FUNGALPUNK SIGHTINGS 2012
DECEMBER
 
26th December 2012 - Chorlton WP, G. Manchester - To avoid getting too fat and flatulent we went for a Boxing Day stroll and caught up with a few birdies. The area was quite busy has people not really interested in wildlife went through their traditions and procedures (bah) but some young un's enjoyed their new bikes, balls and scooters. The list of birds seen was 25 species:- Canada Goose; Black Headed Gull; Common Gull; Starling; Mallard; Magpie; Feral Pigeon; Tufted Duck; Coot; Gadwall; Cormorant; Grey Heron; Mute Swan; Goosander; Moorhen; Pochard; Carrion Crow; Redwing; Wood Pigeon; Goldfinch; Blue Tit; Great Tit; House Sparrow; Great Spotted Woodpecker and Blackbird.
 
16th December 2012 - Moore NR, Cheshire - A visit to do some birding however when we arrived the warden Brian was running a winter tree ID walk so we thought we would tag along for a short while before veering off in search of feathered friends. Interesting stuf with Brain rattling off facts and identification tips as regards the local trees. English Elm; Bird Cherry; Hazel; Alder Buckthorn; Field Maple; Pear; Blackthorn; Crack Willow; Grey Willow; Goat Willow; Spindle and Whitebeam were all discussed before we set about seeing a bird birds. The list ended up at 43 species which were:- Carrion Crow; Tufted Duck; Robin; Great Tit; Blackbird; Magpie; Long Tailed Tit; Coal Tit; Siskin; Goldfinch; Chaffinch; Jackdaw; Wigeon; Coot; Mallard; Teal; Buzzard; Willow Tit; Nuthatch; Blue Tit; Reed Bunting; Redwing; Jay; Gadwall; Little Grebe; Pochard; Grey Heron; Shoveler; Common Gull; Moorhen; Lesser Redpoll; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Starling; Kestrel; Wood Pigeon; Wren; Bullfinch; Cormorant; Black Headed Gull; Mistle Thrush; Feral Pigeon; Mute Swan and Song Thrush. A Green Woodpecker was heard calling.
 
15th December 2012 - Pennington Flash, Lancashire - A walk in the rain and a bit of pre-Christmas birding away from all the commercial mania. 41 bird noted, these being:- Bullfinch; Magpie; Greenfinch; Chaffinch; Moorhen; Robin; Coal Tit; Blue Tit; Willow Tit; Nuthatch; Great Tit; Dunnock; Jay; Reed Bunting; Brambling (1*F); Mallard; Teal; Coot; Shoveler; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Wood Pigeon; Long Tailed Tit; Grey Heron; Goldfinch; Goldcrest; Kestrel; Tufted Duck; Pochard; Cormorant; Common Gull; Black Headed Gull; Stock Dove; Lapwing; Mute Swan; Goosander (4*M); Great Crested Grebe; Pied Wagtail; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Kingfisher; Goldeneye and Canada Goose.
 
8th December 2012 - Chorlton Ees, G. Manchester - A wander to clear heads after a late night punking in Bradford - birdlife was at a low (this is getting worrying - feed your birds folks) and nothing outrageous was around. Hogweed, Wood Avens and White Dead Nettle was seen in flower.
 
2nd December 2012 - Marbury CP, Cheshire - A good wander in the cold yet sunny day with 38 birds seen, these were:- Blackbird; Robin; Nuthatch; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Coal Tit; Mallard; Moorhen; Pochard; Black Headed Gull; Great Crested Grebe; Cormorant; Magpie; Wood Pigeon; Canada Goose; Greylag Goose; Tufted Duck; Dunnock; Coot; Grey Heron; Chaffinch; Jackdaw; Long Tailed Tit; Jay; Kestrel; Teal; Fieldfare; Redwing; Shoveler; Starling; Mute Swan; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Herring Gull; Common Gull; Gadwall; Wren and Goldfinch.
 
1st December 2012 - River Mersey/Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - A 3 mile plus walk without a pause and despite the blue sky we ended up quite warm and in need of a cool down. 2 Goosanders were noted on the river, several flocks of Bottlejacks (Long Tailed Tits) in the tree tops, a Jay disappearing into thick woodland as well as Hogweed and Shepherds Purse in flower and the gall Aceria fraxinivorus.
 
NOVEMBER
 
23rd November 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A lone male Goosander on the river and nothing more.
 
17th November 2012 - Pennington Flash, Lancashire - After an un-prepared trip to hospital (more health bother - this time blurred vision) the day was cut short and with only the afternoon to go out we could hardly go too far. A swift wander in the cold of Pennington and a list of 35 birds was had. Stock Dove; Gadwall; Little Grebe; Teal and Sparrowhawk were particular favourites along with Willow Tit; Redwing and Bullfinch but nothing outrageous was noted. Pineappleweed was in flower as well as Hedge Mustard.
 
12th November 2012 - Alexander Park, Stockport, Cheshire - A male Goosander allowed close views whilst frequenting the reservoirs.
 
4th November 2012 - Chorlton WP, Greater Manchester - A walk in the sunshine and not much to report. A lone Pochard, some fleeting Redwing and several Tufted Ducks with very little else on the bird front. Hogweed and Common Ragwort remained in flower.
 
OCTOBER
 
30th October 2012 - Tatton Park, Cheshire - A Green Woodpecker was the main highlight of the day, other than that it was very quiet indeed.
 

21st October 2012 - Moore NR, Cheshire - A Brimstone butterfly was on the wing as well as several Common Darters and you can't blame em' in this exceptional sunshine. The gall Rondaniola bursaria was seen on Ground Ivy leaves. Also noted was the mirid bug Pantilius tunicatus, found on the lower leaves of an Alder tree and a lone Common field Grasshopper.

2 Smooth Newts were found beneath a Silver Birch log.

 
20th October 2012 - Harthill, Cheshire - Whilst leading a fungal forage a Small Tortoiseshell was seen and 46 Nettle Tap moths. A few flowers were hanging on such as Chickweed; Self-Heal; Red Campion; Knot-Grass; Redshank; Herb Robert; Nipplewort and Foxglove.
 
18th October 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking home and a leaf with distorted growth was re-checked, this time with an identification to hand - the leaf was on an Alder tree and was distorted and suffering from gigantism thus Taphrina tosquinetii is the species.
 
14th October 2012 - Nunsmere Hall, Cheshire - Another Fungal Foray and a Small Copper, Southern Hawker and numerous Common Darters for company - sweet!
 
10th October 2012 - Weaver Park, Cheshire - Prior to a fungal mooch a moth trap was check - 2 species - a Sallow and a Green Brindled Crescent - better than nowt!
 
7th October 2012 - Tatton Park, Cheshire - A misty morn, a superb sunny afternoon - loads of fungi and a Comma and Red Admiral plus a Southern Hawker and a Dor Beetle plus loads of folk walking with no muck on them - how do they do it? The Germander Speedwell (Jaapiella veronicae) was frequent in parts.
 
6th October 2012 - Marshall Arms NR, Cheshire - Leading a fungal foray and a Comma and Red Admiral flitted around as well as a brace of Brown Hawkers. A white butterfly and smaller Hawker remained nameless - bah!
 
2nd October 2012 - Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire - Whilst tootling for fungi a Comma was flushed and a Common Darter noted.
 
SEPTEMBER
 
28th September 2012 - Etherow CP, Cheshire - Whilst mooching for fungi a new gall was seen on Germander Speedwell, namely Jaapiella veronicae. A darn pretty thing indeed.
 
22nd September 2012 - Arley Hall, Cheshire - A couple of fungi walks today but 2 Speckled Wood and single Migrant and Southern Hawkers added extra interest.
 

16th September 2012 - Pennington Flash, Lancashire - A couple of hours birding and not much seen although a Nuthatch, several Stock Dove, a group of Common Snipe and a close-in Greenshank were nice.

2 Common Green Shieldbugs were noted on Bramble.

 
15th September 2012 - Delamere Forest, Cheshire - A fungal foray but a few other bits and pieces seen such as a Common Toad and a Smooth Newt, 3 Small Tortoiseshells, 1 Speckled Wood, a single Nettle Tap Moth and a lone Canary Shoulder Thorn. Common Darters were frequent and a Southern Hawker and Black Darter were nice extras.
 
12th September 2012 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Small Balsam (Impatiens parviflora) is a plant I haven't seen for years (9 in fact) so it was nice to catch up with it again.
 
10th September 2012 - Little Budworth Country Park, Cheshire - A lone Speckled Wood and Silver Y moth, a Violet Ground Beetle, the hoverfly Rhinga campestris, a Common Darter, Common Lizard and Grass Snake and done. Again fungi were at a minimum.
 
10th September 2012 - Harthill/Raw Head, Cheshire - A reccie before a shroom walk so as to check out the land. It's looking good although the fungi today were lowly. Like a dustbowl it was, like a bloody dustbowl. Along the way we spotted the butterflies:- Speckled Wood (*5); Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Red Admiral (*1) and Small Copper (*1). The moths Nettle Tap (*81) and Silver Y (*1) were also noted. A Migrant Hawker and a Wood Mouse were nice extras.
 
9th September 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A busy day indeed and when having time to stop 2 hoverflies were noted in the garden:- Eristalis pertinax and Eristalis arbustorum.
 
5th September 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - 3 moths attracted to the bog window and into the bathroom they came:- Willow Beauty (*1); Garden Carpet (*1) and Light Brown Apple Moth (*2).
 
4th September 2012 - Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire - A perched Migrant Hawker, numerous Common Darters, 3 Speckled Wood Butterflies and a brace of Common Green Shieldbugs (3rd/4th instars) and numerous Helophilus Hoverflies came out and enjoyed the late summer sun.
 
3rd September 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A Peacock Butterfly fed on a late flowering Buddleia.
 
2nd September 2012 - Lyme Park, Cheshire - On the prowl for fungi with a Kestrel and a Buzzard seen, Sneezewort in flower and a ragged Gatekeeper butterfly feeding on Creeping Thistle. We did purchase a bottle of Rose-Hip Wine so the day wasn't a total disaster.
 
1st September 2012 - Etherow CP, Stockport, Cheshire - Forest Shieldbug; Brown Hawker and the butterflies Small Copper (*2) and Peacock (*1) were enjoyed whilst on the first fungal foray of the year.
 
AUGUST
 
31st August 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A female Goosander was back on river - did it ever leave or is it an extremely early returning bird - the weather systems are playing havoc!
 
28th August 2012 - Portland Bill, Dorset - A Hummingbird Hawkmoth, a brace of Small Heath butterflies, a Wryneck and a few Rock Pipits were a great way to end our visit to Portland - here's to the next one.
 
27th August 2012 - Portland Bill, Dorset - The moths Palpita vitrealis and Dark Spinach were appreciated and the birds Great Skua (*2); Gannet and Balearic Shearwater (*5) were seen whilst doing a bit of sea-watching.
 
27th August 2012 - Badbury Rings, Dorset - A breezy day with a smattering of rain allowed us a view of single butterfly species:- Red Admiral; Gatekeeper; Meadow Brown and Small Heath.  A Silver Y moth was brief, a Green Woodpecker equally transient, a Forest Bug seemingly fed up in the breeze, a couple of Araneus quadratus spiders and the Hoverfly Heliophilus trivittatus notable.
 
Galls seen were Dasineura crategi; Dasineura rosae and Diplolepis spinosissima.
 
27th August 2012 - Avon Tyrell, New Forest, Hampshire - A lone Speckled Wood was on the wing.
 
27th August 2012 - Lucy Hill, New Forest, Hampshire - Cow Wheat in flower, a Speckled Bush Cricket, the Bracken Gall (Dasineura filicina) and the butterflies Speckled Wood (*2); Meadow Brown (*1) and Gatekeeper (*1) were all that was noted whilst on the prowl for fungi.
 
26th August 2012 - Lyme Regis, Dorset - A few butterflies today, as the sun shone yet again:- Small White (*1); Gatekeeper (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*1) and Red Admiral (*3).  Silver Y Moths totalled 9, Southern Hawkers seen was 3 and a couple of Common Lizards were nice.  Meadow Grasshopper; Common Field Grasshopper; Dark Bush Cricket; Speckled Bush Cricket; the hoverflies Volucella zonaria; Rhingia campestris and Heliophilus trivittatus, the Scorpion Fly (Panorpa communis), the Harvestman Spider (Dicranopalpus ramosus) and the Crab Spider (Misumena vatia) all made for an interesting stroll.  A large Frog and Tutsan in flower completed the day’s notes.
 
