Saturday, December 16, 2017

Twite - equipment theft...

Have just received this from Nick Carter - thanks Nick.

See below this link - Jamie Dunning has being doing a lot of Twite work in our area as well as further afield. If anyone can support him after this unfortunate incident I'm sure he will be very grateful.

Swales Moor

Ringby top this afternoon - still well frozen over up there and very cold on the ridge.
The Meadow Pipit flock is still there, feeding in the field opposite the long metal fence with at least 28 birds there but I couldn't find anything different with them.
2 alba wagtails
1 Kestrel
1 Fieldfare
6 Herring Gulls >N
A few Common Gulls loafing along the ridge and the usual corvids in abundance
A large dark looking dog Fox crossed the path in front of me but it was gone as I lifted the camera !
 Ringby top fields on 9th Dec looking towards Soil Hill (L) and Queensbury (R)
Ringby top this afternoon looking east towards (I think) Drax (L) and Ferrybridge (R) power stations

Friday, December 15, 2017

Lee Dam

Just 1F Goldeneye on main dam at 1530, very quiet in the wooded areas too. Top dam frozen.

Mixenden Res’r

3 Cormorants and 1 female Goldeneye this morning.
1 L B B Gull looked like an intermedius and 2 adult Herring Gulls with the N H and Common Gulls
1 Meadow Pipit was unexpected.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Mixenden and Ogden Res'rs

A wet, cold and miserable afternoon with black ice underfoot though the fresh air was exhilarating !!
2 Cormorants
1 female Goldeneye

2 Goldcrest dropped into the nearby bush as I chatted with JL
1 Kestrel - must be struggling for food out hunting, hovering on the hillside in the pouring rain.
Not much else other than the usual Mallard and a few B H Gulls and Common Gulls moving through.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


                Peregrine with a fresh kill this morning in Brighouse.


Rain with pretty treacherous ice underfoot this morning - we did the 'round'
1 very smart looking adult great Black-backed Gull on the ice at the top end with Common Gulls and B H Gulls
2 adult Herring Gulls out in the middle
Not much else other than c120 Mallard at the feeding area.
Nothing down the sluice at the lower end of reservoir as YW workmen were down there checking the plant - so no Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail or Dipper today !.

Work opportunity GFB

Calling local birders (West Yorkshire - South Pennines) or naturalists with practical skills. Opportunity in our Elland Bridge workshop making exciting nature conservation products. Flier here or see Twitter @GFutureBuilding

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Pink-footed Geese

Just on dark got a call from AC at Northowram - c100 noisy 'pinks' heading my way (just about due >W)....heard them but unseen as the light had gone. Thanks for the call !

Cold Edge

The site surpassed it's name this afternoon. Freezing cold but it was nice to be out though not a great selection of birds with no sign of any geese in the fields - they've 'legged it' !
1 Fieldfare scoffing berries on a garden Cotoneaster.
1 f Stonechat near the top small pond - a struggle to find food in this weather.
c20 Goldfinch feeding on the alder tree seeds
20 Mallard on the ice - both large dams totally frozen over
Red Grouse on the moor were pretty vocal
3 Wrens in the small plantations - they will struggle up there if this cold spell continues
A few corvids including 5 Rooks chasing about around the former rookery - hope they settle to recolonize that site this year. Also 2 Ravens heading over >E
 Track heading past the top dam (Haigh Cote) out of site up the banking on the left
Sunshine in the haze late afternoon reflecting on the iced over lower dam Leadbeater Dam
Also in the tree and shrub areas around Wainstalls Village
Several Blackbirds, 18 Collared Doves, 1 Coal Tit, 1 Goldcrest and 7 adult Herring Gulls >W
Unfortunately there was nothing doing near 'The Delvers' which has traditionally been a reasonably good winter site for Brambling - though there don't appear to be any feeders around there now !

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Lee Mount etc

 c70 Pink-footed Geese over > W at 12:05 today and from BS first thing this morning at Ogden - 5 Shelduck flyovers >NE around 08:40 - a nice winter record.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Swales Moor etc....

