Thursday, 11 February 2010

11th February 2010

A beautiful day on the islands today with light easterly wind, not a cloud in the sky, the first snow drops appearing - it felt like spring even if it that is still a few weeks away!

The Pale-bellied Brents still numbered c150 and there were 4 Grey Herons around the islands today. A slight increase in Shelduck numbers to 200 was nice and other wildfowl included two drake Red-breasted Mergansers and a fine drake Eider which flew past the North End, although there was no sign of the Velvet Scoter (perhaps it has simply drifted further out).

Also off the North End were the large numbers of 'big' gulls but still nothing unusual amongst them ... yet ...

Waders were much in evidence with nice counts of 3,000 Knot, 1,500 Dunlin, 380 Curlew, c100 Turnstone and 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, although Purple Sandpiper numbers dropped to just four birds (11 yesterday).

The highlight of the day was also a wader species as a huge flock of 350 Black-tailed Godwits flew over the Observatory buiding and headed high out to sea off to the North; a very good count for Hilbre of a Dee estuary 'speciality'; unfortunately no photographers were present to capture them in all their glory.

Winter resident passerines still present included Wren (3), Dunnock (2), Robin (2), Blackbird (2) and Song Thrush (3) supplemented by the arrival late afternoon yesterday of six Linnets which were still present today feeding at the South End.

Finally, two Common Buzzards were found circling over the East Hoyle sand bank before they drifted off eastwards over the Royal Liverpool Golf Course; no dount they thought it was spring too!


No comments: