Monday, 3 June 2019

Moth Night Results - June 1st

The night was more or less dead calm, warm and dry, consequently there were lots of moths on the wing with over 60 species recorded including 5 new ones for myself. There were the usual  aesthetically pleasing moths such as Peach Blossom, Buff-tip and Eyed Hawkmoth plus plenty to keep the micro moth enthusiasts happy.

The following are moths I took for ID or new ones to photograph during daylight.

There were at least four Sandy Carpets among the more common Flame Carpets and Silver Ground Carpets.

I took another small carpet species home in the hope it would finally open it's wings for ID, and when it did I was pretty surprised to find this gorgeous little Small Yellow Wave - another new one for myself.

There were two of these Bird's-nest Moths (Tinea trinotella) to light, I wonder which nest they used.
The latin name refers to the three spots of unequal size on the forewing.

Definitely a moth-er's moth this one, the tiny Daisy Bent-wing (Bucculatrix nigricomella) - the first adult Bucculatrix I've ever seen at a trap. A worn and tatty moth but the white eye-caps at the base of the antennae help narrow this species down. Food plant Ox-eye Daisy.

This Straw Conch (Cochylimorpha straminea) may be a first for Calderdale - unless somebody knows differently. Food plant Common Knapweed.

And the fifth new one was this rather attractive Brassy Tortrix (Eulia ministrana).

Mainly for Barry's list are the following that I took home to ID:

Argyresthia trifasciella
Caloptilia alchimiella
Crambus lathoniellus x 3 (not the rare grass moth I had originally thought it was!!!)
Cochylis nana
Mompha epilobiella x 2
Gypsonoma dealbana
Coleophora mayrella

PLUS two unidentified moths:

Anacampsis sp.
Elachista sp.

Also lots of micro Caddisflies to keep me on my toes!

Friday, 31 May 2019

Annual General Meeting 2019

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the 2nd Annual General Meeting of 

Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group will be held at the Mulberry Suite, 

Brighouse Sixth Form College HD6 1AY at 7.30pm on Wednesday 5th June 2019

The evening will include a talk by Peter Lau of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust as well as an opportunity for a chat over some refreshments at the end of the meeting.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

     Voice Your Choice (VYC) Rules: Stage 1 





Please vote for project C

Wildlife, Woods and Water (Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group) in the Rastrick Big Local ballot this year.

If you live in Rastrick and have a postcode starting with HD6 3, or if the school you go to has a HD6 3 postcode, [Year Six and above] then you are eligible to vote.

where you’ll find details of this and other projects.

We want to:
  1. Improve the public footpath through Reins Wood and Strangstry Wood with better surfacing, steps and signage from Lillands Lane down to the railway crossing and into the nature reserve.
  2. Work on the nature reserve to keep open water in the lagoon, conserving special habitats for plants and all sorts of wildlife, extend our wheelchair accessible footpaths and provide an additional viewing point across the reedbed.

Everybody will benefit – wildlife AND people.
Find our more on our blog:
and finally….. thanks for your vote!

Moth night sat 1st

Trap should be running from 9.00pm approx. - Assuming it is not raining - See you there.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Nesting Boxes

Earlier this year the Thursday volunteers spent a few sessions getting the reserve's nest boxes ready for this year's breeding season. This involved taking down damaged boxes, repairing them and putting these and new boxes up. As we have something like 100 boxes located around the reserve we also took grid references of all the boxes so that we could relocate them all. The majority of the boxes are designed for blue tits and great tits but we also have robin, treecreeper, owl, and sparrow boxes along with a number of bat boxes.

For the last 8 days I have spent time with Steve Downing, who is a licensed bird ringer. He looked into some of the boxes and ringed chicks where appropriate. Unless you have a license, it is illegal to open nest boxes during the breeding season or to handle wild birds. The window of opportunity to ring small birds is quite small. The chicks must have most of their feathers developed but still be in the nest. This opportunity only lasts a few days. Last week we found around 65 boxes with approximately 90-95% occupied but none of the chicks were ready for ringing. Since then we have ringed approximately 80 chicks. The brood size varied from 7 to 11 chicks per nest,  With the good weather we have had in the last couple of weeks this shows an excellent return and bodes well for a very good breeding season for these small birds this year.