After an abortive attempt to get up there yesterday in the freezing conditions I decided to park in Boothtown this morning and walk up there rather than get stuck up Ploughcroft again (as I did yesterday ! )
Enjoyed the walk on to the top of Ringby Lane to check the top fields (seeing as it is Snow Bunting weather). Nothing doing on that score.
2 Meadow Pipits
2 Common Snipe - though how they were feeding on the frozen ground must have been a struggle !
Not much else up there other than 1 adult L B B Gull and the glut of Carrion Crows. The usual Common Gulls had deserted as had everything else.

Earlier today a flock of Pink-footed Geese went over Lee Mount before it was light - heard not seen !
24 'pinks' at c10:40 over Jay House Lane, Clifton from DF could have been the same lot as went over Beacon Hill shortly after from AC at around 10:55.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Mixenden Reservoir and Mount Tabor

First time out for a couple of weeks and I was prompted by looking at the blog 15th December 2014 - the day when the Great Northern Diver turned up at this site and stayed until last seen on 2nd February 2015. Right time of year for another one - wishful thinking !
1 f Goldeneye
1 Mallard
1 2nd winter Herring Gull >W
c40 B H Gulls, 15+ Common Gulls and 1 ad L B B Gull on the water
1 male Kestrel flew through the plantation - otherwise all quiet in there.

Mount Tabor Fields alongside Moor End Road
1 Meadow Pipit
c110 Starlings
40+ B H Gulls
20+ Common Gulls
+ a few corvids

Sunday, December 03, 2017


A female Goosander was in the R Calder just downstream from the market. Not often seen in the town centre in my experience, but the water level was slightly high without being in flood.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Jayhouse Lane

                Red Kite again at the top of Jayhouse Lane yesterday.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


Unfortunately I found it dead outside Trinity Road in Halifax town centre.  Think it must have flown into one of the windows as was found in an area with very few cars.   Surprising place to find a Kingfisher, just a shame that it wasnt a live one.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Roils Head needed.

The Friends of Roils Head
Tree Planting!
Roils Head Moor
next to Bridleway Hx 548
(at the top of Broadley Road and Rye Lane)
1.30pm – 3pm
Saturday 2 December 2017

The FoRH (with Calderdale MBC Countryside Team) will be planting a Woodland Trust Tree Pack along the moor side of the Bridleway. To create a natural hedgerow and to establish more food sources for wildlife in the area. Creating a living legacy for future generations.
All are welcome to come and help!
Please wear appropriate clothing

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Jayhouse Lane

                 Another Red Kite at the top of Jayhouse Lane today.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Juvenile Peregrine on the pylon at the back of Sainsburys in Brighouse this morning.

Saturday, November 18, 2017


Dipper in the Calder by Wellington Rd bridge this afternoon.

Swales Moor

Late afternoon along Ringby Lane, though the light was fading.

What I initially thought was another small group of 'pinks' at 15:30 heading my way from over Shelf direction turned out to be 11 Greylag Geese. They were high and getting blown about in the gusting wind and some struggling to keep up with the leaders. Five of them kept going high >W, 2 changed direction >N, and I lost sight of the other 4 !
At the same time a Common Snipe went over the top >W
1 Grey Wagtail
1 Pied Wagtail
c15 Meadow Pipits
4 Goldfinch
c40 Common Gulls
5 Herring Gulls and 1 L B B Gull >W
15 Starlings
1 Kestrel
Masses of corvids going to roost.

Lee Mount

A call at 10:00 from AC at Northowram  -  'pinks' heading in my direction ! Right on queue a small flock of 10 >WNW a few minutes later, they were pretty quiet though just a few calls from them. Thanks for the call Andy.They were also seen low over Mount Tabor from MM.

