The sea, she be a cruel mistress when the wind blows in from the west in November...
Despite this and the high likelihood of serious frostbite, I picked Bazzo up early this morning and we got down to Formby Point for a seawatch from 8.55am to 11.30am.
Westerly about force 4-5, much calmer than yesterday, but still rough, and after an hour or so sitting still, the chill meant I couldn't feel anything from the knees down - which I suppose is preferable to not being able to feel anything from the knees up.
Winter seawatching just doesn't get any easier.
It is not without rewards though, and my prize today was a stonking male Velvet Scoter that came down from the north about halfway out, before pitching into the swell with the hordes of Common Scoter - never to be seen again (sorry Baz).
One poorly looking Razorbill bobbing about just beyond the surf.
Common Scoter 700/800
Velvet Scoter 1
Long Tailed Duck 1
Red Throated Diver 2
Red Breasted Merg 47
Great Crested Grebe 6
Common Gull 50+
Usual winter waders darted by as the tide pushed them off their roosting stations, and Wrens and Mipits were in the dunes behind us.
Once it began to feel like the sensible thing to do was succumb to the cold and drift away (ohh, it would be so easy to just fall asleep...) we decided it was time to head home.
Almost definitely the last seawatch this year (unless there's a late Leach's wreck of course).
Once home I made myself a Tropical Thomason sized fry-up and my circulation started up again, so I went for a walk on Ainsdale beach in the late afternoon.
More than 100 Cormorants roosting on the sands, plenty of gulls and Carrion Crows sifting through the razorshells and just two Snow Buntings at the south end of the Green Beach.
The others could be elsewhere along Taggs I suppose after today's high tide.
There's something very incongruous about watching these enigmatic winter visitors amongst heaps of decaying rubbish, broken dog whelks, dead dogfish and bladderwrack washed in by the tide - surely they should just feed on the "nice" parts of the beach...
Stayed with the little cuties for 20 minutes or so before giving up on getting a decent image in the crap November afternoon light.
When the first flocks of Curlews and Pink Feet began coming over my head to roost out on the safety of the sands it was time to call it a day....
Water Rail squealing round the east side of the Sands Lake at 4pm, 2 Little Grebe and 40-50 dozing Tufties on the water.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...