Waterloo, 1st March 2015

07 Waterloo garden
This morning I walked to Waterloo from my home in Crosby, through Victoria Park. The long hedge (about 100m) at the south-east corner is full of chirping House Sparrows, so it must be a large colony, with many dozens of birds. The miniature Daffodils were out.

07 Waterloo daffs

The sun was bright, but the wind was cold and gusty, and the forecast promised rain or even hail later. We noticed that the dilapidated old public toilets at the beach end of South Road have now been redeveloped into a café called Waterloo Place, and it seemed to be quite busy.

07 Waterloo cafe

The Boating Lake had the usual Black-headed Gulls (some with full black heads already), Herring Gulls, Mallards, Coots, Tufted Duck and a pair of Mute Swans. Both Swans had BTO rings, but only one had a Darvic ring – blue, right, DT6. We know this bird. We spotted it in company with another one on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal near Sandhills Station on 10th March 2013, and Wes Halton of the North West Swan Study told me it had been ringed at Sefton Park when it was a cygnet, on 23rd November 2011. It’s still a young bird, less than 4 years old.

07 Waterloo swans

After our mini-twitch at New Brighton two weeks ago, we were hunting for another rare bird, a Long-Tailed Duck. It has been at Waterloo since 7th December, but it hasn’t been reported for a couple of weeks, so we feared it would be gone. We scanned the Marine Lake. There was a Cormorant swimming and diving and a Great Crested Grebe a long way out. Then Sabena spotted it, at the north end of the OTHER lake, the Boating Lake, in amongst some Tufted Duck. It was feeding, so was only up for a few moments at a time, before diving again. It had black on the top of its head, so it’s a winter-plumaged female. (It’s the bird on the left, below, with two Tufties)

07 Waterloo LTD

Over the noise of the wind we could just hear a Skylark singing (a welcome sign of Spring) and then we saw two of them go down into the grass. There were Pied Wagtails flying about, a Common Gull on the lawn, Redshanks and a Lesser Black-backed Gull at the north end of the small lake, a flock of Starlings rising and falling, and about half a dozen Black-tailed Godwits flying over. It was too windy to go onto the prom or the beach, without being sand-blasted, so we headed for the beachfront gardens for lunch.

Then we worked our way northwards through the gardens, looking for flowers. On the rockery in Marine Garden there were clumps of Heather in flower. Not sure which one this is, although neither Common Heather or Bell Heather are supposed to flower until June. I think this must be some cultivated variety, and just look at those anthers and stigmas sticking out!

07 Waterloo heather

The Flowering Currant had its first few flowers out and there were a few trees with no leaves but early blossom. They definitely weren’t Blackthorn, and we concluded they must be some form of early-flowering Cherry.

09 Waterloo currant

07 Waterloo cherry

The Daffs were nearly out, and there were clumps of Crocus and Snowdrop. In Crescent Garden, the Friends have been doing a lot of work, with many bare borders. One circular bed had Gorse and Euphorbia flowering.

07 Waterloo Euphorbia















High up was a tree bearing red flowers almost straight off the branches. (this is known as “cauliflory”, a habit shared with Cocoa  trees and Judas Trees). We decided it was a Quince bush that had been allowed to overgrow.

07 Waterloo quince

Something on the lawn was attracting the attention of a Carrion Crow, while a Wood Pigeon huddled in a tree.

07 Waterloo Wood Pigeon

While we were in Adelaide Garden it started to rain, as promised. We did a quick tour of the northernmost garden, Beach Lawn, to check the pond, but there was nothing interesting that we could see.  A house at that end was flying a (tangled) Welsh flag in honour of St David’s Day, and we spotted the blue plaque to Thomas Henry Ismay (1837-1899), the founder of the White Star shipping line, who lived there.

