Monday, April 30, 2012

Luddenden Foot

No sign of the White Stork late morning or early afternoon though it was in the cow field around 8 am today (MB)

Withens Head

2 Ring Ouzels in the fields between Moorlands Farm and Withens Head Farm mid afternoon. 1 adult male and the other looked like a first summer male. Nick also got them though they were tricky to find hiding behind the walls! Also around 12 Wheatears in the fields from the wind farm car park area and a Little Owl also around.

Soil Hill

In the mist this morning:
11 Linnet
5 Lapwing
Buzzard through a gap in the mist and then back in.
GP calling
1 Peregrine shot through at close range - too quick for a shot.
At least 6 Sky lark
2 female Wheatear

The sun came out and there was the gang of 4

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Withens Clough, Cragg Vale

This aft' I did a circular walk from the Hinchcliffe Arms, up to the res', before taking the path along Turley Holes Edge as far as Higher House (they have applied to divert the public right of way past the renovated barn here), before returning along the brook.
I was hoping for tree pipit and maybe a cuckoo, but all in all it was very disappointing in a cold wind and squally showers.  All I could muster were a pair of stonechats, several willow warblers at various locations and a dipper on the brook.
My circular route was almost thwarted when I discovered the concessionary path across the dam was shut.  I was forced to take a more direct route.


White Stork

The ring as shown is too small to carry any information and probably just there to show it is a captive bird, shame that.

Elsewhere a flighty wheatear, a dozen mipit and 4 common sandpiper were at Warley Reservoir, can't see much chance of a wader fest this spring as every reservoir I've seen was overflowing.

Ski lake at Elland still covered in swallows.  Had a look up Luddenden Dean but couldn't see/hear anything out of the ordinary, need to go for a dawn visit really. Called in at Jay House Lane on the way back, only found 4 tree sparrows, suppose hens may be brooding but I had expected a few more.  Some of the hedges have been cut back exposing a few boxes, anyone know how many there are up there now?

Red Kites.Brighouse

Long shots of 1 of the 2 Kites over Brighouse this morning at 0900

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail on the side of the ski lake at EGP this aft

White Stork

We were alerted to a White Stork at Luddenden Foot by the Calderdale Countryside Service so I called in and managed good views and some photos before it flew off. Jim W will have some better photos...

The bird is ringed with a metal ring just above its left foot and is probably from Harewood.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Mixenden Res'r and Stodfold

This afternoon 1 drake Goldeneye still present on the res'r along with 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Oystercatcher and 2 Redshank. Elsewhere in the valley - 4 male Wheatears together, 1 Grey Wagtail, 10+ Linnet, 1 Reed Bunting, 3+ Skylark, 1 Chiff-chaff, 12+ Willow Warblers, lots of mipits, 2 Curlew, 1 Kestrel, 4 L B B Gulls, and a good number of resident Swallows around the local breeding areas.


Got A garden 1st today with a pair of Redpoll (M/F)this afternoon while trying out a naff scope I picked up on eBay the male flew into my view.

Cold edge Dams Friday Morning

5 lBBGulls east.2 reed Bunting, 1 Buzzard ,1 Raven,1 Whimbrel north,6 Linnets,5 swallows north,1 Grey Heron,4 Moorhen and 2 Wheatear

Swales Moor

It's stopped raining!!!! 1female Ring Ouzel on the top late morning. It headed off into the quarry and unable to relocate but it's probably still there this afternoon. 10 Wheatears on the top plus c12 Skylark, 20+ Measow Pipits, several Linnets and 1 Swallow >N and 2 Grey Partridge nearby.


