FUNGALPUNK SIGHTINGS 2017
Fungal sightings found here
 
NOVEMBER
 
20th November 2017 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - A cycle out and whilst looking at a few fungi a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew past, a Wood Mouse sat and let me get within inches of it and Wood Avens was noted in good flower.
 

19th November 2017 - Reddish Vale CP, Stockport, Cheshire - An afternoon wander and a cup of tea. Birds seen were:- Dunnock; Coal Tit; Collared Dove; Feral Pigeon; Wood Pigeon; Chaffinch; Coot; Moorhen; Canada Goose; Black Headed Gull; Tufted Duck; Magpie; Mallard; Carrion Crow; Great Crested Grebe; Robin; Goldcrest; Cormorant; Mute Swan; Goldfinch; House Sparrow; Ring Necked Parakeet; Song Thrush; Blackbird; Blue Tit; Jackdaw; Nuthatch and Long Tailed Tit.

A couple of Leopard Slugs were seen; the Variegated Centipede (Lithobus variegatus) and Ivy Leaved Toadflax was in flower.

 
17th November 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Pied Wagtails were seen at the waters edge, a female Goosander looked lonely, Redwings were flitting about and a Common Green Shieldbug was on a Buddleia leaf.
 
17th November 2017 - Chorlton WP, G. Manchester - Cycling about and at my destination I decided to have a look at the birdlife. It was fairly quiet and the species seen were:- Mallard; Grey Wagtail; Blackbird; Coot; Mute Swan; Wood Pigeon; Goldfinch; Tufted Duck; Gadwall; Great Crested Grebe; Black Headed Gull; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Feral Pigeon; Chaffinch; Nuthatch; Robin; Kingfisher; Cormorant and Long Tailed Tit.
 

11th November 2017 - Ainsdale Sands Lake, Lancashire - A fungalised mooch but I took in a few other things along the way. Birds seen were:- Wren; Oystercatcher; Black Headed Gull; Grey Heron; Feral Pigeon; Gadwall; Coot; Mute Swan; Mallard; Shoveler; Tufted Duck; Robin; Long Tailed Tit; Meadow Pipit; Cormorant; Great Black Backed Gull; Pied Wagtail; Carrion Crow; Moorhen and Blackbird.

Common Stork's-Bill; Yarrow; Restharrow; Meadow Buttercup; Blue Fleabane and Red Clover were in flower and Common Polypody agg was exhibiting some golden yellow sori.

 
5th November 2017 - Consall NR, Staffordshire - A fungus walk, I was busy but we did see and hold a Grass Snake and I saw several Nuthatches and a Coal Tit.
 
OCTOBER
 
30th October 2017 - Sale WP, G. Manchester - A walk with the lasses in lovely autumnal air. Birds noted were:- Gadwall; Coot; Dunnock; Mute Swan; Magpie; Black Headed Gull; Mallard; Long Tailed Tit; Great Tit; Moorhen; Canada Goose; Blackbird; Carrion Crow; Cormorant; Grey Heron; Great Crested Grebe; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Little Grebe; Wood Pigeon; Robin and Blue Tit.
 
28th October 2017 - Bodnant Gardens, Conwy - Whilst leading 2 fungus walks we noted a Treecreeper on the feeders, a flock of Redwing flying through the autumnal colours and a Raven gliding overhead.
 

28th October 2017 - Conwy RSPB, Conwy - Having led a fungus walk at Bodnant Gardens we decided to end the day here. We bought a new pair of binoculars and had a gentle stroll before the light failed. Only 28 birds were noted but in truth we weren't straining ourselves. the list was:- Goldfinch; Blue Tit; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Feral Pigeon; Little Egret; Black Headed Gull; Blackbird; Teal ; Herring Gull; Lapwing; Magpie; Mute Swan; Oystercatcher; Pied Wagtail; Red Breasted Merganser; Pochard; Little Grebe; Kingfisher; Curlew; Mallard; Cormorant; Redshank; Carrion Crow; Wigeon; Robin; Coot; Common Snipe and Gadwall.

Yellow-Wort and Wild Carrot were in flower.

 
22nd October 2017 - Erddig CP, Wrexham - Buzzards circling overhead, a Smooth Newt under a log, a stunning Leopard Slug and a Strawberry plant in flower - just a few extra things seen on a fungal mooch.
 
15th October 2017 - Tatton Park, Cheshire - The 4th sold out fungus walk on the bounce, all eyes to the deck it was but some fine Red Deer were seen, a Raven near its next, a Frog and a Toad and 3 Short Tailed Voles - all adding to a fine day methinks.
 
14th October 2017 - Formby NT, Lancashire - A sold out fungus walk so no time to note much else but we did see a Red Squirrel and some Scarlet Pimpernel in flower.
 
11th October 2017 - Chorlton WP, G. Manchester - I finished my cycle ride here and spent a short while watching some common birds. There wasn't much about to be honest but a Jay flew by, a small flotilla of Gadwall were nice to see, a brace of Tufted Duck will no doubt be joined by a few more as winter progresses and Great Crested Grebes seemed particularly vocal today. The weather soon changed and the rain came, it was no day to dawdle.
 

11th October 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - I set out on a 15 mile bike ride, the first part of the journey was headlong into a wind, I did note Himalayan Balsam; Rape; Large Bindweed; Comon Ragwort; Hogweed; Bramble agg; Black Medick; Ribwort Plantain and Red Clover still in flower.

A Kingfisher whizzed along the river, a couple of Grey Herons were like wind hammered statues and a female Goosander swam against the flow and tried to catch a spot of brunch.

The Hoverfly (Sphaerophoria scripta) was feeding on Hogweed - what a hardy soul.

 
9th October 2017 - Maine Road FC, G. Manchester - Sat waiting for the latest non-league match to start and a Silver Y settle down beside me. After the match a Fox was seen nipping across the warm-up area.
 
7th October 2017 - Harthill Cookery School, Cheshire - Whilst leading a fungus walk 3 Ravens bickered overhead, a Garlic Snail was passed around and duly sniffed, a Leopard Slug was only admired by my goodself and Foxglove; Hogweed; Nipplewort; Red Campion and Herb Robert were a few of the flowers in bloom. Loads of new Nettle growth was seen and Greater Celandine seemed ready to produce new flowers - what a strange year!
 
SEPTEMBER
 
26th September 2017 - Daventry CP, Northamptonshire - We planned on a walk in the dazzling sun and got sidetracked with mushrooming yet again. A few Common Darters were noted on the wing and a Speckled Wood too. We cobbled some bird sightings together, these were:- Carrion Crow; Magpie; Blackbird; Wood Pigeon; Long Tailed Tit; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Coal Tit; Wren; Feral Pigeon; Jay; Jackdaw; Cormorant; Black Headed Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Tufted Duck; Great Crested Grebe; Shoveler; Mallard; Coot; Mute Swan; Grey Heron; Canada Goose; Gadwall; Moorhen; Wigeon and Stock Dove.
 

25th September 2017 - Rye Meads RSPB, Hertfordshire - A birding wander, the list was small but we had a fine stroll nonetheless. The birds seen were:- Carrion Crow; Black Headed Gull; Wood Pigeon; Jay; Long Tailed Tit; Grey Heron; Mallard; Cormorant; Robin; Shoveler; Moorhen; Tufted Duck; Canada Goose; Little Grebe; Starling; Coot; Teal; Little Egret; Gadwall; Wigeon; Hobby (M); Mute Swan; Magpie; Lesser Black Backed Gull + Cetti's Warbler on call.

We spent some time watching a colony of Dark Bush Crickets mooching in a Bramble bush. Watching the males rub those wings together is fascinating. Also seen was a lone Red Admiral; A Toad and 9 Migrant Hawkers.

 
25th September 2017 - Fairlop Waters CP, East London, Essex - A bit of birding whilst on the prowl for fungi, the species seen were:- Mute Swan; Magpie; Egyptian Goose; Canada Goose; Feral Pigeon; Mallard; Black Headed Gull; Great Crested Grebe; Chiffchaff; Robin; Starling; Carrion Crow; Coot; Tufted Duck; Moorhen; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Ring Necked Parakeet; Wood Pigeon; Long Tailed Tit; Grey Heron and Cormorant.
 

25th September 2017 - Hainault Forest, East London, Essex - A fungi hunt in the murk, we saw a few birds along the way, these were:- Jackdaw; Magpie; Canada Goose; Greylag Goose; Wood Pigeon; Black Headed Gull; Blackbird; Starling; Goldfinch; Mute Swan; Mallard; Carrion Crow; Jay; Coot; Robin and Buzzard.

Flowers noted were:- Mugwort; Bristly Ox-Tongue; Goat's-Rue; Ox-Eye Daisy; Self-Heal; Creeping Buttercup; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Cut Leaved Crane's-Bill; White Dead Nettle; Shepherd's Purse; Common Ragwort; Black Medick; Sea Aster; Pineappleweed; Groundsel; Yarrow; Bird's Foot Trefoil; Daisy and Ribwort Plantain.

3 galls were spotted:- Neuroterus numismalis; Neuroterus anthracinus and Andricus lucidus.

 

22nd September 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - 6 Red Admirals and a lone Comma were nice to see on a walk into town during what was a glorious spell of sunshine. A Buzzard was being mobbed by 3 Magpies and a Carrion Crow, a Jay was on the prowl for acorns and the omnipresent Grey Wagtail was seen at the side of the water. Several Drone-Flies (Eristalis pertinax) and the Hoverfly (Syrphus ribesii) were also seen.

I kept a flower list along the way, the ones still sporting blooms were:- Meadow Buttercup; Creeping Thistle; Common Nettle; Red Campion; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Common Ragwort; Perforate St John's Wort; Large Flowered Evening Primrose agg; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Tufted Vetch; Common Fleabane; Common Figwort; Dandelion agg; Ivy Leaved Toadflax; Teasel; Ox-Eye Daisy; White Melilot; Black Medick; Red Clover; Nipplewort; Greater Willowherb; Herb Robert; Sea Aster; Himalayan Balsam; Shepherd's Purse; Chickweed; Groundsel; Redshank; Red Dead Nettle; Rape and Japanese Knotweed.

 

4th September 2017 - Fletcher Moss , W. Didsbury, G. Manchester - A continuation of the cycle ride and before I fell off and cut my knee and elbow I had a nice mooch at this local area. Nettles were being scrutinised and I came up with:- White Lipped Banded Snail (Cepaea hortensis); Brown Lipped Banded Snail (Cepaea nemoralis); Common Nettle Bug (Liocoris tripustulatus); Strawberry Snail (Trochulus striolatus); Nettle Ground Bug (Heterogaster urticae); Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum); Common Marble Moth (Celypha lacunana); The Snout (Hypena proboscidalis); Garden Snail (Cornu aspersum); Nettle Pollen Beetle (Brachypterus glaber); Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus); Slender Groundhopper (Tetrix subulata); Potato Leafhopper (Eupteryx aurata); Common Green Capsid (Lygocoris pabulinus); Gall Fly (Philophylla caesio) and an Orb Weaver Spider (Tetragnatha sp). Also noted were some Male Flowers and the Gall (Dasineura urticae).

The Hoverflies (Xylota segnis) and (Myathropa florea) were also seen today along with a Red Admiral and a trio of Speckled Woods. A Common Greeen Shieldbug nymph was spotted on the leaves of a late flowering Hogweed plant.

 
17th September 2017 - Dunwood Park, G. Manchester - After leading a fungus walk we sought out tea and cake at this nearby park. We noted 9 Red Admirals enjoying some nectar and an elderly couple having a picnic - I have deep respect for them all.
 
4th September 2017 - Marie Louise Gardens, W. Didsbury, G. Manchester - A cycle out and mooching here and there brought me to a resting point. I didn't even know about this area but, as per, I thought I would have a mooch. A few fungi were seen as well as a Tree Bee; Large Yellow Slug and Thyme Leaved Speedwell in flower - I will use this as a constant stop off point in future.
 
2nd September 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Too bust for my own good lately, a few moths caught, these being:- Common Marbled Carpet (*1); Square Spot Rustic (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*6); Lesser Yellow Underwing (*4); Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing (*1) and Large Yellow Underwing (*4).
AUGUST
29th August 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - An Old Lady Moth turned up in the bathroom. She is a month early though, what a strange year it is.
 

28th August 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Up at the crack, a few moths in the trap:- Light Brown Apple Moth (*5); Large Yellow Underwing (*13); Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing (*1); Dusky Thorn (*1); Silver Y (*1); Lesser Yellow Underwing (*2); Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing (*1); Square Spot Rustic (*1); Copper Underwing (*1); Willow Beauty (*1) and Svensson's Copper Underwing (*1).

 
27th August 2017 - Styal CP, Cheshire - A walk in hot sun on the prowl for fungi. Green Veined White (*1) Comma (*2); Speckled Wood (*3) and Common Blue (*1) were the only butterflies noted. A Brown Hawker was seen and the gall Agathomyia wankowiczii was a nice bonus as was the tea and cake afterwards.
 
22nd August 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Fungal fever has struck, I am in myco-mode but managed to get the moth trap out. A poor return was the outcome:- Willow Beauty (*5); Large Yellow Underwing (*10); Marbled Beauty (*1); Lesser Yellow Underwing (*2); Svennson's Copper Underwing (*1) and Square Spor Rustic (*1) was all that was on show.
 

20th August 2017 - Errwood Reservoir, Derbyshire - An annual mooch for fungi also produced a few galls, these were:- Andricus kollari; Neuroterus quercusbaccarum; Neuroterus numismalis; Dasineura urticae; Neuroterus anthracinus; Eriophyes leiosoma and Andricus fecundator.

3 Gatekeepers were on the wing as well as the Hoverflies (Episyrphus balteatus) and (Leucozona glaucia)

 
16th August 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Average temperatures produced a very average haul of light-loving critters, the moths caught were:- Light Brown Apple Moth (*7); Common Rustic agg (*3); Poplar Hawk-Moth (*1); Willow Beauty (*2); Large Yellow Underwing (*10); Brown House Moth (*1); Dark Arches (*1); Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing (*2); Argyresthia trifasciata (*1); Agriphila tristella (*2); Lesser Yellow Underwing (*2) and Copper Underwing (*1).
 

13th August 2017 - Lathkill Dale, Derbyshire - A family walk finalised with superb tea and cake, it is par for the course. Along the wander 16 butterfly species were noted, these were:- Brimstone (*2); Large White (*1); Small Skipper (*4); Common Blue (*1); Small Heath (*2); Painted Lady (*1); Small Copper (*1); Meadow Brown (*3); Gatekeeper (*4); Speckled Wood (*7); Wall (*1); Dark Green Fritillary (*2); Green Veined White (*24); Red Admiral (*25); Peacock (*8) and Comma (*1).

Other insects noted were the Hoverflies - Xylota segnis; Eristalis pertinax; Rhingia campestris; Syrphus ribesii; Episyrphus balteatus and Dasysyrphus albostriatus as well as a Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea); Spiked Shieldbug (Picromerus bidens); Noon Fly (Mesembrina meridiana); Black Tipped Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva); Red Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus lapidarius) and a Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum).

52 plants were sporting blooms, these were:- Spear Thistle; Ribwort Plantain; Jacob's Ladder; Shining Crane's-Bill; Lady's Bedstraw; Germander Speedwell; White Clover; Meadow Buttercup; Eyebright agg; Dove's-Foot Crane's-Bill; Field Scabious; Harebell; Mullein; Upright Hedge Parsley; Greater Knapweed; Lesser Burdock; Wood Avens; Small Balsam; Creeping Buttercup; Rosebay Willowherb; Chickweed; Angelica; Greater Plantain; Common Valerian; Agrimony; Yarrow; Bush Vetch; Marjoram; Common Knapweed; Meadowsweet; Silverweed; Water Mint agg; Hemp Agrimony; Goosegrass; Red Campion; Hedge Woundwort; Meadow Crane's-Bill; Common Ragwort; Opium Poppy; Dandelion agg; Marsh Thistle; Nipplewwort; Shepherd's Purse; Pineappleweed; Enchanter's Nightshade; Herb Robert; Knotgrass; Groundsel; Hogweed; Daisy and Red Clover.

Only 5 galls were picked up:- Dasineura ulmaria; Dasineura urticae; Dasineura pustulans; Jaapiella veronicae and Rondaniola bursaria.

 
8th August 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A few moths paid a visit to the garden, these were:- Poplar Hawk-Moth (*1); Carcina quercana (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*11); Riband Wave f. remutata (*1); Marbled Beauty (*1); Large Yellow Underwing (*4) and Double Striped Pug (*1).
 
6th August 2017 - Cannon Hall CP, S. Yorkshire - A Full-English breakfast, a fine walk, a few fungi and a FA Cup match to follow - a grand day. We also saw a Green Veined White and a Large White; Celery Leaved Buttercup in flower and the Drone Fly (Eristalis pertinax). It was a pleasant stroll, I think we need to go back though.
 

5th August 2017 - Chorlton WP, G. Manchester - A walk with my daughter, a flower list was kept whilst chatting away. Common Knapweed; Sea Aster; Agrimony; Common Skullcap; Gypsywort; Yellow-Rattle; Purple Loosestrife; Meadowsweet; Red Clover; Greater Plantain; Ribwort Plantain; Knotgrass; Cut Leaved Crane's-Bill; Common Field Speedwell; Tufted Vetch; Hogweed; Meadow Vetchling; Herb Robert; Enchanter's Nightshade; Spear Thistle; Large Bindweed; Goosegrass; Black Medick; Silverweed; Meadow Buttercup; Teasel; Redshank; Nipplewort; Fox and Cubs; Mugwort; Wood Avens; Greater Willowherb; Pineappleweed; Himalayan Balsam; Rape; Common Nettle; White Clover; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Common Ragwort; Red Bartsia; Greater Celandine; Figwort and Creeping Thistle.

Speckled Wood (*9); Comma (*1); Red Admiral (*1); Meadow Brown (*1) and Green Veined White (*3) were the butterflies on the wing and joined by a lone Silver Y Moth.

Volucella pellucens; Syritta pipiens; Eristalis pertinax and Myathropa florea were hoverflies noted as well as the Tachnid Fly (Tachina fera); Common Blue Damselfly and Emerald Damselfly.

A check of an Oak Tree produced 4 galls:- Neuroterus quercusbaccarum; Neuroterus albipes; Andricus quercuscalicis and Andricus foecundatrix.

 
4th August 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A rare bit of sun and Gatekeeper (*3); Comma (*3) and Red Admiral (*2) were the butterflies on the wing and Mother Of Pearl (*1) and Light Brown Apple Moth (*1) the moths noted. A Small Tortoiseshell larva was on Nettle leaves and a Figwort Weevil (Cionus scrophulariae) was on its host plant, snoozing in the sun.
 
2nd August 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Windy and overcast but a young Common Green Shield Bug (Palomena prasina) soaked up the odd sunny ray and the hoverfly (Syritta pipiens) tried to feed on the swaying heads of Common Ragwort.
 
1st August 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - An all time new gall to start the new month with, namely Neuroterus anthracinus. A smart little spherical growth with a small flap of tissue at each side of the base - I must get a photo for the gallery.
JULY
 
31st July 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A quick break from the bike ride for a swig of Ribena. A Bramble bush was near where I stopped and a Holly Blue, Speckled Wood and Comma were duly observed.
 

31st July 2017 - Fletcher Moss, G. Manchester - On the bike and then a mooch, plant galls noted were:- Andricus kollari; Andricus fecundatrix; Andricus quercuscalicis; Neuroterus numismalis; Neuroterus quercusbaccarum; Eriophyes inangulis; Psyllopsis fraxini; Aceria fraxinivora; Dasineura fraxini; Aceria eriobia; Pemphigus spyrothecae; Pontania proxima; Aceria erinea; Dasineura ulmaria; Dasineura urticae and Eriophyes sorbi.

Brooklime and Broad Leaved Helleborine were in flower, a Birch Shield Bug was on its host plant, a large Frog hopped off into the undergrowth and 3 species of butterfly were seen, these were:- Meadow Brown (*8); Green Veined White (*1) and good old Speckled Wood (*3). Numerous Horse Chestnut Leaf Miners (Cameraria ohridella) were on the wing.

 

29th July 2017 - Marford Quarry, Wrexham - The last call off point of the day and a wander round in a decent 60 minutes flat. Greater Celandine; White Mullein; Carline Thistle; Ploughman's Spikenard and Goldenrod were a few of the flowers noted and Green Veined White (*1) and Gatekeeper (*2) were the butterflies on the wing late in the day.

The Hoverfly (Volucella pellucens) was still active.

 

29th July 2017 - Talacre Beach, Flintshire - Sea Holly; Carline Thistle; Blue Fleabane; Yellow-Wort; Restharrow; Eyebright agg; Portland Spurge; Hare's-Foot Clover; Purple Toadflax; Broad Leaved Everlasting Pea; Sea Mayweed and Small Flowered Evening Primrose were all enjoyed after tea and cake and a pasty.

Common Blue (*8); Gatekeeper (*1) and Wall (*1) were the only butterflies seen on a short jaunt.

 

29th July 2017 - Bishops Wood, Denbighshire - A good uphill walk here but it was circular which is all good indeed and keeps one entertained. Butterflies seen along the way were:- Speckled Wood (*2); Grayling (*1); Meadow Brown (*3); Wall (*3); Gatekeeper (*5) and Green Veined White (*1). A Silver Y Moth was noted too as well as the micro Udea lutealis.

