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


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Out-of-county (other wildlife)


Gatewart
Slight increase in Butterfly numbers this morning.
Whites (most /all Large Whites) widespread, Meadow Browns 10+ , Small Tortoiseshell, Gatekeeper, Red Admiral singles only.

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A Newchurch Common Patch visit this morning, all on Shemmy Moss, warm & sunny.

Another 2 Common Lizards were seen.

Around 30 Black Darters were again seen including one pair ovipositing.There were 2 Four-spotted Chasers on the Shemmy Moss Pools and 8 Common Emerald Damselflies mainly over the heather with two in tandem over a pool.

A female Melanostoma scalare hoverfly was seen, most previous sightings having been males. Around 4 Sericomyia silentis and 3 Helophilus pendulus were noted. 6 more Linnaemya vulpina tachinid flies were seen. A Flesh Fly (Sarcophaga sp. ) was photographed.

A Green Tiger Beetle was seen after a few visits without one!

At least 5 Bog Bush Crickets were seen. A new species for the year was Alder Spittlebug (Aphrophora alni).



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On Newchurch Common Psatch pm, Shemmy Moss all the time, dull but mild.

A Common Lizard was again seen basking. There were 3 Common Froglets on the mosses too.

Again there were c.30 Black Darters and 5 Common Emerald Damselflies seen.

A new moth for patch was another heather specialist, the Cheshire scarcity micro-moth Dark-barred Straw (Eupoecilia angustana). A big influx of a migrant micromoth gave a count of 20 Diamond-back Moths. Another new moth for the year was The Chevron, another scarce local moth. Again there were at least 3 Pearl-banded Grass Veneer moths.

A new Shieldbug species was added to the overall patch list with a Blue Shieldbug nymph found and photographed. A Common Froghopper was also seen.

Again 2 Red-banded Sand Wasps were around their nesting area. Hoverflies included 2 Sericomyia silentis and a Marmlade Fly. 4 Tachinid Linnaemya vulpina were seen. A new cranefly species Prionocera turcica was on the moss too.

At least 12 Bog Bush Crickets were noted.

An unidentified yellow Slime Mould species was seen around the stem of a heather shoot.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Sunday 14th of July 2024 11:28:39 PM



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Monday 15th of July 2024 02:07:15 PM

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Down for a morning visit on Newchurch Common, dull, cooler and a bit of rain at end!

4 Common Lizards were seen on Shemmy Moss, 3 of which were basking to try to get some heat!

No new butterflies. At least 20 Black Darters and 3 Emerald Damselflies.

A new moth was added for the pacth list, Pearl-banded Grass Veneer Catoptria margartella.

An Oak Marble Gall Wasp Gall was photographed on an oak.

A Marmalade Hoverfly was photographed and lots of Common Droneflies and Tapered Droneflies were seen. A less than common Tachinid Fly Linnaemya vulpina was seen as well as the common cranefly Tipula oleracea.

A Green Shieldbug nymph was found.

A tiny young Four-spotted Orb-weaver Spider was the first of the year.



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A morning visit to my patch, all on Shemmy Moss today. Dull, no sun but not cold, surprisingly good for invertebrates.

Had a pregnant female Common Lizard, not basking just moving through dead bracken but looking huge near the rear end. Also rescued 4 Common Toadlets crossing the Abbot's Moss Nursery road.

A few butterflies were seen, my first mosslands Gatekeeper and Small Skipper, also Ringlet, Meadow Brown and Green-veined White.

There were at least 20 Black Darters including Black males, a male Emperor and a female Common Darter seen. Also seen were 6 Emerald Damselflies, an Azure Damselfly, a Blue-tailed Damselfly and several Common Blue Damselflies.

Just 2 Common Heath moths and around 5 Crambus pascuella Inlaid Grass Veneers were found, both seen previously.

The biggest find was a nationally very rare fly - Cheshire Horsefly (Atylotus plebeius) (pictured), found now in the UK at only 2 known locations and a specialist on quaking bogs (which Shemmy Moss is). This is a threatened species and not seen very often at all, a really good find. The ID has been verified by UK Diptera but I was confident in my ID which I put forward to them. Amazing!!

A new species was a tiny bee Colletes daviesanus, that I've never seen before.

Also seen were 4 Bog Bush Crickets, a Sericomyia silentis hoverfly, and the hoverfly Eristalis nemorum.

The first decent pictures were taken of the ants under refugia on Shemmy Moss and these lead me to believe that the species is Formica lemani.

A surprise find was Coral Brittlegill fungus.

 



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Thursday 11th of July 2024 12:08:10 PM

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Burtonwood 16:00-18.00

Walked a bit of the Sankey Valley Trail (Causey Bridge to Hollins Lane), plus an amble passed the fields of

cereal as far as Phipps Brook. Throughout my walk I only managed to find 1 butterfly and that was a Gatekeeper

resting on bindweed.

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Another sunny afternoon on Newchurch Common, all in Big Pool Meadows.

An amazing butterfly day with 11 species seen, by far the best day for them this year!! The best in show award goes to my first male Essex Skipper, followed closely by the first 3 Gatekeepers, both for the year, not ever! Also seen again was a Purple Hairstreak in the same oak canopy as on the 5th. Other species seen were Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Meadow Brown, 16 Ringlets (inc a mating pair), Speckled Wood, Large White, Green-veined White and Red Admiral.

Odonata were less well represented with 4 Brown Hawkers, Common Blue Damselflies and Blue-tailed Damselflies the only species seen.

A Six-spot Burnet Moth and a Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet were both seen.

