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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14/08/2018 23:18

Garganey make timely visit to Local Sewage Works

It was nice to come across a pair of Garganey this morning in my part of the Calder Valley.2 birds male and female where on what is almost the only permanent lagoon on the sewage works at Dewsbury.Though its a private location the birds can easily be seen from the view point which overlooks the...


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...



21/03/2020 10:22

Common Buzzards spreading their wings.

Its amazing how Common Buzzards are turning up at places that a few years ago would have seemed impossible. I was surprised to see 4 Buzzards circling over Batley Park on Thursday followed by another 2 flying high over Heckmonwike Town Centre being mobbed by around 15 Jackdaws.2 birds can be found...


14/03/2020 09:47

Its that time of year again.

Its nice to hear of some Summer visitors arriving on the South Coast this last week.Allready there have been sightins of Sand martins at Fairburn Ings and reports of Wheatears at varius locationswith a single Swallow also sighted Horbury Junction and particulary the boggy fields at the bottom of...


06/03/2020 12:22

Barn Owls back in business

It is good news to get reports of Barn owls hunting in the fields around the Thornhill/Ossett area after a short period when they appeared to be absent. What with the stormy weather and steady continuing build up of traffic in the area the species is extremely vunerable and after rearing 3...


27/02/2020 13:18

Recent flooding creating havok on local sites

Its several weeks since iv been able to complete a routine check on my routine birding sites and after the recent heavy rains  and floods I have to report the area is in pretty bad shape. Most of the riverside habitats have been devastated and damage to such things as portable hides etc have...


03/02/2020 21:24

Redwings in feeding frenzy in local park

A quick visit to my local park in Dewsbury today with the kids was well worth the visit.Having been impressed by the tidy and well kept appearance of the park i was surprised to find certain returning Winter visitoring birds where equaly enjoying the benefits of the site. At least 58 Redwings where...


30/01/2020 13:04

Pink Feet on their way home early

2 medium sized skeins of Pink Footed Geese passed over Dewsbury at 11:00 this morning eventualy merging in to a skein of 72 birds before turning to the North West passing over Earlsheaton and disapearing from view. This is the route normaly taken by Wintering Pink Feet as the journey back to...


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...


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Some overseas trips