You can't beat lizards as an alternative buzz in a seawatching August that seems determined to give me nothing but a face full of sand and salt water... with their enigmatic little "Mona Lisa" smiles and sneaky habits, looking for lizards in the frontal dunes at Ainsdale is great fun.
The unexpected outbreak of sun late this afternoon allowed me to score with this very accommodating immature male Sand Lizard above, and the extremely pap-happy female Common Lizard below, which let me move marram strands away from her to get a better shot - most unusual for this species, usually they dart off once you get within a few inches of 'em.
Earlier in the day, the frequent cloudbursts grounded a few groups of Wheatears up and down the coast, and the Little Egret was still fishing the channels on the beach north of Freshfield.
That said, I spent most of the day working on the shore south of Lifeboat Road at Formby, watching rain front after rain front spill over the Welsh hills and change from purple to grey as they edged across Liverpool Bay in a series of damp curtains that failed to ground any more interesting migrants.
Three Little Gulls among the usual terns and waders down here in the roost though.
Before I forget, thanks to Bob Harris for sending me this link about the latest protection status conferred on Liverpool Bay's birds.
Works for me.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...