Couldn't resist a walk through the dunes, slacks and along the beach at Ainsdale this afternoon in wall to wall sun (don't forget, the days start drawing in from here on!) and it wasn't half bad.
Plenty of Bee Orchids flowering now, with at least 10 Pyramidal "ice cream cone" Orchids blooming too, and the first Marsh Helleborines in flower.
In one slack, I noticed a pure white orchid, a strain of Marsh Orchid (I think) but I could have done with Phil Smith with me to make sure - I digiscoped it to avoid beating a path through the watery vegetation to the plant!
Birdwise, the usual dune summer species were about - Meadow Pipits, Skylarks, Linnets - with two Willow Warblers still trying to sing from the tops of scrub being pushed about in the breeze something awful - they must have felt a bit queasy. Ten out of ten for effort though.
Out on the shore, 4 Lapwings were wheeling about, but the sea was way toooo distant and shimmery to attempt a low tide seawatch - there'll be other days I suppose.
A Ringed Plover chaperoned me all the way along a stretch of shore until I was far enough away for the bird to relax.
Hopefully it had a brood in the nearby cover.
I didn't want to hang around too long to find out - or draw the Carrion Crows and Jackdaws to the area. Be nice if they had nested along the shore though.
Whitethroats and Blackcaps still singing around the Sands Lake, but disappointingly, no dragonflies (too breezy presumably).
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...