A Tawny Owl stands guard over its chick in a local oakwood. Charlie Streets found the chick on 18th May. I had seen two adult owls at the spot at 6.30am and got pics but the light was not good. I found a juvenile like this here two years ago. They used to nest in the top of a hollow oak trunk, but this fell down. I suspect the nest is now in a cleft in rocks of an old quarry.
I was walking along the bank of the Calder below North Dean Woods, Copley, on 18th May, when an object floating along with the brisk current caught my eye.
It was a male Mallard, belly up, feet in the air. It wasn’t dead, but travelling tail first with it’s feet relaxed
It was moving its head, looking round as it got level with me as if to say “Look what I can do” !
As I fumbled to get my camera out it nearly went out of sight. The last thing I saw of it was when it flipped over into the normal position and started paddling against the current.
I wouldn’t believe this if I hadn’t got a picture of it. It’s poor quality but it confirms what I saw. (I know it looks dead in the picture, but I had no time to switch the camera to video.)
What could have been happening?
There is a shrub in woodland at Centre Vale Park, Todmorden which is rather puzzling. It has differing shaped leaves that vary between an elongated entire shape, to leaves with lobes of varying size that appear similar to a Midland Hawthorn but much larger.
The flowers are larger than a Hawthorn and not clustered. Some have 3 styles and some 2 (similar to a midland Hawthorn).
My own guess is the shrub is a natural cross between a Medlar and a Midland Hawthorn. In the books it is described as rare and is given the name xCrataemespilus grandiflora and was first found about 1800 growing wild in France.
If anyone can give any other thoughts on what it may be, I would love to hear.
In the woodland edge behind Clay House at Westvale, there is just one clump of what I believe to be Wood meadow grass Poa nemoralis. I have only ever seen this grass once before in Calderdale and it seems particularly scarce in our area. It is not mentioned in the Flora of Halifax and the West Yorkshire Plant Atlas shows only an occasional distribution.
Has anyone else seen this grass in Calderdale (or indeed at North Dean woods where I saw it today)?