26th August 2012 - Portland Bill, Dorset - A Cosmopolitan Moth awaited us on the Obs table and then we went off on our travels, returned and had a wander with our good friend Ken Dolbear.  22 Spot Ladybird (13 adults, 4 larvae) and Kidney Spot Ladybird (5 Adult, 3 larvae, 10 pupae) were lovely to see, the hoverfly (Myathropa florea); the Mirid bug (Heterotoma planicornis) and the Nettle Ground Bug (Heterogaster urticae) were good spots and the butterflies Red Admiral (*1); Speckled Wood (*1) and Wall (*1) were good extras.
 
25th August 2012 - Isle of Portland, Dorset - Dabbling in the quarries and 4 Bloody Nosed Beetles were good, numerous Wayfaring Trees were in fruit and flower; a few Vine Weevils were noted and a Common Green Shieldbug was seen but the find of the day was a colony of Ant Woodlice (Platyarthrus hoffmannseggi) a bugger I have been looking for for ages.  Nice indeed.  Butterflies noted were:- Painted Lady (*1); Grayling (*1); Meadow Brown (*1); Speckled Wood (*2); Chalk-Hill Blue (*3); Common Blue (*5) and Wall Brown (*1).  A Half dozen 6 Spot Burnets were also feeding away.
 
24th August 2012 - Wilverley Woods, New Forest, Hampshire - A late walk after dropping our daughter at the Avon Tyrell Activity Centre for her Karate Black Belt grading and nipping into a nearby Art Gallery and the village of Burley.  The Beetle (Silpha atrata) was found and an escaped Cockatiel flew like a good un' around the open common.
 

24th August 2012 - Portland Bill, Dorset - A new moth for us I think - Bactra lancealana - nice.

 

23rd August 2012 - Portland Bill, Dorset - Great Green Bush Cricket (*2); a Bloxworth Snout moth; 2 Slow Worms and the gall Trioza centranthi was seen on Red Valerian.

 

23rd August 2012 - Chesil Beach, Dorset - A brief chill out mooch with Snakelocks Anemone found and the birds Cormorant; Dunlin; Mediterranean Gull; Ringed Plover and Knot all frequented the sands.  Soapwort was in flower and checked for a particular rust - no joy! 

 

23rd August 2012 - Kingswood NT, Dorset - A stop for an ice cream and a peruse of the surroundings:- A Green Woodpecker; Buzzard; several Mistle Thrushes; a Pheasant and a fleeing Roe Deer all added to the quintessential British scene - so one must ask why people feel the need to drop litter in the small roadside car park and blemish the beauty.  Absolute shits these people are and the sooner they drop dead the better the natural world will be - harsh - well what use are they I ask?

 

23rd August 2012 - Studland Heath, Dorset - A walk around looking for a beetle but alas we came up with several cocks, a few nuts and a brace of boobies as this naturist area did little to make me feel welcome due to me being fully clothed and donning a pair of binoculars.  I chatted with one nude sprout (who kindly put on his shorts), an enthusiastic chap super keen on the joys of baring all - hey each to their own and no problems from this end but I did feel like a unwelcome voyeur hell-bent on building a good quality genital list. 
 
Bits and bobs picked up were:- Speckled Wood (*3); Red Admiral (*1); Ruddy and Common Darters; Migrant Hawker; the massive spider Araneus angulatus; a brace of Slow Worms and the flower Round Headed Rampion.

 

23rd August 2012 - Purbeck area; Dorset - A favourite haunt was chosen and many a delight was had.  The dragonflies came close and the list was:- Common Darter (*2); Keeled Skimmer (*4); Small Red Damselfly (*2); Large Red Damselfly (*1); Emerald Damselfly (*2); Emperor Dragonfly (*2) and Black Darter (*8).  A Water Scorpion was seen, a Mottled Grasshopper observed, Bog Bush Cricket; Large Marsh Grasshopper (*6) and Common Field Grasshopper were expected and a brace of  Horse Flies (Chrysops vidualis) invaded the confines of the car.
 
A Raven passed overhead whilst Dwarf Gorse; Lesser Bladderwort and Autumn Ladies Tresses bloomed with the butterflies Red Admiral (*2); Gatekeeper (*12); Meadow Brown (*5); Common Blue (*3); Grayling (*2); Small Copper (*1); Speckled Wood (*1) and Small Tortoiseshell (*5) brightened the day.

 

22nd August 2012 - Portland Bill, Dorset - A day on the island walking from the Bill to Easton, up to an Art Gallery and back along the western side with a chance to do an annual flower list, here goes:- Black Medick; Rock Samphire; Golden Samphire; Field Scabious; Bristly Ox Tongue; Pale Flax; Agrimony; Dwarf Thistle; White Clover; Common Toadflax; Pellitory of the Wall; Lesser Centaury; Hemp Agrimony; Carline Thistle; Eyebright sp; Hop Trefoil; Field Bindweed; Rock Sea Spurrey; Portland Sea Lavender; Bucks-Horn Plantain; Creeping Thistle; Red Clover; Scarlet Pimpernel; Self-Heal; Whistling Jack; Spear Thistle; Sea Beet; Woody Nightshade; Thrift; Blue Fleabane; Red Valerian; Teasel; Yellow-Wort; Viper's Bugloss; Ploughman's Spikenard; Wormwood; Hoary Mullein; Common Nettle; Tall Melilot; Red Bartsia; Common Ragwort; Ribwort Plantain; Lesser Trefoil; Wild Clary; Meadow Vetchling; Tufted Vetch; Small Scabious; Tree mallow; Portland Spurge; Pineappleweed; Greater Plantain; Strawberry Clover; Common Milkwort; Ladies Bedstraw; Autumn Gentian; Wild Thyme; Hedge Bedstraw; Herb Robert; Common Field Speedwell; Large Bindweed; Groundsel; Yarrow; Dwarf Mallow; Dove-s-Foot Cranes-Bill; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Shepherd's Purse; Daisy; Ivy Leaved Toadflax; Weld; Traveller's Joy; Knotted Pearlwort; Kidney Vetch; Wood Sage; Fennel; Mugwort; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Wild Carrot and Restharrow were all in flower and added to a great colourful walk with our choice friends Simon and Debbie.
 
As per usual I counted the butterflies along the way, totals were:- Common Blue (*21); Painted Lady (*2); Gatekeeper (*2); Meadow Brown (*2); Small Copper (*1); Wall Brown (*1); Holly Blue (*1); Small White (*1); Chalk-Hill Blue (*22); Red Admiral (*9); Small Tortoiseshell (*4) and Large White (*4).  Moths seen were 6 Spot Burnet (*3) and Silver Y (*1).
 
Other delights noted on the day were:- Red Tailed Bumblebee (with friend in a copulating position); Common Field Grasshopper; Blue Rayed Limpets; Garden Snail; Wall Lizard (*3); Grey Seal and the Shore Bristle-Tail (Petrobius maritimus).
 
Birds picked up were:- Goldfinch; Rock Pipit; Pied Wagtail; Great Black Backed Gull; Herring Gull; Oystercatcher; Wood Pigeon; Swallow; Raven; Kestrel; Gannet; Fulmar; Turnstone and Cormorant. 
 
A new gall on Salad Burnet was Aceria sanguisorbae - they all count.

 

21st August 2012 - Higher Hyde Heath, Dorset - A favourite place of ours with nooks and crannies to explore.  Today's list was made up of the butterflies:- Large White (*1); Brimstone (*4); Red Admiral (*6); Meadow Brown (*3); Peacock (*3); Small Tortoiseshell (*2); Painted Lady (*1); Gatekeeper (*1) and Speckled Wood (*4).  Only one moth which was the expected Silver Y (*3);   Odonata was well represented with Common Darter (*1); Ruddy Darter (*3); Keeled Skimmer (*4); Small Red Damselfly (*2); Large Red Damselfly (*1); Black Darter (*10) and Emerald Damselfly (*1) being very conservative counts.  A Bog Bush Cricket was prepared for a photo but alas the camera battery ran out and I had forgot the replacement - ha, ha- puddin' or what?
 
Blue Fleabane was in flower, 10 Slow Worms were had as well as 3 Grass Snakes and the gall (Dipoloepis rosae) was observed.

 

21st August 2012 - Portland Bill, Dorset - Oak Bush Cricket was a nice turn up in the obs trap although we did ponder Southern Oak Bush Cricket as nymphs are almost identical.   The parallel veining in the short wings though pointed towards the commoner species - hey ho.

 

21st August 2012 - Ringstead Bay, Dorset - A walk around for 5 hours was a surprise seeing we only called in for a quick nosy - what a nice place.  Butterflies seen were:- Speckled Wood (*4); Meadow Brown (*5); Wall (*9); Marbled White (*4); Large White (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*17); Red Admiral (*2) and Gatekeeper (*2).  Moths on the wing were:- Silver Y (*4); Straw Belle (*1) and the Nettle Tap Moth (*1).
 
A Sparrowhawk; Peregrine Falcon; Kestrel and Green Woodpecker were good birds to note and several Tawny Cockroaches frequented flower heads as well as 22 Rose Chafers on Creeping Thistle heads. A Great Green Bush Cricket and Dark Bush Crickets are always a pleasure and the galls Kiefferia pericarpiicola; Trioza urticae; Adaina microdactyla; Dasineura trifolii and Dasineura urticae were pondered over.
 
The Hoverfly (Rhingia campestris) was frequent, the beetle (Endomychus coccineus), the Snail-Killing Fly (Coremacera marginata) and the Scorpion Fly (Panorpa germanica) were pleasurable extras.
 
Ploughman's Spikenard; Black Horehound and Pale Flax were in bloom.

 

20th August 2012 - Portland, Dorset - A wander and a taste of disgust - QUESTION - if people are clued in enough to go out looking under logs and stones why do they not put them back into their original position - ANSWER - thick, disregarding bastards!  It is always nice to peek into the hidden homes of the obscure but please remember to always leave things as you found them and not fall into the aforementioned category where the mind-numbingly ignorant are listed.  Things seen today - Slow Worms (*15); butterflies noted:- Wall (*7); Meadow Brown (*6); Chalk-Hill Blue (*2); Common Blue (*2); Painted Lady (*1) and Red Admiral (*2).  Sainfoin; Wormwood and  Field Bindweed were in good flower and the Carrot Gall (Kiefferia pericarpiicola) was a sweet bonus.
 
A Lesser Cockroach and 2 Convolvulus Hawk-Moths were great to see.

 

20th August 2012 – Eype Cliffs, Dorset - Not much to report only a Buzzard and Peregrine Falcon on the wing, a Peacock Butterfly flitting past and a Beadlet and Strawberry Anemone observed.  The weather sizzled and the sweat ran - phew - not a bad place too.

 

20th August 2012 - Powerstock Common, Dorset - Whilst on the mooch for fungi with Michael Jordan I made sure I noted a few extras.  Butterflies seen were:- Speckled Wood (*4); Meadow Brown (*10); Red Admiral (*1); Gatekeeper (*7); Silver Washed Fritillary (*5); Green Veined White (*1) and Peacock (*4).  Grey Bush Cricket; Speckled Bush Cricket and the Tachnid Tachina Fera were seen as well as a Southern Hawker, a nice specimen of Nodding Thistle and the gall Taphrina tosquinetti.

 

19th August 2012 - Fontmell Down, Dorset - Several flutterby's on the wing in stonkingly hot conditions:- Meadow Brown (*6); Silver Spotted Skipper (*4); Common Blue (*2); Small Heath (*2); Chalkhill Blue (*2); Gatekeeper (*1) and Brimstone (*1).  A Chalk Carpet Moth was enjoyed.

 
19th August 2012 - Alners Gorse, Dorset - We like this reserve and with glorious weather we set off and came up with the following butterflies:- Holly Blue (*1); Gatekeeper (*22); Brimstone (*6); Speckled Wood (*8); Small Skipper (*3); Ringlet (*4); Peacock (*1); Meadow Brown (*12); Silver Washed Fritillary (*2); Brown Hairstreak (*2); White Admiral (*1) and Purple Hairstreak (*1).
 
