Picked up Bazzo and Neill just after 8.15 this morning and tazzed down to Formby Point nice n early, wind blowing south westerly force four, but it increased as the morning went on and the tide peaked after 11am.
Seawatched 9am to noon.
It was a superb session - INCREDIBLE numbers of Manxies, pretty much a constant stream of them, with plenty of other birds in the bay too.
1,630 Manxies (yes, 1,630) in three hours is certainly a Formby Point record, and could well be a new Lancs maximum too - yippee!
Here's the run down....
Manx Shearwater 1,630
Arctic Tern 45
Common Tern 110
Sandwich Tern 72
Common Scoter 60
Lesser Black Back 50
Black Headed Gull 4
Arctic Skua 3
The Manxies were just piling through in waves, all heading south, some close in, others right out on the horizon in the shimmer.
Initial minute counts rose from 7 birds every 60 seconds to 10, then in some instances 19!
Hordes of Gannets of all ages and two (possibly 3) dark phase Arctic Skuas south, with one gorgeous pale phase adult heading north just behind the surf.
Arctic Terns shining white in the sun, a fine morning.
Once we hit the 1,500 mark for the Manxies, Bazzo (right) and Neill carried on seawatching, pushing up the totals....
...but I couldn't resist celebrating by performing the rarely seen "Shearwater Shimmy," a complicated dance manoeuvre that basically involves running round in circles whooping, while holding your arms stiffly to the sides.
I think Neill's shot above captures all the subtle nuances of this balletic movement very well - you can see more of his pix (although perhaps not of the "Shearwater Shimmy") at his new website, the link is on the right hand side of the page under "Neill Hunt".
A great morning, so in honour of the shearwaters, I pointed the Baby Black Death over the mosses on the way home, and after failing to see any more birds, we unaccountably ended up in the Ship Inn.
Such a shame the wind is swinging into the east tomorrow, so seawatching is out over the weekend, but the tides get bigger next week, and the wind is forecast to go round to the west again on Monday.
Thanx for the Manx.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...