Sawbills and Butterbur

 

 A pair of Goosanders on the River Mersey
Courtship begins. A pair of Goosanders on the River Mersey opposite Chorlton Water Park.

Until 4 years ago Goosanders were winter visitors departing north in late February/early March. More recently they’ve started to breed further upstream and can now be seen all year round. A definite sign of improving water quality.

 Female Goosander

Note the female’s backcombed hair. Good to see her fitting in with the locals.

 Drake Goosander

The smart black and white Goosander drake complete with glossy dark green head.

 Lesser Celandine

The first flowers of the Lesser Celandine on the banks of the Mersey.

 Primrose

The first rose narrowly beaten into flower this year by the Butterbur

 Butterbur
Nothing delicate about this one. If any plant is as tough as old boots surely the Butterbur is the one.

Reputed to be named after the large Rhubarb like leaves that historically were used to wrap butter. Also responsible for the clouds of Butterbur moths that erupt in late summer along the banks of the Mersey (much appreciated by the young Swallows, Pipistrelles and Noctules). Medicinally Butterbur has been used as an anti-histamine however whilst effective unfortunately it’s also carcinogenic. Not one to try at home.

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