Everything’s shearing.


With a good fresh south westerly f4-6 this morning, a quick look off the dunes at Ainsdale was only sensible as the “low” high tide started falling back and before too much sun hit the waves.
Nothing startling, but there was a steady movement of Gannets (the distant youngsters were mainly shearing away impersonating large shearwaters) and quite a few Razorbills were tazzing past.

Ainsdale 0830-0900:

Razorbill 17
Guillemot 2
Gannet 59
Red Throated Diver 2
Great Crested Grebe 1
Sandwich Tern 8
Common Scoter 400+

Arctic Skua 1 dark phase (later on)

The Arctic Skua was nice – a fine dark phase bird that swept in over the sands at Ainsdale later in the morning heading north (about 11am).
Having scared the pants off me at first by shearing along much further out, it was a relief to see those primary flashes.
The cold autumn sun was catching the underside of the wings of the Common Scoters as they whizzed by too, giving all the males a silvery underwing.
Our Irish seawatching friends call out Common Scoters as “Black Puddings” (male) and “White Puddings” (female) respectively as they pass County Clare’s wild Atlantic coast, which is a great name for ’em – I think we may get too much of a “pudding avalanche” for it to catch on here though.
Meanwhile the WWT were tweeting away earlier about large departures of Pink Feet from Iceland this morning, so I guess it’s gonna feel a whole lot more wintry soon (and Dick Van Dyke the chimney sweep was at Dempsey Towers today, which is as sure a sign as any that the smart money should be heading south, Pechoras or Acadians regardless).