Monday, 19 February 2018

More HH

Lots of lapwing flocks today moving into the fields and in - bye and 100 + by the reservoir. A HH (3) being mobbed by lapwings down in the valley . Fieldfare ,  Buzzards , Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk .
At 5.00 with the mist clinging to the tops of the moors the Male HH (1 ) was picked up and was soon followed by the adult  female HH (9). The sat tagged female (4) was next to be seen , soon followed by the tatty tailed HH (10) .With the mist rolling down the hills and viewing becoming difficult another two birds were picked out one was (3) the other was a ringtail (? ).

Sunday, 18 February 2018

February 17th

                                                         60 Pinks west
Not a bad morning with lots of bird song and Magpies building a nest. " Great Spotted Woodpecker , Blackbird, Dunnock  and Buzzard displaying, Greenfinch , Mistle Thrush ,Song Thrush , Robin , Great Tit in full song and 60 Pinks west.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Hen Harrier

With a very strong NW 5/6 gusting 7 , I was not hopeful of much today. 3 Buzzards , 2 Kestrels , 23 Fieldfare and a flock of 36 Red Grouse .  At 4.21 a fully winged female ( 5 or 6  ) with dark secondries flew low across the water up the wall and straight into the juncuss to roost. Another ringtail was seen but the sun was setting and made viewing very difficult in could have been first one bouncing out.?  Then the ringtail (7) with the primary missing flew across the water and up the wall it flew around for a few minutes before landing on the ground.Another female (8) with two secondries missing flew low across the water and up along the wall. The the male (1) flew from behind me , across the juncuss and landed on a fence  post and started to preen. Then the large adult  female (9) flew above the male and started circling around .At this point the male was up and started showing off twisting ,  turning and flying up and down just above the wall. The time was 5.20 and I had to get going but there was still enough light to see.So more birds could have come in to roost.?? Also Woodcock over the road on the way to Slack....
                                Fantastic photo from Nick D ..this is what it is like.......

13th February

3 Lapwings in the horse field , 26 in the fields next ton the cricket pitch and 42 south towards Southowram and 27 Golden Plover mixed in with them was a nice surprise ,.The Buzzards have been very active this week along with singing Mistle Thrush and a Song Thrush was a welcome sight as I have not seen it for a  few weeks.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Hen harrier

Up on the moors yesterday a bright and clear day , but cold to the bone. At least 7 Buzzards kicking around in the early stages of courtship. A Peregrine , 2 Kestrels ,Reed Bunting 2 Mistle Thrush , 20 Mallard and a few Carrion Crows.. At least 6 Hen Harriers into the roost but no male (1) tonight. The first bird seen was the adult female with sat tag(4) , soon followed by a juv female with very dark secondrys (5 ). Then a  ringtail hunting  on the distant hill. At 5.05 the birds started to move into roost with 2 fully winged ringtails (5 + 6) landing on the fence posts to preen , the ringtail with a tatty tail (10) was seen briefly flying over the hill . At 5.12 the female with a primary missing (7 ) came into roost and then then  smaller juv male (2). A Buzzard in the fading light caused a bit of confusion but proves how difficult it is to get an accurate number of harriers in these conditions .The numbers relate to previous post on the .8th .Jan. 2018

BBRC accept Pallid Harrier record...........

Great news the BBRC have accepted my 2cy Pallid Harrier record (5th may 2016 at Cornisholme) only the 3rd record for Lincolnshire and 87th for the UK.(30% of records from Shetland).Thanks Dave for pointing it out.;postID=9049289444811605303;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=131;src=postname

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Norland Moor

Very cold and muddy up there today in  driving snow storms  and a  N/w 5 gusting 6... it was so strong at one point it blew an elderly dog walker over into a massive bog , I had to pick her up..Luckily she was ok.... A large flock (500 +) of mixed Starlings , Fieldfare , Rooks , Jackdaws and Carrion Crows ,1 Kestrel , 2 Meadow Pipit and a cracking male Reed Bunting.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Glaucous Gull ....2

Still showing very well at Hollingworth lake today,,

                                                             LBBG and GG

Wednesday, 7 February 2018


Walked from Withens clough car park to Stoodley and back round the plantation.....little of note 200 Fieldfare and 8 Herring gulls west

Jay House lane.

 A beautiful clear an very cold day on Jay Hose lane produce 128 Golden Plover , 110 lapwing , 4 Pied Wagtail , 3 Tree Sparrows , 5 Stock dove , 2 Herring Gulls , 2 LBBgulls .,200 Common Gulls  and a single male Peregrine .........

