Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Whinchats..x 2

Cold edge Dams along the main track held 2 Cole Tits , 4 Reed Buntings , 6 Stonechats , 2 Whinchats 1 Wheatear and 2 Swifts . Speckled Wood , Painted Lady , Peacock and Large White at Northowram
                                                            Speckled Wood
                                                              Juv Stonechat
Large White cats
Cabbage Moth 

Monday, 19 August 2019

Yellow Legged Gull and ' Polish Swan '

Another text from Bri who has been camped out at Fly Flatts forever ( inspirational )..A juv Yellow Legged Gull on the shoreline , I viewed from the road which was not perfect in the wind but there was only one gull present with massive body and white head , .!! One Kestrel , 1 Meadow Pipit and a stunning young male Sparrowhawk were the only birds of note...
  Shibden Park was busy with birds , 40 + House Martin over the lake with a few Swallows mixed in . 30 + Mallard , 15 Coot , and  7 Mute Swan including the very cute Polish Swan which is born white and does not have the brown juvenile plumage.... ( far left on pic)  Many thanks to Mick Cunningham for comments on Yellow legged Gull and Polish Swan.....

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

More breeding sucsess

Watched the local Sparrowhawks hunting sparrows on the lane today , the female was lucky and was seen carrying the prey to the nearby nest. Confirmed breeding this year so far are..Nuthatch , Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers , Mistle and  Song Thrush , Cole Tit , Goldfinch , Bullfinch , Greenfinch , Starlings , House Sparrow , Dunnock , Stock Dove , Woodpigeon , Collard Dove , Wren , Chaffinch ,Kestrel , Blackbird and Robin...
    Also today a Wall Brown the firzt since 2010........

Monday, 12 August 2019

Up Hill and down dale....................

A busy day at Walshaw ( no guns thank goodness ) 5 Stonechat (4juv 1 ad male) , 6 Wheatear (juvs + 2 very young juvs) , Willow Warbler , 3 Raven , 2 Reed Bunting . 5 Buzzards ( 3 + 2), 1 Redstart a cracking young male (same one as NCD and DF had yesterday) ,1 LEO calling during the day , loads of butterflies   2 Wall Brown , 10 + Painted lady , Small Skipper , Small Heath ,Small Tortoiseshell , Green veined Whites and the odd Large White.
 Turnstone at Fly Flatts on the way back and a juv  Peregrine chasing a green Sandpiper .........................!!!!!!!

                                                     Spotted Fly
                                                 Redstart (thanks NCD )
                                                             Wall Brown
                                           Turnstone (photo and finder BS thanks Bri )

Thursday, 8 August 2019

August 8th...Northowram

A red hot day today ---
Peacock x 30 +
Painted Lady 5 +
Holly Blue x 1
Gatekeeper x 2
Large Skipper x 2
Small Copper x 3
Small Tortoiseshell x 10
Comma x 6
Speckled Wood x 10
Purple Hairstreak x 3
Green veined White x 2
Large White x 1
Small White x 3
White sp x 20
Mother of Pearl x 12 watched displaying around a bramble bush...

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Little Bustard

Saw this little cracker today , only 1/2 an hour down the motorway , also Hobby , Buzzard , 2 Red Kite and a Common Tern..............

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Common Scoter x 40

40 Common Scoter at Ringstone , 27 Males and 3 Females......thanks Phil D for photos

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Cricket Pitch

9 LBBgulls , 35 BH Gulls , 1 Common Gull , 7 Pied Wagtail , 5 Blackbird , 30 House Sparrow ,28 Goldfinch mostly juvs feeding on dandelion heads ,  2 Juv Mistle Thrush and a Dunnock.......................................

Monday, 29 July 2019

Back to the Hills 1 and 2

A  evening on the tops produced , 1 Raven , 1 Marsh Harrier , 1 Hen Harrier , 1 Barn Owl , 1 Little Owl , Tufted Duck with 4 chicks.......
Friday ..
   An interesting  evening with Spotted Flycatcher , Willow Warbler 5 , Cole tit , Great Tit , Great Spotted Woodpecker , 2 Grey Wagtail , 1 Snipe , 5 Wheatear , 8 Golden Plover , 1 Barn Owl , 2 Raven , 2 Kestrel , 2 Common Sandpiper , 5 Greylags , Pied Wagtail , Oystercatcher  , |Tufted Duck with no chicks , 3 BH Gulls and 3 LBBGulls.............Roe Deer and a dead Wood Mouse...

More Green Sandpipers

2 more Green Sandpipers today at Ringstone , well hidden to begin with in the stones but eventually came out giving some good views. 2 Teal , 2 Raven , 3 Cormorant , 2 GCGrebes , 30 BH Gulls and 5 LBBGulls . Lots of Swifts moving when the clouds came overhead and a distant falcon could not be id to species....Painted Ladys on the move as well..............

pics John Marsh ..thanks

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Common Scoter

                                            (  Found by and pic D.Franz)
8 Common Scoter at Baitings , 6 males and 2 females , 4 Great Crested Grebe ,1 Cormorant , 1 Oystercatcher  and a good move west of Common Gulls.
  Ringstone held , 1 Teal , 7 Tufted Duck , 400 Lapwing , 3 Golden Plover , 2 Great crested Grebe , 1 Cormorant , 1 Willow Warbler , 1 Moorhen + 1 juv , 1 Common Gull , 20 BH Gull , 6 LBBgulls , 2 Swift , 10 Swallows , 2 House Martins  and an adult and young Roe Deer...

Saturday, 27 July 2019

White- letter Hairstreak 2

                              A single Elm surrounded by Oaks along the edge of a wood with plenty flowering thistles is perfect for WL Hairstreaks.
   A fantastic few days watching these seldom seen butterflies in my local wood.This single elm held about 8 individuals , I watched them doing the courtship display flight , spiralling high above the elm in two's and then falling back down to land on a chosen leaf. After a while I picked them up flying down and landing on the thistles close to the tree. They would then feed and fly back up to a chosen perch. In flight they look dark , where as Purple Hairstreaks always look pale.
I have seen 20 species of butterfly this year on my local walk .....!!!!!
This was a 2 hour walk yesterday................(16 species)
Small Tortoiseshell x 152
Comma x 9
Small Skipper x 8
Large Skipper x 2
Small Copper x 1
Purple Hairstreak x 7
White Letter Hairstreak x 4
Peacock x 10
Painted Lady x 1
Gatekeeper x 2
Ringlet x 18
Meadow Brown x 40 +
Large White x 5
Green veined White x 20 +
Small White x 20 +
Speckled Wood x 6

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

White Letter Hairstreak

So pleased to find 8 of these today , in full courtship display flight . Only my second Northowram sighting , the first one on 19th July 2008 was in the same place. I have searched for these high and low for 10 years on the same Elm tree and today Bingo....................

Northowram Butterflies 2019..20 species

Orange Tip
Small White
Large White
Green veined White
Painted Lady
Red Admiral
Meadow Brown
Small heath
Small Tortoiseshell
Holly Blue
Large Skipper
Small Skipper
Speckled Wood
Purple Hairstreak
White - letter Hairstreak
Small Copper

Sunday, 21 July 2019


5 Tufted Duck#
1 Moorhen with 2 juvs
2 GCGrebe
8 Stock Dove
200 + Lapwing
6 Golden Plover
3 Pied Wags
20 BH Gulls
9 LBBGulls
1 intermedius LBBGull
1 Common Gull (light blue ring on right leg)
Mallards with 8 chicks...............

Good news at home with 3 Buzzards seen today.(they could have been from Shibden , but still good news)

Friday, 19 July 2019


Great to see 2 juv Pied Wagtail and 2 juv Mistle Thrush on the Cricket pitch this morning . The adult Song Thrush was busy again collecting worms , hope to see the young soon. A steady trickle of Black Headed Gulls are now been seen daily with the odd juv mixed in with them. Been very quiet on the Buzzard front this last week and with some bad news from Shibden Valley of one being shot , I hope there are all ok..!!!!!

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Green Sandpiper and Little Egret

Ringstone was busy with birds , 3 Tufted Duck in eclipse , 3 GCGrebe , 1 Cormorant , 300 + Lapwing , Reed Bunt , 2 Oycks , Swifts , Swallows and I was lucky to flush a Green Sandpiper from the inflow by the keepers house it flew along the dam wall showing off its white rump and landed in front of the hide where it started to feed...After dipping on the GWEgret earlier this week it was good to see a Little Egret flying along the valley this morning...!!!!!!!!


