While our local plant-life has hogged the headlines this month, other wildlife groups have had their moments. I saw nine species of dragonfly at ponds on the Birkdale Sandhills Local Nature Reserve on 23rd June, including the locally uncommon Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa) and Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum). Like the butterflies, they have been hit by the bad weather, but there was a notable influx of migratory Painted Ladies (Cynthia cardui) early on, while our local speciality, the Dark Green Fritillary (Argynnis aglaja), was showing well at Ainsdale on 21st June; quite an early date.
Natterjack Toads spawned again in the middle of the month, when their breeding sites re-flooded. This is unusual, but not unprecedented, and they may have a chance to produce toadlets if the wet weather continues.
Bird-watchers often struggle to find anything unusual in mid-summer but a Red-necked Phalarope at Martin Mere was an attraction early on and the breeding Avocets, both there and at Marshside, are always good value. The ornithological month ended on 29th with a real highlight for hardy sea-watchers - a record count of 1630 Manx Shearwaters off Formby Point.