I set off at first light with my fold-up chair in hand to a spot where it is possible to sea watch at the Obs even at low tide. I hunkered down in a sheltered spot and prepared myself to not see a great deal in the cold northwesterly! The skies were clear so it gave the impression of being a nice day.
Amazingly there was some vis, mainly I think because birds have been held up. Some birds went east, others northeast and even some went north straight across the bay. Visibility was good so even those taking the direct northerly route would have no difficulty in keeping the first land fall of Walney Island, some 17 km away, in their sight. My vis totals were 73 Meadow Pipits, 73 Linnets, five Carrion Crows, an Alba Wag, five Swallows, 50 Goldfinches and a Lesser Redpoll.
The sea was pretty quiet too, but then it was a northwesterly wind. I am expecting the first Arctic Skuas anytime soon, but it wasn't going to be today, but I did have my first Whimbrels of the Spring with three birds heading rapidly east in to the bay. The supporting cast offshore included two Whooper Swans, ten Cormorants, two Red-throated Divers, 12 Common Scoters, eight Eiders, ten Gannets, an Auk sp. and a Sandwich Tern.
The only grounded migrants were three White Wagtails on the beach. The forecast is grim for tomorrow, so a few pints of real ale and a rare lie in are in order. The wind is dropping off on Monday, so I'm hoping to get some mist nets up at the Obs.
Nightjar survival against the odds - with the run of days of terrible weather since this Nightjar nest started it is heartening to see that the one chick has just about fledged -- hope it now ...
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