Welcome to the Blog of the Bradford Ornithological Group (BOG). Here you will find information about the latest sightings, an archive of information and a gallery photos of the birds of this area of West Yorkshire, England. We are an active group dedicated to the study and conservation of birds within this region which is situated amongst the Pennines of Northern England.

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CONTACT - recorder@bradfordbirding.org

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Tuesday 30 June 2020

Leeshaw Reservoir

A juvenile Wheatear at Leeshaw Reservoir       Brian Vickers

Private Wetlands (permit holders only) - female Goldeneye, Kingfisher, Common Tern,
Low Snowden - Common Whitethroat taking food to a nest site plus another bird singing near Crag Farm. Snipe drumming with two other birds calling from undergrowth.
Shaun Radcliffe

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Sunday 28th June 2020

Heber's Ghyll, Ilkey
In the woodland: a Wood Warbler, breeding Spotted Flycatchers at nest hole, a Treecreeper and Jay.
On the moor, a family of Whincat and a Curlew.
Spotted Flycatchers at Heber's Ghyll
Report and images from Steve Meredith

Fly Flatts (Warley Moor Reservoir)
Birds present on a wet and very windy day included: Two Oystercatcher chicks and close by Lapwings with four chicks all sheltering and a blasting drizzle.
Brian Sumner                more on Brian's blog

Haworth Garden
Three Siskins on feeders and a Sand Martin flew overhead.
Howard Creber

Shipley Glen/Glen Road/Baildon Moor
Birds seen included: a male Blackcap, a Snipe, a male Reed Bunting and, over the moor, a Kestrel, Common Buzzard and breeding Skylark and Meadow Pipits.
Graham Wood

Saturday 27th June 2020

Whetstone Allotment
A Redshank with a juvenile in addition to other breeding species, Curlew, Golden Plover, Meadow Pipit and Red Grouse.

A Golden Plover and a Redshank
Photos and report from Steve Meredith

Allerton, Bradford
A pair of Linnets visited a garden feeder.

Ian Watson

Friday, 26 June 2020

Friday 26th June 2020

Timble Ings and Denton Moor
A walk around the southern half of Timble Ings and the adjacent Denton Moor earlier today, in very humid weather produced the following:
Highlights - A mobile male Cuckoo, a Green Woodpecker in flight, a singing Tree Pipit, a pair of Spotted Flycatchers, large number of mainly juvenile Siskins, a few Lesser Redpoll and a flock of around 60, mainly juvenile,  Common Crossbills.
Other birds - Common Buzzards, a Red Kite, Lapwings, Curlews, Swifts, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Swallows, Meadow Pipits, a Song Thrush, Mistle Thrushes, Blackcap, two Garden Warblers, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Coal Tits, post-breeding flocks of Chaffinch and a pair of Bullfinch.
John Armstrong

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Thursday 25th June 2020

Fly Flatts (Warley Moor Reservoir)
Two Dunlin, two Ringed Plovers plus two juveniles at 26 days old.  Also 12 Golden Plovers, five Common Sandpipers, an Oystercatcher, a Raven and two Barnacle Geese.

From the top: Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, Dunlin and Barnacle Goose
Report and images from Brian Sumner                         see more on Brian's blog

Ogden Reservoir
A family of four Whinchats on the east side of Ogden Reservoir on the way towards the turbines.
David Sutcliffe

Haworth garden    
A male Siskin on garden feeders at 14.10 hrs.  Species with proven breeding/fledgling successes in and around Haworth garden were: House Sparrow, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Woodpigeon, Stock Dove, Jackdaw, Magpie, Rook and Pheasant.  A pair of Kestrels have fledged three young using an abandoned Raven nest on Ebor mill chimney.
A report from Howard Creber

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Wednesday 24th June 2020

Stockbridge Reserve
Birds present included male Reed Warbler and two breeding Sedge Warblers which were feeding on cinnabar moths.   Others noted: two singing Reed Buntings, five Grey Herons, a cormorant, Chiffchaff and a Bullfinch.
Sedge Warbler at Stockbridge      
Photo and report from Josh Selfe

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Tuesday 23rd June 2020

Sand Martins in Shipley

The colony of breeding Sand Martins in an old wall beside the canal in Shipley

At least 10 birds were seen feeding young on 22nd June.  They are visible from the canal towpath between Baildon Bridge (Fox Corner) and the footbridge behind Aldi.  The Sand Martins are using the wall where the old cinema stood which was burnt down some years ago.
Photos and report from Margaret Rowen

Fly Flatts (Warley Moor Reservoir)

Two fledged juveniles (photo above) now 24 days old and two adults.

Also six Common Sandpiper, two Redshanks, two Oystercatchers and eight Ravens.

