Friday 27 February 2015

For all the photographers out there the RSPB are having a calendar competition.

Quiet Today

                      Was very quiet today down at CBNR i think there was
                      more people than birds, a fair few photographers and visitors
                      but the wildlife was playing shy.

                     2 Jay
                     2 Robin
                     4 Dunnock
                     3 LTT
                     4 Blackbird
                     regular tit family but not as many as usual
                     but the Bullfinch were there in good numbers,
                     1 Heron preparing nest
                     1 Kestrel
                      And Allan the future chairman
                      4 Mallard on the weir
                      Nothing on the river
                       1 Juv Mute Swan, 4 Canada Geese on canal,
                       2 Nuthatch's by pond and Fox up by weir
                       spotted by other people.

                                         Allan looking serious

Nice surprise this morning, looked up from trying to get a picture of a Teal and noticed I was being watched.

Thursday 26 February 2015

Interesting info.

Just goes to show really - If we leave our natural Predators alone, i.e. not persecuting them for our own reasons (not getting into that argument) nature will sort out the invasive species by itself.

It's becoming apparent that as an invasive species the Grey Squirrel is not equipped to dodge some of our "natural" Predator mealtimes! Where as the Red has evolved alongside these & is probably why it's so much smaller, quicker & lighter - In order to avoid "dinnertime".

Just thought most of us would find this interesting reading.

Tuesday 24 February 2015

CBNR getting Popular

                   Had a walk around CB today and there was plenty of birds
                   and plenty of people visiting the site, bird viewing area got really busy
                   after dinner with lots of new faces and children interested in the birdlife
                   which was good to see.

                   Birds seen 23rd Feb 2015-:
                   4 Dunnock
                   2 Jays
                   5 Goosanders on river 3male 2female
                   2 Little Grebe by bottom bridge
                   4 Teal up by the weir
                   2 Chaffinch
                   3 Robins
                   8 Bullfinch
                   3 LTT and Great,Blue & Coal tits in abundance
                   1 Greater Spotted Woodpecker
                   2 Coot on the lagoon
                   10 Cormorant on skiing lake
                   30 Canada Geese, 2 Mute Swans and Mallards on canal.
                    2 Goldeneye on river and kestrel flying through viewing area
                    were mentioned as being seen.

                                         flyover by Heron and unknown geese
                                         Nuthatch also said to have been seen at
                                         Car Park feeders

From the Undergrowth



Tin Bath steam excursion hauled by 2 Black 5's at Cromwell Bottom Sun 15th Feb in awful light at 4-15pm   


Coal Tit

Great tit

Tuffty Jay with 15 peanuts in his beak

Monday 23 February 2015

This Months Echo Piece

From The Undergrowth

On the January 24th 12 young lady's plus helpers from the 4th Rastrick brownies

Brighouse, came along to the reserve for the RSPB's Big Garden Bird Watch . At 9:30 it was pouring down, but as the girls

arrived at 10:00 am their smiling faces drove away the clouds and the day became

bright and sunny. The girls were ably led by Gail their Brown Owl. Lots of birds came

down to the feeders that the Brownies had made and hung up around the feeding area.

 As we left for a walk around the reserve a Yellow Brain fungus was found on the

nearby fence, as we walked members of the group answered questions and told of the

history of the area including Tag Cut the canal that was built around 1776 making it one of the earliest

canals built

On the reserve the sustained cold weather is bringing in more birds to the feeding

station as the natural food supply diminishes. Larger numbers of Bullfinch, Blue Tit and

Great Tit are visiting the feeders along with Dunnock, Chaffinch and a few Redpoll plus

Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and up towards Southowram Common Buzzard circle, also the

ever present Robins running under foot as you sit and watch but we have no Siskins this

year although there are a few around they are not coming to the feeders .

A member of our group was sat having his afternoon coffee when there was a loud bang

on the window, when he looked outside laid on the floor was a female Sparrowhawk.

