Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Moth Night 10th Aug

Yes - trapping session, this Saturday night - I think 8.30pm onwards arrivals may be in order now.
Bring a torch.

Red Underwings

After finishing my Terrapin capture duties I set off home only to see these two roosting Red Underwings about 10 + 15 feet high up on Crowther Bridge as viewed from the towpath. I gave one a nudge with a stick to see if it would flash it's brilliant red underwings but it just took of and landed in almost the same spot. Super moths and a first for myself.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Nest Box Success 2019

In spring this year I was fortunate to spend a few weeks of my usual volunteering days on Thursday's helping Steve Downing open up our nest boxes on the reserve and, where appropriate, ring the chicks. Steve is a licensed ringer and we are fortunate that he is willing to spend time on our reserve doing this valuable work. To be ringed, the chicks have to be fairly close to fledging so the period that they are available for ringing in each nest is quite short and this required multiple visits to each nest box. Even with these we still managed to miss the ringing window for some of the boxes. 

We managed to find a total of 52 nest boxes. The summary of our findings is:
1) We ringed a total of 99 blue tit chicks in 12 nest boxes.
2) We ringed a total of 27 great tit chicks in 5 boxes.
3) 8 further nest boxes successfully fledged blue or great tits.
4) The percentage of nest boxes that were successful was 48%.
5) A further 17% of the nest boxes showed signs of attempted breeding.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Hi everyone I would like to thank all the volunteers for there help last week in the organisation, setting up and of course on the day for making it another special Open Day .
Apologies to all those who came expecting the Birds of  Prey display unfortunately it was out of our control and we wish Kevin a speedy recovery from his operation.
I’m sure you will all agree the weather gods were with us and I hope you all enjoyed your day ,we hope to see you all next year  .yours Graham

Pictures from our Open Day 2019

Once again we were blessed with fine warm weather. The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Badger Group, Animal petting, Soft toys, Pencil holders, original paintings, raffle, walking sticks, face painting, bird feeders and animal skeletons, pond dipping, guided walks were all there. (I must have missed something). Yes I have missed the Cabin which provided tea, coffee, soft drinks, cakes, ice creams, chocolates and crisps, all provided by our splendid volunteers.

More pictures HERE

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Another cracking day at CBNR

A few shots from CBNR today... A lovely warm day with sunshine instead of torrential downpours.

There were a pair of nuthatches in the Bird Viewing Area this morning.  This one paid a lot of attention to the monkey nuts I'd placed in the crevice shown in the photo, pecking away persistently.  It made me wonder why it would do this when other loose peanuts were easier to take.

This juvenile robin hasn't quite fully developed its plumage yet.  It's still looks great though and still qualifies as one of my favourite birds.

The 'three fingered perch' is so recognisable as being CBNR.  

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Open Day 2019 this Saturday August 3rd

Our Annual Open Day is here! This Saturday. We know that many of our volunteers bring cakes etc. Whilst we are very grateful for this may we respectfully remind you that we are not allowed to serve fresh cream. Please do not bring sausage rolls. Thank You.
< < < <    Click our poster on the left for full info.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Moth Night Sat 27th

Due to the heavy rain & forecasted continuous through the night - It would be pointless tonight.
Sorry for any inconvenience!

Oh yes it's that time again - Arrivals still from 9.00pm onwards, but we may be able to start the lamp a little earlier now  .... see you there Saturday.
Don't forget the Torch!

Monday, 22 July 2019

One for the Moth folks

Is this a 5 spot or 6 spot?

Seen on the loop towards the Dipping Pond.

Monday, 15 July 2019

Moth Night Summary - July 13th

FIRST OF ALL: A big thanks to the Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group for providing such fantastic mothing facilities and habitat creation and management - it is VERY much appreciated!

Another moth-friendly night with mild conditions and it was almost dead calm. Nine showed up for the moths which were a little slow to start with but by the night's end we had a record 80-90 species species. I hope Barry will let us know the final tally.
Obviously there were many stunning moths on show but none more so than a varied collection of superb green moths, notably: July Highflier, V Pug, Common Emerald and Large Emerald.

