Early start, picked up Jellyhead and Bazzo and we were at the Tobacco Dump as the first rays of morning sun turned the foaming crests of the waves a golden yellow colour - hooleytastic!
Blowing S/SWly force 6, at least the rain stayed off and we seawatched from 8.40am till 10.20am.
It proved surprisingly productive, given that the sea is usually pretty empty at this time of year, bar the hundreds of scoters out on the horizon.
Low baromatic pressure had mean the sea was VERY high (thank you Professor McCarthy) and all in all it was worth the onset of mild exposure.
Leach's Petrel 2 north
Fulmar 1 south
Black Guillemot 1, poss 2, south
Guillemot 2 south
Razorbill 1 south
Common Scoter 500+ all over the place
Red Breasted Merganser 7 n/s
Long Tailed Duck 2 south
Wigeon 4 south
Red Throated Diver 5 n/s
Kittiwake 8 n/s
plus Common Gull, GBB, Herring Gull, Oystercatchers, Grey Plover, Sanderling etc.
Clearly the petrels were the star birds - I've never seen 'em in December before, but there they were, dancing in the wind above the massive swell - wonderful birds.
I wonder how many actually spend the winter in the Irish Sea instead off heading south with the main population to the waters between Brazil and West Africa?
The way the rain is battering off the window at Dempsey Towers at present, I know where I'd rather be.....
What few auks there were , were all pretty distant and quite uncharitably Bazzo and Jellyhead "dissed my second Tystie" because they only saw the first one.
This is the first rule of seawatching - if you don't see it, instantly pour scorn on the sighting.
Try it sometime, it brightens up a dull day!
Dropped Jellyhead off at home, then had a quick look at Marshside.
The wind was really picking up by then, but a Merlin was spooking everything on Marshside Two and a female Sprawk cruised over the outer marsh, ignored by at least seven Little Egrets.
Checked to make sure the Sandwinning Plant was still there. It was.
Small gulls roosts building up on Marshside One and Two, but the Marine Lake was quiet, apart from the resident Black Swan, coots etc....
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies.....