Sefton Coast

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.

The re-discovery of Thanasimus formicarius at National Trust, Formby.

Thanasimus formicarius (Louise Mills)

 

Thanasimus formicarius, also known as the ‘Ant Beetle’ or ‘European red-bellied clerid’ (fancy!), is a small but striking species of Beetle native to the UK. It is not un-common but being small and selective in its choice of habitat it is rarely seen in even more rarely reported!

The Beetle is typically found in coniferous woodland where it is a predator of Bark Beetles and is considered to be a natural control against infestation and damage caused by those species.

New taxon for Crosby Coastal Park

Notes on Oenothera hybrid (Phil Smith)

A small-flowered Evenint-primrose from a population found at Crosby Coastal Park was collected and sent to Rosemary Murphy, the national referee for Oenothera, earlier this year. Rosemary has now carried out a detailed examination of the plant material and has concluded that it is most likely the 'triple hybrid' Oenothera glazioviana x O. biennis x O.cambrica an identification which had previously been suspected.

MCS Big Beach Clean

My name is Andy Laverick; I am a local Marine Conservation Society Sea Champion

There is a big beach clean event at on Monday 19th of September from 09.45 am. It will be at Freshfield beach again (on the national trust property).

The previous national event in June this year 91 kg of waste was collected by 86 volunteers in 90 minutes. This total included 648 separate items of plastic and unfortunately, a sizeable number of wet wipes and cotton bud sticks were found.

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.

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