Flowers in bloom were:- Hedgerow Crane's-Bill; Burnet Saxifrage; Crosswort; Wild Basil; Daisy; Creeping Buttercup; Meadow Buttercup; Greater Plantain; Black Bryony; Hemp Agrimony; Ribwort Plantain; Eyebright agg; Curl Leaved Dock; Pellitory of the Wall; Marjoram; Green Alkanet; Garlic Mustard; Feverfew; White Clover; Goldenrod; Wild Thyme; Lady's Bedstraw; Yarrow; Harebell; Creeping Thistle; Bell Heather; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Common Ragwort; Rosebay Willowherb; Traveller's Joy; Wood Sage; Wood Avens; Hogweed; Mugwort; Ivy Leaved Toadflax; Common Mallow; Buddleia; Dandelion agg; Red Valerian; Ploughman's Spikenard; Musk Thistle; Agrimony; Red Campion; Nipplewort; Herb Robert; Wild Carrot; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Greater Knapweed; Yellow-Wort and Purple Loosestrife.

The hoverflies (Rhingia campestris) and (Syrphus ribesii) were noted as well as the Noon Fly (Mesembrina meridiana)

2 galls (Blennocampa phyllocolpa) and (Eriophyes similis) were added as well as Wood Melick.

 

29th July 2017 - Maes Hiraddug NWWT, Denbighshire - The second location of the day and although only a small meadow we saw quite a few species. Butterflies noted were:- Speckled Wood (*2); Gatekeeper (*3) and Meadow Brown (*5). 1 Silver Y Moth was also added as well as several 6 Spot Burnets.

Flowers in bloom were:- Meadow Buttercup; Yellow-Wort; Herb Robert; Daisy; Spear Thistle; Fairy Flax; Creeping Thistle; Common Ragwort; Hogweed; Yellow-Rattle; Common Mouse Ear; Marjoram; Traveller's Joy; Lesser Trefoil; Perforate St John's Wort; Common Centaury; Lady's Bedstraw; Wild Basil; Yarrow; Red Clover; Meadow Vetchling; Red Bartsia; White Clover; Self-Heal; Silverweed; Tufted Vetch; Common Knapweed; Creeping Cinquefoil; Scarlet Pimpernel; Curl Leaved Dock and Agrimony.

The Tachnid Fly (Eriothrix rufomaculata) and the Hoverfly (Chrysogaster solstitialis) were on the wing and the galls Diplolepis nervosa/eglanteriae; Jaapiella veronicae; Diplolepis rosae and Blennocampa phyllocolpa were added to the short list of finds.

 

29th July 2017 - Rhuddlan Nature Reserve, Denbighshire - Today was a day of mooching around new areas and after an early start we ended up at this very pleasing reserve. Alas the cameras in the camera both died after one or two photos so we didn't do as much bugging as usual. Flowers with blooms were as follows:- Teasel; Lesser Burdock; Common Ragwort; Garlic Mustard; Green Alkanet; White Clover; Common Nettle; Bristly Ox-Tongue; Ribwort Plantain; Water Plantain; Common Poppy; Common Knapweed; Self-Heal; Creeping Thistle; Large Bindweed; Heath Bedstraw; Dove's-Foot Crane's-Bill; Wood Avens; White Campion; Herb Robert; Great Willowherb; Ragged Robin; Purple Loosestrife; Common Fleabane; Figwort; Meadowsweet; Sneezewort; Red Clover; Feverfew; Rape; Chickweed; Hedge Mustard; White Water Lily; Bittersweet; Mugwort; Daisy; Tufted Vetch; Ox-Eye Daisy; Rosebay Willowherb; Traveller's Joy; Common Mouse Ear; Yarrow; Black Medick; Lady's Bedstraw; Marjoram; Bladder Campion; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Hemlock; Clustered Bellflower; Black Horehound; Spear Thistle; Opium Poppy; Red Bartsia; Hogweed; Meadow Buttercup; White Bryony; Common Mallow; Greater Plantain; Scarlet Pimpernel; Weld; Common Mouse Ear; Field Scabious; Greater Knapweed and Creeping Cinquefoil.

Butterflies noted were:- Gatekeeper (*8); Green Veined White (*2); Common Blue (*1) and Meadow Brown (*3) and the lone moth seen was:- Shaded Broad Bar (*1).

Hoverflies observed were:- Melanostoma scalare; Syritta pipiens; Eristalis arbustorum; Cheilosia illustrata; Volucella pellucens and Platycheirus rosarum.

Other bugs noted were:- Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum); Black Tipped Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva); Red Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus lapidarius); Tachnid Fly (Eriothrix rufomaculata); Blue Tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans); Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum); Mirid Bug (Deraeocoris ruber); Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) and Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria).

A Bullfinch showed himself; a Moorhen had young, several Cinnabar Moth caterpillars were noted and the galls:- Pontania proxima; Dasineura ulmaria; Andricus quercuscalicis and Jaapiella veronicae were added to the days tally.

 
26th July 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - And yet more moths, I am doing well with the trapping this year, about time methinks. Species seen were few:- Riband Wave f. remutata (*2); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*1); Canary Shoulder Thorn (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*7); Common Rustic agg (*2); Straw Underwing (*2); Mother of Pearl (*1); Brown House Moth (*1); Small Phoenix (*1); Dark Arches (*1); Blastobasis adustella (*1) and Dingy Footman (*1).
 

26th July 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking home in dull clammy weather and the Common Ragwort was holding a few species of hoverfly, these were:- Syritta pipiens (*1); Eristalis pertinax (*4); Episyrphus balteatus (*6) and Eristalis arbustorum (*1). A very smart example of Cheilosia illustrata was resting on the leaf of a different plant I failed to make note of.

Small White (*2); Meadow Brown (*1); Green Veined White (*1); Speckled Wood (*1) and Small Tortoiseshell (*1) were the butterflies noted.

 

25th July 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Moths caught overnight were:- Riband Wave f. remutata (*1); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*1); Marbled Beauty (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*2); Canary Shoulder Thorn (*1); Dark Arches (*2); Agriphila straminella (*1); Euzophera pinguis (*1); Large Yellow Underwing (*2); Common Rustic agg (*2); Clouded Border (*1); Blastobasis adustella (*3); Small Fan Footed Wave (*1); Straw Underwing (*1); Brown House Moth (*2) and Anania coronata (*1).

 
24th July 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - 3 species of hoverfly were in the garden during a brief sunny spell:- Platycheirus albimanus; Myathropa florea and Sphaerophoria scripta. A Comma butterfly also soaked up a few rays and a Red Admiral whizzed by.
24th July 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A walk with my young lass to the garden centre, along the way I noted a hunting Brown Hawker and the following butterflies:- Green Veined White (*1); Speckled Wood (*3) and Gatekeeper (*1).
 

23rd July 2017 - Poynton Pool, Cheshire - A short wander and the following galls were noted:- Aceria ulmicola; Psyllopsis fraxini; Eriophyes leiosoma; Neuroterus numismalis; Neuroterus quercusbaccarum; Eriophyes tiliae; Taphrina tosquinetii; Andricus quercuscalicis; Eriophyes inangulis; Eriophyes laevis; Dasineura urtica and Acalitus brevitarsus.

Plants noted were:- Sneezewort; Branched Bur Reed; Broad Leaved Helleborine; Yellow Loosestrife; Skullcap and Purple Loosestrife.

Butterflies seen were:- Gatekeeper (*6); Comma (*1); Meadow Brown (*1) and Green Veined White (*1). Hoverflies noted were:- Xylota sylvarum; Xylota segnis; Episyrphus balteatus and Eristalis pertinax.

Other species noted were:- Alder Leaf Beetle (Agelastica alni); Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria); Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella); Caddis Fly (Mystacides longicornis) and a Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis) that hovered inches away and then decided to settle on my bare arm - what a little stunner.

 

22nd July 2017 - Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire - The decision to head closer to home was a wise one and after clocking up 60 species of fungi the following 47 flowers were noted in bloom. Large Bindweed; Hemp Agrimony; Eyebright agg; Redshank; Yellow Bartsia; Teasel; Silverweed; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Corn Marigold; Meadowsweet; Lesser Burdock; Honeysuckle; Wood Avens; Nipplewort; Wood Sage; Goosegrass; Yellow Loosestrife; Foxglove; Cow Parsley; Red Campion; Hogweed; Common Fleabane; Common Knapweed; Large Flowered Evening Primrose agg; Self-Heal; Perforate St John's-Wort; Greater Willowherb; Ribwort Plantain; Upright Hedge Parsley; Meadow Vetchling; Spear Thistle; Common Nettle; Common Centaury; White Clover; Marsh Thistle; Common Ragwort; Yarrow; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Comfrey agg; Creeping Thistle; Square Stalked St John's-Wort; Fairy Flax; Purple Loosestrife; Enchanters Nightshade; Garlic Mustard and Herb Robert.

Bugs noted were:- Fungus Gnat (Sciara hemerobioides); Southern Hawker (*1); Brown Hawker (*3); Common Darter; Blue Tailed Damselfly; Slender Groundhopper; Darkling Beetle (Lagria hirta); Forest Shield Bug (Pentatoma rufipes); 7 Spot Ladybird and the Ground Beetle (Carabus nemoralis). Hoverflies seen were:- Syritta pipiens; Syrphus ribesii; Melanostoma scalare; Episyrphus balteatus and Platycheirus albimanus. Butterflies seen were:- Gatekeeper (*12); Meadow Brown (*2); Comma (*1); Speckled Wood (*1); Common Blue (*1); Red Admiral (*3) and Peacock (*2).

A Wood Mouse; a shoal of Roach; 2 Smooth Newts, 2 young Toads and many Frogs were added to the list as well as the galls Andricus kollari; Taphrina tosquinetii and Eriophyes similis making an end total of 137 species - not bad for a few hours.

 

22nd July 2017 - Leighton Moss, Lancashire - We met up with 2 friends at Warton Crag and the weather was ruddy awful so to kill some time we had a look in the Allen and Eric Morecambe hides at this nearby reserve. There was little about with Common Sandpiper; Avocet; Black Tailed Godwit; Oystercatcher and Redshank the best of the birdlife and Perennial Sow Thistle; Prickly Sow Thistle; Welted Thistle and Upright Hedge Parsley the best of the flowers.

Black Snipe Fly (Chrysopilis cristatus); Black Tipped Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva) and the Hoverfly (Melanostome scalare) were the only bugs noted.

Taphrina alni; Eriophyes inangulis; Eriophyes laevis and Cystophora sonchi were the few galls observed.

As the rain fell we bailed early and went to somewhere closer to home, it was a disappointing start to the day - shit happens.

 

20th July 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Wandering home from work again, Speckled Wood (*5); Meadow Brown (*5); Red Admiral (*1); Gatekeeper (*1) and Small Skipper (*1) were all on the wing as well as a patrolling Southern Hawker (*1).

Tansy was in flower.

 

19th July 2017 - Chadkirk Chapel, Stockport, Cheshire - Leading a walk for carers is always a challenge as so many have commitments that makes finding any free time darn difficult to find. Today, on behalf of Signpost For Carers, a walk was led by myself and trusty aide (and nominated lister) Catherine the social media lady. Only 2 carers made it but that didn't mar a quite lovely day in good company and with fine weather as an added escort. The tea and cake afterwards was a well-earned bonus, crikey it were grand lad. Along the way we saw many things, here is a breakdown of a leisurely stroll.

52 flowering plants were seen and discussed, these were as follows:- Common Nettle; Himalayan Balsam; Goosegrass; Creeping Thistle; Hedge Bindweed; Herb Robert; Wood Avens; Curl Leaved Dock; Hogweed; Enchanters Nightshade; Wood Sage; Meadow Vetchling; Black Medick; Knot-Grass; Musk Mallow; Spear Thistle; Great Willowherb; Cut Leaved Crane's-Bill; White Clover; Nipplewort; Large Flowered Evening Primrose agg; Tall Melilot; Common Ragwort; Ribwort Plantain; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Silverweed; Ivy Leaved Toadflax; Self-Heal; Dandelion agg; Lady's Bedstraw; Hedge Bedstraw; Red Campion; Red Valerian; Hedge Woundwort; Large Bindweed; Meadow Buttercup; Yellow Pimpernel; Purple Loosestrife; Creeping Buttercup; Red Clover; Daisy; Tufted Vetch; Broad Leaved Helleborine; Greater Burdock; Greater Plantain; Hemp Agrimony; Meadowsweet; Wild Carrot; Figwort; Chickweed and Buddleia.

11 Hoverflies were seen:- Myathropa florea; Volucella bombylans; Volucella pellucens; Episyrphus balteatus; Chrysogaster solstitialis; Sphaerophoria scripta; Eristalis pertinax; Leucozona glaucia; Epistrophe grossulariae; Xylota sylvarum and Eristalis horticola.

6 butterflies were listed:- Small White (*1); Green Veined White (*1); Gatekeeper (*6); Meadow Brown (*9); Comma (*4); Speckled Wood (*2). Only 1 moth was seen, these being the delightful Yellow-Shell (*2).

12 galls were noted:- Taxomyia taxi; Pontania proxima; Dasineura urticae; Cecidophyes rouhollahi; Eriophyes laevis; Eriophyes inangulis; Andricus fecundator; Neuroterus numismalis; Neuroterus quercusbaccarum; Andricus quercuscalicis; Rondaniola bursaria and Aceria myriadeum.

5 other plants that were discussed were Sycamore; Giant Horse-Tail; Pendulous Sedge; Cocks-Foot Grass and the Elder Tree.

9 other bugs and beasties were added to the days tally- 7 Spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata); Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis); Spotted Longhorn Beetle (Rutpela maculata); Black Tipped Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva); Mirid Bug (Stenotus binotatus); Garden Snail (Cornu aspersum); Shiny Woodlice (Oniscus asellus); Forest Shieldbug (Pentatoma rufipes) and Red Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus lapidarius).

A Buzzard was being attacked by a bird of prey I picked out as a Kestrel and with 14 fungal species (see Fungal Friends section) I made the end tally as 111 species - not bad at all for a quiet stroll.

PS - Anyone concerned about the hoverfly I took home to check his vital statistics - he was fine and dandy and had his photo taken (see below) and flew into the great blue yonder - good on him.

 
18th July 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - And more moths in the trap:- Tachystola acroxantha (*2); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*6); Scalloped Oak (*4); Riband Wave f. remutata (*4); Light Brown Apple Moth (*5); Large Yellow Underwing (*4); Straw Underwing (*1); Marbled Beauty (*4); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*2); Argyresthia trifasciata (*2); Blastobasis adustella (*1); Heart and Dart (*1); Diamond Back Moth (*1); Caloptilia azaleella (*1); Eudonia lacustrata (*1); Rustic (*1); Gothic (*1); Clouded Border (*1) Riband Wave (*1); Common Marbled Carpet (*1); Clouded Bordered Brindle (*1) and Crambus perlella (*1).
 

17th July 2017 - Gatley Carrs , Stockport, Cheshire - A walk to stretch the aching ankle and on the way back it was mighty sore, good job I am due in for ultra-sound tomorrow. Hoverfies seen today were:- Episyrphus balteatus (*3); Melanostoma scalare (*3); Chrysogaster solstitialis (*30); Sphaerophoria scripta (*1); Dasysyrphus albostriatus (*1); Eristalis pertinax (*9); Syrphus ribesii (*1); Cheilosia illustrata (*2); Leucozona laternaria (*2); Leucozona glaucia (*2); Volucella pellucens (*2); Myathropa florea (*11) and Epistrophe grossulariae (*1).

Only a few butteflies were on the wing:- Small White (*3); Speckled Wood (*3); Large White (*1); Red Admiral (*1); Comma (*2) and Small Skipper (*3). A Shaded Broad Bar Moth, a Pale Straw Pearl (Udea lutealis) and a Nettle Tap Moth was also added.

Other insects seen were:- Black Tipped Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva); Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum); Mirid Bug (Plagiognathus arbustorum); 14 Spot Ladybird (Propylea quattuordecimpunctata); Common Nettle Bug (Liocoris tripustulatus); Mirid Bug (Grypocoris stysi); Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum); Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella); Blue Tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans); Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea); Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis); Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens); Mirid Bug (Deraeocoris ruber); Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis); Common Froghopper (Philaenus spumarius); Mirid Bug (Leptopterna dolobrata); Alder Spittle Bug (Aphrophora alni); Common Green Grasshopper (Omocestus viridulus); Mirid Bug (Stenotus binotatus); Red Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus lapidarius); Leafhopper (Evacanthus interruptus); Mirid Bug (Stenodema laevigata); Marsh Damsel Bug (Nabis limbatus); and the Banded General Soldier Fly (Stratiomys potamida).

Galls seen were:- Dasineura urtica; Eriophyes laevis; Eriophyes inangulis; Dasineura ulmaria and Dasineura pustulans and Aceria macrochela.

45 flowers were seen in bloom, these were:- Red Bartsia; Red Clover; Hairy Tare; Silverweed; Meadow Buttercup; Meadow Vetchling; Wavy Bittercress; Comfrey agg; Spear Thistle; Canadian Goldenrod; Curl Leaved Dock; Pineappleweed; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Yarrow; Tufted Vetch; Red Campion; Dandelion agg; Yellow Loosestrife; Marsh Woundwort; Perforate St John's Wort; Musk Mallow; Common Knapweed; Lady's Bedstraw; Rosebay Willowherb; White Clover; Common Ragwort; Creeping Thistle; Meadow Crane's-Bill; Purple Loosestrife; Meadowsweet; Goosegrass; Nipplewort; Creeping Buttercup; Herb Robert; Wood Avens; Hogweed; Common Nettle; Greater Willowherb; Large Bindweed; Hedge Bindweed; Himalayan Balsam; Broad Leaved Dock; Garlic Mustard; Greater Plantain and Cut Leaved Crane's-Bill.

A Grey Squirrel; a Great Ramshorn Snail (Planorbarius corneus) and Mallard with 1 young un' rounded off the day's notable sightings at the total of 100. Not bad for a local jaunt!

 

17th July 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Up at the crack and sorting the moths, the list was:- Dun-Bar (*1); Riband Wave (*1); Canary Shoulder Thorn (*1); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*2); Dark Arches (*2); Light Brown Apple Moth (*3); Brimstone (*1); Dark/Grey Dagger (*1); Large Yellow Underwing (*2); Blastobasis adustella (*1); Marbled Beauty (*1); Scalloped Oak (*1); Bright Line, Brown Eye (*1); Cabbage Moth (*1); Tinea trinotella (*1); Clay (*1); Phoenix (*1); Riband Wave f. remutata (*4); and Willow Beauty (*1).

In the afternoon and the baking heat a Holly Blue was in the garden along with a Mother of Pearl Moth.

 

16th July 2017 - Thorpe Marsh NR , N. Yorkshire - To finish the day we had a wander around this extensive reserve with the heat still rising. Butterflies seem were:- Gatekeeper (*12); Small White (*3); Small Skipper (*54); Small Tortoiseshell (*4); Comma (*8); Meadow Brown (*21); Red Admiral (*6); Common Blue (*1); Ringlet (*5); Large White (*4); Green Veined White (*1) and Grayling (*1).

Red Tailed Bumble Bee; Common Darter; Brown Hawker; Blue Tailed Damselfly; Banded Demoiselle; 14 Spot Ladybird; Long Hoverfly (Sphaerophoria scripta) and the Mirid Bug (Deraeocoris ruber) were the few other insects noted.

A few flowers were noted:- Tufted Vetch; Teasel; Common Fleabane; Goat's Rue; Tall Melilot; Wild Carrot; Hemp Agrimony; Marsh Thistle and Greater Burnet.

A Fox was seen in a field enjoying the flowers and long lush grass, it looked quite chilled.

 

16th July 2017 - Brockadale NR, N. Yorkshire - A trip across to white rose country and it was good to see the rain on the way turn into full blown sun upon arrival at this tucked away area. First things first and the flower list comprised of 83 species, these were:- Common Poppy; Meadow Crane's-Bill; Creeping Thistle; Common Milkwort; Creeping Cinquefoil; Lady's Bedstraw; Marjoram; Wild Basil; Field Madder; Clustered Bellflower; Agrimony; Upright Hedge Parsley; Common Knapweed; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Red Clover; White Campion; White Bryony; Musk Mallow; Meadowsweet; Common Nettle; Hedge Mustard; Pineappleweed; Red Campion; Common Mouse Ear; Field Bindweed; Knot-Grass; Ribwort Plantain; Greater Plantain; White Dead Nettle; Shepherd's Purse; White Clover; Goat's-Beard; Ox-Eye Daisy; Wood Avens; Yarrow; Curl Leaved Dock; Hogweed; Goosegrass; Salad Burnet; Greater Burnet; Dandelion agg; Harebell; Devil's-Bit Scabious; Field Scabious; Black Horehound; Self-Heal; Common Centaury; Fairy Flax; Common Gromwell; Yellow-Wort; Field Pansy; Dove's-Foot Crane's-Bill; Meadow Vetchling; Bittersweet; Common Ragwort; Red Bartsia; Common Field Speedwell; Spear Thistle; Hairy Tare; Pyramidal Orchid; Yellow Bartsia; Wood Sage; Wild Mignonette; Yellow-Rattle; Bladder Campion; Musk Thistle; Germander Speedwell; Kidney Vetch; Nipplewort; Greater Burdock; Marsh Woundwort; Greater Willowherb; Rosebay Willowherb; Common Figwort; Scarlet Pimpernel; Meadow Buttercup; Himalayan Balsam; Herb Robert; Common Rock Rose; Greater Knapweed; Hemlock Water Dropwort; Garlic Mustard and Daisy.

Next and 19 butterflies and moths were seen:- Meadow Brown (*35); Gatekeeper (*26); Ringlet (*12); Marbled White (*10); Small White (*3); Large White (*1); Red Admiral (*8); Green Veined White (*5); Small Skipper (*12); Small Tortoiseshell (*5); Comma (*9) and Brimstone (*2). Moths seen were:- Timothy Tortrix (*1); Agapeta hamana (*1); 6 Spot Burnet (*1); Yellow-Shell (*2); Shaded Broad Bar (*2); Pseudargyrotoza conwagana (*1); Silver Y (*2) and Clay (*1).

Hoverflies were few with almost all that was seen being the many numbers of the Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus). Other than that we noted Syrphus ribesii; Chrysogaster solstitialis; Scaeva pyrastri and Ferdinandea cuprea.

