Monthly Archives: March 2012

Evening Walk – Lower Calder/ Bradley Wood

This Wednesday, at 7pm, there will be a short walk along the waterways of the lowest parts of Calderdale, below Bradley Wood.

Meet Steve Blacksmith and Bruce Hoyle at Brighouse Sainsbury’s Car Park, at the recycling point, for a short drive then a walk along the towpath for approximately 2 miles walk in total. Lifts available.

This is the only part of Calderdale where Yellowhammers are still regularly found, and we may be lucky enough to find one.

2012-03-31T19:55:00+01:00March 31st, 2012|0 Comments

Cragg Vale/Broadhead Clough

Peacock  Aglais io   

Mike sent these pictures of a Peacock butterfly and Bog beacon – a small, no more than 5cm tall – fungi found in shady, damp places from March onwards.

Bog Beacon  Mitrula paludosa

Mitrula paludosa – close up

2012-03-29T19:27:00+01:00March 29th, 2012|0 Comments

Local Update

On 27th March at Swalesmoor I saw a Peacock Butterfly and a few Tortoiseshells; another Peacock was in nearby upper Shibden Valley. Yesterday 28th on Soil Hill were several Tortoiseshells with at least 2 pairs seen close together.
The frogspawn I posted and pictured on 11th March at Soil Hill hatched a couple of days back, sadly I don’t hold out much hope for it. Yesterday 28th, I saw a much reduced number of tiny tadpoles struggling in an algae covered 2 inches of water.

Here is the link for the mammal database showing reported records from recent weeks; the previous years records (upto 23/04/2011) have now been archived.

2012-03-29T08:50:00+01:00March 29th, 2012|0 Comments

Holmfield – Tuesday

We had a walk down to “the lakes” yesterday. There were at least 3 Chiffchaff singing, I expected Blackcap but heard none. We did have 5 heron in a field – normally see only singles. Just one lake with spawn (26 clumps) one very close to hatching.

2012-03-28T13:48:00+01:00March 28th, 2012|0 Comments

Tortoiseshell Butterfly

First sighting of a Small Tortoiseshell this year on 1st March at Sunnybank, Todmorden. Several sightings since then and now daily.

2012-03-25T00:02:00+00:00March 25th, 2012|0 Comments

Vole and Weasels

Sounds like an eco Pub don’t it? The Field Vole was on a grassy bank by the track leading from Ogden Res to the Withens. About 100 metres away a pr Kestrel were hunting. The two Weasels were on the track at Soil Hill, they scarpered under a big rock on seeing me. No amount of cajoling could get them to emerge for a photo shoot.
A tragic sight indeed was in the ditch running along Cold Edge Rd to Fly Flatts. Gallons of Frog spawn has gone to waste owing to lack of rain; some areas are not even wet while others have just a trickle of water.

Here is the link for Birds seen.

2012-03-22T17:05:00+00:00March 22nd, 2012|0 Comments

Hebden Hey Toad Update

Toad sightings at Hebden Hey were recorded far earlier than last year! After Portia’s February report from Todmorden, I headed up and saw my first toads at Hebden Hey on 2nd March. I recorded 4 live and 1 dead toad, and 6 live and 1 dead Palmate Newt. A visit on Sunday 4th March recorded more casualties.

As Hebden Hey experiences most of its traffic at weekends when the Scout Huts are in use, an enthusiastic group of old and new volunteers started patrolling the next Friday. Since then we have recorded:

– Friday 9th: Helped – 83 toads, 26 newts and 3 frogs.  Casualties – 20 toads, 6 newts and 2 frogs.
– Saturday 10th: Helped – 43 toads, 16 newts and 1 frog. Casualties – 7 toads and 2 frogs.
– Sunday 11th (afternoon): Helped – 11 toads and 4 newts. Casualties – 7 toads and 2 newts.
– Friday 16th: Helped – 22 toads and four newts. No casualties.
– Saturday 17th: Helped – 3 toads and 7 newts. Casualties – 2 toads.

Here’s hoping there will be more out on some warmer evenings this week!

2012-03-22T01:47:00+00:00March 22nd, 2012|0 Comments

Upper Valley Toad Update

Todmorden toad season is off to the usual ‘stop-start’ mode due to variable night-time temperatures, even after warm days. Anything above 10C seems more promising for activity, as a guide for Toaders, if your hands feel cold it’s probably too cold for toads too, bearing in mind wind and rain chill factors.

First sightings were Dobroyd and Woodhouse on 27th and 28th Feb, in quite sheltered areas. Other sites started from 8th March. Portsmouth Dam seems latest due to a big head-wind down the valley. Two dead males were found there on Sat 17th March.

We’ve got some brilliant teams out on the look-out at Woodhouse, Lumbutts and Portsmouth. Others like Tennis Pond, Walsden and Horsehold in Hebden Bridge could probably do with extra helpers. The highest number of toads on one night so far has been Woodhouse with 19 found (sadly many dead/run over) due to high traffic volume. Thanks to Cheryl for this record.

First toad shelters are now in place on the track-sides undergrowth at Portsmouth to prevent last year’s tragedy when many dried up in the sun – they come out in the day there! Thanks to Dave Wilson for the black plastic piping.

Hoping for warmer nights soon and then they’ll be on ‘the march’. Happy Toading!

2012-03-22T01:13:00+00:00March 22nd, 2012|0 Comments
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