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 June 2020

Pellucid Fly

The hoverfly that I had in a recent post up for ID (the picture captioned 'ID Hoverfly on Foxglove) I have identified it as Pellucid Fly, looking at the NBN atlas they do not seem to common.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Aquatic larvae in my water-butt

I've only seen these twice. Spotting them in my water-butt I told my partner Annie without giving the common name, as I think it's a bit pejorative. (Rat-tailed Maggots.)

She got this video, risking dropping her phone in the water. You can see their intestine through their skin. We can't work out if they're feeding on floating vegetable matter or drowned insects.

She was delighted with them as I thought she would be, and found out they are the larvae of a kind of hoverfly - news to me.

Her suggested new name for them is Chevron-larvae.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Rishworth Yesterday.

I went back out yesterday.
It was a warm warm day and there was lots to see.
Wild Rose
Peachy Steve tells me Common Valerian can be quite common
but I didn't think as common as this!
Hedge Woundwort Now in flower

Monday, 22 June 2020

Today in Rishworth - A Plant Walk

I went out on a walk through the meadows and on the lanes, here is some plant life seen.
See lepidopterous things Here.
I also saw many other plants real examples include...
Birds Foot Trefoil, Bush Vetch, Red Clover, White Clover, Wild Columbine, garlic mustard

Helophilus Pendulus on Common Valerian
Hedge Woundwort
Marsh Thistle
ID Hoverfly on Foxglove
Common Valerian on its own
White Dead Nettle

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Today in Rishworth - Siskins and Plant ID's

Hello all.
My first post on this blog - I just thought I'd share some of what I have seen today.

My post on Calderdale Moths blog is linked HERE to see moths from this morning.
I have been a member of that blog since September.

Here is a patch of a wildflower that is in the natural meadow that seperates the house from the wood.

Also a female Siskin on the bird feeder for interest.

F Siskin

Any ideas? Click to enlarge.
They aren't grass seedheads as you can see from the second pictures, they are flowers.

Tree planting and optimism

I remember this field below Green Lane, Lumb Bank at Heptonstall, being quite open before self-seeded Birch, Sycamore and Oak filling it up. A nice woodland in the making but just going over now.

Every time I pass by, my first impressions are of a congested and increasingly shady woodland; crying out for some good thinning before it looses all ground flora and the light demanding Oaks become degraded and derelict.

Imagine my surprise to find that instead of reducing the number of trees, much of this woodland has been underplanted with yet more of them!

Even without knowing which species have been planted, it is difficult to know why this has been done. As can be seen from the photos, the light levels in the woodland are fairly dim and the fact that even grass won't grow on the bare and shady ground should tell something about the optimism of the planters.

It would be very interesting to discover if anyone knows who did the work and can give an update of the management plan. I am keen to know and quite prepared to praise them for good ideas and my comments are a load of nonsense.
Calderdale Council owns much land in Colden, I do hope they are not responsible.

But I have seen the same underplanting happen in many other woodlands and the saplings have failed to survive.

Woodlands are not made by numbers, it is often the spaces and glades that give them a purpose.

There is an Oak tree here destined to be ruined by new planting.
Keep the glade open and let it grow.

Young Oak on left and right at risk from new planting. No room for any more trees.

A small glade with vegetation now under threat

Existing trees need thinning. Shade will inhibit any growth

Some thinning on left has taken place but nowhere near enough to be meaningful

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

It's those pesky weeds again

The newly built school at Todmorden, with re-graded slopes at school entrance, seeded with a wild flower mixture last year. 

Beautiful show of flowers and grasses this spring with bees and butterflies, so I took a photo.
Yet within just a few days the whole lot had been mown down.

Why would anyone contemplate doing this and think it a good idea; particularly as it was specifically sown to be an attractive entrance to an educational establishment.

We are all encouraged to keep an area for wildlife, yet this kind of official behaviour continues and scraped clean grassland is proudly proclaimed as the ideal level of attainment we should all aspire to.


A few days later

Friday, 5 June 2020

Little Owl

Seen from the bedroom window on a haylage bale.
It was still there hours later.
I just caught it as its head rotated fully to the back.