Photo Competition

A Wildlife Competition for members. Please click here for details. You have only until April 2nd to send in your picture!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

What could be better than on a wet Sunday afternoon than to spend an hour or two down on the reserve at Cromwell Bottoms. As usual there was lots of activity at the bird viewing area.

Lots of Siskins, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Long Tailed Tits, seven Chaffinchs, Dunnock,  Coal Tits, and Gold Finches. A male Great Spotted Woodpecker spent some time in the tree where the feeders were, wondering if it was safe to come down but then thought better of it but provided some great views. Though the best view had to be off thge Coal Tit which came through the opening of the screen and was looking for food on the floor near my feet. 

Sometimes the best comes last, even for bird watchers. Having gone for a walk around the top meadow as I was making my way dow the track and watching the activity on the feeders from near the stone I was rewarded with a good view of a Green Woodpecker in the grass at the back of the feeders.

Even on a damp afternoon we had another two new visitors to the screen, (human kind) They were delighted by what they saw.

It was about this time last year that I set up the first feeders, not long after we were getting the Redpolls, so hopefully they will be here in the next few weeks.

It has been great to see how the feeding station since then has been developed. How, therefore can we help those birds that have an insect diet? I was wondering if it might be worthwhile putting a small table near the undergrowth abouth 18inches from the ground to the right of  the feeders. There is an overhanging tree with branches and brambles at its base. We could put a table here, at almost ground level, on which we could put meal worm to try and attract Wrens and Gold Crests. Let me and others know what you think. 

Saturdays Work Party 29th September 2012

Once again we were lucky with the weather.

Allan, Barry and myself managed to fit the gate after much debate about which way round to put it. Robin came along to inspect it and remove some tree stumps from the back of the site.

The last bench was erected and holes cut in the second screen. The horizontal feeder was also fitted, this has holes packed with fat balls and peanuts. The first on that was a swallow. On the other feeders were up to 30 siskin, LTT's, blue, great and coal tits, chaffinch, robin, dunnock and the rest. A female Sparrowhawk came through and briefly flushed everything off.

We had lots of families through to view the birds as well, some, no doubt seeing some species for the first time.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Scum Bag! At the Feeding Station!

Helped out a bit with the "Huge" work Party, finishing off the screen & Feeding area, after we had finished - A Scum Bag turned up when it was quiet!

Here it is:

What did you think I meant?
We are getting a bit fully loaded with Siskin's now - I think they are up towards 30 now, which is good, as they will be able to hold their own when the Redpolls arrive.
A few of them from today:

Already using the Cross Beam we put up today:

& this one wanted to know "if it's Ass looked fat in these colours"

These are around in big numbers too:
Any food contributions you have will be well appreciated by all the above over the coming months!
The Siskins asked nicely for lots more Niger & Peanuts Please!
Tubs are around the Seating area, behind the Gate & next to the left seat for any generous contributions & a big thanks to those who already Have!
I gave all the slots a good workout!, checked all the angles! High & low ones & it's going to be a cracking winter for us Photography persons!
I think the area's pretty much completed now & if you've not been down recently - It's time to try it out, you won't be dissapointed.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Meeting Tomorrow at Cromwell Bottom

Saturday September 29th.  Meet in the car park at 9:30 am to complete the photographers seating, gate and willow screen. Bring food & drink if you want to stay until the afternoon. Or just call in and see a wonderful close up view of feeding birds.

The weather will be dry and sunny !  

All Welcome

Thursday, 27 September 2012


Topped up the feeders today there must be 20 + siskins , goldfinch and all the other small stuff , well worth a visit if you can , looking for anyone who can donate Niger seed / peanuts or sunflower seeds we would be most grateful . yours Graham

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


A report of around 300 swallows and 100 h/martins over the ski lake, might be worth looking at the reed bed. A couple of years ago we had around 2000 roosting in there in September also. yours Graham

Monday, 24 September 2012


Membership for this year is £5 from April to April and will include access to the members page as well as access to post on the blog. The address to send your fee to is G Haigh, 16 Abbey Walk, Coronation Rd, Halifax HX30AJ
If paying by cheque could you make it out to Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group please, and could I also have yours address so I can send you your members card and also for our records. Working parties are usually the second Saturday of the month. Meet in the Fishermans car park by the pallet company at 9-9:30am. Our monthly indoor meetings are at the Halifax Fire Station, usually on the third Wednesday of the month 7:15 pm until around 9:30pm, however check the web for details as details can change. Yours Graham

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Sunday afternoon down at Cromwell

I spent a nice hour on Sunday afternoon from 4:00pm-5:00pm watching the birds at the feeding station. There must have been 20 Siskin feeding for all they were worth. Lots of Blue Tits, Great Tits and a coal tit, plus one solatary Long Tailed Tit ( I thought that a bit unsual as they normally feed in family groups) and a number of Chaffinches.

Yesterday, Saturday, we topped up the Niger and other seed feeders, but by 4:00pm Sunday they were nearly empty. I topped up with what I had, but if anyone is going  down this week can you take some food with you, especially Niger and peanuts.

