Seawatching was frankly pretty disappointing today, with the wind lessening and sticking firmly in the south west...the best that came past Ainsdale over the high tide was good numbers of storm-shocked Common Scoters in the shallows, which would explain why I found this stunning male exhausted on the beach in the late afternoon.
Gorgeous bill pattern on it, and despite its waterlogged condition, it was feisty enough as Duncan R and I put it in a cardboard box and left it to dry out for a few hours, releasing it later in the evening on the Sands Lake, where it paddled off trying to ignore hostile Coots and Mute Swans.
If it survives the night, you never know, it might still be there tomorrow morning - always nice to see scoters up close and personal.
Less fortunate were a selection of victims of the high winds and rain, including Harbour Porpoise, Guillemots (one ringed bird - details on the way to the BTO), Gannet, Manx Shearwater, Kittiwake and even Bar Tailed Godwit.
Everyone say "cheese".
Amazing how small Manxies are when you see 'em up close - they look so powerful as the cut over the waves.
One Small Tortoiseshell on the seawall at Southport mid-afternoon.
Despite the high tide washout, I tried another seawatch off Ainsdale between 4 and 5pm, and managed 2 Arctic Skuas and 11 Manxies, which was considerably better than my earlier attempts.
Ah well, tomorrow is another day.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...