From Mike Henshaw who has had trouble posting on the blog - a single Swift yesterday afternoon over at 16.40. Nice one Mike to go with Andy's earlier in the day at Cold Edge.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Round and about

Mixenden Res..Wens 2 redshank,1 Common sand,12 Swallows and 1 Grasshopper Warbler reeling briefly behind the plantation. Midgley area today ...1 Cuckoo and a raven carrying food. Cold edge dams...2 Oycs,2 redshank,3 Greylags,4 + Wheatear,4 Northern Golden Plover,and a Swift Brighouse..1 brambling on Garden feeders

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cromwell Bottom

From Mike H this morning - hundreds of Swallows feeding low over the ski-lake in the bad weather plus a few House Martins. How conditions - and the birds change. Yesterday afternoon in calm conditions 2 Swallows and 1 House Martin over the ski-lake. Today in pouring driving rain and only 5c degrees loads of birds trying to find enough to keep them alive. Always worth birding when the weather is bad!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mosleden Quarry area

This is on the main road to Buckstones, on the right after crossing the motorway above Ringstone.

Male twite singing from the wire near the entrance tonight at 6pm. Any other twite sightings in the area?
(Marshalls have asked me to look out for them on their land and maybe start a feeding station - no general access as yet, but I'll try and get it for the bird and wildlife groups.)

The fields opposite look good for twite, with dandelion and sorrel mixed in.
Linnets are feeding there already, in fact there were 30- 40 either linnets or twite over the other side yesterday when it was raining.

Other birds: Willow Warbler, Swallow, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Dunnock, Kestrel, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Oystercatcher, Mallard, plus the usual corvids, Pheasant.

Cromwell Bottom

This afternoon there were a good number of Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and Chiff-chaffs but not a sign of Whitethroat, Garden Warbler or Reed Warbler - think things will change in the next week - hopefully. 2 Swallows and 1 House Martin heading straight through east but not one hirundine over the ski-lake 1 Cormorant 2 Mute Swan 2 Tufted Duck 2 m Goosander 1 Kingfisher several Reed Buntings 1 Goldcrest singing 1 Treecreeper 1 Sparrowhawk over high 1 L B B Gull over high

Shelf Moor

A search of Shelf Moor fields this evening found 13f and 2m Wheatears.

High Royd Catch Up

Been without internet access so please bare with me on this post, I'm trying to visit every week day at least once but when possible twice. One of the joys of working a patch is the excitement more common birds can bring, for example my first House Martin of the year was made extra special by it also being my first at High Royd.

22/4 10:48 to 12:34

3 Blackcap (all males)
1 Willow warbler
1 pair Teal
3 Chiffchaff
4 Coot split over 2 nests
3 Canada Geese 1 nesting
1 Jay

22/4 18.47 to 20.45

1 Willow warbler
2 Chiffchaff
2 House Martin
10 Swallow
1 Sparrowhawk (raptors of any type are scarce at the site).

23/4 06:50 to 08:10

3 Blackcap
3 Chiffchaff
2 Willow warbler
3 Mistle thrush
1 Song thrush
3 Nuthatch (1 nest site has been found)
2 Swallow
6 Moorhen
1 Reed Bunting - male
1 Sparrowhawk
2 Jay

23/4 17:27 to 18:30

3 Chiffchaff
2 Mistle thrush
2 Grey wagtail
1 Blackcap
6 Swallow
1 Treecreeper
1 Willow warbler
1 House martin

24/4 07:20 to 08:50

4 Blackcap
3 Chiffchaff
1 Willow warbler - all reported ww are deep onto the site and as a result are recorded only on call.
1 Mistle thrush
1 Song thrush
2 Bullfinch - both males and surprisingly together
1 Grey heron
1 Alba wagtail
2 House martin
5 LTT (2 pair)
7 Moorhen
4 Teal (2 pair)
5 Swallow
1 Little Grebe (good to see this again after going missing - could the shoveler still be around??)
1 Jay - incredible vocalisation by this species of late, often quite subtle.
2 Collard dove

Right I'm off to see what another hour up there will bring.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lowland Buzzards

I was delighted to see two Buzzards displaying together at a site I haven't seen them before East of Halifax.  They looked like a M and F to me with an obvious size distance.  Would they not be on eggs by now though if they were a breeding pair?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Scammonden this morning

