Tuesday, 30 October 2018

East Coast....beauties

                                                     Barred Warbler (nice primary tips )
                                                                  Coues's Artic Redpoll

                        Coues's  Artic Redpoll (pure white sugar lump rump)
                                                                Little Auk (this was found on the road  at Hunmanby Gap  and later released back to the sea after a short stay on Nick Carters pond...)

   A busy couple of day on the coast saw an early 5.00 o'clock start arriving at Hunmanby gap at 7.00 , first bird to be seen a Great Northern Diver close inshore......A good move of Eider and Common Scoter  north and lots of Kittiwake and Gannets (in various plumage). Then onto Bempton where 2 Barred Warblers were showing very well and a flushed Woodcock and 2 Whooper Swan over north were a bonus. The Barred Warbler in the  ' Dell ' was a real shower warming its self in the sun and eating the last of the blackberries. A Chiffchaff , Fieldfare ,Redwing ,  Tree Sparrows and Yellowhammers added to the colour of the day. Then on to South Landeing where there were lots of Rock Pipits 30 + minimum. Ringed Plover ,Curlew , Redshanks , Dunlin and a Barwit. Just off shore was a flock of Common Scoter (30+) and once I got my eye in 3 Little Auk were picked out, then heading north about 15 more in total.
 Another look at the sea from Hunmanby saw 9 Red throated Diver and 6 Little Auks.The a mad rush back to Bempton to see a Cours's Artic Redpoll it was stunning....and a different Barred Warbler
   Up at dawn and back to sea watch at Hunmanby with Keith Clarkson many Gannets  , Kittiwakes , Widgeon , Eider , Snipe and 2 more Little Auks. On my way back up the road the there were a couple of cars stopped in the road there in the middle of the road was a Little Auk , I picked it up and took it to a pond where i was staying. I took a photo and sent it to Nick and Sandra who were staying in the lighthouse on North Ron....( well I had to)...., They were gripped.!! The auk seemed in good health and was swimming around and preening. I went in for a coffee and decided what to do. After a few phone calls  etc I went back to the pond and it had gone..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I eventually found it , the Auk had found a small crevice under a pile of logs ,  it had gone about 2 feet away from the waters edge.
 This gave me an idea , I took the Auk to the sea and found a crevice about 7 feet up,  when  the sea was at high tide the Auk would be able to drop into the water and away .?? ( I hope this was the outcome) .. A great couple of days........a large flock of pinks was herd as I packed the car up in the dark..............

Sunday, 28 October 2018


Just made it for the last hour before sunset...........
Golden Plover... sat on mud x 21
Fieldfare ...north x 8 + 55
Redwing x 2 north
Raven x 1
Buzzard x 2
Mallard x 30
GBBGull x 1 east
LBBGull , Herring Gull , Common and BHgull x 60  mixed flock came in and landed on mud.

What a great year for Owls

I have never seen a year like it in Calderdale , I have seen all 5 owls on a regular basis..Thanks for the pic Brian Leesey...

Lower Gorple at first light 27th October

I got to Gorple/Widdop gate at 6.45 still 30 mins before sunrise, it was bitterly cold and the moon was so bright it was like daylight. A cockerel was calling from one of the farms in the valley . I walked along the path breaking the ice in the puddles as i went. A very vocal  Tawny Owl was calling as i got to the res and a snow shower covered me from top to toe...As dawn broke to the east I picked out 4 Barn Owl and a Shortie hunting , 3 Buzzards , 4 Kestrels and small groups of Woodpigs were heading s/w. On the res a hardy group of 3 Teal and 20 + noisy Canada geese .........A tussle between a raptor and a Barn Owl was the highlight of the morning.....................

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Gale force walk

Had a walk from Widdop gate to Lower Gorple it was gusting gale force 7 up there...Even in that wind I managed 4 LBBGulls , 2 Herring Gulls , 1 Common Gull , 70 Fieldfare , 1 Reed Bunting , 10 Mallard and 3 Kestrel................150 Pinks east around lunch time over Northowram

Monday, 22 October 2018


Masses of Woodpigeons moving south over the weekend and a few groups of Fieldfare , very  small numbers of Redwing . 2 Snipe flushed from the fields , 3 Linnets , 35 Goldfinch , 25 Meadow Pipits and 2 very vocal Buzzards. Still 12 Small Coppers today the 22nd October 2018 , It would not surprise me if these were the only Small Copper records ever in Calderdale in October.(in fact I am sure they are)


30 Crossbills today at Walshaw Dean , the upside down male was a beaut it even has a wing bar (thanks NCD for photo) , 30 Siskin , 3 Raven , 2 Snipe , Buzzards and kestrels + a couple of distant raptors.


