Back again

Visible only really when she was hurtling about over the dune ridges, with a train of freaked out Mipits in hot pursuit, the Cuckoo was stealth personified once she dropped into the scrub.
Not surprising given what she (presumably a female given her silent and furtive behaviour) was up to.
Dive-bombing Meadow Pipits were the only thing that gave her away as she moved about deep in cover, looking for nests as I enjoyed my lunchtime circuit at Ainsdale today.
Andy Spottiswood had seen one earlier in the day in the same general area, so presumably she was still on the hunt for suitable nests to target when I made it out later on.
The closest I got to the Cuckoo was a grey blurry shape deep in the willows, but she was away again before I got near her, showing best as she zoomed over ridges and out of sight.

You can just make out the grey outline in the branches in the pic above.
Just. If you squint hard.
A few other bits and bobs about, not least a Lesser Whitethroat that rattled occasionally deep within the Sea Buckthorn, but was generally even more elusive than the Cuckoo, affording me only fleeting views.
Not bad for a lunchbreak though…

Ainsdale LNR (south) 1230-1350:
Willow Warbler 3; Whitethroat 7; Cuckoo 1; Lesser Whitethroat 1; Gropper 1; Linnet 9; Swallow 3; Wheatear 2 (plus usual resident species).

One thought on “Back again

  1. To mark the creation of an important nature reserve – RSPB Hesketh Out Marsh at Hesketh Bank near Southport, adults and children alike are invited to join a day of family fun celebrations.
    The incredible site, which is part of the Ribble Estuary National Nature Reserve has undergone a transformation over the last decade from farmland back to saltmarsh. This rare and vital habitat is home to a rich variety of unusual wildlife and has huge benefits for people too, by reducing flood risk and capturing carbon to help combat climate change.
    Thanks to a partnership of the RSPB, the Environment Agency and Natural England, and generous support from WREN (granting funds donated by FCC Environment), this award-winning project to restore the land back to saltmarsh reached its final stages of completion in September 2017. Now, 18 months on, with the site looking its wild and wonderful best in spring, the public are invited to join in a day of celebrations.
    Tony Baker, Site Manager of the RSPB Ribble Reserves said: “It has been a long journey to get to this point, first with the restoration of the West side of the site in 2008 and now with the completion of the final piece of the jigsaw on the East side of the reserve. Thanks to all the partners and funders involved, the site now attracts thousands of internationally important birds such as pink footed geese and wigeons in autumn and winter, to nesting wading birds such as avocets – the emblem of the RSPB, and the song of skylarks in spring and summer.
    “Many locals have been enjoying visiting the site throughout its development but may not be aware of the significance of the habitat here. We’re hoping lots of people will come along to our ‘Saltmarsh Celebration’ event to discover more about the work that has gone into creating this special place and take part in our exciting activities to get closer to the wildlife that calls it home.”
    The ‘Saltmarsh Celebration Day’ will take place on Saturday 18 May from 10am-4pm. A whole host of free, drop-in activities including behind the scenes saltmarsh safaris, mud dipping and more will allow the public to explore the site.
    For further information on Hesketh Out Marsh, visit


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