We are still in a quiet period before the start of spring movements, and the regular wintering passerines over the last 2 weeks have included 5 Blackbirds which all seem to have been ringed and 2 Song Thrushs which haven't, and only 2 Skylarks were logged in the same period. Five thousand Oystercatchers still use the islands to roost and the many Brent geese also have 3 dark-bellied individuals amongst them. Logged today were 10 visiting Carrion Crows, 2 Goldfinches and 2 Common Scoter. A strange event has been the finding of 10 dead Shags around the islands since December. Shags are never that numerous at Hilbre, and to find so many dead is puzzling. A Common seal was hauled out today on the rocks near the south end (above), another creature that is far from an everyday sight on the island.
(DB,KMC), also BSB & DB on some other dates, photos KMc.