Friday, 3 February 2017
A brief history of time part 2
A brief History of time (catch up). Part 2 2014 Calderdale Listing. I started 2014 on 197 species for the Halifax area, this total built up over some 37 years birding in Calderdale. Little did I know at the beginning of the year just what was about to happen. The first good bird of the year was a Kittiwake which spent its time on Shibden Park boating lake, a good bird but not a new one for Halifax for me. The first new one for me came when Brian Leecy found a male Eider at Walsden in March 198. Next came a dip on a Hoopoe at Todmorden in April. My second new bird arrived in June when a superb female Montagu’s Harrier was found on the moors, it stayed all summer and I had six successful visits 199. Other summer highlights included Great Northern Diver, several Hobbies and Marsh Harriers and a Green Sandpiper at Tower Hill. The next new bird was a great surprise. Me and Dave Franz had just had 2 Marsh Harriers at Walshaw Dean and decided to go up to Lower Gorple for the last hour of daylight. Half way up the track a bird flushed from a ditch and landed on the track right in front of us, bloody hell it’s a Wryneck, species number 200 for me for Calderdale (thank god its not a Ring-necked Parakeet) that would be a naff tick. That was on 7th September, I didn’t have long to wait for the next Halifax tick when JB found Calderdale’s third Buff breasted Sandpiper at Ringstone Edge on 29th September 201. October passed without much event until the 28th when on a visit to Tower Hill on my local walk I found Calderdale’s 2nd ever Woodlark, the only other being recorded in 1953, 202. Things just don’t get better than this especially not in Halifax I thought!!!!! Next day DF took the afternoon off work and we went to look for the Woodlark. No sign but whilst pincer moving around the manure heap (sounds like a 70s metal band) we flushed two birds, one was a Meadow Pipit, the other was also a pipit but looked twice the size. After some debate we put out the news that we had flushed a probable Richard’s Pipit, JB arrived soon after with his swarro scope and we managed to pin the bird down and confirm a first for Calderdale RICHARD’S PIPIT 2003. The rest of the year produced a Black Redstart, a second Great Northern Diver and DF relocated the pipit nearby on 13th December but it didn’t hang around for others to see. So I started the year on 197 species and ended on 203 and DF smashed the Calderdale year list record.
Posted by heavy birder at 11:16