New Moorhen Chicks Sighted in Alexandra Park

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Tony O’Mahony, a local ornithologist, has reported seeing two new moorhen chicks on the lake in Alexandra Park.

If you have seen any of the new chicks, or for that matter any other wildlife in Alexandra Park, and have taken photos or videos then please let us know and/or upload onto this site. We are always happy to receive new photos and videos of our local wildlife.

Tony has also submitted WEBS count data for the months of June, July and August 2017

WEBS count June 2017

WEBS Count July 2017

WEBS Count August 2017

Photo of a moorhen chick is courtesy of:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gallinula_chloropus_-Common_Moorhen_chick.jpg

 

 

 

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International Bat Night 2017 – This Weekend 26/27 August.

Take Part in International Bat Night 2017!

This Weekend Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th August.

 

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Common Pipistrelle bat in flight (Wikimedia Commons)

International Bat Night has taken place every year since 1997 and over  30 countries all over the world join in with this celebration which takes place on the last full weekend of August. The 21st International Bat Night will be held on the weekend of 26-27 August 2017.

International Bat Night is an opportunity to raise awareness of bats as well as highlighting the need for the conservation of bats and their habitats. Nature conservation agencies, Non-Governmental Agencies (NGOs) and bat enthusiasts from across the world engage with the public about the way bats live and their needs by using presentations, exhibitions,  bat walks and other events, often offering the opportunity to listen to bat sounds with the support of ultrasound technology. UK Bat groups, park rangers and community groups organise bat walks and talks at dusk, as well as some day time fun days! Everybody across the UK can celebrate bats whether it is by going out and seeing and hearing them in their natural environment or by taking part in a range of events organised by local bat groups, wildlife trusts, countryside rangers and other organisations across the country.

To check if there are any events near you during International Bat Night visit:

http://www.bats.org.uk/events.php.

To know what other countries in Europe are up to visit:

http://www.eurobats.org/international_bat_night

If you are planning on organizing your own event, have a look at The Bat Conservation Trust’s International Bat Night Pack to give you some ideas and which you can download by CLICKING HERE. Please also consider fundraising for bats as every donation whether large or small makes a difference and enables the Bat Conservation Trust to continue to protect and speak up for bats. You can send them your donations via this JustGiving page:  https://www.justgiving.com/bats

In addition, Alexandra Park will be hosting a Bat Walk on Wednesday evening of 6th September.

This will be a free event and you can register onto it via the link below:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bat-evening-walk-around-alexandra-park-tickets-37157859157

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Rare Fox Sighted in Greater Manchester!?

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Photos of Black Fox from Wikimedia Commons

One of Britain’s rarest animals has been spotted roaming the streets of Sale, Greater Manchester!  According to recent media reports.

The animal was said to be a black fox which was seen by a man in his van who later filmed it walking around an industrial unit.

However, it was actually a runaway pet, called Wilf!

On their Facebook page called, Adventures of Wilf, the two sisters who own Wilf, writing from his perspective, said: “I, Wilfred the Silver fox would like to admit to purposely escaping from my house/outdoor enclosure to get more Facebook likes and make the newspapers. I apologise to my owners and followers for causing any worry and panic… but I can’t promise it won’t happen again.”

Wilf previously disappeared at the end of July and was found after a social media appeal.

http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/black-fox-britains-rarest-animal-spotted-roaming-the-streets-of-manchester/ar-AAqzYcD?li=BBoPWjQ&ocid=UE07DHP

 

Sadly, black foxes have largely disappeared from the UK due to past extensive hunting for their unique black fur but odd ones have been spotted here and there.

 

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Total Solar Eclipse – An Important Reminder

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On Monday, 21st August 2017, thousands travelled and gathered to observe the once in a lifetime celestial celebration of the Moon passing the Sun in a total solar eclipse along the East Coast of the USA.

Millions more watched it on their TV and Internet. For many it induced feelings of excitement and awe as they watched day turn into night if only for a couple or more minutes. During this time, birds stopped singing, flowers closed and the air got cooler in the absence of the heat and light from the Sun.

It is at times like this, that we can recognise how important the Sun is to our planet and for sustaining all life on Earth.

Retired NASA astrophysicist, Fred Espenak, has stated:

“You get an overwhelming sense of humbleness and how small and petty we really are compared to the mechanics of the solar system, the clockwork of the universe, these events that are taking place that we can in now way affect or stop.”

Although this recent solar eclipse was an important reminder of just how important the Sun is, people have always gathered at other times to celebrate less dramatic reminders of how much we depend upon the Sun for our life on Earth.

These observances took place at the Solstices and Equinoxes each year.

A Solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice each year when the sun reaches its highest position in the sky as seen from the North or South Pole.  The day of the Solstice is either the “longest day of the year” which takes place in summer or the “shortest day of the year” which takes place in winter for any place on earth. The length of the time between sunrise and sunset on that day is the yearly maximum or minimum for that place.

An Equinox occurs twice a year (in March and September) when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun – the centre of the Sun being in the same plane as the Earth’s equator.

Although such celebrations may be steeped in tradition, they are nonetheless an important reminder of how everything is interconnected and how much we rely on natural cycles for our benefit and for life on Earth to exist and grow.

Julie Boyd

Bright-sun

 

 

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A New Community Garden in Whalley Range!

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The Sunset/Sunrise Survey Summer 2017

The Sunset/Sunrise Survey – Monitoring Bats and other Wildlife
Chris Packham has recently promoted this survey on Springwatch! This survey can be conducted until September and is ideal for complete beginners as well as the more experienced volunteers who also enjoy this survey because it is a great way for locating roosts in your area.

You do not need any specialist equipment or previous experience.  You just need to go out at dusk and/or dawn and look for bats! Going out at dawn increases the chance of locating a roost through spotting bat swarming behaviour.

This is a perfect opportunity to get together with family/friends and discover bats and other wildlife in your local area. Simply head out at dusk or before dawn, or both! Spend an hour in your garden or walking around your local area and look out for bats.

  • You can carry out your survey anytime from now until September.
  • You will need: Survey form, pencil/pen, torch, watch.
  • If you are doing your survey in the evening start at sunset. If you are doing your survey at dawn start one hour before sunrise.
  • Spend an hour looking for bats and any other nocturnal animals you can see or hear.

A downloadable form and instructions and link to the online recording form can be found on the Bat Conservation Trust  Sunset/Sunrise Survey page which also includes videos of different sights you might see when carrying out this survey.

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THIS SUNDAY! INSECTS IN ALEXANDRA PARK – FREE EVENT – 6th AUGUST 2017

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Small Skipper on Devil’s Bit – Photo Courtesy of GMEU

SUNDAY 6TH AUGUST 2017 10:00am – 3:00pm

Join the Alexandra Park Wildlife Forum for a wonderful day looking at some of the amazing insects in Alexandra Park with insect specialists from the Greater Manchester Ecology Unit (GMEU)! The day will include looking at insects up close, learning how to identify them, the different species that inhabit the park. The day will be concluded with a quiz. Although this event is aimed primarily at adults, children are welcome if accompanied by a responsible adult

Please bring a packed lunch. Tea and coffee will be provided. Please also bring weather-suitable clothing, cameras/video recorders, smart phones for taking photos

Numbers will be limited so please reserve/book your place via email:Whalleyrange4wildlife@yahoo.com

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Chrysotoxum bicinctum – Photo Courtesy of GMEUB

Banded Demoiselles

Banded Demoiselles – Photo Courtesy of Copland Smith

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