Felt sure today was gonna be a good day when I pulled up at work just after 8am to see a female Wheatear perched on top of the ancient toilet block at the end of Shore Road at Ainsdale - still migrating, or have I missed a pair in the dunes?
The long sunny periods, with wee bits of cloud, were perfect conditions to look for Sand Lizards on the dune ridge, but luckily Paul Hudson and co had beaten me to it, and had this fine young male, complete with duelling scars under its left eye, prepped for a bit of DNA testing as part of the ongoing scientific study on our population.
What lunchtimes are for.
Speaking of which, Dave McAleavy (who is usually manacled to a phone and desk these days), sent me these shots of Bee Orchid and White Satin Moth (the latter is legion in the dunes at present) from a recent "lunchtime escape".
Didn't get a chance to look offshore today over the tide - but many fishing boats and a yachting toodlepippy regatta meant anything good would probably stay out in the bay.
This pic from yesterday's tastier westerly hooley conditions though highlights the problem of seawatching from Ainsdale - westerlies may well make your soul sing, but the swell is way too big and elevation on the beach too low at the peak of the tide - better trying from the dunes at Freshfield or Formby to get your seawatching spurs.
With news of the long staying Monty's Harrier showing well out on the mosses, I was hoping to connect with it after work, but Lady Luck was not smiling on me.
It is true I have not publicised many details of this territorial male, for several reasons, but it was all over the pagers today, so I thought I'd make another attempt to see it early evening.
No joy, but Er Neill (we've really got to get you a better nickname buddy) kindly sent me these pics of the bird as it bounced about off the New Causeway behind Formby earlier in the day.
Superb bird - hopefully I'll catch up with it one of these days.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...