FUNGALPUNK SIGHTINGS 2008
DECEMBER
 
27 December 2008 - Frodsham Marsh, Cheshire - After nearly two months of not doing any serious wildlifing it was a nice change to dust off those bins and get a bit of birding in. 51 species were seen with Golden Plover, Ruff, Little Stint, Fieldfare, Buzzard, Dunlin, Bullfinch and Treecreeper the pick. Unbelievably a Coot remained off the list. We must surely have overlooked this common bird but normally they are so ubiquitous at this site you just can't fail to see one.
 
OCTOBER
 
29 October 2008 - Portland Bill, Dorset - In cracking sunshine we had a last mooch around the Bill before returning home and turned up 3 Red Admirals; 1 Speckled Wood; 2 Black Redstarts; 1 Dark Bush Cricket; 2 Cornish Suckers; 2 Broad Clawed Porcelain Crabs and 2 Shore Crabs. The best spot was a Western Conifer Seed Bug which was found by the Obs warden hanging from a spiders web.
 
28 October 2008 - Puddletown, Dorset - A nice fungal forage helped us come up with Rhododendron Leafhopper, 1 Dartford Warbler and 1 Red Admiral.
 
28 October 2008 - Portland Bill, Dorset - Sparrowhawk, Short Eared Owl and Firecrest were all that was seen on a very quiet island.
 
27 October 2008 - Portland Bill, Dorset - 2 Black Redstarts and 2 feeding Short Eared Owls gave lovely views but pride of place goes to little Mouse that woke up my daughter in the middle of the night after crawling in her rucksack. She didn't realise what it was at the time but when we heard scuffling at 6am on a bedside cupboard the light was switched on and the culprit exposed. As brave as they come this chap and we watched him mooch around the bedroom for a good half hour. After feeding him 3 cornflakes he wandered some more and fell into an open bag whereupon he was transported outside at the top of the garden and duly released. I must say the sharp icy wind failed to impress. A positive ID will hopefully follow.
 
25 October 2008 - Portland Bill, Dorset - 1 Red Admiral and a perched male Merlin.
 
24 October 2008 - Chesil Beach, Dorset - Mediterranean Gull; Ringed Plover; Little Egret and Curlew were the pick from a brief toot whilst having a chippy dinner.
 
19 October 2008 - Mere Sands Wood, Rufford, Lancashire - Down Curlew Lane near the reserve 3 Red Legged Partridge were seen scuttling about together.
 
12 October 2008 - Moore NR; Warrington, Cheshire - A few unexpected critters were seen during a fungal foray in what was mid-summer weather conditions. Orange Ladybird (*1); Common Darter (*4); Small Copper (*3); Red Admiral (*2); Comma (*4); Herald Moth (*1). I missed the Brimstone moth seen by my wife but all in all not a bad haul for so late in the year.
 
09 October 2008 - Hazel Grove, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking home from work I saw an Angle Shades moth at rest on some bushes outside the Sainsburys superstore. Whilst looking at the said specimen my eye was caught by some movement high up in the shrubbery. What I thought to be the grey feathers of feeding House Sparrows was in fact the fur of two adventurous Brown Rats. What they were feeding on or looking for is beyond me but you can't help but admire their bravery near this busy main road.
 
SEPTEMBER
 
27 September 2008 - Marbury CP, Cheshire - Whilst doing a fungi reccie we encountered 2 Speckled Woods and a superb Pale Tussock Caterpillar. Didn't bother taking the camera - bah!
 
AUGUST
 
29 August 2008, Chadkirk Chapel, Cheshire - A moth evening with the always welcoming John and 3 guests for approximately 3 hours produced - Straw Dot (*19); Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing (*11); Scoparia ambigualis (*2); Lesser Yellow Underwing (*7); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Large Yellow Underwing (*27); Blastobasis lignea (*2); Copper Underwing (*10); Square Spot Rustic (*17); Small Phoenix (*2); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Centre Barred Sallow (*2); Dun-Bar (*1); Willow Beauty (*4); Gold Spot (*3); Common Marbled Carpet (*2); Angle Shades (*2); Autumnal Rustic (*1); Mother of Pearl (*3); Dusky Thorn (*1); Silver Y (*2); Common Carpet (*1); Brimstone (*1); Ypsolopha scabrella (*1); Plutella porrectella (*1); Common Rustic sp (*5). A Forest Bug joined us for tea and a burying beetle (Nicrophorus humator) just couldn't help dropping in and saying hello.
 
28 August 2008, Moore NR, Cheshire - A walk with some Young Carers from work was very pleasant indeed with enough to see to keep the young minds occupied. An abundance of frogs, a few toads, plenty of Pot Bellied Emerald beetles on ravaged Dock leaves, a Brown Hawker and a few butterflies all helped to keep eyes peeled. A few mushie specimens were had as well as several common bird species.
 
15 August 2008, Chadkirk Chapel, Cheshire - Well with a complete non attendance at the years second moth evening at Chadkirk the moths came in a slow and steady trickle with proceedings called to a halt just short of midnight. Warden John was as keen as ever and a few good species were had. The pick of the crop were Dun-Bar (*1); Six Striped Rustic (*6); Flame Carpet (*1); Rosy Rustic (*1); Least Yellow Underwing (*1) and Barred Hooktip (*1). Other underwings were plentiful and the nights total was reached at 22 species. Cheers to John for good company, a Twix for myself, wife and little un' and a couple of cups of cha.
 
