Friday, 5 February 2016

5th February 2016

Weather: SW force 2/3 cloudy mild

The Brent flock were on the west side of the islands on the early ebb tide, and contained our old friend the blue and red ringed bird which was ringed (as an adult male) on its breeding grounds on Axel Heiberg Island in Arctic Canada on 2nd August 2007 and first appeared at Hilbre on 24th December 2008 and has returned to Hilbre each winter since (having been seen in Northern Ireland, Anglesey and Iceland on its travels to/from its breeding grounds).  The map below shows Axel Heiberg Island (author Kennonv on Wikipedia) - amazing to think this bird that winters around our small island in the mouth of the wonderful Dee estuary has probably flown in excess of 100,000km in its lifetime so far! (Information on movements of all our colour-ringed Pale-bellies Brents is from the Irish Brent Goose Research Group).

Also on the ebb were 190 Curlew near Little Eye and moving flocks of 4,000 Knot, 2,500 Dunlin and 19 Shelduck. On the sea were noted 8 Scoters, a Shag and 4 Great Crested Grebes. A Song Thrush, a Rock Pipit and a roaming flock of 17 Linnets were the best of the land birds while shore birds included 3 Little Egrets and a Grey Heron.

(AEH,CJ and SRW)

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