Moss Side

A long while I go I booked one of Natural England’s walks onto Chartley Moss. This year I thought I’d invite Moss newbies Colin Green and Dave Gray along. So after a few anxious emails and texts to reserve manager Melanie Brown on Friday, when it was positively Baltic, I was assured White-faced Darter had started to emerge 10 days ago. The weather forecast was also set fair.

Chartley Moss

Chartley Moss

I led a bird walk in Belgrave Cemetery in the morning and after meeting up with Col and Dave we headed off into darkest Staffordshire. Fortified with sandwiches and in my case a Bacon, Sausage and Cheese Oatcake, hey when in Staffs, we met up at the reserve entrance. For anyone whose never been, while you’re in the rolling farmland it’s hard to believe that a few 100m away is a fine example of a Schwingmoor or Quaking Bog.

Elf and Safety Briefing

Elf and Safety Briefing

We soon picked up our first Odonata, my first of the year a nice Large Red Damselfly and a plenty of Green Hairstreak butterflies. These however were very much a sideshow… the White-faced Darter were emerging. I guess all the earlier adults were killed off by the recent cold (hopefully not before ovipositing) so all we saw were tenerals or Lime-faced Darter as they could be called. These smashing little odes were lifers for Col and Dave who, I think, enjoyed the trip.

Emerging White-faced Darter

Emerging White-faced Darter

Teneral female White-faced Darter

Teneral female White-faced Darter

Teneral male White-faced Darter

Teneral male White-faced Darter

Teneral male White-faced Darter

Teneral male White-faced Darter

At the teneral stage, Dragonflies are very susceptible to damage as the wings haven’t yet hardened and a few were clearly never going to make it.

Mel Brown and Friend

Mel Brown and Friend

Other flora to be seen include Bog Rosemary and Sundews.

Bog Rosemary

Bog Rosemary

Sundew

Sundew

After a pretty bad week for the Natural England needed some good PR so many thanks to Mel and her helpers for another great trip onto the Moss. Please note that Chartley Moss is only accessible by contacting Natural England and under no circumstances should anyone attempt to visit without a professional guide.

Chartley Moss

Chartley Moss

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2 responses to “Moss Side

  1. Colin Green

    Had a great dayout mate its one very interesting reserve,thanks for organising it

  2. thedrunkbirder

    Cheers Col. Got any good shots?

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