Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Swales Moor

Just over an hour on the top this morning but not pleasant with the wind gusting to F5 though visibility was quite good
Most interesting feature was 4 seperate Sparrowhawks heading high, all west
2 Greylag Geese
12 Fieldfare >E
1 Starling
23 Common, 1 B H Gull and 1 L B B Gulls >SW
10 Goldfinch on thistles
1 Kestrel at Ploughcroft

We also had a check at Fly Flatts, Withens Head and Cold Edge this afternoon but conditions were not good and nothing of note - other than a big pack of hounds etc... chasing about in Clunters Clough just up from the Twite feeding station.

Redpoll - Cromwell Bottom

The redpolls are back at Cromwell Bottom, 5 there yesterday lunchtime, just waiting for a nice mealy to turn up now!

Monday, October 29, 2012

More Buzzards

Buzzard drifting low over Norwood Green/Lightcliffe this morning, heading in the Shelf direction.

Another Buzzard this pm perched on a fence post near Church Farm,Hartshead , watching over a newly ploughed field with 100+ B H Gulls, 6 Common Gulls, 80+ Starlings, 90+Lapwings, 16 Pied Wagtails. Possibly the same Buzzard that was on the other side of the M62 at Jay House Lane earlier in the afternoon ?

Mixenden Res'r

2 Goosander on the res'r
2 L B B Gulls with a few B H and Common Gulls
c15 Fieldfare in the big hedge feeding on hawthorn berries along with a few Chaff's and Goldfinch
1 Little Owl

Hunter Hill
Very quiet apart from a few gulls moving through including 4 Herring Gulls SW


Jay House Lane  12:00 to 12:45

Little Owl
Moor Hen
Redwing C40
Fieldfare C50
Starling 500+
Goldfinch C50
Lapwing C200
Meadow Pipit 9
Pied Wagtail 3
Tree Sparrow C20 on and around the feeders.
Buzzard from the direction of Bailiff Bridge then dropped in to Willow Valley.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

2012 NERF Annual Conference

Booking is now available for the 2012 Northern England Raptor Forum Conference.  This year the event is being organised for NERF by Northumbria Ringing Group and will be held on Sunday 18th November at Northumbria University in Newcastle.   

As well as an interesting program and the usual networking opportunities there will be some chances to do some early Christmas shopping with stands from Paramo clothing, Second Nature books, bird artists and photographers.

Please book (by 31st October).   Booking forms must be posted with payment (cheque) to the address indicated on the form.  Booking forms are available from

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Lee Mount

Soon after 7.30 this evening I heard a large noisy skein of Pink-feet heading over in the dark. Despite some moonlight I could not locate them or direction of flight but they were probably heading west by my guess!!?

Booth Wood Res'r

I had a short time there this morning on the way up to the M62. I scanned the ridge and located a large swan coming in from height and thought the likelyhood would be a Whooper. It turned out to be a juv Mute Swan which did not dissapoint me as mutes can be scarcer in Calderdale than Whoopers nowadays!
Not a lot else there other than c130 Woodpigeons heading SW, 30 Fielfare and 2 Redwings heading west.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Raptor persecution

The goverment response to the e-petition advocating the introduction of a vicarious liability offence for raptor persecution in England is given below. Such an offence has been put on the statute book by the Scottish government. The e petition can still be signed:-

As this e-petition has received more than 10 000 signatures, the relevant Government department have provided the following response:
Defra is aware of the Scottish Government's decision to introduce a vicarious liability offence under the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act (Scotland) 2011, which came in to force on 1 January 2012. The new offence is targeted principally at addressing the persecution of raptors. The new offence will mean employers or agents may be prosecuted where an employee is found to have illegally killed a bird of prey (or other wild bird) - in effect they may be prosecuted for the same offence. There is, however, a defence that an employer or agent can rely on, this being that they did not know an offence was being committed and that they took all reasonable steps to prevent an offence being committed.
It is unclear whether in practice the new offence will result in successful prosecutions of employers or agents. There are no immediate plans therefore to introduce a similar offence in England but Defra will look carefully at how the offence works in practice in Scotland. The development of our future wildlife crime policy will include consideration of how effective the new offence in Scotland has been in helping to address raptor persecution.

