28th December 2015 - Derwent Reservoir, Derbyshire - A good walk but the birdlife was appalling. The only thing of note was the abundance of Coal Tits at the feeding station, other than that - poor. Douglas Fir and Corsican Pine were 2 trees noted that I don't observe that often.
27th December 2015 - Castleshaw Reservoirs, G. Manchester - After a walk around Besom Hill and not seeing much we decided to finish the day here, a tucked away area that promised little but gave chance to have a stretch and explore a new area. Birds seen were few, these being:- Mallard; Black Headed Gull; Common Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Canada Goose; Blackbird; Rook; Carrion Crow; Jackdaw; Cormorant; Grey Heron and Goosander.
27th December 2015 - Tandle Hill, G. Manchester - After eating too much for the last 8 weeks and gaining 8lb in weight it was time to get the rear in gear and try and get some semblance of physical decency back. A walk around this tidy area started off a day in good style with the sun shining on us when supping a cup of tea after the walk. A few fungi were seen (see Fungal Friends section) and only a few birds noted; these were:- Treecreeper; Carrion Crow; Robin; Great Tit; Coal Tit; Blue Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Chaffinch; Feral Pigeon; Mallard; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Blackbird + Wren; Bullfinch; Goldcrest and Nuthatch on call.
24th December 2015 - Heaton Moor/River Mersey, Cheshire - A pair of Bullfinches flitted about in some low bare shrubbery and Lesser Celandine was in flower - by gum lad that's early!

19th December 2015 - Poynton Coppice/Nelsons Pit, Cheshire - An early morning walk after a gig and before another gig (tis all go folks). Things were fairly quiet but the weather was glorious and a sit down on a sun-bathed bench overlooking the woodland and sharing sweet clementines with my ace wife was darn marvellous. Anyway I digress , the bird list today was small, species seen were:- Jackdaw; Siskin; Carrion Crow; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Moorhen; Black Headed Gull; Mallard; Magpie; Redwing; Jay; Wood Pigeon; Feral Pigeon; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Coal Tit; Sparrowhawk; Goldfinch; Blackbird; Chaffinch and Starling.

Wood Avens and Lesser Stitchwort were in flower and the leaves of Lesser Celandine were already through in one or two places.

13th December 2015 - Chorlton WP, G. Manchester - A stroll looking at the birdies and not a bad list despite some expected species missing. 38 species was the end total, these were:- Feral Pigeon; Great Tit; Blackbird; Starling; Mistle Thrush; Ring Necked Parakeet (at least 4); Bullfinch; Carrion Crow; Gadwall; Coot; Blue Tit; Black Headed Gull; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Mallard; Cormorant; Moorhen; Pochard; Great Crested Grebe; Wood Pigeon; Magpie; Dunnock; Goldcrest; Kingfisher; Robin; Jay; Wren; Redwing; Goosander (2*M); Common Gull; Lesser Redpoll; Siskin (large flock of mainly males); Sparrowhawk (F); Goldfinch; Chaffinch and House Sparrow.
6th December 2015 - Highfield CP, G. Manchester - A slow stroll looking at fungi also brought us a few bird sightings, these being:- Black Headed Gull; Treecreeper; Blackbird; Bullfinch; Carrion Crow; Magpie; Robin; Goldfinch; Blue Tit; Great Spotted Woodpecker + Wren; Jay and Redwing on call.
2nd December 2015 - Rufford, Lancashire - 2 Red Legged Partridges were seen in a farmer's field and nearby it was with delight we had a Barn Owl fly past the car and indulge in a spot of hunting.

2nd December 2015 - Gorse Hill NR, Lancashire - I was bursting to get out and have a good walk and today seemed like a good opportunity after dropping our daughter off at Edge Hill University - little did I count on a virus invading my soul as the day progressed and saw me turn from an eager beaver to a shivering wreck that was aching from head to foot. We did manage to have a decent mooch here though and clocked up the following bird list:- Blackbird; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Robin; Goldfinch; Tree Sparrow; Coal Tit; Carrion Crow; Magpie; Lesser Redpoll; Dunnock and Wren.

The Field Maple Leaf Gall (Aceria macrochela) was also seen as well as the Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum).

1st December 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - It was nearly dark walking home from work but a bit of colour was provided with Hogweed; Red Campion; Daisy and Tufted Vetch still boasting a few flowers.
23rd November 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - I am struggling to get out at the mo with all the catching up to do after the fungus season. After a run today though I did see 8 Goosanders; 1 Grey Wagtail; 1 Moorhen; a swooping Jay and a feeding Cormorant whilst walking homeward. The gall (Eriophyes tiliae) was still plentiful.
14th November 2015 - Ainsdale NE, Lancashire - Leading the Fungal Friends Group for the last time this year and 2 Orange Ladybirds were seen, a swooping Raven and the Common Water Measurer (Hydrometra stagnorum).
12th November 2015 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - An Ivy bush had a sun-bathing Hawthorn Shieldbug on a dazzled leaf, Eristalis tenax and Episyrphus balteatus fed on the flowers and an unidentifiable Syrphus buzzed about.
8th November 2015 - Consall Nature Reserve, Staffordshire - Leading the final Fungal Foray of the year and the galls (Cynips quercusfolii) and (Diplolepis nervosa) were noticed as well as a tucked away wingless female Winter Moth.
1st November 2015 - Crompton Moor, G. Manchester - Whilst leading the penultimate public fungus walk of the year 3 butterfly species were noted:- Red Admiral (*2); Small Tortoiseshell (*1) and Small Copper (*1). A Sexton Beetle was seen on a rotten Bolete fungus and is awaiting a final ID.
31st October 2015 - Anderton NR, Cheshire - Whilst leading yet another fungal walk a Satellite Moth was seen as well as Meadow Crane's-Bill in flower and a Jay flitting about collecting some acorns no doubt. A Grey Alder was noted and later confirmed by a group member! Another member identified the Harvestman (Opilio canestrinii).
28th October 2015 - Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire - Several Redwing, 2 Goosanders, Gadwalls and Tufted Duck were good to see whilst yet again on the fungal mooch.
27th October 2015 - Sherwood Pines, Nottinghamshire - The Creeping Thistle Gall (Urophora cardui) was noted whilst on the prowl for fungi.
27th October 2015 - Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire - The first flock of Fieldfares for this winter were seen as well as the Oak Cherry Gall (Cynips quercusfolii); the Silk Button Gall (Neuroterus numismalis) and the Ground Ivy Gall (Dasineura glechomae).
26th October 2015 - Lyme Park, Cheshire - With the kids from work and saw a real late Speckled Wood butterfly enjoying some decent sunshine - keep on flitting mate.
25th October 2015 - Erddig CP, Wrexham - Prior to leading a fungi walk myself and my good lady had a real close up view of a Goldcrest in a bunch of Mistletoe - what a nice sight.
24th October 2015 - Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire - Again doing the fungal bit but time was taken to see a Grey Wagtail; Common Snipe and a close up Redwing.
12th October 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A sun-bathing Red Admiral picked up the spirits as well as a noisy Grey Heron, numerous Long Tailed Tits and Cut Leaved Crane's-Bill that was clinging on to the last dregs of decent weather.
11th October 2015 - Tatton Park, Cheshire - Tis' all shrooms at the mo but whilst leading a walk I did note a Devil's Coach Horse; a Smooth Newt; Common Frog; Common Toad; Common Shrew; Common Darter; Speckled Wood and a Pale Tussock larva.
10th October 2015 - Moore NR, Cheshire - The first flock of Redwing for the coming winter were seen as well as a Speckled Wood butterfly.
7th October 2015 - Etherow CP, Cheshire - Leading a fungus walk for a small group of adult carers was enjoyed and along the way a Pale Tussock Caterpillar was noted as well as a noisy Jay, two circling Buzzards and a brace of Grey Wagtails. Guelder Rose was pointed out by a lovely lady on the walk who explained how it helped blood pressure and cramps - very interesting indeed.
4th October 2015 - Delamere Forest, Cheshire - Leading another fungus walk so eyes focused on the fruiting bodies but a Black darter was a nice bonus.
28th September 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A walk in to town (again) and a Common Field Grasshopper, a Comma butterfly and the Hoverfly (Eristalis pertinax) were all noted.
27th September 2015 - Arley Hall, Cheshire - Whilst leading a brace of Fungal Forays I noted the butterflies:- Red Admiral (*1); Speckled Wood (*5) and Small Tortoiseshell (*1). A Southern Hawker had a nosey at the group and the Tachnid Fly (Tachina fera) was an extra bonus.
26th September 2015 - Marbury CP, Cheshire - Being at the head of two fungus walks was hard but nice work and I still managed to notice a Small Tortoiseshell and a Speckled Wood enjoying the sun.
24th September 2015 - Lester's Farm Wood, Drury, Flintshire - Whilst on the mooch for fungi note was made of a resting Great Crested Newt beneath a log, a wound up Devil's Coach Horse, the hoverflies (Episyrphus balteatus); (Eristalis pertinax) and (Helophilus pendulus), 4 Speckled Wood butterflies and a flitting Common Darter.
20th September 2014 - Ladderedge CP, Staffordshire - Leading another fungus walk today but I did find a Grass Snake and a lone Speckled Wood butterfly!
19th September 2015 - Little Budworth CP, Cheshire - Whilst leading a fungal foray and noting over 100 species of fungi I also saw a Violet Ground Beetle (Carabus problematicus); a 7 Spot Ladybird, 3 Speckled Woods, a Migrant Hawker and several Hornets going in and out of their nest.
16th September 2015 - Gorsey Bank, Stockport, Cheshire - After finishing a run with my fine lady we noted a fast moving caterpillar dashing across a road.  It was picked up, identified as an Elephant Hawkmoth, and placed beneath some nearby bushes where it will undoubtedly pupate.  Good luck fine sir!
16th September 2015 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - A lone Speckled Wood, a sun-bathing Green Shield Bug and the Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus) on Common Ragwort were all that was seen on a dinner time stroll.
15th September 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A walk home after work and a Common Darter, 9 Speckled Woods and an adult and nymph Gorse Shieldbug were all noted enjoying the sunshine.
14th September 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - An approximately 1 and a half mile walk from my home to Stockport using the riverside has my main route and a small local park produced 52 plants that were still in flower, very nice they were to see as well. The species were:- Shepherd's Purse; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Tansy; Herb Robert; Herb Bennet; Greater Plantain; Hedge Mustard; Knotgrass; Himalayan Balsam; Common Nettle; Common Ragwort; Daisy; Nipplewort; Hairy Bittercress; White Clover; Groundsel; Yarrow; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Hedge Woundwort; Large Bindweed; Dandelion agg; Red Campion; Redshank; Traveller's Joy; Perforate St John's Wort; Common Knapweed; Rosebay Willowherb; Bird's Foot Trefoil; Black Medick; Ladies Bedstraw; Ribwort Plantain; Sea Aster; Red Clover; Wild Carrot; Bush Vetch; Greater Willowherb; Creeping Buttercup; Meadow Buttercup; Scentless Mayweed; Canadian Fleabane; Large Flowered Evening Primrose; White Melilot; Ox-Eye Daisy; Creeping Thistle; Tufted Vetch; Honeysuckle; Ivy Leaved Toadflax; Buddleia agg; White Dead Nettle; Common Field Speedwell and Pineappleweed.
13th September 2015 - Risley Moss, Cheshire - A 1 hour wander which was quite rewarding. Common Shield Bug Nymph, an adult Hawthorn Shield Bug; Speckled Wood (*4) and Red Admiral (*1) butterflies, an Elephant Hawkmoth larvae; Nettle Tap Moth (*2); a Southern Hawker Dragonfly and 5 female and 2 male Black Darters as well as the larva of a Lacewing covered in various bits of debris were all enjoyed on a very quiet tea-time stroll.
12th September 2015 - Bickerton Hill, Cheshire - A 1 hour jaunt brought a few fungi as well as a Speckled Wood, a Sun Fly (Helophilus pendulus), a Violet Ground Beetle and a Common Field Grasshopper.
12th September 2015 - Harthill Cookery School, Cheshire - Whilst leading a Fungal Foray I noted 3 Speckled Woods, a Violet Ground Beetle and a Garlic Snail - not much but nice to see anyway.
11th September 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A Southern Hawker Dragonfly and a lone Speckled Wood attracted the eye as I wandered home after a week at work done.
11th September 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - An Autumnal Rustic Moth was in the bathroom this morn along with a Large Yellow Underwing whilst a Common Carpet frequented the kitchen - they are all welcome.
7th September 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Some well earned sun-bathing in the garden with a Light Brown Apple Moth, 22 Spot Ladybird and the hoverflies (Eupeodes luniger) and (Volucella pellucens) for company.

7th September 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Another run on a very sunny and warm day and a walk back with an emphasis on taking one's time - phew what a sizzler. Meadow Brown (*2); Green Veined White (*1) Speckled Wood (*4) and Common Blue (*2) butterflies were welcome company as were the hoverflies Eristalis pertinax and Syritta pipiens.

Flowers of note in bloom were:- Water Mint; Spearmint; Canadian Goldenrod; Great Burnet; Opium Poppy; Musk Mallow; Purple Loosestrife; Greater Celandine and Common Fleabane.


6th September 2015 - Fernilee Reservoir, Derbyshire - A mooch for fungi as is the norm from now on until early December but a few other things noted on what was a fine day. A Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over, a Dor Beetle struggled to get across a path and the hoverflies (Leucozona glaucia) and (Eristalis pertinax) were enjoying the lovely sunshine.

I kept a flower list, just to keep the botanical eye in order. The species seen in bloom were:- Upright Hedge Parsley; Red Bartsia; Knotgrass; Red Clover; Goldenrod; Hedge/Marsh Woundwort agg; Wild Angelica; Herb Robert; Enchanter's Nightshade; Foxglove; Meadow Buttercup; Ribwort Plantain; Common Knapweed; White Clover; Marsh Thistle; Harebell; Ling; Common Nettle; Yarrow; Daisy; Eyebright agg; Self-Heal; Creeping Thistle; Tormentil and Greater Willowherb.

5th September 2015 - River Mersey to Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - A run and a swift walk looking for fungi, the only other things seen were:- Migrant Hawker (*1); Common Darter (*1) and Speckled Wood (*2).

4th September 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - As is the norm this time of year sightings in the Fungal Friends section begin to rise and here they fall away for a while. A walk into town today with my daughter revealed many flowers still in bloom as well as lone Speckled Wood and Large White Butterflies and a single Migrant Hawker.


31st August 2015 - Crowden, Derbyshire - A walk with the lasses just stretching the legs and keeping things moving. A few flowers were noted:- Spear Thistle; Common Ragwort; Marsh Thistle; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Common Nettle; Creeping Thistle; Mugwort; Hogweed; White Clover; Ling; Ribwort Plantain; Wood Sage; Tormentil; Foxglove and Greater Willowherb.

A Small Heath butterfly was at rest on a leaf.

28th August 2015 - Tabley Hall, Cheshire - An extra stretch of the legs in an odd area resulted in very little. In fact singles of Meadow Brown; Speckled Wood and Migrant Hawker were the only species noted.

28th August 2015 - Arley Hall, Cheshire - Red Admiral (*2); Large White (*2); Speckled Wood (*1); Painted Lady (*2) and Silver Y Moth (*1) were the lepidoptera seen after a bit of fungal mooching and having my picture taken for the Northwich Guardian. Vollucella pellucens; Myathropa florea; Helophilus pendulus and Eristalis pertinax were the only Hoverflies seen.

27th August 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Reading about the boxing legend John L. Sullivan in the garden and a Red Admiral flitted by and looked in tiptop condition.
27th August 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - An example of my favourite butterfly, Speckled Wood was looking in fine fettle as was the lone specimens of the Hoverfly (Volucella inanis) and a Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum).

23rd August 2015 - Hawardan Castle, Flintshire - Whilst indulging in a Fungal Friends Group walk I kept an eye out for a few other wildlife extras.

Lepidoptera was represented by the butterflies:- Gatekeeper (*2); Meadow Brown (*2) and Small Copper (*1) as well as the moths Buff Footman (*2) and Large Yellow Underwing (*1). Only 4 Hoverflies were noted:- Eristalis pertinax; Episyrphus balteatus; Leucozona glaucia and Chrysogaster solstitialis.

Galls noted were:- Cecidophyes rouhollahi; Dasineura pteridis; Hartigiola annulipes; Phyllocoptes goniothorax; Chirosia grossicauda and Neuroterus quercusbaccarum.

A Raven flew by gronking like a good un', a Buzzard floated over and several Common Field Grasshoppers were seen.

Flowers in bloom were:- Herb Robert; Nipplewort; Green Alkanet; Hedge Woundwort agg; White Dead Nettle; Greater Willowherb; Spear Thistle; Common Nettle; Daisy; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Yarrow; Dandelion agg; Creeping Buttercup; Ribwort Plantain; White Clover; Shepherd's Purse; Groundsel; Common Knotgrass; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Common Mouse Ear; Redshank; Upright Hedge Parsley; wild Angelica; Common Knapweed; Common Ragwort; Large Bindweed; Enchanter's Nightshade; Himalayan Balsam; Greater Plantain; Mugwort; Red Campion; Marsh Thistle; Wood Sage; Perforate St John's Wort; Pineappleweed; Selfheal and Garlic Mustard.

22nd August 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking back home from the foorty (Cheadle Town 4 - Daisy Hill 1) and a lone Holly Blue brightened up the day even further.

21st August 2015 - Tatton Park, Cheshire - Whilst on the prowl for fungi with my mate Ratty a few bugs and beasties were noted. Butterflies seen were:- Gatekeeper (*13); Meadow Brown (*3); Green Veined White (*2); Small Tortoiseshell (*1) and Speckled Wood (*2). Hoverflies seen were:- Myathropa florea; Eristalis pertinax and Helophilus pendulus. Dragonflies seen were:- Brown Hawker (*2); Common Darter (*3) and Migrant Hawker (*1).

Other insects seen were the Tachnid Fly (Tachina fera) and several Common Green Grasshoppers (Omocestus viridulus).

21st August 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Moths attracted to overnight an window were:- Bloodvein (*1); Riband Wave f. remutata (*2); Marbled Beauty (*1); Shuttle Shaped Dart (*1); Large Yellow Underwing (*2); Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing (*2); Agriphila straminella (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Silver Y (*1) and Light Brown Apple Moth (*1).
20th August 2015 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - 3 hoverflies noted on Common Ragwort:- Volucella inanis; Eupeodes luniger and Eristalis pertinax.
19th August 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Moths attracted to the window were:- Large Yellow Underwing (*1); Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing (*1); Mother of Pearl (*1); Argyresthia trifasciata and Marbled Beauty.
18th August 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Moths attracted to the toilet window were:- Riband Wave (*1); Marbled Beauty (*2); Shuttle Shaped Dart (*1); Willow Beauty (*1); Large Yellow Underwing (*1); Square Spot Rustic (*2); Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing (*2); Carcina quercana (*1) and Agriphila straminella (*1).
17th August 2015 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - Lots to catch up on so a decision to just have a local walk was wise. Butterly numbers were still low with:- Speckled Wood (*2); Meadow Brown (*1) and Gatekeeper (*2) were the only species noted. The Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemra nobilis); Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum); Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator) and Common Green Leafhopper (Cicadella viridis) were other bugs noted as well as the hoverflies:- Episyrphus balteatus; Eristalis pertinax and Eupeodes luniger.

16th August 2015 - Long Clough, Glossop, Derbyshire - A final wander of the day, uphill and warm. Meadow Brown (*7); Gatekeeper (*2) and Small Skipper (*1) continued the lowly butterfly numbers for the year. The flowers Harebell; Marsh Thistle and Feverfew were new for the day and the insects:- Anthocoris nemorum; Grypocoris stysi; Lopus decolor; Stenodema holsata; Stenotus binotatus; Ditropis pteridis; Broad Damsel Bug (Nabis flavomarginatus); Common Froghopper; Cream Spot Ladybird; Common Green Leafhopper (Cicadella viridis); the Sawflies (Arge pagana) and (Athalia rosae) and Black Tipped Soldier Beetle were the only other creepy crawly extras.

The Little Black Pudding Gall (Dasineura pteridis) was seen on its usual host, Bracken.

16th August 2015 - Watford Lodge, Derbyshire - A visit to this miniscule reserve and a walk around the outer edges and back up the main road produced very little new species for the day. Ivy Leaved Toadflax; Purple Toadflax; Hedge Bindweed; Goldenrod, 3 Alder galls, namely: Aceria brevitarsus; Eriophyes laevis and Eriophyes inangulis and the Hawthorn Leaf Gall (Phyllocoptes goniothorax) were the only things of note.

16th August 2015 - Broadhurst Edge Wood, Derbyshire - A mooch around this small area with fungi the main target. I kept one eye on the flowers and came up with:- Bush Vetch; Goosegrass; Ground Elder; Meadow Vetchling; Ladies Mantle agg; Red Clover; Sneezewort; Common Hemp Nettle; Creeping Thistle; Common Ragwort; Greater Plantain; Greater Willowherb; White Clover; Self-Heal; Meadow Buttercup; Common Knapweed; Ribwort Plantain; Common Mouse Ear; Rosebay Willowherb; Tufted Vetch; Hogweed; Yellow Loosestrife and Red Bartsia.

Gatekeeper (*2); Speckled Wood (*1); Meadow Brown (*1) and Small Tortoiseshell (*1) were on the wing with other insects noted being the hoverflies (Rhingia campestris) and (Episyrphus balteatus); Black Tipped Soldier Beetle and a 7 Spot Ladybird.

The Oak Artichoke Gall (Andricus fecundator) was frequent.


16th August 2015 - Mousley Bottom, New Mills, Cheshire - A walk besides a river and to this small reserve was done in early morning glorious sunshine. I decided to list the flowers in bloom, these were:- Creeping Thistle; Canadian Goldenrod; Himalayan Balsam; Common Nettle; Mugwort; Red Campion; Large Bindweed; Bush Vetch; Hogweed; Sweet Cicely; Hedge/Marsh Woundwort agg; Gypsywort; Meadowsweet; Broad Leaved Dock; Pineappleweed; Meadow Buttercup; Common Knotgrass; Dandelion agg; Wild Angelica; White Water Lily; Water Mint; Nipplewort; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Pink Purslane; Herb Robert; Greater Plantain; Ling; Tormentil; Ribwort Plantain; Common Orache; Common Knapweed; White Clover; Tufted Vetch; Foxglove; Greater Willowherb; Upright Hedge Parsley; Rosebay Willowherb and Wood Avens.

Epistrophe grossulariae; Dasysyrphus albostriatus; Leucozona glaucia; Cheilosia illustrata; Rhingia campestris; Episyrphus balteatus; Chrysogaster solstitialis; Eristalis pertinax and Myathropa florea were the hoverflies seen with Green Veined White (*3); Meadow Brown (*5); Gatekeeper (*4); Speckled Wood (*2); Small white (*1) and Small Copper (*1) the only butterflies seen.

Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle; Harlequin Ladybird; 7 Spot Ladybird; Grypocoris stysi; Common Green Shieldbug (Nymph) and a Common Darter were the other insects seen.

A small fidgeting collection of Water Crickets (Velia caprai) were nice to observe! As you can imagine not being a photographer and trying to get a decent picture of these skitty blighters was never going to be easy but after 4 quick attempts I got one half decent picture to use as ID material.

15th August 2015 - Fletcher Moss, G. Manchester - A quick walk after the afternoons footy and a swooping Ring Necked Parakeet was seen as well as freshly emerged Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner moths.
12th August 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Volucella inanis was noted feeding away - a very pleasing Hoverfly this.

11th August 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A fresh Common Darter was using the riverside fence as a sun-bathing perch, Meadow Brown (*10); Gatekeeper (*4); Small White (*2) and Small Skipper (*2) were the butterflies on the wing, Wild Carrot and White Melilot were in fine flower and a Kingfisher was spotted again diving into the waterside vegetation.

Two Jays sqawked like buggery and the gall Mompha sturnipennella was observed.


10th August 2015 - Flint Castle, Flintshire - A walk in ever-warming sun around the grounds of the castle and a quick look out over the marshes. Black Headed Gull; Starling; Pied Wagtail; Goldfinch; Jackdaw; Swallow; Redshank; House Sparrow; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Curlew; Shelduck; Canada Goose; Lapwing; Carrion Crow; Herring Gull; Grey Heron; House Martin and Little Egret were the 18 birds seen.

Small White (*1); Meadow Brown (*5); Speckled Wood (*2); Peacock (*3); Small Tortoiseshell (*2); Gatekeeper (*4) and Grayling (*1) were the butterflies noted.

Lesser Sea Spurrey; Annual Sea Blite; Common Orache; Sea Purslane and Common Glasswort were extras along with the gall Cryptosiphum artimisae on Mugwort.


9th August 2015 – Morfa Dyffryn NNR, Gwynedd – A long walk along the beach with barely anyone around was thoroughly enjoyed with 4 Sanderling making up a little interest as well as the numerous freshly washed up Barrel Jellyfish (Rhizostoma pulmo).

Soapwort was in flower, a flock of Linnets whizzed about, several Stonechats clacked and perched and the butterflies:- Gatekeeper (*2); Meadow Brown (*2) and Grayling (*2) were on the wing.

8th August 2015 – Snowdonia Study Centre, Gwynedd – A final walk of the day around this tranquil area produced many garden and cultivated species as well as the only Speckled Wood Butterfly we had seen this trip – how odd?

8th August 2015 – Mortha Harlech NNR, Harlech, Gwynedd – Insects again were few on a dazzling day.  Meadow Brown (*5); Gatekeeper (*25); Green Veined White (*1); Red Admiral (*1); Common Blue (*4) and Grayling (*3) were the only butterflies knocking about with 1 Silver Y Moth.

Flowers in bloom were many, the ones being noted were:- Common Knapweed; Yarrow; Common Centaury; Bird’s-Foot Trefoil; Red Clover; Ribwort Plantain; Wild Carrot; Great Mullein; Sneezewort; Dove’s-Foot Cranes-Bill; Hedge Mustard; Carline Thistle; Large Flowered Evening Primrose agg; Red Campion; Prickly Sow Thistle; Sticky Groundsel; Herb Robert; Curled Leaved Dock; Mugwort; Tufted Vetch; Hemp Agrimony; White Campion; Common Mouse Ear; Scarlet Pimpernel; Sheep’s-Bit; Common Poppy; Common Ragwort; Redshank; Wild Parsnip; Rosebay Willowherb; Black Medick; Ling; Tormentil; White Clover; Yellow Rattle; Upright Hedge Parsley; Ladies Bedstraw; Eyebright agg; Daisy; Wild Thyme; Marsh Woundwort; Rape; Shepherd’s Purse; Goosegrass; Shaggy Soldier; Common Toadflax; Common Nettle; Goat’s-Beard; Restharrow; Sea Rocket; Portland Spurge; Scentless Mayweed; Sea Holly; Pyramidal Orchid; Sea Bindweed; Spear Thistle; Red Valerian; Carline Thistle; Kidney Vetch; Common Milkwort; Field Pansy and Broad Leaved Everlasting Pea.

 The South Claw Hermit Crab (Diogenes pugilator) was a superb extra. 


8th August 2015 – Glaslyn Marshes, Porthmadog, Gwynedd – A walk in the morn to do some birdwatching and in my haste I had found I had forgot my binoculars – oh bugger.  I still strolled round and clocked up a lowly 17 species:- Dunnock; Blackbird; Jackdaw; Feral Pigeon; Black Headed Gull; Herring Gull; Grey Heron; Redshank; Oystercatcher; Little Egret; Blue Tit; Wren; Carrion Crow; Chaffinch; Robin; Greylag Goose and Mute Swan were the ones viewed.

 I managed to ID the Hawkweed Hieracium vagum so all was not in vain.


7th August – Pwhelli, Gwynedd – A short walk from the town to the dunes and back again with haste made on the return due to my daughter suffering from a nagging virus.  Birds listed were:- Oystercatcher; Swallow; Jackdaw; Herring Gull; Black Headed Gull; Little Egret; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Grey Heron; Moorhen; Teal; Grey Wagtail; Great Black Backed Gull; Stonechat; Starling and Feral Pigeon.

A few flowers seen were:- Hare’s-Foot Clover; Restharrow; Wild Thyme; Ladies Bedstraw; Daisy; Tree Lupin; Pyramidal Orchid; Sea Holly; Red Clover; Self-Heal; Pineappleweed; Dandelion agg; Hogweed; Hemp Agrimony; Meadowsweet; Common Knapweed; Himalayan Balsam; Hedge Bindweed; Common Mouse Ear; Ribwort Plantain; Purple Loosestrife; White Clover; Yarrow; Water Mint and Greater Willowherb.

Gatekeeper (*6); Common Blue (*1); Red Admiral (*1) and Small Tortoiseshell (*1) were the butterflies on the wing, Lagria hirta; 2 Spot Ladybird; Common Field Grasshopper and Lucerne Bug were extras seen as well as the Ladies Bedstraw Gall (Aceria galiobia).


7th August 2015 – Glaslyn Marshes, Porthmadog, Gwynedd – A lovely placed, well spaced and running along side the chuffery of the Ffestiniog Railway.  Birds spotted were:- Song Thrush (within two feet cracking a snail open); Blackbird; Great Tit; House Sparrow; Herring Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Grey Heron; Cormorant; Curlew; Redshank; Oystercatcher; Little Egret; Canada Goose; Mute Swan; Mallard; Robin; Greylag Goose; Dunnock; Wigeon; Meadow Pipit; Robin; Common Sandpiper; Great Black Backed Gull; Swallow and House Martin.

The flower list comprised of:- Hemp Agrimony; Creeping Thistle; Water Mint; Sneezewort; Slender St John’s Wort; Goosegrass; Dove’s-Foot Cranes-Bill; Procumbent Pearlwort; Tansy; Swinecress; Common Ragwort; Wood Sage; Common Field Speedwell; Scentless Mayweed;  Red Valerian; Groundsel; Hedge Bindweed; Red Clover; Angelica; Spear Thistle; Yellow Rattle; Bird’s-Foot Trefoil; Marsh Woundwort; Marjoram; Wood Sage; Tufted Vetch; Figwort; Hogweed; Ivy Leaved Toadflax; Meadowsweet; English Stonecrop; Rosebay Willowherb; Creeping Jenny; Wild Parsnip; Nipplewort; Large Flowered Evening Primrose agg; Common Mouse Ear; Red Campion; Ribwort Plantain; Self-Heal; Daisy; Herb Robert; Black Medick; Groundsel and Traveller’s Joy.

Green Veined White (*1); Peacock (*1) and Meadow Brown (*3) were the only representatives of the lepidoptera group whilst Scaeva pyrastri and Eristalis nemorum were just the 2 Hoverflies seen.

Taphrina alni and Eriophyes inangulis were the 2 galls on Alder trees and massed in large numbers.

6th August 2015 – Both Y Gest, Porthmadog, Gwynedd – Wild Thyme; Hemp Agrimony; Sheep’s Bit; Oystercatchers and a Cormorant were the few bits and bobs observed on an early evening 2 mile wander at the end of a busy day.

6th August 2015 – Dolwyddelan Castle, Gwynedd – We like mooching around castles, especially if they are old and ruined and so we ended up here.  Two elderly lasses in the car park enthused about the views before we entered the grounds proper so the short climbed was skipped up in double quick time.  A few butterflies were noted:- Comma (*1); Meadow Brown (*3); Gatekeeper (*1) and Small Heath (*1).  Ravens flew and gronked back and forth and Bog Pimpernel was seen whilst pottering amongst the admired remains.


6th August 2015 – Swallow Falls to Ugly House – A sweet walk in fine conditions.  The few flowers noted were:- Broad Leaved Willowherb; Ivy Leaved Toadflax; Nipplewort; Herb Robert; Groundsel; Marsh Thistle; Prickly Sow Thistle; Himalayan Balsam; Hogweed; Spear Thistle; Common Nettle; Foxglove; Figwort; Wood Sage; Red Campion; Harebell; Cow Wheat; Enchanter’s Nightshade; Meadow Vetchling; Lesser Spearwort; Red Campion and Yellow Pimpernel.

Eristalis pertinax; Platycheirus albimanus; Volucella pellucens; Episyrphus balteatus and Leucozona glaucia were the only Hoverflies seen.

A lone Green Veined White was on the wing.


6th August 2015 – Pentrefoelas, Conwy – A stop off on our wanderings at The Riverside Chocolate House Café and some cake and tea and a mooch around their local conservation area.  The following flowers were observed:- Monkeyflower; Common Valerian; Ribwort Plantain; Common Mouse Ear; Self-Heal; Greater Willowherb; Hogweed; White Clover; Creeping Buttercup; Meadowsweet; Lesser Stitchwort; Yarrow; Bird’s –Foot Trefoil; Ox-Eye Daisy; Common Nettle; Common Ragwort; Rosebay Willowherb; Prickly Sow Thistle; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Large Bindweed; Daisy; Creeping Thistle; Black Medick; Red Clover; Perforate St John’s Wort; Meadow Buttercup; Red Campion; Meadow Crane’s-Bill; Musk Mallow; Herb Robert; Broad Leaved Dock; Dandelion agg; Marsh Thistle; Tufted Vetch; Foxglove and Hemlock Water Dropwort.

Butterflies seen were:- Ringlet (*1) and Meadow Brown (*3).  Hoverflies seen were:- Episyrphus balteatus; Eristalis pertinax and Rhingia campestris.

Rhizocarpon geographicum was frequent.


5th August 2015 - Poise Brook NR, Stockport, Cheshire - After a tea break the group I was leading decided it would be nice to have a quick pootle down the country lands to the main bridge across the water. Extras seen for the day were the flowers:- Creeping Cinquefoil; Canadian Goldenrod; Garlic Mustard; Thale Cress; Scentless Mayweed; Brooklime; Tormentil; Bistort; Redshank and Bush Vetch.

Small White (*1) and Gatekeeper (*3) were the only butterflies on show.

3 extra galls were seen:- Pontania proxima; Pontania pedunculi and Dasineura urticae.

A Brown Hawker whizzed by, a Buzzard was attacked by a Carrion Crow and 2 Hoverflies (Chrysogaster solstitialis) and (Cheilosia illustrata) were thrown in for good measure.

5th August 2015 - Chadkirk Chapel, Stockport, Cheshire - A walk leading some lovely ladies who have a hard caring role and who very much are in need of a break. The weather was very kind and we did well from a day that was forecast dire. 55 flower species were noted, these being:- Daisy; Common Nettle; Hogweed; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Greater Willowherb; Himalayan Balsam; Common Hemp Nettle; Creeping Thistle; Hedge Bindweed; Meadow Buttercup; Enchanter's Nightshade; Red Campion; Wood Sage; Yellow Pimpernel; Purple Loosestrife; Ladies Bedstraw; Broad Leaved Dock; Red Valerian; Nipplewort; Large Bindweed; Lesser Burdock; Wood Dock; Goosegrass; Greater Plantain; Rosebay Willowherb; Common Knotgrass; Hedge/Marsh Woundwort agg; Meadowsweet; Common Knapweed; Hedge Mustard; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; White Clover; Perforate St John's Wort; Black Medick; Red Clover; Ribwort Plantain; Pineappleweed; Bittersweet; Redshank; Wavy Bittercress; Musk Mallow; Yarrow; Spear Thistle; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Cut Leaved Crane's Bill; Creeping Buttercup; Curled Leaved Dock; Ox-Eye Daisy; Mugwort; Pink Purslane; Lady's Smock; Figwort; Foxglove and Ivy Leaved Toadflax.

Butterflies seen were:- Small Copper (*1); Large White (*1); Small Skipper (*1); Meadow Brown (*10); Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Comma (*3) and Gatekeeper (*7).

Hoverflies noted were:- Volucella inanis; Episyrphus balteatus; Eristalis pertinax; Chrysogaster solstitialis; Rhingia campestris and Leucozona glaucia.

Plant galls seen were:- Andricus quercuscalicis; Andricus kollari; Cecidophyes rouhollahi; Taxomyia taxi; Phyllocoptes goniothorax; Dipoloepis rosae; Hartigiola annulipes; Eriosoma ulmi; Eriophyes similis; Psyllopsis fraxini; Neuroterus quercusbaccarum; Eriophyes inangulis; Eriophyes laevis; Andricus kollari and Phytomyza ilicis.

Other species seen were:- 2 Spot Ladybird; 7 Spot Ladybird; Harlequin Ladybird; Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle; Black Tipped Soldier Beetle; Common Darter and the Snipe Fly (Rhagio tringarius).

91 species seen overall not including the odd tree pondered and so the trip into the garden centre for a cuppa was well earned.

4th August 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - One Mugwort flower out, Spear Mint in full bloom and the fine Hoverfly (Myathropa florea) was admired whilst pootling home from work.

3rd August 2015 - Roddlesworth Reservoir, Lancashire - A walk through the woods and around the reservoir with my brother resulted in 48 species of flower being noted:- Common Ragwort; Common Knapweed; Greater Plantain; Dandelion agg; Curl Leaved Dock; White Clover; Sneezewort; Bush Vetch; Hogweed; Meadow Buttercup; Rosebay Willowherb; Marsh Thistle; Yarrow; Creeping Thistle; Angelica; Tormentil; Wood Avens; Enchanter's Nightshade; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Himalayan Balsam; Common Nettle; Hairy Bittercress; Red Campion; Climbing Corydalis; Foxglove; Greater Burnet; Red Clover; Herb Robert; Goosegrass; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Self-Heal; Greater Willowherb; Prickly Sow Thistle; Daisy; English Stonecrop; Lesser Spearwort; Large Bindweed; Honeysuckle; Ling; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Common Mouse Ear; Ribwort Plantain; Broad Leaved Dock; Pineappleweed; Black Medick; Lesser Trefoil; Spear Thistle and Welsh Poppy.

The bird list was pitiful with only 10 species seen:- Carrion Crow; Coal Tit; Chaffinch; Wren; Mallard; Cormorant; Nuthatch; Blue Tit; Swallow; House Sparrow and Raven.

The 11 plant galls seen were:- Eriophyes laevis; Eriophyes inangulis; Chirosia grossicauda; Dasineura filicina; Chirosia betuleti; Psyllopsis fraxini; Hartigiola annulipes; Anisostephus betulinus; Dasineura urticae; Andricus kollari and Phytomyza ilicis.

The 13 hoverflies noted were:- Cheilosia illustrata; Eristalis nemorum; Episyrphus balteatus; Eristalis pertinax; Epistrophe grossulariae; Chrysogaster solstitialis; Melanostoma scalare; Leucozona glaucia; Myathropa florea; Leucozona laternaria; Rhingia campestris; Helophilus pendulus and Platycheirus albimanus.

Only 6 butterflies today:- Small Skipper (*3); Large Skipper (*4); Meadow Brown (*5); Speckled Wood (*3); Small Tortoiseshell (*1) and Gatekeeper (*2).

Other bugs noted whilst swanning along were:- Harlequin Ladybird (f. spectabilis); 7 Spot Ladybird; Common Frog Hopper (Philaenus spumarius); Black Tipped Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva); Red Legged Shield Bug (Pentatoma rufipes); Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis); Small Fleck-winged Snipe Fly (Rhagio lineola); Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle (Gastrophysa viridula); Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris); Scorpion Fly (Panorpa germanica); Flower Beetle (Lagria hirta); Tachnid Fly (Phasia hemiptera) and the Mirid Bugs (Grypocoris stysi) and (Leptoterna ferrugata).

One bit of behaviour to report was a Common Wasp seen taking a specimen of Leucozona glaucia by the scruff of the neck, disabling it and carrying it off onto higher leaves - something I have never noted before.


2nd August 2015 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - After a sweaty run down river we had a tootle in a nearby meadow that holds a few ponds. Common Darter (*3); Emerald Damselfly (*2); Emperor Dragonfly (*1) and Brown Hawker (*1) were the only Odonata species on the wing whilst butterflies were represented by:- Gatekeeper (*17); Meadow Brown (*22); Comma (*1) and Small Skipper (*15).

Only 3 Hoverflies were noted, these being:- Eristalis pertinax; Episyrphus balteatus and Volucella inanis.


1st August 2015 - Arnside Knott, Cumbria - After a stop off for a cup of cha' and a sausage butty at the Crook 'O' Lune a meet up with fine fellow naturalist Peter Hornby was had and a look for a bit of this and a bit of t'other was enjoyed in ever improving sunshine.

Flowers noted were:- Curled Leaved Dock; Yellow Pimpernel; Squinancywort; Wild Basil; Ox-Eye Daisy; Black Medick; Daisy; Spring Sandwort; Field Madder; Parsley Piert; Common Centaury; Small Scabious; Black Bryony; Vervain; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Smooth Hawksbeard; Common Knapweed; Musk Mallow; Red Bartsia; Red Clover; Marsh Thistle; Hairy St John's Wort; Perforate St John's Wort; Slender St John's Wort; Marjoram; Orange Hawkweed; Hemp Agrimony; Goldenrod; Rock Rose; Common Milkwort; Autumn Hawkbit; Carline Thistle; Ling; Bell Heather; Fairy Flax; Wild Thyme; Harebell; Wood Sage; Self-Heal; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Enchanter's Nightshade; Wood Avens; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Heath Speedwell; Tormentil; Agrimony; Ribwort Plantain and Common Ragwort. Alder Buckthorn and Juniper were extra plants.

Butterflies seen were:- Gatekeeper (*19); Meadow Brown (*16); Red Admiral (*1); Scotch Argus (*5); Dark Green Fritillary (*2); Ringlet (*8); Grayling (*2); Small Skipper (*4); Speckled Wood (*2); High Brown Fritillary (*1); Comma (*1) and Common Blue (*1). 6 Spot Burnet (*1) and Silver Y Moth (*1) were other lepidopterans seen.

Meadow Grasshopper; Common Green Grasshopper; Common Field Grasshopper and Mottled Grasshopper were plentiful with a lone Common Groundhopper seen too.

Southern Hawker and Brown Hawker were the only Dragonflies seen and just one Hoverfly was noted, Eristalis intricarius.

Robin's Pincushion was on several Rose bushes.


1st August 2015 - Littledale, Lancashire - Parked up in the middle of nowhere and a walk was had through several fields, on the edge of a woodland and alongside a prominent crag. Not much about in truth with the bird front only producing:- Swallow; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Meadow Pipit; Buzzard; Mistle Thrush; Red Legged Partridge; Wren; Wood Pigeon; Goldfinch; Linnet; Jackdaw and Green Woodpecker on call.

The Mirid Bug (Grypocoris stysi) and Black Tipped Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva) as well as the Hoverflies (Eristalis pertinax) and (Volucella pellucens); a lone Meadow Brown and the Tachnid Fly (Tachina grossa) were the only bugs seen.

The Bracken Gall (Chirosia grossicauda) was noted also.

31st July 2015 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - A break at work and the last sighting of the month came in the form of a sunbathing Holly Blue - what a beauty.

29th July 2015 - Formby Point, Lancashire - Out again with the Young Carers crew (oooh its a hard life) and 11 screaming and energised tinkers all enjoying the warm sun, the golden sands, the intriguing woods and of course the toe chilling sea. Along the way the Hoverfly (Chrysotoxum festivum) was seen, many Common Field Grasshoppers, a Striped Millipede and loads of flowers including Common Ragwort; Harebell; Common Stork's-Bill; Ladies Bedstraw and Pyramidal Orchids.

Gatekeeper (*5); Meadow Brown (*2) and Small Skipper (*1) were the only butterflies noted in between paddling, lunch and a few games of Manhunt!


28th July 2015 - Ainsdale Sand Hills, Lancashire - A tootle with the Young Carers crew in weather we got slightly lucky with considering the forecast. Flowers noted were:- Sea Rocket; Kidney Vetch; Wild Parsnip; Large Flowered Evening Primrose agg; Harebell; Eyebright agg; Marsh Helleborine; Grass of Parnassus; Round Leaved Wintergreen; Restharrow; Ox-Eye Daisy; Pyramidal Orchid; Sea Holly; Yellow-Wort and Yarrow.

A few Frogs and a Toad were seen as well as a few Common Field Grasshoppers, the Hoverflies (Episyrphus balteatus); (Chrysotoxum festivum) and (Myathropa florea) and the Butterflies Meadow Brown (*5); Gatekeeper (*10) and Small Skipper (*2).

Sandwich Terns flew around on the beach and the Creeping Willow Gall (Eupontania viminalis) and Downy Birch Gall (Anisostephus betulinus).

27th July 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - After a run down the River Mersey I decided to walk back via Abney Hall and test my Gall ID skills. Named and shamed were:- Aceria nervisequa; Hartigiola annulipes; Taxomyia taxi; Neuroterus quercusbaccarum; Eriophyes laevis; Dasineura ulmaria; Psyllopsis fraxini; Eriophyes leiosoma; Macrodiplosis dryobia; Phyllocoptes eupadi and Aceria pseudoplatani.
26th July 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - An early morning run and Brown Hawker and Blue Tailed Damselfly were noted along with Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper Butterflies, a passing Kingfisher and the plant gall (Protomyces macrosporus). A chat with fellow naturalist and keen of eye birder Jack Kavannagh was thoroughly enjoyed on my walk back home - nice one!

25th July 2015 - Caergwrle Castle, Flintshire - A walk up to these interesting remains with a few wild species caught up with. Common Darter (*1) and Southern Hawker (*2) were up close and personal, Speckled Wood (*1); Meadow Brown (*5) and Gatekeeper (*2) were the only butterflies seen and a Kidney Spot Ladybird was seen on Heather with a larvae of the same species also found.

