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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24/01/2011 18:02

Latest Birding News from the Dewsbury area

  The latest change in the weather situation has brought many changes to the Dewsbury area.The water level on the River calder has dropped quite considerably and this is of immediate benefit to Eurasian Teal of which there are around 235 birds on or around the Sewage works. All the...


18/01/2011 07:17

Pink Footed Geese passing during the early hours

At least 2 skeins of Pink Footed Geese passed over Shaw Cross in the early hours this morning. The first was at 0520 hours  and the other was at 0550 hours both appeared to be heading North.


12/01/2011 12:02

Today in the valley around Dewsbury Sewage Farm

Passerines particulary Finches continue to be in short supply in our area.Apart from 3 Bullfinches at Thornhill Wetlands there is hardly any at our local sites. Duck numbers continue to be impressive with 74 Wigeon being flushed from Mill Bank all departing Eastwards towards Horbury Wyke. On the...


11/01/2011 15:42

Some recent birding news from our area.

  The female Smew was present on the Calder yesterday for most of the day.A count of Wigeon on the opposite bank of the river near the Hotworks Mill area produced some 72 birds.5 Goldeneye were on the river as well as 1 drake Mandarin Duck,5 Goosander,3 Pochard and 8 Cormorants. There is a...


08/01/2011 17:34

More Gambian Trip Reports to appear soon

Keep your eyes on this website for news of more sightings from the Gambia.Some records have allready been submitted and we will be publishing them in the very near future.


08/01/2011 16:41

A good morning in the Dewsbury area

A male and female Smew are present on the River calder near Dewsbury Sewage Farm today. Also a Barn Owl was discovered roosting in the same area this afternoon. Ducks are proving to be of interest on the Calder nerar Dewsbury with 40 Wigeon,31 Teal,3 Gadwall all within a few hundred tards from...


07/01/2011 19:53

Latest Local Bird News

A Short Eared Owl is spending the Winter in the fields behind the Babes in the Wood Pub in Woodkirk,Batley The bird has been seen by several observers over the last few weeks and it seems to spend its main time around the chemical tipWhich of course is very private and should not be approached.This...


05/01/2011 10:38

Local Birding News

A visit to Thornhill Wetlands and Dewsbury Sewage Farm yesterday produced interesting observations of Ducks on the river calder. A female Smew was swimming with a party of Goldeneye(of which there was 16 birds) this bird took off after being disturbed by dog walkers on the oppositte river bank.Also...


09/12/2010 15:24

Kotu Creek 2010-11-10 A trip to photograph some local species

My guide was tied up in a meeting with WABSA this morning so I had the opportunity to wander around Kotu looking for photo opportunities. There was 3 Broad Billed Rollers sat on the wires near the bridge and these were in excellent plumage and relatively easy to approach.Also in the sane area was a...


09/12/2010 13:39

Brief Road trip from Banjul to Cape Point 2010-11-10

  First stop was at the docking area just to the North of Banjul. The main drawback was the tide which was high on our arrival leaving little scope for observing waders on the estuary mud.Most noticeable was the abundance of Royal Terns which were in the area with several parties of 10 or a...



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...


27/05/2020 10:59

lockdown bringing nothing but benefits for Local Breeding Birds.

A female Sparrow Hawk was hunting around the brewers Pride public house this morning at 07:15 for abpout 10 minutes.2 Kestrels where on the wires at the bottom of Healy Road before chasing off towards Mill Bank Thornhill. 48 Herring Gulls where on the filter beds at Dewsbury Sewage Works along with...


23/05/2020 19:13

Good numbers of Swifts and House martins this morning

There was good movement of Swifts and House Martins in my part of the Calder Vakkey this morning. The engineering yard at the bottom of Healy Road Ossett held about 100 s wiftscontinualy moving Westerly and being replaced by other birds coming in from the East.This move,ment carried on up the...


13/05/2020 18:09

Cold Northerly Winds bring much lower temperatures to the area.

Its nice to see good numbers of certain Summer Visitors gathering to feed even if weather conditions feel mor like February than May. Good numbers of House Martins were feeding on and around Dewsbury Sewage Works and Mill Bank Thornhill this moning with one party of some 128/30 birds feeding on and...


30/04/2020 09:02

Common Sandpiper makes an appearence

A Common Sandpiper is on the rivers banking oppositte Dewsbury Sewage Works this morning.For about 2 minutes it was feeding alongside a Green Sandpiper before moving off slowly towards Dewsbury at around 07:40. Whitethroats are quickly getting up to strength with 8 singing males in the lower...


29/04/2020 17:12

White Stork over Ossett and Dewsbury this morning.

A White Stork flew over Dewsbury this morning at 11:15.It came in from the East and carried on North West.It was first reported flying over Ossett Spa at 11:05.


29/04/2020 10:07

A change in the weather but but local breeders continue to arrive.

Despite overcast and damp conditions there was still quite a bit of bird song in my part of the Calder Valley this morning There are 2 singing Sedge Warblers around the area bordering  Dewsbury Sewage works border fence and in the same area 4 singing Common Whitethroats and 5 singing Willow...


25/04/2020 10:19

Reed Warblers back on site.

A Reed Warbler was singing this morning in Lower Pildacre Ossett at one of the recognised breeding sites.Conditions early this morning where rather heavy and slightly overcast not very indusive to birds singing their best but no doubt as the morning progresses this will improve. 4 Common...


22/04/2020 09:00

My first Swift this morning

A Common Swift was hawking around the area by the railway embankment of Mill Bank Thornhill just adjacent to the Networl Rail office block. The bird made several passes as it slowly made its way Eastwards at around 07:20 A single Yellow Wagtail is still feeding on the easterly filter beds...


20/04/2020 09:05

Yellow Wagtail a nice surprise this morning

A stunning male Yellow Wagtail is feeding on a filter bed on Dewsbury Sewage Works this morning.The birds is keeping company with 4 Pied Wagtails and a single Grey Wagtail on the central beds adjacent to the compost storing area in lower Pildacre and although a little flighty is pretty sedentery in...


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Some overseas trips