Thursday, 26 June 2014

A Midsummer Evening in Lovely Lunt Meadows

 Lunt Barn Owl

On midsummer's night twenty or so members of the group gathered for our first evening trip to Lunt Meadows, and were rewarded with a wonderfully peaceful walk, with some delightful sightings. First and foremost, we encountered dozens of swifts, not way up in the heavens as so often, but flying as low as head height, to make the most of the plentiful insects, and giving us excellent opportunity to admire their aerobatic skill. As we left the arable land and walked along the edge of the woods, thrushes and blackbirds were heard singing constantly, along with the wheezy call of greenfinches, among others. Then the path comes Into the open grassland and reedbeds of the nature reserve proper, and here we saw reed buntings, whitethroat and sedge warblers, as well as a particularly fine linnet posing on top of a reed. 

While the swifts and swallows continued to circle and weave around us, high above we saw 19 cormorants flying in a v formation, as well as a loose flock of starlings heading home to their roost. 
Lunt Meadows, pools & River Alt 
Over the pools, almost hidden by the tall vegetation, we saw the occasional oyster catcher and lapwing, but of course the real hope was to see owls, and right on cue, as the sun began to reach the horizon, a barn owl appeared and began to fly slowly to and fro across the grassland in front of the woods, occasionally dropping down into the grass in search of prey.

The Lunt Little 'un 

The return journey took us past Lunt Farm and back to Sefton village, where we were looking out for a little owl. In the end, some of us heard it, but only a few actually caught sight of the bird perching, before it flew off.  One up to Chris T. !

All in all, it was a lovely outing, and one that will certainly appear on the programme again( if only we could guarantee such perfect weather!).

Anne Pope

(all photo's L Bimson)