Spent a relaxing hour or two on the Green Beach and dunes at Ainsdale this afternoon - still really warm, and although nothing startling, plenty to look at.
Four Skylarks were singing away above the southernmost section, usually high up, but one or two came down and sang on the deck.
Wary as hell, they were really difficult to get close to.
Phil Smith was down there (Hi Phil!) busy botanising and counting Natterjack spawn strands - the whole place must be a flora lovers dream.
From cotton grass to marsh orchids, irises to Baltic rush, it's in the Green Beach. Great place.
Phil had seen a teneril Common Darter (an early date) and there are Four Spot Chaser, Azure, Blue Tailed and Common Damselfly on the wing in the slacks now.
A few Common Blue Butterflies about too.
Found a few Bee Orchid stalks in bud - they'll be flowering soon, and there were plenty of Meadow Pipits, a few pairs of Linnets and Reed Buntings about.
Lapwing, Pheasant and Whitethroat along the Green Beach, and at one point I could have sworn I heard a Natterjack, but surely it's too late in the year (and at 5pm) and too early in the day for a "Birkdale Nightingale"?
Two Willow Warblers singing away around the Sands Lake, including this nice bright throated individual, and the Blackcap still warbling in the buckthorn there.
Wind seems to be turning a bit now, so I just need a decent tide to get seawatching.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies....