United Utilities’ introduction of a hose-
Following an early emergence in late June, our most important duneland butterfly, the Dark Green Fritillary, reached unprecedented numbers, appearing in areas where they have rarely been seen before. Rachael Parks contacted me to report four sightings in her Formby garden where, in past years, she has recorded only one. My visit to Ainsdale dunes on 11th was rewarded by the sight of dozens of these spectacular orange-
During June and July, Liverpool Hope University hosted a visit by the coastal ecologist Dr Maike Isermann from Bremen, studying the effects of scrub removal on the sand-
Maike was particularly interested to see the famous shingle beach at Hightown. Here, erosion of a tipped rubble embankment has produced a unique habitat of water-
One of our most beautiful duneland flowers, the Sea Bindweed (Calystegia soldanella) has been highlighted for special study by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Endangered Plants Group. Pat Lockwood and I therefore monitored six colonies on the Sefton Coast during July. We already knew the whereabouts of five of them but not one on Ainsdale Local Nature Reserve which was originally found in 1949. By coincidence, Maike Isermann came across it during her researches and provided us with a grid reference. First recorded on the dunes here in 1801, Sea Bindweed was familiar to several 19th century writers but, by the 1960s, had become “very rare”. Fortunately, it has survived and may even be increasing, several new Sefton Coast colonies having been discovered in recent years.
July is often a quiet period for birdwatchers but seabirds were already on the move before the month’s end, with a sizeable shore roost of about 180 Sandwich Terns and 550 Common Terns at Ravenmeols on 28th and at least 185 of the former species at Ainsdale three days later. It was good to see so many juvenile Sandwich Terns with the flocks, indicating a good breeding season.