Wednesday 29 February 2012

Common Scoter

There is a drake Common Scoter and mute swan on the ski lake at CB
(Post via Grapevine). It was reported they were on the fishing lake in error.

Tuesday 28 February 2012


The AGM will now be on the 27th of March in the Mulberry Suite Brighouse 7 pm , sorry for any inconvinence caused its been a trying month with having to cancel the Feb meeting and all but we should be back on an even keel now. Bob Wilkinson will give us an update to the North Loop and the meeting will start directally after. yours GWH


Verification required for this redpoll at the feeding station on Sunday,
Photo taken by Barry Nield.

Cromwell Bottom's Queenie

Ray Smith has kindly sent this latest photo in of the female Kingfisher.
 "Queenie" as Ray calls it, now needs a King.

Monday 27 February 2012

Mealy Redpoll

Sighting of a possible Mealy Redpoll on the feeders on Sunday.
Mealy (Carduelis flammeaare  slightly larger and paler that the Lesser or Common Redpoll (Carduelis cabaret).

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Feeding Station

Hi, just a few words about the feeding station I was there yesterday approx.
1 hour, dog walkers (7 in total) let their dogs chase after the birds in the area no leads.
Even saw two over by the bridge that didn`t even bother cleaning up after their dogs.
Also whilst there an elderly gent said to me that the day before he saw a youth with a Pellet gun at the feeding station but was afraid to say anything to him (understandingly so).
Hope some signs can be erected at next possible working day.

Monday 20 February 2012

Creating a golden hour of my own...

Finishing work early enough to catch the last of the light isn't just the preserve of summer.  I went down to the feeding station late on this afternoon to try out an idea I'd had... The light was terrible but I used a flash!  Nothing too bright as I had it on low power together with a warm up gel and a 6 inch soft-box diffuser.  The light it put out wasn't strong enough to frighten the avian population but was strong enough to provide a simulated 'golden hour'.

 GT at the feeding station

 LTT defying gravity

 BT at the feeding station - All fluffed up for a rumble

 Lesser redpoll at the feeding station - note the striped beak

 One poser of a robin

On the way back home I thought I'd take a detour and see if the kingfisher was playing out on the canal.  Sure enough she was on a low branch near Crowther Bridge fishing.  In what could be described as gloom I managed to get the photograph below.  This was taken around 5:00 pm in failing light, I think my diffuser rig works!

Waiting for supper

Until next time.



Sorry to inform everyone but the meeting on Tuesday the 21st of Feb will have to be cancelled for two reasons firstly the venue is not available and second there would not be enough people to post a quorum. Sorry for any inconvenience caused. yours gwh

Hello from me...

I'm a newbie to the Cromwell Bottom Blog and I'm glad to be here having seen the submissions!  I'm very lucky to have Cromwell Bottom on my doorstep as I live just off Lower Edge in Elland and I've been walking the area with my family for a good few years now.  I hadn't realised the blog existed until recently so a quick e-mail to Bruce and hey-presto I'm here.

I won't flood the blog with photographs but I thought I'd take the opportunity to share a few shots from the last week.  My daughter (10 years old going on 45) and I were out kingfisher spotting during half-term  and we also spent a bit of time down by the feeding station. 

Minding his business near the feeders at the car park near Crowther Bridge.

 Watching and waiting on the canal side near Crowther Bridge.

Waiting for Nyger at the feeding station 

There will be more, I'm so local it would be silly not to get more involved in the reserve and the blog.  Please say hello and introduce yourselves, it'd be nice to meet some kindred spirits.


Sunday 19 February 2012

Kingfisher with Newt

Just managed to get this photo of the female Kingfisher this afternoon  with what looks like a newt, what type I don`t know but the orange and yellow markings on newts' undersides are a warning to predators that they may be poisonous to eat. (This one could be a Palmite or Great Crested)
After struggling with it a minute or so it dropped it so don`t know if it wriggled free or the Kingfisher thought this is a and let it go.

Meeting 21st Feb


Bird Feeder Area

Today the feeders were alive with many birds, with great, blue and LT tits, wren, dunnock, redpoll to name a few. It was also alive with visitors watching the activities of the birds. I put some meal worms out and they were quickly taken. Also some of the dog owners did not have their dogs under control and the dogs were running around and barking.
Please remember this is a Local Nature Reserve and dogs must be kept under close control at all times, and in the breeding season - from April 1st on short lead only.

Please be responsible and don't spoil the enjoyment of others.

Friday 17 February 2012

Visit 17.02.12

Its been a while since my last visit to Cromwell Bottom, decided to take a long lunch for a decent visit of the reserve. I've finally got myself a pair of wellies so I can now visit the reserve in its entirety even when its boggy!

On the feeders in the car park were 5 Blue Tits, 3 Great Tits, 2 Robins, 2 Bullfinch (M&F), 1 Long Tailed Tit. Its the first time i've seen bullfinch at this feeding station and LTT.

I headed into the reserve on what was an overcast but mild day and headed over the yellow brick road. In my thoughts were reports of people hearing Green Woodpecker flying over this area, as I walked on something flushed out of the trees, guess what?! A beautiful Green Woodpecker flew out across the open land and into the trees on the edge of the hill that slopes down to the weir. I was afforded lovely views through the bins but not so great for photos. This was a lifer for me so a great start to my visit! Here is a very blurry and awful quality record shot:

I went on after losing sight of the bird and down to the feeding station at spider bridge. 7 Redpoll, 3 Bullfinch (2 male, 1 female), Robin, 5 Blue Tits & 3 more Great Tits.