Hopefully we will manage to get a lot more chicks ringed in the coming weeks. Each of the rings has an individual identification number stamped on it along with a telephone number. Should anyone find a dead bird with a ring attached then they should make a note of this number and ring the telephone number. If there are any obvious clues as to the cause of death then this should be passed on. This allows the British Trust for Ornithology to gather information on how long birds live for, how far they move from their birthplace and causes of death so that scientists can see trends and develop strategies for improving survival rates.

Friday, 17 May 2019

Mothing Trip to Tag Meadow and North Loop

I had a very pleasant wander around Tag meadow in the morning and North Loop with Alan Pullan in the afternoon. Still a bit early for most species despite the warm, sunny weather. Just two species of butterflies were ID-ed and six moths, however three of those were nice finds.

Highlight for myself was my first ever Mother Shiptons, one in Tag meadow and one on North Loop. Their habit of being skittish and landing in dense vegetation made photography difficult. You can just see the old hag's face on the forewings.

Another interesting one was this Small Yellow Underwing. Despite being a macro moth it's quite tiny with a wingspan of c20mm and therefore easily overlooked and under-recorded.

There were quite a few of these Common Rollers (Ancylis badiana) about as would be expected.

The same goes for this Bordered Marble (Endothenia marginana).

Much scarcer was this Vetch loving Northern Crescent Piercer (Grapholita lunulana). It's often difficult to pick out amongst the more common Grapholita species.

Two of these very small Triple-stripe Piercers (Grapholita compositella) were disturbed from the low herbage but were too flighty (and small) for photographs so this is one I took last year.

Just four butterflies were seen all day: One Peacock, one Green-veined White and two unidentified whites.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Moth Night sat 18th

9.00pm start - at the cabins, unless we have heavy rain.
See you there.

Tuesday, 30 April 2019


Yes already it's time for a fantastic night out down Cromwell Bottom - practicing net swishing.
We should be getting a good selection on warm evenings from now on.
Arrival time - after 8.30pm, lamp start up will be towards 9.00pm.
See You there.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Are you interested in fungi?

this could be for you.....

click the link to our Facebook page to see details of a talk in Huddersfield on 29th April - sorry i can't make it work in this post!

Direct Link:

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Moth Night 20th April

Yes two weeks have passed & it's that time again. This Saturday is looking good weather-wise, it should be a warm night & we are anticipating the species on the night should be pretty good too.
See you there 8.30pm onwards
Watch your blossoms at night now - It will be one of very few food sources available.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Refreshments at the Cabin

Please note: The Cabin will be open for refreshments on Easter Sunday and Monday 21st and 22nd of April. Pop in for a cuppa and a slice of cake.

Friday, 12 April 2019

Thank You Brighouse Ladies!

David [vice-chair] and Rosemary [treasurer]went along to Brighouse Ladies Circle recently to receive a cheque for £3150 - another boost to our plans for a viewing platform.
As Chair of BLC for the past year Hayley has been leading her members in some really ingenious fundraising. We're so grateful for all your efforts ladies and the money will be well spent! Hayley is also one of our very active volunteers at CBWG so we benefit from her time as well as her fundraising talents.
[PS - if you're interested in joining BLC have a look at their Facebook page - never a dull moment!]

Thursday, 11 April 2019

TESCO Bags of Help

Thanks to all your little blue tokens we have been awarded £4000 from TESCO towards our project “A View for All”. You really pulled out the stops for us and we’re now refining our plans for a viewing area with easy access so that everyone can enjoy the fantastic atmosphere of the reedbed. We’ll probably start work after the birds’ breeding season is over.
Here's how the view looked today in the sunshine

This is the "before" photo -
wonder how the finished project will look?

In the meantime we’d love to hear from any nature loving wheelchair users out there – to make sure we’re doing our best for you to enjoy the reserve. The design of the viewing area isn’t finalised yet, so if you have any particular advice for us or you’d just like to know more about it we’d be grateful if you’d get in touch. Drop us an email, to or leave a message on our Facebook page.
Or - of course - you can talk to any of the trustees/volunteers down at the cabin on Sundays.
Thank you!

