FUNGALPUNK SIGHTINGS 2013
Fungal sightings found here
 
DECEMBER
 
31st December 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Last day of the year, half day at work - yeah. Walking home and a pair of Goosander and a pair of Bullfinch brightened my spirits. Plenty of Redwing about too this year - flighty buggers they be.
 
26th December 2013 - Portland Castle Harbour, Dorset - After a long day Martin the Obs warden told us of a Brunnich's Guillemot in the area. A mad dash and there it was, an elusive bugger but with the help of a few birders better and better shots were had, some of which were close in. Shag, Black Guillemot and Great Northern Diver were also enjoyed. The festive period finished on a high, pity next day the car blew on the way home and a severe low was had - hey ho - that's life!
 
26th December 2013 - Portland Bill, Dorset - After a busy morn and dinner time a walk around the Bill with the 2 girls was nice. A Common Green Shieldbug (in it's brown winter colours) was spotted on Mallow outside the Obs and a Raven; Sparrowhawk and Black Redstart were noted on the stroll.
 
26th December 2013 - Radipole RSPB, Dorset - A walk from Lodmoor along the busy front of Weymouth and to this decent reserve. Closed due to flooding - bah - not to worry, I'll see what I can see anyway. 26 birds the total; these were:- Dunnock; Mediterranean Gull; (The very suspicious) Hooded Merganser; Tufted Duck; Cormorant; Black Headed Gull; Coot; House Sparrow; Mallard; Common Gull; Blue Tit; Grey Heron; Cormorant; Mute Swan; Great Black Backed Gull; Feral Pigeon; Pied Wagtail; Grey Wagtail; Little Grebe; Wood Pigeon; Carrion Crow; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Magpie; Moorhen; Jackdaw and Shelduck.
 

26th December 2013 - Lodmoor RSPB, Dorset - My two lasses had Christmas money to spend and so they dropped me off at this reserve to do some birding and off they went top splash some cash. I had a nice stroll and met up with a familiar face, the end list was 34 species:- Mallard; Herring Gull; Black Headed Gull; Cormorant; Magpie; Tufted Duck; Coot; Canada Goose; Lapwing; Carrion Crow; Dunnock; Shoveler; Moorhen; Blackbird; Wren; Grey Heron; Starling; Shelduck; Teal; Greenfinch; Little Grebe; Song Thrush; Robin; Great Tit; Bullfinch; Cetti's Warbler; Feral Pigeon; House Sparrow; Bittern; Wood Pigeon; Great Black Backed Gull; Gadwall; Pochard and Common Snipe.

Winter Heliotrope was in flower.

 
26th December 2013 - Radipole Park, Dorset - After a chat with Obs warden and top gent Martin Cade it was revealed that a Glossy Ibis was in the area and showing pretty darn well. Why not have a look even though it is Boxing Day? Great views and what an indifferent looking chap he was. In the trees behind a clump Mistletoe was noted - very seasonal and a kiss with the missus was had.
 
25th December 2013 - Portland Bill, Dorset - Christmas Day and after the lasses opened their prezzies my daughter decided to chill about and I had a birding wander with the fine wife. The list was later added to as I took a final stroll to the end of the Bill before it got dark:- Gannet; Wood Pigeon; Razorbill; Great Black Backed Gull; Goldfinch; Greenfinch; Kestrel; Chaffinch; Jackdaw; Meadow Pipit; Stonechat; Herring Gull; Pied Wagtail; Starling; House Sparrow; Blackbird; Magpie; Buzzard; Kittiwake; Peregrine Falcon; Wren; Red Throated Diver; Dunnock; Great Tit; Cormorant; Shag; Little Owl; Common Gull; Oystercatcher; Turnstone; Purple Sandpiper; Mediterranean Gull and Raven.
 
24th December 2013 - Portland Bill, Dorset - The lasses were back at the castle, I was on the tip of the island, it was growing dark and just watching the Cormorants fly to roost over the turbulent sea and into a howling head wind was somehow significant - the key is 'keep on flapping, go against the flow, and try your best to get to where you want to be' - brilliant stuff and once more nature has every answer you could possibly need.
 
24th December 2013 - Chesil Beach, Dorset - Cake and teas and a brief rest from the cold and then back out. More birds, this time:- Common Gull; Mediterranean Gull; Little Egret; Redshank; Dark Bellied Brent Goose; Starling; Bar Tailed Godwit; Dunlin; Lesser Black Backed Gull and Black Headed Gull.
 

24th December 2013 - Portland Castle Harbour, Dorset - After yesterday's wicked weather it was nice to get out and go and check out a local rarity along with a few other birds. Species seen were:- Pied Wagtail; Red Breasted Merganser; Cormorant; Carrion Crow; Razorbill; Black Guillemot; Black Throated Diver; Kittiwake; Great Crested Grebe; Oystercatcher and Shag.

It was great to catch up with Captain Bagsy too - a fine chap and always a pleasure to meet up with.

 
22nd December 2013 - Portland Bill, Dorset - A negating and draining bout of stress, constant hassles with the car, a severe disillusionment with the music scene and the egotistical filth found therein, a desire to get away from the mad populace over the festive period and the need to have some time with the lasses and some birds all caused us to be back at the Lighthouse for Christmas. It was a stressful start with the car once more playing up and my head and body in tatters but we crack on nonetheless. The first bird list was made up of the following avian gems:- Kestrel; Gannet; Goldfinch; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Shag; Wood Pigeon; Carrion Crow; Guillemot; Oystercatcher; Great Black Backed Gull; Herring Gull; Purple Sandpiper; Turnstone; Rock Pipit; Cormorant and Buzzard.
 
14th December 2013 - Chorlton WP, G. Manchester - A wander to keep things ticking over, 33 species of bird noted, these were:- Goosander; Chaffinch; Redwing; Bullfinch; Long Tailed Tit; Pied Wagtail; Goldfinch; Blackbird; Robin; Siskin; Goldeneye; Carrion Crow; Pochard; Buzzard; Common Gull; Cormorant; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Moorhen; Coot; Tufted Duck; Gadwall; Mallard; Feral Pigeon; Dunnock; Black Headed Gull; Magpie; Collared Dove; House Sparrow; Great Tit; Starling; Coal Tit and Blue Tit.
 
12th December 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - An early finish at work, a long walk to clear the noggin of unwanted stress before an evening visit to the theatre - 8 Goosanders (3 males, 5 females) were on the river - lovely birds.
 
9th December 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - After a gig and beer the night before it was a 20 minute jog was called for. Easy as you go and just made the set target - phew. On the way back a pair of Goosander were noted, a Grey Wagtail and a Leopard Slug.
 
7th December 2013 - Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire - A Raven flying over was about the best sighting on a sweet and short visit.
 

7th December 2013 - Marshside RSPB, Lancashire - A rare twitching occasion for us and after yet more car trouble on the way we arrived a little stressed and 3 hours later than expected. A swift walk and the target bird was had - Baikal Teal - apparently of dubious origin which matters not a jot to me - a bird is a bird and I have a soft spot for all wildfowl. It was a nice chap but don't forget all the Wigeon and Teal it was with as well as the Pintail and other bird life - just as stunning. Amazingly most had overlooked the Long tailed Duck which was whizzing about the water. I duly pointed it out, those that had missed it got a viewing and then whoosh, the beauty flew, as did the Baikal Teal ten minutes after. The rain then came and on the way back we paused to watch a Weasel skip around in the roadside grass and then it was time to bugger off for a cuppa. needs must! As for twitching - not really my bag and as long as those who do it kindly share (with others), care (for the environment) and (don't get took carried away with the tag of) rare I have no gripes. Enjoy folks.

NOVEMBER
 

30th November 2013 - Anderton NR, Marbury CP, Cheshire - A quiet wander in full sun and mild weather, a list of 42 birds were noted along the way:- Song Thrush; Blackbird; Mistle Thrush; Redwing; Fieldfare; Black Headed Gull; House Sparrow; Bullfinch; Blue Tit; Wren; Robin; Buzzard; Grey Heron; Mallard; Coot; Canada Goose; Long Tailed Tit; Teal; Shoveler; Shelduck; Mute Swan; Carrion Crow; Tufted Duck; Jay; Jackdaw; Great Crested Grebe; Herring Gull; Pochard; Cormorant; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Greylag Goose; Curlew; Common Gull; Pink Footed Goose; Sparrowhawk (M/F); Coal Tit; Great Tit; Nuthatch; Chaffinch; Moorhen; Pied Wagtail and Goldfinch.

White Dead Nettle was noted in flower.

 
28th November 2013 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Just getting to work and lo and behold a little Hedgehog pottering around within the grounds. What a pip! 20 minutes watching him and making sure he safely avoided the road and in to work a trifle late.
 
24th November 2013 - Pennington Flash, G. Manchester - A brief birding jaunt, again nothing outrageous but nice to be out just ambling along and noting a few feathered friends. The list of 37 species compiled in 2 hours was:- Coot; Black Headed Gull; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Mallard; Goldeneye; Magpie; Song Thrush; Chaffinch; Blackbird; Pochard; Common Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Great Crested Grebe; Goosander (*23); Cormorant; Carrion Crow; Grey Heron; Dunnock; Teal; Shoveler; Tufted Duck; Long Tailed Tit; Common Snipe (*4); Great Tit; Blue Tit; Moorhen; Robin; Gadwall; Fieldfare; Reed Bunting; Brambling (F); Bullfinch; Greenfinch; Stock Dove; Wood Pigeon and Pied Wagtail.
 
23rd November 2013 - Chorlton WP, G. Manchester - A fresh and frosty day and a mooch around for some bird life. Nothing outrageous, only 30 species observed, these were:- Magpie; Feral Pigeon; House Sparrow; Gadwall; Pied Wagtail; Starling; Goldfinch; Wren; Long Tailed Tit; Kestrel; Nuthatch; Jay; Chaffinch; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Redwing; Blackbird; Carrion Crow; Canada Goose; Cormorant; Goosander (F); Dunnock; Black Headed Gull; Carrion Crow; Goldeneye; Coot; Tufted Duck; Mallard; Mute Swan and Mistle Thrush.
 

17th November 2013 - River Mersey/Abney Hall/Cheadle Heath, Cheshire - The car blew last week so we had to stay local. We got the car fixed (£162 quids worth) and lo and behold it went again the day after - aagghh - so no car means another local wander and loads of unnecessary arsing about. Besides a few fungi (2 all time new ones too) we kept an eye on what flowers still had blooms on them, the result:- Purple Toadflax; Hogweed; Oxford Ragwort; Bush Vetch; Common Vetch; Red Valerian; Groundsel; Square Stalked St John's Wort; Himalayan Balsam; Tormentil; Red Clover; Nipplewort; Herb Robert; Daisy; Common Field Speedwell; Redshank; Shepherd's Purse; Prickly Sow Thistle; Orange Hawkbit; Large Bindweed and Dandelion sp.

A pair of Goosander were along the river, Redwings milled about and Bottlejacks pinged here and there (Long Tailed Tits tha' knows).

 
11th November 2013 - River Mersey/Abney Hall - A 4 mile wander in warm sun, phew - nowt much to report - a few common fungi and some common birds. A lone Redwing was seen and several Pied Wagtails but the river was swollen, the woodlands quiet but the walk still enjoyed.
 
2nd November 2013 - Erddig CP, Wrexham - Whilst leading a Fungal Friends wander a Hawthorn Shieldbug was noted as well as several Harlequin Ladybirds and the Noon Fly (Mesembrina meridiana). Mistletoe was in berry and Red Dead Nettle, Herb Robert; White Dead Nettle; Hedge Mustard and Groundsel were noted in flower.
 
OCTOBER
 
25th October 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A Feathered Thorn Moth in the karsi and a Silver Y seen fluttering about in the glorious sunshine.
 
24th October 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - An Angle Shades Moth in the toilet (not literally of course) - a stunner for sure!
21st October 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Feeding the birds in the garden and a Silver Y Moth was using the feeder as shelter from the wicked rain.
 
19th October 2013 - Harthill, Cheshire - After leading a fungal foray a Small Tortoiseshell was noted sunning itself on a wall.
 
6th October 2013 - Formby NT, Lancashire - As per my punky arse is out there leading many a foray this time of year so sightings other than 'shrooms are scarce at the mo. Whilst leading a group of fine folk around this much visited area though I did see the butterflies:- Speckled Wood (*3) and Small Copper (*1). Plenty of Common Darters were on the wing and the sun was shining strong - I shall not complain.
SEPTEMBER
 
28th September 2013 - Coombes Valley, Staffordshire - A fungal walk again but I still picked out 2 Small Tortoiseshells; 1 Speckled Wood, a Southern Hawker and a brace of American Signal Crayfish.
 
26th September 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Blair's Shoulder Knot attracted to an overnight light - a garden tick no less!
 
23rd September 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Attracted to an overnight light were singles of Silver Y; Rosy Rustic and Snout moths.
 
22nd September 2013 - Formby NT, Lancashire - Another fungi walk but I always keep an eye on a few other things. An Angle Shades moth was a nice sighting, 9 Speckled Woods and 2 Comma butterflies looked tiptop and a few Common Darters flew around the open areas with a lone Southern Hawker.
 
21st September 2013 - Marbury CP, Cheshire - 11 Speckled Woods, a Brimstone butterfly, singletons of Migrant Hawker, Brown Hawker and Common Darter, a Forest Shieldbug and the Cigar Gall (Lipara lucens) were all noted whilst leading a Fungal Foray.
 
14th September 2013 - Tatton Park, Cheshire - More tootling along for fungi took up all the mental powers but 2 Snout Moths were noted, the butterflies Speckled Wood (*15) and Small White (*1) were seen and also a Forest Shieldbug.
 
12th September 2013 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Whilst pondering a mildew on Comfrey a quartet of 24 Spot Ladybirds were admired. A lone Speckled Wood was the only butterfly seen.
 
8th September 2013 - Fletcher Moss, G. Manchester - Whilst mooching for a few 'shrooms 18 Speckled Wood butterflies were seen as well as a lone Small White.
 
7th September 2013 - Delamere Forest, Cheshire - Whilst leading a mushroom walk 3 species of butterfly were noted:- Small Copper (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*4) and Green Veined White (*1). The gall Contarinia loti was also observed.
 
6th September 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Two moths attracted to an overnight light, namely:- Setaceous Hebrew Character and Burnished Brass.
 

5th September 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The moth trap was in the toilet window, I woke up and discovered only a few species, these were:- Garden Carpet (*1); Svennson's Copper Underwing (*2); 20 Plume Moth (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Silver Y (*1) and Large Yellow Underwing (*4).

A Hawthorn Shieldbug was also caught and a Common Wasp.

 
2nd September 2013 - Parrs Wood, Didsbury, G Manchester - An attempt to find some fungi, mmm - way too dry for much but 4 Speckled Woods and 2 Small White Butterflies were seen as well as the Hoverflies Eristalis pertinax; Myathropa florea; Episyrphus balteatus and Volucella pellucens.
 
1st September 2013 - Lyme Park, Cheshire - Whilst waiting for the young lass to do her karate duties we had a fungal wander and came up with quite a few species (see Fungal Friends section) and along the way found a lone Small Copper butterfly hiding from the wind. The gall Taphrina tosquinetii was noted on Alder.
 
AUGUST
 
31st August 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - 2 Double Striped Pugs in the bathroom - are these late?
 
29th August 2013 - Tatton Park, Cheshire - Whilst looking for fungi a Violet Ground Beetle; Devil's Coach Horse; Leopard Slug; Great Crested Newt; Frog, Toad and the butterflies Speckled Wood (*1) and Small White (*1) were all noted. The weather was still fine and at times exceptionally warm - I shall not complain as the the whispered chilled breath of Autumn is just around the corner and I may just be overheard. An Art Exhibition by the Warrington Group was browsed with only a brace of pictures arousing interest - hey ho - I like variety on a day out anyway!
 
28th August 2013 - Ainsdale Sands, Lancashire - A trip out with the Young Carers from work, Sandwich Terns hung around whilst the young un's paddled, Wall (*3); Small Heath (*1); Small White (*1); Common Blue (*5); Peacock (*1) and Grayling (*4) were butterflies noted with at least 20 pairs of Common Darter ovipositing over 2 small slacks. A Northern Dune Tiger Beetle was a fine spot too and Grass of Parnassus and Blue Fleabane were nice to see in flower.
 
27th August 2013 - Stoney Cross, New Forest, Hampshire - A Narrow Winged Pug identified with a micro that I just can't nail - bah.
 
26th August 2013 - Reptile Centre, New Forest, Hampshire - The fourth visit here and after viewing the pods (with unexpected little success) we had a wander in the glorious heat. Meadow Grasshopper (*1); Woodland Grasshopper (*3); Large Marsh Grasshopper (*5) and Bog Bush Cricket (*1) were enjoyed immensely. A Brimstone and Speckled Wood flew past and Cow Wheat was still in flower.
 
26th August 2013 - Holmsley, Hampshire - Whilst waiting to pick up our daughter we popped in to check out the potential of this area, not bad at all and a trip back will be needed to list its potential. Today a Holly Blue; Meadow Brown and a brace of Gatekeepers were on the wing as well as a Common Darter.
 
26th August 2013 - Ringwood, Hampshire - Up and out and a visit to another Art Gallery - we like to be nosey and appreciate the efforts of others. A cup of coffee outside a cafe, a wander in a bookshop and a view at a nearby river walk resulted in a Kestrel and Great Spotted woodpecker being seen as well as a Speckled Wood (*1) and a Small White (*2) on some Hemp Agrimony.
 
26th August 2013 - Stoney Cross, New Forest, Hampshire - Dusky Thorn was seen outside the bedroom door.
 
