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Post Info TOPIC: Strinesdale (other wildlife)


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RE: Strinesdale (other wildlife)


18/06/2023

With the exception of one small (size not species) white butterfly it was a brown butterfly day with 1 Small Heath, 4 Meadow Browns and numerous Speckled Woods.

At the Little Sea/Cow Bath the white Water Lily clump was in full bloom, the pink clump just beginning with only 1 of five flowers open. 5or 6 Male Common Blue Damselflies on the wing, including one in cop, a pair of Large Red Damselflies were also in cop and a male Black-tailed Skimmer was patrolling all the margins

A few blue damselflies were seen on the Upper Reservoir, including a pair in cop, but were only just visible at a distance through binoculars. Probably Common Blue again.

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17/04/2022

An outbreak of Grey Squirrels, with at least 8 seen inc one in an old nest box formerly used by Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

Butterflies
Orange Tip - quite numerous
Peacock - ditto
Small Tortoiseshell 1
Small White 1
Green-veined White 1
Brimstone 1
Comma 1

Quite a few Queen Buff-tailed Bumblebees prospecting for nests
A large Hoverfly - black abdomen with a cinnamon stripe down each side of the top. Shot away before I could see more.


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About 30 specimens of Scarlet Elf Cup in the usual location, some quite large.

1 Queen bumblebee (blown past too quickly to i.d)

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Fungi

A few Scarlet Elf Cap still in the usual location, plus two good clumps of Jelly Ear on their respective Elder hosts and quite a lot of Broadleaf Crust on dead wood in the mature copse of woodland below the east sid of the Upper Res.

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07/11/21

3/4 Grey squirrels

Good showing of fungi, weather has been good for them since last month it seems, with several species 'trooping' up standing trunks.

Candlesnuff/Stag's Horn all over the place
JellyEar 2 good clumps at different locations
Turkeytail

In the older woodland
Glistening Inkcap
Coral Spot
Velvet Toughshank
Sulphur Tuft
Elder Whitewash
Waxy Crust
Peeling Oysterling
Bleeding Broadleaf Crust
Birch Polypore

And two new ones for me:
Scurfy Twiglet
Grey Knight....the latter clump looking the worse for wear, either scuffed up or possibly parked on, given the location. Managed to find an intact but uprooted specimen to bring home to check





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22/08/21

Hardly any butterflies on this visit, apart from various, mostly distant whites. Otherwise 4 Speckled Woods and a Nymphalid which managed to hold level flight at the wrong height to get a good view of the upper surface of the wings. Probably Peacock.

Still Common Darter and Common Blue Damselflies on the upper reservoir, with a maximum of 2 each seen together. Brown Hawker and male Emperor Dragonflys both made visits. At the 'Cow Bath' Pond at least 3 Blue-tailed Damselflies were together, with at least 4 Common Darter, 1 male Emperor and 2 Brown Hawkers a male and an ovipositing female

The area of mature trees is still mainly free of Himalayan Balsam (a bit more went this weekendbiggrin) so hopefully there might be an interesting range of native plants next year to complement the Pink Purslane. At least it was easy to spot the troops of Common Bonnet on the fallen trees. A good showing of Peeling Oysterling as well and singles of Flat Oysterling and Common Jellyear.

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25/07/2021

After several months without a single butterfly sighting at last a half decent day.

An attempt at the 15 minute Big Butterfly Watch or whatever it's called at the usual best spot produced

Large White 1 passing through
Ringlet 5 in the air at once

Just after the 15 mins were up and I'd moved on the sun finally came out as I was passing a short stretch between the woodland and the path, filled with
Meadowsweet, Monkey Flower, Marsh Thistle, Meadow Vetchling, Broad-leaved Willowherb, Common Dock, Ragwort, Junctus and several species of grass, which had
Gatekeeper 1
Meadow Brown 1
Ringlet 1
Large White 2
Large Skipper 1 m

Popped back to the little meadow but still only 5 Ringlet

Elsewhere
Speckled Wood 4/5
Meadow Brown 3
Small Tortoiseshell 1 poss 2
Large Skipper 2 in a territorial fight
Small Skipper 2 ditto

At the Upper Reservoir:
Emperor Dragonfly 1 m
Common Darter 1 m
Blue Damselfly C2 but too far across the reservoir to identify to species

At the 'Cow bath':
Emperor Dragonfly 2 males, one on territory and 1 intruder
Common Darter pair in cop
Blue-tailed Damselfly 5

A Brown Hawker was patrolling one of the open areas in the Tree for Life plantings on the east side of the Lower Reservoir

Also 2 Yankee Tree Rats biggrin

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14/03/2021

No Foxes wandering through the woods today and again only 1 Squirrel but a good spread of Scarlet Elfcup at the usual spot. New locations for Jelly Ear and Blushing Bracket noted, and a fallen branch had a nice mix of Bleeding Broadleaf Crust and an aquamarine Lichen. Also a couple of Daffodils in flower, which was interesting as everywhere else, including local gardens, they're still in bud.

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13/02/21

Dog Fox pottering through the mature patch of woodland, totally unconcerned by finding a human in its' path. Apart from that just one Grey Squirrel.

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More new Jelly Ear in different places and a good sprouting of Coral Spot in the mature wooded area.

A yellow crucifer with notched petals still in flower by the side of the cobbled way to the Upper Reservoir seems to be a hybrid of Hoary Alison, unless anyone knows different. confuse

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A good fruiting of Jelly Ear on an Elder in a new spot, two good colonies of Candlesnuff and a single specimen of Lilac Bonnet

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At least half a dozen Meadow Browns around the site today, plus 1 Large White and a possible Small Tortoiseshell.

Also at least 1 Brown Hawker and a nice growth of Blushing Bracket revealed by the clearance in the mature wooded area

-- Edited by Mike Chorley on Sunday 20th of September 2020 05:08:38 PM

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Despite the variable conditions when the sun was out the butterflies were quickly out too, although not many species were on the wing.

Ringlet at least 10 on the wing at once in the small grassy area along the west side path of the lowere reservoir, with at least 3 more in the longer grass near the picnic tables and 3 more as singles around the rest of my circuit.
Meadow Brown at least 2 with the main group of Ringlets, 2 more near the picnic tables and at least 2 singles on the other side of the reservoir
Small Tortoiseshell 2

1 Grey Squirrel

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I Grey Squirrel

1/2 Brimstone
Several Orange Tip
Large and Small Whites

Brown Silver-line. Gave itself away by shifting to a more sheltered spot among bramble and bracken as I was passing then opened its' wings instead of closing them like a Noctuid as normal. Secluded sunbathing?

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Despite all the heavy rain there's not enough water in the remaining small pond between the reservoirs for any Frog activity.

Reduced number of fruiting bodies of Scarlet Elf Cup in the Birch wood, but still C 20.

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Lower numbers of butterflies this month, mainly because the three grassy areas where all the Ringlets were have been flattened by sunbathers etc.and the Painted Ladies haven't reached here yet.

Ringlet C24 seen throughout the site, including some very faded ones
Gatekeeper 2 at least
Meadow Brown C6
Speckled Wood 4
Small Skipper C4
Large White C6
Small White C6

Brown Hawker 2/3 1 female and at least but more likely 2 males.
4 blue Damselflies (probably Common) including a pair in tandem were seen along the most wooded edge of the top reservoir but too far away for positive i.d.
1 large green Mayfly.

Grey Squirrel 8 minimum including 6 together having some sort of ruckus in the mature trees along the west side of the site. Nearby there was some Common Funnel

-- Edited by Mike Chorley on Saturday 3rd of August 2019 11:10:54 PM

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12.10 - 14.00

Ringlet C50 Three small grassy bays in the woodland to the west of the Bottom Res held around a dozen each and there were smaller numbers in other grassy areas around the site. These were all observed from the paths. I suspect anything going through the grass would have disturbed more.

Meadow Brown 5/6 around the site and a damaged individual on Culvert Street with the initial silhouette of a Bee/Hummingbird Hawkmoth.

Speckled Wood 4

Grey Squirrel 2

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11.00 -13.00

As suspected, the last remaining small pond is now just an expanse of grassy mud, of no use to reproducing amphibians or as a silt trap/ drainage feature for the path beside it. To be effective it needs digging out on a regular basis as it's now almost level with the bank. Like the trees growing up in front of the view point, it shows what happens to a site when those in charge (United Utilities in this case) lose interest in what was originally a great project.

On a more positive note:
Orange-Tips all round the area - at least a dozen sightings, probably more
Speckled Wood 4 (minimum)
Small Tortoiseshell 1
Green-veined White 1)
Small White 1...........)..................There were quite a lot of whites on the wing but these were the only two I could get good enough views of to identify.

