Brown Hare and Eider Duck were on the menu when we went to Cockersands and Glasson Dock on Morecambe Bay near Lancaster. According to the weather forecast, there would be heavy rain when we got there. However, when we arrived there was only light wind-blown drizzle, which was nothing much to worry about.
After we had spent a short time looking at the birds on the marsh in front of us and plants growing between the path and the marsh, we went up onto a dyke that followed the coast along Morecambe Bay. On the landward side of this dyke, trees and bushes had been planted, probably as a windbreak. We benefited from the shelter from the south-easterly breeze and could pay more attention to the plants and animals around us. A brown hare in a field nearby was a welcome sighting, as were a little egret and a heron on the marsh nearby.
As would be expected near the coast, many of the plants we identified there, have the words “sea” or “marsh” as part of their names (e.g. sea rocket and marsh cudweed). This is generally to distinguish them from their relatives that grow in other habitats, sea radish and wild radish for example.
As the tide came in, it brought a variety of wading birds and sea ducks closer to the dyke and sea wall where we could see them better, and soon after this, formations of pink-footed geese started to fly over, on their way to suitable grazing marsh, and the evocative clamour of their contact calls could be heard from afar.
Later in the afternoon some people went to visit the remains of Cockersand Abbey, while others started to wander back to the village of Cockersand itself. There was plenty of time and we all met up there in time to enjoy some convivial chat and friendly banter, before boarding the coach for the journey back to Rochdale.
All in all this had been a rewarding and enjoyable day.