Photo Competition

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

Friday, 31 January 2014

January 30th 2014

These were taken yesterday at Cromwell very close to the river.

I trust one of our Micologists will put a name to them...

The first one looks like Leafy Brain (Tremella foliacea) and the second looks like Hairy Curtain Crust (Stereum hirsutum).

Thanks Alison

Save Calderdale's Badgers from slaughter

Hi all
I want to draw your attention to this important petition that I recently signed:
I really think this is an important cause, and I'd like to encourage you to add your signature, too. It's free and takes just a few seconds of your time.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Nest Box Results

The nesting results for the 2013 season at Cromwell Bottom are detailed on the Members blog

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Voles at the Feeding Station

Hi All,
I've been unable to post so this should be in the comments, but I'm posting like this to confirm my re-invitation. Thanks Bruce.

I'm pretty sure Basil and his mate(s) are Short-tailed Field Voles, which is new to me as I've only seen Bank Voles at feeding stations before.

Bank Voles have more prominent ears, a slightly longer (though still shortish) tail and very noticeably in good light, a chestnut brown coat.

These you are feeding are quite grey-brown (Linda the Mammal Recorder pointed this out ) and their ears are hardly visible.
Also in the first photos about three days ago you can see they have very short tails.

Field mice (of various species I haven't memorised) always have long tails, longer than their bodies, pointed faces (not rounded) and large almost hairless ears. They also have big protruding eyes.

It would be nice to have Dormice back in Calderdale after a century or so. They need big areas of Hazel with Honeysuckle apparently.

Lunchtime 23.01.14

My first visit to the reserve was a fairly damp one with mixed weather turning from bright blue skies when I arrived in the car park to rain by the time i'd crossed the river and even more once i'd reached the feeding station!

This didnt seem to put the birds off though, the place was heaving with blue tits, impossible to count but I would have a guess at at least 25 birds. Also present were 5 great tit, a flock of long tailed tits and 2 bullfinch.

                                                                    Odd looking Blue Tit
                                                                       Long-tailed Tit

Just as I left the viewing area lots of alarm calls went up and everything flushed, I was just walking down the path when a male Sparrowhawk shot about 3ft infront of my face - superb!

Just a quick trip today so headed back to the car, managed to see the Nuthatch near the feeders, got a rubbish photo from in the car, a nice male Bullfinch posed and then I watched the pesky squirrel eating its lunch!

                                                                         Grey Squirrel

Blue Tit
Great Tit
Long Tailed Tit
Carrion Crow
Collared dove

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

From the undergrowth

A few from today as yesterday the morning was bright but cold , Basil ( blame Bruce he named him from Fawlty Towers fame ) Vole and the Mrs were showing well , had a visit from the Male Siskin and the Redpoll ,jays again filling their crops, single Reed Bunting as well as the Bull Finch in good numbers. Single Dipper on the weir.









Mallard very bright colouring


Monday, 20 January 2014

From the undergrowth

Hi all a few from today the day was cold but lovely light .And the pair of Bank vole's were out again and a pair of Dipper on the weir + the usual suspects.

Jay with its 12th peanut in its mouth


Mr Vole ?

Mrs Vole ?

Sun coming through the tree's with the mist rising on the frozen lagoon

Frozen reeds

sunlight through the trees

A pair of Dipper on the wier record shot as too far away for my lens

Mallard in the sun gwh

Thursday, 16 January 2014

From the undergrowth

Hi all just a few from the last few days , all the normal stuff around as well as a vole living in the wood pile  under the large seed feeder my thanks to Chris Burns for spotting it .




Blue Tit

Great Tit



Ditto gwh

Monday, 13 January 2014

Cromwell Bottom Work Party January 11th

Another fine day for our work parties at Cromwell Bottom. Over a dozen of us met and split into 3 groups. We repaired and added to the screen at the Feeding Station, Cleaned and repaired Tag Cut path and checked and cleaned the nest boxes. Charlie collected most of the old nests. See previous post.

Only managed a few pictures of fungi, a nest and egg

This looks like an unhatched Blue Tit egg

This well made nest from one of our boxes contained feathers from a Sparrowhawk. The nesting bird, probably a Great Tit, has found some feathers in the surrounding area and lined her nest. 

Jelly Ear fungus - Auricularia auricula-judae

The same, showing how translucent these can be

Many thanks to Peachy Steve and Alison this is now identified as Plicatura crispa


Just a quick thank you to Bruce, Allan, David and everyone else who helped me collect old birds’ nests last Friday. They’re for my moth rearing project and hopefully will contain the larvae of several species whose larvae feed on nest detritus such as wool, hair, feathers etc. A few larvae have already been seen wandering around their new enclosure (plastic buckets) no doubt disturbed from their homes by being pulled apart and generally manhandled.

I expect the ubiquitous Skin moth to emerge around April time but there are several uncommon to rare species which may put in an appearance such as the Clothes Moths, Tinea trinotella, the Monopis group and the now rare Tapestry Moth.

The buckets are covered with bin liners to keep the nests shaded and holes are made to prevent mould from forming. They're spending the winter in my garage and  I’ll report back in the spring if there’s any emergences.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Those pesky redpolls - again!

Interesting post from Martin Garner (Birding Frontiers)

Lets hope we see and hear enough to have a few disagreements like last year! (they sound the same to me!)

birds at cromwell today

                                          male and female siskin
                                          Loads of bullfinch
                                            Geese flyover ? the pinkfooted
                                         Also about jays, long tailed tits, two pairs of goosander and
                                         a kingfisher on the canal

Thursday, 9 January 2014

From the undergrowth

Had an hour yesterday and today at the feeders and its getting quite busy , had a flock of about 100 Pinkfoot geese fly over and the sparrow hawk paid a quick visit but left empty clawed .Siskin made an apperance as well as the female Redpol and 13 Bullfinch this morning a fantastic sight 7 male and 6 female over all the feeders as well as all the usual suspects .
Female Reed Bunting



Robin singing his heart out

Blue Tit


Long Tailed Tit

Great tit

Male Siskin

Ditto        gwh