Monthly Archives: December 2012

Twite update for 2012 – good news at the end.

Though only one birder reported a small breeding colony, there were a few passing groups of Twite in small numbers, at Swalesmoor (above Boothtown) and Soil Hill (near Ogden) notably. (per Dave Sutcliffe.)

Swalesmoor is at SE088276 and Soil Hill is at SE077314.

The RSPB did not organise monitoring of breeding colonies using volunteers this year.

Charlotte Weightman, for the RSPB, continued with the reinstatement of flower-rich meadows project in Calderdale, as in previous years, appealing desperately for volunteers to help complete the seeding of the last fields in between the copious rain of this wettest year on record for England and Wales. Well done to Charlotte and her asistants! Sorry I never got round to lending a hand this year.

Male Twite at Rishworth in April 2011. Would  anyone like to  provide a better picture?

Unfortunately the spread of ryegrass monocultures in Calderdale continues. I notice it particularly in the Greetland/ Stainland Dean area, which could be all down to one wildlife-blind farmer. (They often rent fields at distances from their home farm.) Are there any other black-spot areas  for Twite, flowers and insects anyone has noticed ?

I was invited to monitor Moselden Head Quarry by Marshalls (Hx) Ltd for Twite as they were about to resume quarrying. In 7 visits from March to August I confirmed only one singing male on a wire near the entrance to the quarry on 24th April.

The fields over the road from the entrance are planned to be upgraded for flowering plants to help Twite, though they already support a great many dandelions. This land is owned by Marshalls who have consulted Natural England. Several times flocks of up to 40 Carduelis sp. could be seen and heard feeding here in the mist and rain, but were thought to be all Linnets. I did this as a voluntary job for Marshalls.

Numbers built up at one site in Calderdale, (Derby Delph Quarry,) to about 100 Twite in October. This was to feed on niger seed provided for them. They seem to use the site as a pre- and post-breeding gathering area, according to Tim Walker, who provides the seed and monitors birds there. They must have had a pretty OK breeding season, just as the Tree Sparrows did at Jay House lane.

2012-12-30T15:08:00+00:00December 30th, 2012|0 Comments

Hardcastle Crags 27/12/2012

We just had a short walk today in the Crags, before Oliver said he was still poorly and wanted to go back to the car. He’s definitely ill, if he’s not happy in a wood! Poor boy.

Lumpy Bracket (Trametes gibbosa). 

Common Jellyspot (Dacrymyces stillatus).

Purplepore Bracket (Trichaptum abietinum) above and below.

Crystal Brain (Myxarium nucleatum). Thanks to Chris Yeates for the id.

2012-12-27T21:23:00+00:00December 27th, 2012|0 Comments

Lepista flaccida (Tawny Funnel) in Hardcastle Crags, 22/12/2012

 Lepista flaccida (Tawny Funnel). Many thanks to Mal, at the Mid-Yorks Fungi Group who identified it.

I would not usually put Oliver’s gorgeous face on the Blog, but I just wanted to make a visual comparison as it was huge – 20 cm diameter.

These were the tiny yellow spindles  I saw yesterday. Calocera cornea (Small Stagshorn).

Steve, yes, just to confirm it is Ganoderma applanatum (Artist’s Bracket), after I inscribed Oliver’s initials on it.

2012-12-22T23:31:00+00:00December 22nd, 2012|0 Comments

Hardcastle Crags 21/12/2012

Hardcastle Crags 21/12/2012

I went on a mission to find the Herald of Winter this morning. It was a lovely day and I even saw some sunshine, which was refreshing after the last couple of days of rain.  Unfortunately I did not locate the Herald, however,  it was a productive day after I found the following species below.
Mal has suggested that these are a Lycogala, probably terrestre,  please see comments below.

Olive oysterling (Panellus serotinus), above and below.

Witches’ Butter (Exidia glandulosa)

Exidia plana above and below.

Black Bulgar (Bulgaria inquinans).

This may be a Beech Jellydisc or an Ascocoryne species, maybe sarcoides, thanks Bruce.

 Small Stagshorn (Calocera viscosa).

Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus), above and below.

Crimped Gill (Plicatura crispa) caps above and gills below.

Oliver proposed they are slime mould, may be Leocarpus fragilis

2012-12-21T22:28:00+00:00December 21st, 2012|0 Comments

Fungus in Newt Corner, Cromwell Bottom

Here are a couple of fungi seen at Newt Corner, Cromwell Bottom on Saturday 15th Dec 2012

This Bracket was smooth underneath with maze-like pores

Blushing Bracket Daedaleopsis confragosa tricolor  

Jelly Ear

Auricularia auricula-judae ?

The palest I have ever seen

(can you see the cat)?

2012-12-19T11:50:00+00:00December 19th, 2012|0 Comments

Fungi at Newt Corner, Cromwell Bottom

Here are a couple of fungi seen at Newt Corner, Cromwell Bottom on Saturday 15th Dec 2012

This Bracket was smooth underneath.

Possibly Artist’s Bracket, Ganoderma applanatum. 

Jelly Ear

Auricularia auricula-judae ?

The palest I have ever seen

(can you see the cat)?

2012-12-18T10:55:00+00:00December 18th, 2012|0 Comments

Hardcastle Crags 17/12/2012

Michael suggested at the HSS (Halifax Scientific Society) social, now was the time of year to look for of Hygrophorous hypothejus (Herald of Winter), which normally appear after the first frosts, around pine trees. I had a one hour window after shopping in Hebden Bridge and I decided to take a quick look and see if I could find it in Hardcastle Crags. Visibility wasn’t good, as it was a overcast, wet day. I did find the pine trees but, unfortunately, no Hygrophorous hypothejus. All was no lost however, as I did find these specimens below.


Mycena, cap above, gills below
Conifercone Cap (Baeospora myosura).

 . Oliver said they were Beechwoodwart (Hypoxylon fragiforme).

Hypoxylon multiforme (Birch Woodwart).

Hairy Curtain Crust (Stereum hirsutum).

Birch Jelly Fungus (Exidia repanda).

2012-12-17T22:23:00+00:00December 17th, 2012|0 Comments

Frost melts

But while it lasted, Michael went out with his camera.
Blake Dean was transformed into a winter wonderland.

2012-12-14T12:23:00+00:00December 14th, 2012|0 Comments

Monthly HSS walk and fungus foray Sat 15th Dec.

We intend to meet at the appointed place as on the Programme Card, (Membership Card), but vary the route.

Instead of going up Stoodley Glen again, it’s proposed that we go up Jumble Hole Clough, nearby, on the opposite side of Calder Valley.

The reason for this is to see the spot at which the rare fungus Violet Coral Clavaria zollingeri has appeared. The only known site in Calderdale is at the top of Jumble Hole Clough, and the only person who knows the spot is Michael, so he is going to show some of us and maybe we can get a GPS fix on it. It probably won’t be showing at this time of year, and may not appear every year.

This is a monthly walk and is open to all.

The plan is to meet Michael at the top as he’s not up to the walk from the valley bottom at the moment, then go on to the New Delight at Jack Bridge at Colden for a pub lunch.

Meet as per the card 10.30 for 10.45 at Eastwood Cricket Ground on the main Hebden Bridge to Todmorden Road.

Meet Michael at the top (near Hippins House) at 12.00, after making our way up, botanising, fungus foraying and bird watching.

Feel free to meet up at either venue.

2012-12-12T15:49:00+00:00December 12th, 2012|0 Comments
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