Case of "kill or cure" today as I put in an hour-long lunchbreak seawatch at Formby Point over the massive tide, hoping to blow away the lurgey that is currently afflicting me.
A cold north westerly breeze kept things brisk.
Light was good, and there were plenty of birds on the water, most notably 350+ Common Scoter, not too far out.
I grilled them for half an hour without success, until the whole flock took to the air and flew about 200 metres before pitching down again.
Three stonking male Velvet Scoters, invisible on the sea, stuck out like sore thumbs in flight - great to pin them down offshore again!
Later a female flew through the 'scope - so there were at least 4 out there today. Doubtless more escape detection.
Good numbers of Red Throated Diver and Great Crests on the swell, or flying by too, and 2 Eider were a big blousy seaduck bonus.
Velvet Scoter 4
Common Scoter 350+
Red Breasted Merg 8
Red Throated Diver 14
Great Crested Grebe 23
The least I deserved for freezing my butt off on a dune (and frankly the outbreaks of sleet were just plain unnecessary).
The tide is high again tomorrow at about 1.30pm.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...