A full minibus headed north to meet with Stuart and Gillian in Morecambe. The day was beautifully sunny on arrival and continued to remain so for the duration of our visit. We started our saunter along the promenade to good views of numerous gulls including a common tern spotted by Maddy and were pleased to see large flocks of oystercatchers and redshank feeding on the mudflats. A few curlew were also noted and we were delighted to see a couple of turnstone searching for food at the end of a slipway. Eider, both male and female, were seen out at sea along with red breasted mergansers. There were sightings of pied wagtail feeding amongst the rocks whilst out at sea we watched a shag successfully catching its lunch! Great crested grebe were also seen in the bay and a common tern was spotted by Maddy.
Our picnic lunch was eaten in the warm autumn sunshine before we continued on to Happy Mount Park where we boarded the minibus to head to our next destination of Hest Bank. Here a cafe stop afforded some the opportunity for refreshment whilst a few of us continued birding. We were rewarded with the sight of godwit (black tailed it was decided after much discussion), amongst the flocks of oystercatchers and redshank and with the aid of Stuart's scope were able to identify lapwing, dunlin, shelduck, knot and greenshank as well.
The botanists recorded 59 species in flower including gallant soldier, sticky groundsel, annual wall rocket, lesser swine-cress and a late flowering sea campion. There was also sea radish at Hest Bank and 3 ferns were noted between boulders. Red Admiral butterflies were about all day and we also noted an occasional white.
An excellent day in all. Thanks go to Julia and Sue for their co-driving and to Stuart for leading as well as for the use of his scope which was invaluable in our identification efforts.
See the photos here.