A superb day all round the highlights included 478 Black-tailed Godwits just south-west of West Kirby Marine Lake (inside our recording area) that included a colour-ringed bird. This bird was ringed in Iceland as a chick in July 2005 and has subsequently been recorded at various places in Lancashire (including Leighton Moss, Newton Marsh and Marshside), Cheshire (various inland sites during 2006 including Sandbach and IMF) and Heswall and Thurstaston Shore last winter (November 2007); however that was its last sighting (over 12 months ago).
It was a colour-ring extravaganza (!) today - TWO colour-ringed Brent Geese are now in the flock on the island (red and blue which has been present on and off since 9th December 2008) and a new bird with yellow colour rings on each leg. This latter bird may have been present since 1st January 2009 as one with two yellow colour rings was reported by a non-member on that date albeit that was reported as 'XXYY'. However, the bird today is definitely not the returning female XXYY.
XXYY first arrived at Hilbre on 10th November 2005 and has been seen each winter subsequently and we eagerly await her return this winter...she was ringed on passage in Iceland in May 2005 and has also been recorded in Hampshire, Anglesey, Northern Ireland and Iceland (again on passage where she was retrapped) as well as on the breeding grounds in Bathurst Island in Canada in July 2007. She has not been seen at Hilbre since 14th March 2008 (after which she was on Anglesey until 14th April 2008 but has not been reported subequently).
The Brent Geese flock peaked again at 139 pales and 2 darks.
A Little Egret continued to be seen around the islands and wader numbers were excellent for the Low Water WeBS count.
(DB & WRS)