I am reliably informed by my learned windsurfing colleague that conditions were "Nukin" at Ainsdale today - it was certainly breezy enough to make a Mother Superior unstable, or more conventionally described, force 6/7 westerlies were pummelling the coastline and squalls battered the life out of the last few gasps of summer.
This hooley happily for me coincided with a day at my desk - so I set up the 'scope at lunchtime in the tower, once the rain and salt had cleared off the window to see what I could see over the rising tide.
As always Ainsdale is not ideal, and apart from numerous flotillas of Common Scoters that were bobbing about in the swell as if seasickness hadn't been invented, it was quiet and difficult.
Until a lovely juv Pomarine Skua drifted through my 'scope, headed down the coast and then turned into the wind to linger over the surf for a few minutes at 1315, before heading out into the boiling seas of the bay again.
Nice darkish bird, with a paler barred back end.
Reasonable 'scope views given the conditions - barrel-belly heavy, with a clear double wing-flash on the underwing, broad wing base and a squared off tail.
Bigger than nearby Common Gulls, it managed to head off into the westerly without too much effort.
No Leach's today though - but tomorrow, well who knows?
The beach has got to be worth a look early doors if this keeps up.
Common Scoter 150+
Great Crested Grebe 1
Pomarine Skua (juv) 1
Not bad as lunch-breaks go.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...