Cosmopolitan

Grey Heron on the River Mersey, Didsbury

Always a pleasure to visit the local woodlands during Spring even more so when there’s a walk along the riverbank to reach them. Locally the Grey Herons appear to be thriving and in common with many of the other birds typically associated with river valleys they don’t appear to be having any problems finding plenty of fish in the River Mersey.

The recovery in the Mersey is astonishing. Seems a long time ago since Michael Heseltine described it as “an affront to the standards a civilised society should demand from its environment”.

Ring-necked Parakeet close to Ford Lane, Didsbury
In addition to our native species south Manchester also has an increasing population from further afield with flocks of between 20 & 30 Ring-necked Parakeets being common. The area around Fletcher Moss Gardens, Stenner Woods and Ford Lane is especially reliable. Their call is unmistakeable and in Spring they’re easily seen.
Pair of Ring-necked Parakeet, Didsbury

Ring-necked Parakeet close to Ford Lane, Didsbury. Surprisingly affectionate. Plenty of courtship behaviour to be seen.

Ring-necked Parakeet preening in the spring sunshine
Ring-necked Parakeet
Ring-necked Parakeet complete with formidable bill
Backlit Snakeshead Fritillary in the spring sunshine
Another exotic – Snakeshead Fritillary. Native to many parts of Europe its status as a British native isn’t convincing and the majority if not all of the plants found in England are likely to have been planted with a few isolated populations now naturalised. Still on a beautiful Spring afternoon who cares they still look superb growing close to the edge of Stenner Woods.
Wood Anemone's growing in Stenner Woods, Didsbury
Wood Anemone growing in an undisturbed area of Stenner woods. A real indicator that Spring has arrived.
Few-flowered Leek
Few-flowered Leek, another non-native species that’s becoming increasingly common. Originating from the mountains of Iran, Caucasus, and Turkmenistan since making the jump over the garden wall its continued to spread. With a preference for damp areas its clearly at home in south Manchester.
         Jake in Stenner Woods

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