West Kirby, 26th May 2019

Well, that was an odd day. It was wet and drizzly for a start, and we were forced out of Liverpool by the Marathon, which had closed some roads and disrupted many buses. So we took the first Wirral train that came, ending up in West Kirby, where there wasn’t all that much to see. The tide was out, and some people were setting off over the sands for Little Eye, although it wasn’t an officially recommended day.

Just by the Dee Lane slipway was a large clump of yellow flowers, which was some kind of crucifer. It was 3 or 4 foot high with “double bobble” seed pods. I suspect it was White Mustard, but it’s hard to be sure.

There was a very brisk breeze, and the Herring Gulls were hanging on the onshore wind, hovering and gliding with consummate ease. A Cormorant was diving and feeding in the Marine Lake. Only a few very hardy yachtsmen were out, but it was ideal conditions for the sailboarders, who scudded along at high speed, leaving long churning wakes

On the far side of Coronation Gardens was an unusual tree,  a Persian Ironwood. It has been donated by the Friends, and we wouldn’t have recognised it if it hadn’t been marked by a special sign. It’s half bare and appears to be struggling in the salty onshore wind.

House Sparrows pecked about in the streets near Ashton Park. A pair of Coots on the lake had raised four chicks, and there were the usual Mallards and Canada Geese, although we haven’t seen the resident Muscovy Duck for a couple of years. A Robin perched on the signpost for the Wirral Way

We lunched in the “Secret Garden”, which wasn’t that hard to find, although we’ve never noticed it before!  There were Great Tits and Chaffinches in the trees, Blackbirds on the lawns and a blossoming pink Midland Hawthorn, which is probably the variety ‘Paul’s Scarlet’.

We returned via Morrison’s supermarket and Sandlea Park. A perky Pied Wagtail scurried about on the grass at super-charged speed.

Part of the grass was strewn with what appeared to be black caterpillars, but they were the fallen catkins from the Walnut trees.

On the east lawn was a raised bed marked “Incredible Edibles”. What a lot of interesting culinary plants! Blue Sage, Celery, Fennel, Globe Artichoke, a variegated mint that smelled of ginger, chives, blackcurrant, cultivated blackberry, and strawberries with pink flowers. A pair of Harlequin ladybirds were doing their bit to propagate their kind.

Public transport details: Train from Liverpool Central at 10.05, arriving West Kirby at 10.35. Returned on the train at 2.00, arriving Central at 2.35

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