Grey Squirrel 1 , being scolded by a territorial Nuthatch

Pink Purslane, Lesser Celandine, Marsh Marigold, and Bluebell all coming in to flower, along with the ubiquitous Dandelion.


-- Edited by Mike Chorley on Sunday 21st of April 2019 09:38:20 PM

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11.00-12.30

1 dead Toad- by the R.S.P.C.A. compound ironicalyhmm

The small pond beside the east-west bridle path held one large clump of spawn but given how silted up it is now I doubt it will last long.

Still some good specimens of Scarlet Elfcap in the Birch wood to the west of the pond, with Narcissi (possibly from a former garden beside the top res) and a single Dandelion in flower - plenty of Blackthorn too.

Several Queen Bumblebees out prospecting for nesting sites, probably Buff- or White-tailed but none came close enough for a positive I.D. 1st Tree Bumblebee for the site though, just opposite the R.S.P.C.A. compound.

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26/01/2019

11.00 - 12.15

Good numbers of the usual fungi:

Scarlet Elfcup
Jelly Ear - the new colony is doing very well
Birch Polypore
Blushing Bracket

Other than the fungi 1 Grey Squirrel in the mature pines close up against a main trunk impersonating a roosting Tawny Owlevileye and some Rabbit droppings in the mature woodland. A good sign as I haven't seen Rabbits there for many years - nor the Stoat which used to hunt them

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13-35 14.45

Grey Squirrel 1

Otherwise just a good showing of fungi. A new moss/lichen-covered Elder had the best display of Jelly Ear I've seen for a long time plus an interesting tawny coloured Bracket just starting to develop, but still had living shoots sprouting from the upper sides of branch and trunk. Elsewhere plenty of brackets, including more of the tawny one and a troop of tiny cream-lipped ones which look like they'll be interesting when they grow up.

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Cheers John. I suspected an aberration, but wasn't sure. Gatekeeper was my first thought on general jizz. I'll give the list a good study. Most of the aberrations concern the upper wings, which I didn't get to see, and there's no specific mention of the under wing pattern I saw, but unless further investigation proves otherwise I'm going with aberrant Gatekeeper

-- Edited by Mike Chorley on Tuesday 17th of July 2018 12:15:15 PM

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Hi Mike,
There is a good reference page for butterfly aberrations on the UK Butterflies site. As you know Gatekeepers can be quite small and apparently occur in a bewildering number of aberrant forms - see link

Cheers John

http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/aberrations.php?species=tithonus

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14.07.18 11.30 - 13.15

A good day for butterflies, with plenty of Ringlets all over the site and good numbers of Small Whites. Hover flies out in good numbers too and one or two Bumble Bees but none at close enough range to identify. 1 Brown Hawker patrolling the upper run-off channel and several blue Damselflies over the top reservoir, most likely Commons, but only just visible with bins. Plus 1 very small Common Froglet.

Also:

Meadow Brown 1
Speckled Wood 4 (min)
Green-veined White 1
Small Skipper 1

and a so far unidentified brown butterfly. Flushed from waterside vegetation by the Meadow Brown it flew onto a nearby footbridge and settled directly facing away with wings folded. It was Gatekeeper sized and the view I got of the underside showed no ocelli on the underside of the upper wing. There was a green patch in the right area with a diagonal streak running down and away from the leading edge of the fore wing, as if someone had run a fingernail through a paint spot before it was completely dry. I tried to get a photo but the little beastie was off and into a nearby birch thicket before I could manage one, so I missed getting a look at the lower under wing.

I've looked at my old Collins guide and at photos on-line and can't find a match. Colour wise the nearest is Large Skipper without the sex brand but it wasn't a Skipper, more like a Heath or Brown. Difficult without a photo, I know, but anyone any thoughts on i.d.

-- Edited by Mike Chorley on Sunday 15th of July 2018 11:29:43 PM

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Scarlet Elfcap still on the Birch and Willow litter, but in reduced quantity. Ditto the frog spawn.

A change in route produced a view of a sheltered spot with a good showing of Cowslips, otherwise the only flowers in bloom were Coltsfoot. Some interesting greenish-yellow leaves of a lily family species in one of the grassy areas looked promising.

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A good show of Scarlet Elf Cup in the stand of Birch below the east side of the Top Reservoir.

More surprisingly, around 30 Common Frogs croaking away in the small pond between the two reservoirs which got badly silted by the new drainage scheme. Only one pair mating but already quite a lot of spawn produced. Unfortunately mostly in the very shallow area, so chances of survival aren't that great I suspect.



