Blowing away the cobwebs

The fury of Storm Bronagh turned Liverpool Bay into a boiling cauldron this morning – in many ways the startling seascape was the real draw today, as birds moving offshore were few and far between.
Looking north west across the Ribble towards Blackpool, the inshore waters were fierce.
I still gave it three and a half hours at Ainsdale from 0830 to noon though.
Stuart Darbyshire had got down there half an hour or so before me and scored a juv Sab’s Gull – the early bird catches the worm.
The wind was a touch too south west and the tide a bit low for Ainsdale, but you can’t say no to a force 7 on the doorstep.
Just before 9am I picked up a Leach’s Petrel moving south through the surf, those sharp black wings standing out against the raging swell – more may come through this afternoon if the wind swings into the north west as forecast.

Ainsdale, 21.9.18, 0830-1200,
SWly gusting f6-7, squalls:

Leach’s Petrel 1
Manx Shearwater 3
Gannet 1
Med Gull 1
Kittiwake 1
Guillemot 2
Sandwich Tern 57
Common Scoter 50-100 (many more hidden by the swell)
Pintail 7

Roosting gulls held a Med and one or two unsavoury looking Herring Gull x LBB hybrids, while plenty of waders were hunkering down trying to keep out of the wind and racing sands.
A beached Common Scoter was given a right battering by GBBs – nature red in tooth and claw.
There’ll be a lot of exhausted and tired birds on the coast in the next few days – please give them a wide berth and don’t walk through roosts.