Harebell was in bloom and swaying in the slightest breeze; the Spider (Enoplognatha ovata) was picked up in the grass and the galls (Dasineura pteridis) and (Chirosia grossicauda). A Planthopper on Bracken (Ditropis pteridis) was a real odd critter and a new one for us - fine beast indeed! A Small Fleck-winged Snipefly (Rhagio lineola) was another nice discovery too as was the Lacehopper (Cixius cunicularius) which was found on one of our car windows. The Flower Beetle (Lagria hirta) was also added as well as the Mirid Bug (Orthotylus ericetorum) which was found on Heather and the Leafhopper (Eupteryx urticae) found on Nettle.


25th July 2015 - Alyn Waters, Wrexham - What was a Fungal Friends meet-up turned into a wildlife wander with anything and everything looked at apart from fungi, simply because there were none - bugger! Nevertheless, good company, keen eyes and darn good weather made for an interesting and rewarding day.

Firstly and to the 60 flowers observed:- Creeping Thistle; Common Nettle; Teasel; Ladies Bedstraw; Viper's Bugloss; Common Knapweed; Rosebay Willowherb; Spear Thistle; Greater Willowherb; Common Ragwort; White Clover; Agrimony; Yarrow; Cut Leaved Crane's-Bill; Perforate St John's Wort; Imperforate St John's Wort; Curl Leaved Dock; Self-Heal; Musk Mallow; Creeping Cinquefoil; Herb Robert; Large Bindweed; Daisy; White Dead Nettle; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Dove's Foot Crane's-Bill; Wood Avens; Meadow Crane's-Bill; Hogweed; Common Field Speedwell; Nipplewort; Meadow Buttercup; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Lesser Trefoil; Ladies Mantle; Creeping Buttercup; Black Medick; Common Mullein; Figwort; Red Campion; Wood Dock; Common Spotted Orchid; Pyramidal Orchid; Smooth Hawksbeard; Common Centaury; Ribwort Plantain; Common Stork's-Bill; Marsh Thistle; Lesser Stitchwort; Enchanter's Nightshade; Himalayan Balsam; Meadow Vetchling; Hemlock Water Dropwort; Hemp Agrimony; Prickly Sow Thistle; Pineappleweed; Small Flowered Willowherb; Field Bindweed; Eyebright agg and White Campion.

Rough Meadow Grass; Creeping Soft Grass; Common Bent; Tufted Hair Grass; False Oat Grass; Crested Dog's Tail; Wood Melick; Pendulous Sedge; Hairy Sedge and Hard Rush were nice extras thanks to botanical queen Jools and her sharp insight and ever-ready skills. I do struggle with these things so the explanations and ID hints were greatly received.

Galls noted were:- Eriophyes laevis; Eriophyes leiosoma; Eriophyes tiliae; Dasineura fraxini; Neuroterus quercusbaccarum; Psyllopsis fraxini; Eriophyes sorbi; Dasineura ulmaria; Dasineura pustulans and Jaapiella veronicae.

Hoverflies observed were:- Chrysogaster solstitialis; Eristalis pertinax; Episyrphus balteatus; Cheilosia illustrata; Helophilus pendulus; Vollucella pellucens; Leucozona glaucia; Chrysotoxum bicinctum and Volucella zonaria.

On the lepidoptera front came:- Gatekeeper (*19); Meadow Brown (*20); Ringlet (*4); Small Skipper (*6); Speckled Wood (*4); Large White (*1); Comma (*5); Shaded Broad Bar (*1); Elephant Hawkmoth (*1); Common Footman (*1); 6 Spot Burnet (*1) and the micro (Argyresthia goedartella).

Other insects seen were:- Red Tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius); Grypocoris stysi; Anthocoris nemorum; Heterotoma planicornis; Black Tipped Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva); Meadow Grasshopper (Corthippus parallelus); Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens); Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum); Striped Slender Robberfly (Leptogaster cylindrica); Plant Bug (Deraeocoris ruber); the Horse Fly (Chrysops caecutiens) and the Mirid Bugs (Leptoterna ferrugata); (Stenotus binotatus) and (Oncotylus viridiflavus). An extra specimen was later identified after a pointer on-line and confirmation via Dr R. Dransfield (Ecologist & Biostatistician). The insect was the Greater Black Spruce Bark Aphid (Cinara piceae).

Large Yellow Slug; Leopard Slug; Dusky Slug; the Crab Spider (Xysticus cristatus) and a flashing Dipper were the best of the rest from a darn decent day.

23rd July 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Swallow-Tailed Moth; Common Emerald and the Plume Moth (Amblyptilia acanthadactyla) were attracted to an overnight window.

20th July 2015 - Lindow Common, Wilmslow, Cheshire - A wander around this reserve with sun starting the day and rain soon coming in and taking the edge off it, a common theme this year it seems.

Hoverflies seen were:- Episyrphus balteatus; Eristalis pertinax; Sericomyia silentis and Volucella pellucens. 7 Spot and 14 Spot Ladybirds were observed with the butterflies Meadow Brown (*7); Small Skipper (*1) and Gatekeeper (*7) added.

Other bugs noted were Red Tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarus); Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum); Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum); Birch Catkin Bug (Kleidocerys resedae); Common Green Leafhopper (Cicadella viridis); Tortoise Beetle (Cassida rubiginosa); Spotted Longhorn Beetle (Rutpela maculata); Blue Tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans); Common Field Grasshopper (Chorthippus brunneus); Common Green Grasshopper (Omocestus viridulus); Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus); Violet Ground Beetle (Carabus violaceus); the Mirid Bug (Leptopterna dolabrata) and the Black Tipped Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva).

Flowers in bloom were:- Wood Avens; Common Nettle; Hogweed; Creeping Buttercup; Meadow Vetchling; Creeping Thistle; Broad Leaved Dock; Ox-Eye Daisy; Tormentil; Rosebay Willowherb; White Clover; Tufted Vetch; Herb Robert; Marsh Thistle; Greater Willowherb; Ribwort Plantain; Silverweed; Meadow Buttercup; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Goosegrass; Enchanter's Nightshade; Pineappleweed; Greater Plantain; Foxglove; Wild Parsnip; Meadowsweet and Yellow Flag Iris.

The gall Acalitus rudis was found on the leaves of Silver Birch and Cynips longiventris on Oak leaves.


19th July 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A straight ahead 2 hour walk to keep all physical areas moving, boy was we tired today. Butterflies seen (but not counted today) were:- Meadow Brown; Red Admiral; Small Skipper; Gatekeeper and Small White.

The Hoverflies (Eristalis abustorum); (Vollucella pellucens) and (Cheilosia illustrata) were on the wing as well as Blue Tailed Damselflies and Common Darters.

Goat's Rue; Purple Loosestrife and Red Bartsia were looked at more closely.


18th July 2015 - Bateswood SWT, Staffordshire - A final wander of the day with 10 species of butterfly observed:- Meadow Brown (*29); Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Small Skipper (*47); Comma (*3); Gatekeeper (*8); Ringlet (*13); Red Admiral (*1); Speckled Wood (*2); Large Skipper (*1) and Small Heath (*17). 2 Moths were noted, these being:- Shaded Broad bar and Carcina quercana.

Only 3 members of the Odonata group were seen, which were:- Southern Hawker; Blue Tailed Damselfly and Azure Damselfly.

Hoverflies spotted were:- Episyrphus balteatus; Cheilosia illustrata; Eristalis abustorum; Scaeva pyrastri; Epistrophe grossulariae and Syritta pipiens.

22 Spot Ladybird; Common Green Grasshopper; Soldier Beetle (Cantharis nigra); Hairy Shieldbug; the Beetle (Galeruca tanaceti); Green Leafhopper (Cicadella viridis); Mirid bugs (Leptoterna dolobrata) (Stenodema laevigata) and (Pithanus maerkelii); the Rhopalid (Myrmus miriformis) and the Soldier Fly (Chloromyia formosa) were other insects enjoyed.

Common Centaury; Betony and Eyebright agg were nice extras.


18th July 2015 - Downs Banks NT, Staffordshire - A very warm walk that saw us take our time and just go with the flow. Butterflies noted were:- Meadow Brown (*22); Speckled Wood (*2); Small Tortoiseshell (*3); Green Veined White (*1); Painted Lady (*1); Large White (*1) and Ringlet (*1);

Hoverflies seen were:- Cheilosia illustrata; Episyrphus balteatus; Eristalis pertinax; Epistrophe grossulariae and Chrysogaster solstitialis.

Leptoterna dolobrata; Leptoterna ferrugata; Anthocoris nemorum; Aphrophora alni; Gastrophysa viridula; Liocoris tripustulatus; Eupteryx aurata; Plagiognathus arbustorum; Cymus glandicolor; Rhagonycha fulva; Oxycera rara; Cassida rubiginosa and Chloromyia formosa were the other bugs seen as well as a Brown Hawker.

Lesser Spearwort and Tormentil were new flowers for the day.

The gall (Acalitus longisetosus) was a fair find.


18th July 2015 - Doxey Marshes SWT, Staffordshire - An early morn stroll in fair weather produced a list of 31 bird species:- Magpie; Wood Pigeon; Goldfinch; Blackbird; Shelduck; Jackdaw; Greenfinch; Carrion Crow; Grey Heron; Black Headed Gull; Great Crested Grebe; Mallard; Moorhen; Reed Bunting; Sedge Warbler; House Martin; House Sparrow; Tufted Duck; Coot; Ringed Plover; Swallow; Lapwing; Common Sandpiper; Little Egret; Peregrine Falcon; Mute Swan; Starling; Cormorant; Swift and Greylag Goose.

Galls noted were Pontania proxima; Eriophyes laevis; Eriophyes inangulis and Taphrina alni.

A list of flowers was kept whilst wandering around the reserve, 52 species were identified:- White Clover; Dandelion agg; Hedge Mustard; Shepherd's Purse; Common Knot-Grass; Dove's Foot Crane's-Bill; Ribwort Plantain; Common Mouse Ear; Common Nettle; Daisy; Yarrow; Common Ragwort; Spear Thistle; Creeping Thistle; Greater Willowherb; Meadowsweet; Bird's Foot Trefoil; Field Bindweed; Goosegrass; Red Clover; Hairy Tare; Hogweed; Musk mallow; Common Valerian; Broad Leaved Dock; Black Horehound; Marsh/Hedge Woundwort agg; Pineappleweed; Red Campion; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Bittersweet; Celery Leaved Buttercup; Meadow Buttercup; Brooklime; Pink Water Speedwell; Flowering Rush; Yellow Water Lily; Gypsywort; Silverweed; Prickly Sow Thistle; Purple Loosestrife; Rosebay Willowherb; Lesser Trefoil; Comfrey agg; White Dead Nettle; Meadow Vetchling; Tufted Vetch; Nipplewort; Marsh Thistle; Marsh Bedstraw; Sheep's Sorrel and Curl Leaved Dock.

Small Tortoiseshell (*5); Meadow Brown (*22); Small Skipper (*1); Ringlet (*3); Red Admiral (*1) and Green Veined White (*1) were the only butterflies noted.

Southern Hawker; Emperor Dragonfly; Blue Tailed Damselfly and the Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus) were the best of the rest.

16th July 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A slightly different stroll home today with Small Skipper (*10); Meadow Brown (*7); Comma (*3) and Gatekeeper (*1) on the wing as well as the Hoverflies (Episyrphus balteatus) and (Cheilosia illustrata) and a stunning Brown Hawker.

15th July 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking home from work after a real busy day and Meadow Brown (*10); Comma (*2); Gatekeeper (*1); Large Skipper (*1); Small Skipper (*2); Speckled Wood (*1) and a Silver Y Moth (*1) were good to see.

Common Field and Common Green Grasshoppers were both heard and seen too.


14th July 2015 - Gatley Carrs, Stockport, Cheshire - The weather was still in a state of indecision so I played safe and headed to a quiet local reserve that may throw up a few bits and bobs for the keen of eye. Hoverflies noted were:- Episyrphus balteatus; Eristalis pertinax; Helophilus pendulus; Epistrophe grossulariae; Volucella pellucens; Cheilosia illustrata; Myathropa florea; Platycheirus albimanus; Leucozona glaucia; Bacha elongata and Chrysogaster solstitialis.

Butterflies noted were:- Comma (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*3); Meadow Brown (*2); Small White (*1) and Speckled Wood (*1). A Nettle Tap Moth was also added.

Bugs observed were:- Red Tailed Bumblebee; Harlequin Ladybird; Grypocoris stysi; Anthocoris nemorum; Kleidocerys resedae; Heterotoma planicornis; Plagiognathus arbustorum and the Black Tipped Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva).

Plant galls identified were:- Pontania proxima; Dasineura urticae; Dasineura ulmaria; Dasineura pustulans; Cecidophyes galii; Eriophyes similis; Phyllocoptes eupadi; Aceria pseudoplatani; Aceria macrochela; Aceria myriadeum; Taphrina betulina; Psyllopsis fraxini; Taphrina alni; Phytomyza ilicis; Eriophyes laevis and Neuroterus quercusbaccarum.

Flowers in bloom were:- Common Ragwort; Large Bindweed; Herb Robert; Broad Leaved Dock; Greater Plantain; Nipplewort; Rosebay Willowherb; Common Nettle; Hogweed; Bush Vetch; Yarrow; Common Knapweed; White Campion; Lady's Bedstraw; Musk Mallow; Wild Carrot; Tansy; Dandelion agg; Common Knotgrass; Meadow Buttercup; Creeping Thistle; Himalayan Balsam; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; White Clover; Pineappleweed; Wood Avens; Common Field Speedwell; Meadow Vetchling; Dove's-Foot Crane's-Bill; Hedge Mustard; Lesser Trefoil; Perforate St John's Wort; Meadow Crane's-Bill; Goosegrass; Ground Elder; Tufted Vetch; Red Campion; Common Valerian; Meadowsweet and Rosebay Willowherb.

13th July 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The money is tight, the weather unkind and things to do are building up - so another day catching my tattered tail. Moths noted around the house were:- White Shouldered House Moth (*1); Bee Moth (*2); Double Striped Pug (*1) and Riband Wave f. remutata (*1).
13th July 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - 2 runs today, both in the refreshing rain - one was terminated due to spotting a crop of Yellow-Bird's-Nest (Monotropa hypopitys ssp. hypophegea). 216 spikes in total - nice!
12th July 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Great Burnet and Lady's Bedstraw were in flower; a banded Demoiselle was flushed from some grass as were Meadow Brown (*14) and Small Skipper (*2) as well as a 5 Spot Burnet Moth. Leucozona glaucia was seen on Hogweed.

12th July 2015 - Fletcher Moss, Didsbury, G. Manchester - Life is busy and stressful at the mo and we are struggling to catch our own tails. I had a walk here today just to stretch the legs after an early morning run and to keep myself in the zone. The weather was poor (what's new), the grass and trees sodden but I cracked on and saw a few decent bugs and beasties. Meadow Brown (*12); Speckled Wood (*1); Small Skipper (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*1); 2 Peacock larvae and the Bird Cherry Ermine Moth represented the lepidoptera. Other insects noted were the Hoverflies (Episyrphus balteatus); (Leucozona glaucia) and (Cheilosia illustrata); Mirid Bugs (Heterotoma planicornis); (Grypocoris stysi); (Leptoterna dolobrata); Harlequin Ladybird; Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum); the Snipe Fly (Chrysopilus cristatus); Noon Fly (Mesembrina meridiana); Common Green Colonel Soldier Fly (Oplodontha viridula); Leafhopper (Eupteryx urticae) and the Black Tipped Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva).

Flowers in bloom were Yellow Loosestrife; Hairy Tare; Tall Melilot; Musk Mallow; Hedge Mustard; Cow Parsley; Goosegrass; Curl Leaved Dock; Daisy; Common Hogweed; Ground Elder; Common Nettle; Wood Avens; Meadowsweet; Greater Willowherb; Creeping Thistle; Garlic Mustard; Himalayan Balsam; Enchanter's Nightshade; Broad Leaved Dock; White Clover; Meadow Buttercup; Lesser Spearwort; Meadow Vetchling; Silverweed; Tall Melilot; Black Medick; Ribwort Plantain; Tufted Vetch; Common Ragwort; Selfheal; Perforate St John's Wort; Prickly Sow Thistle; Herb Robert; Spear Thistle; Large Bindweed; Marsh Woundwort agg; Bush Vetch; Red Clover; Bird's Foot Trefoil; Yarrow and Pineappleweed.

Galls noted were few, these being:- Protomyces macrosporus; Psyllopsis fraxini; Pontania proxima; Dasineura ulmaria; Eriophyes inangulis and Andricus kollari.

10th July 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking home and singles of Small Tortoiseshell; Meadow Brown and Large Skipper were noted as well as 2 hunting Brown Hawkers and a female Banded Demoiselle.

9th July 2015 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - The busy lifestyle only allowed me a short trip out today but it wasn't a bad mooch at all. Butterflies seen were:- Meadow Brown (*31); Small Skipper (*13); Large Skipper (*3); Comma (*1) and Small Tortoiseshell (*2). Moths added were:- 6 Spot Burnet (*1); Cinnabar (*1) and Straw Dot (*1).

Bugs observed were:- Azure Damselfly; Emerald Damselfly; Common Darter; Capsus ater; Leptoterna dolobrata; Alder Leaf Beetle; 7 Spot Ladybird; Harlequin Ladybird; Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus); Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis); Spear Thistle Lacebug (Tingis cardui); Blue Shieldbug (Zicrona caerulea); Black Tipped Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva); Mirid Bugs (Capsus ater); Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum); (Notostira elongata); (Plagiognathus arbustorum); (Stenotus binotatus) and (Stenodema laevigata); Common Froghopper (Philaenus spumarius); Potato Capsid (Closterotomus norwegicus); Common Green Leafhopper (Cicadella viridis); European Cinch Bug (Ischnodemus sabuleti); Common Green Colonel Soldier Fly (Oplodontha viridula), Snipe Fly (Chrysopilus cristatus); the Hoverflies (Episyrphus balteatus); (Chrysotoxum festivum); and (Helophilus pendulus) and the Furrow Spider (Larinioides cornutus).

Greater Spearwort was in flower.


6th July 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A walk into town for a bit of shopping produced a list of 71 flowers in bloom, these were:- Common Field Speedwell; Large Bindweed; Goosegrass; Rape; Herb Robert; Hedge Woundwort agg; Wood Avens; Nipplewort; Common Nettle; Curl Leaved Dock; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Wavy Bittercress; Red Campion; Spear Thistle; White Clover; Dandelion sp; Black Medick; Purple Toadflax; Creeping Buttercup; Daisy; Perforate St John's-Wort; Garlic Mustard; Wood Sage; Ox-Eye Daisy; Hogweed; Common Knapweed; Self-Heal; Creeping Cinquefoil; Creeping Thistle; Broad Leaved Dock; Ribwort Plantain; Red Clover; Goat's Rue; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Yellow Rattle; Meadow Vetchling; Common Ragwort; Rosebay Willowherb; Hairy Tare; Tufted Vetch; Groundsel; Meadow Buttercup; Bush Vetch; Greater Plantain; Canadian Fleabane; Tall Melilot; White Melilot; Smooth Sow Thistle; Greater Willowherb; Ivy Leaved Toadflax; Red Valerian (white form); Monkey Flower; Pellitory of the Wall; Hedge Mustard; Chickweed; Hop Trefoil; Giant Hogweed; Germander Speedwell; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Ground Elder; Dame's Violet; Pineappleweed; Feverfew; Common Mouse Ear; Enchanter's Nightshade; Lesser Trefoil; Redshank; Shepherd's Purse and White Dead Nettle.

A Painted Lady was on the wing.

5th July 2015 - Chadkirk Chapel, Cheshire - A short walk with the missus with the sun shining and a storm in the distance ready to blow. A few butterflies were seen:- Brimstone (*1); Meadow Brown (*3); Speckled Wood (*1); Comma (*1) and Red Admiral (*1). Bugs noted were:- 2 Spot Ladybird; 14 Spot Ladybird; Harlequin Ladybird; Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum); European Chinchbug (Ischnodemus sabuleti); Common Froghopper (Philaenus spumarius); Mirid Bugs (Heterotoma planicornis); (Grypocoris stysi); (Leptoterna dolobrata); (Notostira elongata); Black Tipped Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva); (Deraeocoris flavilinea) and (Stenodema laevigata) plus a Malachite Beetle (Malachius bipustulatus); another Beetle (Lagria hirta) and the Soldier Fly (Chloromyia formosa).
4th July 2015 - Barmby Barrage, E. Yorkshire - Final location of the day and a short walk in the blazing heat. Small Tortoiseshell (*9); Small Skipper (*1); Meadow Brown (*12); Ringlet (*1); Large Skipper (*1) and Red Admiral (*1) were enjoying the sunny afternoon with Spotted Cranefly (Nephrotoma appendiculata); Nettle Ground Bug (Heterogaster urticae); Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum); Common Nettle Bug (Liocoris tripustulatus); Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus); Soldier Beetle (Malthodes dispar); Leafhopper (Eupteryx atropunctata) and Common Earwig (Forficula auricularia) were also observed.

4th July 2015 - Howden, E. Yorkshire - We saw the remains of an old church whilst heading through this small market town so thought we would pull up and have a wander. A cracking crumbling structure it was and whilst pottering we saw a Red Admiral on the wing and the Walnut Leaf Gall (Aceria erinea). On a nearby park we watched a group of bowlers do their stuff whilst I devoured a tasty Vanilla Slice and my lasses each enjoyed a freshly made Viennese Swirl - we naturalists have to keep well stocked!


4th July 2015 - Blacktoft Sands RSPB, E. Yorkshire - We have been meaning to get to this reserve for the last couple of weeks as it has been many years since we last visited and a few good birds seemed to be in residence. We spent 2 - 3 hours swanning along and came away with a list of only 38 species. I expected more but we had some memorable sightings so shouldn't complain. The list was:- Chaffinch; Tree Sparrow; Wood Pigeon; Wigeon; Avocet; Blackbird; Magpie; Oystercatcher; Lapwing; Grey Heron; Tufted Duck; Spotted Redshank; Teal; Ruff; Black Headed Gull; Mallard; Little Grebe; Moorhen; Greylag Goose; Skylark; Stock Dove; Reed Bunting; Little Egret; Swift; Marsh Harrier (M/F); Shoveler; Coot; Starling; Swallow; Green Sandpiper; Montague's Harrier (M/F); Sedge Warbler; Great Crested Grebe; Mute Swan; Gadwall; Common Pheasant + Wren and Dunnock on call.

Meadow Brown (*4); Red Admiral (*2); Ringlet (*5); Large Skipper (*2); Speckled Wood (*1) and Small Tortoiseshell (*2) all turned out once the sun started to blaze and 3 Brown Hare's; the Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus) and the flowers Goat's Beard and Meadow Rue were nice extras to add.

1st July 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A perfect example of a Red Admiral Butterfly was seen resting on Bracken - what a beauty!

1st July 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A few hours mothing after a gig produced:- Marbled Beauty (*2); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Heart and Dart (*2); Brown House Moth (*2); Light Brown Apple Moth (*2); Apple Leaf Miner (*1); Brimstone (*1); Elephant Hawkmoth (*1); Argyresthia brockeella (*1); Willow Beauty (*1); Gothic (*1); Red Barred Tortrix (*1); Hawthorn Moth (Scythropia crataegella); Freyer's Pug; Fan-Foot (*1); Mompha ochraceella and Dark Arches (*1).

