Wednesday, 31 December 2014


Bitterly cold and windy, a long walk to the wind farm over the moor......the highlight was a pair of Raven displaying over the moor for about half an hour , 2 Mipits  , 8 red  Grouse , 3 Reed Buntings and a Kestrel was the sum total...At home 7 Reed Buntings and 2 tree Sparrows....

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Local 2

Started off with 4  Tree , 3 Hedge and 15 House Sparrows in and around the garden..A cracking male Sparrowhawk had everything up in the air as it shot through and in to the field. A flock of passerines in the field were easily spooked. ...25 Mipits , 5 Reed Bunting , 1 Song Thrush and a Chaffinch.... that is good for here..little else in the next 45 mins but well chuffed...

Monday, 29 December 2014


Headed up Soil Hill in the hope of a Snow Bunting but alas 2 Carrion Crow and a Red Grouse were the only birds up there.
  11 Herald and 3 Peacock Butterflies in Bare Head Tunnel ,,,in the trailer Park field 1 Snipe, 1 Grey Heron and a Wren,,,,,3 tree Sparrows again today at Northowram...

Saturday, 27 December 2014

A bit of luck

I have only found one species of micro moth in Cumbria so far  the  species was  on Hart's Tongue Fern and turned out to be ..BF 200... Psychoides filicivora... it is a first for VC 70(most of Cumbria,) and only the 7th record for Cumbria....

Sunday, 21 December 2014


A quick look today produced, 2 Grey Heron ,  4 Mute Swan, 20 Canadas , 1 Greylag and 6 each of moorhen and Coot

Saturday, 13 December 2014

3 Sparrows

I remember as a lad in Brighouse, I often saw House , Tree and Hedge Sparrows in the back garden  and as I remember it was one of the first  problems with ID that I sorted I was lucky to see all 3 again after a gap of some 40 years..15 House Sparrows , 4 Tree Sparrows and 2 Hedge Sparrows ...another red letter day.......

Friday, 12 December 2014

Roa Island ,

 In the eye of the storm on Wednesday, I managed to get to |Roa island causeway , half way across is a small car park I decided this was a good place .Gale force winds battered the headland, but with this were birds lots of them...Hundreds of Curlew and Oystercatcher headed in land, and at least 4000 Knot could be seen twisting and turning off  Walney island, small flocks of Widgeon 30, 40 and 50;s
flying past the car over the causeway and then inland. Next 145 Pale bellied Brent geese landed in the sea in front of the car , rapidly feeding in and around the seaweed, waders were covering the foreshore as the tide came in, 1 Grey Plover 100 + Turnstone, 300 +|Sanderling, 40 Golden Plover, 10 Lapwing , another flock flew in, at least 30 Ringed Plover  and 20 Dunlin joining the now masses of waders.
   More Curlew , Widgeon , 200 + Shelduck were seen to pass by  and 3 Bar tailed Godwit landed on the beach. Out at sea I could just make out some duck in the  masses of  crashing waves ....Eider.... yes masses of them a quick count was inexcess of 500 +...Redshank starting come through and more and more Curlew and Oystercatchers. I picked up 3 small passerines being blown towards the car, 2 were Skylarks and the other landed under the car........a large pipit for sure..I had seen on birdguides that a Water Pipit had been seen in this general area and after a  short time the pipit showed its self to be this species.4 little Egrets , 2 Ravens and a peregrine were seen briefly.
  At this point I started to head back along the coast road and noticed the fields were full of Curlew and Oystercatcher in one field alone I counted 400 curlew and 150 Oycks, A last look at the sea produced the birds of the day 2 Pomerine Skuas about 100m from the road at one point I thought they were going inland but headed north along the coast, the first one still had very tatty spoons. Winter   birding at its very best                            ...............Happy xmas EVERYONE

Saturday, 6 December 2014


Been in the Maryport / Carlisle area this week ,  its a large area of farmland with many fields left for stubble. A flock of 50 Skylark , 5 Yellowhammer , 2 Reed Buntings , 20 Chaffinch and the odd tree Sparrow was the pick of the farmland species. At least 5 different Med Gulls and the bird of the week was a winter plumage Ruff foraging with Starlings in a recently manured field. Small numbers of Pinkfeet and Whoopers also about.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

South Cumbria

Been surveying in South Cumbria recently and its a beautiful part of the world , under watched by birdwatchers for sure..Highlights so far have been Snow Bunting , wintering Greenshank (7), Little Egrets are common and Great White Egrets have been seen twice. Large flocks of duck 500 + Pintail , 400 + widgeon and 100 + teal along with large flocks of Curlew (450 +) Oystercatcher (200+) Shelduck (150 + ) .Purple Sandpiper , Twite , Marsh Tit ,  Water Pipit and Rock Pipit have all been seen.
   Raptors are always in evidence Peregrine , Buzzard , Kestrel and Sparrowhawk are common/very common. Red Kite (4) , Goshawk(2) , Merlin (10) ,Hen (1) and Marsh harrier (3) have all been seen.

