Sunday, 8 February 2015


It was a dull and misty day at Arnside, but very atmospheric. The saltmarsh was alive with the calls of curlew and redshank, whilst on the water at high tide there were a few red-breasted mergansers and goldeneye. Best of all, I came across a few nice patches of maidenhair fern growing on the coastal cliffs near the Arnside coast guard hut. This is a rare plant in the UK, only found in Cornwall, Devon, South Wales and the Arnside and Silverdale area, and it's yet another example of the many special species of flora and fauna that make this area such a fantastic place for the naturalist.

New Barn Bay, Arnside.

Maidenhair fern. Why maiden hair you ask? Well, I assume it's because the fronds are on glossy black wiry stalks, which look like a maiden's hair, albeit in need of straighteners (see also maidenhair spleenwort below). I'm not sure why they don't also look like a mans hair, but we won't worry about that.

This is another species of fern, maidenhair spleenwort, which is much more common and probably grows in your wall at home.

You may even find wall-rue in your wall!

Drake goldeneye.

Redhead red-breasted merganser.

Curlew and dunlin in the mist as the tide raced in.

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