07 Waterloo welsh flag

Public transport details: 53 bus from Queen Square at 10.05, arriving outside Waterloo Station at 10.38.  Returned on the 53 bus from Oxford Road / Courtenay Road at 1.30, arriving Liverpool about 2pm

Here is the plan for the next few Sundays:
8th March, Old Roan to Rice Lane (Trans-Pennine Trail 7)  – meet 10am Queen Square
15th March, Dibbinsdale – meet 10am Central Station
22nd March, Thornton Hough – meet 10.15 Sir Thomas Street (will be muddy)
29th March, Jospice Walk on Broom’s Cross Road (donation £5) – meet 10am Sir Thomas Street
5th April, Easter Sunday, no walk
12th April, City Farm  – meet 10am Queen Square
19th April, Southport – meet 10am Central Station
26th April, Orrell Water Park – meet 10.30 Lime Street Station (Will change if trains not running)

Anyone is welcome to come out with the Sunday Group. It is not strictly part of the MNA, although it has several overlapping members. We go out by public transport to local parks, woods and nature reserves all over Merseyside, and occasionally further afield.  We are mostly pensioners, so the day is free on our bus passes, and we enjoy fresh air, a laugh and a joke, a slow amble in pleasant surroundings and sometimes we even look at the wildlife!
If you want to join a Sunday Group walk, pack lunch, a flask, waterproofs, binoculars if you have them, a waterproof pad to sit on if we have to have lunch on the grass, and wear stout shoes or walking boots. We are usually back in Liverpool City Centre by 4pm at the latest.

If you are interested in the wildlife of the north-west of England and would like to join the walks and coach trips run by the Merseyside Naturalists’ Association, see the main MNA website for details of our programme and how to join us.

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Parkgate, 22nd February 2015

06 Parkgate Parade
There was a high tide at Parkgate today, but the weather wasn’t promising.  It was overcast when we met and was supposed to rain hard all day, although the weather maps on the BBC showed a small clear patch in South Wirral. Despite our hopes for a dry window, the rain started at 10.15 while we were at the bus stop in Sir Thomas Street.

06 Parkgate  houses and marsh

When we disembarked just before the Old Quay restaurant, a very thin cold rain was falling. But there were Long-tailed Tits in the hedges, and on the fence opposite we found some sort of cocoon. It was three quarters of an inch in height (2 cm). The brown loopy thing may not be part of the structure, just a bit of plant that has fallen and stuck. We touched it gently and it was quite hard and firm. Whatever made it might still be in there. Some kind of moth or beetle? Anyone know? (Added later. Regular reader Susan thinks it might be a spider egg mass, most likely the Garden Cross Spider.  She says “I have one like it inside my green wheelie bin. I watched the female stand guard for over a month – unfortunately she went when the bin was emptied. The cocoon is still there and the young will hatch in Spring. They are quite fascinating to watch as they form a group but if touched will scatter and then reform. ”

06 Parkgate cocoon

The RSPB were out in force at the Donkey Stand and at the Old Baths car park. On the marsh we saw Teal, Mallard, Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Black-headed Gulls, Lapwing, Oystercatchers, Wood Pigeons, Starlings and two Little Egrets. It was very cold and bleak, and not much fun at all.

06 Parkgate bleakness

As we walked towards the Old Baths we commented on the way the quayside stones were worn and wondered how many years it had taken. According to the display at the Donkey Stand the composer Handel returned from Ireland to Parkgate in 1742 so perhaps the low wall at the edge of the marsh is still the same one, now over 273 years old.

06 Parkgate worn stones

Growing on the marsh against the sea wall was this plant, which we think might be Sea Kale, although the leaf edges aren’t really curly enough. Is it perhaps Sea Beet?

06 Parkgate sea kale or beet

We had lunch on the seats outside St Thomas’s church. Gosh, it was cold and raw! It was still raining gently, with cold gusts off the marsh. We had rather hoped to get into the church to eat our sandwiches, but the church was packed because a christening was going on, and there was nowhere for us to hide. Afterwards we headed towards the Boat House car park. High tide was to be at 1.30, but it didn’t seem to be coming up very far. We have seen better height of water with escaping small mammals at the Old Quay itself (south of Parkgate) and also further north by the golf course. The only flowers were some Gorse, a few bedraggles Daisies on the verges and Snowdrops on the bank beyond the Boat House and in the church garden.