3 Bullfinches frequented the area around the main entrance, only 1 Silver Y moth was seen and Sneezewort was noted in flower for the first time this year.
 
19th August 2012 - Puddletown Wood, Dorset - A warm day with a dazzle in the sky.  Critters seen were the odonata - Migrant Hawker (*18); Common Darter (*1); Southern Hawker (*1), the butterflies Meadow Brown (*2); Brimstone (*4); Gatekeeper (*6); Small Tortoiseshell (*2); Grayling (*2); Small Copper (*1), the moth Silver Y (*1) and the various beasties Dark Bush Cricket; Speckled Bush Cricket; Common Green Grasshopper; Common Green Shieldbug and Dock Shieldbug (Coreus marginatus).
 
A couple of extras were Common Lizard and the Thistle Gall (Urophora cardui)
 
18th August 2012 - Portland Bill, Dorset - Arriving on our holidays, unpacking and a cup of tea and a look through the Obs trap resulted in the following finds:- Waved Umber; Latticed Heath; Ruby Tiger; Tawny Shears; Shuttle Shaped Dart; Straw Underwing; Light Brown Apple Moth; Clay; Dark/Grey Dagger; Small Fan Footed Wave; Silver Y; Dark Arches; Brown Tail; Bright Line Brown Eye; Brown Line Bright Eye; Bee Moth; Large Yellow Underwing; Monopsis imella; Burnished Brass; Buff Footman; Brimstone; Spectacle; Blastobasis lignea; Oak Eggar; Knot-Grass; Cydia amplana; Acleris variegana; Carcina quercana; White Shouldered House Moth; Nettle Tap Moth; Brown House Moth; Garden Tiger; Cydia splendana; Common Footman; Magpie; Square Spot Rustic; Setaceous Hebrew Character; Lime Speck Pug; Flame Shoulder; Angle Shades; Chinese Character; Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing; Diamond Back Moth; Common Swift; Hypatima rhomboidella; Single Dotted Wave and Eupoecilia ambiguella.
 
Butterflies on the wing in the local vicinity were:- Speckled Wood (*1); Large White (*1); Wall (*5); Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Common Blue (*7); Meadow Brown (*5) and Gatekeeper (*1).
 
Bugs noted were:- Tachina grossa; Myathropa florea; Toadflax Weevil; Canthophorus impressus (*2); Common Field Grasshopper; Common Green Grasshopper; Meadow Grasshopper; Grey Bush Cricket; Dark Bush Cricket; Great Green Bush Cricket; Speckled Bush Cricket; Long Winged Conehead; Tawny Cockroach; Wasp Spider (Argiope bruennichi); Neoscona adianta; Ophonus ardosiacus and a patrolling Southern Hawker.
 
Slow-worms seen was a lowly 7.
 
Flowers in bloom were noted were:- Common Toadflax; Pyramidal Orchid; Squinancywort; Yellow-Wort; Yellow Rattle; Hoary Plantain; Blue Fleabane; Bastard Toadflax; Dwarf Thistle; Portland Sea Lavender; Common Fleabane; Rock Samphire and Golden Samphire.
 
16th August 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A Common Blue Butterfly was seen on the way home - it has been a tough year for these blighters. A Speckled Wood was also noted.
 
14th August 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A Holly Blue in the garden - it has been a while but good to see one resisting the poor summer weather.
 

11th August 2012 - Warton Crag, Cumbria - A walk up and around the crag was thoroughly enjoyed and despite looking a challenge is in fact a mere cock stride. We decided a few flowers could be looked at along the way and here is what we came up with:- Herb Robert; Lords and Ladies (in fruit); Wood Avens; Curled Dock; Enchanter's Nightshade; Common Knapweed; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Common Ragwort; Agrimony; Red Clover; Restharrow; Spear Thistle; Common Nettle; Marsh Thistle; Eyebright sp; Musk Mallow; Common Rock Rose; Common Mouse Ear; Germander Speedwell; White Clover; Self-Heal; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Black Medick; Daisy; Lesser Centaury; Harebell; Crosswort; Dove's-Foot Cranes-Bill; Ladies Bedstraw; Hogweed; Wall Speedwell; Creeping Buttercup; Field Forget Me Not; Ribwort Plantain; Wild Thyme; Marjoram; Ox-Eye Daisy; Red Valerian; Tormentil; Hop Trefoil; Wood Sage; Greater Plantain; Field Scabious; Goldenrod; Tufted Vetch; Meadow Vetchling; Carline Thistle; Small Scabious; Yarrow; Ladies Mantle sp; Broad Leaved Dock; Perforate St John's Wort; Knotted Pearlwort; Salad Burnet and Upright Hedge Parsley.

A few butterflies were observed whilst mooching:- Speckled Wood (*6); Meadow Brown (*9); Common Blue (*8); Small Skipper (*1); Small Heath (*1) and Large White (*1). 2 moths seen were 6 Spot Burnet (*1) and Shaded Broad Bar (*1).

 
11th August 2012 - Gait Barrows, Cumbria - A quick call in to a certain corner were High Brown Fritillaries have been seen breeding. No such luck today - a little late in the year methinks. A Raven passed by overhead, a Brown Hawker whizzed around, and 2 butterflies were noted, these were Peacock (*1) and Small White (*1).
 

11th August 2012 - Arnside Knott, Cumbria - Lovely weather and a nice pleasant stroll although it was noted that general insect numbers were drastically down. It does make one wonder as to how long the recovery from the recent rains will be. Butterflies seen today were:- Meadow Brown (*15); Gatekeeper (*13); Small White (*1); Dark Green Fritillary (*4); Scotch Argus (*107); Purple Hairstreak (*1); Grayling (*5) and Speckled Wood (*1). The only moth seen was a lone 6-Spot Burnet.

A Southern Hawker patrolled an open glade.

A few flowers observed were Carline Thistle, Harebell, Betony, Ploughman's Spikenard and Tormentil amongst others. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen as well as a wonderful Spotted Flycatcher who gave some nice close up shots.

3 galls were noted these being Diplolepis rosae; Taxomyia taxi and Hartigiola annulipes.

 

9th August 2012 - Fletcher Moss, G. Manchester - A nice tea-time stroll and a few lepidopteran delights noted, which were:- Green Veined White (*2); Speckled Wood (*1); Meadow Brown (*2); Small Tortoiseshell (*2); Common Carpet (*1) and the Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner (*10).

A Southern Hawker was also on the wing.

 

8th August 2012 - Tatton Park, Cheshire - A lovely day in the scorching sun with a nice stroll had with the Young Carers Group. Lovely bunch indeed and a few butterflies on the wing to ponder over. These were:- Comma (*1); Large White (*2); Small Skipper (*1); Small Copper (*1); Speckled Wood (*1); Green Veined White (*2); Large Skipper (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*2); Gatekeeper (*10); Small White (*2); Peacock (*3) and Meadow Brown (*7).

Loads of Common Blue Damselflies were seen, at least 7 Brown Hawkers and a Violet Ground Beetle; Devil's Coach Horse; Antler Moth (*2) and Common Green Grasshopper were enjoyed.

 

4th August 2012 - Ainsdale Sandhills, Lancashire - An afternoon walk and after getting a parking fine in Southport by a pathetic inbred parking attendant it was with cooling tempers we hit this fine reserve. Having slated the jobsworth I must admit that if he wasn't so fastidious people would just take the piss so I guess we are once again victims of human idiocy - hey ho - what's new - darn bastards! Butterflies on the wing in the glorious sun were:- Common Blue (*10); Gatekeeper (*17); Meadow Brown (*12); Grayling (*10); Green Veined White (*1) and Large White (*1). Moths on the wing were:- Shaded Broad Bar (*2) and 6 Spot Burnet (*37).

Flowers in bloom that were new for the day were:- Grass of Parnassus; Round Leaved Wintergreen; Narrow Leaved Everlasting Pea; Sea Rocket; Blue Fleabane; Carline Thistle; Self-Heal; Rosebay Willowherb; Yellow-Wort; Bittersweet; Purple Loosestrife and Field Gentian.

Other things of note were the impressive flock of Common and Sandwich Terns, a few Dunlin, 2 strawberry red Linnets, a lone Asparagus Beetle, the Tachnid fly Tachina fera, the gall Aulacidea hieracii on a Hawkweed sp. and the general ambience of this fine coastline - great stuff!

 

4th August 2012 - Southport Marina, Lancashire - Tiredness, hormones and a fluttery heart made the start of the day a tetchy one for us three wanderers (it happens with the closest of families tha' knows) but we shook off the blues and had a good mooch around the lake. Butterflies were represented by Gatekeeper (*5); Meadow Brown (*48); Common Blue (*26); Small Copper (*2) and Small White (*5). A Silver Y Moth was also noted.

Flowers were abundant and included:- Bird's-Foot Trefoil; White Clover; Hare's-Foot Clover; Common Mouse-Ear; Eyebright sp; Ribwort Plantain; Creeping Thistle; Large Flowered Evening Primrose; Greater Mullein; Curled Dock; Yellow Rattle; Common Poppy, Common Nettle; White Dead Nettle; Goosegrass; Restharrow; Red Clover; Kidney Vetch; Common Ragwort; Lesser Trefoil; Lucerne; Tansy; Yarrow; Sea Holly; Common Stork's-Bill; Daisy; Spear Thistle; Viper's Bugloss; Sea Beet; Portland Spurge; Prickly Sow Thistle; Canadian Fleabane; Black Medick; Fennel; Common Knapweed; Scentless Mayweed; Mugwort; Weld; Red Dead Nettle; Tamarisk; Large Bindweed; Dove's-Foot Cranes-Bill; Greater Willowherb and Wild Radish.

 
3rd August 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Once more wandering home from work and Green Veined White (*1); Meadow Brown (*1) and Gatekeeper (*2) were the only butterflies on the wing.
 
2nd August 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Wandering to and from work and a brace of Sparrowhawks were squabbling and Traveller's Joy was noted in flower.
 
1st August 2012 - Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire - Not much to report other than a few fungi. Gatekeeper (*2) and Green Veined White (*1) were the only butterflies seen and Six Spot Burnet (*1) and sheltering Large Yellow Underwing (*1) were the only moths noted.
 
JULY
 
30th July 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Out for a jog and on the way back an Old Lady Moth was rescued from the road side - silly tinker it be!
 

29th July 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A walk with the missus to clear the head came up with the butterflies:- Gatekeeper (*3); Green Veined White (*1); Comma (*1) and Meadow Brown (*4).

A male Bullfinch hung around at the side of the river and single Emerald Damselfly and Banded Demoiselle were seen.

The gall Hartigiola annulipes was noted on Beech leaves.

 
25th July 2012 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Approximately 30 Horse Chestnut Leaf Miners (Cameraria ohridella) on 2 trees but there were oodles more that couldn't be counted as I was on my way to work.
 
26th July 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - More lepidoptera on the wing whilst walking home, these being:- Meadow Brown (*2); Gatekeeper (*4); Small White (*1) and 6-Spot Burnet Moth (*1). It all helps to keep one sane!
 
25th July 2012 - Heaton Norris, Stockport, Cheshire - A Holly Blue butterfly fled across the entrance to the motorway on its way to greener lands.
 
24th July 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A Brown Hawker offered brief company on the wander home.
 