22 other beasties were noted:- Common Damsel Bug (Nabis rugosus); Black Tipped Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva); Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum); Mirid Bug (Plagiognathus arbustorum); 14 Spot Ladybird (Propylea quattuordecimpunctata); Common Nettle Bug (Liocoris tripustulatus); Nettle Ground Bug (Heterogaster urticae); The Nettle Pollen Beetles (Brachypterus urticae) and (Brachypterus glaber); Common Froghopper (Philaenus spumarius); Alder Spittle Bug (Aphrophora alni); Common Green Grasshopper (Omocestus viridulus); Mirid Bug (Stenotus binotatus); Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus); Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens); Mirid Bug (Stenodema laevigata); Spiked Shieldbug (Spiked Shieldbug); Leafhopper (Evacanthus interruptus); Golden Bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle (Agapanthia villosoviridescens); 22 Spot Ladybird (Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata); 7 Spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata); Mirid Bug (Leptopterna dolobrata); Tachnid Fly (Eriothrix rufomaculata) and Common Earwig (Forficula auricularia).

Galls seen were:- Dasineura urtica; Jaapiella veronicae; Dipoloepis rosae; Diplolepis nervosa/eglanteriae; Dasineura ulmaria; Jaapiella bryoniae and Dasineura pustulans.

Other species noted were Wall Barley and the Four Spot Orb Weaver (Araneus quadratus).

Only 6 birds were seen but along with the 2 micro-fungi observed it did bring the day's species tally to 148 species. The birds were:- Kestrel; Yellowhammer; Goldfinch; Wood Pigeon; Common Pheasant and Buzzard.

 
16th July 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A few moths to check before a trip across the moors, the list was:- Common Emerald (*1); Riband Wave f. remutata (*1); Cabbage Moth (*1); Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*2); Dark Arches (*4); Mother of Pearl (*2); Clay (*2); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*2); Large Yellow Underwing (*3); Poplar Hawk-Moth (*1); Brown House Moth (*1); Common Wave (*1) and Marbled Beauty (*1).
 
14th July 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A rainy night and a few moths took shelter, these were:- Cabbage Moth (*1); Small Fan Footed Wave (*1); Mottled Beauty (*1); Scalloped Oak (*1); Riband Wave f. remutata (*3); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Common Rustic agg (*1); Dark Arches (*3); Brimstone (*1); Riband Wave (*1); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*1); Dingy Footman (*1); Clouded Border (*1); Canary Shoulder Thorn (*1); Large Yellow Underwing (*1); Clay (*1); Mother of Pearl (*1); Tachytstola acroxantha (*1); Eucosma cana (*1).
 
13th July 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A walk home after nipping into Stockport to get a collection of black and white Mummy Films - I shall immerse myself over the coming nights - lovely! Flowers noted in bloom were:- Canadian Fleabane; Pellitory of the Wall and Broad Leaved Helleborine.
 
13th July 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Only a few moths this morn:- Riband Wave f. remutata (*3); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*1); Riband Wave (*1); Poplar Hawk-Moth (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Clay (*1); Small Magpie (*1); Double Striped Pug (*1) and Single Dotted Wave (*1).
 

12th July 2017 - Fletcher Moss, Didsbury, G. Manchester - Comma (*1); Green Veined White (*2); Small Skipper (*7); Meadow Brown (*7); Gatekeeper (*1) and Small Tortoiseshell (*2) were the butterflies on the wing along with the moths:- Straw Dot (*2); Shaded Broad Bar (*1) and Cameraria ohridella (*1).

Hoverflies seen were:- Chrysotoxum festivum (*1); Volucella inanis (*1); Eristalis pertinax (*1); Volucella pellucens (*1); Cheilosia illustrata (*1); Episyrphus balteatus (*1) and Myathropa florea (*1).

A brace of Brown Hawkers flew around and several plant galls were listed, these being:- Taxomyia taxi; Dasineura ulmaria; Andricus kollari; Psyllopsis fraxini and Andricus fecundator.

 

12th July 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Cycling about and the following butterflies were noted down:- Large White (*1); Small White (*1); Green Veined White (*1); Speckled Wood (*2); Holly Blue (*1); Meadow Brown (*2); Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Red Admiral (*1); Gatekeeper (*1) and Comma (*1).

The hoverflies seen were:- Chrysogaster solstitialis; Scaeva pyrastri and Cheilosia illustrata.

A Brown Hawker whizzed around and Mugwort and Sea Aster were in flower.

10th July 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A depressingly miserable morn with the moths seen all tucked away and fed up. Species noted were:- Swallow-Tailed Moth (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Riband Wave f. remutata (*3); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*2); Bramble Shoot Moth (*1); Large Yellow Underwing (*1); Poplar Hawk-Moth (*1); Dun-Bar (*1); Scalloped Oak (*2); Brown House Moth (*1) and Rustic (*1).
 

9th July 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The struggle for time and to get out and about continues so all I had was the overbight moth trap to check, and what a poor do it was. Moths seen were:- Chrysoteuchia culmella (*3); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*1); Riband Wave (*1); Rustic (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Bright Line, Brown Eye (*3) and Blastobasis adustella (*1).

Several Silverfish were in residence and the beetle (Lagria hirta) was noted too.

 

8th June 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A short jaunt out on the bike just to check a couple of local ponds. Red Admiral (*1); Ringlet (*2); Meadow Brown (*3); Small Skipper (*1) and Comma (*1) were the butterflies on the wing with 6 Spot Burnet and Silver Y the moths seen.

Cheilosia pagana; Episyrphus balteatus; Myathropa florea; Anasimyia lineata; Melanostoma scalare and Chrysotoxum festivum were the hoverflies seen and Blue Tailed Damselfly; Common Blue Damselfy; Azure Damselfly and Banded Demoiselle the Odnates noted.

Broad Leaved Helleborine; Musk Mallow; Purple Loosestrife; Water Mint and Lady's Bedstraw were the flowers pondered.

Capsus ater was noted hanging around grasses and Bramble patches.

 
8th July 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Not great mothing last night, the wind got up and the temperatures dropped, the net result was:- Small Angle Shades (*1); Straw Dot (*1); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*7); Fan-Foot (*1); Double Striped Pug (*1); Brown House Moth (*1); Dark Arches (*2) and Common Rustic agg (*1).
 

7th July 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - More moths caught and lo and behold a first for Cheshire, namely the Box Tree Moth, a recent immigrant that was first seen in this country in 2009 and has still only been recorded in southern Britain. A good catch indeed although they are a serious pest of Box Trees. Other species were:- Riband Wave f. remutata (*4); Scalloped Oak (*2); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*2); Marbled Beauty (*2); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*3); Fan-Foot (*1); Carcina quercana (*1); Double Square Spot (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Double Striped Pug (*1); Hawthorn Moth (*1); Single Dotted Wave (*1); Brown House Moth (*3); Bright Line, Brown Eye (*1); Crambus pascuella (*1); Small Magpie (*1); Riband Wave (*1); Tacystola acroxantha (*1); Dark Arches (*1); Common White Wave (*1); Rustic (*1); Small Ranunculus (*1) and Phoenix (*1).

A Vapourer Moth was found later in the day, resting on the toilet window.

 
6th July 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A Red Admiral; Small Tortoiseshell and Small White were seen and a Brown Hawker whizzed over a small patch of grassland. They shall be duly recorded!
 

6th July 2017 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Ooh me buttocks, what a trial it sometimes is doing desk work. I needed a break so took a local walk in my dinner hour, I saw:- Holly Blue (*1); Meadow Brown (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*1) and a Comma (*1). The Common Marble Moth (Celypha lacunana) was also noted.

Episyrphus balteatus and Eristalis pertinax were the only hoverflies picked up and Plagiognathus arbustorum and Deraeocoris flavilinea were the only mirid bugs seen

Andricus corruptrix and Aceria macrochela were 2 galls noted.

 
6th July 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The moths trickle in, I like that, I have very little time for more. This morning revealed:- Riband Wave f. remutata (*2); Marbled Beauty (*1); Anania coronata (*2); Bright Line, Brown Eye (*2); Riband Wave (*1); Small Magpie (*2); Brimstone (*2); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*1); Poplar Hawk-Moth (*1); Scalloped Oak (*1); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*4); Dark Arches (*1); Straw Dot (*1); Fan-Foot (*1); Brown House Moth (*2); Double Striped Pug (*1); Batia lunaris (*1); Agriphila tristella (*1); Crassa unitella (*1); Argyresthia pruniella (*1); Ysolopha dentella (*1) and Eudonia lacustrata (*1).
 

5th July 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking home from work and the Mirid Bug (Heterotoma planicornis) was seen on Figwort with, appropriately enough, a Figwort Weevil (Cionus scrophulariae). A Comma was feeding on Common Ragwort, a Speckled Wood flitted around in dappled light and a Ringlet was patrolling a Bramble patch. The impressive Ichneumon Fly (Heteropelma amictum) was spotted pootling about along the pathside vegetation.

Later in the evening I took a few fine folk to see the Yellow Bird's-Nest (Monotropa hypopitys ssp. hypophegea) - 79 spikes were counted, what a delight. Also seen was Goat's-Rue; Red Bartsia and Tall Melilot in flower as well as the butterflies:- Comma (*1); Small Skipper (*4); Holly Blue (*1) and Meadow Brown (*1). A Shaded Broad Bar Moth was also noted.

Quaking Grass and the Mirid Bug (Plagiognathus arbustorum) were also noted.

 
5th July 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - And more moths, this time the list was made up of:- Large Yellow Underwing (*1); Silver Y (*1); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*3); Small Magpie (*2); Light Emerald (*2); Dark Arches (*1); Brimstone (*2); Common Wave (*1); Riband Wave f. remutata (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*3); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Fan-Foot (*2); Scalloped Oak (*1); Riband Wave (*2); Brown House Moth (*1); Straw Dot (*1); Eudonia lacustrata (*1); Uncertain (*2); Diamond Back Moth (*1); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*1); Bee Moth (*1); Argyresthia brockeella (*1) and Crambus pascuella (*1).
 
4th July 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Moths seen from last nights trap were:- Common Footman (*2); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*2); Small Magpie (*2); Dark Arches (*2); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Riband wave f. remutata (*3); Riband Wave (*3); Snout (*1); Scalloped Oak (*1); Dot Moth (*1); Bright Line, Brown Eye (*4); Bird Cherry Ermine (*1); Carcina quercana (*1); Diamond Back Moth (*1); Light Emerald (*1) and Double Striped Pug (*1).
 

3rd July 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Hardly any moths lurking about this morn, the 7 species were:- Willow Beauty (*1); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*2); Small Magpie (*2); Dark Arches (*1); Large Yellow Underwing (*1); Brown House Moth (*1) and Light Brown Apple Moth (*1).

Collecting Black and Red Currants in the garden and two Marmalade Flies (Episyrphus balteatus) were feeding on Nettle flowers.

 

2nd July 2017 - Moore NR, Cheshire - Stressful and time consuming days have been had with more to come so a sneak out for walk was duly grabbed. We sauntered along in glorious sun, I think we did OK for people with heads awry.

Lepidoptera on the wing involved several butterfly species:- Ringlet (*9); Red Admiral (*4); Comma (*5); Gatekeeper (*2); Meadow Brown (*39); Green Veined White (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Speckled Wood (*2) and Small Skipper (*3). Moths observed were:- Garden Carpet (*1); Hummingbird Hawk-Moth (*1); V-Pug (*1); Silver Y (*1); Nettle Tap Moth (*1); Celypha lacunana (*1); Straw Dot (*1); Brown China Mark (*1); Agapeta hamana (*1); Eucosma cana (*1) and Narrow-Bordered Five-Spot Burnet (*2). A Ruby Tiger Caterpillar was later added to the list.

Odonata was poor again with:- Brown Hawker (*2); Southern Hawker (*1); Azure Damselfly (*1); Common Blue Damselfly (*1) and Common Darter (*1) the only representatives.

Other insect life noted was:- Common Nettle Bug (Liocoris tripustulatus); 14 Spot Ladybird (Propylea quatuordecimpunctata); Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis); 7 Spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata); Red Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus lapidarius); Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum); Mirid Bug (Heterotoma planicornis); Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum); Black Tipped Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva); Birch Catkin Bug (Kleidocerys resedae); Mirid Bug (Leptopterna dolabrata); Forest Bug (Pentatoma rufipes); Hawthorn Shieldbug (Elasmostethus interstinctus); Broad Centurion Soldier Fly (Chloromyia formosa); Black Snipe Fly (Chrysopilus cristatus); Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis); Tachnid Fly (Phasia hemiptera); Snipe Fly (Rhagio scolopaceus); the Beetle (Lagria hirta); Black and Yellow Longhorn Beetle (Rutpela maculata); Mirid Bug (Grypocoris stysi); Common Field Grasshopper (Chorthippus brunneus); Common Green Grasshopper (Omocestus viridulus); Mirid Bug (Plagiognathus arbustorum); Fungus Gnat (Sciara hemerobioides) and the Nettle Beetle (Brachypterus urticae).

Hoverflies seen today were:- Helophilus pendulus (*1); Xylota segnis (*3); Eristalis pertinax (*1); Myathropa florea (*1); Eristalis tenax (*1); Syrphus ribesii (*1); Volucella pellucens (*3); Melanostoma scalare (*1); Cheilosia illustrata (*5); Episyrphus balteatus (*3); Epistrophe grossulariae (*1) Scaeva pyrastri (*1) and Sphaerophoria scripta (*1).

Plant Galls noted were:- Chirosia betuleti; Chirosia grossicauda; Dasineura urticae; Dasineura kiefferiana; Eriophyes laevis; Dasineura ulmaria; Dasineura pustulans; Andricus kollari; Psyllopsis fraxini; Taphrina alni; Taphrina tosquinetii; Eriophyes inangulis; Eriophyes similis; Phyllocoptes populi; Aceria pseudoplatani; Aceria macrolecha; Contarinia craccae and Jaapiella veronicae.

Flowers in bloom were:- Large Bindweed; Musk Mallow; Ribwort Plantain; Black Medick; New Zealand Pygmy Weed; Lesser Spearwort; Large Flowered Evening Primrose agg; Creeping Cinquefoil; Ox-Eye Daisy; Common Toadflax; Yarrow; Comfrey agg; Yellow Rattle; Common Sorrel; Meadow Vetchling; Red Bartsia; Chickweed; Common Stork's-Bill; Spear Thistle; Germander Speedwell; Great Mullein; Self-Heal; Common Ragwort; Weld; Common Nettle; Goosegrass; Rosebay Willowherb; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; White Clover; Perforate St John's Wort; Creeping Thistle; Common Centaury; Lady's Bedstraw; Curl Leaved Dock; Red Campion; Tufted Vetch; Hogweed; Common Mouse Ear; Creeping Buttercup; Foxglove; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Lesser Stitchwort; Climbing Corydalis; Hedge Woundwort; Meadowsweet; Bittersweet; Dandelion agg; Herb Robert; Redshank; Greater Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Garlic Mustard; Silverweed; Great Willowherb; Yellow Loosestrife; Purple Loosestrife and Meadow Crane's-Bill.

A colony of Cinnabar Moth Caterpillars, Tutsan was in fruit and an Oystercatcher flew over and with 4 fungi noted (see Fungal Friends section) the day's total of 147 species was not a bad return.

 

1st July 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Up early and a few moths to contemplate:- Garden Carpet (*1); Garden Pebble (*1); Riband Wave f. remutata (*5); Double Striped Pug (*1); Fan-Foot (*1); Scalloped Oak (*1); Dark Arches (*1); Brown House Moth (*1); Heart and Dart (*1); Bright Line, Brown Eye (*1); Clouded Border (*1); Batia lunaris (*1); Dun-Bar (*1); Swallow-Tailed Moth (*1); Double Square Spot (*1); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*2) and Eudonia lacustrata (*1).

A Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus) was also buzzing about and 2 Red Admirals and a Comma were in the garden frequenting our crucial patch of Common Netle.

 
JUNE
30th June 2017 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - 2 meat and potato pies, a sit on a churchyard bench reading the superb works of Somerset Maugham and a walk back to the office under pencil grey skies.  Not much to see, 1 Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus), the Walnut Gall (Aceria erinea) and Small Balsam (Impatiens parviflora) was all that provoked interest.
 

27th June 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - 32 spikes of Yellow-Bird's-Nest (Monotropa hypopitys ssp. hypophegea) were now showing and Perforate St John's-Wort was also in bloom. Hoverflies noted were:- Volucella bombylans (*1); Cheilosia illustrata (*2); Episyrphus balteatus (*6); Vollucella pellucens (*1); Sphaerophoria scripta (*1) and Melanostoma scalare (*2). Butterflies seen were:- Comma (*1); Red Admiral (*1) and Speckled Wood (*2).

Other bugs seen were the mirid bugs (Grypocoris stysi) and (Deraeocoris flavilinea) as well as the Black Tipped Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva) and the Broad Centurion Soldier Fly (Chloromyia formosa).

 

26th June 2017 - Etherow CP, Stockport, Cheshire - A stroll wander around this local-ish area with a few familiar faces nattered with as well as a good chat with birdman John Rayner - all thoroughly enjoyed.

Hoverflies seen today were as follows:- Syritta pipiens (*2); Cheilosia illustrata (*7); Eristalis horticola (*7); Chrysogaster solstitialis (*98); Volucella pellucens (*8); Eristalis pertinax (*8); Xylota segnis (*4); Helophilus pendulus (*2); Leucozona glaucia (*5); Meliscaeva auricollis (*1); Eristalis nemorum (*2); Rhingia rostrata (*1); Volucella bombylans (*1); Leucozona laternaria (*4); Xylota sylvarum (*1); Syrphus ribesii (*1); Myathropa florea (*7); Episyrphus balteatus (*6); Melanostoma scalare (*3 ); Dasysyrphus tricinctus (*1); Eristalis arbustorum (*1); Cheilosia pagana (*1) and a few Parhelophilus sp (*4).

Lepidoptera hunting was poor with only a few butterflies seen, these were:- Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Ringlet (*10); Red Admiral (*3); Comma (*3); Speckled Wood (*2) and Meadow Brown (*8). Moths noted were also few:- Common Marble Moth (*2); Nettle Tap Moth (*1); Yarrow Plume Moth (*1) and Straw Dot (*4).

Odonata seen were:- Southern Hawker (*1); Brown Hawker (*1) and Common Blue Damselfly (*1) - poor for sure.

Other bugs and beasties identified today were:- Tachnid Fly (Phasia hemiptera); Noon Fly (Mesembrina meridiana); Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum); Black and Yellow Longhorn Beetle (Rutpela maculata); Common Green Grasshopper (Omocestus viridulus); Black Tipped Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva); Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum); Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis); Black Snipe Fly (Chrysopilus cristatus); Broad Centurion Soldier Fly (Chloromyia formosa); Common Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus); Mirid Bug (Leptopterna dolobrata); Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle (Gastrophysa viridula); Nettle Beetle (Brachypterus urticae); Mirid Bug (Grypocoris stysi); Alder Spittle Bug (Aphrophora alni); Forest Bug (Pentatoma rufipes); Birch Shield Bug (Elasmostethus interstinctus); Alder Leaf Beetle (Agelastica alni); Mirid Bug (Neolygus viridis); Tachnid Fly (Dexiosoma caninum); the Scorpion Fly (Panorpa communis); Mirid Bug (Deraeocoris flavilinea); Potato Leafhopper (Eupteryx aurata); Common Grammoptera (Grammoptera ruficornis); Soldier Beetle (Cantharis thoracica) and the Snipe Fly (Rhagio tringarius).

Plant Galls were the aim of the day but I do get distracted. Nevertheless after much tootling and some confirmation work a list of 25 species were clocked up:- Cryptomyzus ribis; Jaapiella veronicae; Dasineura ulmaria; Dasineura pustulans; Chirosia betuleti; Protomyces macrosporus; Aceria macrochela; Taphrina alni; Psyllopsis fraxinii; Eriophyes similis; Eriophyes laevis; Phyllocoptes goniothorax; Aceria pseudoplatani; Eriophyes leiosoma; Contarinia tiliarum; Eriophyes laevis; Acalitus brevitarsus; Eriophyes inangulis; Aceria nervisequa; Acalitus stenaspis; Acalitus rudis; Eupontania pedunculi; Taphrina tosquinetii; Dasineura urticae and Phytomyza ilicis.

A flower list was kept along the way, 62 species were seen, these were:- Self-Heal; White Clover; Creeping Buttercup; Prickly Sow Thistle; Nipplewort; Groundsel; Rosebay Willowherb; Ivy Leaved Toadflax; Common Nettle; Goosegrass; Broad Leaved Dock; Ribwort Plantain; Greater Plantain; Meadow Buttercup; Wood Avens; Hogweed; Hedge Woundwort; Creeping Thistle; Large Bindweed; Pineappleweed; Greater Willowherb; Wood Sage; Feverfew; Tufted Vetch; Yellow Loosestrife; Common Ragwort; Figwort; Comfrey agg; Foxglove; Red Campion; Himalayan Balsam; Cut Leaved Crane's-Bill; Bush Vetch; Meadowsweet; Meadow Vetchling; Enchanter's Nightshade; Ground Elder; Germander Speedwell; Dandelion agg; Wavy Bittercress; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Herb Robert; Red Clover; Hedge Mustard; Daisy; Black Medick; Redshank; Common Sorrel; Marsh Thistle; Lesser Stitchwort; Marsh Woundwort; Yellow Pimpernel; Wood Speedwell; Common Knapweed; Curled Leaved Dock; Yarrow; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Tormentil; Yellow-Rattle; Meadow Crane's-Bill and Shining Crane's-Bill.

A Lime Tree was noted in flower, Giant Horsetail was plentiful and Strawberry Snail and Brown Lipped Banded Snail were extras.

