Saturday 26 January 2013

Garden Birdwatch

Saturday January 26th 2-3 p.m.
 We joined in the RSPB big Garden Birdwatch this afternoon ensuring the feeders
were well stocked and a few apples to encourage some Thrushes. After a slow start
we saw a good selection of birds including GSW,Bullfinch & Redwing our full list is
shown below.Please note these are the highest number of birds seen in the garden at
any one time and not a full count over the full hour & only birds which were in the garden
and not fly overs.
2 - Blackbird
1 - Blue Tit
2 - Bullfinch
2 - Chaffinch
3 - Collared Dove
3 - Goldfinch
2 - Greenfinch
1 - GSW
1 - Magpie
1 - Redwing
2 - Woodpigeon

Collared Dove



Bullfinch & Goldfinch




The Garden Feeder

Friday 25 January 2013

Local Wintry Scenery

Friday January 25th p.m.
 Another cold winters day with the temperature around 0°C with dull grey skies.
Not much happening with the local birds some movement of corvids & starlings
with a few BH Gulls overhead.In the garden the usual visitors to the feeders
which we have been keeping well stocked during this cold snap. This meant we
could take some pictures of Cullingworth & Hewenden Viaduct still covered in
snow.With more snow due tonight looks like birding will be on hold this weekend,
mind you its the RSPB big garden birdwatch so that might pass an hour on.

Hewenden Viaduct

Sunday 20 January 2013

Dowley Gap & Hirst Wood

Sunday January 20th a.m.
 Another cold day with a temperature of 0°C at Dowley Gap with compacted snow turning
to ice making walking difficult in places along side the canal.There is also some construction
work which has started on the locks restricting access to the canal in places.The first birds we
saw were Mallards on the canal and then a large number of BH Gulls in the sewage works area,
these lifting from time to time filling the sky.As we got closer we could see there were Lapwings
among the Gulls,we took the track down to where it overlooks the filter tanks to get a better view.
Besides a couple of Blackbirds & Wrens in the hedgerow we could see a large number of Pied
Wagtails & Redwings feeding in the tanks. We were joined by a fellow birder as the Wagtails took
to the air & in flew a Sparrowhawk looking for its breakfast. Some of the Wagtails went into a
nearby tree where they were joined by a couple of Meadow Pipits. Then as the birds returned to the
tanks we spotted our first Grey Wagtail of the year,taking our local annual species list to 50. We are
happy with this although some birders in the South & East of the country managed a 100 on the 1st of
January.I think they get a much more varied & number of species to see though in their area, that's my
excuse anyway and I'm sticking to it.
  Walking along we saw a couple of Goosanders on the canal out of range of the camera,we saw other
fly overs during our walk too.A flock of LT Tits were feeding in a tree with a Jay not too far away. We
walked down to the river where there were more Mallards then we headed back.We were happy to see some birders we knew on our way back watching the birds by the filter tanks.We also saw a couple of
Mistle Thrush and a Redwing was too quick for us before we could get a snap of it in a nearby tree.We headed for the other side of the canal and down to the river but with several boats about with people
rowing we decided to head home.
c350 - BH Gull
6 - Goosander
1 - Grey Wagtail
1 - Jay
23 - Lapwing
11 - LT Tit
35 - Mallard
5 - Meadow Pipit
3 - Mistle Thrush
c60 - Pied Wagtail
20 - Redwing
1 - Sparrowhawk
plus other common species

Lapwings & a couple of BH Gulls

BH Gulls & Lapwings

Pied Wagtail

Pied Wags taking refuge in the tree as the Sparrowhawk hunts

River Aire passing through Hirst Wood

Hirst Wood

Saturday 19 January 2013

Local Walk

Saturday January 19th a.m.
 With more snow over night we decided to take the dog through the village and down to
Hallas Bridge to see what birds were about.It was cold at -1°C but the snow was only
5cm deep so walking was OK but we had to take care on some of the steeper slopes.
BH Gulls & Corvids were moving overhead & we saw House Sparrows in their usual
spot, small groups of Tits were around and down Hallas Lane we saw a couple of Wrens.
As we started down to Hallas Bridge a Cormorant flew over heading East maybe to
Hewenden Reservoir & heading up the hill the other side of Hallas Bridge we had the bonus
of seeing a Kestrel.We headed back home with more birds than expected seen in the snowy

