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Post Info TOPIC: Out-of-county (other wildlife)


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RE: Out-of-county (other wildlife)


En route to Camrose (Pembrokeshire) early Sunday morning.
Still dark with the faintest of dawn light...

- 1 European Polecat (Lifer)
Only ever seen a dead one in the wild. I was on one of the bleak forest lanes in the hills and it suddenly just appeared at the side of the lane bounding along and then darted back into the roadside vegetation, I was driving fairly slowly too due to the icy conditions so I got a decent look at it with my full beam on.

- 3 Brown Long-eared Bats
Saw them in close proximity to each other so must've been a decent area for them, flew over the car and again I was driving fairly slowly and this time streetlights made it easier to determine what they were.

- 1 Red Fox was the only other Mammal seen apart from the usual regular roadkill species including a Fox, Badger, Rabbit, Grey Squirrel and a Rat!

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Very little to report now that the weather has turned very cold, but the Water Shrew was still present at Newchurch Common today.



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A very cold Newchurch Common walk but still recorded a new insect for the patch - November Moth. Also a couple of Hornets still nectaring on ivy.



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A real quickie to say that I had one very lethargic Hornet on ivy on a dull, cold morning at Newchurch Common, unexpected given the weather but my aim of recording them into November has been met smile



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No Hornets on a dull morning at Newchurch Common, but I added a new Ichneumon to the site - Ichneumon extensorius, a hugely under-recorded species in the UK with no Cheshire Records on NBN Gateway but I have found a Cheshire Record on someones Blog in 2015!

The Water Shrew was in its usual location smile



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Tuesday 1st of November 2016 03:29:39 PM

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At Newchurch Common today some noteworthy sightings. Firstly in the fog, with the temperature hardly breaking 5 degrees a Red Admiral butterfly flew across a field near the entrance gate, I was amazed!! Later on as the sun got up I had a basking Grass Snake, great to see one this late in the year, but it has been a fantastic year for these on my patch. Finally the Hornets were still active and I have every hope of recording them into November now!



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At Newchurch Common there are fungi everywhere. I wish I could identify more of them but ones I could included massive numbers of Fly Agarics and Sulhur Tuft Fungi, with smaller numbers of Shaggy Inkcaps. Lots of Hornets on the wing today and a mass of wasps feeding on nectar on ivy on one tree on the mosslands.



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Burton Wetlands/Inner Marsh RSPB

11.00-15.00

10 Common Darter dragonflies, 3 were sun bathing from the "Lizard" fence. 3 Red Admiral butterflies.

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John Williams


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Today and yesterday at Newchurch Common:

Not sure why my mammal sightings have gone up, Water Shrew, Common Shrew and Bank Vole all seen. Hornets still on the wing and an unidentified butterfly flew over. Fly Agaric fungi are everywhere making it look like pixie heaven!!



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I am looking to see what the last 'Hornet Date' will be at Newchurch Common, still one today so that goes on! A family of 5 Bank Voles was found under a board and the Water Shrew was still about, albeit in a new location.



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At Newchurch Common over the last week I still had Hornets flying near their nest site. The Water Shrew that I am keeping tabs on was still around too. Finally two 'baby' Great Crested Newts were found, proof of breeding this year, great news smile



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Saturday 8th October
As part of a seawatch at Old Colwyn, myself and Chris Chandler also saw some Mammals.

- a few Grey Seals towards Rainbow Bridge
- a pod of c10-15 Dolphins out in the bay having fun with 2 guys on a windsailing boat.

I knew there were Bottlenose there but some were very pale underneath and I wasn't 100% that they were all the same.
The photos I took were sent to Seawatch Foundation at Anglesey who deal with all Cetacean 'and the like' sightings for UK and Irish waters, they have just confirmed them all today as Bottlenose Dolphins and have kept the photos for their database.
Even the one that I captured in full breach that has a slightly odd looking blunt beak is a Bottlenose.



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Did an afternoon trip onto Newchurch Common for a change, the sun was out but it was never very warm.

