Now that's what I call a raging hooley!
Managed to get down to check the stormy sea off Ainsdale for an hour or so between 4pm and 5.10pm.
Wind westerly, force 7-8, driving squalls, scouring sand, the Lennox rig disappearing in the murk...superb!
Once the gale had blown the last of the kite surfers away over my head and inland (they whizzed by me in a blur of colourful lycra and billowing kite, landing somewhere east of Ormskirk I guess...or maybe I imagined that bit), I could 'scope the sea uninterrupted.
Ainsdale is far from ideal for seawatching, the dunes are too low and the sea is a good distance away, but I didn't have time to get to Formby Point (where Sooty Shearwater was reported).
Sometimes you just have to accrue Brownie points - you never know when you'll need them if the Rubythroat of Fate pops up on a day when domestic chores loom.
Anyway I had 17 Manx Shearwaters (12 north) and a single and very distant Storm Petrel, a tiny black shape riding the gale effortlessly over mountainous waves of dirty brown.
Not bad for a quick hour.
LBBs, BHGs and Dunlins sheltered on the beach, but the sea dominated all - monstrous....
Stormies were also in the Mersey mouth today (they'll probably be there tomorrow morning too the way the wind is still blasting through the back garden now), here's hoping the big blow lasts.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies.....