Its worth a visit


Welcome to our website

The main aim of this website is to make local people aware of the Bird Life in and around my home town of Dewsbury

Nearly all my English birding activities centres around the Calder Valley in West Yorkshire but more specificly in the areas between Dewsbury Town and Horbury bridge with especial attention paid to an area now known as the Thornhill Wetlands were recently a new and very interesting Nature Reserve has been developed.

Also there is much information relating to my time spent Watching and photographing birds in the Gambia West Africa

My travels in the Gambia allways seem to be a great success with new species being added and photographed on each of my twelve visits so far.

Much of the praise for this success must go to my guide and friend PA JALLOW who is allways completely up to date with his observations and information regarding birding sites in the Gambia.

In recent years my Gambian trips have taken on a more scientific theme mainly due to my close friendship with the author Clive Barlow.Due to his influence i have managed to get photographs of birds published in many African Photographic Field Guides for which I am most grateful.

 

Visitor's notice

For anyone lucky enough to have visited the Gambia to either see the birds or indeed as I do indulge in photographing the birds and other wildlife one cannot fail to be ikmpressed by the sheer variety of not just the birds(which are more than worth devoting a holiday to themselves) but also the insects(particulary the butterflies and dragonflies and beetles) and indeed the mammals and reptiles all of which present a challenge of their own.

In building this website we hope to illustrate as wel as we can the great rewards for the photographer and birder alike that this small but very friendly country can offer.

Any serious photographers or birders wishing to bird alone or in very smallgroups could do worse than having a chat to our guide PA JALLOW who has gained much experience in the needs and requirements of travelling birders from several countries.

Going back to our more local activities I am lucky enough to have had as a friend for many years Russell Smithson who besides being an excellent birder was also a master joiner.His expertise in the construction of bird nesting boxes has added a great extension to our birding activities as we have embarked in the placingof nesting boxes in as many suitable locations along the Calder valley as we can manage.These include sites in Dewsbury,Mirfield ,Huddersfield and Ravensthorpe. 

Allready we have had great success with many species including Tawny and Little Owl as well as the usual Blue and great tits as well as such birds as Wren and Stock Dove.We look forward to Spring 2012 with great anticipation


Photo Gallery: Homepage

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News

09/05/2019 07:26

Migrants creep slowly into the valley.

There are now 12 singing Reed Warblers on the sewage works below Earlsheaton.Another 5 birds must have arrived over the last couple of days.Still no Sedge Warbler on my patch or Garden Warblers. 12 Blackcaps are singing between Healy Road Ossett and Chickenley as well as 12 Common Whitethroats. Now...

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06/05/2019 18:23

Spring progresses but Summer birds still not all in.

A Common Tern drifted slowly Westward along the Calder this morning at 07:45 passing below Mill Bank Thornhill heading towards Dewsbury centre. There are now around 40 Sand Martins at our local colonies only about 50% of what was present at this time last year.At least 1 new colony has been created...

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01/05/2019 18:49

Summer Arrivals continue to increase

A big difference in trhe number of Summer visitor birdsong this morning on my rounds. At least 12 singing male Blackcaps in lower Pildacre beginingn from the footbridge at Healy Road Ossett right through to the area below Earlsheaton oppositte Saville Town One singing in every area. Likewise Common...

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22/04/2019 09:53

New arrivals and a pleasant surprise in the valley.

The first Common Whitethroats appeared back on their iusual breeding area this morning in the Pildacre area below Chickenley Estate. 2 singing males where chasing each other in the tall trees by the sewage works border fence at o840 this morning.. What a pleasant surprise to flush a Barn Owl from a...

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18/04/2019 15:23

First Reed Warbler returns and Sand Martins descend in force to last years breeding site

Yesterday saw the first Reed Warbler return to its breeding site on Dewsbury Sewage Works.The bird was singing at the Hotworks end of the works There are now some 130 Sand martins present on Dewsbury Sewage Works with around 18 House Martins and 35 Swallows.Its nice to see about 30 Sand Martins...

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09/04/2019 12:12

First House Martins arrive with small passage of other hirrundines

2 House Martins where feeding over the filter beds of Dewsbury Sewage Works this morning.There was a visible small westerly passage of other Hirrundines mostly Sand Martins with just 2 Swallows which began around 09:30 and steadily increased towards lunchtime.Otherwise quiet.

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08/04/2019 20:16

Little Egret returns and Gulls continue to build.

A Little Egret has returned to feed on the River Calder below Mill Bank Thornhill.The bird was feeding almost directly below Thornhill Cricket Club this morning keeping company with the single Green Sandpiper which has been feeding in the same part of the river for several weeks now 2 Shellduck...