9 Whooper Swan flew into Lower Gorple this evening calling all the time ,landed and then flew off , 3 Barn Owls about and a male Teal....

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Walshaw Dean .etc

Siskin x 45
Crossbill x 32 (inc 7 red males)
LTTit x 4
Cole Tit x 2
Grey Partridge x 6
Dipper x 1
Little Owl x 1
SEO x 7
Barn Owl x 3
Sparrowhawk x 1
Buzzards x 2
Fieldfare x 400 +
Kestrel x 10 +
Hen Harrier ( seen by NCD only)
Raven x 1
Wren x 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker x 2
PH , RG , Magpie , C.crow Canada Goose......Over 40 species this week

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Tonights PFGeese

Walshaw Dean

Busy on the hills today and yesterday  , ---
Mallard x 54
Fieldfare x 750 aprox
Redwing x 4
SEOwl x 6
BOwl x 3
Hen Harrier x 1 young male (had a bit of a tussle with a Barn Owl at one point )
Pink footed Geese 93 + 85 +67 (250 aprox s/w)
Buzzard x 6
Kestrel x 10
Merlin x 1
Golden Plover x 6
Lapwing x 4
Oystercatcher x 1
Goosander x 4
Wheatear x 1
Cole Tit x 2
Red Grouse 70 + 40
Raven x 2 (displaying , and at one point one bird landed on the ground picked up a large piece of Juncuss and followed the female over the hill and landed on the high rocks , lots of calling and display flights.
Chaffinch x 6
Blue Tit x 1
Mistle Thrush x 5
Reed Bunting x 2
Carrion Crow , Jay and Jackdaw
Stock Dove , Woodpigeon and Collard Dove

Monday, 15 October 2018

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Walshaw Dean x 2

10th October
Walshaw Dean Plantation + walk up to Gorple
Siskin , Goldfinch , Chaffinch , Brambling (1) , Cole tit , Great Tit , Great Spotted Woodpecker , Mistle Thrush , Buzzard , Blackbird , Starling , (Pheasant, Red Grouse )  , Woodpigeon , Collard Dove , Meadow Pipit , Marsh Harrier , Hen Harrier , Oystercatcher , Mallard , Short -eared Owl , Fieldfare ,,LBB Gull , BH Gull , Carion Crow , Jay ,  Dipper (at last light) , Kestrel , ...Not bad for a few hours on the hills .

7th October
A walk round all 3 Walshaw reservoirs today...(9 -12)
Mistle Thrush x 30 +
Redwing  x 3
Fieldfare x 19
Blackbird x 3
Crossbill x 20+
Reed Bunting x 20 +
Meadow Pipit x 200 +
Merlin  x 1
Kestrel x 10 +
Sparrowhawk x 1
Raven x 2
Peregrine x 1
Mallard x 18
Partridge x 17 (looked like grey but could have been red legged ?are they releasing them up there??)
Dipper x 1 ( top res)
Wheatear x 1

Northowram vis mig (7-8)
Goosander x 3 s/w
Snipe x 1 s/w
Pink footed Goose x 3  east
Redwing x 4 s/w

Thursday, 4 October 2018

More Pinks

Difficult to see but there are 219 pink footed geese in this pic..............thanks for message Dave...
been an excellent start to the winter geese count with 577 so far............

Monday, 1 October 2018

October 1st

Barn Owl x 4 , SEO x 1 , Hen Harrier x 1 , 16 Crossbill, 100 Siskin , 2 Redpoll , 1 Great Spot , Buzzards , Kestrel  and a Sparrowhawk ............

Northowram..4 Buzzards , 2 Sparrowhawk , 10 House martin , 33 Small Copper , 9 Red Admiral , 1 Comma , 1 Small Tortoiseshell , 2 Linnet and 10 Meadow Pipit