Saturday, 22 November 2014


Woke up this morning went down stairs ...thick fog out the back window..3 small sparrows on the back garden step flew up ......looked pale...???? 2 minutes later 3 adult tree Sparrows on the back garden steps...I have looked high and low for tree sparrows in Northowram for 12 tears and then 3 in the back garden..amazing...Went outside and to my astonishment there were 5 adults and 3 juv/types in next doors tree. There were still there at 12 .15 but not seen since.??

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Barrow Vis south cumbria

All heading North /North / East.
Redwing        783
Chaffinch        69
Tree Sparrow    29
Skylark              3
Linnet               45
Pied Wagtail       3
Snipe                  3
Pink Footed Goose  67
Curlew                      5
Meadow Pipit           1

A cracking adult Med Gull was found in a large flock of mixed gulls in a recently ploughed field

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Duddon vis mig south Cumbria 7.30 - 10.30

All south

Swallow          39
House martin    1
Chaffinch         42
Mipit                34
Alba Wag         14
Pinks                88
Present ,Raven, Merlin (3), Peregrine , Buzzard, Kes , Sprawk ,100' Eider , curlew , Oycs and Redshank.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Morecambe Bay

A quick look this morning produced a flock of Oystercatcher which must have been at least 750 + thought they were pinkies when they came over the horizon. 50 + Brent geese,80 pinks , 400 + Eider , female Merlin , 200+ Shelduck , 100+Curlew , nice flock of 22 Ringed Plover, 10 Turnstone.220 Goldies and plenty of linnets and Goldfinch.Makes a real change to see so many birds.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Leighton Moss

A couple of hours at Leighton Moss today produced.......2 Great White Egret ( I thought 1 was good as it flew around the main lagoon but the sight of 2 was fantastic,15 Little egret ,1 Swallow , 8 Red brested Merganser , 2 Goosander , 5 Ruff , 650 + Black Tailed Godwit , 2 Little Stint , 2 Greenshank , 1 Knot , 10 Snipe , 15 Dunlin ,40 +Redshank ,2 Pintail , 30 Shovler , 60 + Widgeon , 10 Gadwall ,1 Marsh harrier ,Buzzard , Raven ,Peregrine ,Kes and Sprawk......

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Fly flatts

A quick walk round fly.12 Teal all female types , 12 BHGull .165 Lapwing , 2 Snipe , 14 Mipits , 2 Pied Wags ,lots of Red Grouse calling from the moor , 3 Red legged Partridge , 2 Kestrel  and a Female Greenland type Wheatear...............the flock of Lapwing flew to TM at 11.10 another wader was with them but lost in the bright sunshine................

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Dotterel and Buff Breasted Sandpiper

Right place right time...Whilst having crippling views of BBS , a flock of  Golden Plover circled the reservoir and then headed south as they went south a smaller wader flew to join them from the west .I alerted JB to this and as the flock returned some 5 minutes later the small wader was picked out, JB was taking photos frantically,,,where is it ??? ..he kept saying... top left, right.... middle bottom the flock headed west....and two Common Buzzards came over the hill .Some great photos on the Calderdale birders blog...the best couple of hours birding for a long time.........

Monday, 29 September 2014


A Buff breasted Sandpiper at Ringstone Edge today was a great find by John takes my Calderdale total to 200 last....beaten to it by NCD by 3 weeks ............highlights over the years have been , Red , Black and GN Divers , Slavs and red necked grebes , Gannet, Kittiwake , Honey and Rough Legged Buzzards , Ring necked Duck , Spotted  and Wood sandpipers , Little and Black terns ,Iceland and Glaucous Gulls , Firecrest , Lapland Bunting ,Little and temminck's Stint , Little egret , Dotterel , Shore lark and Great Grey shrike.....  also remember when YL GULLs were un -herd of and also when Nuthatch was a MEGA.......................LOL and good birding,,,,,,,,,,

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Recent records

6 Chiff Chaffs , 5 Goldcrest today in the long hedge and wood , 10 + Pieds and 1 White wagtail and 87 Meadow Pipits on the cricket pitch and 2 Jays very high south were the first of the autumn and not seen a Swallow for a couple of days...............

