Wednesday, 21 June 2017

This Sunday 25th of June

 There will be a "Tree Walk" led by Bel Hale. This event is for all the family, Bel will describe and identify the trees found in the reserve. It will not be too taxing as it runs from 1:30 to 3:30.

There will be refreshments later in the Cabin. Meet in the Car Park by 1:30 this Sunday the 25th.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Moth Night!

FOR THE NIGHTHAWKS!


We should be running a moth trap around the cabin area tomorrow night. Start time will be around 8.30pm, but it won't be dark until maybe 22.30.
All are welcome but from previous experience - we don't tend to catch anything until 30mins after it goes dark. So I expect the first moths to start to be captured around 23.00.
You could have a nice evening stroll around the reserve & come over to the Cabin towards 10.00pm for the trapping, get a nice cup on Tea & wait for the Action!


Meet at Cabin after 8.30pm for Kick off around 10-10.30pm.


Sunday Morning - All the captured Moths should be available for inspection Sunday Morning, where they will be photographed & released around 12-12.30pm.


Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Pond Dipping

This event, due to held on Sunday May 28th has unfortunately been cancelled. This is due to illness and other unforeseen circumstances.
This event will be held in the near future. Keep your eye on the blog.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Saturday Work Party. May 13th

Saturday was one of our regular work parties. There were enough people to organise three groups. Some started with a cuppa. Guides and Scouts were also involved. David sorted three parties, box building, pond dipping area and bird feeding area, (shown below). All equipment was provided.

Work parties are every Thursday and second Saturday.
.
One of Saturday's 3 work parties. 





Photo by Rosemary Wright

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Today's Stroll


     A few pics from today and was nice to bump into  Dave F,
     at the lagoon and Dave L and Val at the cabin which was
     doing a good trade which was nice to see, I'm glad its
     getting plenty of visitor's. 28 species seen today and a
     few unid'd and plenty of birdsong but a lot not seen,
     it was good to hear the Water Rail at the lagoon.

                                          Dunnock with insect
                                          Goosander chicks
                                          Female Goosander
                                          Male Goosander


                                          Jay

                                          Chaffinch
                                          Buzzard

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Last Night's Walk May 10th

Thirteen members and friends enjoyed a pleasant walk around the reserve last night the 10th. The weather was perfect. We ended up in the cabin for tea and biscuits. Our next walk is an early morning one this Saturday the 13th. Details in the previous post below.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Dawn Chorus Walk & Work Party 13th May

This is our second dawn walk. Last Saturday we had 25 species and 22 people. Not a bad count despite the cold NE wind.

There will be another dawn chorus walk this Saturday the 13th of May. Meet at 05:30 in the car park.
This will be led by Allan and others who will supply tea, coffee and bacon and egg butties later in the Cabin. Come and join us and blow those cobwebs from your hair. All Welcome.

Also on this day there will be a work party. Meet at the Cabin at 09:30. Come to one meeting or both.

Monday, 8 May 2017

DAWN CHORUS WALK Saturday May 6th 2017

DAWN CHORUS WALK
 Saturday May 6th 2017

Robin’s and Chris’s Dawn walk was very successful with 25 bird species seen and heard. The weather was fairly gloomy and cold but it did not deter the birds or the humans.22 people including a number of children set out after a short  ‘be careful’ talk from Robin. We stopped at the Bailey bridge and noted blue tit and blackcap calling. Also in the distance a willow warbler’s song could be heard sounding as Shelagh described it as a falling waterfall of tuneful notes. Near the weir, unfortunately no sand martins, but there were 2 canada geese on the far bank, one of them with a gosling peeping out from under her wing and as we moved away she stood up and many of us saw 5 young ones scuttling to hide.

We continued past Tag ponds spotting common whitethroat,robin and willow warblers singing, perched on top of bushes. We  listened to the delightful song of a wren. “A bird that punches well above its weight in song “ Shelagh’s pen identifying bird song came in very useful.Down to the feeding station picking up more birds then onto the lagoon. 4-5 reed warblers noisily making their presence felt, defending their territories. A heron flew over and little grebes were calling.By now some children were feeling cold so we made our way back to the cabin. Here Robin and Chris set up camping stoves and very soon the tantalizing smell of cooking bacon was apparent. Bacon butties !! what a splendid way to finish a most enjoyable walk.Many thanks to everyone who took part.

There is another walk next Saturday 13th , May do come along. 

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Warblers

A fantastic weekend at Cromwell for singing Warblers , the hedgerows are now full of singing Blackcap , Willow Warbler , Chiffchaff ,Garden Warbler and the odd Whitethroat. In the Reed beds Reed Warblers can now be herd .A couple of Common Terns spent most of the bank holiday on the ski lake...Grey Heron , Swallows ,Kingfisher , Grey Wagtail  and  Buzzards were also about......Song Thrush , Reed Bunting ,  Bullfinch , Wren (must be the reserves commonest resident) , Blackbird , Robin , Mistle Thrush , Long Tailed , Blue,  Great and Cole Tits were also in good voice..

Friday, 28 April 2017

Chairpersons Report April 2017

The Chairpersons Report was given last Wednesday evening by Allan. He gave a full and comprehensive account of the past year.

Full Report here (click)

Monday, 24 April 2017

Get ready... and click!

Lots of people say how much they enjoy the photos on our blog. It takes some patience and a bit of cunning to get a photo you're pleased with so if you want to have a go at home in your own garden here are a few hints to get you started ...... from a total amateur!


  • Put small amounts of food out regularly – especially on bird tables. This keeps mess to a minimum and is healthier for birds as they are not eating old and mouldy food. Your birds will learn your routine and will be ready and waiting, so it's good to keep a camera or your smartphone handy.
  • Put out food they have to stay and eat, rather than things they can fly away with – larger pieces mean they have to peck bits off while you get your photo. Bread isn't really good for birds, so try fatty scraps, invest in some sunflower seeds or fat balls and meal worms [dead ones in packets are not unpleasant to deal with].
  • Wedge things like peanuts, fat or cheese rind into cracks in a stump or branch so they'll have to work a bit to get at them. Drill a few holes if necessary!
  • Get to know where the birds like to perch – some prefer to pause on a nearby branch or fence post to check things out before they approach. So set one up or trim back a few twigs if they are in your way.
  • give them some water too - a large plant tray will make a great bath for a flock of sparrows.

Whether you photograph them or not your garden will be a great place for birds - enjoy!

Monday, 3 April 2017

Chiffchaff Nature Reserve



      On a walk around the reserve today produced
      27 species and Green Woodpecker and Treecreeper
      heard but not seen, loads of Chiffchaff all over the
      reserve and the Little Grebes making a racket on
      the lagoon, I only seen one but it sounded like there
      were a few more on there, and 2 Goosanders were
      sunbathing up by the weir.
















Friday, 31 March 2017

Toads breeding and a Brimstone Butterfly

This afternoon we had a walk round, checking a few birds' nests, and we saw a male Brimstone Butterfly flying over the Sphagnum Bog. The female apparently can be mistaken for a Large White, but this was a strong yellow, so I assume it was a male.

Ten Chiff-chaffs singing round Brookfoot and Tag Loops, and a singing Blackcap near Brookfoot Lock, my first Blackcap of the year. I know someone heard one already.

When we were on Tag Loop, near the pylon, I thought I heard toads chirping, and when we went up to the fence, we could see a colony of them breeding in the old lock. Spawn was visible among the water-plants now and again. I didn't know there was a breeding spot here. Does anyone know where Shelagh's mating pair would be heading. (Previous post.)

A pair of Long-tailed Tits were pecking lichen from the willows to cover their nest with a cloak of   invisibility (well almost.)


Wednesday, 29 March 2017

This female toad and her passenger were spotted this morning at the bund bridge on the lagoon, making their way towards the water.

Well spotted by Shelagh!

Margaret

 

Thursday, 23 March 2017

What did we do today?

...... You got it - we planted some more trees! We must be near the 1000 mark by now?
We're looking forward to them becoming a hedgerow of blossom and berries in the not too distant future. 
We've had lots of help from regular volunteers, newcomers and local scouts - it is truly appreciated, so please spread the word about making a difference at Cromwell Bottom, Thank you. 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

CROMWELL BOTTOM NATURE RESERVE’S BIRD SURVEY

BIRD SURVEY March 18th 2017
The weather was not very kind to-day; overcast, windy and threatening rain, but not cold. Despite this many birds were singing; thrushes both mistle and song, robins dunnocks,  blue tits, great tits, and wrens. Our first summer warbler visitor, chiffchaffs were also in good voice. His song is really welcome even though after a while it can become annoying with its repetitive sound.
Alan and David surveyed both North Loop meadow and the hay meadow. They noted that though North Loop had a good variety of birds the hay meadow was very quiet. One possible reason could be the extra disturbance that occurs there.
Mike, Steve and Jane found more birds (small passerines)  away from the canal path (not surprisingly) and on the ‘bund’ heard ,but did not see,  both water rail (pig squealing sound)  and coot coming from the reed-bed area.
The feeding area was very quiet and we realised it was because there was very little food out but there were plenty of birds in the cabin feeding station.
You do not have to be an expert at identifying birds to join us on these surveys, though it is useful to have a pair of binoculars. Do come along and give us extra ‘eyes’, please.