25th August 2013 - Matley Bog, New Forest, Hampshire - After the mornings mushie mooch and visit to the Lion's Den I fancied finished the day looking for a target species, namely the New Forest Shieldbug (Eysacoris aeneus), something of a rarity and not easy to find. Lo and behold and 10 minutes mooching and one of the stunning blighters was found, and it proved to be the only one - hey ho - it was worth the effort. Another all time new species for us was the Heath Damselbug (Nabis ericetorum) with A Lesser Cockroach (Ectobius panzeri) and Green Leafhopper (Cicadella viridis) added as well as the butterflies Small White (*1) and Gatekeeper (*1) seen too. Of course a Silver Y Moth put in an appearance. A Beautiful Yellow Underwing Moth larvae was later identified. The Jumping Spider (Evarcha arcuata) was later confirmed as was the larvae of the Broom Moth.
 

25th August 2013 - Common Marsh, Stockbridge, Hampshire - A call in at a place where we could have a bite to eat from our recently acquired stash of victuals and a chilled walk. Still the weather was on our side and after a fine meal of German meat on fresh crusty rolls (for me) and Veggie Pasta (for my wife) we had a relaxed wander besides the crystal clear River Test and then back through a wooded pathway. Flowers were observed this time with the following making up an average list:- White Clover; Herb Robert; Pink Water Speedwell; Hogweed; Soapwort; Wood Avens; Water Pepper; Dark Mullein; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Creeping Thistle; Common Nettle; Field Bindweed; Help Agrimony; Agrimony; Common Knapweed; Tormentil; Water Mint; Ribwort Plantain; Gypsywort; Marsh Thistle; White Dead Nettle; Greater Willowherb; Red Clover; Restharrow and Enchanter's Nightshade.

Brimstone (*1); Speckled Wood (*3); Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Small White (*1) and Meadow Brown (*3) were the butterflies seen, a Mother of Pearl moth on Nettle seemed a little late in the year, Dark Bush Cricket; Meadow Grasshopper; Long Winged Conehead and Common Green Grasshopper represented the Orthoptera and a Wasp Spider was a bonus.

 

25th August 2013 - Leckford, Hampshire - Joining the Hampshire Fungus Group for a foray proved worthwhile with a few other bugs and beasts thrown in to the end list. The Fungus Beetle (Scaphidium quadrimaculatum); Common and Slender Groundhoppers; Southern Hawker (*2); the Sun Fly (Helophilus pendulus); the moths Straw Dot and Square Spot Rustic and the butterflies Speckled Wood (*3) and Peacock (*3) all added to the day's interest.

Oh and the Common Reed Gall (Lipara lucens) was picked out by a delightful lady I didn't quite catch the name of - nice one!

 

24th August 2013 - Denny Wood, New Forest, Hampshire - A mooch for some fungi resulted in very few species seen but a few bugs and beasts were noted. 2 Acorn Weevils (Curculio glandium) were found on Oak as well as a few Common Earwigs; 5 Forest Shieldbugs (Pentatoma rufipes); a few Wood Crickets; a Gatekeeper Butterfly; the Leafhopper (Lassus lanio) 5 Stag Beetle Larvae and an adult Lesser Stag Beetle. Also a Redstart was seen singing in a small loosely leafed tree.

The larva of a Scorched Wing Moth was later identified along with the Walnut Orb Spider (Nuctenea umbractica) as was the fly Choerades marginatus.

 
24th August 2013 - Milford Upon Sea, Hampshire - A chippy dinner and some Carrion Crows, Black Headed Gulls and Jackdaws given the odd scraps whilst a Peacock Butterfly and Small White flitted by. And yet another Art Gallery was visited - a nice assortment here accompanied by some Steel Drummers outside.
 

24th August 2013 - Keyhaven Marshes, Hampshire - An early start and shock, horror - some summer birding - not like us at all. I fancied the sound of this place so with the sun dazzling we donned our bins (scope left at home as I have enough to carry with liquids, pots, books, magnifiers, snacks, etc) and set off for what would be a wonderful jaunt. The 37 birds seen were:- Little Egret; Turnstone; Mallard; Little Stint; Common Whitethroat; Pied Wagtail; Great Black Backed Gull; Sanderling; Cormorant; Grey Plover; Starling; Curlew; Canada Goose; Mute Swan; Collared Dove; Oystercatcher; Carrion Crow; Black Headed Gull; Moorhen; Grey Heron; Wood Pigeon; Lapwing; House Martin; Sand Martin; Sparrowhawk; Redshank; Wheatear; Greenshank; Peregrine Falcon; Dunlin; Goldfinch; Linnet; Greenfinch; Ringed Plover; Whimbrel; Kestrel and Herring Gull.

3 butterflies were noted, namely:- Small Heath (*1); Small White (*1) and Wall (*1). Rock Sea Lavender was added to the day's tally and then we visited another local Art Gallery - not bad and very maritime of course.

 
24th August 2013 - Stoney Cross, New Forest, Hampshire - Oak Bush Cricket and a Brimstone Moth were attracted to an overnight light at our lodgings.
 
23rd August 2013 - Stoney Cross to Minstead, New Forest, Hampshire - Arriving at our destination for 4 nights, unpacked, kissed and cuddled and out for a wander with the lovely lady. 4 miles through tranquil country lanes with cows and ponies for company as well as each other. A few fungi were seen and a dusk flying Southern Hawker.
 
23rd August 2013 - Avon Tyrell, New Forest, Hampshire - Whilst dropping our daughter off for her Karate Gasshku I noted several butterflies:- Peacock (*1); Small White (*3); Common Blue (*1); Brimstone (*1) and Gatekeeper (*1) as well as a lone Silver Y Moth. 3 Green Woodpeckers were noted, 2 Southern Hawker Dragonflies and the gall Hartigiola annulipes on Beech leaves prior to leaving and going to the excellent Art Exhibition in Burley.
 
23rd August 2013 - Portland Bill, Dorset - Nowt much about during a quick stroll around a field near the lighthouse. 2 Ravens flew over and a Pea Weevil (Sitona lineatus) was found. Loewiola centaureae was later named as a gall found on Knapweed leaves. Thanks to a Mr Chris Yeates for the ID.
 

22nd August 2013 - Cheyne Weares; Portland Bill, Dorset - An early evening wander with Lucerne Bug; Lesser Cockroach; Wall Lizard (*4); Grass Spider (Tibellus oblongus); Hummingbird Hawk-Moth (*1) and the butterflies:- Common Blue (*5); Chalkhill Blue (*2); Wall (*5); Painted Lady (*1); Small White (*1) and Large White (*1) all contributing to a gentle stroll in warm weather (again).

Portland Spurge was seen for the first time this year as well as the plant gall on Salad Burnet (Aceria sanguisorbae).

 

22nd August 2013 - Portland Bill, Dorset - A mooch about with me old mucka Ken Dolbear and an abundance of stuff was found. After all species were named and exclaimed this was the result:- Wasp Spider; the Ladybirds (Platynapis luteorubra) and (Scymnus frontalis); Long Winged Conehead; Sloe Bug; the Leaf Beetle (Sermylassa halensis); Meadow Grasshopper; Lucerne Bug (Adelphocoris lineolatus); the Mirid Bug (Phytocoris varipes); the Spider (Hypsosinga pygmaea) and the Tortoise Shieldbug (Eurygaster testidinaria). A few more were photographed by Ken and named but I can't for the life of me remember seeing them - I shall chase them up and get a good look next time.

A few extras thrown in outside of the net and some later in the day were the butterflies Common Blue (*3); Large White (*1); Speckled Wood (*2); Comma (*1); Meadow Brown (*1) and Wall (*1) as well as Dark and Grey Bush Crickets and the Tachnid Fly (Tachina grossa).

A Vine Moth was caught by the warden Martin Cade and duly observed.

 

21st August 2013 - Nicodemus' Nob, Portland, Dorset - A late afternoon stroll and 9 butterflies seen:- Small White (*2); Chalkhill Blue (*20); Wall (*6); Meadow Brown (*1); Common Blue (*25); Gatekeeper (*4); Marbled White (*2); Small Copper (*1) and Large White (*2). 2 moths noted were Yellow Bellow (*1) and the seemingly ubiquitous Silver Y (*1).

3 Slow Worms, a Dark Bush Cricket and the galls Trioza centanthri; Kiefferia pericarpiicola; Diplolepsis spinosissimae and Diplolepis nervosa were extra species noted. The Beetle Silpha laevigata was later confirmed.

 

21st August 2013 - Portland Bird Observatory, Dorset - Back to the lighthouse for a couple of days and a few bugs and beasties noted. Kidney and 22 Spot Ladybirds were in good numbers, the hoverfly Chrysotoxum bicinctum was amongst the flowers, a Speckled Bush Cricket was also located and 6 species of butterfly were seen:- Comma (*2); Wall (*2); Painted Lady (*1); Common Blue (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*1) and Red Admiral (*4).

A Firethorn Leaf Miner Moth was shown to us by Assistant Warden Joe which was a sweet extra.

 
19th August 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - An Old Lady Moth in the karsi - what a stonker! I wondered where they had been this year!
 
18th August 2013 - Pennington Flash, Lancashire - An idling wander resulted in a Kingfisher perched up, a few Stock Dove and 4 Green Sandpipers. Sneezewort and Canadian Goldenrod were in flower and Green Veined White (*2); Peacock (*1) and Meadow Brown (*1) were on the wing. A Nettle Tap Moth was also spotted.
 
17th August 2013 - River Mersey/Abney Hall/Cheadle Heath Circular, Stockport, Cheshire - A Peacock butterfly was noted whilst jogging down the River Mersey, a Speckled Wood in Abney Hall and the gall Hayhurstia atriplicis seen on Common Orache leaves in Cheadle Heath.
 
15th August 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A Small White, A Peacock, A Gatekeeper and a Holly Blue gave me a bit of company walking home and a Brown Hawker whizzed over the water.
 
14th August 2013 - Weaver CP, Cheshire - Another wander with the wee un's from work, by heck you have to be quick to spot anything with this handful of busy bees. A few butterflies were seen around a healthy batch of Common Fleabane, namely:- Peacock (*2); Small Copper (*1); Small White (*5); Gatekeeper (*2); Comma (*1); Meadow Brown (*2); and Green Veined White (*1). A Silver Y Moth was seen and 2 Brown Hawkers plus a Common Darter.
 

13th August 2013 - Delamere Forest, Cheshire - A stroll around with a group from work and little to see. A few fungi were noted (See Fungal Friends section) as well as a Green Woodpecker; the micro moth (Blastobasis adustella), the Ground Beetlle (Cychrus caraboides) and the butterflies Peacock (*1) and Small White (*1).

The gall Hartigiola annulipes was noted on a Beech leaf.

 
12th August 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Small White (*12); Green Veined White (*1); Peacock (*1); Meadow Brown (*1) and Speckled Wood (*1) were butterflies on the wing in between hefty showers and Broad Leaved Helleborine was still in flower and a Common Green Shieldbug nymph was resting on Bracken.
 
11th August 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Willow Beauty (*1); Silver Y (*1); Blastobasis adustella (*1); Agriphila tristella (*1) Mother Of Pearl (*1) and Light Brown Apple Moth (*1) were attracted to the overnight light in the toilet.
 
11th August 2013 - Chorlton WP, G. Manchester - Small White (*1); Green Veined White (*1); Meadow Brown (*1) and Speckled Wood (*3) were observed after a spot of jogging. Also the galls Wachtliella persicariae was on Redshank with Andricus quercuscalicis and Andricus kollari on Oak.
 
8th August 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport - Small White (*5); Large White (*2) and Peacock (*1) were the only butterflies seen.
 
8th August 2013 - The Heatons, Stockport - 5 Small White Butterflies noted whilst walking home after the first day back at work.
 
7th August 2013 - Portland, Dorset - The day to head home, 4 moths viewed first though:- Brown Line, Bright Eye; Least Yellow Underwing; Straw Underwing and Wormwood Pug.
 

7th August 2013 - Radipole RSPB, Dorset - An excellent moth morning with Bearded Tit and the Alder Gall Taphrina alni seen too. The moths seen on the day were:- Yellow Tail; Phoenix; Early Thorn; Crescent; Smoky Wainscot; Lackey; Magpie; Elephant Hawkmoth; Garden Tiger; Scalloped Oak; Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing; Brown Veined Wainscot; Small Wainscot; Drinker; Single Dotted Wave; Common White Wave; Bright Line, Brown Eye; Webb's Wainscot; Rosy Rustic; Oak Eggar; Southern Wainscot; Silver Y; Wormwood Pug; Pebble Prominent; Saltern Ear; Common Wainscot; Mottled Rustic; Fen Wainscot; Flame Shoulder; Swallow Prominent; Rosy Footman; Clay; Flounced Rustic; Blastobasis adustella; Buff Ermine; Jersey Tiger and Willow Beauty .

A fine event run well and delivered accurately with a drink and breakfast finish - why was it not better attended?

 

6th August 2013 - Badbury Rings, Dorset - To finish the day a quick loop of the old 'Rings' a place we have visited a few times now. 5 Southern Hawkers frequented the pools, an Oak Bush Cricket was photographed, a Forest Bug was snapped too (just to be safe on the ID) and Myathropa florea was doing a spot of sun-bathing.

Butterflies noted on this brief visit were:- Meadow Brown (*10); Common Blue (*2); Large White (*2); Small White (*19); Small Heath (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*4); Peacock (*3); Painted Lady (*1); Gatekeeper (*1) and Speckled Wood (*1). A Silver Y Moth was expected and seen.

Hoary Plantain was in flower.

 

6th August 2013 - Sovell Down DWT, Dorset - A hidden site and another to revisit. Today as is per usual on this holiday we were counting the butterflies and keeping an eye out for a few extras. The flutterers included:- Essex Skipper (*1); Small White (*5); Common Blue (*1); Small Copper (*1); Large White (*23); Peacock (*1); Speckled Wood (*3); Ringlet (*2); Gatekeeper (*5); Meadow Brown (*10); Green Veined White (*2) and Brimstone (*2). Moths listed were:- Clouded Border (*1); Silver Y (*1); Nettle Tap Moth (*1); Small Fan Footed Wave (*1) and Acleris aspersana (*1).

The Robber Fly (Asilus crabroniformis); a Sloe Bug and the Mirid Polymerus uinifasciatus were excellent extras.

 

6th August 2013 - Martin Down, Hampshire - A wander in very warm conditions produced the butterflies:- Ringlet (*5); Gatekeeper (*6); Peacock (*6); Meadow Brown (*31); Dark Green Fritillary (*13); Common Blue (*4); Small White (*13); Small Skipper (*6); Brimstone (*4); Small Copper (*2); Chalkhill Blue (*12); Red Admiral (*1); Painted Lady (*1) and Clouded Yellow (*1). Moths noted were:- Silver Y (*20); 6 Spot Burnet (*5) and Argyresthia goedartella (*1).

A Raven flew over, a baby Common Lizard was seen resting on a lost camera case, a Slow Worm was basking beneath some tin and the Hoverflies Myathropa florea and Helophilus trivitattus were enjoyed.

 

6th August 2013 - Ashley Wood DWT, Dorset - Another new area to mooch and after a good walk it seemed a place to revisit. Butterfly species seen were:- Large White (*8); Comma (*1); Peacock (*2); Green Veined White (*21); Gatekeeper (*1); Speckled Wood (*6); Ringlet (*2); Holly Blue (*2); Red Admiral (*1) and Meadow Brown (*2). 2 Silver Y Moths were seen too and a Dingy Footman.

Extras included 24 and 14 Spot Ladybirds; Wood Spurge; the Ash Gall (Aceria fraxinivora) and an out of place Roesel's Bush Cricket at the side of the farmer's fields and on the edges of the woodland - how odd?

 

5th August 2013 - Portland, Dorset - After the mornings drenching time was spent chilling around the lighthouse and going through a few moths that the warden had brought back from Cornwall. Assistant warden Joe helped with the ID process and eventually we got there:- Mottled Beauty; Small White Wave; Devonshire Wainscot; Dingy Shell; Eudonia delunella; Scarce Footman; Nut Tree Tussock and Twin Spot Carpet being duly named. Palpita vitrealis was the best catch of the Obs' traps and in between pondering the moths the sea produced many Manx Shearwaters and the odd Balearic.

Hoary Plantain was seen growing just outside the Observatories grounds.

 

5th August 2013 - Ringstead Bay, Dorset - The morn had been glorious but the weather looked set to crack, still we risked a jaunt around this fine area. Clouds gathered, butterflies were low in numbers as the breeze grew:- Gatekeeper (*3); Red Admiral (*2); Small White (*1); Speckled Wood (*2); Marbled White (*2); Comma (*1) and Wall (*1). Another 6 Belted Clearwing was seen at rest and a Silver Y moth was also counted.

A German Wasp; the Hoverfly Scaeva pyastri; a Migrant Hawker and 32 Rose Chafers were other good species seen and a lone Yellowhammer was a birding bonus.

Flowers in bloom were:- Harebell; Pyramidal Orchid; Betony; Dwarf Thistle; Restharrow; Wood Sage; Common Ragwort; Red Clover; Marsh Thistle; Dandelion sp; Wood Avens; Shepherds Purse; Common Field Speedwell; Curled Leaved Dock; Hedge Bedstraw; Hogweed; Goosegrass; Bittersweet; Ribwort Plantain; Black Medick; Field Bindweed; Common Knapweed; Yarrow; Greater Plantain; White Clover; Red Campion; Common Nettle; Greater Willowherb; Ladies Bedstraw;; Mugwort; Creeping Thistle and Spear Thistle.

And then the rain came and we got bloody well soaked - bah!

 
5th August 2013 - Lodmoor Country Park, Dorset - Whilst waiting to enter the Sea Life Centre 4 Migrant Hawkers were seen and the butterflies Red Admiral (*2) and Small White (*2). Once inside a Comma caught my ever alert eye.
 

