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