Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Nice garden tick

I was just getting in the car early afternoon when noisy waders were heard coming up the valley from Hebden. I looked and they were far away enough for me to get my binoculars, and be out again in time. Two black tailed godwits flew towards me, then veered north heading over the hill towards Blackshaw Head.


Reservoir and Back Lane area
25 L B B Gulls  SW
3 Swifts
1 Curlew still with juvs
Pair of Lapwing
Plenty Swallows  about and 3 House Martins SW
Plenty mipits, Linnets and Goldfinch
Nothing doing on the res'r but a Dipper and Grey Wags in Ogden Clough

Monday, July 30, 2012

Illegal hunting in Malta

There is a programme on Radio 4 tomorrow at 11.00am about the illegal hunting of birds in Malta. It's part of the regular Nature series. No doubt it will be available later on iPlayer.


Sunday, July 29, 2012


Ringstone this morning

Cormorant 3
G C Grebe 3
Swallow   4
B H Gulls C50

EGP this morning

1 juvenile Dipper by Cromwell lock
1 Green Woodpecker top meadow
1 G S woodpecker
Nothing on the river ,lake or lagoons.


Lots of Swallows, a few House Martins and Swifts in the valley this afternoon. The highlight though was a male Stonechat with 3 newly fledged juveniles. Ilook forward to seeing Brian's photos!

Saturday, July 28, 2012


I called there first thing this morning and later this evening. This morning there were around 150 B H Gulls and an od Common Gull but no sign of the Med. later on there were just a dozen or so Black heads and only 1 Common.
3 G C Grebes
1 Cormorant
Pair of Tufted Duck
5 Golden Plover
c100 Lapwing

Friday, July 27, 2012


Adult Med Gull at 18:30 tonight in non breeding plumage so not the same bird as earlier, watched for around 15 mins on the res before something sent everything up & the majority of gulls left. looked through a group of  around 100 BHG remaining but couldn't relocate it. Also 2 Golden plover on North field 3 Cormorants 3 Great crested Grebes 3 Tufted Duck & a single Sand Martin through.

Ogden and Fly Flatts

I called in at Ogden to see if the 5 Shoveler had stayed overnight, but as expected they had moved on. Not a lot else found there other than 1 Grey Heron.

Fly Flatts
2 Red-legged Partidge
1 Red Grouse
1 Golden Plover
6 Swift SW
1 Swallow SW
1 Unringed Twite
1 juv Wheatear
2 Oystercatchers
4 Kestrels
Usual mipits and Canada's

Withens Head
3 juv Wheatears and 1 adult
1 Little Owl
1 Lapwing
1 Kestrel
Meadow Pipits feeding young

Thursday, July 26, 2012


 One of five Shovelers found by Nk at Ogden today.

Wrens' nest at Blake Dean 25.7.12

I was sketching the tree (from a different angle) when I realised the adults were carrying food nearby. Took me two searches to find the nest, which is under the big horizontal branch.
There were at least 2 young, eyes open, still downy and coming to the entrance for food.
Other birds at Blake Dean:
Swallows (one nest with young on the gable end of the old chapel)
Green Woodpecker
Whinchat male
Meadow Pipits
Pied Wagtail


Mytholmroyd garden this pm

4 blackcaps-1m, 1f & 2 juvs  all eating redcurrants. They have been visiting for a few days.
8 siskins on feeders-2m, 3f & 3 juvs. Lots of visits from siskins in the last few weeks, as others have experienced. I don't usually get them until August.
2 chiffchaffs.
Plus usual species.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ringstone Res'r

A good find by Andy this morning with 5 (unringed) Black-tailed Godwits there around 11.0 am and they were still there in the north field at 14.20 from Niall - but not had an update from since then.

Crimsworth Dean

This afternoon, with noisy kids in tow, managed to find a juv' spotted flycatcher. Numerous nuthatch were the only other thing I could pick out above the din.

Cold Edge

Early afternoon. Lots of Linnets and Meadow Pipits about.
1 juv Curlew
Pair of Lapwing still with young
3 juv Wheatear opposite the wind farm car park
1 Little Owl
1 Tufted Duck
2 Kestrels
2 Oystercatchers
c60 B h Gulls
1 L B B Gull
1 full s p Little Grebe
1 Grey Heron
1 Willow Warbler
1 male Twite along Cold Edge Road
Not many Swallows about and no Swifts moving either

Fly Flatts

Late morning. Still no shoreline so not much good for waders.
1 juv Wheatear
2 unringed Twite at the feeding station
1 distant Kestrel
3 Oystercatchers
Not a lot else other than the usual mipits and Canada's with 12 Greylag Geese
No Swifts up there today

Gulls - Jay House Lane

Following on from DJ's find of the med gull at ringstone there was a huge number of gulls at Jay House Lane this morning opposite the first farm buildings as you come up JHL out of the woods in field to right.