 

23rd June 2017 - Heaton Mersey/River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - On the way home again, dull and not quite as warm but Episyrphus balteatus (*2); Cheilosia illustrata (*1); Melanostoma scalare (*3) and Eristalis tenax (*1) were all feeding on yellow flowers (Ragworts and Hawk-Weeds).

A Ringlet was seen, which is a first for this area and Himalayan Balsam was now in flower - best get bashing!

 
22nd June 2017 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - On the way home and the hoverfly (Volucella inanis) was feeding on Ragwort, what a pip it is. The Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus); a Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum) and the Black Snipe Fly (Chrysopilus cristatus) were on the wing in the cooler air whilst Creeping and Spear Thistle were both in fine bloom.
 
21st June 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A few moths to mull over again and keep the old lepidopteran eye on the scaled ball. The list was made up of:- Red Barred Tortrix (*1); Hawthorn Moth (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Riband Wave f. remutata (*7); Willow Beauty (*1); Snout (*1); Heart and Dart (*5); Light Emerald (*1); Marbled Minor agg (*1); Garden Carpet (*1); Double Striped Pug (*1); Batia lunaris (*1); Teleiodes vulgella (*1); Limnaecia phragmitella (*1) and Gracillaria syringella (*1).
 
20th June 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Mothing again and taking advantage of the good weather. 28 species caught, these being:- Scoparia ambigualis (*1); Hedya nubiferana (*1); Spruce Carpet (*1); Anania coronata (*1); Small Magpie (*1); Diamond Back Moth (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*5); Common Marbled Carpet (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Tinea trinotella (*1); Small Fan-Foot (*1); Spectacle (*1); Small Angle Shades (*1); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*1); Crambus pascuella (*1); Apple Leaf Miner (*1); Heart and Dart (*4); Brown House Moth (*6); Marbled Beauty (*1); Dark Arches (*2); Riband Wave (*2); Light Emerald (*1); Willow Beauty (*1); Green Silver Lines (*1); Bee Moth (*1); Brimstone (*1); Eudonia lacustrata (*1) and Riband Wave f. remutata (*11).
 

19th June 2017 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - A local mooch and a few hours done in the early morn before the steaming heat took full charge. Odonata seen was:- Azure Damselfly; Blue Tailed Damselfly; Emperor Dragonfly (*5); Banded Demoiselle; 4 Spotted Chaser (*13); Southern Hawker (*1); Broad Bodied Chaser (*2). 2 of the Emperors were females and were frequently laying eggs at close quarters - nice to see.

Hoverflies noted were:- Syrphus ribesii (*1); Myathropa florea (*2); Eristalis nemorum (*1); Volucella pellucens (*5); Melanostoma scalare (*2); Volucella bombylans (*1); Xylota segnis (*1) and Cheilosia illustrata (*1). As soon as the temperatures soared the hoverflies disappeared - way too hot for these delicate critters.

Lepidoptera was represented by the following butterflies:- Comma (*2); Meadow Brown (*11); Speckled Wood (*3); Large Skipper (*10) and Green Veined White (*1). Moths seen were:- Blood Vein (*2); Celypha lacunana (*1); Nettle Tap Moth (*1); Straw Dot (*1) and Chrysoteuchia culmella (*1).

Other beasties seen were:- Common Froghopper (Philaenus spumarius); European Cinch-Bug (Ischnodemus sabuleti); Black Snipe Fly (Chrysopilus cristatus); Common Green Grasshopper (Omocestus viridulus); Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis); Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum); Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis); 7 Spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata); Golden-Bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle (Agapanthia villosoviridescens); Red Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus lapidarius) and the mirid bugs (Stenotus binotatus); (Capsus ater); (Phylus melanocephalus); (Harpocera thoracica); (Notostira elongata) and (Leptopterna dolabrata).

Monkey-Flower and Greater Willowherb were in flower; a Treecreeper allowed me to watch it climb a tree from a few feet away and the gall (Chirosia betuleti) was on Bracken.

 
19th June 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - 24 species of moth caught last night, these being:- Barred Fruit Tree Tortrix (*1); Batia lunaris (*1); Hawthorn Moth (*1); Crambus pascuella (*1); Lozotaenia forsterana (*1); Pseudagyrotoza conwagana (*1); Heart and Dart (*1); Bee Moth (*3); Marbled Minor agg (*1); Hebrew Character (*1); Bramble Shoot Moth (*1); Brown House Moth (*3); Turnip Moth (*1); Codling Moth (*2); Small Magpie (*1); Small Fan-Foot (*1); Light Emerald (*1); Green Pug (*1); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*5); Marbled Beauty (*1); Riband Wave f. remutata (*4); Double Striped Pug (*1) and Tachystola acroxantha (*8).
 

18th June 2017 - Lindow Common, Wilmslow, Cheshire - We are struggling to get out of late and now with the Mother-in-Law in hospital we are squeezing in what we can. An early morning walk was had at this location with the temperatures already booming. It was too hot for hoverflies with only a few species recorded, these were:- Cheilosia illustrata (*3); Leucozona lucorum (*1); Myathropa florea (*3); Syrphus ribesii (*1); Helophilus pendulus (*1); Eristalis horticola (*1) and Syritta pipiens (*1). A few lepidopteran species were noted, these being the butterflies:- Large Skipper (*10); Meadow Brown (*3) and Speckled Wood (*5) and the moths:- Marbled White Spot (*2); Celypha lacunana (*1); Nettle Tap Moth (*1) and Common Heath (*2).

Odonata on the wing were:- Brown Hawker (*1); Blue Tailed Damselfly (*2); Common Blue Damselfly (*1) and Large Red Damselfly (*3). Other bugs noted were:- Broad Centurion Soldier Fly (Chloromyia formosa); Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis); 7-Spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata); Green Lacewing (Chrysopa perla); Mirid Bugs (Capsus ater); (Stenodema calcarata) and (Leptopterna dolobrata); Soldier Beetle (Cantharis nigra); Malachite Beetle (Malachius bipustulatus); Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus); Common Green Grasshopper (Omocestus viridulus); Common Awl Robberfly (Neoitamus cyanurus); Scorpion Fly (Panorpa germanica) and the Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus).

Fox and Cubs; Rosebay Willowherb and Creeping Thistle were all in flower and the galls:- Eriophyes laevis; Macrodiplosis pustularis; Dasineura urticae; Eriophyes sorbi and Chirosia betuleti were added to the mornings list.

 
18th June 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Moth caught today were:- Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Riband Wave (*1); Small Magpie (*2); Heart and Dart (*3); Marbled Minor agg (*1); Bramble-Shoot Moth (*1); Bee Moth (*2); Common Marbled Carpet (*1); Chrysoteuchia culmella (*2); Brown House Moth (*6); Willow Beauty (*1); Dark Arches (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Caloptilia azaleella (*1); Bright Line, Brown Eye (*1); Marbled Beauty ( *1); Codling Moth (*1);
 

16th June 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Few moths are caught in our garden but over the course of the year we build up a list that is far better than sweet FA. Last night was poor with only 6 species caught, these being:- Gothic (*1); Bright Line, Brown Eye (*1); Heart and Dart (*1); Common Rustic agg (*1); Marbled Minor sp (*1) and Dark Arches (*1).

To add to the above, 266 moths have been caught in our small backyard over the years - this, I think, proves that it is worth the small effort and you just never know what might turn up.

 

15th June 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - 7-Spot Ladybird (*17) were surprisingly frequent; a Yellow Barred Longhorn Moth (Nemophora degeerella) was at rest; a brace of Bat-Man Hoverflies (Myathropa florea) were feeding on Hogweed and Creeping Cinquefoil and Goldenrod were in flower.

Hornbeam was in fruit.

 
15th June 2017 - Heaton Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - 2 Speckled Woods, a Red Admiral and the Hoverfly (Volucella pellucens) were all enjoying the warm weather.
 
15th June 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Another batch of moths to record, the latest catch was made up of:- Mompha raschkiella (*1); Riband Wave f. remutata (*5); Riband Wave (*1); Carcina quercana (*1); Straw Dot (*2); Common Rustic agg (*1); Willow Beauty (*4); Flame Carpet (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*12); Bee Moth (*6); Single Dotted Wave (*1); Brown House Moth (*7); Anania coronata (*1); Large Yellow Underwing (*1); Heart and Dart (*1); Common Marbled Carpet (*1); Green Pug (2) and Light Brown Apple (*1).

An Orange Ladybird was also in the trap.

 
14th June 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A few moths attracted to an overnight light again, these were:- Willow Beauty (*4); Riband Wave f. remutata (*2); Tachystola acroxantha (*3); Freyer's Pug (*1); Spectacle (*1); Small Magpie (*1); Marbled Minor sp (*1); Large Yellow Underwing (*2); Brown House Moth (*1); Apple Leaf Miner (*1); Snout (*1); Heart and Dart (*1); Pseudagyrotoza conwagana (*1) and Epinotia bilunana (*1).
 

13th June 2017 - Heaton Mersey/River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Wandering home from work, a Nettle bed checked:- Common Marble Moth (*2); Nettle Tap Moth (*7); Small Magpie (*1); Mirid Bug (Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus); Garden Chafer and Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) were all noted.

Further along the way I also saw an abundance of Red Tailed Bumble Bees in Bird's-Foot Trefoil; 2 Common Blue butterflies; Figwort in flower with, of course, a Figwort Weevil; Wild Radish in flower and a lone Banded Demoiselle and 1 hoverfly (Xylota segnis) resting on a leaf.

 
11th June 2017 - Lavender Tea Barn, Cheshire - After tea and cake I noted a Potato Leafhopper (Eupteryx aurata) on a Nettle leaf.
 

11th June 2017 - Billinge Flash Ponds, Cheshire - The second location of the day under still grey skies. Odonata seen consisted of:- Blue Tailed Damselfly (*5); Common Blue Damselfly (*4); Azure Damselfly (*1) and Red Eyed Damselfly (*4). Hoverflies found were:- Myathropa florea (*1); Eristalis pertinax (*1); Chrysogaster solstitialis (*1); Episyrphus balteatus (*2); Helophilus pendulus (*1); Leucozona lucorum (*1); Eristalis nemorum (*2); Tropida scita (*1); Eristalis arbustorum (*1); Cheilosia illustrata (*2) and Volucella pellucens (*1).

Beetles seen were:- Water Dock Beetle (Galerucella sagittariae); Alder Leaf Beetle (Agelastica alni); 2 Spot Ladybird (Adalia bipunctata); Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis); Neetle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus); Grey Bloomed Grey Longhorn (Agapanthia villosoviridescens) and Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis).

Lepidoptera noted were:- Large Skipper (*3); Meadow Brown (*4); Speckled Wood (*1); Yellow-Shell Moth (*1); Common Marble Moth (*1); Orange Spot Piecer (*2) and Mullein Moth larva (*2),

Other bugs seen were:- Mirid Bugs (Miris striatus) and (Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus); Dance Fly (Empis tessallata); Scorpion Fly (Panorpa communis); Red and Black Froghopper (Cercopis vulnerata); Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria); Black Snipe Fly (Chrysopilus cristatus); Caddis Fly (Mystacides longicornis); Soldier Beetles (Cantharis nigricans) and (Cantharis nigra); and Broad Centurion Fly (Chloromyia formosa).

Flowers noted were:- Tall Melilot; Redshank; Black Medick; Cut Leaved Crane's-Bill; Scarlet Pimpernel; Large Bindweed, Purple Toadflax; Meadow Crane's-Bill; Tufted Vetch; Self-Heal; Yellow Water Lily and White Water Lily.

The galls seen were:- Eriophyes similis; Jaapiella veronicae; Pontania bridgmanii and Aceria campestricola.

Several baby Frogs were seen too.

 

11th June 2017 - Shakerley Mere, Cheshire - The weather was far from wildlife friendly but we pottered on and made a list of what we saw and, in some respects, didn't do to badly. A few plant galls were identified along the way, these were as follows:- Acalitus stenaspis; Chirosia grossicauda; Phyllocoptes goniothorax; Macrodiplosis pustularis; Eriophyes inangulis; Eriophyes laevis; Biorhiza pallida; Psyllopsis fraxini; Iteomyia capraea; Eriophyes sorbi; Eriophyes tiliae; Eriophyes leiosoma; Aceria myriadeum; Aceria pseudoplatani; Acalitus longisetosus; Phytomyza ilicis and Dasineura pteridis.

A small flowering plant list was made up of:- Foxglove; Herb Robert; Common Nettle; Hogweed; Goosegrass; Honeysuckle; Wood Avens; Dame's Violet; Daisy; Dandelion agg; White Clover; Creeping Buttercup; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Ribwort Plantain and Lesser Trefoil.

Insect wise was hard work, the few hoverflies noted were:- Volucella pellucens (*1); Chrysogaster solstitialis (*5); Syrphus torvus (*1) and Episyrphus balteatus (*1). The moths seen were:- Nettle Tap Moth (*5); Nemophora degeerella (*17); Green Oak Roller (*1); Argyresthia retinella (*1) and a Yellow Tailed Moth larva.

Others critters seen were;- Mirid Bug (Harpocera thoracica); Bracken Bug (Ditropis pteridis); Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis); Common Nettle Bug (Liocoris tripustulatus); Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum); Nettle Beetle (Brachypterus glaber); Mirid Bug (Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus); Small Nettle Weevil (Nedyus quadrimaculatus); Cucumber Spider (Araniella sp); Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum); Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria); Mirid Bug (Phylus melanocephalus) and Forest Bug nymph (Pentatoma rufipes).

 

8th June 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - With time flashing by and life being eternally busy one has to find time whenever one can to contemplate things that matter. The walk home has always been relaible to provide natural interest, today it came in the form of:- 5 species of Hoverfly - (Eristalis pertinax); (Myathropa florea); (Cheilosia illustrata); (Eupeodes luniger) and (Episyrphus balteatus); several Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis); 2 Speckled Woods (Parage aegeria); a Bracken Bug (Ditropis pteridis); a Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens); a 7 Spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata); a few Red Tailed Bumble Bees (Bombus lapidarius) and a Dance Fly (Empis tessallata).

The grass Crested Dog's Tail (Cynosurus cristatus) was looking mighty fine.

 
7th June 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Common Knapweed, Tufted Vetch, Cut-Leaved Crane's-Bill and a pair of Kingfishers were seen on the way to work - it all helps brighten up the day. On the way home I noted a 14-Spot Ladybird larva feeding on Aphids on the leaves of Common Nettle.
 
6th June 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Absolutely awful weather with the wind and the rain ruining any hope of a bug fest.  I checked a few Nettle patches whilst walking home from work and noted 2 specimens of Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus; a couple of examples of the Common Nettle Bug (Liocoris tripustulatus); one Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum) and a few Harlequin Ladybird larvae (Harmonia axyridis) feeding on aphids.  Also several Nettle Galls (Dasineura urticae) were spotted as well.
 
5th June 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A few moths in the bathroom needed clearing out and setting free, these were:- Peach Blossom; Brimstone; Scalloped Hazel; Garden Carpet and a Bee Moth.
 

4th June 2017 - Moss Valley CP, Wrexham - After tea and cake at a Garden Centre we finished our day here. The sun was out and a stroll around both bodies of water was had. A few butterflies were noted, these being:- Green Veined White (*4); Speckled Wood (*4); Comma (*1) and Meadow Brown (*1). One moth noted was the ubiquitous Nettle Tap Moth (*1). The hoverflies seen were:- Myathropa florea (*3); Cheilosia illustrata (*2); Chrysogaster solstitialis (*1); Episyrphus balteatus (*1); Eristalis pertinax (*1); Melanostoma scalare (*1); Syrphus ribesii (*1); Xylota segnis (*1) and a Parhelophilus sp (*2).

Other bugs noted were:- 2 mating Common Green Shield Bugs (Palomena prasina); Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella); Blue Tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans); Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis); Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum) and Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum).

Orange Hawkweed; Scarlet Pimpernel and Figwort were in flower.

A new gall for the day was (Aceria nervisequa) and a mass of Bream were seen near the surface of one of the ponds.

 

4th June 2017 - Llynclys Common, Shropshire - The second location of the day and perfect timing to just do what we had to do and get back to the car before the Heavens opened. Butterflies seen were:- Speckled Wood (*8); Large Skipper (*2); Dingy Skipper (*1); Common Blue (*1); Large White (*1) and Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary (*3). A Yellow Barred Longhorn Moth (Nemophora degeerella) was also added to the lepidoptera list.

Hoverflies seen were:- Eristalis pertinax; Volucella pellucens; Episyrphus balteatus and Leucozona lucorum. Other insects seen were:- Hawhthorn Shield Bug (Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale); Bracken Bug (Ditropis pteridis); Tobacco Coloured Longhorn Beetle (Alosterna tabacicolor); Broad Centurion Soldier Fly (Chloromyia formosa); Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum); Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo); Club Tailed Dragonfly (Gomphus vulgatissimus); 22 Spot Ladybird (Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata); Ashy Mining Bee (Andrena cineraria) and Green Lacewing (Chrysopa perla).

Flowers listed were:- Creeping Buttercup; Bush Vetch; Germander Speedwell; Red Clover; Cow Parsley; Daisy; Wood Avens; Herb Robert; Barren Strawberry; Cowslip; Greater Butterfly Orchid (*117); Goosegrass; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Wild Thyme; Hedge Woundwort; Rock-Rose; Tormentil; Common Spotted Orchid; Fairy Flax; Salad Burnet; Ox-Eye Daisy; Columbine; Common Mouse Ear; Mouse Ear Hawkweed; Ribwort Plantain; Twayblade; Marsh Thistle; Black Bryrony and Ladies Mantle

Wood Melick was also identified.

 

4th June 2017 - Dolgoch Quarry, Shropshire - After cancelling a group walk we decided to get out anyway and try and go to a few new locations to see what we could see. The weather was forecast to crack but we got lucky and totted up a good list at this first place of the day. Flowers noted were:- Bee Orchid (*4); White Clover; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Mouse Ear Hawkweed; Greater Butterfly Orchid (*3); Agrimony; Ox-Eye Daisy; Common Milkwort; Daisy; Red Clover; Black Medick; Twayblade (*7); Meadow Buttercup; Lesser Spearwort; Herb Robert; Wild Strawberry; Bush Vetch; Black Bryony; Marsh Thistle; Common Spotted Orchid; Wood Avens; Pyramidal Orchid (*6); Yellow-Wort; Hedge Woundwort; Cow Parsley; Common Nettle; Hedge Mustard; Fairy Flax; Germander Speedwell; Ribwort Plantain and Goosegrass.

Butterflies noted were:- Speckled Wood (*2); Dingy Skipper (*1); Red Admiral (*1); Grizzled Skipper (*4) and Common Blue (*7). The moths seen were:- Cinnabar Moth (*3); Silver Ground Carpet (*1) and Large Yellow Underwing (*1). Hoverflies noted were:- Volucella pellucens (*1) and Anasimyia contracta (*2). Odonata on the wing were:- Beautiful Demoiselle (*2); Blue Tailed Damselfly; Emerald Damselfly; Azure Damselfly and Club Tailed Dragonfly (Gomphus vulgatissimus).

Other insects seen today were:- Common Awl Fly (Xylophagus ater); Black Snipe Fly (Chrysopilus cristatus); Orchid Beetle (Dascillus cervinus); The Lacehopper (Tachycixius pilosus); Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus); Horned Treehopper (Centrotus cornutus); Malachite Beetle (Malachius bipustulatus) and a Red Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus lapidarius).

Galls observed were:- Aceria pseudoplatani; Aceria cephalonea; Eriophyes laevis; Acalitus brevitarsus; Dipoloepis rosae; Psyllopsis fraxini; Dasineura ulmaria; Pontania pedunculi; Dasineura urticae and Iteomyia capreae.

Quaking Grass was noted as well as a Green Woodpecker; Raven and a Buzzard.

 

3rd June 2017 - Fletcher Moss, Didsbury, G. Manchester - After a double tyre problem with the bike and a need to drop off some magazines at a book warehouse time was running out. I eventually sorted the bike and tested it out with a 5 mile ride down the River Mersey and back. Whilst mooching at the nice area I noted 4 Orange Tips and 3 Green Veined Whites feeding on Dame's Violet, a Small White mooching around some Bramble; a Speckled Wood down amongst the grass and a Small Tortoiseshell whizzing through the waterside vegetation. Whilst checking a few Hogweed heads I noted a few Cock's-Foot Moths; the hoverflies (Eristalis pertinax); (Volucella pellucens) and (Myathropa florea). 3 Forest Bug nymphs (Pentatoma rufipes) were on the leaves of Silver Birch as well as a Birch Shield Bug (Elasmostethus interstinctus) and on the Catkins were the bugs (Kleidocerys resedae). Several Banded Demoiselles (Calopteryx splendens) were amongst the lush low down greenery as well as numerous Common Blue Damselflies (Enallagma cyathigerum). A cluster of Tree Bees (Bombus hypnorum) fed around Bramble too.

A Jay was seen feeding on the path and a Grey Wagtail was darting along the water.

 
3rd June 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Up early for a bike ride, the bloody valve on the inner tube has but - bah. Decorating and computer work instead and whilst having a break in the garden I noted the Hoverflies (Meredon equestris) and (Episyrphus balteatus) whilst the Hogweed flowers were holding a good supply of Varied Carpet Beetles (Anthrenus verbasci). The stunning little chap known as the Blue Mason Bee (Osmia caerulescens) put in his annual appearance too.
 
2nd June 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The mothing is remarkably slow but a constant trickle is better than nowt. Species counted today were:- Common Marbled Carpet (*5); Light Brown Apple Moth (*7); Willow Beauty (*3); Straw Dot (*1); Caloptilia azaleella (*1); Bee Moth (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*5); Apple Leaf Miner (*1); Brown House Moth (*1); Freyer's Pug (*1) and Common Rustic agg (*1).
 