3 Grasshopper warbler
 8 Wheatear
3 Curlew
2 Lapwing
lots of Willow Warbler, Skylark and Meadowpipit.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mixenden Res'r and Cold Edge

Mixenden Res'r
1 female Goldeneye still there this morning
8 Swallows
1 Sand Martin
1 Common Sandpiper
2 Redshank
1 Grey Wagtail
1 Chiff-chaff

Cold Edge
6 Swallows
1 Little Grebe
5 Reed Buntings
Loads of mipits
Mallard +6
6 Skylark
1 Redshank
1 Common Sandpiper
2 Oystercatchers
6+ Curlew
pair of Goosander
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Kestrel
1 Raven over high >N
2 Willow Warbler
c20 Linnet mainly feeding on Dandelions
2 Little Owls

Ringstone Res'r

Well done again to Steve and Tony for finding a pair of Redstarts there today just past the reservoir keepers house. Redstarts have become increasingly rare in Calderdale although spring and autumn migrants are always a possibility. These two are quite early in comparison to recent years (other than 2009) and taking into consideration the recent low pressure and heavy rainfall over the last few days.
2006 - 5th May
2007 - 28th April
2008 - 5th May
2009 - 11th Apl
2010 - 24th Apl
2011 - 9th May

Yellowhammer in full song at Hartshead

Yellowhammer in full song at Hartshead this lunchtime.

Thoughts on this one

Up Roils Head yesterday in heavy rain and photographed this wagtail. It looked very pale underneath which is what drew my attention. The rain was so bad I couldnt use my bins so relide on the camera to get some record shots. I returned home and phoned dave that I had had a possible White Wagtail. When I saw the blurred flight shot though I started to doubt myself (does it have a dark rump or is it the fact that the camera shake as blurred the image). I seem to remember reading somewhere about varible rump colour on White Wags but can not recall where, any other thoughts appreciated.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mixenden Res'r

An interesting half hour this morning - still raining!
1 Common Sandpiper
2 Redshank
1fem Goldeneye
Mallard with 6 ducklings
Grey Wagtail
8 Swallows
1 Sand Martin
1 Chiff-chaff
28 Starlings

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Twite on Countryfile

In case you missed it, there is a short interview with Charlotte Weightman from the Twite Recovery Project featured in last weekend Countryfile. iPlayer version is available for a limited period on the link below.

Gorple Lower

Had a mooch around at Gorple this morning in the poor visibility and blowing rain. Poor decision really, I should have stayed in the valley :)

Oystercatcher - 3 (2 on the southern shore and 1 overhead as I walked up to the res)
Curlew - 2 over the moor on the south side and a few in the fields above the car park
Lapwing - 1 overhead as I approached the dam wall and 2 in the fields above the car park
Common Sandpiper - 1 feeding along the waterline on the dam wall
Skylark -  1
Mipit - 3
Mistle Thrush - 2 by the car park
Pied Wagtail - 1
Usual Canada Goose and Mallard

Also there was a Coot at Longfield Dam as I went past later.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Other news today

Ringstone Res'r
1 Common Sandpiper
1 Common Gull and 1 L B B Gull briefly
A few Linnets about
Golden Plover flock still around - including a good number of northern forms

Scammonden area
2 male Ring Ouzels - probably migrants along with 8 Wheatears and 2 Stonechat
Steve L

Elland G P

200+ Swallows there all day today till at least 7 pm plus at least 3 House Martins and 20+ Sand Martins
4 Goosander
1 G C Grebe
2 Mute Swans
Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and Chiff-chaffs singing.
A few Black-headed Gulls this morning but non later
1 L B B Gull >W
Steve L and djs

High Royd this morning

Spent some time at High Royd this morning on the way past to see if I could catch sight of the Shovelers but no joy I'm afraid.

Also checked the river to see if Andy's Mute Swan was still there but it had gone. Having spoken to Andy he said the RSPCA may have picked it up this morning so will await confirmation from him.

