This Blog covers nature sightings and related news in the Calderdale area.
It includes all groups - Plants, animals and fungi with links to specialist sites.
Anyone wishing to become a member of this Blog and post sightings please contact us.
If you would like to join the Halifax Scientific Society either email me or come along to the next meeting.
All welcome:
Please contact us about any sensitive records before posting on the blog

Sunday 4 July 2021

 Crab Spider

A good chance to have a practise with the tripod photographing this female crab spider poised in ambush, probably Xysticus cristatus, on a mallow in my garden this afternoon.

Typical stance with the front two pairs of legs held wide to embrace whatever unfortunate invertebrate might come along.

Very crab-like in appearance. 

Common and widespread, watch out for these spiders on ground level or in low vegetation.

She hung around for a couple of hours before the rain came. Interestingly, she wasn't on the open flowers on the same plant, which many insects were visiting, but on the buds. Some species of crab spiders can change colour to match the flower they are sitting on, but not species from this genus. 

Sunday 13 June 2021

 Rhinoceros Beetle

This male Sinodendron cylindricum flew across my garden in Ovenden this afternoon and landed on my hand!

I first posted pictures of these to this blog several years ago the first time I saw them in the garden. Good to know they are still here and shows how worth while it is to leave dead wood as a habitat for beetle larvae and other wildlife. I suspect they are coming from the remains of a large tree that died around 25 years ago. This individual was about 15mm long and an extremely strong flyer - taking off in an instant and making straight for the top of a nearby tree about as tall as the house.

Friday 5 March 2021

Crimsworth Dean

Plusses ++ and minus's --today as we walked the length of Haworth Old Road as far as the 'summit' and return to Pecket Well

On the walk along the road we came across a few of these posters. We have seen them there in previous years but it's encouraging to see them still in place. Let's hope drivers take note as the year progresses and give these precious creatures a life chance. 

On the down side we saw a couple of notices saying Lumb Falls was closed due to anti-social behavior, litter and the like. What a shame that such a lovely local beauty spot should suffer from this sort of misuse. There is also a notice nearby to say the footpath is still open so that's good.

Viewing the outstanding views of the hills from the top of the road - how disappointing to see 6 big heather moorland fires across the vista towards and beyond Keighley and into Wharfedale. Thankfully we did not see any fires in our own area but they were also burning heather moor today in the north Peak. 
One wonders if the message will ever get through !!!

Withens Clough - mosses and lichen

We recently walked around the reservoir coming back along the dam wall. We noticed a number of different mosses and lichen...... no idea what species they might all be but they all looked stunning, growing on nothing but the stones.

This last photo was the most interesting species with small red-ish (fruiting bodies?). The best we can do is Cladonia sp ? maybe cristatella or coccifera ? British Soldier Lichen ???

Monday 1 March 2021

North Dean Woods

Had a socially distanced walk with Charlie today from Hollas Bridge & a circuit of North Dean. Saw the odd Scarlet Elfcap, very dry Witches Butter & a Winter Polypore. GSW drumming shortly in the Wood. A lovely Male Bullfinch close to the viaduct after leaving Charlie at Copley.

Sunday 16 August 2020

New Website

We moved the blog to our new website for a time

All recent posts can be found on the new website blog

Sunday 26 July 2020

Moorland Flowers - 26th July - Baitings to Great Manshead

I am sort of making a series of this moorland flowers thing! I really enjoyed seeing the Yellow Rattle. As usual, any help appreciated.
Is this new Heather growth or Crowberry?
Looking down from the 'Man's Head'

Beautiful Hay Meadow

No Idea


Yellow Rattle

Is this Mouse Ear sp.?

no contact

Unfortunately there is no contact from the Blog to any links except the fungi blog!
Please rectify.

Wednesday 22 July 2020

Moorland Flowers - Oxygrains - Rishworth Moor - 22nd July - A Mystery Plant As well

I went to Oxygrains today and saw a few bits and bobs.
Hope you enjoy and this mystery plant is quite interesting.

Mystery Plant - Foliage and Flowers

Mystery Plant - Flowers

Heath Bedstraw
So common here in Rishworth and area

Herb Robert 'album'
A few plants of this, new to me,
not the species, this form.

Sunday 19 July 2020

Rishworth - Orchids and IDs...!

A really nice plant walk today. I really enjoyed seeing my first Orchid. Just so it is clear, on the captions I have added Rishworth to them

Common Mallow, Rishworth

Red Campion, Rishworth

Harebells, Rishworth - Never seen these before

Common Green Grasshopper, Rishworth
Tormentil and Creeping Cinquefoil, Rishworth

Creeping Cinquefoil leaves, Rishworth

A different Harebell plant, Rishworth

Common Spotted Orchid, Rishworth

Events Update

Further to the notice about indoor meetings being cancelled for the foreseeable future.
We have decided that we can continue the walks programme subject to social distancing rules.
Walks will resume starting Saturday 8th August.
It would be helpful if anyone planning to attend could contact walk leaders (or get a message to them) beforehand.
Numbers may be limited in some cases and some walks may not go ahead dependent on the event.
Please check the blog and the new website for updates.

Saturday 8th August - 10:30 to 15:30
A Ryburn Tributary Walk
A walk in a watercourse, wet feet are likely
This is a great way to cover new ground and see little known features in the landscape.
Exact location dependent on water levels on the day
Meet Peachysteve on Halifax Road, Kebroyd.  HX6 3HN
3 miles

Wednesday 15 July 2020

Rishworth - Plant walk and a couple of IDs

Can't put my finger on this. It has nettle-like leaves

Confused on this aswell

The mystery plant with nettle leaves again

Birds Foot Trefoil on the slope where the Burnet moths live

Went for a walk today. Found a few Purple Toadflax and some interesting IDs. The above video is what I think is Common Toadflax at the start of the video.
The mystery Toadflax plant

Wednesday 8 July 2020

Rishworth Today - Purple Toadflax and More!

Hello all,

I went out for a nice walk today and spotted a few plants.
One or two may want IDing.
I am not sure of the status of Purple Toadflax in Calderdale, anyone know?
It is non native I believe, yet a foodplant for the Toadflax Brocade and Toadflax Pug Lepidoptera.

Purple Toadflax Flowers

Purple Toadflax Leaves

A couple of the Purple Toadflax plants

The Purple Toadflax plants again with a bit more leaf view

All plants and where they are growing

Don't know this one

All of the Don't Know plants

A self-seeded wildflower bit in Heathfield School car park

Bush Vetch in the car park

Red & White Clover in the car park

Spear Thistle

Spear Thistle

Hedge Woundwort

Hedge Woundwort as above just less zoom

Hedge Woundwort growing through the Rosebay Willowherb

What is This?