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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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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...



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...


26/06/2018 21:57

A good breeding season in this part of the Calder Valley so far.

A single Red Kite was circling over Leeds Road End Ossett at 09:15.The bird attracted many glances from passing members of the public as it slowly moved South disapearing after about 20 minutes.This coincides with a similar Red Kite sighting over Shaw Cross playing fields on Friday afternoon at...


15/06/2018 15:09

Good increase in breeding Swallows on the Windsor Estate

5 year ago it was nice to find a pair of Swallows choosing to nest in a connecting passsage at my next door neighbours house.Considering their is a well established farm at the top of our road traditionaly housing around 3 pairs of swallows it seems unusual that Swallows are choosing a fairly old...


15/06/2018 14:33

Local Little Owl chicks on the verge

A local brood of Little Owl chicks are now on the verge of leaving their nesting box.The Chicks are more and more standing on the outside of the box calling anxousely for their parents to return with food then after feeding returning inside the box. The Ossett Barn Owls will be pleased to see their...


03/06/2018 20:16

A Breeding first as Shellduck decides to have family in the Dewsbury part of the valley.

A pair of Shellducks have hatched 8 chicks in the Earlsheaton part of the Calder Valley.Even though the chicks are still very small they are able to dive under the water either individualy or as a group together(see photo gallery).The female bird is very protective and never leaves the chicks to...


16/05/2018 20:48

Most of local Summer visitors in now but some omissions and numbers are down.

Now that it can be assumed that all the Summer visiting birds are back at their breeding sites one can asses how numbers and species can compare to previouse years. Certainly there are some species which have just not turned up.Amongst these in my part of the Calder valley are the Cuckoo which is...


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Some overseas trips