Friday, 5 September 2014

Sedge Warbler

Its been a good spell for migrants at Northowram with a new area found that seems to hold a few far Spotted flycatcher (1) , Whinchat (2) Redstart (2) Chiffs (10+) Willow Warbler (8+)Whitethroat (6) , Blackcap (2) and the star so far a Sedge warbler today it was tacking low to the ground (thought it was a reed warbler till it showed its face) finally came into view ..very nice

Saturday, 30 August 2014


A few visits to Ringstone this week produced...2 juv peregrine Falcon , 1 Whinchat ,2 Sedge Warbler , 3 Willow Warbler  , 3 Chiffchaff , 7 Whitethroat , 10 Pied Wags , 100 + Mipits , 15 Swallow , 3 Grey Partridge , 50 + Linnet , 30 + Goldfinch , 88 lapwing , 1 Curlew , 3 Dunlin , 1 GC Grebe , 2 Cormorant , 40 Mallard , 7 Reed Bunting , 6 Wren and 2 Robins,,500 + BH Gull , 10 LBBGull and 20 Commons................

Tuesday, 12 August 2014


A juv Redstart in the horse paddock field today was a first for my area, loads of Swift ,Swallows and House martins every time the rain started.An adult Whitethroat was a good find as well.....

Saturday, 19 April 2014


A calling Nuthatch as I got out of the car was a good omen as I think this is my first Nuthatch here, plenty of Curlew , Skylark , Red Grouse , Golden Plover and Meadow Pipits on the Moor around the wind farm. Kestrel and Reed Bunting on the Golf course and a Tree Pipit calling here which again I have not seen here before...A very early Swift on Thursday Blackcap , Willow Warbler  , Chiff chaff ,Swallows  , 8 Linnets , 2 Great spotted Woodpecker and a Green Woody at Northowram.

Sunday, 13 April 2014


My first local Swallow today over the cricket pitch and 2 Chiffs by the horse fields , followed by 50 + Swallows ,30 Sand Martin , 3 Willow Warbler , 1 Blackcap , 2 chiffs at EGP,
   Another Dip on the Hoopoe but you got to try..............................................

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Golden Plover calls..??

Took the dog out for it nightly stroll , was amazed to hear a Golden Plover overhead , it was;nt the alarm call or flight calls but the breeding display call >??

Monday, 31 March 2014

Chiff - chaff

My first Chiff Chaff today singing from near Shelf School, another Wheatear over the weekend which make 3 already. Good move of Meadow Pipits started last Friday with many groups seen and herd  , a group of 18 was good for here.Green  and Great spotted Woodpeckers have been herd calling as well as Nuthatch in local wood. Tawny Owls again very vocal.....

Saturday, 22 March 2014

First Wheatear

First Wheatear today and a cracking male catching flies and searching for grubs on dry stone wall...its always great to see your first one of the year.................5 + 2 +1+1 +2 meadow pipits and 2 Grey Heron south.......

Friday, 21 March 2014

First Sand Martin

...First Sand martin today heading north west at 7.10

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Steady away

22  Mipits on Friday was the first real move of the spring, 2 Pied Wagatils ,1 Skylak and 1 male Reed Bunting the same morning was a bonus. The male Scaup at EGP was another good local bird and the Eider at Todmorden moves me ever closer to the magical 200 in Calderdale, agood spring and autumn should do it.......

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Last few Days

Nice to catch up with the Kittiwake this morning and a good patch tick to boot...I have set up a feeding station in the long hedge and after a slow start I have had 5 Reed Buntings, 8 House Sparrows,4 LTTits, Great and Blue Tits, Greenfinch,jay and Song thrush all happily feeding away.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

A good dooo........................

Went to Bare Head Tunnel to have a look for some Herald Moths and found 25 (a local record)and 5 Peacock Butterflies hibernating  in the nooks and crannies, A flock of 40+ finches flew over and landed in the tops of some Larch,21 Greenfinch,10 Chaffinch, 10 Goldfinch and 2 Bullfinch. Then went to shelf moor ,last time I went there was 1 Snipe and it was pi**ing it down. Today there were 43 Snipe another great local record. Then off round my local fields 2 Great spots and a reed bunt...a good doooo....................

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Pink Footed Goose

A Pink Footed Goose today feeding in the flooded horse field next to the cricket pitch.....

Sunday, 2 February 2014


5 Reed Bunts,11 Blackbird,3 Song Thrush,2 Mistle Thrush mixed flock 0f 50+ redwing & fieldfare ,Sparrowhawk ,Buzzard, Kestrel,Lots of Jackdaw activity with flocks of up to 50in display mode...................55 Lapwing north up to Shelf Moor,Little and tawny owl,14 Stock Dove,distant flock of Golden Plover and a goosander over made... Foot it.... total 59....

Monday, 27 January 2014

27th Northowram fields

Along the tall hedge today, 8 Blackbird , 11 Chaffinch ,4 Golfinch,2 Dunnock , 3 Blue and 2 Great Tits.20 Rooks and 107 Jackdaws feeing in the fields.1 Herring gull over s/w followed by 64 BH Gulls.Now these Reed Buntings are starting to annoy me, I just car'nt pin um down.there are now 5 and 4 are deffo reeds the other one I just carnt get on to confirm it as a reed..They are very flighty will have to try again tomorrow.........................

