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Here Comes Sum........ er Spring!

Given the warm sunny weather of late I felt a walk on Newchurch Common looking for newly emerged insect life was overdue. So I waited until the afternoon to let it get as warm and sunny as possible and then headed out to see what had popped its head out to enjoy the warmth.

Amazingly after a few days ago having had my first ever record of Whimbrel at Newchurch I had a Whimbrel record again. After hearing them call, I watched a group of 10 Whimbrel circle low over Big Pool appearing as though they were looking for somewhere to land. One even skimmed so low it touched the water’s surface! Eventually after about 10 minutes of circling and calling they flew off higher and higher in a V-formation to the west. On the pools all was quiet otherwise, with very few Tufted Ducks left. A Lapwing called near Big Pool. On Shemmy Moss a male Yellowhammer showed well, perching up and singing on the lone dead tree. Just before the Yellowhammer landed here a Green Woodpecker used the same vantage point to sit and yaffle its head off for a good 10 minutes! A second Green Woodpecker yaffled near Small Pool. On the mosslands a Cuckoo was again calling, but again only a single male was present, a far cry from the 5 seen a few years ago. About 5 Garden Warblers were heard and one seen well. A male Reed Bunting was singing on Abbot's Moss. Nearby. a Swift was seen at the horse paddocks on Foxwist Green Lane.

However, the main targets were invertebrates and the butterfly species seen were Holly Blue, Large White (pictured), Green-veined White, Brimstone, Orange-tip and Speckled Wood. A Brown Silver-line Moth (pictured) was also seen. My first odonata were teneral Common Blue Damselflies (pictured), a hatch must have just occurred. Later on I found the first Cheshire records this year of Red-eyed Damselflies (pictured), with 2 on brambles near Big Pool. Other invertebrates seen included Common Drone Fly and Footballer Hoverfly (pictured), Yellow Dung Fly (pictured), Red and Black Froghopper (pictured), Alder Leaf Beetle, 14-Spot Ladybird (pictured), Harlequin Ladybirds mating (pictured), an Alder Fly, a Caddis Fly larva, a red form of Garden Orb Weaver Spider (pictured) and Nursery Web Spider (pictured). Common Twayblade plants are just emerging too.

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