The mild November weather encouraged me to get out to Formby Point and complete the survey of Black Poplars which has been ongoing for over a year. The grand total is now about 620 trees! I found quite a lot of previously overlooked specimens, for example in the area north of Lifeboat Road where sand was extracted commercially many years ago. I wanted to find out when these trees were planted, so I went to Merseyside BioBank to look at the 1945 aerial photographs. These can be viewed through a stereoscope to give a 3D image. Sure enough, the poplars were visible as tiny bushes in the floor of the sand-
Driving back from Ormskirk on 6th, I had the thrill of seeing a Red Kite fly over my car at Hillhouse near Great Altcar. This is still a rare bird in our area, despite the many successful introductions in other parts of the country. Other good birds during the month were a flock of 45 Twite on the shore at Weld Road, Birkdale which I saw on 9th and a Shorelark which graced Southport beach for about a week. I finally caught up with it on 15th when assembled watchers on the seawall were enjoying good views until a jogger inadvertently flushed the bird.