Saturday, 24 July 2010

Hilbre again

Had another attempt at showing Dylan the Grey Seals on Hilbre Island this afternoon and believe it or not the rain held off! The seals came very close to the north-end and down to about 20 feet. It realy is amazing to get so close to these large marine mammals and has got to be one of the regions most memorable wildlife encounters.

Other highlights around the islands included 300+ Sandwich Terns, 5 Shags, Little Egret, Turnstones, and Rock Sea Lavender.

Atlantic Grey Seal, Hilbre Island
Atlantic Grey Seal, Hilbre Island
Little Egret, Hilbre Island
Oystercatcher, Hilbre Island
Shag, Hilbre Island
Rock Sea Lavender, Hilbre Island

Friday, 23 July 2010

Broad-Leaved Helleborine

Broad-Leaved Helleborine
I was amazed recently to find a Broad-Leaved Helleborine growing in Wavertree near Wavertree Road and Tunnel Road. I returned to the area today to photograph it. This species is probably the most widespread Helloborine nationally but, however, it is locally very scarce. There was a well known plant growing nearer to Liverpool University which was reported a few years back by Eric Hardy and was thought to be an accidental introduction, but it would appear that there is a small local population as I found another 2 non-flowering plants today away from the first plant.

Hilbre washout

Little Egret, Hilbre Island
We decided to visit Hilbre Island last Tuesday with the aim of showing our son Dylan his first Grey Seals. Instead of the pleasant trip we expected the heavens opened just as we reached the main island and the rain grew steadily stronger and stronger! However Dylan did see his first seals through the gloom.

Grey Seal, Hilbre Island
Not much showing on the island due to the weather but 2 Little Egrets, 120+ Sandwich Terns, Wheatear, and a Dark-Green Fritilary (unusual between the Great Orme and the Sefton Coast) struggling across the West side of the island in the driving rain!

A special thank you to the Ranger on the Island that generously offered us a lift back to the mainland.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Raven over Greenbank Park

Had a Raven south-east over Greenbank Park yesterday.

Chiff Chaff, Blackcap, Whitethroat, 2 Song Thrushes, House Sparrows, Grey Wagtail, family party of Pied Wagtails, and 3 Commas in Wavertree Mystery Park today.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Ivy Broomrape

Ivy Broomrape, Calderstones Park
Ivy Broomrape, Calderstones Park
The area behind the cafe in Calderstones Park has always been a well known site for the nationally scarce Ivy Broomrape (very few sites in the North), this is a really unusual parasitic plant and it has been rumoured that it was introduced by the late Eric Hardy. It has spread over the years and seems to be increasing.

Not much else showing in the park; Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 family parties of Canada Geese (a rare breeder in S.Liverpool), and a Red-Eared Terrapin.

No sign of the Kingfisher from previous visit.

Purple Loosestrife, Calderstones Park
White Water-Lily, Calderstones Park

Monday, 12 July 2010

Mossley Hill Safari!

I had a good old mooch around my local (Mossley Hill/Greenbank) area today and found quite a few intresting plant species which are localy scarce, including; Hedge Woundwort, Wild Pea, Enchanters Nightshade, Purple Loostrife, Ramsons, Meadowsweet, Solomons Seal, and Hawks Beard.

The Dell
Wild Pea
Enchanters Nightshade

Artists Fungus
Birdlife included a pair of Grey Wagtails which looked like they where in courtship again for a second brood in the Dell area near to the waterfall, and plenty of calling Nuthatches. Three Commas and a Small Tortershell on Penny Lane and a Fox near the bridge on Mossley Hill Drive also.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Honey Buzzard?

A Grey Seal was very close inshore today off the Pier Head at 3.00 pm, nosing at people on the ferry!

I was working in Allerton yesterday near Allerton Golf Course, a Raven (probably a young bird) was in the area all day, an unusual sight perched on house roofs! However I have suspected them of breeding locally over the last couple of years.
Other birds included Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Blackcap, and at about 4.00 pm a large long winged/tailed raptor flew west on flat to slightly down curved wings. Although not a 100% certain ID, the bird was very reminiscent of Honey Buzzard.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Childwall Woods and Fields

Dylan with a hybrid orchid
Southern Marsh x Common Spotted Orchids
I paid a visit to Childwall Woods and Fields with my son Dylan yesterday (this is his favourite place). We managed to find a reeling Grasshopper Warbler, Whitethroats, Willow Warblers, Chiff Chaffs, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Buzzard, Comma, and Large Skipper.
There is also a great display of Southern Marsh and Common Spotted Orchids, with large hybrids dominating.

This site has really improved over the years thanks to a number of groups and organisations such as; Lancashire wildlife trust, LCC, and the local friends group. They have produced a very rich and varied site.