The wrong direction

A south easterly is almost always pants when it comes to seawatching from the Sefton coast, especially in the depths of winter.
So it takes a special type of eejit to venture out for a session ‘scoping a low high tide from Ainsdale.
There was some method in my madness today though as south easterlies tend to flatten out the sea, sending small waves breaking back out against the swell.
This means that any Common Scoters out there, rather than dozing with the current at their backs, are awake and alert, cresting into the waves, and crucially showing their heads – just the job when you’re looking for interesting bits of white plumage…
The downside of a south easterly is that it does disperse the scoter and numbers fall – presumably many move off to the north towards Shell Flats, but they’ll be back again.
Unseasonably mild with a few sharp showers, I gave it an hour from 1245 to 1345.

Ainsdale, 1245-1345, SEly f4, cloud, showers:

Common Scoter 250
Red Breasted Merganser 7 (5m 2f)
Scaup 5 (4m 1f)
Red Throated Diver 1
GBBs 11

Admittedly as cunning plans go, it wasn’t overly successful, with scoters scattered over the sea, largely distant and in low numbers, but 5 Scaup were good and mergs are always welcome.
There are worse ways to spend a lunch hour.

2 thoughts on “The wrong direction

  1. John,
    I found your Hightown flock at about 13.40hrs this afternoon. About 1300 Pinkfeet and 300+ Curlew on grass 150-400m from the road, the geese feeding contentedly and ignoring the heavy traffic. I found a convenient pull-off and just had time for one scan from the car when a chap armed with with a telephoto lens and tripod walked straight past me and flushed the lot. The heavens then opened – appropriate retribution. Drongos, they’re everywhere!

    Liked by 1 person

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