Nature Watch, with RON FREETHY

THE year 2004 will be remembered for rain and, in the last few weeks, high winds.

After a spell of such weather bird-watchers should get to the coast and enjoy seeing wildlife recover.

I went to Morecambe and sat for more than four hours at the old stone jetty.

I watched anglers catching flat fish and I appreciated the very life-like statues of birds, especially cormorants which are now placed around the jetty.

The Tern Project, as it is called, is unique and ensures that Morecambe keeps its charm as a seaside resort as it caters so well with naturalists.

From October to the end of April is the best time for a sea watch because in the summer the birds are away breeding.

I soon found "living cormorants," as well as guillemot, red-throated driver, scoter, red-breasted merganser and goldeneye.

As the tide ebbed, mud flats were exposed and provided ideal feeding ground for dunlin, knot, curlew and a little wader called sanderling. This is a very pale species and it move in a very jerky manner as if it was propelled by clockwork.

Winter sea watches at seaside resorts provide lots of good fun.