A Welsh Chafer Beetle was new for the year. The Roesel's Bush Crickets are getting bigger so I took another picture!

A Nursery Web Spider was photographed and several more seen.

A new group of 6 Common Spotted Orchids was found in North Meadow.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Tuesday 9th of July 2024 09:37:13 AM

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Sankey Bridges- |Gatewarth
AM
Sunny, plenty of flowers out inc Purple Loosestrife and Mullein but very low numbers of butterflies on wing.
First Gatekeepers of year flying. Meadow Brown, Large White, Red Admiral. Only in ones and twos.

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Seal in the Mersey , bang centre of the river in the town centre , spoted from car nr the cenotaph 



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To Newchurch Patch this afternoon mainly on Shemmy Moss. Warm & Sunny.

One sighting away from the mosses was my first Purple Hairstreak of the year in an oak canopy near the main track at the west end of Small Pool, a traditional tree. On Shemmy Moss there were 2 Green-veined Whites, a Large White, a Red Admiral, Ringlets and Meadow Browns including a mating pair.

On Shemmy Moss a new dragonfly for me was a female-type Black-tailed Skimmer. Also on Shemmy Moss were at least 30 Black Darters including black males now, as well as a fully blue male Broad-bodied Chaser, my first here this year. Two Brown Hawkers completed the dragonfly sightings. A count of 8 Emerald Damselflies on Shemmy Moss included males and females and there were Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies here too.

One very notable moth record was a single Four-dotted Footman on Shemmy Moss, one of the lowland heath specialities that I record here.

A new hoverfly for me was Xylota sylvarum, on the edge of Shemmy Moss. Two Red-banded Sand Wasps (Ammophila sabulosa)were watched digging out a burrow and then bringing a paralysed caterpillar to it which one of them dragged into the burrow backwards!! The female will lay her egg in the caterpillar and the hole will be sealed and camouflaged!

The plants Nipplewort and Common Bird's Foot Trefoil were photographed on Shemmy Moss.



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No 6 Tank Frodsham Marsh (Morning visit)

Butterflies :- 1 Gatekeeper, 1 Comma, 4 Red Admirals, 4 Small Tortoiseshells and numerous Meadow Browns.

Also 1 White Ermine moth resting on a Ragwort flower head.

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Popped down to Newchurch Common this morning with hopes of OK weather and even got a bit of sun, turned v.warm for a while too, then rained!

The usual six species of butterfly, and seven species if you count the 8 Peacock Caterpillars on nettles in Island Cut Meadow. The usual odonata too.

A Yellow Shell moth was near Beach Peg and in total 3 Silver Y moths were seen.

A new species, near North Meadow, was the striking Tachinid Fly Dexiosoma caninum, which is relatively scarce in Cheshire. Another Ferruginous Bee Grabber was photographed in Island Cut Meadow.

Dotted Loosestrife was in flower on the north shore of Big Pool.



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My first trip onto my Newchurch Patch for a while this afternoon. Sunny mainly and actually q.warm.

Another six-species day for butterflies, exactly the same ones as the last 'six' day!!

The area close to Big Pool Island Cut held 2 Common Toadlets, they were deep in vegetation 'litter' so probably lots lots more here, the pool here had the huge amount of toadspawn earlier in the year, so not a surprise.

An excellent odonata day with my first Southern Hawker and my first Common Darter of the year for patch both in Big Pool Island Cut Meadow. As well as there I had 4 Brown Hawkers and a worn male Emperor. The only damselflies were c.150 Common Blu Damselflies and 15 Blue-tailed Damselflies.

A Silver-Y Moth was in Island Cut Meadow and 2 Shaded Broad-bars were in the North Meadows. A Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet was seen, the edges of the wings definitely showing a narrower black border than last weeks moth!

A new Tachinid fly was photographed, a Thelaira nigripes, in Island Cut Meadow.

In the North Meadows I had 20 Roesel's Bush Cricket nymphs and 2 Common Green Grasshopper nymphs. Also in he North Meadows was a new species for Patch, a Meadow Plant Bug (Leptopterna dolbrata). A Green Shield Bug was in Island Cut Meadow.

Lots of Spear Thistles were in flower by the main track, a great nectar source.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Wednesday 3rd of July 2024 09:55:48 AM

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Brockholes LWT Reserve Afternoon visit

Butterflies :- 10+ Ringlets, 5 Meadow Browns and 3 Red Admirals, all seen along the riverside walk between the M6

motorway bridge and Red Scar Wood.



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Liverpool Hope University
Hope Park Campus
Childwall

Dropped in here briefly for work, never been here before. Nice . well tended formal gardens but even better, an area had been left untended, a small copse of Beech trees. Lots of Nettles . 2 ssp of Butterflies seen (Large White, Speckled Wood) practically warrants SSSI status these days !
Fine Bee Orchid fully out in short grassy area.

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Woolston Eyes

No 3 Bed Afternoon visit

1 Large Fox seen twice, once below the tower hide, and then again trotting boldly along the path on the South bank.

Odonata : 1 female Black-Tailed Skimmer posed for a few photos (I'll upload one when I find the connector between my camera

and new laptop) and a single Blue-Tailed Damselfly.

Butterflies :- 4 Red Admirals and a single Speckled Wood.

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Another morning visit to the Newchurch Common Big Pool area after yesterday was too hot! Today sunny but a tiny bit cooler.

The first 3 Small Skippers were seen in the Island Cut Meadow as well as a Large Skipper, a Red Admiral, c.10 Ringlets, c.8 Meadow Browns and 2 Speckled Woods. A six butterfly species day, unheard of recently!!

