Friday, 10 January 2020

10th January 2020

Weather: NW force 3   warm in the sunshine

There were 6 Purple Sandpipers feeding at the north end as observers arrived for the high tide,
 as well as lots of other waders.
With a gentle breeze from the west Turnstone, Redshank, Oystercatchers, Dunlin and a few Brent geese took advantage of the shelter provided in Niffy Bay to roost over the tide.
The middle island had the usual roost of Oystercatchers and Curlews as well as Herring Gulls and more Brent geese.
In addition to waders there were a few passerines: Crows, Robins, Song Thrushes and Wrens. One of the 7 Wrens present was caught and ringed.. This was the first new bird to be ringed on Hilbre this year.
Both Kestrel and Peregrine were noted as was the regular Magpie.
Ringed: 1 Wren     [1-1 ]
photos JE

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

7th January 2020

Weather: SW force 3
A brief visit found the island very quiet with not a great deal to report although again waders were much in evidence, Redshank were numerous with 165 present as were Curlew at 620. A single drake Scoter was off the north end and 25 Shelduck and 240 Brent were around and about.
The regular 3 Song Thrushes showed as did the Magpie, which has now been here since last June, so must be finding enough to eat, despite the attention of the local Carrion crows.
photos CJ

Sunday, 5 January 2020

5th January 2020

Weather: SW force 1/2
Highlight of a quick visit were 3 Wigeon showing just below the obs.

Brents were feeding on the rocks.
 Waders seen included 100 Sanderling and 60 each of Turnstone and Redshank.
Five Wrens, a Song Thrush, a Robin, the Magpie and a Kestrel were the sole land birds located on
the island.
photos AEH

Saturday, 4 January 2020

4th January 2020

Weather: W force 4/5
 A breezy westerly this morning, again relatively quiet with many waders about, notably 1,500 Sanderling seen. A count of 65 Common Scoter were recorded on the sea. Seven Wrens showed themselves, also 2 Song Thrushes, the Magpie, a Blackbird and a Rock Pipit. Fresh signs of Fox on the island was not particularly welcome.

Friday, 3 January 2020

3rd January 2020

Weather: NW force 4
It was windy and dark on arrival the island as 1,200 Cormorants exited the estuary, but the clouds soon dispersed and a pleasantly warm, sunny morning ensued.
Two more female type Velvet Scoter were found distantly off the north end, another good record. (thanks to Elliott Monteith)
Despite the rain being continuous since August, the weather has not been cold and the birds coming to the island for the winter have prospered. A Robin and a Song Thrush (3 on the island today), were retrapped, and both birds were in fine condition with plenty of fat.

There were good numbers of most waders, notably 600 Sanderling and 70 Grey Plover but only 1 Purple Sandpiper. A Kestrel was present and several Short-tailed field voles were seen, perhaps the Kestrel is aware they are wintering well.
photo JE

Thursday, 2 January 2020

2nd January 2020

Weather: SW force 3
A brief trip across to check out the island increased the Brent count up to 310 birds, numbers are normally at their peak around this time but it is not always easy to establish a firm count as they are nowadays often scattered about the islands and the shore. Good numbers of waders were again present and the Magpie showed itself once more. Three Song Thrushes seem to be wintering here.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

1st January 2020

Weather: S force 0/1     some mist
The first visit of  2020 estimated 220 Brent about the islands with lots of waders including 8,000 Oystercatcher, 10,000 Knot, 3,500 Dunlin, 450 Sanderling, 240 Curlew, 95 Turnstone, 83 Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and 6 Purple Sandpiper. Four Red-throated Divers, 80 Common Scoter and 6 Great Crested Grebes were the first sea birds of the year. Passerines noted were 3 Song Thrushes, 2 Robins and a single Rock Pipit. The Magpie has stayed on the island now into another year.