I was disturbed from my ablutions prior to seawatching at Formby Point early this a.m by a simple text from Bazzo:
" fem rn phal. Nel's now."
Breaking land speed records I picked him up and we were hurrying down to Nel's Hide at Marshside by 9.15am.
Found by Graham Clarkson - only fitting reward at 8.30am as he conducted the breeding wader census, the female Red Necked Phalarope is an absolute stonker - a full on brightly coloured bird, busy pirouetting around and whizzing all over the place.
Got great scope views, but too hyperactive to get a decent pic...the bird fed with Dunlins, was chased by Blackwits and generally charmed all who saw it, including Jellyhead Jackson, sporting rather fetching Arab headgear today (I didn't ask) - bird of the year at Marshside so far, no doubt.
This is the best pic I could manage - there it is look, hiding behind the grasses!
Still, some birds are too good to do anything but watch!
It was lucky that we saw the phalarope (there were also 2 Curlew Sands, Garganey, Little Stint and Little Gull on Marshside One today, as well as many young Avocets) as the seawatch was DIRE.
Real third day syndrome, despite the 4-5 NWly there were few birds, and the sunny periods made the horizon turn to jelly - way too much shimmer.
You win some, you lose some.
Manx Shearwater 1
Arctic Tern 1
Common Scoter 30+
Skua sp 1
(too distant to id - small with a mazy, stalling flight - typical of the seawatch that it didn't come closer and drifted off north past the Lennox rig.)
Well that's the seawatching over for another fortnight, time to go back to the marsh.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies....