FUNGALPUNK SIGHTINGS 2011
Fungal sightings found here
 
DECEMBER
 

27th December 2011 - River Mersey/Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - A circular walk to get idled bodies back in the swing of things. As usual December is a busy one so not getting a chance to go out and mooch is par for the course but today's walk was enjoyed and although not a wildlife jaunt time was still taken to notice numerous fungi as well as a female Goosander, a male Bullfinch, a Jay, Treecreeper and small flock of Redwings.

Feverfew was still in flower and may get through the winter if the mild conditions of today continue.

 
13th December 2011 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - 3 Goosanders on the water and most probably a few more further down river but walking home from work hardly affords me time to dawdle.
 
NOVEMBER
 
19th November 2011 - Ainsdale Sands, Lancashire - An easy go day enjoying the fresh air and trying to clear stressed and tired heads. A few fungi were about as well as the usual Brown Rats and Smooth Newts.
 
13th November 2011 - Moore NR, Cheshire - A kerfuffle and some screaming from some undergrowth attracted our attention only to uncover a large Rabbit being attack by a feisty Stoat. After a scuffle the Stoat fled and on we wandered after viewing the motionless Rabbit that seemed dead. After a few minutes more painful screeches revealed that the attack was continuing so back track we did and viewed the action. The Stoat dragged the Rabbit down into a ditch and fled once more. There the Rabbit lay - on its side yet still breathing - hopefully the Stoat will finish the job sharpish. A sad yet memorable encounter but one which takes place daily without us even noticing - such is nature’s way!
 
12th November 2011 - Chorlton WP, Greater Manchester - Stunning sunshine, warm weather and a few fungi seen with Bullfinch; Jay and 3 Goosander (1*M/2*F) the best of the birds.
 

6th November 2011 - Nunsmere Hall/Hogshead Lane, Cheshire - After a mooch for some fungi time was taken admiring an Ivy bush covered in numerous flying insects. 2 Red Admirals posed and Mesembrina meridiana was picked out amongst the swarm.

A Common Darter was seen at Hogshead Lane - one of the last for this year I suspect.

 
5th November 2011- Tatton Park, Cheshire - The last fungal foray of the year so plenty to do but during the walk a Green Woodpecker was noted as well as the odd roaming Red and Fallow Deer.
 
OCTOBER
 
28th October 2011- Sandwich Bay, Kent - Last day of the trip and a Yellow Browed Warbler to finish - nifty! Been a few years since I saw one of these chaps!
 
27th October 2011- Sandwich Bay, Kent - An evening wander had me noting 2 Spiked Shieldbugs on White Dead Nettle - stunners!
 
27th October 2011- Broadstairs, Kent - A flock of 6 Ring Necked Parakeets frequented a local backstreet.
 

26th October 2011- Sandwich Bay, Kent - The day of the Fungal Foray and with only 3 of us at it and a bone dry environment to tackle time was taken to look at a few flowers with the skilled botanist Eddie. By gum what a cracking chap who really knows his plants and for so late in the year a respectable list was had. The 29 species noted in flower were:- Small Melilot; Ladie's Bedstraw; Smooth Cats Ear; Oxtongue Hawkweed; Bristly Oxtongue; Wild Cabbage; White Campion; Perennial Rocket; White Dead Nettle; Common Storks Bill; Weld; Hoary Mustard; Smooth Hawksbeard; Burnet Saxifrage; Black Nightshade; Black Horehound; Green Alkanet; Red Dead Nettle; Common Ragwort; Lesser Trefoil; Wild Carrot; Yarrow; Silver Ragwort; Annual Fleabane; Groundsel; Common Mallow; Common Toadflax; Yellow Horned Poppy and the good old Daisy!

Thanks also to Phil who provided some historical knowledge into the mooch and so made for an all round darn good wander.

Prior to the walk a look in the moth traps with moth nut John produced Red Green Carpet; Satellite; Red Line Quaker; Large Wainscot and Green Brindled Crescent.

A walk later in the day down to Restharrow Scrape returned a White Wagtail; several Teal; some close up and personal Snipe and further on a Short Eared Owl that flew out to sea and looked quite bloody spectacular.

 
25th October 2011- Minnis Bay, Kent - A nice potter in the rock pools came up with Beadlet Anemone; Common Shore Crab; Common Periwinkle; loads of Oysters; Common Mussel and Common Cockle.
 
25th October 2011- East Blean, Kent - Another fungal disappointment but good to catch up with Dark Bush Cricket; Common Field Grasshopper; Harlequin Ladybird and 7 Spot Ladybird.
 
25th October 2011- Whitstable, Kent - A bit of shopping and a few PG Wodehouse books obtained (great reading) and a viewing of a Red Admiral was appreciated in what was lovely weather.
 
25th October 2011- Sandwich Bay, Kent - Lesser Redpoll, Bullfinch and Firecrest all in the ringing hut to start the day - fair enough I'd say!
 
24th October 2011- Sandwich Bay, Kent - A fungal reccie was hopeless but I did catch up with a Common Shrew and a Migrant Hawker - not all bad!
 
22nd October 2011- Weaver Park, Cheshire - The last event at Weaver Park this year and thank you to all who have supported me along the way and who have helped secure 5 Fungalpunk events there next year - especially Dave the Warden for his grand cha' and chit chat! Before today's fungal mooch we had a tootle through the local moth trap and came up with:- Green Brindled Crescent (*2); Red Line Quaker (*1); Angle Shades (*2); Common Marbled Carpet (*1); Silver Y (*2); Blair's Shoulder Knot (*1); Spruce Carpet (*1); Chestnut (*1) and Brick (*1).
 

16th October 2011 - Formby NT, Lancashire - Whilst wandering the reserve in search of fungi a Red Squirrel was noted as well as a Red Admiral butterfly and the beetle Endomychus coccineus.

Leafy Hawkweed and Purple Toadflax (Linaria purpurea) were also noted thanks to the keen ID skills of the evergreen Pat Lockwood.

 
8th October 2011 - Hogshead Lane, Cheshire - 5 Common Lizards were seen all at various sizes.
 
8th October 2011 - Nunsmere Hall, Cheshire - A Silver Y Moth was seen in the hotels reception area.
 
6th October 2011 - Tatton Park, Cheshire - Whilst leading a fungal walk for the Wilmslow Naturalist Society a Grey Dagger Moth caterpillar was seen. Also noted were two Devil's Coach Horses and a Common Toad.
 
2nd October 2011 - Moore NR, Cheshire - The Shieldbug Troilus luridus was caught in the act of piercing a moth larvae. Vary nasty indeed yet somehow fascinating! A Vestal Moth was seen on the wing.

1st October 2011 - Arley Hall, Cheshire - During 2 fungal forays a Speckled Wood and 2 Small Tortoiseshells were noted on the wing. And no wonder - phew what a scorcher!

 
SEPTEMBER
 
27th September 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Pottering around the house doing a few chores and a Rosemary Beetle (Chrysolina americana) was found on the fridge in the kitchen. Where had this chap come from then? Regarded as a pest I still let him go outside on...yeah you guessed it...a Rosemary Bush.
 

25th September 2011 - Coombes Valley RSPB, Staffordshire - A few moths were had prior to the fungal event with singletons of Lunar Underwing; Rosy Rustic; Small Wainscot; Setaceous Hebrew Character; Frosted Orange; Merveille du Jour and Green Brindled Crescent very much enjoyed.

An American Signal Crayfish was had and taken away in a young lasses lunch box.

 
24th September 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - 5 Green Shieldbugs in the back garden - 1 Adult and 4*5th Instars - nifty!
 
21st September 2011 - Nunsmere Hall, Cheshire - Whilst looking for more 'shrooms with the FWAG brigade a Red Admiral was seen on the wing as well as a Common Marbled Carpet Moth and the Odonata species Common Darter (*2) and a single Azure Damslefly. 2 Smooth Newts were also noted hiding beneath a log.
 
18th September 2011 - Runcorn Hill NR, Cheshire - Sightings aplenty on the Fungal side of things so a bit sparse this side as I get too immersed in all things mycological - sorry folks. Today though I did notice a Speckled Wood and Small Tortoiseshell on the wing as well as the slugs Limacus flavus; Limax maximus; Arion subfuscus and Tandonia budapestensis. A couple of Garlic Snails also hung about under the same log as the 4 aforementioned species.
 

1st September 2011 - Tatton Park, Cheshire - A wander for some 'shrooms came up with a few other interesting things whilst peeking below a variety of logs. Common Shrew; Smooth Newt; Common Frog; Common Toad; Violet Ground Beetle; Devils Coach Horse and the wasp Dolichovespula media were all grand finds.

On the wing were the butterflies Speckled Wood (*8); Red Admiral (*2) and Small Tortoiseshell (*1) as well as the dragonflies Migrant Hawker (*2) and Brown Hawker (*2).

 
AUGUST
 

29th August 2011 - Clun Gwyn, Brecknockshire/Powys - Whilst waiting for our daughter to complete her Karate Gashku myself and grand missus had a wandered in search of a few fungal specimens. On the way we noted a couple of Dippers on the river as well as Goldenrod; Betony and Greater Burnet in flower.

The Hazel trees along the river were in particularly good condition with the nuts just weeks away from perfection.

 

29th August 2011 - Ogof Ffynnon Ddu Nature Reserve, Brecknockshire/Powys - A steep walk was opted for albeit only lasting for about 90 minutes.

A flock of Ravens circled, a Wheatear escorted us at a distance, Stonechats hung around on fence posts and Meadow Pipits made brief excursions from tussock to tussock. Carline Thistles were in fine condition, Bilberry was in fruit and a small cluster of Autumn Gentians was found near the car park.

A single Red Admiral found solace and warmth on a small lichen covered rock.

 

28th August 2011 - Craig Cerrig-gleisiad, Brecon Beacons, Brecknockshire/Powys - A climb was had to push the walking legs a bit harder over these 3 days of incessant mooching. A kestrel hovered on gentle winds, Swallows and House Martins flitted back and forth and a Common Frog hopped along with seemingly no destination in mind.

A stunning Araneus quadratus spider was located near a lofty rock and the fly Bibio pomonae landed on my knee whilst admiring the view.

 

28th August 2011 - Garwnant Forest, Brecon Beacons, Brecknockshire/Powys - An early morning start and what a start. Straight out of the car and lo and behold a flock of 20+ Crossbills were seen in nearby trees as well as the odd one dropping to the floor to feed on a bit of grit. A nearby Buzzard was perched and looked stunning as it flew off through the woodland into a nearby field. More Crossbills were noted on the following walk with Robin; Dipper; Grey Wagtail; Willow Warbler; Long Tailed Tit; Great Tit; Goldcrest; Blue Tit; Chaffinch; Coal Tit and Robin also seen. Great Spotted Woodpecker; Green Woodpecker; Jay and Bullfinch were heard but alas remained elusive.

4 butterflies were observed when the sun shone brightly these being:- Speckled Wood (*1); Peacock (*1); Common Blue (*3) and Green Veined White (*1).

 
27th August 2011 - Blaen Y Glyn, Brecon Beacons, Brecknockshire/Powys - A wander to finish off the day with the end waterfall the main target. On the way a Devil's Coach Horse was admired as well as 3 Dor Beetles.
 

27th August 2011 - Llangorse Lake, Brecon Beacons, Brecknockshire/Powys - A walk in beautiful conditions was taken with a mix and match of species noted. Butterflies on the wing were:- Speckled Wood (*1); Green Veined White (*1); Peacock (*1); Common Blue (*20); Small White (*1) and Meadow Brown (*2). Other insects seen were Migrant Hawker (*2) and Common Blue Damselfly (*1) as well as 14 and 7 Spot Ladybirds, Meadow Grasshopper and a first for us, Spiked Shieldbug (Picromerus bidens).

A couple of galls were noted namely:- Rhopalomyia millefolii on Yarrow and Dasyneura urticae on Nettle. Flowers noted were:- Purple Loosestrife; Tufted Vetch; Creeping Jenny; Foxglove; Skullcap; Yarrow and Betony.

 

27th August 2011 - Mynydd Illtyd, Brecon Beacons, Brecknockshire/Powys - An early walk out in mixed cloud and sunshine was had with a small bird list noted and made up of:- Pheasant; Pied Wagtail; Collared Dove; Chaffinch; Goldfinch; Magpie; Meadow Pipit; Swallow; Carrion Crow; Linnet; Blue Tit and House Sparrow.

 
26th August 2011 - The Waterfalls, Brecon Beacons, Brecknockshire/Powys - A potter for some fungi saw us walking along a nice stream and noting a few extra species. Three yellow flowers in bloom were:- Cow Wheat, Yellow Pimpernel and Goldenrod whilst yellow chested Grey Wagtails played around the water.
 

24th August 2011 - Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire - A trip to Mere Sands Wood with the Young Carers crew and a mooch through the moths traps with Roy the Mothman. The list noted was:- Acleris emargana; Snout; Common Carpet; Green Carpet; Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing; Canary Shoulder Thorn; Sallow; Lesser Yellow Underwing; Setaceous Hebrew Character; Common Wainscot; Lesser Swallow Prominent; Riband Wave; Large Yellow Underwing; Flounced Rustic; Small Phoenix; Bright Line Brown Eye; Svensson's Copper Underwing; Flame Carpet; Rosy Rustic; Flame Shoulder and Square Spot Rustic.

A Meadow Brown Butterfly was on the wing, two Violet Ground Beetles were seen and a Sparrowhawk was flying over the main body of water.

 
23rd August 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Square Spot Rustic, Old Lady Moth and Svensson's Copper Underwing.
 
22nd August 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Attracted to alighted window were singletons of White Shouldered House Moth and Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing.
 

20th August 2011 - Rostherne House/Tatton Park, Cheshire - Whilst mooching for mushies we noticed Speckled Wood (*4); Red Admiral (*2); Common Blue Damselfly (*1) and Migrant Hawker (*2) on the wing.

The day was spent looking for 'shrooms and although the list was not great thanks must go to Katie and Katia for giving us a Fungalised cake to take home.

...

2 views of one impressive fungal cake

It must be pointed out that no real fungi were used or abused in the making of this cake.

 
18th August 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Attracted to the evening window were:- Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing; Lesser Yellow Underwing and Square Spot Rustic.
 
18th August 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Attracted to an overnight light were singletons of:- Double Striped Pug; Willow Beauty; Swallow-Tailed Moth and Garden Carpet.
 
15th August 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A fleeing Brown Hawker in the garden was a surprise to say the least.
 
14th August 2011 - Fletcher Moss, G. Manchester - A wander to clear the heads from yesterdays all day gig with Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner moths on the wing as well as 3 Speckled Woods. A Common Groundhopper frequented the public loos!
 
11th August 2011 - Etherow CP, Cheshire - Leaping Salmon at the weir were nice to see with a few big specimens on show. Several Mandarin Ducks frequented the waters.
 

10th August 2011 - Weaver Park, Cheshire - And yet another Fungalpunk walk at this overlooked reserve with the day starting opening the local moth trap. The 28 species were:- Dun-Bar (*2); Bird Cherry Ermine (*1); Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing (*7); Scalloped Hook-Tip (*1); Bordered Beauty (*1); Large Yellow Underwing (*6); Pebble Hook-Tip (*1); Pale Prominent (*1); Bloodvein (*1); Common Wave (*2); Canary Shoulder Thorn (*1); True Lovers Knot (*1); Dark Arches (*4); Common Rustic sp. (*3); Pebble Prominent (*1); Dotted Clay (*3); Svensson's Copper Underwing (*2); Straw Dot (*1); Flame Carpet (*1); Common Carpet (*1); Shaded Broad Bar (*1); Small Wainscot (*1); Shuttle Shaped Dart (*1); Smoky Wainscot (*1); Silver Y (*1); Small Phoenix (*1); Flame Shoulder (*2) and Trachycera advenella (*1). Also in the trap was a Common Wasp.

After lunch a mooch around the reserve for some wild flowers was had in ridiculously lousy conditions. In the lashing rain I opted not to keep a list so here's what I can remember from the top of my sodden head:- Wild Parsnip; Red Bartsia; Greater Spearwort; Hoary Ragwort; Common Ragwort; Purple Loosestrife; Rosebay Willowherb; Greater Willowherb; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Common Knapweed; Black Medick; Cut Leaved Cranes-Bill; Hemp Agrimony; Mugwort; Ribwort Plantain; Self-Heal; Creeping Thistle; Spear Thistle and Marsh Thistle.

Before the heavens opened 4 species of butterfly were seen:- Gatekeeper (*7); Green Veined White (*2); Speckled Wood (*3) and Meadow Brown (*2). 7 Spot and Cream Spotted Ladybirds were also noticed as well as the hoverfly Scaeva pyrastri.

Knopper Gall; Spangle Gall and Artichoke Gall were all noted on a young Oak Tree. Also the usual Alder Tongue Galls were still present on the local Alders Trees.

 
9th August 2011 - River Mersey, Cheshire - A new route home from work with 3 butterfly species seen:- Holly Blue (*1); Meadow Brown (*1) and Large White (*2). Travellers Joy, Weld and Common Knapweed were in flower as well as a few other species.
 
8th August 2011 - Fernilee Reservoir, Derbyshire - Appalling conditions but 3 butterfly species were seen:- Gatekeeper (*3); Small Skipper (*1) and Small White (*1). An Alder Leaf Beetle was observed as well as 6 Red Grouse hiding from the wind and rain.
 
4th August 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Willow Beauty (*2) and Riband Wave (*1) were attracted to an overnight lighted window.
 

3rd August 2011 - Hill Farm, Oxfordshire - A quick break on the way home so a super swift reccie was taken. Small White (*2) and Red Admiral (*1) were on the wing as were 9 Red Kites.

Ploughman's Spikenard was seen in flower with its sherbert coated heads.

 

3rd August 2011 - Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory, Kent - An early start to get the best of the moths seemed a good move on our final day of our trip down south and as I joined the very likeable John it was with increasing jaw-dropping delight that I viewed what was on offer. The list I made wasn't of the full trapping session but of the ones I enjoyed catching up with again or for the first time:- Garden Pebble; White Point; Codling Moth; Oblique Striped; Satin Wave; Herald; Thistle Ermine; Pyrausta aurata; Dogs Tooth; Cabbage Moth; Common Carpet; Blood Vein; Rosy Rustic; Catroptia falsella; Melissoblaptes zelleri; Mouse Moth; Calamotropha paludella; Ringed China Mark; Reed Dagger; Saltern Ear; Tree Lichen Beauty; Pammene aurita; Scarce Chocolate Tip; Sharp Angled Peacock; Marbled Green; Round Winged Muslin; Common Emerald; Flounced Rustic; Bordered Beauty; Epiblema foenella; Fen Wainscot; Chocolate Tip; Pale Mottled Willow; Pale Prominent; Orthopygia glaucinalis and Aethes smeathmanniana. Wow! Add to this lot the burying beetle Necrodes littoralis and the massive Great Silver Diving Beetle and to say our mothing and insect boots weren't truly full would be a tragic understatement. Again thanks to John for his great company and mothing skills.

A final mooch at the local Asparagus Beetles and a quick snap of the hoverfly Sphaerophoria scripta off we went. A great time at the Obs and hopefully we will be back again soon casting our eyes on another array of stunning species as well as meeting up with the usual great folk.

 

2nd August 2011 - Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory, Kent - A day mooching along the rivers at the rear of the Obs but first a quick shuftie at the moths. Twin Spotted Wainscot; Flounced Rustic; Pyrausta despicata; Iron Prominent; Archers Dart; Brown Veined Wainscot; Pigmy Footman; White Satin; Southern Wainscot; Cream Bordered Pea Moth; Light Arches and Cyclamen Tortrix were the pick of the bunch with another Nicrophorous humator beetle in the mix. Thanks again to mothman John for letting us peruse the lepidopteran wonders.

The wander in sunny weather produced a fair list with Odonata represented by:- Brown Hawker (*3); Emerald Damselfly (*7); Emperor Dragonfly (*3); Blue Tailed Damselfly (*3); Keeled Skimmer (*1); Ruddy Darter (*4) and Common Blue Damselfly (*1).

Butterflies seen were:- Red Admiral (*3) and Speckled Wood (*4) with other insects noted being Long Winged Conehead a stunning female Roesel's Bush Cricket and a small but impressive Potato Leafhopper (Eupteryx aurata) on a Nettle leaf.

Flowers taken note of were:- Black Horehound; Wild Asparagus; Purple Loosestrife; Vervain; Redshank; Unbranched Bur-Reed; Greater Burdock; Lesser Burdock and Meadowsweet. Whilst mooching in the undergrowth the Nettle Gall (Dasyneura urticae) and the Meadowsweet Gall (Dasyneura ulmariae) were spotted and photographed.

A flock of Greylags were seen flying around the fields with Green Woodpeckers flying back and forth between bouts of waffling. A flock of 8 Grey Partridge were disturbed from wasteland just immediately at the back of the Obs.

 

1st August 2011 - Lydden and Temple Ewell Downs, Kent - A return to this grand area produced much to admire.

Butterflies were represented by:- Comma (*1); Chalkhill Blue (*68); Gatekeeper (*14); Meadow Brown (*2); Wall Brown (*2); Dingy Skipper (*5); Red Admiral (*1) and Silver Spotted Skipper (*1). Moths seen were Oncocera semirubella (*1) and 6 Spot Burnet (*3) whilst orthoptera noted were Great Green Bush Cricket; Common Field Grasshopper and Meadow Grasshopper.

Flowers noted were:- Squinancywort; Marjoram; Yellow-Wort; Vervain; Spear Thistle; Harebell and Eyebright sp.

 

1st August 2011 - Pegwell Bay, Kent - A chat with a young 17 year old lass who knew her insect onions revealed that she may have seen a Roesel's Bush Cricket on the toilet walls of this nice reserve. A check of her camera and off we went - I would love to see this species. A short while late and 2 fine specimens were seen and snapped as well as two rather stunning Red Underwing Moths - oh the joys of the public lavs.

A stroll around the reserve produced no further Roesel's but we did see a few bits and bobs. Curlew, Sandwich Terns and Little Egrets provided avian interest with the only butterflies seen being Gatekeeper (*12) and the Green Veined White (*2).

 

1st August 2011 - Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory, Kent - The second visit this year to the bird observatory and what a nice welcome was had - cheers people. A look through the moth trap first and Fern Moth; White Line Dart; Canary Shoulder Thorn and Drinker were our personal faves. The burying beetle Nicrophorous humator seemed happy stinking a collecting pot out and numerous Lagria hirta beetles scurried around the base of the trap.

Itching to get out we wandered the fields facing the reserve and around the back and located the following beautiful butterfly species:- Small White (*1); Speckled Wood (*1); Essex Skipper (*4); Small Heath (*1); Brown Argus (*1); Red Admiral (*1); Large White (*3); Small Copper (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*3); Meadow Brown (*3); Peacock (*1); Common Blue (*4) and Gatekeeper (*5).

Insects noted were:- the beetle Chrysolina banksi; the Ladybirds 7 Spot; 14 Spot and Harlequin; the Odonata specimens Emperor (*3); Brown Hawker (*1) and Blue Tailed Damselfly (*1); Meadow Grasshopper and Long Winged Conehead as well as the Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis) and the Asparagus Beetle on, as you can guess, Wild Asparagus.

Flowers jotted down were Upright Hedge Parsley; Opium Poppy; Hares Foot Clover and Nipplewort.

 
JULY
 

31st July 2011 - Portland, Dorset - The last day of this trip on the island and a good walk with the fantastic lads and lasses from yesterday was enjoyed and was very rewarding indeed. Wild Clary was a new plant for the week and the coastal area threw up Thongweed, Cornish Sucker and a Shore Crab.

A Common Emerald and a Small Waved Umber provided moth interest at the Obs.

Farewells to all were hard and off we set into the distance for 3 days at Sandwich Bay - hey ho! See ya soon folks!

Thanks to Rosie and Peter Morgan for letting me photograph Sedge Warbler and a young Linnet - very generous and considerate.

 

30th July 2011 - Portland, Dorset - A day of rest and catching up. Moths seen via the Obs trap were:- Meal Moth; Lychnis; Riband Wave; Marbled Beauty; Dark/Grey Dagger sp; Spectacle; Oncocera semirubella; Phoenix; Garden Carpet; Acleris forsskalleana; Early Thorn; Lilac Beauty; Wormwood; Chinese Character; Snout; Scarce Footman; V-Pug; Brown Line Bright Eye; Twin Spot Carpet; Endotrichia flammealis; Plutella porectella; Epischnia banksiella and Cochylis flaviciliana.

Whilst pottering Lulworth Skipper (*1); Red Admiral (*1); Chalkhill Blue (*1); Wall Brown (*3); Marbled White (*2); Common Blue (*2); Small White (*1) and Gatekeeper (*1) butterflies were seen during the day as were the birds Kestrel (*3); Wheatear (*2) and Shag (*1).

This was the day of the local Gooseberry Fair and after much promotion I submitted to the persuasion of some good friends and joined in the wander to this annual event. Much was seen on the way and a great time was had in charming company (my wife, daughter, Patsie Keen; Simon Earwicker; Deborah Tessier and good old Captain Bagsy please take a bow). After the frivolities we three of the HT brigade roamed back to the lighthouse with a Kidney Spot Ladybird found by my daughter. Good stuff and thanks again to Ken Dolbear for his advice as regards to where this species could be found.

Talking of which - Ken turned up later and after both having a mooch around the Obs garden Sods Law decided to expose itself again - nasty devil. 10 adult Kidney Spots were found along with 1 Pupa and 1 Larvae - how's that!

A late night wander with the aforementioned Patsie, Simon and Debbie produced the sought after Glow Worm albeit 1 solitary flasher! A great end to a great day!

 

29th July 2011 - Wooton Bridge, New Forest, Hampshire - Wellies donned, nets prepared and in truth not much was had. Meadow Grasshopper (*3); Bog Bush Cricket (*1); Large Marsh Grasshopper (*2) were all that was had on the Orthoptera front with Large Red Damselfly (*4) and Keeled Skimmer (*2) the only odonata species seen.

Bog Asphodel and Marsh St Johns Wort were both in flower.

 
29th July 2011 - Reptile Centre, New Forest, Hampshire - We always call in at the Reptile Centre whilst in the New Forest and to see the Adders being fed and devouring their given mice was an extra bonus. A quick mooch resulted in a few fungi as well as Meadow Grasshoppers, Wood Crickets and 2 Gatekeepers.
 
