Tuesday, 27 January 2009

shibden park and old lane mill

set off from home at half eight and made my way up past dean clough,towards ovendean.then back to shibden park,the light was good for change.

old lane mill

On the 21st of January, 1905, the worst nightmate of any mill owner came true, as fire ripped through Old Lane Mill, Halifax. It was the first mill fire of the year, but before the end, another three mills in a ten mile radius were badly damaged by fire.
The first mill on the site was recorded in 1816, but this one was built in 1825. Two years later, in 1827, owner Akroyd built the first Jacquard looms in Britain, and the mill was iron-framed and fitted with stone floors – the first in any British mill – to support the machinery.
Today those floors are still there, stripped of machinery, but remants of old looms and chutes are still there.
Apparently the nightwatchman used to fire a blunderbuss each night to signal he was on duty. Thankfully, he is no longer there...

the old foot bridge over north bridge station
looking towards the 'city'

the 'city' was the last of the slum clearance in halifax,cleared in the mid 20's.my mother was born on great albion st in 1948,which was one the last streets in the 'city', life which was by her words 'an awful place to grow up' a few houses still exist on the edge of pellon lane.

then on to shibden park.
nuthatch and great spotted woodpecker were the best birds seen.

black headed gull

carrion crow


Sunday, 18 January 2009

more walking!

cromwell wood

bailey hall lane
rather go down than up!

a few more birds than last week. a treecreeper along the hebble trail and nuthatch by the church at copley,a few grey wagtails along the hebble by the nestle factory.also saw the school where emily bronte worked,and found bailey hall lane which is steeper than the magna via.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

saturday big walk

finding hard to get the enthusiasm for the 'with' at the moment!why i dont know.
had another big walk yesterday 10 till 1430.from my house to salterhebble then onto the gravel pits up to sunny vale up and down walter clough valley,sunny vale lake up the magna via,beacon hill then to the parish church,below the station through stony royd then home.
bird wise very little about apart from a carrion crow x hooded crow hybrid along sunny bank lane,4 teal at sunny vale lake(4 males and a female.also found a few spots to check for lesser spotted woodpecker which i must keep a check on.
sunny vale and the whole valley is well worth a good look around all year.now i just need to find the pub my dad told me about,though long gone i have a desire to find it! its name

'who could a thowt it'

big walk
it may look flat,its not!

carrion x hooded crow
sunny bank lane

sunny vale lake

Thursday, 8 January 2009

saltholme pools RIP

saltholme pools looks like it may go the same way as fairburn ings and wath ings(aka old moor) and be turned into a 'bird' theme park.another great area ruined for birders,with the local patch birders now forced to walk screen covered paths and enter tiny hides accommodating screaming kids.
should be a nice cash maker for them.

Monday, 5 January 2009


my 3rd full year of watching the area 2008 again proved to another good year
130 visits which produced a total of 61 species of bird,though down on 2007 (77),the bad weather in the summer and lack of car in late autumn reduced the visits.


great creasted grebe 14th july
shoveler 26th december
red breasted merganser 22nd july
green sandpiper 15th august
iceland gull 2nd april and 22nd december
long eared owl 6th august
collared dove 8th april

the above were all patch firsts for me,out of the 7 the 2 most surprising ones are the long eared owl and collared dove as the area is so bleak and remote.the iceland gull was the first in the halifax area for 10 years and the merganser is not annual in halifax.

other highlights were once again common scoter this has now turned up every year since 2006.the first buzzards for 2 years.yellow wagtail was the only record for halifax this year.twite were seen in good numbers during the autumn with the largest flock being 59 on the 19th september (one fellow blogger visited green withens on the way home to birmingham for twite).
goldfinch peaked at 21 on the 20th september,i think both the twite and goldfinches were attracted by the large number of thistle plants seeding at the time.3 ravens on the 12th september heading south made for an eerie visit as they passed over in low mist calling.
whinchat was recorded for the first time since 2006 with a total of 5 birds.

on the downside a large moorland fire in spring on the 27th may to the north of the reservoir put an end to breeding of curlews,dunlin,golden plover,meadow pipit and skylark.
illegal off roading seemed to be the decrease during the summer but unfortunately at the present time seems to be more active than ever.with what appear to be now 'roads' cut into various hillsides,most notably at spa clough by the oxygrains bridge and on greeen wolden edge which is the width of a dual carriageway.

all the best for 2009 keep up the blogging and wherever your local patch is enjoy it.

Friday, 2 January 2009

it came from a land far far away

yes glaucous winged gull
found a few days ago but identified last night by a guy in america
so this morning i made the short 90 minute journey north to teeside,met up with dave mansell and spent a hour or so looking for the bird,early afternoon he made his way south to home.
i spent some time at saltholme where i found a glaucous gull or did daz ward find it? as he was viewing from the otherside.my mobile battery died while ringing daz.so when i saw the dormans pool car park clear of birders and the layby at saltholme,i guessed the gull had turned up.
5 minutes later im watching my second glaucous winged gull.this was better than the one south wales.
lets hope it stays a while as it was too distant for my camera set up but newton stinger got some good photos of the gull HERE