Glorious conditions for a seawatch from the Tobacco Dump at Formby Point this morning - nice and clear (although a hell of a shimmer on the horizon), bright sun and a beach-engulfing 9.4m high tide, all stirred up by a force 4-5 west/south westerly.
Down there from 11.10am to 1.20pm, and while there was nothing startling, a good steady movement of birds, largely going south, kept me fully occupied.
Manx Shearwater 134
Arctic Skua 1
Sandwich Tern 21
Arctic Tern 18
Common Tern 44
Most of the birds were a fair way out today, but it was easy counting the Manxies and Gannets as they powered through, or weaved above and below the horizon.
Just before the tide reached its height, a few came right through the surf, with some Gannets so close I was almost tempted to try digi-scoping them.
Good numbers of Kittiwake heading south too, but the terns were a bit of a disappointment today - I was expecting more from them, as I imagine, was the Arctic Skua which came in to rest on the swell.
Barwits, Sanderling, Knot etc coming through after being displaced from their roosts by the tide, while the woods were a bit quiet, just singing Chiffy and Blackcap.
The Red Squirrels are still thin on the ground at Victoria Road by all accounts, but the discovery by the Sefton Rangers of a dead Roe Deer last week on the coast road between Ainsdale and Birkdale suggests that while we may be losing one species of mammal, we are in the process of gaining a much bigger one.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...