The Met. Office reckoned it was the warmest and sunniest May on record; it was also dry with measurable rainfall on only eight days. Forecasts of torrential thunder-
As usual, May provided many wildlife highlights. Ainsdale Sandhills Local Nature Reserve never fails to impress, a visit on 4th with Trevor Davenport giving us great views of a male Whinchat and six Greenland Wheatears before we found several gorgeous Dune Pansies. White Satin moth caterpillars were abundant on the Creeping Willow, a precursor to a spectacular emergence of these ghostly white moths at the end of the month. Andrew Hampson of Gems in the dunes showed us a resplendent male Sand Lizard, the first I have seen for about three years. There were also many Northern Dune Tiger Beetles, leading me to plan a survey of these iconic Nationally Rare insects. The sunny weather certainly suited them; in three visits I recorded the locations of 275 adults on frontal dune ridges extending north for 850m from Ainsdale-
One of the hottest May Bank Holidays on record led to Formby being grid-
There wasn’t much time for birding but on 10th Marshside Nature Reserve provided the strange sight of a Barn Owl feeding on a dead Black-
May would not be complete without an organised trip round Altcar Training Camp to see the Green-
Orchids are also a feature of the Wildlife Trust’s Haskayne Cutting Nature Reserve, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Patricia Lockwood and I have been surveying the marsh-
Finally, I was surprised and delighted to hear that Joyce and David Jarvis had discovered Isle of Man Cabbage in the north Birkdale frontal dunes. I counted 20 plants there in full flower. This small colony, derived from a translocation in 2011, was thought to have been extinct since 2015. It was a welcome return of a British endemic plant and a Sefton Coast speciality!