning - not often seen in the top of a bush!

Tuesday 4 October 2011
Counting period: 7:00 - 11:00
Weather: wind WSW5, cloud-cover 7/8, temperature 10 ℃
Birds heading S or SW unless stated

Canada Goose 12
Black-headed Gull 15
Chaffinch 6
Goosander 1 S 3 N
Common Gull 2 S 2 N
Greenfinch 3
Sparrowhawk 1
Lesser Black-backed Gull 7
Goldfinch 2
Kestrel 1 N
Stock Dove 4
Linnet 3
Merlin 1
Woodpigeon 13 3 N
Crossbill 15
Hobby 1
Meadow Pipit 1278
Snipe 2
alba wagtail sp. 5 2 N

Totals: 1382 individuals, 19 species, 4:00 hours

Present: Great Crested Grebe 1, Mallard 6, Goosander 12, Sparrowhawk 1, Kestrel 5, Woodpigeon 60, Little Owl 1, Green Woodpecker 1, Wheatear 1, Jay 2, Magpie 2, Jackdaw 13, Carrion Crow 22, Starling 18

Comments: Hunter Hill watchpoint. I had to find a spot out of the blustery wind and it paid off. Meadow Pipits on the move from 07.30 gave a good count of 1,278 for this site. Hobby at 08.30 due south and a male Merlin at 10.00 heading north took a break for a minute in the top of a thorn bush. 15 Crossbills were heard before being seen and came right over the top of me with some stunning males showing bright red rumps as they flew on. A poor show on other finches today. Unusual was 12 Canada's heading high to the south (they usually drop in, but kept on going this time.) A decent selection of other birds around the site and on Mixenden res'r. 2 Brown Hares also together on the moor.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Fly Flatts/Withens Head

Twite sheltering from the wind - they seem to show much more contrast in the plumage this time of year especially showing more white as on this shot.

Unusual conditions up there this afternoon, so warm at 24c along with a strong blustery westerly F7.
There were 19 Twite at the feeding station including just one colour ringed bird. This is our highest count there this year so there may be more turn up in the next few weeks (if the weather stays favourable)!! as October seems to be the best month for numbers up there. No Wheatears today.
4 Stonechats just down the track from the feeding area flew off across the moor towards Dean Head
1 Red Grouse
c15 Meadow Pipits

2 Red-legged Partridge just down the road from 'The Withens'

Lee Mount

Signs of early movement first thing this
2 Siskin s
9 Mistle Thrush w
2 House Martin s
1 Great-spotted Woodpecker s
12 Greenfinch s

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Castle Carr Road

This afternoon as the weather deteriorated
2 Littl Owls (vocal)
7 Grey Partridge
9 Mistle Thrush
2 Meadow Pipits and that was it!

Bridestones, Todmorden. 12:00

- A flock of 35 pink feet flew up the valley from Hebden Bridge to Todmorden, then appeared to turn to fly up the valley towards Cornholme and Cliviger
- A late wheatear was a nice surprise. It looked noticably big & bright. Is a Greenland still a possibility at this time of year?
- A raven was around most of the time
- 2 juv herring gulls flew west
- Lost count of meadow pipits! 90+, certainly

Saturday, October 01, 2011


had my first ever Calderdale october swallows this morning, 2 sat on wires near the Bradshaw tavern. Also a chiffchaff singing and a jay at north dean woods

Vis-mig Hunter Hill

7.00 - 9.15 ideal conditions today with clear skies and a light south-westerly but only small amounts of birds were moving, however there was an interesting selection

all moving south-west unless stated

Meadow Pipit 84
Goldfinch 48
Greenfinch 5 + 1n
Chaffinch 88
Crossbill 6
alba Wagtail 2
Starling 3
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 n
Swallow 3
Woodpigeon 28
Lapwing 15
Snipe 1
Mallard 1 s

other birds included the usual corvids and BHG's a Kestrel, Little Owl and Merlin (this kept appearing around the quarries). No sign of any pipits or finches around the quarries today maybe this was because of the Merlin.