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 Tits

Barn Owls

Black-headed Gulls

Blackbirds

Buzzards

Canada Geese

Chaffinches

Chiffchaff

Coal Tits

Curlews

Dippers

Dunnock

Fieldfares

Gadwall Ducks

Golden Plovers

Goldfinches

Goosanders

Great Spotted Woodpeckers 

Greenfinches

Grey Herons

Grey Wagtails

Greylag Geese

Herring Gulls

House Sparrows

Jackdaws

Jays

Kestrels

Lapwings

Little Owls

Mallard Ducks

Meadow Pipits

Mistle Thrushes

Northern Wheatears

Oystercatchers

Pheasants

Pied Wagtails

Ravens

Red Grouse

Redpolls

Redshanks

Redwings

Reed Buntings

Rooks

Sandpipers

Short-Eared Owls

Siskins

Skylarks

Snipe

Song Thrushes

Starlings

Swallows

Tawny Owls

Treecreepers

Tufted Ducks

Willow Warblers

Wrens

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