Spit the pips outta that one

tide

There are times when you question your sanity…so it was today when I tried to seawatch the balmy zephyr that is Abigail from the dunes at Ainsdale over lunch.
Force 7 south westerly at least, with hail, rain and too much aerial sand to make it feasible…all I managed was trashed optics, a single Great Crested Grebe and Wigeon, 2 RB Mergs, a sub-adult Gannet (later on) and fragments of the scoter horde looking distinctly queasy as they were hurled around in the boiling sea.
It was a sandblasted nightmare, interspersed with dashes of hail, gull and icy rain.
To be honest I was hoping for a Leach’s Petrel – birds were seen off Wirral and Fylde, so there’s always a chance.
More often than not though it is easier to pick ’em up at Ainsdale over the sands when the tide has receded, but not today.
I was thinking back to the last big “late” Leach’s wreck in 2006 – you can read about that at Richard Smith’s excellent Dee Estuary website in his newsletter from 2007 here, albeit from an inevitably (and understandably) Wirral-centric point of view.
As I recall birds hit the coastline in North Wales, Fylde and Wirral before they started to turn up on the Sefton coast back then, so one may come tottering down the sands here over the weekend yet…