Sunday 23 December 2012

Waxwings in Brighouse

Waxwings still in Brighouse today,
for the ones that didn`t get the vibes!
Try the far end of Station Rd, but be quick
they are going thru berries as though its the last supper.
I presume its the same location Graham saw them on Wed.
a link to a short video of them HERE

A quick look back at the last year

In January we had the visit from the RSPB to advise us on the reed bed lagoon, our first volunteer day work party, we started to plant 900 trees, our 1st north loop update, and Allan put out the start of the bird feeders.
February  There was a common scoter on the ski lake, 1st redpoll on the feeders, Queenie on the canal ( a kingfisher that displayed for about 6 weeks ) put up the start of our bird box's, continued with planting, cut some tree's on the lagoon with the help of Calderdale volunteers.
March  early Butterflies were out (Peacock )  Sand martins and Swallows back, we had our first AGM,  we hit 10,000 visits on the blog Bluebells and frogspawn were early, we planted more trees and cleared the Wooded arch walk.
April  Saw the membership open (we are now at 51 members), we had our first piece in the local newspaper, finished planting the trees, we changed the venue for the meetings to the Halifax Fire Station on cost grounds. The solstice walk took place and the goosander had 11 young.
May  1st Dragonfly's /Common Sandpiper/Whitethroat and Warblers, we also had a Water shrew on the Lagoon margins and we prepared  the areas for the memorial stone and bench seat that was donated to us by Roy .
June The 1st moth night we had planned had to be cancelled due to bad weather, Marshall's donated and placed a stone on the prepared area on the wettest day of the year ( Hebden flooded that day ) and we started to expand the feeders .
July The rerun of the moth night was a great success 13 turned out for a great evening, signs were put on the entrances and we started to prepare the areas for the lagoon bridge
August August was a quiet month however we started to build the screen on the feeders and the steps down to them.
September We expanded the screen and put in seating, we had an open day at the Brighouse library, the little grebes had 4 young a late brood and the bench seat was fitted
October We redid the constitution on advise, prepared the bridge for the lagoon, had a Kingfisher at the feeding station 1st Redpoll of this season on the 10th, Not all good though we had a camo netting stolen and the hay meadows were cut a little too late this year, and put up the information board
November  The bridge between the lagoons was completed, we had our 2nd open day at Kershaws Garden Centre with Santa, and the Waxwings were in Brighouse .
December  The grass was cut on the weir bank and removed, Road signs were finally erected, The Bailey Bridge sides were filled in and the gate opened 12 months ahead of our initial prediction .

I would like to thank everybody for there efforts and support this year and look forward to Next Year
Have a great Christmas and new year and to the ones that stole the camo netting and bird seed and fat balls  may you get the Christmas you deserve. Yours Graham

Saturday 22 December 2012

Cromwell under water

Please if you are going onto the reserve wear wellington boots as most of the paths are under water and the water level is almost at the screen on the feeders , PLEASE TAKE CARE SOME OF THE PATHS SURFACE ARE BEING WASHED AWAY. yours Graham

Wednesday 19 December 2012


Had a great couple of hours with Mike this afternoon around Daisy Rd in Brighouse watching  a flock of around 50 Waxwings and a Mistle Thrush that saw the lot off from its tree full of berries  it wasn't for sharing any of them very comical to watch . yours Graham

There at it again!

No one else has posted this yet - So I will:

Apparantly on Sunday evening or on Mon during the day some scummy persons had it away with all the tubs of Bird food we leave for puting out.
Now there were 4 large Round tubs & 1 large Square one & were not so easy to remove from site without being noticed.
As there are quite a few people read this blog - Did anybody see these tubs wandering off in somebodies hands, they dont fit under your coat so would be easily noticed.
If you saw anything we would appreciate the information, by word of mouth in person or any other method you would like to use & Annonymously If you wish.

Sorry We have to ask this sort of Question - But we are keen to try & find out who is vandalising & stealing from our well enjoyed site.

Many Thanks.

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Fungi at Newt Corner, Cromwell Bottom

Here are a couple of fungi seen at Newt Corner, Cromwell Bottom on Saturday 15th Dec 2012

This Bracket was smooth underneath.

Possibly Artist's Bracket, Ganoderma applanatum. 

Jelly Ear

Auricularia auricula-judae ?

The palest I have ever seen

(can you see the cat)?

Monday 17 December 2012


Same location as female last winter

Work Party - December 15th 2012

Five of us, Graham, Mike, David, Allan and me, met to rake and roll up the last of the cut grass from Tag Loop. 

More Pictures

Sunday 16 December 2012

Few From Today!

It was another of those quiet days - Redpolls were out & about rather than hitting the feeders, but Bullfinches were much in abundance everywhere & all the other usual suspects. Kingfisher was seen up on the canal, Green Pecker at the back of the stations Pylon & for the first time ever I visited & saw no Sprawk's.

 Sometimes it pays to look at the common as muck species that little bit closer:

Here's a "normal" Standard Blue Tit:
Then there was this poor little Fella:

 I've seen this abnormality in Tits a few times now - In all cases the birds look pretty healthy & appear to be able to feed OK! This one might even have an advantage getting peanuts out of the mesh feeders?

One of the few Redpolls around:
& of course - there has to be piccies of these:

Interesting how much difference in colour there was to the chest of the Male dependant upon it's orientation to the sun!

