FUNGALPUNK SIGHTINGS 2016
Fungal sightings found here
 
DECEMBER

25th December 2016 - Poynton Pool, Stockport, Cheshire - We three wise turnips went for a walk to feed the birds and stretch the muscles. 22 bird species were seen, these were:- Moorhen; Little Grebe; Mallard; Canada Goose; Mute Swan; Coot; Black Headed Gull; Robin; Carrion Crow; Tufted Duck; Jackdaw; Rook; Great Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Blue Tit; Redwing; Goosander; Wood Pigeon; Blackbird; House Sparrow; Grey Heron and Nuthatch.

A Hazel tree was sporting the lovely pink female flowers I find absolutely delightful.

 
24th December 2016 - Sale WP, G. Manchester - After an appointment at the hospital and a good breakfast it was decided to have a walk at thos local area. Despite the peepers playing up due to induced dilated pupils the birds seen were:- Wood Pigeon; Magpie; Gadwall; Mute Swan; Black Headed Gull; Mallard; Coot; Canada Goose; Tufted Duck; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Carrion Crow; Goosander; Common Gull; Cormorant; Shoveler; Pied Wagtail; Grey Wagtail; Robin; Blackbird; Grey Heron; Blue Tit; Bullfinch; Great Tit; Nuthatch; Chaffinch and Jackdaw.
 
21st December 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking home after an emergency visit to the opticians and a Dipper, Grey Heron and pair of Goosander were all a delight to see.
 
20th December 2016 - Heaton Mersey NR and area, Stockport, Cheshire - A dinner time wander and birds seen were:- Blackbird; lack Headed Gull; Wood Pigeon; House Sparrow; Common Gull; Wren; Ring Necked Parakeet (*3); Magpie; Blue Tit; Coal Tit; Great Tit; Robin; Long Tailed Tit; Goldfinch; Chaffinch; Mallard; Dunnock; Moorhen; Kingfisher; Grey Heron and Great Spotted Woodpecker.
 
19th December 2016 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - A pair of Goosander frequented the small pond along with the usual Coots, Moorhens, Mallards and Black Headed Gulls.
 
18th December 2016 - Pennington Flash, G. Manchester - A good walk for me and the missus after getting to the latter end of a nagging virus. Today 49 birds were noted, these being:- Magpie; Coot; Tufted Duck; Mute Swan; Mallard; Moorhen; Wood Pigeon; Goldeneye; Long Tailed Duck; Grey Heron; Cormorant; Black Headed Gull; Goosander; Common Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Carrion Crow; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Great Tit; Pied Wagtail; Robin; Blackbird; Dunnock; Lapwing; Wren; Great Crested Grebe; Gadwall; Goldcrest; Kestrel; Collared Dove; House Sparrow; Goldfinch; Redwing; Song Thrush; Little Grebe; Long Tailed Tit; Wigeon; Teal; Shoveler; Stock Dove; Bullfinch; Willow Tit; Chaffinch; Reed Bunting; Coal Tit; Nuthatch; Common Snipe; Scaup + Cetti's Warbler and Jackdaw on call.
 

12th December 2016 - Chorlton WP, G. Manchester - Still ground down with this ruddy virus myself and my missus did some early morning shopping and then had a 90 minute stroll around this area beneath wretched, hopeless clouds. It was a nice quiet wander though and along the way we recorded 35 bird species:- Ring Necked Parakeet; Chaffinch; Goldfinch; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Starling; Feral Pigeon; House Sparrow; Wood Pigeon; Common Gull; Black Headed Gull; Great Crested Grebe; Mallard; Coot; Moorhen; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Tufted Duck; Pochard; Gadwall; Long Tailed Tit; Cormorant; Wren; Magpie; Carrion Crow; Song Thrush; Jay; Blackbird; Grey Wagtail; Pied Wagtail; Shoveler; Goosander; Robin + Jackdaw and Great Spotted Woodpecker on call.

The cup of cha and Courgette and Lime Cake (me) and Lemon and Ginger Cake (my lady) was well deserved afterwards.

 
5th December 2016 - Cheadle Heath and River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A run down the river and a walk back via Gorsey Bank, 24 birds noted:- Redwing; Blackbird; Carrion Crow; Mallard; Pied Wagtail; Moorhen; Goosander; Great Spotted Woodpecker; House Sparrow; Wood Pigeon; Starling; Black Headed Gull; Grey Heron; Magpie; Nuthatch; Blue Tit; Jackdaw; Grey Wagtail; Long Tailed Tit; Wren; Great Tit; Dunnock; Jay and Mistle Thrush.
 

4th December 2016 - Delamere Forest, Cheshire - A walk with the Fungal Friends Group that was and along the way we saw the following mosses:- Mnium hornum; Polytrichum commune; Kindbergia praelonga; Polytrichum formosum, the Liverwort:- Lophocolea bidentata and 2 species of beetle Carabus violaceus and Rhagium bifasciatum.

 
NOVEMBER
 
27th November 2016 - Fletcher Moss, Didsbury, G. Manchester - A 2 hour wander on me lonesome to try and clear this darn cold. The few birds spotted were:- Carrion Crow; Ring Necked Parakeet; Wood Pigeon; Blackbird; Blue Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Fieldfare; Magpie; Jay; Robin; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Mallard; Black Headed Gull; Dunnock; Goldcrest; Coal Tit; Great Tit; Sparrowhawk; Chaffinch; Redwing and Goldfinch.
 
23rd November 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking down the main road from Cheadle Heath alongside the river and a Woodcock flitted over and took us by surprise.
 

13th November 2016 - Conwy RSPB, Conwy - A walk to wind down after the mornings fungal mooching. We casually strolled and saw 31 bird species in 90 minutes, not great but we enjoyed it. The list was:- Magpie; House Sparrow; Herring Gull; Feral Pigeon; Teal; Goldfinch; Moorhen; Grey Heron; Oystercatcher; Black Tailed Godwit; Common Pheasant; Blue Tit; Meadow Pipit; Shelduck; Wren; Pochard; Red Breasted Merganser; Tufted Duck; Little Grebe; Dunnock; Goldeneye; Carrion Crow; Robin; Redshank; Little Egret; Cormorant; Black Headed Gull; Curlew; Lapwing; Great Black Backed Gull and Pied Wagtail.

Red Valerian was still in flower and a cracking little Stoat gave wonderful views. What a beady eyed little tinker he is!

 
13th November 2016 - Bodnant Gardens, Conwy - Whilst doing a fungus reccie with my fine lady I noted a Great Spotted Woodpecker, plenty of Redwings and a few chacking Fieldfares - there was plenty of bird song too - nice.
 
1st November 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - The first day of the month and we are getting into those winter months. I decided to see what flowers were still throwing out a few blooms as I trekked home from work down river and through Gorsey Bank to Cheadle Heath. A few plants were still having a go, these were:- Red Clover; Hogweed; Tufted Vetch; Large Flowered Evening Primrose agg; Common Field Speedwell; Common Nettle; Creeping Cinquefoil; Himalayan Balsam; Groundsel; Garlic Mustard; Shepherd's Purse; Nipplewort; Purple Loosestrife; Red Campion; Herb Robert; Hedge Bindweed; Daisy; Common Chickweed; Dandelion agg and Tansy.
 
OCTOBER
 
29th October 2016 - Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire - Another fungus walk and during the day we saw a Kingfisher, a Raven, many Pink Footed Geese flying over and a Frog and a Toad.
 
25th October 2016 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - I was having a walk and checking a few Nettle beds. A Jay, Great Spotted Woodpecker and 2 Ring Necked Parakeets were noted whilst I mooched.
 
23rd October 2016 - Tatton Park, Cheshire - Fungi mania it is at the mo but whilst leading a walk we saw several Buzzards, a Short Tailed Vole, a Frog and a Toad. Alas the Toad wasn't sat on a stool - awkward bugger.
 
20th October 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking to and from work - a Sparrowhawk flew over, a Grey Wagtail flitted around and the Drone-Fly (Eristalis pertinax) fed on the flowers of Hogweed.
 
16th October 2016 - Erddig CP, Wrexham - Heads down and fungal hunting - a Grey Heron flew by and a Pale Tussock caterpillar was found.
 
15th October 2016 - Formby NT, Lancashire - Fungi mania has taken over but whilst leading a walk today we did spot a Common Shrew - bonus.
 
9th October 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - 3 species of moth in the bathroom - a lovely Silver Y (*1); Red Green Carpet (*1) and Tachystola acroxantha (*2) - better than a kick up the arse!
 
9th October 2016 - Arley Hall, Cheshire - I was leading 2 fungi walks today but along the way we saw a flock of Redwing, a brace of Harlequin Ladybirds and a Smooth Newt.
 
SEPTEMBER
 
27th September 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A quick pop out looking for local fungi. A Red Admiral braved the dreary conditions, The Drone Fly (Eristalis pertinax) was on Hogweed as well as several Nettle Tap Moths. Common Toadflax was in flower.
 
26th September 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - 4 Goosanders, a Grey Wagtail and a few flowers was all that I saw on a swift 3 mile walk. Gotta keep my aching tendon moving - tis a bugger and getting on my wick.
 
24th September 2016 - Harthill Cookery School, Cheshire - Whilst leading a fungi hunt a Comma flew by, Ravens called overhead, A Red Legged Partridge came close and Marmalade Flies (Episyrphus balteatus) were everywhere!
 
19th September 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - No time to moth so it was very decent of a Garden Carpet and a Common Marbled Carpet to turn up in the bathroom.
 
18th September 2016 - Anderton NR, Cheshire - A hard fungi walk with the arid conditions testing our resolve. Along the way a Comma and a Speckled Wood were seen on the wing, a few Nettle Tap Moths flitted about, 2 Ravens flew overhead and Common Darters were enjoying the autumnal sun.
 

17th September 2016 - Parrs Wood, G. Manchester - A call in to a local horticultural centre to see that top lady Kit Walker and to drop off a Lemon Drizzle Cake for the peeps who work though and do such an admirable job. I had a wander round the gardens there and came up with 8 species of hoverfly:- Episyrphus balteatus; Eristalis tenax; Melanostoma scalare; Syritta pipiens; Eristalis pertinax; Sphaerophoria scripta; Helophilus pendulus; Sericomyia silentis and Syrphus ribesii. There was good numbers of all species with a type of Michaelmas Daisy really attracted the hungry buzzers. Large Bindweed had a few visitors too and several Eristalis species seemed to like the late blooming Dandelion flowers. Bombus pascuorum was also knocking about the flowers.

A Comma; Red Admiral and 4 Speckled Woods were the butterflies on show and I also note a White Tailed Bumble Bee; a Tree Bee and a few Harlequin Ladybirds. Nettle Tap Moths were scattered about.

The gall Taphrina tosquinetii was on Alder.

 
14th September 2016 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - A fungus walk on me own and not a bad do with along the way a Speckled Wood on the wing as well as a Common Darter and the Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus). A Violet Ground Beetle (Carabus problematicus) was noted as well as 2 Common Toads and a Smooth Newt.
 
11th September 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - An large Old Lady Moth and for contrast a small Light Brown Apple Moth were both attracted to an overnight window. 3 White Shouldered House Moths were also noted.
 
10th September 2016 - Moore NR, Cheshire - A fungus walk but along the way note was made of 2 butterfly species:- Speckled Wood (*7) and Small Copper (*2) plus several Green Shieldbug nymphs, the Hoverfly (Syrphus ribesii); Musk Mallow; Scarlet Pimpernel; Perforate St John's Wort and Germander Speedwell in flower plus a few galls, these being:- Dasineura urticae; Dasineura ulmaria; Taphrina alni; Eriophyes laevis; Dasineura pustulans; Andricus quercuscalicis and Jaapiella veronicae.
 

6th September 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A Green Veined White; Speckled Wood and Meadow Brown were on the wing as well as the hoverflies:- Helophilus pendulus; Eristalis pertinax and Eristalis horticola.

Sea Aster was in flower and the gall Taphrina tosquinetii was on Alder leaves with numerous Alder Leaf Beetles, I suspect these bugs help spread the causal agent of the gall.

 
6th September 2016 - The Heatons, Stockport, Cheshire - A walk to work, a fire-alarm alert, a mooch in the dinner hour, a walk home and 12 Speckled Wood butterflies were on the wing and a lone specimen of the hoverfly (Eristalis pertinax) was seen. Small Balsam was still in flower.
 
6th September 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A few moths attracted to the toilet window:- Willow Beauty; Light Brown Apple Moth; Silver Y and Garden Carpet.
 
4th September 2016 - Lindow Common, Wilmslow, Cheshire - Close to home today looking for fungi but along the way we saw 19 Speckled Wood Butterflies in tip-top condition; a few Common Green and Meadow Grasshoppers; a 22 Spot and a Harlequin Ladybird; a Common Frog and the hoverflies:- Helophilus pendulus; Eristalis pertinax and Episyrphus balteatus. A Buzzard circled overhead whilst we were mooching about.
 
AUGUST
30th August 2016 - Gorsey Bank, Stockport, Cheshire - A Buddleia Bush was bathed in sunlight and 2 hoverfly species fed, these were:- Eristalis tenax and Eristalis intricarius.
 

29th August 2016 - Etherow CP, Stockport, Cheshire - A Fungal Friends walk so it was all hands to the mycological deck. Along the way we noted the butterflies Small Copper (*1) and Speckled Wood (*2) plus a Blood-Vein Moth. Brown Hawker and Common Darter were on the wing near the water and the hoverflies:- Leucozona glaucia; Eristalis pertinax; Chrysotoxum bicinctum and Helophilus pendulus were added.

Gypsywort was in flower and still remains one of my favourite plants.

 
26th August 2016 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - In need of a dinner time stroll I wandered up to the local church and had a look what was on a small border on the edge of an adjacent field.  The hoverflies:- Helophilus pendulus; Xylota segnis; Episyrphus balteatus and Syrphus ribesii were noted, 3 Common Green Shield Bug nymphs, a few Harlequin Ladybirds and their larvae and a trio of  24 Spot ladybirds. A quartet of Speckled Wood butterflies were seen on the way home, 2 of which couldn't behave and battle like buggery to keep a certain dappled territory - ooh the silly sods!
 

24th August 2016 - Formby, Lancashire - A walk with the Young Carers from work and what an insect free place the area seemed to be. A depressing scenario that is becoming more and more common this year. 4 Graylings were the only butterflies seen, 4 Northern Dune Tiger Beetles were noted, a macropterous form of the Short Winged Conehead, A Mottled Grasshopper, a couple of Common Field Grasshopper, several Dune Robber Flies (Philonicus albiceps), a couple of Harlequin Ladybirds and A Hairy Shieldbug and that was it - poor indeed.

A large flock of Knot were approachable and a Lion's Mane Jellyfish was washed up.

 
21st August 2016 - Fernilee Reservoir, Derbyshire - 3 of us set off in search of fungi but along the way I saw the butterflies:- Green Veined White (*1) and Gatekeeper (*2). A Common Green Shieldbug was on Nettle, a Kingfisher was perched up and flew across the reservoir and Eristalis pertinax and Melanostoma scalare were the only 2 hoverflies noted. An Alder Moth caterpillar was a good find.
 

17th August 2016 - New Brighton, The Wirrall - A walk with 10 young carers in tow and a good play on the beach. Splishing and splashing, sandcastle building, catching crabs, eating ice creams, climbing on rocks and looking at a bit of wildlife. A few things were noted along the way namely, a cracking Compass Jellyfish (Chrysaora hysoscella) in a small pool, a washed up but quite fresh Lion's Mane Jellyfish (Cyanea capillata), a few Shore Crabs (Carcina maenas) and Sea Beard (Nemeretesia antennina).

Sea Rocket and Sea Holly were still in flower.

 
15th August 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A clement night and the few moths attracted to the open toilet window were:- Flame Shoulder (*1); Blastobasis adustella (*2); Willow Beauty (*1); Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing (*3); Riband Wave (*2); Acleris variegana (*1); Tachytstola acroxantha (*1); Diamond Back Moth (*1); Large Yellow Underwing (*2); Svensson's Copper Underwing (*1); White Spotted Pug (*1); Carcina quercana (*1); Amblyptilia acanthadactyla (*3) and Caloptilia azaleella (*1).
 

14th August 2016 - Knott Hill NR, G. Manchester - Our 650th location visited in the UK and not a bad area to explore over and over again. We had an eye on the fungi today but noted 2 butterflies along the way:- Speckled Wood (*1) and Gatekeeper (*2) plus 7 species of hoverfly:- Baccha elongata; Chrysogaster solstitialis; Eristalis pertinax; Leucozona glaucia; Epistrophe grossulariae; Melanostoma scalare and Syrphus ribesii.

Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria); Common Froghopper (Philaenus spumarius) and several Oak Artichoke Galls (Andricus fecundator) were seen. Pink Purslane was still in flower.

8th August  2016 - Willow and Wetlands Centre, Somerset - The holiday is over so, as it started, we finished it back at the same place with tea and cake and a short walk. Arrowhead, Spotted Medick; Hemlock and Pink Water Speedwell were in flower, 3 Ravens and 2 Buzzards squabbled in mid-air, Red Admiral (*1); and Speckled Wood (*1) were the only butterflies noted and a Common Darter and a Southern Hawker the only Odonata species seen.

The Alder Tongue Gall (Taphrina alni) was observed outside the cafe.

 

7th August 2016 - Chard NR, Somerset - A new area and a pleasant stroll taken. 22 birds were seen, these were:- Sparrowhawk; Mallard; Coot; Moorhen; Cormorant; Wood Pigeon; Great Crested Grebe; Black Headed Gull; Mute Swan; Carrion Crow; Blackbird; Herring Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Little Egret; Black Tailed Godwit; Grey Heron; Kingfisher; House Martin; Long Tailed Tit; Great Tit; Wren; Goldcrest and Tufted Duck.

Speckled Wood (*3); Large White (*1); Green Veined White (*2); Holly Blue (*1); Meadow Brown (*2) and Red Admiral (*2) were the butterflies on the wing and yet again, a lone Silver Y Moth was seen.

Some gigantic Carp were observed from the bird hide and a Long Winged Conehead was in damp grassland.

 

7th August 2016 - Wares Cliffs, Lyme Regis, Dorset - Still the sun was shining and Ringlet (*1); Red Admiral (*2); Peacock (*1); Painted Lady (*1); Gatekeeper (*2); Speckled Wood (*3); Common Blue (*1); Silver Y (*1) and Straw Dot (*2) were all that was around on the lepidoptera front.

Dark Bush Cricket; Common Green Grasshopper; Meadow Grasshopper and Long Winged Conehead were plentiful; a Bloody Nosed Beetle was seen and the 2 hoverflies noted were Episyrphus balteatus and Chrysogaster solstitialis.

The Thistle Gall (Urophora cardui) was a good spot.

 

6th August 2016 - Tout Quarry, Portland, Dorset - Back on the island in the sizzling sun and mooching in this tucked away area. Speckled Bush Cricket; Grey Bush Cricket; Common Green Grasshopper; Common Field Grasshopper and Meadow Grasshopper were watched whilst 2 Chalk-Hill Blues fluttered around and a Bloody Nosed Beetle ambled across the grass.

Mullein was in flower.

 

6th August 2016 - Lodmoor CP, Dorset - Another stroll around this pleasurable area. 35 bird species noted:- Starling; Magpie; Black Headed Gull; House Sparrow; Canada Goose; Collared Dove; Blackbird; Great Tit; Great Crested Grebe; Herring Gull; Lapwing; Coot; Mallard; Common Sandpiper; Swallow; Grey Heron; Kingfisher; Linnet; Dunlin; Wren; Dunnock; Greater Black Backed Gull; Mediterranean Gull; Black Tailed Godwit; Wood Pigeon; Shelduck; Oystercatcher; Gadwall; Moorhen; Sparrowhawk; Carrion Crow; Little Grebe; Cormorant + Green Woodpecker and Goldfinch on call.

Very few butterflies again:- Peacock (*1); Brimstone (*2); Red Admiral (*1); Small White (*1); Gatekeeper (*1); Meadow Brown (*2); Wall (*1); Speckled Wood (*5); Comma (*1) and Green Veined White (*2).

A Black Tailed Skimmer and a Common Darter were also seen.

 
6th August 2016 - Portland Bill, Dorset - A Parsnip Moth was caught by assistant warden Anthony, a new one for me - bonus.
 

5th August 2016 - Chesil Beach, Dorset - To finish the day a potter on the beach was had. Beadlet Anemone; Snakelocks Anemone; Shore Crab; Broad Clawed Porcelain Crab; Edible Crab; Common Mussel; Edible Periwinkle; Common Limpet; Blenny; Sea Lettuce; Bladder Wrack; Serrated Wrack; Grey Bush Cricket; Long Winged Conehead and a feeding Dunlin all kept me entertained whilst the lasses relaxed. The Encrusting Sea Mat (Cryptosula pallasiana) and Spiral Tubeworm (Janua pagenstecheri) were later identified by David Fenwick, a man on a marine mission and doing things darn ruddy well.

3 species of Barnacle were identified:- Balanus perforatus; Balanus balanus and Semibalanus balanoides.

The 3 butterfly species noted were:- Painted Lady (*1); Common Blue (*2) and Meadow Brown (*5).

 

5th August 2016 - Okeford Hill, Dorset - A short walk that was timed to beat the incoming rain. Butterflies noted were:- Green Veined White (*1); Ringlet (*3); Red Admiral (*2); Gatekeeper (*7); Meadow Brown (*1) and Essex Skipper (*1). Find of the day was by my daughter and it was a pristine Leopard Moth - nice.

Green Leaf Hopper (Cicadella viridis); Alder Spittle Bug (Aphrophora alni) and a Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus) were also seen.

 

5th August 2016 - Alners Gorse, Dorset - One of my favourite butterfly reserves and even though the insect world is on a dip we still did reasonably well today. The flutterer's noted were:- Green Veined White (*9); Speckled Wood (*7); Small White (*2); Meadow Brown (*19); Large Skipper (*3); Ringlet (*3); Holly Blue (*1); Gatekeeper (*10); Brown Hairstreak (*2); Red Admiral (*5); Marbled White (*2); Large White (*1); Peacock (*3); Silver Washed Fritillary (*5 including 2 valezina forms); Purple Hairstreak (*4); Small Skipper (*1) and Painted Lady (*1). Moths included a Straw Dot and a Yellow-Shell.