At High Royd:
Teal - 3
Moorhen - 2
Coot - 3
Canada Goose - 5
Mallard - 6
Grey Wagtail - 2
Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming
Blackcap singing
Chiffchaff - 2 around High Royd and 1 back towards Sowerby
Blue, Great and Long Tailed Tits

Further on the canal there were 9 early Mallard ducklings, and while walking past Moderna in Mytholmroyd an Oystercatcher flew over calling and heading towards Midgley.

Mixenden Res'r

A quick look there this morning in the hope of an early tern in the showers!
3 Swallows
2 Redshank
2 Canada's
1 Chiff-chaff

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lee Mount

An interesting half hour or so as I was cleaning out the car around mid day.
3 Sparrowhawks together soaring really high with some interaction all headed off >E
1 Swallow >SE
1 adult Peregrine >SW towards Pellon - again really high and I was glad the bins were to hand - usually the other way round!
1 Blackcap singing in the back garden
After that nothing much doing as the cloud increased and the wind settled

Calderdale Birds: A short clip of Wheatear and friends near Queensbury.

Calderdale Birds: A short clip of Wheatear and friends near Queensbury.

High Royd again

Went to check on the Mute Swan again, it's really not looking well so after trying several rescue centres again with no joy I've had to turn to the RSPCA, awaiting a call re what happens next. May have an early walk on in the morning just to check it's still alive, will be annoyed if it's not still hanging on in there especially with lack of response from Yorks Swan Rescue Hospital after all we did for them after the Whooper swan rescue.
Whilst with the swan, also had a dipper feeding in the river and a male grey wagtail fly by.
Went up high royd nothing new knocking about but did manage this distant record shot of the happy couple.
On the down side the place is crawling with Aliens and these 3 are the latest batch to emerge.

Early Cuckoo

Out with DJS this evening looking for Owls and came across this early Cuckoo on the edge of Midgley Moor.

Widdop area

A short walk in the area today turned up little of special note although there was a large number of Meadow Pipit as well as a pair of Mistle Thrush, a hunting Kestrel, and some fly-by Mallard


Ian Bailey a local resident here in Midgley reports a Cuckoo on the edge of Midgley Moor yesterday.

Coach Road & places East

Coach Road a.m.:
Lesser Pecker,a, male, drumming; male Blackcap; Nuthatch calling loudly.
Priestley Green - 2 Linnets
Kirklees Hall area p.m.:
Little Owl,Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, 7 Yellowhammers, 15 Redpolls, 2 Tree Pipits together.
Hartshead :
3 Skylarks, 3 Tree Sparrows in hedgerow.
Church Farm area:
2 Yellowhammers, 4 Linnets, 9/10 Greenfinches,Skylark, and 2 more Tree Sparrows !

Sunday, April 15, 2012

High Royd this evening

Returned this evening after getting a report from a member of the general public via NC of a sick Swan on the river nearby. The swan is a 1st winter Mute swan there is no visible sign of trauma and it looks in good condition however it is very approachable, going to monitor it for next 24hrs before making a decision on whether to call Dan at the rescue centre again.

After checking on the swan continued onto High Royd, no change from earlier really apart from more Swallows feeding over the main pool, the pair of Shoveler were showing briefly and there was a Grey Heron flew over.

2 Roe deer were also present, doe and a buck.

A brown cocker spaniel has also been reported lost in the area, if anyone sees it if they let me know I have the owners telephone number, the dog has no collar on.

Field full of Wheatear

Blog watcher Tracy sent me an e mail this evening saying there were Wheatears in a field between Queensbury and Shelf so at 1830hrs I went down there to find the field alive with them. I counted at least 21 without bins as I only shot down with the camera but Im sure there were many more further into the field.
Directions on West Yorkshire Birding.

High Royd 8am - 10.30am

Pair of Shoveler still on main pool but elusive spending a lot of time behind the willows.

1 Little Grebe (thanks to Gordon D, for pointing it out - good to see you again and adding another new species to my High Royd list). Has anyone seen this species here before??