23rd July 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A potter through my brothers moth trap from Hindley Green resulted in a list of 69 species:- Light Brown Apple Moth (*2); Straw Dot (*3); Buff Ermine (*5); Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing (*3); Common White Wave (*1); Clouded Border (*4); Small Phoenix (*1); Knot-Grass (*1); Large Yellow Underwing (*22); Orchard Ermine (*1); Riband Wave f. remutata (*9); Dot Moth (*46); Straw Underwing (*2); Silver Y (*1); Burnished Brass (*3); Udea prunalis (*6); Riband Wave (*1); Dun-Bar (*1); Common Footman (*4); Dark Arches (*17); Spectacle (*3); Bright Line Brown Eye (*6); Smoky Wainscot (*8); Flame (*3); Coxcomb Prominent (*1); Peppered Moth (*1); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*4); Clay (*2); Pebble Prominent (*1); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*2); Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing (*1); Snout (*2); Drinker (*1); Diamond Back Moth (*1); Yellow-Shell (*1); Light Arches (*2); Marbled Beauty (*8); Heart and Dart (*9); Amblyptilia acanthadactyla (*1); Mother of Pearl (*5); Magpie (*4); Uncertain (*1); Fan-Foot (*2); Dotted Clay (*4); Plain Golden Y (*2); Common Rustic sp (*3); Gothic (*2); Double Square Spot (*2); Flame Carpet (*2); Tachystola acroxantha (*2); Double Lobed (*1); Single Dotted Wave (*4); Bee Moth (*1); Currant Pug (*1); Small Rivulet (*1); Pandemis corylana (*1); Buff Footman (*1); The Miller (*1); Shaded Broad Bar (*1); True Lover's Knot (*2); Phlyctaenia coronata (*1); Argyresthia goedartella (*1); Brimstone (*2); Willow Beauty (*1); Scallop Shell (*1); Chevron (*1); Blastobasis lignea (*1); Codling Moth (*1) and Buff Arches (*1).
 
23rd July 2012 - Marple, Stockport, Cheshire - A mooch around a local plot resulted in the sighting of the sawfly Rhogogaster viridis.
 

23rd July 2012 - Chadkirk Chapel, Stockport, Cheshire - A quick mooch for White Letter Hairstreak resulted in a no show with the local construction of a bridge having led to the destruction of a few of the butterflies favoured Elm trees. Do these bastard planners have no consideration for the natural world. The bridge will open up the country to many a visitor but without the correct regards for what is around surely this will lead to more litter, trampling of habitat and the ubiquitous piles of dog-shit. In my opinion the whole procedure is shit and could have been done (if at all) with a more basic, rustic approach. Depressing indeed!

Butterflies seen today were Meadow Brown (*7); Small Skipper (*4); Large Skipper (*1); Green Veined White (*1); Comma (*1); Gatekeeper (*1) and Small Tortoiseshell (*1). A healthy batch of Peacock larvae were noted on Common Nettle - good luck chaps.

The only moth seen was 6 Spot Burnet (*1) and a Brown Hawker Dragonfly passed by.

 
23rd July 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Several specimens of Broad Leaved Helleborine looked pretty impressive in a shaded area.
 

22nd July 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Attracted to an overnight light were the moths:- Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Fan-Foot (*1); Small Fan-Foot (*1); Udea prunalis (*1); Riband Wave f. remutata (*1); Bee Moth (*2); Emmelina monodactyla (*1) and Amblyptilia acanthadactyla (*1).

Whilst in the garden a Brown Hawker was a surprise visitor.

 

22nd July 2012 - Anderton NR, Cheshire - Blazing sun and burnt to buggery - ouch! Butterflies were scarce thanks to the weather and man's persistent idiocy. The list was:- Large White (*2); Speckled Wood (*3); Gatekeeper (*15); Green Veined White (*2); Meadow Brown (*15); Red Admiral (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*1) and Comma (*4). Moths present were Common Footman (*1); Brown China-Mark (*2); Hedya salicella (*1) and Beautiful China-Mark (*2).

Odonata were enjoying the sun and were represented by:- Emperor Dragonfly (*1); Red Eyed Damselfly (*1); Southern Hawker (*2); Common Blue Damselfly (*1); Blue Tailed Damselfly (*4); Brown Hawker (*4); Common Darter (*18) and Black Tailed Skimmer (*2).

The Mirid Bug (Deraeocoris ruber) was a new find for us as was the Conopid (Sicus ferrugineus). A cucumber spider was also seen (Araniella cucurbitina).

Galls noted were Dasineura pustulans; Andricus kollari; Macrodiplosis pustulans; Dasineura kiefferiana
and Wachtliella persicariae.

Flowers noted were Teasel; Hemp Agrimony; Square Stalked St John's Wort; Fragrant Orchid; Musk Mallow; Chicory; Scarlet Pimpernel; Amphibious Bistort and Black Horehound.

Birds of note were Kingfisher and Green Sandpiper.

 

21st July 2012 - Birkdale Dunes Area, Southport, Lancashire - Two train rides, a walk around the shops and then along the coast looking for a bit of this and that. The flowers observed were as thus:- Scentless Mayweed; Himalayan Balsam; Carline Thistle; Gypsywort; Weld; Greater Reedmace; Red Bartsia; Marsh Valerian; Purple Loosestrife; Tall Melilot; Black Medick; Portland Spurge; Wild Parsnip; Strawberry Clover; Lesser Trefoil; Goosegrass; Common Mouse Ear; Early Forget Me Not; Marsh Pennywort; Water Mint; Eyebright sp; Kidney Vetch; Lesser Centaury; Seaside Centaury; Marsh Helleborine (by the hundreds); Ox-eye Daisy; Viper's Bugloss; Red Clover; Common Knapweed; Rosebay Willowherb; Meadowsweet; Daisy; Tansy; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Marsh Thistle; Yellow-Wort; Harebell; Prickly Sow Thistle; Herb Robert; Large Bindweed; Meadow Cranes-Bill; Wild Carrot; Hare's-Foot Clover; Large Flowered Evening Primrose sp; Tufted Vetch; Restharrow; Carline Thistle; Yarrow; Meadow Vetchling; Selfheal; Silverweed; Knotted Pearlwort; Common Ragwort; White Clover; Ribwort Plantain; Bladder Campion; Common Stork's-Bill; Dove's-Foot Cranes-Bill; Round Leaved Wintergreen; Curled Dock; Greater Plantain; Wild Asparagus; Red Campion; White Campion; Common Nettle; Hounds-Tongue; Spear Thistle; Greater Willowherb; Common Fleabane; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Ground Ivy; Honeysuckle; Hedge/Marsh Woundwort; Mugwort; Pyramidal Orchid; Grass Of Parnassus; Lesser Spearwort; Common Broomrape; Biting Stonecrop; Purple Toadflax and Common Milkwort.

Butterflies noted were as thus:- Small Copper (*1); Meadow Brown (*62); Large Skipper (*3); Large White (*1); Green Veined White (*2); Gatekeeper (*17); Small Heath (*1); Grayling (*1) and Small Skipper (*9). Moths were represented by:- Latticed Heath (*2); Shaded Broad Bar (*3); Cinnabar Moth (*1); 6 Spot Burnet (*1); Clay (*1); Silver Y (*1) and Bordered Sallow (*1).

Other bugs to ponder were Dune Robber Fly (Philonicus albiceps); Common Malachite Beetle (Malachius bipustulatus); the Lacewing (Chrysopa perla); Dune Chafer; Emperor Dragonfly (*1); Common Darter (*3); Blue Tailed Damselfly (*1); Common Field Grasshopper; 7 Spot Ladybird; the Soldier-Flies (Oplodontha viridula) and (Stratiomys singularior).

The galls Cystiphora sonchi and Eupontania viminalis were also seen.

8 Natterjack Toads were an excellent bonus and a couple of Frogs were spotted too.

 
21st July 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - An Old Lady Moth was observed in the kitchen - now where's that beast come from? A wonderful specimen though!
 
18th July 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A brace of moths in the home - Blastobasis lignea and The Gothic.
 

15th July 2012 - Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire - To finish a good day out we took a serene stroll around one of our favourite reserves. Not much happening with a Kingfisher feeding in front of the hide a great bonus. I say 'feeding' although after numerous headlong crashes into the water a fish was never caught - I presume this was a youngster and was still in training - hope so or it is going to be one helluva hungry bird. A Common Tern was also fishing and after seeing off a Buzzard patrolled its chosen area.

Butterflies were represented by Meadow Brown (*2); Gatekeeper (*1); Comma (*1) and a Speckled Wood (*1). A Dark/Grey Dagger Moth was observed and a lone Common Darter frequented the edge of the meadow.

A gorgeous Red Legged Shieldbug (Pentatoma rufipes) was noted.

 
15th July 2012 - Marshside RSPB, Lancashire - Before an ice cream break we decided to examine the saltmarsh for Short Winged Coneheads. Plenty about and found immediately but with the wind and the nervous nature of the beasties it seemed pointless to waste time for a photograph. Now what about that tub of vanilla and strawberries?
 

15th July 2012 - Ainsdale, Lancashire - Plenty going on despite the recent appalling weather. A day of full sun no less with the butterfly count consisting of:- Meadow Brown (*31); Small Copper (*6); Large Skipper (*1); Small Heath (*2); Comma (*1); Small Skipper (*4); Speckled Wood (*1); Dark Green Fritillary (*10); Large White (*1); Gatekeeper (*1) and Common Blue (*1). A few moths were seen on the wing, these being Yellow-Shell (*1); Shaded Broad Bar (*1) and Cinnabar Moth (*1).

A Red Squirrel was noted on the ground and then up in the tree where it called angrily. Common Field Grasshoppers and Common Green Grasshoppers were numerous and Northern Dune Tiger Beetle (*4); Asparagus Beetle (*3); Dune Robber Fly (Philonicus albiceps) and Dune Chafer (*1) were choice additions.

Hoary Mullein; Ladies Bedstraw; Goats-Beard; Agrimony and Marsh Valerian were flowers noted.

The galls Mompha sturnipennella on Willowherb and Eupontania viminalis on Creeping Willow were new finds for us and very much enjoyed.

 
8th July 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Amblyptilia acanthadactyla and Plutella xylostella were attracted to an overnight house light.
 

8th July 2012 - Pennington Flash, Lancashire - Flooded out so birding was a fairly no go with a Common Tern the highlight - poor hey? Blue Tailed Damselfly (*20); Common Blue Damselfly (*2); Common Field and Common Green Grasshoppers; the Mirid bug Grypocoris stysi; the Hoverfly Leucozona laternaria; the moths Silver Y (*2); 6 Spot Burnet (*26); Shaded Broad Bar (*2); Straw Dot (*1) and Latticed Heath (*20) plus the butterflies Meadow Brown (*6); Small Skipper (*11) and Small Tortoiseshell (*1) were all that was had on the insect front.

Goat's-Beard, Hop Trefoil and White Melilot were notable flowers.

 
7th July 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Still no time to moth so a Fan-Foot and a Bee Moth were welcome visitors to the bathroom.
 
7th July 2011 - Fletcher Moss, Cheshire - Fagged out and no time to get farther afield - bah - a wander in the puddles produced little. Marmalade Fly's seem to be getting going, a single Meadow Brown was enjoying the sun and 8 Speckled Woods seemed happy enough to have survived the recent downpours.
 
4th July 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - 3 Kingfishers darting about early morn - the early bird catches the...fish?
 
2nd July 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Attracted to an overnight window were the moths Heart and Dart (*2); Light Brown Apple Moth (*2) and Scalloped Hazel (*1).
 
1st July 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Crap weather and 2 moths found refuge in the bathroom these being:- Small Dusty Wave and Riband Wave f. remutata.
 
1st July 2012 - Chadkirk Chapel, Stockport, Cheshire - In dire conditions we had a wander that didn't last a hour and the only two species worthy of note were a rather pissed off Yellow-Shell Moth fleeing for cover beneath the protective leaves of a small Sycamore and the gall Cecidophyopsis psilaspis found on Yew.
 
JUNE
 
30th June 2012 - Styal CP, Cheshire - After a wander for £30 worth of healthy snacks from Wilmslow a 1 hour walk was had in Styal Country Park. Nothing outrageous about with butterflies seen Meadow Brown (*3); Speckled Wood (*1) and Red Admiral (*1) plus the moth Silver Y (*1). And then the rains came...boo, hiss!
 
29th June 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A 6 Spot Burnet Moth and a Large Skipper were seen whilst strolling home from work.
 

28th June 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The bathroom attracted more moths tonight with the list of 17 species was as follows:- Tachystola acroxantha (*2); Riband Wave f. remutata (*2); Brown House Moth (*1); Dark Arches (*1); Caloptilia azaleella (*1); Phlyctaenia coronata (*3); Common Marbled Carpet (*2); Hedya nubiferana (*1); Scoparia ambigualis (*1); Pandemis cerasana (*3); Green Oak Tortrix (*1); Marbled Minor sp (*1); Garden Carpet (*1); Heart and Dart (*2); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Marbled Beauty (*1) and Brimstone (*1).

Also caught was the first Orange Ladybird of the year.

