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 anticipationte to have 

More Recent Events


Covid has had a negative impact on much of my local birding with my local sewage works becoming out of bounds with this site previousely accounting for the majority of my records.

In more recent times I am spending more and more time in North Lincolnshire due to family reasons but have been fortunate to become familiar with some of the splendid Nature Reserves on Southern side of the River Humber particulary the Reserves Far Ings and especialy Alkborough Flats.

These two reserves are excellent for many Marsh and Wading birds with Alkborough being one of the best Bearded Tit sites iv ever encountered.

Another of my now favourite Reserves is Messingham Sand Quarry just around 15 minutes from my kids school an

d like other reserves in North Lincolnshire it is both Dog and Bycicle free making it ideal for Macro photography.

I look forwards to posting my sightings from this part of the country.

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23/04/2021 11:01

Whitethroats back on local breeding sites

There are 2 singing Whitethroats this morning on local breeding sites.Both sites are in lower Pildacre with one bird in full song on the edge of the margerine factory just off Healy Road Ossett and the other just before the security gate to Dewsbury Sewage works. Also this morning now 5 singing...


22/04/2021 12:57

Peregrine Falcon hunting over Horbury Bridge Marshalling Yards

A Male Peregrine Falcon was circling high over Horbury marshalling Yards this morning for about 30 minutes before going into a  sudden stoop and stayoing out of site. A single Little Egret is still in residence on the river Calder just below Earlsheaton and there are still 3 singing Willow...


21/04/2021 07:57

Little Egret returns to my part of the Calder.

A Little Egret was feeding on a pebble bed on the Calder at Ossett yesterday.Its the first time in almost a year one was seen here and hopefully it will stay around and be joined by a second bird  as in previous years. On a rather cold and grey day bird song was much subdued though there was...


20/04/2021 01:52

Sand Martins on the increase though local migrants still slow to appear.

Numbers at my local Sand Martin colonies appear to be on the up with nearly 50 pair of birds either digging or entering holes yesterday.feeding birds on the filter beds of Dewsbury sewage works totalled som38 birds along with 8 Swallows but as yet no House Martins. There are now 3 singing Willow...


19/04/2021 22:13

A brief call in at Far Ings Lincolnshire

It was nice to have a couple of hours to spare to call in at Far Ings Nature Reserve at Barton upon Humber this morning. For anyone wanting to see Bitterns this is as a likely as place to see them and out of seven visits so far Iv been lucky every time on one occassion even recording one flying...


16/04/2021 11:13

Sand martins not yet up to full strength but signs encouraging.

a good walk over the local patch this morning showed most migrants still slow to arrive in significant numbers but none the less encouraging. Sand Martins have now established another new breeding colony on the banks of the Calder although total numbers are so far much decreased on previous...


09/04/2021 11:05

Good to see Common Sandpiper making an appearence this morning

A Common Sandpiper is frequenting the River Calder at the bottom of Healy Road Ossett this morning.The bird flew down river from about 400 yards from the footbridge over the River and landed for a few moments on the pebble beds oppositte the industrial complex before continuing downstream. A Willow...


08/04/2021 22:30

Swallows return to local sites

2 Swallows where in the Asda car park in Dewsbury yesterday hawking with around 9 Sand Martins at around 9:30.% Swallows where with 11 Sand Martins around the border fence of Dewsbury Sewage works at around 10:20. There was 6 singing Chiff Chaffs around the kerries Foods factory area this morning...


30/03/2021 21:46

Getting back to business after a Horrible Year.

It is nice to get back into the field proper after many false starts and not knowing what places are accessible with some places completely blocked off from the public for different reasons. Some footpaths are still closed due possibly to too many members of the public walking with dogs  close...


30/05/2020 12:52

Return of the Egret

A Little Egret flew up the river Ca;lder below Earlsheaton this morning at 07:30.The river calder water level has dropped considerably over the last few weeks making feeding for a lot of birds more easy with regular sightings of birds catching fish more commonplace.Kingfishers are now more numerous...



22/11/2023 13:04

Messingham Sand Quarry

Although i rank Messingham Sand Quarry has been very much a Spring and Summer/Autumn Reserve it offers interesting walks in both Late Autumn and Winter On this occassion a quick early stop into the fierst of 2 hides was very worthwhile. A quick count of the wildfowl on offer produced some 340...


12/05/2022 10:12

Getting back into the swing with a trip to Scotton Common North Lincolnshire.

Having become more and more frustrated with continualy trying to gain access to what in the past have been my local birding sites and being continualy turned away Im lucly to be spending half of my week visiting and staying with my family in North Lincolnshire. Its nice to be dealing with a local...


10/01/2022 14:57

Alkboro Flats North Lincolnshire

I know Im in for an interesting morning when the first bird I see shutting my car door in the car park is a female Mash Harrier.The first field as I walked North towards the Humber River had around 500 Common Starlings feeding along with around 85 Goldfinch scattered amongst the Thistle...


10/01/2022 14:49

Time to get back into the field again.

After a frustrating 18 months locked out of my usual local birding patch due to the pandemic and some of my favourit footpaths being blocked off by local farmers who are tired of furlowed dog walkers trampling over theie land disturbing cattle and littering their fields with discarded face masks...


31/05/2021 21:26

Goosanders doing well but Kingfishers suffer a setback

2 pairs of Goosanders have bred succesfully in theOssett area on the River Calder.Each pair has hatched 10 youngsters and all are at present doing well. Its allways worrying when you come across so called wldlife photographers lurking in the vicinity of bird nesting sites and  a recent...


14/05/2021 22:59

Hirrundines and Swifts gather again at local Sewage Works.

There was good numbers of House Martins and Swifts on Dewsbury Sewage Works this morning.Around 400 House Martins where concentrated over  the centre of the works along with some 200 Swifts.In lesser numbers where Swallows numbering around 120 and Sand Martins totaling around a hundred...


11/05/2021 14:10

Alkington Flatts North Lincolnshires a brief visit.

While on my weekly foray in to Lincolnshire i found time to visit Alkington Flatts Nature Reserve this morning. It was very refreshing to get out of the car in the car park and hear a Cuckoo calling its head off from a large Oak tree bordering the reserve.The bird was calling non stop for about 30...


07/05/2021 11:39

Back to cloudy and cold but House martins increase.

Noticeably colder than yesterday nevertherless still brought good numbers of Hirrundines to Dewsbury Sewage Works.There was at least 400 House Martins,around 55 Sand martins,140 Swallows and around 25 Common Swifts hawking around the filter beds of the works at 09:00 this morning. The cold weather...


06/05/2021 12:10

What a difference a week makes.

How noticeable this morning that the local hedgerows are much more lively with birdsong.On leaving my car in Healy Road Ossett the first sound I hear is of a singing Common Whitethroat with its distinct scratchy song.In total there where singing Whitethroats around the Healy Road Healy Mills area...


28/04/2021 11:47

Merlin pays brief visit to local sewage Works.

Few thing can be more exiting than having a Merlin flying at full speed over your shoulder before diving headlong into a a feeding party of Black Headed gulls and Carrion Crows. However that is precisely what happened this morning at 09:25 as I was patiently scanning the filter beds on Dewsbury...


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Some overseas trips