The bug Psallus betuleti was also caught.

30th June 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Moths attracted to an overnight light were:- Lime Hawkmoth; Buff Tip; Small Fan-Foot; Green Oak Tortrix; Garden Carpet; Fan-Foot; Figure of 80; Heart and Dart; Marbled Beauty; Clouded Silver and Riband Wave f. remutata.
28th June 2015 - Wombwell Woods, Barnsley, S. Yorkshire - A day of an 8 band gig so a quick tootle first down to the fishing ponds.  A nice and relaxed area was had with the butterflies seen being:- Large Skipper *2); Small Tortoiseshell (*2); Speckled Wood (*2) and Ringlet (*1).  A Large Red Damselfly was also seen and a Grasshopper Warbler heard singing.
27th June 2015 - Hare Hill NT, Cheshire - A pop in to a new area and for us a definite thumbs down place and over-priced at that.  2 Meadow Browns; a Speckled Wood; 2 Lily Beetles and a Broad Bodied Chaser were all that we noted and, we won't be back.
27th June 2015 - Alderley Edge, Cheshire - Time was of the essence today with computer repairs needed and things sorting for the gig on the morrow.  A potter in the sun in a few areas of rough grassland, a walk through the woods and a chilled search in some blazingly sunny glades produced the following list of bugs and beasties:- Liocoris tripustulatus; Psallus cf. varians; Polymerus nigrita; Charagochilus gyllenhalii; Phylus melanocephalus; Rhabdomiris striatellus; Kleidocerys resedae; Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus; Stenodema laevigata; Leptoterna dolobrata; Tachycixius pilosus;
Capsus ater; Anthocoris nemorum; Demetrias atricapillus and Phyllobius pomaceus.
Added also were a Red Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus lapidarius); Soldier Fly (Chloromyia formosa); Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis); Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle (Gastrophysa viridula); Forest Bug nymph (Pentatoma rufipes) and the Lacewing (Chrysopa perla).
Lepidoptera were represented by the Butterflies:- Meadow Brown (*5); Speckled Wood (*5) and Large White (*1) with the only moth seen being the Green Oak Tortrix (*3).
A Raven flew over whilst gronking away, a Leopard Slug was noted and the Black Pudding Gall (Dasineura pteridis) was also seen. 

26th June 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Early finish at work, home for beans on toast and out in the dull weather for a spot of insect mooching. I wasn't expecting much but perseverance paid smallish dividends. Lepidoptera were represented by:- Meadow Brown (*2); Large Skipper (*5); Common Blue (*2); Small Skipper (*2); Speckled Wood (*1) and the Cinnabar Moth (*1) and Blackneck Moth (*2).

7 Spot Ladybird; 14 Spot Ladybird; 22 Spot Ladybird and Harlequin Ladybird were seen as well as Gorse Shieldbug and Hairy Shieldbug. Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis); Mirid Bugs (Capsus ater); (Pithanus maerkelii); (Stenodema laevigata); (Notostira elongata) and (Leptopterna dolabrata) plus Common Green Grasshopper (Omocestus.viridulus); Striped Slender Robberfly (Leptogaster cylindrica); Broad Centurion Soldierfly (Chloromyia formosa); Alder Spittle Bug (Aphrophora alni); Snake Killing Fly (Coremacera marginata); Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens); Alder Leaf Beetle (Agelastica alni); Pea Weevil (Sitona sp) and a Common Earwig (Forficula auricularia).


24th June 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - On the way to and from work and Meadow Brown (*1); Large Skipper (*3); Comma (*1) and Common Blue (*2) were noted in the unusual sunshine. The larvae of the Comma Butterfly was also noted feeding on Willow.

A Meadow Grasshopper was heard calling and eventually seen.

Perforate St John's-Wort; Meadow Crane's-Bill and the seemingly late Cuckooflower were all in bloom.

Crested Dog's Tail Grass was abundant.


22nd June 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A day on the ale yesterday watching 13 bands strut their DIY stuff meant that today my head was murky and I needed some fresh air. A stroll in sunshine and showers was just what I needed with a few things noted along the way. The Snipe Flies (Chrysopilus cristatus) and (Rhagio tringarius) were seen along with the Golden Bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle (Agapanthia villosoviridescens) and the Mirid Bug (Miris striatus). The years first Meadow Brown was on the wing.

Knot-grass and Monkey Flower were in flower.

Galls seen were Psyllopsis fraxini; Dasineura fraxini; Eriophyes exilis; Contarinia tiliarum; Eriophyes tiliae; Dasineura viciae and Pontania proxima.

20th June 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A run downstream and a wander back with the galls Iteomyia capreae and Vasates quadripedes noted.
19th June 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Dasineura kiefferiana was noted on the leaves of Willowherb, a female Mandarin flew past, a Kingfisher called and a lone Giant Hogweed was still a long way from flowering.
16th June 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Epinotia bilunana was attracted to the toilet window.
16th June 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Attracted to an overnight window were the moths:- Garden Carpet (*2); Willow Beauty (*1); Heart And Dart (*1); Anania coronata (*2); Brown Line, Bright Eye (*1); Flame Shoulder (*1); Riband Wave f. remutata (*2); Hedya nubiferana (*1); Freyers Pug (*1) and Pebble Hook-Tip (*1). Also seen was an Orange Ladybird - always a cute extra.
16th June 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Speckled Wood and a late Orange Tip were on the wing as well as a female Banded Demoiselle. Nearby the leaf miner Agromyza pseudoreptens was keyed out.

15th June 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A day of cleaning and tidying and trying to catch up with many loose ends. Time was taken also to tidy up a bit of the garden and spend a spare hour having a read. Whilst in and out I noted breeding 14 Spot Ladybirds, Harlequin Ladybirds and Narcissis Bulb Flies (Meredon equestris) as well as a Speckled Wood Butterfly; Tree Bee; Large Yellow Slug; Dusky Slug; numerous Varied Carpet Beetles on Hogweed and the Hoverflies (Episyrphus balteatus) and (Eupeodes luniger).

The Bay Gall (Lauritrioza alacris) was also noted.


14th June 2015 - Sandbach Flashes, Cheshire - A quick pootle here and 28 birds noted, these being:- Coot; Moorhen; Jackdaw; Shelduck; Mute Swan; Tufted Duck; Grey Heron; Black Headed Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Wood Pigeon; Great Tit; Black Tailed Godwit; Teal; Magpie; Chaffinch; Carrion Crow; Lapwing; Canada Goose; House Martin; Great Crested Grebe; Shoveler; Blackbird; Willow Warbler; Wigeon; Swallow; Cormorant + Wren and Great Spotted Woodpecker on call.

Tufted Vetch was in flower and Blue Tailed Damselflies were on the wing as well as the Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus).


14th June 2015 - Hartshill Hayes CP, Warwickshire - A mooch around this decent area with several galls noted, these were:- Eriophyes similis; Taphrina pruni; Psyllopsis fraxini; Andricus lignicolus; Eriosoma ulmi; Eriophyes leiosoma; Eriophyes tiliae; Aceria pseudoplatani; Eriophyes sorbi; Blennocampa phyllocolpa and Phytomyza ilicis.

Singles of Common Blue and Brown Argus were noted as well as the moths Nettle Tap; Silver Ground Carpet; Nemophora deegerella (*40) and Pseudargyrotoza conwagana.

A Tree Bee; Red and Black Froghopper; Small Nettle Weevil (Nedyus quadrimaculatus); Mirid Bug (Lycogoris pabulinus); Scorpion Fly (Panorpa communis); Snipe Fly (Chrysopilus cristatus) and Red Headed Cardinal Beetle were added to the day's sightings as well as the flowers Figwort and Greater Celandine.

13th June 2015 - Titchmarsh NR, Northamptonshire - Defeated by the weather we headed back to our digs and slept fitfully for 3 hours before waking up and dozing. I checked the weather and decided to walk up to Titchmarsh whilst my lasses watched the wand shaking of Harry Potter. The weather was kind, although a dampness was in the air but, I got around and 3 and a half hours later I met my girls and went to the chippy for a feast. Birds seen totalled 37, these being:- Jackdaw; Goldfinch; Robin; Carrion Crow; Wood Pigeon; Blackbird; Tufted Duck; Mute Swan; Mallard; Great Crested Grebe; Green Woodpecker; Chaffinch; Greenfinch; Common Tern; Wren; Reed Bunting; Cormorant; Black Headed Gull; Cetti's Warbler; Hobby; Great Tit; Coot; Grey Heron; Canada Goose; Long Tailed Tit; Magpie; Pochard; Greylag Goose; Sedge Warbler; Cuckoo + Dunnock; Nightingale; Song Thrush; Willow Warbler; Chiffchaff and Goldcrest on call.

A few flowers were seen but nothing outrageous - Figwort; Dame's Violet; Hemlock and Black Horehound were about the best.

13th June 2015 - Corby Boating Lake, Northamptonshire - A pop in for a cup of tea and still the water from above dropped down. My lasses stopped in the car, I had a mooch. Loads of Greylag Geese, a few Grey Herons and the gall Macrodiplosis pustularis on Oak were the only things noted. Talking to a local we picked up some info regarding a swarm of Ermine Caterpillars that were recently reported on the local news. We had a look of course and were impressed by the ghostly trees that were swathed in unsettling greyish white webs with masses of larvae beneath - quite a spectacle and one we have certainly not come across before.
13th June 2015 - East Carlton CP, Northamptonshire - A walk through the park in yet more dismal weather and very little to see. Norway Spruce towered above, White and Red Dead Nettle withstood the rain and that was about it. Birds were lowly and made up of expected suspects - bah.

13th June 2015 - Barnwell CP, Northamptonshire - Bilge weather took the edge off a day that started at this lovely area. All lists were affected but we trundled on and made the most of it. Birds noted were:- Swallow; Coot; Blackbird; Cuckoo; Goldcrest; Jackdaw; Goldfinch; Wood Pigeon; Mallard; Dunnock; Blackcap; Carrion Crow; Magpie; Great Crested Grebe; Mute Swan + Wren; Reed Bunting; Reed Warbler and Cetti's Warbler on call.

Dasineura urticae was on Nettle and Aceria macrochelus was on Field Maple.

Yellow Water Lily and Hemlock were in flower.

12th June 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Attracted to an overnight light were the moths:- Scalloped Hazel (*1); Brimstone (*1); Light Brown Apple Moth (*1); Tachystola acroxantha (*1); Common Marbled Carpet (*1) and Bee Moth (*2).

8th June 2015 - Anderton NR/Marbury CP, Cheshire -  A wander with my bro' looking primarily for bugs. The sun was dazzling with interspersed cloud and even though we didn't cover all the area we clocked up an acceptable list of species.

Birds were pretty quiet and only looked at as a sideline to the bugging. 42 species were clocked up even though the main woodland and bird hides were avoided. The list was:- Blackbird; Magpie; Wood Pigeon; Jay; Buzzard; Cormorant; Black Headed Gull; Mallard; Moorhen; Common Whitethroat; Reed Bunting; Reed Warbler; Blue Tit; Bullfinch; Chiffchaff; Mute Swan; Wren; Lapwing; Tufted Duck; Teal; Coot; Sedge Warbler; Carrion Crow; Song Thrush; Grey Heron; Canada Goose; Sand Martin; Swift; Gadwall; Goldfinch; Shelduck; Raven; Pied Wagtail; House Sparrow; Swallow; Jackdaw + Blackcap; Robin; Little Grebe; Goldcrest; Long Tailed Tit and Linnet on call.

Plant galls were represented by 13 species:- Taphrina pruni; Andricus kollari; Biorhiza pallida; Neuroterus quercusbaccarum; Eriophyes inangulis; Psyllopsis fraxini; Dasineura fraxini; Eriophyes leiosoma; Eriophyes tiliae; Phyllocoptes populi; Eriophyes sorbi; Andricus lignicolus and Dasineura viciae.

45 flowers were in bloom, these being:- Common Nettle; Meadow Buttercup; Goosegrass; Amphibious Bistort; Daisy; Common Sorrel; Yellow Flag Iris; Herb Robert; Hogweed; Wood Avens; White Clover; Cow Parsley; Ribwort Plantain; Woody Nightshade; Dove's-Foot Crane's-Bill; Garlic Mustard; Bird's Foot Trefoil; Common Vetch; Meadow Crane's-Bill; Red Clover; Dandelion sp; Figwort; Prickly Sow Thistle; Silverweed; Cut Leaved Crane's-Bill; Spear Thistle; Wild Strawberry; Germander Speedwell; Meadow Vetchling; Broad Leaved Willowherb; Curled Leaved Dock; Cuckooflower; Lesser Stitchwort; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Ox-Eye Daisy; Wall Speedwell; White Campion; Red Campion; Procumbent Pearlwort; Pineappleweed; Black Medick; Hemlock Water Dropwort; Comfrey sp; Common Mouse Ear and White Water Lily.

12 other plants included:- Common Horsetail; Ash Tree; Sycamore; Silver Birch; Field Maple; Large Leaved * Small Leaved Lime; Elder; Turkey Oak; Beech; Rowan; Broom and Hawthorn.

7 examples of lepidoptera were noted with the only butterflies observed being:- Red Admiral (*1); Brimstone (*5); Speckled Wood (*1) and Common Blue (*1). Moths seen were:- Garden Carpet (*1); Small Magpie (*2) and Light Brown Apple Moth (*1).

4 hoverflies were noted:- Episyrphus balteatus; Helophilus pendulus; Eristalis nemorum and Syritta pipiens.

38 other insects were seen, these were:- Hawthorn Shieldbug; Hairy Shieldbug; Malachite Beetle (Malachius bipustulatus); Birch Catkin Bug (Kleidocerys resedae); Red Eyed Damselfly (*2); Large Red Damselfly; Blue Tailed Damselfly; Azure Damselfly; 4 Spotted Chaser; Banded Demoiselle; Emperor Dragonfly (Teneral); Spotted Cranefly; Alder Leaf Beetle; Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle; Garden Chafer; 2 Spot Ladybird; 7 Spot Ladybird; 14 Spot Ladybird; Harlequin Ladybird; Red Headed Cardinal Beetle; Ruby Tailed Wasp sp; Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus); Mirid Bug (Capsus ater); Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis); Lacewing (Chrysopa perla); Soldier Beetle (Cantharis rustica); Mirid Bug (Stenodema laevigata); Nettle Ground Bug (Heterogaster urticae); Dance Fly (Empis tessalata); Nettle Bug (Liocoris tripustulatus); Bramble Sawfly (Arge cyanocrocea); Scorpion Fly (Panorpa germanica); 2 species of Tortoise Beetle (Cassida viridis) and (Cassida rubiginosa); Mirid Bug (Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus); Common Damsel Bug (Nagis rugosus); Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum) and Small Tortoiseshell Caterpillar.

11 extra species added to the list were:- Grey Squirrel; Rabbit; Common Frog; Common Toad; Great Crested Newt; Roach; Carp; Brown Lipped Banded Snail; White Lipped Banded Snail; Garden Snail and the Spider (Tetragnatha extensa).

With 3 rust fungi noted (see Fungal Friends section) on the day the final tally was a sweet 175 species - not bad for a potter!


7th June 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire -  2 new species for the garden, the Narcissus Bulb Fly (Merodon equestris) and the Hoverfly (Syritta pipiens) - nice!

Also noted were several Tree Bees, Red Tailed Bumble Bee and the eggs, larvae and imagos of the Harlequin Ladybird. A 14 Spot Ladybird competed for space.


5th June 2015 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - A noontime walk was needed to stretch my aching carcass, man the legs, arms, shoulders, neck and noggin were all tweaking and twanging so I thought a bit of sun and nature would do the trick.  Birch Catkin Bug (Kleidocerys resedae); Tachnid Fly (Tachina fera); Sunfly (Helophilus pendulus); Common Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina); Narcissus Bulb Fly (Merodon equestris) and Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) were the insects noted with 3 galls also seen, these being:- Eriophyes erinea; Vasates quadripedes and Taphrina pruni.

Broad Leaved Willowherb was in flower.

4th June 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire -  A Brimstone was on the wing, Dame's Violet was in flower and the galls Pontania proxima and Dasineura fraxini were spotted.

3rd June 2015 - Little Budworth CP, Cheshire - And again a trip out with the lads and lasses from work, this time in search of a snake or two. With 14 noisy tinkers it was always going to be a hard task to catch up with a slitherer so it came as no surprise when the end total was a big fat zero. 2 Common Lizards were seen though (albeit briefly), a Speckled Wood and Peacock represented the butterfly group

A Striped Millipede and an Oak Apple Gall (Biorhiza pallida) were also noted.


2nd June 2015 - Tatton Park, Cheshire - Another day out with the kids from work with Frogs, Toads and Smooth Newts all admired, the resident Fallow and Red Deer ooohed and aaahed over and Garlic Snail, Dusky Slug and several fungi all identified. After a play on the park, lunch and an ice cream time was of the essence so we had to get back to HQ or risk keeping parents waiting - needs must!

The plant gall Eriophyes exilis was later confirmed.


1st June 2015 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - A run and then a walk through this small area with 7 galls noted, these were:- Neuroterus quercusbaccarum; Psyllopsis fraxinia; Eriophyes tiliae; Aceria myriadeum; Eupontania pedunculi; Phyllocoptes populi and Phytomyza ilicis.

A lone Common Blue Damselfly was resting on a leaf out of the way of the main winds.

30th May 2015 - Chesil Beach, Dorset - A meet up with Ken Dolbear, a cup of tea and then a mooch. Thrift; Sea Beet; Kidney Vetch; Black Medick; Buck's Horn Plantain; Portland Spurge; Wild Poppy; Red Campion; Yellow Rattle; Common Vetch; Cow Parsley; Bittersweet; Goosegrass; Hairy Tare; Daisy; Common Broomrape; Red Clover; Hop Trefoil; Oxford Ragwort and Common Mouse Ear were all in bloom. Garden Tiger Larvae and 6 Spot Burnet Larvae were observed as well as Dentated Shieldbug; Long Winged Conehead (Nymph); The Weevil (Attactagenus plumbeus); Grey Bush Cricket (Nymph); The Soldier Beetle (Podabrus alpinus) and the Malachite Beetle (Cordylepherus viridis). 3 Common Blues defied the wind.

30th May 2015 - Powerstock Common DWT, Dorset - A walk around this fine area with news had that the Wood White was no longer here and is now labelled as extinct in Dorset - another victory for the indifferent, the idle, the uncaring and the downright pig ignorant. Cracking on and the butterflies that were noted were few, these being:- Speckled Wood (*10); Common Blue (*7); Marsh Fritillary (*3); Grizzled Skipper (*2); Dingy Skipper (*4); Green Veined White (*2); Orange Tip (*1); Painted Lady (*1); Red Admiral (*1) and Large White (*1). Moths seen were Speckled Yellow (*3) and Burnet Companion (*1).

Insects were familiar of late with:- Hairy Shieldbug; Red Headed Cardinal; Malachite Beetle (Malachius bipustulatus); 4 Spotted Chaser; Harlequin Ladybird; Tortoise Bug (Eurygaster testudinaria); Black and Red Froghopper; Dark Bush Cricket (Nymph); Speckled Bush Cricket (Nymph); Common Groundhopper; Slender Groundhopper; Mirid Bug (Stenodema laevigata); Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemera Nobilis); Dock Bug (Coreus marginatus); Cryptocephalus aureolus; Garden Chafer and the Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus).

Flowers noted were:- Raged Robin; Meadow Buttercup; Herb Robert; Greater Stitchwort; Bush Vetch; Cow Parsley; Creeping Buttercup; Red Campion; Common Nettle; Germander Speedwell; Red Clover; Twayblade; Ground Ivy; Lousewort; Tormentil; Creeping Cinquefoil; Ribwort Plantain; Columbine; White Clover; Lesser Trefoil; Figwort; Silverweed; Pignut; Yellow Pimpernel; Marsh Thistle and Cuckooflower.

Yellowhammer and Buzzard were seen before struggling author and reptile man Kevin Parr showed us 2 Adders, 2 Grass Snakes and a Common Lizard. In return I promised to by his murderous book, 'The Twitch' - well why not indeed. A Toad was also seen on what was a fine jaunt!

29th May 2015 - Portland Bill, Dorset - Early and late moochings brought sightings of Spotted Flycatcher; Little Owl; Common Blue (*5); Dingy Skipper (*1) and Small Blue (*1) as well as a Bee Orchid and 2 Grey Seals that came in close and posed.
29th May 2015 - Holway Woods DWT, Dorset - After a potter around Sherbourne and some tea and cake in a lovely bookshop we whizzed around this reserve before going back to the lighthouse for some more grub. Red Headed Cardinal Beetle; Heineken Fly (Rhingia campestris); Azure Damselfly; Speckled Wood; Woundwort Shieldbug; a Great Spotted Woodpecker feeding its young; and Green Alkanet and Pink Purslane in flower made up a small list from this swift roam.

28th May 2015 - Portland Bill, Dorset - After last years day list wander on the wondrous Isle of Portland we decided to do it again, this time earlier in the year. Just after starting a photo opportunity arose...

Firstly to the flowers and 95 species were listed, these being:- Yellow Vetchling; Field Gentian; Slender Speedwell; Annual Wall Rocket; Wild Cabbage; Bogbean; Borage; Greater Periwinkle; Ivy Broomrape; Slender Thistle; Wild Poppy; Herb Robert; Pellitory of the Wall; Common Milkwort; Portland Spurge; Tree Mallow; Common Scurvygrass; Buck's-Horn Plantain; Bittersweet; Ribwort Plantain; Black Medick; Pale Flax; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Common Nettle; Red Clover; Musk Thistle; Germander Speedwell; Weld; Viper's Bugloss; Wild Thyme; Hairy Rock Cress; Oxford Ragwort; Spotted Medick; Procumbent Pearlwort; Mexican Daisy; Dandelion sp; Wild Clary; Dove's-Foot Crane's-Bill; Greater Plantain; Yellow Rattle; Whistling Jack; Sea Beet; Thrift; Hogweed; Wild Carrot; Smooth Sow Thistle; Goosegrass; Hoary Cress; Daisy; Alexanders; Pink Oxalis; Wall Speedwell; Shepherd's Purse; Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Wood Avens; Honeysuckle; Bluebell; Salsify; Swinecress; Groundsel; Hoary Plantain; Common Mouse Ear; Creeping Cinquefoil; Common Vetch; Scarlet Pimpernel; Kidney Vetch; Eyebright agg; Salad Burnet; Horseshoe Vetch; Meadow Buttercup; Red Valerian; Common Gorse; Yellow Flag Iris; Ox-Eye Daisy; Hedge Mustard; Fairy Flax; Common Sorrel; Common Knapweed; Snow in Summer; Common Field Speedwell; Red Dead Nettle; Wall Flower; Ivy Leaved Toadflax; Bush Vetch; Bristly Ox-Tongue; Cow Parsley; Cut Leaved Crane's-Bill; White Clover; Early Scurvygrass; Bulbous Buttercup; Creeping Buttercup; White Campion; Prickly Sow Thistle; Rape and Chickweed.

45 insects were observed:- Leaf Beetle (Cryptocephalus aureolus); Bishop's Mitre Shieldbug (Aelia acuminata); Iris Seed Weevil (Mononychus punctumalbum); Green Shieldbug; Hairy Shieldbug; Malachite Beetle ( Cordylepherus viridis); (Meadow Grasshopper (Nymph); Grey Bush Cricket (Nymph); Dark Bush Cricket (Nymph); Long Winged Conehead (Nymph); 7 Spot Ladybird; 22 Spot Ladybird; Azure Damselfly; Large Red Damselfly; Broad Bodied Chaser; Rose Chafer; Cantharis rustica; Red Tailed Bumblebee; Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis); Dentated Leather Bug; the Hoverflies (Episyrphus balteatus); (Epistrophe eligans) and (Xanthogramma citrofasciatum). Butterflies were made up of:- Painted Lady (*1); Speckled Wood (*1); Holly Blue (*2); Dingy Skipper (*10); Small Copper (*2); Small Blue (*5); Wall (*3) and Common Blue (*31) whereas moths listed were:- Shuttle Shaped Dart; Flame Shoulder; Treble Lines; Marbled Minor sp; Setaceous Hebrew Character; White Point; Angle Shades; Spectacle; Fox Moth; Heart And Dart; Straw Belle; Common Wainscot; Square Spot Rustic and Bright Line Brown Eye.

The 28 birds consisted of:- Goldfinch; Sparrowhawk; House Sparrow; Magpie; Great Black Backed Gull; Wood Pigeon; Gannet; Linnet; Blackbird; Pheasant; Carrion Crow; Jackdaw; Razorbill; Puffin; Guillemot; Herring Gull; Starling; Rock Pipit; Swallow; Kestrel; Pied Wagtail; Great Tit; Dunnock; Feral Pigeon; Skylark; Common Whitethroat; Peregrine Falcon (*2) and Robin.

Ash; Holly; Sycamore; Hawthorn; Ivy; Elder; Quaking Grass; Cock's-Foot Grass; Bramble agg; Wall Rue; Cotoneaster and Thongweed were extra plantlife observed with the lichens Verrucaria baldensis; Arthonia cinnabarina; Verrucaria nigrescens; Ramalina fastigata and Caloplaca flavescens all added. Plant Galls seen were Aceria pseudoplatani; Cecidophyes rouhollahi; Phytomyza ilicis; Psyllopsis fraxini and Trioza centranthi.

Wall Lizard (*3); Black Millipede; Slow Worm; White Lipped Banded Snail; Garden Snail and Rabbit were various extras.

With 3 fungi added (see Fungal Friends Section) the grand total for the day was 200 species, not bad considering a lot of time was used up confirming identifications and sitting in a cafe scoffing some grand grub - ooh yes!

Towards the latter end of the walk and another photo of my two partners in pootling.


27th May 2015 - St Aldhelm's Head, Dorset - A new area for us and one that was a good walk to test the legs. Skylark; Meadow Pipit; Jackdaw; Yellowhammer; Stonechat; Herring Gull; Black Headed Gull; Rook; Kestrel and Blackbird kept us company with Wild Clary and Viper's Bugloss looking stunning against the backdrop of the Jurassic Coast.

Wall (*16); Small Tortoiseshell (*1); Painted Lady (*1) and Red Admiral (*2) were, as ever, a joy to behold.

27th May 2015 - Arne RSPB, Dorset - A warm day with glorious sun yet again and a good start was had chatting to warden Joe (Ex-Portland Bird Obs assistant) about this, that and t-other whilst he showed us a Pine Hawkmoth and a Light Brocade - excellent!

On the walk round a small list of birds was had, these were:- Carrion Crow; Jackdaw; Nuthatch; Blue Tit; Chaffinch; Coal Tit; Treecreeper; Great Tit; Wood Pigeon; Great Spotted Woodpecker (feeding young in nest); Oystercatcher; Herring Gull; Black Headed Gull; Shelduck; Canada Goose; Starling; Mistle Thrush; and Green Woodpecker.

The Great Tit seen was attacking a Cockchafer which leads me nicely into the insect list. 4 Spotted Chaser (*6); Broad Bodied Chaser (*1); Downy Emerald (*1); Large Red Damselfly (*6); Blue Tailed Damselfly (*1) and Azure Damselfly (*4) were the odanata on the wing with Wall (*1); Brimstone (*2); Green Hairstreak (*5) and Speckled Wood (*1) the only butterflies seen. Hornet and Wood Ants were also noted.

A Water Vole was an added bonus whilst watching the Dragonflies, Sika Deer were plentiful and Hemlock Water Dropwort; Foxglove and 3 Nerved Sandwort were checked closely.

Eriophyes sorbi; Aculus leionotus and Biorhiza pallida were the only galls spotted.

27th May 2015 - Wareham, Dorset - On the way to our destination a half hour was given at a roadside spot to see if we could catch up with a rare bird. No sightings at all but a Little Egret and 5 Banded Demoiselles were enjoyed. We called back 5 hours later to see if the bird had turned up only to see a couple of same faces still waiting - bah - what a waste of a day!
27th May 2015 - Portland Bird Observatory, Dorset - Before setting off on a day out a few moths were pondered, these being:- Pale Tussock; Buff Tip; Square Spot Rustic; Light Brocade and Sharp Angled Peacock.
26th May 2015 - Rufus Castle, Portland, Dorset - A quick visit to check the potential with Common Blue (*2); Dingy Skipper (*1); Denticulated Leather Bug (*1); Long Winged Conehead (Nymph); Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis) and the Woodlouse Spider (Dysdera crocata) all bonus sightings.

26th May 2015 - Bottomcoombe, Portland, Dorset - A potter with me old mucka Ken Dolbear produced some decent stuff. Small Blue (*27); Dingy Skipper (*1); Green Veined White (*1); Common Blue (*8); Large White (*1) and Wall (*3) were great to see enjoying the late afternoon sun rays with the bugs list further made up of:- Denticulated Leather Bug (Coriomeris denticulatus); Hairy Shieldbug; Green Shieldbug; Bishops Mitre (*8); Great Green Bush Cricket (Nymph); Grey Bush Cricket (Nymph); Soldier Beetle (Cantharis rustica); European Clinch Bug; Stenoderma laevigata Malachite Beetle (Cordylepherus viridis) and the Hoverflies (Eristalis abustorum) and (Episyrphus balteatus).

The Crab Spider (Misumena vatia) and the Lichen (Arthonia cinnabarina) were also added to a small but quality list I thought!

26th May 2015 - Coombefield, Portland, Dorset - Wandering past and Dock Shieldbug; Hawthorn Shieldbug and a lone Holly Blue were seen.

26th May 2015 - Perryfields, Portland, Dorset - A pop in and Large White (*1); Common Blue (*1) and Speckled Wood (*1) were seen as well as the Hoverflies (Epistrophe elegans) and (Cheilosia impressa).

Salsify was in flower at the side of a very dusty quarry road.

26th May 2015 - Easton, Portland, Dorset - A wander to the shop and Mexican Daisy; Large Bindweed; Pellitory of the Wall and Swinecress were observed as well as the Hoverfly (Myathropa florea) and the gall (Trioza centranthi).
26th May 2015 - Broadcroft Quarry, Portland, Dorset - A quick pop in on my way to the shop for refreshments. Small Blue (*9); Wall (*1); Common Blue (*5) and Green Veined White (*1) were seen enjoying the sun and Sainfoin was in glorious bloom.

26th May 2015 - Kingbarrow Quarry, Portland, Dorset - Dropped off by my lasses, whilst they went shopping, I spent the day working my way back to the lighthouse weaving here and there looking for natural gems. First was this interesting area I have wandered quite a few times over the years and come up with the odd gem or two.

Flowers noted in bloom were:- Cut Leaved Crane's-Bill; Daisy; Bulbous Buttercup; Common Sorrel; Hogweed; Horseshoe Vetch; Common Vetch; Goosegrass; Dove's Foot Crane's-Bill; Yellow Vetchling; Salad Burnet; Eyebright agg; Bird's Foot Trefoil; Prickly Sow Thistle; Common Mouse Ear; Scarlet Pimpernel; Red Valerian; Red Clover; Hairy Rock Cress; Herb Robert; Ribwort Plantain; Common Milkwort; Germander Speedwell; Fairy Flax; Silverweed; Bluebell and Hoary Cress.

5 Common Blue butterflies; 1 Green Veined White; 1 Painted Lady and 12 Adela reaumurella moths were the only lepidopteran representatives with other insects seen being the Soldier Beetle (cantharis rustica); Meadow Grasshopper (Nymph); Red Tailed Bumblebee; Malachite Beetle (Cordylepherus viridis) and the Hoverflies (Epistrophe elegans) and (Eristalis pertinax).

Only 2 Slow Worms were seen - disappointing I'd say!

26th May 2015 - Portland Bird Observatory, Dorset - A shuftie in the moth trap produced:- Eyed Hawkmoth; Muslin; Fox Moth; Straw Belle; White Point; Heart And Dart; White Ermine and Setaceous Hebrew Character. Singles of Wall and Holly Blue flew by and a group of breeding Common Green Shieldbugs soaked up yet more sunshine.

25th May 2015 - Cerne Abbas, Dorset - A butterfly walk in warm sunshine and odd sporadic cloudy moments. Species seen were:- Dingy Skipper (*15); Marsh Fritillary (*15); Grizzled Skipper (*1); Duke of Burgundy (*6); Small White (*1); Small Heath (*3); Small Tortoiseshell (*1) and Brimstone (*1). Green Carpet Moths (*3) were a sweet extra.

Other insects recorded were:- 7 Spot Ladybird; 14 Spot Ladybird; Pied Shieldbug; Woundwort Shieldbug; Hairy Shieldbug and the Dock Bug (Coreus marginatus).

When leaving a Red Legged Partridge was seen running across the road - daft bugger!

25th May 2015 - Portland Bill, Dorset - A potter round the Bill before starting the day with the Obs moth traps holding Poplar Hawkmoth; Flame Shoulder; Straw Belle; Clay; Treble Lines and Shuttle Shaped Dart. A Mullein Wave was also on show brought in by regular visitor John. Meadow Vetchling was in flower, 2 Puffins were on the wavy sea, A Holly Blue frequented the Obs garden and a Magpie Moth Larvae was photographed later in the day.

25th May 2015 - Ringstead Bay, Dorset - A slow wander around an area we have visited a few times before. Due to a worrying decline in insect life I took time to ponder a few common wayside flowers. Ground Ivy; Goosegrass; Red Campion; Cow Parsley; Meadow Buttercup; Dandelion sp; Creeping Buttercup; Bluebell; Germander Speedwell; Prickly Sow Thistle; Herb Robert; Dove's-Foot Crane's-Bill; Bush Vetch; Common Vetch; Ribwort Plantain; Wood Avens; Cuckooflower; Red Valerian; Hemlock Water Dropwort; Smooth Sow Thistle; Wall Speedwell; Parsley Piert; Lesser Trefoil and Rough Clover were all enjoyed and albeit many were common I still find much pleasure in appreciating their beauty and tenacity.

Birds were lowly again with Buzzard; Carrion Crow; Dunnock; Common Whitethroat; Rook; Yellowhammer; Wren; Blackbird; Blue Tit; Wood Pigeon; Goldfinch + Greenfinch and Chiffchaff the only ones noted.

The insects that were noted were Swollen Thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis); Soldier Beetle (Cantharis rustica); Common Leaf Weevil (Phyllobius pyri); Spotted Cranefly (Nephrotoma appendiculata); Slender Groundhopper (Tetrix subulata), the butterflies Speckled Wood (*1) and Peacock (*2) and the moths Esperia sulphurella and Nemophora deegerella. A Drinker moth caterpillar was also added.

A Brown Hare completed the day's sightings.

24th May 2015 - Corfe Mullen Meadow DWT, Dorset - A tiny meadow, owned by the Dorset Wildlife Trust and one we thought we would visit whilst passing by. Flowers in bloom were:- Greater Stitchwort; Common Nettle; Ribwort Plantain; Early Purple Orchid; Bird's Foot Trefoil; Germander Speedwell; Red Campion; Creeping Buttercup; Meadow Buttercup; Yellow Rattle; Bush Vetch; Bluebell; Green Winged Orchid; Cuckooflower; Ground Elder and Common Mouse Ear.

24th May 2015 - Wareham Forest, Dorset - A somewhat intriguing area that has a certain repetition of habitat which makes it hard for the naturalist to clock up a good species haul. Nevertheless some good species were seen with insects represented by:- Two Banded Longhorn Beetle (Rhagium bifasciatum); Common Groundhopper (Tetrix undulata); Common Leaf Weevil (Phyllobius pyri); Striped Ladybird (Myzia oblongoguttata) and the nymphs of Mottled Grasshopper; Long Winged Conehead and Dark Grey Bush Cricket. 2 moths were noted, these were:- Common Heath (*2) and Small Grass Emerald.

Bird life was sparse with the only representatives being Jay; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Blackbird; Goldcrest; Robin; Wren; Carrion Crow; Stonechat; Tree Pipit; Great Tit; Willow Warbler; Wood Pigeon + Chiffchaff; Redstart and Green Woodpecker on call.

Lousewort and Round Leaved Sundew were seen as well as the Raft Spider (Dolomedes fimbriatus); the Oak Apple Gall (Biorhiza pallida) and a close up Roe Deer.


24th May 2015 - Portland Bill, Dorset - An early morning walk produced the following birds:- Blackbird; Carrion Crow; Skylark; Wood Pigeon; Great Tit; Goldfinch; Herring Gull; Cormorant; House Sparrow; Magpie; Jackdaw; Gannet; Rock Pipit; Oystercatcher; Swallow; Raven; Guillemot; Fulmar; Razorbill and Meadow Pipit.

Flowers were represented by Horseshoe Vetch; Wild Clary; Thrift; Viper's Bugloss; Scarlet Pimpernel; Cut Leaved Crane's-Bill and Pale Flax.

A Shore Crab was spotted as well as the insects Wall Butterfly (*2); Spotted Crane Fly; Great Green Bush Cricket (nymph) and a Common Marbled Carpet moth.

3 Slow Worms and the Goosegrass Gall (Cecidophyes rouhollahi) were extras observed.

23rd May 2015 - Lodmoor RSPB, Dorset - A late walk around this fine reserve pulled in a list of 40 birds, these being:- Starling; Collared Dove; Wood Pigeon; Common Tern; Linnet; Chaffinch; Magpie; Reed Bunting; Reed Warbler; Common Whitethroat; Greenfinch; Pochard; Black Headed Gull; Cormorant; Mallard; Tufted Duck; Black Tailed Godwit; Swallow; Oystercatcher; House Sparrow; Blackbird; Song Thrush; Wren; Little Egret; Canada Goose; Shelduck; Coot; Herring Gull; Dunlin; Carrion Crow; Dunnock; Sparrowhawk; Goldfinch; Little Ringed Plover; Marsh Harrier; Moorhen; Long Tailed Tit; Gadwall + Little Grebe and Cetti's Warbler on call.

Hemlock Water Dropwort was common, a Red Admiral made a late on flutter and the gall Taphrina padi was abundant on one tree.

23rd May 2015 - Portland Bill, Dorset - A swift wander to stretch the legs saw good views of a Little Owl and the first Small Heath butterfly of the year. Back at the Obs and a Valerian Pug had been caught - nice!
23rd May 2015 - Sedgemoor Services, Somerset - A need for a water break and Black Medick was seen in flower, a Rook hung around for titbits and the insects Rhingia campestris and Oedemera nobilis were spotted.

23rd May 2015 - Willow and Wetlands Centre, Somerset - A pop in to this quaint area for some tea and cake and a walk in the warm sunny weather. After a look in the shop at all the woven willow articles and the said treat we had a short wander to see what we could see. Butterflies observed were few with the list as :- Small White (*1); Peacock (*2); Large White (*1); Green Veined White (*11); Red Admiral (*1) and Speckled Wood (*1).

Odonata specimens seen were:- Banded Demoiselle; Azure Damselfly and Broad Bodied Chaser. A Slender Groundhopper was the only other insect taken note of.

The bird list was small with Goldfinch; Wood Pigeon; Grey Heron; Swallow; Jackdaw; Starling; Mute Swan; Carrion Crow and House Sparrow the only flutterers observed.

Pink Water Speedwell; Pineappleweed and Celery Leaved Buttercup were added to the day's sightings.

21st May 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Orange Tip (*1) and Small White (*1) butterflies were on the wing as well as the micro moth (Grapholita lunulana). Hairy Tare was in flower, the Willow Gall (Eupontania pedunculi) was seen and the Common Drone Fly (Eristalis tenax) was at rest.
20th May 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Silverweed and Horse Radish now in flower.
18th May 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A day of running here and running there with many tasks to catch up on. Whilst pinging about the Lime Gall (Eriophyes leiosoma) was seen as well as a family of Coots who were feeding at the side of a band and seemed indifferent to the poxy weather!

17th May 2015 - Fletcher Moss, Didsbury, G. Manchester - A walk with my daughter to clear the noggins with 1 Ring Necked Parakeet seen, a Malachite Beetle (Malachius bipustulatus) and the galls Eriophyes sorbi and Aceria macrochelus the only things of note.

Large Bittercress and 3 Cornered Leek were both in flower.

16th May 2015 - Stanney Woods, Chester, Cheshire - A cup of tea and a walk to finish off the day, not much about but 3 Cornered Leek and the galls:- Biorhiza pallida; Erysiphe pyri and Neuroterus quercusbaccarum were first for the year.

16th May 2015 - Pot Hole Quarry, Denbighshire - A fungal wander and a look at a few other things too. Flowers in bloom numbered 50, these being:- Cow Parsley; Dandelion sp; Garlic Mustard; Groundsel; Common Mouse Ear; Crosswort; Dog's Mercury; Bush Vetch; Germander Speedwell; Greater Stitchwort; Goosegrass; Ramsons; Ribwort Plantain; Meadow Buttercup; Lesser Celandine; Cowslip; Cuckooflower; Moschatel; Hairy Bittercress; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Herb Robert; Ground Ivy; Bluebell; Daisy; Salad Burnet; Parsley Piert; Wall Speedwell; Field Madder; Bird's-Foot Trefoil; Thyme Leaved Sandwort; Rue Leaved Saxifrage; Rock Rose; Bulbous Buttercup; Pignut; Common Dog Violet; Bugle; Wood Sorrel; Water Avens; Goldilock's Buttercup; Wood Anemone; Early Dog Violet; Toothwort; Primrose; Ladies Mantle sp; Dove's Foot Crane's-Bill; Sanicle; Slender Speedwell; Early Purple Orchid; Field Forget-Me-Not; Lesser Trefoil; Yellow Pimpernel and Red Campion.

The gall Erysiphe similis was noted, Spring Sedge was frequent and a Pill Millipede and 2 Spot Ladybird were identified. The Hoverfly (Portevinia maculata) was frequenting Ramsons and the Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus) was, as it says on the tin, on Nettle. Only 3 butterflies were seen all day (which is poor indeed), Speckled Wood (*1); Green Veined White (*1) and Peacock (*1).

A glance at a few birds whilst mooching produced:- House Martin; Buzzard; Magpie; Carrion Crow; Chaffinch; Long Tailed Tit; Jackdaw; Blue Tit; Willow Warbler; Robin; Redstart (*3); Wren; Grey Wagtail; Rook; Blackbird + Blackcap; Great Spotted Woodpecker and Pheasant on call.


15th May 2015 - River Mersey to Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - The wander to and from work produced a list of 20 bird species:- Jay; Blackcap; Blackbird; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Carrion Crow; Wood Pigeon; Feral Pigeon; Collared Dove; Wren; Greenfinch; House Sparrow; Mistle Thrush; Grey Wagtail; Canada Goose + Chiffchaff; Nuthatch; Long Tailed Tit; Dunnock and Robin on call.

2 Holly Blues were seen as well as a lone Peacock and the years first Cream Spot Ladybird was noted.

14th May 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Rowan now in flower and the gall Psyllopsis fraxini was on the leaf of Ash.
13th May 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking down our road and a low flying Sparrowhawk whizzed over with a poor critter in its claws.
13th May 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Warm and sunny but only two butterflies on the wind, an Orange Tip and a Comma.

11th May 2015 - Middlewood Way, Stockport, Cheshire - After popping into Manchester in the morn I needed a walk in the afternoon so spent 4 hours swanning along and pootling about. 37 lowers were seen:- Dandelion sp; Red Clover; Ribwort Plantain; Bluebell; Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Garlic Mustard; Herb Robert; Bush Vetch; Hairy Bittercress; Cow Parsley; Common Dog Violet; Creeping Buttercup; Germander Speedwell; Red Campion; Meadow Buttercup; Welsh Poppy; Purple Toothwort; Celery Leaved Buttercup; Daisy; Common Mouse Ear; Cuckooflower; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Wall Speedwell; Greater Stitchwort; Ladies Mantle sp; Cowslip; Ground Ivy; Wild Strawberry; Ramsons; Common Vetch; Marsh Marigold; Yellow Pimpernel; Fringe Cups; Hogweed; Dog's Mercury; Bugle and Lesser Celandine.

The bird list was lowly with 27 species noted:- Magpie; Wood Pigeon; Starling; Long Tailed Tit; Wren; Chaffinch; Carrion Crow; Blackbird; Goldfinch; Blue Tit; Blackcap; Chiffchaff; Greenfinch; Robin; Swallow; Reed Bunting; Jackdaw; Grey Heron; Mallard; Buzzard; Great Tit; Feral Pigeon; Coal Tit; Jay + Goldcrest; Dunnock and Willow Warbler on call.

Insects seen were:- Harlequin Ladybird; 7 Spot Ladybird; St Mark's Fly; Black and Red Froghopper; Noon Fly (Mesembrina meridiana) and Large Red Damselfly. The Hoverflies Eristalis pertinax and Leucozona lucorum were also seen as well as the butterflies:- Speckled Wood (*4); Common Blue (*1); Orange Tip (*4) and Peacock (*3). The Long Horn Moth (Adela reaumurella) was an nice extra.

10th May 2015 - Marshside RSPB, Southport, Lancashire - After a day of flowers we nipped to a local bookshop, had some chips and sausage and went to this fine reserve for an hour just to have a quick look at what was about. 48 species were quickly racked up, these being:- Shelduck; Wood Pigeon; Jackdaw; Herring Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Gadwall; Meadow Pipit; Dunnock; Carrion Crow; Swift; Canada Goose; Coot; Swallow; Avocet; Lapwing; Moorhen; Oystercatcher; Magpie; Little Egret; Black Tailed Godwit; Goldfinch; Mute Swan; Mallard; Blackbird; Starling; Shoveler; Greylag Goose; Tufted Duck; Dunlin; Redshank; Grey Heron; House Martin; Pintail; Pink Footed Goose; Reed Warbler; Sedge Warbler; Garganey (M); Blackcap; Collared Dove; Mistle Thrush; Robin; Blue Tit; Pheasant; + Skylark; Wren; Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler on call.

