Sunday, July 31, 2016

Roils Head

First Redstart of the autumn this afternoon in the northern shelter belt.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Swales Moor

Ringby Lane this afternoon
2 juvenile 'flava' wagtails still present along with c20 Meadow Pipits, 1 Skylark and 35+ alba wagtails - mostly juveniles all round
4 Stock Doves, a few Linnets and the usual corvids and L B B Gulls

Photos below of just one of the Yellow Wagtails. They are so difficult to get anywhere near them - always going away from the camera !

Fwd: Natural England issues licence for Buzzard killing

Begin forwarded message:
Subject: Natural England issues licence for Buzzard killing

Friday, July 29, 2016

Gorple area etc

From Pete G today
1 Whinchat at Gorple Gate
77 Golden Plover
1 Little Ringed Plover

News from Alan T at Ringstone - shoreline showing quite well so it's well worth watching for passage waders. Lets hope it stays low for a while - like all of late summer and  autumn will do nicely !

East of Brighouse

Colnebridge. Sand Martin still taking food to one of the nest holes. juv Whitethroat. Bradley Hall Farm. Green Woodpecker - adult. 12+ Swallows including plenty of juvs. Kingfisher over the canal. 5 Mistle Thrushes including juvs. Whitethroat - adult. No sign of any Yellowhammers, unfortunately.

Swales Moor

Ringby Lane, on the top this afternoon and plenty of small birds along the fence line to the north of the muddy field.
Light drizzle - with 1 juvenile Yellow Wagtail still present but very elusive and it took some finding. Eventually found it in the longer vegetation with a single Skylark
35+ Pied Wagtail
35+ Meadow Pipits
1 Lapwing >NW
2 Whitethroat
1 Willow Warbler
1 male House Sparrow on the top
30+ Goldfinch
c10 Linnet
2 Kestrel
30+ Goldfinch
10+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls loafing about on the ridge
20+ Swallows
6+ Swifts
Willow Warbler - probably a juvenile judging by yellow on the entire underparts

Lesser Black-backed Gull (adult)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Fly Flats

This afternoon as the mist came down after heavy rain. Nothing doing over the water  other than Canada Geese.
1 juvenile Wheatear
1 male Reed Bunting
c35 Meadow Pipits came in after heavy rain
 Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit (notice the long hind claw!)

Swales Moor

Ringby Lane - 2 flava wagtails this morning confirmed by Pete S after BS suspected there might have  been two there yesterday evening. Plenty of Pied Wagtails and a few Meadow Pipits in the field as well at mid morning and 1 'flava' showing. (DJS AT)
NK confirmed both 'flavas' relocated and still there at 11:45.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Swales Moor

Ringby Lane this afternoon mainly in search of butterfly's but came up trumps with a bird !
Plenty of corvids, L B B Gulls and 1 Common Gull on the top.

1 Whitethroat below - poor shot as it dived off into a bush

2 wagtails along the lane one of which turned out to be a flava (Yellow) Wagtail juvenile with a juv Pied Wag. As I approached they headed off into the dried up muddy field where there were anything up to 40 wagtails, nearly all juveniles and all 'pied ' except one.!  I relocated the Y wag with some difficulty and eventually got one or two distant record shots which are probably not that good but will see if any are worth posting on the blog later.
It was still in the field when I left around 16:30 but it could be tricky to find in the muddy furrows and undulations.

Yellow Wagtail

Monday, July 25, 2016

Cold Edge

A couple of hours up there this morning but not a lot doing !
1 Little Owl
6 Lapwing
1 Curlew flyover >W
Red Grouse with large chicks
c40 Swallows
2 Mistle Thrush
2 Reed Buntings
3 x pairs of Linnets
A few Goldfinch
Song Thrush singing
2 pairs Blackbirds still feeding young as a few meadow Pipits are too
1 Common Buzzard over Mount Tabor on the way back
 Female Linnet
Male Linnet

Strangest Jumble Hole sighting ever

Not a rarity, but very much out of place - I was just outside in the garden at home (Jumble Hole) on the phone and a kingfisher flew through heading west, calling. It's the last bird I'd expect to see up here! Presumably post breeding dispersal. A garden tick I never expected.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Young birds

