Bury Wildlife

Wildlife Blog

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This is just a record of some Bury Field Tripsand a few of the finds. In particualr Mere Clough will feature high  as the year progresses to see how this site has fared since the visits of the Victorian Pioneer Botanists 1849 1859.

By Bury Wildlife, Feb 7 2016 08:07PM

Bit since I posted but the weather has been very mild. Plants are flowering very early. Those seen in flower this week end include Marsh Marigold, Dog's Mercury and Lesser Celandine 2 months early. I even saw an Ox Eye Daisy in flower usually seen in May.

By Bury Wildlife, Jun 7 2015 09:58AM

Damsel Flies are the smaller group of this fly groupe Odonata. The Manchester Mosses are a stronghold of this and many common species such as Red, Azure, Common Blue and Blue Tailed Damsel have been seen as we enter summer and these begin to fly. The next was some what of a surprise to me when I came accross a male Banded Demoiselle - Calopteryx splendens on the Mosses. These occcur in Blton and Bury and I have seen them at Elton. In my experience they prefer river valley or canals but in reality it lle favours slow flowing rivers and streams with muddy bottoms.The Mosses have such habitat a plenty with lots of ditches dykes and ponds. Damsel and Dragon fly are typical moss species and more species will be discovered.

By Bury Wildlife, Jun 7 2015 09:38AM


Black Sexton Beetle - Nicrophorus humator. The Sexton beetles are the undertakers of the insect world. They fly to carrion, attracted by the smell. If the dead animal is small, such as a mouse, they crawl underneath and excavate the soil so that the corpse gradually sinks into the ground. They then lay eggs nearby, and stay until the larvae hatch, and even feed them. They fly around at night and can smell carrion from a mile away. They are an essential part of the natural world and are very specilised as all Beetles are. This was found on the manchester Mosses but can turn up anywhere. If you meet one do not pick up as they can eject a foul smelling liquid that cannot be washed off.

By Bury Wildlife, Jun 7 2015 09:28AM

Longhorn beetles belong to the family Cerambycidae. There are currently 67 UK species, including some accidental imports. In GM there are several species and in Bury as well. Many are common and easily noticed due to their bright colouration. Most species can be distinguished by their conspicuously long antennae which gives rise to the longhorn name. They are typically long bodied and long legged beetles.

They also show a large size range and most are active by day, when the adults generally feed on nectar and often visit the flowers of Hawthorn, Dogwood and Umbellifers along woodland rides. Longhorn larvae feed within the timber of woody plants with some considered pests. I have spent several visits on the Manchester Mosses. This is the area between Salfard Wigan and warrington and is considered some of the most valuable habitat in the UK. Much has been removed for garden Peat but this is changing and although to a untrained eye they seem a bit bleak I hope to convince this is not the case. These three Longhorn Beetles were found on the mosses in the last month and appear to be barely recorded in GM. Almost certainly overlooked these impressive beast show just how much there is to find. More to follow. The pics are as follows Rhagium mordax , Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn Agapanthia villosoviridescens , and Tetrops praeustus.

By Bury Wildlife, May 20 2015 10:35PM

The best bit is in the detail with plants. What is thought a common species can become something quite rare once a detail is spotted. The two pictures are of the common Red Dead Nettle. They look the same but look at the leaves and one is a diffeent related species of Cut Leaved Red Dead Nettle. The detail is in the leaf edge as the name suggest. The other thing with plants is you can find things is the oddest places and after walking past it often with out recognising it. This yellow flower has been walked passed by myself gor several years and it was only several weeks ago i realised it was the rare Yellow Flowered Strawberry. This relative of the Strawberry was on a old waste site in Bury. So keep your eyes out.

By Bury Wildlife, May 20 2015 10:25PM

The season continues and bugs are not every ones cup of tea but these are acouple of stonkers. These were found on Mosses. The first is a ferocious looking stag beetle called Rhagium mordax . It looks fierce and is large but eats plants and is a pussy cat. The next is a king of weevil. Weevils are a huge genus of Beetles and many lives on plants quite easliy. Others are a pest particularly for agricultural. They can vary from bright green to black and this one is bright red. It is called Attelabus nitens oak leaf roller. It lives on a oak trees and lays only one egg on a leaf and then rolls it up like a roll of carpet to protect it. The last is also possibly a rare record for the northwest with few records in our area.

By Bury Wildlife, May 20 2015 10:18PM

The spring Migrants keep comming with this Red Throated Pipit in Stockport. This is a rare vagrant that was spotted in a hillside field. It is from north europe and Siberia. A relative of the common Meadow Pipit it is a ground nesting bird and caused some excitment in the twitching world. News also came through of another rare visitor this time in Salford on the Mosses in the Shape of a Stone Curlew. These are a UK bird mainly found further south. There is only about 500 in the UK and this is a returning migrant from Africa. It is a wader and has very large eyes and has featured on Springwatch. Again it generated much excitment as the last time one was found in GM was 1963. Finally a self found migrant this time were these Knot. These are a UK winter visitor so are heading back north to their breeding grounds, Usually seen at the coast in large numbers and flocksin Winter these were found resting at a local res. More cuckoos also are abounding but I have not been lucky enough to see one for a pic. Photos are of the Pipit and Knot.

By Bury Wildlife, Apr 26 2015 10:07PM

News filtered through today of a migrant from south Europe prunning its feathers in a garden in Royton. The Hoopoe is a cross between a Jay and a Parrot to look at due to a crest of feathers on its head. In Ancient Egypt they were seen as sacred. They are visitors to the South of the UK when migrating birds over shoot, s this one is way north. They feed on insects and can eat frogs and even lizards in its usual haunt. A lot of twitchers arrived hoping for view to the curiosity of locals.This shot was taken when it popped up into the tree.

By Bury Wildlife, Apr 23 2015 07:16AM

Another day in the Holcombe Valley produced more of Yesterday with another bunch of the Ring Ouzels. There was also the addition of a Buzzard, Lesser Redpolls and a Goldcrest. This is also Bury best site for the Green Hairstreak butterfly. These are a moorland species that fly at this time of year and are associated with Bilberry. They are Emerald Green and 12 were found yesterday in the Spring sun. Not to be outdone Elton Reservoir had reports of several little Gulls. Thse look like a black headed gull but the black head is fuller. They bread in Northern and Eastern Europe so these are migrants. There was also my first Sedge Warbler of the year at this site with it unmistakeble song that sounds like a car starting up. More striking was the appearance of a very odd looking insect or fly. At first sight it looks like a Bee which it mimics or perhaps a Hover Fly. It is neither and is in effect a true fly with a huge proboscis that it uses to feed on nectar. Totally harmless to us it lays its eggs in mining bee nests which it is a parasite of. This one seemed to be checking out mining bee nests to do just that. The picture is blurred as it is quite mobile. These fly in the spring like the bees it lis dependent on.

By Bury Wildlife, Apr 21 2015 07:31PM

A visit to the Holcombe valley produced probably the best date for birds this year if not many years. Species are still on the move and many found today are still passing through. Best find were at least eight Ring Ouzels. These are a Thrushf and marked like a blackbird with a white brest. Quite skitty they were difficult to photo as shown and are passing through. Other finds included Stonechat Wheatear, Curlew, Reed Bunting, skylark, Linnet, Willow Warbler, Green Woodpecker, Chiffchsaff, Meadow Pipit and another one passing through the Grasshopper Warbler. ID is best from the song with a rolling grasshopper sound as asong.