10th May 2015 - Queen's Jubilee Trail, Southport, Lancashire - A meet up for the Fungal Friends group with only 5 of us in attendance. Myself and the downright marvellous Pat Lockwood were in charge and what a grand day out we all had. Flowers in bloom totalled 51 and these were:- Dove's Foot Crane's-Bill; Danish Scurvygrass; Wall Speedwell; Early Forget-Me-Not; Common Mouse Ear; Ribwort Plantain; Greater Plantain; Buck's-Horn Plantain; Dandelion sp; Bird's Foot Trefoil; Lesser Trefoil; Common Whitlow Grass; Daisy; Bluebell; Common Vetch; Snow In Summer; Salad Burnet; Red Dead Nettle; Spring Beauty; Sea Radish; Lesser Chickweed; Bulbous Buttercup; Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Common Stork's-Bill; Thale Cress; Cuckooflower; White Campion; Spring Vetch; Rue Leaved Saxifrage; Star of Bethlehem; Wild Parsnip; Hairy Bittercress; Procumbent Pearlwort; Shining Crane's-Bill; Ivy Leaved Toadflax; Changing Forget-Me-Not; Creeping Buttercup; Herb Robert; Wild Strawberry; White Dead Nettle; Ground Ivy; Green Alkanet; Garlic Mustard; Sea Spurge; Greater Celandine; Groundsel; Common Dog Violet; Corn Salad; Cow Parsley; Thyme Leaved Sandwort; Crosswort and English Scurvygrass.

Shrubs in flowers were Cotoneaster and Lilac with the grasses Yorkshire fog (Holcus lanatus); Cock's Foot Grass (Dactylis glomerata); Sweet Vernal Grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum) and Sand Cat's Tail (Phleum arenarium) added extra curiosity factor.

Glaucous Sedge; Sand Sedge; Wall Rue; Marram Grass and the sticky buds of Balsam Poplar were excellent extras.

Mini-beast life was low due to the cool breeze with St Mark's Fly; White Tailed Bumble Bee; Harlequin Ladybird; 7 Spot Ladybird; 11 Spot Ladybird; Gorse Seed Weevil; Common Earwig and Striped Millipede the only one's noted. The Gorse Bud Moth (Cydia ulicetana) was later identified as was the Hoverfly (Leucozona lucorum). Later identified was the Marram Grass Weevil (Philopedon plagiatus).

Birds listed were few due to having the head looking downward but Blackbird; Robin; Jackdaw; Magpie; Swallow; Pied Wagtail; Feral Pigeon; Blue Tit; Goldfinch; Linnet; Common Whitethroat; Starling; Carrion Crow; Reed Bunting; Meadow Pipit + Song Thrush and Skylark on call all kept the mind ticking over.

A Common Frog and Garden Snail were also seen as well as 4 species of fungi (see Fungal Friends section).

Not a bad day out at all and thanks to those that made the effort and chipped in with the spotting and identifying - it all helps improve the knowledge.

9th May 2015 - Carrington Moss, G. Manchester - A meet up with Manchester birder and patch lister Steve Scrimgeour sharing a bit of info and checking out the site. The weather just held out and 45 species of bird were noted:- Feral Pigeon; Magpie; Carrion Crow; Mistle Thrush; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Robin; Blue Tit; Goldfinch; Wood Pigeon; Swallow; Common Whitethroat; Black Headed Gull; Tufted Duck; Canada Goose; Grey Partridge (*3); Mallard; Yellow Wagtail (*5); Chaffinch; Linnet; Skylark; Blackbird; Cormorant; Bullfinch; Swift; Lapwing; Greenfinch; Blackcap; Dunnock; Gadwall; Coot; Jackdaw; Willow Warbler; Great Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Yellowhammer; Little Grebe; House Martin; House Sparrow; Starling; Stock Dove + Reed Bunting; Reed Warbler; Song Thrush; Pheasant; Chiffchaff and Wren on call.
8th May 2015 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Dinnertime walk and 33 Common Green Shieldbugs were seen along with 1 Parent Bug, 1 Hawthorn Shieldbug and 1 Birch Shieldbug.  Many Harlequin Ladybirds were about with only a single 7 Spot variety. 
Aceria myriadeum was seen for the first time this year.

7th May 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Fringe Cups; Bird's Foot Trefoil; Pendulous Sedge; Meadow Foxtail and Lesser Pond Sedge were all in fine fettle and brightened up a 3 mile stroll after work.
Aceria pseudoplatani was seen on the leaves of Sycamore.  Bird-Cherry was in flower with its blooms radiating that sweet scent and some of the leaves covered in the gall Eriophyes padi.

6 May 2015 - River Mersey to Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - The morning walk to work with 4 galls noted, these being:- Cryptomyzus ribis; Aceria campestricola; Eriophyes tiliae and Aceria cephaloneus. The Liverwort (Marchantia polymorpha) was full of little umbrella-like gametophores and was accompanied nearby by the delightful Wall Speedwell.
Birds were slack in the morn with Robin; Goldfinch; Blackbird; Wood Pigeon; Feral Pigeon; Wren and Mistle Thrush the only ones seen with Blackcap and Chiffchaff noted on call.

Goosegrass was noted in flower when jogging at night.

5th May 2015 – River Mersey , Stockport, Cheshire – Horse Chestnut was in glorious flower and the Hoverflies Helophilus pendulus and Platycheirus tarsalis were seen clinging on to Dandelion flowers and trying to avoid the wind.

5th May 2015 – Heaton Mersey NR, Stockport, G. Manchester – A walk in the wind with the sun fighting through the clouds and generating a little warmth.  A group of St Mark’s Flies bobbed about, a lone 7 Spot Ladybird basked (boy these seem to be on a steep decline) and 2 Ring Necked Parakeets were noted due to their outrageously loud and abrasive calls.

Creeping and Meadow Buttercup were both in flower as well as Yellow Flag Iris and an abundance of Thyme Leaved Speedwell.

4th May 2015 - Ludworth Moor, Derbyshire - Whilst wandering at Errwood Reservoir a couple of friendly blokes mentioned a Red Throated Pipit that was near to where we had come from. Mmmm - why not have a pop in? We arrived after one wrong turning and joined the 30+ birders in attendance. Some great views were had of a stunning little bird that really stood out in the field it resided in with plenty of Meadow Pipits, a few Pied Wagtails, a White Wagtail and a Wheatear for company.

4th May 2015 - Errwood Reservoir, Derbyshire - A walk in some nice sunshine with 37 birds noted:- Tufted Duck; Chaffinch; Long Tailed Tit; Redstart; Tree Pipit; Oystercatcher; Wood Pigeon; Wren; Mallard; Greylag Goose; Canada Goose; Jay; Blue Tit; Buzzard; Willow Warbler; Cormorant; Common Sandpiper; Treecreeper; Pied Flycatcher; Great Tit; Nuthatch; Red Grouse; Grey Wagtail; Raven; Goldfinch; Little Ringed Plover; Pheasant; Mistle Thrush; Meadow Pipit; Pied Wagtail + Robin; Blackbird; Chiffchaff; Curlew; Great Spotted Woodpecker and Song Thrush on call.

Butterflies noted were:- Orange Tip (*4); Green Veined White (*1) and Peacock (*1).


3rd May 2015 - Pennington Flash, Lancashire - A cancellation of the Fungal Friends walk today seemed most apt with the weather being far from kind and with my young un' below par. A late start and a potter around Pennington in unexpected sunshine resulted in a nice tray of chips, a calming walk and 51 bird species to boot. The bird list was as thus:- Blackbird; Magpie; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Black Headed Gull; Coot; Canada Goose; Mallard; Mute Swan; Great Crested Grebe; Wood Pigeon; Carrion Crow; Wren; Great Tit; Chiffchaff; Dunnock; Song Thrush; Long Tailed Tit; Common Whitethroat; Robin; Jay; Bullfinch; Collared Dove; Goldfinch; House Sparrow; Greenfinch; Chaffinch; Reed Bunting; Willow Warbler; Black Tern; Common Tern; Gadwall; Cormorant; Grey Heron; Skylark; Swift; Sand Martin; Swallow; Shelduck; Black Necked Grebe (*3); Tufted Duck; Oystercatcher; Moorhen; Stock Dove; Blue Tit; Lapwing; Redshank; Pied Wagtail + Reed Warbler; Pheasant; Cetti's Warbler and Blackcap on call.

Butterflies noted during the brightest spells were:- Orange Tip (*3); Small Tortoiseshell (*2) and Brimstone (*1).

A Hawthorn Shieldbug was also seen and an Alder Fly which can only go down as 1 of 3 unless I get a good look at the genital area (hey ho). Have a picture and never mind the bollocks as the Sex Pistols say!


2nd May 2015 - Carrington Moss, Cheshire - Cold and grey with much rain to come, bah. And so a local trip prior to the downpours was had with 36 bird species noted:- Wood Pigeon; Magpie; Canada Goose; Black Headed Gull; Coot; Mallard; Mute Swan; Song Thrush; Chaffinch; Bullfinch; Lapwing; Yellowhammer; Blackbird; Robin; Long Tailed Tit; Common Whitethroat; Wheatear; Greenfinch; Stock Dove; Mistle Thrush; Swallow; Buzzard; Dunnock; Goldfinch; Skylark; Whinchat; Blue Tit; Linnet; Rook; Pied Wagtail; Wren + Pheasant; Chiffchaff; Willow Warbler and Oystercatcher on call. After hearing a repeating watery sound and seeing a striped head poking from the grass in the distance it has been confirmed that we saw a Common Quail for the very first time - bonus. Unfortunately my missus just couldn't connect with the bird so it was left to myself and my daughter to confirm ID! Hopefully we can get another soon!

Sweet Woodruff and Early Forget-Me-Not were both in flower.


1st May 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - The Sand Martin colony has made many a nest and seem to be sitting tight - good luck ye gems. A lone male Goosander was on the river and a Blackcap was seen fleetingly. A female Pheasant appeared out of nowhere and had me wondering when the last time was when I saw one of these in this area.

Plenty of Bush Vetch was now in flower as well as Common Vetch.

30th April 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The last sighting of the month, a Vine Weevil in the house - by heck that indoor list is climbing - yeah!

29th April 2015 - Etherow CP, Stockport, Cheshire - A Signpost For Carers Spring Stroll today with yours truly at the helm. A delightful group of people joined myself and Office Manager Katie on a stroll around this decent area. 37 flowers were pondered, these being:- Ribwort Plantain; Bluebell; Daisy; Dandelion sp; Cow Parsley; Lesser Celandine; Wood Forget-Me-Not; Ivy Leaved Toadflax; Greater Plantain; Yellow Archangel; Garlic Mustard; Shining Crane's-Bill; Dog's Mercury; Butterbur; Red Campion; Smooth Sow Thistle; Hedge Mustard; Thale Cress; Groundsel; Bugle; Herb Robert; Ramsons; Lords and Ladies; Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage; Wood Anemone; Wood Sorrell; Barren Strawberry; Cowslip; Cuckooflower; Marsh Marigold; Pink Purslane; Yellow Pimpernel; Wood Speedwell; Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Meadow Buttercup; Bush Vetch and Sweet Cicely.

I didn't really concentrate on birds today and having had no bins scratched up a list of only 28 species, these were:- Jackdaw; Feral Pigeon; Canada Goose; Mallard; Song Thrush; Long Tailed Tit; Carrion Crow; Robin; Blackbird; Mandarin Duck; Coot; Great Crested Grebe; Mute Swan; House Sparrow; Sand Martin; Magpie; Pied Wagtail; Jay; Goldcrest; Dunnock; Tufted Duck; Feral Greylag Goose; Blackcap; Grey Heron + Wren; Willow Warbler; Chiffchaff and Great Spotted Woodpecker on call.

Field Wood Rush; Common, Giant and Wood Horsetails were compared; Wall Rue and Maidenhair Spleenwort were considered on an old wall and the pro's and cons of Ivy were discussed.

Pot Bellied Emerald Beetles were on Dock, Alder Leaf Beetles on Alder (and Hazel) and a lone male Orange Tip checked out a few Cuckooflowers.

27th April 2015 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - Singles of Orange Tip and Small White were observed and the years first Large Red Damselflies were seen.

27th April 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - With my young lass out of sorts at the mo time to get out has been tough to find but today, after much sorting I had a walk down river. Orange Tip (*4); Green Veined White (*1) and Peacock (*1) were the only butterflies on the wing, a colony of Slender Groundhoppers were discovered and Hawthorn was in splendid flower.

Hoverflies noted were:- Sphaerosphoria scripta; Helophilus pendulus; Platycheirus albimanus; Dasysyrphus albostriatus and Platycheirus tarsalis.

Sand Martins were in good numbers going in and out of their nests and Wood Speedwell was now in flower.

26th April 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Abia lonicerae was back in the garden. Every year one appears for a few days and then gone - what a great insect!
23rd April 2015 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Greater Celandine now in flower - wow, the botanical world is really starting to get going!
23rd April 2015 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Dinnertime walk and singletons of Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell were the only butterflies seen despite the fine weather.
22nd April 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A large specimen of the Cuckoo Bee (Bombus sylvestris) was in the kitchen and a Holly Blue Butterfly was at rest in the garden - lovely!
21st April 2015 - Heaton Mersey NR, Stockport, Cheshire - A nice cluster of Cuckooflower was a joy to behold, a Grey Heron pottered in the undergrowth and 2 Peacock Butterflies were basking on the bare earth and soaking up the rays.  A couple of Common Carder Bumblebees (Bombus pascuorum) were frequenting a delicious patch of Common Nettle and White Dead nettle.
21st April 2015 - Stockport, Cheshire - 2 new flowers for the year - Oxford Ragwort and Shining Crane's-Bill both in bloom and brightening my stroll to work. Mind you, walking to work with the sweetest flower of them all (my missus of course) is the best and anything else is a bonus!

20th April 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport to Fletcher Moss, G. Manchester - After dropping my lass off at the train station I decided to walk from Stockport, down the River Mersey, up to Fletcher Moss and back again. It was a slow stroll with many a delightful person spoken to, particularly the chap on a back who was interested in fungi, the couple who were enjoying the initial stages of bird watching and all the delights it has to offer and the couple sat by the riverside soaking up the rays and looking at a Mandarin in a tree - all adds to the sweetness of the day. Anyhow, back on track, and 40 bird species were noted, these being:- Grey Wagtail; Blackbird; Magpie; Great Tit; Sand Martin; Feral Pigeon; Collared Dove; Blackcap; Wood Pigeon; Robin; Wren; Goldfinch; Long Tailed Tit; Song Thrush; Goosander; Chiffchaff; Greenfinch; Bullfinch; Swallow; Nuthatch; Dunnock; Coot; Canada Goose; Grey Heron; Mallard; Chaffinch; Jackdaw; Carrion Crow; Moorhen; Jay; Dipper; House Sparrow; Blue Tit; House Martin; Buzzard; Reed Bunting; Starling; Little Grebe; Mandarin Duck + Willow Warbler on call.

By coincidence 40 flowering plants were seen:- Common Mouse Ear; Ivy Leaved Toadflax; Daisy; Dandelion sp; Herb Robert; American Wintercress; Common Vetch; Common Field Speedwell; Colt's-Foot; Rape; Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Bluebell; Lesser Celandine; Wood Forget-Me-Not; Greater Periwinkle; Thale Cress; Toothwort; Ramsons; Butterbur; Cow Parsley; Daffodil; Marsh Marigold; Wood Stitchwort; Ribwort Plantain; White Dead Nettle; Cowslip; Hogweed; Meadow Buttercup; Thyme Leaved Speedwell; Groundsel; Wavy Bittercress; Garlic Mustard; Wood Anemone; Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage; Green Alkanet; Ground Ivy; Smooth Sow Thistle; Feverfew; Cuckooflower and Chickweed.

7 species of butterfly were seen:- Peacock (*6); Orange Tip (*13); Brimstone (*1); Speckled Wood (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*12); Comma (*4) and Small White (*3).

6 other insects were seen:- Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle; Alder Leaf Beetle; Harlequin Ladybird; Buff Tailed Bumblebee; Tree Bee and the Drone Fly (Eristalis pertinax).

Well with 1 fungus seen (see Fungal Friends section) that brings the days list to 94 species, 6 short of what I had in mind but hey, I only have one set of eyes and ears - bah. A lovely walk nonetheless and proved that stopping in and doing chores is never a good idea.

19th April 2015 - Drinkwater Park, G. Manchester -  We wanted a local walk, the initial destination was impossible due to road closures for the Manchester Marathon - ooh err! Cold and dreary today so only 26 birds noted:- Blackbird; Chiffchaff; Blackcap; Mallard; Carrion Crow; Blue Tit; Wood Pigeon; Wren; Chaffinch; Magpie; Coot; Willow Warbler; Robin; Little Grebe; Moorhen; Grey Wagtail; Canada Goose; Feral Pigeon; Goosander (*11); Greenfinch; Common Sandpiper; Pied Wagtail; Starling; Cormorant; Long Tailed Tit + Song Thrush on call.
18th April 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire -  Winged insects noted were the following Hoverflies:- Eupoedes luniger; Eristalis pertinax and Epistrophe eligans. Also seen were several Tawny Mining Bees (Andrena fulva).
18th April 2015 - Davyhulme Millenium NR, G. Manchester - A morning walk and 30 bird species listed:- Song Thrush; Magpie; Wren; Blackcap; Nuthatch; Mallard; Mute Swan; Willow Warbler; Chiffchaff; Robin; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Blackbird; Wood Pigeon; Canada Goose; Swallow; Carrion Crow; Black Headed Gull; Gadwall; Cormorant; Reed Bunting; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Pied Wagtail; Greenfinch; Bullfinch; Oystercatcher; House Sparrow + Goldfinch and Pheasant on call.
17th April 2015 - Hindley Train Station, Lancashire - A male Brimstone fluttered by in the ever-improving sunshine.

17th April 2015 - Wigan Flashes, Lancashire - The final haunt of the day and an expected list drawn up, 41 species here:- House Sparrow; Chiffchaff; Goldfinch; Coot; Cormorant; Mallard; Blackbird; Wood Pigeon; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Wren; Mute Swan; Tufted Duck; Great Crested Grebe; Canada Goose; Black Headed Gull; Carrion Crow; Robin; Magpie; Pochard; Greylag Goose; Long Tailed Tit; Gadwall; Goldeneye; Herring Gull; Grey Heron; Great Tit; Song Thrush; Jay; Reed Bunting; Little Grebe; Swallow; Mistle Thrush; Blackcap; Feral Pigeon; Starling; Chaffinch; Dunnock; Wren + Reed Warbler; Pheasant and Willow Warbler on call.

A Comma and a Small Tortoiseshell were the only butterflies on the wing.

17th April 2015 - Bickershaw Rucks, Lancashire - A visit to an old haunt and how things have changed. Birds seen were 27 in total, these were:- Blackbird; Great Tit; Common Whitethroat; Coot; Moorhen; Skylark; Black Headed Gull; Mallard; Mute Swan; Tufted Duck; Great Crested Grebe; Long Tailed Tit; Willow Warbler; Wood Pigeon; Wren; Mistle Thrush; Goldfinch; Grey Partridge (*4); Carrion Crow; Robin; Meadow Pipit; Kestrel; Reed Bunting; Sparrowhawk; Canada Goose + Grasshopper Warbler and Chiffchaff on call.
17th April 2015 - Pickley Green, West Leigh, Lancashire - The first of 3 destinations with my bro', a list of 27 birds were noted:- Wren; Blackbird; Goldcrest; Blackcap; Blue Tit; Buzzard; Chiffchaff; Magpie; Carrion Crow; Reed Bunting; Grey Heron; Grasshopper Warbler; Moorhen; Chaffinch; Song Thrush; Wood Pigeon; Long Tailed Tit; Jay; Kestrel; Willow Warbler; Mallard; Robin; Skylark; Collared Dove + Great Spotted Woodpecker; Dunnock and Bullfinch on call.
16th April 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - The years first Orange Tip Butterfly was seen today, a male, what a beauty! Ramsons are now really beginning to flower in earnest and insect activity is beginning to pick up - nice.
15th April 2015 - Marbury CP, Cheshire - Another walk with the kids from work and in between eating some wild delights, balancing on a bridge, playing Manhunt and having a muck about on the park we saw a Kingfisher; 2 Ravens; Orange Ladybird; Common Shrew, Common Toad; the Drone Fly (Eristalis pertinax) and the Ashy Mining Bee (Andrena cineraria).
14th April 2015 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - The 1st 2 Spot Ladybird of the year was seen as well as singles of the butterflies  Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell. A few Tawny Mining Bees were about, one of which kindly came onto my finger and cleaned its antennae.
14th April 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking to work with my grand missus and a Bullfinch; Jay; Dunnock; Wren; Blackbird and Greenfinch were seen all to the accompaniment of loads of chirpy chaps singing their feathered asses off - oh yeah. Walking home later and several Drone-Flies (Eristalis pertinax) were seen. A run at night and a pair of Mandarin Ducks, approximately 20 nesting Sand Martins and 2 Small Tortoiseshells brightened the walk home.

13th April 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire -  A walk into town for some jeans, only 14 birds spotted along the way, these being:- Kingfisher; Goosander; Wood Pigeon; Wren; Robin; Blackbird; Carrion Crow; Mallard; Greenfinch; Long Tailed Tit; Blue Tit; Chiffchaff; Magpie; and Goldfinch.

Wood Forget-Me-Not and American Wintercress were in flower. The Weevil (Apion frumentarium) was seen on Dock leaves.


13th April 2015 - Elton Reservoir, G. Manchester -  A walk around this tucked away area and 46 species drawn up, these being:- Mallard; Canada Goose; Carrion Crow; Wood Pigeon; Coot; Kestrel; Gadwall; Black Headed Gull; Willow Warbler; Blackbird; Mute Swan; Dunnock; Linnet; Wren; Greenfinch; Magpie; Long Tailed Tit; Little Ringed Plover; Great Crested Grebe; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Lapwing; Chaffinch; Reed Bunting; Meadow Pipit; Cormorant; Skylark; Feral Pigeon; Swallow; Pied Wagtail; Mistle Thrush; Starling; Grey Heron; Teal; House Sparrow; Greylag Goose; Jackdaw; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Long Tailed Duck; Sand Martin; Goldfinch; Collared Dove; Song Thrush + Robin; Great Spotted Woodpecker and Chiffchaff on call.

1 Small Tortoiseshell was on the wing.

11th April 2015 - Cockerham Sands, Lancashire -  Time for some grub before home so a bit of car birding, the list a lowly 18 species:- Pied Wagtail; Wood pigeon; Lapwing; Red Legged Partridge; Magpie; Carrion Crow; Mallard; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Stock Dove; Mute Swan; Redshank; Linnet; Shelduck; House Sparrow + Goldfinch; Wren and Blue Tit on call.

