Friday 31 January 2020

January 2019 Bird Sightings

Below are all the reported bird sightings for Cromwell Bottom nature
reserve in January 2020. Many thanks to all who contributed, most
especially Mike Henshaw and Jeff Milne.

Highlight is undoubtably the over-wintering chiffchaff but the long
staying water rail on the lagoon is also worth a mention.

55 birds in total.

Cromwell Bottom Bird Sightings January 2020
Mute SwanDunnock
Pink-footed GooseRobin
Grey Lag GooseSong Thrush
Canada GooseRedwing
MallardMistle Thrush
Little GrebeChiffchaff
Grey HeronWren
BuzzardGreat Tit
SparrowhawkCoal Tit
KestrelBlue Tit
Water RailLong-tailed Tit
Black-headed GullJay
Common GullJackdaw
Herring GullRook
Lesser Black Backed GullCarrion Crow
Stock DoveChaffinch
Wood PigeonLinnet
Barn OwlGoldfinch
Great Spotted WoodpeckerBullfinch
Grey WagtailGreenfinch
Reed Bunting

Thursday 30 January 2020

Moth Night Sat 1st

5pm Arrivals, warm clothing, stout footwear & torch a must.
See you there.

Saturday 25 January 2020

Cromwell Bottom Birds

I haven't posted images on the blog for quite some time.  Here's just a handful of the birds  that call Cromwell Bottom their home and are part of the impressive list of all that do.  Enjoy!

Great Tit


Coal Tit


Long-tailed Tit

Ric J

Thursday 23 January 2020

2019 Cromwell Bottom NR Bird Species list

Below is the list of all the species of birds seen on the Cromwell Bottom Nature reserve in 2019. There is a total of 92 different species.

Mute Swan Common Gull Blackcap
Pink-footed Goose Herring Gull Whitethroat
Canada Goose Lesser Black Backed Gull Sedge Warbler
Mallard Common Tern Reed Warbler
Shoveler Stock Dove Willow Warbler
Teal Wood Pigeon Chiffchaff
Pochard Collared Dove Goldcrest
Scaup Tawny Owl Wren
Tufted Duck Barn Owl Spotted Flycatcher
Goldeneye Swift Great Tit
Goosander Kingfisher Coal Tit
Pheasant Green Woodpecker Blue Tit
Little Grebe Great Spotted Woodpecker Long-tailed Tit
Great Crested Grebe Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Nuthatch
Cormorant Skylark Treecreeper
Little Egret Sand Martin Magpie
Great White Egret Swallow Jay
Grey Heron House Martin Jackdaw
Red Kite Meadow Pipit Rook
Buzzard Pied Wagtail Carrion Crow
Sparrowhawk Grey Wagtail Starling
Kestrel Dipper Chaffinch
Peregrine  Dunnock Linnet
Water Rail Robin Redpoll
Moorhen Wheatear Goldfinch
Coot Song Thrush Siskin
Oystercatcher Redwing Bullfinch
Lapwing Mistle Thrush Greenfinch
Common Sandpiper Fieldfare Reed Bunting
Woodcock Blackbird
Snipe Garden Warbler
Black-headed Gull

A few highlights worth mentioning:
1) A few years ago the trustees set themselves the task of trying to attract a few key species to breed on the reserve for probably the first time. Success was achieved in definitely attracting barn owl and probably attracting skylark. Much work has gone on behind the scenes to attract these locally rare breeding birds to the reserve.
2) Sightings were made of 2 different egret species. It is not many years since these became regular visitors to southern England but they are now moving further north. It will not be long before they become regular visitors to the reserve?   

Wednesday 8 January 2020

Moth Night Sat 11th

First one for the year 4.30pm start.
Essentials are warm clothing, torch, & good footwear if walking the wood checking sugaring.
See you there.

Tuesday 7 January 2020

New Viewing Platform

We are pleased to announce a new viewing platform at Cromwell Reserve that has been commissioned by Calderdale Council
 . This has been funded from The Brighouse Ladies Circle ,Tesco’s through there plastic bag fund and Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group this provides visitors of all ages and abilities with a safe platform from which to view the lagoon and enjoy watching the visiting birds and wildfowl . Visitors may see glimpses of the elusive Water Rail and Little Grebe  whilst Reed Buntings and Reed Warblers flit across the reeds  or just sit a while and watch the world go by. Yours Cromwell Trustees

Thursday 2 January 2020

New Years Day Annual Bird Count and Walk


I am taking the liberty of posting this on the Cromwell Bottom Blog because two members (or a member - MC - and her husband,) were keen enough to join us on 1st January, and Margaret found the final bird of the day, a male Bullfinch, making the count equal last year's record.

The regular route is from Clay House Park, through North Dean Woods, around Norland Moor and back throught North Dean by a different path. (About 7 miles.)

Mick Harrop photo

2nd January 2020

These New Year's Day Bird Counts have settled into a run of consistent results. This year and 2019 had equal numbers of species with 32; in 2017 the tally was 31. Fine weather is a factor. Given a foul day the count would be lower obviously; we have been lucky these last three times.

As above the two last counts were 32 and it is interesting to look at the similarities and differences in the two counts.

There were 23 species in common to both counts, 1st Jan 2019 and 1st Jan 2020:
Blue, Great, Coal and Long-tailed Tits, Nuthatch, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, House Sparrow, Starling, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Redwing, Robin, Collared Dove, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Jay, Crow, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Black-headed Gull, Buzzard.

Nine species in 2019 but not 2020: Dipper, Dunnock, Wren, Raven, Pheasant, Stonechat, Little Owl, Mallard, Song Thrush.

And there were nine species in 2020 but not in 2019: Heron, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting, Fieldfare, Redpoll, Treecreeper, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Greenfinch, Common Gull.

The Fieldfares were in a huge flock covering two fields, very impressive, and the Redpolls were flitting charmingly through the trees along the top of North Dean Woods feeding from the birch seed-heads.

With thanks to the participants in the walk yesterday, 10 in total (8 in 2019.) All played a part in the final count on the walk as well as bringing their sightings from home first thing and on the way to the meet (without detours to sites with localised species.)

Two of us thought we heard a single note from a Green Woodpecker at the lower edge of Norland Moor where they are often present, but it was very brief so I decided not to include it.

There was some discussion whether to include domestic fowl, etc. I maintained they are bird species, others thought we should stick purely to self-sufficient wild or feral birds.

The bad news about the Little Owls adjacent to Norland Moor is that Jackdaws usurped them from their tree hole last spring so that's probably why we didn't see them all summer or this winter. Jackdaws in tree holes have become the norm throughout Calderdale. At one time I used to see them using only holes in old buildings and crevices in quarry rock-faces, where they still nest.

These counts are samples of the current state of local birds. Who would have thought a few decades ago that Nuthatch and Buzzard would be seen regularly? Also to run into a Raven isn't that unusual now, and to find a Song Thrush or a Greenfinch is a fairly noteworthy event.

These records might be interesting to read in the future. Another way of "sampling" bird populations is to time a count on a walk, noting every species. I seem get about 14 species on a good day in half an hour, though I haven't sat down with my notebooks to work out the average. It's OK to count a bird if you identify it without doubt by its call or song. The habitat needs recording; upland, waterside or woodland, etc.

Perhaps we could initiate a regular Spring Bird Count every May-day on 1st May?