Friday, 30 March 2012

30th March

Had a stroll up to Fly today, on the way and way back had 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Peregrine and 3 Kestrels, also 4 Golden Plover in the fields and at least 70 flying north. 8 Twite were at the feeding station including at least one colour ringed bird. Not much else, Reed Bunt and a few Red Grouse.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

29th March

 Male Spar

 Rusty tailed Buzzard

A couple of hours spent raptor watching again. Was pleased to see Rusty the male Buzzard back in his favorite location, also lots of sightings of Sparrowhawks and Kestrels today. Other birds of note were a Twite over, 1 Wheatear and 1 GSWPecker drumming in the valley.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

28th March

Out with SC again today. On route to look for Ring Ouzels we had two Buzzards being mobbed by corvids (I recognised both birds as my local pair Rusty and his mate, some miles from home). Another Buzzard picked up on route then a blank at the Ouzel site so I went in seach of one of my favorite birds the Merlin. Was lucky to find a male hunting what appeared to be small moths on a hillside, it caught 11 in an half hour period. I then picked up the female at a fair distant (managed a few record shots of the male only. Other birds included 2 Short-eared Owls, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrels, 6 Oystercatchers, 2 Twite, 2 Wheatears, 1 Fieldfare, 1 Redpoll and the usual moorland species.

Monday, 26 March 2012

26th March

Up at the local Buzzard site today. Started well with a Sparrowhawk followed by the pair of Buzzards slowly rising out of the wood, plenty of Kestrels about then a brown backed imm Peregrine which soared above my head. Nearly trod on a Stoat in the same place I had one last year which ironically was followed by a distant Red Kite probably the same bird I had yesterday. Finished off with another spar.

25th March

 Whooper Swans.

Out with SC today, first port of call started with a Raven over followed by a Sparrowhawk,, then the same Raven and 2 Kestrels. On leaving this site 4 Buzzards appeared together over the moors. Next stop produced a Short-eared Owl closely followed by my 5th local Red Kite, was just about to digi scope it when SC shouted Whoopers. 3 birds had just landed on the reservoir so off we went to have a look. After 5 or 10 minutes I left Steve to film them and I moved up the valley where I found another 5 Whoopers on the last reservoir, also had another 3 Short-eared Owls and another Raven.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

24th March

After tea walk over Roils Head and I was surprised to find a singing Chiffchaff at West End Golf Club, the first spring record Ive had here, also 3 Redpolls present. 2 Grey Partridge at Tower Hill and another Chiffchaff heard at Ovenden Wood.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

22nd March

Second migrant of the year found at Roils Head today, a stunning male Wheatear, then a surprise with a Buzzard being mobbed by Corvids at Mount Tabor. It eventually dropped into the Wheatley Valley.

21st March

 Grey Heron
Twin Spot Quaker

Out with SC again today. Several sightings of Sparrowhawks including one displaying bird, 1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 2 Grey Herons, Nuthatch, GSWPecker and a Short-eared Owl on the way home. Evening at Elland GP with AC and SC for a moth night but very dissapointing with only 4 moths caught so we packed in early.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

20th March

 Dead Fish, Brown Trout ?????
 Various variety of Redpolls at Cromwell Bottom

 Nice Blue Tit


Had a walk up to my local watch point, what was I thinking, it was blowing a gail so I only lasted 20 minutes before walking back, just 3 Kestrels there. Then had a trip to Cromwell Bottom, better known to birders as Elland Gravel Pits to try and find a Mealy Redpoll with DJS. Lots of Redpolls on the feeders including 2 rather pale birds, couldnt make up our minds if they were Mealys or not. First migrant of the year found, a Chiffchaff, also had 1 Herring Gull, 1 Goldeneye, 2 Tufties, 3 Grey Herons, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Goosander, several Bullfinches and the usual tit species.

