Friday, the sun was shining once again and, as I wasn't working, I caught the train to Lytham and walked from there to St-Anne's-on-the-Sea along the estuary.
It's not the most beautiful spot on the English coast or the most magnificent but it's the nearest stretch of coast to where I live and it has its own special charm. It has become one of my favourite places for walking: wide open space, sky, scrubby grass, mudflats and birds. The Ribble Estuary, managed by English Nature and supported by the RSPB, is one of the most significant places in the county for sea birds. Here you can find knots, plovers, redshanks, curlews, dulins, sanderlings, black and bar tailed godwits, not always easy to distinguish when in large groups, as well as merlins (yet to be spotted) and flocks of wintering finches including linnets with their warm pink breasts. You can also see meadow pippets, skylarks and whinchats over the year.