Been so long since I last got out birdin’ that I’m struggling to remember which end of my binolikars to peer through.
In a way this was quite helpful today as I had a look offshore from Ainsdale for an hour at lunchtime, lured out by the drizzle and brisk force 4 W/SWly.
Everything was distant – just like looking through the wrong end of my bins.
A meagre high tide was a good two hours off, but it was pleasant enough scanning the waves and murky horizon, my mind wandering further south and west, west, west.
15 Manx Shearwaters went through south, mostly at long range and in small pulses, the largest group featuring six birds.
About 200 Common Scoter were playing hide and seek in the swell, and the waves probably concealed more of them as they rode out the Irish Sea rollercoaster in the shallows.
Numbers usually start to build up again from July.
Quiet otherwise though, and no sign of any Sandwich Terns, suggesting recent reports from Hightown do indeed appear to indicate the late summer roost has relocated to the north bank of the Alt.
On the upside hirundines are beginning to gather around the office again (absent in today’s high winds though), with 30+ Swallows and one or two Sand Martins perching up on the buildings and wires in the last week or so.
This late summer gathering didn’t happen in 2019 or 2020 and I have hopes they may tempt a marauding Hobby, which has happened a few times in years past.
No Hobbys yet though, but the Kestrels are conspicuous, gorging on summer invertebrates on the frontal dunes.
This young male was perched up on Toad Hall for a few minutes yesterday – intrigued to see it was a ringed bird.
No threat to the hirundines of course, but the long-staying albino Starling looked a tad nervous.
Local or a summer wanderer? The bracelet looked shiny and new – any thoughts from anyone in the SWLRG?