Two of the eight Ravens which were seen at Fly Flatts.
Photos and report by Brian Sumner                       see more on Brian's blog

Monday, 22 June 2020

Monday 22nd June 2020

A male Lesser Redpoll seen in a Farnhill garden (near Kildwick).

Two photos of the Lesser Redpoll sent in by Mike Smith.
Low Snowden
A Cuckoo calling, also Common Whitethroat, Linnet, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warblers were all present.
Shaun Radcliffe

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Sunday 21 June 2020

Ben Rhydding
A pair of Tree Sparrows on Cleveland Drive.
John Brookes

Shipley area
Baildon Green - A single Common Whitethroat and a Red Kite circling overhead.
Fox Corner - Several Sand Martins attending to their nests in the canal wall and Pied Wagtails are breeding in nearby derelict buildings.
Graham Wood.

Stockbridge Reserve (members only) -  Little Egret flyover towards Silsden, singing Blackcap, Chiff-Chaff & Reed Warbler.
Shaun Radcliffe

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Saturday 20th June 2020

Fly Flatts, Warley Moor Reservoir
The two Ringed Plover chicks have today fledged at 21 days and are starting to fly short distances.
Brian Sumner            see more on Brian's blog

Pennithorn, Baildon

6.30 to 8.30   A Little Egret flew west and a Red Kire was hunting.  There were Swallows over the fields, breeding Reed Buntings, Common Whitethroat and Linnets on the moorland slopes.  Near the gallops, a Common Whitethroat and a Little Owl was in a wall.

A male Linnet at Pennithorn     photo: Steve Meredith
Steve Meredith

River Aire: Utley - Riddlesden

Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Common Sandpiper, thre grey partridges

Stockbridge Reserve

Five Grey Heron, Reed & Sedge Warblers (and an otter) 

Farmland above Riddlesden

Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Buzzard and Red Kite.  Also, five Willow Warblers, Greenfinch, Lesser Redpoll & Green Woodpecker. 

Low Wood

Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Jay, 

River Aire: Utley to Silden

25 Sand Martins in total, but virtually no action at any of the three colony sights.  Swallows & Swifts counted in teens. Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Reed Bunting, Lesser Redpoll, three Common Sandpipers and a Lapwing. 

Utley garden  - Bullfinch

Josh Selfe


Two breeding pairs of Common Whitethroat by the gallops.

Glen Road, Baildon

Two breeding pairs of Common Whitethroat.

Paul King

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Thursday 18th June 2020

Little Owls in Airedale - a Report by Phil Matthews

Tuesday 16 June 2020 1730 – 1930 hrs

Generally bright and warm. Moderate E/NE wind

I went out tonight on my usual walk – Lady Lane, Walsh Lane then a bit of Heights Lane before turning round and retracing my route back home

I saw my first Little Owl as I came on to Walsh Lane, it was sitting into the wall in the usual field, the bird had its head down as if asleep.

1746 hrs

As I rounded the corner this bird could no longer be seen, but looking back at the wall from the other side another or the same bird was perched on top of the wall.

1749 hrs

I walked another 20 yards or so and stopped to count the Rabbits in the field. I noticed the owl had gone but could now see another bird on the far wall giving a Magpie the bad eye

1753 hrs

I carried on up Walsh Lane and did the part of Heights Lane I am currently doing on these mini evening walks. Then retraced my path back down Walsh Lane.  When I got to the area of Four Winds I could see another Little Owl on the wall there.

1854 hrs

Carrying on down the lane I approached the usual field for Little Owls and could again see a bird perched on the usual wall.

1859 hrs

I was then observing a male Pied Wagtail and male Blackbird collecting food in the field when I spotted a Little Owl was now on the wall to my left as well.

1901 hrs

Walking on, as I rounded the corner I could see the other side of the main wall and spotted a Little Owl chick.

1906 hrs

Looking closely I could see another chick was in a cavity a bit lower down the wall, the same spot I saw them last week.

1909 hrs

Then an adult appeared on the wall above them.

1910 hrs

When I got home I tried to work out how many had I actually seen this evening and I am still not sure. It is certain I saw two adults and two chicks as I had multiple birds in view at certain times. It is possible that is all I saw, but even so it was a spectacular show of Little Owls in one outing

Report and photos by Phil Matthews

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Wednesday 17th June 2020

Ilkley Moor
There were numerous Swifts feeding over Low Cragg and at High Cragg a family of Stonechats were present.  A pair of Curlew with a chick were seen close to the main footpath.
Keith Allen.

Peel Park, Bradford
Pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers fledged three young birds.
Irene Lofthouse


A juvenile Bullfinch and 6+ juvenile Blue Tits in the garden

Prince of Wales Park, Bingley

Chiffchaff still singing, Jay and Sparrowhawk

Lady Lane, Walsh Lane and part of Heights Lane, Bingley

House Martins and  Swallows, a Lesser Black-backed Gull,  four Oystercatchers, Pied Wagtail, Mistle Thrush andWillow Warbler.

