New Brighton, 29th October 2023

High tide today was about 11 am, just around the time we arrived. The sea comes right up against the sea wall and creeps up the boat slipways.

When the beach is covered, some of the shorebirds come to roost on the pontoons of the Marine Lake.

Today there were only about 200 birds, dozing Redshank and Turnstones. We sometimes see Dunlin in the flocks here, and even Purple Sandpipers, but not today.

Redshanks with long legs, Turnstones with short legs and darker backs

There were no unusual birds around.  Cormorants flew past and others perched on the gantries marking the shipping channel. Pied Wagtails bustled about,  Herring Gulls and Black-headed Gulls mooched along the prom, keeping a look-out for discarded crumbs or even fish and chips. We checked them for leg rings, but no discoveries today.

Black-headed gull showing that he ,too, has red legs

A small flock of Starlings whirled about, cheeping and whistling from occasional perches and looking lovely in the right light with their winter-flecked, bandit-masked plumage.

As more visitors arrived, the busy life of the Marine Promenade on a sunny day developed, with buskers, a ventriloquist in one of the shelters, and troops of little girls from dance schools (and one boy) crowding the foyer of the Floral Pavilion, apparently for auditions.  As the tide receded happy dogs chased balls into pools and a lone metal detectorist started working the high water line.

Just to the side of Fort Perch Rock there is a place among the sea defence boulders where the highest water must never reach. Various uncommon and specialist plants have a foothold there, including Marram Grass, Sea Beet, Tree Mallow, and (still flowering) Sea Mayweed and Sea Rocket.

Sea Rocket

Public transport details: Train from Central at 10.20, arriving New Brighton 10.40. Returned on bus 433 from Kings Parade / Morrisons at 1.45, arriving Liverpool 2.15.

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