Not a bad morning for a westerly in December. Best record was a Yellowhammer flying overhead to the south, a very rare bird for Hilbre, indeed the first of its type to be recorded at Hilbre since April 2003 (see below that bird having been caught and ringed).
The only other small visitors were 2 single Starlings followed a short while later by a flock of 15.
The Brent flock were more accessible to be counted than of late and reached a new peak for this winter of 235 including a single dark bellied form. In the flock were no less than four colour-ringed individuals including returning birds that were ringed in Canada, Ireland and Denmark and a new bird which was ringed in Iceland this spring (May 2015). The latter having been seen in Northern Ireland earlier this autumn (thanks as always to the Irish Brent Goose Research Group for the information).
A group of 25 Pintail were found floating on the sea off the north end and later flying to the west, while the Eider of the last few days is still present, otherwise sea watching produced little, 4 Great Crested Grebes and 70 Common Scoter. Just before noon a flock of 24 Greylag Geese flew south down the east side of the island.
(CJ and SRW)