Following the recent gales it was hoped a few good birds might have found shelter in Liverpool Bay so with a high tide Saturday the decision was made to undertake a sea watch. The journey across to Hilbre was very bumpy over the storm rutted sand and severely tested the Landrovers suspension!
the gales now abated the sea state was good with only a slight swell. Plenty of
birds were moving and we soon picked up good numbers of Common Scoter &
Red-throated Divers. 2-3 Shags were also present amongst the large number of
Cormorants. Highlight of the first session was a distant adult winter Slavonian
Grebe that drifted past as the tide flooded. As one if the fast service vessels
sailed past the wind turbines and headed towards Moston it put up a lot of birds
ahead of it and a massive flock of 73 Red-throated Divers was counted as they
passed through the scopes field of view.
During the high tide lull a
count of the roosting waders around the island resulted in 16 Purple Sandpipers
in their usual spot , 30 Turnstones in Niffy Bay and 20 Ringed Plover on a ledge
along the west side. The high tide had forced a large number of Oystercatchers
off their usual roost on the rocks at the south end and onto Hilbre
After a welcome lunch another sea watching session took place.
Highlight of this session was a juv Great Northern picked up to the N W and
watched as it drifted out on the ebbing tide.
Red-throated Diver 84
Great Northern Diver 1
Slavonian Grebe 1
Common Scoter 200
Red-breasted Meganser 3
Grey Plover 2
(PSW & Mark Payne)