“Surely June can’t be as dry as this” I wrote at the end of the May notes. Fortunately it wasn’t. Thanks to a shift in the North Atlantic Jet Stream, measureable rain fell on about 18 days, mostly in small to moderate amounts. The online weather radar showed we missed some torrential thundery downpours by just a few miles.
The desperately needed rain had a dramatic effect on our coastal vegetation, most obviously seen on road verges which started off straw-
The rain came just in time for our duneland orchids. Bee Orchids were certainly down in numbers but I counted 35 of these beauties in the Devil’s Hole at Ravenmeols. Early Marsh-
The dune water-
The damp conditions interspersed by sunny intervals suited some of our duneland insects, though others seem to have been hit by the spring drought. Thus, I saw very few colourful day-
A pulse of hot air from the continent on 24-
A few days earlier, a walk with Trevor north from Sands Lake, Ainsdale, characterised the Sefton Coast in June. Passing by rare hoverflies on umbellifer flowers, an exotic goldfish about 18 inches long vied for attention with a pair of Mute Swans and their five cygnets. Studded with Pyramidal Orchids, the open dunes produced the first Small Skippers and Small Heath butterflies of the season, while two Dark Green Fritillaries dashed past. Golden mounds of Kidney Vetch hummed with bumblebees. The familiar orange-