Saturday 19th October 10:15 - 16:00
Fine and Sunny
Number in Party 8
We hoped it wasn't going to be an omen for the day when we looked northward toward the Lake District because we could see thick dark clouds of rain lashing down over the hills. No chance! It was shorts and t-shirts weather all day long where we were heading, and if it wasn't for the fact it was mid-October you would swear it was a midsummers day. Before we had left the car park a party of a dozen greenfinch kept our attention with their flitting in and out of the gorse-lined fences adjacent to us. On the shore, eight ringed plovers happily roosted close by with redshank bobbing in between them. There was another mixed flock of finches including linnet further around the path, their movement watched closely by the local sparrowhawk. As we moved down towards the newly erected hide, we hit a perilous section of path, wall to wall in mud, we couldn't go over it, we couldn't go round it, we had to go through it, so the story says and since only one or two took the precaution of wearing Wellington boots, the rest of us had to gingerly navigate a path that was quite deep in places, and we didn't find any bears either.
A newly built wall adjacent to the path enclosed the hide, a Camera Obscura and Sambo's grave and after we had our sandwiches overlooking the shore, we went to investigate. Black nightshade grew in the hedgerow next to the gate and also lined the path toward the grave.
Now clear of the mud, it common storksbill that gave us colour under-foot as we moved towards the point just before high tide. Hundreds of lapwing, large handfuls of oystercatcher, knot, redshank and curlew wheeled and jostled for the higher ground as the tide brought them closer to us. Red-breasted merganser, eider, grey plover and common gull also flew across the point.
We continued on along the path in a loop which came out at the hide once more, adding the usual array of smaller birds to the list including song thrush long-tailed tit and dunnock in the process. We had to renegotiate the dreaded muddy section again on the way back to the car park, but it didn't seem as long or intense as the previous occasion, somehow.