06 Parkgate snowdrops

At the Old Baths there was a cluster of people with telescopes, braving the worsening rain. A call went up for a Hen Harrier, very far out near the edge of the Dee. I saw it, but I’d never have identified it myself. We also saw a very distant Great White Egret, just a white blob a long way out.   None of us was having much fun, it was too cold, so we decided not to wait for the actual high tide (which was probably going to be underwhelming), nor to stay for the 3.30 bus, so we dashed off for the nice warm bus at 1.30.

Public transport details: Bus 487 from Sir Thomas Street, arriving Parkgate 11.20.  Buses back to Liverpool are only two-hourly on a Sunday, and although we usually get the 3.30, today we got the 1.30 bus 487, arriving back in Liverpool at 2.20.

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New Brighton, 15th February 2015

05 New Brighton view

What a lovely bright day it was, feeling very warm in the sun, but it turned colder when the clouds rolled in later on. We decided to go to New Brighton for two unusual birds. The first one was the vagrant Laughing Gull, Larus (or Leucophaeus) atricilla. It arrived on 3rd February after some storms blew it from its usual home on the US east coast, so it’s very lost. It’s a first-winter bird, so it may never find its way home. The last one on Merseyside was 15 years ago, at West Kirby. This one has taken up residence on the pontoons at Marine Lake, behind the Prezzo restaurant.

05 New Brighton Laughing gull

Also on Marine Lake were two Mute Swans with BTO rings but no Darvic rings, and many Black-headed Gulls and young Herring Gulls. A Kestrel made a brief flypast. Then we walked south-west along King’s Parade, spotting Cormorants on the end of the groyne, Oystercatchers on the beach, with the occasional Turnstone, and Pied Wagtails strutting along the sea wall. Very far out on the beach two Lesser Black-backed Gulls were standing side by side, very close, and apparently chattering to each other. Were they pairing up? A day late for Valentine’s day!

05 New Brighton oystercatchers

Although the hard-core twitchers had already been and gone, there were still quite a lot of out-of-town birdwatchers, who had come to New Brighton hoping to see the Laughing Gull, and who were grateful to be directed to the right spot.  We noted some Carrion Crows on the beach, apparently digging in the sand. We think they were getting Cockles, which they carried off and dropped on the hard pavement to break open, then flew down to eat the contents. Sometimes they were disturbed at their meal by parties of passers-by.

05 New Brighton Crow at dinner

This amazing dog passed us by, taller than a greyhound, and with big ears. It looked just like the Egyptian hunting dogs on ancient tomb paintings.  It was a Ibizan Hound, which is indeed thought to descend from those ancient breeds.

05 New Brighton Ibizan Hound

The Lifeguard Station bore a painting by local artist John Christiansen of the “St Tudno Homeward Bound in the Rock Channel”. It was put up as part of the Momentary Art Project, a scheme to “Brighten New Brighton”.

05 New Brighton picture St Tudno

There was a snack van parked near the Lifeguard Station and we were amused by the claims that it had a “large sand play area” and an “extensive outdoor smoking area”.

05 New Brighton snack cart sign















As we reached the south end of King’s Parade, where it joins the Coastal Road, we kept an eye out for our second special bird species of the day. A pair of Snow Buntings has been on the beach there for a week or so. Their location was obvious, because there was a man with a big camera on a tripod, pointing right at them. They were busily pecking about on the beach, about six feet out, and apparently totally oblivious to passing people and dogs.

05 New Brighton Snow Buntings

Then we walked up past the lovely Art Deco Harvester pub, heading for Wallasey Grove Road Station. Our only flowers of the day were gorse blooming on the small heath there, and some common daisies by the side of the road.