4 Swallows over the new sewage beds.

1 male Reed Bunting

3 Singing Blackcaps

Pair of Nuthatch nest building

Pair of Stock Dove (the other day was also a new species at the site for me)

GSW drumming

Also usual Chiffchaffs, Moorhen, Coot, Teal (whose numbers appear to have increased over last couple of days), Blue tit, Great tit, LTT (3 pair), Mallard, Canada Goose, Jay, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Rook.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ringstone Res'r

Part of the Golden Plover flock at Ringstone this evening

After a 'guestimate' at 380 Golden Plover (I always over estimate!!)a recount from various digi' photo's revealed c340. They were in the fields opposite the farm by the main road and looked fantastic in the evening sunshine. Quite a number of the males are almost in full summer plumage indicating 'Northern' forms.

Earlier today I managed to get up to Ringstone to see the 1st summer male Red-breasted Merganser. Steve later confirmed that it left the site >W at 9.30. A great find yesterday by Geoff and some fantastic photo's below from Dave F and Nick.

This site does turn up some good birds and there are rewards for regular watching.

Jumble Hole migrants

First swallow appeared over the house this morning.
First willow warbler on Thursday. Two now calling.
Chiffchaffs everywhere!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday 13th

Pair of Shorties put on a great display at an undesclosed site today, also poped in to see Geoffs Red-brested Merg at Ringstone, well done Geoff we dont get many in Calderdale.


Red-breasted Merganser
13/14 APRIL


Well done to Geoff for finding a Red-breasted Merganser there this afternoon and to Tim, Steve and Tony for confirming the I D. Let's hope somebody can get some photos before it goes.
2 Shelduck there as well
Cormorant also there but the Whoopers have gone.

Merg and Shelduck still there at 18.15 (SC NCD)

Fly Flatts

This afternoon
1 Common Sandpiper still there from last night
2 Swallows >NW
4 Twite
3 Wheatears on the embankment with lots of mipits and usual species nearby

High Royd

This morning I went to see if Andy's Shoveler were still there but drew a blank
2 pairs Teal
1 Canada Goose
4+ Coot and similar number of Moorhens
1 Sparrowhawk
Lots of Chiff's and Nuthatches singing plus 2 Willow Warblers
1 Great spotted Woodpecker
c50 Carrion Crows on the filter beds
The bonus for me was a new colony of Rooks and 9 occupied nests

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lumbutts Clough

A walk through Lumbutts Clough along the Rochdale Canal and up Shaw Wood this morning:
Nuthatch - 3 singing, 2 in Lumbutts Cl and 1 in Shaw Wood
Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming at the bottom of Lumbutts Cl
Dipper - 2 in Lumbutts Cl
Chiffchaff - 4, 2 Lumbutts Cl, 1 Rochdale canal and 1 Shaw Wood (there are Chiffchaff all over this year, heard another one at Callis Bridge in the afternoon)
Several Blue Tits carrying nesting material, 2 pairs of Long Tailed Tits in Shaw Wood
Grey Wagtail - 1 at Shaw Bridge

Ringstone Res'r

From Steve and Tony - the 12 Whoopers were still at Ringstone this morning but left towards Sowerby Bridge direction around 09.50 and went high as if to move on but they must have changed their minds and arrived back at Ringstone 15 minutes later. Not had any update since then.

Private Wood

I'm currently spending a couple of days each week working on a private site near Eastwood Todmorden, the other week we had our first singing Blackcap but today we had our first singing Willow warbler.A bigger surprise though was to see a Treecreeper scaling the side of the house with nesting material before disappearing into the eaves to emerge without said material moments later and return with yet more material. Does anyone else know of any other occurances of Treecreepers nesting in a house??To follow our work on the site visit our blogsite


A walk over t'moor did not produce a wheatear as hoped.
Plenty skylarks, mipits, 2 curlew, 1 lapwing, Golden plover,1 snipe
and at last, 3 swallows.


Quick wander around on bike between heavy showers on Wednesday evening. First Willow Warbler in the plantation at Greave Head – (heard not seen). Checked down at Baitings Dam as they usually appear there first but no evidence.

