Grey peas and plover

Deep in the depths of yam yam land, wizards (should that be wizzards?) schooled in the dark arts and fuelled only by Pot Noodle and old Slade albums, create one of Mrs D’s favourite dishes in gloomy cellars, before it changes hands in pub car parks under the cover of night.
It genuinely worries me that trays of frozen grey peas can be distributed with such impunity.
Bags of the stuff are secreted in the backs of cars and spirited around the country, in the same clandestine way proper Irish snorkers or black pudding appear out of nowhere if you’re really lucky.
Over the years I have tried hard to embrace the boss’s Midlands heritage, but I have to draw the line at grey peas.
Some things are just not right, and I was reminded of this over the high tide today, as the sea at Ainsdale turned the colour of grey peas.

It sent a shiver down my spine and sent me scurrying back to the office after a 20 minute seawatch – it was quiet offshore anyways, with just one Red Throated Diver and approximately 1,500 Common Scoter scattered across the grey green swell.
A few Sarnies were feeding over the bay and approximately 200 were in the roost north of Shore Road.
Fortunately Stuart Darbyshire found an American Golden Plover on Crossens Outer in the high tide roost during the afternoon, so after work I drove up to see if was still about in typically dude-ish fashion.

The outer marsh was looking gorgeous in the sharp evening sun, and was peppered with feeding Dunlin, Blackwits, Lapwings and Ruff – it just felt rare.
Unfortunately the Golden Plover flock took to the air a minute or so after I arrived, scattered by an invisible raptor.
I walked back down the coast road to the area where some of the flock had landed again, but there was no sign of the American Golden Plover there.
I checked a few other small groups without joy, but luckily when I walked back to the pull-in, Graham Clarkson (in his new favourite birding jacket), was ‘scoping the yankee in a group of distant goldies by Crossens channel at about 6.30pm.
Graham got me onto the bird and I was able to watch it for a short time and even take long distance 60x zoom digi-scoped rubbish like the image at the top of this entry.
The AGP is the plover on the extreme left of the image, between the two Dunlin smudges, although you’d struggle to know it as the birds faced head on to us in the hard light.
At least that lightning strike super was obvious through the scope.
Yankee panted, I sped home in time for the chicken enchiladas of the gods, courtesy of Mrs D.
Far better than a tray of frozen grey peas anytime, but don’t tell her that…

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