Thanks to Phil Smith for sending me these great pictures of the stunning Emperor Moth and the cuddly and fantastically patterned Puss Moth, both found in a Freshfield moth trap this week.
Absolutely superb insects (and both are pretty common in the right habitat) - it's time to crank up the trap at Dempsey Towers!
Bits and bobs along the coast for the last few days - with no further showing by the Black Red at Ainsdale (probably still raving away in Pontins), but lots of Swallows hawking over the beach from there down to Cabin Hill, and Wheatears still coming through.
Little and Sandwich Tern still on the beach south of Lifeboat Road today.
Meanwhile, Phil Smith hasn't been doing badly on the flora side either over the last week or so - finding a new site at Crosby Marine Park for Slender Spike Rush, a scarce plant in Sefton.
Phil explains: "The main ID features are the thin stem, lowest glume almost surrounding the inflorescence and two stigmas per flower (rather than three).
The attached photo shows the plant in flower with the stigmas visible, these appearing before the stamens.
"I have never seen it in flower before."
Hmm, I quite like the look of Slender Spike Rush, and it takes my mind off the Lincolnshire pratincole and the South Yorks Iberian Chiffy....for a second or so at least.
Phil also found Slender Parsley-piert at Birkdale Common recently too - a botancial tick for him, so it must be good.
"I went to look at the new cycletrack across Birkdale Common, which no-one knew about until it suddenly appeared", he says.
"This site is known for its acid grassland, including Slender Parsley-piert (Aphanes australis), which I have never previously seen. After a short search, I was delighted to find it - a tiny yellowish-green low-growing plant on the remnants of a hard-core track that runs across the common.
"It is a "Species of Conservation Importance in North West England". Fortunately, the new cycletrack has missed it, being situated along the western edge of the common and mainly on a more neutral, less notable grassland type. I wonder whether the route was chosen with this in mind or was just fortuitous!"
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...