1st June 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Into the sixth month of the year and way behind on many fronts. The moths are trickling forth, last nights collection included:- Light Emerald (*1); Common Marbled Carpet (*5); Tachystola acroxantha (*5); Scalloped Hazel (*1); Flame Shoulder (*1); Small Magpie (*2); Bee Moth (*1); Flame Carpet (*1); Silver Ground Carpet (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*5) and Freyer's Pug (*1).
MAY
 

31st May 2017 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking in the sun in my dinner hour and a few bugs seen.  The Hoverflies (Helophilus pendulus) and (Merodon equestris) were soaking the rays; the Cinnamon Bug (Corizus hyoscyami) was a bonus find, 17 Small Tortoiseshell larva (Aglais urticae) were feeding on Nettle with the Broad Centurion Soldier Fly (Chloromyia formosa); many Harlequin Ladybirds (Harmonia axyridis); a brace of Common Nettle Bugs (Liocoris tripustulatus); a Mirid Bug (Miris striatus) and a gathering of Pollen Nettle Beetles (Brachypterus glaber) also in the same patch.

A Cocks-Foot Moth (Glyphipterix simpliciella) was on its host and a 14 Spot Ladybird (Propylea quatuordecimpunctata) was noted too along with the Field Maple Gall (Aceria macrochela).

 
30th May 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The rain it tiddled and piddled and only a few moths were attracted to an overbight light, these very hardy souls were as follows:- Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Notocelia cynosbatella (*1); Flame Carpet (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Common Marbled Carpet (*1); Marbled Minor agg (*1); Bright Line, Brown Eye (*1) and Lychnis (*1).
 
30th May 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A grubby day was finalised by some sunny spells, one of which coincided with my walk home. On the way I noted 2 Orange-spot Piercers (Pammene aurana); 7 Swollen Thighed Beetles (Oedemera nobilis); 3 Red Tailed Bumble Bees (Bombus lapidarius); 1 Death's Head Hoverfly (Myathropa florea) and a Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens).
 
30th May 2017 - Heaton Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking to work after a rainy night, a Miller Moth was picked up from the pathway and placed in a bush, Eriophyes tiliae was noted nearby and Meadow Vetchling was in good flower.
 

29th May 2017 - Lymm Dam, Cheshire - After tea and cake in the Lavender Tea Barn we had a wander around this nearby place. A nice quiet stroll we three roamers had with a few galls noted, these being:- Eriophyes leiosoma; Eriophyes laevis; Biorhiza pallida; Pontania proxima; Aceria pseudoplatani; Aceria campestricola; Acalitus brevitarsus; Chirosia betuleti and Phytomyza ilicis.

Flowers in bloom were:- Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Foxglove; Yellow Flag Iris; Meadow Buttercup; Common Nettle; Germander Speedwell; Red Campion; Goosegrass; Cow Parsley; Ground Elder; Creeping Buttercup; Pignut; Ramsons; Yellow Pimpernel; Herb Robert; Hogweed; Ribwort Plantain; Shepherd's Purse; Greater Celandine; White Clover and Dandelion agg.

Bugs seen were:- Nettle Pollen Beetle (Brachypterus glaber); Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum); Red and Black Froghopper (Cercopis vulnerata); Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis); 14 Spot Ladybird (Propylea quatuordecimpunctata); and Pot Bellied Emerald Bettle (Gastrophysa viridula).

 
29th May 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A crummy wet night, a few moths sought shelter via the toilet window (you can't blame em'), these were:- Bee Moth (*1); Silver Y (*1); Mottled Pug (*1) and Common Marbled Carpet (*1).
 

28th May 2017 - Eyarth Rocks, Denbighshire - A walk with some like-minded folk from the Fungal Friends group and a look at many things. The weather wasn't complimentary to a bugging foray but the butterflies and moths seen were:- Pearl Bordered Fritillary (*16); Small Heath (*12); Wall Brown (*1); Speckled Wood (*1); Green Veined White (*1); Red Admiral (*1); Cinnabar Moth (*10); Speckled Yellow (*8); Pyrausta cingulata (*2); Silver Y (*1); Pseudagyrotoza conwagana (*22); Crambus lathoniellus (*1) Brown Silver Line (*1); Twin-Spot Plume Moth (Stenoptilla bipunctidactyla) and a Yellow Tail Moth Larva.

Other bugs noted were:- 2 Golden Ringed Dragonflies (Cordulegaster boltonii); Common Nettle Bug (Liocoris tripustulatus); Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria); Nettle Pollen Beetle (Brachypterus glaber); Malachite Beetle (Malacius bipustulatus); Noon Fly (Mesembrina meridiana); Red Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus lapidarius); Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus); Green Lacewing (Chrysopa perla); Black Headed Cardinal Beetle (Pyrochroa coccinea); Hoverfly (Melanostoma scalare); Parent Bug (Elasmucha grisea); Ashy Mining Bee (Andrena cineraria); Bracken Bug (Ditropis pteridis) and Dance Fly (Empis tessallata).

Plant Galls noted were:- Cecidophyes rouhollahi; Aceria fraxinivora; Dasineura fraxini; Taxomyia taxi; Taphrina tosquinetii; Phyllocoptes goniothorax; Eriophyes laevis; Aceria pseudoplatani; Psyllopsis fraxini; Jaapiella veronicae; Eriophyes sorbi; Dasineura pteridis; Neuroterus quercusbaccarum; Biorhiza pallida and Phytomyza ilicis.

A few flowers were noted sporting blooms, these being:- Garlic Mustard; Common Nettle; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Cow Parsley; Wood Avens; Yellow Archangel; Germander Speedwell; Meadow Buttercup; Bush Vetch; Ramsons; Bluebell; Sweet Woodruff; Red Campion; Hound's-Tongue; Daisy; Ribwort Plantain; Marsh Thistle; Common Mouse Ear; Crosswort; Cuckooflower; Black Bryony; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Wild Strawberry; Barren Strawberry; Common Rock-Rose; Common Spotted Orchid; Herb Robert; Eyebright agg; Black Medick; Early Purple Orchid; Mouse Ear Hawkweed; Greater Butterfly Orchid (*27); Heath Speedwell; Ground Ivy and Herb Paris.

Nice extras were Hard Shield Fern, Wood Melick, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and Red Kite flying over, a Pheasants nest with 13 eggs inside and a tempestuous Weasel defending a nest inside an old stone wall - what a violent little sod indeed.

 

27th May 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A foul night of cloying heat but surprisingly not many moths about, the species attracted to an overnight light were:- Ancylis badiana (*1); Nematopogon swammerdamella (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Argyresthia trifasciata (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*9); Bee Moth (*2) and Scalloped Hazel (*1).

Also identified were the Homopteran Bug (Oncopsis flavicollis) and a Mirid Bug of the Psallus complex.

 
26th May 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - More moths attracted to an overnight light, these were:- Light Brown Apple Moth (*39); Tachystola acroxantha (*5); Notocelia cynosbatella (*2); Common Marbled Carpet (*3); Bee Moth (*2); White Spotted Pug (*1); Phoenix (*1); Caloptilia azaleella (*1); Mottled Pug (*1); and Pseudagyrotoza conwagana (*2).  Also found was the Mirid Bugs (Harpocera thoracica) and (Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus).
 
25th May 2017 - Werneth Low, G. Manchester - A tea-time stroll and a light snack. Along the way we saw a Speckled Wood; a Holly Blue and a Grass Rivulet. Tormentil; Pignut and Navelwort were flowers noted.
25th May 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - More moths attracted to an overnight light, these were:- Light Brown Apple Moth (*22); Tachystola acroxantha (*5); Notocelia cynosbatella (*1); Green Carpet (*1); Lime Hawk-Moth (*1); Argyresthia trifasciata (*1); Common Marbled Carpet (*2); Bee Moth (*2); Mottled Pug (*1); Codling Moth (*1); Red Barred Tortrix (*1); Green Pug (*1) and Brown House Moth (*2).
24th May 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Attracted to an overnight light were the following moths:- Bee Moth (*3); Light Brown Apple Moth (*18); Tachystola acroxantha (*7); Notocelia cynosbatella (*1); Heart and Dart (*1); Brown House Moth (*1) and Mottled Pug (*1).
 
23rd May 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Attracted to an overnight light were the following moths:- Garden Carpet (*1); Bee Moth (*5); Common Marbled Carpet (*2); Light Brown Apple Moth (*12); Tachystola acroxantha (*4); Notocelia cynosbatella (*3); Seraphim (*1); Argyresthia trifasciata (*1) and Mottled Pug (*1)
 
22nd May 2017 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - A continuation of the day's bike ride and after a chat to a couple wildlife photographers I wandered home. Four Spotted Chaser (*5); Small White (*1); Green Veined White (*2); Red Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus lapidarius) and the Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis) were observed and Greater Spearwort was seen in flower.
 
22nd May 2017 - Fletcher Moss, Didsbury, G. Manchester - A cycle ride and along the way I noted many Harlequin Ladybirds; a colony of the Snipe Fly (Rhagio scolopaceus); a Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum); a few Nettle Tap Moths; a Micro Moth (Ancylis badiana); a 14 Spot Ladybird and the Hoverflies (Xylota segnis) and (Leucozona lucorum).
 
22nd May 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Attracted to an overnight light were the following species:- Garden Carpet (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Common Marbled Carpet (*2); Light Brown Apple Moth (*11) and Bee Moth (*3).
 

21st May 2017 - Idle Valley NR, Nottinghamshire - Just the one location today and a lovely stroll around a reserve that has potential to turn up many fine species. Birdwise we noted 46 species:- Jackdaw; Blackbird; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Coot; Mallard; Tufted Duck; Canada Goose; Mute Swan; Greenfinch; Chaffinch; Carrion Crow; Great Tit; House Sparrow; Pied Wagtail; Moorhen; Magpie; Black Headed Gull; Wren; Willow Warbler; Shelduck; Greylag Goose; Wood Pigeon; Chiffchaff; Red Crested Pochard (*6); Common Tern; Reed Warbler; Common Whitethroat; Swift; Oystercatcher; Dunnock; Blackcap; Stock Dove; Goldcrest; Egyptian Goose; Pheasant; Goldfinch; Shoveler; Lapwing and Ringed Plover + Skylark; Robin; Song Thrush; Cetti's Warbler and Reed Bunting on call.

Whilst the sun was out we did a bit of bug hunting, with Orange Tip (*4); Green Veined White (*2) and Red Admiral (*1) the butterflies seen and Silver Ground Carpet (*2); Nettle Tap Moth (*5); Cock's-Foot Moth (*6); Esperia sulphurella (*1) and Silver Y (*1) the moths noted plus a Drinker Moth caterpillar. Hoverflies seen were:- Episyrphus balteatus; Syrphus ribesii; Cheilosia illustrata; Myathropa florea; Leucozona lucorum; Helophilus pendulus; Chalcosyrphus nemorum and Cheilosia impressa. Damselflies noted were few, these were:- Large Red Damselfly (*3); Azure Damselfly (*1); Common Blue Damselfly (*4) and Banded Demoiselle (*3).

Coleoptera seen were:- Alder Leaf Beetle (Agelastica alni); Wasp Beetle (Clytus arietis); Common Red Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva); Soldier Beetles (Cantharis nigricans) and (Cantharis rustica); Red Headed Cardinal Beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis); Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis); 14 Spot Ladybird (Propylea quatuordecimpunctata); Cream Streaked Ladybird (Harmonia quadripunctata); Pine Ladybird (Exochomus quadripustulatus); Malachite Beetle (Malachius bipustulatus); Garden Chafer (Phyllopertha horticola) and Common Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus).

Other species seen were:- 1 Common Green Shield Bug (Palomena prasina); 8 Hairy Shield Bugs (Dolycoris baccarum); 3 Pied Shield Bugs (Tritomegas bicolor); 3 Common Nettle Bugs (Liocoris tripustulatus); 4 Red and Black Froghoppers (Cercopis vulnerata); many Dance Flies (Empis tessalata) and (Empis stercorea); several Yellow Dung Flies (Scathophaga stercoraria); Common Damsel Bug (Nabis rugosus); a Common Earwig (Forficula auricularia); Spotted Crane-Fly (Nephrotoma appendiculata); Scorpion Fly (Panorpa germanica); Slender Groundhopper (Tetrix subulata); Common Carder Bee (Bombus pascuorum); Bramble Sawfly (Arge cyanocrocea); Green Sawfly (Tenthredo mesomela) and a Brown Lipped Banded Snail (Cepaea nemoralis).

Field Pepperwort; Hoary Cress; White Campion and Ragged Robin were in flower.

 

20th May 2017 - Rutland Water, Leicestershire - A 13 mile walk in sun and finally rain, we were hot and then got soaked and we deserved our chippy tea at the end of it. 68 bird species were noted, these being:- Magpie; Blue Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Jay; Wood Pigeon; Carrion Crow; Starling; Moorhen; Reed Bunting; Shelduck; Great Black Backed Gull; Greylag Goose; Buzzard; Pheasant; Oystercatcher; Swift; Egyptian Goose; Sand Martin; Red Kite; Garden Warbler; Common Whitethroat; Pochard; Ringed Plover; Grey Heron; Goldfinch; Gadwall; Goldcrest; Great Tit; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Cormorant; Blackbird; Chaffinch; House Sparrow; Stock Dove; Redshank; Rook; Mute Swan; Robin; Swallow; Wren; Great Crested Grebe; Common Tern; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Mallard; Collared Dove; House Martin; Reed Warbler; Treecreeper; Black Headed Gull; Pied Wagtail; Dunnock; Blackcap; Tufted Duck; Little Egret; Coot; Canada Goose; Lapwing; Avocet; Hobby; Jackdaw + Song Thrush; Chiffchaff; Cetti's Warbler; Willow Warbler; Little Grebe; Nightingale; Greenfinch and Yellowhammer on call.

Speckled Wood; Orange Tip and Holly Blue were the only butterflies on the wing and Episyrphus balteatus; Helophilus pendulus; Leucozonia lucorum and Volucella bombylans were the only hoverflies noted.

Neetle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus); Mirid Bug ( Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculata); Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria); Common Earwig (Forficula auricularia); Soldier Beetle (Cantharis nigricans); Nettle Pollen Beetles (Brachypterous glaber) and (Brachypterous urticae) and the Dance Fly (Empis tessalata) were extras as well as a Muntjac Deer that was seen mooching besides a hedgerow.

Silverweed; Cut Leaved Crane's-Bill; Lord's and Ladies; Bugle and Star of Bethlehem were amongst many flowers observed and Biorhiza pallida; Eriophyes tiliae; Acalitus longisetosus and Eriophyes leiosoma were the galls pondered.

 

19th May 2017 - Arnold's Meadow LWT, Spalding, Lincolnshire - A charming little place this and one that was very relaxing at the end of a busy day. Flowers seen in bloom were:- Yellow-Rattle; Daisy; Ribwort Plantain; Red Campion; Bluebell; Green Alkanet; Common Vetch; Common Nettle; Hogweed; Goosegrass; White Dead Nettle; Wood Avens; Red Clover; Common Mouse Ear; Common Sorrel; Cowslip; Herb Robert; Comfrey agg; Green Winged Orchid; Ground Ivy; Ox-Eye Daisy; Germander Speedwell and Thyme Leaved Speedwell.

14 Woundwort Shield Bugs (Eysarcoris venustissimus) were found as well as Nettle Tap Moths; an Orange Tip Butterfly and the Hoverfly (Melanostoma scalare).

Aceria myriadeum and Eriophyes macrochelus were 2 galls identified on Field Maple.

 

19th May 2017 - River Welland, Spalding, Lincolnshire - After a day of shopping and eating-out and nice evening stroll was had away from the hustle and bustle. 36 birds were noted along the way:- Magpie; Mute Swan; Mallard; Collared Dove; Swift; Jackdaw; Starling; Great Crested Grebe; Sedge Warbler; Rook; Moorhen; Swallow; House Sparrow; Lesser Black backed Gull; Blackbird; Reed Warbler; Cormorant; Black Headed Gull; Reed Bunting; Carrion Crow; Blue Tit; Chaffinch; Goldfinch; Long Tailed Tit; Common Tern; Robin; Great Tit; Green Woodpecker; Greenfinch; Wren; Grey Heron + Oystercatcher; Dunnock; Chiffchaff and Blackcap on call.

Common Sorrel; Weld; Horse Radish; Prickly Sow Thistle; Yellow Flag Iris and Black Medick were in flower.

Taphrina pruni; Pontania proxima and Aceria fraxinivorus were added.

 

18th May 2017 - Moulton Marsh RSPB, Lincolnshire - A short walk after the previous long wander and only 16 birds noted. Chaffinch; Wood Pigeon; Blackcap; Black Headed Gull; Oystercatcher; Tufted Duck; Buzzard; Mallard; Swallow; Canada Goose; Common Whitethroat; Pheasant; Magpie; Carrion Crow; Meadow Pipit and Skylark.

Bugs seen were:- 7 Spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata); Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis); Dance Fly (Empis tessalata); Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus); Red and Black Froghopper (Cercopis vulnerata); Red Headed Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva); Common Nettle Bug (Liocoris tripustulatus) and the Hoverflies (Melanostoma scalare) and (Xylota segnis). A Peacock butterfly was also seen and a Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis).

Small Leaved Lime was seen and the gall (Eriophyes leiosoma). Red Dead Nettle was pondered.

 

18th May 2017 - Frampton Marsh RSPB, Lincolnshire - An early start and after a good wander in glorious sun, the usual tea break and a chat with a dude we know called Anthony who we first met on the Isle of Portland and who is now working at this excellent we left the area we a good list of 71 bird species under the belt. The list was:- Pheasant; Magpie; Sedge Warbler; Lapwing; Mute Swan; Black Headed Gull; Mallard; Swift; Swallow; Shelduck; Mistle Thrush; Blackbird; Collared Dove; Reed Bunting; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Hobby; Coot; Cuckoo; Greylag Goose; House Martin; Greenfinch; Wood Pigeon; Tufted Duck; Moorhen; Avocet; Little Egret; Jackdaw; Yellow Wagtail; Canada Goose; Gadwall; Barnacle Goose; Jay; Grey Heron; Little Grebe; Goldfinch; Dark Bellied Brent Goose; Redshank; Pochard; Shoveler; Reed Warbler; Cormorant; Robin; Wren; Linnet; Ringed Plover; Ruff; Dunlin; Black Tailed Godwit; Turtle Dove; Long Tailed Tit; Chaffinch; Starling; Dunnock; Common Whitethroat; Yellowhammer; Blue Tit; Pied Wagtail; Skylark; Tree Sparrow; Great Tit; Common Tern; Great Crested Grebe; Little Stint; Little Gull; Wigeon; Common Sandpiper; Stock Dove + Cetti's Warbler; Green Woodpecker and Blackcap.

Some butterflies decided to take to the wing in the sun, these were:- Green Veined White (*2); Orange Tip (*1); Large White (*3); Small Heath (*1); Painted Lady (*1); Peacock (*2); Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Small White (*1); Holly Blue (*1) and Red Admiral (*3).

Pale Flax was in flower; a Brown Hare was seen as well as a Blue Tailed Damselfly and the Hoverfly (Rhingia campestris).

 
17th May 2017 - Fairburn Ings RSPB, W. Yorkshire - The second location of the day and one done in constant rain. In truth we crack on regardless and this was a cracking jaunt with flapjack and tea to start and finish and 57 bird species recorded in between, the list was:- Wood Pigeon; Great Tit; Collared Dove; Mallard; Wren; Black Headed Gull; Tree Sparrow; Gadwall; Carrion Crow; Blackbird; Jackdaw; Common Whitethroat; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Bullfinch; Long Tailed Tit; Coot; Reed Warbler; Little Grebe; Tufted Duck; Swift; Song Thrush; Willow Warbler; Robin; Oystercatcher; Skylark; Little Egret; Chaffinch; Swallow; Shelduck; House Martin; Cormorant; Moorhen; Dunnock; Little Ringed Plover; Kingfisher; Cuckoo; Canada Goose; Greylag Goose; Sedge Warbler; Pochard; Mute Swan; Grey Heron; Common Tern; Great Crested Grebe; Great Black Backed Gull; Blackcap; Sand Martin; Magpie; Blue Tit; Willow Tit; Bittern; Jackdaw + Chiffchaff; Greenfinch; Curlew; Green Woodpecker and Reed Warbler on call.
 

17th May 2017 - St Aidans RSPB, W. Yorkshire - A fine early morning stroll was had with the area covered just in time before the rain came down. 50 bird species were noted, these were:- Blue Tit; Stock Dove; Black Headed Gull; Swallow; Greylag Goose; Canada Goose; Great Crested Grebe; Magpie; Sedge Warbler; Moorhen; Great Black Backed Gull; Goldfinch; Reed Bunting; Linnet; Gadwall; Meadow Pipit; Skylark; Carrion Crow; Cormorant; Coot; Tufted Duck; Mute Swan; Little Egret; Blackbird; Reed Warbler; Pochard; Sand Martin; Little Grebe; Mallard; Shoveler; Common Tern; Avocet; Swift; Redshank; Starling; Willow Warbler; Oystercatcher; Kestrel; Grey Heron; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Wren; Long Tailed Tit; Tree Sparrow; Lapwing; Wood Pigeon; Ruff; Common Whitethroat + Greenfinch; Bittern and Pheasant on call.

 

16th May 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking home after a trip into Stockport and a slow stroll looking for galls. 14 species were found, these were:- Pontania proxima; Psyllopsis fraxini; Aceria pseudoplatani; Aceria cephaloneus; Biorhiza pallida; Phyllocoptes goniothorax; Protomyces macrosporus; Acalitus brevitarsus; Eriophyes inangulis; Eriophyes leiosoma; Pontania gallarum; Eriophyes sorbi; Taphrina padi and Vasates quadripedes.

Yellow Rattle was now in flower.

 

14th May 2017 - Gatley Carrs, Stockport, Cheshire - A busy weekend with decorating and taking the mother-in-law out for a jaunt the priority. We were fagged out come late Sunday afternoon but managed a quiet stroll at this local reserve. The weather was fine but cloud kept appearing and in the 1 hour stroll we didn't see as much as expected. Singles of Comma; Green Veined White and Orange Tip were flitting about as well as 8 Nettle Tap Moths; Common Blue and Blue Tailed Damselflies were seen; the Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum); a Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria); Common Green Shield Bug (Palomena prasina); a colony of Tree Bees (Bombus hypnorum) and the Hoverfly (Melanostoma scalare) were observed too.