Plenty of Curlew around Baitings

There is a lack of Lapwing above Flints so far this year, Golden Plover are around though.

Nothing else really of note

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Other news today

12 Whooper Swans still present (SL TM) - they must like it up there as they have been there since 5th April

Elland G P
5 Buzzards over at about 11.30(PJWS)
1 Common Buzzard over around 12.30 (MH)
And from GS
1 Whitethroat singing along the canal
3 House Martins present and a number of Swallows
Also from Geoff, a large unidentified long-winged raptor larger than a Common Buzzard around 12.50. A large raptor with long wings was also seen at a distance from Ringstone (TM and SL)a few minutes later. Steve and Tony saw the raptor mobbed by several corvids and it dropped lower and was lost from site and was unable to get the scope on it. It will have to go down as a mystery raptor, unfortunately!

Swales Moor and Pepper Hill

A bit of a struggle to find anything this afternoon in the drizzle!
1 Curlew >NW
3 L B B Gulls >NE
1 Meadow Pipit
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Kestrel
10 Stock Doves
1 Green Woodpecker calling
+ usual corvids

Yellowhammers - Hartshead

Spotted these 2 Yellowhammers at Hartshead this morning flitting in and out of the hedgerow, possibly another 2 or 3 the other side of field, just caught a brief glimpse.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ringstone Res'r and Elland GP

From Steve and Tony
12 Whooper Swans still there in the field down the slope behind the hide at 10 am
163 Golden Plover along with a few Snipe in the big field
50+ Fieldfare lower down in the fields towards Barkisland near Rishworth Road

Also from Elland GP/Cromwell Bottom
12+ Swallows over the ski-lake late morning

Mixenden and Stodfold

1 Sand Martin north this afternoon at Stodfold.
Nothing on Mixenden but a pair of Stonechats at Lower Brockholes at lower end of Ogden golf course
1 Grey Heron over >w
c 40 Meadow Pipits blogging
1 Pied Wagtail
2 Curlew
3 L B B Gulls over >NW
The white Carrion Crow still at Upper Brockholes

Monday, April 09, 2012

Wheatley Valley

Osprey over the house this morning heading up Wheatley Valley. I was just at the kitchen window at 10.15 when a saw a big raptor so I shot outside into the garden picking up the bins on the way to see the Osprey heading over Shroggs Park and flying strongly up the valley towards Mixenden.I don't know if it came in at Mixenden or Ogden but suspect it went straight through even though there was light drizzle and little wind. They do not seem phased by poor weather.
Only a few minutes earlier 11 Lesser-black backed Gulls also took the same flight path up the valley.

3 Dams

Walked round the 3 dams in the rain this morning which was refreshing
Lee Dam
Little Grebe - 2
Mallard - 4
Gaddings Dam
Goldeneye - 5, 4 females and a lone male displaying
Skylark - 8
Mipit - 13
Reed Bunting - 1 on the way back down
no waders about and no Wheatear either
Longfield Dam
Redshank - 2
Teal - 1 male (never seen Teal here before)
Tufted Duck - 2, 1 male and 1 female
Pied Wagtail - 2
Canada Goose - 4
several Mipits along the road walls

Saturday, April 07, 2012


From Martyn Birder - a single Whooper Swan there today along with 4 Greylags (and the white Goose)!
Female Wheatear also in the area

Ringstone Res'r

The 12 Whooper Swans have been there again all day and still present at 7.0 pm with Canadas and 1 Greylag, a few Lapwings and c150 Golden Plover in the big field - several Golden Plover are showing plumage consistent with the northern form.