4th August 2013 - Portland, Dorset - A look through the moth trap and a few species on the Obs table gave us views of a few scale winged blighters we had not seen this year, namely:- Maidens Blush; Small Mottled Willow; Brown Veined Wainscot; Chinese Character; Oak Eggar; Ruby Tiger; Agapeta zoegana; Cochylis roseana; Agapeta hamana; Shuttle Shaped Dart; Kent Black Arches; Brown Line bBright Eye ; Bright Line Brown Eye; Rosy Rustic; Lesser Cream Wave; Dun-Bar; Crescent Dart; Dusky Sallow; Garden Tiger; Cream Bordered Green Pea and Drinker. A Lesser Cockroach was in the trap as well as the beetle Ophonus ardosiacus.

Sea Bristletail (Petrobius maritimus) was plentiful on coastal rocks, a few Shore Crabs were seen and Manx Shearwaters flew past on a rather calm sea.

A mooch around the crooked knob of Nicodemus produced the butterflies:- Chalkhill Blue (*19); Gatekeeper (*12); Small Skipper (*3); Red Admiral (*1); Green Veined White (*1); Common Blue (*1); Peacock (*1); Meadow Brown (*5); Marbled White (*13) and Ringlet (*2). Moths seen were 6 Belted Clearwing (*1); Shaded Broad Bar (*1) and 6 Spot Burnet (*2).

Common Green Grasshopper; Grey Bush Cricket and Speckled Bush Cricket were caught, admired and released and a Field Mouse and lone Slow Worm were choice extras. A Bishop's Mitre Bug was as excellent as ever and the galls Diplolepsis spinosissimae and Aceria labatiflorae were good bonus finds. Chrysotoxum elegans is hesitantly named after checking abdominal markings and the structure of the antennae however this group is far from easy.

 
3rd August 2013 - Purbeck Area, Dorset - A fave location and a few varied species seen. Black Darter (*1); Keeled Skimmer (*7); Small Red Damselfly (*3) and Large Red Damselfly (*2) frequented a pool, Grayling (*2); Silver Y (*3); Grass Emerald (*1) and Aristotelia ericinella (*1) were the only lepidopterans on the wing on this summery evening and Bog Bush Cricket, Mottled Grasshopper and a nearby Stonechat were the only extras noted. The Small Heather Weevil (Micrelus ericae) was later identified.
 

3rd August 2013 - Durlston CP, Dorset - We aimed to attend a moth morning but with several families, a man obsessed with taking a photo of the bigger species and a lovely lady leading the event who looking mithered to buggery we decided to bugger off and leave em' all to it and to do our own thing. We did find a Privet Hawkmoth at the side of the trap though that everyone seemed to not notice until shown and also saw a Peach Blossom and Drinker Moth in the trap.

Butterflies seen on out sun soaked wander were:- Painted Lady (*3); Gatekeeper (*37); Meadow Brown (*18); Marbled White (*47); Wall (*2); Common Blue (*3); Red Admiral (*1); Speckled Wood (*5); Peacock (*2); Lulworth Skipper (*116); Small Skipper (*18); Holly Blue (*1) and Brown Argus (*1). Day flying moths seen were:- Silver Y (*8); Yellow-Shell (*1) and Oncocera semirubella (*1).

Long Winged Conehead; Meadow Grasshopper; Common Field Grasshopper and Striped Wing Grasshopper were fun and Quaking Grass was plentiful in certain areas.

Plants in bloom were:- Herb Robert; Green Alkanet; Curled Leaved Dock; Prickly Sow Thistle; Greater Plantain; Enchanter's Nightshade; Hedge Woundwort; Red Bartsia; Ribwort Plantain; Common Knapweed; White Clover; Bittersweet; Creeping Thistle; Self-Heal; Daisy; Common Fleabane; Meadow Buttercup; Common Ragwort; Common Nettle; Woolly Thistle; Tufted Vetch; Devil's Bit Scabious; Field Scabious; Greater Willowherb; Dwarf Thistle; Wood Sage; Agrimony; Wild Parsnip; Carline Thistle; Ladies Bedstraw; Eyebright agg; Restharrow; Yarrow; Bird's Foot Trefoil; Dandelion sp; Red Clover and Field Bindweed.

The gall Kiefferia pericarpiicola was seen on Wild Carrot.

 

2nd August 2013 - Portland, Dorset - Bits and bobs with Rosy Minor; White Plume Moth and Pine Hawkmoth new ticks for the year and after a bit of mooching in the Obs fields Common Green Capsid; Blue Tailed Damselfly; Striped Woodlouse; Great Green Bush Cricket; Dark Bush Cricket and 22 Spot Ladybird added to the days haul. Stalia major and Notostira elongata were later confirmed by Joe Botting - King of the Bug World - cheers mate.

Out at sea a Manx Shearwater and Kittiwake were seen.

 

2nd August 2013 - Chesil Beach, Dorset - By heck a bit of birding, very rare for us during the summer months. The 17 species observed were:- Little Tern; Mediterranean Gull; Starling; Dunlin; Carrion Crow; Turnstone; Herring Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Meadow Pipit; Ringed Plover; Black Headed Gull; Curlew; Rook; Pied Wagtail; Sandwich Tern; Linnet and Skylark.

Of course a few butterflies were seen, the list being:- Painted Lady (*1); Meadow Brown (*18); Common Blue (*4); Clouded Yellow (*2); Gatekeeper (*3); Large White (*1) and Small White (*1). Moths added were:- Silver Y (*2) and 6 Spot Burnet (*12).

A flower list was kept with 43 species seen in bloom:- Pineappleweed; Creeping Thistle; Ladies Bedstraw; Ribwort Plantain; Wild Carrot; Bird's Foot Trefoil; Yarrow; Restharrow; Scarlet Pimpernel; Bristly Ox-Tongue; Field Bindweed; Lesser Trefoil; Thrift; Black Medick; Sea Beet; Kidney Vetch; Red Clover; Bittersweet; Common Storks-Bill; Tall Melilot; Sea Aster; Shrubby Sea Blite; Common Ragwort; Bucks-Horn Plantain; Teasel; Wild Parsnip; Ploughman's Spikenard; Soapwort; Sea Holly; Wormwood; Common Toadflax; Fennel; Common Knapweed; Spearmint; Greater Plantain; Common Cinquefoil; Groundsel; Pink Oxalis; Common Knotgrass; Equal Leaved Knotgrass; Spear Leaved Orache; Sea Purslane and Scentless Mayweed.

7 Spot Ladybird; Shore Crab; Sea Slater; Edible Periwinkle; Slow Worm and Short Tailed Vole added further natural quality.

Finds of the day were besides the car with the galls Aceria galiobia and Contarinia loti found on Ladies Bedstraw and Bird's Foot Trefoil respectively.

 
1st August 2013 - Greenhill Down, DorsetA tucked away Wildlife Trust reserve in blazing heat, with a midge fest, is hard work but having nearly visited every one of the Trusts sites we stuck at it.  Butterflies seen were:- Gatekeeper (*7); Small White (*3); Red Admiral (*1); Peacock (*4); Large White (*6); Meadow Brown (3); Comma (*2); Brimstone (*8); Ringlet (*3); Speckled Wood (*2); Small Skipper (*6); Marbled White (*5); Silver Washed Fritillary (*1) and Large Skipper (*1).  Silver Y Moths (*4) were present and a Southern Hawker had a nosey at us.  
 

1st August 2013 - Alners Gorse, Dorset - A prize location we always come up trumps at and today was no exception. Butterflies noted were:- Large White (*11); Gatekeeper (*33); Marbled White (*5); Green Veined White (*4); Large Skipper (*1); Silver Washed Fritillary (*8); Peacock (*3); Red Admiral (*1); Meadow Brown (*5); Purple Hairstreak (*5); Brown Hairstreak (*2); Brimstone (*7); Ringlet (*12); White Letter Hairstreak (*3); Comma (*2); Small White (*7); Speckled Wood (*4) and Small Skipper (*24). Moths seen were;- Silver Y (*4); Shaded Broad Bar (*1) and the micro Prochoreutis sehestediana.

2 Brown Hawkers were seen also as well as thye Hoverfly Chrysotoxum bicinctum.

 
1st August 2013 - Portland, Dorset - More island mooching later in the day produced a Slow Worm and a Common Lizard, Grey Bush Cricket, the butterflies Marbled White (*2); Gatekeeper (*2) and Meadow Brown (*1) as well as Travellers Joy; Sainfoin and Wormword all in flower.  6 Spot Burnet Moths (*11) were also noted.  A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was seen feeding on Honeysuckle outside the Obs.
 
Prior to our low key mooch another session with the Micro Moth Man resulted in views of:- Gynnidomorpha luridana; Aspilapteryx tringipennella; Caloptilia cuculipennella; Gracillaria syringella; Epermenia aequidentellus; Aristotelia brizella and Batrachedra praeangusta.
 
JULY
 
31st July 2013 - Lodmoor RSPB, Dorset - More birding , a bit better, 25 species which were:-  Greenfinch; Bullfinch; House Martin; Mediterranean Gull; Moorhen; Herring Gull; Goldfinch; Collared Dove; Black Tailed Godwit; Lapwing; Mallard; Swift; Little Egret; Shelduck; Dunlin; Canada Goose; Wood Sandpiper; Common Sandpiper; Oystercatcher; Swallow; Wood Pigeon; Carrion Crow; Starling; Black Headed Gull and Coot.
 
Singles of Large White and Peacock butterflies were had, the Hoverfly Volucella zonaria and a new gall, this time on Common reed, namely Lipara lucens.
 
31st July 2013 - Radipole RSPB, Dorset - Very quiet with few birds about:- Great Crested Grebe; Herring Gull; Black Headed Gull; Carrion Crow; Sand Martin; House Martin; Wren; Wood Pigeon; Swift; Cormorant; Mallard; Mute Swan; Blackcap; Grey Heron; Coot and Gadwall were the only things seen.  Singles of Gatekeeper and Green Veined White were the 2 butterflies seen and Creeping Jenny; Pyramidal Orchid and Wild Parsnip a few new flowers for the year.
 
Dasineura ulmaria and Dasineura pustulans were both seen on Meadowsweet leaves.
 
31st July 2013 - Portland, Dorset - More micro moths - Epiblema costipunctana; Acleris hastiana; Enarmonia formosana; Oegoconia caradjai; Myelois circumvoluta and Povolnya leucapennella were great to get to grips with (cheers Mr Slade) and it was nice to reacquaint with Webbs Wainscot; Cream Bordered Green Pea and Garden Dart.
 

30th July 2013 - Portland, Dorset -  A local wander with several new flowers for the year picked up including:- Pyramidal Orchid; Dwarf Thistle; Bristly Ox-Tongue; Strawberry Clover; Bastard Toadflax; Wild Carrot and Carline Thistle.  A few bugs noted were:- Great Green Bush Cricket; Dark Bush Cricket; the Snail Killing Fly (Coremacera marginata); Down Shieldbug (nymphs only); Oedemera nobilis; Pill Woodlouse; Green Capsid Bug (Lygocoris pabulinus); the Mirid Bug (Leptopterna ferrugata);
the spiders Neoscona adianta and Enoplognatha ovata and what I presume to be Phytocoris varipes as the only similar species is found on dry heathland.

Of course we had a look at a few butterflies (be rude not to) and the list made up comprised of:- Chalkhill Blue (*1); Green Veined White (*6); Lulworth Skipper (*4); Small Blue (*16); Small White (*5); Common Blue (*17); Gatekeeper (*11); Meadow Brown (*22); Marbled White (*17) and Small Skipper (*3).  Day flying moths were Yellow Shell (*2); Dusky Sallow (*1); Mother Of Pearl (*1); Shaded Broad Bar (*2); Silver Y (*4) and 6 Spotted Burnet (*143).

The Obs moth trap had many delights and thanks to a chap from Glamorgan (Dave Slade I think) many micros were named.  Argyresthia albistria; Eucosma conterminana; Acleris aspersana; Cochylis molliculana; Cochylis roseana and Coptotriche marginea all had me intrigued and sincere thanks was given to the micro-master.  Least Carpet; Kent Black Arches and Oncocera semirubella were nice to catch up with again.

Gannets were out at sea and 2 Slow Worms were seen.

 
29th July 2013 - Portland, Dorset - After arriving at the lighthouse my two ladies went shopping so I had a quick tootle in the grass alongside the observatory.  Common Blue (*1); Small Copper (*1) and Marbled White (*3) were the few butterflies seen, Long Winged Conehead; Great Green Bush Cricket; Common Green Grasshopper and Meadow Grasshopper were disturbed with Bishops Mitre Bug (Aelia acuminata); the Rhopolid (Myrmus miriformis); and the Wasp Spider (Argiope bruennichi) nice extras.
 
A Marbled Coronet Moth was seen at the lighthouse - quite a catch really.
 
28th July 2013 - Pulborough Brooks, Sussex - The last place of the day, phew - a quickish visit in still roasting heat - we be buggered.  Butterflies seen were:- Small White (*3); Gatekeeper (*11); Ringlet (*2); Small Skipper (*7); Meadow Brown (*5); Comma (*3); Essex Skipper (*1) and Small Copper (*1).  The moths Dark Arches (*1) and 6 Spot Burnet (*5) were added to the days records.
 
28th July 2013 - Lord's Piece, West Sussex - The weather let loose a brief shower and then the sun came, we didn't do too badly with Ringlet (*1); Gatekeeper (*1); Small Copper (*1) and Meadow Brown (*1) the butterflies on the wing, Meadow, Common Field and Mottled Grasshoppers flitting about, a Green Tiger Beetle running and flying, a Yellowhammer seen calling, a Buzzard circling overhead and a trio of Emperor dragonflies all adding to the serene ambience.  My lass though got the find of the day with 3 Field Cricket nymphs found - she has good eyes that young lady.
 
28th July 2013 - Oaken Wood, Surrey - I had heard good things about this reserve and in truth we didn't do too badly.  Butterflies observed were:- Silver Washed Fritillary (*3); Ringlet (*12); Brimstone (*4); Gatekeeper (*10); Marbled White (*4); Large White (*3); Speckled Wood (*1); Small White (*3); Essex Skipper (*4); Small Skipper (*8); Chalk-Hill Blue (*1); Large Skipper (*1); White Admiral (*2) and Meadow Brown (*2).  The moths Silver Y (*7) and Red Belted Clearwing (*1) were also seen.
 
2 Hornets hung around whilst we pondered the lepidoptera, Common Darter and Southern Hawker also whizzed around and the grassy areas held Tortoise Bug (Eurygaster testidinaria) the Rhopolid (Myrmus miriformis); the Mirid Bug (Deraeocoris ruber); the Leaf Beetle (Melasoma populi) and the Flower Longhorn (Strangalia melanura).  A 24 Spot Ladybird was also good to see.
 
28th July 2013 - Thursley Common, Surrey - Up at the crack, out and to this fine reserve for the first rummage of the day.  The weather was fine yet again and a few decent species were noted.  Odonata on the wing were:- Small Red Damselfly (*4); Common Emerald Damselfly (*3); Keeled Skimmer (*5); Large Red Damselfly (*2); 4 Spotted Chaser (*4); Brown Hawker (*1); Emperor Dragonfly (*1); Azure Damselfly (*1); Common Blue Damselfly (*10 and Black Darter (*2).
 
A few dudes had been catching moths locally and after a quick shuftie Black Arches (*1); Dark Tussock (*1) and Catoptria pinella (*1) were noted as well as a day flying Oak Hooktip (*1) and Silver Y (*1) seen earlier in the day.
 
Lesser Bladderwort was in flower, a Roe Deer was seen running into the distance, Bog Bush Crickets were around the waters margins, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers gave half decent views and the hoverfly Sericomya silentis hung around for a quick photo.  The Water Spider (Dolemedes fimbriatus) was caught hanging around on the boardwalks soaking up a few rays.
 
Chirosia grossicauda was observed on Bracken.
 
27th July 2013 - River Wey, Surrey - The walk to and from the shopping centre was taken down this watery  oasis with a few nice things seen along the way.  The butterfly theme of the holiday was continued with:- Red Admiral (*1); Comma (*3); Small Skipper (*1); Small White (*1) and Gatekeeper (*2) all seen.
 
Banded Demoiselle (*38) and Beautiful Demoiselle (*7) were a pleasure and Rose Chafer; 7 Spot Ladybird (*8)  and Common Green Shieldbug added further interest.
 
Flowers observed were:- Field Bindweed; Green Alkanet; Great Mullein; Water Mint; Black Horehound and Common Fleabane as well as numerous patches of Tansy which didn't have the gall I was seeking - bah.

 
27th July 2013 - Guildford Castle, Surrey - A day forecast of rain, instead a day of blazing sun - what the f***!  After a bout of shopping I decided to leave my lasses at it and peruse the local historical centre-piece.  Wildlife is indeed everywhere so why not have a mooch?   Butterflies spotted were:- Large White (*4); Green Veined White (*2); Small White (*7); Holly Blue (*2); Comma (*1); Ringlet (*1); Gatekeeper (*6); Brimstone (*1) and Small Skipper (*2).   Brown Hawker and Common Darter hung around the small body of water and the gall Cecidophyes nudus was seen on the leaves of Wood Avens.
 
Pellitory of the Wall was seen in flower for the first time this year.

 
26th July 2013 - Chobham Common, Surrey - A late evening wander before heading to our digs, a few flitterers about, namely:- Small Heath (*1); Small White (*1); Gatekeeper (*3); Small Skipper (*2); Large Skipper (*1) and Purple Hairstreak (*5).   A Keeled Skimmer hung around the monument and basked in the dregs of the sun.
 

26th July 2013 - Ryton Woods, Warwickshire - The first day of the holidays (boy do we need em') and a call off, before going down south, at a reserve I very much rate.  The target was a good day (always the priority) as well as numerous butterfly species, the species seen were:- Small White (*36); Large White (*17); Comma (*2); Gatekeeper (*31); Red Admiral (*1); Purple Hairstreak (*6); Ringlet (*103); Large Skipper (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Common Blue (*1); Peacock (*84); Small Copper (*1); Speckled Wood (*1); Green Veined White (*3); Silver Washed Fritillary (*15); Brimstone (*2); White Admiral (*9); Small Skipper (*18) and Marbled White (*15).  Moths seen were:- Silver Y (*5); 6 Spot Burnet (*10) and Shaded Broad Bar (*3).
 
Odonata recorded were:- Brown Hawker (*3); Common Darter (*2) and 4 Spotted Chaser (*1) although I am sure there was much more and the butterfly distractions helped us miss them.
 
2 Green Woodpeckers, a single Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Hornet, Meadow Grasshopper and Long Wing Conehead all added further interest to a trip ended with a call in at the ice cream van - why not?

The gall Harmandiola tremulae was later confirmed.

 
22nd July 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - More mothing, low numbers indeed with 16 species caught and mostly in single numbers:- Clouded Border (*1); Silver Y (*1); Small Phoenix (*1); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*1); Burnished Brass (*1); Heart And Dart (*1); Marbled Beauty (*12); Riband Wave f. remutata (*3); Diamond Back Moth (*1); Agriphila tristella (*1); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*1); Willow Beauty (*1); Blastobasis adustella (*1); Phlyctaenia coronata (*1); Straw Dot (*1) and Light Brown Apple Moth (*1).
 
21st July 2013 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - Continuing the days walk of 3.5 miles and more butterflies noted:- Meadow Brown (*13); Gatekeeper (*1); Small Skipper (*17); Small White (*1) and Speckled Wood (*1).

21st July 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A walk to stretch the old legs, butterflies seen were:- Gatekeeper (*4); Meadow Brown (*13) and Speckled Wood (*1).

Smooth Tare was in flower and seed.

 

20th July 2013 - Heysham Beach, Lancashire - We heard a special gull was about but after dawdling with the butterflies we conspired to miss the darn bugger but hey, we don't fret about these things. 3 Mediterranean Gulls were nice, the Common Gulls looked as sweet as ever and the scenery was enjoyed as well as the sizzling sun. Butterflies noted were:- Large White (*1); Gatekeeper (*5); Meadow Brown (*8); Small White (*1) and Common Blue (*1).

A Common Hawker and a Brown Hawker were noted and Common Fleabane; Field Scabious and Common Toadflax were seen in flower for the first time this year.

 

20th July 2013 - Arnside Knott, Cumbria - Butterflies are wondrous things and take you to some choice locations, today was an example of the creatures beauty and the choice surroundings in which they choose to live. On our walk we took a chap called Alan around and showed him the lay of the land - he was after 2 species he hadn't seen before and connected with them both - good stuff sir and thanks for the good company. The species seen were:- Speckled Wood (*7); Meadow Brown (*22); Dark Green Fritillary (*7); Gatekeeper (*5); Small Skipper (*3); Large Skipper (*1); Small Copper (*1); Grayling (*6); Small Heath (*1); Scotch Argus (*10); High Brown Fritillary (*2); Ringlet (*1) and the tiny Northern Brown Argus (*2). The latter species was seen by a lady to be waggling its bottom near to its foodplant, Common Rock Rose - closer inspection revealed a small white egg - nice!

A Straw Dot was also seen, a Broad Bodied Chaser and 2 Brown Hawkers.

Marjoram; Betony; Wood Sage and Agrimony were some of the flowers in bloom. The gall Diplolepsis eglanteriae was noted on a species of Rose.

 
19th July 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Another trapping session to check, this time resulting in 34 species, which were:- Early Thorn (*1); Green Pug (*1); Diamond Back Moth (*1); Small Dusty Wave (*1); Dot Moth (*1); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*1); Garden Carpet (*1); Common Emerald (*1); Blastobasis adustella (*1); Brimstone (*1); Dark Arches (*1); Bright Line, Brown Eye (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Apple Leaf Miner (*1); Straw Dot (*1); White Satin (*1); Carcina quercana (*1); Dun-Bar (*1); Heart And Dart (*3); Light Emerald (*1); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*4); Marbled Beauty (*4); Codling Moth (*1); Riband Wave f. remutata (*1); Riband Wave (*1); Dark/Grey Dagger sp. (*2); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Small Dusty Wave (*1); Common Rustic sp (*2); Common Wave (*2); Poplar Grey (*1); Acrobasis advenella (*1) and Acleris forsskaleana (*1).
 

18th July 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Attending to the previous nights moth catch and 26 species were had, these being:- Phlyctaenia coronata (*1); Dark/Grey Dagger sp (*3); Riband Wave f. remutata (*4); Marbled Beauty (*10); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*7); Riband Wave (*1); Marbled Minor sp (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Dingy Shell (*1); Heart And Dart (*1); White Satin (*1); Common Emerald (*1); Blastobasis adustella (*2); Brimstone (*2); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*1); Meal Moth (*1); Straw Dot (*1); Pebble Hook Tip (*1); Light Emerald (*1); Bright Line Brown, Eye (*1); Common White Wave (*1); Epinotia bilunana (*1); Emmelina monodactyla (*1); Bryotropha domestica (*1) and Clepsis consimilana (*1).

Whilst pottering in the garden throughout the day a Large White butterfly passed several times and the Beautiful Plume Moth (Amblyptilia acanthadactyla) was noted.

 
16th July 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - White Melilot in flower and Meadow Brown (*2) and Gatekeeper (*12) butterflies on the wing.
 

15th July 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Again the moth light was placed in the toilet window and 17 species were caught:- Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*2); Riband Wave f. remutata (*7); Common Emerald (*1); Phlyctaenia coronata (*1); Marbled Beauty (*4); Early Thorn (*1); Snout (*1); Diamond Back Moth (*2); White Satin (*2); Burnished Brass (*1); Spectacle (*1); Fan-Foot (*1); Bramble Shoot Moth (*1); Hedya nubiferana (*1); Heart And Dart (*1) and Chrysoteuchia culmella (*1).

Walking to the shops a Green Veined White and 2 Large Whites were seen.

 
14th July 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A Comma Butterfly and a Brown Hawker Dragonfly were disturbed in the back garden.
 

14th July 2013 - Moore NR, Cheshire - By crikey it is a hot un' - and I shan't complain. A few hours mooching for a few critters resulted in sightings of the following 9 species of sun soaked butterfly:- Meadow Brown (*69); Gatekeeper (*9); Ringlet (*1); Small White (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*4); Speckled Wood (*11); Green Veined White (*1); Large White (*1) and Large Skipper (*3). The micro moth Carcina quercana was seen on Oak.

Odonata seen were:- Brown Hawker (*2) and numerous Azure and Blue Tailed Damselflies.

Harlequin; Cream Spot and 7 Spot Ladybirds were seen as well as a brace of the Longhorn Beetle (Rutpela maculata).

Myathropa florea was on the wing, several Common Groundhoppers were viewed as well as a few Common Earwigs and Poppy; Large Flowered Evening ; Dark Mullein; Musk Mallow and Common Centaury were in flower. The Gall Dasineura urticae was seen on a Nettle leaf.

A Fox was seen at close quarters carrying a hefty chunk of meat. He looked as though he could do with a good dinner so good on the fella.

 

12th July 2013 - Didsbury, G. Manchester - A moth evening in cracking conditions didn't produce as much as expected but in the 3 hour jaunt 49 species were clocked up, these were:- Diamond Back Moth (*2); Pseudargyrotoza conwagana (*1); Acleris forsskaleana (*1); Garden Carpet (*1); Red Barred Tortrix (*6); Light Brown Apple Moth (*3); Apple Leaf Miner (*2); Small China Mark (*1); Heart And Dart (*5); Brimstone (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*2); Marbled Minor sp (*1); Dark Arches (*2); Silver Y (*1); Riband Wave f. remutata (*6); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*2); Codling Moth (*1); Snout (*1); Flame (*1); Peppered Moth (*2): Riband Wave (*1): Light Emerald (*1); Fan-Foot (*1); The Miller (*1); Common Marbled Carpet (*3); Large Yellow Underwing (*3); Dunbar (*1); Buff Arches (*2); Common Carpet (*1); Double Striped Pug (*1); Bright Line, Brown Eye (*1); Green Pug (*1); Small Magpie (*1); Celypha lacunana (*1); Hedya nubiferana (*1); Brown China Mark (*1); Dingy Shell (*1); Bird Cherry Ermine (*1); Clouded Silver (*1); Argyresthia brockeella (*1); Argyresthia pruniella (*1) Mompha conturbatella (*1); Batia lunaris (*1); Eucosma campoliliana (*1); Pandemis cerasana (*1); Pammene regiana (*1); The Rustic (*1) and Brown House Moth (*1).

A Violet Ground Beetle; a Forest Shieldbug and 2 Harlequin Ladybirds (forms succinea and conspicua) were noted on the evening.

 

12th July 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Up early and a check of the moths caught via the bulb in the bathroom trick. Only 14 species, these were:- Swallow-Tailed Moth (*6); Snout (*1); Marbled Beauty (*3); Small Dusty Wave (*1); Riband Wave f. remutata (*5); Brimstone (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Common Emerald (*1); Light Emerald (*1); Heart And Dart (*1); Pandemis cerasana (*1); Phlyctaenia coronata (*2); Single Dotted Wave (*1); Silver Y (*2) and Blastobasis adustella (*1).

Later on in the day, well the early hours of the next morn, we discovered a Meal Moth in the bathroom - now where has the tinker come from?

 
11th July 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Small Skipper (*2); Meadow Brown (*1) and Comma (*1) were on the wing in hot conditions.
 
10th July 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Musk Mallow; Common Knapweed; Yarrow; Large Bindweed; Goats Rue and Curl Leaved Dock all in flower today with the ubiquitous Himalayan Balsam.
 
9th July 2013 - Chadkirk Chapel, Stockport, Cheshire - A day off work and due to the heat a trip into Manchester was avoided. So, me and the missus returned to this location that I visited yesterday and came up with the sought after White Letter Hairstreak butterflies (*2) and a lone Red Admiral. The sun shone again and a mini picnic was nice too.
 
9th July 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Besides the same moths as yesterday today added singles of Common Emerald; Triple Spotted Clay; Common Pug; Straw Dot and Scarce Silver Lines.
 
8th July 2013 - Chadkirk Chapel, Stockport, Cheshire - A mooch to see if White Letter Hairstreak was on the wing - no sightings! Butterflies seen were:- Large White (*1); Large Skipper (*2); Meadow Brown (*2) and Speckled Wood (*1). Very little else about in truth and the trip was cut short partly due to being knackered and the searing heat.
 

8th July 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - An early start as the moth trap was left in the window and a few moths needed checking. The list of 35 species was:- Flame Shoulder (*4); Heart And Dart (*3); Apple Leaf Miner (*1); Codling Moth (*3); Brimstone (*3); Common Marbled Carpet (*2); Common Wave (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*6); Phlyctaenia coronata (*4); Willow Beauty (*2); Riband Wave (*3); Riband Wave f. remutata (*5); Marbled Minor sp. (*4); Tachystola acroxantha (*5); Small Dusty Wave (*2); Small Magpie (*2); Snout (*1); Garden Carpet (*1); Marbled Beauty (*3); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*3); Double Striped Pug (*1); Bramble Shoot Moth (*1); Purple Clay (*1); Bee Moth (*1); Light Emerald (*1); Burnished Brass (*1); Grey/Dark Dagger agg. (*1); Flame (*1); Hedya nubiferana (*1); Argyresthia pruniella (*1); Aleimma loeflingiana (*1); Mottled Rustic (*1); Celypha lacunana (*1); Crambus pascuella (*1) and Plain Golden Y (*1).

2 Harlequin and 3 Orange Ladybirds were also captured.

 

7th July 2013 - Gait Barrows, Cumbria - Time was ticking on, we had to be back home for my daughters dance classes, we had a decent return for the time put in. Butterflies observed were:- Dark Green Fritillary (*1); Ringlet (*17); Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary (*1); Speckled Wood (*2); Meadow Brown (*3); Peacock (*1) and Large Skipper (*5). The Straw Dot Moth (*4) and Beautiful China Mark (*2) were noted too.

Brown Hawker (*2); Blue Tailed Damselfly (*2) and Large Red Damselfly (*1) were seen along the boardwalk and nearby meadow as well as numerous baby Frogs, a Common Toad, Gardens Chafers, a Violet Ground Beetle and a patch of Quaking Grass.

Birds Eye was just hanging on to a few flowers; Marsh Thistle was plentiful and the find of the day was the Rove Beetle (Oieceoptoma thoracicum).

 

7th July 2013 - Latterbarrow, Cumbria - Back to this area for another swift tootle. Meadow Plant Bug (Leptoterna dolabrata) was seen as well as its close relation, the Mirid (Grypocoris stysi) and a single Northern Brown Argus Butterfly photographed.

Betony; Gromwell; Common Rock-Rose and Ladies Bedstraw were in flower.

 

7th July 2013 - Meathop Moss, Cumbria - A mooch for a few bits and bobs, the result - not bad. Only one butterfly species seen:- Large Heath (*21) with 2 moths identified, these being:- Purple And Gold Moth (*2); Common Heath (*2) and Nettle Tap Moth (*10).

Bog Asphodel and Bog Rosemary were in flower, Round Leaved Sundew was picked out, a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers hung around and 4 Galls were listed, these were:- Dasineura ulmaria; Phytoptus padi; Dasineura pustulans and Psyllopsis fraxinia.

The Scorpion Fly (Panorpa communis) was later confirmed.

 

6th July 2013 - Latterbarrow, Cumbria - A quick visit after the day's mountainous wanderings to prepare for next day. Butterflies seen were:- Dark Green Fritillary (*1) and Meadow Brown (*6). 2 Six Spot Burnets were also noted.

The Longhorn Beetle (Rutpela maculata) was seen along with a Red Headed Cardinal Beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis).

Columbine and Greater Butterfly Orchid were in flower amongst many others.

 

6th July 2013 - Hartsop Dodd, Cumbria - A wander in search of a butterfly to complete our British mainland list, the elusive Mountain Ringlet. All 3 of us wanted to see this beauty and complete an on-going expedition around some wonderful places in pursuit of many lepidopteran wonders. It was a arduous walk on parts with 3 miles uphill, 3 miles down, the 3 butterfly species seen were:- Green Veined White (*2); Small Heath (*2) and...wait for it, wait for it...Mountain Ringlet (*70). Yipp...ding, dong...eeee! Great stuff and thanks especially to Martin Tordoff for leading the walk and for the other excellent company along the way.

Also seen on route was the lichen Rhizocarpon geographicum; several Garden Chafers and several clumps of Parsley Fern.

The Orchid Beetle (Dascillus cervinus) was later identified.

3 celebration photos at the home of the Mountain Ringlet - our last mainland butterfly in Britain to see and we got 70 of the super little tinkers.

 

5th July 2013 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - A wander with my good friend Steph (of Green Grub fame) in superb conditions. Nice and easy and just a grand potter with various bits and pieces seen. Butterflies noted were:- Green Veined White (*1); Meadow Brown (*10); Speckled Wood (*1) and Large Skipper (*3). Moths seen were:- Nettle Tap Moth (*3) and Six Spot Burnet (*3).

Odonata seen were:- Broad Bodied Chaser (*6); Common Darter (10+); 4 Spot Chaser (*2); Brown Hawker (*1); Emperor Dragonfly (*2); Blue Tailed Damselfly (*1); Azure Damselfly (*10+).

A few hoverflies were looked at with Volucella pellucens and Helophilus pendulus identified. Red Tailed Bumblebee and Tree Bee were plentiful as were several other species of worker bee.

Greater Spearwort (Ranunculus lingua) and the Yellow Monkey Flower (Mimulus guttatus) were growing in one of the dragonfly ponds.

 

5th July 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A walk to meet a fine lady and do some wildlifing, on the way there and back I saw the butterflies:- Green Veined White (*1); Speckled Wood (*2) and Meadow Brown (*4). A single Six Spot Burnet Moth was observed.

Helophilus pendulus; Leucozona glaucia and Episyrphus balteatus were seen on various flowers as well as several Harlequin Ladybirds. Garden Chafers flitted about and a lone Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle was seen on Dock leaves.

Greater Willowherb; Feverfew and Giant Hogweed stood out in the plant community.

 
5th July 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - 2 moths attracted to the toilet window, a Gothic and a Common Marbled Carpet.
 
4th July 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Just a lone Peacock butterfly today - the weather is warming, come on chaps start appearing and get breeding.
 
1st July 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A jog for a mile and half to clear the airwaves and not much noted. Brooklime was a new flower for the year though.
 
JUNE

30th June 2013 - River Dee, Cheshire - The final location of the day and with the weather ready to turn we managed a good hour and came up with the expected odonates:- Banded Demoiselle (*44); Azure Damselfly (*1) and Club Tailed Dragonfly (*2). 2 species of butterfly seen were:- Peacock (*5) and Small Tortoiseshell (*2).

The Meadow Plant Bug (Leptopterna dolabrata) was located on Nettle leaves.

Meadow Rue and Common Valerian were in flower.

 

30th June 2013 - Brown Moss, Shropshire - The second location of the day and the sun turned up the heat. Blue Tailed Damselflies were knocking about the lush vegetation near the main body of water and 9 Four Spotted Chasers were also seen. The only butterflies observed were:- Ringlet (*1) and Meadow Brown (*2).

Myathropa florea; Helophilus pendulus; Volucella bombylans (yellow form) and Helophilus hybridus hung around a patch of flowering Ground Elder and numerous Eristalis pertinax hoverflies were also noted.

Marsh Thistle; Heath Bedstraw; Honeysuckle and Amphibious Bistort were in bloom.

I had never seen (well identified) Downy Birch so was glad to come up with this species and the bonus ball gall Anisostephus betulinus.

 

30th June 2013 - Prees Heath, Shropshire - A day out starting at a reserve that definitely needed some tip top weather. The forecast was iffy, we took a risk and despite the breeze the sun shone and we clocked a few decent species. Butterflies were represented by:- Small Heath (*62); Meadow Brown (*2); Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Ringlet (*1) and Silver Studded Blue (*34). Moths noted were:- Yellow-Shell (*4); Silver Y (*1); Clay (*1) and Clouded Border (*1).

A Brown Hawker and a Common Blue Damselfly were the lone Odonata species on the wing.

