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

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16/01/2020 12:03

A 6 month problem at last showing signs of improving

Having being dogged for the last 6 months with a trapped nerve in my back causing a lack of feeling in my feet it is good to report an easing of the disomfort and a chance to at last to visit my local birding patch without too much trouble. A short walk along the River Calder yesterday morning...


21/11/2019 13:22

High river level takes its toll

The amount of litter,rubbish and garbage scattered along the banks of the calder around The Saville Town,Mill Bank Thornhill area gives testimony to theamount of river water spilled over from the persistant rainfall over the last few weeks. This has a direct bearing on the amount of Wildfowl able...


02/11/2019 12:57

North Ossett Church Peregrine returns but this time with a mate

The male Peregrine Falcon which has frequented North Ossett Church in recent years has again become a frequent visitor again .This time though being in the company of a mate showing a distinctive  size differential not present in the bird he returned with in previouse years. The birds are...


23/10/2019 20:46

First foray in to the field since early August

What a weird experience going out in the field with two frozen feet not having any feeling where you tread and occasionaly falling over through lack of balance. Thus was the feeling this morning on my walk in the field birding since early August. My word was it quiet birdwise with only very small...


07/10/2019 06:32

An pology

Due to a trapped nerve in my back which has caused me to lose the feeling in my feet and right arm I have been out of action since early August.Only now is the problem starting to ease.Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I will be able to resume my birding activities in my part of the Calder...


10/07/2019 23:15

Lapwings assemble on local site in a an early prelude to Autumn

 In what must be seen as an early  prelude to Autumn a flock of 44 Lapwings have arrived on Dewsbury Sewage Works this morning.this at the side of one pair of local Lapwings feeding half grown young on the same bed. 7 juvenile Shellducks are free flying on the works with 2 adults marking...


11/06/2019 10:47

Great Reed Warbler no longer on site

The Great Reed Warbler that appeared on Dewsbury Sewage Works some while ago was not present yesterday morning and one must assume the bird has moved on. Apparently a Great Reed Warbler has appeared down river at Pugneys and one must assume this is the same bird. Meanwhile the local brood of what...


02/06/2019 11:45

Great Read Warbler still present but difficult to coax out in to view

The Great Reed Warbler found on Dewsbury Sewage Works over a week ago is still present though in contrast to its behavour when first discovered it has now become less vocal and very rarely comes away from the dense bush it has chosen to deliver its distinctive song . from. There are now 15 pairs of...


24/05/2019 23:11

Great Reed Warbler still present and baby Shellducks make their first appearence.

The Great Reed Warbler that was found yesterday on Dewsbury Sewage Works was again present this morning.Due to windy conditions the bird spent most of the time singing from inside a bush only occassionaly venturing into the nearby reed bed to feed. A pair of Shellducks which have been present on...


23/05/2019 22:39

Great Reed Warbler appears for the first time in our area this morning.A great find.

A Great Reed Warbler was singing on Dewsbury Sewage Works this morning.At first i thought this was the same bird which had been present at Wintersett for a few days but this proved not to be the case. There is some 15 pairs of Reed Warblers breeding on Dewsbury Sewage Works and this morning I was...



18/09/2018 11:25

House Martins and Swallows on the move.

Good numbers of Swallows and House Martins where moving very high and slowly Eastwards over Mill Bank Thornhill this morning. Though I was only present in the area for an hour this morning I counted some 600 birds passing very slowly over theMill Bank Austingley Lane area Thornhill in the first...


16/09/2018 19:45

Autumn has arrived

What a difference a week makes.After spending a week at Spurn Point where it is still possible to see birds such as yellow wagtails,several whinchats and Wheatears and see a steady flow of Swallows and House and Sand Martins it was strange to return to my local sites to find just about all the...


21/08/2018 20:36

No sign of young Kittiwake but plenty to see on the Calder this evening.

No sign of the Juvenile Kittiwake from yesterday but still plenty to see on the Calder between Dewsbury and Ossett this afternoon and early evening. There are are still 2 Little Egrets and 4 Green Sandpipers present in the area on the Calder around the Earlsheaton Dewsbury Sewage Works area and...


20/08/2018 19:51

Young Kittiwake a surprise find on the Calder at Ossett today.

The area of the River Calder between Ossett and Dewsbury has produced many surprise birds over the years and now with its cleanliness and a very much imroved surrounding environment it appears at the moment to be on the up again.Never have I seen so many shoals of small fish splashing around the...


14/08/2018 23:18

Garganey make timely visit to Local Sewage Works

It was nice to come across a pair of Garganey this morning in my part of the Calder Valley.2 birds male and female where on what is almost the only permanent lagoon on the sewage works at Dewsbury.Though its a private location the birds can easily be seen from the view point which overlooks the...


08/08/2018 19:14

Little Egrets showing signs of Courtship on Calder near Dewsbury.

2 Little Egrets were showing slight signs of courtship and display this morning on the River Calder near Dewsbury.I have never seen so many small fish in the river and in spot below Earlsheaton i noted 8 Goosander,8 Cormorants,4 Grey Herons,2 Little Egrets and a Kingfisher all fishing in the same...


07/08/2018 19:04

Oyster Catchers breed in Dewsbury rearing 3 youngsters

A pair of Oyster Catchers have successfuly bred near Dewsbury town Centre rearing 3 out of 4 youngssters.The birds which are now a regular sight from March right through to August can be heard doing their noisy display flight anywhere from Earlsheaton through to the outskirt of Dewsbury centre.They...


05/08/2018 08:45

Little Egrets within yards of Town Centre

Little Egrets are slowly but surely establishing a foothold on the banks of the River Calder between Ossett and Dewsbury and can now be observed in riverside bushes and on the river edge within yards of Dewsbury Town centre.It seems now only a matter of time till we record our first breeding record...


31/07/2018 22:33

Green Sandpipers return and an unusual visitor caught blocking the path

Its good to see 3 Green Sandpipers on andd around the river Calder near Dewsbury Sewage Works this morning.With so many of our local lagoons dried up at the moment its good tthat the Calder provides such an ideal feeding ground for these delightful wading birds. Most of the local breeding birds...


17/07/2018 17:30

Lapwings begin to gather and young Shellducks take to the sky.

Its a pleasant surprise when you check up on something and all is better than expected.I was checking up on a brood of young Shellduck this morning finding them in their usual spot and still 8 in number when to my pleasant surprise the whole brood just took off sand flew a hundred yards or so into...


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Some overseas trips