Public transport details: Bus 432 from Sir Thomas Street at 10.15, arriving outside Morrison’s at 10.40. Returned on the train from Wallasey Grove Road at 13.27, arriving Liverpool 1.40.

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Festival Gardens, 11th February 2015

04 Festival pagoda
This was one of the MNA’s short walks, from 11am to 1pm, intended to attract newer members, and those that haven’t been out for a while. Eight people turned up, four regulars and four who we don’t see very often, so the “short-walk” plan succeeded yet again.

It was a mild and overcast day, and the park was very quiet. The lake had Moorhens, Coots and Mallards, and we spotted Long-tailed Tits, Blue Tits, Blackbird, Magpie and some Robins in the trees and shrubberies. Apart from the birds practising their songs, the first signs of spring were the Hazel, Alder and Birch catkins. The male Hazel catkins are obvious, but the female flowers are unobtrusive structures, with red protruding stigmas, and need searching for. This one is against the palm of a leather glove, and only about a centimeter (half an inch) long.

04 Festival hazel catkins

04 Festival hazel female

On the way down to the riverside walk we noted Gorse in flower, and Carrion Crows, Wood Pigeons and Feral Pigeons. The  tide was very low, and a mid-river sandbank had Lesser Black-backed gulls and Black-headed gulls. One of the BHGs was feeding, flitting and diving over the water like a Tern.

We returned to the Festival Gardens and climbed the steps to the woodland walk. The Bluebell and Daffodil shoots were coming up, and a young oak had a great collection of Marble Galls still clinging on.

04 Festival marble galls

An old stump was mossy, and sprouted small bracket fungi all around. By the side of the path was this clump of orange toadstools, which I have since looked up on this website, which has a calendar, so it narrows them down a bit.

04 Festival velvet shank

My guess is that it was a Velvet Shank, Flammulina velutipes, from the colour, and because it is said to fruit from September to March  There was no ring on the stem, which is correct. The stem or shank is supposed to be velvety, (but I didn’t feel it) and is also supposed to be dark in colour. The one I turned on its side had a light stem, but perhaps it was still too young.

A pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers were moving about overhead in the tall bare trees, and Christine B alerted us all to a Goldcrest busily pecking and flitting about. There was also a Siskin high up in an Alder tree and a Great Tit singing boldly right over the path.

By the duck pond, the bulrush seed heads were ragged and fluffy, interestingly placed against a bank of golden Dogwood and some tall bare trees.

04 Festival bulrush

There were Primroses in the flower beds and Snowdrops in Priory Wood.

04 Festival primroses

04 Festival snowdrops

Public transport details: 82A bus from Liverpool ONE, arriving Festival Gardens (Riverside Drive opposite Beech Gardens) just before 11am. I returned by walking through Priory Wood to St Michael’s Merseyrail Station, but others took the 82A bus outside back into Liverpool.

If you are interested in the wildlife of the north-west of England and would like to join the walks and coach trips run by the Merseyside Naturalists’ Association, see the main MNA website for details of our programme and how to join us.

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Woolton Woods, 8th February 2015

It was a calm, overcast, foggy day, and the thermometer at North Park said 5°C, nominally colder than last week’s 6°C, but without the wind it felt much milder.

We walked through St John’s Precinct and spotted a bird flying into a shoe shop, then perching on one of its roof struts. It was a Pied Wagtail. The staff flapped it away and the bird went for the doors into Great Charlotte Street, but it chose a closed one, and battered itself hopelessly against the glass. Some passers-by kept the automatic doors open, and John tried to catch hold of the fluttering bird, but it evaded him and, happily, made it out of the open doors to freedom.

I took no pictures of Woolton Woods today; my camera battery had run out and I hadn’t noticed. Birds spotted included Blackbird, Jay, Magpies, Wood Pigeons and Chaffinches. Inside the Walled Garden Snowdrops were in bloom and the Magnolia buds were fat and thinking of bursting soon. A Quince bush was flowering, with its dark crimson flowers against the bare twigs. A big multi-trunked Holly tree bore its leaves too high up to be spiked, but some suckers or saplings around the base had the classic Holly leaf.