Close enough to scope but I dont have one. Plenty of LBBGs, few GBBGs, common gulls & BH gulls. Only had 5 mins as I was already late for work with the m62 closure, worth checking if anyone is local & has a scope.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Poor shots, I know (digiscoped from the road) but this Mediterranean Gull (centre of shots) was in the fields behind the hide this afternoon at 1.30 pm and was there till at least 2 pm though model aircraft flying over the back field put the gulls up and it went with other B H Gulls into the north field where I lost track of it.
It is probably still there but may have moved to other fields just down the road on the right towards Barkisland where farmers are collecting silage and the fields were full of B H Gulls etc.
It looked like a full adult but just starting to loose the black hood at the front and on the photo's looks 'masked'
I hope someone else can find it as well !

5 G C Grebes
2 Cormorant
1 L B B Gull
c60 Common Gulls
c1,000 B H Gulls
c60 Lapwings


Interesting info from Sean Gray on the colour ringed Black tailed Godwit last Saturday (July 21st). It was ringed in Iceland ! Further details in due course.
Many thanks Sean, always good to hear from you.

Ringstone Res'r

Spent 2 hours or so yesterday evening at Ringstone with Nick D and John B mainly checking through 3,000+ gulls feeding in the surrounding fields following the farmers silage collection activities. The majority of gulls were Black-headed including a number of juveniles, with a lesser amount of Common Gulls, mostly adults (150+?) and c40 or more Lesser-Black backed Gulls. I have never seen this number of gulls in Calderdale since the landfill sites closed at Shroggs and Blackley!
With this amount of gulls there was always a chance of a Med or Herring or Yellow-legged Gull but we were not able to find anything unusual, though one 1st summer large gull that didn't look quite right for L B B G did not give good enough views to question it's possible i d .
The gulls should be around for a few days so it's well worth a check through with the scope, thought the farming operations look to be nearly completed.

2 Curlew >W
2 Common Sandpipers
c114 Lapwing
5 G C Grebes (including 1 juvenile)
Pair of Tufted Duck
1 f Peregrine over high put all the gulls up for a while
2 Pied Wagtails >W
1 Meadow Pipit
1 Kestrel
Some Linnets and quite a few Swallows around

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Lee Mount

Hobby tonight 8.45 pm over Lee Mount had 2 passes at c40 Swifts feeding over trees at back of Shroggs Park. I had been out for nearly an hour watching the Swifts overhead and thinking, not long now and they will be on their way till next summer - such amazing birds, when the Hobby shot over scattering the Swifts in all directions. They came back together before scattering again on the second pass!
First ever Hobby over the house since 1974!!

Common Scoter

Right on time with your post re keeping an eye out for local Common Scoters Dave, according to Birdguides there were 9 on Whiteholme, 14 on Warland and 6 on Blackstone Edge this morning (22nd)

Cold Edge and Hunter Hil

A lovely afternoon for a walk round but hardly any birds other than mipits and Linnets and a few Swallows.
1 Skylark
1 Curlew
1 Reed Bunting
1 B H Gull
2 Swift SW
Not a sign of any butterflies either though if the weather stays like this hopefully there will be some about later in the week!!


Best I could manage of the Black-tailed Godwits at Ringstone yesterday. 1 of the birds is ringed or tagged, white over red on the right leg and white over yellow i think on the left leg.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Booth Wood Res'r and Ringstone

Booth Wood Res'r - 7 Cormorants there early evening

6 Black-tailed Godwits at a distance - the best I could do through Nick's scope!

An amazing hour along with Nick, Steve and Steve !

I called in for a 'quick scan' around 7.30pm  on the way home. In the fields at the back of the hide there was a lot of farming activity cutting and collecting sileage. This had attracted several hundred B H Gulls along with a number of Common Gulls and a few L B B G's feeding in the damp fields. No scope with me, but that number of gulls always opens up the possibility of a Mediterranean Gull/s as happened to Andy C a few years ago in (think that was July) at Jay House Lane when he found 4 Med Gulls !