Perhaps the rarest on the night was this Golden-brown Tubic (Crassa unitella) which looks like being another Calderdale first. As can be often the case with micros emptied from the trap last thing, it's quite worn after sharing a small space with hundreds of other moths, flies and caddisflies. However, the remnants of reddish/brown scales, yellow head, very long palps and declining resting position  points to this species.
The adult flies from late June to August and sometimes comes to light It is associated with wooded areas because the larvae, late September to May, feed on fungus on and under dead bark.

Another new one for myself was this (worn) Hawthorn Cosmet (Blastodacna hellerella), also found in the trap at emptying time.

My favourite photo of the night's moths was this fresh looking Suspected with lovely warm rufous tones.

This tiny Wormwood Pug was a photo lifer for myself, I'm fairly confident with the ID but if anyone knows differently let me know.

This "worn" looking pug deserved closer scrutiny at home and turned out to be a Bordered Pug in very good nick. Another new one for myself.

We had small numbers of Dingy Shears and it was nice to photograph a nice specimen for a change.

This small un-moth-like moth added to our slowly growing list of Footmen, this being a Muslin Footman.

Parornix anglicella
Stigmella salicis
Stigmella hybneralla

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Great Egret from Saturday afternoon

Thanks to John Marsh for the use of his Images

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve 2019 Orchid survey

Over the last 2 weeks Jen, Julie, Ian and I have been undertaking a survey of the orchids on the reserve. The areas surveyed were very similar to those that were surveyed last year but a couple of extra areas were added as we knew that these areas also had colonies of orchids. We counted the spikes (flowers) that could be seen. Identification of the species was difficult due to the tendency for plants to hybridise but it looked like virtually all the plants seen were common spotted or hybrids with a small handful of marsh orchids also being present. The total seen in 2019 was 200 compared to 138 counted last year.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

A few from yesterday

Nice to bump into Graham yesterday, I've not been down to CBNR for ages and really enjoyed the wander.

Here's a few from the bird viewing area...

The light wasn't too bad at all and it's great to see the juveniles in fine fettle.

Moth Night!

That time again - Arrivals from 9.00pm to 10.00pm this Saturday 13th July, bring a torch!

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Big Butterfly Count

A great turn out toady with some 25 people involved throughout the day,,,,,!!!!! And many thanks to all who turned up..

Meadow Brown ....Abundant (100 +)
Ringlet ..................Abundant (100 +)
Small Skipper ,,,,,50  +
Large Skipper ..5
Small Tortoiseshell...2
Common Blue...3
Small Heath .....3
Red Admiral .....1
Painted Lady ...2
Comma ...3
Large White ...3
Green - veined White.....1

Yellow Shell x 2
Shaded Broad Bar x 1
5 -spot Burnet Moths ....Abundant
Cinnabar ...2

Brown Hawker
Broad Bodied Chaser
Banded Demoiselle
Large Red  Damselfly
Common Blue

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Evening Nature and History walk Wednesday July 10th

Andy Eccles will be leading a History and Nature walk at Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve on Wednesday the 10th of July at 7:00 pm. 

Please meet at the Cabin. Toilets available.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Big Butterfly Count / Walk ,,,Sunday 7th July

This  Sunday 7th July there will be a HXSS walk around Cromwell Bottom ,  meet at the cabin 10.30 - 14.00...If the weather stays good we should see , Painted lady , Red Admiral , Ringlet , Meadow Brown , Small Copper , Comma , Small , large and green Veined Whites , Gatekeeper , Large and Small Skipper and if we are very Lucky Essex Skipper  a good selection of day flying moths and a few Dragonflies. We might even see some rare Clearwing moths..!!!!!

Wednesday, 26 June 2019


This Saturday 29th June, Arrivals between 9-10pm, At the Cabin.
If it turns out to be as warm & sticky as the weatherman promises, we should get a really busy night.
Don't forget a torch!
It will be light when you arrive, but may be very dark when you leave!

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.