Each summer I usually conduct a detailed survey of at least one uncommon coastal plant. This year, the chosen target was the rather unprepossessing Saltmarsh Flat-
Despite rather inclement weather, a guided walk on 19th for Sefton Leisure Services attracted about 28 enthusiasts to visit the famous Devil’s Hole. This is the enormous blow-
Every now and again one of my trips really sticks in the memory. An example was a visit to the Green Beach on 20th. My arrival at Ainsdale coincided with a high tide that had pushed a roost of 3500 Sanderlings up the shore. This was one of the largest gatherings of that species I had ever seen. With them were about 2500 Dunlins and 150 Ringed Plovers. I managed to persuade two groups of dog-
After the wettest summer for 100 years, sunnier conditions towards the end of August caused duneland butterflies to emerge in large numbers. Peacocks were especially numerous and were joined by the equally colourful Small Tortoishell. Once a common sight, the latter species has been hard to find in recent years, so it was a delight to see 30-
A visit to Freshfield Dune Heath on 29th was enlivened by a female Southern Hawker basking in a sheltered spot on flowering Heather, while the month ended with a big hatch of Migrant Hawkers. I counted 16 flying around the Natural England offices at Ainsdale on 30th, while others posed for photographs on the Green Beach Alder bushes.
Finally, I reached the main target of my visit, the frontal dune-