FUNGALPUNK SIGHTINGS 2009
Fungal sightings found here
 
DECEMBER
 
14th December 2009 - Stockport, Cheshire - An Urban Fox was scooting about the streets in the early morn hopefully after a good night of scavenged scram. Good on yer mate!
 
NOVEMBER
 
28th November 2009 - Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire - A mushie mooch resulted in an average bird list too with a nice group of Nuthatch indicating how this species is spreading north.
 
OCTOBER
 
31st October 2009 - Tatton Park, Cheshire - A Red Admiral butterfly and a Brick moth were both seen whilst mooching for mushies yet again.
 
30th October 2009 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Seeking a bit of guidance with my photographic technique (well lack of) my brother paid a visit and gave me some great advice - 'put the camera in the bin'. No seriously he pointed out my mistakes and helped me get on the right tracks to taking a decent picture - cheers man! The bonus was he brought a few moths to photograph which he had caught the previous evening, they were:- Blairs Shoulder Knot (*1); The Brick (*1); December Moth (*1) and Feathered Thorn (*2).
 
28th October 2009 - Styal CP, Cheshire - A Stoat was mooching around in the late sunshine and a Raven was gronking away whilst we mooched for mushies.
 
27th October 2009 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Two moths in the house were identified as the plume moth Amblyptilia acanthadactyla and a Six-Striped Rustic.
 
27th October 2009 - Tatton Park, Cheshire - A Painted Lady was on the wing just highlighting the mild conditions.
 
25th October 2009 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A Tachystola acroxantha moth was attracted to a lighted window and reminds me I really should still be trapping.
 
24th October 2009 - Abney Hall, Cheshire - 8 Harlequin ladybirds doesn't bode well for the resident species.
 
17th October 2009 - Nunsmere Hall, Cheshire - During the Fungal Foray a Flounced Chestnut moth was caught and several Epiritta moths were seen. A Common Darter was on the wing and Richard Brown of the Fungal Friends group identified Australian Swamp Stonecrop growing in profusion of a watery pathway.
 
3 October 2009 - Coombes Valley RSPB, Staffordshire - Several American Signal Crayfish frequented the river and the overnight moth trap contained Epirrita sp (*3); Green Brindled Crescent (*2); Flounced Chestnut (*2); Streak (*1); Dusky Thorn (*2), Silver Y (*1) and Sallow (*1).
 
SEPTEMBER
 
30th September 2009 - Torkington Park, Stockport, Cheshire - A Vapourer moth was struggling on the tennis courts at this local park.
 
27th September 2009 - Etherow CP, Cheshire - Also seen whilst doing a fungal foray was a Forest Shieldbug as well as Tufted Hair Grass and Male, Lady and Broad Buckler Ferns.
 
18th September 2009 - Nunsmere Hall, Cheshire - A few hours mothing whilst wining and dining (cheers Mark) and only 9 species caught. These were Grey Pine Carpet (*4); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Silver Y (*1); Lesser Yellow Underwing (*1); Snout (*1); Common Marbled Carpet (*1); Canary Shouldered Thorn (*1); Brimstone (*1); Acleris emargana (*1)
 
11th September 2009 - Chadkirk Chapel, Cheshire - Being totally snowed under and distracted by a thousand other things the moth evening at Chadkirk became a case of fitting it in at the last minute and so was a personal struggle that has made me think twice about how much I book in next year. Late nights don't combine well with an already busy lifestyle and to say I was knackered before the event started would be an understatement. The general turn-outs for the events have been poor too and thoughts are towards more public friendly moth mornings for the next mothing season with emphasis towards introducing beginners and children - we shall see. Anyway the air was chilled but the company warm and friendly with 14 species of moth caught that I thought was very little reward but half expected so late in the year. Autumnal Rustic (*3); Square Spot Rustic (1); Red Green Carpet (*2); Angle Shades (*2); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Large Yellow Underwing (*2); Lesser Yellow Underwing (*1); Snout (*1); Straw Dot (*2); Setaceous Hebrew Character (*1); Copper Underwing sp (*1); Centre Barred Sallow (*1); Common Marbled Carpet (*1); and a Red Underwing (*1) to finish was in fact the lowly list.
 
5th September 2009 - Tatton Park, Cheshire - A day looking for 'shrooms and a Straw Dot, a Copper Underwing sp. and 5 Speckled Wood Butterflies added company. A nice Araneus quadratus spider was a good find as was the Violet Ground Beetle - as impressive as ever.
 
AUGUST
 
27th August 2009 - Chadkirk Chapel, Cheshire - Another day out with the Young Carers crew from work was a sheer pleasure with a woodland walk, some gravestone rubbing, a mooch through the local moth trap and a self made Olympic special all contributing to a good day out. Species seen in the moth trap were Large Yellow Underwing; Setaceous Hebrew Character; Dusky Thorn; Canary Shoulder Thorn; Lesser Yellow Underwing; Yellow Shell; Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing; Flame Carpet; Common Carpet; Straw Dot and Copper Underwing.
 
25th August 2009 - Etherow CP, Cheshire - An Old Lady moth was well picked out on the door of the visitor centre by one of the Young Carers from work who I was taking out for a wildlife wander.
 
21st August 2009 - Hartland Moor, Dorset - 2 Black Darters and an Emerald Damselfly and back to the lighthouse for the final nights rest.
 
21st August 2009 - Wareham, Dorset - Lesser Marsh Grasshopper was sought and after finding nearby fields closed off we went for a local walk riverside walk and found 4 of our own. 7 new grasshoppers in 14 days - no complaints at all.
 
21st August 2009 - Portland Bill, Dorset - Convolvulus Hawk-Moth; Silky Wave; Scarce Bordered Straw; Red Underwing; Eudonia angustea; Agriphila geniculea and Silky Wave all avoided death at the hands of a local Common Shrew who visited one of the garden traps and couldn't escape. With a full belly he nipped a brave soul who tried to remove him but eventually succumbed to some Fungal hypnosis and was finally removed.
 
20th August 2009 - Abbotsbury to West Bexington, Dorset - A proper good walk here with numerous butterflies on the wing, Marsh Harrier and Wheatear giving good displays and Babbington's Leek standing proud in seed. The surprise was the local toilets moth sightings. Lavatorial Lepidoptera seems to be the way forward with some darn good species recorded on this rewarding trip. Garden Carpet; Common Carpet; Blood-Vein; Dingy Footman; Double Striped Pug; Bright Line Brown Eye; Orange Swift; Yellow Tail; Magpie; Chinese Character; Brimstone; Straw Dot; Pale Eggar; Horse Chestnut and Channel Island Pug all contributing to a solid list. Add some local day-flyers and there you go - Lepidoptera Heaven! A few queer looks were had with one misery guts asking questions as to our behaviour. When given an explanation the sour-face failed to break into a smile and was taken away with utter disdain! Have a nice day!
 
19th August 2009 - Portland Bill, Dorset - Portland Ribbon Wave was a beauty from the Obs overnight traps.
 
18th August 2009 - The Verne, Portland, Dorset - A brief session was hard work but Pyrausta cespitalis; Mecyna cosinalis and Annulet were worth the effort.
 
18th August 2009 - Wootton Bridge, Dorset - Procumbent Yellow Sorrel, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Tit, Dor Beetle, Beautiful Demoiselle and a few fungi rounded off a good days rummaging.
 
18th August 2009 - New Forest, Hampshire - Wood Crickets and Common Groundhoppers were nice but we really wanted Woodland Grasshopper. A sunny glade was found and hey presto a male and female were potted. How's that - easy peasy lemon squeezy as they say!
 
17th August 2009 - Sopley Common, Dorset - 3 grasshoppers were found 2 of which were - wait for it - Heath! Another new one for us and one which wouldn't settle down to photograph. A few quick snaps were taken and let's pray they turn out OK. Another Wasp Spider (Argiope bruennichi) was had as well as more Mottled Grasshoppers.
 
17th August 2009 - Morden Bog, Dorset - Again the elusive Heath Grasshopper escaped our clutches but another lazy walk was enjoyed as well as Emerald Damselflies and numerous Bog Bush Crickets.
 
16th August 2009 - Durlston CP, Dorset - We headed out this way to seek out Striped Winged Grasshopper and after some solid advice from the shop we soon came up with the said species. The call is rather low and only just on the cusp of the hearing range but once picked up though these stunning insects can easily be found. In fact I watched one stridulate for a few brief moments which was a real sweet treat. Butterflies were represented with Small White (*3); Large White (*4); Adonis Blue (*7); Lulworth Skipper (*31); Marbled White (*5); Meadow Brown (*10); Common Blue (*32); Wall Brown (*4); Gatekeeper (*12); Painted Lady (*2) and Small Heath (*2). Silver Y moth was seen as well as the flowers Ploughman's Spikenard; Squinancywort; Ladies Bedstraw and Wild Carrot. More stunning weather too - bonus!
 
15th August 2009 - Portland Bill, Dorset - The hoverfly Myathropa florea was spotted and later ID'd by Martin Evans and Roger Edmondson of WildguideUK fame. Autumn Hawk-Bit was noted along with more Orthopteran specimens with another hoverfly Xanthogramma pedissequum ticked off. Bombus lucorum and pascuorum were observed and a Jersey Tiger was seen in shrubbery. The Wasp Spider (Argiope bruennichi) was found in nearby grassland.
 
14th August 2009 - East Fleet, Dorset - A search for Lesser Marsh Grasshopper proved to be fruitless but we had a fine walk and saw numerous butterflies and a Short Tailed Vole.
 
14th August 2009 - Portland Bill, Dorset - My daughter found a nearby Hummingbird Hawkmoth and 2 Slow Worms and many massive Sea Slaters were shown to some visitors from Dudley. Nice 'salt of the earth' people and they really enjoyed seeing these two cracking species.
 
13th August 2009 - Kingcombe Meadows DWT, Dorset - A new place for us and nice end of day stroll was taken. Small Tortoiseshell; Meadow Brown; Common Blue and Green Veined White were observed on this sunny evening.
 
13th August 2009 - Lyme Regis, Devon - The targeted Rufous Grasshopper was seen, admired and photographed - what a stunner! Silver Y; Blood-Vein; Large White; Small Copper; Red Admiral and Common Blue upheld the lepidopteron variety of the holiday so far.
 
13th August 2009 - Portland Bill, Dorset - Oak Hook Tip; Spindle Ermine; 4 Spotted Footman and Small Wainscot were the traps high points and whilst leaving the lighthouse for a day out a Fox nipped across the road into nearby fields.
 
12th August 2009 - Arne RSPB, Dorset - We came in search of Heath Grasshopper and went away with everything but! Mottled Grasshoppers were numerous and the lepidoptera front was represented by Grayling (*10); Silver Y (*2); Diamond Back Moth (*2) and a beautiful Grass Emerald.
 
12th August 2009 - Higher Hyde Heath DWT, Dorset - A right old mix of species here with Common Toad (*3); Small Tortoiseshell (*3); Speckled Wood (*3); Brimstone Butterfly (*1); Peacock (*2); Grayling (*3) and Gatekeeper (*3) all noticed whilst doing a bit more Orthopteran seeking. 3 Grass Snakes, 4 Common Lizards; 2 Slow Worms and 3 Raft Spiders (Dolomedes fimbriatus) were great as were Ruddy Darter (*2) and several Bog Bush Crickets and Silver Y moths.
 
11th August 2009 - Portland Bill, Dorset - Tachina grossa was impressive enough and seemed to be quite happy buzzing around the Obs gardens mint patch. Small China Mark, 4 Spotted and Barred Rivulet were the pick of the moth traps and the butterflies were represented by Red Admiral, Speckled Wood and Painted Lady. The islands Tout Quarry produced Chalk Carpet; Wall Brown; Chalkhill Blue; Common Blue and more Painted Lady's. Mottled Grasshoppers were common enough. The day ended with us all looking at the planet Jupiter and 3 of its moons.
 
10th August 2009 - Chesil Beach, Dorset - Numerous Ringed Plovers were found with a few Dunlin keeping them company. Shrubby Sea Blite, Soapwort, Sea Campion and Tamarisk were in fine fettle.
 
10th August 2009 - Portland Bill, Dorset - A potter through the Obs moth traps and a look at some outstanding specimens the warden had extracted had us looking on in wonder at Small Waved Umber; Scorched Carpet; Meal Moth; Lime Speck Pug; Garden Tiger; Shuttle Shaped Dart; Magpie; Dark Swordgrass; Crescent Dart; Vines Rustic; Dingy Footman; Strawberry Tortrix; Homeosoma sinuella; Brimstone; Willow Beauty; Chinese Character; White Point; Brown Line, Bright Eye; White Point; Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing and Light Brown Apple Moth. Some coastal foraging produced Golden Samphire; Rock Samphire; Strawberry Clover; Pale Flax; Portland Rock Sea Lavender; Wheatear; Gannet; Rock Pipit; Broad Clawed Porcelain Crab; Velvet Swimming Crab; Shore Crab; Strawberry Anemone and Worm Pipefish. The nearby fields had 3 Common Blue Butterflies and Dark Bush Cricket and Long Winged Conehead. The gall Robin's Pincushion was in stunning condition.
 
9th August 2009 - Purbeck, Dorset - Some intense mooching paid dividends with Bog Bush Cricket (*5); Large Marsh Grasshopper (*3); Mottled Grasshopper (*10); Long Winged Conehead (*2); Field Grasshopper (*2); Common Lizard (*1); Small Copper (*1); Gatekeeper (*1) and Silver Y Moth (*10) being very rewarding. Tawny Grisette and Yellow Russula once again maintained the fungal interest.
 