13 August 2008, Chesil Beach, Dorset - Upon heading home a quick shufty on the beach and I came up with Scaly Cricket - the only place in Britain this species can be found. Great finish to a trip down South.
 
12 August 2008, Portland Bill, Dorset - An orthopteran mooch whilst flying a kite located both male and female Short Winged Coneheads.
 
12 August 2008, Lodmoor RSPB, Dorset - Sandwich Terns were nice to catch up with and 1 each of Migrant Hawker and Broad Bodied Chaser added quality. The pick though was a superb but easily agitated Volucella zonaria - Britains largest hoverfly.
 
11 August 2008, Girdlers Coppice DWT, Dorset - Yet another Dorset Wildlife Trust reserve almost hidden from all but when found proving quite rewarding with a Silver Washed Fritillary the pick. I feel a potential hotspot here for fungal specimens - we shall see.
 
11 August 2008, Broadoak Orchard DWT, Dorset - A lovely secluded spot we wandered around and try to lure in some Red Belted Clearwings but failed. Solace was had with an obliging Oak Bush Cricket - a true beauty. Whilst awaiting my wife and little one I was nearly run over by a startled Roe Deer which missed me by a whisker as it burst through an ancient hedgerow. The total focus on its face as it sped by was fascinating.
 
10 August 2008, New Forest, Hampshire - After pottering around the fantastic Reptile Centre we had a wander and found several Wood Crickets. Superb little chaps who quietly call away within their vegetative habitats.
 
9 August 2008, Radipole RSPB, Dorset - A cracking moth morning led by moth nutcase Phil Sterling and assisted by a guy called Dave (perhaps Pearman). A thorough viewing of an abundance of species with ID tips and pointers galore. The pick of the crop was Cream Bordered Green Pea (*2); Blood Vein (*1); Brown Veined Wainscot (*2); Bulrush Wainscot (*1); Southern Wainscot (*1); Brussels Lace (*1) and Pinion Streaked Snout (*1). Before leaving we gave our thanks whereupon we were given (by Dave) a Privet Hawkmoth larva to rear - a kind gesture indeed and truly appreciated.
 
9 August 2008, Portland Bill, Dorset - A Speckled Bush Cricket found by a visitor to the Obs was a cracking specimen and got my Orthopteran jowls salivating. Simple or what?
 
8 August 2008, Radipole RSPB, Dorset - An absolutely brilliant bat talk and walk was delivered excellently with 3 species of bat on the wing. Daubenton's flew within feet over the bridge, Noctule flitted past and the gingery foxiness of a Serotine was viewed well.
 
8 August 2008, Townsend DWT, Dorset - Yellow Meadow Ant and a few butterflies were all that was had after another binocular scare - presumed lost but found in the car!
 
8 August 2008, Stonehill Down DWT, Dorset - Small Heath (*1), Nettle Leaved Bellflower and a Great Green Bush Cricket stood out after failing in our search for Stripe Winged Grasshopper. Maybe next time!
 
8 August 2008, Hartland Way, Dorset - A Lesser Grey Shrike gave stunning views and even caught a beetle in front of all on-lookers. The first Brimstone butterfly of the trip was seen.
 
8 August 2008, Portland Bill, Dorset - Cydia amplana (*1); Small Mottled Willow (*1) and another 4 Spotted Footman were all the overnight mothing traps at the Obs had to offer.
 
7 August 2008, West Bexington DWT, Dorset - A Small Tortoiseshell was a major sighting as these gorgeous butterflies become scarcer by the year. Man should hang his head in shame!
 
7 August 2008, Portland Bill, Dorset - The obs trap produced Poplar Hawkmoth (*1); Agapeta hamana (*1); Dusky Sallow (*1); Plain Pug (*1); Toadflax Pug (*1); Palpita vitrealis (*1); Bloxworth Snout (*1) and Gold Spot (*1).
 
6 August 2008, Nunnery Mead DWT, Dorset - Water Forget Me Not and a few butterflies didn't do justice to this concealed reserve.
 
6 August 2008, Muckleford DWT, Dorset - Parking on a sludge filled road wasn't the best idea as when we left I did the old trick of leaving the bins on the roof of the car. Landing in a puddle they were just about salvaged (thanks to Martin Cade of the Portland Bird Obs) but I feel will never be the same again. Too absorbed with wildlife methinks and not the first time I have been absent minded in the field. Reserves best species were Silver Y (*4) and 61 flowering and non-flowering spikes of Autumn Gentian.
 
6 August 2008, Haydon Hill DWT, Dorset - 2 Roe Deer couldn't decide which way to go in a nearby field and Banded Demoiselle seemed a trifle lost.
 
6 August 2008, Brooklands Farm DWT, Dorset - Silver Y (*2); Red Admiral (*5) and Small China Mark (*3).
 
6 August 2008, Portland Bill, Dorset - Pottering about gave 4 quality species, namely Arctic Skua, 4-spotted Footman, Rosy Footman and Strawberry Clover. Incredibly the latter species was a first for us due to not making the effort to see it. In fact as the days of the trip went by we discovered this pretty little flower was absolutely everywhere. A case of missing the obvious looking for the hidden.
 
5 August 2008, Radipole RSPB, Dorset - The dubious Hooded Merganser seemed happy enough and no matter what its status it goes on the HT species seen list.
 
5 August 2008, Lodmoor RSPB, Dorset - A brief tootle located Common Sandpiper (*2), Black Tailed Godwit (*1); Common Tern (*3) and Little Egret (*2).
 
4 August 2008, Portland Bill, Dorset - A wicked wind halted all entomological wanders so a bit of rockpooling was undertaken. A Worm Pipefish, Common Eel, Scorpion Fish and Blenny were all great as were the several Strawberry Anemones and the 5 species of crab plus 5 Cornish Suckers. Just goes to show you never know what may turn up on the wildlife front.
 
4 August 2008, King Barrow Quarry DWT, Dorset - A new reserve for us and one we have overlooked on many occasion. A nice walk with Ringlet (*2); Chalk-Hill Blue (*11); Grayling (*2); the delicious rhubarb and custard mix of Oncocera semirubella moth (*1) and 5 Pyramidal Orchids adding more pleasure to the stroll.
 
4 August 2008, Portland, Dorset - Stopping off to devour a few pasties from the local shop I tried my hand with a bit of pheromone mothing. Result! 2 Six Belted Clearwings gave stunning views and oh what belters!
 
4 August 2008 - Portland Bill, Dorset - A better Obs trap and Lackey (*1); Jersey Tiger (*1); Marbled Green (*1) and Dark Sword Grass (*1) were the pick.
 
3 August 2008 - Portland Bill, Dorset - The overnight trap was average but Crescent Dart (*1); Ruby Tiger (*1) and Dingy Footman (*1) were good to see. Portland Sea Lavender was in flower and several Rock Pipits graced the cliffs.
 
3 Aug 2008, Loscombe DWT, Dorset - A bloody good soaking was had but spirits stayed high and the most notable species was a Green Woodpecker who persistently called as the heavens opened. Brave soul.
 
3 August 2008, Bracketts Coppice DWT, Dorset - Magpie moth (*1) and Dark Bush Cricket were the only noteworthy sightings.
 
2 August 2008, Cheyne Weares, Dorset - 3 Wall Lizards and 1 Slow Worm were showing well with Painted Lady (*2), Chalk-Hill Blue (*4) and Grayling (*1) good additions.
 
2 August 2008, Portland, Dorset - 117 Slow worms, 2 Common Lizards, 2 male Adders plus a few lepidopteran delights such as Chalk Carpet (*1); Lulworth Skipper (*1); Marbled White (*9) and Wall Brown (*2). Several Woodlouse Spiders (Dysdera crocata) were also noted.
 
2 August 2008 - Portland Bill, Dorset - A Bedstraw Hawkmoth, Northern Rustic and September Thorn awaited our arrival at the lighthouse - cheers Martin.
 
JULY
 
30 July 2008 – Southport Sea Front, Lancashire – A Small Copper was seen on Vetch.
 
30 July 2008 – Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire – A day out with some Young Carers from where I work resulted in some nice finds. Copper Underwing and Light Emerald moths were a bonus as was a Kingfisher and several fungal specimens. Two Gatekeepers, a Green Veined White and a Blue Tailed Damselfly were also noted. Two spikes of Green Flowered Heleborine were noted also.
 
29 July 2008, Anderton NR, Cheshire - A tootle in the sunshine resulted in the following sightings - Six Spot Burnet Moth (*6); Large Yellow Underwing (*1); Common Carpet (*1); Shaded Broad Bar (*3); Gatekeeper (*46); Speckled Wood (*25); Meadow Brown (*22); Comma (*4); Green Veined White (*4); Small White (*2); Large Skipper (*1); Red Admiral (*2); Peacock (*1); Holly Blue (*1); Large White (*1); Blue Tailed Damselfly (*21); Common Darter (*3); Black Tailed Skimmer (*1); Emperor Dragonfly (*1); Brown Hawker (*2). Plant life included Fragrant Orchid; Purple Loosestrife; Goats Beard; Sea Spurrey; Fleabane; Ploughmans Spikenard and Mugwort. On the bird front 4 Black Tailed Godwits; 5 Green Sandpipers and 1 Greenshank were good additions.
 
28 July 2008, Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - 3 hours mothing brought in a nice selection of species as follows - Scoparia ambigualis (*1); Small Phoenix (*3); Epiblema foenella (*1); Swallowtailed Moth (*2); Marbled Beauty (*23); Large Yellow Underwing (*8); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Blue Bordered Carpet (*1); Dun-Bar (*1); Bramble Shoot Moth (*1); Square Spot Rustic (*1); Straw Underwing (*1); Riband Wave f. remutata (*1); Willow Beauty (*1); Trachycera advenella (*1); Shuttle Shaped Dart (*1); Blastobasis lignea (*1); Bee Moth (*1); Apple Leaf Miner (*1); Silver Y (*1); Dark/Grey Dagger agg (*1); Mother Of Pearl (*1); Copper Underwing (*1); Dark Arches (*1); Double Lobed (*1)
 
26 July 2008, Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - 2 hours mothing brought in Marbled Beauty (*31); Light Brown Apple Moth (*7); Large Yellow Underwing (*6); Early Thorn (*1); Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing (*1); Blastobasis lignea (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*5); Swallowtailed Moth (*2); Small Phoenix (*2); Lesser Yellow Underwing (*1); Scoparia ambigualis (*2); Gothic (*1); Twenty Plume Moth (*1); Apple Leaf Miner (*1); Mother Of Pearl (*1); Straw Dot (*1); Dun-Bar (*2); Riband Wave f. remutata (*1); Willow Beauty (*1); Herald (*1); Common Emerald (*1); Riband Wave (*1); Dot Moth (*1); Phlyctaenia coronata (*1); Smoky Wainscot (*1); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*1); Agriphila tristella (*1); Trachycera advenella (*1)
 
26 July 2008, Chadkirk Chapel, Cheshire - A nice relaxing stroll around this small estate produced Grey Wagtail and Bullfinch as well as Comma (*1); Speckled Wood (*5); Meadow Brown (*3); Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing (*1); Straw Dot (*1) and pride of place goes to a White Letter Hairstreak that gave us stunning views whilst it came down for a brief rest on the grass.
 
25 July 2008, Ainsdale NE, Lancashire - 4 hours mothing brought in 64 species before the night just went mad and we couldn't keep up with proceedings. The lists is as follows:- Single Dotted Wave (*2); Agriphila straminella (*1); Blastobasis lignea (*1); Scoparia ambigualis (*3); Yellow Tail Moth (*2); Common Footman (*9); Green Carpet (*2); Small Fan Footed Wave (*6); Common Wainscot (*2); Small Pheonix (*3); Large Yellow Underwing (*3); Lesser Yellow Underwing (*3); Drinker (*4); Sandy Carpet (*1); Double Striped Pug (*1); Crambus perlella (*1); Common Wave (*1); Buff Footman (*5); Riband Wave f. remutata (*2); Willow Beauty (*1); Marbled Beauty (*2); Dark Fruit Tree Tortrix (*1); Mother Of Pearl (*1); Catoptria falsella (*1); Buff Arches (*1); Clay (*1); Pyrausta purpuralis (*1); Brimstone (*2); White Satin (*1); Smoky Wainscot (*1); Slender Pug (*1); Double Square Spot (*1); Common Rustic sp (*1); Knot-Grass (*1); Yellowshell (*1); Dark Arches (*1); Trachycera advenella (*1); Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing (*1); Phlyctaenia coronata (*1); Dun-bar (*2); Dingy Footman (*1); Common White Wave (*1); Eucosma campoliliana (*1); Clouded Border (*2); Garden Carpet (*1); Early Thorn (*1); Poplar Hawkmoth (*2); Barred Red (*1); Lozotaeniodes formosanus (*1); Bordered White (*1); Common Lutestring (*1); Pebble Hook Tip (*1); Pebble Prominent (*1); Dotted Clay (*1); Small Angle Shades (*1); Riband Wave (*1); Peppered Moth (*1); Uncertain (*1); July Highflyer (*2); Scalloped Oak (*1); Dark Tussock (*1); Acleris forsskalleana (*1); Cochylis atricapitana (*1)
 
22 July 2008, Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - 3 hours mothing at home produced Light Brown Apple (*3); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Brimstone (*1); Marbled Beauty (*15); Phlyctaenia coronata (*2); Heart And Dart (*3); Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing (*1); Lesser Yellow Underwing (*4); Brown House Moth (*3); Riband Wave f. remutata (*4); Swallowtailed Moth (*3); Clay (*2); Large Yellow Underwing (*3); Willow Beauty (*2); Scalloped Oak (*2); Mother Of Pearl (*1); Orthopygia glaucinalis (*1); Riband Wave (*2); Bee Moth (*1); Double Striped Pug (*2); Bright Line Brown Eye (*1); Dark Arches (*4); Flame (*1); Apple Leaf Miner (*1); Emmelina monodactyla (*1); Codling Moth (*1); Straw Underwing (*1); Early Thorn (*1); Smoky Wainscot (*1); Swammerdamia pyrella (*1); Carcina quercana (*1); Trachycera advenella (*1)
 
12 July 2008, Petty Pool Wood, Cheshire - 2 Nettle Tap Moths, 4 Meadow Brown, 1 Green Veined White, 1 Southern Hawker and a flash of a Kingfisher were noted as were Brooklime, Amphibious Bistort, Common Hemp Nettle and Cyperus Sedge - the latter a new tick due primarily to the fact that we drastically overlook these fascinating plants usually being distracted by Dragonflies. A couple of Hoverflies were later identified as Leucozona glaucia and Syrphis ribesii. Both were feeding on Hogweed and hopefully will be added to the Insect Gallery providing the quick snaps I took are half decent. Also added to this list is the Snipe Fly Rhagio tringarius.
 
10 July 2008, Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Having left the moth trip on whilst I went to a gig I returned home to find only 4 moths present - stunning or what? Large Yellow Underwing, Bee Moth, Garden Carpet and Uncertain were the ensnared species.
 
4 July 2008, Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Home trapping for a couple of hours produced the following lists - Lesser Yellow Underwing (*1); Flame Shoulder (*1); Common Emerald (*2); Marbled Beauty (*5); Dark Arches (*6); Bramble Shoot Moth (*1); Double Square Spot (*1); Swallowtailed Moth (*1); Garden Carpet (*1); Riband Wave f. remutata (*3); Riband Wave (*1); Heart and Dart (*5); Tachystola acroxantha (2); Small Fan Footed Wave (*1); Large Yellow Underwing (*2); Gothic (*1); Scalloped Oak (*2); Grey/Dark Dagger (*1); Brimstone (*1); White Shouldered House Moth (*1); Double Striped Pug (*1); Buff Arches (*1); Herald (*1); Smoky Wainscot (*1); Bright Line Brown Eye (*1); Ingrailed Clay (*1)
 
JUNE
 
27 June 2008, Chadkirk Chapel, Cheshire - The ten people who turned up for the moth night had their patience tested as this potentially good night held back its flying gifts until past 10.30pm. Several left and the remaining few were treated to the following list: - Flame Shoulder (*5); Yellow Shell (*2); Flame (*2); Common Marbled Carpet (*1); Scoparia ambigualis (*1); Large Yellow Underwing (*7); Small Fan Foot (*1); Garden Carpet (*2); Peppered Moth (*3); Bee Moth (*1); Straw Dot (* 3); Heart And Dart (*2); Setaceous Hebrew Character (*1);  Brimstone (*2); Snout (*5); Green Pug (*2); Marbled Minor sp. (*1); Marbled Beauty (*1); Willow Beauty (*2); White Ermine (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Riband Wave (1)
 
15 June 2008, Etherow CP, Cheshire - The public butterfly walk resulted in a list of none but the stroll was kept interesting with Elephant Hawkmoth (*1); Angle Shades (*1); Nettle Tap Moth (*5); Straw Dot (*1) and Garden Carpet (*1). Fungal Friends member Pete Owen chipped in with some grass, fern and sedge ID - Breadwheat, Reed Canary Grass; False Oat Grass; Yorkshire Fog; Perennial Rye, Remote Sedge, Pendulous Sedge, Broad Buckler Fern, Lady Fern and Male Fern all shown and described brilliantly. A brief call into Marple Tip resulted in the capture of a Currant Clearwing moth after waiting all of five minutes whilst the pheromone lure did its trick. Truly startling how quick this little fellar took the bait. After a quick appreciation he was freed to get on with his important business.
 

14 June 2008, Etherow CP, Cheshire - The moth evening with the public turned up 15 species despite being very cold for the time of year. The list was Small Magpie (*1); Snout (*2); Map Winged Swift (*1); Purple Bar (*1); Silver Ground Carpet (*4); Flame Shoulder (*1); Clouded Border (*2); Common Marbled Carpet (*1); Knot Grass (*1); Bright Line Brown Eye (*2); Common White Wave (*4); Ingrailed Clay (*2); Beautiful Golden Y (*1); Pale Shouldered Brocade (*1) Buff Ermine (*1)

 
8 June 2008, Portland Bill, Dorset - 2 Mother Shipton Moths, 1 Large Skipper and a Wall Brown at the Obs were the pick of the mornings stroll.
 
7 June 2008, Slepe Farm, Dorset - A moth night led by top bloke Duncan gave very little in return but Privet Hawkmoth, Fox Moth and Pale Prominent were good to see. Also two churring Nightjars gave that Hammer horror feel to the nights proceedings.
 
7 June 2008, Arne RSPB, Dorset - A perched Hobby was a great spot and gave stunning views for all.
 
7 June 2008, Sopley Common, Dorset - A quiet walk with 3 Common Heaths and 2 Dartford Warblers the highs.
 
7 June 2008, Troublefield, Dorset - 10 Beautiful Demoiselles, 6 Banded Demoiselles, Lesser Spearwort and Yellow Oxalis made the visit worthwhile but definitely better footwear needed next time.
 
7 June 2008, Radipole RSPB, Dorset - Some expected good shots of Cetti's Warbler are always nice and a few Bee Orchids were also pleasing to see. The previous nights moth catch was on display and Oblique Carpet was good to catch up with again with Obscure Wainscot being a new one for the list.
 
6 June 2008, Durlston CP, Dorset - Grass Rivulet was the main find with the butterfly count depressingly low and having nothing of note.
 
6 June 2008, Coombe Heath, Dorset - After a long trudge in the blazing heat Lesser Bladderwort was eventually found. A neat little thing with only 3 in flower in one murky looking bog. Attempts at a photo have maybe failed (will eventually check them out) so the soggy jeans weren't necessary. Green Tiger Beetle, 1 Slow Worm, numerous Keeled Skimmer, 9 Roe Deer, Round and Long Leaved Sundew and Lousewort all added interest but the main sighting was of a neatly lured Dartford Warbler. My daughter heard a bird calling from a nearby Gorse bush and imitated its call thus setting up a kind of bird/girl conversation. After a few minutes the secluded little fellar couldn't resist and came forth to check out this potential rival/mate. A nice moment and one that pleased my young un' no end. Thomisus onustus was a spider later identified and what a weird chap he is.
 
6 June 2008, East Stoke Fen, Dorset - Marbled White Spot was a new moth for us and the targeted Climbing Corydalis was neatly found and admired.
 
5 June 2008 - Chesil Beach, Dorset - Rough Clover was finally noted and not overlooked as per usual and Sea Campion was looking in fine fettle. The only blight on the walk was the need to fill two bags with other peoples discarded rubbish that was strewn all over this picturesque beach. I have never understood the desire to litterbug and am at a loss into what sense of achievement one can get from it. Heavier penalties for this most inane crime should be enforced. I think all the garbage should be incinerated and I ain't talking about the stuff we found lying on the beach. Rant over!
 
5 June 2008, Perryfields, Dorset - A butterfly search was again poor with 13 Common Blue, 2 Dingy Skipper and 2 Speckled Wood the totals. Hedge Bedstraw was personally notable.
 
5 June 2008, Portland Bird Obs, Dorset - The overnight moth traps picks were 1 Spectacle, 1 Buff Ermine, 18 Heart and Club and 2 Common Swifts.
 
5 June 2008, Broadcroft Quarry, Dorset - Yellow Vetch was a new tick and the lowly butterfly counts continued with 1 Common Blue the total.
 