Loads of newly fledged birds in the last few days including:
- 1 young dipper on stream at Jumble Hole
- 3 young kestrels and an adult between Jumble Hole and Erringden
- 2 juv green woodpecker Jumble Hole
- 2 seperate nests of goldfinch on ivy either side of my house (Jumble Hole)
- lots of Siskin suddenly being heard around here at the moment, presumably some recently fledged
- 3 kingfishers today from the river bridge leading to Hebden Bridge train station (downstream side) - 1 well fledged juv being attended to by 2 adults (photo is taken on a mobile, hence the dodgy quality)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Baitings and Ringstone

From Pete G this morning - doing well this week Pete !
Ringstone Res'r - with just a little shoreline showing....
12 Tufted Duck
3 Common Sandpipers
1 Snipe

Lesser Redpolls with 4/5 showing well in the clear-fell area parallel to the main road.
Also first thing, in the willow scrub near the car park, just over the dam wall. Chiff-chaff, Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler and Whitethroat showing. They looked to be moving through, as a check later on found they had all gone.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Swifts: Walsden

The four swifts I've been watching above Walsden cricket field are now six. Lots of screeching this morning while my bus was making its time up. Does the screeching mean they have juveniles with them? If so, it's a poor result, isn't it?

Blackstone Edge and Baitings

From Pete G yesterday - a juvenile Yellow Wagtail. A rare sighting in Calderdale nowadays. !

From Pete again today  - an adult Hobby late morning over Baitings Reservoir >W. Also at Baitings today, lots of Swallows and House Martins feeding around the dam wall and 40+ Pied and Grey Wagtails with plenty  juveniles all around the reservoir. A good flock of Mistle Thrush and 3 Green Woodpeckers nearby included an adult and 2 fledged juveniles.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Ogden etc

Golf Course and Stodfold area late morning. Pretty quiet but what turned up at the lower end of the course was well worthwhile.
1 male Redstart showing on and off was looking a bit worn. Well done to BS for locating it again this afternoon, though briefly after sweating it out !!!
Also a skulking Whitethroat
1 Reed Bunting
2 Meadow Pipits
Lots of Ringlet and Meadow Brown butterflies in that area in this scorching weather today.

Plenty of Black- headed Gulls this afternoon over Lee Mount hawking insects, maybe flying ants. ?
A perfect afternoon for raptors moving through high on the thermals but couldn't find anything!

Yesterday's update

4 unidentified Terns flying over Northowram around 08:50 Sunday morning > towards Queensbury direction from AC

Also from Nick D at Walshaw Dean yesterday evening 3 Common Terns at the  reservoirs

Sunday, July 17, 2016


windy up there this morning.7 tufted duck-5 great crested grebe-2 drake common scoter-pair of moorhen with 2 young.a few swifts passing through 4 l.b.b.gulls and a few b.h.gulls plus the usual corvids.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Lee Mount

60+ Swifts first thing this morning feeding high over the ridge at the top end of Shroggs Park. They looked fantastic, feeding high in the muggy and humid conditions. After 10 mins or so the majority dispersed. It's ages since we had a large flock like this over the house - all screeming so I guess some juveniles have already fledged (maybe)?
Another 3/4 weeks and most of them will be well on their way back to Africa.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Sparrowhawk in Garden

       Sparrowhawk in my garden today after just catching
       a starling.

Mount Tabor and Fly Flats

I checked the fields between Woodlesford and Mount Tabor this morning to see if yesterdays Mediterranean Gull, found by Nick, had returned. No sign of the bird though there were plenty gulls and corvids still feeding in the fields so there is a possibility it might return.
160+ B H Gulls
28 L B B Gulls
5 Common Gulls
c85 Rook with their juveniles
c40 Jackdaws and a few Carrion Crows
c35 Starlings
1 Skylark
15+ Meadow Pipits some moving through high >SW
2 Linnet
40 Woodpigeons
13 Stock Doves

Fly Flats
Barnacle Goose is back with the Canada flock
1 Tufted Duck
7 B H Gulls >SW
1 Redshank flyover at The Withens >NE

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Linnets breeding and anyone familiar with this dragonfly?

