Monday 30 July 2012


Some pictures of CB Saturday morning. There were 8 Goosanders on the river.

Broad Leaved Helleborine in flower.

Helleborine flower.

Creeping Thistle.

This fly was obliging but not yet identified.

There is a large area along the canal. The air was heavy with its scent.

A large patch of Arrowhead in the canal near Cromwell Lock.

Thursday 26 July 2012

Moth Night #2 - 21st July 2012

 A belated post of some of the group. There were 13 of us, some staying until the early hours. A successful evening (see "moths" post below)

Meeting Dates

The next working party will be on the 11th of August 9-9.30am meet at the car park and the next indoor meeting will be on the 15th  August at the Halifax Fire Station  at 7-7.30pm. yours Graham

Sunday 22 July 2012

Sat Night Moth Night

Top pic by Charlie Streets of the micro moth Batia lunaris and below the Brown line Bright Eye by Andy Cockroft
Many thanks to all who attended its was a good turn out.. The evening started A bit slow but by 12ish there were all most too many moths to catch,The highlights were above Brown line Brown eye which was the first local record since 1966,Silky wainscot,Southern wainscot,Dingy Shears (only the second local record) and in totall we identified 62 species(with still a few to sort out)a couple of Hawkmoths showed late on for the camera men to get a few pics.We are planning another night on the 18th August when we will be running 3 traps,which should make it a lot more interesting for the spectators.Hope to see you all there ..many thanks Andy,Bri ,Peter and Charlie(thanks to Bruce for all the e mails etc)

Saturday 21 July 2012

Cromwell Bottom Today

Common Spotted Orchid

Dog Rose


Mike Sykes took advantage of a nice summers day and took these photos.

Thanks Mike

Thursday 19 July 2012

Biological Records

CB Biological Records & Datasets:
Information from Colin on the Members Pages.

Monday 16 July 2012

Moth Night - Confirmed. Saturday 21st July

Moth Night is on for this Saturday 21st July 21:30hrs

Hi all

From Andy, the moth night at Cromwell Bottom is confirmed for this Saturday 21st of July. Meet in the main car park at Cromwell Bottom at 21:30hrs. We will be going to the lagoon area. At last we have a fine weather forecast.

The Crescent  (Andy. C)

Oak Beauty (Andy. C)

Sunday 15 July 2012

Meeting Reminder

Just a reminder that the monthly meeting is on Tuesday night at the Halifax Fire Station community room at 7pm-7.30pm , not been before ,don't worry we are very friendly and would love to hear your thoughts or ideas for the future or just come and have a chat. yours Graham.

Saturday 14 July 2012

This Morning at C.B.

Common Spotted orchid

Mike Sykes has sent these pictures today.

Common Spotted Orchid, Broad Leaved Heloborine, Fishing in the Calder, Rust fungi on grass and a Burnet moth. 

Is the last picture a Narrow Bordered 5 Spot or a 6 Spot Burnet?    I think its a five spot.

Broad Leaved Heloborine

Fishing in the Calder

Rust fungus on grass

Narrow Bordered 5 spot Burnet moth

Friday 13 July 2012

To All

Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group   NEWS LETTER  No. 1

I would like to thank everybody for their efforts, since we started the group in September 2011, we have come quite a way in such a short time. In excess of 40 bird boxes have been made and erected around the site, and our thanks go to Bruce and Eric who made and donated them. Work has also been carried out on the sphagnum bog area, as well as the reed bed lagoon.

In January we received some good advice from our friends in the RSPB.
They advised us to clear both of these areas of trees, in a strategy to manage the water levels. These areas have a tendency to drain the water in the summer through evaporation. In that vain we will be cutting the reed in October, as the start of a 7 year cycle to help bring this area to its full potential and also finish cutting the trees on the perimeter and in the centre of the reeds. This hopefully in due time will return the species what was once common to the area.