4 June 2008, Broadcroft Quarry, Dorset - 36 Slow Worms, 1 Common Lizard and 1 Gatekeeper.
 
4 June 2008, Avon Heath CP, Dorset - 1 Large White, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Speckled Wood and a Roe Deer were a poor return from a decent reserve.
 
4 June 2008 - Upton Heath, Dorset - 7 Woundwort Shield Bugs, 9 Broad Bodied Chasers, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Green Hairstreaks, a flying Rose Chafer and 1 Slow Worm were all a pleasure but the locating of 5 Smooth Snakes took first prize. A choice find and completing my wife and daughters British reptile lists.
 
3 June 2008, Broadcroft Quarry, Dorset - 25 Slow Worms, Ivy Broomrape, Hoary Plantain and Vipers Bugloss were the best of a sunny visit. The walk back to the lighthouse resulted in 3 more Slow Worms and the identification of Hoary Cress.
 
3 June 2008, Portland Bill, Dorset - A wander around the Bill brought such treats as 1 Slow Worm, some flowering Bee Orchids, Wild Clary and Whistling Jack plus a few seabirds such as Kittiwake, Gannet and Guillemot.
 
3 June 2008, Portland Bird Obs, Dorset - The best of the nights moth traps were Small Elephant Hawkmoth (*1), Cream Spot Tiger (*6), Dark Sword Grass (*1), Puss Moth (*1) and Thistle Ermine (*1). A Valerian Pug from the previous night was a good bonus.
 
2 June 2008 - New Forest, Hampshire - After a tootle around the reptile pods in the forest a Woodcock was disturbed from the path side whilst searching out a smelly Stinkhorn.
 
2 June 2008 - Polhill Bank, Kent - A quick stop-off at this hidden reserve uncovered 8 flowering White Helleborines, 1 Nettle Tap moth and the shield bug Coreus marginatus.
 
2 June 2008, Darland Banks, Kent - A few day-flying moths were seen with 1 Straw Belle, 1 Treble Bar, 3 Yellow Shell, 1 Beautiful Carpet and 13 Nemophora deegerella being notable whilst gazing upon 27 flowering Man Orchids.
 
1 June 2008, St Margarets Cliff, Kent - An evening potter resulted in the viewing of 2 pairs of Fulmar. Cracking birds these and greatly overlooked. The faces have so much character and a mean look that really holds the attention.
 
1 June 2008, Temple Ewell, Kent - Chalk Milkwort was nice to catch up with and Pyrausta aurata, Alabonia geoffrella, Yellow Shell and Scarce Silver Lines were pleasing moths to see.
 
MAY
 
31 May 2008, Park Gates Down, Kent - 3 Greater Butterfly Orchids, 258 Monkey Orchids, 1 Lady Orchid, 1 Fly Orchid and 1 Common Spotted Orchid were impressive enough on a small stretch of this reserve.
 
31 May 2008, Yocklett Bank, Kent - 3 Lady Orchids, Wood Spurge, Sanicle, Black Bryony, Gromwell and Twayblade were the pick of the plants with Black and Red Headed Cardinal Beetles and Malachius bipustulatus adding insect interest.
 
22 May 2008, Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Light Brown Apple Moth (*16); Common Pug (*2); Esperia sulphurella (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*6); Lesser Swallow Prominent (*1); Common Marbled Carpet (*4); Twenty-Plume Moth (*1); Clouded Bordered Brindle (*3); Shuttle-Shaped Dart (*1); Brown House Moth (*1); Eriocrania semipurpurella (*1). Also a Nettle-Tap moth was seen in the garden earlier in the day.
 
16 May 2008, Ainsdale NE, Lancashire - Flame Shoulder (*20); Red Green Carpet (*2); Dark Barred Twin Spot Carpet (*3); Pale Tussock (*1); White Pinion Spotted (*5); Sandy Carpet (*1);  Small Phoenix  (*5); Knot Grass (*7); Angle Shades (*2); Flame Carpet (*2); Common White Wave (*1); White Colon (*1); Brimstone (*1); Shuttle-Shaped Dart (*4); Streamer (*2); Fox Moth (*1); V-Pug (*1); Poplar Hawkmoth (*1); Ruby Tiger (*1); Pebble Prominent (*1); Least Black Arches (*6); Spruce Carpet (*4); Treble Lines (*1); White-Spotted  Pug (*1); Peppered  Moth (*1); Cinnabar Moth (*2); Small Square Spot  (*1); Oak  Hook-Tip (*2); Clouded  Silver (*1); Bee  Moth  (*1); Lesser  Swallow Prominent (*1); Pine Beauty (*2); Pale Pinion (*1); Clouded Border (*1); Seraphim (*5); Common Carpet (*1); Esperia sulphurella (*1); Clouded Bordered-Brindle (*1) Ochreous Pug (*1); Cochylis atricapitana (*1); Foxglove Pug (*1); Syndemis musculana (*1)
 
10 May 2008, Marbury CP, Cheshire - The first Speckled Wood of the year, Little Ringed Plover and two nesting Black Winged Stilts were the days pick.
 
10 May 2008, Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - More mothing and the best of a 8 species haul were Esperia sulphurella (*1); Bee Moth (*1); Brown House Moth (*1) and Oak Tree Pug (*1) and Apple Leaf Miner (*1). Thanks to Shane Farrel for helping with a couple of ID's.
 