Later in the morning I heard another much noisier flock from Boothtown area heading towards Lee Mount. A much larger flock approx 200 to count later from phone photos, that was around 11:00 again heading >WNW.
We are very fortunate to get such a good move of Pink-footed Geese over our area from late September onwards till about March.

Update - recount from phone photo's of the skein at 11:00 was 185. A similar number were seen over Todmorden >W at 11:25 (SB) so guess they were the same ones.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Disappointing news from this spring

Early in April this year, a male pied flycatcher returned to a box placed in Jumble Hole, and started to sing and display to attract a mate. It was the same site as last years successful rearing of 6 chicks, so presumed to be the same bird.

After 22 days of patience on his part, a female finally showed up. They appeared to immediately pair up, and he never left her side for 3 days.

Then suddenly, the male went missing without trace. I checked the other boxes in the area to check if he had set up a second territory, but nothing. The female continued to nest build, but nothing more was seen or heard of the male. I strongly suspect he was predated, as previously he was constantly present and site faithful.

She actually went on to lay 5 eggs, and sat on them for more than 20 days occasionally nipping out for a feed, but eventually realised they were infertile. Disappointing outcome considering how scarce this species is in Calderdale, but encouraging that birds came back for a second year.

What will happen next spring is anyone's guess.

Willow Valley Golf Club

Red Kite again today at Willow Valley at the top of Jayhouse Lane.

Mixenden Reservoir and Ogden + yesterday

Mixenden Reservoir - a quick check first thing this morning (14th Nov) with mist on the tops and heavy drizzle.
Just one female Goldeneye, c80 B H Gulls, 18 Common Gulls and 2 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
Ogden  - late morning still in the drizzle covering the reservoir and parts of the woodland. Really quiet with hardly anything about other than the usual Mallard and small gulls with 2 Herring Gulls (adult and 2nd winter)
2 Treecreepers and 3 Goldcrests and that was about it !

Also from yesterday (13th Nov). In that cold spell a check on Swales - Ringby Lane and Hag lane - hoping for the possibility of Snow Bunting. Not to be !
Interesting move of large gulls with 7 Great Black-backed Gulls >NW and 3 more >NE plus a few Herring Gulls and one Lesser Black-backed Gull also on the move with around 45 Common Gulls loafing in the fields and along the ridge.
17 Fieldfares and 10 Redwings >NW and around 25 Blackbirds around the site suggesting they had arrived overnight.
1 Cormorant high >W
Grey Wagtail and an alba Wagtail >SW
2 Jays
1 Buzzard
A few Meadow Pipits on the top along with some Goldfinch, Bullfinch and 4 Greenfinch at the bottom of Ringby Lane.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Jayhouse Lane

Pink-footed Goose in with Canada's down by the pond  and a Red Kite over  North West this morning.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Swales Moor

Ringby Lane - early afternoon.

Red Kite - flyover at 13:47 over Ploughcroft direction, very high, mobbed by corvids headed towards Shibden Head and maybe then over Queensbury? Tried to get some photo's but they are not good as had difficulty locking the focus on to the bird with it being so high and away from me, just a few blurred shots. A nice surprise.
 I don't think we have had many reported over Calderdale this year though of course they are reasonably nearby in good numbers in the Harewood area and seem to stay around there.

1 Stonechat
7 Linnet
3 Goldfinch
c40 Common Gulls loafing around the top
Grey Wagtail flyover >SE
3 Pied Wagtail
1 Common Buzzard
c15 Meadow Pipits
3 Great Black Backed Gulls >W

Friday, November 10, 2017

Cold Edge

Cold Edge and Withens Head (near the wind-farm)
The site certainly lived up to it's name this morning in the cold >NW gusting wind. On the plus side it was bright and sunny so a nice morning to be out suitably wrapped up !
2 Barnacle Geese still with the Canada Goose flock near the dams and now numbering 90. The Barnacles are looking in really nice plumage at this time of year. Tricky getting a decent photo at the distance with the strong wind.
1 Raven flyover
1 m Stonechat
3 Meadow pipits
1 Reed Bunting
3 Kestrels
3 Redwings >W and a few Blackbirds about
Plenty Red Grouse showing but nothing on the dams other than a few B H Gulls.
 Barnacle Goose with Canada's - size difference evident

Find it very difficult to get a Raven shot other than in silhouette !

