Blah blah blah…and blubber


It was too nice a westerly to ignore when it stomped in last night, so I picked up Bazzo and Neill and we gave the Tobacco Dump at Formby a few hours over the tide this afternoon.
Lovely sunny day seawatches usually involve large amounts of time staring at the empty sea, while disembodied conversations float over the hiss of the surf as eyes remain jammed to scopes more in hope than expectation.
Today was kinda like that – but we’ve certainly had worse sessions down there.
An initial 15 minutes of Arctic Skuas tag teaming to batter the terns was good value, but then it went quiet, before a pulse of Manxies moved offshore over the tide, albeit distantly.
Best of all was the Bottle Nosed Dolphin which breached smack dab in the middle of my scope – cracking views and only the third time I’ve see the big blubbery salmon regurgitator off the Sefton coast – at 1307 pre-cisely.
A bruising giant compared to our more regular “Puffing Pigs” aka Harbour Porpoise.

Tobacco Dump, 7/8/16, 1230-1445:

Arctic Skua 7
Arctic Tern 12
Common Tern 25
Sandwich Tern 100+
Gannet 120+
Common Scoter 40
Manx Shearwater 68
Bottle Nosed Dolphin 1 south at 1307

A clear passage of terns offshore, but most were too far off to pin down, unlike the Gannets and Manxies that sheared down the horizon.
Small Copper, Graylings, Gatekeepers and Common Blues rising from the dewberry as we trudged back to the wheels in the summer heat.
Cold beers well earned.

2 thoughts on “Blah blah blah…and blubber

  1. One of Britain’s most threatened seabirds, the little tern, has successfully nested at the Point of Ayr on the RSPB Dee Estuary nature reserve for the second year running.
    There were celebrations last year after the discovery of one nest on a shingle area of the reserve, beside the beach at the popular holiday spot Talacre. It was hoped the birds would return this year as the RSPB have been able to offer them greater protection from predators and other disturbance than ever before.
    Two chicks successfully fledged in mid-July, marking a second year of breeding success on the reserve. However, the terns will only stick around the area for another couple of weeks before starting their long journey back to Africa for the winter. They will be joined by others from breeding colonies around North Wales and North West England. The rich waters at the mouth of the Dee Estuary are a vital feeding area for terns to build up their strength before migration.
    A ‘Terns and Waders’ event takes place on Saturday 20 August, 10.30am-2.30pm to see the terns and other birds on the site. It is free of charge, with donations welcomed on the day to help support the reserve. The walk crosses sand dunes so a reasonable level of fitness plus appropriate clothing and footwear are required. Booking is essential by phoning 0151 353 8478 or email For more information visit


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