This was an opportunity for Bruce to try out his First Aid skills newly acquired on a

group course in December, after a few minutes of care the bird revived and looked none

the worse for her accident and a few moments later she flew away unscathed leaving

Bruce with a few marks on his hand from her sharp talons as he let the bird go from the

wrong hand, the one without the glove.   ( silly man )

A lady reported what she thought was a young swan in distress ,further investigation

found the swan was alright and it had a ring on it's leg from this number it was found

that this is a young swan which flew into Horton Country Park about 12/11/14 where

it was ringed by Dan Sidley. Later it was with 690,691 and 887 at Harold park. Those

three are part of this years Park Dam brood. Two of them are back there now.

this shows that small pieces of information can be invaluable

Robin and Hugh from Calderdale Countryside Services have submitted a three year

plan for North Loop the twenty acre restoration site adjoining the reserve, if the plan is

adopted, trees shrubs and wild flower seed will be needed, plus a lot of hard work but

hopefully it will be another Calderdale success.
Out and about there have been sightings of Brambling at krumlin and Manor Heath,

 Great Northern Diver at Mixenden Reservoir , Curlew ,Golden Plover, Lapwings , Feidfare, Redwing,and Buzzard
up at Jay House Lane  .

 Keep your eyes to the sky's as there are large numbers of Pink foot geese on the move.
A visit to Mere Sands and Martin Mere gave us some great views of Little Egret as well as Pintail Duck when

seen close up are quite stunning, as well as Goldeneye another good looking Bird . GWH, DL

Sunday 22 February 2015

Bullfinch Heaven!

This month the feeder area has got really busy, as natural food gets really low, some days Blue Tits are in crazy numbers & other days it's Great Tits. The Bullfinches are building up nicely, & deciding which one point the camera at is getting tricky.
A few snaps of birds frequenting the feeder area:

Reed Buntings come in from time to time - especially if it's a frosty start!
Jay's can be pretty active - Here's Mr Tufty, the bravest of our Peanut pinchers!
Sometimes up to Half a Dozen Coal Tit's are zipping around, getting enough time to compose a good picture, can be quite challenging.
Now for the little Dumplings!
Everybody seems to enjoy seeing these!

As long as you don't move too quickly - the Bullfinches will sit there for ages munching on seed, & you can collect up to 12 right in front of you on the logs & crossbeam.
Just for the record:
I photographed a birdie a couple of winters back that was generally decided to be a Mealy Redpoll, here's a snap of it for your own reference.
I am keeping my personal opinion to myself regarding any recent Redpoll visitors, of which I have noticed 3 different individuals.
Tricky species sometimes especially with light Lesser's & dark Commons, pictures of their back markings & rump colouration can be really useful for ID purposes.
If your lucky you may catch a Redpoll on the Niger feeder & can make your own mind up, but you will have to pop down to site to do so, & you can have a walk round after, Dippers & Kingfishers are getting active on the river now. 
                      Went down to the viewing area today and it was a busy morning
                      with the regular bird visitors, Mike Henshaw & Steve were also down
                      there with their camera's.
                       8 Bullfinch
                       2 Jays
                       5 Robins one eating bread off of my hand
                       2 Chaffinch
                       4 Blackbird
                       6 Dunnock
                       1 male Reed Bunting
                       flyover by 1 Heron 2 Cormorant and 6 Canada Geese
                       and crows and gulls.

                                       and a warbler ? singing by the car park

Friday 20 February 2015

Shades of Grey

Like them or not, it's hard to deny grey squirrels have a certain photogenic quality :)

Images taken over the past few months. 

Ric Jackson

Thursday 19 February 2015

Quiet Today

                            Quiet today down at Cromwell Bottom
                            Weather didn't help.

                                       Regular finches and tits
                                       3 Teal up by the weir
                                       3 Heron
                                       2 Cormorant & Flock of Canada Geese flyover.

Monday 16 February 2015


Take off and landing.

Monday 9 February 2015

Today the 9th February

                         Bird feeding area was very busy today with the regular birds
                         and the sparrowhawk must be hungry as twice he dived in while i was there.
                         8 Bullfinch
                         4 LTT
                         Lots of the other tits
                         3 Robin
                         4 Blackbird
                         1 Chaffinch
                         1 Jay
                         1 or 2 Sparrowhawk
                         1 Greater Spotted Woodpecker
                         4 Squirrel all at the bird viewing area
                         5 Goosander
                         1 Kingfisher on the river
                         1 Young swan on the canal
                         1 Heron flying over
                         15 pink footed geese in field by ski lake
                          5 Tufted duck on fishing lake.