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

Monday, 29 April 2013

Otter in Calder Valley

A friend of mine saw an otter last Thursday at about 2pm in the Calder Valley. First he saw some sudden movements of fish in the water, then the otter broke the surface and he realised what had disturbed the fish.  He has lived locally for nearly 70 years, on and off, and says he's never seen an otter in this area before.

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Free Botanical Training Day

Pennine Prospects are running a free botanical training day on Thurs 24th May. Have a look at :

Kate Burnett is running the training day.

There is a free lunch, and it takes place in the Slaithwaite area of Huddersfield, so it's a chance for us Calderdale naturalists to brush up on our plant identification skills and also see a little of the countryside a short hop over the hill in Kirklees.

Cowberry Vaccinium vitis-idaea (centre- with pink and white flowers.)
Crow Hill, Sowerby    SB

Sunday, 28 April 2013

More birds at Withens Clough

Wednesday 24th April - a grey & windy day - I went back to Withens Clough to see if the Goldeneye were still there.  No sign of them, but I did see a Wheatear, a Common Sandpiper and a Ringed Plover. 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Goldeneye at Withens Clough

On Saturday 20th April on Withens Clough reservoir there was a pair of Goldeneye ducks.  It was a beautiful, sunny day and the white of the male showed up brilliantly against the blue water.  I watched them for half an hour: continually diving, briefly appearing on the surface and then diving again.  It was a great sight.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Badger Cull


Stop the badger cull

Responsible department: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Over 70% of the badger population in large areas of the country will be killed, many of them healthy. 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Toads on the move

Female Common Toad Bufo bufo with male on her back, moving to the breeding pond "in amplexus."
Photo SB

The toads started moving at Washer Lane, Sowerby Bridge on Saturday night in the rain, when the temperature went up. They're about a fortnight later than usual, but there should be plenty of time for them to lay their spawn and for the tadpoles to catch up.

There are no where near the numbers we used to get at Washer Lane, which was over 2000 one spring. Biggest counts so far here are 12 on Sunday and also 12 on Monday night. The toad patrol volunteers are moving larger numbers at other sites.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


First sighting of 2 Swallows feeding over Todmorden Hall at noon today, before flying towards Walsden.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Signs of Spring

Chiff-Chaffs singing in our wood in Tod, for the first time this year. Also quite a few small Tortoiseshells about, plus Peacock and Comma. Lots of Celandine in flower and about 500 native wild daffodils, Narcissus pseudo-narcissus as per photo. We planted these about 20 odd years ago as very small bulbs (100 of these) and they have spread and multiplied into large clumps. Guelder rose in the foreground.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Roe Deer - Cleveley Gardens 26-03-13

The Arctic conditions tempted this Roe Deer to come and browse on my neighbours vegetation which, due to luck, I managed to photograph.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Ban pesticides linked to bee deaths, say MPs

Bee numbers have declined significantly in many countries with no clear explanation as to why.

Members of the Commons Environmental Audit Committee are calling for a moratorium on the use of sprays containing neonicotinoids.

More on this story ....
And even more

Britain has refused to back an EU ban on these chemicals saying their impact on bees is unclearPlease sign the petition 

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Bird film "A Bird for all Seasons" by Gordon Yates

The next meeting of The Halifax Scientific Society is this Tuesday the 9th of April 2013 at the Central Library, Halifax at 7:15pm.

Gordon Yates will show a film “A Bird for all Seasons”

Gordon's films are always well attended so get there early.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Walk This Saturday

Just a reminder that there is a walk this Saturday April 6th. Quaker Lane, Ripponden to see the Little Owl and Native Daffodils with Steve Blacksmith. Meet Ripponden Bowling Green car park SE040196 at 10:30 am. This is an easy to moderate circular of about 5 - 6 miles of gentle walking. There will be a lunch break halfway so bring some refreshments.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Day flying bat

On Saturday there was a bat foraging at mid-day and catching insects over the trees on Hall Street, Todmorden. Probably a pipistrelle. I have a little video of it but the blogger doesn't seem to support ones taken from a camera and held on the computer; only youtube, webcam (whatever they are) or camera phone. Unless someone knows different.