Birds of many Feathers

Birds of many feathers flock together in the hills and dales around Hebden Bridge                                                                                                                                   

Whether you’re a serious birdwatcher or simply enjoy observing garden birds, there’s a wealth of birdlife in the hills and dales around Hebden Bridge. Because of its hilltop location, Elmet Farmhouse is the perfect place for birdwatching. Surrounded by meadows, with woods and rivers in the valley below and open moorland on the uplands 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 the Upper Calder Valley. These photos record some of the birds we’ve encountered locally in the last few years.

Blue Tit

Barn Owl

Black-headed Gull

Blackbird

Buzzard

Canada Goose

Chaffinch

Chiffchaff

Coal Tit

Curlew

Dipper

Dunnock

Fieldfare

Gadwall Duck

Goldcrest

Golden Plover

Goldfinch

Goosander

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Great Tit

Green Woodpecker

Greenfinch

Grey Heron

Grey Wagtail

Greylag Goose

Guinea Fowl

Herring Gull

House Sparrow

Jackdaw

Jay

Kestrel

Lapwing

Linnet

Little Owl

Long-Tailed Tit

Mallard Ducks

Meadow Pipit

Mistle Thrush

Northern Wheatear

Oystercatcher

Parakeet

Peacock

Pheasant

Pied Wagtail

Raven

Red Grouse

Redpoll

Redshank

Redwing

Reed Bunting

Robin

Rook

Sandpiper

Short-Eared Owl

Siskin

Skylark

Snipe

Song Thrush

Starling

Swallow

Tawny Owl

Treecreeper

Tufted Duck

Willow Warbler

Wren

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

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

Autumnwatch

Golden Glory

There are times in the year when the countryside around Elmet Farmhouse just looks so heart-achingly beautiful that you’d like to stop the clock! Late autumn is one of those moments. After the lush green of the fields and woodlands summer months, the landscape becomes a blaze of colour as the bracken takes on russet hues and the leaves on the trees turn diverse shades of copper-red and gold.

These photographs were taken on walks from Elmet Farmhouse in the beautiful National Trust woodlands of Hardcastle Crags, Pecket Well Clough and Crimsworth Dean during late October and early November. Whether you’re strolling down by the riverside, wending your way up the steep wooded hillsides or looking down on the woods from the meadows and crags above, the palette of autumnal colours is inspiring and makes your heart sing.

Text and images copyright Lesley Jackson