Just a Brown Hawker of note but 2 female Broad-bodied Chasers on 25th June.

The exact same burnet as I saw on 24th was recaptured on 25th (it had a gammy wing so was easy to ID) and photographed in more detail. This now looks an even stronger candidate for Five-spot Burnet and a Cheshire first! Looking at older pics I also have an almost certain larva for that species plus I have found the food plant Greater Bird's-foot Trefoil in the North Meadow where I found the moth and the caterpillar!!

A Xanthogramma pedissequum hoverfly was seen again. A Ferruginous Bee-grabber was again photographed. A Psila fimetaria (prob) Rust Fly was seen again.

A Pterostichus niger beetle carrying a mite was crossing the main track.

Square-stemmed Willowherb was in the Island Cut Meadow and Selfheal was nearby. Yorkshire Fog Grass was IDed in North Meadow.

Dog's Vomit Slime Mould was found near the main track in the Pine Belt.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Thursday 27th of June 2024 09:07:36 PM

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A morning on Newchurch Common, hot and sunny. Turned out to be epic!!

I have to start with possibly my rarest ever find on Patch. In the Big Pool North Meadow I managed 2 shots of a small Ichneumon with a striking yellow & black tail. Arriving home I found only one was in focus and my ID led me to Colpotrochia cincta (picture attached), but on checking this was extremely rare. I sent the picture to the UK group for Ichneumons and a World Authority has come back confirming my ID. This is a first known accepted record for Cheshire, first for the NW of England and only the 4th accepted for the UK on the NBN Gateway (albeit other records may be pending). This makes it a real Mega and I am so chuffed to have found and documented it for my patch!! Also in the pipeline is another potential Cheshire first, this time a macromoth which is even more amazing in lots of ways given the number of moth-ers in the county. It is a (possible) Five-Spot Burnet Moth, all previous Burnets in Cheshire being Narrow-Bordered Five-Spot Burnets or Six-Spot Burnets! I have a couple of record pictures which show positive features for Five-Spot Burnet, but await judgement as to whether the pics are good enough. If not then I'll have to re-find the moth!

After all that other sightings are a bit overshadowed, but a massive positive was an increase in butterflies at last. I recorded 37 Ringlets, 4 Meadow Browns, 2 Large Skippers and a Speckled Wood.

Two dragonflies were seen, a female Broad-bodied Chaser and a Brown Hawker.

A Shaded Broad-bar moth was photographed as well as the Burnet.

In the North Meadows at least 20 Roesel's Bush Crickets were found, all nymphs of various sizes. A single Common Green Grasshopper nymph was also found. Also hopping about in this meadow were at least 40 Common Froghoppers. An amazing find was a pupal case that looked like Alien out of Ridley Scott's movie. This turned out to be a Thistle Tortoise Beetle Pupa, ID again by an expert on beetle ID (2nd picture attached).

The plant Perforate St.John's Wort was photographed as was Tufted Vetch.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Monday 24th of June 2024 10:48:43 PM

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An even shorter afternoon on Shemmy Moss, Newchurch Patch today. Sunny and v.hot!

Today there were at least 12 Black Darters and 10 Four-spotted Chasers, some of the latter in cop and ovipositing too. A single male Emperor was seen. At least 4 Emerald Damselflies were on the wing today.

A new moth for the year was a Beautiful Yellow Underwing. Just 1 female Clouded Buff was seen and that was a newly emerged one that flushed and flew off into the distance. A Grass Wave was seen again today. All three moth species are Cheshire Rare/Scarce species but are specialities of my patch.

At least 8 Bog Bush Cricket nymphs were noted with very few refound after they initially jumped off heather that we disturbed them off!



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Sunday 23rd of June 2024 05:04:37 PM

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A short afternoon session on Shemmy Moss in warm sunshine.

The first highlight was the discovery of the first 8 Black Darters of the year, all newly emerged and some very teneral showing milky wings. This is 2 weeks earlier than last year, very unexpected. Also flying were 1 Hairy Dragonfly, 10 Four-spotted Chasers and 2 Emerald Damselflies still. As well as Azure, Blue-tailed and Common Blue Damselflies.

Another great find was the first 2 male Clouded Buff moths, a Cheshire rarity and a site speciality. Looking at previous years the dates are about normal for this species, it just felt a bit early, but it's not!! Lots of (25) Crambus pascualla grass moths, as well as 4 Common Heath moths, all on Shemmy Moss.

The 2 Red-banded Sand Wasps were still in the same area of Shemmy Moss.

There were at least 5 more Green Tiger Beetles too.

Another Bog Bush Cricket (female) was found, this one a bit bigger and posed well for photos! A Common Groundhopper was also seen.

A new spider a Phylloneta impressa was seen taking a non-biting midge species in her web.

Cross-leaved Heath was photographed too!



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On Newchurch Common with wildlife watcher mate Paul Hill. Sun, cloud and warm!

A few more butterflies but not significant numbers with 5 Ringlets, 2 Speckled Woods and a Small White. No odonata reports of significance. Although still 2 Emerald Damselflies.

At least 4 Hornets visited my Hornet-Tree, perfect for Paul's photography! An Early Bumblebee nest hole was found on Shemmy Moss with the bees watched going in and out frequently. A Nephrotoma scurra cranefly was seen.

Several Crambus pascuella White-banded Grass-moths were on Shemmy Moss.

The biggest news was that over 6 Bog Bush Cricket nymphs were seen on Shemmy Moss, the first of the year.

A beautiful Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle was found as well as 5 Green Tiger Beetles, both species on Shemmy Moss.