Large Bittercress; Common Bistort; Yellow Flag Iris and an Elder Tree were in bloom and the gall Eriophyes similis was on the leaves of a Prunus species.

 
12th May 2017 - Fletcher Moss, Didsbury, G. Manchester - Having parked up on the bikes we watched a few birds at the feeding station, shared a bit of chocolate and then continued on our circular ride. 22 species were noted, these were:- Ring Necked Parakeet; Dunnock; Robin; Wood Pigeon; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Coal Tit; Blackbird; Magpie; Bullfinch; Goldfinch; Swift; Starling; Grey Heron; Mallard; Carrion Crow; Swallow; Chaffinch; Sand Martin + Grey Wagtail; Wren and Chiffchaff on call.
 

12th May 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - An evening bike ride - Common Bistort; Ground Elder; Dame's Violet; Red Valerian and Green Alkanet all in flower.

A male Mandarin Duck was in fine fettle.

 
12th May 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A few overnight visitors, Bee Moth (*1), Light Brown Apple Moth (*12); Shuttle Shaped Dart (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*1) and Common Marbled Carpet (*1) all put in an appearance on a breezy night.
 
11th May 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A Bee Moth, a 20 Plume Moth and a Light Brown Apple Moth were welcome visitors to the open karsi window.  These 3 moths are relatively common and overlooked by the masses and taken for granted by many lepidopterists but I appreciate them - they are doing what they do and are subtle beauties.
 
10th May 2017 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - The sun was blazing, the bugs were hiding, just a Green Veined White and a Tree Bee were noted - ah well, the sun was lovely.
 

9th May 2017 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - The Hoverflies (Melanostoma scalare); (Episyrphus balteatus) and (Platycheirus albimanus); the Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum); 1 Common Green Shield Bug (Palomena prasina) and several Harlequin Ladybirds (Harmonia axyridis) were all seen on a dinnertime stroll.

Acer Felt Gall (Aceria pseudoplatani) was seen for the first time this year.

 
9th May - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Celery Leaved Buttercup and Cut-Leaved Crane's-Bill were noted in flower whilst strolling to work.
 

8th May 2017 - Marbury CP/Anderton NR, Cheshire - A good walk with my brother today was taken in decent weather although the breeze and odd cloud did keep insect numbers down and stopped the birds from singing. 51 species of bird were noted though, these being:- Robin; Magpie; Blackbird; Tufted Duck; Coot; Carrion Crow; Goldfinch; Blackcap; Reed Bunting; Reed Warbler; Bullfinch; Moorhen; Gadwall; Lapwing; Mistle Thrush; Mallard; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Black Headed Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Oystercatcher; Nuthatch; Song Thrush; Buzzard; Willow Warbler; Garden Warbler; Collared Dove; Greater Spotted Woodpecker; Starling; House Sparrow; Swallow; Goldcrest; Treecreeper; Long Tailed Tit; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Shelduck; Swift; Greylag Goose; Jackdaw; Great Crested Grebe; Wren; Wood Pigeon; Sand Martin; House Martin; Pied Wagtail; Grey Heron + Chaffinch; Chiffchaff and Jay on call.

3 Damselflies were seen on the wing:- Large Red Damselfly (*2); Common Blue Damselfly (*4) and Azure Damselfly (*1).

7 species of butterfly were seen:- Green Veined White (*1); Peacock (*1); Orange Tip (*8); Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Speckled Wood (*2); Comma (*1) and Dingy Skipper (*20). 6 Nettle Tap Moths were also seen.

6 Hoverflies were noted :- Rhingia Campestris; Platycheirus albimanus; Leucozona lucorum; Xylota segnis; Eristalis pertinax; Melanostoma scalare.

Other insects observed were:- Common Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus); 14 Spot Ladybird (Propylea quatuordecimpunctata); Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis); Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle (Gastrophysa viridula); Alder Leaf Beetle (Agelastica alni); Dance Fly (Empis tessalata); Red Headed Cardinal Beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis); Noon Fly (Mesembrina meridiana); Common Carder Bee (Bombus pascuorum); Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria) and Scorpion Fly (Panorpa germanica).

2 galls were noted, these were Eriophyes laevis on Alder leaves and Biorhiza pallida on Oak.

30 flowers were in bloom, these being:- Wood Avens; Wood Speedwell; Ramsons; Bluebell; Wavy Bittercress; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Red Campion; Garlic Mustard; Dandelion agg; Creeping Buttercup; Yellow Pimpernel; Lesser Celandine; Herb Robert; Pignut; Ribwort Plantain; Meadow Buttercup; Daisy; Cuckooflower; Common Mouse Ear; Marsh Marigold; Red Clover; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Germander Speedwell; Hogweed; Bush Vetch; Common Vetch; Salad Burnet and Wild Strawberry.

 

7th May 2017 - Aberduna NWWT, Denbighshire - After our previous yomp we all decided to explore a new area. This tucked away spot has potential but today we saw little. Butterflies seen were:- Speckled Wood (*2); Peacock (*4) Green Veined White (*1); Small White (*1) and Orange Tip (*5). A Brown Silver Line Moth was also noted.

A Red Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus lapidarius) and the Drone Fly (Eristalis pertinax) and Bugle and Early Purple Orchid were in flower.

 

7th May 2017 - Pot Hole Quarry, Denbighshire - A wander with some friends in glorious weather. The stroll was slow and 51 species of flower were noted:- Toothwort; Garlic Mustard; Dandelion agg; Cow Parsley; Crosswort; Common Mouse Ear; Chickweed; Bush Vetch; Red Campion; White Dead Nettle; Ribwort Plantain; Dog's Mercury; Greater Stitchwort; Lesser Celandine; Slender Speedwell; Germander Speedwell; Daisy; Cuckooflower; Creeping Buttercup; Cowslip; Groundsel; Ramsons; Ground Ivy; Wood Sorrel; Barren strawberry; Common Dog Violet; Rue Leaved Saxifrage; Field Madder; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Common Rock Rose; Parsley Piert; Primrose; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Salad Burnet; Herb Robert; Fairy Flax; Common Milkwort; Bluebell; Tormentil; Pignut; Bulbous Buttercup; Dove's-Foot Crane's-Bill; Early Purple Orchid; Moschatel; Water Avens; Goldilocks Buttercup; Wavy Bittercress; Lords and Ladies; Wood Anemone; Wild Strawberry and Sanicle.

Bird wise it was a quiet day with only 18 species seen:- Pied Flycatcher; Goldfinch; Carrion Crow; Chaffinch; Swallow; Bullfinch; Blue Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Dunnock; Grey Wagtail; Robin; Redstart; Blackbird; Blackcap; Chiffchaff; Wood Pigeon; Great Tit; Buzzard and Willow Warbler.

Butterflies were represented by:- Small White (*1); Orange Tip (*13); Small Copper (*1); Peacock (*4) and Speckled Wood (*1) whilst 2 moths were seen, these being:- Nettle Tap Moth (*3) and Pyrausta cingulata (*3).

9 species of Hoverfly were seen, these were:- Rhingia campestris; Meliscaeva auricollis; Platycheirus albimanus; Dasysyrphus albostriatus; Eristalis pertinax; Xylota segnis; Melanostoma scalare; Portevinia maculata and Cheilosia illustrata.

Other bugs noted were:- St Mark's Fly (Bibio marci); Spotted Cranefly (Nephrotoma appendiculata); Bee Fly (Bombylius major); Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle (Gastrophysa viridula); 22 Spot Ladybird (Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata); Downlooker Snipe Fly (Rhagio scolopaceus); Red and Black Froghopper (Cercopis vulnerata); Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus) and the Noon Fly (Mesembrina meridiana).

Also seen were the Furrow Spider (Larinioides cornutus) and a few Strawberry Snails (Trochulus striolatus).

 
7th May 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - 2 moths in the toilet, a Garden Carpet and a Spectacle - I best get the trap out!
 
6th May 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - What a dreary day, cold and cloudy and very uninspiring. An Early Grey Moth sounds apt considering the look of the skies but this little visitor to the toilet was admired for its real beauty!
 

5th May 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Wandering in the sun to and from work and doing a spot of botanising. 38 flowers were in bloom:- Lesser Celandine; Wood Avens; Herb Robert; Garlic Mustard; Red Campion; Dandelion agg; Hedge Mustard; Ramsons; Fringe Cups; Toothwort; Cow Parsley; Rape; Goosegrass; Ox-Eye Daisy; Ribwort Plantain; Common Vetch; Thale Cress; Meadow Buttercup; Creeping Buttercup; Daisy; White Dead Nettle; Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Hairy Tare; Common Nettle; Groundsel; Common Mouse Ear; American Winter Cress; Ivy Leaved Toadflax; White Valerian; Sweet Woodruff; Wall Speedwell; Bush Vetch; Colt's-Foot; Lesser Trefoil; Wood Speedwell; Broad Leaved Dock and Rough Hawk's-Beard.

Singletons of Holly Blue; Green Veined White; Speckled Wood and Orange Tip were on the wing. 2 hoverflies were noted, these were:- Meliscaeva auricollis and Myathropa florea.

 

4th May 2017 - River Mersey and Cheshire Canal, G. Manchester - Another 32 mile bike ride on a route done 2 weeks previous with cut throughs Fletcher Moss; Chorlton WP and Sale WP. Today my good lady joined me for the ride (and tea and cake) and we clocked up a list of 48 bird species, these were:- Feral Pigeon; House Sparrow; Starling; Magpie; Swallow; Blackbird; Mallard; Wood Pigeon; Grey Heron; Goldfinch; Grey Wagtail; Sand Martin; Black Headed Gull; Canada Goose; Carrion Crow; Robin; Cormorant; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Little Ringed Plover; Ring Necked Parakeet; Dunnock; Coot; Kestrel; Common Whitethroat; Mistle Thrush; Little grebe; Mute Swan; Jackdaw; Lapwing; Song Thrush; Great Tit; Greenfinch; Bullfinch; Long Tailed Tit; Chaffinch; Nuthatch; Kingfisher; Tufted Duck; Gadwall; Moorhen; Pied Wagtail + Willow Warbler; Goldcrest; Chiffchaff; Wren; Blackcap and Reed Warbler on call.

Butterfly numbers seen along the way were affected by a gusting wind:- Green Veined White (*2); Orange Tip (*13); Holly Blue (*1); Comma (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*7); Peacock (*1) Large White (*1) and Brimstone (*1).

A Fox and a Brown Hare were also seen.

 

3rd May 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Strolling home from work and 2 Harlequin Ladybirds were seen on Nettle as well as a lone Nettle Tap (Anthophila fabriciana). 3 Orange Tip Butterflies were also enjoying the sun.

Common Vetch was plentiful and a Grey Wagtail caught my eye along the water.

 

2nd May 2017 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - A dinner time stroll, 33 Harlequin Ladybirds (Harmonia axyridis) ; 3 Common Flower Bugs (Anthocoris nemorum); 1 Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemoralis); 4 Common Nettle Bug (Liocoris tripustulatus); 4 Common Green Shield Bugs (Palomena prasina); 1 Mirid Bug (Harpocera thoracica); 2 Nursery Web Spiders (Pisaura mirabilis), 1 Nettle Tap (Anthophila fabriciana) and 1 Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) were all noted.  2 Hoverflies were seen, these were 1 Melanostoma scalare and 3 Epistrophe eligans.

Honesty was in flow and the Ground Elder Leaf Gall (Protomyces macrosporus) was frequent.

NOTE:- This was the first time I had chance to compare the 2 closely related flower bugs (Anthocoris nemorum) and (Anthocoris nemoralis) and observe their subtle differences. Not easy but with a digital photo and much on-line info the identification was finally made.

 
1st May 2017 - Elton Reservoir, G. Manchester - A local-ish walk today in cloudy conditions that kept the bird life quite lethargic. We managed a list of 38 species on a 90 minute wander, these were:- Mallard; Black Headed Gull; Wood Pigeon; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Magpie; Moorhen; Coot; Tufted Duck; Black Tern; Song Thrush; Great Crested Grebe; House Sparrow; Swallow; Little Gull (*4); Jackdaw; Willow Warbler; Starling; Wren; Feral Pigeon; Blackbird; Lapwing; Carrion Crow; Robin; Bullfinch; Pied Wagtail; Greenfinch; Great Tit; Bar Tailed Godwit; Reed Bunting; Common Whitethroat; Goldfinch; Swift; Chaffinch; Lesser Black Backed Gull + Blue Tit; Dunnock and Skylark on call.
 
APRIL
 
27th April 2017 - Heaton Mersey/River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - The Hoverfly (Myathropa florea) kindly perched on my finger whilst I admired its beauty, Pendunculate Oak and Wych Elm were both in flower and a Kingfisher was on the river again.
 
26th April 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Hedge Mustard is now in flower and whilst checking Common Nettle I noted a Cream Spot Ladybird and a Spider of the Tetragnatha complex.
 

25th April 2017 - River Mersey and Cheshire Canal, G. Manchester - A 32 mile bike ride staring at Cheadle Heath in Stockport, going down the river to Sale Water Park then cut round and following the Cheshire Ring Canal. Half way I stopped at The Lavender Tea Rooms and enjoyed a pot of cha' and some carrot cake - very tasty! The journey was enjoyed and brief mooches on Chorlton WP and Sale WP were had. 48 bird species were noted, these were:- Feral Pigeon; Grey Heron; Mallard; Blackbird; Jay; Magpie; Carrion Crow; Mandarin Duck; Common Sandpiper; Wren; Wood Pigeon; Blue Tit; Canada Goose; Greenfinch; Kestrel; Common Whitethroat; House Sparrow; Chaffinch; Robin; Mute Swan; Lapwing; Goldfinch; Cormorant; Great Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Starling; Black Headed Gull; Swallow; Dunnock; Great Crested Grebe; Little Grebe; Moorhen; Willow Tit; Kingfisher (*2); Tufted Duck; House Martin; Sand Martin; Grey Wagtail; Pied Wagtail; Little Ringed Plover (*2); Ring Necked Parakeet; Goosander + Great Spotted Woodpecker; Song Thrush; Blackcap; Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff on call.

Hedge Mustard; Red Valerian; Rowan and Horse Chestnut were in flower.

3 Orange Tips were on the wing.

 
23rd April 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Winding down in the garden and reading some Dennis Wheatley, it was real grand to see a Holly Blue flitter about and bask on the Ivy leaves. The Hoverfly (Eupeodes luniger) was tootling about some Wood Sage leaves.
 

23rd April 2017 - Chorlton WP, G. Manchester - The last stop off of the day where I met my two lasses who had been doing some running. We had a chat, they had a jolly on my bike and then they went off shopping and I did some more mooching. Speckled Wood (*2); Orange tip (*5); Brimstone (*3); Small Tortoiseshell (*1) and Green Veined White (*1) were the butterflies seen with Nettle Tap Moth and Common Carpet the moths noted.

Alder Leaf Beetle; Hawthorn Shield Bug; Nettle Weevil; and the Hoverflies (Cheilosia pagana) and (Platycheirus albimanus) were add extras.

Green Alkanet; Sweet Cicely; Greater Celandine and Wild Strawberry were all in flower.

 
23rd April 2017 - Mersey Bank Park, G. Manchester - A stop off for some water and Quorn Sausages - and 3 Orange Tips joined me as well as a nice dog who was given a sausage for being well behaved.
 
23rd April 2017 - Northenden, G. Manchester - Part 3 of the bike ride, a single Orange Tip and 2 Speckled Wood were noted plus a pair of Lesser Black Backed Gulls on the weir as well as a prowling Grey Heron.
 

23rd April 2017 - Fletcher Moss, Didsbury, G. Manchester - The second instalment from today's cycling venture produced the following lepidopteran specimens:- Orange Tip (*1); Comma (*1) and Speckled Wood (*2).

A Nettle patch was inspected and turned up a Garden Spider; a Strawberry Snail; a Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus); 7 Spot Ladybird and 14 Spot Ladybird.

A Mallard was seen with many young and the Little Grebe nest I have been keeping tabs on still has a parent sitting tight.

 

23rd April 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A late-ish night gigging so a good 5 hour bike ride was had and along the first section I noted the butterflies:- Orange Tip (*6); Holly Blue (*2) and Speckled Wood (*1).

An Oystercatcher flew over, a Mistle Thrush was enjoyed feeding in a field and Thyme Leaved Speedwell was in flower.

 
22nd April 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Plastering and household chores but whilst taking a break in the garden the sun shone and the Hoverflies (Epistrophe eligans); (Melanostoma scalare) and (Eristalis pertinax) appeared as well as a prowling Common Wasp, Red Tailed Bumble Bee and 2 Harlequin Ladybirds.
 

20th April 2017 - Heaton Mersey/River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Spring is beginning to mature and although the weather is its unpredictable self things are moving forward. Today, whilst wandering home I noted Cock's-Foot and Annual Oat Grass in fine fettle, Ribwort Plantain; Goosegrass; Rape and Creeping Buttercup all sporting flowers and the galls Aceria campestricola; Phyllocoptes goniothorax and Aceria cephalonea were also seen.

 
18th April 2017 - Heaton Mersey/River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking home from work and a new colony of Ashy Mining Bees were found, the Hoverflies (Epistrophe eligans) and (Mythropa florea) were absorbing some sun, 3 Orange Tips were on the wing and Wood Speedwell was in flower.
 
17th April 2017 - Carlisle City FC, Gillford Park, Cumbria - A Goosander was on the stream outside, a Comma butterfly joined us on the touchline and a Grey Wagtail flew by when the teams were warming up.
 

17th April 2017 - Hammonds Pond, Cumbria - Another football match was looming so we decided to stay close and have a wander and lunch at this public area.  Not a bad location at all and 26 birds were noted along the way:- Blue Tit; Tufted Duck; Coot; Mallard; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Chaffinch; Blackbird; Moorhen; Wood Pigeon; Jackdaw; Goosander; Mistle Thrush; Robin; Magpie; Blackcap; Wren; Long Tailed Tit; Mute Swan; Song Thrush; Willow Warbler; Goldcrest; House Sparrow; Dunnock; Goldfinch + Chiffchaff on call.

2 Orange Tip butterflies were welcomed, 2 Bee Flies (Bombylius major); 2 Hoverflies (Eristalis pertinax) and (Platycheirus albimanus) respectively and the lovely flowers of Slender Speedwell.

 

17th April 2017 - Rickerby Park, Cumbria - A walk around this open area was done in grand sunshine and 28 bird species were recorded:- Willow Warbler; Cormorant; Wood Pigeon; Feral Pigeon; Carrion Crow; Herring Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Mute Swan; Pied Wagtail; Chaffinch; Treecreeper; Blue Tit; Mallard; Robin; Wren; Great Tit; Starling; Blackbird; Jackdaw; Nuthatch; Magpie; Bullfinch; Stock Dove; Goosander + Goldcrest; Goldfinch and Chiffchaff on call.

The sun brought out some Small Tortoiseshells (*3) and Orange Tips (*2) and a Common Carder Bee (Bombus pascuorum).

Crosswort was in flower.

 

17th April 2017 - Kingsmoor NR, Cumbria - Up early and round this litter-free woodland, applause to all who make it such a wonderful pace.  21 bird species were noted today:- Blackcap; Jackdaw; Wood Pigeon; Magpie; Coal Tit; Great Tit; Blackbird; Chaffinch; Robin; Wren; Goldfinch; Chiffchaff; Carrion Crow; Rook; Oystercatcher; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Willow Warbler; Song Thrush + Great Spotted Woodpecker; Nuthatch and Greenfinch on call.

Red Tailed Bumble Bee; Buff Tailed Bumble Bee and Fringe Cups were other observations.

 
16th April 2017 - Kingholme Quay, Dumfries - A final stroll of the day and 29 birds listed:- Blackbird; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Wood Pigeon; Carrion Crow; Goosander; Sand Martin; Collared Dove; Sparrowhawk; Starling; Chaffinch; Blue Tit; Goldfinch; Shelduck; Pied Wagtail; Song Thrush; Grey Heron; Mallard; Redshank; Kingfisher; Oystercatcher; Great Tit; Robin; Jackdaw; Swallow; Ring Necked Parakeet + Blackcap; Pheasant; Wren and Goldcrest on call.
 

16th April 2017 - Caerlaverock WWT, Dumfries - The weather was set to level 'crap', we waited and then made up our minds to just get out and go for it and what a good decsions that was.  A great jaunt this with 2 visit to the cafe resulting in some good grub and some welcome cha'.  the birding wasn't bad either, 58 species to be exact, these were:- Greenfinch; Jackdaw; House Sparrow; Starling; Carrion Crow; Feral Pigeon; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Greylag Goose; Skylark; Buzzard; Reed Bunting; Cormorant; Mute Swan; Pheasant; Stock Dove; Blackbird; Whooper Swan; Sand Martin; Mallard; Gadwall; Tufted Duck; Willow Warbler; Pink Footed Goose; Goldfinch; Wheatear; Robin; Black Tailed Godwit; Shelduck; Shoveler; Canada Goose; Swallow; Redshank; Oystercatcher; Moorhen; Grey Heron; Teal; Meadow Pipit; Dunnock; Long Tailed Tit; Wood Pigeon; Barnacle Goose; Blue Tit; White Wagtail; Pied Wagtail; Great Tit; Collared Dove; Linnet; Tree Sparrow; Golden Plover; Wigeon; Curlew; Wren; Song Thrush; Chaffinch; Lapwing; Black Headed Gull; Great Black Backed Gull + Chiffchaff on call.

Roe Deer (*7); Brown Hare (*2) and Brown Rat (*4) were seen along the way.

