Zipping in through the mist this morning, a fine barn owl was hunting by the roadside at the crossroads by the Jospice at Thornton near Crosby at 5.30am.
The owls in south west lancs have had a good breeding season this year, with the South West Lancs Ringing Group ringing 51 pullus birds so far - dry summers are always good news for barn owls.
A grey squirrel was foraging around the bins on Old Hall Street, Liverpool, as I pulled into work - another species doing very well....but don't tell the red squirrel fans!
At the weekend I went seawatching on Anglesey - just off South Stack, with a heavy passage of manx shearwaters (5,000+), and plenty of gannets and fulmars, birds were streaming past constantly.
One arctic tern, a single arctic skua (dark phase bird), and a few common scoter were a bit disappointing for a support cast, but you can't win 'em all.
Harbour porpoise and sunfish were offshore.
Of interest was a flock of at least 40 chough wheeling over the fields behind the cliffs.
On the way off Ynys Mon a quick detour to Penmon revealed a single black guillemot riding out the swell, but the puffins that bred offshore this year appear to have cleared out ... and the cliffs were empty, apart form rock climbers (what is the matter with you guys? does dangling hundreds of feet up on a rope above crashing seas and jagged boulders seem like fun to you???)
The pectoral sand showed well from the Millers Bridge Hide at Martin Mere, but was flighty, as the waders there were continually spooked by at least three marsh harriers.
The pec was fairly obliging, albeit distant for most of the time though.
Snipe, lapwing and shedloads of ruff shared the mud with the yankee.
A worn common hawker dragonfly was there too, as was Andy Bunting's superb black arches moth (pictured), a first for Lancashire .... hurrah!
45khz pipestrelle bats are zooming around my garden at the moment, listening to them with my new toy, a bat detector, is amazing, tracking them and recording the "ticks, tocks, and smaks" their ultrasonic calls form is like a computer game...only fun.
Finally, re the iceland gull at Morecambe _ everyone says it's a first summer bird...but it looks awful white to me, more like a second summer. Does anyone else have any views?? (I believe the comments section on this bloggetty thing is now working!)
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies.