Monday, September 30, 2013

Fly Flatts

10 Mallard
11 Teal
1 Tufted Duck
11 Canada Geese
1 unidentified small falcon over the moor Kestrel/Merlin but too far away to be sure.
No waders but loads of shoreline!

Mixenden Res'r

Just 2 G C Grebes this afternoon, adult and a juvenile.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


A red kite circling over the golf course this morning before flying away in the direction of Midgeley.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ringstone Res'r

A call up there just on dusk proved worthwhile. I pulled up in the car by the road and saw part of the Lapwing  flock on the on the rocks just over the wall so stayed in the car rather than disturb them. The Ruff was with them just 15 m away though head was tucked in all the time I watched it. Good to think it has stayed around a few days.
2 Grey Partridge nearby and a Little Owl calling

Friday, September 27, 2013

Swales Moor

I tried for Vis Mig again this morning (8.30 till 10.00) but there was hardly any movers other than --
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker high >NE
2 Snipe >SW
21 Meadow Pipits >SW
1 Skylark >SW
3 Golden Plover >S
2 L B B Gulls >NE
A bit of an unusual mix!!!

Others nearby local birds
8 Grey Partridge on the top
1 Little Owl
4 Skylark
1 Sparrowhawk
2 Pied Wagtails
c20 Meadow Pipits
c30 Goldfinch
c20 Linnets

I just missed out on seeing Steve B's 40 Pink-footed Geese >SW over Norland at 10.30

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ringstone 7:30 - 8:30

2 Snipe
22 Lapwing
c50 BH Gulls
3 Common Gulls
2 LBB Gulls incl 1 juv
1 Cormorant
1 GC Grebe
3 Chiffchaff (1 by old feeding station & 2 by res keepers house)
2 Pied Wagtails
3 Mallard
1 Dunlin fly through

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mixenden area etc

1 Tufted Duck
1 Goosander
1 Swallow

Lower Brockholes
6 Goldcrest together and checked carefully!
2 Song Thrush
1 Chiff-chaff

Fly Flatts
1 Golden Plover
1 Wheatear

Stacks of Y B Warblers on the NE coast etc and 4,000+ Snow Bunts arrived on the outer isles - lets hope some come our way!!!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Swales Moor

Late morning in the gloom. The only movers west were 2 adult Common Gulls and 2 Skylarks heard but unseen! Also 1 Swallow north.
c50 mipits on the top were going round in circles not sure which way to go on the fog.
Also on the top
1 Green Woodpecker
2 Jays
1 Little Owl
c30 Goldfinch
c20 Linnets
Usual corvids in numbers

Earlier we had 14 geese West over Lee Mount around 10.30. No calls but they looked too big for pinkies and think they were probably Canada's.

Ringstone Res'r

Grey Plover and Ruff showing well this morning from Steve L. Then this afternoon they may have moved off ? Disturbed by model aircraft flying in the adjacent field from Geoff S. lets hope they re-appear as they may have just moved off with Lapwings to nearby fields. (?)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Cold Edge area

Cold Edge this afternoon - no sunshine today so no butterflies unlike yesterday
Pretty quiet but lots of Meadow Pipits (c100) , a few Linnets (c10) and Goldfinches (40+) on the weedy areas around the upper dam plus a phyllosc in the plantation near the lower dam.
1 Moorhen
c30 Mallard
4 Goosander
1 Kestrel
Resident Swallows have really thinned out the last few days though some are still  feeding young at sites near Cold Edge

Withens Head
2 Wheatears
1 Kestrel
Red Grouse nearby

Ringstone (update)

Grey Plover and Ruff still there this afternoon and a Stonechat near the hide thanks to NK and DP

Ringstone (Sunday)

1 Grey Plover
1 Ruff  (SL)
14 Wigeon

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Jumble Hole today

Quite a few bits about today, and I wasn't birdwatching! Just bits to be seen whilst pottering about the house & garden

- c100 pink footed geese flew NW over just before 10:30. It seemed fitting that the newly arrived winter geese were flying over the top of flock of swallows feeding up to migrate south. Out with one season, in with the next.
- a buzzard was calling over the house at 2:30
- siskins were heard flitting about all day
- a chiffchaff was still calling from the garden
- nuthatch and great spotted woodpecker were around the garden feeders

Just a quick note...