 

15th April 2017 - Fell Foot CP, Cumbria - We had been to the football, Holker Old Boys had been beat 2 - 1 by Silsden AFC.  On the way back to Carlisle we popped in at this beauty spot found at the southern end of Lake Windermere. We had an hours leg stretching and kept up the birdwatching theme of the trip.  17 birds were noted:- Robin; Wood Pigeon; Goosander; Black Headed Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Mallard; Jackdaw; Mute Swan; Chaffinch; Carrion Crow; Starling; Coal Tit; Great Tit; Blackbird + Nuthatch; Blue Tit and Greenfinch on call.

 
15th April 2017 - Sandscale NR, Cumbria - We were due to attend a non-league footy match but had a couple of hours to kill.  Locally was this reserve so we did a small bit a totted up a list of 20 bird species:- Coal Tit; Swallow; Goldfinch; Carrion Crow; Herring Gull; Great Black backed gull; Magpie; Willow Warbler; Linnet; Skylark; Mallard; Meadow Pipit; Little Egret; Shelduck; Goldeneye; Reed Bunting; Oystercatcher + Chiffchaff; Song Thrush and Wren on call.
 

15th April 2017 - Cavendish Dock/Westfield Point NR, Cumbria - A tucked away area that has much more to it than one would consider.  We had a right old mooch and listed 38 bird species along the way:- Oystercatcher; Curlew; Shelduck; Greylag Goose; Feral Pigeon; Redshank; Moorhen; Blackcap; Eider; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Canada Goose; Herring Gull; Mallard; Mute Swan; Pied Wagtail; Chaffinch; Greenfinch; Mistle Thrush; Long Tailed Tit; Cormorant; Wood Pigeon; Goldfinch; Chiffchaff; Wren; Magpie; Carrion Crow; Grey Heron; Great Tit; Little Egret; Jay; Bullfinch; Blue Tit; Robin; Blackbird; Jackdaw + Pheasant; Willow Warbler and Dunnock on call.

A Common Green Shieldbug, the Drone-Fly (Eristalis pertinax) plus Bush Vetch in flower were also pondered.

A Small Tortoiseshell flew in front of the car whilst in a nearby Morrisons car park.

 

14th April 2017 - Campfield Marsh/Bowness, Cumbria - A good yomp here albeit in conditions that tested the patience.  The 42 bird species noted were:- Carrion Crow; Chaffinch; Great Tit; Tree Sparrow; Blue Tit; Little Egret; Teal; Gadwall; Lapwing; Collared Dove; Linnet; Grey Heron; Black Headed Gull; Mallard; Great Black Backed Gull; Starling; Blackcap; Turnstone; Lesser Black backed Gull; Cormorant; Dunnock; Robin; Pheasant; Wren; Skylark; Moorhen; Curlew; Oystercatcher; Wigeon; Shoveler; Buzzard; Wood Pigeon; Magpie; Little Grebe; Shelduck; Willow Warbler; Black Tailed Godwit; Jackdaw; Redshank + Chiffchaff and Bullfinch on call.

The Hoverflies (Platycheirus albimanus); (Eristalis pertinax) and (Eristalis arbustorum) were seen as well as a Buff Tailed Bumble Bee; a Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle and a Roe Deer.

 

14th April 2017 - Bowness on Solway CWT, Cumbria - A very small tucked away retreat but with high potential.  We saw a few fungi and a few birds, the birds were:- Coal Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Blue Tit; Mallard; Chiffchaff; Wood Pigeon; Goldcrest and Chaffinch.  2 Leopard Slugs; 2 female Great Crested Newts and a Red Tailed Bumble Bee were also seen.

Ground Ivy was in flower.

 
14th April 2017 - Watchtree NR, Cumbria - A cracking little place this and over the years it will surely become better and better and grow into a thriving hotspot for many species.  38 bird species were noted on this trip, the list comprised of:- Skylark; Carrion Crow; Wood Pigeon; Jackdaw; Goldfinch; Tufted Duck; Willow Warbler; Little Grebe; Great Tit; Chaffinch; Blackbird; Moorhen; Wren; Linnet; Pied Wagtail; Swallow; Pheasant; Lesser Redpoll; Treecreeper; Buzzard; Reed Bunting; Tree Sparrow; Dunnock; Mallard; Blue Tit; Coot; Mute Swan; Teal; Bullfinch; Lapwing; Chiffchaff; Magpie; Song Thrush; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Robin; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Gadwall and Oystercatcher.
 

13th April 2017 - Rockcliffe Marsh and area, Cumbria - The final destination of a lengthy day brought a list of 25 bird species:- Barnacle Goose; Greylag Goose; Jackdaw; Oystercatcher; Pink Footed Goose; Gadwall; Shelduck; Wood Pigeon; Starling; Lapwing; Carrion Crow; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Sand Martin; Pied Wagtail; Pheasant; Chaffinch; Blackbird; Mute Swan; Redshank; Mallard; Blue Tit; Black Headed Gull; Goosander; House Sparrow + Goldcrest on call.

Three Nerved Sandwort was in flower.

 

13th April 2017 - River Esk, Longtown, Cumbria - A cracking tea and cake break at The Sycamore Tree B&B followed by a lovely stroll along the river in breezy conditions. 27 bird species were noted, these being:- Wood Pigeon; Sand Martin; Lesser Black Backed Gull; House Sparrow; Goosander; Blackbird; Goldeneye; Jackdaw; Dipper; Common Sandpiper; Goldfinch; Pied Wagtail; Chiffchaff; Grey Heron; Blue Tit; Siskin; Great Tit; Robin; Sparrowhawk; Mallard; Starling; Oystercatcher; Black Headed Gull; Buzzard; Feral Pigeon + Wren and Willow Warbler on call.

Cuckooflower was abundant and looked amazing.

 

13th April 2017 - Wreay Woods CWT and Scalesceugh Hall, Cumbria - A tucked away haven blessed in silence and sun. We casually strolled, we spotted 20 species of bird, these were:- Great Spotted Woodpecker; Goldfinch; Blackbird; Chiffchaff; Starling; Carrion Crow; Buzzard; Great Tit; House Sparrow; Wren; Jackdaw; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Mallard; Coal Tit; Song Thrush; Dipper; Chaffinch; Robin; Treecreeper + Blackcap on call.

The Hoverflies (Platycheirus albimanus) and (Eristalis pertinax) were seen as well as the Bee Fly (Bombylius major); a Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io) and the Red Breasted Carrion Beetle (Oiceoptoma thoracica) were nice extras.

 
13th April 2017 - Quarry Banks CWT, Cumbria - A very quiet walk in chilled sunshine. Wood Anemones were in healthy masses, 3 Buzzards circled, a Chiffchaff and a Blackcap were seen and Greater Stitchwort and Red Campion were in flower.
 

13th April 2017 - Aira Force and Ullswater, Cumbria - A morning spent birding produced 25 species only but thank goodness we cracked on as the car park didn't half fill up quick later on. The birds seen noted were:- Nuthatch; Chaffinch; Wood Pigeon; Coal Tit; Blue Tit; Mute Swan; Great Tit; Goldfinch; Wren; Robin; Meadow Pipit; Carrion Crow; Jackdaw; Blackbird; Canada Goose; Greylag Goose; Common Sandpiper; Pied Wagtail; Cormorant; Starling; Goosander + Great Spotted Woodpecker; Blackcap; Chiffchaff and Dunnock on call.

Wood Sorrel; Lesser Celandine; Barren Strawberry; Primrose; Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage; Wood Anemone; Common Dog Violet; Pink Purslane; Garlic Mustard; Colt's-Foot and Cuckooflower were all in grand flower.

The lichen (Rhizocarpon geographicum) was everywhere, the Drone-Fly (Eristalis pertinax) popped out in between cloudy spells and a Short Tailed Vole peeped out from a stone wall.

 
11th April 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Examining a Nettle bed whilst walking home from work produced 1 Small Tortoiseshell; the Drone-Fly (Eristalis pertinax); a 2 Spot Ladybird and the Common Nettle Bug (Liocoris tripustulatus).
 
9th April 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A bike ride with the good lady in generous sunshine. Orange Tip (*6); Peacock (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*3) and a Brimstone (*1) were all great company and thoroughly admired.
 

9th April 2017 - Fletcher Moss, G. Manchester - A walk with the daughter in glorious sun and a bike ride with my good lady later on. Whilst chatting about dance and foreign languages we saw the following butterflies:- Holly Blue (*4); Speckled Wood (*6); Orange Tip (*6); Peacock (*1); Comma (*1) and Brimstone (*3). Hoverflies seen were:- Melanostoma scalare (*2); Platycheirus albimanus (*1); Cheilosia pagana (*1) Neoascia podagrica (*1); Epistrophe eligans (*1) and Eristalis pertinax (*2). Alder Leaf Beetles; a pair of copulating Small Nettle Weevils (Nedyus quadrimaculatus) and a Strawberry Snail were also seen.

Ground Ivy was now in flower and Little Grebe nest was observed.

 

8th April 2017 - Stanley Park, Blackpool, Lancashire - A wander around the park prior to the match, 22 birds noted:- Coot; Moorhen; Tufted Duck; Blackbird; Robin; Wood Pigeon; Mute Swan; Magpie; Mallard; Goldfinch; Great Tit; Willow Warbler; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Herring Gull; Feral Pigeon; Blackcap; Sparrowhawk; Blue Tit; Great Crested Grebe; Wren; Long Tailed Tit and Canada Goose.

27 Red Eared Terrapins (Trachemys scripta elegans) were seen as well as 1 Peacock Butterfly and the Drone Fly (Eristalis pertinax).

 

8th April 2017 - Marton Mere, Blackpool, Lancashire - A day out footballing so why not make a day of it and get some wildlife wandering in too. First port of call and 33 birds noted:- Robin; Collared Dove; Starling; Blackbird; Blue Tit; Dunnock; Carrion Crow; Magpie; House Sparrow; Wren; Chaffinch; Willow Warbler; Jackdaw; Cetti's Warbler; Chiffchaff; Greylag Goose; Mute Swan; Coot; Moorhen; Mallard; Canada Goose; Teal; Herring Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Black Headed Gull; Blackcap; Great Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Song Thrush; Grey Heron; Goldfinch; Pheasant + Greenfinch on call.

Butterflies seen were:- Small Tortoiseshell (*6); Comma (*5); Peacock (*7); Speckled Wood (*2) and Brimstone (*1). Melanostoma scalare and Eristalis pertinax were the only hoverflies seen and a Common Green Shield Bug; White Tailed Bumble Bee; 10 Spot Ladybird and Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle were other bugs seen.

 
7th April 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Episyrphus balteatus and Melanostoma scalare were the 2 hoverflies noted in the garden whilst catching a bit of currant bun and a Tree Bee was also seen.
 
7th April 2017 - Sale WP, G. Manchester - Another good cycle ride to this popular area although today was very bare of people and even my sausage barm cake and cup of tea was enjoyed in peace. Birds seen today totalled 31 species, these being:- Tufted Duck; Mute Swan; Buzzard; Coot; Canada Goose; Magpie; Robin; Long Tailed Tit; Gadwall; Moorhen; Grey Heron; Ring Necked Parakeet; Little Grebe; Blackbird; Wood Pigeon; Great Crested Grebe; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Black Headed Gull; Feral Pigeon; Blackcap; Dunnock; Blue Tit; Song Thrush; Great Tit; Willow Tit; Nuthatch; Mallard; Cormorant + Chiffchaff; Wren and Chaffinch on call.
 
4th April 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Another new species for the area namely, Hawthorn Leaf Beetle (Lochmaea crataegi). The year's first Speckled Wood was on the wing as well as a Comma and Eristalis pertinax and Platycheirus albimanus were Hoverflies noted. Pot Bellied Emerald Beetles (Gastrophysa viridula) were plentiful on a patch of Dock leaves and a colony of Ashy Mining Bees (Andrena cineraria) were a delight to see.
 
4th April 2017 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Platychirus albimanus (*2) and Melanostoma scalare (*3) were the Hoverflies on the wing in some late afternoon sun with a Harlequin Ladybird at rest on some Nettle. Thale Cress was in flower.
 
3rd April 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - After doing a crossword in the sun with my lovely wife we had the annual visit of the Honeysuckle Sawfly (Abia lonicerae). I don't know why they pop up once every year and then are never seen again - I appreciate it though, quite stunning creatures. A Brown Rat was also in the garden, the little bugger!
 
3rd April 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - As I breezed along on my bike the year's first Orange Tip was seen, a stunning male.
 

3rd April 2017 - Fletcher Moss, G. Manchester - A cycle out in the sun, 25 birds noted, these were:- Blackcap; Chiffchaff; Canada Goose; Long Tailed Tit; Buzzard; Bullfinch; Wood Pigeon; Carrion Crow; Jay; Grey Wagtail; Little Grebe; Mallard; Magpie; Blackbird; Grey Heron; Treecreeper; Wren; Nuthatch; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Robin + Chaffinch; Dunnock; Ring Necked Parakeet and Goldfinch on call.

5 species of Hoverfly were observed, these were:- Epistrophe eligans; Eristalis intricarius; Eristalis pertinax; Platycheirus albimanus and Melanostoma scalare.

Other beasties seen were:- Tawny Mining Bee (Andrena fulva); Common Carder Bee (Bombus pascuorum); Buff Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus terrestris); Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle (Gastrophysa viridula); Alder Leaf Beetle (Agelastica alni); Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis); Pygmy Woodlouse (Trichoniscus pusillus) and the Black Millipede (Tachypodoiulus niger).

Leopard Slug; Grey Field Slug and Dusky Slug were also noted.

Hawthorn was in flower as was White Dead Nettle and Wood Stitchwort. The False Yellow Archangel (Lamium galeobdolon variegatum) was also sporting blooms.

 

2nd April 2017 - Leverhulme NR, Bolton, Lancashire - A wander with the good lady in decent weather that just saw the sun maintain its shyness.  When it did pop out Small Tortoiseshell (*2) and Comma (*2) made appearances.  4 Buff Tailed Bumble Bees; a Red Tailed Bumble Bee and a Bee Fly (Bombylius major) all added interest.

Wood Anemone; Sweet Cicely; Butterbur; Dandelion agg; Lesser Celandine and Ivy Leaved Speedwell were in bloom.

 
1st April 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A Common Plume Moth and a Double Striped pug were visitors via an overnight window.
 
MARCH
 

31st March 2017 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Small Tortoiseshell (*2) and Comma (*3) were the only butterflies on the wing with Tawny Mining Bee (Andrena fulva), Sawfly (Aglaostigma aucupariae); Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) and Nursery Web Spider (Pisuara mirabilis) other bugs noted.

Thyme leaved Speedwell and Slender Speedwell were both in flower.

 

27th March 2017 - Gatley Carrs, Stockport, Cheshire - A morning walk under blue skies, 22 birds were listed, these being:- Greenfinch; Blackbird; Magpie; Wood Pigeon; Jackdaw; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Great Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Ring Necked Parakeet; Dunnock; Wren; Bullfinch; Canada Goose; Robin; Blue Tit; Goldfinch; Mallard; Moorhen + Chaffinch; Nuthatch; Song Thrush and Starling on call.

Insect wise things were quiet with Red Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus lapidarius); Buff Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus terretsris); the Drone-Fly (Eristalis pertinax); the Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus); the Hairy Eyed Hoverfly (Syrphus torvus); Alder Leaf Beetle (Agelastica alni); Black Cock Beetle (Pterostichus madidus); 7-Spot Ladybird and the butterflies Comma (*2) and Small Tortoiseshell (*4) the only species seen.

Common Mouse Ear and Wood Anemone were in flower.

 

26th March 2017 - Fletcher Moss, G. Manchester - A wander in the glorious sun and 6 species of Hoverfly seen, these were:- Episyrphus balteatus; Eristalis tenax; Eristalis pertinax; Platycheirus albimanus; Cheilosia pagana and Eristalis intricarius. A 2 Spot Ladybird, the Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum), a brace of Tree Bee's (Bombus hypnorum), a Buff Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus terrestris), a Tawny Mining Bee (Andrena fulva) and 5 Comma Butterflies were the other insects seen.

A Wood Mouse; 2 Goosanders and a Chiffchaff were also observed.

 

25th March 2017 - Ashton Garden, Lytham, Lancashire - A wander round the shops and some lunch. We pottered around the park and noted 14 bird species:- Sparrowhawk; Magpie; Herring Gull; Wood Pigeon; Feral Pigeon; Blue Tit; Moorhen; Mute Swan; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Mallard; Chaffinch; Carrion + Goldfinch and Dunnock on call.

A Common Earwig was noted inside a Daffodil trumpet and Spring Beauty was in fine flower on the road besides the park.

 

25th March 2017 - Fairhaven Lake RSPB, Lancashire - Many birders only visit this area when a rarity turns-up which, in itself is a travesty. We always have a nice stroll around this lake and have seen some good birds here, over many a year. Today we tootled in stunning sunshine and ended up with an early morning list of 35 species, these were:- Black Headed Gull; Meadow Pipit; Wood Pigeon; Oystercatcher; Blackbird; Carrion Crow; Herring Gull; Magpie; Jackdaw; Feral Pigeon; Mallard; Canada Goose; Greenfinch; Mute Swan; Tufted Duck; Goldfinch; Knot; Little Egret; Coot; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Shelduck; Moorhen; Chaffinch; Chiffchaff; Dunnock; Robin; Wheatear; Linnet; Starling; Pochard; Pied Wagtail; House Sparrow; Redshank; Goldcrest + Wren on call.

Common Stork's-Bill; Common Whitlow Grass; Red Dead Nettle; Groundsel; Chickweed; Lesser Celandine; Daisy; Danish Scurvy-Grass; Spotted Dead nettle and Shepherd's Purse were all in flower.

 
24th March 2017 - River Mersey, G. Manchester - In between the previous 3 destinations I noted along the riverside 4 more Small Tortoiseshell butterflies, a Comma and Cow Parsley in flower.
 

24th March 2017 - Fletcher Moss, Didsbury, G. Manchester - A stop off for some cheese butties and some barley water. I noted here the following butterflies:- Comma (*1) Peacock (*2) and another Small Tortoiseshell (*1).

Barren Strawberry was in flower.

 

24th March 2017 - Chorlton WP, G. Manchester - Continuing on the bike ride and a circular ride produced few birds but I did have a nice chat with a bloke under the weather and saw the butterflies:- Brimstone (*2); Small Tortoiseshell (*1) and Comma (*2). I also noted the years first 7 Spot Ladybird and the Hoverfly (Meliscaeva auricollis).

Greater Periwinkle was in flower.

24th March 2017 - Sale WP, G. Manchester - A cycle from home down the River Mersey and after some carrot cake and tea and a chat with a local birder I wander around and clocked up 32 species of bird, these being:- Great Tit; Wood Pigeon; Goldfinch; Blue Tit; Carrion Crow; Magpie; Nuthatch; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Long Tailed Tit; Robin; Reed Bunting; Coot; Great Crested Grebe; Mallard; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Black Headed Gull; Kestrel; Buzzard; Grey Heron; Blackbird; Common Snipe; Moorhen; Tufted Duck; Little Grebe; Chiffchaff; Cormorant; Bullfinch; Greenfinch + Jackdaw; Ring Necked Parakeet and Wren on call.

Only 2 species of hoverfly were seen these being:- Eristalis tenax (*2) and Eristalis pertinax (*1) both on Blackthorn. A brace of Buff Tailed Bumble Bees were observed and single Comma and Brimstone butterflies.

Sweet Cicely was in flower.

 

23rd March 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - I was feeling rough so I booked a half-day holiday and left work early. A walk down river produced Marsh Marigold; Wood Avens; Ramsons and Garlic Mustard in flower as well as the Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus); a Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum); a brace of Buff Tailed Bumble Bees (Bombus terrestris) and 3 Common Green Shield Bugs (Palomena prasina). A Comma butterfly was on the wing. The Sawfly (Aglaostigma aucupariae) was later confirmed via on-line assistance for which I am always grateful.

 

19th March 2017 - Pickering's Pasture, Cheshire - The second location of the day in glorious sunshine, the 36 bird species noted were :- House Sparrow; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Chaffinch; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Oystercatcher; Buzzard; Cormorant; Pied Wagtail; Long Tailed Tit; Song Thrush; Blackbird; Feral Pigeon; Common Gull; Black Headed Gull; Robin; Goldcrest; Goldfinch; Great Black Backed Gull; Shelduck; Canada Goose; Little Egret; Dunnock; Lapwing; Magpie; Redwing; Wood Pigeon; Collared Dove; Mistle Thrush; Gadwall; Teal; Mallard + Chiffchaff; Bullfinch; Wren; Greenfinch and Pheasant on call.

2 Dock Shield Bugs (Coreus marginatus) and 6 Common Green Shield Bugs (Palomena prasina) were noted as well as several Nursery Web Spiders (Pisaura mirabilis); 2 Buff Tailed Bumble Bees (Bombus terrestris) and the Drone Fly (Eristalis pertinax).

Primroses were in flower.

 

19th March 2017 - Speke Hall, Liverpool, Merseyside - The first wander of the day in conditions that started dull and wet but brightened up as we roamed. 34 bird species were noted, these being:- Blackbird; Great Black Backed Gull; Song Thrush; Wood Pigeon; Robin; Blue Tit; Goldfinch; Carrion Crow; Jackdaw; Chaffinch; Nuthatch; Wren; Long Tailed Tit; Chiffchaff; Herring Gull; Meadow Pipit; Moorhen; Starling; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Oystercatcher; Shelduck; Curlew; Kestrel; Magpie; Pied Wagtail; Goldcrest; Buzzard; Dunnock; Bullfinch; Mallard + Skylark; Pheasant; Greenfinch; Raven on call.

Red Dead Nettle; White Dead Nettle; Daisy; Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Colt's-Foot; Red Campion and Rape were all in flower. Field Wood Rush was frequent and a Buff Tailed Bumble Bee was seen.

The Lichen (Candelariella vitellina) was later identified using chemicals and microscopy.

