Best bird of the session from the Tobacco Dump today was undoubtedly a fine Arctic Tern that hung in the strong westerly in front of us, dipping and darting to the surface in the roiling swell just beyond the surf.
A gorgeous thing, it seemed so frail against the backdrop of the towering waves, but stuck around for at least 90 minutes switching and swooping to pick tiny prey off the surface in a relatively small area.
A superb bird.
Pretty much everything else observed extreme social distancing as Neill Hunt and I put in 1005 through to 1310 shift as the force 6-7 gale dropped back and the cloud and rain gave way to sunny periods, salt-heavy misty visibility and a tiger stripe bay, patterned by cloud shadow and sun.
An Arctic Skua was frustratingly brief and distant as it headed south west across the bay, low to the waves before I lost it in the swell.
Fewer Gannets today, and about the same number of Manxies as yesterday, but all far out.
Kinda quiet (none of the Stormies that were blown up the Mersey last night came past us, although these waifs are easily missed in big seas like this), but a great laugh after we met up at the Victoria Road car park and walked in.
I think Neill may have gone overboard on the PPE – who would have thought this terrible pandemic would signal a return of the Pod People?
We observed social distancing at all times of course, shame the seabirds did too.
Tobacco Dump, Freshfield, 6.6.20, 1005-1310:
W/Nwly 6-7, cloud and sunny spells.
Gannet approx 37
Manx Shearwater 41
Great Crested Grebe 1
Common Scoter 26
Arctic Tern 1
Arctic Skua 1
Stuart Darbyshire’s lovely female Red Necked Phal at Marshside this morning will have to wait for another day (assuming it’s still hidden in one of the creeks and hasn’t jiggered off).