A Philodromus praedatus running crab spider was in oaks by Shemmy Moss.



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Risley Moss 10.00-12.00

A Four-spotted Chaser dragonfly spent most of the morning around the pool below the viewing area.

Few other dragonflies were about, although a medium sized hawker, which did not pose long enough for a proper ID,

patrolled the edge of the birch trees. Despite it being sunny and warm no butterflies were seen throughout my stay.

-- Edited by John Williams on Friday 21st of June 2024 12:01:11 AM

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Hot & Sunny, on Newchurch patch am & pm.

A Grass Snake was on Shemmy Moss as was a tiny Common Froglet, aka snake food.

Again a dearth of butterflies with Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood and Small White seen.

Better for odonata with the first Emerald Damselfly on Shemmy Moss making it 6 damselfly species today. A male Broad-bodied Chaser was again in the Big Pool Island Cut Meadow. A Brown Hawker was over Gull Pool. A male and female Emperor were on Shemmy Moss. A total of 7 Four-spotted Chasers were made up of 3 on Shemmy Moss and 4 on Gull Pool.

Just a few, probably 4 Grass Wave moths were seen and well worn now.

There were 2 Hornets (3 yesterday) at the 'Hornet Tree' in Gull Pool Wood. There were 2 Red-banded Sand Wasps (Ammophila sabulosa) on Shemmy Moss, one female was covering her burrow up with debris after provisioning her future larvae with paralysed caterpillars as they do! A fem Long Hoverfly was seen on Shemmy Moss. An Eristalis abusiva hoverfly was new for patch.

An Oedemera lurida flower beetle was seen.

A Common Groundhopper was found in a spider web.

A tiny (2mm) jumping spider was new for patch a Euophrys frontalis, found on Shemmy Moss. A Cucumber Spider with an egg sac was photographed by the main track between the pools.

A Cospe Snail was by Shemmy Moss.

A Rust Fungus Melampsora caprearum was on sallow leaves by the main track.

Plants recorded today were Blindeyes Poppy, Wild Chamomile, and Hedge Woundwort.

 



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On Newchurch Common am and pm, hot & sunny again.

A new mammal when a medium sized Brown Rat ran across Sandy Lane.

A new reptile species was added too with the sighting of 2 Red-eared Terrapins basking on Small Pool. These haven't been seen for a few years but were obviously lurking somewhere.

No new butterflies were seen and odonata were broadly similar with the addition of a male Emperor on Small Pool.

A Black Snail Beetle (Phosphuga atrata) was seen on the Whitegate Way. This is an interesting species which pokes it's small head into snail shells and sprays digestive juices in and then slurps up the liquid snail! Also seen was the longhorn beetle Rutpela maculata, in the Island Cut Meadow, Big Pool. The rove beetle Tasgius morsitans was on the main track near the entrance barrier.



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Another afternoon in hot sunshine on Newchurch Common!

Another Grass Snake was seen, a big female basking in the Big Pool North Meadow.

Four butterfly species, Large Skipper, Ringlet, Speckled Wood and a Brimstone as extra today.

There were 2 Brown Hawkers in two widespread locations today as well as a female Broad-bodied Chaser and a Four-spotted Chaser.

A new wasp for the year was a Field Digger Wasp (Argogorytes mystaceus) by the main track. The wonderfully named Ferruginous Bee-grabber Conopid Fly was seen in Island Cut Meadow. A Bronze Furrow Bee was in the same meadow as yesterday.

 



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Spent a pleasant afternoon with 2 other folk on Newchurch Common, sunny and hot mostly.

A Stoat was a surprise given the heat. It ran across the path in front of us as we were heading out of North Meadow towards the NE corner of Big Pool.

A few more butterflies flying but not more species! In the Big Pool Meadows 3 Large Skippers and 3 Ringlets were seen but the most abundant species was at least 7 Speckled Woods in glades and woody edges.

The first Brown Hawker was seen near Big Pool Island Cut and in the same area a beautiful blue male Broad-bodied Chaser was flying as well as a Four-spotted Chaser. A surprise as I thought that they'd finished was a Downy Emerald in the aforementioned private area. Nothing new in the damselfly line!

A new moth was Common Wave in the east meadow area on bramble.

A Hornet flew over near Big Pool Island Cut. A new bee for patch was in these meadows, the tiny (4mm long) Bronze Furrow Bee (Halictus tumulorum).  Very close by a Sand Wasp species Lindenius albilabris was seen, another new species for patch. In the same area both Helophilus hybridus and Helophilus pendulus hoverflies were seen.

A Common Froghopper was in the North Meadow and a Gorse Shieldbug was in Big Pool Island Cut Meadow on gorse.

 



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Woolston Eyes-No3 Bed

1 Brown Hawker dragonfly seen near the John Morgan hide around 6.30pm.

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Newchurch Common pm, hot & sunny.

The first 2 Ringlets of the year were seen, both in meadows by Big Pool. A Large Skipper was finally photographed. Also seen were Green-veined White and Speckled Wood.

The first Blackneck Moth was in the Big Pool North Meadow.

A Roesel's Bush Cricket Nymph was again found in the North Meadow.

A new species for patch was a Fan-bristled Robberfly (Dysmachus trigonus) east of Big Pool.



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Clockface nr St Helens

Grassy bank in front of Swinton Commercial Hire 'On main road.

Great year for the Bee Orchids here, with twenty plus well out spikes flowering nicely. The graded grasscutting seems to be much to the plants' liking.
Several Marsh Orchids out too, some seeming to be Northern Marsh type.
Less pleasing, only one Burnet moth feeding on the various wild flowers Usually there are scores . This is a terrible year for butterflies and moths, as far as I have seen.


