Never fun surveying the damage after the latest dune blaze sparked by half-wits, but out beyond the ash and charred habitat at Birkdale, a passing Hooded Crow momentarily lifted the spirits.
The bird was flapping down the huge expanse of golden sands out beyond the Green Beach, but I managed a record shot thanks to the zoominess of the P900 at full stretch from the dune ridge above the Coast Road.
Even with a tiny image the bird seemed to have a bit much grey in the vent and not enough black on the head, but it was too far off to get hung up over the niceties.
Cabin Hill in Formby is always a good place to look for ’em in spring, specifically in the fields of Marsh Farm (from public footpaths of course) for those whose exercise regime may take them that way.

Closer to me, Wheatears looked bewildered in the ash after last night’s blaze at Birkdale, which stretches over five reeling Grasshopper Warbler territories, while way out past Hooded Crow range up to ten Gannets were plunge diving in the sun over the rising tide, and a few groups of Common Terns were fishing.
It has been a ridiculously long time since I last looked at the sea, even at extreme range like this, and the blues and greens never looked better.
Back over the dunes three Jays flopped north east into the strengthening wind, and Swallows and Martins were passing in some numbers today.