Tuesday, 17 October 2017

17th October 2017

Weather: W 2/3 vis 10mls, both increasing during the morning

After the strange light of yesterday morning, it was good to be able to see West Kirby from the islands today.
As the sea was still very lively after the storm, a brief sea watch was undertaken and produced c 4,000 Common Scoter much nearer the North end than usual, 5 Red Throated Diver, 11 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Guillemot, 4 Gannet and after the tide a single Leaches Petrel close in. The 10 Eider were still present, in the heavy swell just off the old slipway.
Passerines were again very thin on the ground but 60 Meadow Pipit were around the lookout area for a short time, 2 Rock Pipit are still about the North end, 2 Skylark, a Pied and a White Wagtail both landed briefly. 
The Kestrel was seen leaving a perch in Niffy bay  at dawn so may well be roosting there.
Waders present included 28 Ringed Plover, 2 Grey Plover, 12 Dunlin, 94 Redshank,  and 28 Sanderling.
photos AS

Monday, 16 October 2017

16th October 2017

Weather: SSE force 2/3 with mist
The second Yellow-browed Warbler of the autumn arrived this morning in the area of the Newton trap where it was subsequently caught and ringed. The 16th bird since the founding of the obs, there have now been 7 in the last 3 years.
As is often the case with these eastern visitors to Hilbre there were not many other migrants on the ground at the time, just a Goldcrest, a Chiffchaff, a Song Thrush and a small number of extra Wrens and Robins. Overhead passage was little better with flocks of 12 and 8 Starlings, 2 Pied Wagtails, 2 Skylarks, and 3 Chaffinches. The 10 Eiders continue to make the islands their abode for the time being, 3 Little Egrets were logged, also 200 Shelduck.
Ringed: 1 Yellow-browed Warbler     [ 592-34 ]

Sunday, 15 October 2017

15th October 2017

Weather: SSE force 1/2, increasing later
An early start and hour before dawn was required because of the tide, during which time the first Redwing over Hilbre was heard from the obs. Although large numbers of grounded migrants are never expected this late in the autumn, it was quiet at first even by those standards; 2 Goldcrests were heard either end of the island, a few new Robins seemed to have arrived, while 3 Goldfinches, 4 Pied Wagtails, 4 Skylarks and about 60 Meadow Pipits moved through later in the morning as the sun came out. A bird dropped in that initially caused some excitement until it was identified in the poor light as a small Reed Bunting. The 10 Eiders are still present albeit split into 2 groups and 88 Brent Geese gathered between the islands as the tide ebbed. Waders located this morning included 120 Redshank, 55 Curlew, 34 Turnstone and 6 Bar-tailed Godwits. A Gannet was close in to the island, also noted were 2 Great Crested Grebes and 3 Guillemots.

Friday, 13 October 2017

13th October 2017

Weather:  WSW force 3, increasing to 5/6 during the morning, mostly dry with light spots of rain.
The 10 Eiders were still floating off the north end this morning, we haven't had a flock as large and long lasting here for many years. A Common Snipe sat in the east gutter before flying away calling, a typical late autumn visitor. As expected small migrants were far between on the westerly but 2 Goldcrests made it to the gardens and a Reed Bunting was at the south end briefly, 2 Pied Wagtails also went through this morning and 2 Goldfinches in the afternoon. Waders present included 96 Redshank, 22 Sanderling, 300 Dunlin, a Knot and a Ringed Plover. A Peregrine flying across the island was the only raptor. As high tide approached a good count of 123 Brent was made as they floated down the east gutter on the incoming tide.
None bird news today featured the sighting of a Common Seal close to the island (presumably the same as yesterday); as regular visitors will know, most of the seals here are Grey Seals.
Best record today was a Weasel that showed by popping its head up in curiosity from the pile of wood in the obs garden. It has been suspected for some time as glimpses have been seen of a small mammal scurrying through the grass in that area for about a year now.
Yellow fungus like growths have appeared on grass in various locations recently and now in the obs garden, and it has been identified as a slime mould Mucilago crustacea, a species probably never described before at Hilbre.
photos AEH, CJ

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

10th October 2017

Weather: W 2/3 vis 2 mls with rain early, improving later.

The young Common Seal which has been around for the last few weeks was again by the south steps onto Middle Eye with the tide well out, it was left undisturbed but was later seen travelling down the gutter bed, then attempting a spot of climbing to get onto the East Hoyle bank. It seems to be healthy, just a little confused about where it should be.
 Brent Geese numbered 95 and included our old friend the returning colour ringed bird, HDRB that was originally ringed in Canada and now back here for the tenth consecutive winter season. 
Thirty Shelduck flew South up the Estuary at dawn, the female Common Scoter was at the North end and the Eider have now increased to 10 with 9 going up the West side with the tide and 1 going up the gutter.
The Kestrel was again hunting around the islands, passerine numbers were low today but 18 Skylark flew East over the obs and a single Goldcrest was heard. Two Rock Pipits were at the North end and 26 Meadow Pipits were counted.
On the way off the islands as the tide rose 5 Grey Plover were noted with 2 Bar Tailed Godwit, a single Grey Heron and 63 Sanderling.
Flying towards Red Rocks were 1200 Dunlin and 20 Ringed Plover.
photos AS

Monday, 9 October 2017

9th October 2017

Weather: W 0/1, dropping completely later. Vis 30mls

Just after dawn, the Eider were seen to have increased to 3 feeding at the North end…….
By high tide there were 6 in the lagoon, a good Autumn for Eider on Hilbre.

 Also on the sea were 600 Common Scoter with a female in the gutter, 
 14 Shelduck, 2 Great Crested Grebe and 16 Wigeon flew west passed the noth end before the high tide.. Brent Geese numbered about 70 and included a colour ringed bird which was unfortunately too distant to read.
Roosting over the tide were 8,000 Oystercatcher with 40 Curlew on Middle, 137 Redshank and 28 Turnstone in Niffy bay.
There was a small movement of Skylark and Goldfinch through the morning with 28 and 23 
respectively, also present were 2 Goldcrest, a Wheatear, 45 linnets and 2 Rock Pipits.
 Photos AS

Sunday, 8 October 2017

8th October 2017

Weather: W force 1
 A nice calm morning with 3 Goldcrests and 10 Robins on the island and a small passage of Skylarks (12, 6, and another 12), about 30 Meadow Pipits and 2 Grey Wagtails.

Two female type Eiders floated on the sea

Herring Gulls fed on a small wreck of starfish

Three Rock Pipits were noted

Other records today included 2 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Little Egrets, a Grey Heron and a Kestrel.

 Ringed: 1 Goldcrest, 3 Robins, 1 Wren       [ 591-34 ]   Photos AEH