As autumn moves on there’s lots to explore
NOW we’re in the business end of autumn there’s plenty to see on the Sefton coast, whether it be Migrant Hawker dragonflies, late flowering wild flowers or the majesty of bird migration.
Days may be getting shorter, but the list of things to enjoy is as long as ever.
The team at Green Sefton have a few events lined up over the coming weeks, which I’ll be leading, to share the wonders of the Sefton coast.
On Thursday, October 25, we’ll be taking a walk along the Coast Road at Marshside to see what the high tide pushes out of the vast Ribble estuary.
If the wind is in the north west, it can force the waters of the Irish Sea right over the saltmarsh.
As the tide flows in, it disturbs many species that are usually hidden in the vegetation – and the predators that feed on them, so Kestrels, Merlins, Peregrines, Sparrowhawks, Hen Harriers (sadly scarce visitors nowadays), Marsh Harriers and Short Eared Owls can all turn up to have a field day.
Winter wildfowl numbers will be growing, with thousands of Pink Footed Geese, and ducks including Teal, Pintail, Shoveler and Wigeon seeking shelter on the Ribble.
Clouds of waders too can whizz by, pushed off feeding grounds by the tide.
Walking the Coast Road is a great way to observe this spectacle, so why not wrap up warm and join us?
We’ll be setting off by the RSPB car park beside the old Sandplant at Marshside at 11.30am – weather-appropriate clothing and stout footwear is essential, and don’t forget your binoculars!
The walk should last for two hours and conclude back beside the old Sandplant.
On Sunday, November 4, we’ll be taking a walk out to the shipwreck of the Star of Hope on Ainsdale beach, to see how the old cotton trader has fared after autumn gales and high tides.
This three-masted barque ran aground in 1883 in a terrible storm.
The crew safely found refuge on the Crosby lightship, but the wreck of the Star of Hope lies in the sands south of Ainsdale, held fast in changing channels.
We will be setting out for this walk from Ainsdale Discovery Centre (PR8 2QB) at 1.45pm.
Warm, waterproof clothing and wellingtons are absolutely essential as we will have to traverse channels to get to the wreck.
The walk will conclude back at the discovery centre at 4pm.
Finally volunteers have been counting the Sandwich Tern roost at the north end of Ainsdale beach during August and September, monitoring roost sizes and logging disturbance.
I’ll give a presentation of their findings and compare data with our tern surveys in previous years at Ainsdale Discovery Centre on Tuesday, November 20, at 7pm.
Booking is essential for these our events, as they tend to fill up quickly.
To book a place on any of these events, please call Green Sefton on 0151 934 2961 or email GreenSefton@sefton.gov.uk
The wreck of the Star of Hope, south of Ainsdale
We’ll be reviewing the findings of the 2018 Green Sefton Sandwich Tern Survey in November
High tide on the Ribble can produce a remarkable birdwatching spectacle