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Read more about the article Dr Phil Smith Wildlife Notes: June 2023
Broad-bodied Chaser

Dr Phil Smith Wildlife Notes: June 2023

My May notes ended with “Surely June can’t be as dry as this, can it?”  Well it was, for the first nine days, leaving our wonderful sand-dunes burnt brown. Thereafter, live-giving rain fell on ten days but only in small amounts. Met. Office maps showed we had about 75% of normal rainfall during the month. Nationally, it was the hottest June since records began and the sunniest since 1957.

Continue ReadingDr Phil Smith Wildlife Notes: June 2023
Read more about the article Dr Phil Smith Wildlife Notes: May 2023
Common Sexton Beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides

Dr Phil Smith Wildlife Notes: May 2023

I thought we had got away without a spring drought this year but no such luck. May provided begrudging rainfall on only six days and nothing after 19th. Rachael Parks sent me rain-gauge data from her Formby garden. Her May total was 28.5 mm, this being 50% of the long-term average. Met. Office maps for May show that Greater Manchester and north Merseyside were the driest areas in England.

Continue ReadingDr Phil Smith Wildlife Notes: May 2023
Read more about the article Dr Phil Smith Wildlife Notes: April 2023
Don's Willow, Salix x doniana, Hightown Dunes

Dr Phil Smith Wildlife Notes: April 2023

Met Office maps show that, while England had average or above average April rainfall, Merseyside was much drier than usual; it was also on the cool side. Formby had a mere nine days with measurable precipitation and only one properly wet day (10th). As a result, the sand-dune water-table fell by about 12 cm (5 inches). Nevertheless, conditions were nothing like as bad as the spring droughts of recent years.

Continue ReadingDr Phil Smith Wildlife Notes: April 2023
Read more about the article Dr Phil Smith Wildlife Notes: March 2023
Wild Daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus), Ainsdale

Dr Phil Smith Wildlife Notes: March 2023

After a largely insect-free winter, I always look forward to March when things really begin to kick off. On 7th I was pleased to find a Greater Spring Blacklet basking on Ivy in woodland at Freshfield. This was a fairly early record of a widespread spring-flying hoverfly that mimics solitary bees.

Continue ReadingDr Phil Smith Wildlife Notes: March 2023

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