9th August 2009 - Stonehill Down, Dorset - A stunning stroll in search of some new species produced the butterflies Common Blue (*5); Large White (*1); Painted Lady (*5); Gatekeeper (*2); Red Admiral (*1); Marbled White (*1) and Small Heath (*3). On the Orthopteran front Dark Bush Cricket (*3); Great Green Bush Cricket (*1); Long Winged Conehead (*3) and numerous Common Green and Field Grasshoppers were the only finds. A couple of day flying moths were Silver Y (*7); Rush Veneer (*1) and Idaea muricata (*1). Scarlet Pimpernel; Nodding Thistle; Yarrow; Nettle Leaved Bellflower and Betony were in flower and Macrolepiota procera and Coprinus niveus added mycological interest.
 
9th August 2009 - Portland Bill, Dorset - The overnight traps at the Obs produced Pediasia contaminata; Acleris emargana and Toadflax Brocade two of which were new to us.
 
8th August 2009 - Portland Bill, Dorset - Arriving at the Bird Observatory for a two week break was really very welcome and as soon as we unpacked we had a quick mooch around the grounds whilst sipping a well earned cuppa. Painted Lady and Common Blue butterflies were on the wing with Martin the warden showing us a Convolvulus Hawkmoth. 5 Silver Y moths frequented the nearby field as did numerous Field Grasshoppers and Long Winged Coneheads. A juvenile Sparrowhawk kept an eye on the ringing nets. After some grub a mooch further around the island bore fruit with Silver Y (*30); Painted Lady (*12); Common Blue (*5); Chalkhill Blue (*5); 6-Spot Burnet (*5); Gatekeeper (*4); Large White (*4); Speckled Wood (*2); Grey Bush Cricket (*3); Slow Worm (*34) and a very meaty Adder. On the botanical front Travellers Joy; Common Toadflax; Wild Carrot; Ivy Broomrape; Dwarf Thistle; Wormwood; Salad Burnet; Marjoram and Carline Thistle added nice colour. A good start and hopefully a taste of things to come.
 
6th August 2009 - Hindley Green, Lancashire - Some moth identifying of a previous nights catch for my brother, a recent member to the mothing fraternity resulted in a fair list which was:- Brimstone (*3); Flounced Rustic (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*5); Willow Beauty (*5); Mother Of Pearl (*5); Ancylis badiana (*1); Strawberry Tortrix (*2); Dark Arches (*5); Rustic sp (*5); Square Spot Rustic (*20); Double Lobed (*5); Apple Leaf Miner (*1); Blastobasis lignea (*5); Straw Dot (*3); Flame Carpet (*1); Flame Shoulder (*2); Silver Y (*1); Argyresthia goedartella (*3); Common Carpet (*2); Riband Wave (*13); Cabbage Moth (*1); Shuttle Shaped Dart (*3); Chequered Fruit Tree Tortrix (*1); Small Phoenix (*4); Dark/Grey Dagger sp (*1); Dun-Bar (*3); Tinea trinotella (*1); Common Wave (*1); Single Dotted Wave (*1); Udea lutealis (*1); Marbled Beauty (*2); Smoky Wainscot (*3); Fan-Foot (*1); Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing (*1); Small Dusty Wave (*1); Spruce Carpet (*1); Large Yellow Underwing (*15); Olive (*1)
 
6th August 2009 - Martin Mere, Lancashire - A day out again with the Young Carers group started by looking through the moth trap at this new lepidopteran capital. The list was a fair one for the young ones to go through with Canary Shoulder Thorn; Silver Y; Large Yellow Underwing; Udea lutealis; Swallow Prominent, Lesser Swallow Prominent; Common Wave; Drinker; Small Wainscot; Flame Shoulder; Rosy Rustic; Dun-Bar; Cochylimorpha straminea; Small Phoenix; Cyclamen Tortrix; Small Square Spot; Sallow; Blastobasis lignea; Dusky Thorn; Willow Beauty; Bordered Beauty; Iron Prominent; Fen Wainscot; Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing; Flounced Rustic; Straw Dot; Agriphila straminella; Common Carpet and Lesser Yellow Underwing all maintaining interest. Red Admiral (*2); Peacock (*2); Green Veined White (*2); Speckled Wood (*3); Painted Lady (*5) and Small Tortoiseshell (*2) were extra additions whilst walking around the reserve.
 
4th August 2009 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - 2 hours mothing resulted in Marbled Beauty (*6); Light Brown Apple Moth (*17); Udea lutealis (*1); Amblyptilia acanthadactyla (*1); Large Yellow Underwing (*4); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*1); Brimstone (*1); Wormwood Pug (*1); Agriphila straminella (*1); Apple Leaf Miner (*1); Mother Of Pearl (*2); Brown House Moth (*1); Willow Beauty (*2); Diamond Back Moth (*1); Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing (*1); Double Square Spot (*1); Flame Shoulder (*1); Ancylis badiana (*1); Lesser Yellow Underwing (*1)
 
JULY
 
29th July 2009 - Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire - A day out with the Young Carers from work uncovered a few natural gems. Staff kindly put out the moth trap for us and we were left to have a mooch through. Sadly the weather had taken its toll but Dark Barred Twin Spot Carpet (*1); Dun-Bar (*3); Small Fan Footed Wave (2); Large Yellow Underwing (*4); Riband Wave (*1); Common Wainscot (*1); Lesser Swallow Prominent (*2); Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing (*1); Golden-Rod Pug (*1); Common Footman (*1) and Shaded Broad Bar (*4) kept litle eyes amazed. A couple of Sexton Beetles (Nicrophorus investigator) stunk rotten and lay in the bottom of the trap in something of a stupor. Strolling on we came across numerous fungal specimens (See Fungal Friends link) as well as an abundance of froglets. Flower wise Water Mint; Wood Sage; Eyebright; Yellow Rattle; Purple Loosestrife; Marsh Thistle and Lesser Burdock were the most notable. Gatekeeper (*4) was the only butterfly species seen. A fishing Kingfisher brought smiles all round and was a nice, but expected bonus.
 
