It was the warmest August since 2004 and the driest and sunniest since 2007, welcome news for our hard-
Several trips were made to slack 47 in the Birkdale frontals where three scrapes were restored in March 2012 to improve their condition for wildlife, including dragonflies. By recording both the variety and numbers of these insects, I hope to show whether the work has been worthwhile. So far, the omens are good with 12 species identified and several doing particularly well. Thus, I had peak counts of 109 Emerald Damselflies and 36 Common Darters on 22nd.
However, numbers of Ruddy Darters were down with a maximum of only two. This species likes densely vegetated pools, so they should increase as the plant life develops. Pinfold Pond in Ainsdale NNR is also good for dragonflies, Ruddy Darter and Southern Hawker being spotted on 21st, the latter showing its inquisitive nature by flying over to inspect me. However, the new boardwalk around the pond is attracting dog-
Much of my time this month was spent organising with Merseyside BioBank and taking part in the coastwide Grass-
I also undertook my own survey of a much less attractive plant, Blunt-
There was little time for bird-
Finally, a visit with Trevor Davenport to the Birkdale Green Beach and adjacent frontal dunes on 28th was rewarded with some spectacular caterpillars of Dark Tussock, Buff-