9 May 2008, Ainsdale NE, Lancashire - A 3 hour trapping session resulted in 26 identified species these being :- Flame Shoulder (*6), V-Pug (*1); Flame Carpet (*1); Knot-Grass (*7); Pebble Hook-Tip (*1); Shuttle-Shaped Dart (*6); Small Phoenix (*6); Coxcomb Prominent (*1); Pale Tussock (*2); Swallow Prominent (*1); Grey Birch (*2); Hebrew Character (*1); Pine Beauty (*6); Pebble Prominent (*2); Brown Silver Line (*1); Least Black Arches (*5); Adela reaumurella (*1); Angle Shades (*1); Dark Barred Twin Spot Carpet (*2); Common White Wave (*1); Common Wave (*1); Cinnabar (*1); Scalloped Hook-Tip (*1); Common Quaker (*1); White Ermine (*1); Spruce Carpet (*1); Swammerdamia pyrella (*1); Agonopterix propinquella (*1)
 
8 May 2008, Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Ichneumon stramentarius was spotted lurking about near a log in the search for unwary victims.
 
7 May 2008, Frodsham Marsh, Cheshire - A pair of Yellow Wagtails, 3 Whinchat, 2 Buzzard, numerous Wheatear, Raven and a calling Grasshopper Warbler was the best of a list of 57.
 
6 May 2008, Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A mothing session resulted in Light Brown Apple Moth (*6), Twenty-Plume Moth (*1), Tachystola acroxantha(*1) and Eriocrania semipurpurella (*10). Not a lot but a start to the year.
 
5 May 2008, Leighton Moss, Cumbria - a view over the marshes from a choice clifftop area resulted in Avocet and a feeding Spoonbill. Emphasis here is on 'feeding' as many birders will testify that Spoonbills are usually observed with heads tucked in and in a state of deep sleep.
 
5 May 2008, Witherslack, Cumbria - 14 spikes of Toothwort, some excellent Lords and Ladies and an abundance of Ramsons made it a worthwhile visit.
 

5 May 2008, Walney Island, Cumbria - A nice stroll in the sunshine (honestly - real unadulterated sunshine) and a good birding jolly was had. Loads of pristine Eider, 30 Whimbrel, plenty of passing Sandwich Tern, a White Wagtail, numerous Wheatear and a smart Whinchat were the choice picks. 34 Green Veined Whites, a Ruby Tiger Moth and 2 Small Tortoiseshell added to the summery feel.

On the botanical front Heartsease Pansy, Spring Beauty, Wall and Germander Speedwell and Cut-Leaved Cranesbill were nice to see.

 
5 May 2008 - Meathop Moss, Cumbria - Several Common Heath, 5 Green Hairstreak, a singing Tree Pipit and flowering Bog Rosemary added to the days interest but the find of the visit, and the day was a resting male Emperor Moth. A veritable stunner and hope of a good picture is had although I couldn't even see the digital display so had to rely on several potshots. Watch this site for results.
 
3 May 2008 - Errwood Reservoir, Derbyshire - A wander in the hope of seeing some summer visitors turned up 3 pairs of Pied Flycatcher, 4 Common Sandpiper, 1 Tree Pipit and a couple of Willow Warblers. 2 Peacock butterflies and a pair of nesting Dipper were nice extras.
 
APRIL
 
27 April 2008 - Pennington Flash, Greater Manchester - A Little Gull, 2 Common Sandpipers and 6 Common Tern were additions to the annual list during a super quick visit.
 
27 April 2008 - Pilling Marsh, Lancashire - A nice stroll resulted in the sighting of 4 obliging Whimbrel, numerous Wheatear, several White Wagtails, Barnacle Goose, Ross's Goose and Pink Footed Geese aplenty. 14 feral Chickens were nice to see even though not one to put on the list.
 
27 April 2008 - Fairhaven RSPB, Lancashire - A Ross's Gull was seen on the saltmarsh and despite the ludicrous pestering it was given by a couple of photographers there was still plenty of time to admire some decent views of this quaint little gull. The pink flush on the breast was particularly pleasing to see.
 
22 April 2008 - Cheadle Heath, Cheshire - A Cream-Spot Ladybird came to rest on my trousers whilst taking a quick rest on my travels to and from work.
 
4 April 2008 - Cheadle Heath, Cheshire – The first butterfly was seen in the garden - a Holly Blue no less. A real spirit raising sight and a 2 Spot-Ladybird was the first of the year too. Hopefully summer is on its way!
 
MARCH
 

27 March 2008 – Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire – A nice end of day stroll was as quiet as ever at this top site but the bird front was as usual a rewarding experience with both male and female Garganey feeding busily, a darting Kingfisher an expected sighting, 4 Red Legged Partridge scurrying around the outer fields and a nice flotilla of Goosander the high points.

 

27 March 2008 – Fleetwood, Lancashire – The island on the marine gave us a nice close up view of approximately 220 roosting Turnstone as well as a few Knot and Redshank.

 

27 March 2008 – Sizergh Castle, Cumbria – A female Hawfinch showed itself so briefly that my wife and daughter failed to see it but with a little perseverance and an informative chat with an amiable local birder a stunning male was found perched in full sunshine giving us all a good look at his mighty impressive plumage – Wow!

 
23 March 2008 - Marbury CP, Cheshire - A 55 species list contained a close up Kingfisher, Black Swan and several Snipe as well as the first summer visitors Swallow, Sand Martin and Chiffchaff.
 