This e-petition remains open to signatures and will be considered for debate by the Backbench Business Committee should it pass the 100 000 signature threshold.
So, nowt's happening for the moment.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Walshaw and Blake Dean looking for winter thrushes

Although the mist was quite low, visibility was OK up at Walshaw and I could see almost the length of the lower reservoir. Just did the lower res circuit though as visibility was poorer the higher you went.

Blackbird - 4
Song Thrush - 2
Red Grouse - 2 calling
Canada Goose - 5
Mallard - 15 (incl 2 hybrids)
Little Grebe - 1 (first one I've seen up here)
Coal Tit - 4
Treecreeper - 1

Blake Dean
Grey Heron - 1 preening by the stream
Fieldfare - c.35 flying to and fro but didn't land, nor did they call. They flew overhead going upstream then came back downstream, flapped around for 10 or 15 seconds then disappeared further downstream towards Hardcastle Crags.

No Redwing unfortunately but Andy H had c.80 over Sowerby Bridge this morning.

Grey Heron preening

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


A few redwings could be heard over Jumble Hole tonight, moving in the gloom.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dipper in Sowerby Bridge

There's also a couple of juv Grey wagtails on the same stretch of water just up from the Sports Centre but they are always too flighty to photograph.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

RSPB Golden opportunity to crack bird of prey persecution, before it's too late

Hi all

Something stinks!!! The number of signatures is stuck on around 10,542 surely after several days this should have increased a bit. Is someone leaning on this petition - or is it me that is becoming paranoid?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Red Kite

There is a record shot of a Red Kite on the Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group site taken by Barry Nield on Sunday.

Nice pic.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Would it be possible to activate the search feature, so everyboby can use it.??

Friday, October 12, 2012

RSPB Golden opportunity to crack bird of prey persecution, before it's too late

As the Hen Harrier teeters on the brink of extinction as a breeding bird in England, Coalition and Welsh Government Ministers have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tackle the illegal killing of birds of prey in England and Wales, and must not waste it. That's the message from the RSPB as it publishes its annual wildlife crime figures showing yet another shameful year of poisoning, shooting and trapping for Red KitesGolden EaglesPeregrine FalconsGoshawks and other persecuted species. Just one pair of Hen Harriers bred in England in 2012, with Government's own studies suggesting that illegal killing is the major factor in their decline.  See more of this report.

Please sign this petition here now before it's too late. We need 100,000 signatures before the government has to take notice, we have to date under 11,000 and it has taken almost a year to get that far!

The RSPB aren't pushing this, or have I missed something? I won't say what I think! 

It is therefore up to us to act now. sign this petition here we have only a few weeks left to sign.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fly Flats

Fly Flats with DJS this PM. 11 Wigeon flying about and landing on the reservoir, also 1 GBBG south. 130 Pinkies over Pellon earlier and a Chiffchaff calling at Pellon Reservoir.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Swales Moor

Vis Mig
Tuesday 9 October 2012
Counting period: 11:15 - 12:30
Count type: all species
Weather: wind NE1, cloud-cover 4/8, 8c degrees. Reasonably good visibility though a haze over distant hills. All movement S W or SW unless stated
Grey Heron 1
alba wagtail sp. 7
Chaffinch 2
Sparrowhawk 1 and 1 N
Blue Tit 5
Greenfinch 6
Common Buzzard 1
Great Tit 2
Goldfinch 4 E
Golden Plover 20 E
Jay 1 and 4 NE
Linnet 30 and 2 N
Meadow Pipit 6 and 3 NE
Jackdaw 2 E
Crossbill 4 N
Grey Wagtail 1 E
Rook 1 E

Totals: 104 individuals, 17 species, 1:15 hours

Present: Grey Partridge 4, Little Owl 1, Magpie 15, Carrion Crow 45, Linnet 17
Comments: An interesting hour or so with a nice mix of birds moving through

Monday, October 08, 2012

Hunter Hill

Female Merlin from last Sunday afternoon at Hunter Hill, this was the best I could do with the digiscope !

