Monday, 31 December 2012

Morpeth / cresswell beach

A quick trip up north for early  new year celebrations,birding with big hangover...3 Waxwing,2 sparrowhawks,500+ Pink footed Goose,28 Curlew north,77 Dunlin north,30 Redshank north,20 Eider,6 Oycks.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Feather from ogden moor

Found this feather on a ripped up carcass on ogden moor today definate raptor kill .There were no other id features but i think I sorted it out.? Would anyone like to guess what it is.??


Ogden to the windfarm and back was cold and birdless , except for  good numbers of Red grouse all over the moor.1 lessed Black backed Gull, 1 Cormorant , 7 Redwing , 4 Fieldfare and a load of mallards and BHGulls around the res...7 herring Gull and a Great spot from home..............

Sunday, 23 December 2012

White Crow and X mas greetings

This superb photo xmas card  was taken by a good friend and what a great shot it is.
Today I also saw the White Crow for the first time at Queensbury golf club good to know its still around.It looks a real hard case that crow.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

January targets..

1.Great Crested Grebe 2. Little Grebe 3 Cormorant.4 Grey heron, 5 Canada Goose,6 Mallard,7 Tufted duck ,8 Goosander,9 Sparrowhawk,10 Kestrel.11 Coot , 12 Moorhen ,13 Golden Plover 14 Lapwing , 15 Snipe ,16 Black headed gull ,17 Common Gull , 18 Herring Gull ,19 LBBGull , 20 GBBGull , 21 Stock Dove ,22 Woodpigeon , 23 Collared Dove ,24Feral Pigeon ,25 Little Owl, 26 Tawny Owl ,27 Green Woodpecker ,28Great Spotted woodpecker , 29 Skylark ,30 Meadow Pipit.31 Grey wagtail 32 Pied wagtail ,33 Dipper ,34Wren ,35 Dunnock 36 Robin , 37 Blackbird ,38 Fieldfare,39 Song Thrush, 40 Redwing, 41 Mistle Thrush , 42 Goldcrest , 43 Long tailed Tit , 44 Blue Tit, 45 Cole Tit , 46 Great Tit, 47 Nuthatch , 48 Treecreeper , 49 Jay , 50 Magpie ,51 Carrion Crow , 52 Rook, 53 Starling , 54 House Sparrow ,55 Tree Sparrow , 56 Chaffinch,57 Greenfinch, 58 Goldfinch ,59 Siskin ,60 Redpoll,61 Bullfinch, 62 Linnet.+ 3 unknowns,hopefully Snow Bunt,Whooper Swan and Lesser pecker (we live in hope)
Plus...... Pink footed goose and F**** so far 39.
Going to try and see this lot in January on foot from my house and back....Trips to Soil Hill,Jay house lane and Cromwell Bottom, will have to be completed to get any where near 65 species

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Northowram to shelf moor

A good walk today from Northowram to shelf moor.Loads of Redwing on the move north, 1 meadow pipit,16 Mistle Thrush,12 Goldfinch ,8 Chaffinch ,6 Stock Dove ,40 Lapwing and still no Fieldfare.Total 29sp  today and 36 so far around northowram on foot only.
Wednesday....low fog and rain,3 Long tailed tits in back garden and a Snipe over south.................

Monday, 17 December 2012

Seasons Greetings

                (Eagle Owl undisclosed site in yorkshire summer 2012)

All the best to one and all for the festive season and hope its a great new year.Andy.....Tawny owl this evening calling in the valley and a few Redwings and Stock doves but little else......

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Keeping it local
My Footit area
Had a trial walk today within half a mile of my house ,and found 30 species of bird,including 21 lapwing ,2 jay , 6 LTTits,Kestrel,Sparrowhawk,19 Stock dove, 1 Grey Wagtail ,Redwings on the move s/w about 20+ , 1 Mistle Thrush and other common Crows,Gulls  and residents. No Linnets,Greenfinch,Fieldfare,ducks,Geese or |Pied wags,

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Quiet walk 2

Same walk one week later,still deadly quiet with a covering of snow ,a flock of 14 goldfinch,loads of corvids numbering 300+ mainly Jackdaws a few Carrion Crows and 20 Rooks.You can tell its cold cos the first Lapwings have moved down from shelf moor with 10 in the horse field today.I did count 70 at shelf as well today.3 Fieldfare,1 Redwing and 2 Mistle thrush.On the bird table Chaffinch,Cole,Blue and Great Tit,Dunnock,Blackbird and 20+ house Sparrows.Sparrowhawk been active but no kills this week around the garden.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Quiet walk

Sunshine but cold today made for a brisk walk around the village perimeter.A small flock of Long tailed tits(5),1 Grey wag in the horse manure fileld ,34 Fieldfare went west,2 Chaffinch ,a few BHGulls and Commons heading n/w and a quick view of 62 lapwing up on Shelf moor........

Saturday, 24 November 2012

More Sparrowhawk carnage


Young female Sparrowhawk is getting well into the swing of things,with another 2 Feral Pigeons in my garden alone this week.(pic above)
  A Dipper at ringstone was only  my third for the site and a flock of 21 Twite on the side of the road in a small quarry on the way to Blackstone Edge was a real bonus.
  Its been a strange week as there seems to have been a  complete clear out of Redwings,Fieldfares and Waxwings and no vis at all.
 The Nordic type Jackdaw was seen on Wednesday onwards and the Herring Gull at Brods has returned for its 3rd winter.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Shelf moor and sainsburys Yeasterday

                                   Candle snuff Fungus
Quick look at shelf moor area today saw 187 Common Gulls,25 Lapwing.4 Mistle Thrush,6 blackbirds,20 Starling,,6 Redwing and 12 Fieldfare,down in Northowram 37 Black Headed Gull.7 Heralds in Bare Head Tunnel are well worth a look and 1 Little Owl near here....Waxwing yeasterday in Brighouse

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Great morning

A good morning for late autumn vis started slowly ,then picked up around 9ish all species going its own way.
1 Cormorant west
917 Woodpigeon s/w 22 north
148 Starling west
5 Herring Gull west
96 Redwing nn/east
212 Fieldfare s/w

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

White - Tailed Starling

A heart stopping moment at shelf moor today,as I was counting the Starlings(311) a white tail resembeling one of the rare wheatears flipped across my bins..............only to reveal a White tailed Starling never seen one with a pure white tail before...40 lapwing,12 common Gull and one BHGull on a pretty grim day.Flushed a Woodcock from the field and 13 Stock Doves were the first group of the winter ....

Monday, 5 November 2012

Classic Woodpigeon

Early November clear blue skies and light ssw or wnw and its mass Woodpigeon moves s/w or ssw.In the last 3 days 4500 have passed over in the amazing shapes these large flocks make shimmering across the sky.The classic long cigar, tight tennis ball and long tail streamers were all observed today as numbers soared from a few early doorsto a few groups of 500 +.Lets hope it continues but the weather looks like it may put a dampner on the job,,

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Sparrowhawk frenzy

had plenty of sightings of Sparrowhawks over the last few weeks with the adult male and female putting in many attacks on next doors pigeons and Collard doves.I have only seen the young male once since last month but the young female is a monster.
  I have seen it hit at least 2 pigeons over the weekend and fail to kill.Yesterday Ann from next door came running round saying there was a pool of blood in her garden and there was a dead bird in the tree.Sure enough a beheaded pigeon was hanging upside down dripping blood all over her nice new flaggs.Apparantly the Sparrowhawk had got the pigeon stuck on its foot and could not get it off until it flew headlong into the tree and this freed it from its talons.It returned 3 hours later and took the beheaded carcass off for another feed.
 Today it was in my garden with a very large feral pigeon pinned to the lawn taking large bits of feathers out of its breast,suddenly the pigeon broke free and both birds flew off and hit the car feathers flying in all directions.The sprk chased the pigeon under the car running along the path.The pigeon nipped round the front wheel and escaped.i saw the sprwk hunting high over the cricket pitch a bit later so it was still hungry......

Monday, 29 October 2012

Over the weekend

A much better weekend for vis with good numbers of Fieldfare 1487,Redwing 1941,Woodpigeon 974,Chaffinch 54,Greenfinch 20
and Starlings moving very close to the ground  wnw 1841.Hoping for a big move of Woodpigeon at the begining of November but some big numbers to the east of Northowram means I may have miised it this year.??

Monday, 22 October 2012

Last week

A poor week with no big arrivals of Thrush's and not many woodpigeons despite perfect conditions.On wednesday a very frustrating large  Pipit found in fading light was probably a Rock pipit,it was running around the puddles and tractor tracks and I got a few glimses of plumage a pale throat,streaked flanks and pale tips to tertials but no calls or outer tail colour.
4 Bramblings,2 whooper swans and a few 100+ Woodpigeons were the best of a bad weeks vis.A bit better with moths and a Common darter was a good find locally in late October...The beast of Ogden was a real treat..........

Monday, 15 October 2012

Over the weekend

A great weekend for vis -mig started with a record count of 17 Jays south on sat morning.A brilliant skein of 650+ Pink feet with pure blue sky backdrop was the best of the autumn so far ,first big move of Woodpigeon,Starlings and Redwings and first gooseanders of the autumn .Skylarks,Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtails thining out and Swallows were last seen on the 8th.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Motorway Birding

A quick trip to Scotland today produced some good motorway birding
800 Pink footed goose s/e
500  Pink footed goose... east
12 Whooper swans  south
8 Common Buzzard locals
80 Lapwing blogging
14 Pied Wagtail south

Monday, 8 October 2012

Recent sightings

The last of the swallows have just about gone and the first of the winter Thrush's have started to trickle in should be a big influx of thrushes before the weekend .Pink feet have been seen the last couple of days and the pain of the yellow browed warbler was eased with a fly over Rock pipit today,another one for the self found list.For the last 5 years when Ive taken the kids to the beach ive allways chased the rock pipits till they fly over my head calling,it paid off today in the swirling mist one shot through calling 3 times.There were quite a few inland records today so there must be a move on.Snow Bunts next,???

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Same place,

2 skylark,3 Swallow and 2  meadow Pipit what a difference a day makes

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Swallow Spectacular

From first light Swallows poured through Northowram today ,large groups of 30+ and others skimmimg a foot above the ground,also meadow pipits streaming through largest group 27, 3 Pieds ,2 Skylarks and a Tree Pipit gave there calls as they headed south.The first 10 Pink footed geese struggled along the valley in the strong wind. The bird of the day went to a first year Reed Bunting hiding in the undergrowth near the new Lorry car park.Swallows totalled 850+ and Mipits 350+.a great vis day...

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Thursday vis

A good morning started with a steady flow of mips and swallows,the highlights being my first Raven for ages and a Great spotted Woodpecker flying high in with a flock of 11 mipits.
Meadow Pipit 216 s/w
swallow         96 s/w
House Martin 3 s/w
Raven              1 south
Great Spot      1 south
Jay                  1 south
Cormorant 1 west
Wheatear 1 south along the fence posts andthe flew off south.1 at Paw lane Queensbury later on.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

A bit of spare time

time to sort through the hoards of photos from this year,Snipe,Common Sandpiper and white fronted geese


28 Swallows s/w
7 Meadow pipit s/w
1 LBBGull   east
8 Starling west
1 Linnet and 3Goldfinch

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


A great morning started with 25 Golfinch feeding on ragwort(??),a couple of linnets flew over and a steady stream of Mipits and swallows south,Then 2 wheatear and a whitethroat flushed from cover and a Willow warbler catching flies in the tall hedge...

Monday, 10 September 2012


Around Walsden village
87 mipits s/w
54 Swallows s/w
2 reed buntings s/w
1 Willow warbler blogging
2 raven south
3 Kestrels hunting on moor(male female and juv female)
4 linnets blogging around

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Weekend Vis

2 Swift sat afternoon with 3 Swallows s/w
1 Tree Pipit fist light on sunday due south
6 Sand Martin west at 12ish on Sunday
25 Mipits s/w sunday morning
2 LBBGull east Sat evening

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Erringden suprise

Thick fog first thing put visibility down  to 50 feet,but mipits and swallows were herd and seen coming out of the fog.5 House Martin were the only ones seen all day.As the fog lifted Mipits were grounded all over the moor flying up from every bit of cover.12 wheatear,1 whinchat, 6 skylark,40 Linnets birds seemed to be everywhere.3 ravens flew towards Stoodley Pike soon followed by a buzzard.A snipe was flushed from cover and 2 LBBgulls went s/w.Mipits were in full migration mode with at least 250 s/w,12 pied wags blogging on the moor.
   As I sat down to watch the mipits and swallows head s/w I picked up a bird flying towards me ,it looked like a Kingfisher at first a bit of blue and orange it could'nt be up here.? as the bird got closer it landed in a bit of Hawthorn al called loudly.....A male Nuthatch right in the middle of the moor it only landed and called then flew off North east low over the moor.A real suprise.Must have been moving between valleys.???also had a few  calls which I have left as  maybes two  flava wagtail sp were herd but not seen and a distant wader herd twice which sounded like a redshank.??

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Withens Clough.and Northowram

4 stonechat ( 2 adults and 2 Juvs) ,3 House martin,15 swallows,1 Shelduck ,1 wheatear(which I still havent sorted out)and a female redstart.
  One Holly Blue ,1 Red Admiral, 2 speckled wood , 4 small tortoiseshell and 1 large white today.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Little Egret and busy a Sunday

Up at 6.00 to empty the moth trapd a Campion and Yellow shell were good records for the time of year also the first migrant silver Y of the autumn.
   Then off to Jay House lane to do a two hour watch of the tree sparrow feeding station,27 tree Sparrows the  most seen at one time but there could be more than 40 I reckon.Good to see as I remember years when we had none at all.
                                        Thanks to Fran44 for pic

   A long walk with family around all three walshaw reservoirs  produced a new local self found bird LITTLE EGRET very nice indeed,in the next 10 years I am sure they will become a common sight,but for now only a hand full of records and still pretty rare.8 wheatear,1 whinchat and a Female redstart were a good supporting cast.

Friday, 31 August 2012

What a fall

Should I go and see the marsh harrier at walshaw dean or go and find something else I thought when Id finished work today.Well I opted for the harrier,as I approached the plantation at walshaw I picked up the Harrier distantly above the moor,Ill get a better look when I reach the top res i said to myself.
 A falsh of a red tail in the first bit of wood started things off. 2 Redstarts a male and a female type,calling Go;ldcrests and cole tits could be herd.As I got to the end of the plantation another 2 female type Redstarts were seen ,then Spotted flys every where at least 6 were seen flitting about the trees catching prey.Next a female type Whitethroat came to my pishing calls and then 3 Whinchats were seen on the fence below,all the time swallows were overhead with Pied wags and Mipit calls filling the sky .A Tree Pipit was herd calling above and the redstarts were now catching flies in full view,flashing there red tails and landing on the ground momentarily.2 Chiff Chaffs could not be turned into anything else.I looked at my watch id been there 1 and a half hours no time for the top res today.Other birds seen were 6 Kestrel, 21 linnets,4 goldfinch , 1 raven and a few grouse.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Blackshaw Head

A real morning to be out after the initial downpour,the first birds were a large group of 56 Swallows heading n/e soon followed by smaller groups of 5/6 this continued till about 1.30 some so close I could almost touch um ( total 350+).5 wheatear ,3 Raven , 6 Kestrels and a beautiful young male Sparrowhawk,couple of Skylarks.Loads of mipits on the move with at least 200 over and 1 tree pipit was the bird of the morning.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Booth to Midgley

Hundreds of swallows on the move this morning s/w and continued most of the day,at least 700+ , small groups of House martins also with a 2 + 10 + 55 +2  + 4 = 73 s/w , 2 swift s/w, 24 Mistle thrush,1 buzzard and a few Linnets,goldfinch and greenfinch.1 willow warbler and 1 snipe were the best from a long slog.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

3 from mallorca

All Taken by Damian Cockroft aged 9....

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Good to be back (BLACK REDSTART)

What a week after finding 5  icelandic Black tailed Godwits at Ringstone on the 25th July then 2 weeks in mallorca,I came back and found spotted fly feeding a juv at Gorpley,a yellow wag and 6 Wheatear at flints and then a classic adult male Black Redstart at Batings.Good numbers of Swallows and Mipits on the move this week and the local Goldfich flock is up to about 70.Also a first for Calderdale in the form of a Large Twin spot carpet on the garage window in July.Lets hope thats not it for the year.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Mallorcan Vis S Albufera marsh

Thee is an osprey in this pic somewhere............................

After a large storm on the 9th i decided to see if anything was on the move first thing the next morning.As i aproached the ' English bridge ' I could hear Cettis and Sardinian warblers from the vegatation on the side of the canal.First birds were 27 swallows south closely followed by  an 8 and a 17 tucked into the last group were 2 red rumped swallows and 3 sand martin soon followed . 100 + Little egrets flew from there roost just up the canal , 7 Squacco and 4 Night herons went the opposite way.Wader calls got my attention 5 greenshank and a Common sand went up the canal soon followed by 3 geenshank and a spotted redshank.
 3 Audouins Gulls went over and more little egrets  flew from there roost.Swifts piled through too many to count  nothing of interset at first but soon I picked out 3 Pallids and a superp Alpine close to the tree tops surrounding the canal. Nightingale and Fan - tailed warblers occasionally gave bursts of song.
  The sky was full of swifts and Swallows and a marsh harrier drifted low over the canal then out of nowhere an adult Elanoras falcon went shooting through the hirundines not to be seen again that morning.
A Little Bittern sneaked out of cover for a brief view and a couple of Purple Herons  broke from cover to give excellent views .A  flock of 42 Black Headed Gulls headed over and a couple of yellow legged Gulls then followed.
  Spotted flys seen to be all over the place and a couple of Hoopoes made for a great morning.a quick look at the nearby salinas produced 2 curlew,4 wood,3 green and 7 Common sandpipers , 24 Black winged stilts,1 avocet , 6 little stins ,2 dunlin ,1 ruff , 6 Kentish,1 Little Ringed and 11 Ringed plovers,4 Purple swamphen,2 Yellow wag ( blue headed) ,1 tawny pipit and a family party of Woodcat shrikes.
  Stone Curlew,Osprey,Quail and Moustashed warbler were seen later on in the morning...Good Stuff........................................Also seen ,marbled duck, balaric warbler, black Vulture,Med Gull, Temmincks stint,Cragg martin , Blue rock thrush and loads of elenoras falcons.

Sunday, 12 August 2012


2 weeks on the island of mallorca was brilliant,,info to follow......

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Blackmoorfoot reservoir and surrounds.

1 female common Scoter was a nice suprise along with 1 GCGrebe,50+ Swifts,20 House martin ,11 swallows,175 Lapwing , 2 oycks,2 Curlew, 25 LBBGulls a,70 BHGulls and 3 Golden plover.Nearby were 1 male whinchat, 7 Linnet ,plenty of Reed Bunts,Grey partridge,  Mips and 2 Twite.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Yorkshire Specialities

The best place in Yorkshire to see these two species is Hardcastle Craggs,Top pic Beautiful Snout and bottom pic Devon Carpet.They have both been recorded this year despite the weather.Cheers to Bri Leesey for pics.

Hobby - tastic

Watched an adult Hobby today in  wessenden valley,ive  seen a few locally but this was a jem ,classic adult (prob female due to large size?) Red trousers,heavy streaks on breast and bright white face and jet black moustacial stripes,blue grey back and long wings.I watched it down to 30 feet as it chased across the moor towards me.Headed off towards to Deer hill,the odd Reed Bunt,Lapwing and Mipits starting to gather .10 LBBgulls ,1 cormorant and a flock of 37 BHgulls .

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Cupwith Res area/Marsden Moor early July

These are max numbers seen over the last week / 10 days and vis also

Twite   5
Ringed plover 4 n/w
Grey Wag 1 blogging
Reed Bunting 11 max seen on one day mostly juvs
SEOwl     10 sightings of 2 birds
Tufted Duck 2
Mallard 135
Curlew 6 n/w
Swift   137 n/w
Linnet 10
Common sand 1
Snipe 1
Lapwing   34 west
Peregrine 1 juv female hunting swifts
1 Hobby very brief view of a bird hunting low over the moor.
LBBGull 7 west

Monday, 9 July 2012


The first sighting today of a young female sparrowhawk from the local pair was good news and also a garden warbler in full song from a garden on our street was also welcome news.Swifts north , LBBGulls westand a few House Martins south are the first signs of decent vis to come....

Saturday, 30 June 2012


Common Spotted, Northern Marsh and Bee Orchids.Found in Calderdale this last week , many thanks to Bruce and Damian for help with the Bee orchids..

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Crow Hill

A flock of 85+ Lapwing and 60 + starling at Crow Hill today also around 2 Teal , 5 Pied wags,4 Skylark,6 + Curlew high west and a few locals  a few Snipe still drumming away and plenty Swifts and swallows about.

Saturday, 16 June 2012


The Buzzard by Tubbs arrived today another good read and a book ive been looking for.Thanks Martyn H.

South Pennines

Green hairstreaks wessenden valley

Its been a poor year so far for Moths and Butterflys but it was encouraging to see lots of small colony's of Green hairstreaks around Wessenden Valley

Female Emperor Moth ,Cupwith res May

Friday, 15 June 2012

Round and about

Nice to see SEowl this week at a nest site with one large young,also scoped a SEOwl eating a Vole..down in two gulps and tail still hanging from bill.Nesting BHGull was a suprise find on the moor tops and Golden Plover,Curlew and lapwing seem to have survived this terrible spring.A Tree pipit was a good find near bridestones and loads of Redpoll,Chaffinch ,Linnet and Greenfinch around...Im sure Twite have been reduced in numbers by there stronger cousins as well as habitat reduction. 7 GCgrebes ,3 Oycs ,Herons and Grey wags at batings .also here Yellow Shell,Chimney sweeper and migrant Silver Y..

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Hobby and Cuckoo

A good day started well with Cuckoo calling near mixenden res,Blackcap,Willow warbler and Chiff singing from adult Hobby was seen briefley hunting along the west side of the valley heading off towards Ogden.Plenty of Curlew,lapwing,Linnets,Skylarks,1 Oyk and a few reed Bunts made for a good walk in the sunshine (whats that ...!!!!)

Friday, 1 June 2012

Hell Fog

Today I walked from Holme village to Holme Moss,it was steep and unforgiving,I carried my scope,bins large flask of coffee and packed was good to see Red Grouse in there natural habitat of billberry slopes just off the moors edge ( a beautiful species when in its own).Short eared owl,Curlew,Golden plover and lapwing were all observed in good light.I reached the top and set up my scope ,I could hear Golden Plover overhead but could not locate them.I could easily see Ovenden moor wind farm in the distance and a small whisp of cloud on the nearby hill.Within 20 minutes of reaching the cloudless top,it was covered in thick fog from nowhere,it covered the whole area.the bottom of my tripod was covered,i dont recall ever seeing such thick fog in JUNE visibility was down to 10 feet.I had to stumble down the track to the car and away , the fog stll thick at Blackmoor foot but had lifted by the time I got home..................????

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Last of the summer wine Country

A party of 20 Crossbills was a great site and sound as were 3 differnt Cuckoos.A male whinchat was my first of the year,plenty of singing Redpolls and a few Charms of goldfinch(9+7).Plenty of drumming Snipe and alarming Curlews in and around the moors edge.I was suprised to see so many lapwing chicks with at least 40 seen of varying sizes from 4/5 different large fields continually wary of the ever present carrion Crows.A flock of 10 Curlew foraging in a field must have been failed breeders.Wheatear are thin on the ground now with one late female the only one seen.