29th July 2011 - Eyeworth Reservoir, New Forest, Hampshire - A wander with Alan and Sue from the Hampshire Fungus Group was enjoyed and whilst compiling a fair list Mandarin Ducks; Marsh Tit; Slow Worm; 1 Speckled Wood and the fine flower Bog Pimpernel were added. See the Fungal Friends area for a full list of the fungi found - some good stuff for sure.
 

28th July 2011 - Winfrith Heath, Dorset - Enter Mr Dolbear once more and his advice, assistance and general knowledge in the finding of several spikes of the underwhelming plant Bog Orchid.  Many will tell you Orchids are exceptional things but there are a lot of those promoters who are impressed by the rarity factor and nothing more.  They are OK as plants go but far more common plants deserve your time and attention so please don't neglect the obvious.   Good close up views were had and amazement at the size and location was discussed before moving on to check out an area I had only visited once before. 
 
As per usual I was keeping my eye on the lepidoptera with Speckled Wood (*5); Gatekeeper (*2); Common Blue (*2); Red Admiral (*5); Large Skipper (*1); Wall Brown (*1) and Peacock (*1) on their impressive wings.

Bloody Nosed Beetle (*2); Meadow Grasshopper; 7 Spot Ladybird and Keeled Skimmer (*2) provided extra interest as did the bulky Tachnid Fly Tachina grossa.

 
28th July 2011 - Radipole Lake, Dorset - My two good women wandered around the local market whilst I mooched around the reserve.  On the bird front things were quiet, the list is as follows:- Common Tern; Cormorant; House Sparrow; Mallard; Great Crested Grebe; Wood Pigeon; Herring Gull; Mute Swan; Grey Heron; House Martin; Greenfinch; Tufted Duck; Sedge Warbler; Blue Tit; Blackbird; Coot; Black Headed Gull; Kestrel and Moorhen.  2 Cetti's Warblers were calling and for the first time ever at this reserve I didn't see them - bah - maybe next time!
 
Gatekeeper (*2); Speckled Wood (*5); Red Admiral (*4); Small White (*1); Holly Blue (*1) and Brimstone (*2) were the only butterflies viewed despite the blazing sun and a close quarters encounter with an Emperor Dragonfly was all that was had on the Odonata front.
 
Skullcap and Wild Angelica were seen in flower.
 
28th July 2011 - Chesil Beach, Dorset - A short potter resulted in sightings of Oystercatcher and Mediterranean Gull with Snakelocks and Beadlet Anemones enjoyed and the plants Shrubby Sea Blite; Wormwood and Portland Spurge viewed.
 
28th July 2011 - Portland, Dorset - A tap at the door and Peter Morgan's dulcet tones came forth 'Dave a Melodious'.  A quick dress and out - there before me, in the hand of the warden was a stunning Melodious Warbler.  The 8th one I'd seen but the first for this year - nice stuff and thanks to Peter and Martin for the opportunity.  A cup of cha', a bit of brekkie and a ponder over a few moths.  Pyrausta purpuralis; Antler Moth; Shark; Small Dotted Buff; Orthopygia glaucinalis and Plain Pug were nice to see and at last the day could begin proper.
 
A Grasshopper Warbler in the hand later was icing on a sweet cake.
 
27th July 2011 - Kingbarrow Quarry, Portland, Dorset - A swiftish visit to stretch out the legs before a restful evening.  The sun was dimmed so butterflies were low with only Gatekeeper (*16); Common Blue (*1); Chalk-Hill Blue (*2) and Red Admiral (*2) on the wing.  3 Six Spot Burnets were also on the wing.
 
Flowers noted were Birds Foot Trefoil; Pale Flax; Restharrow; Travellers Joy; Vipers Bugloss; Wild Thyme; Meadowsweet; Mullein; Carline Thistle; Wood Sage; Honeysuckle and Pyramidal Orchid.
 
Bugs and beasties taken down on paper were the Pill Woodlouse, the Woodlouse Spider (Dysdera crocata), a Vine Weevil; Yellow Meadow Ants and 2 Slow Worms.
 
A Bullfinch was also added to the day’s list. 
 

27th July 2011 - Portland, Dorset - A total mooch on the island - well that was the idea!  The plan was to walk the entire circumference again but after 3 hours and much mooching we had hardly got anywhere and so decided to go back to the lighthouse for dinner.  The list seen in the half mile covered was as follows.
 
Butterflies viewed were:- Small White (*3); Meadow Brown (*3); Wall Brown (*1); Red Admiral (*1); Common Blue (*2); Marbled White (*4) and Speckled Wood (*1). 
 
Homage was paid again to the Down Shieldbug with 2* Adults, 2*1st Instars and 2*2nd Instars seen.  A Chalk Carpet Moth was also added to the overall sightings.
 
On the botanical time was taken to inspect many flowers more closely with the following species scribbled down in the note pad:- Common Knotgrass; Field Penny Cress; Salad Burnet; Pineappleweed; White Melilot; Wild Thyme; Hemp Agrimony; Greater Plantain; Yarrow; Common Knapweed; Tree Mallow; Rock Samphire; Golden Samphire; Scarlet Pimpernel; Thrift; Scentless Mayweed; Sea Beet; Lesser Burdock; Kidney Vetch; Bastard Toadflax; Lesser Sea Spurrey; Lesser Trefoil; Hop Trefoil; Selfheal; Hoary Plantain; Daisy; Wild Carrot; Agrimony; Field Bindweed; Thrift; Red Bartsia; Red Clover; Black Medick; Birds Foot Trefoil; Pale Flax; Restharrow; Meadow Vetchling; Dwarf Thistle; Eyebright sp; Field Scabious; Spear Thistle; Prickly Sow Thistle; Teasel; Woody Nightshade; Ribwort Plantain; Strawberry Clover; Bucks-Horn Plantain; Common Ragwort; Lesser Centaury; Common Poppy and White Clover.
 
A Speckled Bush Cricket was seen on the Obs wall, the grass beetle Galeruca tenaceti was found alone and a couple of moths new for the year were Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing and Plain Golden Y.
 
Bird wise it was quite quiet with only the following few species observed:- Lesser Black Backed Gull; Herring Gull; Gannet; Linnet; House Martin; Wheatear; Meadow Pipit; Carrion Crow; Goldfinch; Swallow; Swift; Skylark; House Sparrow and Gannet. 

The beetle Ophonus ardosiacus was noted in the Obs moth trap.

 

26th July 2011 - Chickerell Downs, Dorset - A tucked away Woodland Trust Reserve came up with Speckled Wood (*2); Gatekeeper (*2); Shaded Broad Bar (*1) and Magpie Moth (*1) on the lepidopteron front.

Blue Tailed Damselfly (*1); Common Blue Damslefly (*1) and a perched male Emperor was all that was note Odonata wise.

A Roe Deer skipped through the woods, the Dock Shieldbug (Coreus marginatus) was observed and the Creeping Thistle Gall (Euribia cardui) was seen.

 
26th July 2011 - Chickerell Rifle Range, Dorset - An afternoon session around this private area didn't produce the target species but myself, 2 grand lasses and good old Ken Dolbear again did see the odonata species Emperor Dragonfly (*4); Common Darter (*3); Black Tailed Skimmer (*1); Blue Tailed Damselfly (*1) as well as the butterflies Gatekeeper (*3); Common Blue (*1); Comma (*1); Large White (*1); Speckled Wood (*2); and Red Admiral (*1).
 
A Grey Partridge was flushed, a Buzzard watched us from a lofty pole, a Little Egret fished by the waters edge and the gall Robins Pincushion was seen.
 
26th July 2011 - Portland Bill, Dorset - In the company of the delightful and knowledgeable Ken Dolbear I did a grand potter whilst my ladies went forth into Weymouth to spend some brass.  A walk to some turfy areas produced the marvellous Down Shieldbug (and nymphs) on that elusive plant Bastard Toadflax.  Squinancywort was also in flower.  Around the lighthouse we located a nice spread of species with the hoverfly Chrysotoxum elegans noteworthy as well as the Pine Ladybird on Gorse as well as the expected Gorse Shieldbug which was also on Broom.  The Toadflax Capsule Weevil (Gymnetron antirrhini) was a new species and whilst admiring it we noted the crab spider Misumena vatia feeding on the neck of a recently dead bumble bee. 
 
Butterflies seen were Red Admiral (*2); Speckled Wood (*1); Holly Blue (*1); Common Blue (*1) and Gatekeeper (*1). 
 
A check through the moth trap whilst Ken nipped off to have some dinner produced:- Double Lobed; Bordered Beauty; Small Marbled; Eyed Hawk-Moth; Small Elephant Hawk-Moth; Brussels Lace; Kent Black Arches and Synaphe punctalis.
 
A green Grey Bush Cricket nymph was seen later in the day.
 
25th July 2011 - Portland Bill, Dorset - More moths to appreciate with those noted being:- Marbled Green; Carcina quercana; Lime Speck Pug; Dark Swordgrass; Lackey; Burnished Brass; Ruby Tiger; Garden Tiger; Muslin Footman; Oncocera semirubella; Acleris forsskalleana; Agapeta zoegana and Dolichanthria punctalis.
 
25th July 2011 - Lydlinch Common, Dorset - A brief visit with the following species clocked up:- Ringlet (*5); Gatekeeper (*12); Small Copper (*1); Common Blue (*2); Peacock (*2); Essex Skipper (*2); Meadow Brown (*4); Comma (*2); Marbled White (*1); Small Skipper (*1); Green Veined White (*1) and Brimstone (*1).
 
A Southern Hawker whizzed around, the Dock Shieldbug (Coreus marginatus) was idling in the blazing heat, Common Green and Meadow Grasshoppers skipped through the grasses whilst Dark Bush Crickets tootled about and a 6 Spot Burnet Moth fed on flowerheads.
 
25th July 2011 - Alners Gorse, Dorset - Primarily a butterfly wander with the final list being:- Speckled Wood (*9); Holly Blue (*3); Gatekeeper (*32); Purple Hairstreak (*4); Peacock (*5); Ringlet (*15); Marbled White (*10); Brimstone (*5); Green Veined White (*2); Red Admiral (*4); Large White (*3); Meadow Brown (*18); Small Skipper (*7) and Silver Washed Fritillary (*5).
 
A Shaded Broad Bar moth was noted in stifling heat that really tested our resilience.
 
25th July 2011 - Lodmoor CP, Dorset - A quick visit before our day started proper and the visiting Stilt Sandpiper was duly seen and admired.  A Green Sandpiper was also noted.
 

24th July 2011 - Portland, Dorset - The chilled holiday theme continued with many species seen again today with little effort put in (by our standards) and slow pace taken. Here is a lowdown:-

Butterflies on the wing were:- Small Copper (*1) Gatekeeper (*5); Wall Brown (*1); Small Blue (*2); Lulworth Skipper (*2); Large White (*2); Meadow Brown (*2); Common Blue (*12) and Red Admiral (*1).

Flowers admired were:- Hop Trefoil; Prickly Sow Thistle; Yellow-Wort; Strawberry Clover; Rock Samphire; Golden Samphire; Portland Sea Lavender and Hoary Plantain.

Insects spotted were:- Common Green Grasshopper; Meadow Grasshopper; Common Field Grasshopper; Long Winged Conehead; Great Green Bush Cricket (*6); Grey Bush Cricket; Dark Bush Cricket; Tawny Cockroach (*2); 7 Spot Ladybird; 10 Spot Ladybird (melanic form); the hoverfly Chrysotoxum bicinctum; the Oak Eggar moth and the Ichneumon Wasp - Amblyteles armatorius.

The spider Neoscona adianta and a Short Tailed Vole were also observed. The Vole had a lucky escape from the jaws of the Obs moggy but seemed OK has he shot off into the grass after having his photo taken.

Phew - now that was close - the lucky Short Tailed Vole

Unluckily today I was so carried away looking at a ladybird I managed to spill Vimto cordial (my fave drink) all over my camera and ruined the auto focus feature. Hopefully that is all the damage done - these things happen though so why stress out? On we go enjoying the nature around us! By the way the Ladybird was the aforementioned melanic 10 spotter - shame it wasn't a real rarity but not to fret - I still appreciated the chap anyway!

 

24th July 2011 - Weymouth, Dorset - A tootle around some ponds produced:- Blue Tailed Damselfly (*36) and Emperor Dragonfly (*1) and wells as the flutterby's Clouded Yellow (*1); Common Blue (*1); Red Admiral (*1); Speckled Wood (*1) and Small Skipper (*1).

Common Terns flew past, Long Winged Coneheads were in residence (surprise, surprise) and the hoverfly Volucella zonaria was admired at close quarters. Scarlet Pimpernel and Fringed Water-Lily were noted in flower.

 
23rd July 2011 - Easton, Portland, Dorset - Whilst my two fine women did a bit of shopping I squeezed in a bit of mooching in the grassy areas besides the islands new superstore. I won't tell you the name of the gaff as these commercial bastards get enough advertising. Anyway the following lepidopteran specimens were spotted:- Meadow Brown (*2); Large White (*1); Marbled White (*5); Gatekeeper (*6); Chalkhill Blue (*1); Common Blue (*6); Small Blue (*3); Small White (*1); Ringlet (*5); Small Copper (*1); Green Veined White (*1) and the omnipresent migrant moth Silver Y (*1).
 