A welcome break from work took us to Staithes in North Yorks , a small Kittiwake Colony near the harbour held a few pairs of Fulmar , Razorbill , Gullimots and a few Yellowhammer in the scrub. Manx Shearwater , Gannets , Sandwich terns out at sea and the Little Egret roosted in with the herring Gulls opposite my room window...............

Monday, 1 July 2019


The cricket pitch was busy today with Song Thrush , Mistle Thrush , Blackbird , Starling  all scoffing worms it must be loaded with them just under the surface . House Sparrows , Jackdaws and Wood pigeons , 4 Greenfinch , 4 Goldfinch and 2 Linnets on the walls and wires.
   Confirmation of breeding Whitethroat , Nuthatch , GS Woodpecker and Dunnock.
 Had my first returning BH Gulls today  at Ringstone with one juvenile in with them.....80 + LBBgulls and 1 Herring Gull....................

Sunday, 30 June 2019


It was nice to catch up with breeding Redstarts in Calderdale today  ,with a stunning male showing very well and a couple of juv's one had a very short tail...........Thats half way through the year and its been a beauty with 2 news Calderdale moths last night ,Blood - vien and  Double Square Spot.....

Wednesday, 26 June 2019


Well its all getting very continental around here , with Nightjar ,  Roller and today a stunning adult Hobby low over the cricket pitch..I saw it with its back to me at first a beautiful blue grey , I could see its white face patch , and as it turned red vent and black spots stood out a mile..Fantastic run of good birds this year....Hen Harriers , SEOwl , Barn Owl ,Whooper Swan , Black Redstart , Pintail , Shoveler , Red Kite , Whimbrel , Purple Sandpiper , Ruff , Sanderling ,Ring Ouzel , Gos ,  Pied Fly , Roller , Nightjar and now HOBBY.......

Tuesday, 18 June 2019


My first ever Calderdale Nightjar tonight ,,churring away and some distant flight views// Also roding Woodcock ,..............The last Nightjar in Calderdale was way back in 1992 at Walshaw Dean....

Monday, 17 June 2019

Widdop Gate , Swallows

Also in the area , Buzzard , 3 Siskin , 5 Greenfinch , Kestrel , Raven ,Curlew , Snipe , Lapwing 45+ fly over...............

Sunday, 16 June 2019


Hen Harrier Brood Management

In a few months’ time the outcome of the 2019 Hen Harrier breeding season will be announced. Some people will claim that it has been a good year and others will trumpet the outcome as a great year for Hen Harriers in England. Neither of these claims will be true, nor will they accurately reflect the fact that whatever the number of fledglings actually is this year, the population will remain perilously low for years to come despite the fact that there is sufficient space for c 300 pairs in the northern uplands.

If brood management goes ahead as planned 2019 will not be remembered as a good year for the English Hen Harrier population. It will be remembered, by leading conservation groups, including NERF, and Raptor Workers across the country as the year that Natural England, the English Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation betrayed Hen Harriers to placate the grouse shooting industry. An industry that is, according to Natural England’s own data, largely responsible for the unexplained demise of 72% of Hen Harriers satellite tagged by their own staff. With that knowledge it is not unreasonable to assume that a similar percentage of un-tagged birds ‘disappeared’ under identical circumstances over the same period. It is also clear from press releases issued by RSPB that many of the birds satellite tagged as part of their Hen Harrier Life Project have also suffered the same fate on land managed for grouse shooting.

Natural England’s answer to those facts is the implementation of their flawed policy of Hen Harrier brood management on the basis that it is essential for Hen Harrier conservation and will lead to an increase in the English population. That second assertion may be true during the breeding season but it totally ignores the fact that all of the evidence reveals that persecution is more problematic after the chicks disperse from their breeding grounds. Brood management will do nothing to prevent persecution despite claims to the contrary. Anyone who believes that the entire grouse shooting industry will wholeheartedly welcome an increase in the Hen Harrier population is at best delusional. There are members of the industry who won’t even tolerate the small number of birds that already reside in, or transit through, the uplands at the present time let alone an increased number.

