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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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.