Sunday 26 May 2013

Summers Coming

Due a to lack of my usual subjects having jiggered off or almost impossible to get near, I've been enjoying walks round the reserve in the afternoon sunshine of late.
Bird wise we have many nice migrants on site, Willow Warblers, Chiff Chaffs, Blackcaps, Whitethroats. Some of us have seen Wood Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat & this weekend Spotted Flycatcher has been seen, with the new Tree Sparrow Farm at risk of becoming a Blue Tit Farm!

So like most people with cameras - I've been looking at the Flowers & Insects instead.
Here's some flowering plants seen this weekend - I'm no plant expert so anybody who knows what they are (if I am wrong) Please tell! I'll edit the names in later. Thanks Colin - Names now attached!

 Plant 1 - Pink Purslane
 Plant 2 - Forget Me Not with Melanostoma Scalare Hover Fly
 Plant 3 - Forget Me Not
 Plant 4 - Red Campion
 Plant 5 - Flowering Nettle
 Plant 6 - Wild Garlic
 Plant 7 - Bush Vetch

 Plant 8 - Brassicas
 Plant 9 - Buttercup
 Plant 10 - Bluebell
 Plant 11 - Broom
 Plant 12 - Apple Blossom
 Plant 13 - Sphagnum Moss?
 Plant 13 - Sphagnum Moss?
 Plant 14 - Sphagnum Moss?
Plant 14 - Sphagnum Moss?

Both 13 & 14 were up in the Sphagnum Bog area but clearly 2 different types of flower/head. No.14 has interesting hairs & Fungus? on it. I belive these are both Polytrichum Strictum

Managed to catch one of these stationary :
 Orange Tip

Click Beetle - Athous Sp.
I found four of them on this nettle plant.

 I Do know what this is - A Goosander!
He's on guard! His lady friend is hiding out nearby.

Monday 20 May 2013

Saturdays Visit by the Y.N.U.

Just a quick thank you to all involved with Saturdays visit on not a very pleasant day weather wise,  A special thanks to the Y.N.U. personnel for taking the time to show us their finds and we look forward to their report on the findings and the return visit in July. Yours Graham Haigh

Some of the pictures from Saturday. Also see Charlie's picture of a female Early Thorn moth in previous post

Saturday 18 May 2013

YNU trip today.

The only real interest on the moth front today was this female Early Thorn resting openly on a Hogweed plant at Tag meadow in the steady rain. Possibly very recently emerged, I can't think why else it would be out on such a mucky day!

A few from the last couple of weeks

The Redpolls seem to have left now for the summer so i have a few Pictures that were taken over the last 2 weeks as well as a mixture of life on the reserve.

Blue Tit

Overwintered and looking worse for wear Peacock



Small Toitioseshell

Reed Bunting on the lagoon


Canada Goslings

First Specled wood of the year

Heron enjoying the evening sun




amazing what you find in trees
Mum and the kids
Hope You Enjoy yours Graham

Friday 17 May 2013

Bat Night

Many thanks to all of you who came to the Bat event last night, the weather gods looked favourably on us and the number of people was 32 an excellent turn out, 2 species were seen the Noctule and Pipistrelle and we possably had  Daubentons (but that was not confirmed)  at one stage they were catching insects directlly over our heads. A great night was had by all, a special thanks to
 Batman (Hugh)  & Robin  for putting in the time and effort to make it entertaining as well. Spiderman (Bruce) also showed us some lovely Bridge spiders on our way back and we ended the night with  Newt spotting in the wheel wash. yours Graham

Thursday 16 May 2013

YNU Visit Saturday the 18th - Reminder

The Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group will be hosting the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union at our Nature Reserve on Saturday the 18th of May 2013. This a fantastic opportunity to meet established experts in many fields of Natural History.  Meet in the car park at 10:00 am for a 10:30 start.

All are welcome to this event.

Wednesday 15 May 2013

a bit wet and windy today at cromwell but the birds were still singing

                                             Male bullfinch
                                             Rain soaked buttercup
                                          The rain brought the slugs out

Monday 13 May 2013

Dr John Mather - further to Bruce's post

Bird Pathology - "The Bird on the Bench"

There will be a talk at Halifax Scientific Society tomorrow at 7.15. All are welcome.

Dr John Mather of the YNU (Yorkshire Naturalists Union) is visiting from Knaresborough to give a talk with slides he calls "The Bird on the Bench". He's an enertaining speaker; I heard him at the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) conference last autumn in Leeds.

John has been a long term ringer, specialising in Starlings, and studying their ectoparasites.

He also wrote "The Birds of Yorkshire", and preserves birds as drawer specimens for plumage studies.
I passed on to him the male Common Scoter that Andy Cockroft found which he has offered to bring back in its preserved form, as well as a Waxwing.

Sunday 12 May 2013

Redwings, Bank Voles and Reedbeds.

I spent Saturday morning wandering around the reserve with my sound kit in an attempt to record some reed-bed ambience and warbler song. Not the best morning to do this as it was quite breezy and the wind in the trees prevented getting any clean recordings. More pervasive, however, was the noise pollution coming up the valley from Elland, from passing trains, overhead aircraft and nearby roads. My biggest enemy, surprisingly, turned out to be a Song Thrush, whose continuous song threatened to drown out every other bird on the reserve. Chaffinch, Dunnocks, Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Blackcaps, Garden Warblers and Reed Warblers were all singing around the lagoons and Whitethroats were also present but not singing. Coot are nesting in the reed beds and Moorhens in the cut, but no sign of any Reed Buntings or Sedge Warblers. The chattering sound of Heron chicks can be heard from the car park and the sight of a Redwing came as a surprise on entering the reserve.
On a return visit in the afternoon I managed to film a couple of Bank Voles under the car park feeders which were being visited by a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a pair of Bullfinches and a pair of Blackcaps. A few Swifts and Swallows were flying overhead, an occasional Jay at the feeders, Robins courtship feeding and the usual proliferation of Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tits, Dunnocks, Goldfinches and Greenfinch

Saturday 11 May 2013

Dr. John Mather

A reminder that on Tues May 14th Dr. John Mather will give a talk entitled "The Bird on the Bench." at the Halifax Scientific Society at 7:15 in the Hx Central Library. All welcome.

Work Party May 11th

Eight of us met to finish erecting the nest boxes. They were: Robin, Richard, Jeff, Shelagh, Mike, Allan, David and Bruce.

The weather was fairly kind to us - just a couple of showers.

 Robin gave us the mandatory safety talk.

Posts were placed every 6 foot.


The last bird boxes were erected.

Most of the fencing is to protect some of the plants found nearby

The finished fences