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Very quiet today

3 Grey Squirrels coming to a ready supply of peanuts

1 Speckled Wood
1 Small White

1 new 'sprouting' of Birch Bolete in the mature patch of woodland - at least 15/16 individual fungi from screw head to half saucer sizes along the one trunk.

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Slightly better for butterflies today, with several Large and Small Whites, 2 Speckled Woods, 1 Meadow Brown and 1 Wall (a couple of pugnacious Large Whites and a Red Admiral around flower displays in Oldham town centre added to the total for trip)

A couple of Honey Bees and a species of Hoverfly were feeding on Ragwort in the top pastures, but the majority of Hymenoptera were feeding on the Himalayan Balsam on the Golden Steps, including a large Bumble Bee so covered in white pollen as to be unidentifiable to species. There were also a couple of swarms of St Mark's -type flies in the top pastures as well.

A Harlequin Ladybird, a couple of Grey Squirrels and two clumps of Velvet Shank on cut Cypress stumps at the R.S.P.C.A. shelter completed the list.

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The the last of the small ponds beside the main east-west path is now almost completely silted up, so no more froggy frolicking here. disbelief. Can't decide if it's ignorance or incompetence.

Elsewhere, the number of orchids seems down compared to other years, with Ragged Robin, Foxglove and willow-herbs doing better. The warm and wet weather has produced some fresh growth of commoner fungi such as Birch Bolete in new locations.

Only butterflies seen were a male Small Skipper and a couple of Ringlets.

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09/04/17

The frog fest produced a reasonable amount of spawn but unfortunately this is now all covered with mud as the pond has been incorporated into the drainage system and is silting up. There is an outflow but it is too high in the bank and too narrow to carry away the sediment. Hopefully the frogs on the margins of the top reservoir will have had more success.

Elsewhere

Brimstone 2
Orange-tip 1 male
Green-veined White 1 possibly 2

Fox popped in for a quick drink then settled down in the shade for a snooze - local wildfowl not too happy.

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Sunday 12th March 13.25

Frog fest in the small pond by the East-West bridle path with 33 single Common Frogs and at least two coupled pairs - although whether these were actually mating wasn't clear.

Some frogs were also calling from the SW corner of the top res as well.

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The advantages of leaving felled timber in situ already obvious from these nice clumps of Shaggy Scalycap Philotia squarrosa already developed on the felled Beech I mentioned last month. A few tiny parachute or similar mushrooms also growing in the same scar. Neither of these were present when the tree was standing.

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Grey squirrel 2

Speckled Wood at least 8 (all small late brood types) including 3 fighting over one short stretch of a long bramble patch.
Large White 1 -the only other butterfly to be seen

Brown Hawker 2 different sized individuals around the top reservoir - the larger one probably the same individual seen working the edges of the birch groves along the east side of the lower reservoir.

Several large trees have been felled since last month but at least the trunk and main branch sections seem to have been left to enrich the habitat this time.

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Apart from 2 Grey Squirrels the only identifiable wildlife were 5 species of butterfly.

Speckled Wood 1
Gatekeeper 2
Meadow Brown 2
Ringlet 1
Small White 8(minimum)

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Not the best conditions for insects to be on the wing this afternoon but Ringlet's into double figures overall around the site. No other butterflies to be seen confuse
At the small pond beside the East-West bridal path circa 6 Small Red Damselflies including a pair in tandem.

Plenty of Common Spotted Orchid, although numbers are much lower than when this species first appeared here.

-- Edited by Mike Chorley on Sunday 3rd of July 2016 04:49:18 PM

-- Edited by Mike Chorley on Sunday 3rd of July 2016 04:52:22 PM

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Despite the water in the small pond being heavily muddied again at least 6 tadpoles were active. They seemed a reddish-brown colour. Maybe due to all the silt?

Grey Squirrel trying to camouflage itself as a branch in the fork of a tree (and failing biggrin)

Orange Tip 4
Large White 2
Comma 1

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24 Common Frogs making good use of the small pond next to the west-to-east path across the valley. The waters here have been heavily muddied for the last couple of years in late Spring; hopefully things will be better this year. Quite a few of the mature trees seem to have come down recently either from the weather or for safety reasons. Good to see the timber piled up rather than wood chipped. Hopefully lots of fungi to be found later in the year.

Grey Squirrel and Buff-tailed Bumblebee also seen.

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Cheers Dave, could be. I didn't think of Waxcap when I was looking at the shape of the cap but they could well be quite old and flattened out.

