Welcome to my blog
This is just a record of some Bury Field Tripsand a few of the finds. In particualr Mere Clough will feature high as the year progresses to see how this site has fared since the visits of the Victorian Pioneer Botanists 1849 1859.
By Bury Wildlife, Apr 7 2015 12:11AM
Winter Birds are starting to leave as Redwings do and summer ones arrive as Swallows and Sand Martins. These last are just with us. However bigger birds also migrate. Three Ospreys have been seen in GMC and one in Bury today returning from Africa. Unfortunatelly I did not see it. My meagre observation was of a large flock of meadow pipits in central Salford over 100. Other watchers saw much bigger flocks of nearly and over a thousand. Cuckoos are currently still in West Africsa but will also soon return. These can be heard and seen in Bury and this will be one to watch.
By Bury Wildlife, Apr 7 2015 12:06AM
Brimstone are a fantastic yellow green flapping sign of spring. I saw the first today in Wigan. They are in Bury and a good place to see them is Drinkwater Park and Prestwich clough. It is thought these named 'butterflies' with it's colour leading to a name of a butter coloured fly. It hibernates then once the sun arrives emerges to start its life cycle. You will see it twice in the year with those emerging is spring and then later the next generation later in the year.
By Bury Wildlife, Apr 3 2015 10:26PM
Tucked away in a valley in south Stockport is the site of Samuel Oldknowls mill. Long since gone, and now beong excavated, the area became a local pleasure garden and beauty spot called Roman Lakes and Roman Bridge. Plenty of Dogs Mercury, Lord and Ladies, Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage, Lesser Celandine, Wild Garlic showe the area to be Ancient Woodland. Bird Sitings included Buzzard, singing Chiffcaff Dipper and a Barnacle Goose. Most of these in GMC are feral or escapee. Wild ones in the UK over winter in Scotland and Solway Firth although sometimes they can visit GMC.
By Bury Wildlife, Apr 3 2015 10:14PM
The Manchester Mosslands are actually part od a much wider Lancashire Cheshire Mossland habitat. Drained in victorian times for farming. Then excavated for peat these areas have took a battering. Much has been lost but much work is going on to regenerate them. Flat they may be boring they are not and hold some of the rarest species in GMC. A good mooch this week on several areas in the west of the county paid rewards with Scarlet Elf Cap Fungus, Zebra Spider, Peregrine Falcon, Flowering Climbing Corydalis, Turkish Wood Spurge, and Common Shore Bug to name a few. Best though was something I have been searching for in the shape of the Common Lizard. In GMC common it is not located only at a few sites but is expanding. Like the adder it give birth to live young so can reside at quite northern areas despite being a reptile. It also can loose its tail when pursued by a raptor to fool it. This grows back fairly quickly. It feeds on insects and is often sen basking before zipping off quickly. The picture appears to show such a lizard (found when looking for beetles) with its tail grown back notice the lighter markings on the tail to the body.
By Bury Wildlife, Apr 3 2015 09:59PM
This rascal came into the Bury kitchen about a week ago. Scared several in the room but a closer look reveals a stunning moth that is one o the first to emerge in this late spring and called The Herald - Scoliopteryx libatrix.
By Bury Wildlife, Mar 21 2015 11:44PM
I have been looking for this for a bit. Records placed it in the medlock valley and last year specimins were found with huge leaves. Confirmation for me could only come from the actual flower head. They flower like our native Butterbur early in the year. It is a native of Japan and would have been a Garden introduction that since escaped. Records are for several decades so it could be an old escape. It is appaently eaten in Japan with Miso to be called Fuki Miso. Say no more on that one. It can also be deep fried but can cause damage to the eaters liver so best left alone. Its not a rampant invasive but appears able to withstand our weather. I found eight of these curious but splendid flowers.
By Bury Wildlife, Mar 18 2015 08:54PM
A visit to the Manchester Mosslands found migration in action with over 100 meadow pipits feeding on a oloughed field. Further 6 Yellowhammer were singing away. These are yellow like a canary and are not common in GMC even though there are over 700,000 in the UK. The song is said to sound lke 'a little bit of bread and no cheeese' and are a bird of the south west arable part of GMC . Another nice find was several Grey Partridge. These are a game bird but in GM are in decline as farmers change the way they do crops. The picture is of a Yellowhammer on Highfield Moss.
By Bury Wildlife, Mar 18 2015 08:47PM
Most colour in spring can be found in our ancient woodlands. GMC has a number of these and flowers come out in spring to complete germination before leaves block out light. Etherow Country Park is afine example of this rare woodland and Dogs Mercury, Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage, Primrose and Lesser Celandine were all in flower. Two nice finds were 1. Green Snowdrop a introduced species from Turkey. It has large wide green leaves and a small green mark on the end of the flower. I woul guess they were planted. The second was Wild Daffodill with its lighter outer leaves. These were in good numbers and records support these are native and in situ IE not planted. Other finds included kingfisher. dipper, and nuthatch.
By Bury Wildlife, Mar 4 2015 10:20PM
I visited the Manchester Mosslands this week end. Some of these hold some of the rarest species in the County with Common Lizard, Sundews and Marsh Gentian. Small bits are protected and are being restored but most is reclaimed farm land after being drained in Victorian times. Such farmland has it's own type of bird life with Tree Sparrow, Partridge Lapwing, Skylark, Yellowhammer and Corn Bunting. These are all in decline not only in GMC but accross the UK as farming practise changes. The visit gave a number of bird sightings including Buzzard, Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Lapwing and Skylarks singing. I also spotted a several Yellowhammer and only one corn bunting both too fast to photo. Bury has a small area of similar habitat in Unsworth Moss near Simister. Records show Corn Bunting have been recorded here in the past. These appear to have declined with other such birds with urnbanisation and population isolation which means fail to flourish. Here is a picture of a Corn Bunting from a site near Blackpool. It's the UK biggest bunting and looks a bit like a Sparrow,
By Bury Wildlife, Mar 4 2015 10:09PM
This is a country park in wigan and a topsite for birds and other wildlife and aquick visit at week end delivered some good finds. The best but most elusive is skulcking warbler called a Cetti Warbler. They are are bird with a loud voice and are rarely seen. Until the 1960's they were absent from the UK and in recent years have been heard and sometimes seen in GMC. Possibly a sign of global warming I have heard and seen then up on the Leighton Moss in North Lancashire. This one was heard from the reeds. Another good sign and find was Sweet Violets in flower. These were reported in Bury at Mere Clough Prestwich in the nineteenth century but sadly have not been seen for some time. One of the main ID is the rounded leaves on the rear of the flower as in the Pic..