A pattern of dry spring months has been evident for over a decade, March having only 65% of normal rainfall in England and Wales. An unexpected deluge came on 12th-
As usual, the Common Toads spawned later, with hundreds appearing at Cabin Hill on 23rd. The only water for them was in a shallow scrape dug in 2005, which also supported about 210 batches of frog spawn.
Spring bird migration was generally slow but Marshside produced 55 elegant Avocets on 15th, where the yellow umbellifer, Alexanders, was already in flower together with flamboyant catkins of Grey Willow. My first Wheatear, an immaculate male, was at Ainsdale Discovery Centre on 19th. Rachael Parks sent me photos of a Tree Bumble Bee (Bombus hypnorum) in her Formby garden. Having a distinctive orange thorax, this species colonised Britain in 2000 and has rapidly spread north, probably responding to climate change like so many other insects.
If you like gulls, which I do, there was some good news this month. The High Court blocked the continuation of a cull of Lesser Black-
According to the Local Environmental Quality Survey of England, the Northwest is the most littered region of Britain. One of the side-
My first wildlife notes in March 2007 mentioned a project to map our local dragonflies. Eight years later, this came to fruition with the publication of The Dragonflies of Lancashire and North Merseyside by the Lancashire & Cheshire Fauna Society. This 103-