Hello everyone
Not really relevant to any sightings but I start at my university tomorrow and so I would just like to say thanks to all the people in this bird group who have encouraged me in my bird watching and helped me see some amazing birds (Great Northern Diver male in summer plumage singing at Ringstone springs to mind). I will try to get out whenever I am back, though I admit my posting record is already poor. My course is Zoology at Sheffield which starts in a week, which I am really looking forward to.
Thanks once again for encouraging me and helping me become a better birder.
All the best for next 3 years


Friday, September 20, 2013

Buzzard behaviour

Two Buzzards East of Brighouse today, one with very worn feathers and the other in very good condition, flying really low. The latter bird was repeatedly dropping a large twig from it's claws, then catching it before it hit the ground. Not seen this behaviour in Buzzards before ! - possibly a juv bird learning new aerial skills ?
Also two Little Owls together nearby, five Lapwings over and over fifty Swallows/Martins overhead.
No sight or sound of the usual Yellowhammers though.

Garden Blackcap

A male Blackcap was feeding in a Hebden Bridge garden on 18th Sept. ( per Bel Hale)
Also a Chiff-chaff with a tit flock in my garden today at Dudwell, Halifax.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Urgent Appeal for a Scope and Birder at Ringstone to search for small wader

Swung by Ringstone (7:15am - 8:30am) on my way into work to see if the Pinkies were still there and was it worth it my while with....

9 Pinkies mainly in top field
4 Golden Plover
1 Grey Plover
1 Snipe
1 UWO (unidentified wading object) this is seriously worth a proper look down a scope, if it's the same bird DJS had then its been present for 2 days, the jiz of the bird suggests its not a Dunlin small head down most of the time similar to Sanderling, only again colouration doesn't look right for Sanderling. The Lapwings keep harassing it so shouldn't take too long to find. I do hope someone can get up there and spend sometime searching for this bird the site has had Temminck's Stint in the past!!

In the Res Keepers Garden a single Willow Warbler.

Lots of Mipits moving though and several Swallows.

Also present Large flock of Canada Geese and Lapwing plus 1 GC Grebe, 2 Cormorant, c10 BH Gull and a single Mallard.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ringstone Res'r

Late morning - with the Grey Plover still there and showing reasonably well, mostly to one
side of the Lapwing flock of around 60 birds
Also present were around 6 Dunlin in among the stones rather than on the edge of the shore. Also near the Grey Plover on the shoreline was another Dunlin type wader but looked slightly smaller though I couldn't be sure it was anything different as it was so tricky with the wind, drizzle and distance - about half way along the shoreline. If/when conditions improve it should be possible for a positive i d.
Also in among the stones and shoreline at least 10 Snipe
1 Cormorant
c40 B H Gulls and a lot of corvids in the fields and c60 Canada's

Hunter Hill

From the watchpoint this morning - 8.0 till 10 am - hardly anything moving at all in the strong continuing westerly with intermittent showers, though I did find a sheltered spot.
Movers SW
23 Meadow Pipits
1 Grey Heron
2 Goldfinch
1 Swallow
1 Cormorant >N

Mixenden Res'
1 juv Cormorant
A change from yesterday with only a handful of House Martins (c20) and lots of Swallows (80+)
1 Kestrel
2 Mistle Thrush

Ringstone Res'r

Grey Plover there yesterday afternoon on the shore (JB) and still there this morning (SL)
Also yesterday
2 Dunlin
10 Snipe
1 G C Grebe
2 Cormorant

Monday, September 16, 2013

Mixenden Res'r

This afternoon - conditions not much better than this morning but there was some shelter from the plantation. House Martins in particular were concentrating on feeding over the Res'r with around 70 there plus around 30 Swallows. Not often House Martins outnumber Swallows!
1 adult Great Crested Grebe
68 Jackdaws at Stodfold along with 38 Woodpigeons (mainly juvs)
A few Meadow Pipits on Hunter Hill and Carrion Crows feasting on a sheep carcass!