Curlew - 10+ including the chick which has grown well since last time seen

Lapwing - still can see the sitting bird, this appears very late to be sitting on eggs?

Grey Partridge - pair with 9+ chicks

photos:  Jay, Oystercatchers, Curlew and adult Grey Partridge with two of nine chicks.
Report and photos from Phil Matthews

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Tuesday 16th June 2020

Catch Up Ringing Report

Stockbridge Reserve -
Last week Jon M had a ringing session with 13 birds caught in total. 
These included 4 Reed Warbler, 2 Sedge Warbler, a Reed Bunting & Blackcap.  One of the Sedge Warblers was a previously ringed bird on 20 July 2019 at Belvide near Brewood, Staffs.  A Reed Warbler had also been ringed at Stockbridge on 9 June 2020.   Jon noticed that at least one family of Reed Warbler had fledged on the east side of the Reserve.
Shaun Radcliffe

Fly Flatts (Warley Moor Reservoir)
Three Dunlin, five Ringed Plover and two chicks, seven Common Sandpiper + chicks, two Oystercatcher, eight Redshank + chicks and a Common Buzzard.
Brian Sumner                Brian's blog for more information.

Leeds/Liverpool canal at Bradley
Common Whitethroat, Little Owl, wren, Oystercatcher, Moorhen and a breeding pair of Canada Goose with 20 goslings.
Howard Creber

Monday, 15 June 2020

Monday 15th June 2020

Heights Lane area and Eldwick Reservoir

Four Little Owls (two singles and a pair at three sites), 10 Swallow, Four Pied Wagtails at three sites (two carrying food), Curlew (adult still on Heights Lane but chick not seen, behaviour indicated it was nearby), three Oystercatcher, Five Lesser Black-backed Gulls flew over, a Redshank, two Sand Martins.  A Lapwing (adult still apparently sitting on Walsh Lane), a juvenile Robin, a Kestrel, seven House Martins plus a supporting cast of the usual species and my first Large Skippers and Broad-bodied Chasers of the year.   A pair of Siskin and two pairs of Greenfinch have been seen intermittently with the regular species on the garden feeders since around Friday.

photos: Robin (juvenile), Little Owl, Dunnock, Pied Wagtail and Curlew.
report and photos by Phil Matthews

Slippery Ford

Three pairs of Willow Warbler, a pair of Reed Bunting, a pair of Linnet, a Pied wagtail, numerous Meadow Pipit, a Lapwing, a Curlew with a large chick, a Green woodpecker, three Kestrels also Rooks and Carrion Crows.

Howard Creber

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Sunday 14th June 2020

Stockbridge Reserve (members only) -  Kingfisher, single male Teal on water, 5 Oystercatchers flew over, Reed Warblers, Sedge Warbler showing well with flight song followed by landing on reed mace. Plenty of minute toads.
Shaun Radcliffe

Pennithorn, Baildon
A Cuckoo remains at Pennithorn and a Snipe was seen sitting on a post.
Steve Meredith

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Saturday 13th June 2020

Broad Lane, Oakworth
am - A Grasshopper Warbler reeling, four Skylarks (singing) and two Reed Buntings.
Steve Parkes

Curlews at Walsh Lane, Bingley (a birder's diary)

The field next to Four Winds has had sheep in since spring and as such has a short swathe.   It was a regular spot for breeding Lapwings, but in small numbers.   In recent years it appears to attract feeding waders, especially in the evenings with Lapwings in small numbers, the most reliable spot for Oystercatchers and the Curlews (as well as rabbits, Jackdaws and Woodpigeons etc).

The numbers seen in this field are in excess of what I normally see locally.  I think the birds come here purely to forage, although you can see the odd ones at any time of day, the larger numbers are always in an evening.  I expect the nearby fields will have the grass cut for silage soon and then the birds may be more spread out

I do not come up here every evening now as I can "legally" go wider afield and add Eldwick Reservoir, Myrtle Park and Bingley Bog to the mix, but to show what I mean about groups.

Curlews counted in evening in this field:

15 May 7

17 May 18

21 May 9

9 June 8

But other trips up in the period only resulted in small numbers, I may have been earlier or it just wasn't the day to come. I was staggered by the 18 counted on the 17th May

I do not see Greenfinches in the garden, on the feeders, as often now, unlike the two Bullfinches that are almost resident. We seem to have had a stable, if not large, population locally and I expect to see birds on Lady Lane every trip, and Heights Lane near the Heights is another regular spot.

Phil Matthews

Utley to Silsden (River Aire)

The river was very busy with Kingfishers today, loads of sightings of at least five different birds.  The water was very coloured, so they were probably having to work harder, hence easier to see.  