Nothing to do with Cromwell, but in the afternoon I shot off to Beck Lane allotments in Bingley & there was absolutely loads of the Birdies below:

Late afternoon is not the best if you visit them chomping on the Apples there - the sun is in your face & you wont get good views - but nice silhouette shots!
60+ all over the place & the apples should last another week if your interested?
But I'd recommend a 9.00 to 10.00 am visit for best light oppertunities.
Oh - Don't forget all - We have a meeting, in the Halifax Fire station on Tues Usually around 7.15 to 7.30pm & I think all would be welcome - Especially our new members.
 From what I gather the Business part will be short n' sweet & then we can spend plenty of time munching biccies & Pies & having a good chat about Cromwell etc.
I think we would appreciate & welcome any new faces, If you can make it down, see you there.

Social Meeting this Tuesday

Just to remind everyone that the meeting is on TUESDAY   not Wednesday this will be a light meeting we have a few things to do but once out of the way we will have a brew and mince pies / /buns and a chinwag , if you have not been before come and meet the members we are a friendly lot and would love to see you. yours Graham

May we remind everyone that you must enter the car park by the bottom entrance only (the one nearest the traffic lights). If you cannot park in the front parking area then you will need to park a few yards away in Spring Edge or Free School Lane. We are not allowed to park at the rear.
I was down at the dam in Cleckheaton today when I looked over the bridge side to see this Heron toodle on behind people on the footpath, it was far away hence the bad cropped photo I thought it looked funny watching it.
But when I got back home and zoomed in the photo I realised it had this enormous fish in its mouth from far away it looked like its long beak. Thats going to last it a while if the Gulls don`t take it from it.

Friday 14 December 2012

Seasons Greetings To All

I would like to thank everyone for their support this year be it physical, moral, financial or just words of encouragement, we have had a very good year and achieved a lot, but we have to keep the momentum going . Plans for next year are in the pipeline if only half of them come through you will see a big change to the site and your continued support is vital to achieve these aims.Yours Graham

Thursday 13 December 2012

Got loads last year in the car park but
not seen any near the feeders Andy,
But I bet its not long before they are seen at them!

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Mandarin Duck

Has anybody seen a mandarin Duck recently at Cromwell Bottom or Brighouse Canal.?? also do Nuthatch ever get on the feeding station.???

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Halifax Scientific Society Xmas Social

Among the usual attractions of artifacts and books etc. from our library to look at, there will be a couple of really interesting dead birds on display, found recently in Calderdale :-

The Common Scoter found by Andy Cockroft at Baitings reservoir. (It's been in a freezer.)
And the Great Grey Shrike that was picked up near a window in Southowrham with its prey, a headless Blue Tit.

The Xmas Social  consists of conversation over tea/coffee and cakes. Bring cakes etc to share. Drinks provided.

Downstairs at the Central Library, Halifax 7.15 to 9.00. (No formal Business tonight.)
All welcome.

Next Meeting is on TUESDAY 18th December

Just to remind everyone that the meeting is on TUESDAY   not Wednesday this will be a light meeting we have a few things to do but once out of the way we will have a brew and mince pies / /buns and a chinwag , if you have not been before come and meet the members we are a friendly lot and would love to see you. yours Graham

Bailey Bridge

The Bailey Bridge is now complete and is open to all ,  this should make a big difference as wheelchairs can now access the other half of the reserve without going back the way they came just to get to the other side.

Monday 10 December 2012

A few from weekend!

We have had a lot of posts of the great stuff & work thats been happening at the reserve, thought we might have a few piccy's of some of the residents.

A couple of our Star visitors:

This is our regular "Brave" Greater Pecker!

& this is a Second, slightly shyer one - which visits at the same time as the other occasionally:

A Chaffinch with a big appetite:

Not very frequent but Welcome:
Common as Muck!

& Not everyones Favorite, but great Squirrel Guards:

Hope you like them + get down there on a nice crisp sunny day, lots of other stuff to see around the reserve.

Sunday 9 December 2012

Nest Box Survey 2012

The Complete (well almost) results of the nest box survey shows a 65.5% occupancy of boxes. Full details on the members site.

Work Party December 8th 2012

Six of us, Robin, Graham, Allan, Mike, David and me met to cut the long grass on the south facing slope on meadow 1. This work is essential to maintain the wild flowers and breeding/feeding area for various insects.

Meanwhile Allan and David did reed clearing on the edge of the lagoon.

The group assembles in the car park.

The grass is dense and we are grateful for the grass cutter.

               Progress is made.


The grass is raked down the slope. 

We take a well earned lunch break.

The grass is taken by wheelbarrow to a nearby area.

The slope as it now looks. We now look forward to spring and the return of flowers.

Friday 7 December 2012

Bailey Bridge fence

 The Bailey Bridge fencing is almost complete.

When this is done the obstacle for wheelchairs and those who cannot easily climb the barrier will be gone.

 The full footpath network will be available for pedestrians to enjoy. There will be a printable map on-line to download when work is completed, hopefully in the next week or so. The brown road direction signs have been installed - two on the road approaching the entrance and one at the entrance.

Also a reminder that there is a Work Party organised for tomorrow, Saturday. Meet in the car park at 9:30

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Work party this Saturday

Just a quick reminder there is a working  party this Saturday meet in the fishermans car park at
9-30 am , part of the work is grass cutting and removal on the south facing bank near the weir this work is part of the preservation of our Blue butterfly as the grass is starting to choke all the wild flowers   . yours Graham

Tuesday 4 December 2012

Date for the AGM

The date for the AGM will be on Wednesday the 27th of March 2013 in the Mulberry Suite Brighouse, all welcome. I will put the agenda on the blog nearer the time. yours Graham