Saturday, 25 January 2014

25 Jan

3 Redwing and a Mistle Thrush in the first tree in the field was a good start followed by 6 Stock Dove, 15 Goldfinch,2 Dunnock and 5 Reed Bunting (a record count),The horse field held 30 Common and 26 BH Gulls and 3 LBBgulls flew west. Shibden held 11 Moorhen,4 Coot,2 Mute Swan 4 Canada Goose and a Great Spot.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

22nd Jan

First time out this week due to fog over the weekend and rain, 4 reed Buntings still in the field first time Ive all four for a while,2 LBBGulls west and 202 Jackdaws went over to roost.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Magical Merlin and Half way

Well its been a bit of a slog(wind and rain ) so far but I should not complain as the birding has been pretty good. Today I picked up a raptor very high in the sky it was a falcon, it stooped (perry ??)very fast (too small)gulls and thrushes every where.I lost it somewhere down near old brods as it stooped behind the trees. Defo falcon but not enough to id it,kept watching and before long it took to the air again heading west a female Merlin beautiful..with Buzzards diplaying ,2 Mute Swans , 4 Reed Bunts , 3 Nuthatch and 1000 + Pink Footed Geese its turning out to be a bit of a good start. now will I make 61 species on foot in January,,,,its still maybe..

Monday, 13 January 2014


2 Buzzards displays to the n/e on Saturday, with one over the house later in the day.Canada Goose and LTTit make it to 53 for the foot it.........................

Friday, 10 January 2014

Brighter day

Managed the last hour before dark an influx of Blackbirds at least 10 along the hawthorn hedge.28 lapwing west and then 11 Pinks drifted high west,35 Redwing north.1 bunting species gave me the run around and I was unable to say it was a definate reed... ''' .??

Thursday, 9 January 2014

More wind and rain

The two worst things for a birder are strong wind and heavy rain,,we have been blessed with lots of both so far this year..A walk up to shelf moor looking for Snipe was the plan as I was sat in the office looking at bright blue skies. First step out of the house and the rain started by the time I got to shelf moor it was tipping it down again a full circle of the Snipe field nothing...the second time round I flushed 48.1 Snipe ,49..1 mipit and a Reed bunt...thank goodness, I was soaked to the skin, a walk back down the hill via a couple of ponds produced a few Carrion Crows and 4 Magpies, grim was all I could think.. Relentless rain and wind stopped me identifying two finches that flew overhead.. As I approached the houses of Northowram I did a small detour through a small wood and fluked a 50...Goldcrest...Its been a real struggle so far but to reach 50 on foot is a good start.... On a brighter note a Lesser Pecker called once from a tall Sycamore on Stoney lane,just managed to see it as it flew off towards Crow nest Park.......

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Pinks on the Move

January the 5th optimum Pink footed goose time and so it proved with 4 skiens moving west totalling 785,44 th species for the year with 45,Great spotted woodpecker.46 House Sparrow and 47 Lapwing..4 reed buntings and a singing Song Thrush made for a good day....

Friday, 3 January 2014

Hard going.........................

Well its been pretty grim for birding so far this year, the wind and rain don't seem to want to let up and another local walk today produced 1 Song Thrush new for the year, 2 Reed Bunts,70 Redwing north and 200+ Jackdaws.. which makes 43 species within 2 miles walking distance of my house..The target is 61 which may be just doable if we get some half decent weather...????

Thursday, 2 January 2014

2nd Jan walk to work..

A walk to town today through Shibden valley and back produced, 36.Sparrowhak(male),37.Mistle Thrush,38,Grey heron,39 Wren, 40 Dipper ,41 Nuthatch and 42 8 Linnet ,not bad but still no LTTit,Great spot,Song Thrush or House Sparrow. 61 will be hard

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New years Day

Bloody awful day with wind and rain lashing it down after the first couple of hours. 1.Jackdaw 2 Carrion crown ,3 Rook ,4 Magpie ,5 Jay ,6 Starling ,7 Woodpigeon ,8 Collared Dove, 9 Stock dove , 10 Feral Pigeon , 11 greenfinch ,12 Bullfinch ,13 Chaffinch , 14 Goldfinch , 15 Dunnock , 16 Robin , 17 Great Tit ,18 Blue tit ,19 Cole tit ,20 Kestrel ,21 Common Gull , 22 Herring Gull ,23 LBBGull ,24 BH Gull , 25 Mallard , 26 Coot ,27 Moorhen ,28 Mute Swan ,29 Reed Bunting (4) , 30 Redwing ,31 Fieldfare , 32,Pied Wagtail ,33 grey Wagtail,34 Green Woodpecker ,35 Blackbird.......4 reed Buntings the best for today with a Adult winter male,2 first winter males and a first winter female.......