Still nursing a bit of a hangover from 30 Days Wild. Our forays into nature have continued.
Sunday dawned bright and cheerful. While David got up at 7.30am, I turned over to snooze for longer. However five minutes later David came charging back into the bedroom, ‘we’re going out, he said. We had been debating the previous evening whether to stay at home or visit a Wildlife Trust nature reserve. It all depended on the weather.
‘Shall I get up now?’ I mumbled sleepily. I guessed the weather was favourable.
‘No, later.’ So I snoozed until 8am when I got up for breakfast. We were out of the house by 9am! We drove for an hour to Ormskirk and Mere Sands Wood Nature Reserve and spent the next three hours walking along woodland paths and gazing over lakes.
On our bimble we saw many fluttering red admirals and a wonderful comma butterfly. Flashes of blue damselflies darted about and brambles were covered in hundreds of bees and hoverflies. The woodland scented air was filled with the hum of insects and the chatter of birds. Calls from great tits, wood pigeons and dunnocks graced the airwaves.
Thanks to a kind gentleman, we even spied a great crested grebe during a visit to one of the hides. I think David has captured the Grebe beautifully.
Great Crested Grebe
The great crested grebe is a conservation success after being nearly hunted to extinction for its plumage during the 19th Century. The grebe has adapted to the aquatic lifestyle and is cumbersome on land and in the air, preferring to dive under water to escape or hunt. During spring they have an elaborate courtship dance of fluffing their crests and mirroring each others’ head twists.
We walked a total of five miles around the three main paths of Mere Sands Wood, and visited a meadow with selfheal, where small white butterflies flittered over head. It was a peaceful way to spend a Sunday.
Small White Butterfly
As the day progressed and the sun burned down the reserve and car park grew busy. There is a £2 charge to park all day with a licence plate recognition camera. There is also a visitor centre with literature and gifts.
Have you ever visited Mere Sands Wood? What is your favourite Wildlife Trusts nature reserve?
Thanks for reading,