There was a Sparrowhawk kill site on the lawn. We noted a head and a beak, a few wing feathers and lots of down feathers. The prey was probably a Wood Pigeon, so the predator must have been the larger, female Sparrowhawk.

We were at Woolton Woods for a ceremony there at 12.30, to unveil a plaque to Col. Sir James P Reynolds, who gave Woolton Woods to the people of Liverpool. It was organised by the Save Woolton Woods campaign.  The Council is proposing to build a new St Julie’s school on part of Woolton Woods, then use the old St Julie’s site for housing. Local residents are very opposed. Simon O’Brien (actor, formerly of Brookside and a Woolton resident), introduced local historian Irene Byrne, who talked about Sir James and the terms of his gift, which she said ought not to be broken, then he introduced members of the Reynolds family, who spoke against the scheme, then the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Erica Kemp, and Lady Charlotte Reynolds, who joined in unveiling the plaque.

03 Woolton plaque

Public transport details: 76 bus from Great Charlotte Street at 10.22, arriving Woolton Village / High Street at 10.50. Returned on the 75 bus from Woolton Mount / Acrefield Road, arriving Liverpool before 2pm.

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Eastham Woods, 1st February 2015

There was a very cold north wind today, making it feel much colder than the 6°C claimed on the display at North Park, Bootle. We decided to go for the relative shelter of Eastham Woods.

02 Eastham winter woods

On the Lever sports field there were Common Gulls, Wood Pigeons, about ten Redwings and a Mistle Thrush. Crows were picking through leaf litter at the edge of the path and in the trees we spotted Blue Tits, Great Tits, Long-tailed Tits, Magpies and several Robins. There was a Blackbird on the lawns near the Visitors’ Centre and a Nuthatch, which came down low into the hedges. The only natural food we could see were some dried-up Ivy berries, which nothing had fancied.

02 Eastham ivy berries

We stopped for a look at the branch which fell from the great Beech tree in 2003 and which has been left to decay naturally for the last 11 or 12 years.

02 Eastham decaying wood

The end of one limb has been carved into a snake’s-head, which peeps invitingly over the fence.

02 Eastham snake mouth

The feeders at the back of the Visitors’ Centre had the usual Blue Tits, Great Tits and Chaffinches, but also a Great Spotted Woodpecker taking a good long feed of nuts. We admired the displays of dried leaves, mostly of common tree species, but there is a Tulip Tree leaf in the middle. I wonder where the tree is?

02 Eastham leaf display















We also had a look at the display of bird and bat boxes.

02 Eastham bird boxes

And then we turned for home, because it was too cold to be paying much attention to any flowers or fungi!

Public transport details: Bus number 1 from Sir Thomas Street at 10.25, arriving New Chester Road / Tebay Road at 10.55. Returned on bus 1 at 2.30 from outside Christ the King RC church on New Chester Road

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Winter wonderland

Tony Carter reports: I am frequently asked what mycologists do in the winter when fungi do not grow. But they do. Winter is when the bracket and crust fungi come into their own, many shedding their spores at this time of year. In damp chambers, crevices on the underside of fallen branches and old stumps, protected from the weather, numerous tiny Ascomycetes (spore shooters) can be found. They also colonise leaf and needle litter, dead twigs, canes and stems from many plants. Many are almost invisible to the naked eye, more easily located with a good eyeglass but their structure only becomes evident under a microscope.

They can be all sorts of shapes – cushions, cups, discs, spots, pimples. Some are common and easily recognised. In most cases the genus can be ascertained but exact identification is difficult as there are thousands of species, many not formally identified. Finding the relevant literature is a problem.