11th April 2015 - Conder Green to Glasson Docks, Lancaster, Lancashire -  Another walk between two decent areas with a list of 39 birds drawn up:- Wood Pigeon; Shelduck; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Cormorant; Oystercatcher; Robin; Chaffinch; Carrion Crow; Blue Tit; Kestrel; Great Tit; Scaup (M/F); Teal; Tufted Duck; Mallard; Mute Swan; Little Egret; Curlew; Herring Gull; Lapwing; Black Headed Gull; Blackbird; Moorhen; Eider (M/F); Goldeneye; Red Breasted Merganser (M/F); Chiffchaff; Starling; Redshank; Greenfinch; Sand Martin; Pied Wagtail; Feral Pigeon; House Sparrow; Goldfinch; Collared Dove; Grey Heron + Wren and Dunnock on call.

A lone Small Tortoiseshell braved the wind.


11th April 2015 - Crook O'Lune to Aughton Woods, Lancashire -  A wander between 2 new locations with a bird list of 32 had, these were:- Jackdaw; Blue Tit; Swallow; Mistle Thrush; Chaffinch; Magpie; Sand Martin; Willow Warbler; Chiffchaff; Wren; Cormorant; Goldfinch; Pied Wagtail; Mallard; Carrion Crow; Robin; Coal Tit; Blackbird; Pheasant; Long Tailed Tit; Wood Pigeon; Blackcap; Nuthatch; Grey Wagtail; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Lapwing; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Dipper; Goosander; Black Headed Gull; Great Tit and Goldcrest on call.

Flowers in bloom were:- Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Red Campion; Lesser Celandine; Bluebell; Dog's Mercury; Wood Anemone; Moschatel; Cuckooflower; Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage; Primrose; Greater Stitchwort; Common Dog Violet; Barren Strawberry; Wood Sorrel; Ramsons; Daisy; Dandelion sp and Cowslip.

White Tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lucorum) and Buff Tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) were seen as well as the Bee Fly (Bombylius major). A lone 7 Spot Ladybird was the only other insect noted.

10th April 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire -  A day off work and reading in the garden, Ground Ivy in flower and a Tree Bee and Comma Butterfly on the wing. A Twenty Plumed Moth was seen on the toilet wall later on.

10th April 2015 - River Mersey to Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire -  A circular walk today was not what I had planned but needs must and a pleasant stroll was had in excellent weather. Birds noted were 26 in number, these being:- Feral Pigeon; House Sparrow; Starling; Magpie; Wren; Robin; Chiffchaff; Wood Pigeon; Mallard; Carrion Crow; Swallow (the first 3 of the year); Grey Heron; Canada Goose; Coot; Goldfinch; Blackcap (again the first of the year, 1 seen, 2 singing); Moorhen; Grey Wagtail; Goosander; Long Tailed Tit; Blue Tit; Goldcrest; Song Thrush; Blackbird + nuthatch and Greenfinch on call.

Flowers now in bloom were:- Chickweed; Dandelion sp; Daisy; Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Lesser Celandine; Thale Cress; Hairy Bittercress; Common Field Speedwell; Toothwort; Butterbur; Colt's-Foot; Ramsons; Common Dog Violet; Bluebell; Feverfew; Groundsel; Wood Avens; Shepherd's Purse and Red Dead Nettle.

Butterflies seen were the usual:- Small Tortoiseshell (*8); Comma (*1) and Peacock (*3). Added insects were the Drone Fly (Eristalis pertinax); several Pot Bellied Emerald Beetles (Gastrophysa viridula); Tawny Mining Bee (Andrena Fulva) and several Buff Tailed Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris).

9th April 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire -  Whilst wandering home the following butterflies were seen:- Small Tortoisehell (*2); Peacock (*2) and Comma (*1).
9th April 2015 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire -  Dinnertime break and a read in the churchyard with a couple of Chicken and bacon sandwiches.  8 Harlequin Ladybirds were enjoying the sun as well as a male Brimstone butterfly and Thyme Leaved Speedwell was in flower.
8th April 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire -  Another Peacock seen on the wing, always a joy!
8th April 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire -  Walking home after a day at the beach and Common Vetch, Toothwort and an Ash Tree were in flower and the butterflies Comma (*2) and Peacock (*2) were flitting around in the warm sun.
8th April 2015 - West Kirby, Wirral -  Another walk with the young un's from work, lovely weather and some good fun but on the wild side not much about. Several Shore Crabs were had, some Sea Lettuce noted, a few Cockles and Mussels collected, Honesty and Danish Scurvygrass were in flower and 3 Small Tortoiseshells were on the wing.

7th April 2015 - Chorlton WP, G. Manchester - A run and on the way back 4 butterfly species seen:- Brimstone (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*3); Peacock (*1) and Comma (*1).

Wavy Bittercress was in flower.


7th April 2015 - Etherow CP, Cheshire -  A walk with the lads and lasses from work, the sun shone and all behaved and we had a few natural nibbles along the way including Goosegrass; Hawthorn; Ramsons; Wood Sorrel and Common Nettle. Some enthused, some refused - that's the way it goes.

2 Mandarins, 1 Dipper and a Grey Wagtail were the best birds, Pink Purslane was in flower and a lone Peacock butterfly was on the wing.

Field Wood Rush was up and away and Giant Horsetail was beginning to burst through the soil.


6th April 2015 - Pickerings Pasture CWT, Cheshire -  The last location of the day and a cracking stroll in rising temperatures that brought about a decent coating of perspiration - oh we three sweaty gits! 34 bird species were noted:- Robin; Great Tit; Shelduck; Lapwing; Feral Pigeon; Cormorant; Wren; Teal; Mallard; Oystercatcher; Canada Goose; Black Headed Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Wood Pigeon; Blackbird; Collared Dove; Common Gull; Goldfinch; Herring Gull; Bullfinch; Chaffinch; Carrion Crow; Blue Tit; Buzzard; Goldcrest; Magpie; Chiffchaff; Stock Dove; Curlew; Song Thrush; House Sparrow; Great Black Backed Gull + Greenfinch on call.

A Tree Bee and 2 Buff Tailed Bumblebees were seen as well as the butterflies:- Comma (*1); Small Tortoiseshell (*6); Peacock (*16) and Brimstone (*1).

Common Field Speedwell looked particularly attractive in the glorious sunshine.

6th April 2015 - Hockenhull Platts CWT, Cheshire -  The second location today, 26 birds seen in darn fine weather, these were:- Carrion Crow; Wood Pigeon; Collared Dove; Chiffchaff; House Sparrow; Robin; Chaffinch; Great Tit; Wren; Dunnock; Greylag Goose; Skylark; Song Thrush; Canada Goose; Goldfinch; Blackbird; Mallard; Mute Swan; Cormorant; Black Headed Gull; Jackdaw; Magpie; Common Gull; Goosander; Blue Tit + Buzzard and Great Spotted Woodpecker on call.

Marsh Marigold and White Dead Nettle were both in fine flower.

6th April 2015 - Gowy Meadows CWT, Cheshire -  The first port of call today was at this severely underwatched site. 32 birds were noted, these were:- Great Spotted Woodpecker; Wood Pigeon; Great Tit; Robin; Blackbird; Mallard; Meadow Pipit; Chiffchaff; Canada Goose; Reed Bunting; Greylag Goose; Cormorant; Goldfinch; Long Tailed Tit; Sand Martin; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Grey Heron; Common Snipe; Lapwing; Skylark; Tufted Duck; Gadwall; Mute Swan; Teal; Coot; Moorhen; Raven; House Sparrow; Starling; Dunnock + Chaffinch and Wren on call.

Nearby Red Dead Nettle; Lesser Celandine; Ivy Leaved Speedwell and Green Alkanet were in flower. Also a Buff Tailed Bumblebee put in an appearance.

5th April 2015 - Lindow Common, Wilmslow, Cheshire -  A mid-morning walk in the growing sun prior to an afternoon gig in Manchester. A nice place with many Honey Bees (Apis sp) feeding on the Gorse, 2 Buff Tailed Bumblebees on the wing as well as the year's first Tawny Mining Bee (Andrena fulva). 21 bird species noted were:- Great Tit; Wood Pigeon; Blackbird; Wren; Carrion Crow; Mallard; Canada Goose; Song Thrush; Dunnock; Robin; Chiffchaff; Jay; Magpie; Moorhen; Great Crested Grebe; Blue Tit; Buzzard; Jackdaw; Great Spotted Woodpecker; + Greenfinch and Nuthatch on call.

4th April 2015 - Digley Reservoir, W. Yorkshire -  Another mooch before the afternoons footy, this time only 1.9 miles and with 27 birds noted. The list was:- Blackbird; Blackbird; Great Tit; Canada Goose; Jackdaw; Rook; Jay; Pheasant; Mistle Thrush; Sparrowhawk (F); Lapwing; Chaffinch; Stock Dove; Blue Tit; Carrion Crow; Mallard; Meadow Pipit; Grey Heron; Goldeneye; Tufted Duck; Oystercatcher; Long Tailed Tit; Bullfinch + Goldcrest; Curlew and Wren on call.

A Brown Hare was at rest in a nearby field.

4th April 2015 - Wessenden Head, W. Yorkshire -  2 Red Grouse, a Common Snipe and a Curlew were seen.
4th April 2015 - Dovestone Reservoir RSPB, G. Manchester -  An early morning 2.7 mile walk around this fine area with 21 bird species noted, these were:- Greenfinch; Jackdaw; Blackbird; Chaffinch; Canada Goose; Mallard; Black Headed Gull; Pied Wagtail; Robin; Pheasant; Lesser Redpoll; Mistle Thrush; Coal Tit; Jay; Blue Tit; Grey Wagtail; Teal; Long Tailed Tit; Wood Pigeon + Wren and Song Thrush on call.

3rd April 2015 - Riverside Park, Disley, Cheshire -  Pure crappy weather today but a ride to this new area saw us have a lucky break and a good 2 hours in relatively rain free conditions. 27 bird species were noted during the pleasant stroll, these being:- Starling; House Sparrow; Wood Pigeon; Jackdaw; Dunnock; Mallard; Great Tit; Blackbird; Blue Tit; Carrion Crow; Goldfinch; Cormorant; Coot; Chiffchaff; Greenfinch; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Canada Goose; Magpie; Wren; Robin; Nuthatch; Moorhen; Grey Heron; Song Thrush; Coal Tit + Chaffinch and Pheasant on call.

A Buff Tailed Bumblebee was having a potter and Wood Anemone was seen in flower.

2nd April 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire -  Walking home and a look under a flat sheet of plastic and a nearby stone. Garden Snail, White Lipped Banded Snail; Brown Lipped Banded Snail; Dusky Slug; Leopard Slug; Large Black Slug and Sowerby's Slug were all noted. A Tree Bee was seen and later 6 Goosanders noted.
2nd April 2015 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Warm sun escorted me in my dinnertime wander and helped me in spotting 2 Buff Tailed Bumblebees, a Tree Bee and a pristine Red Admiral - it makes the walk so much more pleasurable.
1st April 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Finished work for the day, a walk into town then a stroll home in the rain.  Wall Rue and Maidenhair Spleenwort forced its way through much brickwork, several pairs of Long Tailed Tit pottered in the recently cut back trees and several Poplars were just beginning to bear catkins.  As per at this time of year, the going is slow just before the eruption.
30th March 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire -  A run down river and a sit in a sun trap then a slow stroll back home. Goosanders were down to 2 on stream and flowers in bloom were the usuals:- Chickweed; Ivy Leaved Speedwell; Red Campion; Common Field Speedwell; Dandelion sp; Lesser Celandine and Groundsel.
26th March 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - A cold wind despite the sun being out but the years first White Tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lucorum) made a visit to some Heather in our garden.
25th March 2015 - Chorlton WP, G. Manchester -  An afternoon stroll in the sun with my brother that produced a bird list of only 33 species. Add to this only 1 Buff Tailed Bumblebee seen and the year is taking its time to get truly going. The birds noted were:- Feral Pigeon; Wood Pigeon; Magpie; Starling; Dunnock; Great Tit; House Sparrow; Canada Goose; Blue Tit; Goldfinch; Great Crested Grebe; Black Headed Gull; Mute Swan; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Tufted Duck; Moorhen; Coot; Grey Heron; Mallard; Robin; Greenfinch; Carrion Crow; Song Thrush; Buzzard; Grey Wagtail; Pied Wagtail; Gadwall; Jay; Ring Necked Parakeet; Treecreeper; Wren + Bullfinch on call.

22nd March 2015 - Brockholes WT, Lancashire -  A gig in the afternoon meant an early start and with the sun shining a darn nice stroll was had. 40 birds were noted, these were:- Carrion Crow; Wood Pigeon; Coot; Canada Goose; Oystercatcher; Lapwing; Mute Swan; Moorhen; Black Headed Gull; Tufted Duck; Mallard; Great Crested Grebe; Magpie; Dunnock; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Long Tailed Tit; Robin; Wren; Greylag Goose; Grey Wagtail; Gadwall; Little Egret; Fieldfare; Redshank; Grey Heron; Chaffinch; Nuthatch; Coal Tit; Reed Bunting; Goldeneye; Teal; Shoveler; Ringed Plover; Common Gull; Common Snipe; Ruff; Tree Sparrow and Blackbird.

Only 1 Buff Tailed Bumblebee was seen.


21st March 2015 - Fletcher Moss, G. Manchester -  The second location on this 7.5 mile round trip with 26 birds listed:- Grey Wagtail; Carrion Crow; Blue Tit; Wood Pigeon; Starling; Pied Wagtail; Blackbird; Mallard; Robin; Wren; Magpie; Long Tailed Tit; Little Grebe; Goldfinch; Stock Dove; Mistle Thrush; Bullfinch; Greenfinch; Great Tit; Ring Necked Parakeet; Goosander; Canada Goose; Buzzard + Dunnock; Nuthatch and Chaffinch on call.

1 Buff Tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) and 1 Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum) were seen and Hogweed and Sweet Violet were in flower.


21st March 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire -  A walk in fine weather, 28 bird species observed:- Magpie; Goldfinch; Great Tit; Wren; Blackbird; Wood Pigeon; House Sparrow; Blue Tit; Carrion Crow; Robin; Mallard; Grey Wagtail; Goosander; Canada Goose; Chiffchaff; Long Tailed Tit; Coot; Chaffinch; Greenfinch; Dunnock; Pied Wagtail; Reed Bunting; Moorhen; Black Headed Gull; Feral Pigeon; Goldcrest; Great Spotted Woodpecker + Pheasant on call.

A bonanza of Colt's-Foot was a joy to see and 6 Buff Tailed Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) and 1 Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum) were seen.

19th March 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire -  A Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum) fed on Willow, a Chiffchaff called in the distance and 1 female Goosander was on the river.


19th March 2015 - Heaton Mersey Common NR and area, Stockport, Cheshire -  An escape from the office and a stroll in the sun, 1 Buff Tailed Bumblebee was on the wing and 23 bird species were noted:- Feral Pigeon; Wood Pigeon; Blackbird; Carrion Crow; Magpie; Starling; House Sparrow; Dunnock; Robin; Nuthatch; Mallard; Stock Dove; Ring Necked Parakeet; Blue Tit; Canada Goose; Coot; Moorhen; Great Tit; Greenfinch; Great Spotted Woodpecker + Chaffinch; Wren and Goldfinch on call.

Blackthorn and Cherry Trees are well into their blooming stages and hopefully it won't be long before many bugs are feeding away

18th March 2015 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Spring is in the air, the sun shone and the birds sung, even in the middle of this bricked up area.  A straggling Bramble bush that was behind several back gardens held a pair of busy Long Tailed Tits who constantly called whilst eyeing a vocally retaliating Wren further down in the undergrowth.  A Blue Tit, Blackbird and Goldfinch all came to see what the fuss was about and a few House Sparrows busy-bodied around like village fishwives.  A Carrion Crow and a pair of Jackdaws flew over against a backdrop of smudgy grey and increasing blue, a Greenfinch whizzed over also with its distinct call and a Wood Pigeon idly called from a sun-kissed tree.  The local ornamental Heather that edged a few gardens was alive with Honeybees (Apis sp) and held 2 Buff Tailed Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) - lovely to see.  Chickweed was noted to be in good flower and a few more species seemed to be on the cusp.
17th March 2015 - Ogston Reservoir, Derbyshire - Another fine wander that resulted in a list of 40 bird species noted, these were:- Cormorant; Lapwing; Great Crested Grebe; Coot; Teal; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Black Headed Gull; Moorhen; Carrion Crow; Goldeneye; Blackbird; Dunnock; Robin; Magpie; Oystercatcher; Tufted Duck; Long Tailed Tit; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Mute Swan; Chiffchaff; Pied Wagtail; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Starling; Nuthatch; Greenfinch; Wood Pigeon; Jackdaw; Stock Dove; Wren; Grey Heron; Common Snipe; Common Gull; Gadwall; Chaffinch; Blackbird; Goldfinch; Kestrel + Goldcrest and Pheasant on call.
17th March 2015 - Cromford Canal, Derbyshire - A delightful potter with the good lady with 27 birdies noted:- Buzzard; Jackdaw; Chaffinch; Mallard; Canada Goose; Magpie; Goldfinch; Robin; Goldcrest; Grey Wagtail; Mute Swan; Coot; Moorhen; Dipper; Nuthatch; Wren; Dunnock; Long Tailed Tit; Coal Tit; Bullfinch; Mistle Thrush; Greenfinch; Great Tit; Blackbird + Raven; Carrion Crow and Song Thrush on call.
16th March 2015 - Reddish Vale CP, Cheshire - A walk with the good lady after a morning run a, a bath and some lunch. Butterbur was in flower and 33 birds were seen, these being:- Coot; Magpie; Wood Pigeon; Blackbird; Mistle Thrush; Robin; Dunnock; Blue Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Greenfinch; Goldfinch; Song Thrush; Great Tit; Carrion Crow; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Black Headed Gull; Mallard; Collared Dove; Canada Goose; Mute Swan; Wren; Chaffinch; Muscovy Duck; Feral Pigeon; Moorhen; Tufted Duck; Grey Heron; Cormorant; Great Crested Grebe; Grey Wagtail; Goosander; Goldcrest and Jay.

15th March 2015 - Pennington Flash, G. Manchester - Another walk around this reserve before an afternoon gig in Manchester. 49 bird species today, these being:- Blackbird; Wood Pigeon; Magpie; Mute Swan; Mallard; Robin; Black Headed Gull; Canada Goose; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Moorhen; Coot; Dunnock; Tufted Duck; Wren; Goldeneye; Common Gull; Great Crested Grebe; Oystercatcher; Teal; Lapwing; Cormorant; Gadwall; Redshank; Herring Gull; Carrion Crow; Common Snipe; Reed Bunting; Bullfinch; Goosander; Shoveler; Goldfinch; Grey Heron; Shelduck; Song Thrush; Skylark; Blue Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Kingfisher; Little Grebe; Buzzard; Great Tit; Chaffinch; Willow Tit; Greenfinch; Stock Dove; Mediterranean Gull; Pied Wagtail + Pheasant and Cetti's Warbler on call.

A Buff Tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) flew when over the sunny grass but soon disappeared when the clouds came.


14th March 2015 - Etherow CP, Cheshire - A local walk on my lonesome today due to the lasses having much to do. 43 bird species were seen in the few hours I was wandering, these were:- Feral Greylag Goose; Feral Pigeon; Mallard; Canada Goose; Coot; Tufted Duck; Bullfinch; Coal Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Great Tit; Collared Dove; Jackdaw; Song Thrush; Robin; Moorhen; Wren; Magpie; Dunnock; Blackbird; Nuthatch; Blue Tit; Chaffinch; Buzzard; Starling; Wood Pigeon; Carrion Crow; Mandarin Duck; Goldfinch; Grey Heron; Grey Wagtail; Goldcrest; Dipper; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Redwing; Lapwing; Kestrel; Mute Swan; Egyptian Goose; Goosander; Treecreeper; Cormorant; Pied Wagtail and House Sparrow.

Barren Strawberry and Dog's Mercury were in flower. Cladonia coniocraea was seen on a rotten log.

12th March 2015 - Heaton Mersey Common NR and area, Stockport, Cheshire - A dinnertime walk, a bit of birding, 21 species seen in warm-ish weather:- Wood Pigeon; Black Headed Gull; Common Gull; Robin; House Sparrow; Magpie; Carrion Crow; Blackbird; Redwing; Goldfinch; Dunnock; Mistle Thrush; Great Tit; Wren; Moorhen; Canada Goose; Mallard; Coot; Chaffinch + Blue Tit and Long Tailed Tit on call.
Colt's-Foot was in flower.

10th March 2015 - Cheadle Heath to Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Urban birding on the way to work, it keeps the noggin amused and the soul enthused. 18 species today:- Great Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Bullfinch; Grey Wagtail; Magpie; Feral Pigeon; House Sparrow; Wood Pigeon; Goldfinch; Wren; Goosander; Mallard; Carrion Crow; Robin; Blackbird; Black Headed Gull; Dunnock + Goldcrest on call.
9th March 2015 - Fletcher Moss, G. Manchester - A run down to this area and a 1 hour mooch before a walk back home in the pouring rain was taken, quite refreshing indeed. Several clumps of Mistletoe looked in fine fettle, Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage was showing well and 19 bird species were noted before the first droplets fell, these were:- Robin; Great Tit; Wood Pigeon; Pied Wagtail; Grey Wagtail; Grey Heron; Goldcrest; Ring Necked Parakeet (*5); Treecreeper; Wren; Magpie; Redwing; Goldfinch; Moorhen; Blackbird; Long Tailed Tit and Chaffinch.
8th March 2015 - Marsland Green, G. Manchester - A farmers field held a rather robust Brown Hare - on the look out no doubt for someone to box with.

8th March 2015 - Pennington Flash, G. Manchester - Crappy weather in the morn meant a late start but the sun came through and provided us with a decent afternoon stroll. 46 birds were noted:- Black Headed Gull; Pied Wagtail; Coot; Mute Swan; Mallard; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Blackbird; Wood Pigeon; Canada Goose; Moorhen; Goldeneye; Robin; Great Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Redshank; Pink Footed Goose; Stock Dove; Cormorant; Great Crested Grebe; Oystercatcher; Tufted Duck; Herring Gull; Reed Bunting; Lapwing; Common Gull; Blue Tit; Chaffinch; Teal; Gadwall; Shoveler; Pochard; Grey Heron; Song Thrush; Magpie; Skylark; Mistle Thrush; Goosander; Greenfinch; Bullfinch; Dunnock; Willow Tit; Goldcrest; Carrion Crow + Wren; Goldfinch and Great Spotted Woodpecker on call.

Sweet Violet and Red Dead Nettle were noted in flower.