Grasshopper Warbler

Report of a reeling Grasshopper Warbler close to the feeding station yesterday the 6th of April from Connie, John and Daniel

Friday, April 06, 2012

3 day catch-up

I seem to have been a bit busy over the last few days, not too busy to get out but too lazy to post updates so here's a summary:

 Wed 4 April - Lee Dam, Lumbutts Clough, Rochdale Canal
Little Owl - 1 at Mankinholes
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1 at Mankinholes
Little Grebe - 2 at Lee Dam
Grey Heron - 1 at Lee Dam and 1 at Lumbutts Clough, but could be same bird
Moorhen - 1 at Lee Dam
Pied Wagtail - 1 at lee Dam
Nuthatch - 1 at Lumbutts Clough
Dipper - 1 at Lumbutts Clough
Jackdaw - 178 over Rochdale Canal at Lobb, probably more but that's how many were in the photo
 Thu 5 April - Hardcastle Crags
Walked in from Hebden along the river hoping to see Dipper and Grey Wag but none showed up. Same story with the Lesser 'peckers too.
Green Woodpecker (heard)
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Jay - 1 at Hebden Hey
Nuthatch - 6 very vocal

 Fri 6 April - Strait Hey
Curlew - 3 on Erringden Moor
Skylark - 2
Mipit - 8 along the route but then as I walked down the track from the Pennine Bridleway about 20 flew across, some landed on the walls for a short while then flew off again so it looks like we've had an influx.
Linnet - 2
Still no Wheatear.


From Tony and Steve - still 12 Whooper Swan there mid morning still there in top field 12.30.

Fly Flatts

Biting cold in the wind up there this morning but a trickle of mipits undetered and heading >N as well as 11 L B B Gulls >N
A few Curlew and Golden Plover as well as 2 Oystercatchers but no sign of Redshanks.
4 Twite at the feeding station including one of the usual colour ringed birds
2 Kestrel
2 Sparrowhawks
1 Reed Bunting
Canada's everywhere!
1 Little Grebe at Cold Edge

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Possible Common Rosefinch

Received via the Blog address from a visiting birder from Suffolk

> My wife and I spent a few days at Hebden Bridge recently, and on Monday
> Apr 2nd we walked up to Stoodley Pike in the morning. As we approached
> the monument on the section of the Pennine Way, after it had crossed the
> Pennine Bridleway, we saw a pair of Linnet-sized birds at a range of 25
> - 30 feet. One was a drab greyish brown but the other had a striking
> plumage, notably a very red head, throat and upper breast and a
> similarly red rump. Unfortunately I did not have my binoculars with me
> and was unable to get any more detail. It was a species unknown to me
> and on checking with "Collins Bird Guide" the species that had all the
> features that we saw is Common Rosefinch. The two birds seemed to be
> together so we considered they were a "pair". I would be interested to
> know if there have been any other reports of this or other unusual
> species in the area. I am a reasonably competent birder and know this
> was something out of the ordinary.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Elland GP/Cromwell Bottom

Thanks to Steve L for the tip off earlier today!

30 to 40 mix of Swallows and Sand Martins over the ski lake still this afternoon along with at least 1 House Martin. As Steve said they were feeding low over the lake then heading up to feed high overhead - they must have been following insects. It obviously begs the question - what are insects doing out in this weather, never mind the hirundines !!!!!!!!!! Amazing that the birds are here, struggling in the conditions with strong winds and drifting snow overnight and all morning.

Also c40 B H Gulls and 1 Common Gull on the lake with conditions loooking good for an od gull passing through.
Pair of Goldeneye still present

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Mosleden Quarry, Dean Head, Scammonden

Pairs of Grey Partridge, Curlew, Lapwing, and at least 10 Meadow Pipits, 1 Skylark.
I've been invited to go in to the quarry surroundings by Marshalls.
They've been alerted to the possibility of Twite and are willing to start a feeding station, which I'm willing to run (on a voluntary basis.) No public access, unfortunately, but I could ask for it if it works out. I would try and make any feeding station visible from the road.

First visit yesterday, 2nd April, produced above species, among others, and a Brown Hare.
Is it worth putting down nyjer seed in the chance of bringing in twite? The closest I've seen any is at Buckstones, about a mile away. There are a few pools which didn't dry up in the hot March we just had.
There aren't a lot of weeds producing early seed, like dandelion, and annual meadow-grass, but these are just beginning to colonise. There's lots of sorrel for later seed - said to be a major food, though I've never seen any feeding on it.
Suggestions re twite feeding welcome, as are any current sightings in the area.