Following the confirmation that brood management has taken place this year NERF fully expects an announcement in due course from Natural England stating how many eggs, or chicks were taken in to the scheme, what the hatching rates were from each clutch, what the fledging rates were and confirmation that the birds were released back onto the moors from which they were removed. The project calls for all of the chicks to be satellite tagged prior to release back to the wild and for reasons of transparency NERF expects to read a prompt press release when the birds either die naturally or ‘disappear’ in circumstances that suggest persecution was the probable cause. The press release should include the location of the last known fix from the satellite tag.

Whilst Natural England has the legal right to undertake brood management, because they licensed themselves to do it. However, there is no right way to do the wrong thing and there is, in NERF’s opinion no justification for pursuing the brood management of Hen Harriers. We often hear the Police say that they cannot arrest their way out of the Hen Harrier persecution problem and in part that may be true. However, it is also true that Government policy should not be influenced by individuals or organisations that rely on criminality for their industry to prosper.

Additionally we need to know how much of the significant cost of brood management is being borne, not by the industry which has created the problem through illegal persecution, but by the British tax payer.

Despite the hype that we can expect at the end of the breeding season, 2019 will not be a good year for Hen Harriers in England.

June 2019

Thursday, 13 June 2019


An good evening for Swifts on the move north saw aprox  275 between 18.30 and 19.30........

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Ogden...thick fog and Heavy rain

It could be November but its June.....2 Blackcap , 3 Chiffchaff , 2 LbbGull , 2 Tufted Duck and 4 Song Thrush.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Dodging the rain

Ringstone....2 Teal (m+f) , 2 Tufted Duck (m+f) ,2 GCGrebe , 1 young Roe Deer drinking on the shore line ,2 Oycks ,2 Common Sands ,1 LRP , Lapwing and Curlew
 Fly Flatts..300 Gulls mainly LBBGulls + and a few Herrings , 1 BHGull drifted through , 2 SEO ,Dunlin , Redshanks (3 pairs with young ) , Lapwing , Curlew , Ringed Plover. 1 Stoat carrying food.
 Blake Dean ,,Male Siskin , 3 Cuckoo , 2 SEO , Lapwing ,Ocks , Curlew , 2 GP and a few Kestrel..Red Admiral and Green veined Whites

Monday, 3 June 2019

Shibden Park

11 Coot chicks , 5 Mute Swan cygnets and 5 Mallard chicks at  Shibden Park today . 1 singing Garden Warbler , Kestrel  and Blackcap , Im sure Ann Lister would be very happy with the place today looked fantastic.......At home there has been an explosion of young birds about , House Sparrows , Goldfinch , Great Tit , Blue Tit  and Blackbirds. The local Nuthatch are still feeding young in the nest...

Sunday, 2 June 2019


Many thanks Richard Raynor

Fantastic in flight shot by Gary Waddington

A Roller showed very well this evening at Crimsworth Dean for about 90 minutes,,,,also in the area Pied Fly x 2 , Little Owl ,Cuckoo x 2, SEO x 3 , female Sparrowhawk , Snipe , Kestrel   and Garden Warbler

Friday, 31 May 2019

Third time lucky

Eventually connected with Sanderling at Fly Flatts today , Brians 3rd lot of Sanderlings today , having missed the first 2 lots , I am glad to get three today.Tricky with the wind up there today , I found 1 straight away but the other 2 took some finding ..Cheers Bri

Sanderlings pic Bri 

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Weekly roundup.........

On Sunday the 26th the local Cricket pitch was alive with the calls of young Starlings , at least 130 Starlings with 60 being this years juvs . A Garden Warbler could be herd calling at the bottom of the long hedge a rare bird in Northowram also a Whitethroat singing close by.
  A dash to see the Baikal Teal on Wednesday showed well but distant a very special looking duck..Common Tern , Sparrowhawk , Buzzard , Pochard , Gadwall , Marsh Harrier and a stunning Hobby .......
  Ringstone held Tufted Duck , 2 GCGrebe , Common Sand , LRP  and  Red legged partridge .
 An Egret sp flew low down in the valley  this evening...

Friday, 24 May 2019

Crimsworth Dean...

Spotted Flycatcher , Little Owl , Chiff , Willow Warbler , Blackcap and this Kestrel by the track...