Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Crystal Clear ( for Harriers)

Headed up to the moors today , I looked at the local forecast and it said clear from 1600 - 1800. That will do. A Woodcock was flying around as I got out of the car and a couple of Grouse could be heard calling from the moor ,  it takes about 20/ 5 minutes to get to the viewing area and it was  -1  as I set off. Plenty of Mallards and Canadas on the water and a couple of noisy Oystercatchers , Cole ,Blue and Great Tits , 2 Siskin 1 Chaffinch  in the wood and a couple of rattling Mistle thrush. A pair of Collard Doves were displaying and 4 Stock Doves were on the dam wall.
   A Harrier at 4.32 looked at first like a small 1st winter male , with very pale greater coverts , dark secondries  and fully winged . It did a few circles and landed on a fence post , the light was perfect and the bird looked to have a nice orange chest. This bird stayed on the post for at least an hour, It was soon joined by another larger ringtail which did the same and landed on a post close by.
   A long wait till the next one turned up at 5..20 the ringtail with primary missing (  )  which went into roost then the one with the tatty tail (10)turbed up  as I got it in the scope a Short - eared Owl was picked up  just behind it , I watched these two for the next 10 minutes twisting and tuning in the sky, I could hear Tawny Owls calling close by. Lots of Curlew calls as they came into roost. The SEOwl and Harrier were still at it when 2 more ringtails joined in and soon after the male Hen Harrier ( )was in the middle of them, 3 ringtails , 1 male HH  and a SEO all together in the sky, the other two Harriers were still on the posts ,and had been joined by a very dark Buzzard. Another Raptor was seen on top of the hill which looked like another Harrier but I was not 100%.
My hands were blue and as i moved the tripod it picked up a large piece of frozen ice from where it had been for the last hour. 2 Ravens  cronking and another look at the 3 harriers in the sky and it was time to head for the car as the snow was starting to come down..... A great evening and  - 3 when I got back to the car...Crystal clear days like today is why we make the effort ............brilliant

Monday, 26 February 2018

The beast from the east

Yes it was a cold easterly today , 80 Fieldfare and 19 lapwing in the fields first thing, then a look round Pike end and Ringstone ,,,2 Buzzards , 2 Ravens , 2 Peregrines , 2 Goldfinch , 30 Goldies and the same  number of lapwing.......Fantastic that Buzzards , Raven and Peregrine are now a common sight in Calderdale.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Cold Edge Dams

A quick visit today , 5 Greylags , 100 Canadas , 2 Barnacle Geese , 2 Tufted Duck , 75 Lapwing , 2 Oystercatcher , 70 Starling , and 54 lapwing and 6 Golden Plover near Nolstar kennels. 4 Redpoll at home and 1 lapwing in the field.

A bunting sp seen very briefly on the ground in with the Starlings / Lapwing  and Golden Plover near Nolstar was interesting , running on the ground and then flipping over  the wall and not seen again . Worth a look if anyone is passing.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Fly Flatts

Fly Flatts today was busy with birds 2 Snipe , 1 Oystercatcher , 20 Lapwing , 60 + Canada Geese , 8 Mallards , 8 Whooper Swans , 1 Shelduck , 1 Fem Merlin and a Peregrine.

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) at 3.35 being mobbed by lapwings down in the valley . Fieldfare , 4 Buzzards ,2  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  viewing became very difficult another two birds were picked out ,  one was (3) the other was a ringtail (? ).

                                                    Spot the Harrier.................

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.

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...................