August was a mainly dry but cloudy month with below average temperatures. Highlights included a Black Redstart at Nab Water Lane (1st), followed the next day by a Common Crane which was seen from Whetstone Gate, heading up the Aire Valley. Around the same time, a juvenile Marsh Harrier was watched at Bradup before it flew eastwards.
A family of at least six Spotted Flycatchers were feeding in Denholme Clough (26th) and similar but smaller flocks of three individuals were watched at Golcar Farm, Glovershaw (11th) and another at Denholme (20th). Two other reports involved a couple of these attractive birds at Ponden Clough on the final day of the month. Wheatear passage gathered pace about the middle of the month with reports indicating that family groups were moving through, particularly in the south of the area around Warley Moor Reservoir and Nab Water Lane.
Stonechats were seen at Sconce and Low Snowden where a Whinchat was also located. Other Whinchat reports came from the Stone Cross area of Rombald’s Moor, Glovershaw and Hazlewood Moor where three juveniles and their parents were watched. Redstarts on passage were feeding at Denholme Clough (9th, 16th, 20th & 24th), Paul Clough, Glovershaw (both 11th) and Harden Moor (17th). It was in Denholme Clough that Tree Pipits were recorded in the last week of the month and also a Yellow Wagtail was seen passing through here at the same time.
A family of six Buzzards were feeding on Baildon Golf Course (12th) and a couple of weeks later a Raven was similarly engaged. An adult Peregrine with a juvenile in tow was watched from Stockbridge and an adult bird was seen chasing a Rook flock on Hazlewood Moor. Another juvenile was seen in the south of the area.
200 Swifts filled the sky over Otley at the beginning of the month, but their number steadily dwindled until just three were reported by the 20th.
A Great Crested Grebe with five young and adult Little Grebes with chicks were seen at Royds Dam, but water levels in reservoirs were repelling waders with just two Ringed Plovers at Leeshaw (20th).