A couple of the larger species to look out for are Sarcoscypha austriaca (Scarlet Elf Cup), this one at Clarke Gardens and Aleuria aurantia (Orange Peel Fungus), seen growing on a stony driveway in Allerton Road, Liverpool.

Sarcoscypha austriaca - Clarke Gardens
Sarcoscypha austriaca (Scarlet Elf Cup)

Aleuria aurantia - Liverpool
Aleuria aurantia (Orange Peel Fungus)

The following species have also been collected during January in the parks of south Liverpool. The pictures are taken through a microscope at x 40 which tells you how small these are. The question is why they are so colourful and pretty? As we cannot see them with the naked eye who will appreciate them?  Woodlice?
Polydesmia pruinosa, Allerton Towers
Orbilia delicatula, Hardy Reserve
Illosporiopsis christiansenii on lichen

Scutellinia scutellata - Otterspool
Scutellinia scutella, Otterspool

Nectria coccinea -Clarke Gardens
Nectria coccinea, Clarke Gardens

Tapesia fusca - Calderstones
Tapesia fusca, Calderstones

Lachnum virgineum - Calderstones
Lachnum virgineum, Calderstones

Bisporella citrina - Calderstones
Bisporella citrina, Calderstones

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A fungal find at Calderstones

Tony Carter reports : On Tuesday 13th March I went for a quick walk round Calderstones Park before the threatened snow arrived. Under some Cupressus leylandii, at the Menlove Avenue end, I found a small patch of the Striate Earthstar Geastrum striatum . I now have two local sites for this uncommon species, the other being at Allerton Tower. Both are under Cupressus so worth having a look if you have any in your area.

201501 Geastrum striatum Calderstones

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Port Sunlight, 11th January 2015

Our first walk this year was supposed to be a charity walk on the new Broom’s Cross Road, in aid of Jospice, but local press advised that it was “off” because the construction company hadn’t made sufficient progress with the road surfacing, due to the bad weather over the holiday. It was an overcast, gusty and chilly day, so we decided to go to Port Sunlight instead, where there is always  somewhere warm to retreat to.

A few days ago there was a piece on the BBC website about a record number of flowers in bloom on New Year’s Day.  We decided to take particular notice of any we saw. Our first was in Port Sunlight Dell, a Shepherd’s Purse on the steps, followed by an unidentified shrub and some Elephant Ears (Bergenia). A quince bush bore fruit, but no flowers.  There were Jackdaws, Magpies and Starlings on the grass and a Black-headed Gull overhead. On the bank the first Snowdrops were just coming out.

01 Port Sunlight Snowdrops

There are interesting trees in the Dell, and we noted the Honey Locust with the thorns on its trunk, and a Tulip Tree next to it.  There was a scattering of old fruits on the ground below.

01 Port Sunlight Tulip tree fruit

Here’s a link to an irresistibly cute picture of a Red Squirrel with a Tulip Tree fruit.

There were Goldfinches, Chaffinches and Long-tailed Tits in the trees. A Magnolia had tight hairy buds, but no flowers. However, the winter-flowering Viburnum bodnantense was out, with clusters of strong-smelling pink flowers.

01 Port Sunlight V bodnantense

There was also an early flowering Cherry and the Mahonia was just coming out.

01 Port Sunlight Mahonia

Another bank had the first buds of yellow Crocus.

01 Port Sunlight yellow crocus

The Blackbirds seemed to be pairing up, and John said he saw Mute Swans yesterday at Marshside getting excited. We headed past a planted flowerbed of Polyanthus and Bellis daisies. Inside the Garden Centre there was a gnarled old Olive tree in a big pot.

01 Port Sunlight Olive trunk

Outside we noted the Indian Bean tree, and also found what appeared to be a box of faded cut mistletoe, put out for the bins. One of us collected several berries to try on an apple tree in the garden. The flower beds outside the Garden Centre had Cyclamen and Hellebore in bloom.

