Parkgate, 12th September 2021

What a wash-out! I think Parkgate has a micro-climate all of its own, a wet one! It wasn’t supposed to rain until later in the day, and it was warm, dry and overcast in Liverpool, but while we were crossing Wirral on the bus its windscreen wipers started to swipe back and forth ominously. By the time we arrived at Parkgate it was raining hard.

In an attempt to find some shelter we walked up Coastguard Lane and Brooklands Road towards the Wirral Way. We noticed how the rain had highlighted all the spiders’ webs in the garden hedges.

The rain seemed lighter along the Wirral Way, although it was rather puddly and drippy.

We had to make way for cyclists quite often, but there was still a chance to look out for autumn fruits including these damp Rose Hips.

We walked north as far as the footpath leading to the Old Baths picnic area. The rain seemed to be going off so we made for our favourite picnic table, with a great view out over the marsh, but found it was being swallowed up by a Tamarisk tree.

The only birds in sight, except for a few crows, were about a dozen Swallows over the car park trees, probably juveniles. They will be leaving for Africa soon.

It started to rain again while we were eating, making our sandwiches rather soggy.  There was going to be a good high tide in mid-afternoon, and if the weather had been better, we’d have stayed a bit longer to see the little voles and shrews pushed near to the road by the rising water. However, the return buses run only every two hours, and it was too wet to stay for the 3.30, so we headed back for the one at 1.30. As we walked along the quayside, there was nothing much to see over the marsh, although the hidden birds were beginning to shift as the water rose. We glimpsed a possible flight of a Great Egret, several strings of Canada Geese going north, what might have been Mute Swans on the edge of one of the distant pools, and two definite Herons flying quite close in, looking for small mammals near the old quayside wall. We were very wet and dripping naturalists as we boarded the very welcome bus to take us back.  As we suspected, it wasn’t raining in Liverpool when we arrived, and the pavements were quite dry. 

Other hedgehog news from my garden. On Saturday afternoon my left-hand neighbours Dave and Ann said they had just seen three small hoglets wandering on their lawn in broad daylight. Babies! I didn’t see them myself, and I haven’t yet caught them on the trailcam. They will need to feed up if they are to attain 600g in time for hibernation.

Public transport details: Bus 487 from Sir Thomas Street at 10.29, arriving Parkgate Mostyn Square at 11.25. Returned on the 487 from Mostyn Square at 1.30, arriving Liverpool 2.20.

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