26th July 2009 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - It has been a veritable struggle this year trying to do any wildlifing at all and even when the days are busy a bit of mothing at night can make up in some ways for the lack of 'natural history' fixes. The weather however is a pain in the proverbials and really got to me over the past 12 months. Warm but windy and wet or just plain cold - hardly ever do we get those ideal conditions in which our night flying comrades can flourish. Anyway I am digressing. Here is the list from the previous nights two hour session:- Light Brown Apple Moth (*3); Shaded Broad Bar (*1); Large Yellow Underwing (*4); Argyrestha brockeella (*1); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*3); Marbled Beauty (*5); Willow Beauty (*1); Bright Line Brown Eye (*2); Common Carpet (*1); Gothic (*1); Mother Of Pearl (*1); Riband Wave (*1); Bird Cherry Ermine (*2); Twenty Plume Moth (*1); Apple Leaf Miner (*1); Brimstone (*1); Diamond Back Moth (*1); Agriphila straminella (*1)
 
25th July 2009 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - After already walking 30+ miles this week to and from work (most of which was done with a heavy cold) I was more than a little tired today but decided to try and get out with my good lady and clear the head. It didn't work and what was planned as a decent stroll turned into a brief walk before heading home to rest. We saw a few things though and these were:- Green Veined White (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Speckled Wood (*2); Meadow Brown (*12); Gatekeeper (*2); Small Skipper (*2) and Large Skipper (*1). Silver Y (*1) and 6 Spot Burnet (*1) were all on the moth front. Goat's Rue, Restharrow and Purple Loosestrife were in fine condition as were the sturdy looking Spear Thistles.
 
15th July 2009 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A cool breeze and a clearish sky didn't bode well for a mothing session and in the 2 hour session I was catching I was surprised I actually exceeded 20 species. The list unfolded as thus:- Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Diamond Back Moth (*1); Marbled Beauty (*8); Blackneck (*1); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*2); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Blastobasis lignea (*2); Codling Moth (*1); Silver Y (*3); Cabbage Moth (*1); Buff Arches (*1); Riband Wave (*3); Mother Of Pearl (*1); Grey/Dark Dagger agg (*1); Scalloped Oak (*1); Lesser Yellow Underwing (*1); Straw Underwing (*1); Brown House Moth (*1); Herald (*1); Bright Line Brown Eye (*1); Twenty Plume Moth (*1); Udea lutealis (*1); Small Dusty Wave (*1)
 
14th July 2009 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Too tired to moth lately but 3 species were attracted overnight to a lighted window, these being Bright Line Brown Eye, Diamond Back Moth and Wormwood Pug.
 
4th July 2009 - Rufous Stone, New Forest, Hampshire - Very hot weather had me flagging somewhat after a very busy week but Lesser Stag Beetle, Wood Cricket and the pugnacious Devils Coach Horse were nice to admire.
 
4th July 2009 - Bentley Woods, Wiltshire - A day of tiredness and little in return on the wildlife front with the weather playing silly games and getting to my tired noggin. Ringlet (*20); Painted Lady (*2); Marbled White (*3); Silver Washed Fritillary (*15); Speckled Wood (*1) and a superb Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing (*1) was the total of the lepidopteran list with the sites most sought after butterfly (Purple Emperor) remaining elusive. The amount of people hanging about had me wondering as to whether how many were there for the love of the species or there so as to keep their tick lists up to date. Interesting methinks.
 
3rd July 2009 - Bernwood Forest, Oxfordshire - 3 Red Kites swooped low and welcomed us to this excellent site with butterflies aplenty within the woods and meadows. The total counts were Marbled White (*47); Ringlet (*175); Meadow Brown (*11); Large Skipper (*10); White Admiral (*10); Comma (*7); Gatekeeper (*2) and a Painted Lady (*1). The moths were as elusive as ever through the day with Silver Y (*2); Blood-Vein (*1); Yellow-Shell (*1) and Common White Wave (*1) the only spots.
 
2nd July 2009 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Another night mothing with 54 species from 155 moths caught. The final list was:- Diamond Back Moth (*12); Tachystola acroxantha (*5); Bee Moth (*5); Emmelina monodactyla (*1); Chrysoteucia culmella (*4); Marbled Beauty (*13); Grey/Dark Dagger agg (*4); Light Brown Apple Moth (*3); Middle Barred Minor (*2); Straw Dot (*3); Plain Golden Y (*1); Common Emerald (*2); Heart And Dart (*5); Buff Arches (*1); Marbled Minor agg (*2); Brown House Moth (*1); Uncertain (*6); Flame (*4); Poplar Hawkmoth (*1); Double Striped Pug (*1); Codling Moth (*1); Common Heath (*1); Scalloped Hazel (*2); Clouded Border (*1); Apple Leaf Miner (*4); Green Carpet (*1); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*3); Light Emerald (*3); Small Magpie (*2); Dot Moth (*1); Fan Foot (*2); Blackneck (*1); White Shouldered House Moth (*1); Dark Arches (*6); Dun-Bar (*1); Bright Line Brown Eye (*2); Scalloped Oak (*5); Common Pug (*1); Short Cloaked Moth (*1); Garden Carpet (*2); Riband Wave f. remutata (*18); Phlyctaenia coronata (*2); Knot-Grass (*1); Small Angle Shades (*1); Muslin Footman (*1); Shaded Broad Bar (*1); Riband Wave (*5); Carcina quercana (*1); Smoky Wainscot (*2); Burnished Brass (*1); Amblyptilia acanthadactyla (*2); Batia lunaris (*1); Orthopygia glaucinalis (*1)
 
1st July 2009 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - After leaving the toilet light on and the window open 9 moth species decided to join us overnight within the confines of the house. These were:- Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Fan-Foot (*3); Phlyctaenia coronata (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Diamond Back Moth (*1); Light Emerald (*2); Scalloped Oak (*1); Single Dotted Wave (*1) and Bee Moth (*1)
 
JUNE
 
28th June 2009 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - 3 and a half hours of mothing in the garden produced the following list of 44 species from 88 moths identified:- Light Brown Apple Moth (*9); Codling Moth (*1); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*3); Celypha lacunana (*2); Diamond Back Moth (*1); Marbled Beauty (*8); Small Magpie (*1); Common Marbled Carpet (*2); Chrysoteucia culmella (*1); Willow Beauty (*4); Brimstone (*2); Snout (*2); Tachystola acroxantha (*5); Grey/Dark Dagger agg (*1); Flame Shoulder (*2); Marbled Minor agg (*4); Double Striped Pug (*1); Brown House Moth (*1); Knot-Grass (*2); Flame (*2); Green Pug (*1); Apple Leaf Miner (*1); Phlyctaenia coronata (*2); Bright Line Brown Eye (*1); Heart And Dart (*1); Smoky Wainscot (*2); Bee Moth (*1); Riband Wave (*6); Fan-Foot (*2); Dot Moth (*1); Common Emerald (*1); Straw Dot (*1); Scalloped Hazel (*1); Scalloped Oak (*2); Rustic Shoulder Knot (*1); Buff Arches (*1); Map Winged Swift (*1); Small Angle Shades (*1); Caloptilia stigmatella (*1); Lesser Yellow Underwing (*1); Turnip Moth (*1); Emmelina monodactyla (*1); Ypsolopha sequella (*1); Uncertain (*2)
 
27th June 2009 - Atcham, Shropshire - Banded Demoiselle (*15); White Legged Damselfly (*15); Red Admiral (*1); Flame Moth (*1); Large White (*1); and the beetle Oedemera nobilis (*1) was all that was had with a shortish but pleasant visit.
 

