Nine members joined the MNA walk around Wigan Flashes with the weather ranging from heavy downpours to glorious sunshine and strong breezes. Although a quiet time for birdlife we did see Great-crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Mute Swan pair with two cygnets, the cob being particularly protective when a group of Canada Geese swam too close, Mallard, plenty of Tufted Duck, Coot, a couple of Common Tern, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Pied Wagtail including a few juveniles beside the canal, Sedge Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Jay, Magpie and Reed Bunting. Amphibians consisted of a couple of Common Frogs Rana temporaria.
A good selection of Butterflies and Moths with Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris, Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria, Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus, Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina, Six-spot Burnet Zygaena filipendulae, Cinnabar Moth caterpillars Tyria jacobaeae, Shaded Broad-bar Scotopteryx chenopodiata, Latticed Heath Chiasmia clathrata, Small Magpie Eurrhypara hortulata and Wainscot Mythimna sp.
Dragonflies and Damselflies included Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa, Common Blue Damsel Enallagma cyathigerum, Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans.
Blue-tailed Damselfly female – pink form
Hoverflies included the Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus, Heliophilus pendulus, Volucella pellucens and Syrphus ribesii. Plenty of Bumblebee Species with Buff-tailed Bumblebee Bombus terrestris, White-tailed Bumblebee Bombus lucorum, Red-tailed Bumblebee Bombus lapidarius and Common Carder Bee Bombus pascuorum.
Other Insects and Invertebrates included Field Grasshopper Chorthippus brunneus, Common Green Grasshopper Omocestus viridulus, Brown Mayfly Ephemera vulgata, Common Red Soldier Beetle Rhagonycha fulva, a male Thick-Legged Flower Beetle Oedemera virescens, Alder Leaf Beetle Agelastica alni, Sexton Beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides and numerous Bladder Snails Physa sp.
Plenty of Botanical interest with Rosebay Willowherb Epilobium angustifolium, Great Willowherb Epilobium hirsutum, Himalayan Balsalm Impatiens glandulifera, Hemp Agrimony Eupatorium cannabinum, Ribbed Melilot Melilotus officinalis, Self-heal Prunella vulgaris, Tufted Vetch Vicia cracca, Herb Robert Geranium robertianum, Herb Bennet Geum urbanum.
Ivy-leaved Toadflax Cymbalaria muralis, Black Medick Medicago lupulina, a good show of Orange Hawkweed Pilosella aurantiacum along the canal bank, Bird’s-foot-trefoil Lotus corniculatus, Common Centaury Centaurium erythraea, Common Knapweed Centaurea nigra, Great Bindweed Calystegia sepium, Black Bryony Tamus communis, Gipsywort Lycopus europaeus, Hemlock Water-Dropwort Oenanthe crocata, Common Catsear Hypochaeris radicata, Perforate St Johns Wort Hypericum perforatum, Common Toadflax Linaria vulgaris, Wild Carrot Daucus carota, Wild Parsnip Pastinaca sativa, Wild Radish Raphanus raphanistrum, Common Figwort Scrophularia nodosa, Heather Calluna vulgaris, Common Hemp Nettle Galeopsis tetrahit, Dotted Loosestrife Lysimachia punctata, Hedge Woundwort Stachys sylvatica, Marsh Woundwort Stachys palustris, Ox-eye Daisy Leucanthemum vulgare, Evening Primrose Oenothera sp. Red Campion Silene dioica, White Campion Silene alba, Yellow Rattle Rhinanthus minor, Eyebright Euphrasia nemorosa.
Broad-leaved Helleborine Epipactis helleborine four spikes on the canal path, Marsh Helleborine Epipactis palustris numerous spikes in a sheltered woodland glade and Common Spotted Orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsia.
Common Spotted Orchid
Fungi included Common Earthball Scleroderma citrinum and Exidia plana.