 
28th June 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A sizzler and the walk home was joined by singles of Meadow Brown and 6 Spot Burnet Moth.
 
27th June 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking home and 2 moths were on the wing - Bramble Shoot (*1) and a Cinnabar (*1). A single and well worn female Common Blue Butterfly fed on the flowers of Bird's-Foot Trefoil. Self-Heal was in flower also.
 
26th June 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Still no proper mothing done this year. Trying to find the combination of not being knackered and a decent nights weather is proving impossible - bah. 8 species were attracted to an overnight window light, these were singletons of:- Clay; Beautiful Golden Y; Heart and Dart; Marbled Minor sp; Uncertain; Brown House Moth; Tachystola acroxantha and Hedya nubiferana.
 

24th June 2012 - Moore NR, Cheshire - A walk in half decent weather! No seriously - and in parts it was mighty fine indeed. The result - 2 species of butterfly, namely Speckled Wood (*5) and Meadow Brown (*2); 4 species of Odonata, these being:- Azure Damselfly; Blue Tailed Damselfly; Common Blue Damselfly and 4 Spotted Chaser; the ground beetle Cychrus caraboides; Hawthorn Shieldbug; Common Malachite Beetle (Malachius bipustulatus); the Lacewing (Chrysopa perla); Black and Red Froghopper; Snipe Fly (Panorpa germanica) and Common Green Capsid Bug (Lygocoris pabulinus).

Nettle Tap Moth (*2) and Cinnabar Moth (*3) were on the wing.

Meadow Cranes-Bill; Common Sorrel; Sheep's Sorrel; Rosebay Willowherb; Tufted Vetch and numerous Foxgloves were some of the plants in flower.

Birds were poorly represented with Oystercatcher; Buzzard; Little Grebe; Whitethroat and numerous Sand Martins the pick of the bunch.

The galls Argobacterium tumefaciens; Andricus foecundatrix; Eriophyes laevis; Eriophyes sorbi; Pontania gallarum and Dasineura urticae added further interest.

 
23rd June 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A quick walk in dross weather - the result a male Banded Demoiselle and a single male Common Blue Damselfly.
 
21st June 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Common Knapweed in flower and the gall Eriophyes inangulis was identified on Alder leaves and Pontania gallarum on Willow leaves.
 
21st June 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A couple of moths attracted to the window - Green Silver Lines and Heart and Dart - nice!
 
20th June 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A couple of new galls noted for the year, namely Psyllopsis fraxini on Ash and Contarinia tiliarum on Lime.
 
20th June 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A few moths attracted to the bathroom light, these were:- Willow Beauty (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*3); Brown House Moth (*1) and Bee Moth (*1).
 

14th June 2012 - Weaver Park, Cheshire - A cancelled walk and so a case of what to do? Go and mooch that's what. The list after a couple of hours was as follows:- Odonata were represented by Azure Damselfly (*10+); Large Red Damselfly (*4); Blue Tailed Damselfly (*50+); Banded Demoiselle (*1) and Broad Bodied Chaser (*4).

Butterflies were few and far between in the windy and sometimes cloudy weather with only Large Skipper (*1); Peacock (*1); Small White (*2) and Large White (*1) on show. The weather resistant moths seen during the quick mooch were:- Cinnabar (*2); Common Carpet (*1); Brown China Mark (*3) and Blood-Vein (*1).

Other insects listed consisted of Lacewing (Chrysopa perla); Garden Chafer; Green Shieldbug; Hawthorn Shieldbug; Scorpion Fly (Panorpa communis); Meadow Grasshopper; Pollen Beetle (Oedemera nobilis); Snipe Fly (Rhagio scolopaceus) and Longhorn Beetle (Agapanthia villosoviridescens).

A Grass Snake was disturbed and swam off into the water and Celery Leaved Buttercup; Cut Leaved Cranes-Bill; Figwort and Black Medick were scrutinised more closely. Cyperus Sedge was also noted.

 

13th June 2012 - Griffin Wood, Lancashire - A short walk today with the St Helens Deaf Club in attendance. The day was marred by the ubiquitous rain but we cracked on and didn't do too bad at all. The day started with a few low-down's on some creatures caught in the parking area, namely:- Straw Dot Moth; Slender Groundhopper; Striped Woodlouse; Snipe Fly (Rhagio scolopaceus); a Ladybird Larvae and a Millipede.

Moving on a few bracket and rust fungi were discussed (See Fungal Friends link); the local area as well as a few wild flowers. Garlic Snails always go down well; a fast moving centipede (Lithobius variegatus) and a few other general things all were mulled over and before we knew it time was up. The list keeping was lax today due to the paper getting wet, the ink running and much chat. Still - not a bad do at all and more than happy to do it all again.

 

10th June 2012 - Strumpshaw Fen, Norfolk - Up at the crack and a few hours at this lovely site. Butterflies seen were Swallowtail (*7); Small White (*1); Peacock (*1); Green Veined White (*1); Speckled Wood (*1) and Brimstone (*2). Moths noted were Pammene aurana (*1); Buff Ermine (*1); Long Horned Moth (Nemophora degeerella) (*5) and a total surprise (and very obliging) Red Tipped Clearwing (*1).

Damsels and dragons were represented by Hairy Dragonfly (*5); Large Red Damselfly (*1); Azure Damselfly (*1); Blue Tailed Damselfly (*1); 4 Spotted Chaser (*1) and Norfolk Hawker (*1). Extra bugs on show were Harlequin and 14 Spot Ladybirds; Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus); Common Malachite Beetle (Malachius bipustulatus); Cockchafer and the Lacewing (Chrysopa perla).

Marsh Fern; Marsh Pea and Meadow Rue were noted also.

 
9th June 2012 - Bure Marshes, Norfolk - Late in the day and a brisk walk to check out the potential gave us sightings of Marsh Pea in flower, loads of Marsh Fern and an Egyptian Goose.
 
9th June 2012 - Ranworth Broad, Norfolk - Not our favourite spot of the day - a little too tame and only Marsh Valerian and Cetti's Warbler were noted.
 
9th June 2012 - Catfield Fen, Norfolk - Before arriving at the site we decided to turn back due to hazardous conditions - a Chinese Water Deer was seen at close quarters first.
 

9th June 2012 - Hickling Broad, Norfolk - The wind blew big time but we cracked on and came up with a lowly bird list the best of which were Common Whitethroat; Barn Owl; Little Egret; Hobby; Marsh Harrier (*2) and Cuckoo.

More Odonata species and this time 4 Spotted Chaser (*1); Large Red Damselfly (*2); Azure Damselfly (*2); Variable Damselfly (*1); Hairy Dragonfly (*1) and Black Tailed Skimmer (*3) made up the list.

The sun came out and the butterflies noted were Swallowtail (*3); Speckled Wood (*4) and Large Skipper (*1). One Swallowtail was hiding, with difficulty, from the wind and gently crawled on my finger to be placed in a better spot (kind tinker). A privileged moment and the few people present appreciated this close up and personal viewing.

A few insects that were nice extras were Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis); Black and Red Froghopper; Green Tiger Beetle; Tachnid Fly (Tachina fera) and Longhorn Beetle (Agapanthia villosoviridescens).

 

9th June 2012 - Upton Broad, Norfolk - The wellies were donned and a squelch fest was taken but what an interesting reserve. Odonata were represented by Hairy Dragonfly (*1); 4 Spotted Chaser (*8); Broad Bodied Chaser (*1) and Norfolk Hawker (*2). One of the Norfolk Hawkers sat within inches and gave stunning views indeed.

7 Spot Ladybird; Slender Groundhopper; Dock Shieldbug (Coreus marginatus) were enjoyed as were Southern Marsh Orchid and Lousewort in flower.

A brace of Grey Partridge and a lone Egyptian Goose were seen from the car when leaving the reserve.

 

7th June 2012 - Strumpshaw Fen, Norfolk - A mooch for bugs and beasties in far from ideal conditions but a nice stroll was had nonetheless and a bird list also drawn up. The 36 birds seen were:- Blue Tit; Great Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Greenfinch; Dunnock; Blackbird; Jackdaw; Carrion Crow; Common Whitethroat; Blackcap; House Martin; Shelduck; Common Tern; Chaffinch; Marsh Harrier (M/F); Moorhen; Pheasant; Lapwing; Coot; Mute Swan; Great Crested Grebe; Pochard; Gadwall; Canada Goose; Song Thrush; Wood Pigeon; Kestrel; Tufted Duck; Mallard; Black Headed Gull; Shoveler; Cetti's Warbler; Bullfinch; Swift; Grey Heron and Jay.

The aforementioned bugs and beasties hunt wasn't a total dead loss with Black Tailed Skimmer (*1); Blue Tailed Damselfly (*1); and Azure Damselfly representing the Odonata group, Orange Tip (*1) and Small White (*1) butterflies and the moths Common Carpet (*1); Garden Pebble (*1); Nettle Tap (*16); Long Horned Moth (Nemophora degeerella) (*2) and Snout (*1) maintaining lepidopteron interest and Tortoise Beetle sp. Red Headed Cardinal Beetle (*12); Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus); Soldier Beetle (Cantharis pellucida); 7 Spot, 14 Spot and Harlequin Ladybirds; Common Malachite Beetle (Malachius bipustulatus); Snipe Fly (Rhagio scolopaceus); Wasp Beetle (Clytus arietis), the mirid bug (Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus) and Longhorn Beetle (Agapanthia villosoviridescens) added extra six legged observations. The spider Tetragnatha extensa was frequent on the waterside herbage.

Flowers noted in bloom were Marsh Cinquefoil and Yellow Flag Iris and Common Lizard (*13); a Chinese Water Deer and an obliging Short Tailed Vole were super bonus species.

 

6th June 2012 - West Kirby, Cheshire - A sunny visit with the kids from work and many a nice thing spotted. Loads of Common Frogs and tadpoles, a single Common Toad, a lone scurrying Common Lizard. A Broad Bodied Chaser was seen fleetingly, the Pollen Beetle Oedemera nobilis was observed and the butterflies Large White and Small Tortoiseshell added interest. Cinnabar Moth, Burnet Companion and Phlyctaenia coronata were the only moths observed.

Sea Rocket, Kidney Vetch, Pellitory of the Wall; Thrift; Sea Beet; Buckshorn Plantain and Sea Milkwort added a splash of colour and other insects noted were the Lacewing (Chrysopa perla) and the beetle Chrysolina polita was a good find.

The gall Wachtiella persicariae was also noted.

 

4th June 2012 - Vale Royal Locks, Cheshire - With sun in and out like a fiddler's elbow we chanced our arm for more Odonata species with a stroll through some farmer's lifeless fields had before hitting the main watery areas. The species seen:- Blue Tailed Damselfly (*18); Red Eyed Damselfly (*1); Banded Demoiselle (*2) and a fleeting Hairy Dragonfly (*1).

A Garden Chafer, numerous 2 Spotted Ladybirds, several 7 Spot Ladybirds, single 14 Spot and Harlequin Ladybirds, a Straw Dot Moth (*1) and a single micro moth Pammene aurana were the best of the rest. Another Kingfisher flew off into the distance and Goat's-Beard was in flower.

 

4th June 2012 - River Dee, Cheshire - A mooch in search of Odonata and despite the conditions not being 100%, it didn't rain and the sun came out now and again, the result:- Banded Demoiselle (*54); Broad Bodied Chaser (*3); Club Tailed Dragonfly (*2) and Azure Damselfly (*2).

Other beasties included the butterflies Green Veined White (*2) and Peacock (*2), Silver Ground Carpet Moth (*1); Red Headed Cardinal Beetle and Soldier Beetle (Cantharis rustica).

A Kingfisher flew back and forth along the river and Ragged Robin was in flower.

 

2nd June 2012 - Etherow CP, Cheshire - Having been confronted with probable crappy weather a local walk was decided on with a look at whatever we could find. Insects seen were Common Blue Damselfly (*2); Red and Black Froghopper; Silver Ground Carpet Moth (*4); Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus); 7 Spot Ladybird; Nettle Tap Moth (9); Snipe Fly (Rhagio scolopaceus); Soldier Beetle (Cantharis pellucida); Common Reed Beetle (Donacia aquatica); Common Malachite Beetle (Malachius bipustulatus); Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle (Gastrophysa viridula); Scorpion Fly (Panorpa communis) and Alder Leaf Beetle (Agelastica alni).