Garden Chafers were plentiful and a lone Green Tiger Beetle was seen.

Perforate St Johns Wort; Green Alkanet; Nodding Thistle; Great Mullein and Scarlet Pimpernel were flowers that were pondered.

2 galls seens were Jaapiella veronicae and Dasineura kiefferiana.

 

29th June 2013 - Shemmy/Abbots Moss, Cheshire - A few hours spare and a wander around a freshly cleared area as well as a familiar spot. Loads of Azure; Blue Tailed, Common Blue and Large Red Damselflies on the wing as well as a quartet of 4 Spotted Chasers and a trio of Downy Emeralds.

Eristalis pertinax; Helophilus pendulus; Volucella pellucens; Myathropa florea and Episyrphus balteatus were the only hoverflies noted.

Lepidoptera were represented by the butterflies:- Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Meadow Brown (*1) and Speckled Wood (*1) as well as the moths:- Nettle Tap (*10); Brown Silver Lines (*1); Silver Ground Carpet (*1) and Cinnabar (*2).

The Scorpion Fly (Panorpa communis) was spotted in a verdant hedgerow as well as the Dance Fly (Empis tessellata).

Climbing Corydalis; Silverweed and Rosebay Willowherb were in flower and 2 Oystercatchers flew over as did a lone Buzzard.

 
27th June 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - 2 Heart And Dart Moths and a singles of Elephant Hawkmoth; Tachystola acroxantha; Common Marbled Carpet and Phlyctaenia coronata were attracted to an overnight light.
 
25th June 2013 - River Mersey/Heaton Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - 3 Speckled Woods, 4 freshly emerged 6 Spot Burnet Moths and 100+ Garden Chafers - some in sexualised groups of up to 5 - dirty devils!
 
24th June 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - An evening walk with the missus and the moth Nemophora degeerella was on the wing. Redshank; Broad Leaved Willowherb and Hedge Bedstraw were all in flower.
 

23rd June 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A swift walk down river in crappy weather so as to put some food out for the birds. Swallow; Swift; House Martin and Sand Martin all fed in one particular spot above the free flowing river making me wonder if some kind of insect explosion was had in a small rippling area.

Orange Hawkweed and Purple Toadflax were noted in flower.

 
22nd June 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - 3 Bright Line, Brown Eye Moths attracted to an overnight light.
 
21st June 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - 2 moths were attracted to an overnight light, namely Fan-Foot and Small Dusty Wave.
 

21st June 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A lone Speckled Wood and 3 specimens of Myathropa florea on Hogweed were the only noted natural wonders on the way home from work. Continuing the walk in the evening and 2 Azure Damselflies were seen as well as singles of the butterflies Meadow Brown; Large Skipper; Common Blue and Green Veined White. The Longhorn Beetle (Agapanthia villosoviridescens) was observed on a large Bramble mound.

Hedge Woundwort; Tufted Vetch and Horse Radish were in flower and the gall Protomyces macrosporus was seen on Ground Elder leaves.

 
20th June 2013 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Another dinner time stroll and an all time new gall discovered. This one was on the leaves of Walnut and goes by the name Aceria erinea - causal agent - a mite!
 
19th June 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The bug Liocoris tripustulatus was noted on Nettle in the garden.
 
19th June 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - 1 Large White was the only butterfly seen today despite the warm weather.
 

18th June 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A Comma butterfly caterpillar on the Red Currant bushes in the garden - Yippee!

Mothing at night produced:- Mompha sturnipennella (*1); Pseudogyrotoza gonwagana (*1); Pandemis heparana (*1); Small Fan Foot (*1); Garden Pebble (*1); Green Silver Lines (*1); White Shouldered House Moth (*1); Middle Barred Minor (*1); Hedya nubiferana (*3); Phlyctaenia coronata (*1); Common Marbled Carpet (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*4); Codling Moth (*1); Azalea Leaf Miner (*1); Heart And Dart (*1); Brimstone (*1) and Light Brown Apple Moth (*4).

3 Orange Ladybirds and an Harlequin were also in the trap.

 
18th June 2013 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - 2 Large Whites noted and the first Foxglove in flower.
 

16th June 2013 - Didsbury, G. Manchester - An overdue visit to a nearby study centre and a quick mooch with plans to revisit next week and do a species count. Today several Tree Bees were noted along with a single Red Tailed variety. Smooth Newts were plentiful, a Leopard Slug looked in fine fettle and the first Marmalade Fly of the year was seen. An Azure Damselfly was well away from any water, 3 species of Ladybird were observed - Harlequin; 2 Spot; 7 Spot and 3 Nettle Tap Moths hung around their favoured foodplant.

The galls Aceria cephalonea; Aceria pseudoplatani and Psyllopsis fraxini agg.

 

16th June 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Trioza alacris on the leaves of Bay is a species I have overlooked too often. Nettle Tap Moth is a new species to the garden.

Some mothing in the evening after a gig was disappointing despite the ideal conditions. The results were:- Scalloped Hazel (*2); Tachystola acroxantha (*7); Light Brown Apple Moth (*12); Brimstone (*1); Garden Carpet (*1); Common Marbled Carpet (*2); Bee Moth (*2); Green Silver Lines (*1); Brown House Moth (*1); Small Phoenix (*1) and Caloptilia azaleella (*1).

 
14th June 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Taking my daughter to dance - all time new gall - Eriophyes leiosoma on Lime leaves - nice!
 
13th June 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - More galls - Aceria cephalonea; Phyllocoptes goniothorax; Eriophyes crataegi and Iteomyia capreae seen on the way home.
 
13th June 2013 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Dinner time wander and 2 galls noted - Taphrina pruni and Contarinia tiliarum.
 

12th June 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - The homeward walk along this stretch of river never fails to turn up interesting stuff. 2 galls today the latter of which is an all time new for us, these were Aceria pseudoplatani and Dasineura fraxini.

Yellow Rattle was in flower and a male Orange Tip flew as the clouds in the sky gathered - good luck mate.

 
10th June 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Sorting out a few things where an intruder had been in the garden (such is our shitty society where people look to take off others rather than earn their own way in life) and Myathropa florea was caught, photographed and duly released.
 

9th June 2013 - Ainsdale NE, Lancashire - A sweet amble in the summer sun and a few things to enjoy and record. Butterflies were low on the species count with only 6 different ones on show, these being:- Common Blue (*34); Large White (*1); Wall (*2); Large Skipper (*1); Peacock (*2) and Small Heath (*14). Moths were represented by:- Mother Shipton (*1) and Cinnabar (*26).

Odonata were represented by Azure and Blue Tailed Damselflies as well as a lone 4 Spotted Chaser.

A few flowers were noted such as Changing Forget Me Not; White Campion; Lily of the Valley; Marsh Thistle; Scarlet Pimpernel; Spring Beauty and Star of Bethlehem. Quite strange to see Bluebell and Cuckooflower still in bloom at this time of year.

Other noted species were a Common Toad; 2 Smooth Newts; 11 Asparagus Beetles; Birch Shieldbug; the Drone Fly (Eristalis pertinax); Leaf Beetle (Lochmaea caprea); the Sun Flies (Helophilus pendulus) and (Helophilus hybridus) and the galls Eriophyes inangulis; Dasineura kiefferiana and Chirosa betuleti.

One extra species was later confirmed by Joseph Botting of the British Bugs website - Tachycixius pilosus is a plant hopper I have never seen before nor even heard of. Again I find myself faced with a bloody minefield and it goes without saying that in I find myself stepping - kaboom. Sincere thanks to Joe and please, anyone reading this, check out the fine site he runs with his mate Tristan Bantock (it is in the links section).

 

8th June 2013 - Anderton NR, Cheshire - A day leading a walk for the Altrincham Natural History Society at a reserve I know only too well. Today was a bit of this, that and t'other with a steady flow of species to consider.

Odonata were represented by 8 species:- Hairy Dragonfly (*1); Four Spotted Chaser (*1); Banded Demoiselle (*3); Red Eyed Damselfly (*3) and numerous Azure, Common Blue; Blue Tailed and Large Red Damselflies.

10 species of butterfly were observed, these were:- Brimstone (*4); Peacock (*4); Small Tortoiseshell (*1 + a single larvae); Comma (*2); Orange Tip (*3 plus a single larvae); Large White (*1); Common Blue (*3); Dingy Skipper (*2); Small White (*1) and Green Veined White (*1). Moths were represented by:- Brown Silver Line (*2); Nettle Tap Moth (*3); Micropterix aruncella (*1) and Pammene aurana (*1).

Other bugs and beasties noted were:- Lacewing (Chrysops perla); 14 Spot Ladybird; Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus); Picture Wing Fly (Urophora jaceana); Snipe Fly (Rhagio scolopaceus); Alder Leaf Beetle (Agelastica alni); Red Headed Cardinal Beetle; Soldier Beetle (Cantharis rustica); Soldier Fly (Stratiomys singularior); Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis); Common Green Capsid Bug (Lygocoris pabulinus); Common Earwig (Forficula auricularia); Garden Chafer (Phyllopertha horticola); Drone Fly (Eristalis pertinax); Sun Fly (Helophilus pendulus); Green Tortoise Beetle (Cassida rubiginosa) and the Gorse Seed Weevil (Exapion ulicis).

A Cucumber Spider (Araniella cucurbitina) and a Brown Lipped Banded Snail were extras

8 Galls were listed:- Eriophyes inangulis; Biorhiza pallida; Eriophyes laevis; Acalitus brevitarsus and Taphrina tosquinetii; Pontania proxima; Dasineura ulmaria and Andricus kollari.

Figwort was noted in flower for the first time this year as well as Meadow Cranes-Bill.

 
7th June 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - 2 male Orange Tips still on the wing - let us hope they find a mate or two.
 
6th June 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A gig that finished at 10.00pm, so home and a wee bit of mothing for 2 hours. Poplar Hawkmoth (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*7); Bee Moth (*1); Esperia sulphurella (*1); Brimstone (*1); Scalloped Hazel (*2); Common Carpet (*1); Small Phoenix (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*1) and Flame Shoulder (*1) were the results.
 
6th June 2013 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - A nip out for dinner - Speckled Wood and Small White noted.
 

5th June 2013 - Anderton NR/Marbury CP, Cheshire - A day just poking about in the undergrowth and, due to yet another bout of kidney stones, peeing in it a lot too - bah. Butterflies on the wing were:- Peacock (*1); Small White (*1); Dingy Skipper (*7); Orange Tip (*3); Common Blue (*2); Small Heath (*1) and Small Tortoiseshell (*2). Moths noted were Cinnabar (*1); Nettle Tap Moth (*3); Mother Shipton (*2); Dark Strawberry Tortrix (Celypha lacunana); Micropterix aruncella and Common Carpet (*1).

3 species of caterpillar were identified:- Small Tortoiseshell; Mottled Umber and Yellow Tail Moth.

Odonata species seen were:- Azure Damselfly; Blue Tailed Damselfly; Large Red Damselfly; Red Eyed Damselfly (*3); Common Blue Damselfly; Banded Demoiselle (*1) and 4 Spotted Chaser (*2).

Other insects noted were:- Reed Beetle (Donacia aquatica); Lacewing (Chrysops perla); 14 Spot Ladybird; Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus); Snipe Fly (Rhagio scolopaceus); Alder Leaf Beetle (Agelastica alni); Red Headed Cardinal Beetle; Soldier Beetle (Cantharis rustica); Longhorn Beetle (Agapanthia villosoviridescens); Scorpion Fly (Panorpa germanica); a Leaf Beetle (Chrysolina polita) and the Soldier Fly (Stratiomys singularior).

Flowers were plentiful but Ragged Robin was the only new one for the year. A pair of Ravens flew over whilst a mooch around the ponds was had. A Blue Tits nest with 5 young was a delight.

8 Galls were listed:- Eriophyes inangulis; Taphrina betulina; Eriophyes tiliae; Biorhiza pallida; Psyllopsis fraxini; Eriophyes laevis; Acalitus brevitarsus and Taphrina tosquinetii.

 

4th June 2013 - West Kirby, Cheshire - A day trip with the lads and lasses from work in stunning weather. Not much about but a good time was had with paddling, football and general mucking about the order of the day. Butterflies noted were: - Peacock (*2); Small Heath (*2) and Common Blue (*1). Damselflies on the wing were Large Red; Blue Tailed and Azure and the only new blooms noted for the year were Kidney Vetch; Sea Rocket and Thrift.

Several Shore Crabs were found, a few Frogs, oodles of Tadpoles and many Leeches swam in local ponds.

 
3rd June 2013 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - The second part of today's walk with Large Red Damselfly (*1); Blue Tailed Damselfly (*1); Azure Damselfly (*3) and Broad Bodied Chaser (*4) and fresh and dandy albeit a trifle late. 2 Orange Tips and 1 Green Veined White were the only butterflies seen. Yellow Flag Iris was noted in flower.
 

3rd June 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - On a busy day this circular walk is taken but today it was done in severe pain as, I suspect, another kidney stone or two made their way along various tubes. Nevertheless the sun was shining and I tried my best to be distracted by some wildlife - it wasn't easy. Dames Violet and Ground Elder were now in flower, a Grey Wagtail flew among the swarming flies along the river, a male Goosander and a Kingfisher were noted and 2 galls were identified:- Pontania proxima and Psyllopsis fraxini.

Butterflies seen were Orange Tip (*6); Small Tortoiseshell (*1) and Green Veined White (*1).

 
3rd June 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A brace of Bee Moths attracted to an overnight late were observed at rest.
 
2nd June 2013 - Grosvenor Garden Centre, Chester, Cheshire - Buying some bird food and an Indian Meal Moth was seen. New one for the year (many a year in fact).
 

2nd June 2013 - Llanymynech Rocks, Montgomeryshire - A mooch for some butterflies on a quiet day with very fair weather. Species seen were:- Speckled Wood (*15); Dingy Skipper (*21); Green Veined White (*7); Large White (*3); Green Hairstreak (*5); Small Heath (*3); Grizzled Skipper (*7); Small Copper (*3); Orange Tip (*5) and Pearl Bordered Fritillary (*3). Moths noted were:- Speckled Yellow (*2); Common Carpet (*1) and Nettle Tap Moth (*3).

Other insects seen were Drone Fly (Eristalis pertinax); Common Earwig; 14 Spot Ladybird; 24 Spot Ladybird; Coppery Click Beetle (Ctenicera cuprea); Noon Fly (Mesembrina meridiana); Rhingia Campestris; Large Red Damselfly; Sloe Shieldbug; Sawfly (Rhogogaster viridis); Shining Fungus Beetle (Scaphidium quadrimaculatum) and Snipe Fly (Rhagio scolopaceus).

As per we had a look at some flowering plants, these included:- White Dead Nettle; Dandelion sp; Salad Burnet; Creeping Buttercup; Meadow Buttercup; Common Sorrel; 3 Veined Sandwort; Ox-Eye Daisy; Lesser Celandine; Common Dog Violet; Barren Strawberry; Wild Strawberry; Goosegrass; Ground Ivy; Red Campion; Pick-a-Back-Plant; Fairy Flax; Wood Avens; Yellow Archangel; Sweet Woodruff; Cowslip; Bush Vetch; Crosswort; Lesser Trefoil; Black Medick; Birds-Foot Trefoil; Bulbous Buttercup; Ribwort Plantain; Common Milkwort; Red Clover; Wood Speedwell; Germander Speedwell; Daisy; ; Twayblade; Early Purple Orchid; Green Alkanet; Herb Robert; Rock Rose; Cow Parsley; Bluebell; Garlic Mustard; Sanicle and Cuckooflower.

The gall Dysaphis crataegi was seen on Hawthorn leaves.

 
1st June 2013 - Middlewood Way/Jacksons Brickyard NR, Stockport, Cheshire - A fair stroll in good weather with a few flowers noted and a few bugs as well. Butterflies on the wing were:- Orange Tip (*3); Green Veined White (*9); Peacock (*2); Comma (*1); Speckled Wood (*3) and Small Tortoiseshell (*1). A Small Yellow Underwing Moth was also seen feeding on Buttercups. The last Rhingia campestris were about and numerous Crane-Flies which I didn't manage to ID.
 
1st June 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - House Martins have relocated after having their nests blocked up by thoughtless home-owners, they are now trying another couple of houses nearby - good luck chaps - if I had eaves you would be most welcome. Also a Blackbird nest has been found in the garden, there be eggs inside. Alas one of the local cats has been seen sitting and waiting - will the birds rear a family in the face of this non-indigenous species that is really hammering the avian life out there - and let's be honest do people care as long as they have their own cuddly whims satisfied - I think not!
 
MAY
 

26th May 2013 - Etherow CP, Cheshire - An open invite for Fungal Friends members - 2 regulars turned up and no more - not to fret and good company they were too. As well as looking for a few fungi we had a nosey at various things and, as per, I concocted a list. The 50 flowers noted in bloom were:- Germander Speedwell; Ribwort Plantain; Ivy Leaved Toadflax; Meadow Buttercup; Creeping Buttercup; Common Nettle; Garlic Mustard; Cow Parsley; Daisy; Cuckooflower; Wavy Bittercress; Dandelion sp; Red Campion; Shining Cranes-Bill; Fringe Cups; Pick A Back Plant; Skunk Cabbage; Thale Cress; Chickweed; Groundsel; Common Mouse Ear; Shepherds Purse; Herb Robert; Lesser Celandine; Common Comfrey; Bush Vetch; Yellow Pimpernel; Bluebell; Water Avens; Wood Sorrel; Greater Stitchwort; Pink Purslane; Marsh Marigold; Moschatel; Dog's Mercury; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Ground Ivy; Star Of Bethlehem; Yellow Archangel; Wild Strawberry; Common Dog Violet; Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage; Hairy Bittercress; Wood Speedwell; Large Bittercress; Common Bistort; Bugle; Wood Avens; Colts-Foot and Ramsons.

7 Butterflies on the wing were:- Green Veined White (*4); Speckled Wood (*2); Orange Tip (*3); Peacock (*3); Small Tortoiseshell (*1) and Large White (*1).

