This Blog covers nature sightings and related news in the Calderdale area.
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Sunday, 10 March 2019

Our March indoor meeting with speaker coming from Edinburgh


  1. Heather's talk was a highly entertaining as well as fact-filled account of some of the work she and her team have been doing towards the conservation of endangered native plants.
    Re-introductions after bulking-up of wild plants at the botanical gardens was ongoing with Sticky Catchfly (on Arthur's Seat, that popular landmark in the park not far from Edinburgh city centre,) with Woolly Willow, Salix lanata, a low, creeping shrub in the mountains, with Oblong Woodsia, Britain's rarest fern, with the swarm of Sorbus hybrids in Glen Catacol on the Island of Arran, including the Arran Rowan, Sorbus arranensis, and the Arran Service Tree, Sorbus pseudomeinichii. I had made the long walk up Glen Catacol some years ago to see these unique Sorbus trees, but not having done my homework, couldn't identify the special ones. I did get a good look at two very confiding adders though, and Heather confirmed that she too had seen a couple of adders up there. We speculated whether they could have been the same animals. A full set of notes taken by Annie Honjo from the talk is available through our Librarian, Mike Brook, who will be in our library upstairs at the Central Library this Saturday 16.3.19, as usual on the third Saturday of each month.
    Walk report from 9.3.19: There were 13 people and two dogs on the walk, which coincided with a sudden break in the relentless rain, and continued through a sunny spell till we got back. we did two circuits of the Crematorium lawned and scrubby area (the parts which were best for birds) a tour of the western portion of the wood, which a lot of people miss if we leave it till last, and a circuit of the bluebell glades, though to see any blue on the bluebells was the exception, as they were held back despite the February heatwave. The object was to hear and learn birdsong from the resident species before the migrant song-birds arrived, and we heard Wren, Bullfinch (not in full song), Goldfinch, Nuthatch, Blue Tits, Great tits and Coal Tits. Sadly no Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers which used to nest there, or even its larger relatives, the great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers. We did see a fine show of Scarlet Elf Cap Fungus, and a dead oak log stained deep turquoise by the mycelium of Green Elf Cap, creating the wood that is used in marquetry referred to as Tunbridgeware.

  2. Corrections - Scarlet and Green Elf Cups, not Caps.