Not for want of trying

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Four calling Crossbills low over the car park at Lifeboat Road, Formby, this morning while I was concluding an orchid walk* was enough to tempt me into a lunchtime seawatch at Ainsdale today, especially as it was nice and cloudy and a westerly was freshening up.
Gave it 45 minutes – it was not great.

Ainsdale 1300-1345:
Gannet 8
Manx Shearwater 4
Common Scoter 2
Med Gull 2
LBB 5
Curlew 5

Observant readers will note I have included waders on a seawatch count – this is never a good sign.
I’ll be counting BHGs and Cormorants next.

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It was very quiet, but two Med Gulls calling loudly as they drifted north up the coast over the beach were cool (they still hold novelty value for me, despite the fact they are so regular now), and a pulse-ette of Manx Shearwaters were enough for a quick lunchtime hit.
Taking out a birding walk from 1145-1430 at the National Trust at Freshfield tomorrow as part of their “Bioblitz” event if anyone wants to come out to play…

* Five species on this morning’s guided walk orchid lovers – Bee Orchid (natch – good numbers have been out along the coast for the last two weeks, although the cold winds mean many are quite stunted), Southern Marsh Orchid, Common Twayblade – a first for the site (I think), Early Marsh Orchid coccinea, and 11 Dune Helleborine, the latter a good way from flowering.