Area surveyed – Sidings Orchard, grassland up to the old railway bridge and the adjacent dipping pond.
June was a testing month, the rain just wouldn’t abate and the chances to see anything of note were limited.
Kingfisher (Alcedo athis) was still seen several times along the River Mersey and on the 9th, the rain held off and Marsh/Hedge Woundwort (Stachys agg) was seen in flower for the first time this year as well as Meadow Vetchling (Lathyrus pratensis).
On the 12th, the Orchard held 3 moth species:- Common Marble (Celypha lacunana); Hook Streak Grass Veneer (Crambus lathoniellus) and the rather pretty micro known as the Large Dark Mompha (Mompha conturbatella). The Japanese Rose (Rosa rugosa) at the far end of the orchard was now blooming, it is a pretty thing but needs keeping in check.
The 14th saw a single Green Veined White (Pieris napi) and a Small White (Pieris rapae) take to the wing and by the river, 2 Bracken Bugs (Ditropis pteridis) soak up a few ‘out of the blue’ solar rays.
On the 18th I found a lone Welsh Chafer (Hoplia philanthus) atop some feathery Yorkshire Fog (Holcus lanatus) and a 14 Spot Ladybird (Propylea quatuordecimpunctata) chomping on an aphid on top of some Cock’s-Foot grass.
My last visit of the month was on the 24th where I met up with the fine volunteers Diane and Jude, had a quick chat and organised a forthcoming event.
Prior to the meet up and afterwards I had a walk with a good friend and despite poor weather we still found a healthy variation of species.
Firsts for the year included Slender Robberfly (Leptogaster cylindrica); Dance Fly (Empis opaca); the Beetle (Lagria hirta) and a new for me, the Leaf beetle (Chrysolina oricalcia). 3 Ringlets (Aphantopus hyperantus), 2 Painted Lady’s (Vanessa cardui) and 2 Large Skippers (Ochlodes sylvanus) were a few of the butterflies seen and highlighting the fact that no matter what the weather, there is always something to admire.
We are very grateful to FP for taking the time to record and send us these nature notes. He’ll send us his monthly log every couple of months so keep an eye out for them on the website..
A note for your diary. If you have a keen interest in nature you will be able to join FP on a walk around the site on the morning of Monday 5th August. Booking details to be announced shortly.