Monthly Archives: July 2014

Wild Parsnip and Parsnip moth

After a message from Peachysteve about some unidentified larvae munching Wild Parsnip I set off to investigate. Steve found the plants in a car park on Walton Street not far from the County bridge in Sowerby Bridge that crosses the Calder. This ties in well with an extract from the “Flora of the Parish of Halifax”: 
“This plant is now well established in the Sowerby Bridge area and probably originated at the Walton Street flour mill (burnt down and demolished some years ago).”
Of the several plants present many had larvae on them and most of the flowerheads had been eaten off just leaving the larval web in situ. I’m happy to ID these as those of the Parsnip Moth (Depressaria radiella) but I have three at home to rear through just to be 100% sure. Two of which are already boring in to some Hogweed stems I took home for them to pupate in. The adults should be out in 2 or 3 weeks hopefully.
Above, one of the larva sealing up it’s tunnel with chewed Hogweed stem and Below, the finished article made earlier by a different larva.
2014-07-28T16:16:00+01:00July 28th, 2014|0 Comments

Scout Road Park 26.07.2014

This native rush is described as rare in the West Yorks Plant Atlas so this may be another first record for Calderdale. I found it in the pond at the park with Oliver yesterday evening.
Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus).

2014-07-27T09:59:00+01:00July 27th, 2014|0 Comments

Marsh Hawksbeard

Steve saw Marsh Hawksbeard at Hardcastle Crags. I saw a number of the same plants, by the side of Turvin Clough just upstream  from Cragg Vale village, in June. I had to look them up as I wasn’t familiar with them.

2014-07-23T19:26:00+01:00July 23rd, 2014|0 Comments

Soil Hill 18.07.2014

Thanks to Steve for recommending that I should have a look at Soil Hill, otherwise I wouldn’t have found the Bristly Ox-tongue.
Bristly Ox-tongue (Picris echioides).
All parts of the plant are covered in stiff bristles.
It is not listed in the Flora of Halifax and according to The West Yorks Plant Atlas it is rare in West Yorkshire, only recorded three or four times. I’m not sure if this is the first record for Calderdale or not?

Narrow-leaved Ragwort (Senecio inaequidens) above and two below.

They were dotted all around the site.

 Hoary Mustard (Hirschfeldia incana).

The key character of identifying this species the presence of a seed in the beak of the fruit.

There were masses of Greater Bird’s-foot Trefoil.

Great Willowherb (Epilobium hirsutum).

Creeping Cinquefoil (Potentilla reptans).


Scented Mayweed (Matricaria recutita). Crushed flower heads are very aromatic.
2014-07-23T15:01:00+01:00July 23rd, 2014|0 Comments

2011 / 2012 Bird Report: Another chance to buy one

 Geoff Smith from the bird group will be down at Cromwell Bottom, bird feeding station or if raining in the car park, between 11 am and 12 noon this Saturday 26th July if anyone would like to purchase a combined 2011/2012 report from him.
£6.50 per copy (please have the correct change if possible) – a good interesting and informative reference. 
Cash preferred OR a cheque made payable to C B C G (Calderdale Bird Conservation Group)

2014-07-23T08:15:00+01:00July 23rd, 2014|0 Comments

Gorgeous Grasses and other attention-grabbing plants

We will probably see some of this on Saturday (see post below), though it is variable and this was a particularly beautiful stand of it at Copley. Creeping Bent, Red Top or Fiorin. Agrostis stolonifera. It is one of the constituents of grass seed mixes for fine lawns. The packs often refer to it as Brown Top.
At Hardcastle Crags in a rill by the river. I think it’s Fen Bedstraw Galium uliginosum, though I haven’t compared it with the commoner Marsh Bedstraw Galium palustre.
This has 7 -8 leaves per whorl with minute points on leaf-tips.
Lady Fern top right.

Fen Bedstraw ?

Marsh Hawksbeard Crepis paludosa ?
Grows on rocks by the river in Hardcastle Crags, sometimes mid-stream.

As above.
Musk Mallow Malva moschata . Peachysteve showed us it at Copley.
Flowers about 2 inches (50 mm) across.

2014-07-22T23:06:00+01:00July 22nd, 2014|0 Comments

Saturday 26th July

Annual Butterfly Count at Cromwell Bottom   

Meet Steve Blacksmith from Halifax Scientific Society and Graham Haigh from Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group in Cromwell Bottom car park    More…

2014-07-20T09:05:00+01:00July 20th, 2014|0 Comments

Cancellation of Walk

As the Archaeology walk planned for this Saturday 19th was intended to be on high and exposed land, we have decided to cancel, or maybe postpone it to a date in August. Note: Dave is not available in August but he is happy to do it later in the year. Keep looking in.

This due to the apparently real chance of severe thunderstorms. Yorkshire Water have cancelled all leave we are informed.

2014-07-17T23:20:00+01:00July 17th, 2014|0 Comments

Bird Report 2011/2012

Geoff Smith from the bird group will be down at Cromwell Bottom, bird feeding station or if rainy in the car  park, between 11am and 12 noon this Sunday 20th July if anyone would like to purchase a combined 2011/2012 report from him.

£6.50 per copy (please have the correct change if possible) – a good interesting and informative reference.
Cash preferred OR a cheque made payable to C B C G (Calderdale Bird Conservation Group)

Well done to Nick D for collating the records and putting it together so well. Thanks to Geoff for making these available on site (unless it’s pouring down !.)

I can personally recommend this publication. A great deal of work has gone into this and is well worth purchasing for two years records. Bruce (CBWG)

David (CBCG)

2014-07-17T15:17:00+01:00July 17th, 2014|0 Comments

Withens Clough and Staups Moor

Withens Clough:  Loads of ringlets and small skippers, also butterwort, heath spotted orchid and a nice cluster of bog asphodel in flower.
On Staups Moor I found this caterpillar.  Can anyone identify it please?  It was about 2” long.

Regards, Chris

2014-07-13T19:37:00+01:00July 13th, 2014|0 Comments
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