Tag Archives: sea birds

Butterflies, Seabirds & Rock Pools.

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Large Tree Nymph Butterfly.

In my last blog post I was feeling all Autumnal , but then Summer made a reappearance on Sunday 🙂  Happily we were put in charge of my niece and nephew for the day ….or was it the other way round !  Anyway we decided to head for the coast.  First we found ourselves at Williamson Park  on the outskirts of Lancaster.  With 54 acres of beautiful parkland , the impressive Ashton Memorial and far reaching views across Morecambe Bay, there’s certainly plenty to see.  But it was the Butterfly House and the Mini Beasts that the kids and I were interested in. Whilst Wil took Hugo for a walk , we got up close and personal with allsorts of cute creatures.  🙂

Tropical Blue Butterfly.


Common Garden Skink eating lunch.

The Butterfly House in Williamson Park is a former Palm House which resembles a tropical rainforest.  Indeed my camera lense started steaming up as soon as we entered!  Colourful butterflies flutter amongst the greenery and there are also various reptiles living here.  We were especially enamoured by the Common Garden Skink and a Chinese Water Dragon, who seemed a very friendly fellow.

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Chinese Water Dragon.



As well as The Butterfly House ,there is a Mini Beasts House, an Aviary and Meerkats, so plenty to keep the kids oooohing and ahhing for a little while. We also found an adventure playground, before meeting up with Wil and Hugo in The Pavilion Cafe. And we had to have a quick look in the gift shop too of course!

If only we had climbed up The Ashton memorial.  The views are apparently stunning from the first floor viewing gallery. That’s a definite for next time.  The memorial dominates the Lancaster skyline and was commissioned by Lord Ashton, as a tribute to his late wife.  Constructed mainly from Portland stone, with a copper dome, the structure was completed in 1909, and is now a popular venue for weddings and other events.  But now let’s head to Morecambe, whilst the sun is still shining. 🙂

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Tropical flower.





Ashton Memorial

Morecambe’s Seafront is home to the Tern Project , an art trail that celebrates the varied birdlife and wildlife that make their home on the Lancashire Coast. Look out for poems and puzzles, jokes and riddles and lots of birdy sculptures.  Many can be found on the long stone jetty in front of the Midland Hotel, and along the promenade.


A Bird’s Eye View across the Bay.
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Ringed  plovers.
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Mythical Bird.

When I asked my niece and nephew what they enjoyed the most about our day out, the answer was rock pooling!  These two could spend hours looking for crabs and water snails. Simple pleasures eh. 🙂


Gone Crabbing !

Here’s hoping for some more summery days to lead us out of September. X

30 Days Wild ~ Days 7 to 9. Seaside fun.

I am pretty fortunate that my holidays fell at the beginning of Thirty Days Wild , so  I don’t need to think too hard about what to post. I was staying on the wildlife rich  Norfolk coast.  🙂

Day Seven.  Rock Pools and Sea Holly.  Today we decided to walk along the North Norfolk Coastal Path, from Hunstanton, where we were staying , to Thornham. About six miles or so. The beach at Hunstanton is full of rock pools, so I was hoping to see a starfish perhaps…or maybe a crab. No such luck!  I think these guys had got their spoils before we even set off.

I loved the rocky beach at Hunstanton. I suspect If we had hunted more thoroughly we may have found more, but with a bouncy labrador sniffing out sea creatures, we couldn’t linger for too long.

As we neared the next village along the coast ‘Old Hunstanton’, the scenery changed to a perfect sandy beach, amongst the sand dunes.

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Hugo amongst the dunes.
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The Strandline is a beautiful gift shop in Old Hunstanton. The owner, an artist,is inspired to create by the scenery, seasons and nature here.

I posted pictures of the many beautiful flowers growing between Old Hunstanton and neighboring Holme Next The Sea, in my last 30 Days Wild Post ,but here are a few more on the way to Thornham. 🙂

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Sea Holly.
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An orchid I believe.
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Any ideas? Maybe Annual Sea Blite.

Approaching the village of Thornham, we came across a welcome coffee stop at Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s base at Holme Dunes. A wooden walkway over the marshes then led us to the village, where we caught a handy Coast Hopper Bus back to Hunstanton.