 I have put an empty container at the back of the feeding station near the top of the steps for contributions of bird food for which we are very grateful. (The birds would want to chirp in their thanks also.)

If we think the feeding station is busy now, what will it be like when the Redpols get back and some cold weather comes.

Whether you are someone who is an expert or a novice birder, or even someone who dosn't know one bird from another,  let me encourage you to come and enjoy nature at its best. To sit in the presence of wild birds and watch their behaviour is one of the most satisfying and fulfilling things we can do. Pack your butties, fill your flask and make a date with nature. If you can't identify what it is you are looking at there will be someone there to help you, and if there isn't just enjoy it anyway.

We have a lot to look forward to down at Cromwell Bottom and much has been done in the last 12 months and I would like to say a big thank you to all the people who are working and donating in so many ways to show what a special reserve we have.


At The Feeders

Had a couple of hours at the new screen today:
Lots of Blue Tits - A flock of 20-30 were wandering around & hitting the feeders now & then.
10+ Chaffinch, 10+ Goldfinch, 4-5 Coal Tits, up to 10 or so Great Tits, a Robin & a Dunnock, & 6-7 L.T.Tits keep coming back to the fat balls. There's a pair of Bullfinch regularly, especially the male & more importantly I gave up counting the Siskin today at 20+, 12-15 were regularly on the deck next to the table. You can see the Niger feeders empty whilst your there for an hour or so. A G.S.Woodpecker & a couple of Magpie's were lurking but not brave enough to come with people around yet.

Some of the Siskin around today:

One of the Goldfinch:

& the Scrappy Bullfinch:
Difficult conditions for Photos but really nice views for watching!

Bird Food

Many thanks to Eric and his good lady for the gift of  Bird food to the group, it will help us out in the coming months, if anyone else has any bird food to donate there will be a container by screen area for you to place it in and i thank you in advance. yours Graham

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Pictures from todays workparty

Further to Grahams previous post here are some of the pictures taken today. Present were Graham, Mike, Allan, Charlie, Barry and Bruce. We made excellent progress as the weather was very good, unlike yesterday when only Allan, who did a sterling job, remained to brave the heavy rain.

 The viewing area attracts not only birds but lots of human visitors as well.

The completed hurdle along the path. Hopefully this will keep dogs out.

Feeder area

My thanks to everyone for there efforts today ,the feeding area is looking very good and creating a lot of interest not least to the birds, we had 6 siskin at one time today as well as LTT's, goldfinch and all the usual suspects inc GSW and a greenpeker, cormorant and heron flying over, its starting to come together, there is more to do but should be finished in the next week or so. Yours Graham

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Invitation to join a moorland walk

There will be an extra walk with the Halifax Scientific Society other than those on the printed programme of rambles.

I will be leading a shortish but boggy walk to look at an old carving I found on a rock at Hoofstone Heights, which I'm sure is the source of the name.

It is a hoof-like shape with apparently a way-marking purpose. Come along and see where it points !

These rock are said to be the highest point in Calderdale. You can see Blackpool Tower if the air is clear below the clouds. (Too hazy on a sunny day.)

We will be parking on the Long Causeway above Todmorden, but meeting up, perhaps to share cars, at Russell Deans car park, Mytholmroyd.

Dave Shepherd, the archaeologist who is presenting a talk in October for us, has said he would like to attend if he can, but it isn't a lecture or tutorial, just a "walk with conversation".

If there is time, we may pop in to the Bridestones on the way back, which are very near the road, and bog-free. They may also have some archaeological secrets.

SUNDAY 23rd SEPTEMBER meet Mytholmroyd 10.30am for 10.45.

Bring a drink and packed lunch if you want. All members or visitors to the Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group Blog are welcome to join us.

Steve Mob. 0771 500 5379

Feeding Station

Can only be described as manic with birds on every feeder. Along with all the regulars had a Spotted Flycatcher passing thro on Wed morning.The 5 Siskins are now present most of the time.

On Site Meeting

There is an on site meeting tomorrow Friday 21st and Saturday the 22nd to do some willow cutting and weaving. All welcome to come along. Meet in the car park at 10:00 am

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

One Year Old - meeting reminder Wednesday 19th

Repeat of Grahams earlier post: 

Just a quick reminder to everyone there is a meeting on the 19th of September in the community room at the Halifax Fire Station. This is our 1st birthday, we would love to see you all there. If you haven't been before come and meet some like minded people for a chat and a cuppa in a relaxed atmosphere, hope to see you all. A big thank you to everyone for making our first year a great success.

Yours Graham

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Quick visit today

Had a quick walk round today and saw peacock /speckled wood/gate keeper and comma butterflies as well as a small flock of LTT's and the usual suspects on the feeders. I also had a chat with
 Mr Paul Patton who kindly gave us a donation to help feed the birds, many thanks to him. However there were dogs everywhere and also cyclists and kids in the new feeding area, not all is rosy in the garden. Yours Graham


I go for the 14th Oct for first sighting.The feeding area is looking very good due to lots of hard work by the group. Fri 14th a Juv Siskin on the niger and it made 4 visits on Sat am I am sure it is 1 of the 4 young that fledged at the reserve.
Mike Henshaw.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Work party 15/9/12

The Work Party today consisted of Graham, Mike, Colin, Charlie, Allan and yours truly.
The earlier rain stopped as we got stuck in to willow cutting, post fixing and weaving.

The screen area has now doubled in size and is looking fantastic. There is still some finishing off to do. Myself and Allan will be down there this Friday the 21st at around 10am.
Come and help or just come and watch. Bring some seed if you can and see a big variety of birds. Meet in the car park.

We will identify them for you if you can't.

All very welcome.                        

Some of today's pictures

Time and date

Following from Allans post 11th October 7.30 am  and Mike Henshaw to see the first cos he is always there at that time. yours Graham
Today we had a great working day on site at Cromwell Bottom. The new screen is coming on
 great. No sooner had we stopped for lunch when we were rewarded by seeing lots of birds coming down to feed. I went back down later and just sat and watched lots of Blue Tits, Great Tits, Bull Finches and a Chaffinch.

The Tree Creeper that Mike saw  had crept away and was nowhere to be seem seen. But, I was rewarded with 10 Long Tailed Tits all on the fat balls near the screen. Think what it will be like whe we get into Autumn annd Winter proper.

Let me encourage everyone who can to come and join us in the development on the wonderful site. The work days are a great opportunity to give somthing  back and help maintain and develop this wonderful reserve.

A big word of thanks to Graham for the planning and organising that went into the work day.

If you come to watch the birds bring some wild bird food with you ( No bread please) As well as just coming down to have a walk, watch or photograph the birds etc why not join the Wild Life Group. It only costs £5:00 at the moment to join and all the money goes on food and other important items for the reserve. Can you really get better value for £5?

On another note. When do you think the Redpols will be back? Let's have a bit of fun and see if anyone can guess the time and date via the blog. I am going to go for Sat 13th of October. (AM)


Winner of guess the marbles

Last Saturday we were at Brighouse library and we had a competition for who could guess how many marbles were in a jar. The winner was David Millchope who's answer was 103. I won't tell you how many there were as we may use it again. David wins a free membership for this year. yours Graham

Poplar Hawkmoth

The larva found by Mike today at Cromwell Bottom was that of a Poplar Hawkmoth which, by the looks of it had been blown out of a nearby Crack Willow tree in the gusty wind. I'll try and rear it through and get back to you next April or so with the result.


Thursday, 13 September 2012

Brighouse Echo

I beleive there is a picture in the Echo of last Saturdays events at the Library if anybody is interested. yours Graham

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Little Grebe

Little Grebe and only three chicks at Cromwell Bottom today.

On Site Work Party - Friday

There is an extra meeting at CB this Friday the 14th of September at 10:00 am. We will be finishing off the screen area.  Meet in the main car park. All welcome to come along.

Monday, 10 September 2012

One Year Old

Just a quick reminder to everyone there is a meeting on the 19th of September in the community room at the Halifax Fire Station.  This is our 1st birthday, we would love to see you all there. If you haven't been before come and meet some like minded people for a chat and a cuppa in a relaxed atmosphere, hope to see you all. A big thank you to everyone for making our first year a great success .yours Graham

Little Grebe chicks

There were a pair of Little Grebe and 4 newly hatched chicks there yesterday the 9th of September.
These is a really late brood. Also Blackcap and Chiffchaff in song.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Open Day September 8th

Many thanks to all who came to the open day in Brighouse both volunteers and guests. We had a good day with many locals finding out about Cromwell Reserve for  the first time, we hope to see all new visitors down there at some time in the future. yours Graham.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Brighouse Library Open Day

For additional Info of events at Brighouse Library and Art Gallery  click here

A fun-packed free event for all ages is to be held at Brighouse Library this Saturday the 8th of September, 10:00 am until about 3:30 pm.

The Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group will have a display and sale of photographs of birds and other wildlife to be seen at Cromwell Bottom. There will be information about the site and our goals to enhance the area for wildlife and people alike. There will be a "Big Butterfly Hunt" for  children (and bigger kids) in the library and grounds. Videos of birdlife and recordings of birdsong will be played throughout the day.

At the site itself, we have lots to do now autumn is here, so your help is needed. We have placed a memorial stone, bench and photographers' screen at the bird feeding station. Much more is to be done!

We are a voluntary group and desperately need:

Any garden tools, especially a petrol strimmer.
Bird seed and feeders - please bring whatever you can spare. 
Serviceable benches you may be discarding.
Donations to buy bird feed.
Old clothes for fundraising.
And last but not least - more members and volunteers! For more information email us at:

Brighouse Library is also hosting lots of other events for everyone on the day.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Work Party 1/9/2012

Saturday's work party, me, Graham, Allan, Charlie and Mike fixed the seat in place, fitted a bench and cut holes in the photographers screen.

[more pictures]