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Thangyoo, thangyoo, thangyoo....

Posted by on July 21, 2010 5:41 PM | 

coverwm.jpgQuite splendidly an (admittedly modest) royalty cheque for "Wild Merseyside" sales dropped on the mat at Dempsey Towers this afternoon (will our Postie ever deliver in the morning again?)
While the cheque was not sufficiently gross for me to embark on a nihilistic spree of 1970s Led Zep orgy proportions, it did serve as a reminder to thank all you folk out there who have bought a copy in recent months (and rethank those who bought the thing last year of course) for going to the trouble.
Just think, if as many people go out and buy it over the next year, by this time in 2011, I should have enough dosh to splurge on ANOTHER three bottles of Peroni.

For those who may have come to the Birdblog party late, and for some inexplicable reason may not yet have purchased a copy of "Wild Merseyside", I urge you to do so at once.
Retailing online and in bookshops for a mere £4.99 it not only gives you an overview of the area's wildlife through the seasons, but has a host of other "apps" (whatever the hell that means).
For example, it is the perfect size to wedge under wonky table legs in pub beer gardens, so steadying the surface, and preventing traumatic spillage situations.
It is also considerably cheaper than the price of replacing the round that has shattered onto the ground from the aforementioned shaky table too (I speak from experience).
I have already started my next literary epic, although finding a publisher that will actually pay for work is proving substantially less likely than bumping into a Sibe Rubythroat in the Sandplant this autumn.
Away from the heady world of inkyforestdeath, things are clearly starting to move again on the coast - my first returning Wheatear was a young male on the beach south of Lifeboat Rd, Formby, yesterday, and in one of the many recent spectacular downpours, a Greenshank called unseen in the murk overhead as it moved south at Cabin Hill.
Tern numbers building up offshore (and in several beach roosts).
Dead Smoothhounds and Lion's Mane Jellies continue to wash up from Altcar to Ainsdale.
Young sherbet yellow Willow Warblers hooeting away in the dunes for the last few days as the annual "Irish Sea Movement" trickles through.
Plenty of Swifts banging south yesterday, surprising then that large numbers were feeding around Dempsey Towers today, presumably southward bound stop-offs, as the breeding population here has sunk from 9 pairs in 1999, to a single pair raising two youngsters this year.
Perhaps not as sexy as the "flyby" Crane reported at the Mere today, but always poignant to see 'em go.

bee217.jpg

Bumblebees gorging themselves on buddleia in the garden at present, but not many butterflies - one or two Small Tortoiseshells, a single Holly Blue and a few Cabbage Whites.
Must get out birdin' tomorrow - it's five years since the Birdblog started.
27,000+ hits a month now, so ta for that, but I wish more of you would tell us what you're seeing too via the "Comments" thingy.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...

5 Comments

Hi John, Three Buzzards circling over Crossens inner this afternoon. They were very high up and slowly drifted over towards Warton direction. As regards your comments on the lack of Butterflies,So far I Have had a very poor season at Marshside with numbers way down on normal.I can only put this down to the three bad summers of 2007-8-9.Also the harsh winter we have just had. Mike.

Common sandpiper on the Alt below the Alt Centre.

Several fresh Peacock butterflies at flowering Privet in Ainsdale Cemetery today and half a dozen more on Buddleias in Lady Green Garden Centre, which seem quite early given the chilly spring up to mid May.

Lots of Meadow Browns, 6 Red Admirals and the odd Painted Lady on the wing earlier this week at HOM in between the heavy rain

I was thinking it might be a better year for flutterbys before the deluges came down with the hosepipe ban.


That Mike has had low numbers of butterflies at Marshside this summer suprises me, as my experience on the dunes is quite the opposite. First brood Common Blues, Small Heaths and even Walls were much more numerous than usual. Then, the hatch of Dark Green Fritillaries in mid/late June was completely unprecedented. I have seen nothing like it in over 40 years. Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns seem as abundant as usual and Small Skippers are up on what I would expect to see. Graylings are now apprearing in good numbers, joining the fresh Peacocks which have started to emerge in the last few days. It will be interesting to see what the butterfly transects come up with in the way of figures to support or refute these observations.
Merseyside BioBank has organised a survey of the Grayling on the dunes, involving about 40 volunteers, This is now ongoing and should give a much better idea of the distribution and relative abundance of this Biodiversity Action Plan species.

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