Category Archives: Birding

This page contains information about birding on Baildon Moor. FoBM are working with Bradford Ornithological Group so that the work we do helps bird life on the Moors. A lot of the information in this category comes from their records and experience.

You may be interested in these web pages at the RSPB
Heather Moorlands
Wild Birds and the Law

April 19th Bird Walk with Bradford Ornithological Group

The Friends of Baildon Moor have arranged for a joint guided walk with Bradford Ornithological Group.

We will meet at Pennithorn Hill car park at 8.00 am on 19th April. The walk will finish by noon.

The route takes us around the fringes of Baildon Moor at the time of the year when birds are extremely active ie singing, displaying & nest building whilst other species should be passing through on migration.

Birds likely to be seen – Willow Warbler, Reed Bunting, Wheatear, Kestrel, Snipe, Meadow Pipit & Golden Plover, to name just a few.

At this time of the year anything could turn up.

Please bring walking boots or wellingtons and suitably warm clothing.

A few members of the Bradford Ornithological Group will be there along with a few spare binoculars for those who need them.

Winter Thrushes

Here is an update from Shaun Radcliffe, chair of Bradford Ornithological Group, dated 23 Oct 2013:-

Yesterday, I braved the showers to walk in the Glovershaw/Sconce Lane area. The mist had lifted and visibility improved somewhat. A few Lapwings were flying about over the fields near Golcar Farm and some Meadow Pipits flew past and dropped into the long grasses to feed.

On reaching Birch Close, there is a small group of trees made up of Elderberry, Hawthorn and Holly all heavy with berries and this is where I had superb views of a flock of about 50 Fieldfare as they urgently sought out the berries to meet their hunger. The local Blackbirds were trying to protect “their” berries but to no avail.

Further down near the scout camp, I came upon a mixed flock of a 100 or so winter thrushes, probably more Fieldfare than Redwing again feeding on berries.

These birds will continue to disperse as they seek food so keep a look out for them.

Birds on a recent walk

This is a copy of a posting to my blog.

On a recent walk on Baildon Moor I sat quietly on the edge of the 11th fairway of the golf course and was rewarded by several Skylark coming and feeding on the fairway quite close to me. The Skylark is an RSPB Red Status bird. Its population has declined significantly. The Moors are a great place to exercise dogs but, between March and July, I for one would prefer it to be done in places like the two fields either end of Roberts Park. During the nesting season dogs should be on leads when on the Moors. The Skylark breeds on Baildon Moor and likes to nest in clumps of grass on the edge of the fairways. One of the enjoyable things about Summer is hearing Skylarks trilling away in the sky and then finally spotting a tiny dot hovering high above you. Pheasant, Red Grouse, Curlew, Snipe, Lapwing, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Willow Warbler and Reed Bunting also nest in or around Baildon Moor. Any of those links will take you to photos of the bird in my flickr photostream.

Skylark, Baildon Moor

I also saw several Wheatears. They will be passing through on their way to Africa, feeding up on the plentiful supply of insects. They would stand on the short grass motionless and then run fast for 20 meters or so, then stand still again, occasionally jumping into the air to catch something or pulling something out of the short grass. They also like to stand atop the stone walls looking down into the grass and jump down into it to feed.

Wheatear, Baildon Moor

You may have noticed the stone walls being rebuilt around the Moors. Quite a few were collapsing in places and the rebuilding is being done as part of the Higher Level Stewardship agreement.

Quite a few Crows and sea birds were around but this one is larger than most. It is a juvenile and I am hoping that iSpot will give me a proper ID. Nick Tonge may also give me an ID if/when he sees this.



Kestrels are often seen when on Baildon Moor and one of my recent visits was no exception. Over near Glovershaw there are often Crows and this shot shows that the Crows did not want the Kestrel hanging around their patch.

Kestrel, Baildon Moor

A few minutes later I heard the keekee of a Kestrel again and spotted this one with a rodent in its talon.

Kestrel, Baildon Moor

The noise was because it was being chased by a female Kestrel that probably wanted the rodent for itself.

Kestrel, Baildon Moor

They then had a bit of a noisy scrap on the wall

Kestrel, Baildon Moor

But quite soon they separated and one of them was quickly back hunting again.

Kestrel, Baildon Moor

And just to show I don’t only watch birds here is a photo of a Silver Y moth which is apparently a common Summer migrant.

Silver Y Moth, Baildon Moor

Seeing Different Birds

This is from Shaun Radcliffe of Bradford Ornithological Group
At this time (27 Aug), birds are passing through the Baildon area on their way to warmer climates. Today, birds seen in the Glovershaw/Sconce Lane area were as follows; 7 Wheatear, 2 Whinchat, 5 Spotted Flycatchers and a Blackcap. They will not be staying here long so try to have a walk in the area to see them.