Monday, 19 March 2012

19th March

Visit to Cold Edge today, 2 Goosander and a female Goldeneye on the dams, 75 Canadas and 2 Greylag Geese in the fields with 2 Oystercatchers. 3 or 4 Grey Herons and the odd Pheasant was about it.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

18th March

 2 different Buzzards

1st Shortie of the year.

Out with SC today in another part of Calderdale. Todays raptors started with 2 Sparrowhawks followed by 3 Buzzards another couple of Sprawkers and 2 Kestrels, SC had already had a Red Kite earlier in the day. A distant Raven was picked up over the moors and the valley was buzzing with Green Woodpeckers at least 4 calling all day, Also Nuthatch, GSWPecker, 1 Siskin, 40 Fieldfare, several Curlew and a Little Owl. On the way home picked up the first Short-eared Owl of the spring sat on a fence post.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

17th March

Had a walk over Roils Head and was pleased to find a superb male Siskin in the top of a Larch tree, also a female Stonechat and a Sparrowhawk. More unusual was the sight of a Woodcock flying up the valley from Heath Hill Road in the middle of the afternoon.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

15th March

Had another walk up to the watch point today and was glad to see the rusty tailed male Buzzard still present. Also a pair of Kestrels were displying all the time I was there above my head, the light however was bad so had to make some adjustments to the camera settings. Also 1 Sparrowhawk, 30+Lapwings and a handful of Curlews.

14th March

Not much doing from my watch point today, just 3 Kestrels thats all. Had an evening out with DJS looking for LEOs with no luck. Lots of Tawny Owls present, probably 4 orb 5 birds calling.

Monday, 12 March 2012

12th March

Walked up to the Buzzard site today but no Buzzards, did have a nice Little Owl fly in front of me on arrival. 1 male Kestrel displaying and 2 females in a territoral dispute. 2 Sparrowhawks, 20 Stock Doves, 35 Lapwing and a few Curlews.

Sunday, 11 March 2012


A rare night out for the heavy birder to celebrate his birthday a day early with his younger brother and friends. Bumped in to old mate Adi Zab at the Sportsman heavy rock night and as usual he had me in stitches until the early hours. Good to catch up and was most envious to here of his latest birding trip to South Africa. Lots of folk I met last night said I haven’t changed in years so above are two photos one taken many moons ago with my two brothers and dad and the other taken last night with younger brother Mike (better known as our Knobby).

Had a walk this PM to clear my head and was surprised to see a Buzzard and Sparrowhawk soaring together high above Mount Tabor. Not much else so back home to nurse a sore head.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

8th March

 Second calender year bird?

 Adult male Rusty
Common Gulls.
Visited my local buzzards again today, on arrival a bird appeared above me and flew off down the valley, a new bird Ive not seen before, it looked like a young bird in its second caldender year. It was quickly followed down the valley by Rusty the local orange tailed bird, that looks to have taken over the missing dark birds territory. Both birds reappeared a few minutes later and flew back up from wence they came. Also had 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Kestrels, 50 Stock Doves, 1 calling Golden Plover, 1 Curlew, 1 Grey Wagtail, 8 Skylarks, 11 Lapwing and 15+ Common Gulls.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

6th March

Another trip up to check on the Buzzards. Found the rusty tailed male and a female but still no sign of the original dark male. Im begining to think he may have died and that Rusty has moved in to his territory (may be wrong). Also 2 Sparrowhawks, 3 Kestrels, 1 Peregrine and stack loads of Woodpigs and Stock Doves.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

3rd March

 White Carrion Crow at Illingworth
 Crossbill at Back Lane Ogden
Out with SC this PM, first stop was Illingworth to look for the white crow which we found after a short seach. Then we moved on to Back Lane Ogden in seach of Crossbills, managed to find 4 or 5 birds but very flighty. Also 8 Hering Gulls, 1 LBBG, 2 Sparrowhawks, 1 Kes, 20 Lapwings, 30 Fieldfare, 2 Redwing, 2 Stock Dove, 1 Siskin etc.