November 2018

Rob Duffy: From the Library; Edward Wilson

Naturalist: Edward O. Wilson

EDWARD O. WILSON ( at 89) is one of the world’s renowned myrmecologists (studied ants) and has been an enthusiastic naturalist since the age of 7. Growing up in the Alabama swamplands, natural history kept him on an even keel through broken schooling, parental separation and his father’s suicide. Ensconced at Harvard, since the early 1950’s, he pioneered the exploration of New Guinea as an entomologist and developed the study of desert island re-colonisation in the Florida Keys.

Anthony Carter: Ravenmeols and Lifeboat Road

Geastrum schmidelii (Tiny Earthstar)

Sixteen members of North West Fungus Group attended on a beautiful autumn day. Our first foray since the area was taken over by The National Trust. First stop was at Ravenmeols where we checked on the decreasing patch of Tulostoma brumale. We also recorded some rarities in Hebeloma dunense and Inocybe dunensis, in the dunes (where else?).

Dr Phil Smith: Wildlife Notes October 2018

Fly Agaric (Dr Phil Smith)

After the great drought of 1976, the heavens opened in September and October of that year, rapidly replenishing ground-waters, rivers and other wetlands. In complete contrast, following this summer’s comparable drought, September 2018 was dry, while October was even worse, with measurable rain on only five days, a named storm on 13th producing the only really wet day. Average October rainfall for Formby is 84mm (3.3 inches); we probably had half that. This is important because, apart from impacts on farmers, gardeners, water-supply, etc., so much of our special duneland wildlife depends on recharge of the water-table to produce seasonally flooded slacks. Instead of rising in October, the water level dropped by about 3cm at the Devil’s Hole measuring point.

Hugh Harris: Moore Nature Reserve

Ten Liverpool Botanical Society members accompanied by Anne-Marie Belcher, Reserve Warden and Lee Lappin, local naturalist explored the footpaths and bird hides of Moore Nature Reserve and Moss Side. Moore Nature Reserve is situated between the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Mersey. The 186 acres site has been managed as a nature reserve since 1991 after a history of land use for farming and sand quarrying. Today the reserve is surrounded by woodland, meadows and wetlands which provide a rich biodiversity of habitats for birds, mammals, insects, plants, amphibians and fungi. On the day 180 species of wildflowers were recorded.