August 2016

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.

Moth night at Court Hey Park


7pm until 9.30pm. 

Join us to see what we find in our moth traps!

Moth Night is a great opportunity to raise awareness about moths, so why not get family and friends to come along and find out why & how we trap them.

We'll be joind by our friends from the Merseyside Biobank.

More details and book via the National Wildflower Centre website: 

Mud Snail training with PondNet

Mud Pond Snail are a fascinating pond snail with a beautiful scientific name Omphiscola glabra; a name more elegant than the species first appears!
This little snail is restricted to good quality ponds, sites that are free from pollution, in areas of natural habitat like woodland, heathlands and old meadows.

However, little is know about the status of the population in England and Wales.

Mud snail is easy to identify and anyone can take part in the survey, no previous experience is required.

NWC: Minibeasts!

Mini-beast workshop delivered in partnership with the National Wildflower Centre. See here for more information and to book.


Bug Safari with Merseyside Biobank. Let's see what we can find as we explore the Centre!

Drop in anytime between 1-3pm

Children must be accompanied by an adult.

BioBlitz: National Wildflower Centre

Free. Find out more information and how to book here.

Drop in, 11am - 4pm

Discover the diversity of local wildlife around the Centre and Court Hey Park with our friends from Merseyside Biobank. No experience or prior knowledge needed. 

Children must be accompanied by an adult.

This event is free. Please note entry charges to the Centre may still apply.

Please ring 0151 738 1913 for more information or email:

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).