Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Answers on a postcard please!

The fine weather on Monday had me and the family heading for the delights of Chester Zoo summer holiday season! All was not lost however as I managed to see a Hobby over the East side of the zoo (maybe they are regular in the area, I don't know), other highlights included a Buzzard, plenty of Migrant Hawkers and Peacocks, Holly Blues (its turning out to be a very good season for these), and last but not least a very unusual butterfly species that had obviously escaped from the butterfly house in the Zoo, however I managed to see at least three of them around the zoo, Maybe there is a small feral population? Grasping at straws I know! They certainly got my blood rushing for a moment when I thought they where Swallowtails! Anyone know the ID?

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Another Purple Hairstreak

Visited Sefton Park later in the afternoon on Sunday and was surprised to find another Purple Hairstreak (my third for the day, see previous post) along with good numbers of Holly Blues. Apart from Butterflies Buzzard, Red-Eared Terrapin, Migrant Hawkers, all three hirundines and a Swift.

Later on at dusk in the woodland around Sefton Park Cricket Club I found a family group of Foxes out foraging (three young and the vixen), after spotting me the vixen then began to bark (or shriek) at me for at least a couple of minutes before I moved off! A distant calling Tawny Owl and Brown Long-Eared Bats where around the cricket ground also.

Purple Hairstreaks - New Site

I was in Liverpool Cricket Ground on Sunday Morning and was surprised to see a couple of Purple Hairstreaks along with Holly Blues. Although Purple Hairstreaks have been recorded in South Liverpool in the past, it has always been sporadic. I have seen them myself in the past in Calderstones Park and Allerton Cemetery, and they are certainly under recorded because there are good numbers of mature oaks in the cities park and woodlands.

Sparrowhawks in flight at last

Sparrowhawk, Mossley Hill
The family of Sparrowhawks nesting near my home have finally fledged over the weekend, resulting in three juveniles fledging. Both adults and young birds where on the wing during the weekend. Amazing how something so elusive only a few weeks ago, is now very obvious in the area!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Secretive Sparrowhawks

I was amazed recently to hear young Sparrowhawks calling from private land near Greenbank Park, about 200 yards from home! Over the last couple of months I have only seen Sparrowhawks in the area on two or three occasions, proving how secretive they are when they are breeding. Fingers crossed when the young fledge I will be able to view them from the public land.
Not much else of note:- 19 Pied Wagtails, Southern Hawker and Commas in Wavertree mystery yesterday. Large numbers of Large Yellow Underwings in the moth trap last night as I am quite a novice in this field they are about the only thing I can ID. Maybe I will start posting a few images and anyone more clued up can let me know what I've caught!

Friday, 6 August 2010

Lesser Yellowlegs at Inner Marsh Farm

I visited Inner Marsh Farm yesterday to catch up with the elusive Lesser Yellowlegs and combine it with a walk down the Dee shore from Neston. Walking from Neston was quite quiet really, no sign of Cettis Warblers at Neston Sewage Works and Neston Old Quay, however, there was a distant Marsh Harrier on the outer-marsh. Lots of common passerines starting to move through with good numbers of Whitethroats, Chiff-Chaffs, and Willow Warblers. Also good numbers of common butterfly species, with Wall Brown, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Small Tortershell, Peacock, Comma, Green-Veined White all in good numbers. Dragonfly's included Brown Hawkers, Migrant Hawkers, Southern Hawkers, and Common Darters.
The Lesser Yellowlegs showed well on no.2 pool most of the afternoon, and it was interesting to see one in more heavily marked summer plumage compared to winter plumage, it reminded me of Marsh Sandpiper to a certain degree. An adult Hobby (see if you can spot it in the wheres Wally type picture below) performed well for over an hour hunting dragonfly's and then returning to same perch. These are cracking birds and it is great to see them increasing in numbers in the North-West. Not much else at IMF apart from 20+ Little Egrets and 3 Ruff.
IMF really has the potential to become a flagship RSPB reserve with the creation of new scrapes, habitat creation, introduction of sluice gates already in place, and 4 hides, visitor centre and believe it or not toilets, all due to be completed by next spring. Who knows in the future there could be Marsh Harriers and Bitterns breeding there one day!

Hobby, Inner Marsh Farm
Lesser Yellowlegs, Inner Marsh Farm
Whitethroat, Inner Marsh Farm
Holly Blue, Burton Marsh