Monday, 19 January 2015

19th January 2015

Weather : N force 2
Cormorants were monitored exiting the estuary this morning from a high vantage point that overlooked both sides of the island, enabling birds to be counted as they approached from the south west. An all time record of 3,336 were noted during a 45 minute period soon after dawn, prompting the question of exactly where they spend the night, as such a massive number have not been reported in the lower part of the estuary. Best bird of the day was a adult male Eider flying passed the north end towards the south west, which had also been seen from Hoylake (AMC, JET). A flock of 7 Wigeon spent some time in the east gutter before flying to Wales, a single Teal had been with them briefly.
Not one Purple Sandpiper could be found at high water, and then suddenly 12 appeared 2 hours later. This is a record for this winter and it is possible they could have been disturbed from elsewhere (New Brighton?).
Purple Sandpiper with Brent Geese

Turnstones numbered 290 at high water. East hoyle counts of waders included 235 Grey Plover and 418 Curlew. Sea watching produced 100+ Common Scoter and 30 Great-crested Grebes. Eight Wrens are about the island so they seem to be surviving well during the cold spell. A good list of 36 species today for midwinter, amongst them an immature Shag, a Peregrine, Sanderling (left), Ringed Plover and 2 Little Egrets.
(DB,CJ)                       photos CJ

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