I've put pictures over on the Calderdale-wildife blog.


Just for the record, two juveniles with an adult in a small tree next to Todmorden Bus Station this afternoon.

4th Med Gull for Mount Tabor

Yesterday I noticed the local farmer was cutting the fields and that a couple of Black-headed Gulls had joined 5 Lessers to feed. So I returned today to find the place buzzing with Gulls. 30+ Lesser's 10 Common and some 150 Black heads. On closer inspection I found a stunning adult summer Med Gull in with the Black heads, my fourth for this site, unfortunately for some reason I had left my camera at home, but Dave soon arrived on site just in time to see the bird fly off to the west so hopefully he will post some photos later tonight.

Green Withens and Ringstone

From Alan T today - no sign of yesterday's reported White Stork but a drake Common Scoter there this morning and another, female/immature type at Ringstone Res'r this afternoon.
The Ringtone bird was distant,but still present this evening as I passed on the way home

Mount Tabor

Summer plumage adult Mediterranean Gull found by Nick on the Mount Tabor fields mid afternoon. A great find. I managed to get up there to view the bird for a few minutes before it headed off >NW at 16:10. It looked immaculate. In recent years July seems one of the best months to find them locally among the B H Gull flocks.
Will try get some photos on later this evening.
Also present in the newly cut fields were maybe 30+ L B B Gulls, 10+ Common Gulls and 100+ B H Gulls.

Mediterranean Gull - Mount Tabor

Green Withens

Report on BirdGuides yesterday of a distant White Stork over Rishworth Moor gaining height on thermals as viewed from M62 at midday. 
Nothing doing up there yesterday evening per TW. 
We occasionally get reports of White Stork in summer possibly from the Harewood House collection !

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Blackstone Edge Reservoir

From PG - earlier today a good move of Swifts with a few Swallows 08:30 ish,  and later - a bonus bird for Calderdale nowadays - a single Common Tern >SW

Little Owls, Norland Moor

Just spent an hour watching the Little owls on Norland Moor, 2 adults and one fledgling, couldn't spot any more.

Its only a 5 minute walk from home for me, I've walked the path only recently and  didn't even know they were there.

Thank you Brian for the 'heads up' in an earlier post, I'll probably return later to see if I can get a few record shots, cheers :)

Ovenden Moor

Top end of Ogden, across Ovenden Moor and back by the golf course this morning
A solitary Whinchat was a prize worth tramping round for. Never a common bird in Calderdale but not an easy bird to find here nowadays though we do find a few returning birds in the autumn.
2 Reed Buntings
2 Linnets
A few Meadow Pipits still feeding young
2 Curlew
A few Swifts and Swallows
1 Kestrel near The Withens
Juvenile Wrens in the bracken

distant Whinchat

Mute Swans

The 8 juv Mute Swans are doing very well at Shibden park also 5 young  Coots and 2 juv Grey Wagtails....long time (if ever) I have seen 10 Mute Swans in Calderdale at the same time .....great news

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Cold Edge

A bit noisy up there this aft with the water sports on the top dam  but I did manage 2 Little Grebes on the lower pond. Not a lot else other than 1 Curlew and a singing Willow Warbler along with a few Linnet, Goldfinch, Meadow Pipits, Swallows and Swifts.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Wednesday walk for those not at work

Hugh Firman has organised a walk on the moors with Moors for the Future this Weds 13.7.16.
It has taken a bit of setting up so they are hoping for a good number of participants from those lucky enough to be able to go mid-week.

Full details on the Calderdale Wildlife Blog. (Panel to the right of the posts.)

By the way, Hugh has chipped a bone in his elbow in a fall while out surveying, so is off work for a while.