Flowers noted in flower for the first time this year were Bush Vetch; Pink Purslane; Ground Elder; Common Bistort and Yellow Pimpernel.

Galls seen were Aceria macrorhynchus; Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Dasineura urticae.

 
MAY
 

30th May 2012 - Lifeboat Road, Formby, Lancashire -back again to this area, this time with the kids from work. A few things were noted with several Spotted Crane-Fly (Nephrotoma appendiculata), 2 and 7 Spot Ladybirds, the butterfly Common Blue (*2), the moths Cinnabar (*1), Yellow-Shell (*1); Pine Weevil (Hylobius abietis) and the Lacewing (Chrysopa perla) the pick of the bunch. Linnets and Meadow Pipits were seen but very little other bird life.

The gall Andricus curvator was seen on Oak leaves.

 
29th May 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A bit of meddling with moths and 6 species were observed, these were:- Light Brown Apple Moth (*3); Tachystola acroxantha (*4); Tinea trinotella (*4); Heart And Dart (*2); Common Pug (*2) and Notocelia cynosbatella (*2).
 
28th May 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Common Marbled Carpet in the toilet and a Red Barred Tortrix on a conifer in the garden.
 
28th May 2012 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - Not much about but 2 pairs of Broad Bodied Chaser, several Blue Tailed Damselflies added interest as did the butterflies Green Veined White (*1) and a Common Blue.
 

28th May 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - After a gig the previous evening and an early start to get some shopping done I took a long route home down the river and picked up a few species as well as made the most of the sun. Butterflies were represented by 4 species overall, these being:- Green Veined White (*6); Orange Tip (*1); Holly Blue (*1) and Peacock (*1). 2 Banded Demoiselles and 12 Common Blue Damselflies were seen as well as a Bullfinch and a pair of nesting Dippers.

Dames Violet was well into its flowering season and Yellow Rattle and Kidney Vetch were also noted.

The gall Pontania proxima was seen on Willow leaves. A new gall seen was Eriophyes inangulis on Alder.

 

26th May 2012 - Eyarth Rocks, Denbighshire - An early morn visit due to the daughter having appointments with friends in the afternoon. On the butterfly front only a few species were seen, these being:- Comma (*1); Pearl Bordered Fritillary (*59); Speckled Wood (*2); Small Heath (*25); Peacock (*2); Orange Tip (*1); Common Blue (*1) and Large White (*1). Moths were represented by Speckled Yellow (*5); Brown Silver Lines (*4) and Cinnabar (*2).

New flowers for the year were Scarlet Pimpernel; Eyebright; Squinancywort; Herb Paris and Rock Rose. Sanicle; Yellow Archangel and Sweet Woodruff were nice to see.

 

21st May 2012 - Lifeboat Road, Formby, Lancashire - Part two of the lepidoptera hunt and this time the species observed were:- Common Blue (*5); Small Heath (*2); Small Copper (*1); Speckled Wood (*1); Orange Tip (*2) and the moths Cinnabar (*1) and Mother Shipton (*1).

Houndstongue was in flower as well as Spring Beauty and White Campion.

 

21st May 2012 - Fisherman's Path, Freshfield Heath, Formby, Lancashire - A day out with my bro' and on the hunt for butterflies. The list wasn't great but after the recent poxy weather the upsurge, it seems, has started. The list was as follows:- Green Veined White (*2); Small Copper (*7); Speckled Wood (*1); Orange Tip (*1); Peacock (*2); Small Tortoiseshell (*1) and Common Blue (*1).

A few day flying moths noted were:- Mother Shipton (*1); Common Heath (*1); Cinnabar Moth (*1) and Nettle Tap Moth (*1).

 

20th May 2012 - Griffin Wood, Lancashire - A Fungalpunk Nosey Nature day attracted a small group and off we went in search of anything of interest.

Flower wise and the list of 29 species in bloom was as follows:- Ribwort Plantain; Meadow Buttercup; Ground Ivy; Red Campion; Raged Robin; Cowslip; Ox-Eye Daisy; Sheeps Sorrel; Spanish Bluebell; Common Nettle; Lesser Celandine; Wood Avens; English Bluebell; Common Mouse Ear; Colts-Foot; Cow Parsley; Lesser Trefoil; Celery Leaved Buttercup; Common Vetch; Common Water Crowfoot; Common Sorrel; Early Forget Me Not; Chickweed; Wavy Bittercress; Herb Robert; Garlic Mustard; Red Dead Nettle; Marsh Marigold (Double Flowered) and Green Alkanet.

11 other plants noted that weren't in flower but just at the vegetative state were:-Canadian Pondweed; Red Clover; Yellow Rattle; Ivy; Goosegrass; Creeping Thistle; Spear Thistle; Teasel; Foxglove; Hedge Woundwort and Greater Plantain.

8 trees and shrubs noted were Gorse; Elder; Sycamore; Hawthorn; Beech; Silver Birch; Goat Willow and Alder.

On the bird front 15 species were listed:- Magpie; Mallard; Grey Partridge; Wood Pigeon; Chaffinch; Long Tailed Tit; Great Tit; Blackbird; Swift; Mistle Thrush; Jay; Common Whitethroat; Carrion Crow; Buzzard and Willow Warbler.

Insects as always were difficult due to so many maybes and maybe nots but a list of 20 definites were:- 7 Spot Ladybird; 14 Spot Ladybird; 22 Spot Ladybird; 2 Spot Ladybird; Harlequin Ladybird; Snipe Fly (Rhagio scolopaceus); Crane Fly (Tipula maxima); Red Tailed Bumblebee; the moth Adela reurmurella; Alder Leaf Beetle (Agelastica alni); Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle (Gastrophysa viridula); Green Tortoise Beetle; Gorse Seed Weevil; St Marks Fly; Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus); Lacewing (Chrysopa perla); Drinker Moth larvae and the butterflies - Peacock (*3); Orange Tip (*3) and Brimstone (*1).

14 other species found today were Common Toad; Shiny Woodlouse; Rough Woodlouse; Black Millipede (Tachypodoiulus niger); Variegated Centipede (Lithobius variegatus); Common Centipede (Lithobius forficatus); Garlic Snail; Rounded Snail; Strawberry Snail; White Lipped Banded Snail; Dusky Slug; Great Pond Snail; Rabbit and Grey Squirrel.

The lichen Xanthoria parietina and the Gall Aceria cephaloneus were observed as well as 15 species of fungi (See Fungal Friends Sightings Section) making a grand total of species seen for the day - 114. Not bad at all for a casual wander!

 

19th May 2012 - Millers Dale, Derbyshire - A walk in temperatures well below the average came up with plenty of flowering plants, most notable of which were Water Avens; Sanicle; Sweet Woodruff; Goldilocks Buttercup; Rue Leaved Saxifrage and Meadow Saxifrage.

A pair of Spotted Flycatchers were seen nest building and another pair noted feeding with a male Redstart sitting out and singing away in the murky weather. A Grey Wagtail was perched on a rock on the river and a Dipper flew past a couple of times.

Black and Red Froghoppers were seen and seemed almost devoid of life.

 
17th May 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A Dipper was noted feeding on the mud at the side of the water.
 
16th May 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - 6 Goosander still on the river - 4 males, 2 females.
 

13th May 2012 - Chorlton WP, Greater Manchester - A day doing a bit of jogging and I still managed to squeeze in a bit of wildlife spotting. 4 species of butterfly were on the wing, namely:- Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Green Veined White (*1); Peacock (*2) and Speckled Wood (*1).

A Bird Cherry tree was in full flower, a Mistle Thrush egg was found, Silverweed was in flower and at least 50 Long Horned Moths (Adela reaumurella) swarmed around an Oak tree.

 
12th May 2012 - Jenny Browns Point, Cumbria - A chat with a delightful elderly couple who were holidaying in the area and a look out over the estuary came up with a large flock of Curlew; a group of Eider (5 males, 1 Female), several Oystercatchers, 5 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin and 1 Black Tailed Godwit.
 
12th May 2012 - Foulshaw Moss, Cumbria - A mooch around resulted in a distant Osprey being seen and a nearby Stonechat looking in fine condition. A Slow Worm, Common Toad, Roe Deer, Green Hairstreak; Green Tiger Beetle and another Large Red Damselfly made for an interesting mooch.
 
12th May 2012 - Witherslack, Cumbria - A visit to see Toothwort resulted in one healthy spike and one already finished. Numerous Strawberry Snails frequented nearby vegetation.
 

12th May 2012 - Meathop Moss, Cumbria - A swift visit and a poor showing. Bush Vetch and Crosswort were new flowers for the year and a brace of Tree Pipits were new annual additions.

Singletons of Green Hairstreak; Large Red Damselfly; Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle and Common Lizard were observed. Bird Cherry Gall was abundant.

 

12th May 2012 - Gait Barrows, Cumbria - With hopes of once again building a good butterfly list, as on previous years, the sun shone, the breeze was gentle but...the list was poor. The species seen were Peacock (*6); Pearl Bordered Fritillary (*1); Green Veined White (*1); Orange Tip (*5); Small White (*1); Speckled Wood (*1) and Duke Of Burgundy Fritillary (*3 - 2 of which were releases). A single Brown Silver Lines Moth was spotted.

Other insects seen were the Bee Fly (Bombylius major); Large Red Damselfly (*2); Common Ground Hopper and Wood Ant.

New flowers for the year were Tormentil; Rue Leaved Saxifrage and False Oxslip. The Gall Eriophyes similis was identified and photographs captured.

 

12th May 2012 - Leighton Moss, Cumbria - To start off a long day and easy wander around this fine area was had in decent conditions and with a definite lazy stroll utmost priority. 3 hides visited and 37 birds on the list with the highlights being Sedge Warbler; Blackcap; Bullfinch; Garganey (M); Buzzard and Marsh Tit.

A teneral Broad Bodied Chaser was an added bonus. Pendulous Sedge was also noted.

 
6th May 2012 - Burton Mere RSPB, Cheshire - A new site for us to visit and we enjoyed it thoroughly although it does seem this new reserve will just get busier and busier as word spreads. The bird list today's was 50 species which held some rather interesting stuff that was showing really well; The birds noted were:- Collared Dove; Coot; Great Tit; Whinchat (*3); Shoveler; Canada Goose; White Wagtail (*2); Black Tailed Godwit; Tufted Duck; Avocet; Shelduck; Carrion Crow; Wheatear; Lapwing; Jackdaw; Swallow; Grasshopper Warbler; Robin; Common Whitethroat; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Yellow Wagtail (*2); Barnacle Goose; Gadwall; Oystercatcher; Buzzard; Swift; Greylag Goose; Sand Martin; Bar Tailed Godwit; Blackbird; Sedge Warbler; Mallard; Teal; Black Headed Gull; Rook; Wigeon; Grey Heron; Moorhen; Little Egret; Wood Pigeon; Mute Swan; Wren; Pied Wagtail; Blue Tit; Chaffinch; House Martin; Little Ringed Plover; Little Grebe; Goldfinch and the escapee Ringed Teal.
 

6th May 2012 - Parkgate, Dee Estuary, Cheshire - Rumour was had that a few special birds were available and with a bit of indecision in the air as to where to go (we aren't regular twitchers) we just thought 'sod it' and made our way to this popular area. Car parked up and within 20 minutes all three key species were hit but rather than bugger off and seek out more specialities we did our usual thing and enjoy and explore the area - it was a great day. The bird list of 37 was as follows:- Moorhen; House Martin; Mute Swan; Little Egret; Black Headed Gull; Starling; Wood Pigeon; Temminck's Stint; Oystercatcher; Swallow; Great White Egret; Wheatear (*12); Pied Wagtail; Shelduck; Canada Goose; Spoonbill; Linnet; Goldfinch; Chaffinch; House Sparrow; Whinchat (*2); Redshank; Meadow Pipit; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Reed Bunting; Robin; Pheasant; Greylag Goose; Skylark; Magpie; Common Whitethroat; Kestrel; Jackdaw; Great Tit; Chiffchaff; Blue Tit and Blackbird.

Butterflies on the wing were:- Green Veined White (*3); Peacock (*4); Small Tortoiseshell (*2); Speckled Wood (*2) and Orange Tip (*3).

