Photo Competition

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

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Draft Constitution & site map

There is a link on the Members Page to the draft Constitution and site map.

Apologies if you found that the map did not load. This was entirely my fault.

Should be OK now.


Went down for an hour this morning there was a large flock of siskins and redpoll around the feeders Mike reckoned about 100 and i would concur with that, at one time you didn't know where to look first ,there were that many , a small flock of LTT's kept coming and going and there was a what we  thought was a poorly siskin he looked larger than normal and was puffed up so to speak we think he may well have a disease hope not but he was very lethargic and not feeding .all the usual suspects were there as well . yours gwh


In response to Andy's post about the 'pale looking' redpoll here are some more images in their raw state, doesn't feel right for Mealy now I've looked at some information sources on Redpolls.

This one however caught my eye, the wing bar looks white even when I zoom in on it, but the rest of it looks too 'warm' for mealy. 

Help needed

Hi all,

I have a question which I hope you can help me with ...In a field near my house I have a spectacular ' Lek ' of Ghost moths in 2010 it was up to 450 males,unfortuatly this year was poor due to the weather 100+ only.Due to the expansion of local housing

.This field has been put forward as a potential sight for ' new build ' it is in green belt at the moment and all the relevant bodies have now to put forward what they think before it can go to consultation.To my knowledge it is the largest Ghost moth lek in Yorkshire and maybe the north of England.Do you have any suggestions how to put forward my case before its concrete.?? Steven Cummings made a short film in the fields about 3 years ago which can be viewed here


Andrew Cockroft

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The colours of Autumn

Autumn is most certainly here, the leaves have turned and the temperatures have plummeted! I trudged off from the car park in my wellies with cold feet in tow. I headed over the yellow brick road to see the changes since the cut, nothing much about but 4 unidentified geese (probable Canadian Geese) flew low and dropped down towards the river, unable to re-locate I headed on. A flock of 20+ Goldfinch passed noisily overhead.
I arrived at the new feeding station / photography screen... WOW! This was my first visit to the reserve since 6th June so I was incredibly impressed by the progress made on the reserve, this is an absolutely fantastic area which im sure many will enjoy for years to come, well done to all involved.

I settled down on one of the benches and watched close encounters with 15 Great Tits, 5 Blue Tits and 5 Redpoll - some absolute beauties! Also at the feeders were 3 Bullfinch & 2 Goldfinch.

                                                                          Blue Tit

A Wren flitted about clicking away to my right in the scrub, whilst a male and female Chaffinch gladly picked up scraps from underneath the feeders.

To my amusement a Great Tit was hammering on one of the feeders as the hole was a bit too small for its beak! At first I thought it was a woodpecker and just after that, guess what flew in... A Great Spotted Woodpecker breifly appeared on one of the trees behind the feeders but alas it was off before I could reach for my camera.

A solitary Siskin arrived which I was very pleased with, a first time i've seen one from close range which was lovely. Two flocks of Long-Tailed Tits passed through having a great time on the fat balls.


                                                                    Long-Tailed Tits
                                                                       Female Chaffinch

                                                                      Male Chaffinch
                                                            Golfinch (L) & Redpoll (R)
                                                    Bullfinch (L)  Redpoll (M) Goldfinch (R)

Other species around the feeders were Robin (heard singing), Blackbird & 3 Magpie.


As I walked off and arrived back on the riverside (by the wier) I heard a commotion from 3 Jays, 2 of which were very showy & I got fantastic views in the binoculars, unfortunately they were not so showy when I reached for the camera!

A fantastic hour at Cromwell Bottom, if you haven't been for a while (or ever), get yourself down!!

Species List:

5 Lesser Redpoll
2 Chaffinch
5 Blue Tit
15 Great Tit
3 Bullfinch
25? Golfinch
Great Spotted Woodpecker
3 Jay
20 Long Tailed Tit
3 Magpie
4 Carrion Crow
3 Black Headed Gull

Feeders and seed

My thanks to all of you who have donated both feeders and seed to the group it is most welcome and appreciated , with your support we will help keep the bird population fed and healthy  this winter.
Yours Graham

Camo Netting

My thanks and apologies to Mike over the camo netting he kindly donated the net from his Daughter's family who are emigrating to Australia next month only for some thieving persons (not the word i want to use) to go and steal it if anyone saw them at all on Thursday afternoon /evening could you please contact me on 07958163032 and i will pass it on to the police Thanks. yours Graham

Monday, 29 October 2012

Sad Saturday!

