Wednesday 21 January 2015

As promised this months Nature article in the Echo

A happy new year to all our members readers and followers
The cold spell we have had has intensified the feeding at the feeding station
and has given photographers   some great winter shots with the snow and frost
but it has made working on the reserve quite difficult.
Seven hardy individuals met on Saturday 13th of December
to complete the planting of the hedgerow we began to plant up in
December 2013. (Other members were completing the first aid course
they had been attending) A big thanks to Allan, David, Ben, Dominic,
Joe, Jane, Alan and Robin. They planted a total of one hundred and fifty
trees which consisted of, Hazel, Blackthorn and Hawthorn and had been
donated by the Woodland Trust. It was a cold and frosty day so thank
you for the hard and productive work
The year ended with the bird count at the Reserve standing at 86
species 4 more than last year, lets hope for 90 species in 2015.
Highlights of the year being Green Sandpiper, Pintail Duck, Lesser-
spotted Woodpecker, Osprey, Peregrine Falcon, Mandarin Duck and
the elusive Water Rail. Around Calderdale it was a bumper year for
rare species with sightings of an Eider Duck, Hoopoe, Montague's
Harrier, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Wryneck, Woodlark, Richard’s
Pipit, 2 Great Northern Divers, Rough-legged Buzzard and Icelandic
Gull. A total of 167 species recorded, this is a record year for the
keen out in all weather group from the Calderdale Birds, This is
another good web site worth looking at. Four of our group set off at 6
am on the 2nd of January to North Cave nature reserve. With high
winds blowing we thought it may be a wasted trip but at least we
could clear out the Christmas cobwebs but how wrong can you be.
Their were a large variety of Ducks on the lakes, two Little Egrets
and a flock of around eight hundred geese flew in and landed on the
lake. After three hours it was time for coffee and then off to Blacktoft
Sands in search of Marsh Harriers and we were not disappointed
Marsh Harriers flying all over reserve three and four at a time, what a
spectacle but this was not the highlight, suddenly a call of Hen
Harrier came from fellow watchers, what a magnificent bird and
extremely rare, then it was gone. It could not get better than this or
could it? what's that on the tree over the other side all scopes and
cameras turn and focus and the call comes it's a Merlin, yet another
of the rarest birds of prey in Britain it just goes to show you shouldn't
let the weather put you off getting out and about.
Things are now moving towards a small visitor centre and toilet facilities
and we hope to have these in place in the next few months after refurbishment
is completed , then we will be able to offer refreshments and comfort breaks
 to all our visitors

Events for 2015 will include Moth and Bat Nights, Pond
Dipping and an Open Day with displays and refreshments, walks
and talks plus other as yet to be arranged events.Keep an eye on the
web site for details.

 Our first event of the new year is Meet the Birds (the feathered
variety) and will be held at Cromwell Bottom on the 10th of January this coming Saturday
Join members of the Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group at the bird
feeding area for a morning watching and learning about the many
visitors to the feeders any time between 10.00 and 12.00.

 Follow the bird signs from the car park opposite the pallet works.
Cromwell Bottom is signed from the main A6025 EllandBrighouse
road, HD6 2RG.

Donations to the Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group welcome.

We intend to expand our events program but if you are a member of
an organisation and want to visit or want a presentation, we will be
happy to arrange things for you.

1 comment:

David Sutcliffe said...

A nice report there Graham, well done. Have you got the date and details of the observer for the Pintail as I dont think we have picked up that record ?