Mixenden Reservoir
1 female Goldeneye, a few B H and Common Gulls with 1 juvenile  Great Black-backed Gull >W

Swales Moor

From yesterday 9th November. Had a pleasant walk on to the top with JM, though birds were a little scarce with quite a strong >W wind on the ridge.
1 female Stonechat
A few Meadow Pipits about on the top
1 Pied Wagtail
2 Stock Doves
usual corvids and just a few Common Gulls
2 distant Buzzards and 3+ Greenfinch around the feeders at the bottom end of Ringby Lane along with a few 'tits', Goldfinch and Chaffinch. Worth checking that spot for Brambling during the winter months !

Monday, November 06, 2017

Swales Moor and Soil Hill

Had a go for Snow Bunting today after the cold overnight snap and keen frost first thing this morning - but to no avail.
Swales Moor
2 Common Buzzards distant
2 Sparrowhawks
18 Meadow Pipits
Female Stonechat
10 Linnet
3 Stock Doves
40+ Common Gulls
usual glut of corvids
60 Starlings >W
Gulls also >W - 2 Great Black-backed Gulls and 2 Herring Gulls
Also a Red Admiral >W was a big surprise

Soil Hill
Hard work tramping the top for over an hour and a half for not much !
36 Lapwing high >E
3 Meadow Pipit
1 Kestrel
1 Moorhen
c60 Common Gulls >W

Also noticed the heather moors being burned in Derbyshire and North Yorkshire.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Ogden, Mixenden,Fly Flats

Did the rounds this morning after reports of Whooper Swans again on the move over our area from HC and BS. I didn't find any but it was worth a check all the same.
Mixenden Res'r - 6 Goosander
Ogden - 1 Canada Goose, 4 Bullfinch around and c 250 Starlings >N
Fly Flatts - 32 Mallard, 1 Stonechat, 1 Meadow Pipit, Kestrel and Red-legged Partridge.

Sand Martin Wall

Well done to the Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group

Monday, October 30, 2017

Calder Valley

Yesterday pm.

3 cormorants. They have been around for at least three weeks.
Buzzard, peregrine and two raven over.
Male sparrowhawk.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Fly Flatts Glory

  Nice surprise seeing 2 Twite up at Fly Flatts and also nice
  to see BS's Ring Ouzel what a beautiful bird it is, also 4 Redstart
  seen up there, It was nice to bump into DF who was skywatching
  but there wasn't much showing at all.

Friday, October 27, 2017


186 pink feet (re-counted from a photo - a few  more than I estimated earlier) flew west over Mytholmroyd  11:30.

3 buzzards around Jumble Hole, at least one of which is a juvenile. A few siskins around this week too.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Swales Moor and Hunter Hill

A good move of Woodpigeons (937), Redwings (348), and  a few Starlings (240), Chaffinch (22), Fieldfare (1)  this morning between 08:15 and 09:30 mainly all >W and >SW plus a few other species in much lower numbers.

This afternoon I had a check on Hunter Hill (between Wainstalls and Mixenden) but couldn't find much other than a Little Owl on Balkram Edge and a Cormorant on the reservoir.

BS fared much better with 2 Ring Ouzels at Fly Flatts thereby continuing his 'purple patch'. A scarce migrant especially on autumn passage as they head back to North Africa for our winter. Well done Bri and thanks for the lift back down from The Withens. See West Yorkshire Birding blog for further details.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


We are still getting one or two reports of late-ish Wheatears - very nice to still have some returning summer migrants on their way to wintering grounds in Africa.
One today as reported earlier at Withens Head
Another at Fly Flatts today (BS)

These two photos below are of the same individual from JM and were also seen by DF at Jay House Lane, Clifton.

