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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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...


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...



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...


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Some overseas trips