Swales Moor

Very misty up there this afternoon and no wind (just cool from NE)cosequently there was very little moving.
Resident birds included
1 Green Woodpecker on the western slope
2 Skylark
9 Meadow Pipits
2 Pied Wagtails
2 Grey Partridge calling
2 Sparrowhawks
2 Kestrels
c30 Goldfinch
1 Linnet
Just over 100 Carrion Crows on the top plus other corvids and 1 Jay over

Also (I'm not that up on moths)! but thought I had some Small T butterflys flying around but they turned out to be moths - almost certain they were Silver Y's - at least 3 feeding on Ragwort flowers but they would not stay still for photo's.

Kirklees Hall habitat under threat

The fields near Kirklees Hall contained over 50 Linnets today, with 3 Mistle Thrushes and a single Yellowhammer.
The roof of the old shelter at the field edge was being used as a perch by one of the Little Owls, which was harassed by 2 Magpies (successfully-it disappeared !)
In the bushes were 2 Redwings, and along the path 2 male Pheasants.
Nearby there were at least 12 Chaffinches, a Kestrel, a G S Woodpecker, and a Buzzard flew directly into the wood not far away.
A fairly typical hour in this area, but for how much longer ?
Kirklees Council has plans for a 42 acre business park which would destroy prime farmland, woodland and hedgerows in the Green Belt, and create untold disturbace to the neighbouring habitat. A large portion of this land is in our area.
How can 'the greenest government ever' allow this sort of environmental vandalism ??
Details of the plans are on Kirklees MDC's website. There is still time to object.

Black Stork Record

Ive just found out that the BBRC have NOT accepted the record of Black Stork seen over Mixenden last year. Its a shame but we will have to abide by their ruling.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Cottonstones, 7th October 2012

Still around nine swallows enjoying the autumn sunshine in the vicinity of the Alma Inn, at Cottonstones this aft'.

Regards, Chris

Dishfish reaches 5!

Congratulations to Dishfish on maintaining his highly entertaining birding blog for five years, check out the link to it from this blog and enjoy the experiences of a young local birder, wish there were more like him!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Swales Moor

Vis mig on the top this morning from 8.30 till 11.00 am. Reasonably good visibility though some surrounding tops (including Cold Edge) were still shrouded in mist. Wind SW F1 to F2. 2/8 cloud cover and 9c to 11c.

Wheatear there this morning
Moving birds
c45 Crossbill 'hugging the ground' on the top headed through >N at 08.45 in a direct line with Ogden!
194 Meadow Pipits >SW
11 Greenfinch >SW
11 unidentified finches >SW
35 Chaffinch >SW
2 Bullfinch >SW
13 L B B Gulls >W
9 Woodpigeons >W
3 Sparrowhawks 2 >S and 1 >E
2 House Martins >S
3 Swallows >S
1 Snipe >S
3 Skylark >W
10 alba wagtails >S
6 Linnet >W
1 Common Buzzard >S
5 Jays passing over high - 2 and 1 >W and 2 >N
2 Coal Tits >W (this was a surprise, I just got back to the car and they came through by the ski-slope and got higher and higher till out of sight.)

Also present around the top - 2 Kestrel, 5 Skylark, c30 Linnet, c40 Goldfinch plus the usual corvids in abundance.











Friday, October 05, 2012


Possibly brought down by the constant showers today, 2 Willow Warblers were at Duke St today, the first around 10:30 was joined part way through the day by a second following another shower.

A large tit flock is forming and seems to be doing a big circuit, in amongst them are at least 3 Goldcrest, 1 Nuthatch and a Treecreeper.