23rd July 2011 - Broadcroft Quarry, Portland, Dorset - I like Broadcroft Quarry and by my estimations this is at least my twentieth mooch around the vegetation and boulders here in search of marvellous beasties and wonderful flora. I know it is quintessentially the naturalists haunt and anyone who wasn't in tune with the natural world wouldn't see the interest and call the area 'just a bit of a wasteland' (but that would be really missing the point). Today wasn't as fruitful as usual but enough interest was provided.

Butterflies seen were:- Marbled White (*14); Common Blue (*6); Small Blue (*6); Gatekeeper (*18); Green Veined White (*1); Ringlet (*2); Chalkhill Blue (*1); Red Admiral (*1); Speckled Wood (*2); Large White (*1); Meadow Brown (*4); Large Skipper (*1) and Small Skipper (*1). 5 Shaded Broad Bars were the only moths seen.

12 Slow Worms and 1 Common Lizard were enjoyed and Ivy Broomrape and Yellow-Wort were duly noted. Grey Bush Cricket was good to catch up with again as was a Long Winged Conehead and a flock of Ravens were seen nearby doing their usual 'gronking'.

 

23rd July 2011 - Portland Bill, Dorset - After an easy ride down boy was it great to be back at the Bill. First stop a cup of tea and a mooch through the moth trap. Species seen were:- Shuttle Shaped Dart; Bright Line Brown Eye; Brown Line Bright Eye; Dark Arches; Agapeta hamana; Agapeta zoegana; Acleris forsskalleana; Clay; Heart And Club; Dusky Sallow; Lychnis; Dark Sword Grass; Dun-Bar; Muslin Footman; Brown Tail; Lackey; Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing; Large Yellow Underwing; Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing; Knotgrass; Riband Wave; Magpie Moth; Single Dotted Wave; Bordered Sallow; Common Footman and Spectacle. The previous days capture of 2 Bedstraw Hawk-Moths was appreciated too with both critters looking fine and dandy!

Other critters noted were Azure Damselfly; Common Darter; Great Green Bush Cricket and Red Admiral (*3).

 
19th July 2011 - Stockport, Cheshire - Shaggy Soldier (Galinsoga quadriradiata) noted in flower for the first time this year.
 
17th July 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The micro moth Blastobasis lignea was seen after being attracted to an overnight window. Apparently this one is now called Blastobasis adustella - more to remember in this muddled noggin!
 

16th July 2011 - Weaver Park, Winsford, Cheshire - A poor turn-out and horrendous weather didn't halt proceedings and after getting on with things the weather did hold steady and a decent day was had. The species from the overnight moth trap were:- Scalloped Oak (*5); Riband Wave f. remutata (*5); Riband Wave banded form (*3); Large Yellow Underwing (*9); Common Footman (*6); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*1); Clouded Border (*1); Coxcomb Prominent (*1); Garden Pebble (*1); Scalloped Hooktip (*1); Shuttle Shaped Dart (*1); Phlyctaenia coronata (*1); Common Rustic sp (*1); July Highflyer (*2); Smoky Wainscot (*1); Heart And Dart (*3); Mother of Pearl (*2); Double Square Spot (*1); Udea prunalis (*1); Marbled Minor sp (*1); Light Arches (*2); Uncertain (*1); Bright Line Brown Eye (*2); Dark Arches (*3); Fan-Foot (*1); Agapeta hamana (*1); Yellow Tailed Moth (*1); Drinker (*1); Dot Moth (*1); Dun-Bar (*1); Clay (*1); Cabbage Moth (*1); Gothic (*1); Epinotia brunnichiana (*1) and Acleris forsskaleana (*1).

Add to these the moths pick up during the wander, which were Shaded Broad Bar (*6); Yellow Shell Moth (*1); Straw Dot (*1) and Agapeta hamana (*2) and the final list was 39 species.

Whilst wandering the following butterflies were noted:- Large White (*1); Gatekeeper (*16); Meadow Brown (*16); Green Veined White (*5); Speckled Wood (*3) and Small Skipper (*5).

A Meadow Grasshopper was noted as were a few Leopard Slugs; Garden Snail; Rounded Snail; Garlic Snail; Dusky Slug; Rosy Woodlouse and Blue Tailed Damselfly (*75+).

Flowers of note were Weld; Common Centaury; Ploughman's Spikenard; Figwort; Purple Loosestrife; Water Plantain; Fringed Water Lily and Hemp Agrimony.

 

14th July 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Attracted to an overnight lighted window were:- Scalloped Oak (*1); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*1); Bee Moth (*1); Single Dotted Wave (*1); Fan-Foot (*1) and the micro moth Udea prunalis (*1).

 
13th July 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A fresh Speckled Wood in the garden and a Brown House Moth lurking in the toilet - what a contrast!
 

12th July 2011 - Anderton Nature Reserve, Cheshire - A day leading the fine folk of the Burton Manor Gardening Club around this great reserve in search of this, that and t'other. The walk consisted mainly of flower hunting with the following 73 species observed:- Daisy; Wall Speedwell; White Clover; Red Clover; Common Nettle; Large Bindweed; Hedge Bindweed; Curled Leaved Dock; Common Ragwort; Hogweed; Greater Willowherb; Rosebay Willowherb; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Goosegrass; Spear Thistle; Creeping Thistle; Marsh Thistle; Meadow Buttercup; Creeping Buttercup; Meadow Cranesbill; Doves Foot Cranesbill; Cut Leaved Cranesbill; Fragrant Orchid; Bee Orchid; Tormentil; Wood Avens; Enchanters Nightshade; Water Mint; Gypsywort; Woody Nightshade; Red Campion; Common Knapweed; Hemp Agrimony; Birds Foot Trefoil; Amphibious Bistort; Purple Loosestrife; Black Medick; Greater Plantain; Pineappleweed; Chickweed; Mugwort; Ribwort Plantain; Tall Melilot; Hairy Tare; Red Bartsia; Tansy; Goatsbeard; Ground Elder; Hedge/Marsh Woundwort Hybrid; Hedge Woundwort; Teasel; Figwort; Yarrow; Greater Burdock; Scarlet Pimpernel; Canadian Goldenrod; Herb Robert; Garlic Mustard; Nipplewort; Selfheal; Wild Strawberry; Marjoram; Musk Mallow; Ox-Eye Daisy; Tufted Vetch; Maiden Pink; Common Valerian; Square Stalked St Johns Wort; Meadow Vetchling; White Water Lily; Himalayan Balsam; Meadowsweet; and Field Scabious

Insects were poorly represented with the Odonata covered by the follow 5 species:- Blue Tailed Damselfly (*10); Azure Damselfly (*5); Brown Hawker (*1); Common Darter (*1) and Red Eyed Damselfly (*6).

Butterflies fared little better with the 8 species seen:- Small Tortoiseshell (*3); Green Veined White (*2); Comma (*2); Red Admiral (*2); Peacock (*1); Meadow Brown (*6); Large Skipper (*1) and Gatekeeper (*5).

5 moths seen were:- Common Wainscot (*1); Shaded Broad Bar (*3); Yellowshell (*1); Brown China Mark (*1) and Clay (*1).

9 other bugs and beasties seen were Harlequin Ladybird; Marmalade Fly; White Lipped Snail; Brown Lipped Banded Snail; Amber Snail (Succinea putris); the larvae of the Cinnabar Moth and the Alder Leaf Beetle, the Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis) and a few Common Froghoppers.

7 other plants noted were the trees Silver Birch; Rowan; Hazel and Elder along with the plant species Creeping Willow Bracken and Reedmace.

2 mammals noted were Common Rabbit and the obliging Short Tailed Vole which kindly walked into an awaiting net so as to give all and sundry a darn good view.

On the bird front things were slow and to be honest little notice was taken as eyes were facing downwards rather than up. Nevertheless I did note 20 species and these were:- Mallard; Starling; Swallow; Sand Martin; Shelduck; Stock Dove; Wood Pigeon; Reed Warbler; Reed Bunting; Coot; Lapwing; Blackbird; Grey Heron; Oystercatcher; House Sparrow; Blue Tit; Black Headed Gull; Magpie; Carrion Crow and Goldfinch. 3 species of note calling were Grasshopper Warbler; Great Spotted Woodpecker and Green Woodpecker.

2 galls noted were Cystiphora sonchi on Sow Thistle and Pontania proxima on Willow.

Before the group arrived I saw a young Frog hopping and also add to the list the 6 fungi spotted (see Fungal Friends section) through the grass making the days overall total to 141 species. Not bad at all and despite the few six-legged critters a nice end total was achieved. Good company, good spirits and not bad weather - yet another result for the wildlife wanderers.

 
11th July 2011 - Alexander Park, Stockport, Cheshire - A Holly Blue butterfly was seen basking in the sunshine.
 
10th July 2011 - Tatton Park, Cheshire - A wander with Mark and family of Nunsmere Hall was nice and calm with Common Green Grasshopper; Leopard Slug; Dusky Slug noted as well as the butterflies Green Veined White (*2); Meadow Brown (*4) and Small Tortoiseshell (*1).
 
8th July 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A Bright Line Brown Eye Moth was attracted to the lighted bathroom window. A mollusc mooch in the garden came up with the Three Band Garden Slug (Lehmannia valentian); Sowerby's Slug (Tandonia sowerbyi); Brown Lipped Banded Snail (Cepaea nemoralis); Garden Snail (Helix aspersa); White Lipped Banded Snail (Cepaea hortensis) and several Large Red/Black Slugs (Arion ater/rufus).
 
7th July 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - 1 moth attracted to an overnight light which was a Scalloped Oak.
 
6th July 2011 - Torkington Park, Stockport, Cheshire - A Small Tortoiseshell was on the wing around the bowling greens.
 
5th July 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - 4 moths attracted to an overnight light, these were:- Bramble Shoot Moth; Garden Carpet; The Clay and Riband Wave.
 
5th July 2011 - Torkington Park, Stockport, Cheshire - A Riband Wave Moth on the wall at work.
 
4th July 2011 - Torkington Park, Stockport, Cheshire - A moth was on the wall as I opened up at work. It was indeed the Common Grass Moth Chrysoteuchia culmella. A Red Admiral and a Speckled Wood were seen whilst walking home later in the day. Also noted were numerous mines of the Horse Chestnut Leaf Mining Moth (Cameraria ohridella). I shall await the eruption of the adults.
 

3rd July 2011 - Chadkirk Chapel, Stockport, Cheshire - A wander for a couple of hours and the target species of White Letter Hairstreak was seen. 5 in total frequenting 3 different trees and with one coming down beside us to bask in the sun an all round good sighting was add. Other butterflies on the wing were:- Comma (*2); Meadow Brown (*3); Green Veined White (*1) and Speckled Wood (*2).

A Brown Hawker was on the wing.

 
2nd July 2011 - Stockport, Cheshire - A Common Whitethroat was seen in the tree outside the kitchen window. It looked like a juvenile a little bit off track - no sooner seen and he was off - good luck little fella.
 
JUNE
 
28th June 2011 - Stockport, Cheshire - A Double Striped Pug was seen on the way to work
 
27th June 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A Snout Moth seen in the garden on a clammy day.
 

26th June 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The first proper mothing session and 3 hours done. The list of 26 species was:- Bee Moth (*6); Light Brown Apple Moth (*2); Tachystola acroxantha (*4); Diamond Back Moth (*1); Apple Leaf Miner (*1); Double Striped Pug (*1); Flame (*1); Flame Shoulder (*1); Bright Line Brown Eye (*1); Ectoedemia decentella (*1); Argyresthia brockeella (*1); Dun-Bar (*1); Willow Beauty (*1); ; Small Angle Shades (*1); Dark Arches (*1); Brown House Moth (*1); Scalloped Hazel (*2); Brimstone (*1); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*2); Marbled Beauty (*1); Riband Wave f. remutata (*1); Elephant Hawkmoth (*1); Blackneck (*1); Phlyctaenia coronata (*1); Fan-Foot (*3); Common Emerald (*2); Tischeria ekebladella (*1) and Swammerdamia pyrella (*1).

The latter two were ID's by Ian Kimber of UK Moths - cheers again Ian.

Oh and a beetle was caught - Reesa vespulae - Here's some info I got off super beetle maniac Don Stenhouse after his accurate ID - '

'It's Reesa vespulae (Dermestidae), which has only been recorded in the UK since 1977. One of the first places was the Natural History Museum, where it was found living in fluff under furniture and in the insect collection. It seems to like a variety of foodstuffs, and although it has a liking for insect collections, has been taken in dried plant specimens, tomato seeds, freeze dried lizards and incompletely cleaned vertebrate skulls. In houses it has been seen in flour and dried milk etc. 

It is parthenogenetic, so one only one female is enough to start an infestation. It can be found all year round indoors, but mainly from autumn to spring'.

He's a good un' ain't he?

 

26th June 2011 - Chadkirk Chapel, Stockport, Cheshire - A short and gentle stroll to remove some cobwebs with Enchanters Nightshade and Yellow Pimpernel seen in flower for the first time this year.

A Small White was on the wing as was a 6-Spot Burnet Moth. A magnificent Leopard Slug was also seen.

 

19th June 2011 - Bernwood Forest, Oxfordshire - A couple of hours mooching at this site we have visited before produced the butterflies:- Common Blue (*2); Meadow Brown (*27); Marbled White (*4); Large Skipper (*12); Ringlet (*7); Small Tortoiseshell (*1) and Speckled Wood (*2).

