Last week was spent in the Lake District with Sara where we couldn't have asked for better weather for a number of activities, mainly hiking, kayaking and wild swimming. During the trip, I hurt my knee to an extent where I needed a rest day. Therefore, I took this opportunity to head south to Ainsdale Dunes in Merseyside to hopefully find the colony of Dune Helleborines there.
It was a two-hour drive, and early on, the temperature was already soaring on site. Sand dunes are tricky to search and there are constant undulations and I hadn't a idea of where to start. The expanse of the dunes was also unexpected, so I knew it was going to be a long quest. I knew this year had been a good season for Dune Helleborines, but it wasn't as easy as I'd imagined.
Anyway, after three hours, I finally found one and it was thankfully in good condition, meaning I didn't have to find anymore. It was great to see a few Grayling butterflies and some enormous Broad-leaved Helleborines in amongst the pine trees there.
I then walked back along the sandy beach, back to the car and onwards to the Lakes to enjoy the few days remaining there. I was aiming to go back via a Dark Red Helleborine site, but didn't in the end.
In the Lakes, wildlife is very sparse and only a Ring Ouzel on Esk Pike was notable, whereas dragonflies comprised Common Hawkers, Golden-ringed Dragonflies and Keeled Skimmers.
|Dune Helleborine at Ainsdale Dunes|
|Grayling at Ainsdale Dunes|