Natural History

Dr Phil Smith: Wildlife Notes October 2016

Smooth Newt (Dr Phil Smith)

 

October is traditionally the wettest month of the year but this one was the driest in living memory with measurable rainfall on only three days. It was also milder than usual with no frost. This was caused by persistent high pressure over Scandinavia, a pattern that in the recent past has often switched in winter to low pressure with westerly winds and high rainfall, as in 2015/16. We shall see.

Merseyside Naturalists' Association

 

Do you want to find out more about the wildlife of our area? Are you fascinated by birds, plants, mammals, marine life, insects, dragonflies or butterflies? Would you like to go on trips to see them accompanied by experts?
The MNA offers a wide variety of outdoor meetings and coach trips allowing members to learn about wildlife in a relaxed friendly atmosphere.

Contact John Clegg secretary@mnapage.info

www.mnapage.info

West Lancashire Wildlife

 

The group was established in 2009 as a friendly, informal natural history group, focussing on the wildlife and habitats of West Lancashire and the Sefton Coast.

We run indoor meetings every month at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk and organise a variety of field trips and training sessions. 
We are also beginning to get involved in practical, hands on conservation at some sites in the area. 

If you want to know more, come along to one of the meetings, look at our schedule in the events section, or contact The Membership Secretary. 

Dr Phil Smith: Wildlife Notes August 2016

Portland Moth on Lichen (Phil Smith)

A rather unremarkable month for weather, August had average rainfall and a couple of short warm spells but was largely characterised by cool windy conditions. My frequent visits to the dunes revealed a surprising lack of large insects, especially dragonflies and butterflies. Thus, after a gale the previous day, I called in at our premier dragonfly site in the Birkdale dunes on 8th and was horrified to find not a single dragonfly or damselfly. This seems to have been a widespread phenomenon, local moth trappers also reporting a poor season.

Dr Phil Smith: Wildlife Notes July 2016

Frog (Phil Smith)

Apart from a one-day heatwave on 19th when temperatures reached an oppressive 32oC, the month’s weather was unexceptional. Rainfall seems to have been about average but it was often cooler than expected in the first two and the last weeks. Predictably, the Devil’s Hole slack gradually dried up, though there was still a little surface water in the deepest parts (see below).

Dr Phil Smith: Wildlife Notes June 2016

Dark green fritillary (Phil Smith)

Although June was wetter than normal in most parts of the country, this was not the case here. The first rain did not fall until 10th and we missed most of the thundery downpours that caused flooding further south and east. Nevertheless, a few heavy showers and more unsettled conditions later in the month maintained enough surface-water in sand-dune wetlands for our Natterjack Toads to breed successfully in several places.

Hugh Harris: Mine Waste Cronton SJ471891

Bee Orchid (Hugh Harris)

 

MINE WASTE LWS, CRONTON. KNOWSLEY.      SJ471891 (Sat Nav. WA8 5QN)

Sat 11 June 2016.   Leader: Dave Earl

Weather: 17°C. Mostly cloudy, scattered showers with a warm high of 21° Data from Foreca

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The Role of Lichens

Join the Liverpool World Musesum for a fascinating talk about the importance of lichens in our world, by international expert Professor Mark Seaward. Lichens are a symbiotic relationship between a fungus and an algae. There are around 20,000-30,000 species worldwide. They are sensitive to environmental change, and are used as bioindicators for pollution, climate change, and in habitat management.

Mark has a strong interest in biomonitoring pollution, particularly heavy metals and radionuclides, for which he has been internationally honoured.

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