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.
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Friday, 26 August 2016


Our garden is literally hopping with this year's tiny frogs, but can anyone tell me how to judge the age of older frogs (we have just one in the garden) like the one in this picture?  Is it 1 year old - or 10?  I'd love to know!  Charlotte

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Siver Y moths arrived

Five of us were on Wadsworth Moor yesterday and we saw at least three Silver Y moths feeding on the heather nectar.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Snake evidence in Luddenden

A member of the public contacted me after finding this skin of a small snake which had been sloughed inside a lidded barbecue. They have to find somewhere rough to rub their mouth, to start the skin peeling back, then they crawl out of it, leaving it behind, often intact, and turned inside out.

The young father was concerned it might be an Adder near his garden. I could reassure him after checking with a hand lens that it wasn't an Adder. Also, unfortunately for us naturalists, it wasn't a Grass Snake either. Both these native snakes have a central keel on each small dorsal scale, which shows easily on the slough, but this snake didn't have this feature. The keel is a raised line like the keel underneath a wooden boat.

So it's most likely an escaped exotic pet. The only chance it could be a native snake is if someone has picked up a Smooth Snake on one of the few southern county heathlands they live on, and brought it home. (This would be a wildlife crime, as you need a license to handle Smooth Snakes - which don't have a keel on their dorsal scales.)       Reference: ARC Reptile ID Guide (online.) 

Thursday, 18 August 2016


Saw this tiny larvae about 5mm long, today in our garden at Todmorden. I think it is an Orange Ladybird larvae Halyzia 16-guttata and it used to be quite rare but has spread North over the last 20 years.

Both the adult and larvae feed on mildew. They used to be confined to Oak trees but now more common on Sycamore and Ash and were formerly an indicator of ancient woodland. It is my first sighting of the larvae

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

My first in 2016

Painted Lady Butterfly at Skircoat this afternoon. It didn't re-open its wings after I missed the brief chance I had to get its upper side. It seemed to be settling down for a rest low down on a wall. It was flying around fast when it first attracted my attention. 

Botany Ramble this Saturday

Peachysteve is leading a ramble along the canal bank from Mytholmroyd
this Saturday 13th August 2016.

Meet 10.30 for 10.40 at Mytholmroyd in the large free car park next to Russell Dean Furniture Showroom.

All welcome! We will be stopping for a picnic around lunchtime.

Common Ragwort with 
Cinnabar Moth caterpillar. 
 (last year.) SB 

For all the walks planned this year, click on " Welcome" at the top of the page.