01 Port Sunlight Hellebore

On the lawn near the Hillsborough Memorial a simple wild Daisy was in flower. Flower count for the day was 13, but only two of them were native wild flowers, the rest were cultivated plants of one kind or another.

01 Port Sunlight Daisy

Then we were too cold, so we withdrew into the Lady Lever Art Gallery to see the exhibition of 1920’s frocks, some of them being costumes from Downton Abbey.

Public transport details: Ellesmere Port train from Liverpool Lime Street at 10.43, arrived Port Sunlight 11.01. Returned from Bebington station at 1.41, arriving Liverpool at 2.00.

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Belize & Guatemala December 2014

MNA Belize Toucan Art2

Keel-billed Toucan Ramphastos sulfuratus, the National Bird of Belize

Just returned from a couple of hectic weeks in Central America visiting Belize with a couple of days in Guatemala. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting a number of wildlife areas including Crooked Tree, Cockscomb Basin, Belize Botanic Gardens, the coral island of Cauye Caulker aswell as indulging in a bit of culture seeing a variety of Mayan archaeological sites. Despite being the dry season the weather was disapointingly wet for most of the time. Nevertheless there was some great birding, 90 lifers for me! including such gems as Ornate Hawk-Eagle; Bat Falcon; Orange-breasted Falcon; King Vulture; Crested Guan; Ocellated Turkey; Purple-crowned Fairy;  Slaty-tailed, Black-tailed and Gartered Trogon etc…

Also plenty of other Natural History with Amphibians, Insects, Bugs, Marine Life, Fungi and Flowers to keep my lens busy. Even managed a couple of ‘Corpse Of The Day’ :)

MNA Belize Blue Heron1

Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea

MNA Belize Brown Pelican1

Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis

MNA Belize Neoptropical Cormorant2

Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus

MNA Belize Creole Lady Mangrove Snapper1

Creole Lady who caught this Mangrove Snapper Lutjanus griseus on a handline

MNA Belize Spiny Lobsters1Caribbean Spiny Lobster Panulinus argus

MNA Belize Ruddy Turnstone1

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres – no Mersey molluscs for these Turnstones, only the finest dining on Lobster remains

MNA Belize Butterfly1

Hairstreak Butterfly

MNA Belize Mexican Blue Wave Moth1

Black Witch Moth Ascalapha odorata

MNA Belize Cane Toad1

Cane Toad Rhinella marina

MNA Belize Rainforest Toad1

Rainforest Toad Bufo cambelli

MNA Belize Rock Iguana1

Black Spiny-tailed Iguana Ctenosaura similis

MNA Belize Dragonfly1


MNA Belize Ruddy Woodcreeper1

Ruddy Woodcreeper Dendrocincla homochroa

MNA Belize Ocellated Turkey1

Ocellated Turkey Meleagris ocellata

Small Belize Cinnamon Hummingbird1

Cinnamon Hummingbird Amazilia rutila

Small Belize Laughing Gull1

Laughing Gull Leucophaeus atricilla

MNA Belize Peanut Headed Bug1

Peanut-headed Bug Fulgora laternaria

MNA Belize Jaguar1

Jaguar Panthera onca

MNA Belize Howler Monkey1

Yucatan Black Howler Monkey Alouatta pigra

MNA Belize Tapir1

Baird’s Tapir Tapirus bairdii

MNA Belize Fungi1

MNA Belize Fungi2

MNA Belize Fungi4Various Fungi

MNA Belize Paca Skull1

Paca Agouti paca Skull

MNA Belize Cow Foot Soup1

One of the local specialities Cow’s Foot Soup, yum!

If you are interested in the wildlife of the north-west of England and would like to join the walks and coach trips run by the Merseyside Naturalists’ Association, see the main MNA website for details of our programme and how to join us.

A wide photographic selection of birds, marine life, insects, mammals, orchids & wildflowers, fungi, tribal people, travel, ethnography, fossils, hominids, rocks & minerals etc. is available on my Alamy webpage

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