6 hoverflies were on the wing, these were:- Syritta pipiens; Eristalis abustorum; Episyrphus balteatus; Eristalis pertinax; Myathropa florea and Chrysotoxum bicinctum.

Hornets were plentiful, the Scorpion Fly (Panorpa communis) was seen and a Southern Hawker patrolled his area. The Kite Tailed Robber Fly (Machimus atricapillus) was later confirmed. The Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum) was compared with similar species and eventually named.

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

 
5th August 2016 - Portland Bill, Dorset - Still plenty of Gannets flying by and a lone Shag with a Brussel's Lace and Olive to keep me clued in to the moth side of things.
 

4th August 2016 - Tadnoll and Winfrith Heath, Dorset - A potter to the bird hide and back. Interesting plants noted were:- Dwarf Gorse; Greater Burnet; Welted Thistle; Slender St John's Wort; Pillwort and Waterwort (Elatine hydropiper).

Lone Common Blue And Meadow Brown butterflies were seen as well as a Southern Hawker, several Keeled Skimmers, a Long Winged Conehead and a Water Scorpion.

Several Stonechats sat atop the vegetation.

 

4th August 2016 - Durlston CP, Dorset - The sun was dazzling and the heat soaring so a coastal breeze was most welcome. I spent 3 hours tootling whilst my wife and daughter pottered in Swanage. The plant list kept was made up of:- Tufted Centaury; Common Centaury; Lesser Knapweed; Ox-Eye Daisy; Red Bartsia; Woolly Thistle; Figwort; Tufted Vetch; Crosswort; Oxford Ragwort; Horse-Shoe Vetch; Lesser Swine Cress; Common Nettle; Green Alkanet; Traveller's Joy; Hemp Agrimony; Pyramidal Orchid; Spear Thistle; Scarlet Pimpernel; Ribwort Plantain; Greater Willowherb; Purple Toadflax; Ivy Leaved Toadflax; Procumbent Pearlwort; Field Scabious; Pineappleweed; Golden Samphire; Knotgrass; Honeysuckle; Meadow Vetchling; Meadow Buttercup; Rock Samphire; Hoary Willowherb; Spear Leaved Orache; Enchanter's Nightshade; Herb Robert; Red Valerian; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Agrimony; Cut Leaved Crane's-Bill; Field Bindweed; Red Clover; Yellow Rattle; Creeping Buttercup; Hoary Plantain; Small Scabious; Squinancywort; Eyebright agg; Creeping Cinquefoil; Common Mallow; Ploughman's Spikenard; Hoary Ragwort; Wood Sage; Hedge Mustard; Wood Avens; White Valerian; Restharrow; White Clover; Daisy; Wild Carrot; Wild Parsnip; Dandelion agg; Lady's Bedstraw; Fairy Flax; Common Milkwort; Lesser Burdock; Yellow-Wort; Dwarf Thistle; Teasel; Sea Beet; Bittersweet; Creeping Thistle; Common Ragwort; Greater Plantain; Wood Dock; Hedge Woundwort; Yarrow; Bristly Ox-Tongue; Self-Heal; Greater Knapweed and Common Fleabane.

Butterflies were lowly once again, a worrying trend indeed. The list was:- Meadow Brown (*10); Large White (*1); Speckled Wood (*3); Gatekeeper (*55); Small White (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Common Blue (*4); Lulworth Skipper (*6); Wall (*1); Grayling (*1); Marbled White (*3); and Red Admiral (*2). A Silver Y Moth was also noted.

A Shag flew over the sea, a Wheatear skipped over the dry grassland, Dark Bush Cricket; Meadow Grasshopper; Common Field Grasshopper and Long Winged Conehead were added as well as the galls Aceria sanguisorbae; Liposthenes glechomae and Rondaniola busaria.

 
4th August 2016 - Priory Meadows, Wareham, Dorset - A lovely al fresco breakfast and a walk around this small area with Hoary Willowherb and Ivy Leaved Duckweed both identified.
 
3rd August 2016 - Seatown, Dorset - To end the day we parked up, climbed a hill and sat on a cliff edge reading our books. A Raven and a Peregrine Falcon flew by and had an aerial disagreement along the way.
 

3rd August 2016 - Stonebarrow Hill to St Gabriel's, Dorset - A walk in some lovely sun, up and down hill with a good old sweat on. Luckily for us a couple of dudes were opening a moth trap and we started the walk with:- Ruby Tiger; Peppered Moth; Scalloped Oak; Buff Arches; Buff Tip; Agapeta zoegana; Svensson's Copper Underwing; Peach Blossom; Poplar Hawkmoth; July Highflyer; Slender Brindle; Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing and Nut Tree Tussock. Nice and good to chat to the two blokes doing their bit.

Butterflies on the walk were:- Red Admiral (*5); Peacock (*1); Speckled Wood (*4); Gatekeeper (*10); Green Veined White (*1); Meadow Brown (*2); Wall (*1) and Painted Lady (*1). Other bugs included:- Ichneumon Fly (Heteropelma amictum); Golden Ringed Dragonfly; Beautiful Demoiselle; the Mirid Bug (Stenotus binotatus); Meadow Grasshopper; Black Tipped Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva); Red Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus lapidarius); Scorpion Fly (Panorpa germanica); Band Eyed Brown Horse Fly (Tabanus bromius); Dung Beetle (Aphodius rufipes); Tortoise Bug (Cassida rubiginosa) and a 24 Spot Ladybird. Only 2 hoverfly species were identified:- Eristalis pertinax and Chrysogaster solstitialis.

Ivy Leaved Crowfoot; Fool's Water-Cress; Narrow Fruited Water-Cress and Bog Stitchwort were the most noteworthy plants in bloom.

 

2nd August 2016 - Portland Bill, Dorset - Having hammered Dorset over the years this was a more laid back holiday with less time spent whizzing off-island. A look-out to sea and a potter on the local shore resulted in:- Sooty Shearwater; Purple Top Shell; Black Footed Limpet; Beach Hopper (Orchestia gammarellus); Common Limpet; Shore Crab and the seaweeds Cuvie; Furbelows; Oar Weed and Irish Moss.

The first Tachnid Fly (Tachina grossa) of the year was also seen.

 
1st August 2016 - Portland Bill, Dorset - A few moths from the trap:- Pelochrista caecimaculana; Eucosma campoliliana; Maple Pug; V-Pug; Marbled Green; Bordered Beauty; Slender Brindle; Dusky Thorn; Magpie; Fen Wainscot; Canary Shouldered Thorn; Common Wainscot and Square Spot Rustic.
 

1st August 2016 - Lodmoor NR, Dorset - My lasses wanted to go into Weymouth to spend some brass so, I kindly and most considerately opted to go for a walk around this nice area so as not to get in their way (he says rather craftily). We did pop into a local art exhibition at a local church were we saw some nice dabblings and had tea and cake, served by two delightful women. A good start to the day methinks.

Whilst wandering I saw 39 bird species, nothing outrageous but all enjoyed in the mixed weather. The list was:- Dunnock; Starling; Swallow; Blackbird; Blue Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Goldfinch; Carrion Crow; Wood Pigeon; Magpie; House Sparrow; Herring Gull; Coot; Swift; Mute Swan; Tufted Duck; Mallard; Reed Bunting; Lapwing; Canada Goose; Black Headed Gull; Mediterranean Gull; Common Sandpiper; Common Tern; Redshank; Pied Wagtail; Cormorant; Little Ringed Plover; Gadwall; Grey Heron; Little Egret; Moorhen; Sedge Warbler; Dunlin; Collared Dove; Linnet; Green Sandpiper; Lesser Black Backed Gull and Greater Black Backed Gull.

2 hoverfly species were seen, these being:- Episyrphus balteatus and Eristalis horticola. Only 3 butterflies were noted in the gathering gloom, namely:- Meadow Brown (*1); Gatekeeper (*3) and Red Admiral (*2).

I kept a plant list, 56 species were identified:- Prickly Sow Thistle; Black Medick; Red Dead Nettle; Greater Willowherb; Common Nettle; Common Field Speedwell; Field Bindweed; Hedge Woundwort; Herb Robert; Creeping Cinquefoil; Spear Thistle; Selfheal; Wood Avens; Creeping Buttercup; Bittersweet; Knotgrass; Pineappleweed; Ribwort Plantain; Dandelion agg; Large Bindweed; Hemp Agrimony; Common Fleabane; Broad Leaved Dock; Greater Plantain; Purple Loosestrife; Creeping Thistle; Silverweed; White Clover; Scarlet Pimpernel; Lesser Swine Cress; Yarrow; Groundsel; Marjoram; Mugwort; Tall Melilot; Traveller's Joy; Weld; Wild Carrot; Wild Parsnip; Lesser Burdock; Black Nightshade; Common Mallow; Teasel; Hogweed; Daisy; Common Ragwort; Cut-Leaved Crane's-Bill; Bristly Ox-Tongue; Tufted Vetch; Tansy; Red Clover; Meadow Vetchling; Restharrow and Stone Parsley.

JULY

31st July 2016 - Chesil Beach, Dorset - A time to chill as we 3 moochers wandered up the beach and found a spot to lay down, catch some sun and read our books. Little Terns busily fed, a Little Ringed Plover took the attention of two photographers; a Mediterranean Gull; Little Egret and Raven were noted as well as a small flock of Dunlin, what a lovely wader.

Shrubby Sea Blite; Sea Purslane and Sea Plantain were observed too.

 

31st July 2016 - Portland Bill, Dorset - The last day of July and a few good species to ponder. Moths noted down were:- Acrolepia autumnitella; Argyrotaenia ljungiana; Devonshire Wainscot and Cynaeda dentalis. Thanks to Sean Foote for his ID skills with the former 2 species. A mooch through the local grass produced Denticulated Shieldbug; Down Shieldbug; Lulworth Skipper (*2) and a lone Marbled White. Far too dry and too windy.

Broad Bodied Chaser; Common Darter; Emperor Dragonfly and Large Red Damselfly frequented the Obs garden and 3 Manx Shearwaters and 3 Mediterranean Gulls flew over the sea.

 

30th July 2016 - Portland Bill, Dorset - As is per usual, every trip we make to the lighthouse on Portland Bill we always try to fit in one day where we do the island walk. We did this today, with a fine lunch taken at the side of an outdoor art gallery in Easton (I am a lover of visiting DIY art events, all good for the soul). A list was kept of all things identified with 117 flowering plants noted:- Teasel; Red Valerian; Common Knapweed; Red Bartsia; Common Ragwort; Wild Carrot; Restharrow; Yarrow; Bristly Ox-Tongue; Agrimony; Blue Fleabane; Eyebright agg; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Pyramidal Orchid; Yellow-Wort; Red Clover; Creeping Thistle; Meadow Vetchling; Common Nettle; Bittersweet; Field Bindweed; Tufted Vetch; Spear Thistle; Dwarf Thistle; Hop Trefoil; White Clover; Lady's Bedstraw; Greater Willowherb; Common Centaury; Field Scabious; Black Medick; Ribwort Plantain; Wild Thyme; Strawberry Clover; Creeping Cinquefoil; Common Fleabane; Tall Melilot; Common Mallow; Sea Mayweed; Scarlet Pimpernel; Buck's-Horn Plantain; Thrift; Sea Beet; Knot-Grass; Slender Tare; Rock Samphire; Golden Samphire; Lesser Burdock; Greater Plantain; Pink Oxalis; Pellitory of the Wall; Pineappleweed; Hedge Mustard; Tree Mallow; Wood Sage; Spear Leaved Orache; Wild Clary; Kidney Vetch; Portland Sea Lavender; Pale Flax; Common Toadflax; Yellow Rattle; Curl Leaved Dock; Carline Thistle; Viper's Bugloss; Ploughman's Spikenard; English Stonecrop; White Valerian; Hemp Agrimony; Small Scabious; Fennel; Daisy; Groundsel; Traveller's Joy; Ivy Leaved Broomrape; Parsley Piert; Wild Radish; Common Field Speedwell; Dove's Foot Crane's-Bill; Scentless Mayweed; Smooth Sow Thistle; Hedge Bedstraw; Sea Wormwood; Common Poppy; Mugwort; Dandelion agg; Weld; Purple Loosestrife; Ivy Leaved Toadflax; Portland Spurge; Procumbent Pearlwort; Common Chickweed; Shepherd's Purse; Mexican Daisy; Lesser Swine Cress; Sainfoin; Musk Mallow; Ox-Eye Daisy; Marjoram; Rosebay Willowherb; Meadow Crane's-Bill; Perforate St John's Wort; Tansy; Large Bindweed; Hoary Plantain; Hedgerow Crane's-Bill; American Willowherb; Canadian Fleabane; Squinancywort; Wild Parsnip; Biting Stonecrop; Hogweed; Borage; Selfheal; Rape; White Campion and Greater Spearwort.

6 other plants were added:- Sycamore; Buddleia; Holly; Ivy; Soft Rush and Branched Bur Reed.

30 birds were noted along the way, these were:- Willow Warbler; Wood Pigeon; Goldfinch; Blackbird; Little Owl (*4); Carrion Crow; Magpie; Herring Gull; Skylark; Raven; Greater Black Backed Gull; Gannet; Wheatear; Manx Shearwater; Balearic Shearwater; Fulmar; House Sparrow; Rock Pipit; Linnet; Dunnock; Swallow; Blue Tit; Little Ringed Plover; Cormorant; Wren; Kestrel; Great Tit; Jackdaw; Pied Wagtail and Sedge Warbler.

The 15 butterfly species seen were:- Meadow Brown (*24); Gatekeeper (*46); Red Admiral (*9); Green Veined White (*2); Speckled Wood (*1); Common Blue (*26); Peacock (*1); Painted Lady (*4); Marbled White (*29); Large White (*4); Chalkhill Blue (*22); Small Skipper (*1); Grayling (*3); Small White (*1) and Wall (*1). Moths seen through the day (including trap) numbered 37 species:- Shaded Broad Bar; Silver Y; Dusky Sallow; Oncocera semirubella; Ruby Tiger; Dingy Footman; Muslin Footman; Common Footman; Bright Line, Brown Eye; Bright Eye, Brown Line; Buff Ermine; Crescent Dart; Scalloped Oak; Marbled Green; Knot-Grass; Scallop Shell; Wormwood; Pebble Prominent; Purple Bar; Small Fan Footed Wave; Acleris holmiana; Small China Mark; Agapeta zoegana; 6 Spotted Burnet; Oak Eggar; Lackey; Common Rustic agg; Dark Arches; Garden Tiger; Dark Spectacle; Shuttle Shaped Dart; Clay; Flame Shoulder; Heart and Dart; Dark Sword Grass; Common Wainscot; Brown Tail and Rosy Minor.

20 other bugs were noted:- Mirid Bug (Liocoris tripustulatus); Beetle (Ophonus ardosiacus); Nettle Flower Beetle (Brachypterus glaber); Grey Bush Cricket; Great Green Bush Cricket; Common Field Grasshopper; Long Winged Conehead; Meadow Grasshopper; Speckled Bush Cricket; Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis); Black Tipped Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva); 7 Spot Ladybird; 22 Spot Ladybird; Broad Centurion Soldier Fly (Chloromya formosa); Nettle Leaf Hopper (Eupteryx urticae); Red Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus lapidarius); Emperor Dragonfly and the hoverflies (Episyrphus balteatus); (Eristalis abustorum) and (Scaeva pyrastri).

16 extras were added, these being:- Rabbit; White Lipped Banded Snail; Brown Lipped Banded Snail; Garden Snail; Purple Top Shell; Shore Crab; Edible Crab; Snakelocks Anemone; Common Limpet; Sea Slater; Sea Bristletail; Wall Lizard; Striped Woodlouse; Pill Woodlouse; Wasp Spider and Flower Spider (Neoscona adianta).

The 3 galls noted were:- Dasineura urticae; Kiefferia pericarpiicola and Trioza centranthi.

Add to this overall list 3 fungal species and the final tally was a respectable 247 species.

 
29th July 2016 - Portland Bill, Dorset - A tatty Leopard Moth was the most noteworthy find of the day.
 
29th July 2016 - Corfe Castle, Dorset - Time for a wander around the perimeter of the castle and find some ice cream.  Ice Creams were found (£10 for 3 and served by a right miserable sow), duly eaten and Common Calamint; Marjoram and Ivy Broomrape were flowers noted.  A lone Red Admiral was on the wing.
 

29th July 2016 - Stoborough Heath, Dorset - A good mooch around the heath including a session at picking our own blueberries, raspberries and strawberries - nice.  Plants of note were:- Yellow Bartsia; Dwarf Gorse; Hairy Buttercup; Little Kneeling Eyebright; Bog Asphodel; Nordic Bladderwort; Round Leaved Sundew; Oblong Leaved Sundew; Hemp Agrimony; Common Centaury; Fragrant Agrimony; Agrimony and Purple Toadflax.

Bog Bush Cricket; Keeled Skimmer and Small Red Damselfly were noteworthy insects with butterflies on the wing being:- Speckled Wood (*3); Gatekeeper (*6); Red Admiral (*3); Peacock (*2); Marbled White (*1); Meadow Brown (*6) and Small Copper (*1).

The Wasp Spider (Argiope bruennichi), a Grass Snake and a Slow Worm were added to the day's tally.

 

28th July 2016 - Portland Bill, Dorset - 3 birds of note today were Grasshopper Warbler (in the warden's hand), Manx Shearwater and Little Owl, all very much enjoyed.  Mooching in the nearby fields produced very little with Red Admiral (*1); Marbled White (*2); Common Blue (*1) and Comma (*1) the only butterflies seen.  A Crescent Plume Moth was an unexpected bonus.

Great Green Bush Cricket; Dark Bush Cricket; Long Winged Conehead; Meadow Grasshopper and Common Field Grasshopper were par for the course and the Mirid Bugs (Myrmus miriformis) and (Liocoris tripustulatus); Ant Damsel Bug nymph (Himacerus mirmicoides) and Pea Leaf Weevil (Sitona lineata) far from outrageous. One Hoverfly was seen, namely Chrysotoxum elegans, not a bad species at all. 

 
28th July 2016 - Abbotsbury, Dorset - By crikey what a dreary morning.  A slow drizzle to test the hardiest of spirits.  Nevertheless we cracked on and the after a cup of tea the clouds did clear.  We spent out time identifying flowers, the end list was:- Shepherd's Purse; Pineappleweed; Tamarisk; Bristly Ox-Tongue; Bittersweet; Yellow Horned Poppy; Greater Plantain; Greater Willowherb; Sea Beet; Tall Melilot; Common Nettle; Wild Carrot; Spear Leaved Orache; Lesser Burdock; Field Bindweed; Yarrow; Red Campion; Spear Thistle; Scarlet Pimpernel; Creeping Thistle; Daisy; Wild Parsnip; Sea Campion; Comfrey agg; Teasel; Sea Plantain; Pellitory of the Wall; Black Nightshade; Dandelion agg; White Clover; Dove's Foot Crane's-Bill; Oxford Ragwort; Hogweed; Procumbent Pearlwort; Common Fleabane; Strawberry Clover; Restharrow; Hemp Agrimony; Black Medick; Hedge Woundwort; Hedge Mustard and Common Mallow.
 

28th July 2016 - Chickerell Downs, Dorset - A poor do for butterflies with only Gatekeeper (*1); Red Admiral (*2) and Green Veined White (*1) on the wing.  The Ichnuemon (Heteropelma amictum) was scouting a Bramble patch, a group of Buff Tip caterpillars were feeding on Willow; a Grey Bush Cricket was in some damp grassland, a Emperor Dragonfly perched on my fingers before taking to the skies, Blue Tailed Damselflies were frequent and the hoverflies Melanostoma scalare and Episyrphus balteatus were on the wing.

Spotted Medick and Common Fleabane were new flowers for the year.

 
28th July 2016 - Langton Herring, Dorset - Ivy Broomrape was noted whilst doing a short explorative wander.
 

27th July 2016 - Portland Bill, Dorset - All back at the Obs and after unpacking and getting a cup of cha' down our necks a mooch was had.  The moth trap held some old favourites including:- Bright Line, Brown Eye; Ruby Tiger; Garden Tiger; Brown Tail; Shears; Shuttle Shaped Dart; Large Yellow Underwing; Dusky Sallow; Drinker; Lackey and the micro Oncocera semirubella.  Butterflies noted in a nearby patch were:- Meadow Brown (*5); Red Admiral (*2); Speckled Wood (*1); Marbled White (*2); Common Blue (*2); Lulworth Skipper (*2) and Painted Lady (*1).  12 Great Green Bush Crickets, 3 Speckled Bush Crickets, several Grey Bush Crickets and numerous Meadow Grasshoppers were added as well as the Hoverflies:- Myathropa  florea; Episyrphus balteatus; Melanostoma scalare and Eristalis abustorum.

Kidney Spot Ladybirds (larvae, pupae and adult) were observed as well as a Tawny Cockroach; the Mirid Bug (Plagiognathus abustorum); Emperor Dragonfly; Common Darter and Azure Damselfly.  The spiders Argiope bruennichi and Neoscona adianta were expected finds. 2 Ravens and a Short Tailed Vole were bonus balls in a very mixed bag.

Borage, Tree Mallow; Golden Samphire; Rock Samphire; Dwarf Thistle and Strawberry Clover were observed with care and Kiefferia pericarpiicola and Diplolepis nervosa were 2 galls to enjoy.

 

27th July 2016 - Willow and Wetlands Centre, Somerset - A stop off whilst on our way darn sarf and some delicious tea and cake was consumed and a brief mooch taken.  Green Veined White (*7); Peacock (*3); Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Meadow Brown (*1); Gatekeeper (*7) and Red Admiral (*3) were the butterflies on the wing with a lone Silver Y Moth also seen.  A Common Green Shieldbug, Long Winged Conehead and Common Field Grasshopper were the other insects noted.

Arrowhead was plentiful and in good flower.

 

24th July 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Me and my missus needed a stretch so did a circular walk in the quite clammy weather - not good at all. Along the way we spotted the following butterflies:- Gatekeeper (*8); Meadow Brown (*5); Small White (*1); Comma (*1); Large White (*1); Speckled Wood (*3) and Small Skipper (*1). A Shaded Broad Bar was flushed from some tall grass and a half dozen 6 Spot Burnet Moths were noted on Common Knapweed.