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Day Eight.  Beach Huts and a Bee.  I posted a separate post about today’s fantastic trip to see The Seals at Blakeney Point.  Before that we had a lovely walk along the beach at Wells Next The Sea. A sudden short shower sent us fleeing to the porch of a vacant Beach Hut to shelter, and weather watch.

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Beach Huts at Wells.
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Sheltering with Hugo.
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The sun came out again so here’s a Bumble Bee on a Viper’s Bugloss.


Day Nine.  Our last day in lovely Norfolk. Sob!  A quick early morning walk along the beach at Hunstanton, and I find a Heart shaped Pebble. I think this sums up our stay. We will return. X


Thanks for dropping by. X








Driftwood Cottage ~ Baycliff.

It was over a year ago when we booked a little holiday cottage on the Cumbria coast. Driftwood Cottage near Bardsea was booked up twelve months in advance ( its that popular) so patience had to be practised.At last January 2015 arrived. Yay! It was very much worth the wait. We chose Driftwood because it is right on the beach, has a toasty wood burner, five minutes walk to the pub, its dog friendly ( welcoming 3 well behaved hounds) and its done out in a fresh nautical style. The views over Morecambe bay are spectacular from the large picture windows in the lounge area.  Pink sunrises and windy walks on the beach are mandatory. 🙂

The cottage looks out over the bay.
The cottage looks out over the bay.

Inside the cottage is so cozy. We made the most of having a wood burner and there was even a telescope to admire the scenery and the wildlife. We really liked the coffee table in the lounge which was made from an industrial cable drum.

The lounge area.
The lounge area.
Sea Views.
Sea Views.
Little Hugo is already missing the wood burner.
Little Hugo is already missing the wood burner.
A cute desk in one of the bedrooms.
A cute desk in one of the bedrooms.

Everyday we walked on the beach with Hugo. Happily we were blessed with pretty good weather for January and some days the sky was reflected in the sand. 🙂

Hugo enjoying the beach.
Hugo enjoying the beach.
We often had the beach to ourselves. We did meet a few friendly dogs like Daisy the collie here. :)
We often had the beach to ourselves. We did meet a few friendly dogs like Daisy the collie here. 🙂

The bay was always busy with wading birds and we even saw a couple of shelducks. If anyone knows what the birds below are, please let me know.

Some kind of Snipe or curlew maybe.
Some kind of Snipe or curlew maybe.
An old jetty.
An old jetty.
Not sure what this bird is.  There were lots of them.
Not sure what this bird is. There were lots of them.

The beach held other surprises too……

Willow deer statue.
Willow deer statue.
Thoughtful etchings.
Thoughtful etchings.
Quirky Beach House.
Quirky Beach House.
And Quirky Art.
And Quirky Art.

The cottage is only five minutes walk from the village of Baycliff which has two pubs, a farm shop and a childrens play area. We actually only went to one of the pubs, ‘The Farmers Arms’ which is dog friendly ( the owners made a real fuss of Hugo), has a small selection of real ales and serves delicious food. Its best to book if you want to eat there though. Weekends and Wednesdays( Fish and Chips Night) especially.

Fish and Chips at the Farmers.

I will post about a couple of places we visited whilst staying at the cottage soon. Being out of season though, a lot of the attractions below are not yet open. But you may find them useful in later months. We were also a little limited by Hugos car sickness. Not much fun traveling with a puking puppy! So we tended to stay quite local. Not that we minded, as Driftwood Cottage and the surrounding area are quite beautiful.Wouldn’t you agree? X

Wish you were here...
Wish you were here…

Family days Out.

Muncaster Castle.
Wild Life Oasis Park.
The Lakes Aquarium at Lakeside, Windermere.
Tree Top Trek.
Wray Castle.
Old Hall Farm at Bouth.

Lake Windermere from Ambleside.
Lake Windermere from Ambleside.

Take the dogs too.

Conistone Priory and grounds.
Lakeland Motor Museum.
John Barrow Monument on Hoad Hill.
Ulverston’s Laurel and Hardy Museum.
Lake Windermere Cruises.
La’al Ratty Steam Railway.