The busiest of the three Sand Martin colonies was very quiet, only about four birds seen in ten minutes, but the one a little further up the river, which normally only sees about five birds, had at least 22 buzzing around it and sitting on nearby wires.  A third colony even further up the river had six visible birds.  

I counted around 40 swifts in all, but some of these could have been the same birds showing up at different points in the river.  Buzzard, Kestrel, five Common Sandpiper, three Oystercatcher, five Curlew, two Garden Warbler, a Willow Warbler, a Common Whitethroat, seven Blackcaps, Great Spotted Woodpecker, three Lesser Redpoll, five Reed Bunting territories (including one with young) and a Goosander with four young.  42 species all together. 

Josh Selfe

Friday, 12 June 2020

Friday 12th June 2020

Stockbridge Nature Reserve
Sedge Warbler caught on Tuesday (9th) was ringed as a juvenile in Staffordshire in July 2019.
Jon Middleton

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Thursday 11th June 2020

Ilkley Garden
A male Siskin - An unusual summer garden visitor.

A male Siskin                                   photo: Keith Allen

Chellow Dene, Allerton

A juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker, now able to feed itself, makes a stab at the nuts!  On the other side, a Nuthatch demonstrates how to eat upside down.                              photos by Ian Watson

Hirstwood Nature Reserve, Saltaire
Two Magpies seen taking flies off a horse's back and a Pheasant feeding, a first for the reserve.
Graham Wood

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Wednesday 10th June 2020

Allerton Garden, by Chellow Dene, Bradford
An adult Great Spotted Woodpecker with a juvenile arrived in Ian's garden.

Adult and juvenile (top), single juvenile (bottom)           photos and report: Ian Watson.

Sand Martins in Shipley
Les Brook has sent along a short video of Sand Martin nests on the canal wall by Fox Corner.
The video is best viewed full size.  Sand Martins appear from a crack at the top of the wall.

Lady Lane, Walsh Lane, part of Heights Lane, Eldwick  (an evening walk)

Adult Oystercatchers, male Greenfinch, Little Owl and a close study of the feathers of an adult Curlew.  

A Little Owl (an adult and a chick seen), Lapwing (bird sat in the field in exactly the same spot as previous evening), Curlew 12 seen (group of 8 in one field, no sign of the chick (but it was seen this morning)), Oystercatcher 3, House Martin 8 over the Mansion, Swift 4, Magpie attempting to predate a Blackbird nest.

Photos and report by Phil Matthews.

A female Mallard marched her 12 ducklings up Sun Hill Drive.  Destination unknown.
Paul King

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Tuesday 9th June 2020

Fly Flatts (Warley Moor Reservoir)   Breeding Reports
Two male and one female Ringed Plover with two chicks. 
Two Dunlin, 
Eight Common Sandpiper and four chicks.  
Four Redshank and six chicks.  
Six Snipe and well-hidden chicks. 
Nine Curlew and several chicks in the fields.

A Common Sandpiper chick at Fly Flatts.        photo: Brian Sumner

Lady Lane, Walsh Lane and part of Heights Lane, Eldwick
Late afternoon/early evening

The resident Little Owls on Walsh Lane have raised at least two chicks, they were hidden away in a hole in the dry stone wall the adults are frequently seen on.

The Curlew family reported last week were still in the same field, but it appears only one chick has survived. They were feeding close to the road, and at one point the chick strayed through the gate and was in danger of being flattened by the local traffic as it wandered about on the road. In the end I erred on the safe side and collected the chick and put it back in the field away from the gate area. As a side note my wife saw the parents and chick this morning.

A Lapwing was seen sitting in the same area as a week ago in a field on Walsh Lane they are not usually seen in, with another bird near by

Oystercatcher 1, Swallow - small group around old brickworks, House Martin – small group around old brickworks, Pied Wagtail male still in the area.

Two Willow Warblers continue to sing in the copse on Walsh Lane, Song Thrushes are still singing in the same copse and in the plantation on Lady Lane, that plantation also has at least three singing Chaffinches and a pair of Greenfinch frequent the area.  Also had a close encounter with a Hare.

Report and photos by Phil Matthews


A pair of Willow Warblers near the 14th tee have young hatched and were both busy feeding.

The Curlew adjacent to the 13th fairway, have  young and are agitated  by not only dogs but people walking  the area, they moved to near the 7th green but this was too busy and next day had moved back to the area near the wet depression.

Little Owls have been  well hidden the last few occasions I have been there, but report of another between the bottom of gallops and the house off sconce lane, in large oak tree.

Red Kite has become a regular over the 9th fairway and cabins.

Snipe are still displaying, but not as frequently.

Swifts were  present in 10s of number.

Two Buzzards were harassed by Kestrel.

Steve Meredith

Allerton, Bradford

A garden visitor!
A male Sparrowhawk in Allerton           photo: Ian Watson