Nick and Steve were over the other side scanning through a similar number of gulls on the res'r and later joined me to see if we could locate anything different. In the meantime a Greenshank was calling and dropped in to the area near the hide and the Sedge Warbler was also still singing in the reeds and willows near the road.

Just after 8 pm we heard a faint unidentified call of wader/s but did not pick them up till Nick spotted them over the far end of the res'r heading towards Elland - 7 Black-tailed Godwits - 6 of them returned  a minute or two later and joined the gulls feeding in the fields cleared of the sileage where they stayed with the gulls until I left at 8.30 pm. We digiscoped them from a distance - Nick may have some better ones!
Also present
c108 Lapwings
4 G C Grebes (including 1 juvenile) and 2 Tufted Duck on the res'r.

It's a good idea to check these fields in the next few days as the silage job continues!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Other news today

27 Common Scoters at Blackmoorfott, Huddersfield today so there could be some around in Calderdale!(Mike Denton)

Scammonden - female Redstart today near the top car park and from Ringstone - 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Whitethroat and several Willow Warblers moving back through. All from Steve L and Tony M.

A Yorkshire Birdwatchers’ Meeting

A Yorkshire Birdwatchers’ Meeting
To be held at Weetwood Hall, Otley Road, Far Headingley, Leeds LS16 5PS
 Saturday 8th September 2012 From 9.15 – 17.00
Conference Fee: £18 Includes coffee, tea and lunch
 Everyone is Welcome!
Organised by Yorkshire BTO Representatives Supported by The British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford, Norfolk

 09:15 Delegate Registration
09:45 Welcome and Introduction, Andy Clements, BTO Director
Chair: Mike Denton, BTO Regional Representative for Yorkshire Bradford

10:00 BirdTrack and the Winter Thrushes Survey Nick Moran, BTO

 10: 30 Birds in the Yorkshire Dales Ian Court, Yorkshire Dales National Park

11:00 Tea, Coffee Break Chair: Chris Gunn, BTO Regional Representative for North Lincolnshire

 11: 30 Disease and Garden Birds Mike Toms, BTO

12: 00 The Long Preston Wet Grassland Project Adrian Shepherd, RSPB

12:30 Buffet Lunch
Chair: Rob Chapman, BTO Regional Representative for Yorkshire, York

 13:45 The Ecology of Nightjars Andy Lowe, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

 14:15 Film: ‘Raptors’ Gordon Yates

15:15 Tea, Coffee Break
Chair: Mick Carroll, BTO Regional Representative for Yorkshire North East

 15:45 Bird Atlas 2007-11 Dawn Balmer, BTO

16:15 The Starling you only thought you knew John Mather

 17:00 Close

 Booking form available via me at midgleybirder@yahoo.co.uk

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Luddenden Dean

Report from Ted of a Spotted Flycatcher at Jerusalem Farm, there yesterday.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cold Edge and Withens Head area

Cold Edge - this afternoon - in the drizzle again!
6 Tufted Duck
1 Little Grebe
1 Grey Heron
B H Gull 1 juv flyover
2 Curlew still with juv's
2 Oystercatchers
Lots of Meadow Pipits and Linnets
1 unidentified Phylloscopus warbler
1 Lesser Redpoll at Moorlands Farm shrubbery
Reed Buntings still feeding young
Swifts moving through continuously SW
Pair of Kestrels with 2 fledged juveniles

Withens Head
3 juvenile Wheatears opposite the wind farm car park

Hunter Hill
2 Grey Partridge
1 Green Woodpecker
Lots of mipits

Got home wet through!!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Lee Mount

A decent movement of Swifts >SW mid to late morning 40+  as well as a few Lesser Black-backs in the same direction.


Another nice female Siskin from Mike Henshaw with the male hiding round the back!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ringstone and Booth Wood Res'rs

Ringstone Res'r
2 'Tufted Duck' still there feeding in the shallows near the shoreline late evening (AndyK's recent find) - they still both show some similarities with Scaup with the female showing the white blaze at the base of the bill and the drake eclipse showing shades of grey towards the rear of its back - but they were too far away to 'nail' them. If any photographers can get decent shots of the female or drake's bill that could be a big help to securing the id !
just 1 Grey Heron also present

Booth Wood Res'r
8 Cormorants there this morning

Various locations

Had a trip round today, two Grey Partridge at Fly Flatts, Redshank with one unfledged juv at Blackstone Edge  and Little Owl at Luddenden Dean were the only birds of note.  Loads of Mipit about.


That's the only others i have.