22 March 2008 - Conwy RSPB, Caernarfonshire - 17 Red Breasted Mergansers were the high from a decent list of species.
 
22 March 2008 - Maltraeth Bay, Anglesey - Raven, Little Egret and Stonechat were the best of a breezy, bracing walk.
 
22 March 2008 - Penrhros CP, Anglesey - A superb Ring Billed Gull sat at the side of the car (literally 6ft away) for 20 plus minutes and displayed all its finer ID points for study. A very difficult species to ID without a decent viewing like this so appreciation was at the utmost.
 
21 March 2008 - Warton Crag, Lancashire - A quick 5 minute scan resulted in the sighting of a Chough and both male and female Peregrine Falcons - all unperturbed by the sudden hailstorm.
 
21 March 2008 - Leighton Moss, Lancashire - 62 Species of bird was a good total with Green Woodpecker, Red Breasted Merganser, Avocet and the expected Marsh Tit the pick. 2 Red Deer lazed about unconcerned by the on-looking birders and a Little Egret gave some nice close up views.
 
8 March 2008 - Alexander Park, Whalley Range, G. Manchester - A quick toot and a game of football with my daughter resulted in seeing 4 Ring Necked Parakeets, a pair of Goosander and a field full of obliging Redwing. The Parakeets were really nice to see and there green colours shone bright from the wintering skeletal trees. A nice crop of Coltsfoot was in flower too which shows that Spring is just around the corner.
 
2 March 2008 - Cheadle Heath, Cheshire - A winter plumage Green Shieldbug was located on a Box bush. Still in its brown colours this little chap looked quite chilled.
 
FEBRUARY
 
15 February 2008 - Halsall Moss, Lancashire - A grand flock of Pink Footed Geese, 2 Grey Partridge and a pale Buzzard were nice to see whilst once again trying to see Barn Owls - and once again we saw nothing!
 
15 February 2008 - Great Altcar, Lancashire - A sprinting Brown Hare, 6 equally fast Red Legged Partridge and 1 Curlew were located whilst seeking out elusive Barn Owls. In fact the Barn Owls were so elusive we didn't see them.
 
15 February 2008 - Marshside, Lancashire - Ruff, Green Winged Teal and 3 Little Egrets were the choice from a list of 44 species.
 
13 February 2008 - Etherow CP, Cheshire - 17 male and 4 female Mandarin Ducks were a sight to behold and Raven and 2 Stock Dove were noteable.
 
11 February 2008 - Abney Hall, Cheshire - Bullfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Celandine in flower were notable at this small reserve.
 
9 February 2008 - Cheadle Heath, Cheshire - In and around the home I found Varied Carpet Beetle, Common Field Speedwell, 6 Large Yellow Underwing Moth larva and 2 Angle Shades Moth Larva.
 
JANUARY
 
19 January 2008 - Chorlton WP, G. Manchester - A dreary stroll beneath wretched leaden clouds produced a list of 36 bird species with 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 9 Goosander and a Siskin flock of 50+ birds one of which was a stunning Lesser Redpoll brightening the day.
 

12 January 2008 - Stanley Park, Lancashire - A close up of a male Pochard and male Tufted Duck were excellent with a chance to admire the subtle feathering. 3 female Pochards were equally impressive with those soft white face masks. Some oddities were seen on the water with Chinese Domestic Goose and a feral Pink Footed Goose the picks.

 
12 January 2008 - Marton Mere, Lancashire - Good all round spread of species with a nice array of duck to admire. A Sparrowhawk failed to catch its lunch in the feeding station and a tree full of obliging Long Tailed Tits were in particularly fine fettle and showing some gorgeous shades of pink.
 
12 January 2008 - Fairhaven RSPB, Lancashire - Stunning close-ups of a Red Breasted Merganser male and 3 Knot were choice picks. Also the impressive flock of Pintail at Granny's Bay was mighty impressive.
 
5 January 2008 - Ainsdale Sands, Lancashire - On a freezing coast with the wind wildly whistling Sanderling, Bar Tailed Godwit and Grey Plover get the 'Braving The Cold' award.
 
5 January 2008 - Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire - Kingfisher, Wood Duck and flocks of Whooper Swans in adjacent fields added interest to a below par list.
 
4 January 2008 - Moore Nr, Cheshire - 44 species of bird provided impressive gull numbers. Stock Dove, Siskin and Willow Tit were the best of the rest.
 
3 January 2008 - Tatton Park, Cheshire - A decent variety of wildfowl was on show with a Redhead Smew the pick of the flocks.
 
2 January 2008 - Marbury CP, Cheshire - A cold day with 37 species of bird. 3 Kingfishers were nice with a female obligingly taking shelter in the screen hide.
 
1 January 2008 - Llanfairfechan, N. Wales - Catching the last hour of daylight proved worthwhile with a pair of Great Northern Divers displaying, 1 young male Eider and 1 Slavonian Grebe very rewarding. An abundance of Common Scoter were present no doubt concealing a rarer member of the family.
 
1 January 2008 - The Spinnies, N. Wales - With an incoming tide this small reserve provided 42 bird species to mull over. Little Egret, 6 stunning Greenshank, Goosander, Red Breasted Merganser and Turnstone were personal favourites.
 
1 January 2008 - Conwy RSPB, N. Wales - From a list of 48 bird species a fleeing Kingfisher, some well concealed Snipe and a Peregrine Falcon attempting to take a Lapwing were the high points. A Weasel was showing well next to the hide opposite the salt marsh.