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Another afternoon on Newchurch Common, a longer walk, mainly sun but some cloud.

A few more butterflies were seen with 3 Large Skippers, a male Meadow Brown, a Large White and 3 Speckled Woods.

A Four-spotted Chaser was the only dragonfly, the 5 common damselflies were all still on the wing.

The first adult Six-spot Burnet moth of the year was seen, in the Big Pool north meadow. Also a first was a Common White Wave in Big Pool Island Cut meadow where a Common Carpet was seen. At least 3 Celypha lacunana micromoths were seen as well as 3 Straw Dots and a Silver Y. Two Green Oak Tortrix moths were by the main track SW of Big Pool.

A German Wasp was on brambles behind Beach Peg, Big Pool. There were still 5 Hornets at the same tree as yesterday in Gull Pool Wood.

A Carabus problematicus Violet Ground Beetle NE of Big Pool was a first for 2024.

A Dryomyza anilis fly was by the track south of Big Pool.

A slightly larger Roesel's Bush Cricket nymph was in the Big Pool North Meadow

A Nursery Web Spider was seen carrying a huge egg sac in one of the nettle beds on the meadows.



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This is a reminder for me as I use these threads to compile the end of year Annual Report for my Newchurch Patch:

The mining bee from 8th April IDed as a Painted Mining Bee has had a long & detailed examination by an expert and has come back as Andrena apicata Large Sallow Mining Bee. This was by the main track bewteen the two pools and stood out as a species that I'd never seen before. This was all done from pictures hence the delay, but I refuse to kill specimens just to get an ID. This species is actually rarer than the one I thought that it was originally so that's a great result smile

A massive thanks for the work done by the expert who sent me the final ID yesterday.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Wednesday 12th of June 2024 10:16:30 AM

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An afternoon on Newchurch again, dull and not very warm!

A day of several highlights the first of which was my first Meadow Brown of the year, in Big Pool Island Cut meadow. The only other butterfly was Speckled Wood.

The first Shaded Broad-bar moth was in the north meadow. Also seen here were 2 Timothy Tortrix moths. A lone Nemophora degeerella longhorn moth was near the entrance barrier.

A Marmalade Hoverfly was photographed in the Big Pool SW glade.

By Gull Pool a tree exuding sap attracted 10 Hornets feeding on the sugary excretion. I managed lots of really nice phone pictures with the hornets flying round me totally unconcerned by my attention. Coincidentally I missed off that I had 2 Hornets near Big Pool on my last walk (8th June).

I had an Abax parallelepipedus beetle in Gull Pool Wood which gave me a sharp nip as I relocated it so it didn't get squashed as I lowered the log back down! An Athous haemorrhoidalis Click Beetle was by the main track. A tiny Rust Fly species (Psila species) was near the entrance barrier by the main track.

There were 2 Common Green Grasshopper nymphs in Big Pool north meadow.

The first Common Spotted Orchid was found on the NE side of Big Pool. A few Common Twayblade leaves were found but the flowering spikes were all gone. Honeysuckle was also photographed.



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Another afternoon on Newchurch, again changeable weather, sun & cloud, breezy so warm & cool too!

A Lassioglossum sp. Sweat Bee was seen as well a Sawfly Athalia Sp., both not able to be taken to species level without dissection.

A Common Green Grasshopper nymph was seen in the north meadow as well as 4 Roesel's Bush Cricket nymphs still.

A Green Shieldbug was seen along with 2 Dock Bugs, all in the north meadows.

Meadow Vetchling was a new plant for patch, in flower near north meadow and nearby a white Foxglove was found.



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Another afternoon on Newchurch but overcast and dull, not cold though.

A female Emperor dragonfly was in the Big Pool Island Cut meadow.

A new moth was found, the micromoth Lathronympha strigana, in the north meadow. A Silver-ground Carpet was in the Island Cut meadow. By the track near the entrance barrier a Green Oak Tortrix moth was new for the year.

A Grey-patched Mining Bee was seen as was a Volucella bombylans hoverfly again.

In north meadow I found 4 Roesel's Bush Cricket nymphs today and finally got a decent photo (attached) with my phone!

A Garden Snail was recorded.



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An afternoon on my Newchurch Patch, all by Big Pool. Warm when sunny and cool when cloudy.

A new butterfly for the year was a major highlight with 2 Large Skippers seen in the north meadow Just a  Red Admiral and a Speckled Wood to add for all the butterflies today.

Another immature male Emperor dragonfly was seen, this time in north meadow where a male Broad-bodied Chaser whizzed past too. The usual damsels were seen.

Another 6-Spot Burnet Moth caterpillar was found, again in north meadow. Also here were 3 Straw Dots, 2 Silver Ys and 7 Celypha lacunana moths. Up to 6 Cinnabar moths were flushed as I walked through the meadows.

A difficult to ID hoverfly was tentatively IDed as Parhelophilus versicolor, new for the year, in Island Cut meadow. All other hoverflies were all ones seen before and included Sericomyia silentis, Helophilus pendulus, Volucella pellucens, Eristalis pertinax, Eristalis nemorum, Cheilosia illustrata and Myathropa florea.

A painstaking searched revealed 5 Roesel's Bush Cricket nymphs (tiny at 2mm long) in north meadow as well as a Meadow Grasshopper nymph, the latter new for the year.

Bittersweet was in flower right by the pool near Island Cut.