3 Spikes of Broad Leaved Helleborine were in flower in a different spot from usual and Water Plantain was looking in fine fettle too. Several Blue Tailed Damselflies knocked about the edge of a pond.

 
24th July 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A dark Peppered Moth and an Early Thorn were the only moths that came in through the overnight open bathroom window.
 

23rd July 2016 - Fletcher Moss, G. Manchester - A slow wander with just the camera and a few snacks, I don't need much to enjoy myself. The weather was slightly overcast with the sun making sporadic appearances which was ideal enough and helped me identify 15 species of hoverfly, these being:- Episyrphus balteatus; Melanostoma scalare; Myathropa florea; Eristalis pertinax; Vollucella pellucens; Epistrophe grossulariae; Eristalis nemorum; Cheilosia illustrata; Xylota segnis; Leucozona laternaria; Eristalis horticola; Volucella inanis; Platycheirus rosarum and Chrysogaster solstitialis.

10 species of butterfly were noted today:- Red Admiral (*1); Large Skipper (*1); Small White (*2); Large White (*1) Comma (*2); Small Skipper (*7); Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Speckled Wood (*4); Meadow Brown (*29) and Green Veined White (*9). Only 3 moths were noted which was a disappointment:- Silver Y (*1); Cameraria ohridella (*5) and Shaded Broad Bar (*1).

Other insect life seen was:- Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis); 7 Spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata); Cream Spot Ladybird (Calvia quatuordecimguttata); Red Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus lapidarius); Alder Leaf Beetle (Agelastica alni); Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis); Red Tipped Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva); Mirid Bugs (Grypocoris stysi); (Lycogoris pabulinus); (Liocoris tripustulatus); (Heterotoma planicornis); (Plagiognathus arbustorum) and (Deraeocoris ruber); Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum); Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens); Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella); Nettle Pollen Beetle (Brachypterus glaber) and the Common Snipe Fly (Rhagio tringarius).

Strawberry Snail; Brown Lipped Banded Snail and Garden Snail were all seen on Nettle.

 
22nd July 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Another small batch of moths keeping things ticking over:- Riband Wave f. remuta (*2); Large Yellow Underwing (*2); Marbled Beauty (*4); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Bee Moth (*1); Common Emerald (*5); Brown House Moth (*1); Riband Wave (*1); Phoenix (*1); Brimstone (*1); Dot Moth (*1); Blastobasis adustella (*1); Common Plume (*1); Straw Underwing (*1); Silver Y (*1) and Acrobasis advenella (*1).
 

20th July 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - And the stroll home again and the mind distracted by a different route and the following butterflies:- Comma (*3); Large White (*1); Common Blue (*1); Small Skipper (*3); Speckled Wood (*1) and Red Admiral (*1).

2 Brown Hawkers hunted over the river.

 

20th July 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - More moths from overnight:- Large Yellow Underwing (*3); Riband Wave f. remutata (*3); Heart and Dart (*2); Light Brown Apple Moth (*2); Common Emerald (*1); Scarce Silver Lines (*1); Marbled Beauty (*3); Dark/Grey Dagger agg (*1); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*1); Herald (*1); Phoenix (*1); Brown House Moth (*2); Tachystola acroxantha (*2); Blastobasis adustella (*2) and Acrobasis advenella (*1).

A Cream Spot Ladybird was also seen.

 

19th July 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking home and too hot to dawdle. Butterflies seen were:- Meadow Brown (*3); Small Skipper (*3); Small White (*1); Comma (*1) and Large White (*2).

Broad Leaved Helleborine and Yellow Loosestrife were both in flower.

 

19th July 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - That there toilet window attracted a few more moths, these being:- Clouded Border (*1); Brimstone (*2); Lesser Yellow Underwing (*2); Straw Dot (*1); Lozotaenia forsterana (*1); Bird Cherry Ermine (*1); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*1); Riband Wave f. remuta (*3); Dark/Grey Dagger agg (*1): Marbled Beauty (*5); Mother of Pearl (*1); Garden Carpet (*1); Short Cloaked Moth (*1); Small Dusty Wave (*1) and Double Striped Pug (*1).

An Orange Ladybird was also seen.

 

18th July 2016 - Chadkirk Chapel, Stockport, Cheshire - An early morning walk for 3 hours and then a 5.7 mile walk home. The weather was dull and humid and only brightened up just before I was headed home. 64 species of flowering plant were noted:- Black Medick; Common Vetch; Smooth Tare; Greater Willowherb; Common Field Speedwell; Meadow Crane's-Bill; Shepherd's Purse; Common Mouse Ear; Redshank; Lesser Trefoil; Red Clover; Lady's Bedstraw; Bird's Foot Trefoil; Corncockle; Lesser Burdock; Large Bindweed; Bush Vetch; Comfrey agg; Upright Hedge Parsley; Ivy Leaved Toadflax; Wood Dock; Brooklime; Yellow Pimpernel; Spear Thistle; Knot-Grass; Pink Purslane; Enchanter's Nightshade; Nipplewort; Red Campion; Pineappleweed; Red Clover; Tufted Vetch; Meadow Vetchling; Foxglove; Ox-Eye Daisy; Dandelion agg; Hedge Woundwort; Purple Loosestrife; Common Ragwort; Common Knapweed; Broad Leaved Dock; Wood Avens; Curl Leaved Dock; Meadowsweet; Garlic Mustard; Hedge Bindweed; Rosebay Willowherb; American Willowherb; Meadow Buttercup; Creeping Thistle; Greater Plantain; Hogweed; Himalayan Balsam; Ribwort Plantain; Common Nettle; Goosegrass; Wood Speedwell; Creeping Buttercup; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; White Clover; Selfheal and Daisy.

Insect life was poor with the butterflies noted being:- Speckled Wood (*1); Green Veined White (*1); Meadow Brown (*10) and Comma (*1). A lone Yellow-Shell Moth was also spotted. Hoverflies noted were:- Eristalis horticola (*3); Episyrphus balteatus (*3) and Epistrophe grossulariae (*2). Several Large Rose Sawflies (Arge pagana) were seen as well as 7 Spot and Harlequin Ladybirds and neumerous Black Tipped Soldier Beetles (Rhagonycha fulva).

17 birds were noted:- Grey Wagtail; Magpie; Long Tailed Tit; Blackbird; Carrion Crow; Robin; Wood Pigeon; Goosander; Moorhen; Grey Heron; Kingfisher; Mistle Thrush; Nuthatch; Mandarin Duck; Mallard; Stock Dove and Jackdaw.

Dasineura urticae and Cecidophyes rouhollahi were added to the days total.

 
18th July 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Today's moths attracted to an overnight window were:- Swallow-Tailed Moth (*1); Riband Wave f. remuta (*1); Dot Moth (*1); Dark/Grey Dagger agg (*1): Common Emerald (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Bee Moth (*1); Anania coronata (*1); Marbled Beauty (*1); Bright Line, Brown Eye (*1) and Tachystola acroxantha (*2).
 
17th July 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Moths attracted to an overnight window were:- Swallow-Tailed Moth (*1); Riband Wave f. remuta (*2); Riband Wave - banded form (*1); Scalloped Oak (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*2) and Dun-Bar (*1).
 
16th July 2016 - Greenwood NR, Cheshire - A short quiet stroll with a few fungi noted. We also saw a Green Veined White, several Alder Leaf Beetles; a Blue Tailed Damselfly; the hoverflies (Eristals pertinax) and (Syritta pipiens) and a few flowers, such as Redshank; Purple Loosestrife and Large Flowered Evening Primrose agg.
 

16th July 2016 - Brown Moss, Shropshire - We decided to attend an organised walk today looking at the plant life of a Flagship Pond Wetland. It was a rewarding trip with lots of useful information and identification pointers picked up. Flowers noted down were:- Water Purslane; Common Water Plantain; Marsh Cudweed; Celery Leaved Buttercup; Bog Stitchwort; Marsh Speedwell; Water Forget-Me-Not; American Willowherb; Creeping Forget-Me-Not; Marsh Bedstraw; Gypsywort; Lesser Skullcap; Clustered Dock; Common Centaury; Perforate St John's Wort; White Clover; Marsh Thistle; Greater Bird's Foot Trefoil; Lesser Trefoil; Rosebay Willowherb; Hemlock Water Dropwort; New Zealand Pygmyweed; Purple Loosestrife; Whorled Mint; Water Mint; Small Flowered Crane's-Bill; Great Willowherb; Ragged Robin; Marsh Cinquefoil and Bog Pimpernel.

Purple Moor Grass (Molinia caerulea); Wavy Hair Grass (Deschampsia flexuosa); Mat Grass (Nardus stricta); Orange Foxtail (Alopecurus aequalis); Velvet Bent (Agrostis canina); Common Bent (Agrostis capillaris); Plicate Sweet Grass (Glyceria notata); Tufted Hair Grass (Deschampsia cespitosa) and Yorkshire Fog (Holcus lanatus) provided good interest as did Bladder Sedge (Carex vesicaria); Cyperus Sedge (Carex pseudocyperus); Heath Wood Rush (Luzula multiflora); Slender Rush (Juncus tenuis); Soft Rush (Juncus effusus); Downy Birch (Betula pubescens); Grey Willow (Salix cinerea oleifolia); Broad Buckler Fern and Floating Fern (Azolla filiculoides).

Green Veined White (*1); Small Skipper (*3); Ringlet (*1); Meadow Brown (*1) and Small White (*1) were the only butterflies noted. A Green Oak Roller Moth was also seen.

A Common Darter and the hoverfly (Volucella pellucens) were additions to the day's mooch.

 

10th July 2016 - Ainsdale Sands Lake, Lancashire - Back again to this site after a tip of regarding an extremely rare fungus. We found the target (see Fungal Friends section) and also added a few other things. Butterflies noted were:- Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Small Skipper (*6); Gatekeeper (*6); Meadow Brown (*5) and Grayling (*3). A Silver Y Moth was also seen.

A lone Common Darter; Common Green and Mottled Grasshoppers; 11 Asparagus Beetles plus larvae and eggs; a Slender Groundhopper; a young Wheatear and an adult Natterjack Toad were the other sightings of the trip.

Blue Fleabane; Harebell; Wild Carrot; Water Mint and Strawberry Clover were plants seen in flower that weren't recorded last week.

Taphrina alni; Eriophyes inangulis and Eupontania viminalis were the galls noted.

 

10th July 2016 - Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire - A meet-up with a few members of the Fungal Friends Group. Flowers seen were:- Self-Heal; Wood Avens; Common Nettle; Broad Leaved Dock; Red Campion; Meadow Crane's-Bill; Meadow Buttercup; Marsh Thistle; Foxglove; Spear Thistle; Creeping Buttercup; Hogweed; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Tufted Vetch; Common Centaury; White Clover; Yellow Bartsia; Lady's Bedstraw; Purple Loosestrife; Greater Willowherb; Silverweed; Perforate St John's Wort; Yellow Loosestrife; Eyebright agg; Goosegrass; Black Medick; Ribwort Plantain; Garlic Mustard; Enchanter's Nightshade; Hairy Bittercress; Herb Robert; Wood Sage; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Os-Eye Daisy; Lesser Stitchwort; Cut Leaved Crane's-Bill; Common Knapweed; Common Ragwort; Rosebay Willowherb; Red Bartsia; Greater Plantain; Redshank; White Water Lily; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Hedge Woundwort; Greater Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Meadowsweet; Figwort; Ivy Leaved Toadflax and Meadow Vetchling.

Eristalis pertinax; Episyrphus balteatus; Epistrophe grossulariae and Leucozona laternaria were the 4 hoverflies seen. Only 2 butterflies were seen:- Meadow Brown (*3) and Gatekeeper (*1) plus several Common Wasps; Blue Tailed Damselfly; a Red Tailed Bumble Bee; a 7 Spot Ladybird and a 10 Spot Ladybird.

Dasineura ulmaria and Dasineura urticae were 2 plant galls noted.

 
8th July 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - An evening stroll down river looking at some grasses and rushes. 9 species were identified:- Crested Dog's Tail; False Oat Grass; Tufted Hair Grass; Common Couch; Creeping Soft Grass; Meadow Barley; Creeping Bent; Cock's-Foot and Soft Rush.
 
6th July 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - 2 Meadow Browns, a Shaded Broad Bar Moth and Wild Carrot in flower were all that was noted whilst walking home.
 
5th July 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The toilet window attracted 4 moths, nothing more, nothing less - what a poor do.  Elephant Hawkmoth, Codling Moth, Brimstone and Heart and Dart were the only lepidopteran specimens seen on another night in a very poor year.
 

3rd July 2016 - Marshside RSPB, Lancashire - The final location of the day and with time pressing on a brief hour was spent in the main hide and around the sand works. Avocet; Little Egret and Black Tailed Godwit were the best birds on show, Opium Poppy; Bladder Campion; Viper's Bugloss; Green Alkanet; Fennel and Black Horehound the best flowers in bloom.

Meadow Brown (*2) and Small Tortoiseshell (*4) were the butterflies noted with a 6 Spot Burnet Moth being the first of the year.

Several Short Winged Coneheads were the final additions to a good day out.

 

3rd July 2016 - Ainsdale Sands Lake, Lancashire - A cup of tea and a cookie to start the walk and the same again to finish whilst in between some more botanising. 79 species of flower noted, these were:- Buck's-Horn Plantain; Daisy; Kidney Vetch; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; White Clover; Hare's-Foot Clover; Restharrow; Fairy Flax; Common Mouse Ear; Lesser Trefoil; Dove's-Foot Crane's-Bill; Common Ragwort; Large Bindweed; Large Flowered Evening Primrose agg; Bugloss; Common Nettle; Ribwort Plantain; Weld; Creeping Thistle; Red Clover; Yellow Rattle; Ground Elder; Hemlock Water Dropwort; Greater Bird's Foot Trefoil; Eyebright agg; Self-Heal; Creeping Buttercup; Silverweed; Creeping Cinquefoil; Greater Willowherb; Goosegrass; Meadow Vetchling; White Dead Nettle; Greater Spearwort; Meadow Buttercup; Wood Dock; Bittersweet; Lady's Bedstraw; Harebell; Common Centaury; Biting Stonecrop; Wild Parsnip; Pyramidal Orchid (*228); Marsh Helleborine (*652); Harebell; Yellow Wort; Lesser Centaury; Bee Orchid; Common Wintergreen; Broad Leaved Everlasting Pea; Common Toadflax; Fairy Flax; Lesser Spearwort; Grass of Parnassus; Dune Helleborine (*23); Sea Spurge; Common Centaury; Rosebay Willowherb; Ox-Eye Daisy; Meadowsweet; Goat's Beard (in seed); Curled Leaved Dock; Yarrow; Hogweed; White Campion; Sea Rocket; Sea Plantain; Sea Beet; Common Ragwort; Sea Holly (in bud); Hop Trefoil; Spear Thistle; Knotted Pearlwort; Sea Radish; Common Milkwort; Celery Leaved Buttercup; Sea Milkwort; Early Marsh Orchid and Southern Marsh Orchid.

After much consultation with literature and on-line resources False Fox Sedge and Sea Club Rush were added to the day's tally.

Only 15 birds this time:- Swallow; Starling; Carrion Crow; Black Headed Gull; Mallard; Coot; Tufted Duck; Moorhen; Grey Heron; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Reed Bunting; Goldfinch; Meadow Pipit; Swift and Oystercatcher.

3 hoverflies were seen, these were:- Eristalis pertinax; Myathropa florea and Volucella pellucens. Several Dune Chafers; Blue Tailed Damselflies and a Common Shrew were also spotted along the way.

Butterflies seen were few, these being:- Speckled Wood (*1); Meadow Brown (*7); Small Skipper (*14) and Gatekeeper (*3). A Common Footman Moth was seen too.

 

3rd July 2016 - Lifeboat Road, Formby, Lancashire - A day that was spent primarily botanising, with an eye on polishing our identification techniques. 61 plants were listed at this first location during a walk that was blessed with sun and many attractive blooms. The list comprised of:- Common Nettle; Goosegrass; Meadow Crane's-Bill; Creeping Thistle; Common Ragwort; Creeping Buttercup; Self-Heal; Procumbent Pearlwort; Sheep's Sorrel; Common Stork's-Bill; Large Flowered Evening Primrose agg; Curled Leaved Dock; Spear Thistle; Weld; Scarlet Pimpernel; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Wild Parsnip; Wild Asparagus; Large Bindweed; Lady's Bedstraw; Restharrow; White Campion; Greater Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Ribwort Plantain; Harebell; Honeysuckle; Wood Sage; Pyramidal Orchid; Biting Stonecrop; Portland Spurge; Broad Leaved Everlasting Pea; Yarrow; Hound's-Tongue; Tufted Vetch; White Clover; Lesser Trefoil; Yellow Rattle; Meadow Vetchling; Hare's-Foot Clover; Green Alkanet; Greater Burdock; Black Medick; Rosebay Willowherb; Sea Spurge; Sea Holly; Sea Mayweed; Hedge Bindweed; Dove's Foot Crane's-Bill; Common Mouse Ear; Red Campion; Daisy; Prickly Sow-Thistle; Musk Mallow; Creeping Cinquefoil; Common Poppy; Germander Speedwell; Spring Beauty; Purple Loosestrife; Chickweed; Broad Leaved Willowherb and Hedge Mustard.

30 birds were noted along the way:- Wood Pigeon; Jackdaw; Greenfinch; Carrion Crow; Magpie; Long Tailed Tit; Blue Tit; Treecreeper; Goldcrest; Common Whitethroat; Goldfinch; Linnet; Starling; Dunnock; Swallow; Shelduck; Great Black Backed Gull; Oystercatcher; Common Gull; Herring Gull; Black Headed Gull; Sandwich Tern; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Cormorant; Meadow Pipit; Skylark; Mallard; Moorhen; Coot and Robin.

Small Skipper (*1); Painted Lady (*1); Speckled Wood (*3) and Meadow Brown (*4) were the only butterflies seen.

A small group of Mottled Grasshoppers were nice, loads of Cinnabar Moth caterpillars and a lone Drinker Moth caterpillar varied up the list, as did a Striped Millipede and the hoverfly (Sphaerophoria scripta). A Red Tailed Bumble Bee; 7 Spot Ladybird and the Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum) were standard additions.

 
2nd July 2016 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - What crap weather - showers on and off all the time and really disturbing the wildlife on all fronts. A brief walk through this area produced 4 species of hoverfly:- Cheilosia illustrata; Episyrphus balteatus; Eristalis pertinax and Myathropa florea plus a Forest Shieldbug nymph; a Common Red Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva); Snipe Fly (Chrysopilus cristatus); Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum) and the Mirid Bugs (Grypocoris stysi) and (Heterotoma planicornis).
 

1st July 2016 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking home and Purple Toadflax and Feverfew were in flower with a Speckled Wood resting on a leaf in the sunny break.

I took some time stood besides a flowering Blackberry bush and noted the following hoverflies:- Syritta pipiens; Xylota segnis; Merodon equestris; Eristalis pertinax; Myathropa florea and Syrphus ribesii. A Common Wasp was also buzzing about.

 
JUNE

30th June 2016 - Moor Piece NR, Lancashire - The final location of the day and more of a reccie than anything else. 2 Roe Deer skipped through the woods, a Cream Spot Ladybird soon took to the wing after being noticed, Hard Fern was in glorious condition and 2 Clouded Border Moths were seen.

A patch of Wood Horsetail was admired and several areas of White Corydalis were pondered.

30th June 2016 - Grindleton Fell, Lancashire - A mooch around a dragonfly pond was done in dull weather so not much was seen. 2 species of dragonfly:- Large Red Damselfly and Common Emerald Damselfly were plentiful; a lone Meadow Brown and a single Ringlet were the only butterflies on the wing and a Brown China Mark Moth was observed. 3 hoverflie were noted, namely Xylota segnis; Sericomyia silentis and Chrysotoxum arcuatum.

Hare's Tail Cotton Grass; Lesser Spearwort; Brooklime and Marsh Willowherb were the most noteworthy plants.

30th June 2016 - Crosshill Quarry, Lancashire - The second stop-off point and after a walk through Brungerley Park, a small but lovely area was discovered. The sun blessed us and a few butterflies appeared along the way:- Common Blue (*2); Large Skipper (*2); Speckled Wood (*4); Ringlet (*6) and Meadow Brown (*4). Hoverflies noted were:- Rhingia campestris; Sericomyia silentis; Eupeodes luniger; Helophilus pendulus; Syritta pipiens and Volucella pellucens. A few Common Green Grasshoppers were added to the sightings as well as a Forest Shieldbug nymph.

New flowers for the day were:- Common Spotted Orchid; Redshank; Crosswort; Hemlock Water Dropwort; Yellow Pimpernel; Enchanter's Nightshade; Twayblade; Burnet Saxifrage and Black Bryony.

The Speedwell Gall (Jaapiella veronicae) was an expected find and an Oystercatcher flew overhead.

30th June 2016 - Salthill Quarry, Lancashire - The first location of the day with a meet-up with Peter Hornby and Mike Cross, 2 fine gents and keen naturalists. Flowers noted at this tucked away reserve numbered 78 species and were as follows:- Rough Hawkbit; Wall Speedwell; Petty Spurge; Hedge Mustard; Common Knapweed; Ribwort Plantain; Hairy St John's Wort; Red Campion; Common Valerian; Yellow Flag Iris; Honeysuckle; Hedge Woundwort; Germander Speedwell; Ivy Leaved Toadflax; Rough Sow Thistle; Knotgrass; Smooth Sow Thistle; Procumbent Pearlwort; Comfrey agg; White Clover; Ox-Eye Daisy; Tufted Vetch; Meadow Buttercup; Self-Heal; Herb Robert; Red Clover; Lady's Mantle agg; Common Mouse Ear; Wild Thyme; Black Medick; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Tormentil; Perforate St John's Wort; Hoary Plantain; Fairy Flax; Creeping Cinquefoil; Spear Thistle; Tutsan; Curl Leaved Dock; Eyebright agg; Tall Melilot; Rosebay Willowherb; Meadow Vetchling; Hogweed; Greater Willowherb; Common Ragwort; Common Nettle; Goosegrass; Silverweed; Carline Thistle; Yellow-Rattle; Agrimony; Nipplewort; Meadow Crane's-Bill; Groundsel; Upright Hedge Parsley; Greater Burnet; Meadowsweet; Bush Vetch; Shepherd's Purse; Common Vetch; Wood Avens; Wood Dock; Small Scabious; Prickly Sow Thistle; Yarrow; Common Milkwort; Wild Strawberry; Mouse Ear Hawkweed; Daisy; Bee Orchid; Fragrant Orchid; Broad Leaved Dock; Pineappleweed; Greater Plantain; Dandelion agg; Chickweed and Large Bindweed.

