Monday, 14 December 2015

14th December 2015

Weather: SSW force 2

The Obs hosted a visit by local company Avian Ecology when 10 members of staff walked across to Hilbre and spent time over the tide on the island. The team had good weather and thoroughly enjoyed what was for many their first visit to Hilbre. They were welcomed with a log fire, cups of tea and mince pies and in return have promised a generous donation to the Obs funds.
Before they arrived a single Snow Bunting and Skylark were recorded flying south and during their stay they were treated to the sight of a fine male Long-tailed Duck flying past the north end and a Great Northern Diver exiting the estuary as the tide receded. This was thought to be the marine lake bird leaving but it turned out to be a different bird. Other sightings included 8 Purple Sandpipers roosting on the west side (below), along with a good sized flock of 22 Ringed Plover.

  Amongst the Oystercatchers roosting on Middle Eye a leucistic bird was seen and photographed (below).

Scoter were generally scarce but other notable sightings were 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, 3 Goldeneye and a flock of 21 Wigeon. Our visitors were also treated to the sight of a young female peregrine chasing the waders around Middle Eye although she did not appear to make a kill. Star bird was found by one of our visitors and a well-known figure on Hilbre, Colin Davies, who discovered a Lapland Bunting on Little Eye as he left after the tide (below).

(PSW)  photos PSW plus group photo & Lapland Bunting by Colin Davies, Oystercatcher by Peter Antrobus.

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