Further unsettled weather during the month accelerated the recovery of the sand-
The Devil’s Hole slack’s plant life is a constant source of interest, recent colonists including numerous baby willow bushes of several different kinds. I was thrilled to find amongst them a single shoot of the hybrid Salix × doniana, sometimes known as Don’s Willow, one of Britain’s rarest plants with only about 30 bushes recorded in the country. Earlier this year, I knew of 27 on the Sefton dunes but two near Lifeboat Road have died recently, for unknown reasons. However, the discovery of a new youngster at Lifeboat Road, together with the one at Devil’s Hole, restores our full complement of bushes. Also at Devil’s Hole were 15 saplings of another nationally rare hybrid willow, Salix × friesiana (no English name), known from only about ten British localities.
On rare sunny days during the month, flowering masses of Irish Ivy at Ravenmeols woods attracted hoards of insects, especially hover-
Patricia Lockwood joined me on 10th for visit to Marshside salt-
Despite cool conditions, a few dragonflies survived late into the month, including two Migrant Hawkers and a Common Darter at Marshside on 21st, while I also recorded the latter species on Ainsdale dunes on 27th.
A spectacular flight of Pink-
Autumn colours were also evident, as usual, in the Formby Point woodlands, with Norway Maple being a candidate for the brightest of all.