Taking the edge off


I was out with the Sanderlings Club at Ainsdale this morning (once a month, we take out a rabble of 8-12 year olds who run amok in the dunes and on the beach, poke things with sticks, startle Northern Dune Tiger Beetles, and traumatise St Mark’s Flies, all in the name of fun and education – it’s a blast), so after a lie down in a darkened room for an hour at lunchtime, I decided to make the most of the blue skies and get out in the LNR again for the afternoon.
The bitingly cold wind continued to mock the sun, but it was quiet enough south of Shore Road, and while the daytrippers descended on the beach I wandered down to the sheep enclosure.
The Gropper was reeling away this morning in the Sea Buckthorn by Ainsdale Discovery Centre, and it was still going strong at 3pm.
Mipits, Willow Warblers and Chiffies singing as I followed the dune path south and in the enclosure, a fine male Whinchat popped up to take the edge off the wind.


I settled down on the cropped turf on a low sheltered slope and watched the Whinchat for an hour…and relax.
The bird frequently zipped down to grab invertebrates in between long periods of showing off on exposed perches, encouraging me to take hundreds of blurry pictures.
It came quite close a few times – you’d have thought I’d get a least one picture in focus.
Stonechat in the enclosure still too – they seem to be doing well on the coast this year.


I walked back to the car late afternoon and on the spur of the moment squeezed in a quick trip onto Plex (I know, I know…), where a feeding flock of 31 Corn Buntings were on good form and the ongoing spring panic attack continued for the Lapwings.