I always have an eye on the galls these days and Taphrina tosquinetii; Eriophyes inangulis; Eriophyes sorbi; Eriophyes crataegi; Phyllocoptes eupadi; Eriophyes laevis and Eriosma ulmi were 7 species chalked up, 2 of which were personal all time new ones.

Insects noted were:- Rhingia campestris; Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus); Hoverflies (Leucozona lucorum) and (Portevinia maculata); 14 Spot Ladybird; Cream Spot Ladybird; Snipe Fly (Rhagio scolopaceus); Pot bellied Emerald Beetle (Gastrophysa viridula); Sawfly (Rhogogaster picta); Sun Fly (Helophilus pendulus); the Hymenoptera specimen (Craesus septentrionalis) and the Alder Leaf Beetle (Agelastica alni).

Mandarin Ducks and a lone Egyptian Goose were admired and Giant Horsetail; Wood Horsetail and Pendulous Sedge were expected extras.

 

25th May 2013 - Chee Dale/Millers Dale, Derbyshire - Sun, sun and more sun and 6 hours strolling about with a few bits and bobs picked up. Bird wise was poor with the list at a paltry 25 species, these being:- House Martin; Blue Tit; Willow Warbler; Chaffinch; Goldfinch; Robin; Mallard; Wood Pigeon; Common Whitethroat; Long Tailed Tit; Magpie; Meadow Pipit; Redstart; Jackdaw; Nuthatch; Spotted Flycatcher; Grey Wagtail; Dipper; Great Tit + Goldcrest; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Pheasant; Wren; Chiffchaff and Raven on call.

The 43 flowers noted in bloom were:- Thale Cress; Common Dog Violet; Mountain Pansy; Early Purple Orchid; Sweet Cicely; Colts-Foot; Ribwort Plantain; Herb Robert; Barren Strawberry; Greater Stitchwort; Lesser Trefoil; Bugle; Common Mouse Ear; Birds-Foot Trefoil; Germander Speedwell; Wood Speedwell; Wall Speedwell; Meadow Saxifrage; Wood Anemone; Goldilocks Buttercup; Creeping Buttercup; Lords and Ladies; Sanicle; Marsh Marigold; Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage; Shining Cranes-Bill; Lesser Celandine; Wavy Bittercress; Cuckooflower; Ramsons; Ground Ivy; Garlic Mustard; Crosswort; Dogs Mercury; Cowslip; Water Avens; White Dead Nettle; Sweet Woodruff; Bush Vetch; Red Campion; Daisy; Cow Parsley and Dandelion sp.

7 species of butterfly were recorded:- Peacock (*1); Brimstone (*2); Speckled Wood (*4); Dingy Skipper (*1); Green Hairstreak (*1); Green Veined White (*5) and Orange Tip (*10). 2 moths seen were Speckled Yellow (*1) and Nettle Tap Moth (*1).

Other insects seen were absolute oodles of Rhingia campestris; Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus); Black and Red Froghopper; Drone Flies (Eristalis pertinax) and (Eristalis abustorum); Hoverfly (Leucozona lucorum); Scorpion Fly (Panorpa germanica); St Marks Fly; and Slender Groundhopper.

Other things seen were Rainbow and Brown Trout, Strawberry Snail and the gall Dasineura ulmaria.

Along with a few fungal species (see Fungal Friends section) this wasn't a bad day at all.

 
24th May 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Still the galls come - Eriophyes tiliae and Neurotus quercusbaccarum were new for the year.
 
23rd May 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - And yet another new gall and all time new species on the same stretch of river - this time Dasineura viciae on Common Vetch.
 
22nd May 2013 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - Dasineura ulmaria gall on Meadowsweet and a Green Veined White resting from the wind on a newly produced Oak leaf.
 

21st May 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Once more on the way home from a working day (well a trip on a barge and a pub lunch to be truthful) and Green Veined White (*2); Small White (*1) and Speckled Wood (*3) were nice to see on the wing.

Common Green Shieldbug and Striped Millipede were seen as well as the galls Eriophyes sorbi and Taprhina tosquinetii were seen for the first time this year.

 
20th May 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking back from Stockport and Red Clover and Oxford Ragwort were both in flower. 4 Six Spot Burnet Moth Caterpillars were on Trefoil and 3 Orange Tip Caterpillars were on Cuckooflower.
 

19th May 2013 - Fernilee/Errwood Reservoir, Derbyshire - A birding walk and some decent stuff seen. 29 species:- Red Grouse; Curlew; Redstart (several of both sexes including female building nest); Blue Tit; Cuckoo; Pheasant; Chaffinch; Wren; Goldcrest; Robin; Cormorant; Canada Goose; Goldfinch; Mallard; Willow Warbler; Pied Wagtail; Greylag Goose; Chiffchaff; Coal Tit; Sparrowhawk; Pied Flycatcher; Dipper; Grey Wagtail; Long Tailed Tit; Common Sandpiper; Tawny Owl (on nest); Common Sandpiper; Tree Pipit; Kestrel and Meadow Pipit.

2 Green Veined Whites and an unexpected Green Hairstreak were the only butterflies noted and several Green Tiger Beetles and 2 Dor Beetles were nice extras.

 
16th May 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Fringe Cups and Ox-Eye Daisy were in flower and the galls Eriophyes tiliae; Aceria cephaloneus and Eupontania pedunculi (syn. Pontania gallarum) were seen whilst wandering home.
 
16th May 2013 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - A dinner time stroll and a Cream Spot Ladybird, Harlequin Ladybird and Tawny Mining Bee were seen. The first Horse-Chestnut Leaf Miner (Cameraria ohridella) of the year was seen also.
 
15th May 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Three Nerved Sandwort was seen for the first time along this stretch of river.
 
14th May 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - 5 Orange Tip eggs were now on a single plant and as I was checking, lo and behold a male was seen at rest on the uppermost flowers. I need a good photo of these beauties but alas I don't lug my camera to work - bah! Anyway let us hope the eggs hatch safely and the larvae successfully become next years brood.
 
13th May 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - The continuation of today's walk with Red Valerian; Greater Celandine and Birds-Foot Trefoil now in flower, and the butterflies Orange Tip (*1) and Small Tortoiseshell (*1) on the wing. The Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus) was noted on, of course, Common Nettle.
 

13th May 2013 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - The butterflies Green Veined White (*5) and Orange Tip (*1) were the only lepidopteran representatives on the wing due to sporadic cloud cover and a darn breeze. Eristalis pertinax and Helophilus pendulus were a couple of Hoverflies identified amongst numerous that were just impossible. Nice to observe though! A Harlequin Ladybird was spotted whilst peering at the many winged wonders.

The Striped Millipede (Ommatoiulus sabulosus) and the Variegated Centipede (Lithobius variegatus) were noted beneath a log and Pignut was in flower.

 
12th May 2013 - Fletcher Moss, G. Manchester - No time to go further afield and in truth, with the weather the way it is, why waste the petrol? 4 Ring Necked Parakeets were as noisy as ever, a couple more bundles of Mistletoe were seen and many usual flowers were blooming or getting pretty close.
 

11th May 2013 - Chadkirk Chapel, Stockport, Cheshire - Rubbish weather all morn meant catching up with chores and then something what seemed like a break in the downpours so a trip for a couple of hours to this local area was taken.

Notable birds were all along the river, these being:- Kingfisher; Mandarin (M/F); Goosander (F); Grey Wagtail and feeding Swallows. A Kestrel swooped in the breeze in nearby fields.

Flowers noted in bloom were:- Common Dog Violet; Yellow Pimpernel; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Creeping Buttercup; Meadow Buttercup; Common Vetch; Lords and Ladies; Cuckooflower; Ground Ivy; Garlic Mustard; Sweet Cicely; Wood Sorrel; Yellow Archangel; Pink Purslane; Cow Parsley; Red Dead Nettle; Common Mouse Ear; Ribwort Plantain; Moschatel; Wood Anemone; Hairy Bittercress; Colts-Foot; Bush Vetch; Wavy Bittercress; Red Campion; Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage; Wood Speedwell; Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Lesser Celandine; Three Nerved Sandwort and Ramsons. Pignut and Bistort were on the cusp of flowering.

 

10th May 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Whilst wandering back from work Goosegrass was seen in flower and Alder Leaf Beetles in good numbers on one particular tree.

A second wander at night, with the good wife, and Apion miniatum and Apion marchicum took some time identifying but with a good key and some macro photos the pitted areas on the heads (above and beneath) and various other close up and personal factors could be noted and meant a solid answer to the ID could be acquired.

A couple of Pot Bellied Emerald Beetles were seen on Dock leaves and Hogweed and Bush Vetch were in flower.

 
9th May 2013 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Lesser Trefoil in flower and the first Hawthorn Shieldbug of the year noted.
 
8th May 2013 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Brown House Moth at work and Hedge Mustard now in flower.
 

7th May 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking home and 3 species of butterfly:- Orange Tip (*8); Comma (*1) and Green Veined White (*1).

Common Mouse Ear was noted in flower and Common Vetch.

Whilst checking a lone Cuckooflower for an Orange tip egg a male came and had a feed at close quarters. I did find a single egg too - nice!

 

6th May 2013 - Hightown Beach, Lancashire - After a trip to Tesco for some grub it was decided to have a quick mooch at a location we haven't visited for a good while. We know why. Not much about at all except litter and bare areas. 16 birds noted:- Lesser Black Backed Gull; Chaffinch; Carrion Crow; Linnet; Blackbird; Great Black Backed Gull; Magpie; Swallow; Kestrel; Dunlin; Shelduck; Wheatear; Wood Pigeon; Mallard; House Sparrow and Greenfinch.

Butterflies seen were:- Small Tortoiseshell (*3) and Peacock (*6).

 

6th May 2013 - Freshfield Heath, Lancashire - Warm and sunny but not much to report. 13 birds noted:- Magpie; Chaffinch; Great Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Common Whitethroat; Jackdaw; Robin; Wood Pigeon; Blackcap; Dunnock; Jay; Linnet and House Sparrow.

Butterflies noted were:- Speckled Wood (*3); Green Veined White (*1); Orange Tip (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*1) and Peacock (*2).

Wall Speedwell and Honesty was seen and a brace of Heather Beetles (Lochmaea suturalis) were also spotted.

 

6th May 2013 - Ainsdale NE, Lancashire - A day to wander rather than hammer away at identifying things, and just as well as there was little about to be honest. Bird wise only 11 species seen:- Great Tit; Chiffchaff; Carrion Crow; Wood Pigeon; Robin; Jay; Common Whitethroat; Willow Warbler; Shelduck; Buzzard and Mistle Thrush.

Butterflies were sorely represented with Speckled Wood (*2); Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Peacock (*1); Comma (*1) and Green Veined White (*1) the only sightings.

A Common Toad, a Brown Rat and several Rabbits were noted as were the Bumble Bees Red Tailed, White Tailed and Buff Tailed. The hoverfly Chrysotoxum arcuatum was confirmed given the globular body, flight range and that crucial third antennal segment which was obviously longer than segments 1 and 2. Nifty! Eristalis pertinax was also recorded - that narrow black face stripe and orangey-yellow front and mid tarsi confirming the ID - double nifty!

St Marks Flies were just emerging and Common Dog Violet; Common Storks-Bill; Hairy Bittercress and Early Forget Me Noted were a few flowers observed.

 

4th May 2013 - Anderton NR/Marbury CP, Cheshire - Starting at Anderton Nature Reserve we decided to have a reasonable stroll and do the full circular walk through Marbury Country Park and see what we could pick up along the way. 53 species of bird were recorded, these being:- House Sparrow; Blackbird; Wood Pigeon; Carrion Crow; Blackcap; Dunnock; Song Thrush; Mallard; Goldfinch; Robin; Common Whitethroat; Great Tit; Reed Warbler; Coot; Reed Bunting; Kestrel; Black Headed Gull; Sand Martin; Willow Warbler; Gadwall; Sparrowhawk; Canada Goose; Shelduck; Oystercatcher; Magpie; Mistle Thrush; Mute Swan; Ringed Plover; Lapwing; Great Crested Grebe; Nuthatch; Jackdaw; Greylag Goose; Blue Tit; Feral Pigeon; Collared Dove; Starling; Buzzard; Tufted Duck; Greenfinch; Lesser Redpoll; Garden Warbler; Swallow; Yellow Wagtail; Pied Wagtail; Swift; Coal Tit; Jay + Chaffinch; Chiffchaff; Long Tailed Tit and Wren on call.

Large Bittercress; Lords and Ladies and Wild Strawberry were new flowers for the year and Peacock (*3); Orange Tip (*1); Green Veined White (*3) and Comma (*1) were the only butterflies on the wing.

Rhingia campestris is a favourite fly of mine so it was great to get some good close up shots of this beauty. A 14 Spot Ladybird was also seen.

A pair of Andrea haemorrhoa were spotted 'on the job' and Andrena fulva and Andrena cineraria were still on the wing in the same spot - those latter tinkers kept peeping out of their holes and wouldn't let me get a full on shot - cute though!

 

 
2nd May 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking home in full sun and some butterflies for company:- Speckled Wood (*2); Orange Tip (*6); Comma (*2); Peacock (*2) and Green Veined White (*1).
 
2nd May 2013 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - A dinner time walk - 2 Peacock butterflies and 1 Small Tortoiseshell. Honesty was in flower.
 

1st May 2013 - Pennington Flash, Lancashire - Another wander with the bro', this time producing a list of 63 species, which were:- Common Scoter; Wood Pigeon; Stock Dove; Redshank; Lapwing; Carrion Crow; Common Tern; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Black Headed Gull; Canada Goose; Tufted Duck; Mallard; Gadwall; Little Ringed Plover; Moorhen; Great Crested Grebe; Oystercatcher; Shelduck; Coot; Great Tit; Blackcap; Magpie; Song Thrush; Wren; Garden Warbler; Mute Swan; Cormorant; Robin; Dunnock; Willow Tit; Bullfinch; Greenfinch; Blue Tit; Chaffinch; Blackbird; Goldfinch; Muscovy Duck; Buzzard; Common Whitethroat; Jay; Swallow; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Reed Bunting; Grey Heron; Long Tailed Tit; Ringed Plover; House Sparrow; Collared Dove; Grey Wagtail; Mistle Thrush; Sedge Warbler; Kestrel; Skylark; Meadow Pipit; Shoveler; Reed Warbler; Sparrowhawk; Pied Wagtail + Chiffchaff; Willow Warbler; Grasshopper Warbler; Linnet and Goldcrest on call.

Butterflies were out and about today and represented by Peacock (*9); Green Veined White (*7); Comma (*2); Small Tortoiseshell (*7); Orange Tip (*1); Holly Blue (*1) and Brimstone (*1).

Gorse Shield Bugs and a Gorse Seed Weevil were also noted.

Cuckooflower was seen in flower for the first time this year.

APRIL
 
30th April 2013 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - An Early Thorn moth on a wall whilst walking to work.
 

29th April 2013 - River Mersey/Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - A wander to clear the drunken head, no butterflies again but a few flowers have finally got things blooming. Wood Stitchwort; Garlic Mustard; Ramsons; Red Campion; Cow Parsley; Rape; White Dead Nettle; Ribwort Plantain; Bluebell; Wood Avens; Cowslip; Wood Speedwell and Danish Scurvygrass.

Sand Martins were flitting about and a Common Whitethroat was noted.

 

25th April 2013 - Etherow CP, Stockport, Cheshire - A wildflower walk for the adult carers at Signpost Stockport and hardly anything in flower - boo, hiss, darn this pesky long drawn out winter. A few species were indeed found with Slender Speedwell and Hairy Bittercress being new ones for the annual list.

A Willow Warbler and a Chiffchaff persisted with their song despite the dreary conditions.

 

24th April 2013 - Marbury CP, Cheshire - A birding day out with the bro' and 60 species clocked up, these were:- Grey Heron; Blackbird; Magpie; Jay; Wood Pigeon; Greenfinch; Chiffchaff; Mallard; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Tufted Duck; Swallow; Sand Martin; Mute Swan; Shelduck; Black Headed Gull; Buzzard; Robin; Coal Tit; Nuthatch; Goldcrest; Jackdaw; Wren; Mistle Thrush; Song Thrush; Dunnock; Blackcap; Willow Warbler; Stock Dove; Goldfinch; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Coot; Greylag Goose; Cormorant; Canada Goose; Great Crested Grebe; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Carrion Crow; Chaffinch; Reed bunting; Yellow Wagtail (*3); Meadow Pipit; Gadwall; Oystercatcher; Wheatear; Pied Wagtail; Lapwing; Feral Pigeon; Linnet; Reed Warbler; Teal; Shoveler; Garganey (M); Common Whitethroat; Bullfinch; Starling; Long Tailed Tit; House Martin + Green Woodpecker and Pheasant on call.

There aren't many Andrena species (Mining Bees) you can identify in the field but Andrena fulva and Andrena cineraria were picked out today with confidence. A single Peacock butterfly was identified and several Buff Tailed Bumble Bees were seen.

Wood Anemone; Marsh Marigold; Colts-Foot; Wood Sorrel and Dogs Mercury were in flower with the gall Urocystis anemones noted on the aforementioned Anemone.

 
22nd April 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The Bumble Bee Bombus lapidarius was seen in the front garden - the first of the year. Pity there ain't many flowers about at the mo.
 
21st April 2013 - Fletcher Moss, G. Manchester - Apparently rain today so we stayed close to home. Guess what? Yes the weatherman got it wrong - again! Useless, useless toss bags. And so a quick tootle around this local area with nowt outrageous to report. 4 Ring Necked Parakeets were the birding high and Wavy Bittercress and Butterbur were seen in flower. MIstletoe was seen for the first time at this location and one wonders how often we have overlooked this obvious clump - so many kisses missed - mwah!
 

