Dr Phil Smith: Wildlife Notes November 2021

Portuguese man o war Ainsdale by John Dempsey

November is generally a quiet time for wildlife. However, Ian Wolfenden reported a huge movement of winter thrushes at Hightown on 4th. He estimated an extraordinary number of 5000 Fieldfares and 2000 Redwings flying north. Strong winds from the southwest on 6-7th brought in an unusual bounty from the tropics, John Dempsey finding a colourful Portuguese-Man-of-War and several By-the-wind-sailors on Ainsdale beach.

NBN Awards 2021

The winners and runners up of the NBN Awards for Wildlife Recording 2021 were announced at an online ceremony on Wednesday 24 November 2021. Amanda Cogan Barber was announced as the runner-up of the 2021 NBN Award for Wildlife Recording - Terrestrial and Croxteth Park Volunteer Group was announced as the runner-up of the NBN Group Award 2021. These are both prestigious, annual, UK-wide awards organised by the National Biodiversity Network Trust. 

Dr Phil Smith: Wildlife notes October 2021

 Furry Dronefly, Eristalis intricaria, Crosby, Dr Phil Smith

October had a total of 16 rain-days, being wet and windy early and late in the month, with a dry 10-day period in the middle. Gales in early October blew in masses of sand, deeply burying the rich strandline vegetation at Ainsdale that I highlighted in the September notes. The associated 10m high-tides washed up drifts of seaweed, presumably from North Wales, which will provide the nutrients for next summer’s strandline plants.

As in October last year, the relatively warm weather kept insects going longer than usual.

Fungi Fun: October

 Stereopsis reidii by Tony Carter

The fungi season has begun in earnest. Forays with North West Fungus Group and Liverpool Botanical Society have been held. Ainsdale Sand Dunes NNR produced over sixty specimens, seven not having previously been recorded there by the Group! Stereopsis reidii was also discovered last month in Ainsdale, its only known location in the UK!

Check out this article to see what species you could find in North Merseyside.

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