Other plants noted were:- Spindle; Wayfaring Tree; Eared Willow; Buckthorn; Maidenhair Spleenwort and Wall Rue.

4 butterfly species were noted:- Ringlet (*11); Common Blue (*2); Meadow Brown (*2) and Speckled Wood (*2). The micro moth (Pseudargyrotoza conwagana) was also added as well as a resting Engrailed.

Hoverflies seen were:- Xylota segnis; Volucella pellucens; Syrphus ribesii; Episyrphus balteatus; Syritta pipiens; Chrysogaster solstitialis; Eristalis abustorum and Meliscaeva auricollis.

Galls listed were:- Aceria thomasi; Dasineura fraxini; Eriophyes laevis; Eriophyes inangulis; Psyllopsis fraxini; Eriosoma ulmi; Dasineura urticae; Eriophyes tiliae; Aceria exilis and Eriophyes similis.

Odds and ends included a Tree Bee; Red Tailed Bumble Bee; Meadow Grasshopper; Pill Woodlouse; 7 Spot Ladybird; Common Red Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva); Snipe Fly (Chrysopilus cristatus) and a Mirid Bug (Grypocoris stysi).

 
29th June 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The weather is a certain brand of 'poxy' at the moment and its getting on me tits. Only 4 moths caught:- Burnished Brass (*1); Heart and Dart (*1); Ghost Swift (*1) and Marbled Beauty (*1).
 
28th June 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - 3 moths attracted to the karsi window:- Garden Carpet (*1); Small Magpie (*1) and a Gothic (*1).
 

27th June 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - My local patch and after walking my good lady top the bus stop I strolled home down this well walked area and had a see at how many flowers I could spot in bloom. The 89 species pondered and named were:- Wild Mignonette; Yellow Bird's Nest; White Campion; Dandelion agg; Creeping Buttercup; Pineappleweed; Silverweed; Meadow Crane's-Bill; Hedge Mustard; Wild Radish; Meadowsweet; Purple Loosestrife; Yellow Flag Iris; Figwort; Rosebay Willowherb; Red Valerian; Rape; Cow Parsley; Lady's Bedstraw; Lady's Mantle agg; Redshank; Common Field Speedwell; Common Mouse Ear; Chickweed; Wavy Bittercress; Welsh Poppy; Wall Speedwell; Daisy; White Clover; Lesser Trefoil; Goldenrod; Bird's Foot Trefoil; Ivy Leaved Toadflax; Himalayan Balsam; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Monkeyflower; Procumbent Pearlwort; Large Bindweed; Oxford Ragwort; Common Nettle; White Valerian; Perennial Sow Thistle; Red Clover; Meadow Vetchling; Meadow Buttercup; Bush Vetch; Hogweed; Common Ragwort; Black Medick; Ox-Eye Daisy; Greater Willowherb; Perforate St John's Wort; Herb Robert; Ground Elder; Tufted Vetch; Large Flowered Evening Primrose agg; Creeping Thistle; Nipplewort; Spear Thistle; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Curled Leaved Dock; Greater Plantain; Red Campion; Dame's Violet; Shining Crane's-Bill; Groundsel; Blue Fleabane; Weld; Kidney Vetch; Hedge Woundwort; Common Knapweed; Yellow-Rattle; Cut Leaved crane's-Bill; Tall Melilot; White Melilot; Ribwort Plantain; Orange Hawkweed; Goat's Rue; Broad Leaved Dock; Creeping Cinquefoil; Bittersweet; Wood Avens; Garlic Mustard; Knotgrass; Wintercress; Comfrey agg; Wood Speedwell and Hairy Tare.

Only 20 bird species were seen, which isn't bad seeing I didn't take any binoculars. The list was:- Sand martin; Wren; Blackbird; Long Tailed Tit; Magpie; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Song Thrush; Wood pigeon; Dunnock; Chaffinch; Coot; Goldfinch; Mallard; Starling; Jackdaw; Black Headed Gull; Swallow; Pied Wagtail; Grey Wagtail and Great Tit.

To the bug life and due to clouds covering the sun, one shower and then some warmth it was a mixed bag with not much seen, 23 species in fact. Butterflies were lowly:- Speckled Wood (*2); Meadow Brown (*1) and Green Veined White (*1). Hoverflies were few:- Helophilus pendulus; Episyrphus balteatus; Eristalis pertinax; Meliscaeva auricollis; Syrphus ribesii; Eristalis nemorum; Cheilosia illustrata; Eupeodes corollae and Chrysogaster solstitialis. 7 Spot, 14 Spot and Harlequin Ladybirds were seen along with the beetle (Lagria hirta); Forest Shieldbug (Pentatoma rufipes); Common Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina); Tree Bee and Red Tailed Bumble Bee; Mirid Bug (Grypocoris stysi) and (Deraeocoris flavilinea) and a Vapourer Moth Caterpillar.

12 plant galls were noted:- Acalitus brevitarsus; Eriophyes laevis; Eriophyes inangulis; Psyllopsis fraxini; Dasineura fraxini; Aceria exilis; Eriophyes leiosoma; Eriophyes tiliae; Eupontania pendunculi; Cecidophyes rouhollahi; Chirosia grossicauda and Aceria pseudoplatini.

 

26th June 2016 - Gatley Carrs, Stockport, Cheshire - One walk cancelled and one walk completed. This one was just down the road from were I live and was a quick intro to bugs as part of a Nature Awareness Day. In 45 minutes of mooching we found the following critters:- Hoverflies seen were:- Helophilus pendulus; Myathropa florea; Episyrphus balteatus; Eristalis pertinax; Chrysotoxum bicinctum; Cheilosia illustrata and Chrysogaster solstitialis. Butterflies noted were:- Meadow Brown (*1) and Large Skipper (*1). Other bugs seen were:- Common Red Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva); 7 Spot Ladybird; Mirid bugs (Capsus ater); (Grypocoris stysi); (Leptopterna dolabrata); (Heterotoma planicornis); (Liocoris tripustulatus) and (Stenotus binotatus), the Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum); Common Green Grasshopper Azure and Blue Tailed Damselflies and a Red Tailed Bumble Bee.

A couple of Nursery Web Spiders were also seen, much to the delight of one little toddler who seemed transfixed by them.

 

25th June 2016 - Fletcher Moss, G. Manchester - A 2 hour wander to see what I could see.

Flowers noted were:- Creeping Thistle; Nipplewort; White Clover; Herb Robert; Pineappleweed; Hogweed; Daisy; Common Nettle; Curled leaved Dock; Hedge Woundwort; Creeping Buttercup; Goosegrass; Garlic Mustard; Yellow Flag; Himalayan Balsam; White Dead Nettle; Cow Parsley; Wood Avens; Ground Elder; Enchanter's Nightshade; Common Bistort; Broad Leaved Dock; Meadow Buttercup; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Hairy Bittercress; Shining Crane's-Bill; Dandelion agg; Self-Heal; Thale Cress; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Hedge Mustard; Meadow Crane's-Bill; Red Campion; Bush Vetch; Silverweed; Meadowsweet; Lesser Spearwort; Large Bindweed; Black Medick; Ribwort Plantain and Lesser Trefoil.

Hoverflies seen were:- Episyrphus balteatus; Syrphus ribesii; Eristalis pertinax; Myathropa florea; Cheilosia illustrata; Chrysogaster solstitialis and Leucozona laternaria.

Butterflies seen were:- Meadow Brown (*14); Large Skipper (*5) and Speckled Wood (*2).

Other bugs noted were:- Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria); Black Snipe-Fly (Chrysopilus cristatus) and Common Red Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva).

3 Ring Necked Parakeets whizzed about and a hefty Common Toad was found.

Plant galls included:- Eriophyes laevis; Acalitus rudis; Aceria erinea; Eriophyes leiosoma; Eriophyes inangulis; Taxomyia taxi and Pemphigus spyrothecae.

 

25th June 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The weekend is here again and up early with much to do. Moths attracted to an overnight light were few, the list being:- Clouded Border (*1); Riband Wave f. remutata (*5); Red Barred Tortrix (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Heart and Dart (*6); Peppered Moth (*1); Bright Line, Brown Eye (*1); The Flame (*1); Amblyptilia acanthadactla (*1) and Hedya nubiferana (*1).

A Small Magpie Moth, a Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus); Narcissus Bulb Fly (Merodon equestris) and a Harlequin Ladybird f. spectabilis were in the garden whilst I did some early morning trimming.

 
24th June 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - And yet more moths attracted to the light in the bog window - ooh the perversity of it all.  The usual suspects were on show with numbers of each species lowly - let us hope for a boost soon.  The list was:- Brown House Moth (*1); Codling Moth (*1); Diamond Back Moth (*1); Hedya nubiferana (*1); Anania coronata (*1); Marbled Beauty (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Buff Ermine (*1); Light Emerald (*1); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Heart and Dart (*2); Dark/Grey Dagger agg (*1); Spectacle (*1); Marbled Minor agg (*1); Willow Beauty (*1); Riband Wave (*2); Garden Pebble (*1); Short-Cloaked Moth (*1); Crambus pascuella (*1); Lozotaenia forsterana (*1) and Bright Line, Brown Eye (*1).
 
23rd June 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Some more moths attracted to an overnight light, these being:- Agapeta hamana (*1); Argyresthia cupressella (*1); Brimstone (*4); Dark/Grey Dagger agg (*2); Peppered Moth (*1); Anania coronata (*8); Riband Wave (*2); Small Fan-Foot (*1); Heart and Dart (*4); Tachystola acroxantha (*4); Light Brown Apple Moth (*3); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*1); Small Magpie (*2); Red Barred Tortrix (*1); Codling Moth (*2); Marbled Minor agg (*1); Willow Beauty (*1); Spectacle (*1); Figure of 80 (*1); Light Emerald (*1)  and Marbled Beauty (*1).
 

22nd June 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Always something to see walking home from work. A Speckled Wood and a Common Blue were on the wing as well as the hoverflies:- Myathropa florea (*2); Eristalis pertinax (*2); Helophilus pendulus (*1) and Xylota segnis (*1).

Grypocoris stysi (*28) and Anthocoris nemorum (*1) were on Hogweed and Large Bindweed; Common Ragwort and White Campion were all in flower.

22nd June 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Moths attracted to an overnight light:- Anania coronata (*4); Common Marbled Carpet (*3); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Apple Leaf Miner (*1); Heart and Dart (*2); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Red-Barred Tortrix (*1); Pandemis cerasana (*1); Anania perlucidalis (*1) ; Green Oak Tortrix (*1).  An Orange Ladybird also made an appearance.
21st June 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - The first 4 spikes of Yellow-Bird's-Nest (Monotropa hypopitys ssp. hypophegea) were seen in their usual spot.
 
21st June 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Some moths attracted to an overnight window, not many though:- Bright Line, Brown Eye (*1); Hedya nubiferana (*1); Riband Wave f. remutata (*2); Heart and Dart (*2); White Shouldered House Moth (*1); Buff Ermine (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Common Marbled Carpet (*1); Brown House Moth (*2); Silver Y (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Brimstone (*1); Apple Leaf Miner (*1) and Figure of Eighty (*3).
 

20th June 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Absolutely appalling weather today so I caught up with some of the loose ends I constantly create. A cup of tea in the garden at the day's end and the sun shone briefly allowing 3 species of hoverfly to make an appearance:- Eupeodes luniger; Merodon equestris and Episyrphus balteatus all made swift appearances. The Large White Caterpillar congregation is now under attack from a parasitic wasp. A specimen, with cocoons, has been taken to see if the expected predator is Cotesia glomerata.

 

19th June 2016 - Lathkill Dale, Derbyshire - After some excellent tea and cake at a local cafe we had a good long walk here to finish the day. The bird list comprised of 24 species, these were:- Blackbird; Carrion Crow; Goldfinch; Starling; House Martin; Jackdaw; House Sparrow; Pheasant; Collared Dove; Great Tit; Wood Pigeon; Long Tailed Tit; Mallard; Moorhen; Grey Wagtail; Redstart; Wren; Chaffinch; Coot; Greenfinch + Willow Warbler; Chiffchaff and Great Spotted Woodpecker on call.

Moths were represented by:- Clouded Magpie (*2); Silver Ground Carpet (*1); Yellow-Shell (*1); Heart and Dart (*1); Pammene aurana (*2) and Chimney Sweeper (*1).

Hoverflies seen were:- Myathropa florea and Cheilosia illustrata. Other bugs seen were the Dance Fly (Empis tessalata); Red Headed Cardinal Beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis) and a few Red and Black Froghoppers (Cercopis vulnerata).

Small Scabious and Jacob's Ladder were the best of the flowers on show.

 

19th June 2016 - Gang Mine, Derbyshire - An open area that needs a visit on a sunny day. We mooched anyhow and came up with the butterflies:- Small Heath (*2); Green Veined White (*1) and Common Blue (*1) plus the moths:- Chimney Sweeper (*29); Yellow-Shell (*3) and Glyphipterix simpliciella (*1).

Other bugs noted were:- Snail Killing Fly (Coremacera marginata); Common Earwig (Forficula auricularia); Red Headed Cardinal Beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis); Orchid Beetle (Dascillus cervinus); the Soldier Beetles (Canthris nigra) and (Cantharis nigricans); the Mirid Bug (Leptoterna dolobrata); Potato Capsid (Closterotomus norwegicus); Slender Footed Robber Fly (Laptarthrus brevirostris); the Soldier Fly (Chloromyia formosa); Picture Winged Fly (Herina frondescentiae) and the hoverfly (Cheilosia illustrata).

Pignut was in large quantities; several Common Spotted Orchid were seen and Wild Thyme was frequent.

 

19th June 2016 - Hopton Quarry, Derbyshire - A wander in dull conditions although it was warmish and there was no rain - mustn't grumble.

Insect life was poor with only a Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum); Chimney Sweeper Moth (Odezia atrata); Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus) and Snipe Fly (Chrysopilus cristatus) noted.

Some nice flowers were seen, these being:- Common Spotted Orchid; Frog Orchid (*13); Fly Orchid (*25); Lily of the Valley; Twayblade; Fairy Flax and Rock Rose.

Aceria sanguisorbae and Jaapiella veronicae were 2 galls noted.

 

18th June 2016 - Chorlton WP, G. Manchester - A short walk whilst my athletic daughter did some running. I would have joined in but the Achille's Tendon is still griping - bah. 2 butterfly species were seen:- Speckled Wood (*4) and Large Skipper (*1) plus 5 hoverfly species:- Episyrphus balteatus; Platycheirus albimanus; Eristalis pertinax; Helophilus pendulus and Syrphus ribesii.

Common Blue Damselfly; Blue Tailed Damselfly and Banded Demoiselle were noted along with the Snipe-Fly (Chrysopilus cristatus); Mirid Bug (Deraeocoris flavilinea) and a few Harlequin Ladybirds.

Figwort and Dame's Violet were in flower and a Ring Necked Parakeet flew over.

The gall Wachtiella persicariae was frequent and Phytoptus tetratrichus was on Lime..

 
18th June 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Moths attracted to an overnight window were:- Bright Line, Brown Eye (*1); Angle Shades (*1); Heart and Dart (*1); Brown House Moth (*1); Common Marbled Carpet (*1); Brimstone (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Anania coronata (*1); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*1); Silver Y (*1); Buff Tip (*1); Hedya nubiferana (*1); Scythropia crataegella (*1) and Diamond Backed Moth (*1).
 

17th June 2016 - Gatley Carrs, Stockport, Cheshire - Our lass was at dance so me and the missus had an evening stroll looking for plant galls. 21 species were noted, these were:- Neuroterus quercusbaccarum; Andricus curvator; Eriophyes inangulis; Eriophyes laevis; Psyllopsis fraxini; Aceria fraxinivora; Dasineura fraxini; Phyllocoptes goniothorax; Eriophyes leiosoma; Aceria macrohryncha; Aceria eriobia; Aceria macrochela; Aceria pseudoplatani; Eriophyes similis; Phyllocoptes eupadi; Iteomyia capreae; Eriophyes sorbi; Pontania proxima; Eupontania pedunculi; Cecidophyes rouhollahi and Phytomyza ilicis.

The hoverflies (Myathropa florea); (Episyrphus balteatus) and (Chrysogaster solstitialis) were on the wing and the Snipe-Fly (Chrysopilus cristatus); Lace-Wing (Chrysopa perla); Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum); Harlequin Ladybird and 7 Spot Ladybird were additions.

 

16th June 2016 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - My dinner time stroll, the sun was kind and graced my pate.  It also gave me chance to see 7 Spot, 14 Spot and Harlequin Ladybirds; 2 Common Green Shieldbugs; a Speckled Wood; Diamond Backed Moth; the hoverflies (Episyrphus balteatus); (Epistrophe eligans) and (Syrphus ribesii); the Soldier Fly (Chloromyia formosa); the Mirid Bug (Calocoris stysi) and a brace of Common Green Shieldbugs.

Orange Hawkweed (Pilosella aurantiaca); Broad-leaved Willowherb (Epilobium montanum) and Small Balsam (Impatiens parviflora).

A Mistle Thrush rattled by and a few wonderful Swifts glided by over the local playing fields.

16th June 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - 2 moths attracted to an overnight window, namely Garden Carpet and Common Green Emerald.  I should put the trap out but the weather is not great at the mo - hey ho.

15th June 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking to and from work, always some delight to see. Common Blue (*2) and Speckled Wood (*1) were butterflies on the wing along with the distinctive micro-moth (Grapholita compositella). Hoverflies noted were:- Eristalis pertinax (*1); Cheilosia illustrata (*7); Syrphus ribesii (*1); Chrysotoxum bicinctum (*1) and Myathropa florea (*2). Red Tailed Bumble Bees were numerous on Bird's-Foot Trefoil and a Banded Demoiselle was seen resting on Himalayan Balsam leaves which was seen to be in flower further up river.

Meadow Crane's-Bill; Wild Radish and Meadow Vetchling were also in flower and an Oystercatcher flew overhead, a first for the area.

 
14th June 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Tufted Vetch was now in flower as well as Redshank and Hedge Woundwort. A Golden Bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle (Agapanthia villosoviridescens) was noted as well as the hoverflies (Episyrphus balteatus) and (Chrysotoxum bicinctum).
 
13th June 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Appalling weather saw me catch up with some household chores. As I looked out of the back kitchen window the gathering of Large White larvae were holding on to the leaves of Garlic Mustard and bearing the brunt of the downpour.
 

12th June 2016 - Brixworth CP/Pitsford Reservoir, Northamptonshire - A walk around the country park after a breakfast sandwich and tea and a quick look over the main reservoir afterwards. 24 birds were seen:- Robin; Wood Pigeon; Magpie; Carrion Crow; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Great Crested Grebe; Cormorant; Jackdaw; Willow Warbler; Moorhen; Coot; Reed Bunting; Mallard; Blackbird; Goldfinch; Dunnock; House Martin; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Pied Wagtail; Chaffinch; Skylark; Common Tern and Greylag Goose made up the final list.

A Hornet was seen entering a hole in a log and Common Poppy was in flower.

 

12th June 2016 - Stanwick Lakes, Northamptonshire - A commercial area but a lovely place nonetheless and the fact that we were here early and beat the main crowds was a bonus. 42 birds were noted, these being:- Black Headed Gull; Robin; Reed Bunting; Wood Pigeon; Mallard; Coot; Carrion Crow; Greylag Goose; Moorhen; Common Tern; Great Crested Grebe; Blackbird; Magpie; Wren; Chaffinch; Gadwall; Reed Warbler; Tufted Duck; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Sand Martin; Grey Heron; Sedge Warbler; Cetti's Warbler; Green Woodpecker; Greenfinch; Willow Warbler; Garden Warbler; Cormorant; Song Thrush; Shelduck; Jackdaw; Common Whitethroat; Goldfinch; Dunnock; Long Tailed Tit; Bullfinch; Oystercatcher (with 2 swimming young); Stock Dove; Swift; Shoveler and Pheasant on call.

A few flowers of note were:- Self-Heal; Amphibious Bistort; Grass Vetchling and Biting Stonecrop.

 
12th June 2016 - Thrapston, Northamptonshire - Up at 6.15am and out for 7am and whilst travelling to our first destination a Muntjac Deer was seen creeping along the side of the road.
 

11th June 2016 - Ditchford Lakes and Meadows, Northamptonshire - Another tucked away location that we had a good mooch about. I decided to keep another flower list with 32 species identified:- Garlic Mustard; Hemlock; Ribwort Plantain; Cow Parsley; Common Nettle; Creeping Cinquefoil; Germander Speedwell; White Campion; Red Campion; White Dead Nettle; White Clover; Ground Ivy; Goosegrass; Hogweed; Hedge Mustard; Weld; Wood Avens; Creeping Buttercup; Cut-Leaved Crane's-Bill; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Common Mouse Ear; Black Medick; Broad Leaved Dock; Bittersweet; Meadow Buttercup; Brooklime; Marsh Thistle; Herb Robert; Slender Speedwell; Ragged Robin; Yellow Water Lily and Comfrey agg.

Only 17 birds were identified, poor indeed, these were:- Carrion Crow; Magpie; Reed Bunting; Great Crested Grebe; Wood Pigeon; Coot; Black Headed Gull; Grey Heron; Great Tit; Mute Swan; Common Tern; Cormorant; Common Whitethroat + Chiffchaff; Song Thrush; Wren and Chaffinch on call.

Common Blue and Blue Tailed Damselflies were everywhere and a good amount of Banded Demoiselles were on the wing. Downlooker Snipe-Fly (Rhagio scolopaceus); 24 Spot Ladybird; the hoverflies (Episyrphus balteatus); (Eristalis tenax) and (Leucozona lucorum) and the Scorpion Fly (Panorpa Communis) were extras of note.

Speckled Wood (*3) and Large Skipper (*1) were the only butterflies on the wing. A Nettle Tap Moth was seen also.

