Photo Competition

A Wildlife Competition for members. Please click here for details.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

A short walk in a special place

I spent an enjoyable two hours on the reserve today. A number of butterflys were on the wing, including, Small Copper, Common Blue and a good number of Ringlets plus quite a few Six-Spot Burnet Moths.

 I checked the ponds out and watched what I think were some Large Red Damselflys. Lots of insect activity on the flowers, Wasps, Bees and numerous flys which I could not idenify.  And, the sun was out the whole time.

The Common Spotted Orchids are still looking good though the Early Purple Orchids are now past their best. If you have not been down and enjoyed the orchids I would encourage you to do so soon.

Moth Night Tonight Saturday 30th

Hi all
Notice from Andy, the moth night is on for tonight. Meet in the main car park at Cromwell Bottom at 21:30hrs

Owing to the bad weather this meeting was cancelled.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Cave Spider - Meta menardi

Meta menardi ♂

Whilst cleaning out a building at Cromwell Bottom a couple of weeks ago we found a male cave spider behind a cabinet. As far as I know this is the first record on this site. We have a few locations in Calderdale, the closest is in Copley about 3 mile to the west.
It is a specialist in only occurring in dark places, as its name suggests. They are a large harmless spider up to 5cm leg span but are very docile and very unlikely to give you even a nip. They build a large Orb web similar to a Garden spiders.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

General Site Awareness

Colin D has raised an important issue on the "Members Page"

Please read his post. Any comments should be posted there
and not on this public blog.

Early Purple, Common Spotted Orchids & Round leafed wintergreen

Here are some of the pictures of the flowers I took on the walk round CB last week (20th June) 

Allan Wolfenden

And a couple of sunsets taken earlier to remind us of what they look like!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

New threat to our Woodland

Not again! There are worrying signs that the government might be trying to revive plans to sell off England’s woodlands. We may have less than a week to stop them and keep our forests safe for future generations.

Next week, the government panel will publish a new report on the future of our woodlands. [DEFRA] Insiders have started warning that the government is trying last minute lobbying to convince the panel to back another sell-off. We’ve got a few days to persuade them resist the pressure and stand up for our beautiful woodlands.

Please add your name to the urgent petition now, and then forward this email to your family and friends. We’ll do an emergency delivery to each of the panel members before next Wednesday: LINK to petition

Sunday, 24 June 2012

More on those pesky redpolls

From Martin Garners blog

The redpoll complex seems to have been a popular topic for a debut post...  Good feedback on orange-/yellow-/golden-polled redpolls suggests that they are uncommon – but not that unusual - and that was new to me at least. Hugh Insley even commented that among the redpolls he’s catching in... [More..]

Saturday, 23 June 2012


Although the Floods have abated rain is expected to come in this evening,with heavy showers predicted .we are hoping to try maybe next Sat,we will keep you posted,regards Brian/Andy and team.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Colin Dukes Memorial Stone

The stone is now in position on the top pad. I have to thank Marshalls PLC for supplying and delivering the stone and in particular Neil Davidson and Dave Smith of Marshalls for making it possible and not least to the delivery driver who made a difficult task look simple. A plaque will be fixed to the stone and a dedication will be done on site at a later date, and last but by no means least to all of you who made donations, thank you all on behalf of the group. yours Graham

More Pictures...

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Two recent visits

We had visits to determine management strategies on two successive nights. On 19/6/2012 a dozen people turned up and it was explained how the gas extraction was accomplished. We also looked at one of the well-heads, Tag Cut and the Bird feeding area. Good views of the "Bridge Spider" larinioides sclopetarius in the early evening.

On the second visit - 20/6/2012 - we looked at Tag again, the Early Purple Orchids on the Glade, Broad Leaved Helleborine  and Round Leaved Wintergreen, (some in flower) and the west lagoon. The weather stayed dry for us on both visits, but we suffered with the mozzies! Allan may post more (and better) pictures of the flowers.

Monday, 18 June 2012

June and July Meetings Reminder

Hi all just to remind everyone tomorrows meeting will be on site /,meeting at the car park by the pallet works at 7pm
July's meeting will be on Tuesday 17th at the Halifax Fire Station community room again meeting 7pm to 7-30pm

Saturdays Work Party

Further to Grahams post thanking those attending, 10 volunteers turned up on what promised to be a very wet day. It did rain but we managed to stay dry.

