News archive

November 2013

Sunday, 17 November 2013

male stonechat perched on bramble

Oh, we all like to be beside the seaside !

The Groups trip to the sand dune complex of Ainsdale proved to be interesting ! On arrival at Ainsdale beach we stumbled across 8 Eider Duck swimming just offshore and hundreds of Common Scoter flying around further out to sea in the sea mist. On the beach a small party of 47 Sanderling and a single Bar Tailed Godwit fed on the tide line. Overhead several skeins of Pink Footed Geese flew, calling in the low cloud before breaking out into clean air. Feeding around the car park were about 15 Meadow Pipit and a fixed flock of Linnet and Goldfinch. We left the sea and set off inland into the dune complex. We passed pools where the Natterjack Toads can be found but save for a few Meadow Pipits and the odd Reed Bunting, little was seen in this vast 'up and down' sandy / rough grass landscape. Rather disappointingly the only bird of prey we saw was a Kestrel but saying that, Kestrels are becoming a rarer sight now. A flushed Snipe and distant flock of 30 Twite provided some interest in the heartland of the dunes as well as a pair of Stonechat provided a colourful interlude before the path took us back to the sea again. A quick last look over the sea brought fabulous views of a Great Northern Diver next to a Red Throated Diver - giving everyone a chance to compare and contrast these two birds. A few Great Crested Grebe added to the birds on the sea rounding off a good day's birding. The walk across the sand dunes was undulating, heavy underfoot and very tiring. We all deserved the tea and cakes at the Red Squirrel sanctuary at Freshfields at the end of the walk .... we all looked longingly at the drinks like the characters from the film 'Ice cold in Alex' !!