(Report by John Clegg. Pictures by Dave Hardy.) Six members met at Ormskirk and a further two at Parbold for our five mile walk on this sunny day.
We started by walking along the canal with Swallows and Swifts flying overhead and Mallards on the water. We soon had a good view of a Whitethroat singing at the top of a tree. At Bridge 40 we walked down from the canal to the bridge over the River Douglas in the hope of a Kingfisher, but not today. While we ate our lunches we saw Orange Tip butterflies.After lunch we crossed Bridge 40 into a small wood, then out onto farmland. Jackdaws and Pheasants were about, along with Peacock butterflies. In the Fairy Glen the ground was carpeted with English Bluebells, the white flowers of Ramsons (Wild Garlic) and Pink Purslane.
On the bridge over the lower waterfall we spotted a pair of Grey Wagtails feeding in the fast-flowing stream. Up the steps on the other side of the bridge we came upon a patch of Marsh Marigolds in full flower. There was another pair of Grey Wagtails at the larger, upper waterfall, and a Chiffchaff was in full song.
On leaving the Fairy Glen we had to cross the main road to get to more farmland, where we saw Lapwings and Wood Pigeons. In the woodland on the side of the fields we saw Chaffinch and Willow Warbler singing away, and there was also a Jay. In the open fields beyond a Skylard was singing high in the sky with Buzzards flying over. Around a small pool there were St Mark’s Flies.
We returned to Parbold and ended the day with a group of Swifts flying over. A good walk enjoyed by all on a very fine day.
A total of 33 bird species were seen: House Sparrow, Blackbird, Robin, Goldfinch, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Dunnock, Wren, Starling, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Linnet, Skylark, Moorhen, Mallard, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Jay, Swallow, Swift, House Martin, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Buzzard, Kestrel, Black-headed Gull, Pheasant, Lapwing.
Four species of Butterfly: Peacock, Orange Tip, Small White and Green-veined White.
How to get there: Train from Liverpool to Ormskirk. From Ormskirk Bus Station take bus 3A (hourly Monday to Saturday) or bus 337 (2-hourly Monday to Saturday) to Parbold shops. No Sunday bus service. Alternately, take the train from Southport or Wigan to Parbold Station.