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At a punt perhaps Meadow Waxcap?

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Despite the colder winds recently I found 2 new species of fungus for the site today as well as some recent growths of Candlesnuff. There were 4 clumps of Golden Spindles in the horse pasture to the west of the brook and at least 7 or 8 specimens of what looked like Garland Roundhead in the same pasture but on the other side of the new(ish) fenced path. Not sure on this I.d. as I could only take photos from beyond the fence. Any suggestions for a late-fruiting Orange Grisette type species favouring acidic upland horse pastures? One specimen had an intact rim to the cap but with the edges turned up to form a square.

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Sunday 11th Oct. Speckled Wood 4 minimum) White-tailed Bumblebee 1 several 'white' bees harvesting from the Himalayan Balsam Common Bonnet- new clump on the top res dam wall. Conifer Mazegill - a good display on one of the stumps in the mature copse to the east of the reservoirs. My first record of it here

-- Edited by Mike Chorley on Tuesday 13th of October 2015 10:30:38 PM

-- Edited by Mike Chorley on Tuesday 13th of October 2015 10:31:47 PM

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Brown Hawker 1 hunting path between reservoirs
Common Hawker 1 hunting over Top Res.

1 each of:
Peacock
Small Tortoiseshell
Speckled Wood
Large White

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Bottom Res:
Brown Hawker 1

Top Res:
Common Hawker -pair in tandem
then while the hirundines appeared in numbers there was also a sudden appearance of
Common Blue Damselfly C15

No ordonata at the small pond by the bridleway between the reservoirs but good numbers of Pond Skaters and Water Boatmen, as well as plenty of tiny white flies only visible with binoculars and a slightly larger pale-winged insect patrolling over the water. The wings were reminiscent of a Mayfly but the flight was more direct and dragonfly-like.

Surprisingly few butterflies:
Ringlet 1
Meadow Brown 3
Large White 5

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12-07-2015

Southern Marsh Orchids well dispersed over the site but not as prolific as in earlier years. Plenty of Rosebay and Broad-leaved Willow herbs, Foxglove, Meadow Cranesbill, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Slender and Spear Thistles and a single specimen of Musk Mallow.

Ringlet at least 20, probably many more as those were only the ones seen to rise form the edges of the paths on a cool and breezy day
Meadow Brown similar numbers, again, just those active on the fringes of the long grasses
Speckled Wood 4/5 along the edge of the upper feeder channel
Large White 1
Brimstone 1

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Lots of Speckled Wood
Large White 3/4
Peacock 1

Common Hawker 1
Brown Hawker 1

Autumn Crocus - large clump near the small pond between the reservoirs. Never seen any here before - maybe introduced?

Shaggy Inkcap - clump on Holgate Street- 1st time I've recorded it for this site

The Deceiver - a few specimens on leaf litter under the Rhododendrons

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Lower numbers of butterflies but the highest number of species this year

Meadow Brown 2
Ringlet 1 (very tatty)
Large White c25
Small Copper 3
Small Tortoiseshell 1/2
Gatekeeper 4
Red Admiral 2
Peacock 2
Large Skipper1
Speckled Wood 4/5

also
Common Blue Damselfly 1
Brown Hawker 1/2
Southern Hawker

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Plenty of Ringlets here, as well as a few Meadow Brown's, several Large Skippers and 3 Speckled Woods. Only 1 White butterflies of any type, but both too far away to be identified to species. Several blue damselflies over the top reservoir, presumably Common, like the two near the small path-side puddle. Meadow-sweet, Common Spotted Orchid, Ragged robin, Meadow Cranesbill, Water Forget-me-not, Monkey Flower etc.

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The level in the small pond has dropped a bit - no sign of any frogs, spawn or tadpoles(last year's over-winterers) cry

Coltsfoot, Cowslip, Dandelion, Marsh Marigold, Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage & Pink Purslane all in flower.

-- Edited by Mike Chorley on Sunday 20th of April 2014 05:02:03 PM

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At least 8 Common Frogs in the small pond between the two reservoirs, with some spawn already deposited.

Coral Spot emerging and still a good spread of Scarlet Elfcap in the birch wood to the west of the top dam.
Winter Polypore and Yellow Brain also added to my Fungus list for the site

A Grey Squirrel seems to have taken over the new owl box in the mature woodfurious

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Sunday October 13th

Latest additions to the Fungus list:
Rooting Shank
Sheathed Woodtuft
Yellow Shield.

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