Monday, 9 December 2019

9th December 2019

Weather: NNW  7-8  vis 10 mls

This morning 2,600 Cormorants battled their way out of the estuary at dawn, compare the sea conditions to the photo taken Saturday 7th !
There were a few more Common Scoter about with 450 counted, but little else on the sea other than 8 Red-throated Diver. The Brent’s seemed to have sought shelter elsewhere as only 50 were about until well after the ebb when another 100 arrived.
A few large flocks of Knot totalled 3,500 and a good count of 335 Sanderling were on the north shore, small numbers of Redshank and Turnstone sheltered in Niffy bay….
 …and just 3 Purple Sandpiper roosted, unusually they were on top of the North End by the pools.
Over 3000 Herring Gull were logged, 75 Common Gull were in the gutter but only 1 Black-headed Gull. A Peregrine upset the waders a few times and a fresh Oystercatcher kill was found, the Kestrel was also about the islands.
 photos AS

Saturday, 7 December 2019

7th December 2019

Weather:WSW  2  vis 25 ml

At daybreak 1500 Cormorant came out of the estuary.
Brent Geese numbered 239 and Common Scoter 220. Best of the waders were 1400 Knot, 120 Sanderling on the north shore with 5 Grey Plover and 22 Ringed Plover also present.
Just 5 Purple Sandpiper roosted the tide, it’s looking like they will not make double figures this year.
As is usual at this time of year very few birds were on the island but 2 Song Thrush are still about the gardens and a Rock Pipit was on Middle.
photos AS

Thursday, 5 December 2019

5th December 2019

Weather: SW  2 increasing to 6-7 later, good visibility

The best part of the day was the stunning sunrise, well worth getting up early for!
Birds though were sadly lacking with a few Redwing passing over, a couple of Song Thrush in the gardens and a Kestrel hunting over the south end. Only 2 Purple Sandpiper were found and 800 Dunlin were on the North Shore with a few Sanderling amongst them. The Brent Geese were spread out in the rocks on the west side of Middle and difficult to count, hence the low number of 150 logged, 160 Common Scoter were off the north end.
Thirty eight Cormorant were counted out on the North Shore, then the wind speed increased dramatically and an hour later there were over 500 present, a Shag was again noted on the west side. 
photos AS

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

4th December 2019

Weather: SSE force 2/3

It was a bright sunny day on Hilbre and even turned out to be warm, at around midday. However, despite the sun, the first few hours on the island were brutally cold. but that did not stop the finding of a new blue and red colour ringed Brent Goose (amongst the 309 counted) and reading the letters on each ring. We know the bird was ringed in Canada but the letters on the colour rings will enable more details on the bird to be found. 
The 50 Sanderling present seemed quite content in the sun despite the photographer being near to freezing. Other waders were about including Knot but not many passerines. 
One of the 2 Song thrushes present was ringed and local movement probably accounted for the Wood Pigeon that turned up. The resident Magpie was about but only 1 Meadow Pipit could be found and there were no Rock Pipits despite strenuous attempts to find them.
Ringed: 1 Song Thrush   [ 770-36 ]
photos JE

Sunday, 1 December 2019

1st December 2019

Weather: Light air, -1 with frost
Best bird of a cold early morning was a drake Scaup seen off the north end for a few minutes, at the smae time 500 Common Scoter were moving at a distance. A small number of Redwings were heard overhead, but no migrants down, just 3 Song Thrushes, 8 Wrens and 2 Robins all which may or may or may not be about to winter on the island. A Skylark, 2 Starlings and a couple of Pied Wagtails were logged while passing. The Magpie still finds enough to sustain itself in the early winter.
Amongst the 238 Brent seen were 4 colour ringed birds. Knot formed a flock of 200 at the north end.

A Peregrine chased a Knot and was joined by another pair in the pursuit over the shore. There were 400 Dunlin, also 6 Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Grey Plover, 10 Sanderling, then 6 Purple Sandpipers and a Teal in the gutter on the ebb tide. Also on the ebb a single Little Egret, the first of the day and 2 Grey Herons.
Ringed: 1 Song Thrush    [ 769-36 ]
photo CJ

Saturday, 30 November 2019

30th November 2019

Weather: SE 2  gloom at first then sunshine
Pre-dawn Redwing were heard overhead. A Woodcock was put up from the west side below the light, then shortly afterwards flew again near 'Wheatear wall' over towards the 'heli' trap and away to the south. Still early morning a Shag was close off the west side, a Goosander flew south over the island and a Goldeneye was just off the north shore and 12 Teal near the north end.
Over a hundred Pink-feet geese flew west over Little Eye. A Peregrine sat on the sand towards bird rock. Later on at high tide a Merlin was at Middle Eye and 6 Purple Sandpipers roosted a count was made of 110 Turnstone, while on the sea 8 Great Crested Grebes, 180 Scoter and 6 Red-throated Divers were the highlights. Brents peaked today at 245. Three Song Thrushes, a Blackbird and the Magpie were on the island and visitors included a Chaffinch, 2 Siskin, and 12 Starlings moving north.
photos AS

Friday, 29 November 2019

29th November 2019

Weather: Flat calm most of the day with good visibility.

The calm conditions made it easy to see the birds on the water around the North End and 68 Great Crested Grebe were counted along with 450 Common Scoter, 9 Red-throated Diver, and a Shag again off the west side. There were 200 Brent Geese about and a male Teal first noted in the gutter stayed around the island all day.

Over 7,000 Oystercatcher roosted the tide but were frequently disturbed by kayaks, a good count was made of 64 Bar-tailed Godwit, a couple of Grey Plover were seen and 34 Ringed Plover roosted on the west side.
Unusually, some of the 680 Knot recorded were also roosting there.
Twenty eight Sanderling flew west passed the North End and Purple Sandpiper numbered 7.
At least 9 Wren were present as was a single Rock Pipit, fly overs included Siskin and Goldfinch. There were 2 each of Grey Heron and Little Egret, a female Kestrel was about and a visiting birder reported 14 Eider.
 photos AS