Celery Leaved and Bulbous Buttercups were in flower and a pair of Nettle Weevils (Phyllobius pomaceus) were noted.

 

5th May 2012 - Ainsdale NE, Lancashire - Part two of the Pat Lockwood Tour and flower seen were:- Star of Bethlehem; Annual Wall Rocket; Danish Scurvygrass; Common Cornsalad; Shepherd's Cress; Ground Ivy; Thyme Leaved Sandwort; Early Forget Me Not; Spring Pea; Germander Speedwell; Lily Of The Valley; Wild Strawberry; Common Dog Violet; and Bugloss.

Also noted were Sand Sedge; Broad Buckler Fern; Purple Willow; Common Earwig; Striped Millipede and a Wall Brown Butterfly.

Sincere thanks to all who made the day especially the aforementioned grand lady and here's to a few more trips in search of the botanical wonders.

2 Galls noted were the sexual generation of Neurotus quercusbaccarum on Quercus and Aceria pseudoplatani on Acer.

 

5th May 2012 - Fisherman's Path, Freshfield Heath, Formby, Lancashire - A few of us were gathered together by that lovely lady and top, top botanist Pat Lockwood to have a wander and see what we could come up with. Along the way we met a gent called Ken, from Northumberland, who duly tagged along and this is what we came up with.

A Lesser Whitethroat was picked out and gave decent views but besides that the bird life was fairly quiet.

On the insect front and we didn't fair much better with Hawthorn Shieldbug, St Marks Fly, Common Groundhopper; 7 Spot Ladybird and Yellow Meadow Ant the only ones noted but to be fair we weren't really looking that hard. A Drinker Moth larvae was nice to catch up with.

Attention today was mainly on wild flowers (what else with Mrs Lockwood at the helm) and here is what we saw in bloom:- Common Whitlow Grass; Shepherds Purse; Groundsel; Daisy; Doves-Foot Cranes-Bill; Parsley Piert; Ribwort Plantain; Wall Speedwell; Common Mouse Ear; Sheep's Sorrel; Birds Foot Trefoil; Hairy Bittercress; Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Cuckooflower; Creeping Buttercup; Bulbous Buttercup; Birds-Foot; Meadow Buttercup; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Common Vetch; Lesser Trefoil; Common Storks-Bill; Red Dead Nettle; Common Water Crow-Foot; White Dead Nettle; Fringe Cups; Thale Cress and Bluebell.

Sweet Vernal Grass; Spring Sedge and Congested Woodrush were nice extras.

 
2nd May 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking home and 3 species of butterfly were seen:- Comma (*1); Holly Blue (*1) and Peacock (*1).
 
APRIL
 

30th April 2012 - Abney Hall/River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A circular walk was taken whilst the sun shone bright. Sightings that were noted were the butterflies Orange Tip (*10); Speckled Wood (*2) and Peacock (*1). 9 Green Shieldbugs frequented a Bramble patch with several copulating pairs seen. The hoverfly Rhingia campestris was seen frequenting White Dead Nettle and showing the distinctive beak-like rostrum and black lines down the sides of the orange abdomen.

Greater Celandine was in flower.

 
27th April 2011 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport - Thyme Leaved Speedwell seen in flower.
 

22nd April 2011 - Churchtown Farm, Cornwall - Another visit to this nice reserve was taken in sunny yet windy conditions. A pair of Raven wheeled away in the wind, a Kestrel hovered on the look-out for food; A Little Egret rested at the waterside and 2 House Martins were seen and were duly the first of the year for us.

A Green Veined White and a Small White braved the air currents and 3 Nerved Sandwort and Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) were in flower.

 

21st April 2012 - China Fleet Golf Club, Cornwall - Whilst awaiting our young daughter complete her karate training we had a wander and came up with Black Medick; Cut Leaved Cranes-Bill; Primrose; Navelwort and Shining Cranes-Bill all in flower.

3 clumps of Mistletoe were also seen and a kiss was had - nice!

 
21st April 2012 - Seaton Valley CP, Cornwall - Another 2 hour wander in decent weather with a fleeing Roe Deer, a Bloody Nosed Beetle, flowering Wood Sorrel and a Peacock butterfly the best sightings.
 
21st April 2012 - Lopwell Dam, Plymouth, Devon - A sweet area with sunshine and showers the order of the day. A two hour wander produced little but a soaring Buzzard being mobbed by Corvids; a fleeing Little Egret with his trailing gold feet, a good crop of Wood Spurge; flowering Bugle and English Scurvygrass as well as a flying Red Twin Spot Carpet moth were all enjoyed.
 

20th April 2012 - Slapton Ley, Devon - A birding wander, the result 24 birds, which were:- Jackdaw; Gadwall; Herring Gull; Mallard; Coot; Sandwich Tern; Tufted Duck; Great Crested Grebe; Cormorant; Mute Swan; Common Whitethroat; Stonechat; Grey Heron; Pheasant; Carrion Crow; Canada Goose; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Dunnock; Goldfinch; Pied Wagtail; Swallow; Wood Pigeon; Great Black Backed Gull and Starling.

Plants in flower were Dove's Foot Cranes-Bill; Sea Campion; 3 Cornered Leek; Common Vetch and Bird's Foot Trefoil

 

20th April 2012 - Prawle Point, Devon - A mooch around this prime area once again paid dividends. On the bird front the list was small and made up of:- Goldfinch; Great Tit; Dunnock; Chiffchaff; Carrion Crow; Wood Pigeon; Chaffinch; Cirl Bunting (*12); Robin; Blackbird; House Sparrow; Stonechat; Rock Pipit; Curlew; Gannet and Herring Gull.

Insect wise was poor with Common Earwig; Hairy Shieldbug; Gorse Seed Weevil and the butterflies Orange Tip (*3) and Holly Blue (*3).

A bit of mooching in the rock pools was rewarding with Shore Crab, Broad Clawed Porcelain Crab; Edible Crab; Beadlet Anemone; Common Mussel; Purple Top Shell; Sea Squirt sp; Star Ascidian; Thick Top Shell; Fragile Brittlestar; Common Starfish; Cushion Starfish and Halichondria panicea all noted.

Other stuff listed were the abundant lichens Lecanora atra; Ramalina siliquosa and Ochrolechia parella as well as the flowers in bloom Alexanders; Thrift; Wild Carrot; Hogweed; Red Dead Nettle and Dove's Foot Cranes-Bill.

 

15th April 2012 - Tideswell/Cressbrook, Derbyshire - A good 5 mile plus walk in fine conditions albeit a little too chilled for the butterflies it seems. Full sun was appreciated and today we concentrated on finding a few flowers in bloom. Dog's Mercury; Barren Strawberry; Common Dog Violet; White Dead Nettle; Red Dead Nettle; Moschatel; Shining Cranes-Bill; Slender Speedwell; Ivy Leaved Toadflax; Goosegrass; Water Avens; Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage; Marsh Marigold; Garlic Mustard; Red Campion; Bluebell; Wood Anemone; Butterbur; Colts-Foot; Cowslip; Primrose; Lesser Celandine and Lords and Ladies.

Rainbow Trout frequented the river and a Wood Mouse was also seen.

The first Willow Warbler of the year was spotted, a male Blackcap gave close up views and a pristine Grey Wagtail hung around on rooftops.

 
11th April 2012 - Ainsdale Sands, Lancashire - St Marks Flies were on the wing and in good numbers.
 

11th April 2012 - Crosby Marina, Lancashire - A mooch with the kids from work was had in full sun although the breeze that blew had a slight edge to it. A mixed flock of Sanderling and Redshank was on the tidal line and a good flock of Black Tailed Godwit frequented nearby grassy areas.

 

8th April 2012 - Marshside RSPB, Lancashire - Not a bad wander in the whistling wind - 62 birds with the list being:- Skylark; Greylag Goose; Oystercatcher; Mute Swan; Starling; Canada Goose; Black Headed Gull; Shelduck; Mallard; Curlew; Black Tailed Godwit; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Pink Footed Goose; Lapwing; Coot; Wood Pigeon; Feral Pigeon; Shoveler; Redshank; Tufted Duck; Magpie; Dunnock; Gadwall; Moorhen; Carrion Crow; Avocet; Little Egret; Little Grebe; Pintail; Ruff; Teal; Golden Plover; Great Black Backed Gull; Common Gull; Wigeon; Meadow Pipit; Wheatear; Cormorant; Ringed Plover; Grey Plover; Knot; Bar Tailed Godwit; Jackdaw; Short Eared Owl (*4); Grey Heron; Reed Bunting; Herring Gull; Collared Dove; House Sparrow; Blackbird; Mistle Thrush; Greenfinch; Blue Tit; Robin; Great Tit; Wren; Chaffinch; Chiffchaff; Barnacle Goose; Sparrowhawk; Pheasant and Pied Wagtail.

7 flowers noted in bloom were:- Oxford Ragwort; Red Dead Nettle; White Dead Nettle; Alexanders; Doves Foot Cranes-Bill and Green Alkanet.

 
6th April 2012 - Hogshead Woods, Cheshire - Numerous Heather Beetles (Lochmaea suturalis) were seen as well as several Weevils on Pine (Strophosoma melanogrammum). Other than that not much was about and with two of us crook with colds and sore throats we didn't hang around for too long.
 
5th April 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - The first 2 Orange Tips of the year were duly appreciated - great toxic butterflies these!
 
1st April 2011 - Fletcher Moss, Cheshire - A brief wander checking on a few special fungi with 2 Ring Necked Parakeets on the wing and Marsh Marigold in magnificent flower.
 
MARCH
 

31st March 2012 - Frodsham Marsh, Cheshire - After a pop in to The Lancashire and Cheshire Entomological Society (LCES) Annual Exhibition we called in at a local chippy and indulged in lunch and a bit of birding at this much neglected site. 40 birds was the total with Buzzard; Avocet (*6); Golden Plover and Curlew the best. Very quiet indeed and hopefully our next visit in May will produce better results.

Cow Parsley was noted in flower.

 

29th March 2012 - Pennington Flash, Lancashire - A wander with my brother produced a list of only 43 birds the best of which were Buzzard; Nuthatch; Chiffchaff; Blackcap and Kingfisher. On the butterfly front 5 species were seen, these being:- Small Tortoiseshell (*6); Peacock (*2); Speckled Wood (*2); Comma (*1) and Small White (*1). The highlight of the day on the lepidoptera front was surely a single Orange Underwing - an all time new for both of us in fact.

Gorse Seed Weevils were plentiful, 4 Gorse Shieldbugs were seen and Marsh Marigold; Sweet Violet and Yellow Flag Iris were all noted in flower.

 

28th March 2012 - River Mersey/Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - 5 Goosander were on the river comprising of 2 males and 3 females. A Dipper flew past and Grey Wagtails hopped on seemingly cool waterside rocks. The butterflies Peacock (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*5) and Comma (*2) were on the wing. Feverfew; Wood Stitchwort and Slender Speedwell were in flower on yet another hot and sunny day.

The gall Aceria fraxinivora was seen hanging from the branches of an Ash tree that is ready to bloom. I shall be looking for fresher specimens later in the year.

 
27th March 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - First Common Plume Moth of the year once again frequenting the bathroom.
 
27th March 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - 5 Peacock Butterflies on the wing.
 
26th March 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A Common Wasp was seen indoors, another Harlequin (f. spectabilis) was in the garden and Tawny Mining Bee (Andrena fulva) was rescued from a spiders nest. 20 Plume Moth in the bathroom too!
 
26th March 2012 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - The first Alder Leaf Beetle of the year was seen.
 
25th March 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A lovely stroll down river with Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Peacock (*5) and Comma (*2) all on the wing. Grey Wagtails were at the waters edge and Ramsons, Rape and Ribwort Plantain were in flower. A pond held numerous breeding and calling Toads and time was spent to enjoying these grumpy looking amphibians - great creatures.
 
24th March 2012 - Chadkirk Chapel, Stockport, Cheshire - After seeing a Comma butterfly at a local garden centre it was good to see a few more species on the wing today. Brimstone (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*2) and the reliable Peacock (*2) seemed happy to fly in the stunning conditions. 2 pairs of Mandarin Duck hung around near the local ponds, A Peregrine Falcon called overhead and did a couple of fly overs, 2 Buzzards floated on the thermals and Bluebell, Wood Anemone, Butterbur, Herb Bennet and Lesser Celandine were all noted in flower. A Common Wasp frequented Ivy and 4 Harlequin Ladybirds (f. succinea) absorbed the golden rays.
 