Moths seen were 6 Spot Burnet (*2); Yellow Shell (*4) and Bramble Shoot (*1). Brown Scallop (*1) was later identified by Ian Kimber of UK Moths - cheers man.

Numerous Leaf Beetles were noted and identified by Don Stenhouse as Galeruca tanaceti - top stuff dude.

A Forest Bug nymph was had and confirmed by top wildlife chap Martin Evans of WildguideUK. Much appreciation fella!

A Malachius bipustulatus Beetle was spotted by my daughter.

 
19th June 2011 - Dunkirk, Kent - Whilst leaving the travel Lodge 3 moths were noted:- Brimstone (*1); Common Swift (*1) and Riband Wave (*1).
 

18th June 2011 - East Blean Wood, Kent - Unsatisfied with the previous days visit a 2 hour mooch was had before the Heavens really opened and blasted down an impressive downpour. Before the clouds burst we saw the butterflies:- Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Large White (*1); Heath Fritillary (*80); Large Skipper (*2) and Small Skipper (*1).

A 4-Dotted Footman was seen and the micro moth Epiblema foenella. Esperia oliviella was later confirmed by Ian Kimber of UK Moths.

Orthoptera were represented by Speckled Bush Cricket, Common Groundhopper and Dark Bush Cricket.

Coleoptera interest was given via Scarce 7 Spot Ladybird; Clytra 4 punctata and Attelabus nitens.

Hairy Shieldbug and Dock Shield bug were noted.

 

18th June 2011 - Reculver, Kent - A nice area but not much about. A Sandwich Tern flew past, a Red Admiral was being tossed about by the wind as was a Silver Y Moth and Spotted Medick and Pellitory Of The Wall were noted in flower for the first time this year.

Reculver Roman Fort and Towers with ominous skies in the background

 

17th June 2011 - Dunkirk, Kent - Whilst eating in the local Little Chef a Jay, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Green Woodpecker pottered around the feeding area just outside the window.
 

17th June 2011 - Sandwich Bay, Kent - Still the conditions were far from summery but we plodded on and on the botanical front noted:- Lizard Orchid (50+); Pyramidal Orchid; Southern Marsh Orchid; White Campion; Sea Kale; Sea Spurge; Thrift; Sea Beet; Sea Holly; Wild Asparagus; Fennel; Common Knapweed; Hounds Tongue; Vipers Bugloss; Biting Stonecrop and Clove Scented Broomrape amongst others.

Lepidoptera were represented by Yellow Shell Moth (*5) and Marbled White Butterfly (*1).

2 Green Woodpeckers were showing well.

 
17th June 2011 - East Blean Wood, Kent - A visit in very poor conditions resulted in the finding of 2 butterfly species, these were Heath Fritillary (*5) and Purple Hairstreak (*1). Also seen were 2 Hairy Shieldbugs.
 
14th June 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A Comma Butterfly was basking in the sun and after checking the nearby pupal cases it seems 2 have hatched and 1 is ready to go. Great stuff!
 
13th June 2011, Hazel Grove, Stockport, Cheshire - A caterpillar was found at the side of a fence whilst walking home. A few coniferous looking trees gave a clue and Blair's Shoulder Knot was named, verified and appreciated.
 
12th June 2011, Manchester - A cry for help at a punk rock gig from a female attendee and a trip to the ladies latrines was taken. Alas an Angle Shades Moth was having a peek at all that transpired so was duly removed and taken to some nearby vegetation. Randy devil.
 

11th June 2011, River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Another local walk to stretch the legs with Kingfisher; Dipper; Sand Martin the pick of the bird life and Hop Trefoil; Yarrow and Nipplewort noted for the first time in flower this year.

Speckled Wood Butterfly (*1), Common Blue Butterfly (*1); Blue Tailed Damselfly (*1) and the ever charming Banded Demoiselle (*4) were all that was noted on the insect front.

 

9th June 2011 - Weaver Park, Winsford, Cheshire - A day off work for my good wife and myself and the chance to lead the Dragonflies and Butterflies walk at this ever improving reserve. A poor turn-out of 3 punters (Barry, Chris and Marie) and off we set undeterred by the temperamental weather.

The butterfly count was predicted as to be sweet FA but with perseverance we produced 7 species, which were:- Large Skipper (*1); Meadow Brown (*3); Speckled Wood (*4); Green Veined White (*1); Small White (*1); Holly Blue (*1) and Common Blue (*4). Add to this 6 moths Clouded Border (*1); Brown China Mark (*2); 6 Spotted Burnet (*12); Burnet Companion (*1); Straw Dot (*1) and Silver Y (*1) and all in all we were more than happy with the haul.

The Odonata were hard work for obvious climatic reasons but Azure Damselfly (*14); Large Red Damselfly (*1); Common Blue Damselfly (*1); Blue Tailed Damselfly (*24) and Banded Demoiselle (*2) made up a small list of 5 with a Hawker Dragonfly and a Chaser seen on the move but not fully identified - bah!

7 beetles seen were the Thick Legged Flower Beetle (Oedemera nobilis); Alder Leaf Beetle; Harlequin Ladybird; 7-Spot Ladybird; Reed Beetle (Donacia aquatica); Soldier Beetle (Cantharis rustica) and the impressive Longhorn Beetle (Agapanthea villosoviridescens). 2 other insects noted were Chrysopa perla and Common Earwig.

On the botanical front a hit and miss list was kept due to the distraction of bug seeking but Self-heal; Goats beard; Common Knapweed; Broad Leaved Dock; Curled Leaved Dock; Twayblade; Cut Leaved Cranes-Bill; Meadow Cranes-Bill; Bee Orchid; Tormentil; Common Cinquefoil; Cuckooflower; Common Nettle; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Red Campion; Ox-Eye Daisy; Hedge Woundwort; Marsh Thistle; Bush Vetch; Grass Vetchling; Yellow Flag; Lesser Spearwort; Greater Spearwort and Daisy were the 23 species all noted in flower.

7 extra species on the day were Pendulous Sedge; Branched Bur Reed; Cocks-Foot Grass; Timothy Grass; Brown Lipped Banded Snail; Common Frog and the gall Dasineura urticae.

A few extra fungal species were found which can be viewed in the Fungal Friends section.

Not a bad mooching session and a trip to Morrison’s after for a cooked chicken and some Rainbow Trout promised to round the day off nicely - and believe me they did. Thanks again to the Chris, Marie and Barry and for their net swishing skills (mmmm) and to Ranger Dave for the cuppas and offering us the chance to wander around this fine area.

 
7th June 2011 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - A late visit for 1 hour and nothing really doing. 1 Azure Damselfly and 1 Light Emerald Moth was all that was seen.
 

4th June 2011 - Anderton NR, Cheshire - A late afternoon wander for a couple of hours to keep the circulation rolling and to have a bite to eat. Odonata seens identified:- Large Red Damselfly (*19); Blue Tailed Damselfly (*7); Azure Damselfly (*13); Red Eyed Damselfly (*7); Emperor Dragonfly (*1) and 4 Spotted Chaser (*1). Lepidoptera wise we saw the butterflies Speckled Wood (*3) and Meadow Brown (*1) and the moths Pammene aurana (*1); Common Carpet (*1) and the Beautiful China Mark (*1).

Coleoptera interest was had with 2 Spot Ladybird (*2); Harlequin Ladybird (*5) and the numerous Reed Beetle (Donacia aquatic).

Peter Shirley later ID'd the gall Mompha divisella found on Willowherb - thank you man.

 
4th June 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A Brimstone moth had snuck in overnight and taken up residence in the bath.
 
2nd June 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A bit of mothing, and I mean a bit, one and a half hours to be exact. Distracted, pressed for time and with heaps to catch up on I am wondering if I will do any serious mothing at all this year. There ain't nothing one can do and the paltry catch was:- Light Brown Apple Moth (*5); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Argyresthia trifasciata (*1); Bee Moth (*1); Flame (*1); Seraphim (*1); Fan-Foot (*1); Pseudargyrotoza conwagana (*1) and Common Pug (*1).
 

2nd June 2011 - Anderton NR, Cheshire - A day out with the Young Carers from work and very nice it was too. The search was on for a few bugs and this is what we came up with:- Blue Tailed Damselfly (*5); Common Blue Damselfly (*3); Large Red Damselfly (*1); Red Eyed Damselfly (*1); 7 Spot Ladybird; 2 Spot Ladybird; 14 Spot Ladybird; Harlequin Ladybird (1*f. spectabilis) and the butterflies Speckled Wood (*1) and Common Blue (*1). Also seen were the beetles Alder Leaf; Pot Bellied Emerald; Red Headed Cardinal and Chrysolina polita. Moths noted were Burnished Brass (*1); Silver Ground Carpet (*1); Pammene aurana (*2); Snout (*1); Brown Silver Line (*1) and Aethes smeathmanniana (*1). The hoverflies Episyrphus balteatus and Leucozona lucorum were added on as well as many flowers in bloom and a good day was had.

A gall was later identified by Peter Shirley from The British Plant Gall Society and was named Cryptosiphum artemisiae. It was found on Mugwort leaves and in great profusion.

 

1st June 2011 - Nunsmere Hall, Cheshire - A day of mooching here and there with many young minds to keep occupied and to keep Fungal here on the go. The lesson learned today is not to place too much emphasis on keeping a list but just to keep the young un's entertained. The weather played good and here is what we came up with after a bit of deliberation.

Odonata wise produced 5 species:- Azure Damselfly (*1); Blue Tailed Damselfly (*3); Large Red Damselfly (*3); Four Spotted Chaser (*2) and Downy Emerald (*3).

The lepidoptera were poorly represented with only 3 species seen:- Speckled Wood (*1); Grey Pine Carpet (*1) and the long horned moth Nemophora deegerella (*2) the only species seen.

Flower wise the total seen was better and the 38 in bloom were:- Marsh Cinquefoil; Ground Ivy; Foxglove; Red Campion; Garlic Mustard; Fringe Cups; Ribwort Plantain; Common Nettle; Daisy; Red Dead Nettle; Wood Forget Me Not; Creeping Buttercup; Goosegrass; Dames Violet; Doves Foot Cranes-Bill; Wall Speedwell; Parsley Piert; Lesser Trefoil; Common Mouse Ear; Chickweed; Wild Strawberry; Marsh Thistle; Herb Robert; White Clover; Spring Beauty; Shepherds Purse; Tormentil; Self-Heal; Ground Elder; White Campion; English Scurvygrass; Birds Foot Trefoil; Wood Avens; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Figwort; Procumbent Pearlwort; Scarlet Pimpernel; Common Field Speedwell and Germander Speedwell.

The bird total (including species on call) was 18, these were:- Wood Pigeon; Greenfinch; Song Thrush; Robin; Coot; Jay; Blackbird; Great Crested Grebe; Mallard; Chaffinch; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Chiffchaff; Willow Warbler; Grey Heron; Mute Swan; Tufted Duck; Swift and Great Tit.

The 14 other insects seen on the day were:- 7 Spot Ladybird; 14 Spot Ladybird; Eyed Ladybird; Cream Spot Ladybird; Green Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus); Garden Chafer; Common Earwig; Common Field Grasshopper; Common Groundhopper; Water Measurer; Cuckoo Bee (Psithyrus vestalis); Red Tailed Bumblebee; Soldier Beetle (Cantharis rustica) plus a few others that needed further examination but alas time would not allow.

The 5 other minibeasts added were:- Common Black Millipede; Striped Millipede (Ommatoiulus sabulosus); Common Centipede (Lithobius forficatus); Shiny Woodlouse and Rough Woodlouse.

Common Frog; Garlic Snail; Garden Snail; Oak Marble Gall; Bracken; Male Fern; Oak Tree; Sycamore; Silver Birch and Common Beech made up the 10 extras and the day was done.

Oh and just to add - we located 15 species of fungi which are listed in the Fungal Friends section.

So, in total and being very strict with identification we came up with 105 species. I left out the non-flowering species, the critters whose ID's were dubious and needed extra confirmation and the imaginary Tyrannosaurus Rex one girl tried to persuade me she had seen. I am sure a few have slipped my mind (in fact I bloody well know they have) but this ain't a bad tally at all. Thanks to the ever delightful FWAG crew and here's to another one.

To add - after taking a quick photo of a male Scorpionfly and zooming in on the old genitals the ID was confirmed as Panorpa communis. 106 it is! Sorry apologies - add on Dusky Slug which I verified later and Yellow Slug which I only just remembered. 111 the total!

 
MAY
 

29th May 2011 - Frodsham Marsh, Cheshire - Before mooching around the local Lady Heyes bookshop and Bric-a-Brac shops we had a brief tootle around this unpredictable area. Today only 38 species of bird were seen which were:- House Sparrow; Wood Pigeon; Collared Dove; Blue Tit; Blackbird; Mistle Thrush; Swallow; Swift; Chiffchaff; Carrion Crow; Jackdaw; Black Headed Gull; Stock Dove; Lapwing; Whitethroat; Linnet; Chaffinch; Sedge Warbler; Grasshopper Warbler; Reed Warbler; Reed Bunting; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Shelduck; Cormorant; Tufted Duck; Mallard; Sand Martin; Gadwall; Skylark; Starling; Magpie; Oystercatcher; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Moorhen; Coot; Dunnock and Robin. Add to this calling Wren and Blackcap and a round 40 was had.

The Snipe Fly Rhagio scolopacea and a Garden Chafer were added extras as well as a few micro-fungi.

The gall Cystiphora sonchi was noted on Sow Thistle leaves.

 
22nd May 2011 - Hindley Green, Lancashire - A rummage through my brothers moth trap produced the following 15 species:- Small Magpie (*1); Heart And Dart (*14); Flame (*1); Peppered Moth (*1); Coxcomb Prominent (*1); Common Marbled Carpet (*1); Flame Shoulder (*11); Marbled Minor sp (*3); White Ermine (*1); Shuttle Shaped Dart (*1); Small Phoenix (*1); Rustic Shoulder Know (*1); Clouded Bordered Brindle (*1); Aethes smeathmanniana (*1) and Argyresthia trifasciata (*1).
 
21st May 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The Comma butterfly larvae in the garden were now down to 1 adult feeding and 2 pupa suspended from the branch of a Red Currant bush - nice!
 

21st May 2011 - Carsington Water, Derbyshire - The 8 plus mile walk around this fine reserve was very rewarding with a list of 49 birds seen, which were:- Barnacle Goose; House Sparrow; Blackbird; House Martin; Canada Goose; Tufted Duck; Magpie; Bullfinch; Coot; Mallard; Great Crested Grebe; Great Tit; Lapwing; Tree Sparrow; Wood Pigeon; Willow Warbler; Goldfinch; Spotted Flycatcher; Willow Tit; Black Headed Gull; Long Tailed Tit; Common Tern; Robin; Carrion Crow; Pochard; Dunnock; Chiffchaff; Black Throated Diver (Juv); Little Grebe; Redshank (with chicks); Cormorant; Buzzard; Grey Heron; Reed Bunting; Swift; Song Thrush; Chaffinch; Pheasant; Common Whitethroat; Oystercatcher; Blue Tit; Blackcap; Greenfinch; Collared Dove; Pied Wagtail; Garden Warbler; Little Ringed Plover and Red Crested Pochard (M/F).

Butterflies were represented by the following 10 species:- Orange Tip (*2); Small White (*2); Small Copper (*2); Brimstone (*3); Green Veined White (*3); Wall Brown (*1); Peacock (*1); Red Admiral (*1); Large White (*1) and Small Tortoiseshell (*1).

Other insects included the Common Carpet Moth (*2); Green Tiger Beetle and the Soldier Beetle (Cantharis rustica).

 
15th May 2011 - Fernilee/Errwood Reservoir, Derbyshire - Rush, rush, rush - a 2 hour wander in garbage weather produced a small bird list with 2 Dippers going in and out of the nest a highlight as well as 2 Spotted Flycatchers showing well. A Tree Pipit gave good views and Kestrel, Carrion Crow; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Chaffinch; Canada Goose; Cormorant; Mallard, Swallow; Common Sandpiper; Red Grouse; Willow Warbler; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Mistle Thrush; Curlew; Nuthatch; Treecreeper and Siskin completed the list of 21 species.
 
14th May 2011, River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Busy, busy, busy - Hairy Tare and Broad Leaved Willowherb seen for the first time in flower this year. Only 1 Sand Martin was around and Alder Leaf Beetles were rather less numerous than on previous years.
 
11th May 2011, Davenport, Stockport, Cheshire - Lime Petiole Gall (Contarinia tiliarum) was noted whilst walking home from work at a fair old clip.
 

8th May 2011, Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - A quick wander through on our way home produced the butterflies:- Small Copper (*1); Green Veined White (*4); Speckled Wood (*1) and Common Blue (*1). On the Odonata front Blue Tailed Damselfly (*1); 4 Spotted Chaser (*1) and Broad Bodied Chaser (*3) were seen with the latter species made up of one copulating pair and 1 ovipositing female.

Added later after ID confirmation was the Hoverfly - Myathropa florea.

 

8th May 2011, River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - After a week at work and a bone idle Saturday a walk was very much needed. Along the way we noted Horse Radish; Ground Elder; Dames Violet; Black Medick; Lesser Trefoil and Common Vetch in flower for the first time this year.

A Chaffinches nest was found with two young ready to fly and a Tortoise Bug was noted on grass. Added later after ID confirmation was the Snipe Fly - Rhagio scolopacea.

Butterflies seen were:- Large White (*1); Peacock (*1); Small White (*1); Speckled Wood (*1) and Orange Tip (*2).

 
2nd May 2011, Leighton Moss, Lancashire - We didn't go on the reserve but just pulled up alongside whilst sorting the car out for the trip home. Black Tern, Marsh Harrier, Common Tern, Swift, Sand Martin and Swallow were picked up anyway. Not bad at all!
 

2nd May 2011, Meathop Moss, Lancashire - Butterflies on the wing were Green Veined White (*1); Green Hairstreak (*79); Orange Tip (*8); Speckled Wood (*2); and Peacock (*2).

Common Heath Moths were on the wing with 2 checked, 2 Four Spotted Chasers were on the prowl along with 1 Azure Damselfly.

A Roe Deer gave good views and rounded off a short but sweet visit. Oh and also spotted Bird Cherry Gall - Phyllocoptes eupadi.

 

2nd May 2011, Gait Barrows, Lancashire - The sun was still shining and an early start gave us great views of the following butterflies:- Speckled Wood (*9); Green Veined White (*3); Pearl Bordered Fritillary (*5); Peacock (*3); Orange Tip (*1); Large White (*1); Duke Of Burgundy Fritillary (*5); Brimstone (*4) and Dingy Skipper (*1).

On the Odonata front Large Red Damselfly (*10); Broad Bodied Chaser (*1); Blue Tailed Damselfly (*1) and Common Blue Damselfly (*2) were the only sightings.

3 moths were noted namely Speckled Yellow (*3); Adela reurmurella (*4) and Brown Silver Lines (*1).

4 Rose Chafers were added to the days list with new flowers seen for the first time in bloom this year being Lily Of The Valley; Brooklime; Birds Eye Primrose and the re-introduced Lady's Slipper Orchids.

A Glow Worm larvae was a nice addition.

 

1st May 2011 - Brereton Heath, Cheshire - The first time I have visited this place and I came away feeling slightly unimpressed. Too many people for Fungal and not enough wildlife. Hey ho - here's the beasties I saw:- St Marks Fly; Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle; Large Red Damselfly; Common Blue Damselfly (*5); Cantharis rustica; Mesembrina meridiana; Green Tiger Beetle; Numerous Dotted Border Moth Caterpillars; and the butterflies Brimstone (*6); Speckled Wood (*1); Large White (*1); Green Veined White (*7) and Orange Tip (*1). The day flying moth Adela reurmurella was on the wing with 10 being counted.

Bird wise the list was poor 17 species seen the best of which were Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blackcap and Buzzard.

 
APRIL
 
30th April 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The parasitic wasp Ichneumon suspiciosus and the moth Esperia sulphurella were noted whilst doing chores and catching up on a bit of reading matter.
 

29th April 2011 - Millers Dale, Derbyshire - A grand walk with my daughter spotting some good stuff including Brown and Rainbow Trout and a Water Vole that was actually swimming from the far side of the River Wye towards our side. Where it went when it hit the bank is anyone's guess but what a great sighting.

The main mooching material of the day were flowers with the following list all in bloom:- Barren Strawberry; Wild Strawberry; Marsh Marigold; Water Avens; Wood Avens; Birds Foot Trefoil; Cowslip; Goldilocks Buttercup; Early Purple Orchid; Dogs Mercury; Greater Stitchwort; Red Campion; Bush Vetch; Herb Robert; White Dead Nettle; Wood Anemone; Butterbur; Lesser Celandine; Cuckoo Flower; Crosswort; Cow Parsley; Ramsons; Wood Speedwell; Bluebell; Wood Forget Me Not; Garlic Mustard; Germander Speedwell; Salad Burnet; Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage; Dandelion sp; Daisy; Common Milkwort; Ribwort Plantain; Ground Ivy; Common Dog Violet; Meadow Saxifrage; Sweet Cicely; Bugle and Lamium galeobdolon.

Birdwise the list was poor with Jackdaw; Goldfinch; Long Tailed Tit; Grey Wagtail; Blue Tit; Buzzard; Song Thrush; Blackcap; Dipper; Nuthatch; Mallard; Chaffinch; Wood Pigeon; Wren; Blackbird and Great Tit seen and Green Woodpecker; Willow Warbler; Pheasant; Chiffchaff and Greenfinch heard.

Insect wise produced Red And Black Froghopper (*23) and the butterflies Speckled Wood (*2); Large White (*1); Red Admiral (*1) and Orange Tip (*2).

 
28th April 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - 6 Comma butterfly caterpillars on Red Currant leaves in the back garden and an unidentified one on a Raspberry bush. Watch this space for an ID unless the tinker buggers off!
 

25th April 2011 - Pennington Flash, Lancashire - It has been a few years since we last visited this site and it was more than a little obvious that its popularity has carried on increasing. An hour around the main reserve then mooching away from the main crowds produced a list of 53 birds which were:- Mallard; Canada Goose; Wood Pigeon; Blackbird; Goldfinch; Black Headed Gull; Coot; Greylag Goose; Lapwing; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Tufted Duck; Great Crested Grebe; Common Tern; Ringed Plover; Common Sandpiper; Gadwall; Great Tit; Pied Wagtail; Stock Dove; Oystercatcher; Moorhen; Magpie; Robin; Pheasant; Blue Tit; Dunnock; Willow Tit; Bullfinch; Greenfinch; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Little Ringed Plover; Redshank; Shoveler; Garganey; Chiffchaff; Wren; Willow Warbler; Common Whitethroat; Jay; Blackcap; Sedge Warbler; Reed Bunting; Grey Heron; Long Tailed Tit; Jackdaw; Black Tailed Godwit; Shelduck; Chaffinch; House Sparrow; Swallow; Carrion Crow; Collared Dove; Skylark and Reed Warbler.

A Bank Vole was well identified by my daughter and the only new flowers in bloom for the year were Common Comfrey and Birds Foot Trefoil. 2 Large Red Damselflies were on the wing and butterflies were represented by:- Orange Tip (*18); Speckled Wood (*17); Green Veined White (*11); Comma (*1); Peacock (*4); Large White (*1); Brimstone (*1); Small Copper (*2) and Small White (*1).

 

24th April 2011 - Middlewood Way, Cheshire - A nice stroll with my wife and daughter and plenty of things seen. Unfortunately my young un' had been to a sleep-over the night before and hadn't slept at all and so when the opportunity to lie down in a field came, she took it and fell asleep for quite a while - little tinker. Anyway here are the flowers we noted along the way:- Red Clover; Goosegrass; Herb Robert; Common Nettle; Germander Speedwell; Honesty; Cowslip; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Common Mouse Ear; Colts-Foot; Wood Speedwell; Red Campion; Bush Vetch; Ragged Robin; Greater Stitchwort; Ribwort Plantain; Ladies Mantle; Common Dog Violet; Wild Strawberry; Cow Parsley; Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Meadow Buttercup; Creeping Buttercup; Hogweed; Wavy Bittercress; Garlic Mustard; Broad Leaved Dock; Welsh Poppy; Barren Strawberry; Wood Forget Me Not; Dandelion sp and Bluebell.

Lepidoptera was made up of Large White (*2); Green Veined White (*1); Speckled Wood (*4); Orange Tip (*9) and the day flying moth Adela reurmurella (*1). Other insects noted were Harlequin Ladybird; 7 Spot Ladybird; Marmalade Fly; St Marks Fly; Common Nettle Weevil and Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle.

The spider Pisaura mirabilis was seen waiting on vegetation and a Pied Wagtail was seen on the nest.

 
23rd April 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Attracted to an overnight lighted window were White Shouldered House Moth and Bee Moth and the years first Vine Weevil was seen in the garden whilst doing a bit of tidying up.
 

22nd April 2011 - Weaver Park, Winsford, Cheshire - The first event of 5 for Fungalpunk at this fine reserve and in full Spring sunshine. The aim of the day was to name 100 species and with approximately 30 members of the public paying a visit we mat the set mark and added a few extra.

Plants in flower identified were:- Dove's-Foot Cranesbill; Daisy; Ramsons; Bluebell; Ribwort Plantain; Dog Violet; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Red Campion; Wood Forget Me Not; Common Water Crow-Foot; Cuckooflower; Garlic Mustard; Common Mouse Ear; Red Dead Nettle; Lesser Celandine; Dandelion sp; Tormentil and Cow Parsley (18).

Plants identified in vegetative state were:- Creeping Thistle; Goosegrass; Broad Leaved Dock; Curled Leaved Dock; Lesser Burdock; Black Knapweed; Wood Avens; Teasel; Common Spotted Orchid sp; Ox-Eye Daisy and Greater Plantain (11).

Trees noted around the reserve were Hawthorn; Hazel; Silver Birch; Beech; Goat Willow; Corsican Pine; Bird Cherry and Horse Chestnut (8).

Birds seen or heard were:- Long Tailed Tit; Blackbird; Robin; Song Thrush; Buzzard; Wood Pigeon; Blackcap; Jay; Chiffchaff; Grey Heron; Goldcrest; Cormorant; Jackdaw; Black Headed Gull; Mallard; Green Woodpecker; Wren; Magpie and Willow Warbler (18)

Butterflies and moths noted were:- Orange Tip (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Speckled Wood (*8); Large White (*2); Green Veined White (3); Peacock (*1); Nematopogon swammerdamella, (1) and Adela reaumurella (*15) which was a pretty poor return for such a hot day (8).

Insects spotted were:- Common Groundhopper; Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle; Alder Leaf Beetle; Yellow Dung Fly sp; Click Beetle sp; 7 Spot Ladybird; 2 Spot Ladybird; 14 Spot Ladybird; Dock Weevil (Apion sp); Black Garden Ant; Pterostichus madius; Red Tailed Bumble Bee; Buff Tailed Bumble Bee; Large Red Damselfly (*5); St Marks Fly; Sunfly (Helophilus sp); Hawthorn Shieldbug and Forest Shieldbug (18).

Crustaceans and molluscs comprised of the following species:- Rough Woodlouse; Shiny Woodlouse; Striped Woodlouse; Pygmy Woodlouse; Rosy Woodlouse; Garlic Snail; Rounded Snail; Garden Snail; Brown Lipped Banded Snail; White Lipped Banded Snail; Large Red Slug; Leopard Slug and Large Yellow Slug (13).

Other plants included:- Giant Horsetail; Adders Tongue Fern; Common Field Wood Rush and Wall Screw Moss (5).

Fungi seen on the day were:- Bolbitius titubans; Hypoxylon multiforme; Geastrum triplex; Handkea excipuliformis; Ustilago violae; Coprinopsis lagopus; Trametes versicolor; Puccinia punctiformis; Piptoporus betulinus and the myxomycete Reticularia lycoperdon (10).

And finally add to the list Lithobius forficatus; Tachypodoiulus niger; Common Frog; Grass Snake; Flack Backed Millipede (Polydesmus sp); Great Ramshorn; Smooth Newt; Water Scorpion and the Maple Gall (9).

I make that 118 in total. Not bad and potential for a bigger total next time. It is only April and time wasn't available to sit down and ponder the particulars of the trickier species but I enjoyed it and so did the others involved and that is what it is all about.

 
21st April 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - That gem of a moth Esperia sulphurella was seen on the wing whilst I was watering the flowers.
 

20th April 2011 - Marbury CP, Cheshire - A mooch with the kids from work and where better place to start than with a bit of mothing with Paul Hill. The overnight trap had been poor but we still saw:- Hebrew Character (*4); White Spotted Pug (*2); Clouded Drab (*3); Common Pug (*1); Common Quaker (*4); Lunar Marbled Brown (*2); Double Striped Pug (*1); Sallow Kitten (*1) and Brindled Pug (*1). Add to this Adela reaumurella and Dark Barred Twin Spot Carpet which was caught with skill by a young chap later on in the day.

Butterflies seen were Orange Tip (*12); Brimstone (*2); Green Veined White (*2); Peacock (*2); Red Admiral (*1); Speckled Wood (*5) and Small Tortoiseshell (*4).

Nettle Weevil; 14 Spot Ladybird and St Marks Fly were picked up along with the first Large Red Damselfly and Wall Speedwell was a new flower seen for the first time this year.

 
19th April 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The first Light Brown Apple Moth flew into the lighted bathroom window - I don't know why but I do have a soft spot for these variable dudes!
 

19th April 2011 - Etherow CP, Stockport, Cheshire - An afternoon wander produced the following plants in flower:- Herb Robert; Dandelion sp; Daisy; Cow Parsley; Ladies Mantle; Butterbur; Ribwort Plantain; Sweet Cicely; Common Dog Violet; Ground Ivy; Wood Forget Me Not; Moschatel; Wood Anemone; Marsh Marigold; Pink Purslane; Bugle; Barren Strawberry; Garlic Mustard; Dogs Mercury; Thale Cress; Greater Stitchwort; Red Campion; Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage; Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Ivy Leaved Toadflax; Ramsons; Bluebells; Lesser Celandine; Wood Sorrel and Bush Vetch.

Butterfly interest was provided with Orange Tip (*4); Peacock (*5) and Green Veined White (*2). Beetles were represented by Alder Leaf Beetle; The Long Horned Beetle Rhagium mordax and the Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle.

Pouch Gall on Maple leaves was noted as were Giant Horsetails just coming through.

 
18th April 2011 - Fletcher Moss, Cheshire - Whilst on an evening prowl for fungi we saw Marsh Marigold and Large Bittercress in flower for the first time this year.
 
17th April 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - No time to go wildlifing at the mo but still stuff to see in our small back garden. Holly Blue, Large White and Speckled Wood were on the wing as well as a Harlequin Ladybird, Alder Leaf Bettle and the Sawfly Abia lonicerae.
 
16th April 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A stunningly fresh female Comma butterfly was seen laying single eggs on the leaves of a Red Currant plant.
 
15th April 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The moth trap went out for two hours and 1 moth was had - a fellow called The Chestnut.
 
14th April 2011 - Torkington Park, Stockport, Cheshire - 24 Tawny Mining Bee nests were good to see with one individual sat in the entrance watching the world go by.
 

13th April 2011 - Smithills CP, Bolton, Lancashire - Even though the weather forecast had kept us closer to home the mooching around with the Young Carers from work was fun with Violet Ground Beetle; Variegated Centipede and Leopard Slugs the best spots of the day.

A Blackbirds nest with 4 eggs in was a bonus as were the two Common Earwig nests attended by 2 parents.

 
11th April 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Flame Carpet and Twenty Plume Moth were attracted to the toilet light overnight.
 

10th April 2011 - Churchtown Farm, Cornwall - A cracking reserve this with much to offer. The bird list of 25 species was as follows:- Blue Tit; Blackbird; Carrion Crow; Wood Pigeon; Chaffinch; Herring Gull; Robin; Greenfinch; Dunnock; Goldfinch; Common Whitethroat; Blackcap; Jay; Buzzard; Wren; Long Tailed Tit; Great Tit; Shelduck; Magpie; Grey Heron; Feral Pigeon; Mute Swan; Redshank; House Sparrow; Canada Goose and Jackdaw.

Butterflies were represented by Holly Blue (*2); Speckled Wood (*1); Peacock (*1) and Small Tortoiseshell (*2).

Germander Speedwell was noted in flower.

 

9th April 2011 - Warleigh Point, Devon - A walk along a flower laden hedgerow with a muddy river on the other side followed by a circular woodland walk that was surrounded by an open estuary and a pleasant day in glorious April sunshine was had. What did we see? Well quite a bit to be honest. On the bird front we spotted Greenfinch; Robin; Wood Pigeon; Magpie; Wren; Pheasant; Great Tit; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Oystercatcher; Little Egret; Carrion Crow; Mallard; Goldfinch; Blackcap; Herring Gull and Chiffchaff. Flower wise we noted in bloom:- Lords And Ladies; Ramsons; Wood Speedwell; Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Lesser Celandine; Broom; Primrose; Ground Ivy; Wood Spurge; Wild Strawberry; Barren Strawberry; Red Campion; Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage; Goosegrass; Herb Robert; Dogs Mercury; Dog Violet; Greater Periwinkle; English Scurvygrass; Greater Stitchwort; Wavy Bittercress; Daisy; Thale Cress and garden escapee Lamium glabeobdolon.

Large White (*1); Orange Tip (*2); Comma (*1) and Peacock (*2) provided butterfly interest and Orange and Cream Spot Ladybirds were added to the days list too.

 

9th April 2011 - China Fleet Golf Club, Cornwall - Whilst awaiting my daughters Karate training session a mooch was had producing the butterflies Speckled Wood (*4); Red Admiral (*1) and Orange Tip (*2). Shining Cranes-Bill; Cuckooflower; Common Mouse Ear and Red Dead Nettle were in flower with Early Forget Me Not and Navelwort almost there.

In the evening a Fox was at the side of the car eyeing us up before wandering off minding his own business.

 
9th April 2011 - Saltash, Cornwall - A wander around town for breakfast produced Pineappleweed and Greater Celandine in flower as well as 2 Spot and Harlequin Ladybirds.
 

8th April 2011 - Prawle Point, Devon - A walk in stunning sunshine was had and plenty of good stuff was seen. Bird wise a list of 25 species was had made up of:- Wood Pigeon; Dunnock; Cirl Bunting; Pied Wagtail; Chaffinch; House Sparrow; Linnet; Jackdaw; Wheatear; Shelduck; Cormorant; Greenfinch; Collared Dove; Swallow; Chiffchaff; Stonechat; Blackbird; Buzzard; Robin; Herring Gull; Willow Warbler; Raven; Goldfinch; Oystercatcher and Blackcap. Obvious stars were the Cirl Buntings who showed down to feet and gave us much to appreciate.

Flowers noted in bloom were Greater Stitchwort; Ground Ivy; Herb Robert; Ramping Fumitory and Alexanders.

Insect wise we saw the butterflies Speckled Wood (*2); Orange Tip (*2); Holly Blue (*3) and Peacock (*2) as well as the beetles 7 Spot Ladybird; Green Tiger Beetle and the Oil Beetle (Meloe proscarabaeus). Mooching around the rock pools produced Sea Lettuce; Japweed; Edible Crab; Shore Crab; Velvet Swimming Crab; a large Blenny; Edible Sea Urchin; Cornish Sucker; Cushion Starfish (Asterina gibbosa) and the Sea Slug (Elysia viridis).

 
6th April 2011 - Edgeley, Stockport - The walk home produced several Tawny Mining Bees (Andrena fulva) and 1 2 Spotted Ladybird.
 
MARCH
 
31st March 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport - The last evening of the month and a single Diurnea fagella moth was on the kitchen window - an all time new for us taking our personal list of moths seen up to 578.
 

31st March 2011 - Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire - A better mooch around this quiet reserve with 40 birds seen and 3 others heard and counted on call. The pick of the crop were Sand Martin; Chiffchaff; Sparrowhawk; Bullfinch and a female Brambling.

Gorse Shieldbug (*4); 7-Spot Ladybird (*5) and Peacock (*2) were the only insects noted.

 

31st March 2011 - Marshside RSPB, Lancashire - A breezy day stopped any chance of a decent bird list with only 32 species seen the best of which were Sparrowhawk; a good flock of Black Tailed Godwit; abundant Avocets; Long Tailed Tit and a swirling crowd of Golden Plover.

Oxford Ragwort was seen in flower.

 
30th March 2011 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - American Winter Cress (Barbarea verna) was in flower as was Wood Forget Me Not which is probably a garden escape but then again...
 

28th March 2011 - Marbury CP, Cheshire - Heading to Marbury in thickish fog we wondered what the day would hold. The fog cleared, the sun shone and we came up with a list of 49 birds and a few other bits and bobs. The high of the birds were 2 male Sparrowhawks chasing a female, a Black Swan, a couple of Redshank and a feeding Stock Dove.

Red Tailed Bumble Bee; Ichneumon suspiciosus; 7 Spot Ladybird (*7); Zebra Spider and the butterflies Comma (*2); Peacock (*2) and a single Small Tortoiseshell were the pick of the bugs with Red Dead Nettle seen in flower for the first time this year.

 

27th March 2011 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Still 3 female Goosanders in residence with a pair of Grey Wagtails knocking about and at least 7 Chiffchaffs calling. Also seen were Red Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus lapidarius); numerous Pot Bellied Emerald Beetles (Gastrophysa viridula) on Dock leaves, the centipede (Lithobius forficatus); a parasitic wasp (Ichneumon suspiciosus) and 3 species of butterfly which were Peacock (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*3) and Comma (*1).

Plants in flower included Ribwort Plantain; Wood Anemone; Thale Cress; White Dead Nettle; Cowslip and just not quite Ramsons.

 
27th March 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport - The first Harlequin Ladybird of the year in the back garden - how many more will I see?
 

26th March 2011 - Chadkirk Chapel, Cheshire - The Western Yellow Centipede (Stigmatogaster subterranea) Black Millipede; Stone Centipede (Lithobius variegatus); Pill Millipede (Glomeris marginata) Leopard Slug; Garden Snail; Garlic Snail; Butterbur; Wood Anemone and Wood Sorrel were all noted on a brief potter. 2 Grey Wagtails were frequenting the stream also.

Identified later was the beetle Triplax aenea which was found in a small colony beneath the bark of a Beech tree. Cheers to Don Stenhouse the local Coleoptera recorder for ID.

 
26th March 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport - Green Shield Bug in the garden - wonderful critters these Hemipterans.
 

23rd March 2011 - Hazel Grove, Stockport - 2 Small Whites on the wing - yippee - the first butterflies of the year. Whilst walking home a Pea Weevil (Sitona lineatus) was seen on a zebra crossing WAIT box.

 
22nd March 2011 - Stockport, Cheshire - The first Orange Ladybird of the year was seen and Wavy Bittercress was noted in flower.
 

21st March 2011 - Stockport, Cheshire - Ivy Leaved Speedwell in flower and in the evening the Plume Moth Emmelina monodactyla was on the home front door.

In the evening I decided to do 2 hours moth trapping and caught 2 moths as a result, these were: - Hebrew Character and Common Quaker.

 

20th March 2011 - Roman Lakes, Stockport, Cheshire - Still feeling under the weather (which was garbage by the way) and with motivation at a low, myself and the missus had a wander around this tucked away little area. A Barnacle Goose was pottering around, a Great Spotted Woodpecker seen briefly as was a Grey Wagtail and a couple of Buzzards were heard calling amongst a list of 21 bird species.

