A surprise as members arrived on the island following the early tide was a very late Blackcap perched in the copse at the bottom of the obs garden (below (AEH)), it was seen again later near the 'heli' trap but failed to become available for ringing.
Just as unexpected was a Whooper Swan that was found sitting on the sand between Hilbre and shore at a point south of Red Rocks (right (CJ)), it was still present early afternoon and may just have been a little exhausted but as a precaution the RSPCA were requested by the ranger service to get involved. While the Whooper Swan sat on the shore 2 Mute Swans flew east just north of the marine lake.
A flock of 98 Bar-tailed Godwits flew high over the island moving to the north east (left (CJ)). Very little on the very calm sea, apart from 11 Great-Crested Grebes and a few dozen Common Scoters. Still no increase in Purple Sandpipers (2) and the Brent gathered off the west side (below (CJ)), although others were too scattered to count definitively. The 4 Blackbirds seen all appear to be females, and Wrens and Robins showed well today (maybe about 6 apiece), while there were at least 3 Rock Pipits about. A pair of Goldeneyes were on the marine lake, they have so far been elusive at this regular wintering site.
|Grey Herons (AEH)|
|Hilbre at ebb tide (AEH)|
Better views were obtained today of the new Hoylake lifeboat on manoeuvres off Hilbre (CJ)