Sunday, 4 February 2018


A high flock of Pink footed geese aprox 90 at about 10.05 was followed by a mass move of Herring Gulls N/E just short of 300 in an hour. 1 Grey Wagtail , 1 Bullfinch , 30 Fieldfare ,  2Mistle Thrush , 27 Redwing and a flock of 40 Lapwing west.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

More Glaucous Gull

Showing well today.....people keep referring to this gull as a Juvenile to me it looks like a classic first winter,,,, 

Glaucous Gull...................

Glaucous Gull showing well today...................

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Jay House Lane

Its looking great at the moment with the flooded fields attracting large numbers of birds. Today there were 35 Lapwing , 50 Mallard , 1 LBBGull , 2 Herring Gull , 100 + Common Gull  , 40 BH Gull , 1 Curlew ( very early returning bird) , 2 Stock Dove , 75 Starling , 4 Mistle Thrush  and a good mix of Jackdaw , Carrion Crow and Rooks . With January over I managed 70 species locally.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Pinks scrape in at the end of January

252 Pinks over the house today , making a right old racket...Glad Dave picked them up at Cold Edge and got a decent count and a few pics, 2 Ravens (must be following me) heading west with a bit of display thrown in. Plenty of Gulls w/s/w .The two foxes were out and about most of the day , one walking right down the centre of the road....
Photo from Cold edge Dams same flock 5 mins later ( Dave Sut)

Monday, 29 January 2018

Jay house lane Raven's

 Went to have a look at the masses of small gulls on Jay house lane today. As soon as I got out of the car I could hear a Raven not too far away  ....I have never seen Raven this far east before .? Then again  , really close ,  cronking away , it was about 30 feet above the road , then I herd another call behind me ,,another Raven flying at the same height on the other side of the road .They both flew low towards Wellholme Park . I remember last year some talk of them being seen at Cromwell Bottom and I had a couple of sightings over  the house last autumn.Good to hear them at such a low level.?? Also 100's of BH and Common Gulls , 48 Mallard , 15 Meadow Pipits , Fieldfare ,  Redwing  and a single Teal on the bottom pond.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

First sign of Spring

A warm s/w wind   blew up the valley today. At least 10 degrees in the sun. The local Buzzard was soaring on the thermals above the local wood .A  female Sparrowhawk was circling high in the valley and 2 Kestrels were hunting along the tall hedge. 2 large Foxes were just sat out in the field enjoying the  sun along with 10 Stock Doves . The recent gull movement west continued most of the day mainly BH and Commons , but the odd flock of HG .An adult LBBgull was in the field. 4 Bullfinch , 1 Goldcrest  and a small flock of Siskin .was about it.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Pink footed geese

The first part of January is the usually the best time to see pink footed geese here , heading east or west , but for some reason this year i have only seen 1 so far.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Friday, 19 January 2018

Rarer than rare

Today between the endless snow showers , I went to Shibden Park and bumped into a very rare sight (for me) last time I saw it was in Spain in  September 2002 not a Black -shouldered Kite or Spanish Imperial Eagle..... no it was............. . Pete Grrrrrba one of Halifax's longest and oldest birdwatchers wandering around on a 10 mile hike..Good to see you Pete and I hope to see you again soon....LOL
A Kingfisher sat on one of the boats , 5 Mute Swan and 6 Siskin was about it....

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Ogden and an interesting (adult YL ) Gull .??

Ogden in the snow blizzard at 12.30 produced little of note except a calling Tawny Owl , 40 Mallard and about 5 Cole Tits...Then mid afternoon between the snow storms gulls were on the move west right into the grey clouds full of snow. About 50 BH Gulls , then 10 Commons a couple of first winter type Herring Gulls and then more BH and Commons .Then an adult gull was right in front of me about 25/30 feet above me. Very clean and  pure white head deffo not a Argentatus  /  Herring Gull did not appear massive at all or look like a normal adult Herring Gull . Its feet looked bright yellow and its bill also stood out as being bright yellow with large red blotch and if it would have been July or  August I would have had no problem with adult YLGull but January ??  It all honesty it looked spot on for adult YLGull .Why do I never have the camera when it matters....

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Shibden Park and Cold Edge

Another day of gloom , not much about but 5 Mute Swans , Coot , Moorhen , GS Woodpecker  and Bullfinch , Siskin , Treecreeper at Shibden . 30 Fieldfare,  4 Teal , 2 Goldeneye , 2 Tufted Duck and  a few Red Grouse at Cold edge. 11 Blackbirds , 1 Song Thrush , 2 Mistle thrush , 10 Redwing and 4 Fieldfare in the field this morning and a GBBgull east , 30 Herring Gull north .  Makes a poor 64 for the start of the year.

Monday, 8 January 2018

More moors

Headed up to the moors again today. A real afternoon 3 kestrel , 2 Buzzards , 8 Greylags , 3 Herring Gulls , 1 Dipper and at least 5/6  Hen Harrier  today and my 7 individual for the winter and even a possibilty of and 8th bird .  4 female Hen Harriers and 1 male seen together today and 1 other possible ringtail . Added to this an adult female with satellite tag and a first winter male seen on previous occasions . Two ringtails seen flying in from the north were both fully winged with one a bit larger , these were classed as a 2cy and 3cy . The adult female which looks like it has been shot at a couple of times was very active today (probably not shot on these moors?). The adult male was also very mobile . The east wind was about  3/4 at dusk.
In the gloom at dusk on the moors its very difficult to asses the true number of birds present but this is a possible account of birds seen so far. ?? ( with lots of help from NCD)
1= Adult Male
(photo AC)
2= first winter male
3 = Adult female ( shot at in both wings  very tatty)
(photo NCD , DF) 
4 = Satellite tagged adult female
5 = fully winged ringtail (poss 3cy)
6 = fully  winged ringtail (slightly smaller 2cy)
7 = Ringtail  with primary missing on left wing
                                                  (photo Phil D)
8 = Ringtail with  secondries missing on both wings.
(photo Phil D)
9 = Large adult Female fully winged .? (often seen with male)
                                                                 (photo DF)

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Whitby...Desert Wheatear

Also in the area Golden plover , Lapwing , Red throated Diver , Eider , Reed Bunting , Fulmar , ...

Friday, 5 January 2018

Calderdale Bird List

I have updated my Calderdale species list which now stands at 202...There is a link on the right hand side of the blogg .\this will be updated with more information soon.  Common Lesser whatever Redpoll and   lesser Mealey thingy  have now been lumped back together so I revert back to calling them A  Redpoll ...and the pale sub sp  Mealey .............. (203 with Redpolls now being split back into 2 ????)

Tuesday, 2 January 2018


The first venture out round the cricket pitches started with 3 Starlings and 2 Mistle Thrush. Soon followed by Herring, Black Headed and Common Gulls, House Sparrow , 7 Blackbirds, Carrion Crow , Magpie , Jay ,Rook , Jackdaw Woodpigeon and Stock Dove. A quick visit to Brighouse added  Nuthatch , Robin , Dunnock , Blue , Cole , Great and Long tailed Tits, Golfinch , Chaffinch , Meadow Pipit , Mallard and Grey Heron.30 lapwing at Self Moor..
 On the 2nd the first raptor of the year was a male Hen Harrier soon followed by a female and then 4 Buzzards, Red Grouse and Pheasant.....Not bad for 2 days of rain, gales and mist.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Lad Law

                                                        Druids Slaughter Stone (Lad Law)
The Pinnacle (Dove Stones)
A hike up lad law for the last day of the year.. A flock of 47 Red Grouse was impressive and the area was alive with Grouse with a low estimate of 150 birds , (on dead bird found which was a raptor kill either HH or PE) ,  2 Raven , 1 Buzzard and a unidentified wader which i flushed from some juncuss. Must have been a Golden Plover but call was all wrong.?? The weather turned on the way back and little was seen in the driving rain.

Monday, 18 December 2017

I dream of Moor and Misty Hill.............

I  felt i need some fresh  air today so back up the moors , In Northowram the sky was blue and clear all the way to the Peak district . The moor by total contrast  was grey , the mist hung to the tops of the hills and the horizon was lost in the swirling  mist. A lot of Red Grouse could be herd calling and a small flock of 8 flew low to the north . 3 Kestrels were looking for food and a distant Carrion Crow  was all I could muster. The moors were golden but the mist kept on rolling in and made viewing difficult. A Dipper feeding along the dam wall and a Buzzard flew low flushing a few grouse. Then a Ringtail Harrier was seen briefly. A lone birder was stood looking into the mist (Phil D) he had just seen the male Hen Harrier and had a couple of record shots on his camera were pretty clear . I did not see the male but was worth it just to know it was still there and had not 'gone missing' like many Harriers do. Looking forward to my next visit.