Nipped down to Ainsdale beach this afternoon, ostensibly to get a quick look at the Tall Ships leaving Liverpool, but while I was waiting for them to splice their mainbraces and swash the bilges, I did a bit of birding.
I was going to have a look through the fence at Seaforth for Roseate Terns (a one or two have been popping up over the last day or so, as they do at this time of year) - but the shipwatchers meant I'd never have got near the marine lake car park.
At Ainsdale, the sea was mercifully quiet - with just a few Sandwich and Common Terns over the water, and 12 Common Scoter heading north, although a full adult Mediterranean Gull was feeding in the shallows - the same bird Bazzo and I (and Phil Smith) saw yesterday I wonder?
The wings looked a bit more raggedy than yesterday's pristine bird though, possibly just wet.
Right on cue, the Tall Ships emerged from the Mersey mouth, way down to the south and moved slowly along the horizon.
Most didn't have any sails up in the stiff breeze.
Now call me stickler for salty seadog traditions, but the one on the right in the picture above was clearly cheating, using a propeller that big stuck on the back of his boat...I mean to say, it's hardly fair on the others...
A few Sandwich Terns were lurking in several small gulls roosts, and I came across a fair few ringed gulls on the sand (presumably from the Ribble colony???), including one fine adult Lesser Black Back with a great big colour ring - yellow lettering "W8TP" on a black background.
Must check where that one comes from.
Sanderling and Dunlin in the creeks, and two Linnets around the rangers' compound down the road from Pontin's, otherwise a just good afternoon to sit and watch the ships drift by....
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...