7th March 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - The first 7 Spot Ladybird of the year was seen sunning itself - why not indeed?
7th March 2015 - Stockport, Cheshire - The first Colt's-Foot of the year was seen in flower.
7th March 2015 - Elton Reservoir, G. Manchester - A walk around this tucked away area was had in decent conditions with 38 bird species seen, these being:- Mistle Thrush; Mallard; Black Headed Gull; Canada Goose; Grey Heron; Magpie; Tufted Duck; Pied Wagtail; Feral Greylag Goose; Carrion Crow; Goldeneye; Wood Pigeon; Dunnock; Bullfinch; Blackbird; Herring Gull; Wren; Collared Dove; Long Tailed Tit; Robin; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Gadwall; Greenfinch; Common Gull; Mute Swan; Great Crested Grebe; Reed Bunting; Great Tit; Skylark; Great Tit; House Sparrow; Feral Pigeon; Long Tailed Duck; Goldfinch; Oystercatcher and Blue Tit.
6th March 2015 - Heaton Moor and area, Stockport, Cheshire - The first butterfly of the year was seen when walking the streets in the dinner break.  A marvellous Peacock took to the wing whilst the golden rays shone down and in celebration I bought a sausage and pie from the chippy - oh yes.  Added to this annual delight I also came across two Hoverflies (Eristalis tenax) feeding on a patch of ornamental Heather and (Meliscaeva auricollis) on the same food source.  Red Dead Nettle was in flower at the base of a wall nearby.  Call me easily pleased but I love natural gifts such as this and appreciate them no end.
4th March 2015 - Heaton Mersey Common NR and area, Stockport, Cheshire - A stroll in the dinner break, with the sun overcoming the chill and setting a decent temperature.  22 bird species were noted:- Carrion Crow; Blue Tit; Robin; Blackbird; Wood Pigeon; House Sparrow; Magpie; Goldfinch; Common Gull; Black Headed Gull; Pied Wagtail; Jay; Long Tailed Tit; Moorhen; Mallard; Coot; Nuthatch; Wren; Chaffinch and Goldcrest + Greenfinch and Dunnock on call.
Ivy Leaved Speedwell was seen in flower.

3rd March 2015 - Cheadle Heath to Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - Some urban birding to and from work with a small section of the River Mersey taken in too. 23 species noted:- Wood Pigeon; Collared Dove; Feral Pigeon; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Greenfinch; Goldfinch; Carrion Crow; Magpie; Mallard; Robin; Dunnock; Starling; Black Headed Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Kingfisher; Wren; Moorhen; Starling; Goosander and House Sparrow + Grey Wagtail on call.
2nd March 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Walking home after a days birding and a pair of Goosander were still on site.
2nd March 2015 - Queens Park, Bolton, Lancashire - The last location of the day with only 17 bird species noted:- Mallard; Magpie; Canada Goose; Black Headed Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Great Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Chaffinch; Blue Tit; Wood Pigeon; Moorhen; Carrion Crow; Feral Pigeon; Grey Heron; Goldfinch; Robin and Blackbird.

2nd March 2015 - Barrow Bridge, Bolton, Lancashire - A change of habitat and 25 birds seen:- Blue Tit; Great Tit; Jackdaw; Buzzard; Coal Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Goldcrest; Kestrel; Robin; Starling; Moorhen; Carrion Crow; Magpie; Canada Goose; Mallard; Blackbird; Feral Pigeon; Nuthatch; Black Headed Gull; Wren; Dipper; Treecreeper; Jay; Goldfinch and Chaffinch.

Crescent Cup Liverwort (Lunularia cruciata) was seen on very damp and compacted soil.

2nd March 2015 - Doffcocker Lodge NR, Bolton, Lancashire - The second place of the day and another 24 bird species clocked up:- Magpie; Goosander (*13); Mistle Thrush; Black Headed Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Tufted Duck; Teal; Cormorant; Canada Goose; Coot; Carrion Crow; Goldfinch; Chaffinch; Blackbird; Robin; Blue Tit; Lesser Redpoll; Jackdaw; Greenfinch; Long Tailed Tit; Moorhen; Wren; Starling and Dunnock.
2nd March 2015 - Rumworth Lodge Reservoir, Bolton, Lancashire - A stroll in the bitter wind with my bro' and only 24 bird species seen, which were:- Wood Pigeon; Magpie; Black Headed Gull; Lapwing; Coot; Cormorant; Oystercatcher; Canada Goose; Carrion Crow; Mallard; Kestrel; Grey Heron; Meadow Pipit; Common Snipe; Wren; Common Gull; Blackbird; Great Crested Grebe; Song Thrush; Reed Bunting; Jackdaw; Fieldfare; Stock Dove and Buzzard.

1st March 2015 - Stanley Park, Lancashire - A mooch to avoid the wind, 26 bird species seen:- Magpie; Herring Gull; Wood Pigeon; Black Headed Gull; Mallard; Coot; Moorhen; Tufted Duck; Mute Swan; Feral Greylag Goose; Cormorant; Feral Pigeon; Pochard; Common Gull; Treecreeper; Blue Tit; Robin; Great Tit; Grey Heron; Great Crested Grebe; Shoveler; Blackbird; Collared Dove; Chaffinch; Long Tailed Tit and Wren.

Blackthorn was noted in flower and Common Alder was sporting male catkins and female flowers.

1st March 2015 - Fairhaven RSPB, Lancashire - A stroll around the lake at this tidy area with 35 bird species noted, these were:- Feral Pigeon; Jackdaw; Coot; Black Headed Gull; Mallard; Oystercatcher; Wood Pigeon; Herring Gull; Blackbird; Chaffinch; Common Gull; Tufted Duck; Greenfinch; Mute Swan; Teal; Canada Goose; Magpie; Moorhen; Robin; Goldfinch; Red Throated Diver; Song Thrush; Carrion Crow; Redshank; Grey Plover; Ringed Plover; Sanderling; Curlew; Linnet; Reed Bunting; Turnstone; Pied Wagtail; Great Black Backed Gull; Great Tit and Knot.

23rd February 2015 - Cheadle Heath to River Mersey, Stockport - Chores to do so some urban birding was done along the way. 23 species seen, these being:- Starling; Coot; Canada Goose; Mallard; Magpie; Wood Pigeon; House Sparrow; Blue Tit; Feral Greylag Goose; Robin; Black Headed Gull; Feral Pigeon; Carrion Crow; Blackbird; Long Tailed Tit; Goldfinch; Grey Heron; Mistle Thrush; Redwing; Song Thrush + Wren; Dunnock and Great Tit on call.

Common Field Speedwell was in flower.

21st February 2015 - Frodsham Marsh, Cheshire - After a chippy dinner a quick walk to the Weaver Bend and No 6 Tank was had and a poor list of bird species was drawn up. 26 species in total, these being:- Dunnock; Pied Wagtail; Herring Gull; Moorhen; Redwing; Cormorant; Shelduck; Pochard; Coot; Mallard; Carrion Crow; Long Tailed Tit; Goldeneye; Tufted Duck; Canada Goose; Lapwing; Jackdaw; Starling; Black Headed Gull; Blackbird; Magpie; Kestrel; Robin; Goldfinch; Wood Pigeon and House Sparrow.

21st February 2015 - Helsby Quarry, Cheshire - A meeting of 2 groups led by Julie Rose and a chance to look at some non-flowering plants. Before the walk me and my good lady had a toot at the birdies, not many about, just Robin; Jackdaw; Great Tit; Nuthatch; Carrion Crow; Song Thrush; Wren; Blackbird; Long Tailed Tit; Chaffinch and Wood Pigeon were seen.

Red Campion; Ivy Leaved Toadflax and Hogweed were in bloom.

Bryum capillare; Atrichum undulatum; Brachythecium rutabulum and Kindbergia praelonga were several mosses I took note of and must get to stick in the noggin proper.

2 Liverworts intrigued me these being Bifid Crestwort (Lophocolea bidentata) and Crescent Cup Liverwort (Lunularia cruciata) - stunning little structures they be.

1 Gall was seen, Neuroterus quercusbaccarum.

16th February 2015 - Cale Green Park, Stockport, Cheshire - A walk to the hairdressers with my daughter and while she was inside I had a tootle around this nearby park. A flock of Redwing fed on a sports field with several Starlings in their midst, Blue Tits chased each other hither and tither and beneath some old Ash logs I noted Large Yellow Slug; Dusky Slug; Garlic Snail; Strawberry Snail and Garden Snail.
15th February 2015 - Thurstaston Visitor Centre to Sheldrakes, Wirral - A good walk here with the legs stretched and the 3 stone rucksack lugged whilst my two lasses wandered fancy free (ooh the cruelty of it all). Alexanders and Greater Periwinkle were in flower and 32 bird species were noted:- Wood Pigeon; Magpie; Coot; Mallard; Moorhen; House Sparrow; Robin; Blackbird; Carrion Crow; Pheasant; Curlew; Lapwing; Shelduck; Teal; Bar Tailed Godwit; Dunlin; Canada Goose; Redshank; Cormorant; Black Headed Gull; Oystercatcher; Long Tailed Tit; Pied Wagtail; Collared Dove; Dunnock; Redwing; Blue Tit; Greenfinch and Song Thrush + Goldfinch and Wren on call.
15th February 2015 - New Brighton, Merseyside - A rare bird was in the offing today and even though we aren't regular twitchers and having left it for two weeks I thought it was about time we had a nosey now that the main birding crowds had time to thin out a little. The area is one we have visited before and is a place where a good walk can be had so why not indeed. The bird list was 25 species, these being:- Carrion Crow; Pied Wagtail; Feral Pigeon; Cormorant; Laughing Gull; Herring Gull; Black Headed Gull; Oystercatcher; Turnstone; Starling; Redshank; Sanderling; Great Black Backed Gull; Mute Swan; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Purple Sandpiper (*2); Common Gull; Snow Bunting (*2); Great Tit; Mistle Thrush; Blackbird; Dunnock; Magpie; Wood Pigeon and Greenfinch.
14th February 2015 - Strinesdale, G. Manchester - A straight walk with no dawdling so as to get the blood circulating after a week down the pan with a poxy cold. Birds seen were:- Carrion Crow; Robin; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Moorhen; Mallard; Black Headed Gull; Bullfinch; Jackdaw; Goosander and Tufted Duck. Worth going back on a nicer day and looking at the Lichens I feel - note made!
14th February 2015 - Queens Jubilee NR, G. Manchester - Full of a cold lately so a quick fungal reccie here was much needed. Thanks to Ed Kramer and his mate for a good history account of the area and details of future plans. Not much seen on this initial visit but a Coal Tit was noted, a Dusky Slug, Hart's Tongue Fern and numerous shoots coming through the still cold soil.
2nd February 2015 - Marbury CP, Cheshire - A walk with my bro' around this favoured area and 51 bird species spotted:- Blue Tit; Magpie; Blackbird; Wood Pigeon; Wren; Dunnock; Great Tit; Coal Tit; Chaffinch; Mallard; Pochard; Tufted Duck; Grey Heron; Great Crested Grebe; Cormorant; Nuthatch; Black Headed Gull; Jay; Bittern; Robin; Reed Bunting; Wigeon; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Canada Goose; Coot; Lapwing; Carrion Crow; Mute Swan; Shelduck; Common Gull; Greylag Goose; Starling; Moorhen; Goldeneye; Jackdaw; Treecreeper; Long Tailed Tit; Goldfinch; Redwing; Gadwall; Teal; Collared Dove; Goldcrest; Bullfinch; Greenfinch; House Sparrow; Kestrel; Mistle Thrush; Buzzard; Song Thrush and Kingfisher.

1st February 2015 - Stalybridge CP, G. Manchester - A walk in the snow but with the temperature fine. Only 20 bird species seen, These were:- Wood Pigeon; Robin; Jackdaw; Long Tailed Tit; Blue Tit; Magpie; Blackbird; Mallard; Black Headed Gull; Canada Goose; Great Tit; Jay; Bullfinch; Coal Tit; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Goldfinch; Moorhen and Domestic Muscovy Duck.

2 flowers in bloom were Lesser Celandine and Marsh Marigold.

The lichen Fuscidea lightfootii was recorded after ploughing through keys, doing a spot of chemical testing and using the microscope. The simple spores that are slightly constricted in the middle with two polar oil droplets finally confirmed the decision.

30th January 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - Last post from a slow month, Lesser Celandine now in flower - a beautiful little thing that is good for ya piles tha' knows - ouch!

25th January 2015 - Moore NR, Cheshire - Whilst a few of us mooched for fungi a few birds were noted and some other extras. The bird list was poor with 32 species seen:- Carrion crow; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Wigeon; Mallard; Coot; Jackdaw; Goldfinch; Long Tailed Tit; Redwing; Goldeneye; Grey Heron; Jay; Great Tit; Moorhen; Teal; Magpie; Robin; Tufted Duck; Blackbird; Wren; Shoveler; Canada Goose; Little Grebe; Gadwall; Common Gull; Blue Tit; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Nuthatch; Willow Tit; Chaffinch; Kestrel and Great Crested Grebe.

Pygmy; Rough; Striped and Shiny Woodlice were seen, Garden, Garlic and Hairy Snails seen, the latter (Trochulus hispidus) being one I have overlooked before.

Catherine's Moss was added to the days list and is known scientifically as (Atrichum undulatum).

Lichens later confirmed were Xanthoria parietina; Punctelia jeckeri; Physcia adscendens and Evernia prunastri.

22nd January 2015 - Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire - A bit quiet of late, catching up and back to work although Physcia aipolia is a lichen I haven't identified before. A few Crocus were noted to be in bud and some Wood Anemone leaves were just showing through.

17th January 2015 - Chorlton WP, G. Manchester - A busy day today with footy in the afternoon and a gig at night so after a run at this local area I did a bit of birding and clocked up 31 species only, these were:- Great Tit; Chaffinch; Magpie; Wood Pigeon; Feral Pigeon; Ring Necked Parakeet (*3); Canada Goose; Coot; Black Headed Gull; Mute Swan; Mallard; Gadwall; Tufted Duck; Moorhen; Blackbird; Cormorant; Common Gull; Goldfinch; Dunnock; Blue Tit; Shoveler; Buzzard; Carrion Crow; Wren; Great Crested Grebe; Starling; Coal Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Jay and House Sparrow.

It was nice to see, when nosey beneath a log, 3 Large Yellow Slugs, 2 Budapest Slugs and 3 Frogs all cuddled up together sharing a small space - good on em' for being so social.


12th January 2015 - Alexander Park, Stockport, Cheshire - A walk to a local urban park that is commercialised and lacking in attention due to the usual cut-backs by the self-appointed sagacious bastards at the top. 21 bird species seen, these were:- Blackbird; Mistle Thrush; House Sparrow; Wood Pigeon; Magpie; Redwing; Blue Tit; Starling; Chaffinch; Carrion Crow; Long Tailed Tit; Goldfinch; Great Tit; Black Headed Gull; Mallard; Canada Goose; Coot; Moorhen; Feral Pigeon; Feral Greylag Goose and Robin.

A Budapest Slug was also noted.

11th January 2015 - Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire - Ivy Leaved Toadflax noted in flower today, it resists the wintry chill.

10th January 2015 - Tatton Park, Cheshire - Whilst looking at fungi with the Fungal Friends Group a bit of birding was thrown in too. With the winds howling the list was far from impressive with the following noted:- Wood Pigeon; Jackdaw; Mistle Thrush; Pochard; Tufted Duck; Coot; Goldeneye; Canada Goose; Mallard; Mute Swan; Blackbird; Chaffinch; Great Tit; Coal Tit; Blue Tit; Great Crested Grebe; Cormorant; Robin; Goldfinch and Treecreeper.

Shiny, Striped and Rough Woodlice were seen as well as Large Yellow, Leopard and Dusky Slugs.

Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus was the only moss we all agreed on - must get practicing.

2 lichens later identified via chemicals and microscopy were Cresponea premnea and Xanthoria parietina.

9th January 2015 - Heaton Mersey NR, Stockport, Cheshire - A quick shuftie in a local nature reserve, not much about, a few birds but they were all the regulars. Several Large Yellow Slugs (Limax flavus) were seen under logs and the Holly Gall (Phytomyza ilicis) was noted.

8th January 2015 - Etherow CP, Stockport, Cheshire - A birding stroll with 33 species seen, which were:- Jackdaw; Blackbird; Wood Pigeon; Tufted Duck; Mallard; Coot; Moorhen; Canada Goose; Feral Greylag Goose; Black Headed Gull; Chaffinch; Robin; Long Tailed Tit; Goldfinch; Dunnock; Starling; Bullfinch; Blue Tit; Magpie; Carrion Crow; Cormorant; Nuthatch; Goldcrest; Goosander; Great Tit; Kingfisher; Wren; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Mandarin Duck; Egyptian Goose; Grey Heron; Mute Swan and Feral Pigeon.

The Variegated Centipede (Lithobius variegatus) was seen whilst looking beneath logs but in truth very little else was observed. Still a nice quiet stroll though!

Cladonia fimbriata and Ramalina farinacea were 2 lichens identified.

7th January 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - A run then a walk back the opposite way to the one I went two days ago after a pop into town for some Rochester's Ginger - oh yeah. Along the way 2 male Goosanders were seen as well as a female, a Coal Tit mooched for grub, a Grey Wagtail flew over the river and a Dipper crossed from one side to the next and then disappeared. A Kingfisher flashed away as though its arse was on fire (which it very much looked like).

The mosses Bryum capillare; Grimmia pulvinata and Tortula muralis were seen on a newish brick wall with Maidenhair Spleenwort and Wall Rue noted on another wall nearby.

Ox-Eye Daisy and Canadian Fleabane were still bearing flowers.


6th January 2015 - Abney Hall, Stockport, Cheshire - An afternoon wander before a bit of shopping. A few fungi were noted as well as several hibernating Alder Leaf Beetles, a Harlequin Ladybird and Shiny and Striped Woodlice.

Wood Avens was in flower as was a Holly Bush and a Hazel tree.


5th January 2015 - River Mersey, Stockport, Cheshire - I should be catching up on CD reviews and other noise related tasks but the blue skies tempted me out for a local stroll down river. The birds noted were:- Feral Pigeon; House Sparrow; Blue Tit; Starling; Magpie; Blackbird; Robin; Wood Pigeon; Black Headed Gull; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Long Tailed Tit; Goosander; Pied Wagtail; Grey Wagtail; Grey Heron; Carrion Crow; Moorhen; Mallard and Kingfisher + Greenfinch; Goldfinch and Wren on call.

Snowdrops and Common Gorse were both in flower.

4th January 2015 - Wheldrake Ings, North Yorkshire - A final walk from the trip over t'moors, frozen to buggery, again only a small bird list which was:- Robin; Blackbird; Rook; Mute Swan; Teal; Mallard; Greylag Goose; Redshank; Jackdaw; Wigeon; Black Headed Gull; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Cormorant; Lapwing; Wren; Goldfinch; Pheasant; Great Tit; Willow Tit; Coal Tit and Chaffinch.
4th January 2015 - Forge Valley NR, North Yorkshire - An early morning walk in the white frost and not much about. Way too cold for the birdies with only 10 species seen, these being:- Jackdaw; Wood Pigeon; Carrion Crow; Goldcrest; Grey Heron; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Coal Tit; Robin and Blackbird. It must be noted that both myself and my missus both took separate tumbles in the icy conditions whilst my daughter remained sure-footed - I always said she is a well-balanced girl.
3rd January 2015 - The Mere, North Yorkshire - A small place in Scarborough and somewhere to get a much needed cup of cha'. Prior to the drink I had a wander whilst my lasses snacked in the car (tinkers). Birds seen were:- Black Headed Gull; Herring Gull; Moorhen; Coot; Greylag Goose; Canada Goose; Tufted Duck; Mallard; Mute Swan; Gadwall; Magpie; Goldcrest; Wood Pigeon; Long Tailed Tit; Coal Tit; Great Tit and Blue Tit.

3rd January 2015 - Bempton Cliffs, North Yorkshire - We had never visited this site in winter before so thought we would have a tootle. Far from warm but with a good pace set we put in a few miles of mooching. As per, very little about but we crack on regardless and just being in the field is the main priority. The bird list was made up of:- Blue Tit; Chaffinch; Blackbird; Tree Sparrow; Greenfinch; Goldfinch; Robin; Wren; Fulmar; Feral Pigeon; Herring Gull; Dark Bellied Brent Goose; Shag; Gannet; Peregrine Falcon; Carrion Crow; Kestrel and Pheasant.

Hogweed was still holding on to a few flowers.

3rd January 2015 - Filey Brigg, North Yorkshire - A nice early morning stroll in decent weather with a few birds seen along the way. Nothing outrageous was seen but a few species we don't get locally were observed amongst the list, which comprised of:- Herring Gull; Great Black Backed Gull; Black Headed Gull; Wood Pigeon; Sparrowhawk; Carrion Crow; Oystercatcher; Redshank; Sanderling; Turnstone; Curlew; Purple Sandpiper; Cormorant; Ringed Plover; Dunlin; Guillemot; Blackbird; Razorbill; Goldcrest; Dunnock; Robin and Shag.
2nd January 2015 - North Cave Wetlands, East Yorkshire - Another stop off on the way to the east coast with this reserve visited in a real ripping wind keeping any bird tally well below the norm. Species seen were:- Wood Pigeon; Black Headed Gull; House Sparrow; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Teal; Wigeon; Jackdaw; Mute Swan; Little Grebe; Blackbird; Coot; Tufted Duck; Shelduck; Moorhen; Kestrel; Greylag Goose; Goosander; Linnet and Dunnock.

2nd January 2015 - Pugney's CP, West Yorkshire - A trip to Scarborough and on the way we thought we would have a mooch around this small area (a chance of a rarity swung the decision) and see what we could pick up, the list consisted of:- Blyth's Pipit; Black Headed Gull; Moorhen; Magpie; Tufted Duck; Blackbird; Carrion Crow; Kingfisher; Coot; Canada Goose; Robin; Long Tailed Tit; Great Crested Grebe; Goldeneye; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Cormorant; Mute Swan; Redwing; Herring Gull; Wren; Teal; Shoveler and Pochard.

Groundsel was in flower.


1st January 2015 - Pennington Flash, Lancashire - With the weather set to crack by midday it was a fairly early start to the new year and a tootle around this well known area. With all hides locked the list of birds seen was always going to be hindered but nevertheless the 36 observed were enjoyed (it is wildlife watching and what I enjoy). The species noted were:- Moorhen; Magpie; Pied Wagtail; Black Headed Gull; Blackbird; Common Gull; Canada Goose; Mute Swan; Mallard; Tufted Duck; Coot; Carrion Crow; Wood Pigeon; Great Crested Grebe; Robin; Nuthatch; Goldeneye; Cormorant; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Lapwing; Teal; Grey Heron; Song Thrush; Reed Bunting; Great Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Redwing; Wren; Chaffinch; Kingfisher; Goosander; Goldfinch; Blue Tit; Mistle Thrush; Shoveler and Gadwall.

3 flowers were seen in bloom, these being Daisy; Sweet Violet and Shepherd's Purse.

A few Alder Leaf Beetles were noted on mossy bark and the lichens Parmelia saxatilis; Physcia tenella; Ramalina farinacea and Xanthoria parietina all examined at close quarters.