But still a few bits about. On Sandiway Small Pool there were 3 Migrant Hawkers, a male and a pair 'in cop' mating, another male was on Big Pool. There were also 3 Common Darters around a female and a pair 'in cop' also. A couple of Hornets were seen in the usual place. A Poecilus beetle species was seen too (small metallic ground beetle) which was a new insect for this site. Lots of fungi including big groups of large Shaggy Parasols and several Shaggy Inkcaps smile



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Sunday 9th of October 2016 09:18:59 PM

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As mentioned in the bird sightings I had a trip onto Newchurch Common with 3 others today & spectacular was the word!

The patch delivered with fabulous views of a Water Shrew, which was photographed and brilliant photographic opportunities with over 100 Hornets seen in the sunshine. Two male Black Darters were still on the wing as well as 6+ Common Darters including two 'in cop'. The butterfly highlight was a Painted Lady, other species included two Small Coppers, a Meadow Brown, a Speckled Wood and two Red Admirals. A new fungus was added to my list with several Fly Agarics seen. Plants included Field Pansy and Round-leaved Cranesbill. Lots of Common Carder Bees and several hoverfly species still on the wing.



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Woolston Eyes

09.30-13.00

No 3 Bed

5 Red Admiral and 1 Speckled Wood butterflies.

Lots of Honeybees visiting the balsam flowers.

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John Williams


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A new species for my Newchurch Common recording area in the shape of a juvenile Wood Mouse! Over 40 Hornets (low res pic attached) in the area in which the nest must be, but this still remains unfound! The usual Comma, Red Admiral and Speckled Woods on the wing. Also Black Darter and Common Darter Dragonflies,



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At Newchurch Common today found the same Water Shrew again (as on 25th), nice to get longer views this time. Also several newly emerged Red Admirals, a couple of Commas and a Speckled Wood. Double figures of Common Darter dragonflies.

Lots of fungi again including the small but spectacularly beautiful Yellow Stagshorn Fungus.



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Some other sightings from our Spurn and Flamborough trip this week.

Mammals included...
- Red Fox 1 patrolling Kilnsea Wetland
- Weasel 4, 2 crossing road near the Warren, 1 showing well at Kilnsea, and 1 on cliff tops at Flamborough
- Pygmy Shrew 1 along dunes path near sea watch hide
- Harbour Porpoise 1 at Flamborough Head
- Grey Seal lots seen at both Spurn and Flamborough

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Thursday 29th of September 2016 01:08:24 PM

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A red-letter day on Newchurch Common, even though it was dull & raining at times, with 2 new species added to the patch list.

The highlight was a Water Shrew (Neomys fodiens) seen on the SW side of the patch, my second shrew species here with Common Shrews seen several times. The second new species added was expected in the shape of a Smooth Newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) under a sheet of plywood, again my second newt species, having seen Great Crested Newt first. Two large Common Toads completed my amphibian list today!

When the sun came out at least 6 Comma butterflies were seen and a couple of Speckled Woods. Two Common Darter dragonflies were also seen.



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A great late afternoon find in our Moulton, near Northwich, garden today. A Pine Ladybird (Exochomus quadripustulatus), the first record for our particular area of Cheshire as recorded in the NBN Gateway dataset smile



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Macclesfield Forest (Ridgegate Reservoir)

4 Speckled Wood butterflies in the scrub along the south bank. Lots of Caddis Flies around the reservoir.

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John Williams


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Late news, 23rd Sept :

Newchurch Common Butterflies - 4 Commas, Speckled Wood, Large White and Red Admiral.

Newchurch Common Dragonflies - 5 Common Darters, male Black Darter.

Best of all I found first one, and then over 15 Hornets all disappearing into bushes off the Whitegate Way. The fact that they were all heading purposefully in one direction leads me to believe that they were heading back towards their nest. So I have finally found the approximate location of the nest, but given the lay of the land in the vicinity I doubt whether I will be able to find the nest itself cry



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A sunny day at Newchurch Common produced severa; butterflies, common at the moment are Speckled Woods, Small Whites and Small Coppers, all of which were seen. More unusual were pristine specimens of Comma (several seen in one area which suggests a hatch) and a pristine Painted Lady. Several Black Darter dragonflies were on the mosslands as well as several Common Darters, some ovipositing), a Migrant Hawker and a Brown Hawker. A relative of my previous orb weaver spider was found, namely Cross Orb Weaver (Araneus diadematus). As well publicised in the press there were hundreds of craneflies on the wing, mainly of the species Tipula confusa.