Butterbur was seen in flower as was Lesser Celandine and Colts-Foot with an unopened flower of Wood Sorrel the first for the year.

 
19th March 2011 - Stockport, Cheshire - Colts-Foot seen for the first time in flower, Common Field Wood Rush also up and raring to go and Red Campion with two flowers fully opened for the last 3 days in the garden.
 

14th March 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - I put the moth trap out tonight for the first time - 2 hours it was out there and 1 moth was the result - a Common Quaker to be exact. Unlike many wildlife enthusiasts who would be down by this lowly result, due to nothing more than living in a non-moth friendly area, I appreciated the little chap, let him go and wished him well.

 

13th March 2011 - Marbury CP, Cheshire - A fair walk with a nice bunch of folk came up with a list of 34 birds the best of which were 2 Tawny Owls; Black Swan; Raven; Goldeneye; a nice flock of Curlew; 5 Pink Footed Geese; a drumming male Great Spotted Woodpecker and a feeding flock of Sand Martin over the main mere.

Lesser Celandine and Dogs Mercury was seen in flower with Garlic Snail, Shiny Woodlouse; Rough Woodlouse; Striped Woodlouse; Pygmy Woodlouse and Buff Tailed Bumble Bee added to the days tally.

 
6th March 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The first Buff Tailed Bumble Bee of the year was seen feeding on a garden Hebe.
 
6th March 2011 - Fletcher Moss, G. Manchester - A pair of Goosander swam alongside us and gave stunning views and 3 female Ring Necked Parakeets were a nice surprise. One of the Parakeets was seen excavating a hole in an old tree so who knows if nesting is a possibility.
 
5th March 2011 - Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire - A list of 38 species of bird was had whilst looking for fungi with Tree Sparrow; Bullfinch; Sparrowhawk; Oystercatcher; Treecreeper and Siskin the pick of the crop.
 
5th March 2011 - Cuerden Valley CP, Lancashire - A wander at a new site brought a few fungi and a few birds with the list of 16 avian species being:- Magpie; Carrion Crow; Wren; Mallard; Blue Tit; Buzzard; Wood Pigeon; Coot; Cormorant; Song Thrush; Canada Goose; Black Headed Gull; Common Gull; Goldfinch and Chaffinch.
 
FEBRUARY
 
27th February 2011 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - 3 female Goosanders were still present, a few Fieldfare were knocking about and the first Lesser Celandine in flower was seen.
 
25th February 2011 - Torkington Park, Stockport, Cheshire - A Dotted Border Moth was found on a work security light and is in fact an all time first for us.
 
24th February 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Common Field Speedwell in flower in ornamental pot.
 
24th February 2011 - Torkington Park, Stockport, Cheshire - The first 2 Spot Ladybird was seen crawling along a window at work.
 
14th February 2011 - Edgeley Precinct, Stockport, Cheshire - At least 50 Waxwings were seen within feet and I suspect there were a lot more knocking about as the tree I was viewing was slightly obscured. To get so close yet still have part of the tree block out was both delightful and frustrating.
 
12th February 2011 - Chadkirk Chapel, Cheshire - Numerous Dunnocks were singing away and a Sparrowhawk was seen briefly perched then weaving through the woodland.
 
12th February 2011 - Alexander Park, Stockport, Cheshire - A pair of Goosander were a nice surprise on the local ponds.
 
6th February 2011 - Moore NR, Cheshire - A mooch with a few friends with Buzzard and Raven the highs of the birding list. A stunning Violet Ground Beetle was seen below a log whilst looking for hidden fungi.
 
3rd February 2011 - Davenport, Stockport, Cheshire - The first Snowdrops are out in their usual place - spring is getting closer.
 
2nd February 2011 - Torkington Park, Stockport, Cheshire - A nice flock of Redwing were seen feeding on the ground whilst I had a lunch break and cleared my fuzzy head.
 
JANUARY
 

30th January 2011 - Styal CP, Cheshire - Still keeping the blood flowing and trying to attain some decent levels of Vitamin D a stroll here produced a few fungi and the sightings of Kingfisher; Raven; Great Spotted Woodpecker and Song Thrush as well as a few others.

The first 7 Spot Ladybird of the year was seen in a crevice of an old tree stump.

 
29th January 2011 - Fernilee/Errwood Reservoir, Derbyshire - A wander in inclement conditions again gave sighting of 17 species of bird, which were:- Treecreeper; Carrion Crow; Canada Goose; Rook; Magpie; Blackbird; Pheasant; Jackdaw; Black Headed Gull; Kestrel; Jay; Long Tailed Tot; Coal Tit; Grey Heron; Mallard; Red Grouse and Goosander (2*F/1*M). Two Dippers were seen on the way to Ashbourne.
 
23rd January 2011 - Morecambe Bay/Hest Bank, Lancashire - An interesting trip, due to the high tide, with close ups of many of the following 21 species:- Oystercatcher; Wigeon; Redshank; Black Headed Gull; Shelduck; Great Crested Grebe; Curlew; Eider (18*M/12*F); House Sparrow; Meadow Pipit; Great Black Backed Gull; Knot; Mallard; Bar Tailed Godwit; Jackdaw; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Herring Gull; Dunlin; Lapwing and Scaup (2*F).
 
23rd January 2011 - Eaves Wood, Lancashire - A few usual fungi with only 7 bird species seen as we stretched out our legs and had a good walk. The seven spotted were:- Raven; Marsh Tit; Blackbird; Nuthatch; Treecreeper; Blackbird and Coal Tit.
 
23rd January 2011 - Bottom's Wood, Woodwell, Lancashire - An hours visit produced little with birds seen only a paltry 13 species, which were:- Great Tit; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Bullfinch; Blackbird; Chaffinch; Blue Tit; Wren; Marsh Tit; Coal Tit; Nuthatch; Robin; Magpie and Dunnock.
 
23rd January 2011 - Leighton Moss/Jenny Brown's Point, Lancashire - Just over an hour was enough to convince us that this reserve, and local area, was too frozen and too bloody cold to hang around. A list of 30 bird species is poor but we weren't prepared to hang about for a few extra and not get anywhere else. The list was:- Peregrine Falcon (M); Moorhen; Blackbird; Blue Tit; Blackbird; Pheasant; Magpie; Pochard; Tufted Duck; Teal; Coot; Collared Dove; Greylag Goose; Grey Heron; Mute Swan; Mallard; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Wigeon; Great Tit; Carrion Crow; Chaffinch; Greenfinch; Mistle Thrush; Starling; Curlew; Bullfinch; Shelduck; Redshank; Robin and Coal Tit.
 

22nd January 2011 - Tatton Park, Cheshire - A trip primarily for fungi resulted in a bird list of 36 bird species, which were:- Magpie; Jackdaw; Blue Tit; Nuthatch; Gadwall; Goldeneye; Mistle Thrush; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Carrion Crow; Buzzard; Cormorant; Mallard; Coot; Tufted Duck; Black Headed Gull; Pochard; Grey Heron; Common Gull; Great Crested Grebe; Fieldfare; Redwing; Canada Goose; Mute Swan; Coal Tit; Great Tit; Jay; Wren; Wood Pigeon; Blackbird; Sparrowhawk; Song Thrush; Rook; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Wigeon; Goldcrest and Treecreeper. Also heard were Long Tailed Tit; Green Woodpecker and Goldfinch which would have made 39 species in total which isn't too bad for what seemed a quiet day.

Red Deer and Fallow Deer were out in good numbers and 1 Rabbit was seen sneaking away beneath an old log.

 
17th January 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The first moth of the year - a White Shouldered House Moth on the Kermit wall - nice! By the way Kermit The Frog is rhyming slang for Bog! See it's all educational!
 
16th January 2011 - Etherow CP, Cheshire - A wander in more rain with Mandarin Duck (*12); Goosander (*3) and a small flock of Tufted Duck dropping in the highlights. The usual oddities were in attendance, namely Chinese Domestic Goose and Egyptian Goose.
 

9th January 2011 - Moore NR, Cheshire - A cold morn and in truth not much about on the bird front with these 30 species the only ones seen:- Feral Pigeon; Carrion Crow; Great Tit; Magpie; Blackbird; Robin; Chaffinch; Reed Bunting; Blue Tit; Coal Tit; Nuthatch; Grey Heron; Redwing; Wood Pigeon; Jackdaw; Coot; Tufted Duck; Goldeneye; Moorhen; Gadwall; Long Tailed Tit; Cormorant; Mallard; Raven; Rook; Buzzard; Goldfinch; Black Headed Gull; Greenfinch and Stock Dove.

Common Gorse was seen in flower.

 
8th January 2011 - Chorlton WP, Greater Manchester - We had 2 spare hours so took it here. The birding list of 30 species was as follows with some good views of many species:- Great Tit; Blue Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Feral Pigeon; Jay; Robin; Dunnock; Chaffinch; Pochard; Goldeneye (displaying); Tufted Duck; Great Crested Grebe; Starling; Bullfinch; House Sparrow; Common Gull; Black Headed Gull; Moorhen; Canada Goose; Carrion Crow; Goosander; Mallard; Mute Swan; Wood Pigeon; Redwing; Coot; Magpie; Little Grebe; Grey Heron and Wren.
 
6th January 2011 - Stockport, Cheshire - Second walk home of the year and two mosses I am familiar with in the same spot as previous years - Grimmia pulvinata (Grey Cushion Moss) and Tortula muralis (Wall Screw Moss). Even I can recognise these two!
 
5th January 2011 - Stockport, Cheshire - First walk home from work of the year gave sightings of a nice flock of feeding Redwings at the side of the A6 London Road. Arriving home it was to be greeted by the first ever Goldfinches in the back garden - nice!
 
4th January 2011 - Croxteth Hall, Lancashire - After a wander around Liverpool World Museum a walk was needed as well as a place to eat our dinner. Whilst stretching our legs a pair of Bullfinches were noted. Always a delight to see.
 

3rd January 2011 - Fairhaven Lake RSPB, Lancashire - Literally a brief stop off for a break and a cup of coffee produced the lowly bird list of Black Headed Gull; Cormorant; Common Gull; Redshank; Shelduck; Carrion Crow; Linnet and Lesser Black Backed Gull. Even only a few species were seen 3 of these were new for the yearly list ha, ha!

Calling off at a nearby bookshop I know produced a nice book on Fungi for the crackin' price of £1.00 - result!

 

3rd January 2011 - Marton Mere, Lancashire - I always like a winter visit to this ever-improving site and after only a couple of hours a list of 46 bird species was compiled. These were:- Starling; House Sparrow; Black Headed Gull; Magpie; Collared Dove; Blue Tit; Blackbird; Fieldfare; Mallard; Redwing; Robin; Wood Pigeon; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Greenfinch; Great Tit; Wren; Carrion Crow; Shoveler; Moorhen; Long Eared Owl (*4); Pink Footed Goose; Herring Gull; Common Gull; Coot; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Teal; Tufted Duck; Wigeon; Pochard; Water Rail; Kestrel; Long Tailed Tit; Sparrowhawk; Dunnock; Reed Bunting; Chaffinch; Feral Pigeon; Pheasant; Tree Sparrow; Goldfinch; Cetti's Warbler; Whooper Swan (*3); Gadwall; Lapwing; Stock Dove and Buzzard.

The Long Eared Owls gave stunning views down to feet and the Cetti's Warbler gave a nice showing right outside the hide. The contrast between the birds warm brown plumage and the pale phragmites and ice added to the impression.

 
3rd January 2011 - Preston Docks, Lancashire - We try and twitch 6 birds a year and no more as it really isn't our thing but if the location suits for a good day out in the immediate vicinity then we shall have a go. In the last 18 month however we have still only managed to squeeze in two targeted outings but not to worry. Today we had a mooch for a long staying Iceland Gull and picked it up with no bother although it flew off into the distance before many birders came so we did feel a trifle lucky. Also seen were 5 Waxwings which were showing down to 10 feet as well as Mallard; Coot; Pied Wagtail; Feral Pigeon; Black Headed Gull; Blackbird; Goldfinch; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Herring Gull and the always stunning Common Gull.
 

2nd January 2011 - Westhoughton, Lancashire - A cold day on the mooch for something special resulted in the sighting of a solid flock of Yellowhammers, numerous Skylarks and Reed Buntings as well as the odd Chaffinch and a Kestrel.

 
1st January 2011 - Marbury CP, Cheshire - A cold miserable day but out we went and compiled a list of 39 birds. It wasn't a full on search but just a casual mooch around to get the cogs turning for another year. The list was as follows:- Great Tit; Blue Tit; Robin; Blackbird; Moorhen; Cormorant; Dunnock; Jay; Wood Pigeon; Magpie; Black Headed Gull; Gadwall; Grey Heron; Wigeon; Shoveler; Great Black Backed Gull; Mallard; Mute Swan; Coal Tit; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Nuthatch; Long Tailed Tit; Raven; Common Gull; Herring Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Lapwing; Carrion Crow; Redwing; Buzzard; Treecreeper; Pochard; Goldeneye; Coot; Tufted Duck; Goldfinch; Tawny Owl (*2); Chaffinch and Mistle Thrush. Note must be made at the lack of finches. Besides the flock of Goldies only 1 Chaffinch was seen - quite worrying to say the least.