Saturday, 27 December 2008

the 'magna via'

no birding today.
i have started to do more walking from my house to well wherever i can get.
today walked from home through the town center up to shibden park then on to hipperholme and back again via the 'MAGNA VIA' which is the one of the most ancient pack horse routes in the uk.
the route dates from just after 1066,and at places it is worn down to 12ft deep.
the cobbles were added in around 1700,as halifax became a major town for the wool industry.daniel defoe was not impressed with the only 'road' into the town(from the east).what routes are from the west?
its a shame i missed the plaque,but its such an interesting walk,my father told me his great grandmother had mentioned a pub along this track. though i forget its name,but it may be the best pub name in the country!)

magna via
dark lane


worn feet

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

the feeding of the 40000

finished work at 10:30 and called in at moore nr.
only spent a few hours,40000 gulls feeding on arpley tip was a fantastic sight,as there is no tip in halifax.
manage to see both iceland gull and glaucous gull both first winters,and for once close up and in good light.
for anyone who likes gulls it is well worth a visit

glaucous gull

iceland gull

quiz id all the gulls!

more photos on my zenfolio site

and have a good Christmas

Monday, 22 December 2008

iceland gull the 'with'

first time here for a while.i was not expecting much.
a few groups of large gulls heading west mostly herring gulls and a few great black backed gulls,back at the car another group went over including an adult iceland gull,my second here this year,keep your eyes open you never know.
8 pink footed geese flew west
10 wood pigeons west
1 peregrine
2 carrion crows
1 meadow pipit
1 red grouse
iceland gull

pink footed geese

wood pigeon

Sunday, 21 December 2008

home made meat and potato pie

trying to while away the hours until it was time for the pie,i headed to millington to have a go for the rough legged buzzards seen there.
got lost in pocklington,which is one of those small towns with loads of little roads and no signs!
it turns out i parked about half a mile from the usual parking spot but this was for once a blessing,as the rough legged buzzard was drifting over the car.
i headed up the valley to the south of the road,muddy as fuck,then the rough legged buzzard rose up over the ridge,i watched it for 30 minutes at times about 100yds away!
my phone kept ringing,thinking it was the crazy woman i had been seeing i ignored was only when i got to the top of the steepest hill i have ever climbed,and the phone rang again,
da da its only darren ward on the other side of the back down the hill(i hate fucking hills) and spent the rest of the day walking up and down more fucking hills with daz.
saw the bird a few more times but not as well as earlier.

rough legged buzzard

Saturday, 13 December 2008

what a suprise

no car for 2 weeks and the weather was back on the road and yes its a shit fucking weekend(weather wise)
pissed down all day here

time to get spangled

Friday, 12 December 2008

car trouble=no green mended=green withens

okay hopefully tomorrow i can get up the 'with',had a few car problems in the last month

#1 puncture
#2 puncture
#3 puncture on spare!
#4 cracked alloy wheel
#5 new pads and disc's
#6 puncture

#7 total cost £700!!!

hence no 'with' and me now paranoid about driving!

but tomorrow i'm off up the 'with'

i have found the solution to wages are now paid to garage and i now go to the garage on friday for pocket money!!!!

Monday, 1 December 2008


they always look sad

taken at the weekend at salterhebble marina

Sunday, 23 November 2008

a long walk,no waxwings

took it on myself to walk the few miles for the waxwings near tesco's did i see any?
did i fuck!
then walked back in to town checked all the areas but still no waxwings

even scarlett tried her best

Sunday, 16 November 2008

november is the new october!

after last weekends haul of good birds,today continued the run.

potteric carr

firstly the strangest event of the day was nick d ringing before 10!!!
spent most of the visit looking or waiting for the caspian gull.the gulls started to arrive at around 1430.the hide was not as full as i would of thought.i noticed a bird which fitted 'caspian' but on a closer look it did'nt fit but it still looks odd.
as people left the hide at fourish it was left to nick,me and a couple from oldham to carry on,the guy from oldham kept going on about a gull but he said it had 4 'mirrors'.
it appeared i was the only one in the hide that had seen caspian gull so a look through nicks leica scope with the zoom,the bird was a classic caspian gull ......................
the main thing i look for is not 'mirrors' but the shape of the bird and the jizz

beady eyed
darker mantle
long thin snouty bill
common gull look to the head
dark eyed

as the four of us got our eye in the gull became easier to pick out

not caspain but what?
bottom left

yellow legged gull


great tit

Sunday, 9 November 2008

the pied wheatear was shit but things got better

after seeing dave mansells photos of the pied wheatear nick and me headed over mid morning,the bird was not showing well and it was shit,well all the dog shit strewn around like cluster bombs made the visit even worse.