Swales Moor

Some Vis Mig this morning from Ringby Lane was a bit of a struggle in the blustery wind and showers but was very productive. 9.15 till 11.50. SW F4 to F5/6 on the top. 10c bright with showers and reasonable visibility throughout.
The highlight was 8 male Crossbills >W at 11.45 just as I was about to leave
83 Meadow Pipits >SW
11 Chaffinch >W (but I think I missed a lot going over high)
1 Pied Wagtail >SW
3 Greenfinch >W
1 Linnet >W
1 Coal Tit >W
1 Sparrowhawk >E
1 L B B Gull >NW
3 B H Gulls >NW

Also present on the top were 7 Skylark, 2 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk, 6 Goldfinch and c100 Linnets around the quarry area. Nearly forgot - loads of Carrion Crows as usual !! maybe about 60 plus a few other corvids.

I just missed out on c220 P F Geese heading east towards Shelf Moor just after 9.0 am (they were seen by HC at the Oxenhope watchpoint who alerted us through BS)

Later on in the day we checked Pepper Hill and Claremount hillside tops but the wind was keeping everything down. One flock of c100 Goldfinch, c50 Starlings, a few corvids, 1 Common Gull, a Sparrowhawk and Kestrel and that was about it.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Red Kite Copley

For the 2nd time this year a Kite very low over Copley School at 15:30.  Was getting attention from the corvids.

Cold Edge

Fairly quiet this afternoon but some fantastic clouds.
1 Wheatear along Cold Edge Road
c3 Kestrels
c30 Meadow Pipits
1 Little Owl
1 Little Grebe
2 Ravens high heading over towards Soil Hill

No Swallows or House Martins today but I gather Nigel had one Swallow over Soil Hill this morning and also a Yellow Wagtail through which is always a special bird locally nowadays.


I met up with Nigel this morning to check the Yellow-browed Warbler locations without success. It's probably gone now but who knows!
1 Chiff-chaff singing
4 Cormorant
1 female Wigeon
2 Grey Wagtails
1 Dipper feeding in the overflow
Very few small birds about and Goldcrests had thinned out from earlier this week

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Mixenden and Stodfold

Not a lot about this afternoon but interesting all the same.

Stodfold - 1 alba Wagtail >SW, 1 Grey Heron

Mixenden Res'r - 2 LBB Gulls, and a Nuthatch in the plantation

Ogden golf course - 1 male Stonechat and a Little Owl - also a few mipits and L T Tits about with other tits and a few Goldcrests

Negative reports today from Ogden - nothing on the Y B Warbler!


I know this is not a Calderdale report but I find this information amazing about migrating Blue Tits over the last 2 days at Nabben, Falsterbo, Sweden.
21,660 on 30th September and 87,400 on 1st October

I can't say I ever thought Blue Tits were 'big movers' but this proves otherwise !!
If you start seeing a lot of Blue Tits on your garden feeders in the next few weeks, who knows where they might have come from?

Monday, October 01, 2012

Jumble Hole

Clinging on to the last of summer....
4 swallows flew West
A chiffchaff was calling from scrub on Underbank


The Yellow Browed Warbler was seen this morning (NK and MM) around 11.20 near the top end of the reservoir but despite intensive efforts from 10+ local birders this afternoon we produced no sighting - until last light when Ady picked up 2 calls as the L T Tit flock came through and went to roost in the rhododendrons.

Several of us noted that we had not had a sign of L T Tit flock all afternoon until they turned up last light so it's worth checking the L T Tit flock for the YBW tomorrow if anyone can find the LTT's !

Also present
20+ Goldcrests
1 Treecreeper
1 female Blackcap
2+ Chiff-chaffs
1 Siskin
Coal, Blue and Great Tits...
Juvenile Grey Heron
1 Peregrine over briefly
1 Sparrowhawk >E

Swales Moor

Some Vis Mig this morning between 10.15 and 11.45
Westerly F4 on the top. 11c cloudy with intermittent drizzle
360 Meadow Pipits on the move >SW
2 Skylark >W
2 alba wagtails >SW
2 Siskin >W
3 Chaffinch >W
1 Greenfinch >W
6 Linnets >W
1 adult Herring Gull and 24 L B B Gulls >W
1 Sparrowhawk >SW
1 Kestrel >SW
22 Canada Geese >SE
Lots of resident corvids around the site