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...



30/04/2018 19:12

Local Swifts back at their breeding sites and good numbers of Hirrundines gather for a feast.

There was several Swifts feeding above the site of the Ossett Brewery  complex this afternoon.Also small numbers of Swifts where soaring high above the railway marshalling yards at Horbury Bridge. Nearby on the compost heaps located just below the lowermost fields of Pidacre,Chickenley around...


25/04/2018 11:49

First Reed Warblers arrive on local sites

The first of the local breeding Reed Warblers arrived back on their breeding site on Dewsbury Sewage Works yesterday with 3 singing males at different sites on the works. The unusual showey conditions this morning brought good numbers of House Martins down to feed over the compost heaps below...


18/04/2018 18:57

Summer Visitors arrive on time.

A Common Whitethroat was singing in a hedge on the lower Pildacre fields at 08:00 this morning.Also there are now 6 singiing WillowWarblers in this part of the Calder Valley most of them by the Calder just West of the Earlsheaton area.There are also 2 birds singing around the Kerries Food factory...


11/04/2018 10:26

Peregrine Falcons mating on Dewsbury Town Hall

2 Peregrine Falcons are displaying and going through a mating procceedure this morning on Dewsbury Town Hall.This is excellent news as providing they can find a suitable ledge or similar this would be an ideal nesting place for the species. There is an ever ending supply of pigeons in the town at...


09/04/2018 17:17

Summer visiting Birds arrive at last on local sites

We allways seem to do well with early Swallows returnng in this part of the Calder Valley.A riverside walk produced first of all 4 Male Swallows fliying around the sprinklers on Dewsbury Sewage Works.This had increased to 10 birds (6 males and 4 females ) a couple of hours later. 22 Sand Martins...


14/03/2018 22:14

At last spring is on its way.

It was nice to see 2 pairs of Oyster Catcher in full display flight below Mill Bank Thornhill this morning.One of the birds wears aa ring placed upon it as a chick in Southampton Water 6 years ago. 2 singing Chiff Chaff are in full song in the hedgerow below Pildacre Chickenley. Nearby on Dewskbury...


28/02/2018 15:22

Pink Footed Geese over Shaw Cross.

With heavy cloud and wintery conditions this morning Pink feet Geese where heard at least 3 times passing North West over Shaw Cross this morning.76 birds could be clearly be seen going in a Northerly direction at 14:05 this afternoon. Shaw Cross has allways been a good spot to see migrating Pink...


28/02/2018 14:51

Oyster Catchers make noisy return to local site

4 Oyster catchers flew into the Sewage Works at Dewsbury yesterday at 09:20 and immediately began to display.I dont suppose for a second that they have been watching the weather forecasts for the next week or so and it was such a lovely sunny though very chilly morning. 5 Gadwall where on the river...


31/01/2018 11:35

Ring Necked Parakeets becoming a regular feature

Thornhill Rectory Park is a park much appreciated by many locals who live in the surrounding area.It is a picturesque area with lots of very high mature trees perfect for birds either as passing migrants in Spring and Autumn or for breeding ell out of harms way in the Summer. Ring necked Parakeets...


26/01/2018 20:24

Surprise find by Tree Surgeon in Rothwell

There are surprise advantages to having a Tree Surgeon in the family and such was the case yesterday.Whilst attending to High Wind damaged trees in an area of Rothwell the tree surgeon was surprised to find a Nest belonging to a pair of Collared Doves amongst the downed tree branches and in the...


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Some overseas trips