A city break in Liverpool afforded us the opportunity of a quick dash up the region's bountiful coastline.
We arrived at Crosby Beach (home to Anthony Gormley's art installation Another Place) at high tide, and watched for half an hour as the tide turned and flocks of Redshank, Dunlin and Knot started to gather on the exposed flats.
A quick dash up the coast then took us to Formby, a beautiful stretch of dunes and pine forest with a real star turn - Red Squirrels. I have been to favoured locations for this rare, and endangered, species before and always drawn a blank. With just half an hour to spend at Formby I wasn't at all hopeful. But as I stood in the car park with a cup of tea in hand, I heard high pitched squeals I didn't recognise (always a good sign), looked up, and there were two Red Squirrels bouncing through the tree tops. Hurrah - instant success and good views. If only it was always like that.
Mammal of the day: Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), the 'classic' British squirrel now sadly decimated by disease, habitat loss and competition from the introduced Grey Squirrel.