Freedom of movement


A tidy west south westerly and a rising tide at Ainsdale this morning, so it was worth scanning the waves before work.
Gannets strung along the wibbly wobbly sea/skyline, ever-present, but impossible to say how many, as some pass and some wheel back again to feed.
As the morning wore on, more and more returning groups of Common Scoter, some parties including as many as 70 black puddings, were pitching into the swell, looking like they’d just arrived back from breeding grounds (numbers tend to pick up again at Ainsdale from July onwards).
Feel the admiration and jealousy when you watch Gannets and Manx Shearwaters sailing past on the wind – I can never get bored with the fluid motion as they pass.
They have a hard life of course (you try flapping your arms all the way to Tristan da Cunha and back), but there’s not many things as effortlessly cool as a Manxie shearing by on the edge of the wind.
What life lessons could be learnt if seawatching was on the National Curriculum? Perhaps vomiting as a defence mechanism and a constant diet of fish, plankton and chum aren’t the best examples for developing minds, but I think you get my drift.
After all, these babies don’t do borders.
What appeared to be 4 Whimbrel went south at 0845, but they were a long way off, and it seems a tad early for them still.

Manx Shearwater 21
Common Scoter 143
Sandwich Tern 29
Common Tern 1
Great Crested Grebe 3
Gannets 100+
auk sp 2
Whimbrel (?) 4

Nothing major I grant you, but as our good friend the briny Niall Keogh is wont to say, “bring me that horizon!”
And besides, staring at the largely empty waves and heat shimmer is infinitely preferable to witnessing the breathtakingly bone-headed arsery that’s unfolding on dry land behind me at the moment.