With the re-capping of the North Loop, a new amphibian pond has been dug, this was located outside the area of capping, We also did a newt count on the wheel wash area one very wet Saturday night myself Bruce and Steve counted 221 including smooth newts which now leaves a dilemma as to what we do with that area as it was due to be removed, (watch this space).
 The first moth survey has begun also in the n/loop, this was lead by Andy C. The second had to be cancelled due to exceedingly bad weather but hopefully this will be replaced with another and I hope to join you later in the year on that. Thanks go to Hugh, Robin and Bob Wilkinson for allowing us access to that area.

 One thing that has had the most impact on the site, is of course the bird feeder area. We have Allan to thank for getting it all started, and this area will in fact be dedicated to a lost friend of Calderdale wildlife and its conservation, Mr Colin Duke. A memorial stone has been erected in the feeder area in his honour and will be dedicated later in the year. There will also be a bench seat going in on the lower prepared area, which has been donated by a friend of the Cromwell Group.

Thanks go to Marshalls PLC and in particular Niel Davidson and Dave Smith for supplying and delivery of the stone and also to the kind donations from yourselves and other groups. 

 There is more work to do on Colins bird diner, with a fence and screen to be put up but this will be dependant on the weather / finances but will go ahead this year.

The March working party did a fine job of planting in excess of 170 trees, comprising 7 different species. This is part of 900 trees, that needed to be planted on the reserve as a consequence of removing scrub on North Loop, all the other trees were planted by May with the much appreciated help of the Calderdale Volunteer Group.
New direction signs have gone up in various places and the road signs are now on order. There will be one on either side of the road 300yds before Cromwell House and one on the road side by the entrance.

On the Down side, dogs and their control have become a problem, as have cyclists. We have now put up some signs for cyclists in the hope of controlling them. I believe the council has placed a dog control order on Cromwell but will be very difficult to police.
The Web site is doing very well, with over 20000 hits in only 10 months.  This is mainly due to the feeder area and also Queenie who must have been the most photographed Kingfisher in England and also the Redpolls which were very popular. Viewings have come from all over the world, and interest is high as is the interest from local birdwatchers.

I have to give a big vote of thanks to the dedicated volunteers of the Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group who have given their time and effort to get things done on the reserve.

The other 3 Groups involved also deserve their share of praise, Calderdale Bird Watchers, The Halifax Scientific Society and the Calderdale Volunteer group without whose help we wouldn't be as far on as we are. They have kindly donated both money, time or both to the Cromwell Group. I hope our collaboration will continue for years to come, and I send my thanks to all on behalf of the group.  

Membership has been disappointing, we set a low price of £5  in the hope of boosting numbers. However this has not had the desired effect and we will have to rethink our strategy, if in reading this you feel a desire to join please get in touch on   
Two membership fees will feed the birds this winter for a week and any donations will be gratefully accepted.

The wish list is long! we will have our hands full in fulfilling them all, but it is possible, these things can be done. Last but by no means least, thanks to all of you, without whose effort none of this would have happened. Thank you all very much.

 Yours G W Haigh  

Thursday 12 July 2012

Big Butterfly Count

Common Blue (Jim Asher)
There is a Big Butterfly Count running from the 14th of July until the 5th of August. For more information and to download a printable I.D. chart visit - Big Butterfly Count

The 3 B's - Buzzard, Butterfly & Blackcap!

Called in yesterday lunchtime for an hour and noticed the new signs, good job guys! Walked along the river to the reserve, the river is still pretty high reaching a level of nearly 1m. It was a very pleasant day, blue skies and around 15c.

As I crossed the river I could hear 3 blackcaps singing away but could I find them... no! The tree cover is so dense now its getting really difficult to find them, something i've found at a few sites recently. A wren was also heard. I walked up to the wier hoping for a gropper in the scrub but no luck.

I began heading back towards the bridge when I heard the 'mewing' call of a buzzard. Sure enough one was hanging in the air above the trees at the top of the valley on the opposite side of tag cut. I watched as it soared with both legs draped below in the prey capture position which looked really odd, since there was no prey around! I reached for the camera but 2 carrion crows soon mobbed it and it flew off over the other side of the reserve North East towards Cromwell Wood. This is the first buzzard i've seen at CB along with other birds of prey seen Kestrel & Sparrowhawk, now for a Red Kite please!

