Grilling black puddings

rig

A fine big calm high tide meant the beach car park at Ainsdale was closed to traffic today, and so the place was pleasantly quiet, and even though there was barely a f2-3 westerly blowing it was still rewarding enough seawatching over lunchtime, an hour or so before the high water.
For once the Common Scoter horde was scattered and remarkably active – no “black puddings” floating motionless on the swell today, they mostly were diving, preening and flying about all over the place.
Close enough to work through too, but after 45 minutes of ‘scoping there wasn’t the slightest hint of white plumage amongst them – ah well, that’s the way it goes.
An increase in the number of Red Throated Divers was good, and a few were still in superb summer plumage, while surprisingly large numbers of Razorbills were fishing reasonably close inshore.

Ainsdale 20.9.16, 1230-1325:

Razorbill 16
Guillemot 1
Gannet 5
Great Crested Grebe 7
Wigeon 1 north
Red Throated Diver 11
Common Scoter 1,000+
Red Breasted Merg 1f
Sandwich Tern 75+

Impossible to say how many scoter were in the bay, they were visible on the water right down to the bend in the coast at Freshfield and up to Birkdale from the top of the dunes, but there was worse ways to spend your lunchtime…