Sunday, 30 December 2018

2018 the most fantastic year.........

No rares , no year list , no big  twitches and no organised moth nights (by me) but what a fantastic year .
Simple local birding and lots of it with 10 species of local raptor , the best year ever for Owls you could see all 5 British owls in a day in August no problem   the most fantastic year for butterfly's in my lifetime with 23 species seen by me in  Calderdale and 18 species seen within a mile radius of my house . A few beautiful local rare moths......Red Carpet , Grey -shoulder knot and Pale Prominent....and endless sunshine..................
Happy new year and lets hope 2019 is half as good.......
Red Carpet (so good)
  Finally after predicting this 10 years ago it turned up at hedge top lane , a first for Calderdale...

Monday, 24 December 2018

Lower Gorple

Dawn at lower gorple with a stunning sunrise and full moon still out.....3 Barn Owl , 2 Common Buzzards , 7 Kestrel , 1 first winter  male Sparrowhawk , 7 herring Gull , 10 Mallard , 1 Grey Wagtail , 1 Meadow pipit , 1 Jay , 1 Greylag Goose , 2 Canada Geese , 50 + Red Grouse being very vocal and territorial , 4 Carion Crow , 1 Redwing , 1 Oystercatcher , 2 Redwing , 4 Starling and 11 Pheasants...

Monday, 17 December 2018

Walshaw........17th and 19th

Got to Widdop gate at 12.00 , there were 3 Buzzards  a Peregrine and 2 Kestrel  above New laith pasture playing in the bright sunshine , 12.15 an adult male  Goshawk ( best view for a long time up there black mask , fine barring and bulky as hell , broad arm and short hand)  came out of the craggs Fieldfare and Redwings everywhere . it headed straight for the Buzzards above New laith pasture it was in with them briefly before diving into new laith and was not seen again it was only just smaller  than the Buzzards . At 12 .30 the juv HH also joined the Buzzards and had a bit of a tussle with one before heading off towards Walshaw Plantation. 
    Arriving at Walshaw plantation at 13.30 the HH was scrapping with a SEO it then drifted back towards New laith the 3 Buzzards were still in the air. A pair of Raven were in full display mode above Walshaw plantation , they drifted off towards Widdop. Another 2 SEO were seen behind the plantation.
   At 15 50 Mirlander was seen to go to roost at Lower Gorple , I did not see it come in , it was just there and went straight into roost...Other birds in the area , 7 Golden Plover , 9 LBBgull , 1 BH gull (rare at this time of year), 10 House SpaRROW AND 1  Stock Dove , 2 Barn Owl , 1 Little Owl , 1 Cormorant ,4 Stock Dove , and another 3 SEOwls.....Much the same on the 19th 


Monday, 10 December 2018

Blake Dean , Walshaw plantation and Gorple area

Hen Harrier (2 juv females) , 8 Short -eared Owl , 1 Little Owl , 3 Barn Owl ,5 Raven (very vocal today ) , 1  Merlin having a tussle with HH , 72 Mallard, 8 Golden Plover , 1 Oystercatcher ,1 Mistle Thrush , 4 Buzzard , 9 Kestrel , 7 Starling 20 + Pheasant , 6 Herring Gull , 2 Common Gull, Robin , Dunnock , Chaffinch , Great Spotted Woodpecker , Woodpigeon , RL partridge , Magpie , Jackdaw , Carrion Crow , Blackbird , Fieldfare , Redwing , Lapwing , Blue Tit ,Collared Dove , 4 Crossbill (1 male and 3 female|) and 1 Canada Goose..nice winter birding..........The highlight was a SEOwl catching a vole ,  it took the vole in its talons out of the tall grass , in a spilt second a HH was on it talons pointing forward , the SEO dropped the vole , as it fell the HH took it in mid air and flew off with it to eat it on the ground, the Owl was stooping at the Harrier on the ground relentlessly..,,
 Also another annoying Goshawk sighting as well today with an accipiter seen stooping towards the main plantation , about 20 seconds later , there were flocks of Fieldfare , Redwing ,Woodpigeon ,Finches and Pheasants heading in all directions all low to the ground and chaotic alarm calls ringing through the air......Sparrowhawks , Buzzards etc dont have this effect on other birds...............??

Monday, 3 December 2018

Cold Edge and Gorple

                                                               ( Pic NCD ,,,thanks)
An adult male Red Crested Pochard at Cold edge dams was a surprise today  and a real beauty in beautiful  adult plumage. If it turns out to be be ok (not a dodgy duck)that will be 204 species in Calderdale......
1. Fully winged
2. Diving and  Feeding
3. Time of year
4.  No visable rings or bands
Cold edge dams
Its a fancy looking duck (escape?)
  On to lower Gorple sometimes the light is just perfect and this was one of those magical evenings ...10 SEO (yes 10 in December) , 4 Barn Owl , 2 Hen Harrier , Mallards , Carrion Crow , 1 LBBGull , Oystercatcher , Greylag Goose and a Woodcock running across the road in the car headlights on the way home ....Merry X- mas everyone...................