If you’ve never tried seawatching (that’s watching the sea in the hope of seeing seabirds and maybe cetaceans, not just staring at water – although it can be like that much of the time!) then it can be a bit daunting first time. I went to Strumble Head today for the first time in 3 years, and joined a small band of dedicated ‘Strumblers’ scanning the Irish Sea in the hope of seeing some good seabirds. Conditions were pretty favourable – yesterday had seen really strong south-westerlies and the wind was veering westerly overnight. Good birds were being called as I sat down – 2 skuas – and then very quickly a large shearwater appeared which turned out to be a Cory’s Shearwater (which I failed to get on to). I missed another Cory’s, and 2 Great Shearwaters, before I finally picked up my own Great. Excellent! As the morning progressed the Great Shearwaters kept coming, I managed to get on 6 before I left at 10.30am. I also got onto 2 of the 4 Sooty Shearwaters seen whilst I was there, and notched up a handful of Great & Arctic Skuas as well as a steady trickle of Manx Shearwaters, Fulmars, Kittiwakes, an Arctic Tern, 3 Sandwich Terns, a few Common Scoter and a nice flock of 14 Raven. A telescope and tripod are essential for seawatching, as is a chair, some grub and a flask of something hot! Highly recommended. Best conditions are west to northwesterly winds after a south-westerly blow. Apologies for the very old library pic of a Great Skua, nothing close enough for photos today!