 

 



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An afternoon on my Newchurch Patch, sun but a stiff breeze so 'cold' at times and 'warm' in sheltered areas!!

A Bank Vole ran across the path by Shemmy Moss.

There were 2 Common Lizards on Shemmy Moss.

Still a dearth of butterflies with just a male Brimstone and 2 Speckled Woods seen in the Big Pool meadows.

The five common damselflies were seen but no significant counts. Just 2 Four-spotted Chasers on Shemmy Moss.

On Shemmy Moss 4 Grass Waves were noted. A micromoth species noted previously was seen again with 2 Celypha lacunana seen, 1 on Shemmy Moss and 1 on Big Pool meadows.

A Hornet was photographed in Gull Pool Wood as was a Common Wasp.

A Common Dronefly on Shemmy Moss was interesting as this has been quite scarce this year.

The flower Trailing Tormentil (or a hybrid) was by Shemmy Moss, further investigation is needed to nail its ID for certain!



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Spent time am and pm today on Newchurch and the mosses. Very sunny, very warm!

Again not many butterflies but again 9 species of odonata, but a slightly different mix. A male Downy Emerald was perched up in the private area. At least 5 Four-spotted Chasers were seen, 4 on Newchurch meadows and 1 on the mosses, as well as 2 Broad-bodied Chasers, 1 on Newchurch. meadows and 1 in the Big Pool SW corner glade. A Hairy Dragonfly was by Shemmy Moss. The five common damselflies were seen, with at least 75 Azure Damselflies, 70 Common Blue Damselflies and 55 Large Red Damselflies.

A Yellow Shell Moth was in the Big Pool North Meadow as well as 3 Silver Y moths and 5 Cinnabars.

A Sericomyia silentis hoverfly was by Gull Pool and a Volucella bombylans hoverfly was north of Big Pool. up to 12 Eristalis nemorum hoverflies were seen, 4 by Shemmy Moss and a further 8 by Finch Hedge.

One of the highlights of the day was a tiny Roesel's Bush Cricket nymph in the meadow where I had them last year.

Another highlight was the amazing looking Phasia hemiptera fly found by Shemmy Moss. Equally weird looking at least 6 Tachina fera flies were near finch hedge on umbellifers.

Dog Rose and Dotted Loosestrife were new plants officially identified today!



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A morning walk on my Newchurch Patch with fellow naturalist Paul Hill was full of species and warm and sunny, a cracker.

A small Grass Snake was again seen and with my help Paul managed photos with his DSLR set-up before it headed off into the vegetation. It needed two of us so no pics if we'd have both tried and with him having the better camera set up I was happy to be the helper!

The biggest news was that a patch speciality moth was out for the first time this year on Shemmy Moss, with at least 6 Grass Waves seen. Another first for the year were 5 Yellow-barred Longhorn Moths dancing in a sunny spot by Shemmy Moss.

Not surprisingly it was a good hoverfly day with expert Paul along. New species for the year were Volucella pellucens, Cheilosia illustrata and Pipizella viduata, all by Shemmy Moss, and Chrysogaster solstitialis and Eristalis nemorum by Finch Hedge.

A stunning Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle was by Shemmy Moss. In contrast to this large beetle one of the smallest longhorn species Grammoptera ruficornis was found mating on umbellifers near Finch Hedge. The Soldier Beetle Cantharus livida was on the edge of Gull Pool Wood. Two species seen before were photographed, a Garden Chafer and an Athous haemorrhoidalis Click Beetle, both on Shemmy Moss.

A Panzer's Nomad Bee was by Shemmy Moss and IDed as a possible. A Sweat Bee species could not be IDed in any greater detail and left as a species agg. A Forest Cuckoo Bumblebee Bombus sylestris was on brambles on Shemmy Moss.

Again huge numbers of Scorpion Flies were seen and detailed genital capsule examination of males confirmed as always that they were Panorpa communis, the species I always find here. A new fly for patch was the minute Dance Fly Rhamphomyia nigripennis, by Finch Hedge on an umbellifer. A new Tachinid Fly Thelaira nigripes was by Shemmy Moss. The larval leafmines of the fly Phytomyza spondylii were on hogweed leaves by the track near Finch Hedge. The stiletto fly Thereva nobilitata was seen again, by the main track between the Newchurch Pools.

Three spiders seen were all repeat sightings but it was especially nice to refind the Gorse Orb-Weaver Agalentea redii on Shemmy Moss. Also seen on Shemmy Moss were Cucumber Spider and Long-jawed Orb-Weaver (prob. Tetragnatha montana).

 



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Saturday 1st of June 2024 05:06:51 PM

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Looking at the forecast I decided on a morning visit to my Newchurch Patch, concentrating mainly on the mosslands area. Sunny and warm for my troubles!

A Grass Snake and 3 Common Lizards were seen, all basking as the temperature increased with the sunshine. A Common Frog was in Gull Pool Wood.

Over Gull Pool, best viewed from the bench on the Whitegate Way, 2 Downy Emeralds were seen in flight.

A micromoth previously seen elsewhere, Orthotaenia undulana, was in Gull Pool Wood.

Two good hoverflies were seen. First a lifer on Shemmy Moss, a male Eristalinus sepulchralis. Also on the edge of Gull Pool Wood my first Eupodes corollae of the year was seen.

A hatch of at least 4 Black-headed Cardinal Beetles was seen by the bench on the Whitegate Way overlooking Gull Pool.

A new Horsefly, Hybomitra bimaculata, was by Shemmy Moss. Another Tenthredo temula sawfly was found, this time on Shemmy Moss. The leafmine of the larva of the fly Phytomyza lappae was on burdock near the entrance barrier.

