The weather was kind to us on the monthly Scientific Society ramble, with the views enhanced by pools of sunlight versus shade in the distance. Dark sweeps of cloud lent Hughesian or Bronte-esque drama to the Pennine scenery. Birds seen included a Peregrine, 2 Kestrels, a Buzzard mewing as it soared above one of the Kestrels on Shackleton Knoll and 8 juvenile Linnets together on wall tops in upper crimsworth Dean.
Loads of other happy walkers were around including a big group from Staffordshire, who “lapped” us twice; once in Hardcastle Crags and again on the Aire-Calder Link path going over the top to Crimsworth Dean.
We passed the Abel Stones, two ancient Christian cross stones or cross bases. The knowledge is lost why they are there as a pair in Crimsworth Dean. Halifax Scientific Society used to record antiquities as well as wildlife/botany until the Antiquarian Society was formed in the early 20thC, and many sites were written up and illustrated in the Halifax Naturalist. The cross stones are at SD 987307, set well above the track under a power line.
Next scheduled monthly ramble is to Soil Hill/ Bradshaw, especially looking at up to 400 Autumn Crocus in the fields at Bradshaw and Holmfield. Meet Riley Lane/ School Lane Junction SE078294. 10.30am for a 10.45 start. Learn about how much more extensive the crocus fields were said to be in the literature. Leader Bruce.
After that on 23rd Sept. there is a half day visit to Hoofstone Heights, the highest point in Calderdale, with an enigmatic rock carving, plus a stop at Bridestones, which also have historical, geological and climate-change aspects to explore. (Wind erosion during an ice-age when they were not covered.) Meet 10.30am for 10.45 start Mytholmroyd car park. (Next to Russel Deans Furniture SE014260.) This walk isn’t in the schedule. Leader – me, but Dave Shepherd the archaeologist has promised to come along if he can.
The walk over the peat up to Hoofstone Heights from Long Causeway above Todmorden is wet and boggy, but with no really sticky quagmires. Some peatland restoration has been attempted recently so we will be able to see the early results of that.
Picture supplied by Michael Sykes
Post from Charlie.
Visit to Hardcastle Crags and Crimsworth Dean yesterday.
Here’s some of the photos I took yesterday – nothing rare but a good variety.
Many thanks Charlie.
Two mines of Caloptilia alchimiella or robustella on oak from Crimsworth Dean. One of the larva has vacated the mine and rolled the tip of the leaf in to a neat cone to feed within.
I will have to rear it through to at least the pupal stage to get a precise ID of the species.
|Holly Tortrix Rhopobota naevana|
A Holly Tortrix found during lunch at the foot of Shackleton Knoll in
|Large Skipper Ochlodes sylvanus|
A Large Skipper nectaring on Marsh Thistle showing the full length
of the proboscis.
There were five Buzzards over my house in Holmfield at 11:30 today. Only seen one before and then five come together!
A reminder that there is a walk in Hardcastle Crags and Crimsworth Dean this Saturday, starting at 10:30 am in the Midgehole carpark, Hebden Bridge (parking fee unless you are a NT member).
Distance approx 5 miles of gentle walking. Bring food/drink. This is one of the Calderdale Wildside Walks and is suitable for children.
We will look at birds, bugs and plants along the way. Walk rating easy/moderate.
All welcome. Just turn up and join us!
Tuesday August 14th 2012
Suitable for children and adults
Brian Leecy posted a picture on 4th August of a pink flower at Blake Dean, asking for any help on id, whether it is Common Lousewort or Marsh Lousewort.
I think it’s Common Lousewort, Pedicularis sylvatica, not Marsh Lousewort. The outer part of the flower, the sepal-tube, looks smooth, whereas in Marsh it’s downy.
This is from Fitter, Fitter and Blamey. (Collins.)
Even the Common Lousewort is infrequent in Calderdale, according to Frank Murgatroyd’s Flora of the Halifax Parish. Recorded previously only from Crimsworth Dean, Broadhead Clough, Luddenden Dean and the Castle Carr Estate. Both species are said to grow on boggy ground.
Marsh Lousewort has only been found once in West Yorkshire in recent years, at Hawksworth Moor, according to Lavin and Wilmore in The West Yorkshire Plant Atlas 1994.
Incidentally, we have several copies of this atlas to give away, having had them donated to the Halifax Scientific Society. All new members with an interest in botany can claim one free. It is a beautiful hard-backed book, on good quality paper, with many distribution maps and some full page colour illustrations.
Sorry for slow response.
P.s. Brian, the beetle you posted a picture of a bit back looked to be on a rare fern for the area, Hard Fern Polystichum aculeatum, but I could be wrong.