Its worth a visit

A Breeding first as Shellduck decides to have family in the Dewsbury part of the valley.

03/06/2018 20:16

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 cater on their own whilst male takes flight and follows any intruder as long as it takes until he leaves the area.On finding the family party I was escorted away from the site for about 30 minutes until I was at least 200 yards away from the breeding area.

Elsewhere nearby Little Grebes have hatched 2 chicks on the Calder below Mill Bank Thornhill and a pair of Tufted Ducks also have 3 ducklings on the Calder at Saville Town.

Local Summer breeders appear to be still arriving with now some 17 pairs of Reed Warblers,5 pair of Sedge Warblers and good numbers of Common Whitethroats all around the Pildacre/Dewsbury Sewage area.

Its just a shame that egg predation is so rife in that area with too many Carrion Crows and Magpies permanently stationed in some of the main nesting areas.I dont think Iv ever seen such a concentration of half eaten eggs particulary Ducks and game birds scattered around.

There is still 5 pairs of Buzzards regulary displaying in the local area and it was nice to see a perched Little Owl the other evening in the Shaw Cross area the other evening.This brings the total of breeding Little Owls to 3 pairs at least.

There are 3 broods of Canada Geese on the Calder around the Saville Town area though some have fallen to predation by foxes.An easy target when they are nesting well away from the river,

There are 3 pairs of Water Rails busy breeding in this area and making much noise in the proccess.Its just a little disapointing that as yet there is no signs of Cuckoo yet in its usual locationsand also its tyhe first time in several years iv not come across Yellow Wagtails doing my local rounds.