20th April 2013 - Carsington Water, Derbyshire - A toss up today, twitch a rarity or a trip to a favourite site - no contest - the site wins. Being an amateur naturalist is about more than just getting a photo or ticking a list - it's about being out there, enjoying places and what they have to offer, just keeping each year varied and on the move, taking in the changing of the seasons and just pottering along. 49 bird species were noted today:- Dunnock; Mallard; Collared Dove; Chaffinch; Mute Swan; House Sparrow; Tree Sparrow; Chiffchaff; Blackbird; Wood Pigeon; Willow Warbler; Wren; Pied Wagtail; Black Headed Gull; Coot; Lapwing; Jackdaw; Reed Bunting; Great Crested Grebe; Tufted Duck; Blue Tit; Teal; Redshank; Canada Goose; Carrion Crow; Barnacle Goose; Magpie; Buzzard; Swallow; Willow Tit; Great Northern Diver (*3); Lesser Black Backed Gull; Great Tit; Common Sandpiper; Shelduck; Arctic Tern (*2); Cormorant; Robin; Blackcap; Nuthatch; Pheasant; Song Thrush; Oystercatcher; Moorhen; Bullfinch; Wheatear; Little Ringed Plover; Starling and White Wagtail.

3 Peacock butterflies were seen as well as a single Comma.

Barren Strawberry was seen in flower.

 

19th April 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - 2 butterflies - A Small White and a Comma, both first sightings for the year. Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcap were all heard calling and a couple of Sand Martins flitted around all proving Spring is here at last.

Cow Parsley was seen in flower.

 
17th April 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A dying specimen of Bombus hypnorum was seen on the path by the river.
 
16th April 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - 2 Peacock Butterflies and the first White Tailed Bumble Bee of the year were seen whilst walking home from work.
 

15th April 2013 - Brockholes, Lancashire - The sun was still shining and a swift circuitous route was taken, the result was 39 species, these were:- Swallow; Sand Martin; Canada Goose; Redshank; Oystercatcher; Mute Swan; Blue Tit; Mallard; Coot; Black Headed Gull; Little Ringed Plover; Tufted Duck; Goldeneye; Greylag Goose; Great Tit; Blackbird; Carrion Crow; Ringed Plover; Cormorant; Reed Bunting; Tree Sparrow; Chaffinch; Pied Wagtail; Goldfinch; Common Sandpiper; Goosander; Gadwall; Grey Heron; Wood Pigeon; Song Thrush; Magpie; Dunlin; Little Grebe; Great Crested Grebe; + on call Chiffchaff; Pheasant; Wren; Meadow Pipit and Robin.

2 Buff Tailed Bumble Bees, 2 Small Tortoiseshells; 1 Peacock Butterfly; a single Roe Deer were nice extras.

Moschatel and Ground Ivy were seen in flower for the first time this year.

 

15th April 2013 - Marshside RSPB, Lancashire - A wander with my bro' who at first seemed worried as to what was about but, with a little effort, helped in compiling a list of 63 species. These were:- Shelduck; Goldfinch; Wheatear (*5); Meadow Pipit; Skylark; Pink Footed Goose; Black Headed Gull; Oystercatcher; Redshank; Cormorant; Lapwing; Golden Plover; Black Tailed Godwit; Canada Goose; Little Egret; Moorhen; Herring Gull; Jackdaw; Mallard; Coot; Teal; Wood Pigeon; Reed Bunting; Mute Swan; Greenfinch; Long Tailed Tit; Tufted Duck; Wigeon; Shoveler; Kestrel; Greylag Goose; Ruff; Avocet; Pintail; Carrion Crow; Wren; Willow Warbler; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Sand Martin; Chiffchaff; Pheasant; Common Snipe; Gadwall; Magpie; Blackbird; Robin; Chaffinch; Sparrowhawk; Dunnock; Great Tit; Goldcrest; Starling; Feral Pigeon; Waxwing (*2); Mistle Thrush; House Sparrow; House Martin; Pied Wagtail; White Wagtail; Mediterranean Gull; Knot + on call Little Grebe.

A Hare was seen on the reserve and 9 Small Tortoiseshells were spotted as well as a few Buff Tailed Bumble Bees.

 

13th April 2013 - Pennington Flash, Lancashire - We wanted to go south but the weather system looked too precarious so we stayed localish and had a good walk in the sun that eventually turned to a clouded chill. 53 bird species seen:- Magpie; Teal; Robin; Mute Swan; Mallard; Canada Goose; Lapwing; Cormorant; Gadwall; Shelduck; Great Crested Grebe; Wood Pigeon; Black Headed Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Goosander; Moorhen; Goldeneye; Redshank; Bullfinch; Dunnock; Stock Dove; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Blackbird; Willow Tit; Brambling; Chaffinch; Chiffchaff; Carrion Crow; Goldfinch; Coot; Long Tailed Tit; Redwing; Song Thrush; Willow Warbler; Wren; Grey Heron; Collared Dove; Reed Bunting; Greenfinch; Pied Wagtail; House Sparrow; Treecreeper; Jay; Mistle Thrush; Skylark; Meadow Pipit; Common Gull; Kestrel; Oystercatcher; Shoveler; Swallow; Blackcap; Sand Martin; White Wagtail and Little Ringed Plover.

4 Buff Tailed Bumble Bees were seen and 1 Small Tortoiseshell as well as a Common Toad.

 
8th April 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A brace of Buff Tailed Bumble Bees on the way home, is Spring here at last?
 
8th April 2013 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A pair of Goosanders, a pair of Grey Wagtails and a pair of Dippers were the highs of a good walk with the daughter.
 
5th April 2013 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - The first Bumble Bee sighting of the year - a Buff Tailed no less - here's to a good un' for ya!
 
3rd April 2013 - Martin Mere, Lancashire - A wander with a few young un's from work and a quick toot at the bird life from the Swan Link Hide. A few Whooper Swans; Ruff; Avocets; Black Tailed Godwits as well as a Grey Wagtail and several species of wildfowl was good value for a 20 minute mooch.
 
1st April 2013 - Marbury CP, Cheshire - Still chilled so concentration was on the bird side although we did see a small patch of Wood Anemone in flower. The bird list today was 48 species, with 45 seen, 3 heard. The list was:- Redwing; Blackbird; Long Tailed Tit; Magpie; Great Crested Grebe; Mallard; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Chaffinch; Moorhen; Robin; Reed Bunting; Dunnock; Coal Tit; Coot; Cormorant; Nuthatch; Wood Pigeon; Wren; Goldcrest; Black Headed Gull; Oystercatcher; Kingfisher; Curlew; Carrion Crow; Pied Wagtail; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Mute Swan; Tufted Duck; Grey Heron; Canada Goose; Goldfinch; Buzzard; Gadwall; Jay; Jackdaw; Teal; Shelduck; Lesser Redpoll; Collared Dove; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Common Gull; Shoveler; Greenfinch + on call House Sparrow; Bullfinch and Little Grebe.
 
MARCH
 
31st March 2013 - Jumbles Reservoir, G. Manchester - The final destination of the day and again a new location for us, bird wise very poor with only 12 species seen:- Moorhen; Black Headed Gull; Canada Goose; Mallard; Great Crested Grebe; Long tailed Tit; Blackbird; Wood Pigeon; Robin; Magpie; Jackdaw and Carrion Crow.
 
31st March 2013 - Entwhistle Reservoir, G. Manchester - A walk around a new area for us, decent sunshine but only 17 birds , which were:- Coal Tit; Blue Tit; Robin; Grey Heron; Black Headed Gull; Canada Goose; Mallard; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Carrion Crow; Dunnock; Chaffinch; Blackbird; Cormorant; Wigeon; Grey Wagtail; Wood Pigeon and Magpie.
 
31st March 2013 - Elton Reservoir, G. Manchester - A good walk in bracing weather, the result was 32 bird species, there were:- Wood Pigeon; Mallard; Fieldfare; Blackbird; Goldfinch; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Magpie; Robin; Ringed Plover; Little Ringed Plover; Pied Wagtail; Common Gull; Black Headed Gull; Coot; Meadow Pipit; Wren; Oystercatcher; Carrion Crow; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Long Tailed Tit; Gadwall; Chaffinch; Feral Pigeon; Jackdaw; Water Rail; Herring Gull; Grey Wagtail; Song Thrush; Starling; Greylag Goose and Moorhen.
 
29th March 2013 - Eastham CP, Cheshire - Final site of the day and a lowly bird count, 15 in fact which were:- Blue Tit; Great Tit; Nuthatch; Chaffinch; Wood Pigeon; Carrion Crow; Redshank; Stock Dove; Greenfinch; Kestrel; Herring Gull; Robin; Magpie; Black Headed Gull and Blackbird.
 
29th March 2013 - Neston, Cheshire - A stretch of the legs and not much around to be honest but the first butterfly of the year was had and spirits were wonderfully raised - A Small Tortoiseshell feeding on a Dandelion flower and then resting on grass with wings spread hoping to absorb a few of the weak rays on sunshine. Go on little fella - here is to a successful season for you and your comrades.
 

29th March 2013 - Burton Mere RSPB, Cheshire - After the early morning walk we decided not to wander to far today so a favourite reserve was visited. Only 38 species today but still highly enjoyable:- Nuthatch; Tufted Duck; Great Tit; Jackdaw; Canada Goose; Mallard; Chaffinch; Coot; Avocet; Shelduck; Wigeon; Black Headed Gull; Black Tailed Godwit; Cormorant; Kestrel; Teal; Pintail; Redshank; Lapwing; Buzzard; Carrion Crow; Little Grebe; Mute Swan; Golden Plover; Starling; Wood Pigeon; Magpie; Blackbird; Common Snipe; Goldfinch; Siskin; Moorhen; Wren; Grey Heron; Long Tailed Tit; Dunnock; Little Egret and Rook.

A Brown Rat was looking healthy around the base of the feeding station.

 
29th March 2013 - Cheadle Heath - River Mersey - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - A full circular walk lasting from 7am until 9am with 35 birds seen and 4 extras heard making a total of 39 species. The list was:- Magpie; House Sparrow; Carrion Crow; Wood Pigeon; Collared Dove; Starling; Blackbird; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Feral Pigeon; Goldfinch; Song Thrush; Chiffchaff; Long Tailed Tit; Grey Wagtail; Black Headed Gull; Mallard; Buzzard; Canada Goose; Greenfinch; Robin; Chaffinch; Wren; Dunnock; Lapwing; Goosander (*6); Pied Wagtail; Fieldfare; Mistle Thrush; Kestrel; Dipper (A pair nest building); Coot; Mute Swan; Moorhen; Redwing + on call Nuthatch; Pheasant; Jay and Bullfinch.
 

27th March 2013 - Dunham Massey, Cheshire - A walk with the Young Carers from work with 1 eye on the bird life (not easy though). 20 species seen with including a sweet bonus:- Goldfinch; Nuthatch; Rook; Jackdaw; Blackbird; Black Headed Gull; Redwing; Cormorant; Tufted Duck; Mute Swan; Mallard; Buzzard; Moorhen; Coot; Pied Wagtail; Blue Tit; Wood Pigeon; Canada Goose; Great Spotted Woodpecker and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.

The Fallow Deer were nice and approachable and fed from the hand.

 
25th March 2013 - Yarrow CP, Lancashire - A wander to discover the area with 21 birds seen:- Reed Bunting; Robin; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Chaffinch; Black Headed Gull; Wood Pigeon; Blackbird; Jay; Long Tailed Tit; Mallard; Canada Goose; Mute Swan; Coot; Moorhen; Great Crested Grebe; Magpie; Pied Wagtail; Wren; Dunnock and Grey Wagtail.
 

25th March 2013 - Brockholes LWT, Lancashire - A cold bite to the wind and so the coast was avoided to save the balls of we three brass monkeys from rolling down the trouser leg and away into the breeze. The 42 species of bird seen were:- Starling; Canada Goose; Carrion Crow; Lapwing; Mallard; Coot; Reed Bunting; Black Headed Gull; Black Swan; Dunlin; Ringed Plover; Little Ringed Plover (*2); Mute Swan; Tufted Duck; Meadow Pipit; Chaffinch; Great Tit; Blackbird; Pheasant; Wood Pigeon; Magpie; Long Tailed Tit; Robin; Grey Heron; Nuthatch; Goldfinch; Wren; Blue Tit; Cormorant; Teal; Great Crested Grebe; Pochard; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Great Black Backed Gull; Goldeneye; Shoveler; Gadwall; Herring Gull; Redshank; Tree Sparrow; Dunnock and Moorhen.

A pair of Roe Deer were seen at close quarters and Moschatel was on the cusp of flowering. Wood Anemone however was in flower (well 2 blooms anyway).

 
23rd March 2013 - Chorlton WP, G. Manchester - Everything is on hold due to the weather and so a local trip was had rather than wasting petrol for the sake of it. A total of 46 birds today (43 seen, 3 on call) so not a bad to at all, the list being:- Carrion Crow; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Collared Dove; Robin; Jay; Blackbird; Magpie; Feral Pigeon; Nuthatch; Chaffinch; Long Tailed Tit; House Sparrow; Reed Bunting; Moorhen; Mallard; Canada Goose; Goosander; Coot; Mute Swan; Tufted Duck; Pochard; Great Crested Grebe; Black Headed Gull; Common Gull; Cormorant; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Song Thrush; Wren; Gadwall; Wood Pigeon; Goldfinch; Buzzard; Teal; Grey Heron; Grey Wagtail; Kestrel; Lesser Redpoll; Fieldfare; Starling; Mistle Thrush; Redwing; Great Spotted Woodpecker + on call Bullfinch; Greenfinch and Dunnock.
 
21st March 2013 - Heaton Mersey Common NR, Stockport, Cheshire - 21 birds seen in the dinner break :- Wood Pigeon; Feral Pigeon; Carrion Crow; Magpie; Great Tit; Wren; Dunnock; Blackbird; Starling; Goldfinch; Blue Tit; Mallard; Canada Goose; Moorhen; Song Thrush; Goldcrest; Chaffinch; Long tailed Tit; Robin and House Sparrow.
 
Colt's-Foot; White Dead Nettle; Lesser Celandine and Ivy Leaved Speedwell in flower.
 
18th March 2013 - River Mersey, Cheshire - A walk in the sun, Colt's-Foot in flower, a Violet Ground Beetle seen and much vegetation pushing through.
 

16th March 2013 - Pennington Flash, Lancashire - A wander around the hides produced only 41 birds today, we were being swift as I had a gig to attend (which as it transpired I was late for so sacked it off and caught up with a few outstanding things instead). The highlights:- Rock Pipit; Willow Tit; Redshank; Goldcrest and Stock Dove.

Sweet Violet was seen in flower.

 

9th March 2013 - Etherow CP, Cheshire - A short walk in dreary conditions came up with a close-up Treecreeper, 20+ Mandarin Ducks, 2 Goosander and a few Tufted Ducks.

Dogs Mercury and Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage were in flower.

 
4th March 2013 - Wince Brook NR, Middleton, G. Manchester - A morning with the missus at Whitworth Art Gallery, then in to Manchester for a mooch and then to this tucked away nature reserve for a look at the long staying Siberian Chiffchaff. Easy to find after some trawling on the internet, the bird showed well alongside a day to day Chiffchaff and so gave good comparison. Other birds that were added to the list making a total of 26 species were:- Feral Pigeon; Wood Pigeon; Moorhen; Mallard; Goldcrest; Long Tailed Tit; Blue Tit; Blackbird; Song Thrush; Greenfinch; Goldfinch; House Sparrow; Wren; Robin; Canada Goose; Teal; Carrion Crow; Magpie; Kestrel; Black Headed Gull; Great Tit; Coal Tit; Mistle Thrush and Dunnock (on call).
 

2nd March 2013 - Burton RSPB, Cheshire - The second visit to this newish reserve and I am liking it. It is a place for the beginner, for the ones who like to bird rather than twitch and a place for the keen amateur who likes to be outdoors. Add to this it can produce some fine birds, has a variety of habitats and promises much for the future. Today we clocked up 49 species, which were:- Carrion Crow; Jackdaw; Wood Pigeon; Lapwing; Blackbird; Song Thrush; Goldfinch; Blue Tit; Stock Dove; Black Tailed Godwit; Kestrel; Raven; Treecreeper; Cormorant; Coot; Tufted Duck; Teal; Gadwall; Starling; Grey Heron; Chaffinch; Pochard; Golden Plover; Siskin; Dunlin; Greylag Goose; Mistle Thrush; Oystercatcher; Magpie; Canada Goose; Mallard; Black Headed Gull; Moorhen; Common Gull; Shelduck; Pintail; Reed Bunting; Wren; Water Rail; Little Egret; Redshank; Coal Tit; Great Tit; Dunnock; Wigeon; Curlew; Shoveler; Rook and Long Tailed Tit.

Colt's-Foot was seen in flower for the first time this year.

 
2nd March 2013 - Dee Estuary, Neston, Cheshire - A brief visit to partake of some chips in yet still more sun - they were bloody well good too. Not many birds noted - eating chips and holding bins is a tricky business. Black Tailed Godwit and Little Egret were the most noteworthy.
 
2nd March 2013 - Thurstaston Common, Cheshire - A swift mooch in the sun to see if any bugs were flying about - not yet but 9 species of bird were noted:- Robin; Canada Goose; Blue Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Mallard; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Magpie; Feral Pigeon and Wood Pigeon.
 

2nd March 2013 - Hilbre Island, West Kirby, Cheshire - A walk out to the island, a tootle and back - all done in 3 hours - not bad at all and the tide never did come in despite the advice given by several locals - bah! 21 species of bird seen, these were:- Starling; Feral Pigeon; Little Egret; Oystercatcher; Curlew; Common Gull; Black Headed Gull; Herring Gull; Shelduck; Pied Wagtail; Sanderling; Cormorant; Turnstone; Knot; Ringed Plover; Pale Bellied Brent Geese; Grey Heron; Purple Sandpiper; Dunlin; Grey Plover and Great Crested Grebe.

Numerous Atlantic Grey Seals lazed on the sand then had a swim around the island - nifty to see!