I carried on heading across the bridge and turned right to visit the lake where some work has been done. The area has really opened up and now affords fantastic views over the open water on the lagoon, fantastic job everyone! Hope the lagoon attracts some decent birds over the course of the year, I saw a wren head into the dense reeds and a couple of blue tits on one of the trees.

I carried on the riverside path and spotted 4 goosander (2 male, 2 female) having an afternoon nap on the opposite bank. 2 teal flew in which the goosander didnt like, all 4 took to the water to shoo them off!

I continued on to spaghnum bog, crossed the reserve and found the many nestboxes put up by volunteers last weekend, again a fantastic job! I stumbled accidentally on the new feeding station which was empty but im glad i've found it now! I returned to spider bridge, 1 cormorant on ski lake + the usual numerous gulls. I heard a strange call as I crossed the bridge and went in search of the bird, it was of course a song thrush, it seems so long since i've heard one I had forgotten its wonderful song, didnt manage a photo but enjoyed the song while it lasted!

Another wonderful visit to Cromwell Bottom, it just keeps getting better!


Thursday 16 February 2012

RE.Recent work on west lagoon

Hi all ,Is the plan to open up this area to the General public by making a path around this side of the lagoon..??If so , surley all the cut down trees and branches etc should be on the water side stopping dogs etc attacking water birds and nesting coots,Moorhens and reed warblers.? I thibk its a great job but I would not open it up any more personally.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Kingfisher Video - Chris Burns

A few hours waiting for the kingfisher at Cromwell Bottom, Brighouse, Elland, paid off as it posed for a while in-between fishing. 
Here is 5 minutes of movie for kingfisher fans, my favourite bird.
Just couldn`t quite catch her diving in but caught her with the goods.
Until next time, hasta la vista.
My other Movie link is to the Snow Buntings at Soil Hill, Ogden, Queensbury.

Chris Burns (Street Burner)

Sunday 12 February 2012

Notice of AGM 27th March 2012

There are 8 positions for election, Chair / Vice Chair / Secretary / Treasurer /and 4 Trustees for a period of 12 months, anyone wishing to apply for any of the above positions could you please inform me beforehand or you can bring your nomination to the meeting. Contact e-mail ( ). Hope to see you all there ,ALL WELCOME. yours GWH

Saturday 11 February 2012

Volunteer Day

Many thanks to those who braved the weather today,we had a new face in Chris Burns welcome Chris and hope to see you again, we have placed 12 bird box's around the reserve so far and will be monitoring those for signs of life in the near future, also we cleared some more of the encroaching trees on the reed bed lagoon. People are starting to take notice now that we are doing things to the site we had one person today asking if he could pick up the litter and the new feeder area is a very popular attraction. This area will be dedicated to Colin Duke who I'm sure most of you knew and was devoted to wildlife and its conservation and a plaque will be erected in his memory later on this year and is well deserved. Bruce has a few pic's of today's festivity's which i'm sure he will be putting on the blog in due course. Yours GWH

Link to more pictures.

Friday 10 February 2012

Volunteer Day

Just a reminder that there will be tree and bush planting
and nest box erecting at Cromwell Bottom tomorrow
11th Feb 2012.
Meet at the Fishermans carpark at 9:30 All Welcome

Thursday 9 February 2012

Soil Hill Snow Bunting - Video

Up at Soil hill this morning in the fine drizzle searching for the Snow Buntings, found them then they obliged staying in one spot for a video, they had a good cleaning session in the drizzle, enjoy 3 minutes.

Chris Burns

Recent work on the West Lagoon

This picture reflects the recent work that has been carried out on the West Lagoon.

Picture taken 8th February 2012.
Many thanks to Nigel Kerwin for the post. 

Final Statement - Budget Proposals, Countryside Services

Hi all
Please find below a link to above Document: This is the final statement now sent to the Council and other recipients.
Very many thanks to those who attended meetings and/or signed the Draft Document. Special thanks to
Anthony Rae for compiling the Statement.

Document Link

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Moths of Cromwell Bottom

Silky Wainscot
Southern wainscot

These two above and two below are to be found in and around the reed beds at Cromwell Bottom and are very scarce else where in Calderdale.Im hoping to do a couple of moth nights this year.Will keep you posted

Cromwell Bottom Specialities

Angle Striped sallow
The Cresent


Excellent series of images from Dave,Mick and Kath and Andrew.Well done all of you

Rescheduled Priority Species Workshop - 22nd February

Hello all,

The rescheduled Priority Species Workshop will be held on Wednesday 22nd February at 7.15 in the Mytholmroyd Countryside Services Office (above the library). The meeting will include an update on Calderdale's Biodiversity Action Plan and small discussion groups for different species.

It will be a opportunity to discuss actions for priority species in Calderdale for the coming year with Hugh Firman and other interested parties. If you would like to come along and contribute to the meeting please email Hugh to express your interest:

Anybody interested in helping conserve Calderdale's wildlife is welcome to attend.
We look forward to seeing you there!


Kingfisher feeding

Fantastic shots of a feeding kingfisher at

Monday 6 February 2012

Tree sparrows

Allan Wolfenden reports that tree sparrow has been seen on the first feeder at Cromwell Bottom.
We will be erecting bird boxes there this Saturday. Volunteers very welcome.

Sunday 5 February 2012

Feeder Station

Some of Andy Huyton's pictures at the feeder station

Saturday 4 February 2012

Feeder Stations

There are now three feeder stations on site.
Many thanks to all those Group Members who organised these
and to others who help keep them topped up.

Friday 3 February 2012

Mick and Kath Sharpe have submitted this photo of a female kingfisher at Cromwell Bottom.

Feeder Station

We have received reports of Hawfinch at the feeder station at C.B.
Keep your eyes and ears peeled and camera at the ready!
From Andy Huyton - via the "Grapevine".