 

11th June 2016 - Sywell Reservoir, Northamptonshire - A tucked away place really and one we just aimed for at the last minute. Some warm food and tea before the walk and some cool cheesecake and more tea for after with in between 26 birds seen, these being:- Goldcrest; Goldfinch; Wood Pigeon; Blackbird; Mallard; Canada Goose; Robin; Great Crested Grebe; Coot; Moorhen; Mute Swan; Common Tern; Great Tit; Grey Heron; Buzzard; Common Whitethroat; Wren; Skylark; Reed Bunting; Long Tailed Tit; Swift; Swallow; Tufted Duck + Greenfinch; Chiffchaff and Song Thrush on call.

Hoverflies seen were:- (Episyrphus balteatus); (Syrphus ribesii); (Chrysogaster solstitialis) and (Leucozona laternaria).

Lepidoptera was made up of 2 butterflies:- Large Skipper (*1) and Common Blue (*1) and 2 moths:- Nettle Tap Moth (*1) and Chimney Sweeper (*4).

2 Spot, 7 Spot and Harlequin Ladybirds were seen along with the Common Nettle Bug (Liocoris tripustulatus); a couple of Speckled Bush Cricket nymphs; a Garden Chafer and an Azure Damselfly.

 

11th June 2016 - Summer Leys NR, Northamptonshire - A stunning area and one we hadn't visited for over 6 years. Today was a lovely walk in yet more sunshine with a bird list of 45 species very much enjoyed. The list was:- Black Headed Gull; Jackdaw; Great Tit; Wood Pigeon; Blue Tit; Reed Bunting; Blackbird; Robin; Willow Warbler; Garden Warbler; Sand Martin; Chaffinch; Magpie; Mute Swan; Greylag Goose; Lapwing; Gadwall; Mallard; Coot; Moorhen; Tufted Duck; Oystercatcher; Carrion Crow; Common Tern; Cormorant; Great Crested Grebe; Little Ringed Plover (with 2 young); Grey Heron; Shelduck; Chiffchaff; Bullfinch; Wren; Wigeon; Dunnock; Long Tailed Tit; Reed Warbler; Shoveler; Starling; Pochard; Greenfinch; Canada Goose; Black Tern (*3); Swallow + Cetti's Warbler and Green Woodpecker on call.

Flowers worthy of note were:- Bee Orchid; Hemlock; Southern Marsh Orchid and Meadow Rue.

Banded Demoiselles popped up everywhere as did Blue Tailed and Common Blue Damselflies. 3 butterfly species were seen:- Speckled Wood (*2); Small White (*1) and Green Veined White (*1) plus the micro moth (Pseudargyrotoza conwagana) and a Scorpion Fly (Panorpa communis) and the hoverfly (Leucozona lucorum) were added extras.

 

10th June 2016 - Barnwell CP, Northamptonshire - Last destination of the day and another place we have visited before. The sun had gone in for a bit now but a pleasant stroll was had nonetheless. Only 18 birds were recorded, these being:- Carrion Crow; Great Crested Grebe; Mute Swan; Wood Pigeon; Moorhen; Sedge Warbler; Green Woodpecker; Black Headed Gull; Goldfinch; Grey Heron; Reed Warbler; Nuthatch; Chaffinch; Great Tit; Mallard; Mandarin Duck; Blue Tit and Blackbird.

A Small White Butterfly; a Diamond Back Moth; 3 Pellucid Hoverflies (Volucella pellucens); plenty of Banded Demoiselles; a Red Eyed Damselfly; Common Snipe Fly (Rhagio tringarius); Red Headed Cardinal Beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis); 14 Spot Ladybird and Harlequin Ladybird; Ashy Mining Bee (Andrena cineraria) were the only other species added.

10th June 2016 - Glapthorne Cow Pastures, Northamptonshire - Although early for Black Hairstreak we thought we would chance our arm anyway - no luck this time and very little else about. 11 Speckled Woods; a Tree Bee; singles of Southern Hawker; Banded Demoiselle; Scarce Chaser and Large Red Damselfly; a Pellucid Hoverfly (Volucella pellucens); Variable Longhorn Beetle (Stenocorus meridianus) and a Common Lizard was about it.

Southern Marsh Orchid and Common Spotted Orchid were also seen.

 

10th June 2016 - Kinewell Lake, Ringstead, Northamptonshire - A sizzling walk with the sun soaring to lunatic levels. The 21 birds noted were:- Jackdaw; Feral Greylag Goose; Chaffinch; Great Tit; Coot; Mallard; Great Crested Grebe; Canada Goose; Mute Swan; Common Tern; Wood Pigeon; Carrion Crow; House Sparrow; Grey Heron; Black Headed Gull; Long Tailed Tit; Common Whitethroat (and nest); Dunnock; Cormorant; Garden Warbler and Gadwall.

Butterflies on the wing were:- Speckled Wood (*5); Orange Tip (*2); Common Blue (*1); Small White (*2); Brimstone (*1) and Holly Blue (*1). Common Blue Damselfly; Azure Damselfly and Blue Tailed Damselfly made up for a damsel spectacular with 100's upon 100's flitting about. Several Banded Demoiselles were also seen and an Emperor Dragonfly.

Other bugs added to the day's sightings were:- Malachite Beetle (Malachius bipustulatus); 7 Spot Ladybird; Red Headed Cardinal Beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis); the hoverflies (Helophilus pendulus); (Eristalis pertinax) and (Volucella pellucens).

The Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis) was also added.

Flowers noted were:- Ribwort Plantain; Common Nettle; Ox-Eye Daisy; White Campion; Goosegrass; Daisy; Yellow Water Lily; Red Clover; White Dead Nettle; Cow Parsley; Dandelion agg; Wood Avens; Yellow Flag Iris; Ragged Robin; Groundsel; Red Dead Nettle; Hedge Mustard; Cut Leaved Crane's-Bill; White Clover; Black Medick; Hedgerow Crane's-Bill; Common Mouse-Ear; Meadow Buttercup; Foxglove; Ground Ivy and Rape.

 

10th June 2016 - Twywell Hills and Dales, Northamptonshire - A fine walk at an interesting place that needs lots more attention. Lepidoptera were represented by the butterflies:- Large Skipper (*2); Small Heath (*1); Brown Argus (*2); Common Blue (*5); Dingy Skipper (*2); Green Hairstreak (*1) and Speckled Wood (*3) and the moths:- Silver Y (*1); Silver Ground Carpet (*1); Nettle Tap Moth (*1); Burnet Companion (*7); Cinnabar Moth (*1); Small Yellow Underwing (*1); Sitochroa verticalis (*1); Garden Grass Veneer (Chrysoteuchia culmella) and Mother Shipton (*3).

Other bugs noted were:- Common Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus); Harlequin Ladybird; 7 Spot Ladybird; 14 Spot Ladybird; Red Tailed Bumble Bee; Soldier Beetle (Cantharis rustica); Scorpion Fly (Panorpa communis); Mirid Bug (Calocoris stysi); Azure Damselfly; Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus); Roesel's Bush Cricket (nymph) and a Small Tortoiseshell Caterpillar.

The 20 birds noted were:- Blue Tit; Red Kite; Goldfinch; Yellowhammer; Blackbird; Dunnock; Chiffchaff; Kestrel; Wren; Common Whitethroat; Willow Warbler; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Reed Bunting; Magpie; Wood Pigeon; Buzzard; Blue Tit; Green Woodpecker; Blackcap and Skylark.

Flowers in bloom were:- Common Mouse Ear; White Clover; Common Nettle; Comfrey agg; Cut Leaved Crane's-Bill; Goat's-Beard; Common Spotted Orchid; Creeping Thistle; Dandelion agg; Hogweed; Cow Parsley; Germander Speedwell; Dove's-Foot Crane's-Bill; Ground Ivy; Wild Strawberry; White Bryony; Lesser Trefoil; White Campion; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Black Medick; Hound's-Tongue; Wall Speedwell; Goosegrass; Meadow Buttercup; Bulbous Buttercup; Red Clover; Ribwort Plantain; Daisy; Common Vetch; Ox-Eye Daisy; Salad Burnet and Mouse-Ear Hawkweed.

The galls (Taphrina pruni) and (Liposthenes glechomae) were also seen.

 
9th June 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A brace of Speckled Woods and a lone Orange tip were on the wing and Yellow-Rattle was in good flower.
 
9th June 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A few moths were attracted to an overnight light:- Bright Line, Brown Eye (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*2); Diamond Back Moth (*5); Heart and Dart (*3); Brimstone (*1); Common Marbled Carpet (*1); Codling Moth (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*1) and Lozotaenia forsterana (*1).
 
8th June 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - The moth (Pammene aurana) and the Dance-Fly (Empis tessellata) were both on Hogweed and a Kingfisher whizzed by.
 
8th June 2014 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Attracted to an overnight light were the following moths:- Common Marbled Carpet (*1); Heart and Dart (*3); Brimstone (*1); Diamond Back Moth (*3); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Brown House Moth (*1); Freyer's Pug (*1); Light Brown Apple (*1); Buff Tip (*1); Red Barred Tortrix (*1); Knot-Grass (*1); Common Plume Moth (*1) and Marbled Minor agg. (*1).
 

7th June 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Off to the docs so I walked home a slightly different way. The Lacewing (Chrysopa perla); Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis), a Small White and a Green Veined White were the only bugs noticed.

Common Knapweed was now in flower.

 
7th June 2016 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - 3 Speckled Woods tumbled in the dappled light of a tree and a Holly Blue pottered about along a hedge of Box bushes.
 
6th June 2014 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A Knot-Grass Moth attracted to an overnight light was in the bathroom and a Cinnabar Moth was in the garden.
 

6th June 2014 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - An early morning walk to beat the main sun of the day, by heck it's a sizzler. 4-Spotted Chaser (*16); Azure Damselfly (*3) and Broad Bodied Chaser (*2) were the Odonata on the wing.

Lepidoptera were represented by:- Large Skipper (*1); Speckled Wood (*1) and Green Veined White (*1) plus the moths Brown China Mark (*3); Common White Wave (*1); Micropterix aruncella (*2) and Mompha raschkiella (*1).

Hoverflies noted were:- Helophilus pendulus; Episyrphus balteatus; Xylota segnis; Eristalis horticola; Myathropa florea; Cheilosia illustrata and Chrysogaster solstitialis.

Other bugs were:- Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum); Alder Leaf Beetle (Agelastica alni); Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle (Gastrophysa viridula); Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis); Tortoise Beetle (Cassida rubiginosa); Downlooker Snipe-Fly (Rhagio scolopaceus); Dance Fly (Empis tessellata); Black Snipe Fly (Chrysopilus cristatus); Golden Bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle (Agapanthia villosoviridescens); the Mirid Bugs (Capsus ater); (Leptoterna dolobrata) and (Stenodema laevigata); the Soldier Beetles (Cantharis pallida) & (Rhagonycha limbata); Hairy Shieldbug (Dolycoris baccarum) and a Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis). The Spider (Linyphia hortensis) was later identied.

Greater Spearwort was in impressive flower.

 

5th June 2014 - River Dee, Cheshire - A walk to find some odonata species turned out to be absolutely poor. Banded Demoiselle (*27) and Broad Bodied Chaser (*1) was all we got despite the sun shining. Peacock (*1); Speckled Wood (*1); Small Copper (*1); Red Admiral (*1); Green Veined White (*1) and Small Tortoiseshell (*2) were the only butterflies on the wing with Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock Caterpillars seen on Nettle. A lone Silver Y Moth was also noted.

Red Headed Cardinal Beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis); Soldier Beetle (Cantharis lateralis); 2 Spot Ladybird; 7 Spot Ladybird; 14 Spot Ladybird; the Mirid Bug (Capsus ater) and Meadow Rue in fine flower were the only other things added.

 

5th June 2014 - Llanymynech Rocks, Montgomeryshire - A trip to one of our favourite haunts, this time with a few of the Fungal Friends Group in tow. Stunning sun and a good walk was had. Butterflies seen were:- Small Heath (*6); Speckled Wood (*3); Common Blue (*8); Dingy Skipper (*2); Large Skipper (*2); Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary (*3); Grizzled Skipper (*2); Painted Lady (*1); Meadow Brown (*1) and Large White (*3). Moths added were:- Nettle Tap Moth (*1); Pyrausta aurata (*1) and Yellow-Shell (*1).

Bugs were few today:- Beautiful Demoiselle; Orange Ladybird; Common Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus); Common Nettle Bug (Liocoris tripustulatus); Common Green Grasshopper; Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis); Hairy Shieldbug (Dolycoris baccarum) and the Dock Shieldbug (Coreus marginatus).

Galls seen were:- Jaapiella veronicae; Aceria pseudoplatani; Dasineura fraxini and Eriophyes similis.

Flowers noted were:- Common Hogweed; Goosegrass; Bugle; Garlic Mustard; Green Alkanet; Bluebell; White Dead Nettle; Dandelion agg; Daisy; Yellow Flag Iris; Cuckooflower; Cowslip; Sanicle; Bulbous Buttercup; Fairy Flax; Lady's Mantle agg; Salad Burnet; Greater Butterfly Orchid; Common Spotted Orchid; Small Scabious; Red Clover; Herb Robert; Cow Parsley; Black Bryony; Meadow Buttercup; Creeping Buttercup; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Wood Avens; Germander Speedwell; Bush Vetch; Ribwort Plantain; Twayblade; Red Valerian; White Clover; Ox-Eye Daisy; Black Medick; Common Mouse Ear; Wild Thyme; Barren Strawberry; Hairy Tare; Crosswort; Rockrose; Common Nettle; Common Sorrel and Mouse-Ear Hawkweed.

Birds noted were:- Blackbird; Robin; Wren; Goldfinch; Great Tit; Collared Dove; Jackdaw; Wood Pigeon; Swift; Carrion Crow; Buzzard and Jay.

Quaking Oat Grass and Crested Dog's Tail were added extras.

 

4th June 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Moths attracted to an overnight window were:- Brimstone (*1); Bright Line, Brown Eye (*1); Diamond Back Moth (*5); Tachystola acroxantha (*3); Light Brown Apple Moth (*2) and Anania coronata (*4).

Early morn in the garden and several Harlequin Ladybird larvae were seen, a Small Magpie Moth, the leaf mining larvae (Pegomya solennis) was on Broad Leaved Dock and 21 Large White Caterpillars were enjoying the Garlic Mustard.

 
3rd June 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Horse Radish was now in flower and had a pleasant fragrance. Comma (*1); Large White (*2) and Speckled Wood (*1) were butterflies on the wing.
 
2nd June 2016 - Heaton Mersey NR, Stockport, Cheshire - By heck the sun and a cooling breeze made for a lovely walk despite the ruddy tendons in the ankle playing up.  Speckled Wood (*2); Holly Blue (*2) and Small White (*1) and a Silver Ground Carpet Moth were enjoying the solar gifts as were the hoverflies (Episyrphus balteatus); (Myathropa florea) and (Eristalis pertinax).  The Ashy Mining Bee (Andrena cineraria) was also noted.
 
1st June 2016 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Overcast today whilst having a walk in the dinner hour but that didn't stop a Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum); a Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus) and a Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) from being out and about.  Also seen were a couple of Birch Catkin Bugs (Kleidocerys resedae) and a Black and Red Froghopper (Cercopis vulnerata), the Ground Elder Gall (Protomyces macrosporus) and the Oak Leaf Gall (Andricus curvator).
 
1st June 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Some moths were attracted to an overnight light, namely:- Herald (*1); Buff Ermine (*1) and a Diamond Back Moth (*1).  A Silverfish was also seen in the living room - ooh err!
 
MAY
31st May 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking home, the sun was fading but the dragonflies Large Red Damselfly (*1) and Banded Demoiselle (*3); the butterflies Orange Tip (*1) and Small White (*1) and the hoverflies Leucozona lucorum (*2) and Helophilus pendulus (*1) were all noted.
 
30th May 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A 14 Spot Ladybird, a 22 Spot Ladybird, a Turnip Sawfly and the butterflies Holly Blue (*1) and Large White (*1) knocked about whilst I cut the lawn and did some watering.
 

30th May 2016 - Parrot's Drumble, Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire - A walk around this small area with Speckled Wood (*1); Orange Tip (*2) and Large White (*1) the only butterflies enjoying the sun. The hoverflies (Rhingia campestris) and (Myathropa florea) were on the wing, 2 Red Headed Cardinal Beetles (Pyrochroa serraticornis) pottered on a log and a Slender Groundhopper (Tetrix subulata) pottered in the low vegetation.

Aceria pseudoplatini; Eriophyes laevis; Andricus corruptrix and Neuroterus quercusbaccarum (bisexual stage) were the galls noted.

 

30th May 2016 - Sandwell Valley RSPB, West Midlands - Just over 14 years ago we last went to this reserve and boy what a grand place it has turned out to be. A real oasis tucked away in a very busy part of the country. The set up is lovely and we wandered round and clocked up a list of 43 birds, these were:- Robin; Carrion Crow; Swift; Blackbird; Common Whitethroat; Long Tailed Tit; Coot; Magpie; Canada Goose; Jackdaw; Mute Swan; Mallard; Moorhen; Wren; Black Headed Gull; Tufted Duck; Gadwall; Lapwing; Grey Heron; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Common Tern; Cormorant; Great Tit; Song Thrush; Dunnock; Blue Tit; Oystercatcher; Kingfisher; Little Ringed Plover; Buzzard; House Martin; Swallow; Bullfinch; Goldfinch; Mistle Thrush; Great Crested Grebe; Willow Warbler + Reed Bunting; House Sparrow; Blackcap; Chaffinch; Reed Warbler and Chiffchaff on call.

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

 

29th May 2016 - Newton Picnic Site, Warwickshire - before finishing for the day we stopped for some grub. After eating we thought we would check out this curious place and see what flowers were in bloom. Species seen were:- Field Pansy; Bucks-Horn Plantain; Bittersweet; Garlic Mustard; Common Poppy; White Clover; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Brooklime; Ragged Robin; White Campion; Germander Speedwell; Wild Strawberry; Creeping Buttercup; Common Vetch; Lesser Trefoil; Groundsel; Common Field Speedwell; Danish Scurvygrass; Cut Leaved Crane's Bill; Meadow Buttercup; Ribwort Plantain; Scarlet Pimpernel; Common Mouse Ear; Black Medick; Daisy; White Dead Nettle; Red Campion and Dandelion agg.

Helophilus pendulus; Leucozona lucorum; Eristalis pertinax were the hoverflies seen along with 1 Common Blue Butterfly and a Common Whitethroat. Just before turning into the area a Red Legged Partridge was at the side of the road (silly sod).

 
29th May 2016 - Ashlawn Cutting, Warwickshire - Another delightful little place with the sun still shining late in the day. Common Blue (*11); Orange Tip (*1); Speckled Wood (*1) and the moth, Burnet Companion (*3) were the only lepidoptera seen, with 2 Spot Ladybird; 14 Spot Ladybird and Harlequin Ladybird added as well as several species that seem to be everywhere at the moment, namely:- Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria); Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis); the hoverflies (Rhingia campestris) and (Syritta pipiens); Hairy Shieldbug (Dolycoris baccarum); Red Headed Cardinal Beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis) and the Bee Fly (Bombylius major). Also added were the Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus); The Lacewing (Chrysopa perla) and the Nettle Bug (Liocoris tripustulatus).
 
29th May 2016 - Cock Robin Wood, Warwickshire - In-between main places we found this area and had a quick tootle. Great Spotted Woodpecker; Blue Tailed Damselfly and Guelder Rose in flower were the only things of note.
 

29th May 2016 - Stockton Cutting, Warwickshire - After chatting to 2 grand birders at the previous location we were pointed towards this delightful area to do a bit of butterflying. Alas the weather was overcast but we still did manage to see:- Dingy Skipper (*2); Small Blue (*5) and Common Blue (*1) plus the moths Burnet Companion (*3) and Mompha locupletella (*1). Other species noted were:- Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria); Drone fly (Eristalis pertinax); Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis); White Legged Damselfly (Platycnemis pennipes); Four Spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata); the hoverflies (Rhingia campestris); (Helophilus pendulus) and (Leucozona lucorum) and the Hairy Shieldbug (Dolycoris baccarum).

The leaf gall on Wood Avens was seen, namely (Cecidophyes nudus).

Flowers listed were:- Cow Parsley; Goosegrass; Creeping Buttercup; Germander Speedwell; Wild Strawberry; Herb Robert; Kidney Vetch; Rough Hawkbit; Greater Yellow Rattle; Common Vetch; Ribwort Plantain; Cowslip; Meadow Buttercup; Twayblade; Common Milkwort; Hogweed; Daisy; Red Clover; Dandelion agg; Common Nettle; White Dead Nettle; Cuckooflower; Wall Speedwell; Common Field Speedwell; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Wood Avens; Ox-Eye Daisy; Hoary Plantain and Ground Ivy.

 

29th May 2016 - Draycote Water, Warwickshire - Up early and a five mile walk followed by an absolutely cracking Full-English breakfast was the best way to start any day. As a bonus 39 birds were seen along the way:- Swallow; Carrion Crow; House Martin; Swift; Pied Wagtail; Mute Swan; Coot; Mallard; Herring Gull; Starling; Greenfinch; Wood Pigeon; Great Crested Grebe; Tufted Duck; Black Tailed Godwit; Magpie; Canada Goose; Greylag Goose; Moorhen; Blackcap; Chiffchaff; Long Tailed Tit; Blue Tit; Wren; Dunnock; Robin; Oystercatcher; Chaffinch; Jackdaw; Goldfinch; Great Tit; Reed Bunting; Buzzard; Rook; Yellowhammer; Cormorant + Skylark; Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush on call.

Welsh Poppy; Common Poppy and Bittersweet were the only flowers pondered.

 

28th May 2016 - Swift Valley NR, Warwickshire - A stunning little place with massive potential. It was getting late in the day so not as much seen as might be but a few good bugs were noted. Helophilus pendulus; Leucozona lucorum; Eristalis pertinax were the hoverflies seen; Banded Demoiselle; Azure Damselfly and Keeled Skimmer the odonata species observed and Speckled Wood (*2); Orange Tip (*7); Brimstone (*2); Green Veined White (*1); Comma (*1); Red Admiral (*1) and Peacock (*2) were the butterflies seen with a lone Silver Y moth and a mating pair of the micro moth (Pammene aurana).

