Fungal sightings found here
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 Pick-a-Back Plant 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 abustorum) 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.

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, 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.

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.
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.