If you need more details please email or ring Julie Swift   -

Also you're all very welcome to my talk on Tuesday - I have pictures of Striated Caracara, Tussac Bird, Falkland Thrush, Falkland Siskin, Cobb's Wren, "Puffing Pig" harbour dolphins, five species of penguin, Albatrosses, etc. etc. Also plenty of pics of fantastic plants, and of museum material on the extinct endemic canid, the "Warrah". Poster with details over on the Calderdale-wildlife.blogspot. (7.15pm Tues 12th July at Halifax Central Library in the basement meeting rooms.)


Just an hour or so this afternoon at the lower end of the golf course and Stodfold area at the lower end of Hunter Hill.
1 Little Owl
1 Oystercatcher flyover >SW
Several Linnets, Goldfinches and Meadow Pipits
2 House Martins
1 Grey Wagtail flyover >SW
40+ juv Swallows with adults near Stodfold and 20+ juv Pied Wagtails along the very muddy lane leading to Mixenden Reservoir

For Info - from BL

Cold Edge and Fly Flats

I was driving up Cold Edge Road by Nolstar when I spotted a wader coming over from Hunter Hill. Leapt out of the car  as it went right over at speed gaining height. Typical Godwit with fast powerful flight, larger than Golden Plover and Redshank with a very long bill. I just couldn't get any plumage detail as it disappeared high into the grey sky and it was gone heading >SW probably in the direction of Ringstone maybe (?)
Elsewhere - not a lot !

Withens Head - Curlew and Snipe calling and c40 Starlings nearby

Fly Flats
1 Kestrel
3 Common Sandpipers
1 Wheatear
2 + Curlew
2 Lapwing
c400 Canada Geese
6 Carrion Crow
Just a few Swifts high >SW
No gulls

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Our Garden - Weds. 6th
Female redstart hanging around for at least an hour.  Pity about the quality of my pictures!
During the same period we saw one female reed bunting, one male linnet feeding on the ground under the bird feeders and a few meadow pipits including some juv. ones.  There seemed to be a lot of bird activity generally.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Swales Moor

Ringby Lane late morning. Not a lot to report other than a nice juvenile Stonechat along the lane at the top of the hill.
A few Meadow Pipits and Linnets along with a solitary Skylark.
A few Swifts and Swallows.
A few corvids and 10+ Lesser Black-back Gulls loafing around on the top near the processing plant.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016


Had a nice stroll up towards the plantation near Walshaw.  Lots of activity, spotted fly again same place as last year, oystercatcher behaviour suggests young, curlers, willow warblers etc. And hundreds of sheep streaming past where I sat.  Lovely day !


Spent an hour up on moor yesterday.

Plenty of pipits, swifts, swallows. Mistle Thrush. Greenfinch in hedgerow near car. 1 Little Owl.
Our Garden
Watched a buzzard on and off for about an hour yesterday while we were having our lunch.  A tractor was cutting the grass in fields across the valley and the buzzard kept coming to have a look but didn't land.  A carrion crow was trying to see it off.
Curlew flew over silently.
Young Pied Wagtails around.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Cold Edge

This afternoon, tricky up there on the strong and blustery westerly though it was sunny and hot.
1 Little Grebe on the lower pond
1 Moorhen on the top pond
No waders at all though a scattering of Linnets, Goldfinches, Meadow Pipits, Swifts and Swallows
1 Willow Warbler still singing
1 Grey Wagtail flyover >SW
Blackbirds still feeding young

All the photo's I got of this individual Swift this afternoon (and this is the best) show an enlarged throat - I wonder if this is just a full crop ready for returning to the nest ? I have never seen (or noticed) this before with Swifts - has anyone else ?

Apart from that, just 1 Small Heath butterfly and 3 Large Skippers on thistles by the small plantation

Friday, July 01, 2016

our garden

Gt. spotted W'pecker feeding juv. with sunflower hearts from our feeder.  Large family of great tits but only a couple of young blue tits.  Jackdaws eating all fat balls and wood pigeon and stock doves eating up seed which has dropped onto floor.  Curlew flying around adjoining field alarm calling - couldn't see anything obvious but grass is long as hasn't been cut yet so could have been a fox.  Hear little owl calling now and again.