Ogden this morning
Spotted Flycatcher 4  one pair feeding chicks
Grey Wagtail 2
G C Grebe 1
Common Gull 1
LBB Gull 1
Common Sandpiper 1
Heron 1
Treecreeper 1

Wrens at nest

Friday, July 13, 2012


male Sparrowhawk
Common Buzzard
male Siskin
Some more photo's from Mike Henshaw taken in the last week or so - nice ones Mike

Ringstone and Baitings

Earlier today - nothing doing other than 1 Grey Heron at Ringstone and at Baitings a Whitethroat singing away near the bridge at the top end in the clearfell area.

Fly Flatts

Early afternoon in the drizzle - wind from SE
4 Oystercatchers including a pair with 1 half grown chick feeding on the shore beyond the boat house
c8 Common Sandpipers including at least 2 fledged juvs
c400 Canada Geese and 11 Greylags plus 6 juvs
c35 Swifts plus others 100+ moving over high >NE
6+ Swallows
1 male Stonechat
1 juv Wheatear in the field by the top gate near the road
Lots of mipits and 4+ Reed Buntings
1 sub-adult L B B Gull
No Twite , though seed put down again... - not looking good!
Good to see Keith up there as well doing a round.

Ogden Wader

Doing work experience with the countryside service this week, and was up at ogden today. At around 9.30 this morning something flushed a wader by the duck feeding area. I was by the shop trimming bushes and only got a view of its back as it flew along the dam wall and landed at the far end. I was unable to follow it, due to being on work experience, and even if I had done I would still probably not have been able to identify it. What I saw of it was that it was a pale, sandy, grey-brown colour, It was about the size of a dunlin and had a distinct white rump. I have had a look in the book and all the waders matching this are unlikely candidates. Does anybody have any ideas? I know the description is not great, but its what I saw. It diddnt call as it was flushed, so I really have no idea.

More pics of Tufted / Scaup for discussion

After some discussion whether the 'ducks' photographed yesterday at ringstone, here are all my pictures, the larger blown up pictures are on pages 2 & 3 and the originals on page 1. All comments welcome!


I had one reply on birdforum which said "it looks less scaup like in the other photos, and the broad black tip to the bill rules this out - scaup have just a black nail."



Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lee Mount

c45 Black-headed Gulls this evening spiralling up on a late thermal - they circled up very high till nearly out of sight in the sky then they all drifted off SW about 9.0 pm. Just an odd Swift about this evening as well as I stayed out a while listening for possible waders going over - but nothing doing. It looks the right sort of evening so may have a listen later on.


A nice shot of a male Siskin today from Mike Henshaw - in his garden. I gather he has also had a female there as well so hope to see some juvs next Mike!!

Ringstone 12/07/12

Pair of great crested grebes on the resevoir and was struggling to find anything else until a grey heron flew low over the water & landed. Also heard reed bunting and saw a meadow pippit. Eventually 4 mallards and 2 tufted ducks showed up, with the drake in eclipse plumage.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Hi don't know if anyone would be interested but i have a set of BWP concise edition for sale at £50 & a copy of warblers of europe Helm (mint unread) for £10.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mixenden Res'r / Lee Mount

3 Canadas on Mixenden this morning plus a newly hatched group of 6 Mallard chicks but nothing else on the water. The gulls aren't showing an interest there yet.
1 Chiff-chaff singing in the plantation

Best bird of the week came while I did a bit of gardening this afternoon - a Nuthatch calling from the trees in the park - sounded like a young bird
Several groups of Swifts were heading SW this afternoon with one group of around 35 birds.

Pepper Hill / Claremount

We ventured out this morning in the pouring rain from Ploughcroft but didn't stay out too long!!!
1 Little Owl
c70 Swifts in one group SW around 11.30 came from Queensbury direction
and that was about it !

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Red Kite/s over Heptonstall

News just in

2 Red Kites seen and photographed over Heptonstall on Sunday 27th May at 18.20, circled briefly before heading off down the Valley towards Crags.

Report of one bird being noticably larger than the other suggests male & female.

Photos to follow, courtesy of Miss E Hartley


 Jay House area this morning

Canada Goose
Common Moorhen
Stock Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
Common Swift
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Common Magpie
Western Jackdaw
Carrion Crow
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Eurasian Skylark
Barn Swallow
House Martin
Long-tailed Tit
Common Chiffchaff
Common Whitethroat
Eurasian Wren
Common Starling
White-throated Dipper
Common Blackbird
Song Thrush
Mistle Thrush
European Robin
House Sparrow
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Pied Wagtail
Meadow Pipit
European Goldfinch
Common Linnet
Eurasian Bullfinch
Common Reed Bunting

Thursday, July 05, 2012


Had a walk round the windfarm at ovenden  today and noted Skylark , Meadow Pipit , 2 Redshank alarming ,juv Golden Plover and Lapwing alarming.No Curlew to be seen...