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03/04/2019 11:54

Early Swallow turns up in unusual habitat

A Swallow was perched on telegraph wires fronting the Brewers Pride Public House in Healy Road Ossett this morning at 08:30.The bird looked cold and withdrawn in the very cold Northerly wind so was easy to photograph.When I returned at 10:15 the bird had disapeared. There are 3 Chiff Chaff singing...

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30/03/2019 07:18

Not many Summer Migrants yet but nest building and breeding well under way.

A pair of Chiff Chaff are allready busy nest building in lower Pildacre and one pair of Song Thrushes have been sitting on 4 eggs near Dewsbury Town Centre. A pair of Shellduck which bred succesfully last year near Dewsbury Town Centre last year rearing 11 youngsters returned to the same territory...

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21/03/2019 13:01

Wheatear turns up at Horbury Junction and Sand martins back at local colony

A Wheatear is feeding in a field of horses at the bottom of Dudfleet lane Horbury junction this morning.The bird first appeared at 11:10 perched on a metal gate at the bottom Easterly corner of the field before flying to start feeding amongst the 6 or so horses at the upper part of the field.It was...

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News

23/02/2019 13:09

Large Gulls show sudden increase in this part of the Calder Valley

The larger Gulls that pass down the calder valley particulary in Spring have shown a noteable increase over the past week. Whereas the numbers at the local sewage works have been fairly consistent with around 17 to 20 large gulls present amongst around 750 of the smaller Black Headed species over...

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16/02/2019 23:29

Oyster Catchers return to breeding area

2 Oyster Catchers returned to Dewsbury Sewage Works three days ago and immietlediately started displaying

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23/01/2019 18:05

Back in the field at last

After several weeks out of commision with first a very painful back problem followed almost immediately with a severe eye infection it was great to be back birding my patch this morning though my vision is still not 100% perfect it is good enough to look through my bins and get a very good...

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26/10/2018 12:05

No let up in Goose movement but Winter Thrushes slowly filtering in to local environment.

Yesterday brought good numbers of wood Pigeons coming in from the North and continuing flying South.670 Wood Pigeons flew South over Thornhill and beyond in around 30 minutes yesterday morning between 09:10 and 09:40.52 Pink footed Geese flew Eastwards as in previouse days(52 birds). 32 Fieldfares...

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22/10/2018 16:25

More Wild Geese over Ossett

At 10:15 a large skein of some 440 Pink Footed Geese passed over Lower Healy Road Ossett flying directly Easterly.This is the fifth skein of Pink Feet in 2 mornings with at least 800 birds passing in the spate of a few minutes yesterday morning. Small birds still thin on the ground with less than...

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21/10/2018 20:15

Pink Footed Geese continue to follow their traditional route Eastwards over Dewsbury

This morning saw at least 4 good sized skeins of Pink Footed Geese flying high over Earlsheaton sometimes with 3 or 4 stringsof birds.The first 2 parties 1 of around 130 birds was over at 11:15 quickly followed at 11:22 with a further party of some 240 birds following exactly the same flight...

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11/10/2018 23:34

Winter Thrushes starting to appear but still in small numbers

There was at least 20 Redwings feeding in a small copse in the lower Pildacre area (Ossett) this morning.After spending a couple of hours feeding up all the Redwings rose up and moved away slowly Southwards.Jays are very active in the  Ossett\Dewsbury area at the moment and one reason for this...

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10/10/2018 21:08

Ring Necked Parakeets increasing in the valley and Pink Footed Geese that pass in the night.

A party of 8 Ring Necked Parakeets where flying calling loudly around the Earlsheaton section of Mill Bank Thornhill yesterday morning.Thornhill Rectory Park has become a regular resting place for these birds in recent years and it is not unusual to see up to a dozen birds perched in the tall oaks...

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05/10/2018 15:30

Wild Geese make their presence heard in the Valley.

Yesterday morning at around 08:10 a flock (consisting of several skeins) of around 520 Pink Footed Geese flew in a Westerly direction over north Ossett in several v formations moving slowly Westerly.Often Pink Footed geese are first located by their call a very distinctive wink winky can be heard...

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03/10/2018 19:15

Nearly all Summer birds departed but still life in the valley

I have not seen any local Swallows on my patch since the 26th of September when 6 birds passed very quickly going South East over Horbury Bridge. There are 2 Chiff Chaff in the Pildacre fields area of Ossett at the moment and activity has stepped up on my feeders in the area with 18 Long Tailed...

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Photo Gallery: Homepage

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Some overseas trips

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