Fly Flatts

Late morning visit in the strong westerly F5 to F6 gusting with heavy showers and some sunny spells.  I went with the possibility of wind blown seabirds but nothing doing!
1 juv L B B Gull >W
1 drake Tufted Duck came in during a heavy shower
1 B H Gull
2 Wheatear
2 Kestrel
2 Skylark
c10 Meadow Pipits
c20 Red Grouse
No sign of this weekends Turnstones, unfortunately.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ringstone Res'r

I had a look there early evening - very tricky conditions with the gusting strong westerly!
15 B  H Gulls
1 Common Gull
1 adult G C Grebe
c60 Canada Geese
c60 Lapwings on the shoreline
1 Common Snipe >N
1 drake Goosander heading due west and showing how suited these wonderfully streamlined birds are for cutting through the elements - fantastic!

ooops - just remembered !! - passing the sports pitches at West Vale early evening - loads of hirundines feeding in the sheltered area over the pitches, maybe 200+ mostly Swallows.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Jumble Hole

A common buzzard flew slowly west at lunchtime, and headed towards Todmorden. A whitethroat and 3 chiffchaffs were also present. It was noticeable that great spotted woodpecker and nuthatch have both returned to the garden today.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

White Holme Res'r

No sign of the Purple Sandpiper in poor weather late this morning but there were 2 Pintail, 2 Wigeon and 16 Teal along with 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin and a Merlin.

There were 5 Ringed Plover and a Merlin at nearby Warland reservoir ( not sure if this is part of your recording area)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Out with NCD tonight in the fog and rain.
1 Purple Sandpiper on the west shoreline
3 Ringed Plover
2 Dunlin

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fly Flatts etc.

Fly Flatts
2 Red Grouse
6 Canada Geese
1 B H Gull
4 Swallows >NW
2 Kestrels

Withens Head
1 Wheatear

Castle Carr Road
1 Little Owl

The increasing NW wind strength seemed to put paid to most things this afternoon!

Hunter Hill

Vis Mig from 8.20 until 9.45 - started off promising but tailed off as the wind increased from NNW
Moving birds
Cormorant 4 >N
Meadow Pipit 51 >SW
1 alba Wagtail >SW
Swallow 39 >SW
House Martin 1 >SW
L B B Gull 1 > and 1 W
Raven 2 >NW

Other birds nearby included
2 Kestrel
1 Wheatear
25 Goldfinch
2 Linnet
1 Skylark
5 Stock Dove
c40 Woodpigeons
c40 Meadow Pipits in the quarry area
60+ Swallows feeding over Mixenden Res'r

Monday, September 09, 2013

Marsh harrier - garden tick

After Nick D's grapevine report of a marsh harrier in the general area, I thought I'd have a look outside as I was working from home. Nothing to see at 12:15, but kept peeking out every 5 minutes or so, and at 12:45 a cream crown marsh harrier appeared from the direction of Stoodley Pike (indicating it had come from Withens Clough, or possibly Whiteholme area??) and flew east along the ridge of Errinden. Every corvid in the district seemed to have joined it by this point. It carried on regardless straight towards Hebden Bridge and out of sight, but heading for Pecket Well. There has been one loafing about in the Bradford recording area in that direction (Leeshaw) for some days now, so could be the same bird?

Nick's harrier was last seen speeding the other direction towards Sowerby Bridge at 12:15, so he feels it was probably a different bird.

Pepper Hill - Claremount

A good number of Swallows 80+ and a few House Martins 25+ feeding over the fields this afternoon but not a lot else, though we had hoped an od raptor might fly through !!
c27 Starlings
15 Rooks
2 Meadow Pipits
2 Stock Doves

Swales Moor

Tried a bit of Vis Mig late morning (11.45 till 12.55) and was quite surprised to find mipits on the move - 143 with most coming down onto the ridge then with some reluctance headed off high in small groups >W
1 Grey Wagtail >N
1 Sparrowhawk >SW
53 Swallows >SW
11 House Martin >SW
2 L B B gulls >SW

Other birds present
1 Grey Wagtail
c50 Linnet
c40 Goldfinch
2 Stock Dove
+ the usual mixed flock of corvids

Juvenile Grey Wagtail at Ploughcroft this morning with, unusually, a white tail feather!