Crimsworth Dean

In the heavy drizzle this afternoon
1 Ring Ouzel male in the upper dean was a nice surprise. Now quite a rarity in our area and in national decline.
c30 Meadow Pipits grounded and feeding in a field
Several Lapwing and Curlew and a single Golden Plover on the moor

Hardcastle Crags (Midgehole area)

Checked out some local heronries then had a couple of hours around Hebden Water/crags car park area late morning
Pair each of Grey Wagtails and Dippers
Several Nuthatch calling and singing around the car park
2 Green Woodpeckers
1 Great-spotted Woodpecker
1 f Sparrowhawk
1 Kestrel
A number of Coal Tits singing and 1 Chiff-chaff

Mixenden and Ogden Res'rs

First thing
Nothing at Mixenden other than a pair of Grey Wagtails

No Great-crested Grebes after a pair were displaying there yesterday!
Pair of Goldeneye still present
2 Grey Heron
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Kestrel
A few mipits and alba wagtails heading >NW

Monday, April 02, 2012


Had a pair of Linnets on the feeders this afternoon - an addition to my garden visitors list.

Ogden and Mixenden

Mipits still on the move in small numbers >N this afternoon
Pair of Goldeneye still on Ogden and a pair of G C Grebes displaying
Just 1 B H Gull and 4 L B B Gulls >W
2 Sparrowhawks
2 Kestrels
c40 Jackdaws
2 Lapwing
2 Curlew

Swales Moor

I went up there late morning thinking Osprey might be a possibility with the light NW on to the ridge. No Osprey but 2 Red Kites soaring high over the top at 11.15. The local corvids are always a help when large raptors are around and they certainly helped me to pick them up this morning. Drifted off high towards Queensbury where I thought BS or NK might be lucky enough to pick them up.
Several other birds moving included
c 60 Meadow Pipits >N
8 L B B Gulls >N
1 Gt B B Gull >NW
1 male Wheatear on the walls near the quarry
1 Linnet
6 Skylark
1 Kestrel
1 Weasel

3 Cormorants >NW over Lee Mount at 10.45

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Hunter Hill (watchpoint)

This afternoon - nothing moving other than a very dark Common Buzzard heading north towards the coll at Ogden at around 15.30
1 Wheatear around the quarry area
2 Kestrels
3 Stock Doves
c20 blogging Meadow Pipits


Great views of an Osprey passing north at 1.30PM today with SC, more on HB blog.

Sunday walk

Highlights of this afternoons walk...

Oystercatcher near Crow Hill above Cragg Vale
Jack Snipe above Withens Clough reservoir
Curlew on Erringden Moor
Lesser Red Poll and Goldcrest in woods below Erringden Moor
Close encounter with Sparrowhawk on Pennine Cycleway between Mytholmroyd and Brearley
Lots of Skylark and Meadowpipit
Plenty of Chiffchaff along the canal.

Also heard a couple of Willow Warbler yesterday in Stainland.

Fly Flatts Twite

6 Twite back at feeding station this a.m. but very flighty.
Also 4 Oyks.

High Royd 7:30 - 09:55

Following counts done on singing birds:-
8 - Chiffchaff
3 - Blackcap
4 - Nuthatch
4 - Wren
Following counts done on sightings of individual birds or call:-
1 - Redwing
3 - GSW + or incl 1 drumming
8 - Jay the gang still noisely blogging about
1 - Kestrel female, scarce sight here
3 - LTT
5 - Goldfinch
1 - Bullfinch, on call only
2 - Song thrush
3 - Dunnock
1 - Mistle thrush
1 - Grey wagtail, female
5 - Moorhen
3 - Coot
9 - Teal, 4 male, 5 female
1 - Grey Heron
Species seen but not counted
Great tit, Blue tit, Robin, Woodpigeon, Rook, Jackdaw, Carrion crow.