Red Underwing Moth, My Garden Eccleston

I found this Red Underwing moth in my garden this evening. I saw it in flight at first and thought it was a butterfly, luckily it landed on my shed...

Damian P

Rainford Mosslands

There are still plenty of yellow wagtail in the potato field along the Old Coach Road. It's quite difficult to count them as they keep flying around disappearing from view. There were at least four today and of those that I could see well enough, there were two females and one juvenile.

The stoat was in front of me on the path between Moor Game Farm and Mossnook Farm. It kept popping (or is that a weasel!?) in and out of the undergrowth.  It was by far the best views I've ever had of one, and the first time I've managed to get a photo.

Yellow wagtail 4+ (2f, 1 juv)
Corn Bunting 1 (just North of Inglenook Farm)
Meadow Pipit 1
Yellowhammer 1
Kestrel 1
Buzzard 2

Brown Hare 2
Stoat 1


Damian P

Eccleston Mere

GS Woodpecker 3 (1m, 1 juv, 1?)
Blackcap 3 (1f, 2 juv)
Willow warbler 5 one still singing
Nuthatch 1
Treecreeper 1
GC grebe 2 family groups with 6 chicks

Damian P

A couple of surprises at Eccleston Mere

I arrived at the mere just as Damian was leaving and didn't see half of the birds he did. I did manage a couple of surprises though........

A female banded demoiselle in the hedge on the western shore of the mere was a very unexpected sight, and was unsurprisingly a new species of damselfly for the mere (as far as I know). They have become established in St Helens in recent years, but are still almost wholly confined to the Sankey brook, and any record away from there is a good one. They usually prefer slow moving, well vegetated, clear rivers, but it's not unprecedented for them to me found around lakes, and there have been a small number of records from Bold Moss in recent years. I can't imagine them breeding at the mere, there's just not the habitat, the stream is too small, so these extralimital records are probably individuals dispersing and looking for new sites.

Female banded demoiselle.

On the water I was surprised to see a great crested grebe family with 5 chicks. I usually expect to see two or three. I don't think I've ever seen 5 before. There were at least 4 other chicks on the mere today, so if they can all fledge it looks like they will have had a good year this year.

Great crested grebe family.

Other birds at the mere today: Kingfisher, 2 mute swans with 6 cygnets, 100 coot, 12 tufted ducks.

I've put a piece about grasses at Eccleston Mere today on my blog.

Red Barn Road Billinge Sunday 20th July 9pm-10pm

Yellowhammers  (Several calling from different locations along the road and footpath)
Corn Bunting
Little Owl (2) One sat on a telegraph pole while a second one one on the roof of the old sheds near the sheep field)
Barn Owl (1) Sat on a fence post on the eastern end of the road towards Billinge.
Tawny Owl  Not seen but  heard calling.

Newton Lake

Green sandpiper present for a second day at Newton Lake. Info from Paul B.

Newton Lake

A report of a Green Sandpiper today at Newton Lake from Paul B. Damian

My Garden, Eccleston

Three ravens flew over my garden this afternoon heading South East.

Cheers, Damian

Dairy Farm Lane

Sent from my iPhone
17 Curlew in left hand field 3 o'clock Sat 12.

Crossbill flyover

How lucky and random to have just had my first garden tick of common crossbill.

It came straight from the direction of Billinge Hill and was giving its distinctive flight call.


Paul B

Sent from my iPod

National Moth Night

 Last night I assisted the Sankey Valley Ranger Service with a public bat and moth event as part of National Moth Night. The bat walk was run by the Rangers, and went from the Visitor Centre onto Stanley Bank Meadow. The moth side of the event was run by myself and one of the Rangers on Stanley Bank Meadow. We had 53 species of moth, the best of which were:
Elachista maculicerusella 1 (37th record)
Cnephasia incertana 1 (38th record)
Gypsonoma dealbana 2 (32nd-33rd records)
Suspected 1 (9th record)
Small Dotted Buff 1 (27th record)
other species of note included Blackneck, Gold Swift, Buff Arches, Burnished Brass and for the micros, Hedya salicella, Aleimma loeflingiana,, Argyresthia brockeella and Helcystroramma rufescens. There was one new species for the site and this was the Rustic. Unfortunately the temperature dropped as the night wore on, so the number of bat and moths recorded were lower than we normally get. As far as I know only pipistrelle bats were noted.

Red kite.

Meant to post this last week.
I was up on Sandy Lane Bold and noted 2 Buzzards bombing/ attacking another bird of prey, so I
pulled over and got my bins out... What the other Raptor was and I'm 99% sure was a Red Kite. I know Colin D seen one at Moore earlier in the year. Are they about the north west? Anyone else seen any sightings?

Sent from my iPhone

Bardsey Island 1st July

Bardsey Island 

Amazing day on Bardsey Island after catching the 10.30am ferry from Porth Meudwy.
The weather was simply glorious. Plenty of birds, butterflies and other wildlife to see including close views of the Grey Seal colony on the island. Spent most of the time in the island filming the Grey Seals at Sol Fach beach etc rather than taking photographs though. The population of Puffins on the island is doing really well with numbers increasing considerably over the last few years and they were fare more noticeable in terms of numbers on this occasion.

List for the day:

Lesser Black Backed Gull
Herring Gull
Manx Shearwater

Rock Pipit
Meadow Pipit 

Pied Wagtail
Peregrine Falcon
Grey Seals 20+

Green Woodpecker Dunham Massey

I saw my first UK Green Woodpecker today at Dunham Massey - the only other one I've seen was a fleeting view of one flying across in front of the car in France last year.

I've been loads of times before and not seen them. We didn't have the kids with us today though, perhaps that had something to do with it!

Male and Juvenile Green Woodpecker

For anyone going, they were near to the deer barn which is up the main central path on the left. There was a bench on the left which we sat on with our backs to the deer barn. (Thanks to Lawrence on the Manchester Bird Forum for his directions)

Damian P