A new fungus species was identified with lots of heads of Ivory Coral Fungus (Ramariopsis kunzei)in one small area of woodland. Several new heads of Earth Ball Fungus were also found (Scleroderma citrinum).



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Pembrokeshire (Wales) - south of Solva:

Seen on Sunday, 18th September 2016...

Adder (lifer for me!) across footpath on Pembrokeshire Coastal Path slinking into gorse undergrowth.

Also the following butterflies:
Red Admiral
Small Tortoiseshell
Speckled Wood

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Hesketh Out Marsh (11.30-15.00)

3 Small Tortoiseshell butterflies and a Stoat were on the embankment.

Mere Sands Wood NR (16.00-17.30)

1 Comma and 3 Speckled Wood butterflies. 1 Brown Hawker dragonfly, Common Darters abundant, with 8 resting on a single wooden bench.

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John Williams


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Saturday, 17th September 2016.

Pembrokeshire Coastal Path near St Davids the following butterflies seen:

Red Admiral
Painted Lady
Small Tortoiseshell
Speckled Wood
Small Copper
Small White

Atlantic Grey Seals and pups

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Yesterdays visit to Newchurch Common saw me add a new species of spider to the patch list. On Shemy Moss I found a cracking female 4-spot Orb Weaver (Araneus quadratus). She was the lime green form and in a typical 'sewn-together' clump of rosebay willowherb seed-heads. I have only seen this species in two locations before, on The Lizard, Cornwall and at Spurn, so a nice addition for me. A Common Lizard and a Common Toad were seen too. One Common Darter was the only dragonfly seen. Two Small Coppers nectared on Ragwort and lots of Speckled Woods were still about.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Saturday 17th of September 2016 02:58:49 PM

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I posted the Smew news as quickly as I could on here, for Newchurch Common, but here are the non-bird highlights!:

Lots of fungi now out, a fabulous large Earth Ball (picture 1), a Shaggy Inkcap (picture 2), lots of Birch Polypores, one clump of Artist's Fungus and lots more unidentified ones. Now is fungus season, I wish I knew more about them! Brown Hawker, Migrant Hawker and Common Darter were seen as well as Speckled Woods in double figures , Large White & Small White.

(attached pictures small size & resolution for quick opening)



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Added a new species to my patch list at Newchurch Common in an hours visit this morning with a Yellow-tail Moth caterpillar found & photographed, a stunning little caterpillar but with very irritant hairs. Lots of Small Coppers on the wing again, with double figures seen, the same for Speckled Woods. Otherwise just a Red Admiral and a Large White. A Brown Hawker was seen as well as a Migrant Hawker & lots of Common Darters.

Picture of the caterpillar attached for ID puposes so folk don't handle it!!!



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Sunday 11th of September 2016 09:12:31 PM

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Burton Wetlands Centre/IMF

09.30-14.00

Speckled Wood butterflies were numerous along the woodland edge, also 1 Comma and 1 Red Admiral.

Common Darter dragonflies were abundant along the boardwalks. 1 Common Lizard was basking on a wooden fence.

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John Williams


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Down at Newchurch Common today there were 2 Common Lizards still and several young Common Frogs. A Hornet was seen on the mosses part of the patch, a different area from the previous one, I wish I could find the nest! Several Speckled Woods were on the wing despite it being overcast, the onlyother butterfly being a Large White. The only dragonfly species present was Migrant Hawker, with two being seen, both hunting in the crowns of oak trees.



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Todays trip to Newchurch produced a fresh Small Copper butterfly after the worn one on Sunday, at least 12 Speckled Woods and a Small White. In cloudy but warm conditions a Common Darter was the only Odonata seen. A hatch of Alder Leaf Beetles meant that over 200 were counted, bad news for the alders here! Drone Flies and Marmalade Hoverflies were seen too.

Nearby, slightly off-patch, 2 Migrant Hawkers were seen in aerial combat.



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Moore NR 5.20-7.45pm

Speckled Woods were he only butterflies seen, they were plentiful though. 4 hawker dragonflies were around the treetops by Birchwood Pool, but they did'nt get close enough to get an ID.