The Scorpion Fly (Panorpa communis); Red Headed Cardinal Beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis); Malachite Beetle (Malachius bipustulatus); Harlequin Ladybird and 14 Spot Ladybird were the other bugs seen.

As a Buzzard circled overhead we also added the following damp loving flowers to the list:- Celery Leaved Buttercup; Brooklime and Ragged Robin.

 
28th May 2016 - Newbold Quarry, Warwickshire - A walk around the full circuit in fine weather. 2 Holly Blue butterflies and Quaking Grass were the best things seen.
 
28th May 2016 - Claybrook Marsh, Warwickshire - A potter around this drab area with little seen along the way. Burnet Companion Moth (*1) and the butterflies Common Blue (*1) and Orange Tip (*1) were the only things of note.
 

28th May 2016 - Brandon Marsh, Warwickshire - A lovely walk in fine weather at a really interesting location. 43 birds were noted, these were:- Blackbird; Wood Pigeon; Jay; Reed Warbler; Gadwall; sand Martin; Oystercatcher; Cetti's Warbler; Shelduck; Robin; Swallow; Magpie; Greylag Goose; Coot; Lapwing; Dunnock; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Little Ringed Plover; Redshank; Blue Tit; Tufted Duck; Buzzard; Carrion Crow; Water Rail; Common Tern; Great Crested Grebe; Ruff; Black Headed Gull; Shoveler; Canada Goose; Common Whitethroat; Reed Bunting; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Pied Wagtail; Chiffchaff; Blackcap; Treecreeper; Grey Heron; + Pheasant; Willow Warbler; Goldcrest; Chaffinch and Wren on call.

Insects noted were the hoverflies:- Tropidia scita; Myathropa florea and Epistrophe eligans, the butterflies:- Green Veined White (*1); Large White (*1); Orange Tip (*3) and Brimstone (*3), the moths:- Cocks-Foot Moth (*1) and Pammene aurana (*1). Other species noted were:- Wasp Beetle (Clytus arietis); Dock Shieldbug (Coreus marginatus); Hairy Shieldbug (Dolycoris baccarum); Red Headed Cardinal Beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis); Malachite Beetle (Malachius bipustulatus); Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle (Gastrophysa viridula); Reed Beetle (Donacia aquatica); 7 Spot Ladybird; 14 Spot Ladybird; Banded Demoiselle; Azure Damselfly; Blue Tailed Damselfly; Common Emerald Damselfly; Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria); Downlooker Snipe-Fly (Rhagio scolopaceus); Red and Black Froghopper (Cercopis vulnerata); Ashy Mining Bee (Andrena cineraria); Bee Fly (Bombylius major); the Saw-flies (Tenthredo mesomela) and (Tenthredo temula) and the spiders (Pisaura mirabilis); (Tetragnatha extensa) and (Salticus scenicus).

Flowers noted were:- Ground Ivy; Wild Strawberry; Cut Leaved Crane's-Bill; Bugle; Common Vetch; Meadow Buttercup; Lesser Trefoil; Common Mouse Ear; Three Veined Sandwort; Greater Celandine; Pignut; Early Forget-Me-Not; Creeping Buttercup; Marsh Thistle; Cuckooflower; Common Sorrel; Red Campion; Greater Stitchwort; Scarlet Pimpernel; Goosegrass; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Germander Speedwell; Common Stork's-Bill; Cow Parsley; White Dead Nettle; Goat's-Beard; Herb Robert; Yellow Flag Iris; Lady's Mantle agg; Groundsel; Common Nettle; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Wood Avens; Dame's Violet; Hogweed; Garlic Mustard; Marsh Marigold; Large Bittercress; Ox-Eye Daisy.

The plant galls Dasineura acrophila; Eriophyes inangulis; Eriophyes laevis and Cecidophyes rouhollahi.

 

27th May 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus); the Micro Moth (Plutella porrectella) was near it's foodplant, namely Dame's Violet, and the spider (Tetragnatha extensa) were all that was seen walking home from work.

Common Ramping Fumitory was in flower.

26th May 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A Herald Moth was found in the bathroom - bonus!
26th May 2016 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - By taking a half hour stroll for dinner I wondered how many flowers I could see on the streets of this local area. The answer was 24 species, these were:- Pignut; Cow Parsley; Meadow Buttercup; Daisy; Lesser Trefoil; Herb Robert; Wild Poppy; Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Wall Speedwell; Common Mouse-Ear; Bluebell; Greater Celandine; Ground Elder; Common Nettle; Garlic Mustard; Wood Avens; White Dead Nettle; Dandelion agg; Honesty; Groundsel; Shepherd's Purse; Green Alkanet; Creeping Buttercup and Thale Cress.
 

25th May 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - What a dreary day, work for most of it and then cloud and rain to finish. On the way home I did note Hairy Tare, Ground Elder and Bird's Foot Trefoil in flower.

Also the gall (Vasates quadripedes) was on the leaves of a Silver Maple tree.

 

24th May 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking home and a stop by the river to watch the Sand Martins, House Martins and Swallows swooping over the water and nearby farmland. Dame's Violet was now in wonderful scented flower and the busy butterflies:- Large White (*1); Green Veined White (*2) and Small White (*1) were on the wing. A specimen of the Tortrix Moth (Ancylis badiana) was nice to see.

Pontania gallarum was on the leaves of Willow.

 
24th May 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Tachystola acroxantha; Garden Carpet and Light Brown Apple Moth were the only moths attracted to an overnight light - poor for sure!
 
23rd May 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A Sun Fly (Helophilus pendulus) was feeding on the pollen of Garlic Mustard, a Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus) flitted about, a Small White was at rest on the same plant and a Turnip Sawfly pottered about in the leafage.
 

23rd May 2016 - Gatley Carrs, Stockport, Cheshire - Up early and out for a mooch around a local area. Hoverflies were few:- Melanostoma scalare; Leucozona lucorum; Cheilosia pagana; Meliscaeva auricollis; Chalcosyrphus nemorum; Syrphus ribesii and Platycheirus albimanus was a very poor return. Butterflies were equally low with the 3 species seen being:- Orange Tip (*2); Speckled Wood (*2) and Large White (*2) the only ones seen. A few Nettle Tap Moths were added and some Cocksfoot Moths (Glyphipterix simpliciella).

Other bugs noted were:- 7 Spot Ladybird; 14 Spot Ladybird; Harlequin Ladybird; Blue Tailed Damselfly; Azure Damselfly; Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle; Alder Leaf Beetle; Red Tailed Bumble Bee; Vine Weevil; Common Nettle Weevil; Downlooker Snipe-Fly (Rhagio scolopaceus); Hogweed Picture-Wing Fly (Euleia heraclei) and the Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria).

 

22nd May 2016 - Errwood and Fernilee Reservoir, Derbyshire - Our annual visit to this spot, an area we have been coming to for over 15 years now and one that can be quite hit and miss. 36 bird species were noted today, these were:- Willow Warbler; Cormorant; Curlew; Canada Goose; Meadow Pipit; Mistle Thrush; Cuckoo (*2); Blackbird; Common Sandpiper; Robin; Grey Wagtail; Ringed Plover; Mallard; Tree Pipit; Goldfinch; Swift; Song Thrush; Wren; Redstart; Spotted Flycatcher; Chaffinch; Treecreeper; Pied Flycatcher; Goldcrest; Buzzard; Dipper; Siskin; Tufted Duck; Jackdaw; Greylag Goose; Jay; Swallow; House Martin; Wood Pigeon + Chiffchaff and Pheasant on call.

Green Veined White (*2); Orange Tip (*9); Speckled Wood (*3) and Small Tortoiseshell (*2) were the only butterflies enjoying the sun.

Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria); Drone Fly (Eristalis pertinax) and the Hoverfly (Leucozona lucorum) were the only bugs listed.

Bilberry was in flower and literally everywhere.

 

21st May 2016 - Fletcher Moss, G. Manchester - A 2 hour wander whilst my wife took her mother shopping. The clouds threatened but were kind and let this moocher stay free of moisture and have a good wander.

Mini-beasts seen were:- The hoverflies:- Rhingia campestris; Epistrophe eligans; Episyrphus balteatus; Eristalis pertinax; Helophilus pendulus and Melanostoma scalare. Alder Leaf Beetle; Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle; Common Nettle Weevil; Soldier Beetle (Cantharis nigricans) and a 14 Spot Ladybird represented the Coleoptera family and a couple of Nettle Tap Moths and Esperia sulphurella were the Lepidoptera noted. A Common Earwig was also seen.

Dasineura fraxini; Taphrina pruni and Eriophyes laevis were the galls noted.

Flowers in bloom were:- Spring Beauty; Greater Celandine; Thale Cress; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Marsh Marigold; Wood Stitchwort; Silverweed; Chickweed; Large Bittercress; Cuckooflower; Yellow Flag Iris; Bush Vetch; Meadow Buttercup; Wood Speedwell; Lesser Celandine; Comfrey agg; Ground Ivy; Red clover; Daisy; White Clover; Lesser Trefoil; Ribwort Plantain; Dandelion agg; Fringe Cups; Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Hogweed; White Dead Nettle; Ramsons; Goosegrass; Creeping Buttercup; Wood Avens; Cow Parsley; Common Nettle; Garlic Mustard and Herb Robert.

Mistletoe was still hanging in the same place!

 

20th May 2016 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Another stroll and several Nettle Tap Moths were noted on their host plant.  Hoverflies nearby included:- Epistrophe eligans; Episyrphus balteatus; Eristalis pertinax and Syrphus ribesii.  A 14-Spot Ladybird dozed on the aforementioned Nettle!

Protomyces macrosporus was seen Ground Elder leaves.

 

19th May 2016 - Cheadle Heath to Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire -  Walking to and from work with a few things seen. Birds noted were:- Lesser Black Backed Gull; Wood Pigeon; Great Spotted Woodpecker; House Sparrow; Great Tit; Blackbird; Magpie; Mallard; Carrion Crow; Greenfinch; Canada Goose; Long Tailed Tit; Grey Heron; Mistle Thrush; Chiffchaff; Coal Tit; Dunnock + Goldfinch; Dunnock; Song Thrush; Wren and Common Whitethroat on call.

Pineappleweed; Lesser Trefoil; Hedge Mustard; Pignut and Procumbent Pearlwort were all in flower. It was nice to see the white strain of flower adorning an specimen of Ivy Leaved Toadflax too.

The Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus); a Small White butterfly; 2 Nettle Tap Moths; 1 Common Green Shieldbug; and the Mirid Bug (Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus) were lovely extras and keenly enjoyed.

Eriophyes tiliae and Eriophyes leiosoma were 2 galls noted.

 

18th May 2016 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire -  The conditions have gone to pot, what a dreary day.  Cryptomyzus ribis was found on the usual host as was Aceria erinea; Phyllocoptes goniothorax and Aceria cephaloneus.

The Tortrix Moth (Pammene regiana) was seen at rest on a Sycamore leaf.

 

17th May 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A morning wander in search of bug life, why not indeed? Butterflies seen were:- Orange Tip (*6); Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Green Veined White (*2); Large White (*1) and Small White (*1). A single Nettle Tap Moth was also added.

Other bugs included:- Meadow Grasshopper; Alder Leaf Beetle; The Hoverflies (Syrphus ribesii) and (Episyrphus balteatus); 7 Spot Ladybird; Hairy Shieldbug; Pea Weevil (Sitona lineatus); Shiny Woodlouse; Common Earwig; Common Nettle Weevil (Phyllobus pomaceus); Spotted Crane-Fly; Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle; St Mark's Fly; Large Red Damselfly (*2); Common Green Shieldbug; Figwort Weevil (Cionus scrophulariae); Alder Sawfly (Eriocampa ovata); Dance Fly (Empis tessalata); Downlooker Snipe-Fly (Rhagio scolopaceus); Spear Thistle Bug (Tingis cardui); Scentless Plant Bug (Rhopalus subrufus); the Beetle (Anaspis maculata); the Mirid Bug (Notostira elongata) and the spiders (Pisaura mirabilis); (Tetragnatha extensa) and (Larinioides cornutus).

The Goosegrass Gall (Cecidophyes rouhollahi) was noted for the first time this year.

 

16th May 2016 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - A quick mooch in poor weather so just a few galls noted:- Eriophyes pyri; Phytomyza ilicis; Aceria cephaloneus; Aceria macrochela; Aceria pseudoplatani; Phyllocoptes goniothorax and Acalitus stenapsis.

Lilac was in flower and despite the dreary weather its fragrance was wonderful.

 

15th May 2016 - Marbury CP/Anderton NR, Cheshire - A walk through Anderton NR and back round through Marbury CP and 53 birds were noted:- Mallard; Goldfinch; Robin; Blackbird; Blue Tit; Wren; Magpie; Wood Pigeon; Great Tit; Common Whitethroat; Buzzard; Reed Bunting; Chiffchaff; Black Headed Gull; Blackcap; Jackdaw; Great Crested Grebe; Reed Warbler; Mute Swan; Song Thrush; Coot; Canada Goose; Garganey (M/F); Oystercatcher; Shelduck; Little Grebe; Jay; Stock Dove; Goldcrest; Long Tailed Tit; Greylag Goose; Tufted Duck; Gadwall; Swift; Grey Heron; House Martin; House Sparrow; Dunnock; Starling; Carrion Crow; Sedge Warbler; Teal; Lapwing; Moorhen; Green Woodpecker; Garden Warbler; Swallow; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Great Spotted Woodpecker + Willow Warbler; Mistle Thrush; Raven and Chaffinch on call.

44 species of flower were in bloom, these were:- Dove's-Foot Crane's-Bill; Daisy; Dandelion agg; Wall Speedwell; Creeping Buttercup; Hairy Bittercress; Cuckooflower; Herb Robert; Cowslip; Meadow Buttercup; Garlic Mustard; Cow Parsley; Red Campion; Wood Avens; Ramsons; Germander Speedwell; Wild Strawberry; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Thale Cress; Black Medick; Common Mouse Ear; Bluebell; Lesser Celandine; Ribwort Plantain; Common Vetch; Goosegrass; Common Nettle; Common Dog Violet; Bush Vetch; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Ox-Eye Daisy; White Dead Nettle; Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Hogweed; Wood Anemone; Chickweed; Dog's Mercury; Marsh Marigold; Pignut; Common Sorrel; Danish Scurvygrass; Wood Speedwell; Lord's and Ladies and Common Field Speedwell.

Not as many butterflies were on the wing as expected, the ones seen were:- Dingy Skipper (*9); Speckled Wood (*5); Small White (*1); Orange Tip (*6); Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Brimstone (*3) and Green Veined White (*1).

Other bugs noted were:- The Dronefly (Eristalis pertinax); the hoverflies (Rhingia campestris) and (Platychirus albimanus); Red Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus lapidarius); Ashy Mining Bee (Andrena cineraria); Blue Tailed Damselfly; Large Red Damselfly (*11); Harlequin Ladybird and the Dance Fly (Empis tessalata).

3 fish were also seen:- Tench; Rudd and Carp.

15th May 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A Twenty Plume Moth was in the toilet and a Brown Rat, Holly Blue butterfly and 14-Spot Ladybird were seen in the garden. Guess which one is not welcome!

14th May 2016 - Carrington Moss, G. Manchester - A walk with the missus in the hope of seeing a few good species. Butterfly wise we did OK I reckon when you take into consideration that the forecast was for chilly weather. The sun shone, the heat rose and as a consequence the following flutterers were seen:- Red Admiral (*1); Peacock (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*13); Small White (*2); Large White (*2); Painted Lady (*2); Orange Tip (*20); Comma (*1); Speckled Wood (*2); Green Veined White (*7) and Brimstone (*3). Two moths were seen:- Common Carpet (*1) and Brown Silver Line (*1).

Other insects seen were:- The Sun Fly (Helophilus pendulus); The Dead Nettle Leaf Beetle (Chrysolina fastuosa); a Slender Groundhopper (Tetrix subulata); 7 Spot Ladybird (Coccinella 7-punctata); Common Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina) and a Red Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus lapidarius).

Birds noted totalled 45 species, these were:- Starling; Long Tailed Tit; Rook; Carrion Crow; Lapwing; Song Thrush; Mistle Thrush; Tufted Duck; Blackbird; Robin; Blackcap; Canada Goose; Chaffinch; Stock Dove; Wood Pigeon; Wren; Yellowhammer; Dunnock; Common Whitethroat; Skylark; Pied Wagtail; Buzzard; Goldfinch; Kestrel; Greenfinch; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Yellow Wagtail; Magpie; Willow Warbler; Chiffchaff; Mute Swan; Coot; Moorhen; Feral Pigeon; House Sparrow; Swallow; Linnet; House Martin; Sand Martin; Oystercatcher; Pheasant; Gadwall + Reed Bunting and Bullfinch on call.

Flowers in bloom were:- Sweet Woodruff; Thale Cress; Herb Robert; Dandelion agg; Cow Parsley; Hairy Bittercress; Red Campion; Red Dead Nettle; White Dead Nettle; Chickweed; Celery Leaved Buttercup; Creeping Buttercup; Meadow Buttercup; Common Mouse Ear; Bluebell; Green Alkanet; Comfrey agg; Red Clover; Ribwort Plantain; Lesser Trefoil; Cuckooflower; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Dove's-Foot Crane's-Bill; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Greater Stitchwort; Bush Vetch; Wood Avens; Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Daisy; Groundsel; Shepherd's Purse; Wall Speedwell; Common Vetch and Variegated Yellow Archangel.

 
14th May 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Eupeodes luniger; Epistrophe eligans and Melanostoma scalare were the hoverflies noted in the garden along with a single Holly Blue butterfly and a lone Common Nettle Bug (Liocoris tripustulatus).
 
13th May 2016 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - An evening stroll, 2 Green Veined Whites, 2 Orange Tip eggs on Cuckooflower and plenty of Pignut in flower were the only notable sightings.
 
13th May 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A trudge home and a pair of Canada Geese had 5 sweet young with them, a Dipper whizzed by and Wood Speedwell was in flower.
 

12th May 2016 - Gatley Carrs, Stockport, Cheshire - An evening stroll with my lovely wife in wonderful sunshine. It was a tranquil wander with a few natural gems pondered. Butterflies noted were: - Orange Tip (*2) and Green Veined White (*1). 2 Moths were seen, these being:- Nettle Tap Moth (*1) and Common Carpet (*1).

Other insects included:- Common Nettle Bug (Liocoris tripustulatus); Blue Tailed Damselfly; Varied Carpet Beetle; Tree Bee and the Sun Fly (Helophilus pendulus).

Fringe Cups; Wood Stitchwort and Large Bittercress were two flowers pondered as were the trees:- Wild Pear; Grey Alder; Guelder Rose; Lombardy Poplar and Goat Willow.

Some Canada Geese had 9 young and a Moorhen sprang from a nest that had 4 eggs in it.

 
11th May 2016 - River Mersey & Gorsey Bank, Stockport, Cheshire - 2 Male Orange Tips, a single Large White and a lone Peacock were the only butterflies on the wing today!
 
11th May 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Only 3 moths attracted to the toilet window - a Bright Line, Brown Eye; Grey/Dark Dagger sp. and a Lime Hawk-Moth - nice!
 

10th May 2016 - River Mersey & Gorsey Bank, Stockport, Cheshire - A few trees were admired in flower and I dug my hooter into several blossoms and inhaled the heady aroma. Rowan; Elder; Bird Cherry and Hawthorn were smelling delicious with Sycamore and Wych Elm also in bloom.

A family of Long Tailed Tits defied the drizzle and a Light Brown Apple Moth was noted.

10th May 2016 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire -  White Clover and Goosegrass were now in flower as well as a fine Horse Chestnut tree. The Liverwort (Marchantia polymorpha) was looking good and the Elm Gall (Aceria ulmicola) was frequent.

9th May 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A few moths were attracted to an overnight light, these were:- Pine Beauty (*1); Bee Moth (*2); Seraphim (*1); Early Grey (*1) and Light Brown Apple Moth (*1).

Due to having sore tendons in the right ankle I was forced to stay around the house and garden but the sun helped me see a few decent species. Butterflies seen were:- Large White (*2); Holly Blue (*1) and Small White (*1).

Hoverflies noted were:- Platycheirus albimanus; Eristalis pertinax and Epistrophe eligans.

Other insects seen were the Turnip Sawfly (Athalia rosae); the Blue Mason Bee (Osmia caerulescens) and a Red Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus lapidarius).

 
8th May 2016 - Hest Bank, Lancashire - A cup of tea in a tiny cafe and a short walk along the coast. Singles of Small White and Small Tortoiseshell were the only butterflies seen and 2 Linnets and a lone Whimbrel the most noteworthy birds.
 

8th May 2016 - Gait Barrows, Cumbria - After chatting to a couple of chaps at our previous destination about how poor their butterflying experience had been at Gait Barrows we decided to head there anyway and see what the score was. The result was 'pretty poor' to be truthful with the only species seen being:- Speckled Wood (*4); Brimstone (*5); Peacock (*6); Comma (*1); Large White (*1) and Orange Tip (*1).

The Ramsons Hoverfly (Portevinia maculata) was seen, as well as mating Spotted Crane-flies (Nephrotoma appendiculata).

Bugle was in flower.

 

8th May 2016 - Warton Crag, Lancashire - A butterfly mooch proved to be very disappointing on a day when the weather was absolutely glorious. Species seen were:- Speckled Wood (*7); Peacock (*2) and Brimstone (*1). Moths added were:- Brown Silver Line (*1) and Speckled Yellow (*1).

Rhingia campestris; Platycheirus albimanus and Episyrphus balteatus were the only hoverflies seen with other insects noted being 7 Spot Ladybird; Orange Ladybird; Bee Fly (Bombylius major); St Marks Fly; Gorse Seed Weevil and the Ashy Mining Bee (Andrena cineraria).

Best birds were a brace of Peregrine Falcons, a Raven and a Common Whitethroat.

Flowers in bloom were:- Three Nerved Sandwort; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Primrose; Wood Speedwell; Wood Sorrel; Germander Speedwell; Hairy Bittercress; Ground Ivy; Wild Strawberry; Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Herb Robert; Common Dog Violet; Common Field Speedwell; Early Purple Orchid; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Crosswort; Red Dead Nettle; Cow Parsley; Greater Stitchwort; Dove's-Foot Crane's-Bill; Lords and Ladies; Lesser Celandine; Dog's Mercury; Bluebell; Garlic Mustard; Red Campion; Ladies Mantle agg; Barren Strawberry; Cowslip; Daisy; Ribwort Plantain; Salad Burnet; Cuckooflower and Dandelion agg.