Fly Flatts and Withens Head

Fly Flatts. Very windy. !
Just 4 R L Partridge, a Kestrel and 5 Canada's.

Withens Head, opposite wind farm car park.
1 Wheatear, 3+ Stonechat, Kestrel and Little Owl along with a Raven >N.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Fly Flatts

Strong westerly wind up there this afternoon but at least it was clear of fog. Hard to find any birds.
2 Kestrels and that was it.

Withens Head
4 Stonechats on the walls by the farm and a single Buzzard over >SW
1 Kestrel

Monday, October 23, 2017

Fly Flatts ... Swales Moor

Fly Flatts
Fog just would not lift at all for me this afternoon though BS got a 'window' later in the afternoon before the grime came in again.
I just managed 4 fly-by Partridge spp. and a solitary Redwing as they flew right in front of the car.
BS did manage 4 Wigeon later on - see his report on West Yorkshire Birding along with a mass of birds for HC at the Oxenhope watch point earlier today.

1 Stonechat and 15 Goldfinch

I headed off to Swales Moor - usually clear when Fly Flatts is in the mist
On the top of Ringby Lane there were plenty of birds about...
1 Song Thrush
4 Stonechats together
60+ Meadow Pipits
1 Skylark
11 alba Wagtails >S
15+ Goldfinch
c20 Linnets
80+ corvids on the freshly manured fields - and did it stink !!
Plenty of gulls along the ridge with 1 Great Black-back, c20 Lesser Black-backed, 40+ Common Gulls, 5 Herring Gulls and 40+ Black-headed - all drifting >NW as the daylight started to fade.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Luddenden Dean

Had a couple of hours in the dean late morning - before the torrential rain came in !
Redwings all over the place after an overnight arrival - difficult to get any decent counts but probably 300+. They were getting blown all over the place but they were very alert and flighty, some heading up the dean and others down, perhaps wanting to settle but when they are in migration mood they do not seem to want to stay especially when the raptors were are also well in evidence.
400+ Woodpigeons though they went straight through >SW
2 Fieldfares
6+ Mistle Thrush
3 Sparrowhawks
4 Kestrels
1 Merlin - female fly-through came off Castle Carr Road, down into the dean strafing the fields then the tree tops then low over the moor >W
1 Little Owl
1 Dipper in the stream by the bridge just before the 'catti' pub
1 Nuthatch and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker both near the Lower Lodge

Very few small birds about in the blustery wind other than a few Chaffinch over >SW
1 Reed Bunting in juncus along Castle Carr Road

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fly Flatts etc...

Fly Flatts - in the drifting thick fog and light drizzle. waiting for the fog to clear while I was there so went to try lower down
1 Wheatear on the top road - getting quite late for them now ! though BS found 2 more later on, well done Bri.
1 Raven - heard only
1 Barnacle Goose making a lot of noise had obviously lost it's mate in the fog  but, I hear, found it later on per BS
Withens Head
6 Magpies - they are getting more regular here at higher elevation so it's not boding well for breeding waders next summer !

Mixenden Reservoir
1 Cormorant
1 each L B B Gull and Herring Gull

1 Reed Bunting in the juncus near the reservoir cottage
1 Goldcrest in the pines at the back of the lodge
2 Fieldfare
1 Redwing

Earlier today on Swales Moor
7 Skylarks together in the top field
21 Redwing and 2 Fieldfare >W

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Natural World

Just seen that the Natural World tonight is showing a programme at 9PM on BBC 2 about Goshawks, one of my favourite birds, hope its good.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Other news today

Can't beat the report from BS... ! what will tomorrow bring (???)

5 Whooper Swans over Northowram >E at around 15:00 this afternoon (AC)

c80 Pink-footed Geese >W over Barkisland this morning at c 09:35 (TW)
c160 more 'pinks' >W over Skircoat at 11 :05 (WG)

Fly Flatts Great Egret

                         Another stonker for Calderdale
                            1500 hrs Fly Flatts >NE
                           It came up the Calder Valley from the SW

Report on West Yorkshire Birding

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Fly Flatts Caspian Gull.

