I see no ships - or birds for that matter

Having spent the last couple of days in Cumbria helping Paul with his open garden (at which a very commendable £1800 was raised for charity), the sound of the wind and rain lashing at the bedroom window called me out of bed and into the stormy weather that was battering Lancashire this-morning. I decided to resist the temptation on the east coast and combine a trip to the Lancashire coast with a visit to mum in Ainsdale and to fix her computer problems!

I called in at Rishton Reservoir en-route - the rain was almost horizontal from a westerly direction and there's no shelter at all out there when the wind is in that direction - good preparation for the Sefton coast later. A minimum of 280 Black-headed Gulls took shelter on the far bank whilst a single Common Sandpiper and Grey Wagtail fed along the near shore. Several Swallows hunted low over the water and a few Sand Martins joined them briefly.

I decided to find a place near my old sea-watching haunt of Freshfield Dunes when I reached the coast and so parking at the NT car park, I donned waterproofs and headed into the sand-blaster. I eventually found a semi sheltered spot just behind the frontal dunes and watched the empty sea from there. I scanned the raging surf patiently but surprisingly there was very little moving save for several Cormorants and a few gulls. Three Common Terns flew south and a juvenile Kittiwake hugged the tops of the dunes as it struggled north. Four Sanderling there were only waders in the hour after high tide. The showers kept rolling in obliterating the horizon and visibility and so I eventually decided to give up and retreat to civilisation for a cuppa! Then the sun came out.

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