 

7th May 2016 - Fletcher Moss, G. Manchester - Butterflies noted were:- Peacock (*1); Comma (*1) and Orange Tip (*1).

Hoverflies seen were:- Rhingia campestris and Melanostoma scalare.

Sweet Violet and Yellow Archangel were in flower and the years first Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus) was identified.

 

7th May 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - An early morning walk and a few butterflies on the wing, these were:- Speckled Wood (*1); Small White (*4); Orange Tip (*13); Holly Blue (*2); Small Tortoiseshell (*3) and Green Veined White (*2).

Birds noted were:- Feral Pigeon; Mistle Thrush; Blackbird; Wood Pigeon; Great Tit; Carrion Crow; Magpie; Grey Wagtail; Jay; Chiffchaff; Grey Heron; Greenfinch; Dunnock; Blackcap; Pied Wagtail; Mallard; Common Whitethroat; Chaffinch; Goldfinch; Wren; Robin; House Martin; Starling; Sand Martin; Starling; Goosander; Lesser Black Backed Gull; House Sparrow; Swallow + Bullfinch; Goldcrest; Song Thrush and Willow Warbler on call.

Pendulous Sedge was in fine flower and Cock's-Foot was looking fresh and sturdy.

 
6th May 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A flashing Kingfisher and a few Pot Bellied Emerald Beetles were the only sightings today.
 
5th May 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Strolling home, 2 Peacock butterflies, a Comma and a freshly flowered Laburnum Tree were all admired.
 
5th May 2016 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire -  Another dinner time wander from work, Greater Celandine and Spotted Dead Nettle were in flower.  1 Common Green Shieldbug; 1 Brimstone butterfly and 1 St Marks Fly were also seen.
 
4th May 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The Sawfly (Abia lonicerae) made its annual appearance in the garden and a lone Harlequin Ladybird was also noted.
 
4th May 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Creeping Buttercup was in flower and 2 male Orange Tips flitted about.
 
4th May 2016 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire -  A walk in the sun, still a slight breeze but that didn't stop a male Orange Tip having a flutter.  8 Common Green Shieldbugs; the Hoverfly (Platycheirus albimanus); several Harlequin Ladybirds; a few Tawny Mining Bees and a lone Red Tailed Bumble Bee all made the stroll much pleasanter.
 
3rd May 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A stroll home in the sun and a Peacock butterfly flitted around whilst Thale Cress; Wall Speedwell; Red Nettle and Bush Vetch were noted in flower.

2nd May 2016 - Hope Carr NR, G. Manchester - It has been ages since we last popped in here and the changes were obvious. Some of the sludge beds are now overgrown and the main lake is nearly obscured by surrounding vegetation. The site still has huge potential though, let us hope something constructive for nature happens here. 29 birds were noted today:- House Sparrow; Little Ringed Plover; Pied Wagtail; Blackbird; Mallard; Jackdaw; Wood Pigeon; Magpie; Canada Goose; Coot; Grey Heron; Tufted Duck; Mute Swan; Gadwall; Moorhen; Kingfisher; Buzzard; Chaffinch; Grey Wagtail; Starling; Wren; Lapwing; Black Headed Gull; Robin + Willow Warbler; Blackcap; Dunnock; Chiffchaff and Greenfinch on call.

Orange Tip (*1); Comma (*1); Green Veined White (*1); Speckled Wood (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*4); and Peacock (*1) were the butterflies on the wing and the Hoverfly (Rhingia campestris) and a Harlequin Ladybird were also seen.

 

2nd May 2016 - Pennington Flash, G. Manchester - Another tootle around this frequently visited site with a few insects appearing after the early rains. Alder Leaf Beetle (Agelastica alni); the Hoverfly (Rhingia campestris) and a Green Veined White butterfly all added to the days interest.

Great Burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis) and Fringe Cups were both in flower.

48 species of bird were noted, these were:- Mistle Thrush; Pied Wagtail; Mute Swan; Carrion Crow; Wood Pigeon; Coot; Mallard; Canada Goose; Tufted Duck; Magpie; Black Headed Gull; Great Crested Grebe; Moorhen; Pochard; Blackbird; Dunnock; Cormorant; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Great Tit; Bullfinch; Reed Bunting; Song Thrush; Willow Warbler; Robin; Stock Dove; Chaffinch; Blue Tit; Jay; Blackcap; Little Grebe; Shoveler; Chiffchaff; Goldfinch; Sand Martin; Swallow; House Martin; House Sparrow; Long Tailed Tit; Starling; Skylark; Swift; Grey Heron; Gadwall; Goosander; Wren; Common Tern + Cetti's Warbler and Greenfinch on call.

 

1st May 2016 - Gresford Flash, Wrexham - A quick tootle at this small area produced 25 bird species:- Canada Goose; Mallard; Great Crested Grebe; Coot; Swallow; Sand Martin; House Martin; Carrion Crow; Wood Pigeon; Common Sandpiper; Great Tit; Stock Dove; Herring Gull; Magpie; Jackdaw; Moorhen; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Dunnock; Chaffinch; Blackbird; Greylag Goose; Goldfinch; Robin; House Sparrow + Greenfinch; Great Spotted Woodpecker and Chiffchaff on call.

Shining Crane's-Bill and several 7 Spot Ladybirds were the only extras.

 

1st May 2016 - Marford Quarry, Wrexham - Out on a walk with members of the fungus group I kept a list of the flowers seen along the way (only those in bloom). The list was made up of:- Garlic Mustard; Yellow Archangel (Lamium galeobdolon subsp. argentatum); Lesser Celandine; Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Ramsons; Ground Ivy; Dandelion agg; Green Alkanet; Hairy Bittercress; White Dead Nettle; Herb Robert; Dog's Mercury; Wood Anemone; Wild Strawberry; Early Dog Violet; Common Dog Violet; Bluebell; Lord's and Ladies; Daisy; Red Campion; Weld; Marsh Marigold; Common Mouse Ear; Stinking Hellebore; Wall Speedwell and Moschatel.

A Red Tailed and a White Tailed Bumble Bee were seen as well as a few Song Thrushes and a Blackcap.

APRIL
 

30th April 2016 - Victoria Park, Widnes, Cheshire - A trip to watch Widnes FC play Eccleshall FC in a North West Counties match so I thought I'd check out this public park and see what birdies were hanging about - why not? 27 species seen:_ Feral Pigeon; Starling; Blackbird; Mute Swan; Wood Pigeon; Mallard; Black Headed Gull; Coot; Blue Tit; Robin; Chiffchaff; Song Thrush; Goldfinch; Dunnock; Carrion Crow; Mistle Thrush; Swallow; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Herring Gull; House Sparrow; Chaffinch; Collared Dove; Nuthatch + Greenfinch; Wren; Bullfinch and Willow Warbler on call.

The Tawny Mining Bee (Andrena fulva) was seen feeding on Flowering Currant and a White Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus lucorum) was also noted.

 

24th April 2016 - Stoneycliffe Wood, West Yorkshire - A walk through this extensive woodland revealed many spring flowers in bloom, which all looked wonderful when combined together - Dog's Mercury; Yellow Archangel; Wood Anemone; Bluebell; Ramsons; Garlic Mustard; Lesser Celandine; Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage and Wood Sorrel were a delight to behold whilst compiling a list of 23 birds, these being:- Blackbird; Pheasant; Mistle Thrush; Wood Pigeon; Wren; Moorhen; Nuthatch; Chiffchaff; Blue Tit; Blackcap; Goldcrest; Carrion Crow; Robin; Treecreeper; Swallow; Grey Wagtail; Jackdaw; Chaffinch; Mallard; Great Tit; Greenfinch + Lapwing and Great Spotted Woodpecker on call.

2 Short Tailed Voles were seen climbing on a wall.

24th April 2016 - Pugney's CP & Calder Wetlands, West Yorkshire - A walk around these 2 connected areas brought a list of 47 bird species, these were:- Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Mallard; Wood Pigeon; Common Tern; Black Headed Gull; Cormorant; Carrion Crow; Great Crested Grebe; Coot; Common Whitethroat; Great Tit; Reed Warbler; Sand Martin; House Martin; Willow Warbler; Chiffchaff; Chaffinch; Pheasant; Dunnock; Blackcap; Robin; Long Tailed Tit; House Sparrow; Swallow; Blue Tit; Magpie; Bullfinch; Jay; Coal Tit; Tufted Duck; Moorhen; Swift; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Grey Heron; Gadwall; Goldfinch; Pied Wagtail; Little Ringed Plover; Teal; Oystercatcher; Greylag Goose; White Wagtail; Common Sandpiper; Reed Bunting + Wren and Greenfinch on call.

A lone Orange tip was the only butterfly seen.

 

21st April 2016 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - A dinner time walk after some fish and chips and 2 Small Tortoiseshells were on the wing; several Tawny Mining Bees (Andrena fulva) were seen; the hoverflies (Epistrophe eligans) and (Eristalis pertinax) gave close up views and the Common Nettle Bug (Liocoris tripustulatus) was soaking up a few rays.

Slender Speedwell looked fine and dandy amongst some heavily cut grass.

 
20th April 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A lounge in the garden, Eristalis pertinax; Epistrophe eligans; Eupeodes luniger and Platycheirus albimanus were hoverflies seen as well as a 22 Spot Ladybird.
 

20th April 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - An afternoon off work and a mooch down river. 12 Common Green Shieldbugs were noted, some in the act of copulation, several Red Tailed and Buff Tailed Bumble Bees, a few Tawny Mining Bees (Andrena fulva) and the hoverfly (Eristalis pertinax) were also observed.

Peacock (*2); Comma (*1) and Orange Tip (*1) were the only butterflies on the wing.

Common Field Speedwell was in flower and the spider (Pisaura mirabilis) was noted soaking up a bit of sun.

 

17th April 2016 - Boggart Hole Clough, Blackley, G. Manchester - The final stroll of the day before heading to a gig, 19 birds noted:- Moorhen; Magpie; Wren; Wood Pigeon; Feral Pigeon; Carrion Crow; Robin; Goldfinch; Coot; Chaffinch; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Canada Goose; Blackbird; Mute Swan; Chaffinch; Chiffchaff; Blackcap; Mallard + Willow Warbler on call.

The Hoverfly (Syrphus torvus) was later identified.

 

17th April 2016 - Calf Hey Reservoir, Haslingden Grane, Lancashire - A wander in the sun around this medium sized reservoir, 22 birds noted:- Pied Wagtail; Goldeneye; Canada Goose; Carrion Crow; Great Crested Grebe; Wood Pigeon; Goldfinch; Blackbird; Jay; Mallard; Cormorant; Bullfinch; Mistle Thrush; Long Tailed Tit; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Magpie; Grey Wagtail + Green Woodpecker; Willow Warbler; Wren and Chaffinch on call.

2 specimens of Tachina ursina were seen in flight and at rest at the side of a woodland path.

 

17th April 2016 - Foxhill Bank NR, Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire - A gig today but that didn't stop us getting up early and having a mooch about. 24 species of bird were noted today, these were:- Chaffinch; Wren; Carrion Crow; Wood Pigeon; Blackcap; Chiffchaff; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Magpie; Willow Warbler; Dunnock; Moorhen; Blackbird; Robin; Canada Goose; Mallard; Jackdaw; Jay; Long Tailed Tit; Nuthatch; Goldcrest; Treecreeper; Grey Heron and Goldfinch.

Wood Anemone; Marsh Marigold; Cowslip and Primrose were in flower. A Comma butterfly was enjoying a sun spot and a Buff Tailed Bumble Bee whizzed about.

 
14th April 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Bush Vetch in flower, a Blackcap perched up and singing and a Birch Shieldbug mooching about - the year is changing.
 
13th April 2016 - Hilbre Island, The Wirral - A walk in the fine sun with the grand lasses and lads from work. As we strolled we saw a Common Starfish; Grey Seals, Turnstones; Little Egret; Shore Crabs; Thrift in flower; numerous molluscs such as Common Limpet; Mussels; Periwinkles etc. feeding Barnacles and Beadlet Anemones. The sun was fab and the ice cream and cake was a fine finish.
 
11th April 2016 - Fletcher Moss, G. Manchester - 24 birds seen today, these were:- Canada Goose; Jay; Grey Wagtail; Chaffinch; Mistle Thrush; Willow Warbler; Blue Tit; Ring Necked Parakeet; Coal Tit; Greenfinch; Song Thrush; Treecreeper; Long Tailed Tit; Blackbird; Chiffchaff; Carrion Crow; Great Tit; Starling; Wood Pigeon; Robin; Wren; Moorhen; Mallard and Magpie.
 

11th April 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - After walking my good lady to the bus stop I set about doing an eight mile walk and seeing what I could see. Along this stretch of the river 30 bird species were noted:- Goldfinch; Carrion Crow; Sand Martin; Wood Pigeon; Feral Pigeon; Mistle Thrush; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Blackbird; Dunnock; Magpie; Wren; Grey Wagtail; Goosander; Bullfinch; Mallard; Chiffchaff; Long Tailed Tit; Jay; Robin; Canada Goose; Moorhen; Grey Heron; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Coot; Cormorant; Chaffinch; House Sparrow; Pied Wagtail and Collared Dove.

Ivy Leaved Toadflax; American Wintercress; Cuckooflower; Cowslip; Ribwort Plantain; Marsh Marigold and Green Alkanet all in flower.

 
8th April 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Ground Ivy was in flower in the back garden and a Tree Bee was at rest.
 

8th April 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking back from work and Shining Crane's-Bill; Common Vetch; Black Medick; Ox-Eye Daisy and Danish Scurvygrass were all in flower.

Red Tailed Bumble Bee; Buff Tailed Bumble Bee; White Tailed Bumble Bee and Common Green Shield Bug were the only insects noted.

 

4th April 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A poor weather forecast made my mind up to stay at home and go for a run and see what wildlife I could see on the way back home. 24 bird species were noted:- Wren; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Magpie; Dunnock; Great Tit; Robin; Blackbird; Blue Tit; Wood Pigeon; Chiffchaff; Goldfinch; Greenfinch; Carrion Crow; Grey Wagtail; Song Thrush; Canada Goose; Mallard; Sand Martin; Buzzard; Coot; Grey Heron; Mistle Thrush; Goosander and Jay.

Broom; Marsh Marigold; Red Campion; Rape; Thale Cress; Hairy Bittercress; Common Mouse Ear and Ivy Leaved Speedwell were in flower.

A Daffodil Fly (Norellia spinipes) was in the usual spot and 2 Buff Tailed Bumble Bees were noted.

Some microscopy work on pond water revealed numerous Synura sp; Green Protists; Ciliate sp; Daphnia sp and Trachelomona sp. Tis' a whole new ball game!

 

3rd April 2016 - Poors Wood CWT, Northwich, Cheshire - The second location of the day and 20 birds noted, these being:- Blue Tit; Buzzard; Wood Pigeon; Carrion Crow; Mallard; Chiffchaff; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Robin; Nuthatch; Wren; Blackbird; Cormorant; Dunnock; Jay; Magpie; Great Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Goldfinch + Pheasant and Greenfinch on call.

A Buff Tailed and White Tailed Bumble Bee were seen as well as singleton Small Tortoiseshell and a Comma Butterflies.

Moschatel and Marsh Marigold were in delightful flower.

 

3rd April 2016 - Owley Wood CWT, Weaverham, Cheshire - A lovely little wood this with some fine flowered slopes and the River Weaver running alongside. The 24 birds noted were:- Blackbird; Blue Tit; Dunnock; House Sparrow; Goldfinch; Wood Pigeon; Nuthatch; Wren; Black Headed Gull; Collared Dove; Mistle Thrush; Cormorant; Mute Swan; Moorhen; Mallard; Buzzard; Great Tit; Coal Tit; Carrion Crow; Robin; Chiffchaff + Great Spotted Woodpecker; Chaffinch and Jackdaw on call.

Dog's Mercury; Bluebell; Green Alkanet; Wood Anemone; Lesser Celandine; Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Butterbur; Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage and Chickweed were all in flower.

4 Buff Tailed Bumble Bees were on the wing.

 

1st April 2016 - Heaton Mersey NR and area, Stockport, Cheshire - A walk in the dinner hour, average weather but a poor bird show. Species recorded were:- Great Tit; House Sparrow; Carrion Crow; Magpie; Goldfinch; Wood Pigeon; Wren; Long Tailed Tit; Blackbird; Robin; Mallard; Coot; Moorhen; Blue Tit; Chiffchaff + Dunnock; Nuthatch and Song Thrush on call.

Groundsel; White Dead Nettle; Lesser Celandine and Ramsons were the only flowers seen.

MARCH
31st March 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A slow year and despite nice sunshine there was only 1 Comma Butterfly seen on the way home from work.
 
29th March 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Ditto - another Hebrew Character Moth was seen in the toilet, and a Varied Carpet Beetle.
 
28th March 2016 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A Hebrew Character Moth was seen in the toilet, the first moth of the year no less.
 
27th March 2016 - Lymefield Visitor Centre & Broad Mills Heritage Site, Broadbottom, G. Manchester - A visit to the garden centre and shop for some fresh produce and then a stroll. A Buff Tailed Bumble Bee braved the weather and Primroses were in flower. Birds noted were:- House Sparrow; Mallard; Blue Tit; Bullfinch; Grey Wagtail; Robin; Goldcrest; Great Tit; Goldfinch; Dunnock; Moorhen; Dipper; Canada Goose; Wood Pigeon; Magpie; Wren; Long Tailed Tit; Jackdaw; Carrion Crow; Song Thrush + Nuthatch on call.
 
27th March 2016 - Eastwood NR, Stalybridge, G. Manchester - A small area but a very interesting nook to potter about in. Today it was a chance to feed the birds and a list was compiled whilst doing so, the species noted being:- Jackdaw; Blackbird; Carrion Crow; Robin; Wood Pigeon; Nuthatch; Blue Tit; Coal Tit; Treecreeper; Mallard; Canada Goose; Moorhen; Coot; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Magpie; Goldfinch; Mistle Thrush; Grey Wagtail; Great Tit; Jay; Dunnock + Bullfinch; Goldcrest and Wren on call.
 

25th March 2016 - Sett Valley Trail, Derbyshire - A second walk after a visit to the chippy (ooh err). Only a few birds seen here, these were:- Wren; Robin; Jackdaw; Magpie; Carrion Crow; Great Tit; Chiffchaff; Dunnock; Long Tailed Tit; Blue Tit; Blackbird; Nuthatch; Goldfinch; Coal Tit; Goldcrest and House Sparrow.

The Drone Fly (Eristalis tenax) was seen on a Dandelion agg. and several Buff Tailed Bumble Bees were noted.

 

25th March 2016 - Millers Dale, Derbyshire - An early morning wander to stretch the old boiled eggs, a few birds were seen, these being:- Wood Pigeon; Goldfinch; Robin; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Wren; Treecreeper; Chaffinch; Long Tailed Tit; Kestrel; Song Thrush; Blackbird; Jackdaw; Raven; Mandarin Duck; Grey Wagtail; Mallard; Goldcrest; Nuthatch; Dipper (*5) and Moorhen.

Both Brown and Rainbow Trout were seen side by side at close quarters which was ideal to compare the identification differences.

Common Whitlow Grass was in flower.

 
21st March 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Lots to do so a quick wander to feed the local birds. Chiffchaff; Goldcrest; Blackbird; Greenfinch; Goosander and many Magpies were around and Ramsons was seen in flower for the first time this year.
 

20th March 2016 - Weaver Park, Cheshire - A meet-up with the Fungal Friends Group and along the way I made noted of any extra wildlife other than fungi. Birds noted were:- Chiffchaff; Mute Swan; Grey Heron; Great Tit; Grey Wagtail; Coot; Goldfinch; Blue Tit; Moorhen; Cormorant; Kingfisher; Song Thrush; Buzzard; Black Headed Gull; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Coal Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Chaffinch; Wren; Carrion Crow; Dunnock; Robin; Magpie; Collared Dove; Feral Pigeon; Wood Pigeon; Blackbird + Green Woodpecker and Jackdaw on call.

Insects seen were the Drone-Flies (Eristalis tenax) and (Eristalis pertinax), several Buff Tailed Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) and Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly (*2).

Garden Snail; Strawberry Snail; White Lipped Banded Snail; Garlic Snail; Yellow Slug and Dusky Slug were noted whilst looking beneath logs.

The mosses (Atrichum undulatum) and (Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus) were also added. A liverwort was added (Lunularia cruciata).

 
14th March 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Homeward bound with a Chiffchaff seen and heard, a Grey Heron observed catching and devouring a very large Frog, a Goosander seen in flight, a Tree Bee seen feeding on Willow with an example of the Drone Fly (Eristalis tenax) and another butterfly spotted, this time a Comma.
 
14th March 2016 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - Passing the gateway to this park and another Small Tortoiseshell was noted - yippee.
 

14th March 2016 - Gatley Carrs, Stockport, Cheshire - Still struggling so a local stroll to this area was had via Boots the Chemist, Greenhalgh's the Bakers and Oxfam the Charity Shop (no books bought). 24 bird species were noted these being:- Blackbird; Magpie; Collared Dove; Robin; Wood Pigeon; Blue Tit; Carrion Crow; Dunnock; Chaffinch; Great Tit; Grey Heron; Canada Goose; Mallard; Long Tailed Tit; Moorhen; Buzzard; Greenfinch; Wren; Nuthatch; Goldfinch; House Sparrow + Goldcrest; Jay and Bullfinch on call.

The years first butterfly was seen, a Small Tortoiseshell no less.

 
14th March 2016 - Greenhall Bridge, Cheadle, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking the streets and a peek over at a stream and a pair of Dippers were seen, bonus!
 
11th March 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Full of a virus at the mo that has knocked me for six and left me with a mouth full of sores, a wheezing chest and a tender abdomen and back (not the mention the fuzzy head, weak legs and ill-temper - bah). A slow stroll in sweet sun was needed and duly enjoyed with a chat with a fellow birder thoroughly enjoyed. I didn't see too much, my noggin was unfocussed but the resident Goosanders are always a joy as are the flitting Grey Wagtails. 4 specimens of the Drone-Fly (Ersitalis tenax) were logged and 2 examples of the Daffodil Fly (Norellia spinipes) were added as well. The main pick-me up was seeing the first frog spawn of the year - come on ye taddies - prepare to swim! A single example of the Hoverfly (Melanostoma scalare) was seen feeding on Crocus at a nearby park.
 