A cracking Leopard Slug was under a log in Gull Pool Wood.

 

 



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An afternoon on my Newchurch Patch again paid off as the sun came out and it was warm, not exactly as per the forecast thank goodness.

The best butterfly day for ages with Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Brimstone, Large White and Green-veined White all seen by Big Pool. There were 3 Silver Y and 3 Cinnabar moths on the wing here too. A Timothy Tortrix was in the north Big Pool meadow. The best find was a Six-spot Burnet caterpillar in the north meadow.

It was the best odonata day of the year for number of species with 9 species seen. There were 2 Downy Emeralds in the private area and near Big Pool were a newly emerged male Emperor and a male Hairy Dragonfly. More usual for this year were 6(1m) Broad-bodied Chasers and 3 Four-spotted Chasers in the meadows. Also seen were good numbers of Common Blue Damselflies and Large Red-eyed Damselflies, and small numbers of Blue-tailed Damselflies and Azure Damselflies.

The hoverfly Parhelophilus frutetorum was added for the year, in vegetation near Big Pool.



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Weather rubbish again, an afternoon on my Newchurch Patch but on the mosslands this time, more in hope than expectation again!

One Common Lizard was seen.

A few odonata, namely 2 Four-spotted Chasers, 2 Large Red Damselflies, 3 Blue-tailed Damselflies, 2 Azure Damselflies and 5 Common Blue Damselflies.

Much of the same species as usual, but Green Tiger beetles were nice to see still.

Spider-wise 2 Tetragnatha extensa were seen as well as my first Nursery Web Spider of the year on the mosses, with a Philodromus sp. and a Cucumber Spider here too.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Wednesday 29th of May 2024 10:07:59 PM

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A morning on my Newchurch Patch, all in the Big Pool area, sun, rain, the kitchen sink.................

A large female Grass Snake was seen and photographed basking in nettles near where I had a similar looking individual on 25th May.

A male Broad-bodied Chaser and 2 male Four-spotted Chasers were seen. Numbers of damselflies were very high with 340 Common Blues, 75 Blue-taileds, 45 Large Red-eyeds and 11 Azures.

A totally new moth was seen in the shape of 3 Dusky Marbles (Orthotaenia undulana), a distinctive micromoth. Also new, but just for the year, was Straw Dot. Another Cinnabar Moth was seen.

New for the year were 3 Batman Hoverflies (Myathropa florea). Also on the wing at least 7 Footballer Hoverflies (Helophilus pendulus).

A new stiletto fly was found, Thereva nobilitata. Also noted were at least 75 Scorpion Flies (Panorpa communis) and another Tenthredo mesomela sawfly. Another Cantharis nigricans soldier beetle was noted. Of the 2 Harlequin Ladybirds seen one had a suspected Hesperomyces harmoniae fungal infection.

Lesser Trefoil was noted for the first time and Common Vetch was photographed.

Jelly Ear Fungus was in profusion on dead trees in a small woodland where Wolf's Milk Slime Mould was also found.





-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Monday 27th of May 2024 10:30:49 PM

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Otter seen on Mersey near Fiddlers Ferry today an 26/04/2024



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Another morning on my Newchurch Common patch, dull at times, then sunny and warm, changeable is the best description.

Another Grass Snake was seen, in a third location this year, a large one, probably female, basking under a stand of gorse.

A couple of butterflies were seen including another Red Admiral.

A new dragonfly was added with an immature male Emperor seen east of Big Pool. Also here were 2(m+f) Broad-bodied Chasers. A male Downy Emerald was again in the private area. The five usual damselflies were recorded. Of note was a good count of at least 20 Large Red-eyed Damselflies.

Early Bumblebee was seen near Big Pool as were 2 Green Dock Beetles. A new sawfly was by Finch Hedge, Tenthredo temula (also known as the Small Yellow-girdled Tenthredo). Also here were 9 Empis tessellata dagger flies.

A Long-jawed Orb-weaver Spider (prob Tetragnatha montana) was seen east of Big Pool dispatching a Common Blue Damselfly which it had caught in its web, another damsel already waiting for it to consume later that it had caught earlier, rich pickings indeed!

Plants identified were Gipsywort, not yet in flower, and the invasive Japanese Rose which was flowering allowing positive ID.

 



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Morning on Newchurch Common, warm & sunny.

A small Grass Snake was on Shemmy Moss, just my second of the year.

A first odonatan of the year in the shape of a male Banded Demoiselle on Shemmy Moss, my first ever in this location. Another highlight were 9 Downy Emeralds, 8 flying over Gull Pool with one found emerging in rushes at the edge of e pool, a first for me to see an actual emergence. Not a single Downy was seen on Shemmy Moss where folk have been visiting to photograph them recently. At least 26 Four-spotted Chasers were seen, 22 on Shemmy Moss with a further 4 over Gull Pool. A few on Shemmy Moss were ovipositing, There was a huge count of 80 Azure Damselflies on Shemmy Moss, most ovipositing. Good numbers of other Damselflies included c.24 Large Red Damselflies, many in copulo, and smaller numbers of Common Blue Damselflies, just 4 Blue-tailed Damselflies on Newchurch Common and 1 Large Red-eyed Damselfly on Gull Pool.

Out on Shemmy Moss a big count of 44 Heath Streak (Pleurota bicostella) moths was made. Also seen were 6 Silver Y moths, a relatively big influx of this migrant.