27th June 2009 - Berrington, Shropshire - The Odonata side of things has always been neglected somewhat so a trip to catch up with a few familiar and not so familiar species was had. After mothing the previous night and the weather playing up it was a late start but when we arrived at the destination it was blazing sunshine all the way. The list was as follows:- Brown Hawker (*3); Black Tailed Skimmer (*4); Emperor (*2); Red Eyed Damselfly (*10); Blue Tailed Damselfly (*1); 4 Spotted Chaser (*1); Banded Demoiselle (*2); Large Red Damselfly (*3); Common Blue Damselfly (*10) and Variable Damselfly (*1). Interest on the lepidoptera front was had with Brimstone (*1); Meadow Brown (*2); Ringlet (*3); Speckled Wood (*1); Silver Y (*1); Straw Dot (*3); Brown China Mark (*1). A Wood Mouse played hide and seek but wasn't quick enough to avoid photographic attention.

 
26th June 2009 - Chadkirk Chapel, Stockport, Cheshire - 14 of us gathered around the light and awaited the moths. 41 species from 64 moths in a 3 hour session seemed a reasonable haul. The list was:- Snout (*6); Small Magpie (*2); Common Marbled Carpet (*2); Flame Shoulder (*3); Green Carpet (*1); Brown House Moth (*1); Grey Tortrix (*1); Middle Barred Minor (*1); Bramble Shoot Moth (*1); Common Carpet (*1); Bee Moth (*1); Marbled Minor sp (*1); Ash Bud Moth (*1); Epiblema cynosbatella (*1); Smoky Wainscot (*1); Large Yellow Underwing (*1); Riband Wave (*1); Burnished Brass (*1); Dark Spectacle (*1); Blood-Vein (*1); Dark Arches (*1); Beautiful Golden-Y (*1); Willow Beauty (*1); Heart And Dart (*1); Green Pug (*2); Freyers Pug (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Brimstone (*2); Yellow Shell (*3); Common Pug (*1); Agriphila straminella (*1); Flame (*1); Single Dotted Wave (*1); Buff Arches (*2); Small Fan-Foot (*1); Light Emerald (*3); Small Angle Shades (*1); Elephant Hawk-Moth (*1); Straw Dot (*5); Orthopygia glaucinalis (*1); Limnaecia phragmitella (*1)
 
21st June 2009 - Anderton NR, Cheshire - A trip to seek out Red Eyed Damselfly resulted in finding one specimen despite some dubious conditions. 3 teneral Common Darters, and 4 Blue Tailed Damselflies were the only other Odonata interest. 2 Painted Ladies, 2 Straw Dots and a single Crambus pascuella were the few sightings on the lepidoptera front.
 

20th June 2009 - Etherow CP, Stockport, Cheshire - A public trapping session with 9 visitors in attendance produced a list of 43 species which was indeed a surprise as earlier in the day I was on the brink of cancelling the event due to the rainy, windy and chilly weather. The change in climate was welcome and it just goes to show what a strange country we live in as far as the weather goes. No wonder we become obsessed. The list unfolded as follows:- White Shouldered House Moth (*1); Peach Blossom (*3); Snout (*3); Brimstone (*2); Common Marbled Carpet (*3); Flame Shoulder (*1); Silver Ground Carpet (*5); Common Carpet (*2); Light Emerald (*2); Small Fan Foot (*1); Ingrailed Clay (*4); Flame (*2); Elephant Hawk-Moth (*2); Beautiful Golden-Y (*2); Small Angle Shades (*2); July Highflyer (*1); Broken Barred Carpet (*1); Green Arches (*4); Northern Spinach (*2); Straw Dot (*1); Large Yellow Underwing (*1); Heart And Dart (*1); Green Oak Tortrix (*1); Clouded Silver (*3); Clouded Magpie (*1); Peppered Moth (*1); Common Wave (*1); Common White Wave (*1); Purple Clay (*1); Pseudargyrotoza conwagana (*1); Spectacle (*1); Brown Silver Lines (*1); Sandy Carpet (*1); Small Clouded Brindle (*2); Flame Carpet (*1); Bright Line Brown Eye (*1); Small Phoenix (*1); Clouded Bordered Brindle (*1); Argyresthia trifasciata (*1); Tinea semifulvella (*1); Common Pug (*1); Ash Bud Moth (*1); Pandemis heparana (*2)

Not a bad list and with the couple of micro species that slipped through the net the 50 mark could have been pushed close. Good job I didn't cancel after all.

 
16th June 2009 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Attracted to the karsi light which was left on all night were singletons of 4 species of moth - Willow Beauty, Green Pug, Small Fan-Footed Wave and Phlyctaenia coronata.
 
14th June 2009 - Marple, Stockport, Cheshire - A trip to the local Currant Clearwing sight resulted in a successful sighting of two specimens. Realy nice views they gave as they basked in the fleeting sunshine.
 
14th June 2009 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Pyrausta aurata flying in the garden a few weeks later than last year.
 
13th June 2009 - Nunsmere Hall, Cheshire - The second moth trapping session at Nunsmere Hall and after the first one which was a complete wash-out things could only improve. Tonight's haul was 21 species with a Cockchafer and Orange Ladybird making an appearance. The list was Pale Tussock (*1); Silver Y (*1); Scorched Wing (*3); Barred Fruit Tree Tortrix (*1); Light Emerald (*2); Scalloped Hook Tip (*1); Brimstone (*2); Marbled Minor agg. (*1); Small Yellow Wave (*1); Small Square Spot (*2); Straw Dot (*1); Crambus pascuella (*2); Heart And Dart (*3); Buff Ermine (*1); Snout (*1); Silver Ground Carpet (*1); Common Marbled Carpet (*1); Peppered Moth (*1); Green Silver Lines (*1); Common Pug (*1); Grey Pine Carpet (*1). Cheers to Mark Huntley and his family for being great hosts and giving us a good breakfast next morning to wake up our tired heads.
 
6th June 2009 - Chadkirk Chapel, Stockport, Cheshire - With crap weather the order of the day it was still a case of head out and give your support to others as we set off to learn a bit about a variety of beetles. Rachel Hacking was at the helm and did a crackin' job despite there not being as much as expected about. The day went smoothly and the knowledge of all in attendance was no doubt improved. Andy 'Aqua Man' Harmer did a pond dipping session and with his enthusiasm and general expertise really bloody impressed me. The microscopy session added a nice finishing dimension and despite having to leave half an hour early so as to sort one of my punk rock gigs out in Wakefield I was more than satisfied with the days events. The species I personally logged and I hope have stuck in my punked up brain were:- Colymbetes fuscus; Ilybius fuliginosus; Ilybius ater, Donacia simplex; Helophorus brevipalpis; Hydrosporus planus; Rhantus suturellus; Agabus bipustulatis; Gerris lacustris; a stridulating Cychrus caraboides; Abax parallelepipedus; Agabus bipustulatus and Water Ladybird. Smooth and Palmate Newts were nice to see as well as a few Damselflies. A grand do indeed.
 
