Saturday, 30 July 2011

Friday, 29 July 2011

Little Egret and Pec Sand Martin Mere

I had a cracking day at Martin Mere today. First thing we saw the Pectoral Sandpiper briefly on Vinsons from the Ron Barker hide. Later in the day I found a Little Egret in front of the Harrier hide, which was a first for the reserve for me. Quite a few dragonflies on the wing, despite the mainly overcast conditions, including this golden looking teneral Common Darter.

Little Egret and Common Darter

Lots of nice flowers on show today, including Gypsywort (left) and I coudn't resist this shot of the unrelated Purple and Yellow Loosestrife (right).

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Quail Ormskirk

I had a very productive bike ride home from Edgehill university today. There was a Quail calling in fields between Ormskirk and Bickerstaffe, at the junction of High Lane and Long Lane (SD 429053), as well as singing Corn Bunting and Yellowhammer.

Then I spotted this Hedgehog walking along the verge on the Rainford bypass. It's not often I see Hedgehogs during the day, but this chappy seemed happy enough, and was eating a worm when I photographed him.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Roudsea Woods, South Cumbria

We spent most of the day at Roudsea Woods looking at Small-leaved Lime trees, and didn't really have time for much else. However we did see a Brimstone butterfly and a Marsh Tit, as well as at least 10 Slow Worms and several Common Lizards.

Slow Worms (left) and Common Lizard (right)

Small-leaved Lime

A couple of nice moths

Moth trapping in my backyard continues to yield decent results. Last night I had an immaculate Ruby Tiger, and the night before a Pale Prominent.

Ruby Tiger (left) and Pale Prominent (right)

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Pec Sand Martin Mere

Today at Martin Mere at least 11 species of wader, including 1 Pectoral Sandpiper, 3 Green Sandpipers and 1 Common Sandpiper.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Grassington to Conistone, Yorkshire Dales

Today we had a nice walk in the Yorkshire Dales, from Grassington to Conistone. The most interesting part of the walk was from Grass Wood, through Bastow Wood and below the cliff to Conistone. The dry river valley of Conistone Dib was also botanically interesting. Here we saw the leaves of Bird's-eye Primrose, but they are long over for this year, and to see them in flower we would need to return next May or June. We saw a few birds, most notably a Hobby over Bastow Wood, where we also heard a Green Woodpecker.

Conistone cliff (left) and Conistone Dib (right).

Common Rock Rose (left) and Dark Green Fritillary (right). There were plent of these beautiful butterflies on the wing today.

Mountain Pansey (left) and Betony (right).

Fragrant Orchid.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

A few flowers from St Helens

Sometimes you don't have to go very far to find some great flowers. Today I got the bike out and did a tour of the farmland north of St Helens, basically the area to the west of Rainford.
There's one really nice area of grassland, with Yellow Rattle, Common Centaury, Self-heal, Wild Panseys and some nice grasses, and most impressively, a small colony of about 100 Marsh Helleborines. This is the only site in St Helens I know of for this impressive orchid. I've also seen Bee Orchid here in the past, but I couldn't find any today. Perhaps they're already over.

Marsh Helleborine

Common Centaury (left) and Carex Flacca (right), Glaucous Sedge. This is one of the commonest sedges in Britain, but again this is the only site I know of in St Helens for the species. It must elsewhere, but obviously under recorded....


Finged Water-Lily at Siding Lane.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Martin Mere

There were a few dragonflies on the wing today, including a couple of Emerald Damselflies, which were my first on the reserve.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Eglwyseg, World's End, Llangollen

We had a great walk from World's End to Lllangollen today, going we followed the Offa's Dyke path along the base of Creigiau Eglwyseg, and on the return journey we went over the top of Eglwyseg Mountain.

The cliffs were full of wildlflowers, including the very rare Welsh Hawkweed which is endemic and known from only three sites in Wales. Butterflies included Dark Green Fritillary and Grayling. There were lots of birds, including a pair of Peregrines with two juveniles, and we watched as an adult passed prey to one of the youngsters on the wing. There were lots of Whinchats and Stonechats about, and we saw a juvenile Cuckoo being attended by a Meadow Pipit.

Welsh Hawkweed (left) and Pale St. John's Wort. The purple blotches in the leaves of the hawkweed make this a straight forward identification (or so I'm told!).

Creigiau Eglwyseg and Goldenrod

Field Scabious and Carline Thistle

Meadow Cranesbill and Cuckoo with Meadow Pipit. We all know about Cuckoos and Meadow Pipits, but in 40 years birding, this is the first time I have ever seen it in action! As you can see in the photo, the pipit has food in it's mouth, and is about to feed the Cuckoo.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Lake District, Ullswater

Another glorious day in the Lake District!

Looking towards Kirkstone Pass and Brotherswater (left) and Ullswater and Helvelyn (right). Both photos were taken from exactly the same spot, on the side of Place Fell.

We saw several magnificent Golden-ringed Dragonflies, and Boardale (left) in Martindale, was a particularly good location for them. Ok, confession time, the photo on the right is of Golden-ringed Dragonfly, but was taken last year at Silver Howe. I've not been able to get close to one yet this year.

More moths

A couple of good moths from last night, the Shark (left) and Buff Arches (right). It's only taken me 10 years to work out why it's called the shark, but it's quite obvious on this photo. You an see the sharks fin on top of its head!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Some recent moths

There have been some decent nights for moth trapping recently, so here are a few photos of some of the more spectacular species.

Elephant Hawk-moth and Swallow-tail moth.

Old Lady (from above) and Old Lady (from below).

Bordered White

Berringtons Lane, Rainford

Grasshopper Warbler reeling

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Silver Howe and Blea Rigg

We had a great walk in the Lake District today, looking for sedges and dragonflies, but also taking in the wonderful scenery and enjoying the beautiful weather! We started from Grasmere, walked up to Silver Howe, along Blea Rigg and then back down to Grasmere via Easedale Tarn. We found a good selection of sedges, and saw at least three Golden-ringed Dragonflies, as well as Large Red Damselflies and Four-spot Chasers.

Fairfield (left) from Silver Howe and Helvelyn and Easdale Tarn (right) from Blea Rigg.

Fir Clubmoss (left) and Slow Worm (right).

Common Cotton Sedge on Blea Rigg

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