High tide was something of a wash-out seawatch wise from Ainsdale today - magnificently mad as a lorry maybe, but impossible to see stuff moving through the swell, spray and roaring surf.
Only stuff I had was a single, truly deluded Pink Foot and a handful of startled Common Scoters.
Things were particularly difficult when a heavy squall came through, obliterating everything, horizon, sea, sand etc, quite spooky really.
As is often the way here though, once the tide receded, seabirds could be seen struggling over the sand - a fine and rather late Manx Shearwater, a Guillemot and then between 1pm and 4pm, a procession of 14 Leach's Petrels, all pattering over the beach, apart from one stalwart individual that ruggedly stuck to the surf.
Superb to watch 'em, tired though they were as they moved south, doubtless to shelter in the Mersey tonight...those who want to see Leach's would do a lot worse than getting themselves to Crosby or New Brighton at first light tomorrow as the birds emerge from the river.
I was happy with these wanderers pattering over Ainsdale beach - I've seen it countless times in an autumn blow, but these tough little birds never lose their magic.
Will we get more tomorrow?
Who knows, you can't second guess seabirds, but here's hoping, even if the wind does drop.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...