2nd June 2009 - Hindley Green, Nr Wigan, Lancashire - With the weather set to turn cool we decided it would be worth getting in an extra mothing session despite a busy day planned for the morrow. We headed to my brother's house to check out the moth richness and despite cooling temperatures and a clear sky we still pulled in 107 moths of 40 different species in a 3 hour trapping session. The list was as follows:- Green Silver Lines (*3); Brimstone (*6); Brown House Moth (*2); Common Marbled Carpet (*14); Marbled Minor sp (*3); Light Brown Apple Moth (*17); Freyers Pug ssp. arceuthata (*5); Straw Dot (*3); Small Fan-Foot (*3); Flame Shoulder (*8); Bright Line Brown Eye (*1); Codling Moth (*2); Small Angle Shades (*1); Clouded Silver (*3); Flame (*1); Peppered Moth (*3); Common Pug (*1); Diamond Back Moth (*2); Epiblema cynosbatella (*1); Garden Carpet (*3); Heart And Dart (*2); Shuttle Shaped Dart (*1); Bee Moth (*1); White Ermine (*1); Clouded Bordered Brindle (*2); Scalloped Hazel (*1); Common White Wave (*1); Turnip Moth (*1); Spectacle (*2); Small Square Spot (*1); Willow Beauty (*1); Dark Barred Twin Spot Carpet (*1); Green Pug (*1); Figure Of Eighty (*1); Caloptilia azaleella (*1); Rustic Shoulder Knot (*2); Epinotia bilunana (*1); Tinea trinotella (*1); Pandemis heparana (*1); Ingrailed Clay (*1)
 
MAY
 
31st May 2009 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - More mothing for 3 and a half hours resulted in the following catch:- Light Brown Apple Moth (*31); Tachystola acroxantha (*12); Common Marbled Carpet (*6); White Shouldered House Moth (*1); Bee Moth (*1); Willow Beauty (*1); Argyresthia trifasciata (*2); Scalloped Hazel (*1); Garden Carpet (*1); Dark/Grey Dagger sp (*1); Phlyctaenia coronata (*1); Brown House Moth (*1)
 
29th May 2009 - Ainsdale NE, Lancashire - The first real mothing session of the year went well with 45 species identified from 90 moths caught in a 3 and a half hour session. The list was:- Dark Barred Twin Spot Carpet (*1); Common Marbled Carpet (*1); Small Purple Barred (*3); Common Pug (*1); Common White Wave (*1); Treble Lines (*6); Spruce Carpet (*5); Lesser Swallow Prominent (*3); White Ermine (*5); Pale Tussock (*3); Flame Shoulder (*11); Brimstone (*6); Fox Moth (*1); Pale Prominent (*4); Small Phoenix (*1); White Pinion Spotted (*1); Flame Carpet (*2); Yellow Barred Brindle (*1); Lime Speck Pug (*1); Pine Beauty (*1); Marbled Minor agg. (*1); Least Black Arches (*1); Figure Of Eighty (*3); Sandy Carpet (*1); Elephant Hawkmoth (*2); Small Elephant Hawkmoth (*1); Dioryctria abietella (*1); Broken Barred Carpet (*1); Cinnabar Moth (*1); Barred Red (*2); Small Square Spot (*2); Angle Shades (*2); Epiblema cynosbatella (*1); Green Carpet (*1); Clouded Silver (*1); Scalloped Hazel (*2); Bordered White (*1); Pebble Hook Tip (*1); Grass Rivulet (*1); Spectacle (*1); Alder Moth (*1); Timothy Tortrix (*1); Red Green Carpet (*1); Foxglove Pug (*1); Ochreous Pug (*1).
 
29th May 2009 - Torkington Park, Hazel Grove, Stockport - The first Painted Lady of the year was seen whilst eating fish and chips in the sunshine.
 
28th May 2009 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A warm night - unbelievable so out the moth trap went for a 2 and a half hour taster. The list wasn't tremendous but kept me busy enough:- Brimstone (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*44); Common Marbled Carpet (*3); Common Pug (*2); Flame Shoulder (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*8); Scalloped Hazel (*2); Straw Dot (*1); Marbled Minor sp (*1); Green Silver Lines (*1); Epiblema cynosbatella (*1). Hawthorn Shield Bug and Orange Ladybird dropped in to the fray also.
 
28th May 2009 - Coombes Valley RSPB, Staffordshire - Another trip out with the Young Carers and despite the slutch we had a jolly good time. A Great Spotted Woodpecker gave great views whilst entering its nest and feeding its young and the Pied Flycatcher was equally generous. A male Redstart was seen briefly. The moth trap held little with Flame Shoulder, Marbled Brown, Silver Y and Common Swift being the lot. Nettle Tap and Diamond Back moths were added whilst walking around the site.
 
27th May 2009 - Ainsdale Sands, Lancashire - After a play on the beach and a potter in the dunes with the Young Carers we headed home. 2 Common Blue butterflies and 1 Cinnabar Moth were noted during the frivolities. Round Leaved Wintergreen was in full flower.
 
27th May 2009 - Martin Mere, Lancashire - Another trip with the Young Carers started with the opening of the moth trap. The totals were far from impressive but a nice small selection was had, these being White Ermine (*2); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Flame (*1); Silver Ground Carpet (*1); Poplar Hawkmoth (*1); Flame Shoulder (*12); Common Swift (*1); Rustic Shoulder Knot (*1); Herald (*1); Small Square Spot (*3); Bright Line Brown Eye (*1)
 
24th May 2009 - Anderton NR, Cheshire - Sunshine - that rare golden globe we have all been waiting for finally put in an appearance today and so we headed to this tranquil area to have a pleasant stroll and hopefully see a few bits and bobs along the way. Garden Chafers were seen swarming at the edge of a wildflower meadow which contained a nice diversity of species coming into flower. Most notable species in flower today were Doves-Foot Cranesbill, Cut-Leaved Cranesbill, Ox-Eye Daisy, Green Alkanet, Silverweed, Hogweed, Yellow Flag, Ragged Robin, Common Vetch, Thyme Leaved Speedwell, Wood Speedwell, Germander Speedwell, Greater Burnet, Meadow Cranesbill, Black Medick and Wild Strawberry. On the lepidopteran front several species were seen albeit in low numbers:- 2 Speckled Wood, 1 Brimstone, 5 Large White; 6 Orange Tip and 3 Peacock. 2 Four Spotted Chasers, 6 Large Red Damselflies and 1 Blue Tailed variety were all that were on the odonata list. Bird wise it was fairly quiet with Buzzard, Reed Warbler and Common Whitethroat the picks.
 
23rd May 2009 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - Whilst collecting Willow leaves for my ever hungry Puss Moth larvae we saw a few freshly emerged Blue Tailed Damselflies, several beetles (Agelastica alni) and a few galls caused by the parasites Eriophyes exilis (on Lime), Phytoptus laevis (on Alder) and Pontania proxima (on Willow).
 
