With the weather still fierce and the tide rising, there was time for another quick seawatch before work this morning from the dunes at Ainsdale.
Usual Ainsdale problems of 'scope shake, sand, low elevation etc, but even so I thought I'd have had more Leach's Petrels than the two that sailed by - none over the sand either, although the wind was decreasing as the morning went on.
Good juv Arctic Skua action though, also witnessed by Andy Pryce who joined me on the uncomfortable marram seat, as four of them tanked into the Sandwich and Common Terns over the swell.
A shame my low-ability digiscoping and seawatching don't mix!
Not a bad bag for an hour or so at Ainsdale in atrocious weather all the same:
Manx Shearwater 3
Leach's Petrel 2
Arctic Skua 4
Sandwich Tern 150+
Common Tern 15+
Common Scoter 175
Driven off the dunes when the persistent rain set in.
Later in the morning a fine crisp winter plumage adult Med Gull drifted over my head and dropped below the dunes, presumably joining the roost on the beach.
Nicer was to come during a walk I took with a school group, when we came across the Lapland Bunting Phil Smith found on Saturday, still rummaging about at the north end of Ainsdale beach just beyond the parking area.
I digi-binned it as best I could (it is fair to say that Phil's earlier pic on the blog is somewhat more accomplished), but it was good just to see it had hung around through the hooley of the last few days.
Nice views, and still there late afternoon as it fed amongst Pied Wags, Mipits, Reed Bunts and Wheatears around the embryo dunes, flying and calling occasionally when it was chased by the wagtails.
They don't like it up 'em you know.
Little Egret heading south there and Swallows ripping through too.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...