Jumble Hole

A buzzard was over again yesterday being mobbed.
Spotted flycatcher and chiff chaff in scrub in front of the house this lunchtime.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Ringstone Res'r

I got a call from Geoff S across lunchtime about a probable Curlew Sandpiper (showing a white rump in flight and some reddish colour still around the breast) along with a Dunlin on the shoreline.
I got up there later to meet DF but we could only find the Dunlin although there was a lot of activity with gulls, Lapwings and corvids along with model planes flying over the fields so think the bird probably got flushed off?
I did check the back pools as well but they were well overgrown and not really all that good for waders other than perhaps Snipe so no luck there unfortunately!
1 Cormorant
1 Tufted Duck (fem)
c80 Lapwing but mobile with the disturbance
1 Golden Plover (flyover)
Several waves of (mainly) House Martins (totalling c60) went >SW feeding over the res'r as they quickly moved on. Also around 40 Swallows did the same thing later in the afternoon
1 Green Woodpecker in the drain behind the embankment headed off down the valley
c25 Linnet
A stack of 150+ corvids in the fields - Rooks, Jackdaws and Carrion Crows

Saturday, September 07, 2013

7th Sept

Whiteholme area this evening, 8 Greenshank flew south west. Present 6 Dunlin, 1 Ringed Plover, 16 Teal, 8 Wigeon, 2 Wheatears and a female Merlin. Mount Tabor early PM, Ringtail harrier south over Midgley Moor almost certain a hen but distant.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Fly Flatts/Withens Head/Cold Edge

In the drizzle this morning but visibility was reasonably good
Fly Flatts - plenty of shoreline but not a wader in sight !
2 Wheatears
1 Kestrel
1 Peregrine >S
6 Canada Geese
6+ Red Grouse
20 Meadow Pipits >N
6 Swallows >N

Withens Head
2 Wheatears
c40 Meadow Pipits
6 Red Grouse

Cold Edge
4 Teal
2 Tufted Duck
20+ Mallard
1 Little Owl

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Erringden moor

nice walk this morning very few birds about

mistle thrush 13
meadow pipit 37 in a group
willow warbler 1
swallow 56 feeding below stoodly pike
kestrel 1

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Jumble Hole

These are some of the 46 swallows that we're gathering on the wires earlier. As you can see, many of them are juvs. Other post breeding flocks include 25+ goldfinch, and 100+ starlings.

2 ravens were over the house again yesterday.

Hunter Hill and Swales Moor

Early start for Vis Mig but that was a waste of time. Thick mist above Wainstalls so I went up Swales (Ringby Lane) which was not a lot better but only very few movers SW.
3 Common Gulls
3 Greenfinch
7 Chaffinch
1 Meadow Pipit
2 Linnets
2 Swallows

Birds around the site were a bit better with 2 juv Sparrowhawks together, sparring with Carrion Crows
1 Skylark
c40 Swallows
6 House Martins
1 Stock Dove
20 Woodpigeons
c50 Linnets feeding on banking s along the edge of the quarry.  Home soon after 9 with the sun coming out and the cloud breaking up so might try again later.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Mixenden Res'r and Stodfold

Great Crested Grebe still on Mixenden Res'r  but no sign of yesterday's flush of House Martins other than a few around Stodfold.
1 Sparrowhawk at Upper Brockholes and the White Carrion Crow is still by Lane Head Lane
2 (looked like juvs) Whinchat on the fence line near the lower end of the golf-course as well as 1 Willow Warbler
1 Kestrel nearby and that was about it in the blustery westerly again!

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Hunter Hill and Mixenden Res'r

This afternoon on Hunter Hill very blustery conditions so everything was keeping down out of the wind!
4 Grey Partridge
1 Sparrowhawk carrying prey

Mixenden Res'r
1 Common Sandpiper
1 G C Grebe
1 Grey Wagtail
c50 House Martins feeding low over the water and just a few Swallows
6 Pied Wagtails
1 Redstart in the big hedge
1 Common Gull and 6 B H Gulls
c 70 Jackdaws at Stodfold