Bird and Butterfly survey 11/04/2019

Great tit, goldfinch, great spotted woodpecker, common buzzard, carrion crow, grey heron, bullfinch, chiffchaff, robin, mallard, wren, meadow pipit, sparrowhawk, woodpigeon, cormorant, jay, blackbird, dunnock, moorhen, coot, blackcap, chaffinch, reed bunting, nuthatch, coal tit, long tailed tit, little grebe, Canada goose, kingfisher, greenfinch and grey wagtail.

There have also been sightings of shoveler and common sandpiper recently but they were not seen today.

A very good selection of butterflies were seen: orange tip, peacock, brimstone, comma, small tortoiseshell and speckled wood.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Moth Night Sat 6th

Yes it's time again - see you Sat night around 7,30-8,00pm.

Friday, 22 March 2019

Tansy info Required

Last August we trapped this Tansy Plume (moth) by the cabin - a first record for Calderdale. The identity is "beyond reasonable doubt" but it would be nice to find out if there was any of it's foodplant growing on the reserve to tie in with this record.

So, does anybody know of any Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) patches on the reserve or close by?

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Orange Underwing

The first of the day flying moths are out at the moment , I saw 8 today at least flitting about the canopy in the lagoon area and in Pixie Wood. If you are patient they occasionally come down from the trees and rest on the path or bramble .

1st Chiffchaffs have arrived

I had a walk around the reserve this afternoon with some of the volunteers and was pleased to hear a reasonable number of chiffchaffs around. These are the first spring migrants I have seen this year.The beauty of this time of year is that we also saw a male siskin which is slowly making its way back to Scotland. There were also at least a pair (probably 2 pairs) of little grebe on the lagoon. A short visit to the bird feeding area yielded a surprisingly large number of bullfinches (at least 10) but few other species? Maybe the other species were checking out all the nest boxes that we have built and erected! A walk around north loop gave us a flock of ~20 linnets which suggests that the wild flowers are starting to attract good numbers of finches. Hopefully some will stay and breed. I know our chairman is hoping for breeding skylark.

There were various reports that there may have been lesser spotted woodpeckers about. If anyone saw/heard this elusive species then please let us know. I'm also on the look out for willow and marsh tit. We seem to have plenty of willow trees about so why are willow tits so hard to find?

Monday, 18 March 2019

Moth Night!

This Saturday 23rd March.
Actual kick off will be around 6.30pm due to getting lighter now, arrivals anytime after 6.00pm.
Usual rules - If cold wear warm clothing, If you fancy wood walking checking the goo, boots or wellies may be useful.
Lets try for even more new ones to the site list - Last time it was an Oak Beauty & this suspected Clouded Drab.

What new ones can we get this time?

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

On the way home...

I'm glad I never packed my camera gear up on the way home because as I was heading back to the canal I spotted some movement out of the corner of my eye.  I didn't see what it was at first, then it moved again.  To my surprise it was a treecreeper right next to me about 6 feet above my head.

It blends into its surroundings very well and if it hadn't have moved I doubt I would have spotted it.  I did manage to get a  clear shot of it as it climbed further up the tree before it flew off.

It just goes to show that being ready to shoot really does pay off sometimes.

Monday, 4 March 2019

Moth Night this Saturday March 9th

Another this Saturday usual place at the Cabin 5.30pm to 6.00pm start time assuming it doesn't lash down. Wear warm clothing & some boots or wellies if joining possible muddy wood patrol.
See if we can record a few more new to our List of species.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Best time of the day...

A quick pre-breakfast trip to CBNR this morning saw some sunshine, but this quickly turned to drizzle.  I did manage to try out the 1.7x teleconverter on my 300mm/f2.8 though and it seems not to affect image quality.

Friday, 1 March 2019

Bird sightings 28/02/2019

Had a couple of hours walking around the reserve this afternoon and spotted the following birds:
grey heron, grey wagtail, mallard, teal, goosander, moorhen, cormorant, black headed gull, Canada goose, blue tit, great tit, coal tit, long tailed tit, goldfinch, bullfinch, redpoll (30+), nuthatch, sparrowhawk, wood pigeon, reed bunting, chaffinch, wren, robin, blackbird, dunnock, carrion crow and magpie.

There were also reliable reports that great spotted woodpecker, dipper and kingfisher were present.

No summer migrants yet but shouldn't be long now.