 
1st March 2013 - Heaton Mersey Nature Reserve, Stockport, Cheshire - A good dinner walk with nice company at a local site where I expect to see some decent wildlife tucked away on the fringes of the concrete world. A Mistle Thrush was a new bird for the patch and the first Lesser Celandine was seen in flower - always a good moment - a sign of a corner turned!
 
FEBRUARY
 

24th February 2013 - Moore NR, Cheshire - A good walk and 49 species of bird was the result, taking in the Upper Moss area too. The list was:- Starling; Song Thrush; Jackdaw; Goldfinch; Blackbird; Buzzard; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Coot; Gadwall; Goldeneye; Tufted Duck; Mallard; Canada Goose; Smew (Redhead); Little Grebe; Shoveler; Moorhen; Blue Tit; Goldcrest; Magpie; Robin; Wren; Jay; Wood Pigeon; Great Tit; Nuthatch; Teal; Chaffinch; Reed Bunting; Long Tailed Tit; Coal Tit; Dunnock; Kingfisher (*2); Cormorant; Lesser Redpoll; Carrion Crow; Yellowhammer (*3); Feral Pigeon; Curlew; Kestrel; Grey Heron; Lapwing; Wigeon; Herring Gull; Black Headed Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Redshank; Common Gull and Mute Swan.

Hazel was seen in flower for the first time this year.

 
23rd February 2013 - Marbury CP, Cheshire - A 4 hour walk in dandruff snow, 46 birds seen and Blackthorn in flower. The birds listed were:- Great Tit; Blackbird; Robin; Dunnock; Wood Pigeon; Chaffinch; Mallard; Blue Tit; Great Crested Grebe; Carrion Crow; Canada Goose; Cormorant; Lapwing; Moorhen; Nuthatch; Wren; Jay; Coot; Black Headed Gull; Curlew; Oystercatcher; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Magpie; Wigeon; Great Black Backed Gull; Starling; Common Gull; Jackdaw; Mute Swan; Tufted Duck; Lesser Redpoll; Siskin; Greylag Goose; Coal Tit; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Goldcrest; Shelduck; Grey Heron; Tufted Duck; Long Tailed Tit; Gadwall; Black Swan; Bullfinch; Collared Dove; Teal; Stock Dove; Shoveler and Goldfinch.
 
21st February 2013 - Stockport, Cheshire - Field Wood Rush was seen growing out of a garden wall and a White Shouldered House Moth was seen in the home.
 
18th February 2013 - Stockport, Cheshire - An 8 mile walk in stunning weather through the urban sprawl to pick up a couple of pairs of jeans. Birds were singing and a few Rooks were hanging around their nests. A Harlequin Ladybird was sunning itself back home and a few Dandelions were noted in flower.
 
17th February 2013 - Didsbury, G. Manchester - A visit to a local recreation cum environment centre and a few more species for their lists. Harlequin Ladybird in 2 forms conspicua and succinea, Large Yellow Slug, Common Earwig, Ichneumon suspiciosus and the Holly Leaf Gall (Phytomyza ilicis).
 

16th February 2013 - Sandbach Flashes, Cheshire - Great weather and a small amount of time took to have a chat to a fine couple who asked whether or not I was Fungalpunk Dave, which in turn led to a natter about this, that and of course t'other. A few birds were seen, 29 in fact, which were:- Goldfinch; Mallard; Ruff; Teal; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Wigeon; Lapwing; Robin; Black Headed Gull; Great Black Backed Gull; Dunnock; Tree Sparrow; Coot; Black Headed Gull; Tufted Duck; Herring Gull; Caspian Gull; Shelduck; Fieldfare; Cormorant; Great Tit; Jackdaw; Carrion Crow; Mute Swan; Long Tailed Tit; Chaffinch; Common Gull; Wood Pigeon and Moorhen.

 
16th February 2013 - Astbury Mere, Cheshire - We don't do twitching unless it is at a nice or new location and can be part of a day where we can mooch. Today we thought this new place could be combined with another area and a good bird could be picked up - Slavonian Grebe. Arriving and the Mere was mostly frozen, not good, hence the reason we missed out on the bird completely. I did convince myself a juvenile Great Crested Grebe was indeed the bird at one point but thankfully came to my senses - that's idiot enthusiasm for ya. Still we don't place all our eggs in one basket and had a good mooch and wander in fine warming weather and came up with 22 species, these were:- Magpie; Wood Pigeon; Coot; Blackbird; Collared Dove; Mute Swan; Pochard; Mallard; Black Headed Gull; Carrion Crow; Great Crested Grebe; Great Tit; Dunnock; Robin; Greenfinch; Pheasant; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Reed Bunting; Moorhen; Jackdaw; Cormorant and Long Tailed Tit.
 

14th February 2013 - Leighton Moss, Lancashire - To finish the day we thought we'd opt for some easy birding so arrived here with a few hours of daylight left. 4 hides visited, the result a below average 43 bird species but still a nice wander. The list was:- Wood Pigeon; Moorhen; Bullfinch; Chaffinch; Greenfinch; Blue Tit; Dunnock; Coal Tit; Mallard; Pheasant; Common Gull; Coot; Great Black Backed Gull; Robin; Wren; Jackdaw; Brambling; Goldfinch; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Collared Dove; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Teal; Pintail; Pochard; Wigeon; Cormorant; Gadwall; Curlew; Tufted Duck; Canada Goose; Magpie; Great Tit; Blackbird; Song Thrush; Carrion Crow; Redshank; Shoveler; Shelduck; Oystercatcher; Little Egret; Grey Heron and Greenshank.

The lichen Ramalina fastigata was also noted.

 
14th February 2013 - Morecambe Bay, Lancashire - A quick shuftie here and 13 birds picked up, these were:- Pintail; Oystercatcher; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Redshank; Lapwing; Curlew; Knot; Carrion Crow; Herring Gull; Black Headed Gull; Turnstone; Dunlin and Starling.
 

14th February 2013 - Heysham NR/Harbour, Lancashire - First port of call today and after a chat with the warden and a donation of £2 towards bird food we had a mooch about and came up with 26 bird species, these were:- Grey Plover; Oystercatcher; Redshank; Curlew; Herring Gull; Twite (*79); Lesser Black Backed Gull; Great Black Backed Gull; Wren; Greenfinch; Wood Pigeon; Great Tit; Blackbird; Feral Pigeon; Starling; Kittiwake; Common Gull; Black Headed Gull; Knot; Meadow Pipit; Magpie; Turnstone; Dunnock; Eider and Cormorant.

Full marks to the effort in feeding the flock of Twite - the numbers are doing fine and are a joy to see!

 
11th February 2013 - Brockholes LWT, Lancashire - On our way homeward we decided to visit this new reserve, something we have been meaning to do for the last 12 months but have never got around to it. 33 birds were noted, these being:- Chaffinch; Canada Goose; Robin; Coot; Mallard; Mute Swan; Reed Bunting; Pheasant; Great Tit; Magpie; Goldcrest; Carrion Crow; Grey Heron; Lapwing; Teal; Goldeneye; Dunnock; Blackbird; Tufted Duck; Cormorant; Little Grebe; Pochard; Oystercatcher; Great Black Backed Gull; Black Headed Gull; Great Crested Grebe; Gadwall; Shoveler; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Starling; Common Gull; Blue Tit and Goldfinch.
 
11th February 2013 - Fairhaven Lake RSPB, Lancashire - By heck it was a bit bloody parky here, and the tide was right in, therefore the briefest of wanders. 18 birds in total, these were:- Linnet; Magpie; Wood Pigeon; Long Tailed Duck; Pochard; Oystercatcher; Carrion Crow; Moorhen; Tufted Duck; Coot; Mute Swan; Mallard; Black Headed Gull; Starling; Canada Goose; Herring Gull; Feral Pigeon and Jackdaw.
 
11th February 2013 - Marton Mere, Lancashire - Birding again, 41 species in 2 hours, the list was:- Robin; Starling; Blackbird; House Sparrow; Goldfinch; Chaffinch; Blue Tit; Wood Pigeon; Collared Dove; Long Tailed Tit; Great Tit; Magpie; Jackdaw; Long Eared Owl (*2); Stock Dove; Little Egret (*8); Coot; Grey Heron; Mallard; Mute Swan; Gadwall; Teal; Shoveler; Black Headed Gull; Common Gull; Wigeon; Redwing; Carrion Crow; Cormorant; Moorhen; Canada Goose; Pochard; Tufted Duck; Herring Gull; Great Crested Grebe; Goldeneye; Reed Bunting; Pheasant; Dunnock; Coal Tit and Wren.
 
2nd February 2013 - Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire - Another birding wander, 46 species in 3 hours, not bad I suppose. The list was:- Magpie; Coal Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Tree Sparrow; Wood Pigeon; Chaffinch; Pink Footed Goose; Water Rail; Pheasant; Robin; Bullfinch; Mallard; Coot; Reed Bunting; Blackbird; Teal; Mute Swan; Tufted Duck; Shoveler; Jackdaw; Great Crested Grebe; Grey Heron; Moorhen; Canada Goose; Goldfinch; Wren; Little Egret; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Gadwall; Dunnock; Nuthatch; Collared Dove; Mistle Thrush; Carrion Crow; Oystercatcher; Wigeon; Goosander; Shelduck; Greylag Goose; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Black Headed Gull; Buzzard; Stock Dove and Redwing.
 
2nd February 2013 - Rufford, Lancashire - A look around some farmer's fields and a mixed flock of Redwing, Fieldfare and Linnet was had as well as 2 Red Legged Partridge.
 
2nd February 2013 - Longton Brickcroft NR, Lancashire - A birding wander, only 26 species but still a decent walk. The list was:- Jackdaw; Blue Tit; Bullfinch; Coot; Mallard; Redwing; Robin; Tufted Duck; Chaffinch; Great Tit; Dunnock; Mute Swan; Wood Pigeon; Coal Tit; Wren; Sparrowhawk; Black Headed Gull; Moorhen; Gadwall; Shoveler; Teal; Collared Dove; Kestrel; Goldfinch; Blackbird and Pochard.
 
1st February 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Up early to drop off yesterdays captured mouse at a local park. A check of the trap which we set again yesterday and...bingo...mouse number two. A bigger individual with a paler belly and a bit more worn around the edges - a male perhaps? Anyway a trip to the local park was had and the two captives were released. A shame but their lack of hygiene makes that bad companions but hey - why harm em' - all they wanted was a bit of grub and some warmth! It's all about perspective!
 
JANUARY
 
31st January 2013 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Suspicions were of a mouse loose about this house and so a trip to the pet shop was had and a mouse trap was purchased (humane of course). That evening - bingo one little beauty caught (Mus musculus I do believe) - peanut butter and cheese was the blighters downfall. Placed in a vivarium the sweet thing will be released tomorrow. The trap was re-set just in case we had two - you never know!
 

30th January 2013 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - A dinner break to clear the clouded noggin - A Treecreeper, Mistle Thrush, a few Redwing and some Common Gulls as well as Long Tailed Tit; Great Tit; Redwing; Wood Pigeon; Carrion Crow and Feral Pigeon.

 

27th January 2013 - Chadkirk Chapel, Stockport, Cheshire - Always strapped for time, hey ho. A local walk in nice sunshine but very little to report. 3 Stock Doves, a lone Lapwing and a Lesser Black Backed Gull were unusual for this place.

The Yew Artichoke Gall (Taxomyia taxi) was noted.

 

20th January 2013 - Chorlton WP, G. Manchester - After a gig the previous night a local walk was more than enough today in chilling conditions. 29 birds were seen, these were:- Jay; Canada Goose; Wigeon; Gadwall; Coot; Mute Swan; Mallard; Tufted Duck; Black Headed Gull; Herring Gull; Pochard; Cormorant; Goosander; Blue Tit; Robin; Carrion Crow; Blackbird; Goldeneye; Collared Dove; Magpie; Great Tit; Song Thrush; Long Tailed Tit; Wood Pigeon; Common Gull; Grey Heron; Chaffinch; House Sparrow and Starling.

It was noted that Elder and Hawthorn were holding many opened leaves.

 
15th January 2013 - The Heatons, Stockport, Cheshire - A wander in the dinner hour and home from work - Feverfew and Sea Aster were both hanging on to a few flowers, the moss Bryum capillare was in fruit and the gall on Holly leaves (Phytomyza ilicis) was noted.
 

13th January 2013 - Tatton Park, Cheshire - A meet up with group members and friends and as well as 40+ fungi seen (see Fungal Friends section as per) we saw a few birdies too, only a few though, 18 in fact which isn't great. The list was as follows:- Song Thrush; Blue Tit; Robin; Jackdaw; Carrion Crow; Great Tit; Mallard; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Goldeneye; Coot; Canada Goose; Pochard; Magpie; Great Crested Grebe; Mute Swan; Shelduck and Tufted Duck. Wren, Green Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Jay and Coal Tit were heard calling.

A Leopard Slug was noted whilst looking beneath many logs.

 

12th January 2013 - Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire - My daughter was volunteering here today so we took some time to have a mooch around. 32 species of bird were noted, the list was:- Coal Tit; Chaffinch; Moorhen; Mallard; Tree Sparrow; Bullfinch; Blackbird; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Reed Bunting; Robin; Carrion Crow; Nuthatch; Moorhen; Coot; Jackdaw; Wren; Long Tailed Tit; Canada Goose; Goldfinch; Tufted Duck; Shoveler; Goosander; Teal; Gadwall; Song Thrush; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Pheasant; Buzzard; Dunnock; Water Rail and Wood Pigeon.

A Brown Rat was seen at the back of the visitor centre.

Lichens identified were Cladonia fimbriata, Ramalina farinacea; Parmelia sulcata and Cladonia coniocraea.

 

12th January 2013 - Marshside RSPB, Lancashire - A sharp breeze and a good wander around the northern side of the reserve produced 46 species of bird, these were:- Buzzard; Shelduck; Magpie; Golden Plover; Lapwing; Mallard; Carrion Crow; Pintail; Tufted Duck; Shoveler; Coot; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Wigeon; Teal; Little Egret; Greylag Goose; Common Gull; Black Headed Gull; Spoonbill; Pink Footed Goose; Pochard; Curlew; Oystercatcher; Pied Wagtail; Black Tailed Godwit; Starling; Robin; Cormorant; Dunnock; Ruff; Collared Dove; House Sparrow; Feral Pigeon; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Wood Pigeon; Jackdaw; Blackbird; Greenfinch; Blue Tit; Redshank; Goldfinch; Whooper Swan; Herring Gull; Moorhen and Mistle Thrush.

White Dead Nettle was in flower and a 7-Spot Ladybird was seen.

 

7th January 2013 - Didsbury, G. Manchester - A wander at a private site with nature loving chum Selwyn Foster who took me to this area to meet a few local enthusiasts and to see a special flower. Purple Toothworth was appearing in quite large numbers and a visit back to see it in all it's glory must be had.

Leopard Slug; Garden Snail; Shiny Woodlice; Striped Woodlice and several bird species were also enjoyed.

Ivy Leaved Toadflax was squeezing out the odd flower or two.

 

6th January 2013 - Pennington Flash, Lancashire - Another day in the field, this time with a knackered shoulder and a load of aching joints (what an old crock I am), nevertheless out we got and 44 birds were noted, these being:- Wood Pigeon; Magpie; Black Headed Gull; Mute Swan; Mallard; Canada Goose; Common Gull; Tufted Duck; Great Crested Grebe; Moorhen; Sparrowhawk; Cormorant; Goldeneye; Great Black Backed Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Herring Gull; Lapwing; Common Snipe; Shelduck; Shoveler; Coot; Teal; Little Grebe; Kingfisher; Mute Swan; Grey Heron; Carrion; Kestrel; Lesser Redpoll; Siskin; Mistle Thrush; Goldfinch; Chaffinch; Long Tailed Tit; Robin; Reed Bunting; Greenfinch; Bullfinch; Blackbird; Dunnock; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Stock Dove and Pied Wagtail.

In flower today were White Dead Nettle; Red Dead Nettle, Pineappleweed; Rape and Daisy.

 

5th January 2013 - Moore NR, Cheshire - A nice wander in the open air at one of our favourite places (we have many of those). Primarily birds were the order of the day with a few extras noted along the way. 45 species of bird were noted, the list being as follows:- Long Tailed Tit; Jackdaw; Wood Pigeon; Siskin; Redwing; Goldfinch; Great Tit; Starling; Wren; Blackbird; Magpie; Blue Tit; Moorhen; Common Gull; Black Headed Gull; Little Grebe; Mallard; Lesser Black Back Gull; Tufted Duck; Coot; Pochard; Gadwall; Grey Heron; Shoveler; Herring Gull; Great Crested Grebe; Smew (Red Head); Waxwing (*8); Carrion Crow; Robin; Bullfinch; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Nuthatch; Coal Tit; Reed Bunting; Wigeon; Teal; Dunnock; Buzzard; Collared Dove; Jay; Tree Sparrow; Stock Dove; Chaffinch; Mute Swan and Feral Pigeon.

Rough, Shiny and Pygmy Woodlice were seen as well as several Garlic Snails. White Dead Nettle was in flower.

 

1st January 2013 - Abney Hall/River Mersey, Cheshire - With the car off the road we had to stay local but we still clocked up a few bits and pieces. As we as numerous fungi noted (See Fungal Friends Sightings) a few birds were listed:- Carrion Crow; Magpie; Starling; Wood Pigeon; Robin; Feral Pigeon; Black Headed Gull; Wren; Mallard; Coot; Canada Goose; Blackbird; Mute Swan; Chaffinch; Great Spotted Woodpecker and Goosander.

3 tired looking galls seen were Oak Apple Gall (Biorhiza pallida) Gall; Artichoke Gall (Andricus fecundator) and Ash Key Gall (Aceria fraxinivorus).

2 mosses on a wall were the Grey Cushion Moss and Wallscrew Moss as well as Wall Rue poking through.

3 flowers in bloom were Shepherd's Purse; Groundsel and Daisy.