The startlingly strong south westerly was fierce enough to pick up tonnes of top soils from the fields of the South West Lancs mosslands, darkening the sky and sending gulls skittering across the blue.
Totally dustbowl baby.
Clouds of Swallows, House Martins and Swifts – up to 100 birds – fed in the lee of the tall trees at Thornton, especially over the newish drainage pool as I waited for another round of food delivery pick-ups for distribution across the borough.
Top marks then for a few of Ainsdale Local Nature Reserve’s Willow Warblers who clung on to the territorial advantageous high points to keep on singing.
One of the reserve’s still reeling Groppers wisely kept low, it’s belly just visible through a tangle of Sea Buckthorn branches.
Yesterday before the wind really muscled in I crept up on a pair of mating Small Heaths (I know, I know, I need help) – not a butterfly you often get the chance to get close to, but they were in a different universe at the time.
I intruded still further by videoing them for a few treasured seconds on the sheltered slope amongst the downy seedheads of Creeping Willow.
You can watch that on You Tube here against the dune backdrop of singing Whitethroat and Willow Warbler.
Thanks to you all for letting me know what you’re seeing by the way – please keep the comments coming, while I try to work out where I feel most comfortable isolation birding locally over the Bank Holiday weekend…
Stay safe all.