Jane Uttley

Mute swan 1 ad 4 juv           Great tit 7
Canada goose 15                   Long tailed tit   2    
Shelduck 1 (F)                       Wren  5
Mallard   8                             Goldcrest 1 
Teal 3                                      Chiffchaff 2
Goosander   1                         Nuthatch 1
Cormorant   11                       Blackbird  6
Grey heron 4                          Song thrush  1
Buzzard 1                                Mistle thrush 3
Kestrel 1                                  Robin  7
Water rail (Heard)                Dunnock  5
Coot (Hear)                            Meadow pipit  4
Moorhen   1                            Chaffinch  8
Oystercatcher 2                     Goldfinch  6
Snipe 3                                    Linnet 15/20
Stock dove   2                         Bullfinch 12
Wood pigeon   30/40           Siskin  4
Jackdaw 18                             Lesser redpoll 2
Magpie   4                               Reed bunting   1
Carrion crow 8                      41 Species
Jay 2                                        Mammals
Blue tit   10                             Roe Deer  1
                                                  Grey Squirrel 2



Sunday, 19 March 2017

Redpoll at the cabin and a deer near the feeders.

A very welcome couple of visitors for the third bird survey yesterday.




Friday, 17 March 2017

Footbridge

Hi all
The Cromwell Bottom Footbridge will be open every weekend now for the foreseeable future.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

The Countryside and Woodlands e-newsletter


The Countryside and Woodlands team will be launching their e-newsletter later this month. If you would like to be on the circulation list, please e-mail countryside@calderdale.gov.uk

Regards
Hugh

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Cracking Cromwell


      Had a cracking day at Cromwell today and bumped into
      visitors from Leeds & Huddersfield.
      4 Teal were on the lagoon, 5 Goosander up by the weir
      and Siskin and Goldcrest about in the woods.
      28 species spotted on the morning.
      and the weather held up.













   

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Nice to see the Jays back

A couple popped into the feeding area today.



Saturday, 4 March 2017

Sparrowhawk This Morning

Grabbed this pic of a sparrowhawk (male?) on the reserve today just after it had missed grabbing a bluetit for brunch. And for those missing the jays, four flew over the feeding area together but didn't drop in.


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Spring 2017 Newsletter

Our latest Newsletter, Spring 2017, is now available. This will be sent to all our Members automatically in the next day os so.

If any Member does not receive it by Saturday then please contact us.

If you are not a Member and would like join us to help maintain our Reserve and receive all Newsletters to date then visit us in the Cabin or fill in the form on the right. We will contact you as soon as possible.

Watching birds is good for your health

Research from Exeter University finds that watching birds near your home is good for your mental-wellbeing.  An interesting part of the findings is the link between mental-wellbeing and birds seen in the afternoon:


http://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/featurednews/title_571299_en.html

Nest Box Research

This report from the BBC about nest boxes and natural nesting sites may be of interest to some of you.  The take-away is that both forms of nesting have their pros and cons, though in the long-term natural cavities would appear to be the best form:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39104672

Friday, 24 February 2017

Bridge opening this weekend

The bridge will be open on Saturday and Sunday the plan was to close it on Saturday but weather conditions made a change nessesary there will be working on Sunday but the bridge will be open for this weekend . If anyone is coming to the Photo day tomorrow meet in the cabin at 10am . Yours Graham

Thursday, 23 February 2017

PHOTOGRAPHY DAYS

Saturday 25th of February     10am - 2pm

Come along to expert photography tuition for all ages, abilities and camera types. Followed by tea, coffee and home-made produce!

Apparently  The Footbridge will be OPEN all Saturday. So please meet as normal in the Cromwell Bottom Car Park at 10:00am
        No need to book - just come along to the Cabin

Bird Survey

CROMWELL BOTTOM NATURE RESERVE’S BIRD SURVEY February 18th 2017

The February bird survey on the 18th enjoyed far better weather. The sun shone, there was only a light wind and it was mild. The birds obviously enjoyed it because there were larger numbers of birds, though not species. ( 31 rather than30 )
Rather more of the reserve was covered even though there were only 5 participants. However we still did not see a jay; but Mike Henshaw and Steve Midgley did see a MALE HEN HARRIER passing through; the first time one has been seen on the reserve (we think) After several texts it was confirmed as a Calderdale sighting to enter the record book,
Rather mundane, the flocks of redwings were not seen, possible left on their journey north.
Song thrushes were starting to sing as where wrens, dunnocks and robins, who were in full song.
As many as 13 grey herons were ‘put-up’ by something and were all seen together in the sky. Several of them were seen earlier carrying nesting material. The great spotted woodpecker made an appearance at the feeding station, as did 6 reed bunting. Good views of 3 wigeon were finally had on the river
Mike and Steve also spotted a mink cowering under the metal bridge.
Roy who came with us for the first time said he had learnt a lot from his visit and had thoroughly enjoyed it.

List of species displayed in the cabin

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Recent Photos

                                                                   Dunnock
                Starlings at Brighouse (Worth going down at the end of the day when you leave the reserve)

                                                             Reed Buntings  (female and male)
                              Long Tailed Tits. My favourite small bird. So photogenic







                                                         A serious looking Blue Tit

                                               Long Tailed Tit enjoying a snack
                                                      Blue Tits looking for food

                                                                 Nuthatch

                                                             Bullfinchs (m)

                                                                        Robin