In a year of extreme weather events, December contributed a suitable climax -
Meanwhile, at Hightown, the Sailing Club premises were swamped and most of the sand tipped here in 2011 for a coast protection scheme was washed away. It was supposed to last 30 years. The weathered brick-
I was also interested to see the impact of the surge on the Green Beach north of Ainsdale-
Great quantities of tidal drift along the beaches included vast numbers of Razor-
As expected, the gale brought in lots of gulls, a spectacular roost of over 15,000, mostly Herring Gulls, forming on the Ainsdale/Birkdale shore, accompanied by 650 Cormorants and impressive flocks of Oystercatchers. I also spotted an adult Mediterranean Gull at Formby Point, almost exactly where I was shown my first by Maurice Jones in 1969.
December is often a quiet month for birds but the male Baikal Teal at Crossens Marsh attracted large numbers of twitchers. I went to see it on 3rd – an exciting bird but there is always a question mark about the origin of exotic wildfowl. This species breeds in eastern Siberia and should have been wintering in China or Japan. Also visible at distance on Banks Marsh was one of two Great White Egrets on the Ribble. These often roost at dusk with Little Egrets on Southport Marine Lake’s northern island.
A tour of the mosslands inland of Formby produced a flock of 1600 Pink-