A productive morning wander around Dibbinsdale. Purple Loosestrife Lythrum salicaria, Hedge Bindweed Calystegia sepium, Water Forget-me-not Myosotis scorpioides and Bittersweet Solanum dulcamara were found beside the path through the reedbed. A mother Coot was escorting her four squealing youngsters through one pond with quacking female Mallards on another. In the wooded area were the spiky seed pods of Wood Avens Geum urbanum, Enchanter’s Nightshade Circaea lutetiana and Hedge Woundwort Stachys sylvatica. Nuthatches were calling away, one has been a regular visitor to my garden.
In Bodens Hay Meadow the various grasses were above knee height with a scattering of Wildflowers including Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria, Tufted Vetch Vicia cracca, Meadow Vetchling Lathyrus pratensis, Great Willowherb Epilobium hirsutum, Rosebay Willowherb Chamerion angustifolium, Yellow-rattle Rhinanthus minor with some plants still flowering but the majority now with seed pods. The Common Knapweed Centaurea nigra flowers were attracting good numbers of Red-tailed Bumblebees Bombus lapidarius and Buff-tailed Bumblebees Bombus terrestris.
On the Common Ragwort Senecio jacobaea was a lone caterpillar of the Cinnabar Moth Tyria jacobaeae. A selection of Butterflies with Large White Pieris brassicae, Small White Pieris rapae, Common Blue Polyommatus icarus, Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus and Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina.
Spotted Longhorn Beetle
A couple of Spotted Longhorn Beetles Leptura maculata were covered in pollen from feeding on the umbellifer heads. At the west edge of Bodens, Meadow Grasshoppers Chorthippus parallelus sprung into the air from under my feet.
In Spital Fields I spotted a Hornet Mimic Hoverfly Volucella zonaria, a species that I first observed in Dibbinsdale last summer. There were a few Commas Polygonia c-album basking in the sunshine and a Dingy Footman Eilema griseola, a Moth that flies in July and August that feeds on various Lichens.
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.