Hallas Beck

Hewenden Viaduct

Hallas Beck

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Redcar Tarn

Wednesday January16th p.m.
 It was a very cold ,cloudy wintry day at Redcar Tarn this afternoon with 95% of the water
frozen over and a temperature of -3°C. The Mallards & BH Gulls were there in large
numbers braving the cold weather making this a very harsh environment for them. Others
that were still around were Canadas,Coots,Moorhen & Common Gull. Walking round the
Tarn a charm of Goldfinch appeared but didn't hang around for long & in a near by field
was a Pied Wagtail.
c200 - BH Gull
11 - Canadas
23 - Common Gull
18 - Coot
c20 - Goldfinch
138 - Mallard
1 - Moorhen
1 - Pied Wagtail
plus other common species
1st Winter BH Gull

Birds on the ice

Footpath & trees around the Tarn

A frozen Redcar Tarn, high above Keighley

Monday 14 January 2013

Wintery Scene

Monday January 14th
 Our first snow fall of the year gave the opportunity for some snowy pictures today.

Sunday 13 January 2013

Harold Park & Park Dam,Bradford

Sunday January 13th a.m.
 A cloudy,frosty start to the day with a temperature of -1°C on our arrival at Harold Park.
It was good to see the Black Swan with the Mute Swans,Canadas,Mallards,Coots,Moorhen,
BH Gull,Common Gull & Tufted Ducks.There was a Grey Heron on the island with a pair of
Great Crested Grebe nearby.
 We moved on to the nearby Park Dam where there were 43 Canadas in a nearby field with 3 on
the water.Others on the water were Mallards,Moorhen,Coot,BH Gull,Common Gull,Tufted Duck
Gt C. Grebe and for the first time at this location we saw 2 male & 1 female Goosander. A Grey
Heron flew over and then as we were leaving a Cormorant circled and landed near the Goosanders,
with other common species we saw a good number of birds.
Black & Mute Swans

Black Swan

Grey Heron

Tufted Duck

Mute Swan

Canadas at Park Dam

Harold Park

Saturday 12 January 2013


Saturday January 12th
 Our first adventure out of the local area this year took us to  Hodbarrow the RSPB
Nature Reserve near Millom in Cumbria.Our journey took us through the Yorkshire Dales
and then in to the Lake District, on our arrival it was a bright day with a temperature of 4°C.
 The reserve lays on the Duddon Estuary where a large lagoon is host to many birds and a
couple of islands are refuge to wading birds at high tide and where they can roost. As we
approached the lagoon near the car park we saw BH Gulls,Common Gulls,Herring Gull,Little
Grebe,Mallards,Coots,Mute Swans,Moorhen & Canadas. There were other common species in
the trees including an obliging Robin. We then set off heading for the hide situated a mile or
so along the track which takes you along the sea wall which creates the lagoon behind. As
we had moved along a 100m or so we got our first sighting of two female Red-breasted
Mergansers which were good to see as they were one of the birds we had made the journey
to see. As we walked along the sea wall we also caught sight of a Seal, when we got to the hide
we could see one of the islands was covered with Lapwings & Oystercatchers with a solitary
Drake Eider Duck. There were also good numbers of Redshank,Teal,Goldeneye and we saw
more Red-breasted Mergansers at distance including some impressive Drakes.
 When we were in the hide I got my first chance to try out my new spotting scope,this was a bit
of a fiddle to set up but was a help to giving us IDs on Snipe and a couple of Turnstones of which
I'm sure there would have been more of.Even with the scope one tiny dumpy bird was giving us a
problem, there were a good number of them but the distance made it difficult.They had a white breast
and a creamy buff brown back,the bill was difficult to make out.With the small size and colouring
we thought they were likely to be Dunlin.   
c300 - Lapwing
c200 - Oystercatcher
c100 - Teal
c50 - Dunlin
21 - Snipe
15 - Redshank
12 - Goldeneye
11 - Red-breasted Merganser
2 - Turnstone
1 -Eider Drake
plus other species.
Herring Gull

Tufted Duck


Red-breasted Merganser female

Red-breasted Merganser Drake  with some Teal behind




Red-breasted Merganser,Oystercatcher,Lapwing,Redshank & Dunlin at the front I think.

Hobarrow NR with Millom to the left

Snowy tops to the hills/moutains of the western Lake District giving a scenic background