By Pumphouse Pool, 4 Alder Leaf Beatles were on a clump of hazel, with a single 7 spot Ladybird nearby.

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John Williams


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Back from Cornwall & into Cheshire today, first day off and back at Newchurch Common, where else?!

Butterflies seen on a short, sunny walk were a worn Small Copper, a fresh Common Blue, a couple of Large Whites and several Speckled Woods. A very late Red-eyed Damselfly was on Small Pool. lots of Common Darters were seen as well as a single male Migrant Hawker. A new insect was photographed - a tachinid fly, Tachina fera (see attached picture), as well as the hoverflies Eristalis pertinax, Eristalis tenax and Episyrphus balteatus.



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Nearly forgot, final word from Cornwall ..... maybe! Bedroom moths attracted each evening with the light on included several Common Rustics, a beautiful Frosted Orange ans a nice Green Carpet. Best name though has to go to a tiny spider we found, quite scarce, known as the Pink Prowler..... in the bedrooom, who'd believe it!!



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Early evening walk from Lapwing Lane (Moore NR) to Half Way House.

The sandy heath west of the swing bridge that was teeming with butterflies and burnet moths a few weeks ago now seems almost devoid of life.

The only insect seen here being a single Garden Pebble moth. 2 Brown Hawkers and 2 Migrant Hawkers patrolled the banks of the ship canal.

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John Williams


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A quick summary of the final three day of our Cornwall holiday.

On Mondat the most notable addition was a Golden-ringed Dragonfly at Windmill Farm NR along with another Painted Lady.

On Tuesday (& Wednesday) at Helston Loe we happened upon one of those wildlife spectacles that leave you amazed. As we walked down the path we noticed several Red Admirals in one area. On closer inspection they were attracted to a gash in an oak tree exuding sap. Up to 15 at a time were fluttering & perching on the tree trunk feeding on the sweet liquid. Also attracted to the sap were up tp 12 Hornets! These fantasic insects were feeding on sap but also hunting the Red Admirals! We saw one Hlornet catch a Red Admiral, cut through each of the 4 wings one by one and then sever the head befoure flying off with the butterfly's body! A fabulous spectacle to watch. We also saw a Violet Ground Beetle here, a Dor Beetle and displaying Beautiful Demoiselles. Again a Painted Lady was seen amongst many other butterfly species seen.



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In Cornwall & hot and sunny again. New sightings included Grayling Butterflies and Gatekeepers at Soapy Cove as well as a stonking Great Green Bush Cricket. Then at Windmill Farm NR we had a male Adder and a this years young of this species.



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Today's other wildlife highlights in Cornwall included Grey Bush Crickets at Gunwalloe on the Lizard where we also saw Small Heath butterflies. At Windmill Farm NR we saw Emperor dragonfly and Common Darter as well as Common Blue damselflies. At Polgigga a single Beautiful Demoiselle was seen.



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A walk along the Roseland Peninsula coastpath in Cornwall yesterday in warm sunshine produced lots more butterflies, with Small Copper & Common Blues being new for the holiday. Lots more Holly Blues were on the wing, I personally have had my best year ever for this species. Red Admirals, Speckled Woods and Meadow Browns were seen as well as Small & Large Whites. A Dock Shield Bug was found, on dock! On the shoreline a bit of rockpooling revealed Green Worms eating a crab, live Shore Crab, a huge dead Spider Crab, Anurida maritima so (a rockpool insect!), several Compass Jellyfish and was a great way to spend another glorious afternoon.



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Neumanns Flash (Mostly in the rain 6.00-8.00 pm)

2 Brown Hawkers along the south bank. 1 Fox that calmly trotted along the path behind me at 8.00 pm.

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First day yesterday in Cornwall so the first port of call was a few miles from the B&B at Perranuthnoe where a Hudsonian Whimbrel has been resident for ages. In the sunshine the holiday butterfly list got off to a great start with a stunning Painted Lady & a Holly Blue as well as Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown and Large & Small Whites. Then a pop to Pendeen Watch produced our best ever views of a really close Ocean Sunfish as well as several Grey Seals. A great first half day!

