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




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...


23/01/2018 20:35

Peregrines over Dewsbury Centre and Winter Thrushes return to be possibly on their way back home.

It is good to hear of Peregrines displaying over Dewsbury this week.After finding 2 regular birds at Ossett turning out to be of the same sex these 2 birds appear to be different in size a potential clue to the birds being each of different sex. A single bird is still frequenting North Ossett...


20/12/2017 14:52

Bretton Country/Sculpture Park

Having found a little more time on my hands over the last month or so I decided to renew my interest in Bretton Country/Sculpture Park a site I have not birded regulary for several years. One of the things I have enjoyed in previouse years at the park is the winter feeding flocks of Titmice and the...


20/12/2017 14:07

A busy time for Winter Bird Feeders but not as busy as previous years.

For the last 3 years now I have beenstudying birds coming to feeders on private woodland near Ossett.With a generous amount of fatballs supplied by Huddersfield Birdwatchers Club I have been able to provide a varied amount of birdfood aimed at attracting as varied number of species as possible to...


06/10/2017 20:47

Changing conditions on my local patch hard to take but still enough activity to make the area interesting

With a recurring bad back and a very painfull recently twisted knee I have found myself a little restricted of late in covering my local birding patch. Adding this to the news that the remaining free standing lagoons on my local sewage works have been drained of water (this having a catastrophic...


01/08/2017 06:27

Peregrine returns to Ossett Church.

A Peregrine Falcon has returned and is spending much of its time on North Ossett Church.Presumably this is one of thesame birds that spent much of the Winter months and early Spring on the same site on that occassion with a bird of its own sex (male).It is hoped that another bird will join him on...



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...


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.


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...


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...


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...


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...


Photo Gallery: Homepage



Some overseas trips