I really should know better by now - a cold, grey afternoon, with rain threatening, and the tide long since peaked - this is not the best time for a winter seawatch from Ainsdale beach.
But I went anyway, and while the sea was fairly calm, and the light not too bad (for about 15 minutes at least), the sea was distinctly quiet (quelle surprise!)
Up to 20 Common Scoters and a flock of 7 Goldeneye amongst the Cormorants and winter gulls kept my mind off the stupidity of not wearing gloves in January, but then I had to get moving, so went to scan through the roosting gulls.
Not as many as earlier in the week when the wind was really blowing, but still a coloured ringed sub-adult Black Headed Gull amongst the throng (left leg, yellow ring, number: 2470) and a Lesser Black Back with a yellow colour ring too, but I just couldn't read the sequence on that one.
Increasing numbers of BHGs are starting to form summer hoods now.
Sanderling, Curlew and Oycs in the channels.
Walking back up the beach I bumped into the five Snow Buntings again, this time hoovering around the sand at the base of the dunes directly in line with the Ainsdale Discovery Centre.
So that you don't have to endure anymore of my blurred dusk pictures of the little critters, here's a belting shot courtesy of Andy Bate (links to his site in the, er, links section) of one of the birds taken in proper daylight yesterday.
And thanks too to Jack Isherwood, who sent me these shots of an aberrant male Blackbird near Southport Crematorium - freaky freaky...
Don't know of much else, although the Bittern seen in the Rimrose Valley in Bootle on Sunday must have been pretty cool - nice one Eugene!
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...