22nd May 2009 - Chadkirk Chapel, Stockport, Cheshire - After what has been a depressing start to the mothing year it was with little hope that we headed to this quaint site and set up our trapping gear. Despite decent conditions moths were sparse and the two feeding Pipistrelle Bats must be really feeling the pinch at the moment. Singles of Brimstone, Dark Barred Twin Spot Carpet, Common Pug, Flame Shoulder and Flame Carpet was the total haul for a 2 and a half hour stint. The cold settled in and enough was enough. Is this pay back for the two previous years appalling summer weather?
 

19th May 2009 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - After waking and ready to go to work and noticing a micro moth (Tachystola acroxantha) on the landing wall we were called to the door by a very excited neighbour who had found two moths mating in her back garden. I had my suspicions and getting dressed quickly they were confirmed as I laid my eyes on a pair of stunning Lime Hawkmoths.

The picture was a quick grab shot but you get the flavour. The lesson here is to get your neighbours and friends clued in to your interest and to be never afraid to call you with any specimens they notice. Pays dividends as shown here and on many other occasions.

 
17th May 2009 - Chadkirk Chapel, Stockport, Cheshire - 6 Red and Black Froghoppers, Orange Ladybird, Leopard Slug, Curled Leaved Dock, Yellow Pimpernel, and Yellow Archangel were all that was noted before the weather turned bad (again).
 
10th May 2009 - Etherow CP, Stockport, Cheshire - My wife and I had a brief walk around this local park whilst our daughter did her karate grades at the local centre. The Green Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus) and 14-Spot Ladybird (Calvia quattuordecimguttata) were the only insects identified today. Bistort and Pink Purslane were new flowers for us and Wood and Giant Horsetails were also seen. The micro moth Esperia sulphurella was seen for the first time this year. My little un' passed her grades and is now a blue belt so any dissent on my forthcoming walks about what species is what and you are in for it ha, ha.
 
9th May 2009 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A good brisk walk was had with the cloud and sunshine constantly swapping places and having a fair breeze for company. A few wildflowers were in bloom with Germander Speedwell, Dandelion sp., Ramsons, Herb Robert, Garlic Mustard, Bluebell, Cow Parsley, Coltsfoot, Fringe Cups, Dames Violet, Ribwort Plantain, Ground Elder, Wood Speedwell, Common Sorrel, Thyme Leaved Speedwell, Creeping Buttercup, Meadow Buttercup, European Gorse, Broom, Common Mouse Ear, White Dead Nettle, Bush Vetch, Spring Vetch, Common Vetch, Wood Avens, Daisy, Common Comfrey, Ivy Leaved Speedwell, Broad Leaved Dock, Rape, Sweet Cicely, Red Valerian, Pignut, Thale Cress, Shepherds Purse, Groundsel, Hogweed, Goosegrass, Wood Stitchwort, Red Campion, Lesser Trefoil and Common Chickweed all noted. Horse radish was ready to bloom and a few Woundwort plants were in leaf. The Green Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus) was spotted. A new beetle that was identified later was the numerous Agelastica alni - a blue little beauty that I hope will stick in the memory.
 
4th May 2009 - Peak District, Derbyshire - With the weather once again playing silly beggars it was a question of where to go. We adopted for a mooch around the Peak District in search of summer song birds and came up with a couple of Redstarts, several Pied Flycatchers, Willow Warbler and Tree Pipit as well as Red Grouse, Wheatear, Common Sandpiper and a few other species.
 
3rd May 2009 - Gait Barrows, Lancashire - Has this reserve ever been so void of butterfly and insect action as it was today. Despite a bit of sunshine not much was happening and very little seen. 1 Speckled Yellow, 1 Peacock, 2 Green Veined White and 7 Adela reaumurella were totally it on the lepidopteron front. A few Bee flies (Bombylius major) were on the wing and several species of Hoverfly that seemed particularly flighty were scuttling about. Herb Paris was in good condition as was Bugle.
 
3rd May 2009 - Meathop Moss, Lancashire - After a good booze-up the day before in Dewsbury at the Spit and Skate Festival I was a little more than tired today. The weather was a tease as sunshine and cloud mixed and matched to just about get on my wick. Anyway after meeting up with friends Pauline and Ian the short stroll around this reserve was rewarding enough considering the conditions with 30 Green Hairstreaks always a delight, 20+ Common Heaths and 1 Speckled Wood butterfly. 2 Glyphipterix haworthana micro's were seen with plenty of their foodplant (Cotton-grass) present. Crosswort, Bog Rosemary and Shining Cranesbill were noted in flower. A Green Tiger Beetle and the longhorn Rhagium bifasciatum was noted and photographed. A few Common Lizards were trying to get a bit of sun too (good luck chaps). Prolita sexpunctella was located by Ian in its usual habitat and was a new tick for us.
 
APRIL
 

25th April 2009 - Nunsmere Hall, Cheshire - After several e-mails it was arranged that I do a walk for a couple around the grounds of this luxury hotel as part of a 40th birthday surprise. Myself and wife Gill met the couple in question, Roger and Kerry, in the reception area and set off on a casual stroll in search of some natural delights. In truth there wasn't as much about as expected but I tried to make the best of what was around and add a few anecdotes here and there to keep the learning curve gently sloping upward. Stinkhorn eggs, Garlic Snails, Leopard Slug, 3 species of Woodlouse, various myriapods, a few dried out fungal specimens, Speckled Wood, a singing Blackcap, a few flowers, habitat descriptions, 4 Large Red Damselflies and several other bits and bobs didn't repay our efforts but sometimes the natural world just doesn't want to play ball. The company was grand though and I think we saw enough to get the wildlife tastebuds eager for more. With a newly acquired sprog in their midst (hello Thomas) I hope they continue their interest and keep the little un' amazed by what is out there.

Kerry and Roger were left in the hands of the Fungal One as part of a 40th birthday surprise and survived a nice stroll around Nunsmere Hall. Good company and appreciative of the wildlife we saw - congratulations and good luck with the Stinkhorn egg.

 
20th April 2009 - Pennington Flash, Lancashire - A wander away from the bird hides on the opposite side of the reserve was tranquil enough with several butterfly species on the wing and Blackcaps aplenty in the newly formed greenery. Cuckoo Flower was in flower and being paid close attention by a male Orange Tip.
 
20th April 2009 - Crosby Marina, Lancashire - A nice stroll in the sunshine after a grand visit to the Liverpool Museum saw us bag several new species for the year. A few Little Gulls wandered over the Seaforth pools and a Ringed Plover was seen on the beach. Early Forget-Me-Not, Common Storksbill and Doves-Foot Cranesbill were in flower and a Speckled Wood was seen fluttering about.
 
18th April 2009 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The sunshine brought out the first Large White and Holly Blue of the year which were joined by a pristine Speckled Wood. Eristalis pertinax hoverflies were increased in numbers.
 
15th April 2009 - Ainsdale Sands, Lancashire - Spring Beauty was noted in flower.
 
15th April 2009 - Martin Mere, Lancashire - Going through the morning moth trap revealed 5 species caught which were:- Hebrew Character (*6); Least Black Arches (*1); Common Quaker (*6); Early Thorn (*2) and a fresh Clouded Drab (*1). Common Sandpiper was seen around the edges of the main mere.
 
13th April 2009 - Millers Dale, Peak District, Derbyshire - Lesser Celandine, Common Whitlow Grass, Common Field Speedwell, Primrose, Dogs Mercury, Wood Anemone, Red Campion, Ground Ivy, Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage, Ramsons, Moschatel, Hairy Bittercress, Wavy Bittercress, Goldilocks Buttercup, Butterbur (tall females and short males), Coltsfoot, Barren Strawberry, Wood Sorrel, Water Avens and Dogs Violet were all in flower and gave evidence of a wildlife year well underway. Woodruff was also seen and ready to burst into flower. Marsh Tit was heard calling and Dipper, Willow Warbler and Grey Wagtail were noted. On the butterfly front 2 Peacocks and 1 Brimstone were spotted as well as 1 Comma feeding on dog excrement. Brown and Rainbow Trout were seen along the stream.
 
12th April 2009 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - 2 male Orange Tips and 1 female were busy feeding over an assortment of spring flowers such as Garlic Mustard, Ramsons, Rape, Ribwort Plantain, Greater Stitchwort and Butterbur. A Speckled Wood was the first of the year. 2 Common Green Shield Bugs were also noted.
 
11th April 2009 - Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire - To finish the day a nice tranquil wander around this subdued reserve brought 3 Peacock butterflies and 1 Comma, 6 Gorse Shield Bugs and 1 Smooth Newt. Wavy Bittercress was plentiful, Marsh Marigold looked superb and Siskin, Lesser Redpoll and Treecreeper were birds of the walk. Garlic Mustard was in flower nearby and 6 Red Legged Partridges were in adjacent fields. Gorse Seed Weevil was a new sighting for us all and the size of the miniscule critters was quite startling.
 
11th April 2009 - Marshside, Lancashire - Pride of place must go to the umpteen Avocets that paraded in front of the main hide for all to enthuse about. White Dead Nettle, Red Dead Nettle and Oxford Ragwort were all in flower.
 
11th April 2009 - Ainsdale, Lancashire - Peacock, Comma and V-Pug gave lepidoptera interest and the first Willow Warbler of the year was seen singing away. 3 * 7 Spot Ladybirds were sunning themselves and just before arriving at our destination Honesty was seen in flower.
 
5th April 2009 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Ground Ivy is now in flower in the back garden and the foliage of other plants is coming along a real treat. A few Hoverflies are knocking about too so best dust down my ID guide and get scrutinising.
 
4th April 2009 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Plume Moth Emmelina monodactyla (*1) was seen indoors and I presume was not the same one as caught a few days before.
 
2nd April 2009 - Alexander Park, Cheadle Heath, Stockport - Several Tawny Mining Bees (Andrena fulva) were seen around the edge of the bowling greens. In and out of the sandy margins they went and in between the odd bit of stonework. A lovely species and a new one identified for myself.
 
2nd April 2009 - Torkington Park, Cheshire - The first Peacock was seen taking a few nutrients from the sand bordering the local bowling green.
 
MARCH
 
31st March 2009 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The first moth trap of the year was done for a hour and a half resulting in the capture of Double Striped Pug (*2); Common Quaker (*1); Many Plumed Moth (*1) and the plume moth Emmelina monodactyla (*1).
 
31st March 2009 - Torkington Park, Cheshire - The first Small Tortoiseshell was seen and put me off my service whilst playing tennis.
 
29th March 2009 - Marbury CP, Cheshire - Green And Greater Spotted Woodpeckers were seen squabbling, Sand Martins were over the main Mere, several pairs of Treecreeper were more than a little active and a few Chiffchaff were on territory. On the botanical front Wood Anemone, Blue Bell, Dogs Mercury and Wood Sorrel were all seen in flower.
 
15th March 2009 - Moore NR. Lancashire - Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Brimstone butterfly and a pair of Treecreepers were seen on a real nice, sunny day.
 
14th March 2009 - Stockport, Cheshire - First Chiffchaff of the year was seen so summer is just around the corner. Hairy Bittercress was seen in flower.
 
8th March 2009, Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - First moth of the year was seen with Mompha subbistrigella located on a window sill.
 
7th March 2009 - Risley Moss, Lancashire - Bullfinch, Willow Tit, Redwing, Reed Bunting were the highs on the birding front. The first 7 Spot Ladybird of the year was seen.
 
1st March 2008 - Etherow CP, Cheshire - A small flock of Siskin, a circling Buzzard, 18 Mandarin Duck and a couple of foraging Song Thrush were the birding highlights. A few mini-beasts were found with European Wasp (Dolichovespula media) located inside a rotten Birch log and Pill Millipede (Glomeris marginata) seen headed for cover in the leaf litter.
 
FEBRUARY
 
28th February 2009 - Chorlton WP, G. Manchester - A brief stroll uncovered Rounded Snail, Large Yellow Slug, Garlic Snail and Leopard Slug. Not much on the bird front with a small list of regular species.
 
17th February 2009 - Stockport - The flock of Waxwings are back down to 25 now but still in the same vicinity.
 
3rd February 2009 - Stockport - Yesterdays flock of Waxwings I found was seen again today with an impressive 60+ birds. Maybe over a hundred tomorrow!
 
2nd February 2009 - Stockport - Whilst walking home from work along the A6 it was nice to come across a flock of 20+ Waxwings. Seems like these winter visitors are everywhere this year so we should really make the most of them.
 
JANUARY
 
11th January 2009 - Tatton Park, Cheshire - Whilst have a casual fungal mooch a few Common Frogs and an Ichneumon Fly (Ichneumon suspiciosus) were noted.
 
3rd January 2009 - Lathkill Dale, Derbyshire - After a potter around Bakewell we visited this scenic site and had a darn nice stroll despite the cold weather. Brown Trout were good to see and on the bird front Dipper, Grey Wagtail, Sparrowhawk and a couple of obliging Goldcrests were the pick. Butterbur in flower seemed earlier than expected.
 
2nd January 2009 - Marbury CP, Cheshire - Kingfisher, a close-up feeding Jay and a Kestrel on the lookout for prey were the best sightings from a list of 46 species.
 
1st January 2009 - Stanley Green Retail Park, Cheadle, Stockport, Cheshire - A flock of 17 Waxwings was a good start to the year. After a few minutes of watching the flock immediately departed seemingly destined for further afield. A nice bit of timing there methinks!