A hatch meant that 12 Garden Chafers were seen. Another new beetle was my second soldier of the year, with 2 Cantharis rustica noted. Plenty of Green Tiger Beetles today on Shemmy Moss including a mating pair, photographed, a first for me to capture this behaviour in this hard to approach species!

Tree Bumblebee was in the Big Pool SW corner glade on Comfrey flowers.

Another Tenthredo mesomela sawfly was found, this time on Shemmy Moss.

Prickly Sow Thistle was in flower.



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Another morning visit but this time overcast but still warm.

It was warm enough to see another Red Admiral along with a few of the other regular butterflies.

An estimated 5 Broad-bodied Chasers included one blue male.

A new micromoth was found on the main track by Finch Hedge, a tortrix known as the Thistle Root-borer (Epiblema scutulana). Cinnabar and Silver Y moths were seen again.

The soldier beetle Cantharis nigricans was also near Finch Hedge. Repeat sightings of 2-Spot Ladybird, 14-Spot Ladybird and Harlequin Ladybird included the last two species mating. A sawfly Tenthredo mesomela was in the Big Pool east meadow,



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Monday 20th of May 2024 09:47:53 PM

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Morning in the warm sunshine at Newchurch Common, all Big Pool area.

The best sighting of the day was a large female Grass Snake basking and then slithering off in a secluded gorse glade north of Big Pool, my first of the year.

A new butterfly for the year was added today, a Red Admiral in the SW corner glade by Big Pool. Other butterflies were Speckled Wood, Small White, Green-veined White, Orange-tip and 3(1m) Brimstones.

The usual dragonflies were seen, 6(2 blue male) Broad-bodied Chasers, 2 Four-spotted Chasers and the same Downy Emerald in a private area. The only damselflies seen were Common Blue, Azure, Large Red-eyed and Blue-tailed.

A good haul of moths with another 3 Silver Y moths seen as well as numerous Brown Silver-lines. New moth species added were a nice Sandy Carpet and a Cinnabar. Another new species was Timothy Tortrix, and as with all the other moths this was in the north meadow above Big Pool.

A Cockchafer Beetle looked huge in flight north of Big Pool. Another new addition was Swollen-thighed Beetle, a male and female being seen. The final new beetle species was a smart Red-headed Cardinal Beetle, near the NE corner of Big Pool.

A Tachina fera fly was photographed by the main track after I am sure that I glimpsed one the other day close by. A Bramble Sawfly was also seen and was new for the year. Finally a probable Elder Sawfly (Macrophya alboannulata) was seen and photograhed. The ID between it and an identical species is based on the fact that my patch is full of elder but has no valerian which is the other species' larval foodplant!

The plants Field Pansy and Wall Speedwell were both in flower and were recorded for the first time in 2024.



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Onto Newchurch Common am today and again warm & sunny and again I was in Big Pool Meadows.

In Big Pool Island Cut hundreds of tadpoles, probably Common Toad given the previous strings of Toadspawn here, were gasping at the surface for air in the hot conditions and it didn't help that the water surface was covered in feathery seed heads and plant pollen forming a type of barrier here.

Same mix of butterflies and odonata as recently but a couple of noteworthy records. Today I had 6 Broad-bodied Chasers including one turning blue from the tail-end up, my first 'blue' male of the season rather than an immature specimen. Also seen were 2 Four-spotted Chasers and the same Downy Emerald as yesterday.

A great addition to my yearlist was a queen Hornet, I got pretty close to this huge beast but just failed to get a picture, she flew off ignoring me! Another addition was the Narcissus Bulb Fly (Merodon equestris), a bumblebee-mimic hoverfly.

A probable Tetragnatha montana Long-jawed Orb-weaver Spider was photographed and examined closely to give the most probable ID.

 



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Saturday 18th of May 2024 06:15:55 PM

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A very short afternoon stroll in the Big Pool area of Newchurch Common. Sunny and hot! The length of the walk and its limited scope probably reduced species seen.

Butterflies seen were Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White and Orange-tip.

At least 2 Broad-bodied Chasers showed very well as well as a Four-spotted Chaser. I did just have time to check another area for a speciality here and saw 1 Downy Emerald for my efforts! Four damselfly specs were seen, and in good numbers for one! At least 520 Common Blue Damselflies were seen plus 1 Azure Damselfly, 1 Large Red Damselfly and 10 Blue-tailed Damselflies!

 A probable Pardosa armentata Wolf Spider was seen carrying an egg sac, but these are hard to ID to species in the field.

My first White Campion plants were in flower. The Nettle Rust fungus Puccinia urticata was seen.



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Full of cold so not out for 2 days but a short walk on my Newchurch Patch around Big Pool was in order today, early pm with warm weather, a wee glimpse of sun but a smattering of rain too.

Just 4 butterfly species, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White and Brimstone.

Another good odonata day with my first emerging 8 Large Red-eyed Damselflies, at this stage almost unrecognisable from the final adults but weirdly obvious in flight! Also 2 fem/imm Broad-bodied Chasers, this time settling and allowing me to get photos. Also seen were 44 Blue-tailed Damselflies, my max. count so far this year for the species, plus 250 Common Blue Damselflies.

A cracking Wasp Beetle was found near Big Pool, always a spectacular species to photograph (pic attached)

A Cucumber Spider (Araniella cucurbitina) was found on an oak, and the difficult ID clinched by looking at its short, fat, hairy legs (as Eric would say!!). The lack of spines on one section of its tibia meaning it was A.cucurbitina for certain! The Long-jawed Orb-weaver Tetragnatha extensa was again seen.





-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Thursday 16th of May 2024 08:55:51 AM

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This forum is dedicated to the memory of Eva Janice McKerchar.