 

19th March 2017 - Gresty's Waste, Kelsall, Cheshire - A group meet-up and a chance to potter along at a new place was welcome but alas, after 40 minutes in we had to leave due to family requirements. In the time we were in attendance we found the Ground Beetle (Anchomenus dorsalis) and the Clay Coloured Weevil (Otiorynchus singularis). A few fungi were seen and Chickweed was in flower and that, as they say, was that! Hey ho! Oops March Dagger Moth (Diurnea fagella) was later confirmed after much book trawling and internet mooching.

 
18th March 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Crappy weather but it coincides with a busy day gigging so not to worry. A Double Striped Pug was on the toilet wall - the first of the year - what a brave chap!
 
15th March 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking to and from work - the year's first Sand Martin, 2 Drone-Flies (Eristalis tenax) on Lesser Celandine and Spring Vetch and Butterbur in flower.
15th March 2017 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking in the sun during my dinner break,  5 Harlequin Ladybirds, 2 Tree Bees, 10 Buff Tailed Bumble Bees, 1 Red Tailed Bumble Bee, 11 Common Green Shield Bugs, 1 Weevil (Anthonomus pedicularius), several Nursery Web Spiders and the years first butterly, a Comma.  It is all grand stuff!
13th March 2017 - Reddish CP, Stockport, G. Manchester - A good cycle ride with the missus broken only by a call in to Halford's for a bike MOT and a cup of cha' at the parks offices. 28 birds were noted, these being:- Robin; Wren; Blackbird; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Black Headed Gull; Magpie; Blue Tit; Wood Pigeon; Mallard; Grey Wagtail; Collared Dove; Tufted Duck; Coal Tit; Coot; Moorhen; Great Crested Grebe; Cormorant; Goldfinch; House Sparrow; Great Tit; Long Tailed Tit + Ring Necked Parakeet; Greenfinch; Dunnock; Goldcrest; Jackdaw and Jay on call.
 
13th March 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Some moments during the amateur naturalist's year are real stand-out times that signify so much promise, returning hope and a changing of the seasons. Today, whilst out for a cycle with my fine lady, we witnessed one such moment. The year's first Chiffchaff was heard, then seen, at the top of a tree and bringing joy to all who passed the beautiful blighter by. Lovely to hear and thank you to the songster in question!
 

12th March 2017 - Chadkirk Chapel, Stockport, Cheshire - A slow wander in greying skies with 24 birds species seen:- Mallard; Robin; Lapwing; Long Tailed Tit; Wood Pigeon; Jackdaw; Magpie; Carrion Crow; Moorhen; Mandarin Duck; Grey Wagtail; Wren; Redwing; Dunnock; Blackbird; Buzzard; Nuthatch; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Jay; Goldfinch; Goldcrest and Song Thrush.

Plants noted in flower were:- Lesser Celandine; Dog's Mercury; Wavy Bittercress; Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage; Dandelion agg. and Ivy Leaved Toadflax.

Dusky Slug (Arion subfuscus); Garden Slug (Arion hortensis agg) and a Plaited Door Snail (Cochlodina laminata) were added extras.

 
12th March 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A mild night and a brace of Hebrew Character Moths were located in the toilet - I best get my trap out methinks. 3 Blue Tits in the garden and a mooching Wren plus a Harlequin Ladybird kept me entertained whilst doing the dishes.
 

10th March 2017 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Another work time stroll, 6 Common Green Shield Bugs (Palomena prasina) with one in summer dress, 8 Buff Tailed Bumble Bees (Bombus terrestris); 1 White Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus lucorum); 1 Drone-Fly (Eristalis tenax) and 1 Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum) - it all keeps things ticking.

Oh and Ivy Leaved Speedwell was sporting the first bloom of the year - very nice!

 

9th March 2017 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - 17 bird species were seen, these were:- Blackbird; Wood Pigeon; Moorhen; Mistle Thrush; Robin; Redwing; Goldfinch; Magpie; Mallard; Coot; Canada Goose; Carrion Crow; Ring Necked Parakeet; Long Tailed Tit; Great Tit; Blue Tit; House Sparrow and Dunnock.

Sweet Violet and Colt's-Foot was in flower and a Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum) and the Hoverfly (Meliscaeva auricollis) were noted.

 
8th March 2017 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - A walk in my dinner break and 3 Buff Tailed Bumble Bees (Bombus terrestris), 1 Drone Fly (Eristalis tenax) and 2 Common Green Shield Bugs (Palomena prasina) in their winter colours were all noted on a gloriously sunny wander.  Another patch of Colt's-Foot was seen in flower.
 

6th March 2017 - Roman Lakes, Stockport, Cheshire - A nice relaxing walk with the sun making several appearances and warming the cockles of the ticker. 42 bird species were noted, these were:- Wood Pigeon; Nuthatch; Goldfinch; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Mistle Thrush; Feral Barnacle Goose; Jay; Carrion Crow; Mandarin Duck; Jackdaw; Canada Goose; Mallard; Chaffinch; Magpie; Blackbird; Grey Wagtail; Wren; Buzzard; Dunnock; Coot; Gadwall; Little Grebe; Tufted Duck; Black Headed Gull; Goosander; Dipper; Cormorant; Siskin; Great Crested Grebe; Goldcrest; Robin; Mute Swan; Moorhen; Treecreeper; Grey Heron; Greenfinch; Lesser Black Backed Gull + Bullfinch; Song Thrush and Green Woodpecker on call.

Common Polypody agg. and Hart's-Tongue Fern were frequent, Dog's Mercury; Lesser Celandine; Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage and Butterbur were all in flower and a Dusky Slug was noted whilst mooching under stones. The lichen (Evernia prunastri) was also noted.

 
4th March 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Time is passing by like running water and I can't keep up. Today after a busy morn it was off to Congleton for some more footy but whilst walking up to the train station I was blessed by some much needed sun and for company out came 3 Drone Flies (Eristalis tenax) and a Buff Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus terrestris) - what an absolute spirit lifter.
 
1st March 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - 2 specimens of the Red Dock Weevil (Apion frumentarium) were checked after being located on the leaves of Broad Leaved Dock and a Kingfisher was noted flitting away above the swollen river.
 
FEBRUARY

26th February 2017 - Haughton Dale LNR, Denton, G. Manchester - With the calendar crammed we are struggling to get out much of late. Today was a local-ish walk and produced 30 bird species, these were:- Pied Wagtail; Common Gull; Herring Gull; Teal; Cormorant; Nuthatch; Goosander; Great Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Jackdaw; Moorhen; Carrion Crow; Mallard; Robin; Magpie; Dunnock; Coal Tit; Jay; Wren; Canada Goose; Egyptian Goose; Blue Tit; Wood Pigeon; Goldfinch; Greenfinch; Chaffinch; Black Headed Gull and Blackbird + Bullfinch and Great Spotted Woodpecker on call.

2 Rabbits were playing together at the side of an open field, the Variegated Centipede (Lithobius variegatus); a Brown Lipped Banded Snail (Cepaea nemoralis), several Large Yellow Slugs (Limax flavus) and a Dusky Slug (Arion subfuscus) were noted on the day. The best find was the unusual Landhopper (Arcitalitrus dorrieni) which were under one log at the back of several gardens.

Blackthorn and Lesser Celandine were both in flower.

 

20th February 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - White Dead Nettle was in flower and Alder Catkins were a dangling delight.

The Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum) was seen on a fence and later identified. A Springtail was later confirmed as Dicyrtomina ornata, a miniscule beast that is perhaps more common than we suspect.

 

20th February 2017 - Reddish Vale CP, Stockport, G. Manchester - A lengthy 3 and and half hour walk was had, 33 bird species were seen, these were:- Goldcrest; Carrion Crow; Mallard; Long Tailed Tit; Blue Tit; Wren; Kestrel; Blackbird; Cormorant; Magpie; Song Thrush; Dipper; Dunnock; Wood Pigeon; Great Tit; Bullfinch; Robin; Coot; Moorhen; Tufted Duck; Great Crested Grebe; Mandarin Duck; Chaffinch; Greenfinch; Mute Swan; Little Grebe; Collared Dove; Goldfinch; Redwing; House Sparrow; Black Headed Gull; Jay and Grey Wagtail.

Blackthorn was now in flower.

 
17th February 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - One of several annual highs, the first Hoverfly of the year, namely Episyrphus balteatus feeding on the blooms of Lesser Celandine - quite lovely.
 
16th February 2017 - River Mersey to Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - The walk to work and love was in the air. Magpies nest building, a pair if Mistle Thrushes flying over, a couple of Long Tailed Tits flitting together, 2 Collared Doves whizzing past and 4 Jays friskily chasing one another - we are not far off Spring folks.
 
15th February 2017 - Heaton Mersey NR and area, Stockport, Cheshire - A dinnertime stroll to stretch that nagging Achilles Heel, what a git it is. 21 bird species were noted, these were:- Blackbird; Robin; Collared Dove; Magpie; Coot; Dunnock; Blue Tit; Great Tit; House Sparrow; Moorhen; Long Tailed Tit; Redwing; Carrion Crow; Wood Pigeon; Jay; Chaffinch; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Goldfinch; Mallard and Black Headed Gull.
 

13th February 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport to Fletcher Moss, G. Manchester - On a 6 mile bike ride, I stopped and pottered and took in a few birds. The end tally was 28 species, these being:- Mallard; Moorhen; Magpie; Goldcrest; Common Gull; Black Headed Gull; Starling; Carrion Crow; Goldfinch; Cormorant; Goosander; Pied Wagtail; Grey Wagtail; Redwing; Fieldfare; Robin; Wood Pigeon; Teal; Great Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Blue tit; Blackbird; Wren; Canada Goose; Dunnock; Feral Pigeon; House Sparrow and Mistle Thrush.

3 flowers were in bloom:- Snowdrop; Sweet Violet and Groundsel.

 
12th February 2017 - Dovestone Reservoir RSPB, G. Manchester -  A walk in a whipping wind that blew sleet and snow our way and made any decent birding almost impossible. 19 birds was the tally, these being:- Siskin; Great Tit; Blackbird; Treecreeper; Chaffinch; Coal Tit; Brambling; Goldfinch; Jackdaw; Mallard; Robin; Nuthatch; Canada Goose; Black Headed Gull; Greenfinch; Dunnock; Wood Pigeon; Pheasant and Great Spotted Woodpecker.
 
6th February 2017 - Pennington Flash, G. Manchester - A walk with my brother and 52 bird species seen, these were:- Pied Wagtail; Goldeneye; Goldfinch; Canada Goose; Coot; Mallard; Moorhen; Black Headed Gull; Magpie; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Tufted Duck; Mute Swan; Carrion Crow; Blackbird; Pochard; Wood Pigeon; Lapwing; Common Gull; Robin; Blue Tit; Gadwall; Cormorant; Goosander; Scaup; Herring Gull; Great Crested Grebe; Teal; Great Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Chaffinch; Song Thrush; Dunnock; Shoveler; Reed Bunting; Bullfinch; Stock Dove; Water Rail; Nuthatch; Jay; Grey Heron; Lesser Redpoll; Siskin; Sparrowhawk; Willow Tit; Long Tailed Duck; Goldcrest; Collared Dove; Redwing; House Sparrow; Kestrel; Great Black Backed Gull and Wren.
 
5th February 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - 2 hours on the bike today, me and the missus had a nice cycle ride and a chat with a few friendly faces. On the way a Greenfinch called, a Grey Heron sat hunched up at the riverside, a couple of Goosanders fished and flew, a Grey Wagtail flitted along the bank, a flock of Canada Geese honked with attitude, a Great Spotted Woodpecker called from a naked lofty tree and several Robins flitted across the path, chasing one another before the courtship season starts proper. A lovely day in truth, and nature is waking up and resisting the neglect.
 
JANUARY
 
30th January 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport to Chorlton, G. Manchester - On my way to my birding destination I saw a Fox and Sweet Violet in flower - very nice too.
 
30th January 2017 - Chorlton WP, G. Manchester - I have not been on a bike for 20 years and that was a one off. Today I made my debut on a new Mountain Bike and did a 20 mile trip and a bit of birding in between. Despite a raw arse I managed to see 31 birds:- Grey Wagtail; Pied Wagtail; Wood Pigeon; Blue Tit; Carrion Crow; Black Headed Gull; Collared Dove; Dunnock; Feral Pigeon; Great Tit; Goldfinch; Blackbird; Chaffinch; Mallard; Tufted Duck; Coot; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Gadwall; Moorhen; Pochard; Common Gull; Cormorant; Herring Gull; Great Crested Grebe; Ring Necked Parakeet; Jay; Long Tailed Tit; Robin; Goosander and Magpie.
 

23rd January 2017 - Marbury CP, Cheshire - A bit of birding with my brother, 52 bird species were seen, these were:- Nuthatch; Goldcrest; Long Tailed Tit; Treecreeper; Wren; Magpie; Robin; Great Tit; Jay; Blackbird; Song Thrush; Raven; Blue Tit; Mallard; Bullfinch; Dunnock; Great Crested Grebe; Coot; Chaffinch; Cormorant; Little Egret; Pochard; Tufted Duck; Gadwall; Moorhen; Great Black Backed Gull; Grey Heron; Curlew; Lapwing; Common Gull; Carrion Crow; Mute Swan; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Jackdaw; Mistle Thrush; Wood Pigeon; Kingfisher; Goosander; Little Grebe; Goldeneye; Redwing; Coal Tit; Goldfinch; Shoveler; Kestrel; Shelduck; Teal; Wigeon; Reed Bunting; Starling; Collared Dove and Buzzard.

The gall (Taxomyia taxi) was on Yew.

 

16th January 2017 - Gatley Carrs, Stockport, Cheshire - Another dreary day but I was in need of a stretch so walked down to this nearby reserve and had a pootle in the drizzle. Only 19 birds noted, these were:- House Sparrow; Goldfinch; Blackbird; Wood Pigeon; Starling; Robin; Magpie; Carrion Crow; Blue Tit; Long Tailed tIt; Great Tit; Mallard; Willow Tit; Bullfinch; Moorhen; Wren; Jay and Great Spotted Woodpecker + Greenfinch on call.

A Brown Rat hung around one of the feeders and was quite a hefty looking bugger. The Variegated Centipede (Lithobius variegatus) was noted whilst looking for fungi under logs.

 
11th January 2017 - Heaton Mersey/River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking home when I noted 4 Ring Necked Parakeets on the feeders in someone's garden, by heck these things are everywhere.  Further on and down the river and Lesser Celandine was now in flower - surely the earliest date I have recorded this species.
 
9th January 2017 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The first moth of the year - a Light Brown Apple Moth in the bog - the earliest one I have ever recorded.
 

8th January 2017 - Tatton Park, Cheshire - A wander with the Fungal Friends bods, shrooms were clocked up but a bird list was kept. 30 species were noted, these were:- Blue Tit; Magpie; Wood Pigeon; Carrion Crow; Jackdaw; Long Tailed Tit; Siskin; Nuthatch; Goldfinch; Goldeneye; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Black Headed Gull; Mallard; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Cormorant; Tufted Duck; Coot; Pochard; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Great Crested Grebe; Moorhen; Kestrel; Green Woodpecker; Starling; Common Gull; Mistle Thrush; Great Tit and Robin.

A Smooth Newt was added to the days finds as well as the moss Hypnum jutlandicum - thanks to Joolz for the latter ID! Finally, a Hawthorn Shieldbug was found hibernating in leaf litter!

 

7th January 2017 - Fletcher Moss, Didsbury, G. Manchester - A football day so only time for a quick walk in the morn. Mistletoe was in its usual place and 20 bird species were spotted in the murky conditions:- Ring Necked Parakeet; Blackbird; Magpie; Blue Tit; Redwing; Black Headed Gull; Robin; Great Tit; Jay; Nuthatch; Wood Pigeon; Mallard; Grey Wagtail; Long Tailed Tit; Canada Goose; Carrion Crow; Wren; Moorhen; Coal Tit and Dunnock.

The only other species noted was later in the day - Runcorn Linnets FC - a rare species you have to travel for. They lost 5 -2 by the way - in a cracking match!

 

6th January 2017 - Cheadle Heath and River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A morning jog to shake off the cobwebs and beat the impending rain. Birds fed and 24 species seen on the way:- Starling; Wood Pigeon; Feral Pigeon; Goldfinch; House Sparrow; Magpie; Carrion Crow; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Blackbird; Robin; Long Tailed Tit; Black Headed Gull; Goosander; Dipper; Mallard; Grey Heron; Redwing; Pied Wagtail; Canada Goose; Moorhen; Dunnock; Cormorant and Song Thrush were the tweeters viewed.

Common Field Speedwell and Hairy Bittercress were in flower and several Rough Woodlice were seen.

 

5th January 2017 - Alexander Park, Stockport, Cheshire - Staying local due to the frosts and a lack of fundfs and a walk to the local park produced 21 bird species:- Robin; Blue Tit; Magpie; Blackbird; Long Tailed Tit; Canada Goose; Black Headed Gull; Mallard; Coot; Collared Dove; Carrion Crow; Goosander; House Sparrow; Wood Pigeon; Feral Pigeon; Wren; Feral Greylag Goose; Moorhen; Mistle Thrush; Redwing and Coal Tit.

Groundsel and Shepherd's Purse were noted in flower walking up to the park.

 
4th January 2017 - Bruntwood Park, Stockport, Cheshire - A mooch for a few local fungi, a few birds were noted, these were:- Long Tailed Tit; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Blackbird; Goldfinch; Magpie; Mandarin Duck; Dunnock; Black Headed Gull; Carrion Crow; Nuthatch; Wood Pigeon; Goldcrest; Mallard; Robin; House Sparrow; Redwing and Wren.
 
3rd January 2017 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A run down river with my daughter, 2 Ring Necked Parakeets, 3 Goosander and 1 Pied Wagtail were the picks.
 

3rd January 2017 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - A morning wander to keep the blood flowing. 21 birds were showing themselves, these being:- Carrion Crow; Magpie; Goldcrest; Blue Tit; Grey Heron; Blackbird; Long Tailed Tit; Wood Pigeon; Wren; Robin; Mallard; Coot; Black Headed Gull; Siskin; Goldfinch; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Great Tit; Ring Necked Parakeet; Jay; Mistle Thrush and Song Thrush.

Rolling a few logs revealed:- Leopard Slug; Large Yellow Slug; Budapest Slug; Garden Snail; Garlic Snail; Shiny Woodlouse and a hibernating Tree Bee.

The only flowers noted were a Daisy and Hazel in bloom.

 
2nd January 2017 - Cop Mere, Staffordshire - A circular walk round the mere and back through Walk Mill. 28 bird species were noted:- Lesser Black Backed Gull; Carrion Crow; Coot; Canada Goose; Chaffinch; Mute Swan; Blue Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Buzzard; Magpie; Robin; Blackbird; Fieldfare; Goldfinch; Great Tit; Siskin; House Sparrow; Wood Pigeon; Wren; Little Grebe; Mallard; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Nuthatch; Cormorant; Song Thrush; Goldeneye; Tufted Duck and Collared Dove.
 
2nd January 2017 - Trentham Gardens, Staffordshire - An early walk in the frosty conditions. A nice place this with a 36 bird species seen, these were:- Carrion Crow; Magpie; Wood Pigeon; Jackdaw; Tufted Duck; Mute Swan; Grey Heron; Mallard; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Black Headed Gull; Dunnock; Robin; Canada Goose; Coot; Moorhen; Goldfinch; Great Tit; Redwing; Blue Tit; Blackbird; Little Grebe; Cormorant; Raven; Gadwall; Wren; Great Crested Grebe; Grey Wagtail; Chaffinch; Kingfisher; Long Tailed Tit; Nuthatch; Pied Wagtail; Coal Tit; Siskin; Black Swan and Goldcrest. The tea and cake after was ruddy delicious - a perfect way to finish off a lovely walk.
 
1st January 2017 - Sidings Lane NR, Lancashire - Last port of call on this opening day of the year - a 45 minute stroll and a cup of coffee and only 15 birds noted:- Great Tit; Coal Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Blue Tit; Willow Tit; Robin; Chaffinch; Blackbird; Wood Pigeon; Nuthatch; Magpie; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Willow Tit; Carrion Crow; Common Pheasant and Dunnock.
 
1st January 2017 - Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire - The second stop off point of the day and away from the coastal breeze. Again very quiet on the bird front with only 31 species noted, these were:- Cormorant; Redwing; Blue Tit; Robin; Pheasant; Blackbird; Great Tit; Coal Tit; Jackdaw; Water Rail; Coot; Moorhen; Chaffinch; Mallard; Teal; Shoveler; Goosander; Grey Heron; Sparrowhawk; Black Headed Gull; Shelduck; Great Crested Grebe; Tufted Duck; Magpie; Collared Dove; Wood Pigeon; Dunnock; Nuthatch; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Common Snipe; Pintail; Little Egret; Bullfinch; Goldcrest; Kingfisher and Jay.
 

1st January 2017 - Marshside RSPB, Lancashire - As per, out and wandering early on New Years Day and despite the wind and cold and things seemingly fairly quiet on the birding front we did manage to see 46 species, these being:- Pochard; Wren; Little Egret; Goldfinch; Starling; Magpie; Mallard; Wigeon; Moorhen; Teal; Shelduck; Great Black Backed Gull; Lapwing; Pink Footed Goose; Canada Goose; Mute Swan; Gadwall; Shoveler; Pintail; Tufted Duck; Carrion Crow; Herring Gull; Wood Pigeon; Linnet; Blackbird; Black Headed Gull; Common Gull; Song Thrush; Greylag Goose; Collared Dove; House Sparrow; Chaffinch; Curlew; Pied Wagtail; Blue Tit; Jackdaw; Coot; Little Grebe; Cormorant; Great Tit; Robin; Snow Goose; Dunnock; Reed Bunting and Lesser Black Backed Gull.

Common Gorse; Common Field Speedwell and Pineappleweed were in flower.