I walked over the hill (yellow brick road) in the hope of re-finding the buzzard but it was long gone. Along my climb I came across numerous ringlet butterflies.

Descending the hill I saw what looked like a moth with a short fat black body with red wings, any ideas?
The feeding area was completely flooded and thus was devoid of birds. I noticed the memorial stone and paused for a break! Well done to all those that got the stone sorted and the bases built, you've done a fantastic job and im sure Colin would be proud.

I headed back through the trees to the left side of the feeders and looped back around to the bridge, again there was little about but I had some luck on returning to the bridge, a male blackcap flew from cover and I was afforded fantastic views, just before it dashed for cover as I brought my hand to my camera!

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Local Nature Partnership for the South Pennines

Dear Colleague

Please find attached information about the second workshop organised as part of the development of a potential Local Nature Partnership for the South Pennines. The workshop, which is free to attend,  will be held on Wednesday 18th July  2012, 1:00pm – 4:00pm  [More info] Look at the flyer here

Sunday 8 July 2012

Just come back from camping and thought I`d have a hour at CB this morning and saw this.
Is it a Bird , is it a Hide NO its a bird (woman) inside a tent! camping on the footpath by cromwell bridge. Just had to post this.
Fogot to mention a roe deer in the trees L/H/S between the canal & the calder heading towards the lagoon just before the bridge over to the feeding station.

Newt Survey

Smooth Newt

Three of us, Graham, Steve and myself met on a drizzly Saturday evening to count newts on the reserve.
We counted 221 Palmate including one male Smooth newt.

A Summers Morning on Site

Working Party   Thanks to the few who came out on Saturday to do some vegetation clearance , we were lucky with the weather yet again .  yours Graham

Five of us met to clear some of the overhanging vegetation in the morning.There was Emily, Graham, Mike, David and me. Some parts of the paths were under water. The bund between the lagoons was impassable and the river was very high.

A tree that potentially would cause problems was removed from "Spider Bridge" As Steve mentions in the previous post (below) there were plenty butterflies about, Ringlets and Meadow Browns plus it stayed dry for us!

Saturday 7 July 2012

Saturday Weather Window

A brief respite in the weather had me heading for Tag Loop to film Ringlet Butterflies. Difficult as they don't stay still for long, but success in the end. Plenty of Meadow Browns, Small Skippers, Small Heaths and 5 Spot Burnetts kicking about.
Also managed to film my next target species, Large Red Damselfly by the ponds just before the rain stopped play. Banded Demoiselles and Blue-tailed Damsels around, plus a Hawker species that frustratingly refused to land.
Plenty of songbirds singing throughout the reserve. Not sure how the weather has affected their breeding successes but I guess many will have failed and re-laid to compensate for their losses. Wonder if we'll be seeing lots of late fledglings this year as a result???

Biting Stonecrop

Lots of Common Spotted Orchids in flower and just outside the reserve, some Biting Stonecrop is flowering on a roadside wall. The picture was taken on my mobile.

Friday 6 July 2012

Working Party tomorrow

Hi all just a quick one to say we will try and do some clearing and prepare  some willow for the toggers screen. Please come prepared for the weather and bring food and a warm (preferably) but any drink if you are staying any length of time, hope to see you tomorrow at 9-30 in the fisherman's car park. yours Graham

Monday 2 July 2012

Save our Roadside Verges - A Plantlife Campaign

Our Roadside verges are being cut far too early and too often by 75% of Councils in the UK. Please watch this video and sign the petition link.

Road verges are the life-giving arteries of the countryside, linking habitats and acting as vital corridors for wildlife to thrive on. They also represent a remnant of our native grassland which has suffered catastrophic losses over the last century. Link to sign this petition and help save our verges.

Sunday 1st July

We had a walk around the reserve and saw many orchids. As Allan says the Early Purple is now past its best. We also saw a Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet moth and I am pretty sure is the larvae of the Harlequin Ladybird. If anyone can confirm this or otherwise then please do. Thanks for the I.D. Charlie

Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet Zygaena lonicerae
  Harlequin ladybird, larvae   Harmonia axyridis