Soil Hill

A pair of Whitethroat in scrub - looking like nest activity, being serenaded by a Linnet in full song was the only highlight. 12 lapwings, 2 in "I have chicks nearby" distress mode. 1 kestrel,  2 skylark, 2 Curlew, 3 mipits + usual.
Not seen little owl around for ages.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Booth Wood

We were very fortunate to catch a Hobby over from the reservoir area at 10.45 this morning, as it headed down towards Rishworth/Pike End.

Tree Sparrows

Went up Jay House Lane to check on the tree sparrows today, I counted 12, just 2 were on the manure pile with a few house sparrows, the rest seem to be hanging around in the felled  branches to the left, I counted 10 in here but could have been more.

Also 11 juvenile pied wagtails on the mound + 1 adult. A juvenile goldfinch turned up for a while and 4 further adults were seen around. 5 swallows + 1 swift over. A linnet also landed in the middle of the road briefly!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Crimsworth Dean

Pretty quiet in the dean today but one or two things of interest especially c6 Lesser Redpoll in an area of recent tree planting. I guess these are breeding birds which are scarce in Calderdale with only a handful of known sites. Also a pair of Siskin - another scarce breeder in our area. 3 singing Goldcrests was also good to hear but no sign of any Spotted Fly's.
Elsewhere 2 Little Owls
1 Kestrel
c100 Swifts feeding over the dean
Waders were very quiet other than 1 Snipe 'drumming', a couple of Lapwing and a few Curlew with 11 of the latter high over the moor heading SW

Carrion/Hooded Crow

There's a carrion crow knocking round near Hartshead Church that looks to have some Hoodie genes though how far back is anyones guess.  Will try and get a snap.

Jay House Lane 03.07.12

Had a walk up Jay House Lane this lunchtime to see if I could find the Little Owl reported, low and behold it flew out from beside me, up the road and perched up on a post! Sat there for some time which gave me fantastic first views of a Little Owl! As I moved closer a wagon came rumbling down the hill & flushed the owl into the field where it perched atop a tree for a while before dissappearing.

Thanks to Fran44 for posting the location, had a very enjoyable time!

Also saw 1 Moorhen on the pond along with 2 adult and 2 very well looking juvenile Canadian Geese. There were 2 Chiffchaffs singing away, one of which I could see and inbetween calls was making a very 'scratchy' sound which resembled the first part of reed warbler song. Has anyone else heard this before?

Lee Mount (yesterday)

I was more than a little surprised to come across a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in Lee Mount yesterday. I had jut finished grass cutting, late morning, in the churchyard with a colleague when we heard a commotion in the tall Lime tree next to Lilac Street. Great-spotted Woodpeckers were making  a racket and we tried to pick them out in the canopy. Searching through the branches I was totally surprised to see a Lesser-spotted creeping about on the underside of a dead branch showing the obvious barring along its back. It was only in view for a few moments but enough for a conclusive i d before it flew off towards Shroggs Park closely followed by 2 Great spots - still making a lot of noise and obviously seeing off the lesser-spotted.
I suspect this was a female as it showed no red on the head - or perhaps it was a dispersing juvenile? This is my first ever record of Lesser-spotted in Lee Mount but guess its well on its way now though there is plenty of suitable habitat in Shroggs Park and in the Wheatley Valley!

Monday, July 02, 2012

Countryfile Knocks Raptors

For those that missed this, here is a somewhat negative report on buzzards and peregrines with some emotive arguments from the pheasant and pigeon brigade, some regurgitated propaganda from SOS and a lame defence from the conservationists. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01kmbf6/Countryfile_01_07_2012/

Jay House Lane

Jay House Manure Pile this dinner time

House Sparrow  c15
Tree Sparrow  3
Meadow Pipit 2
Curlew 2
Linnet 4
Swallow c20
Pied Wagtail  4 adult, 11 juveniles

Lower down Jay House

Moorhen 1
Little Owl 1

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Fly Flatts

        Success for Common Sandpipers at Fly Flatts  1 of 3 juvs.
                                            1 pr Twite on seed this a.m.

7 Common Sandpiper + 3 juvs
1pr Twite
c 150 Swift >W
+ usual sp.