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In the sunshine at Newchurch Common I added a new species to the insect list, one that I had hoped for and sort of expected - Hornet (Vespa crabro). This huge predator flew around the meadow but never stopped for me to get a picture! Hopefully there may be a colony nearby and I wil get that picture on another visit. Another new insect was Orange Ladybird (Halyzia 16-guttata), found on bracken on Shemmy Moss (picture for ID info attached).

Otherwise several Brown Hawker Dragonflies, over 30 Common Darters, a Migrant Hawker, Common Blue Damselfy, Red-eyed Damselfly and Blue-tailed Damselfly. Also most of the common butterfles still present.



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5.30-8.15pm

Rixton Clay Pits

3 Brown Hawker and 2 Southern Hawker dragonflies. 2 Emerald and 3 Blue Tailed damselflies. 1 Peacock, 2 Gatekeeper and 3 Speckled Wood butterflies.


Nearby, 1 Mink ran across Woodend Lane near the fishing pools.

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Second report is from today, 16th August:

Another new dragonfly species with a male and female Banded Demoiselle seen on Sandiway Small Pool, a long distance away from the nearest running water so not at all expected.

Another butterfly was seen in addition to yesterdays ten, namely Small Tortoiseshell.

On Shemmy Moss a nearly 3.5 inch long insect caught my eye, as it would. This turned out to be a spectacular Ichneumon Wasp, one of the Dolichomitus species (not ID-able to species level without a pinned specimen & a microscope!!). As with a few other insect finds on this patch this is a scarce insect for the UK and may be a Cheshire first again! (see attached picture - the antennae are approx 0.75 inches long, the body is an inch & the ovipositor 1.5 inches, quite a beast!)



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First report from Monday Aug 15th:

A new Dragonfly species was added to the Newchurch Common List that I am building up in the shape of Migrant Hawker. At least three of this species were seen on the 'mosses' to the south of the Whitegate Way. Male Black Darters were still on Abbots Moss but now no females, their job is done!Other odonata seen were Brown Hawker, Common Darter, Red-eyed Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly and a single Azure Damselfly.

Ten species of butterflies were recorded: Red Admiral, Comma, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Brimstone, Speckled Wod, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, and Small Copper.

A new Grasshopper was added: Field Grasshopper.



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From Martin Mere, a nice rich variety of butterflies were about including my best ever view of brimstone, plus painted lady, meadow brown, a possible small skipper, red admiral, peacock, speckled wood, orange tip, comma, large white and tortoiseshell.

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I heard a lot of chatter coming from my garden today and discovered it was a Sparrowtalk. . https://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


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Nothing much to report from Newchurch Common but the most interesting sighting on Friday 12th Aug was a tiny baby Common Lizard, confirming breeding on the mosses on the south side of the patch smile



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Ventured onto my patch again and little new to report.

Common Lizard again seen as well as Common Toad. Red Admiral the only noteworthy butterfly along with 6 commoner species. Still lots of Red-eyed Damselflies, possibly hanging on later than normal.

The mossland part of my patch is a Cheshire Wildlife Trust site and today I met with 3 folk from the CWT for a chat. I discussed the records that I have been accruing over all taxa. I will now be supplying all the data for the site to them and will continue to monitor the site for them as it is under-recorded, which is bad news for such a fantastic site. It is great to think that my data will now be formalised and be used directly by those who manage the site. I look forward to a long & productive association smile



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My weekend visits, Saturday & Sunday, to Newchurch Common, Cheshire, produced some good non-bird sightings.

A smallish Grass Snake and a juvenile Common Lizard were seen. Common Frog and Common Toad were also present. A Common Shrew was found, probably using an old Bank Vole nest that I had previously found.

A male Holly Blue was photographed taking minerals from the main track and a Common Blue was near Big Pool. Other butterflies included Red Admiral, Brimstone, Small Copper (still several), Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Large White, Small White & Green-veined White. A Yellow Shell moth and a Silver-Y moth were seen.

A new dragonfly for patch was seen, Common Hawker, with a male over bog pools to the south of patch. Also here were 5+Black Darters, several Common Darters (both darter species ovipositing still), Brown Hawkers and a Large Red Damselfly. On Newchurch Common itself 30+Red-eyed Damselflies remained as well as a few Emerald Damselflies, a few Blue-tailed and lots of Common Blue Damselflies.



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