23rd March 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - The first butterfly sighting of the year - a Peacock - yes indeedy!
 
22nd March 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - First Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus) of the year hanging around the Bay Tree...and...the first moth of the year - Double Striped Pug!
 
21st March 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - The first Chiffchaff of the year was heard and seen, always a special moment.
 
11th March 2012 - Runcorn Hill NR, Cheshire - A shortish walk today with gas burners on low. The first Gorse Shieldbug of the year was seen, 3 Buff Tailed Bumble Bees, a Smooth Newt, 2 * 7 Spot Ladybirds and Broom was in flower.
 

10th March 2012 - Marbury CP, Cheshire - A fine walk today in weather that can only be described as 'just right' for this time of year. A list of 49 birds had a few highlight's with Tawny Owl; Curlew; Goldcrest; White Wagtail; Sparrowhawk (*2); Treecreeper and a flock of 24 Pied Wagtails the pick.

In flower today were Lesser Celandine; Red Dead Nettle; Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Hairy Bittercress; Wood Anemone; Dog's Mercury and Blackthorn.

A trio and a pair of Toads were seen in a sexual grouping, 3*7 Spot Ladybirds hung around Gorse bushes and many Leopard Slugs were noted.

Toadish love - warts n' all

Note - no Toads were harmed in the taking of this shot - randy buggers they be!

 
6th March 2012 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - The first Harlequin Ladybird was on the prowl between the panes of a sunlit window.
 
5th March 2012 - Heaton Moor/River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A Tawny Mining Bee (Andrena sp.) was noted on Dandelion and Field Woodrush was seen in flower.
 
2rd March 2012 - Marshside RSPB, Lancashire - A short visit due to my young lass feeling a bit queasy - the result - a few Avocets, several Little Egrets, many Golden Plover, tons of Black Tailed Godwit, and a superabundance of wildfowl species. Colts-Foot was seen in flower and 3 Brown Hares knocked about in the distance.
 
2nd March 2012 - Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire - A wander that started with frayed moods and crappy rain ended in nice sunshine and good inner vibes. Great views of a creeping Bittern were enjoyed by all, the flock of Tree Sparrows was delightful as the sun kissed their chocolate brown heads, a Water Rail walked out in front of us and strutted around in the golden rays and a lone Greylag Goose flew by. The nearby fields held 4 Corn Bunting as well as a brace of Red Legged Partridge and a massive flock of Pink Footed Geese. 48 species was the final total although it did seem like more.
 
2nd March 2012 - Heaton Moor/River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A great stroll home in the sun and Hazel catkins were plentiful and a single female flower was a joy. Long Tailed Tits were paired up, the first 7 Spot Ladybirds were noted on Gorse and Wavy Bittercress was in flower.
 
FEBRUARY
 

26th February 2011 - Fletcher Moss, Cheshire - We should have gone further afield but the distractions of life said not. A nice walk in increasing sunshine paid dividends with a pair of Goosander flying along the river, some close up views of a Treecreeper, a drumming Greater Spotted Woodpecker, a flock of 5 obliging Ring Necked Parakeets, a single feeding Siskin, a large flock of Redwing that held one Fieldfare and...a Waxwing, all contributing to a decent mooch.

A Large Yellow Slug was seen beneath logs and Blackthorn was noted in flower for the first time this year.

 
19th February 2012 - Carrington Moss, Cheshire - Yet more silence on the bird front with Goldcrest; Stock Dove; Buzzard and Song Thrush the pick.
 
19th February 2012 - Risley Moss, Cheshire - A sunny morn and a quiet stroll - pity a family allowed their dog to crap everywhere and then just carry on regardless - trash! Bird wise it was a quiet do with Great Spotted Woodpecker; Willow Tit; Sparrowhawk; Bullfinch; Reed Bunting and Coal Tit the pick of a small bunch.
 
17th February 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Common Field Speedwell in flower - I think we are slowly getting through this winter and out of the other side - not been a bad un' at all!
 
15th February 2012 - Abney Hall, Cheshire - A nice walk with my chatty daughter. Winter Aconite in flower as well as a single Lesser Celandine. A brace of Leopard Slugs were noted and many birds were singing in celebration of a partially sunny day.
 

11th February 2012 - Tatton Park, Cheshire -Really too cold to dawdle today and with most of the water frozen over the bird list wasn't what it should have been. The highs were a single Smew (Red Head), a small flock of Gadwall, a brace of perished looking Little Grebe, a mooching Treecreeper and a large flock of Chaffinch holding several prime Bramblings.

It was good to catch up with a couple of birding friends too one of whom we hadn't seen for quite a few years.

 
10th February 2012 - Heaton Moor/River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire -The moss Bryum capillare was noted in profusion on a wall, Mahonia japonica was in flower, Hazel catkins seemed ready to release pollen and 4 Goosanders were on the river.
 
JANUARY
 

29th January 2012 - Pennington Flash, Lancashire - A good walk around this increasingly popular reserve resulted in a list of 51 bird species, which were:- Dunnock; Black Headed Gull; Tufted Duck; Mallard; Lapwing; Moorhen; Teal; Coot; Canada Goose; Mute Swan; Cormorant; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Common Gull; Goosander; Wood Pigeon; Common Snipe; Goldeneye; Herring Gull; Magpie; Chaffinch; Willow Tit; Robin; Great Tit; Reed Bunting; Lesser Redpoll; Bullfinch; Greenfinch; Blue Tit; Blackbird; Stock Dove; Gadwall; Song Thrush; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Long Tailed Tit; Jay; Kestrel; Grey Heron; Shoveler; Great Crested Grebe; Little Grebe; Starling; Mistle Thrush; Pochard; Carrion Crow; Skylark; Meadow Pipit; House Sparrow; Goldfinch; Collared Dove; Buzzard and Pied Wagtail.

Groundsel; Hogweed and Shepherds Purse were seen in flower.

 
28th January 2012 - Chorlton WP, Greater Manchester - An early morning walk with a brisk step taken so as to keep out the cold and get the blood supply moving. 37 species of bird, which were:- Carrion Crow; Wood Pigeon; Feral Pigeon; Robin; Reed Bunting; Magpie; Great Tit; Dunnock; Bullfinch; Fieldfare; Mistle Thrush; Blue Tit; Starling; Chaffinch; Greenfinch; Blackbird; House Sparrow; Coot; Collared Dove; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Canada Goose; Tufted Duck; Black Headed Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Pochard; Mute Swan; Goosander; Song Thrush; Mallard; Jay; Redwing; Common Gull; Great Crested Grebe; Long Tailed Tit; Cormorant; Kestrel and Moorhen.
 
25th January 2012 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Wood Avens otherwise known as Herb Bennet in flower today - way too early. I suspected it was in flower over a week ago but only one petal was noted and I considered it to be a left over from last year. Today a full bloom was present - so how early did the last flower appear?
 

22nd January 2012 - Etherow CP, Cheshire - Having been busy the last couple of weeks with punk gigs, hospital visits and decorating it was good to get back out and have a tootle around what is our local patch. Bird wise it was hard going with the highs of the 25 species bird list being some close up views of feeding Nuthatch, a great shot of a climbing Treecreeper and a plentiful supply of Mandarin Duck (*50).

Lesser Celandine was seen in flower and Dusky Slug; Garden Snail; Garlic Snail; the centipede Lithobius variegatus; Maidenhair Spleenwort and Wall Rue were all added to the day's viewings.

 
21st January 2012 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Burying a bit of kitchen waste in the garden and a Common Frog was seen beneath a couple of logs I leave lying about so for the woodlice. The frog was rather swollen which seemed to indicate there are a good amount of worms and slugs around.
 
7th January 2012 - Denby Dale, West Yorkshire - Red Valerian was seen in flower - early or what?
 
7th January 2012 - Pugneys CP, Wakefield, West Yorkshire - A real wind blown affair this and how we did the circumference of the lake is beyond me - phew - fresh or what. Bird species seen was 22, which were:- Carrion Crow; Mute Swan; Black Headed Gull; Mallard; Feral Pigeon; Canada Goose; Goosander; Coot; Great Northern Diver (*2); Great Crested Grebe; Pied Wagtail; Tufted Duck; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Goldeneye; Goldfinch; Red Crested Pochard (M); Blue Tit; Shoveler; Wood Pigeon; Redwing; Pochard and Cormorant.
 
7th January 2012 - Anglers CP, Wakefield, West Yorkshire - A wander in breezy conditions at this country park that we hadn't visited for quite a few years now. Primarily a bird watching outing with the 47 species seen being:- Fieldfare; Blackbird; Collared Dove; Wood Pigeon; Magpie; Carrion Crow; Chaffinch; Goldfinch; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Tree Sparrow; Greenfinch; Redwing; Mistle Thrush; Moorhen; Mallard; Canada Goose; Song Thrush; Pochard; Coot; Greylag Goose; Mute Swan; Gadwall; Wigeon; Goosander; Tufted Duck; Kestrel; Goldeneye; American Wigeon; Teal; Ruddy Duck; Black Headed Gull; Little Grebe; Great Crested Grebe; Cormorant; Jackdaw; Herring Gull; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Greenland White Fronted Goose; Goldcrest; Lapwing; Starling; Rook; Grey Heron; Dunnock; Reed Bunting; and House Sparrow.
 
3rd January 2012 - Heaton Moor/River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - The mosses Grimmia pulvinata and Tortula muralis were seen in fruit and a single flower on a winding stalk of Ivy Leaved Toadflax was observed. 1 male Goosander frequented the river.
 

2nd January 2012 - Moore NR, Cheshire - We should have had a good bird list today but got sidetracked with fungi (again) - here's the 31 species that we did see:- Magpie; Carrion Crow; Coot; Teal; Wigeon; Gadwall; Tufted Duck; Mallard; Great Tit; Jackdaw; Tawny Owl; Black Headed Gull; Great Black Backed Gull; Herring Gull; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Shoveler; Moorhen; Cormorant; Pochard; Blackbird; Redwing; Bullfinch; Mistle Thrush; Wood Pigeon; Nuthatch; Coal Tit; Blue Tit; Chaffinch; Reed Bunting and Buzzard.

A group of Grey Squirrels were noted as being argumentative as ever, Striped, Shiny and Pygmy Woodlice were seen whilst rolling logs for micro fungi and Red Campion was seen in flower.

 
1st January 2012 - Fairhaven Lake, Lancashire - A way to round off a decent day is a swift wander around this lake to stretch out the legs. 24 birds seen, which were:- Pintail; Great Black Backed Gull; Dunlin; Shelduck; Curlew; Little Egret; Cormorant; Redshank; Magpie; Shoveler; Tufted Duck; Pochard; Scaup (1*F); Wood Pigeon; Moorhen; Feral Pigeon; Black Headed Gull; Common Gull; Oystercatcher; Mute Swan; Coot; Mallard; Jackdaw; Carrion Crow and Canada Goose.
 
1st January 2012 - Lytham Moss, Lancashire - A few pointers from a kind dude at Marton Mere helped us to arrive easily at this destination and get good views of 4 Tundra Bean Geese, 1 Pink Footed Goose and 2 Mute Swans.
 

1st January 2012 - Marton Mere, Lancashire - Up early and out in the elements to this regular reserve that throws up the odd delight or two. A list of 41 bird species were had, these being:- Robin; Blue Tit; Pink Footed Goose; Blackbird; Starling; Chaffinch; Pheasant; Magpie; Redwing; Mute Swan; Grey Heron; Carrion Crow; Kestrel; Lapwing; Coot; Goldeneye; Gadwall; Teal; Mallard; Shoveler; Pochard; Linnet; Bullfinch; Moorhen; Collared Dove; Black Headed Gull; Common Gull; Jackdaw; Canada Goose; Herring Gull; Cormorant; Iceland Gull; Tufted Duck; Great Tit; Dunnock; Reed Bunting; Wood Pigeon; Wren; Long Tailed Tit and Coal Tit.

Common Gorse was in flower as were a few Daisies and a Rabbit was noted fleeing into the undergrowth.