Kingdom of Birds


Whether you’re a serious birdwatcher or simply enjoy observing garden birds, there’s a wealth of birdlife in and around Elmet Farmhouse. Because of its location on a hillside surrounded by meadows, with woods and rivers below and open moorland above, there’s an unusually diverse array of species in close proximity.

From golden plovers, lapwings and curlews up on ‘the tops’, to kestrels, swallows and pheasants in the fields, to woodpeckers, tawny owls and treecreepers in the woods and herons, dippers and grey wagtails by the river, there’s great scope for bird-watching in this area. These photos record just a few of the birds we’ve encountered locally in recent years.

Barry the Barn Owl


Meet Barry the Barn Owl, who recently took up residence not far from Elmet Farmhouse. Barn owls are normally nocturnal but Barry (as we took the liberty of naming him) seemed to enjoy a spot of daylight hunting and was not averse to having his photo taken.  Hardly surprising, given how beautiful he is!


Local residents and summer visitors

Regular visitors to the garden and nearby fields and woods include:

Blackbirds, Blue Tits, Chaffinches, Coal Tits, Collared Doves, Crows, Dunnocks, Great Tits, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Greenfinches, Jackdaws, Jays, Magpies, Robins, Rooks, Tawny Owls, Thrushes, Wrens

Other birds spotted in the neighbourhood include:

Barn Owls – Wadsworth Moor and Crimsworth Dean

Bullfinches – Luddenden Dean

Buzzards – Crimsworth Dean

Canada Geese – Walshaw Dean and Lower Gorple Reservoir

Cuckoos – Pecket Well

Curlews – Wadsworth Moor, Walshaw Moor and Heptonstall Moor

Dippers – Hardcastle Crags

Fieldfares – Crimsworth Dean and Colden

Golden Plovers – Wadsworth Moor and Walshaw Moor

Great Spotted Woodpeckers – Pecket Well and Hardcastle Crags

Green Woodpeckers – Crimsworth Dean and Hardcastle Crags

Grey Herons – Hardcastle Crags and Crimsworth Dean

Grey Wagtails – Crimsworth Dean

Kestrels – Crimsworth Dean and Pecket Well

Kingfishers – Crimsworth Dean

Lapwings – Wadsworth Moor, Walshaw Moor and Heptonstall Moor

Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers – Hardcastle Crags

Little Owls – Crimsworth Dean

Long-Tailed Tits – Hardcastle Crags and Crimsworth Dean

Mallards – Crimsworth Dean and Hardcastle Crags

Meadow Pipits – Crimsworth Dean

Nuthatches – Hardcastle Crags

Oystercatchers – Walshaw Dean and Crimsworth Dean

Pied Wagtails – Crimsworth Dean

Ravens – Langfield Edge

Red Grouse – Wadsworth Moor, Walshaw Moor and Crimsworth Dean

Short-Eared Owls – Wadsworth Moor, Crimsworth Dean and Heptonstall Moor

Skylarks – Wadsworth Moor, Walshaw Moor and Gaddings Dam

Starlings – Crimsworth Dean

Swallows – Crimsworth Dean and Pecket Well

Tawny Owls  – Pecket Well, Crimsworth Dean and Hardcastle Crags

Treecreepers – Crimsworth Dean

For up to date news about sightings by keen local birdwatchers, visit this blog: Calderdale Birds

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson
© Text copyright Elmet Farmhouse

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