It was strange in the sense that I spent most of my time looking away from the sea...got down to Ainsdale about an hour before high tide today, shamed by Bazzo insisting on sitting out the monsoon at Formby Point earlier in the afternoon, and was met by Dave McAleavy, with the news that the probable Pallid Swift seen at Seaforth today was heading north!
Needless to say, I spent a good deal of time scanning the skies over Ainsdale instead of looking over the waves, just in case.
I only had one Swift steaming north at 3.25pm, and while it was pale, it was too far off, it was raining and there was no contrast in the plumage - so best let that one go...well done to the Seaforth boys tho'!
Anyway, back on the sea, there were a few bits offshore:
Manx Shearwater 18
Great Crested Grebe 12
Red Breasted Merg 3
Red Throated Diver 4
Common Scoter 11
Common Tern 5
Sandwich Tern 37
Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick...
Two pairs of Great Crests were displaying in the shallows.
The Sandwich Terns were roosting on the beach as the tide went out, and I checked them for ringed birds - at least 7 had BTO rings, and a good few were strutting about in pre- breeding display.
I watched them for a while as Swallows tazzed north low up the shore, and one male Sarnie got persistent, striding about like he owned the beach, bill in the air and wings drooping.
Before you could say "Excuse me Sir, do you know this is a public beach?", he was in business in the middle of the flock - Sandwich Tern rumpy-pumpy no less, and while they may make as much noise as an Avocet, he certainly got more "bang for his buck" if you'll pardon the expression, balancing on the female (no easy task with those long wings and short legs) for a good 50 seconds - at least 47 seconds longer than an Avo.
Aside from this lewd behaviour, things were pretty quiet - good to see the Manxies back offshore though.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...