pied wheatear and a bottle of carlsberg

after looking at some geese,namely 2 bean geese and 6 white fronted geese we headed for fish and chips at filey.nick went mad and declared the fish and chips from the 'brown room' 9/10! staggering as i gave them 3/10 i think i won as the only thing good about them was the 4 med gulls that fed on them at holbeck car park

med gull 1st winter

med gull adult

by now the rain had set in,so i suggested a walk round scarbourgh harbour.we parked on the headland.a fishing boat coming into harbour had about 200 gulls following it,immediately i saw a white winged gull flying over the boat,due to the distance i called glaucous gull(the bird looked very large)a few minutes later i refound the bird sat on the water a lot closer,nick set his scope up and thought it was a iceland gull due to the dark bill.
now the confusion set in we both thought we had seen a glaucous gull flying around the boat but at a closer view sat on the water we identified it as a iceland gull!!! 2 bird theory? or just the iceland gull looked larger due to its colour?
getting soaked to the skin i was ready to give up on the day,but saw a great northern diver then nick saw the long tailed duck as nick phoned the news out,i headed to the other side of the harbour,i noticed that some gulls were coming in off the sea,i checked the gulls on the slipway,just herring and great black backed,as nick turned up we had the following conversation

nick 'iceland gull behind you'
me 'eh,what,where?'
nick 'behind you'
me (looking up into the sky) where'
nick ' its stood behind you'
me 'oh fucking hell'
iceland gull

great northern diver

Saturday, 8 November 2008

steppe grey shrike

well about fucking time this autumn got going on the east coast

todays fantastic steppe grey shrike in lincolnshire was only spoiled by the selfish twats with the big lenses,who thought it would be a good idea to chase the bird around the field.

quote of the day by a birder 'i'm going to twat one of those cunts'

with a bit of patience the shrike would land in front of you

steppe grey shrike

nick d gets a lifer

name and shame

Friday, 7 November 2008

amur falcon suppression(maybe,not sure)

news has reached me that the AMUR FALCON was still present at the end of october!!! news was kept quiet to avoid too many birders turning up! which i find odd as tophill low charges about £4.50 per person,so i cannot see them wanting to lose that sort of cash!
i have first hand experience of the money making tactics used at this site
back in 1997 we went for the bairds sandpiper on the sunday morning,got there at 07.30 but had to wait until 08.00 to get in.we waited after paying our cash just to be told at just after 08.00 it had not been seen and had gone!!!!

what a set of bastards

the 'WITH' this evening

grey partridge 8
meadow pipit 1
kestrel 1
carrion crow 2

Saturday, 1 November 2008

the 'with' early morning

not bad this am

goldeneye 1 female
redwing 16
fieldfare 4
red grouse 1
dipper 1
wood pigeon 1
kestrel 2
reed bunting 8
wren 1
carrion crow 6
meadow pipit 2

Friday, 31 October 2008

re upped the slender billed curlew video

only because most of the birdforum nutters have not seen it.

having had a peak at dude forum i found this 'stuff that happens while twitching'

so i will add my own(if anyone wants to post it then feel free)

way back in 1991 i got my first car,i picked it up at 9 by 1400 i was watching the nutcracker in staff's.the next week after telling my parents i was going to fiely,which was a little white lie!
we headed straight north for the chimney swift,as we got to catterick we pulled off the A1 for the franklins gull,but dipped,i tried to get back on the A1 but some how got lost and ended up inside the military base at catterick!
as we tried to look at the map,we saw a convoy go past,(which i found out was heading for a remembrance day parade)so all 3 of us are in a white escort dressed in green watching a army convoy go past us while in the base.
10 minutes later on the A1 we pass the convoy at speed 'pointing and saying 'we just saw them leave'

many hours later after dipping on the swift,i arrived home to an angry mother who told me the police had been round,and wanted me to ring the police with regard to my movements that day.
i rang the number under the watchful eye of my mother as i explained i was not a IRA terrorist but had just being birding, i found out i had been reported as 'suspicious' by a driver of the convoy then tracked by every camera along the A1 and then the M8 and M6.

Monday, 27 October 2008

right fuck it

ok sorry i went mad after spending the weekend looking in the mirror,not self reflection but a big bag of coke;)

firstly if you have this blog on rss then oops,tell your mum im sorry!

i never knew it was that popular(honest)

you see modern birding is crap.and thats a big full stop.
thanks to bill oddie,who's stupid fucking 'autumn watch' has started where's the photo of kate humble with her tits out?........................

any fucker with a £1000 can become a 'top lister' the pager is a must for those without clue.the recent run of 'unconfirmed' and 'probable's' is now becoming a joke eg northern flicker and siberian thrush,not hard birds to identify!
pager companys should vet people before sending them one.

glad the vid of the slender billed curlew was liked,but i would like to see more?

anyway its not PC but heres the picture' what you will not see on 'autumn watch'...................................................................................................

'is that bill oddie'

Friday, 17 October 2008

fucking westerlies

yep the wind has so far killed october for the 'with'.in a week it will be too dark to go birding after work!
2 hours today 4-6

peregrine 1 male
kestrel 1
carrion crow 4
meadow pipit 2
wren 3
pied wagtail 3 at the m62 pool roost
grey partridge 7

my 100-400 is broke so no pics

Sunday, 12 October 2008


ok it may be a fews years out of date but its been out for a few months now.having been involved since the beginning in 1991,i think this is the best report to date and can only get better.for a club with very limited resources and readership,nick dawtrey the recorder has done a great job.
as usual the map by gordon is quality,the colour photos are much better reproduced than previous years,even nicks purple sandpiper looks better than sean's!(digiscoped vs' canon mk2 500mm)
articles on goshawk sighting's are a good read,as is the 'target 200' which is the mythical number to see on your halifax list!
the calderdale bird conservation group has an article on twite(what else) but no mention of the £10000+ they have yet to spend!

if anyone would like a copy drop me an e-mail as its great for stuff southern birders who need twite and redgrouse;)

beware of gypsy's when twitching

Monday, 6 October 2008

potteric carr sunday

this place is fast becoming my favorite reserve,my fave is still leighton moss which was the first place outside halifax i ever went birding way back in 1985.
ok its a bit of a dudes place,but it is now so large you seem to have the place to yourself(unless you want to see bitterns the hides always packed)very friendly people which makes a change from the 'top' bird sites on the east coast,most are bit clique,though spurn is ok as i know a few of the birders.maybe the only other top birding area with decent locals is..............well,north of the tees (Cleveland,Durham and Northumberland) everytime ive visited the locals are great.
anyway back to potteric carr
loads of wildlife still around.birds were on the quiet side so i photographed some of fungi around,out of the 4 pics here i only know the 'fly agaric' so any help please.

great tit

the last butterflies of the year i think


lots of the fungi were dead or dying.i had a look in my very cheap book but im at loss,i think the yellow one maybe 'yellow brain fungus'

Saturday, 4 October 2008

the results are in

ok the suggestions are

frog 2#
meadow pipit

all wrong,she was actually eating the leftovers of a red grouse!
i think the grouse committed suicide by ripping itself apart

Friday, 3 October 2008

the 'with' a kestrel's teatime

can anyone guess what she is eating?

ps i know.

more clues

its a moorland bird and she did not kill just picking up the leftovers

Sunday, 28 September 2008

you know there's fuck all on the east coast when you go to the west

the last stilt sandpiper i saw in 2001 was nice and close,but todays was as usual distant.still a good bird and never realised how close the solway is to home.i had never been to this part of the country before.carlisle is in the middle of nowhere but has loads of police.
driving the roads to campfield marsh the locals had that 'children of the corn' look about sure i saw a father and daughter pushing their 3 children down the dont need a secret cellar in these parts.
im afraid that was it,left home at 11:15 picked up nick d and got home at 20:00.


stilt sandpiper(left)

rain sets in over scotland

on the way home stuck in traffic for an hour,chatting to nick about how all the really good birds are found midweek and go by the weekend,just like the brown shrike.
i came up with what maybe the most genius idea i have ever had.................................

tranquilize the fuckers

yes i think its the way forward.


take the brown shrike found late wednesday and gone by friday.
so using my new patented 'tranquilize birding'(tm).the shrike could of been caught and rung then tranquilized,kept safe with wires and tubes i think maybe,then revived on saturday morning,placed on the same hedge,result everyone see's it.


no more stressing
a nice easy drive to save fuel and costs,also no speeding points
you will see the bird
the farmer makes more money for charity


it may die

Saturday, 27 September 2008

a lazy saturday

3 hours at the 'with' from dawn,im full of cold,headache,legs ache,stomach pains.but fuck it

3 goosanders (all females)
1 chaffinch (get in year tick)
1 golden plover 1
6 twite

no off roaders! STUNNING

then set off to potteric carr

no birding but did hear a willow tit


migrant hawker 8
southern hawker 3
common darter loads
ruddy darter 6


brimstone 1
comma 1


common darters

southern hawker

Friday, 26 September 2008


3 shoveler on the res this afternoon,fuck the brown shrike!! a 'with' tick is far better!so that makes 102 for the 'with' list.
2 goldcrests in the pumphouse tree were welcome as well,even more welcome was the 2 common buzzards(1st for 2 years) that gave a great show for 30 minutes.

shoveler #102
the 'with'

common buzzard
the 'with'

the day then got better.................................
i found that tesco's is not only good for bargains but is also good for meeting single women!!!