January was slightly milder than usual and had average rainfall, this having little effect on the dune water-
With few notable birds about this month, I decided to check out a Snow Bunting supposedly showing well at Hall Road, Blundellsands. Needless to say, I just missed it and had to be content with a flock of about 150 noisy Starlings squabbling for food scraps in the carpark, while an icy wind came in off the sea. Dave Hardaker sent me an excellent photo of the bird taken a day or two earlier.
Later in the month I also missed out on a Long-
I joined a West Lancashire Wildlife guided walk at Marshside on 24th, timed to take advantage of a 9.9m tide. However, high atmospheric pressure meant it didn’t flood in as far as expected and the flypast of waterfowl was not up to the usual standard. Nevertheless, a walk along the old sand-
The following day saw me at the Alt Estuary where another large tide had displaced about 1600 Oystercatchers and 280 Curlews from their feeding grounds to roost in front of the Rifle Range. A Buzzard over the shore was an unusual sight, while one of many Black-
As frequently mentioned in these notes, scrub invasion, especially by the introduced Sea Buckthorn, is a major threat to our sand-
On the last day of the month, I spent a pleasant, if cold, hour at the National Trust’s Victoria Road Red Squirrel reserve. At least six of these delightful mammals were scampering about, entertaining the visitors. Surveys suggest that numbers have almost recovered to levels achieved before the parapox outbreak of 2007/08. Our squirrels have the dark-