Just had contact with DJS about some pics of yesterdays 1st winter Caspian gull at Fly Flatts .
Photos not the best as bird came through fast in near gale force SW >7 gusting 8 so no time to tripod up. Photos hand held at 600mm.

                                     Hooked bill

                                         Bullet hole eye.

                               Milky white underwing

Thanks to all concerned.

Another first for Calderdale.. !

See BS's blog for yesterday, 16th October- West Yorkshire Birding - there is a link on this page.

Top birder Bri, for finding and photographing a Caspian Gull at Fly Flatts yesterday afternoon. Probably a first winter bird. A great reward for a lot of hard work day after day on the local patch and in all conditions. These are tricky birds to identify at all ages though there have been a growing number of reports in the UK in recent years but none identified in Calderdale, until this one !

Like  a true birder - BS was careful about not jumping to conclusions on the birds identity but checked it out with others after KM suggested Caspian and then supported by comments from other experienced birders.
Well done Bri. Think you deserve a reward !!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Mixenden Reservoir

Had a walk around the site late morning trying for late warblers in the shrubbery areas around the western edge. Nothing much doing at all until a call from BS lifted the gloom "pinks over Queensbury >SW"
A few minutes later they came overhead, heard first then seen high over  - 44 of them towards Wainstalls. Thanks Bri

A distinct lack of small birds around the site.
1 Pied Wagtail
1 Sparrowhawk
1 L B B Gull
A few Common and Black-headed Gulls
40+ Jackdaws

Friday, October 13, 2017

Brighouse to Lee Mount

Early warning at 09:39 this morning from DF - Pink-footed Geese over Brighouse >W.
11 minutes later they were over Lee Mount 51 of them - a great sight - thanks Dave !

Interesting that last week when the 'pinks' were on the move in the blustery wind it was taking them over 15 minutes minutes to get here. Conditions were more favourable for them moving today.
Pink-footed Geese
Another 'shout' from DF at 12:37 - with another c60 >W over Jay House Lane, Clifton but they missed me this time so wonder if they came up Shibden Valley or Queensbury maybe (??)

Also from home today, 3 Redwings passed over >W just after dawn and later a Sparrowhawk as well as the usual pair of Great-spotted Woodpeckers and 2 Nuthatches on the garden feeders.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Fly Flats etc.

I did the rounds this morning thinking the poor weather might produce something, though sideways rain at Fly Flats would deter most birds - nothing there other than a lost looking brown cow down by the former Twite feeding area !

Mixenden Reservoir was similar other than 2 L B B Gulls and 3 alba Wagtails >W
The highlight .... ...was 1 Pink-footed Goose still in the fields with 20 Canadas at Cold Edge.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Other news today

Ringstone Reservoir this afternoon from JB
4 Shelduck
5 Wigeon
5 Teal

Shibden Head

A stroll up the valley this afternoon didn't produce a lot but the weather was pleasant, warm and dry.
1 Green Woodpecker calling
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
2 Common Buzzards (distant)
2+ Sparrowhawks
2 Kestrels
1 Grey Wagtail
6+ Jays
Usual small birds including 2 Goldcrests
1 Song Thrush
6+ Mistle Thrush

Mistle Thrush

North of England Raptor Forum

The annual NERF Conference for 2017 is being hosted by Northumbria Ringing Group at City Campus East, Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne.

 There is an exciting and varied programme for you to enjoy. We’ll be covering a wide range of topics guaranteed to be of interest to raptor enthusiasts, fieldworkers and those with an interest in the uplands. 

 The conference takes place on Saturday 18th November 2017. Refreshments and lunch are included in the ticket price and in a first for the conference this year you will receive a FREE complimentary copy of the newly published NERF Annual Review 2016.