We did not build the photographers screen or steps as the ground was too wet. We compacted two areas, felled a few trees and moved a bird table to a more suitable position. Those present were:
Shelagh, Jess, Jen, Cathy, Robin, Graham, Mike, Allan, Chris and myself.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Working Party

Many thanks to those who turned up today for your efforts on a very wet and miserable day. yours Graham

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Hoofstone Heights Walk Invitation

At the other end of our area Hoofstone Heights is the highest point in Calderdale.There will be a walk through upper Colden Dale and Noah Dale to Hoofstone Heights on Saturday, unless the rain is very heavy. I think I have worked out why one of the stones is called the Hoofstone. It has an interesting link with another high point just outside the area.

If any naturalists want to get to know some of the footpaths that weave through, they are welcome to join us.

Meet outside New Delight at Jack Bridge, Colden. 10.30 for a 10.45 start. Colden is through Heptonstall, through Slack, but not as far as Blackshaw Head. Map ref. SD963283
Bring packed lunch. No charge.

This is one of the monthly Halifax Scientific Society rambles, but distance and available time means we won't be stopping to look at every blade of grass.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Moth Night Saturday 23rd June 2012

The annual celebration of moths and moth recording, takes place on the 23 June 2012 at Cromwell Bottom. Meet at 9:30pm in the car park.
Organised by Atropos and Butterfly Conservation, in association with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, it is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the wonderful world of moths. Enthusiasts across the UK will be lighting their lamps, recording moths and organising public events. This year, the daytime element is perfect for seeing day-flying moths and moth caterpillars on guided walks, in addition to the usual moth trapping evenings.

The special focus this year is on brownfield sites. Under-recorded and often unappreciated, brownfield sites, such as old quarries, disused railway lines,gravel pits and spoil tips, are wildlife havens. As well as supporting many widespread moth species, they are important in the conservation of some specialist moths (e.g. Wormwood, Striped Lychnis and Four-spotted), as well as in the spread of colonising species such as Small Ranunculus and Toadflax Brocade.

Angle-striped Sallow

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Not just for birds!

Had a nice lunchtime trip to CB today, it was very warm and pleasant. I decided to look a bit closer today and try my hand at photographing some butterflies, flowers & dragonfiles too.

I walked tag loop and picked up this Small Tortoiseshell

A little further around I came across this Large Red Damselfly which was a first (of many im sure) for me. 

Also spotted these lovely flowers alongside the path not far from the iron stream, not sure what they are?

These also caught my eye (again no idea what they are!)

It was pretty quiet around here in terms of birds, Willow Warbler, Chiffy & Long Tailed Tit & I thought I heard a Whitethroat calling along the old canal but unable to find it.
I carried on round to the feeding station where 3 Bullfinch (2 males, 1 female) were feeding on the ground, and one was eating from the seed table.

I crossed the river and heard numerous Whitethroats along the riverside, at least 5 possibly more. A few Goldfinch flew over and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was continuously calling from the other side of the river.

Looking over the main lake I could hear a Reed Warbler in full song but still unable to connect, seems to be too far away, (somewhere in the middle of the reedbed) to be seen. A single Coot with 1 young was on the lake, surprised to only see one but its better than none at all!

As I crossed between the lakes I heard 2 Reed Buntings calling to each other from either lake and a couple of Wrens in full song. I then realised what time it was and quickly headed back up the canal path for a more direct route, en-route I heard a Chiffchaff really going for it but not in its typical call, it was more like a chaff-chaff-chaff-chaff-chiff!

Another enjoyable visit to this wonderful reserve.

Long-Tailed Tit
Reed Warbler
Great Tit
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Mallard (on the river with 7 young)
Reed Bunting


Monday, 4 June 2012

Today at CB

We had 2 buzzards being mobbed by crows, 1 sparrowhawk over, 1 male goosander - could not find the female and young, 1 common sandpiper, chiffchaff, blackcap, whitethroat, sedge, willow, and garden warbler amongst the migrants.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Tree Tubes Can be Lethal to Birds

Philip has posted on the Calderdale Wildlife blog about the plastic tubes placed
around young trees for protection.
Read the Post here.