6th March 2016 - Chorlton WP, G. Manchester - The first tootle of the month due to the time being gobbled up by work, a hospital visit, gigs, trying to sort the boiler out and other mithering tasks. Birds seen today whilst picking some litter were:- Ring Necked Parakeet; Wood Pigeon; Magpie; House Sparrow; Canada Goose; Black Headed Gull; Mute Swan; Great Crested Grebe; Coot; Blackbird; Mallard; Cormorant; Collared Dove; Great Tit; Siskin; Common Gull; Pochard; Robin; Long Tailed Tit; Bullfinch; Goosander; Grey Wagtail; Feral Pigeon; Moorhen; Grey Heron; Chaffinch; Blue Tit; Starling and Carrion Crow.
 
FEBRUARY
 

29th February 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A day of chores and a much needed walk into town for some cleaning products - oh the joys of being a punk! On the way 2 Kingfishers and 3 Goosanders made up a nice little group whilst a Cormorant perched up and gave good views further down river. White Dead Nettle, Common Mouse Ear and Red Clover were all in flower.

A Devil's Coach Horse was noted.

 
28th February 2016 - Oakwell CP, W. Yorkshire - We needed a cup of tea and noticed this place had a visitor centre showing on the map. We turned up and shared a blueberry muffin and had a cuppa each - much needed it was too. A walk (this time without the bins) produced only 14 bird species but it was a pleasant final wander to finish off another day out. The birds seen were:- Bullfinch; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Robin; Wood Pigeon; Long Tailed Tit; Moorhen; Carrion Crow; Dunnock; Blackbird; Black Headed Gull; House Sparrow; Great Tit; Blue Tit and Goldcrest.
 
28th February 2016 - Water Haigh Woodland Park to Swillington Ings, W. Yorkshire - Two places connected up here with a good walk had in mild weather, even my missus didn't wear a coat. 37 birds this time, which were:- Magpie; Wood Pigeon; Kestrel; Pied Wagtail; Tree Sparrow; Lapwing; Moorhen; Mute Swan; Long Tailed Tit; Mallard; Great Tit; Coot; Great Crested Grebe; Gadwall; Wigeon; Teal; Shoveler; Cormorant; Tufted Duck; Pochard; Reed Bunting; Carrion Crow; Greenland White Fronted Goose; Stonechat; Skylark; Redwing; Goldeneye; Greylag Goose; Canada Goose; Wren; Shelduck; Blue Tit; Greenfinch; Robin; Mistle Thrush and Goldfinch on call.
 

28th February 2016 - Rothwell CP, W. Yorkshire - The first destination of the day with the sun poking through and the weather getting milder by the hour. 31 bird species noted, these being:- Chaffinch; Goldfinch; Greenfinch; Blackbird; Carrion Crow; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Grey Heron; Common Gull; Black Headed Gull; Magpie; Robin; Tufted Duck; Teal; Moorhen; Mallard; Great Black Backed Gull; Canada Goose; Wood Pigeon; Pochard; Dunnock; Long Tailed Tit; Coot; Mute Swan; Cormorant; Jay; Wren; Bullfinch; Greylag Goose; Shelduck and Sparrowhawk.

2 Roe Deer were seen at close quarters before one was chased off by a dog!

 
23rd February 2016 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Two specimens of Eristalis tenax were feeding on ornamental Heather.
 
23rd February 2016 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Toothwort is now through, one spike unfurling, several others poking through.
 

22nd February 2016 - Frodsham Marsh, Cheshire - A trip with my brother on a fresh, clear day with many changes had at this area and all to the detriment of the bird life. A total of 47 species were seen:- House Sparrow; Blue Tit; Wood pigeon; Carrion Crow; Feral Pigeon; Magpie; Blackbird; Mallard; Long Tailed Tit; Great Tit; Goldfinch; Dunnock; Wren; Red Legged Partridge; Great Black Backed Gull; Buzzard; Coot; Oystercatcher; Tufted Duck; Goldeneye; Little Grebe; Shelduck; Curlew; Common Gull; Lapwing; Black Headed Gull; Cormorant; Teal; Gadwall; Redshank; Black Tailed Godwit; Canada Goose; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Meadow Pipit; Reed Bunting; Robin; Fieldfare; Starling; Chaffinch; Pochard; Shoveler; Linnet; Grey Heron; Rook; Kestrel; Collared Dove and Pied Wagtail.

Red Dead Nettle was seen in flower.

 

21st February 2016 - Low Hill NR, G Manchester - A walk at this new area and although not a vast amount of stuff seen, there is much potential that makes this worthy of more attention. Birds noted were:- Siskin; Great Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Black Headed Gull; Robin; Mute Swan; Wren; Goldfinch; Blackbird; Cormorant; Jackdaw; Magpie; Gadwall; Teal; Mallard; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Wood Pigeon; Blue Tit; Starling; Tufted Duck; Coot and Song Thrush on call.

A Harlequin Ladybird; Large Yellow Slug; Shiny; Pygmy and Striped Woodlice and the Harvestman (Nemastoma lugubre) were noted extras. Bembidion dentellum was later confirmed by an on-line coleopterist (Will Beetlepunk Heeney take a bow).

 

21st February 2016 - Pennington Flash, G. Manchester - A walk around the small part of this reserve today sticking strictly to the route with hides rather than doing a full circuit of the flash itself. 45 species of bird were noted, these being:- Greenfinch; Mistle Thrush; Lapwing; Herring Gull; Teal; Oystercatcher; Goldeneye; Great Crested Grebe; Cormorant; Grey Heron; Redwing; Gadwall; Shoveler; Little Grebe; Goosander; Water Rail; Goldfinch; Song Thrush; Wren; Long Tailed Tit; Stock Dove; Coot; Tufted Duck; Blue Tit; Robin; Great Tit; Blackbird; Moorhen; Reed Bunting; Chaffinch; Dunnock; Coal Tit; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Magpie; Carrion Crow; Pied Wagtail; Wood Pigeon; Mallard; Black Headed Gull; Canada Goose; Mute Swan; Jay and Cetti's Warbler on call.

White Dead Nettle and Cow Parsley were in flower and a White Lipped Banded Snail was noted.

 

15th February 2016 - Fletcher Moss, G Manchester - The second part of today's walk with a cup of tea in the cafe breaking up the escapade in the sun. 26 bird species listed this time:- Mallard; Starling; Goosander; Robin; Grey Wagtail; Carrion Crow; Wood Pigeon; Dunnock; Treecreeper; Great Tit; Goldcrest; Song Thrush; Redwing; Canada Goose; Bullfinch; Magpie; Nuthatch; Jay; Blackbird; Coot; Moorhen; Ring Necked Parakeet; Blue Tit; Black Headed Gull + Wren and Goldfinch on call.

2 specimens of the Drone-Fly (Eristalis tenax) were noted feeding on a species of Dandelion and a lone example of the Hoverfly (Meliscaeva auricollis) was feeding on Blackthorn flowers.

 

15th February 2016 - Cheadle Heath to Didsbury, G Manchester - A six mile walk today split into 2 sections, the first of which was from my front door to Didsbury via the River Mersey. 28 bird species were noted, these being:- Goldcrest; House Sparrow; Wood Pigeon; Feral Pigeon; Blackbird; Carrion Crow; Magpie; Goosander; Greenfinch; Reed Bunting; Robin; Wren; Mallard; Great Tit; Grey Heron; Chaffinch; Long Tailed Tit; Song Thrush; Blue Tit; Jackdaw; Grey wagtail; Common Gull; Black Headed Gull; Goldfinch; Dipper; Coal Tit; Pied Wagtail and Dunnock on call.

Sweet Violet and Colt's-Foot were both now in flower.

 
13th February 2016 - Golden Acre Park/Adel Dam NR, Leeds, W. Yorkshire - Two adjoining sites were walked here before the day was cut short with some flat-lining news. We crack on regardless and enjoy getting out there. Species of bird seen were:- Carrion Crow; Moorhen; Mallard; Robin; Magpie; Goldcrest; Mute Swan; Blackbird; Tufted Duck; Black Headed Gull; Feral Greylag Goose; Great Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Goldfinch; Blue Tit; Jackdaw; Rook; Siskin; Stock Dove; Starling; Coal Tit; Dunnock; Mandarin Duck; Chaffinch; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Nuthatch and Treecreeper.
 
13th February 2016 - Roundhay Park, Leeds, W. Yorkshire - A tentative pootle after a trying week that was set to remain a bugger for the rest of the day due to frustration circumstances I will note bore you with. A pleasant area this though and a leisurely stroll was had. Bird species noted were:- Blue Tit; Blackbird; Goosander; Mute Swan; Carrion Crow; Black Headed Gull; Mallard; Magpie; Common Gull; Herring Gull; Jackdaw; Wood Pigeon; Coot; Cormorant; Great Crested Grebe; Tufted Duck; Moorhen; Pochard; Little Grebe; Jay; Goldfinch and Nuthatch.
 
11th February 2016 - River Mersey to Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - The first potter out after my throat operation. Still feeling jaded to be honest but a Grey Wagtail, 2 strutting Mistle Thrushes, several Goosanders and the years first Hairy Shieldbug (Dolycoris baccarum) all brightened my head. The glowing warm sun was a bonus!
 
3rd February 2016 - Markeaton Way and Park, Derbyshire - Another audition for our daughter, this time at Derby University, so whilst waiting we had a wander and did a spot of birding. At the halfway stage we had a wonderful cream tea as a bonus - boy was it good. Birds noted today were:- Robin; Mallard; Redwing; Wood Pigeon; Carrion Crow; Blackbird; Blue Tit; Wren; Grey Wagtail; Chaffinch; Nuthatch; House Sparrow; Long Tailed Tit; Black Headed Gull; Mistle Thrush; Magpie; Treecreeper; Goldfinch; Great Tit; Goosander; Jackdaw; Coot; Canada Goose; Tufted Duck; Cormorant; Grey Heron; Mute Swan; Feral Pigeon; Song Thrush and Common Gull.
 

1st February 2016 - River Mersey to Abney Hall, Cheshire - A morning walk in fine weather with a robust, head clearing wind and fine temperatures to boot. 29 species of bird were seen, these were:- Feral Pigeon; Wood Pigeon; Magpie; Carrion Crow; Starling; Coal Tit; Blackbird; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Bullfinch; Long Tailed Tit; Wren; Cormorant; Chiffchaff; Goldcrest; Pied Wagtail; Mistle Thrush; Goldfinch; Mallard; Chaffinch; Canada Goose; Goosander; Robin; Grey Wagtail; Redwing; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Black Headed Gull; Coot and Moorhen.

The first Hoverfly of the year was seen, Episyrphus balteatus feeding on some blooming Lesser Celandine. Garlic Snail; Garden Snail; Large Yellow Slug and Leopard Slug were seen as well as a Pygmy Woodlouse and a Smooth Newt.

 
JANUARY
 

31st January 2016 - Deep Hayes CP, Staffordshire - A walk around this new area for us and after a good chat and cup of tea with the grand and welcoming warden (take a bow Dave Oakes) we tootled off and kept a list of fungi (see Fungal Friends section) and birds along the way. Bird species totalled only 20 but a lot of blame could be down to the downright murky conditions, oh what a grim day and during our walk we got the best of the weather which even then wasn't the greatest. The species noted were:- Mallard; Coal Tit; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Dunnock; Goosander; Tufted Duck; Coot; Carrion Crow; Blackbird; Magpie; Robin; Grey Heron; Canada goose; Chaffinch; Wood Pigeon; Jackdaw; Wren + Bullfinch and Nuthatch on call.

The lichens Cladonia coniocraea; Xanthoria parietina; Arthonia radiata; Graphis scripta; Evernia prunastri were noted along the way.

 
24th January 2016 - Vale Royal Wood, Cheshire - Incredibly quiet with only a small flock of Siskin noteworthy.
 
24th January 2016 - Newchurch Common, Cheshire - After a hectic week it was good to get out and stretch the legs. A walk from Whitegate Station and around the two bodies of water at Newchurch was thoroughly enjoyed and a few birds were noted along the way. 33 species was the end haul, these being:- Robin; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Carrion Crow; Redwing; Starling; Canada Goose; Mistle Thrush; Wood Pigeon; Coot; Blackbird; Pheasant; Nuthatch; Wren; Jackdaw; Goldcrest; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Wigeon; Tufted Duck; Mallard; Common Gull; Black Headed Gull; Gadwall; Great Crested Grebe; Moorhen; Shoveler; Jay; Smew (Red Head); Magpie; Collared Dove; Chaffinch + Great Spotted Woodpecker on call.
 

17th January 2016 - Point of Ayr, Flintshire - After wanders at The North Wales Wildlife Trust Reserves Coed Y Felin, Y Ddol Uchaf and Big Pool Wood we decided to finish the day at this reliable location. Bird wise we saw 35 species, these being:- Dunnock; Herring Gull; Magpie; Wood Pigeon; Mallard; Jackdaw; Coot; Wren; Meadow Pipit; Starling; Oystercatcher; Robin; Shelduck; Little Egret; Curlew; Redshank; Teal; Blue Tit; Sanderling; Great Black Backed Gull; Dunlin; Goldfinch; Chaffinch; Pied Wagtail; Carrion Crow; Common Gull; Canada Goose; Mute Swan; Black Headed Gull; Collared Dove; House Sparrow; Lapwing; Pheasant; Rook and Blackbird.

Alexanders; Creeping Thistle; Hogweed; Black Nightshade; Scentless Mayweed; Common Ragwort and Scarlet Pimpernel were all in flower.

 

11th January 2016 - Etherow CP, Stockport, Cheshire - A walk with some members of the Fungal Friends Group and besides the fungi I noted 32 species of bird, these being:- Canada Goose; Mallard; Coot; Feral Pigeon; Jackdaw; Siskin; Wood Pigeon; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Chaffinch; Wren; Magpie; Carrion Crow; Collared Dove; Grey Wagtail; Robin; Moorhen; Black Headed Gull; Cormorant; Redwing; Mistle Thrush; Bullfinch; Goosander; Mandarin Duck; Mute Swan; Kingfisher; Tufted Duck; Long Tailed Tit; Grey Heron; Goldcrest; Dunnock and Egyptian Goose.

Dog's Mercury; Herb Robert; Sweet Cicely and Wood Avens were all seen in flower and the gall (Phytomyza ilicis) was noted by one of the group. The name came to me later on in the day, Oooh I am getting on a bit!

 
10th January 2016 - Chadkirk Chapel, Stockport, Cheshire - A walk on the prowl for fungi with 3 circling and calling Buzzards seen, a Stock Dove and a sturdy Mistle Thrush as well as Lesser Periwinkle in flower and the gall (Taxomyia taxi) noted on Yew.
 
9th January 2016 - Festival Park, Lancashire - The final walk of the day and quite a sweet area to stroll around, despite the dubious car park. Only 14 bird species seen but some really good close ups given of several species. The list was:- Carrion Crow; Grey Heron; Kestrel; Stock Dove; Wood Pigeon; Magpie; Great Tit; Coot; Mallard; Moorhen; Chaffinch; Wren; Lesser Black Backed Gull and Song Thrush.
 

9th January 2016 - Otterspool NR and promenade, Lancashire - A breezy walk was highly enjoyed and a chat with 2 fishermen admiring their catch (8 pound Cod and 2 Whiting respectively) was thoroughly delightful as well as were the few birds on show. Only 21 species seen, these being:- Wood Pigeon; Herring Gull; Oystercatcher; Black Headed Gull; Starling; Robin; Goldfinch; Blackbird; Carrion Crow; Grey Heron; Turnstone; Magpie; Mistle Thrush; Ring Necked Parakeet; Blue Tit; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Blackbird; Great Tit; Jay; Long Tailed Tit and Greenfinch.

Hedge Mustard was in flower.

 
9th January 2016 - Sefton Park, Lancashire - A lovely morning wander with 31 species of bird noted:- Feral Pigeon; Coot; Little Grebe; Magpie; Black Headed Gull; Common Gull; Canada Goose; Moorhen; Mute Swan; Mallard; Wood Pigeon; Great Tit; Goldcrest; Carrion Crow; Treecreeper; Mistle Thrush; Cormorant; Pied Wagtail; Ring Necked Parakeet; Blackbird; Nuthatch; Blue Tit; Robin; Long Tailed Tit; Goldfinch; Starling; Herring Gull; Song Thrush; Jackdaw; Wren and Great Spotted Woodpecker on call.
 
7th January 2016 - Heaton Mersey NR and area, Stockport, Cheshire - Some urban birding in the dinner break, the result was 16 species:- Goldfinch; Magpie; Long Tailed Tit; Blue Tit; Coal Tit; Wood Pigeon; House Sparrow; Blackbird; Black Headed Gull; Common Gull; Mistle Thrush; Great Tit; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Mallard; Bullfinch and Robin.
 

6th January 2016 - Marbury CP, Cheshire - A wander with my bro' before going back to work tomorrow, only 45 bird species seen which was less than expected. The list was:- Long Tailed Tit; Robin; Blackbird; Carrion Crow; Goldcrest; Great Tit; Coal Tit; Song Thrush; Wood Pigeon; Jay; Mallard; Chaffinch; Blue Tit; Nuthatch; Tufted Duck; Pochard; Cormorant; Shelduck; Lapwing; Gadwall; Great Crested Grebe; Grey Heron; Canada Goose; Dunnock; Mute Swan; Common Gull; Black Headed Gull; Redwing; Greylag Goose; Starling; Buzzard; Stock Dove; Curlew; Ruff; Bullfinch; Teal; Shoveler; Magpie; Goldfinch; Collared Dove; House Sparrow; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Lesser Redpoll; Raven and Common Snipe.

Blackthorn was in flower.

 

5th January 2016 - Bruntwood Park, Stockport, Cheshire - Birds seen today totalled 19 species, not great but better than sitting on my arse. I needed to get out and do some chores so why not sneak a local mooch in too? The species seen were:- Long Tailed Tit; Carrion Crow; Great Tit; Jay; Moorhen; Mallard; Canada Goose; Redwing; Wood Pigeon; Song Thrush; Wren; Goldfinch; Magpie; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Goldcrest; Blackbird; Nuthatch; Robin and Blue Tit.

Wood Avens was seen in flower.

 

4th January 2016 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - I couldn't make plans to go further afield today as a new bath was being delivered so I awaited the chaps with the tub, got dressed, had a run down the River Mersey and came back through the park doing a bit of birding. Only 18 species today:- Great Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Wren; Blue Tit; Wood Pigeon; Mallard; Mistle Thrush; Blackbird; Magpie; Robin; Goldfinch; Canada Goose; Black Headed Gull; Coot; Moorhen; Chaffinch and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Ivy was in flower, the first female Hazel flower was seen as well as Wavy Bittercress in bloom and a Common Toad.

 

3rd January 2016 - Chorlton WP, G. Manchester - What a thoroughly dreary day, a real slate grey drainer that would bleed your soul dry if you let it. Hey ho, a walk was still had and note was made of the following 31 bird species:- Grey Heron; Tufted Duck; Great Tit; Mute Swan; Mallard; Coot; Ring Necked Parakeet; Magpie; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Robin; Canada Goose; Siskin; Bullfinch; Blackbird; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Gadwall; Black Headed Gull; Goldeneye; Treecreeper; Common Gull; Pochard; Moorhen; Wren; Carrion Crow; Collared Dove; House Sparrow; Starling; Goldfinch and Chaffinch.

A cluster of Garden Snails were located beneath a log whilst mooching for fungi.

 

2nd January 2016 - Cheadle Heath to River Mersey, Cheshire - A morning run down river and on the way back some mooching. Birds seen were:- Blue Tit; Long Tailed Tit; House Sparrow; Blackbird; Wood Pigeon; Goosander; Grey Heron; Carrion Crow; Mistle Thrush; Cormorant; Redwing; Grey Wagtail; Mallard; Great Tit; Black Headed Gull and Bullfinch.

Daisy; Welsh Poppy; Groundsel; Red Campion; Hogweed; Smooth Sow-Thistle; Common Ragwort; Creeping Buttercup; Rape; Nipplewort and European Gorse were all in flower.

The year's first Grey Squirrel was seen as well as Shiny and Rough Woodlice and the centipede Lithobius variegatus.

 
1st January 2015 - Anglers CP, W. Yorkshire - We needed a cup of tea to finish the day, a call in at this location and all locked up - boo. We did pick up Dunnock and Tree Sparrow from the feeders though.
 

1st January 2016 - Nostell Priory NT, W. Yorkshire - The last location proper of a fair day, yet again a lowly bird list, this time 20 species:- Moorhen; Coot; Pied Wagtail; Carrion Crow; Long Tailed Tit; Goosander; Black Headed Gull; Mute Swan; Wigeon; Mallard; Blackbird; Pheasant; Magpie; Gadwall; Cormorant; Great Crested Grebe; Tufted Duck; Blue Tit and Collared Dove.

Groundsel was in flower. The gall Agathomyia wankowiczii was noted on the bracket fungus Ganoderma applanatum.

 

1st January 2016 - Walton Colliery Nature Park, W. Yorkshire - More birding, only 23 species which were:- Wood Pigeon; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Mistle Thrush; Robin; Jay; Goldcrest; Great Tit; Mallard; Black Headed Gull; Green Woodpecker; Blackbird; Greenfinch; Fieldfare; Goldfinch; Carrion Crow; Jackdaw; Magpie; Tufted Duck; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Blue Tit; Mute Swan; Goosander and Kestrel.

Yarrow was in flower.

 

1st January 2016 - Newmillerdam CP, W. Yorkshire - The first location of the year and time to do a spot of birding. not much about to be honest with only 18 bird species noted, these were:- Wood Pigeon; Black Headed Gull; Coot; Mallard; Canada Goose; Tufted Duck; Great Crested Grebe; Goosander (4*M/4*F); Moorhen; Carrion Crow; Jay; Wren; Blackbird; Robin; Nuthatch; Long Tailed Tit and Magpie.

Red Campion was in flower.