A post- Christmas visit this morning found that mostly the traps had survived the gales and things were in fairly good order for 2012. An accurate count of the Brent was not possible but they seemed to be in excess of 250 off the west side of the island. Only 4 Purple Sandpipers could be found but no doubt more could have been seen nearer to high tide. A male and 2 female Pintail flew west passed the north end mid-morning as a Shag floated on the tide edge. Bird of the day was undoubtedly a Twite recognised by call amongst a flock of 18 Linnets that went back and forth over the obs to and from Middle, a very rare record for Hilbre. Land birds included 5 Blackbirds and 2 Song Thrushes, all probably staying for the winter, also a Robin (right) that was trapped and seemed to be in very good condition judging by the weight and fat stored on the bird. Most of the regular waders were present, and several flocks of Knot were noted, also 5 Bar-tailed Godwits.