Cromwell Bottom

Cromwell Bottom


April 2015 Updated Link on The future of Cromwell Bottom Sign our PETITION (click) to help Cromwell Bottom
WILDLIFE SITING /IDENTIFICATION Send Details or Pictures of finds for identification click to email RECORDS

Saturday, 27 August 2016

The King of Fishers

Size and Colour

Common Kingfishers measure 17 – 19 centimetres in length, weigh between 34 – 46 grams and have a wingspan of 25 centimetres. Their beak is around 4 centimetres long and pointed. Kingfishers have short, orange coloured legs.

Lens Standard 300mm Tamron non-stabilised lens

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Kingfishers have very keen eyesight. The kingfisher has monocular vision (in which each eye is used separately) in the air and binocular vision (in which both eyes are used together) in water. The underwater vision is not as a sharp as in the air, however, the ability to judge the distance of moving prey is more important than the sharpness of the image.

Where To see Them

Kingfishers are found by still or slow flowing water such as lakes, canals and rivers in lowland areas. In winter, some individuals move to estuaries and the coast. Occasionally they may visit garden ponds if of a suitable size. They can be seen all year round. Cromwell Bottom is an ideal location for theses birds with a unique comnbination of the River Calder, Canals and Lagoons

General Facts

Kingfishers are  vulnerable to hard winters and habitat degradation through pollution or unsympathetic management of watercourses. Kingfishers are amber listed because of their unfavourable conservation status in Europe. It is estimated there are 3,800-4,600 breeding pairs in the UK

This image catches the Kingfisher just as it expresses in the  afternoon during its preening ritual
 the white liquid faeces is forcably ejeted in a dramatic fashion seen ejected just behind this bird

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Preening Ritual 

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Like all small birds the Kingfisher remains wary of  overhead activity to avoid presation by raptors

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The common kingfisher hunts from a perch 1–2 m (3.3–6.6 ft) above the water, on a branch, post or riverbank, bill pointing down as it searches for prey. It bobs its head when food is detected to gauge the distance, and plunges steeply down to seize its prey usually no deeper than 25 cm (9.8 in) below the surface

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Like all kingfishers, the common kingfisher is highly territorial; since it must eat around 60% of its body weight each day, it is essential to have control of a suitable stretch of river. It is solitary for most of the year, roosting alone in heavy cover. If another kingfisher enters its territory, both birds display from perches, and fights may occur, where a bird will grab the other's beak and try to hold it under water. Pairs form in the autumn but each bird retains a separate territory, generally at least 1 km (0.62 mi) long, but up to 3.5 km (2.2 mi) and territories are not merged until the spring.

The courtship is initiated by the male chasing the female while calling continually, and later by ritual feeding, mating usually following.

More Videos On The Kingfisher

Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Missing Loop

The status of North Loop is not an Nature Reserve and could readily become another section of Lowfields Ind Estate it is therefore important that it is without delay it is  manged formally by agreement as a LNR. Other than contractual agreement with the Environemnt Agency to restore it to its original natural status the site in short a crudely capped entity with very little biodiversity . Whilst  many may think that the much appreciated and valued time they give to landscape it is for the betterment of conservation and the exsisting reserve whose status in any case expires relatively soon  should think carefully . It is clear that the council have shown no commitment to mentorring this site in this formal way as an LNR , . Furthermore it is becoming increasingly apparent that Countryside Services a service already paid for by the people of Calderdale are charging particularly children to engage in activities elsewhere in the borough. Many may not like the analysis but there has been no progress or comittment to advancing the status of this site , It is concerning that the Biodiversity Officer for Calderdale has not secured the future of  this site through the Local Development Plan 

Update - There has been some short term grace on the adjacent Brickwork site with a recent refusal on the n = 58 development which would have in my opinion impacted on the LNR and overall setting of the area Thank you to all our members and others who supported  FEET in bringing forward objection duly made 

Local Nature Reserve is a statutory designation made under Section 21 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, and amended by Schedule 11 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006, by principal local authorities.

All district and county councils have powers to acquire, declare and manage LNRs. Parish and town councils can also declare LNRs but they must have the powers to do so delegated to them by the principal local authority. To qualify for LNR status, a site must be of importance for wildlife, geology, education or public enjoyment. Some are also nationally important Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

LNRs must be controlled by the local authority through ownership, lease or agreement with the owner. The main aim must be to care for the natural features which make the site special.

To establish a LNR the declaring local authority must first have a legal interest in the land concerned, for example, they could own it, lease it or have a nature reserve agreement with the owner. The land must lie within the area which the declaring authority controls.

LNRs are of local, but not necessarily national, importance. LNRs are almost always owned by local authorities, and they often pass the management of the LNR onto County Wildlife trusts. They also often have good public access and facilities. An LNR can also be an SSSI, or may have other designations (although an LNR cannot also be an NNR). There is no legal necessity to manage an LNR to any set standard but management agreements often exist.

An LNR can be given protection against damaging operations. It also has protection against development on and around it. This protection is usually given via the Local Plan, (produced by the planning authority), and often supplemented by local by-laws. Unlike national designations, the level and type of protection afforded an LNR is decided locally, and varies from site to site.

To find out more, including the process of designation, see the Natural England LNR website.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Lucy's Lemurs

Brave Girl Lucy Ryan  Takes on great Challenge for conservation  Heres Lucy's story and how you can help her

Lucy's Fund Raising page


Lucy's Story

We say GOOD LUCK to LUCY on her trip

My name is Lucy Ryan, at 11 I was diagnosed with a cerebral folate deficiency. A rare metabolic disorder which effects the muscles and nerves in the hands and feet. Symptoms include cramps and muscle and nerve pain. As a result I use a wheelchair or crutches and was unable to complete my GCSEs. However this has not changed my ambitions and has only made me more determined to succeed.

10 years on, I am currently completing a BSc in Wildlife Conservation at LJMU, with a 2nd year grade of 75%. I have gained experience in a range of ecological surveying and wildlife management techniques. With a particular interests primate and community based conservation.

In September i will embark on an 11 month scientific research expedition to Madagascar. This will allow me to gain vital and invaluable experience within my chosen field. Day to day activities will include Lemur conservation, Environmental education, reforestation, habitat protection and the replantation of native species.

I also have the opportunity to complete a scientific research project on the Endangered Collared Brown Lemur. Greatly dependent upon habitat quality, population densities of this species in the selected area are currently unknown. My project aims to not only identify these but to establish a long term monitoring program for the species. To fill the current gap in knowledge, with the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) identifying population trend data as a research priority for this species.

Originally intended as a work experience placement with uni, funding would have been greatly supported by SFE. However due to complications with university insurance, the placement was unable to go ahead. Now considered a gap year and separate from university the whole expedition must be self funded.

Donations go towards project equipment, forest permits, accommodation, living costs and flights. Please share my story, all donations are greatly appreciated (min £2).


Not What You Want - New Zealand Pygmyweed Crassula helmsii

New Zealand Pygmyweed Crassula helmsii AKA  Australian Swamp-Stonecrop

Found in the Lagoon with seeds remaing stertile the best way to remove this is by raking as it spreads vegetativly

This is an Invasive Plant  under  Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act in England and Wales therefore, it is also an offence to plant or otherwise cause to grow these species in the wild.

More here NZ Pigmyweed

NZ Pigmyweed    whats happening elsewhere Potteric






A few Day Flying Insects 6th August 2016


Pale Straw Pearl Udea lutealis




Common Blue Damselfly


Speckled Wood