Clearly with barely a breath of wind (even though said breath was whispering across the marram from the south west), I still decided to go seawatching from the Tobacco Dump at Formby Point today, from 10.10am to 1pm.
I just hate wasting a good tide.
The drizzle that gained in strength over the course of the morning didn't help matters, but there were still birds off shore, although it was no day for skuas or shearwaters.
Suppose I should have gone to see the juv White Winged Black Tern at Seaforth/Crosby Marine Lake.
Shudda, wudda, cudda.
Anyway back to the Tobacco Dump, where there were a large number of Common Scoters offshore (numbers start to build now), two Red Throated Divers and probably best, and most unexpected of all, an eclipse male Long Tailed Duck dozing on the swell about 100 yds offshore.
I even managed to digiscope it!
Blasted right up on the computer it looks kinda like this (Rich Steel doesn't have much to worry about).
Looking seriously tired, it slept on the gentle swell the whole time I was there, occasionally waking up, only to nod back off again.
Nice bird in August though.
Common Scoter 800+
Red Throated Diver 2
Great Crested Grebe 1
Long Tailed Duck 1
Sandwich Tern 138
Common Tern 40
Arctic Tern 9
plus 1 Harbour Porpoise and 3 Grey Seal
As the sea was as flat as a pancake large flocks of scoter were obvious on the water even a long way out, until the light began to go at about 11am, but there were certainly fewer terns around than there has been.
Good views of the Harbour Porpoise as it hunted in the shallows.
Walking back to the Squirrel Reserve car park there were Willow Warbler and Goldcrest in the stunted sycamores and pines...here comes the real autumn.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...
* UPDATE: DEAD MINKE WHALE WASHED UP ABOUT 1 CLICK SOUTH OF LIFEBOAT ROAD, FORMBY. 26FT LONG. WELL NIBBLED BY ALL ACCOUNTS, SO NOT BEACHED, BUT EYE STILL INTACT....
Thanks to Echo photographer Eddie Barford for the pix!