With the countryside in flames, farmers losing millions and the water-
As in June, the heat was good for duneland butterflies, many appearing weeks earlier than normal. Graylings peaked before the middle of the month and there was a tremendous hatch of Small Coppers with 30+ on Pinfold meadow at Ainsdale NNR. Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns and Common Blues were numerous throughout, while other species had a shorter flight period. Thus, Ringlets had largely gone by early July, though a straggler posed nicely at the Ainsdale Woodland Walk on 17th. A particular highlight was Pete Kinsella’s discovery of Purple Hairstreaks on oaks at Ainsdale NNR. I managed to see several circling around the treetops but they were too distant to photograph.
Also benefitting from the warm weather, grassy areas were alive with our three grasshoppers, the Field, Mottled and Common Green. The first two have several colour-
Dragonflies also had a good month with plenty of Emperors and Black-
My main plant survey this summer recorded changes in populations of the unassuming Flat-
Patricia Lockwood joined me on 23rd to visit Marshside, our targets being Common and Lax-
As part of his research for a Handbook on gentians and centauries, Tim Rich came up from Cardiff specially to see the hybrid between the Common and Seaside Centauries. I recommended several places where he could easily find this rare plant. Patricia and I met him at Birkdale Green Beach where there was a fine display of the parents and the hybrid, together with the Lesser Centaury for good measure. He was rather pleased.
As usual, I was involved with several well-