Had visit for a while on Saturday!
It would appear that some scummy person(s) had stolen the Camo netting we put up at the screen so people could be hidden & enjoy the close views, apparantly on Thurs afternoon/evening.
It will have taken them a while to remove & they had to spend a lot of time at the front of the screen "pinging" nails to do it.
What a shame! - everything at Cromwell is donated or voluteered for the enjoyment of others, & there are people who will spend time stealing stuff & wrecking it for everybody.
Many thanks to the kind Gent who donated the netting to us! (He's most impressed) We weaved a few Oak leaves in on Sunday, hoping this may help disguise Human movement.
Hopefully everyone who has thoroughly enjoyed sitting at the screen watching or having lunch can continue to do so with minimal disturbance to the 'lil birdies!

On a better note:
Our visiting Lesser Redpolls are all over the reserve with Siskin, but are slowly building up at the feeders to a couple of groups 6 or 8 strong.
We also had a Peregrine slowly glide over on Sat morning & 3 male + 3 female bullfich are regulars at the feeders on & off through the day.

A couple of our friends posing!

New Post on Members Page

Barry has posted about an interesting subject on the Members Page. I know you talked to me about this at the feeder station a couple of days ago. As far as I am concerned this would be an extra string to our bow and worth looking into. Perhaps this can be discussed at the November 21st meeting.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Yellow "Greenfly"

Original posted on "Calderdale Wildlife" by Philip
Anybody know the species?

This eight of an inch long yellow (greenfly?) crawled across my book pages as I was reading. A lovely colour but not one I've seen before. Does anyone know what it is?  - Philip

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Few from Sunday

Firstly - A big thanks to the 2 nice ladies who donated a pile of Peanuts & Green Sunflower seeds!
It was clear that a few Green Sunflower seeds scattered around was most popular with our birds.
All the usual suspects around the station + we had a Red Kite over again but was just out of sight, no mistaking it's call, & only one little fly through from our local Sprawk. I think the Redpolls & Siskins are still finding natural food in the tree tops, with only a few of each at the feeders.

A few of the Regulars on Sunday:

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Saturdays Work Party

Allan, Mike, David, Geoff, Steve and myself had a wander around the site checking on the lagoon and the reed situation. Debris from the "gap" was cleared to assist water flow, and measurements were taken for the bridge which will be constructed and transported from the green shed to be finally assembled on site. Also steps will need constructing on the south east bund adjacent to the river.

The Sphagnum bog area after we had cleared lots of birch back on January 14th 2012.

This is an image of the same sphagnum bog area as at October 20th 2012 only 9 months later from the same spot - you can match the three birch trees in the background - showing the rapid regrowth of the willow.

The tranquil lagoon in the warm autumn sunshine looking north west.

An organised walking group drop in to the feeder area.

The children in the group are fascinated by
the close views of the birds.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Kingfisher at the Feeding Station!

Yes you heard right!
We had a Kingfisher at the feeding station today.

I was sat quietly on my own - one of those hours when hardly any people go past. From the Bridge belting in, screaming away, a smallish bird shot to the very low branches of the trees in front of the screen. It turned around & stared back towards the bridge for about 30 seconds & then calmed down & looked into the large puddle behind the feeders, then flew 10 foot or so up to the rear of the trees whereby I lost sight of it & it sneaked away.
I suspect it came in dodging a predator along the river - possibly one of our Sparrowhawks, who fancied their chances & were zipping about around the area all day.

Just for all those who I had trouble convincing there was one there (lol)

Only a record (PROOF) shot as I knew this would take some believing otherwise - but the birds I.D. is unmistakable. Just up to the right of the picture is the "fine" cullender & a little more left & up is the other "thick" cullender - in between, this cracking skulking bird.
OH - By the way it has a completely dark bill but there is white at the front & sides, so I am calling this as an adult Male!

You just never know what may turn up?

Friday, 19 October 2012

Work Party Tomorrow

On Saturday the 20th of October there is an on site meeting at Cromwell Bottom. We will assess the site for the bridge and also start the assembly. Meet at 9:30 in the car park all welcome. Bring food & drink

Next Indoor Meeting

The next group indoor meeting will be Wednesday 21st of November at the Halifax Fire Station  community room at 7 to 7:15pm start. The November work party will be on the 10th  meeting in the fishermans car park at 9 to 9:30am. Enjoy refreshments and a bit of banter....

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Common buzzard being chased Over Cromwell bottom today.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

 Monday i was there for 3 hours not much about,
got some nice shots of a Redpoll and Long Tailed Tit.


Monday, 15 October 2012


There is a meeting tomorrow night in the Community room at the Halifax Fire Station at 7---7:15 start all are welcome and our chef will be doing wonders with a kettle some water and a tea bag or coffee + there are biscuits  as well ,we spare no expense when it comes to our members , hope to see you all there . yours Graham