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

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Purple Small-Reed. New to Calderdale?

Walking the canal towpath this afternoon at Walsden, I saw a tall grass which I haven't seen before in Calderdale; in fact the last time I saw it in the wild was at the SSSI at Leven Canal near the river Hull, East Yorks.

This Purple Small-Reed, Calamagrostis canescens at Walsden must have been there a while as it has covered a large area with its rhizomatous roots. It is a lovely grass with its long purplish flower heads and is dominating the vegetation, as seen in the photo.

Can anyone say if this grass has any local records? I wonder how it got to Walsden?

Friday, 28 June 2013

Mowing verges

To follow on from Bruce's post about wild flower verges, we might see lots of grass flowers such as this Crested Dogs Tail. So colourful now the anthers are showing.

Council grass cutting ban to protect bees is planned

The "Telegraph" reports that Councils are to be banned from cutting grass verges in the early summer and developers will be forced to put in place new nesting sites for bees when they demolish buildings. These plans are being considered by the Government to increase insect numbers.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

North Hollingworth 27-06-13

Michael Sykes and myself had a walk near North Hollingworth this morning before the rain came. The Cotton Grass looked fantastic swaying in the breeze and there so many beautiful little flowering plants and lichens to see too, and Michael managed to capture these specimens we found brilliantly.

Cup Lichen (Cladonia coccifera).

Common Cotton Grass (Eriophorum angustifolium).

Hare's Tail Cotton Grass (Eriophorum vaginatum).

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Friday, 21 June 2013

Large Skipper

First Large Skipper, female, seen today at Sunnybank Todmorden. I think it was newly emerged as it rested on Cirsium rivulare and let me get close without flying off.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Cromwell Bottom 20-06-13

Michael and I found a few of these Common Spotted Orchids today, nearly in full bloom.

Dactylorhiza fuchsii. Michael's photograph.

Wildlife Walk at Cromwell Bottom

Solstice walk - tomorrow Friday 21st. Meet in the car park opposite the pallet works behind Cromwell House and join the members of the Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group for an informative walk around the Local Nature Reserve looking at the abundance of seasonal wildlife and flowers. 

No charge, but donations to the Wildlife Group welcome. Insect repellent essential.
Event time: 7 pm - 9 pm
Venue:   Cromwell Bottom, Park Rd

All welcome

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Cromwell Bottom 16-06-13

Michael found these specimens today.

Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus).

Southern Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza praetermissa).

A pretty pink Rose (Rosa).

Nettle Clustercup Rust (Puccinia urticata).

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Fallow Deer ??

Got a glimpse of this Fallow Deer just outside Calderdale  on the Bradford yesterday , do we get fallow deer in Calderdale, I don't think I've ever seen one.?? 

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Withens Clough 09-06-13

Michael Sykes found this young Butterwort today.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Withens Clough, 1st June 2013

A belated post from last Saturday (sorry!).  On a circular walk around Withens Clough and skirting Turley Holes and Higher House Moor, I saw a couple of wimberry bumblebees (Bombus monticola) on Turley Holes Edge and near Higher House Barn was a single green hairstreak and two impressive looking green tiger beetles.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Lumbutts Clough

At last Spring has arrived properly in the Upper Calder Valley. The apple tree in our garden has blossom now, the bluebells are in full flower and the wild garlic is bursting with flowers and aroma. The smell of the wild garlic as you walk through Lumbutts Clough really has to be experienced.
Orange Tip on wild garlic (sounds like a recipe!)
Our House Martins have arrived back at their nest on the side of the house at long last. There were so few for most of April and May I was worried that there had been a mass boycott for some reason.

My First Speckled Wood

Things are really slow this year.

From Nigel via Denise - Spotted Fly Catcher are finally back in Ogden Plantation.

Also Denise saw some Green Hairstreak butterflies at Ogden, unfortunately no pictures, they were too flighty.

Speckled Wood butterfly today

And we had our first Speckled Wood butterfly today in Holmfield, Calderdale, West Yorkshire.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Swan Mussels ? Rochdale Canal 02 06 13

Whilst walking along the Rochdale Canal Towpath, Noticed quite a few of these Freshwater Mussels as the water level was right down, near to Todmorden Town Centre yesterday,size two and half to 3 inches long aprox ,wonder if they are Swan Mussels ? never seen them before,but would be easy to miss, especially when Canals at normal level.Bri.

Sunday, 2 June 2013


Continuing from Phillips beetle post, Oliver and I found this beetle on the 20/05/13 in Hardcastle Crags, crawling over a mossy log. It had a lovely metallic blue trim on the edge of it's body and legs and it was approximately one centimeter in length.