Monday, 30 April 2012

30th April

 Ring Ouzel

An unexpected package arrived through my door today, thats funny I thought I dont remember ordering anything, so I opened it and was surprised to find a Field Guide to The Birds of Colombia. A free gift from ECO Tours based at Bogota Colombia (perks of being the local bird recorder). Had a quick look through it and was amazed at the number of species 1879. Inspired I had a walk up to Cold Edge Dams but there was no sign of any Tawny Throated Leaftossers anywhere. Did bump in to Dave S who had just had a Ring Ouzel, after some time we managed to find not one but 2 Ring Ouzels feeding in a field at some distance.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

28th April

Had a walk over Roils Head in the hope that the escaped White Stork at Luddenden might fly over, but no luck. Did however have my first Swift of the year.

Thursday, 26 April 2012


With all the rain we have been having this last week, Ive not done much birding, only had a Buzzard at Stocks Lane a few days ago and a Wheatear at Roils Head today. SO Ive been reading a belated birthday present my elder brother gave me last week. How these guys survived the 1970s is a mystery. Anyone whos ever played in a Rock Band will love this book, its had me in stitches at times. Actually I think its the Drummer Bill Ward who deserves the tital IRON MAN after all the things the rest of the band did to him, setting him on fire, giving him the gold finger treatment when he was passed out by painting his whole body gold, and letting Ozzy Osbourne take control of an air liner was nearly the last staw for poor Bill. On the subject of books Ive got a few Im selling if anyones interested, they are
Moths of the British Ilses  B Skinner
British and Irish Pug Moths  Riley and Prior
The Magpies  TR Birkhead
Birds in Scotland  VM Thom
Breeding bird Atlas 88 - 91 Gibbons, Reid, Chapman
Wetland bird surveys 2006 - 2010.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

22nd April

Walk over Roils Head produced 6 Goosander flying south west, another site tick bringing my local walk list to 112 + 2 sub speices. 3 Great Black backed Gulls flew south west over the house later in the day.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

White Wagtail

Just to confirm the bird photographed at Roils Head on the 19th April is a White Wagtail.

21st April

Out with SC again today, fairly quiet apart from 3 Shorties, 1 Buzzard, 3 Kestrels, 5 Common Sandpipers, 2 Oystercatchers and the usual other upland species.

Friday, 20 April 2012

19th April

 Odd Wagtail, Pied or White ?

Out in heavy rain at Roils Head today and came across this Wagtail, it looked very pale underneath and the black nape seemed to be very neatly cut off contrasting with the greyish back, initial thoughts were White Wagtail but looking at the blurred flight shot the rump looks darkish, this could be an effect of camera shake though. Any thoughts would help.

Monday, 16 April 2012

16th April

 Early Cuckoo.
Out with DJS this evening looking for a reported Barn Owl, turned out to be almost certainly a Short-eared as two birds were seen flying very close to an abandoned building. A great surprise however was an early Cuckoo calling from a fence post.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

15th April

A 4 and half hour walk today prodused very little, the best being 1 Raven, 1 Twite, 6 Linnets, 25 Stock Doves, 2 Oystercatchers, 25 Golden Plover and the usual Curlews. Also had a probable Emperor Moth wizzing around on the moors.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Friday the 13th

 Pair of Shorties

 Ring Ouzel in heavy rain.
 Red-breasted Merganser.

Out at a site with SC again today, things started really slowly and the lighting was very poor but things picked up when a pair of Short-eared Owls decided to display and chase each other right above my head. Unfortuately the light was terrible and I had to fully over expose the shots otherwise they would have been my best Shortie shots to date. Eventually picked up a Ring Ouzel in the pouring rain and had 6 or 7 Wheatears appear out of the gloom. Other birds included Redshank, Oystercatchers, 2 Ravens, 8 Tufties, 2 Grey Partridge, 2 Grey Wagtails + the usual other moorland species. On the way home we stopped off at Ringstone Edge to see Geoffs Red-breasted Merganser, always nice to see in Calderdale, we dont get that many.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

12th April

Short visit to Fly Flats this evening with Roy produced an early Common Sandpiper, 1 Snipe, 2 Wigeon, 2 Goldeneye, 2 Shorties, several Red Grouse and Curlews + 1 Golden Plover at Cold Edge Road. First Willow Warblers arrived back at Roils Head yestreday.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

8th April

Out again with SC, the tops were fogged out so we stuck to the valleys. 1 Buzzard, 3 Kestrels, 1 Sparrowhawk,, 5 or 6 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 3 Green Woodpeckers, a few Nuthatches calling, a couple of Treecreepers, 1 Redwing + all the usual woodland species.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

7th April

 Pair of Goldeneye
A walk up to Cold Edge today didnt produce much, 2 Goldeneye on the dams being the best I could manage, also present were 2 Oystercatchers a couple of Kestrels and 3 or 4 Pied Wagtails at Wainstalls.

Friday, 6 April 2012

6th April

12 Whooper Swans feeding in the fields at Ringstone Edge today. Paid a visit to Elland GP with SC to find my first Swallows, House Martin, Willow Warbler and Blackcaps of the year. All the other usual suspects + 2 Mute Swans on the fishing lake.

Monday, 2 April 2012

2nd April

 Buzzard above, Sparrowhawk below.
Out with Roy today, trip to Blacktoft off because both of us skint, so headed to a local site instead. A very dull day so photos poor. Birds today included 4 Buzzards, 2 Peregrines, 1 male Merlin, 2 Kestrels, at least 3 Sparrowhawks, 3 Ravens, 3 Oystercatchers, lots of Curlew, c25 Golden Plover, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch etc.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

1st April OSPREY nice

 Osprey, my 6th bird for Calderdale.

 Imm female Peregrine above and tatty Buzzard below.
Out with SC, pulled up at todays site at 1.30PM. Setting up my camera I suddenly looked up and exclaimed its a bleep bleep OSPERY, camera strait on the bird but the first shots I got when the bird was closest came out blurred so I tried again and got some half decent pics unlike Steve who failed to film a second Osprey in Calderdale in back to back years, just couldnt get it in the view finder. It then all happened in the next few minutes, no sooner had the Osprey flown north then 2 Peregrines appeared followed by 2 Buzzards and a few Kestrels, also had what I thought was a brief view of a Merlin zipping over. Other usual moorland birds including at least 70 Golden Plovers and a nice Shortie on the way home.