The 2 Scaup were still on the sea and 34 Common Scoters were also noted. Good counts were made of 1,200 Dunlin, 42 Bar-tailed Godwits and 160 Redshank.
Saturday, 31 December 2016
Friday, 30 December 2016
Highlights of today were 2 Scaup on the sea and a Golden Plover. Wader counts included 5,000 Oystercatchers, 35 Bar-tailed Godwits, 800 Dunlin, 140 Curlew, 120 Turnstone, 4 Ringed Plover and 2 Purple Sandpipers. Around the islands were 205 Brent, 3 Little Egrets and 3 Grey Herons. Two Rock Pipits were the best of the small birds.
Thursday, 29 December 2016
Two hundred and six Pink-footed Geese were found roosting on the north shore at first light, they soon took off and headed south east. A Long-tailed Duck was found on arrival, flying off passed the main island,
|Long-tailed Duck (record shot, AEH)|
AEH), 2 males and a female Common Scoter, 10 Shelduck and 4 Great Crested Grebes.
|Roosting waders (AEH)|
|Brent Geese (AEH)|
|The rock fall of last year in the morning light (AEH)|
Wednesday, 28 December 2016
Sunday, 25 December 2016
Wednesday, 21 December 2016
A brief visit during which 200+ Pale-bellied Brent Geese were counted on the whaleback and the north shore, including two colour-ringed birds.
Also on the north shore were c600 Bar-tailed Godwit, 170 Dunlin, 9 Grey Plover, 87 Redshank and 27 Curlew. The Scaup was still off the North End.
On the way off a Little Egret flew between the islands and 20 Ringed Plover were east of Middle Eye.
Monday, 19 December 2016
Sunday, 18 December 2016
The drake Scaup has reappeared off the island (see below).
Saturday, 17 December 2016
Friday, 16 December 2016
Thursday, 15 December 2016
A Fieldfare was noted today and 2 Skylarks flew east, and from the spartina off the mainland (but in the Hilbre recording area) both a Common Snipe and a Jack Snipe was flushed. Excellent counts made today at the ebb tide included 630 Grey Plover moving north east, 158 Bar-tailed Godwits on the north shore and 250 more flying east, 4,500 Knot and 12,500 Dunlin. Three Little Egrets were on the shore.
Wednesday, 14 December 2016
Sunday, 11 December 2016
Roosting at high tide were 7 Purple Sandpiper and 145 Turnstone, while counts from the ebb tide included: 80 Grey Plover, 40 Ringed Plover,7,000 Knot and 5,000 Dunlin. A Peregrine was at Middle Eye and a Kittiwake was found at sea together with the more expected 60 Common Scoter, a Great Crested Grebe and a Guillemot. Small birds on the island included 4 Wrens, a Blackbird and a Rock Pipit.
Friday, 9 December 2016
The male Scaup still resides off the island. Cormorants leaving the estuary at dawn numbered 582 this morning and wader counts from the east of the island were 48 Grey Plover, 50 Curlew, 70 Redshank and 58 Bar-tailed Godwits. A Rock Pipit was on Middle Eye and also on the main island.
Thursday, 8 December 2016
A Goosander was seen flying into the marine lake from the direction of Little Eye. On arrival at the island a Snow Bunting flew west across the track onto the island and spent the rest of the morning on the rocks below the same area.
A Grey seal was hauled out at the north end although it seemed as though it was not too well.
A flock of 30 or so Bar-tailed Godwits flew about the north shore, while the male Scaup was off the north end again (right).
Late morning 2 Fieldfares flew south over the island.
photos AEH & CJ
Wednesday, 7 December 2016
Tuesday, 6 December 2016
Eight hundred and five Cormorants exited the estuary at dawn. A single Lapwing was around the north shore, and in the same area were a large count of 682 Bar-tailed Godwits, also 68 Redshank, 60 Sanderling and 35 Grey Plover. The male Scaup is still about and the Brent numbered 227 today. A single Rock Pipit is still on the island.
Sunday, 4 December 2016
Two Red-throated Divers and 3 Great Crested Grebes were on the sea and there was a good number of 12 Purple Sandpipers on the island, while on the whole area from the north shore to bird rock and Little Eye counts of 12,000 Knot and 120 Sanderling were made. Both Song Thrush and Blackbird were present.
Saturday, 3 December 2016
Friday, 2 December 2016
No wind with excellent visibility, snow could be seen on the hills of the Lake District
The Pale-bellied Brent Geese were too dispersed for a decent count but a returning colour ringed bird was found on the Whaleback. This bird had first been seen at Hilbre on the near coincident date of 4th December 2015 (see blog for that date) and had been ringed at Álftanes/Jörfavegur in SW Iceland on 19th May 2015. It was also seen in Northern Ireland in October/November 2015 before being seen at Hilbre in December but heading to Ireland (Dublin Bay) by 12th January 2016 (staying until February) and remaining on the east coast of Ireland (Co Wicklow and Co Dublin) until March 2016. It was then seen in Iceland on passage in April & May 2016 before returning to Northern Ireland (Strangford Lough) on 22nd October remaining into November 2016 and finally returning to Hilbre. Thanks as always to the Irish Brent Goose Research Group.
The drake Scaup spent its fifth day around the island. On the north shore were 141 Bar-tailed Godwits, 4 Grey Plover and 200 Dunlin with another 100 flying south up the estuary. About 3,000 Oystercatcher roosted on middle but there were only 6 Purple Sandpiper on the west side of Hilbre today.
On the sea were c1,000 Common Scoter, 3 Red-throated Diver and 14 Great Crested Grebe.
A Blackbird and 2 Redwing were about the gardens early on with 5 Wren, 4 Robin and a Dunnock. A Kestrel was also about and a Pied Wagtail, 3 Rock Pipits and 2 Meadow Pipits were seen.
A Little Egret was in the gutter and a Grey Heron was found roosting in the dark between Little Eye and the shore on the way off. A Little Egret was also seen earlier on the Marine Lake wall and a single red-head Goodander was on West Kirby Marine Lake early morning only.
Photos by AEH and SRW