Bill please

Couldn’t sleep last night, so I slipped down to the Alt Estuary at Hightown this morning arriving at about 0645.

There were two roosts of terns developing already, one just to the north of the pumping station and old navigation wall and one just across the Alt from the Blundellsands Sailing Club clubhouse.

I settled on the bench at the sailing club and waited as more and more Sandwich Terns drifted in and at about 0745 I picked up the big beezered Elegant Tern in the middle of the roost – finally.

The bird preened in good light for the next hour as more people arrived and were able to enjoy a mega on the Sefton Coast!

Plenty of colour-ringed Sarnies (among about 700 terns by the time I left, but more were arriving) with yellow rings – Lady’s Island in Wexford?

Med Gulls, trilling Whimbrels, a first year Kittiwake in off and the majesty of the regular Swan Goose.

Fishing Gannets offshore (thanks James!) and distant terns shining white like confetti in the warming sun over the Mersey approaches.


Shaky hand-held video of the Elegant Tern on YouTube here.

Job done.

A cracking way to start the day and back to the coalface before 9am – no one suspected a thing.

Until now.