Got an hour's seawatch in this afternoon from 3-4pm at Ainsdale, more to dust off the cobwebs before the new seawatching season swings into action than anything else - and it wasn't bad.
I had, of course, forgotten that it's half term this week, so the beach was busier than usual (no point looking for the Snow Buntings today), but luckily the birds offshore don't give a hoot!
Great Crested Grebe 27+
Slavonian Grebe 1
Red Throated Diver 2
Common Scoter 40+
Harbour Porpoise 1
Good numbers of Great Crests, mainly all in full summer plumage, in several groups offshore, and not too far out, directly off the Discovery Centre, was a nice crisp Slav, which bobbed up and down on the swell, playing "now you see me, now you don't".
Not quite full on "black and white" winter plumage, but the stark black cap and white cheeks were still obvious.
It showed pretty well on and off (or should that be up and down?) and more than made up for the increasing numbness in my extremities.
For the fishwatchers out there, the Harbour Porpoise went south at 3.15pm - it looked big enough to be an adult.
To the north there were several thousand gulls roosting - the vast majority of which were Common Gull, with a few packs of scurrying Sanderling on the upper shore.
By the end of an hour I couldn't feel my feet anymore - it is still a wee bit cold to sit around on the dunes - and I headed for home.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...