With all this talk of Hurricane Irene attacking the east coast of North America, British birders can't help but think about what the hurricane will do to the ornithology across the pond, and what will turn up on our coastal headlands.
With strong winds forecast on our coasts, I thought I would give Starr Gate a go...
Starr Gate - 24mph >NW
Watching all the Cornish headlands 'scoring big' with Cory's, Balearic, Great and a possible Little Shearwater the night before, I couldn't help but arrive at Starr Gate with massive expectations. A Balearic would probably be the best I could hope for in August off Starr Gate, but this wasn't to be.
The wind was too northernly for the Blackpool coast to have a wreck (it would probably be better on the Wirral today) so the best I could muster up was as follows:
2 Manx Shearwater >S, 5 Gannet >N, 2 Guillemot >N, Razorbill >N, 2 Sandwich Tern >N, and a raft of 170 Common Scoter reasonably close in.
Apart from this, there wasn't a great deal so I called it a day after about 2 hours.
By lunchtime I was back in Preston and got a text saying there were 2 Ruff in Meadow Lake at Brockholes. I got there as quick as I could, but they left the site heading strongly >SW just before I arrived!
These would be the first Ruff I would've seen on site since 2 self found juveniles back in August 2006! I'm not even sure there have been any since this date! Ruff have become so ridiculously scarce in recent years.
Not the best day I could have imagined, but it beats being a cyber birder...amazing nearctic vagrants will never be found if we all had lazy bank holidays sitting by a computers screen all day!!