Why pay for exfoliaton?

Its blowing a gale. Fantastic. I love this weather - makes me want to get out on the coast and look for Leach's Petrels!
I had a few boxes of Bird Reports to distribute; I'd posted out the bulk yesterday but our sales outlets needed their stocks so it was a good excuse to head south-west. I called in at Rishton Reservoir on the way and was very surprised to find a female/immature Common Scoter on there - what an amazing run of birds we're having. There was little else easily viewable as I was looking into the teeth of the gale and the rain was pelting down - just around 40 Lapwings on the far bank and an increase in the Black-headed Gull population.
I deposited the reports at Martin Mere, Mere Sands Wood and Marshside before heading to Ainsdale where I picked up my brother headed out to the beach.

We parked up by the rangers compound and headed over the dunes to the beach - it was tortuous with the sand swirling around. Graeme noted that a sand-blast does wonders for the skin!!! Well it was in my ears, mouth, eyes, pockets - everywhere. I felt sorry for the poor dogs who were being encouraged through the sand-storm by their owners.

Having got to the beach we headed towards Formby Point - we could hardly stand up! the waves were crashing on the beach and there were some lovely troughs for a Leach's to fly along, but no luck , just Cormorants, Shelduck and several large gulls. We met up with a John Dempsey (suitable regaled with a pair of goggles) and another Sefton coast ranger and scanned the surf from the shelter of the Land Rovers. Still no luck.
Graeme and I headed further up the beach but got absolutely drenched in one downpour and just a few Sanderling, Grey Plover, Bar-tailed Godwits and a singe Knot to show for it. Ah well!

After a late lunch at Mum's I headed up to Leighton Moss to deposit some more reports and have a look for the Great White Egrets (no luck again!). Mike Watson was there and related how he'd seen nearly 40 Leach's from Heysham. As it happens, several Leach's were seen at Ainsdale after I left. I'll just have to try again tomorrow if the wind remains reasonably strong overnight.


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