Monthly Archives: May 2012

Gall on Blackthorn

This was about 3/4 of the way along the hedge beside the River Calder at Cromwell Bottom, today. Each fruit has been affected along this shoot.
I did a search for “Gall on Blackthorn” and Wikipedia informed me that it’s Taphrina pruni.  It’s sometimes known as Pocket Gall, as the empty, flattened, elongated fruit is pocket-like.(See white object at the bottom of the shoot.)
The same fungi infects other Prunus species, and a similar one infects Alder.

I was looking for Dodder, a parisitic plant, which has just been reported by Portia Fincham, who found the Yellow Birdsnest at Todmorden. It was 6 years ago, she admits, and it was on this hedge near the furthest kissing-gate into Tag Loop. (Nearest the railway.) She did note it in July, so it was unlikely to be visible today, and it wasn’t.

2012-05-31T22:22:00+01:00May 31st, 2012|0 Comments

Tree tube shelters can be killers

I read that tree tubes can be a hazard for young birds. They get in them for insects etc but then find they cannot get out. Some tubes have been found with many dead birds. I am  not sure whether this problem is recognised in this country but in America tree tubes have to have a ‘top’ to prevent entry by birds.

With the many thousands of tree tubes in Calderdale, standing for years on end, does anyone know if there is a problem with dead birds locally?

2012-05-30T17:11:00+01:00May 30th, 2012|0 Comments

Buzzards not welcome

In the Yorkshire Post, Country Week section, it reports that Defra is to fund £375,000 over the next 3 years in an experiment in Northumberland to harass Buzzards. This will include nest destruction and permanent off-site removal to a falconry centre.

Defra has had complaints from the game shooting business about buzzards taking young pheasants and this is Defra’s response. The RSPB are naturally shocked by this venture.

2012-05-28T10:13:00+01:00May 28th, 2012|0 Comments

Oats Royd Ponds

I was having a chat with two fisherman yesterday who have permission from the owner to fish the ponds at Oats Royd. When I told them that during my birding forays I used to see big carp on the surface in summer months upto and including 2011, they responded with some dismaying news indeed.
All the big fish and most other fish have now been taken from the ponds by poachers. One of them paid a visit recently and could find only two small fish in a period of hours. I mentioned on March 29 this year that I had seen two very unsavoury characters walking from the ponds upto Bradshaw carrying rods. They responded that it got more industrial than that – on one occasion a small trawling net was discovered submersed!

Two years back there were two domestic white geese happily esconced here and one evening I found the recent remains of one spread out on the bank. One of these guys told me he had actually fished the body of the bird from the water one or two nights before. It bore all the hallmarks of having been given a good stoning, which is what I feel the perpetrators should have done to them. The remaining goose has in the past 6 months or so got a new partner, for how long remains to be seen.
The landowner has declared the reserve is for everybody; obviously everybody is not for the reserve.

2012-05-27T09:31:00+01:00May 27th, 2012|0 Comments

Stop Spring Hunting in Malta



Maltese birders have organised a petition to ban spring hunting. 

Sign this petition and make a difference. Why this is important

   In Spring-time, birds (Turtle Doves and Quails) are in their best and migrate from Africa to Europe. They cross the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean sea to mainland Europe to breed and raise their young.
Both species are in decline, and shooting them when passing through Malta in Spring is contributing to this decline. Many other protected birds are indiscriminately shot every Spring whilst the hunting season is open.  More information…  

Also for a film made by our own Steve Cummings about the issues out there go to visit this link and check out “Birds Bins and Bullets”. 

Thanks Nick for the above link.
2012-05-23T06:11:00+01:00May 23rd, 2012|0 Comments

Dawn Chorus Event for any night-owls.

This young tawny owl was in Bankhouse Wood recently.
Any human night-owls who fancy a  DAWN CHORUS event can join the Scientific Society for a listen out in Cragg Vale on Sunday at dawn. This one’s unsuitable for dogs.
Meet quietly at the public car park at Russell Dean’s Mytholmroyd Showroom. 2.45am for a 3.00am start. SE014260.
 From there we will share lifts if required and park quietly at Dauber Bridge, a little way up Cragg Road. We’ll walk up the track towards Broadhead Clough, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Reserve. We’ll probably stop before the reserve and sit and wait for dawn, so you might want to bring a  waterproof something to sit on or a camp chair.
If its mild and calm with light cloud or the sun coming up, we will be in for a treat! Then we’ll go home at about 4.30 – 5.00 for a lovely Sunday lie-in.
2012-05-18T19:18:00+01:00May 18th, 2012|0 Comments

Back Yard Deer

I just had a big surprise when I looked out the kitchen window; two Roe Deer were in the back field staring right back at me! I grabbed my camera and returned, an action that took only 10 seconds but such is their wariness, they had scarpered. A quick dash upstairs into the back bedroom failed to turn them up, still it’s a good memory to have.

2012-05-18T15:53:00+01:00May 18th, 2012|0 Comments
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