 If you would like further details please email   for  a programme of the days events, your delegate booking form and a handy map to help get you there.

 To ensure your place at the conference please BOOK EARLY! Payments either by BACS or cheque. Please follow the instructions on the booking form.

Other enquiries: email or visit for more information.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Stodfold area (between Mixenden and Ogden)

Not a lot found this afternoon
4 Mistle Thrush
Adult female Sparrowhawk
2 Jays
72 Canada Geese on Mixenden Reservoir
6 Stock Doves
No sign of any Stonechats at the lower end of the golf course.

48 Pink-footed Geese over Lee Mount at 15:30 as we pulled the car up outside home. Count verified by BS who got them going over near Fly Flats a few minutes later. Thanks Bri

Todays other news

A nice photo of a Tree Sparrow today from JM at a site near Jay House Lane
Tree Sparrow (click photo to enlarge)
Several reports from yesterday and today of Redwings arriving in Calderdale from the continent along with just a few Fieldfare. Sightings from Mixenden plantation, Northowram, Claremount, Walshaw Dean and Gorple areas. We can expect a good influx within the next week or two - always dependent on weather conditions !
A Swallow today over Northowram (AC) and another Stonechat at Wainstalls (Dave B)

From yesterday a single Whooper Swan at Ringstone (GS and AT) and an unknown number of Whooper Swans over Fly Flatts - heard in the fog, but unseen ! (BS)

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Swales Moor

In interesting afternoon along Ringby top in the sunshine !
Nice to meet John and Sue up there as well, shame you left when you did with a Peregrine, a Raven and a Stonechat not long after you left. !

At least 4 Great Black-backed Gulls including one that landed on a roof-top next to a Lesser Black- backed Gull showing the difference in leg colour and size, which is not always easy to appreciate. Several Herring Gulls also moved through > W
1 Kestrel
1 Common Buzzard
1 Sparrowhawk
2 Pied Wagtails
Not many small birds about other than a few 'mipits' and Goldfinches though, as usual, plenty of corvids.
 This adult Gt B B Gull towered over the L B B Gull and the Carrion Crows
Peregrine with a very full crop (looking directly into the light)

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Pink-footed Geese - update

What a day for those of us who had the opportunity and the good fortune to continue with the bonanza of 'pinks' still moving >W and >NW over Calderdale from this morning.

The birds were obviously struggling against the gusting westerly winds and skeins were getting split up and struggling to catch up with the leaders. It's amazing the in-built urge to keep moving even when conditions are far from perfect. In one instance this afternoon a flock of 40 came down to rest on Warley Moor between Slade (opposite the wind-farm) and the Rocking Stone. Despite other flocks passing overhead they were not interested in moving on !

With thanks to AC, DF, MS, VJ et al for the frequent updates from Northowram, Jay House Lane - Clifton, Highroad Well and Warley Moor/Fly Flatts.
The total for the day (thanks partly to photographic counts) and discounting duplications comes to 1,726 though with such a big movement of birds it's likely that other skeins were missed. Some may well still be going over during the night and maybe into tomorrow. (?)

Pink-footed Geese

'Pinks' on the move late morning over Calderdale starting with 35 over Lee Mount at 10:38 closely followed by 38 over Northowram - then it continued.....In blustery conditions some of the skeins were all over the place but persisted W> or >NW till over lunchtime.

 Counts over Lee Mount, mainly looking towards Swales Moor, were 35, 16, 25, 31, 12, 50 and 25 (counts checked from photos) - totalling 194 and maybe more to come this afternoon.
Other reports came in from AC at Northowram and from DF at Jay House Lane, Clifton so there may be some duplication, possibly up to another 200 to 300??

Also moving this morning over Lee Mount, mainly (>W)  were c45 Meadow Pipits, 20+ unidentified finches, 8 Swallows (>SE), c60 Starlings, 1 adult Great Black-backed Gull, 3 Sparrowhawks and 2 Common Buzzards. A good morning to be outside !