An Invitation!

Bradford Ornithological Group (BOG) are having a walk for their members on Saturday 7 September in the Baildon District and will be looking for migrants and other resident birds. Why not come along as my guest? Binoculars can be provided and BOG members are on hand to assist with any identification difficulties. It is a morning’s walk and finishes at noon. If you are interested please ring me on 01274 770960.

August & September – Migration Magic!

These months can provide the best bird watching around Baildon Moor because many migrants stop off to feed up in this area. There are routes that the birds take which can be valleys running from north-east to south-west. The Glovershaw/ Sconce area falls within that description and birds such as Spotted Flycatchers, Redstarts, Whitethroats & Blackcaps stop off to feed up in hedgerows and trees. Similarly, Whinchat and Wheatears prefer to perch on stone walls and drop down to seek food in short grassed fields.

Overhead, Swifts fly through and later Sand & House Martins with Swallows may be seen in great numbers as they hawk for flies. The birds need to feed up before continuing on their migration so can stay around for a few days.

It is the best time to get out birding and experience the magic of nature.

Photos from a recent walk on Baildon Moor

I have been up on the Moor a few times recently and have some photos that hopefully will look good enough to post on here. David Sturge, Richard Freeman and I have also been on the Moor with our strimmers trying to keep some of the paths open. Last Thursday we had help from a biker who we got talking to. He did a really good job of clearing the cut bracken off the path. Thanks very much. This Thursday we are up there again with the strimmers.

Anyway, this is the Birding, section so here are a couple of photos of a young Willow Warbler on the edge of the Moor.

Young Willow Warbler

Young Willow Warbler

And this shot is of a Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnett Moth that likes Thistles. Except in this case it is on some kind of grass. (?) 🙂

5 Spot Burnett Moth

Thanks Peter. I’ll take your word for it being a 5 spot and not a 6 spot.

June 22 Bird Walk with BOG

The bird walk organised by FoBM in conjunction with Bradford Ornithological Group was enjoyable. A couple of raptors that we saw made the whole morning worthwhile.

Thanks to the excellent knowledge of Shaun and the BOG members we were able to identify 34 different bird species on the walk. The simple “quiz” that had been promised was to guess the number of species we would be able to identify. The initial guesses were Maggie – 10, Pat – 19 and Linda – 35; so Linda won the prize, a bag of sweets to bring on the next group walk.


With the walk starting from the Eaves car park it was not surprising that the first bird seen was a Jackdaw. This was then followed by Blackbird, Rook, Black Headed Gull, Willow Warbler, Collared Dove, Wren, Carrion Crow, Wood Pigeon, Swallow, Meadow Pippit, Dunnock, Reed Bunting, Linnet, Swift, Goldfinch, Whitethroat, Magpie, Pheasant, Stock Dove, Curlew, Pied Wagtail, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Oyster Catcher, Long Tailed Tit, Lapwing, Blue Tit, Mistle Thrush, Starling and House Martin plus two raptors.

I managed to get several photos on the walk but one of the biggest things I got out of the walk was to listen to the BOG members. After hearing a bird singing they could identify the bird and then with that knowledge know where to look for it. They would be able to suggest to look towards the tops of some of the small trees or in the middle of the bushes or on the tops of the bracken or on walls or in the grass. I am looking forward to more walks and hope that plenty of people read this so that they are encouraged to keep an eye on our events timetable and join us in the future. To be kept up to date you can subscribe to this website (you can also subscribe to the newsletter) you can like us on Facebook or follow @BaildonVillage or @BaildonTown

Reed Bunting
Reed Bunting
Meadow Pippit
Meadow Pippit
Pied Wagtail
Pied Wagtail

Lapwing chicks

It is amazing that these ground-nesting birds survive with all the sheep, horses, dogs and people tramping about and Crows, Kestrels, Sparrowhawks, Buzzards and Redkites flying about.

These are just over the wall from the moor itself.

Lapwing chick, Baildon Moor

Lapwing chick, Baildon Moor

Lapwing chick, Baildon Moor

The sound of Spring

What is the sound of Spring? Many people would agree that it is the melodic warble of the Willow Warbler. Now is an excellent time to see this species because they have just returned from their winter quarters in West Africa.

As the bracken is died back just now, this small bird with yellow underparts and a stripe over the eye, can be easily seen perched on small trees which it uses as a song post.

A good place to observe it is on the path between the White House and the Scout Camp where up to five birds were seen last week. Birds are also singing in Shipley Glen Woods but are more difficult to see.