Wednesday, 6 November 2019

6th November 2019

Weather:  SE force 1, intermittent rain and drizzle.
Following some light rain overnight, a short visit found that there were no migrants present apart from a single Goldcrest and the only passer- by was a Skylark. Three Meadow Pipits were around but no Rock Pipits showed this morning. Three Teal floated off the east side as the tide ebbed and a short time later 2 Harbour Porpoises surfaced off to the north. The Brent were highly scattered but the 2 new ringed birds found on the 31st October were identified. As many as 1,500 Common Scoter were within telescope view towards the wind farm while others on the sea were 12 Great Crested Grebes and 4 Red-throated Divers, one very near to the island. Two Grey Plovers and a Purple Sandpiper were the best of the low tide waders, while 6 Little Egrets fed and the Magpie still flies about. 

Sunday, 3 November 2019

3rd November 2019

Weather: W force 2, some mist

If felt a bit like a warm winters day, with not many passerines were about but plenty of waders. 
There were a selection of most waders including a couple of Purple Sandpipers, a big flock of starlings at the start of the day (200) and the Merlin from yesterday to chase them off.

A Blackbird and Song Thrush were on the island also a couple of Goldcrests which were ringed today.
Also noted were 55 Common Scoter, 4 Great Crested Grebes, a Razorbill, 20 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Little Egrets and a Kestrel.
 Ringed: 1 Song Thrush, 2 Goldcrests.       [ 766-36 ]
photos JE, BT(Merlin) 

Saturday, 2 November 2019

2nd November 2019


Weather: S force 3/4 rain mid-morning
Three small raptors were present today. A Sparrowhawk in the obs garden,

A Kestrel, also a Merlin trying to catch Rock Pipits.

Two Goldcrests were present, also 3 Rock Pipits. A good count was made of 277 Brent.
Ringed: 1 Goldcrest.     [ 763-36 ]

photos AEH

Friday, 1 November 2019

1st November 2019

Weather: SSE  3-4  vis 3 mls with mist and showers clearing later.

Only 5 Blackbird and1 Song Thrush were on the island this morning, 4 Starling and a single Skylark passed over, a Goldcrest and 2 Chaffinch were still present.

Raven seem to be a regular visitor at the moment and 2 were around the North End as the tide made.
Six colour ringed Brent Geese were amongst the 257 counted today, all on the Whaleback. Three Wigeon flew passed the North End and 60 Common Scoter were on the sea. Four Greater Black Backed Gull around the island included one struggling to cope with a large flatfish.
Shelduck south of Little Eye numbered 53 and in the same area were 126 Curlew. A good count of Bar-tailed Godwit on the East Hoyle was 134, the encroaching tide putting them up a few times.
Amongst the Bar-tails were 12 Knot, in the Gutter were 71 Redshank and over 6,000 Oystercatcher were around the islands.
photos AS

Thursday, 31 October 2019

31st October 2019

Weather: SE  1-2 increasing 5-6 by mid-day, poor vis.

Another good day for Thrushes with 2 Fieldfare on Middle at first light, then as another observer approached Middle ahead of the tide a flock of 75 flew over. Also noted were 14 Redwing, a Song Thrush and 22 Blackbird (half of those being in the traps!).

There was very little passerine movement, the best being a total of 12 siskin. A Goldcrest was calling in the obs garden, 11 Meadow Pipit and a Rock Pipit were present, a single Greenfinch flew over and 2 Chaffinch called from the SK paddock.
There was a Short-eared Owl upon the island, a Raven landed on Middle and was dived bombed by a female Peregrine! Also seen were a Rook, a Magpie, a male Merlin and the Kestrel.
 There were 221 Brent Geese on the Whaleback, including 2 new ringed birds – details will follow.
Five Great Crested Grebe and 42 Common Scoter were on the sea along with 300 Cormorant around the island and banks.
Best of the waders were 130 Turnstone, 100 Dunlin, 2 Grey Plover and 87 Bar-tailed Godwit.
photos AS

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

29th October 2019

Weather  E force 1, increasing 3 later
At first light Blackbirds (14) and Redwings (16) were around the island, although the Redwings called passing over they did not linger, the Blackbirds continued to be present with a few more arriving all morning. Four Goldcrests were about but also soon disappeared, and then a flock of 9 Long-tailed Tits briefly dropped into the paddocks, leaving one behind to be ringed. Finches were also moving this morning, 4 Chaffinches and 6 Siskins were recorded and a trio of Greenfinches paused briefly in the obs garden before heading towards Red Rocks. A couple of Starlings and several Skylarks passed through and Wrens (10) were again in good numbers. A Raven flew low over the island, and then early afternoon 2 Ravens came down, one landing on the lookout ladder, the best vantage point now that the mast has gone.

One of the best sightings today were 3 Snow Buntings flying over the obs heading towards the east, however the one that has been at Little Eye was not there just after the tide at least.
A skein of 70 Pink-footed Geese went north out of the estuary late morning, however the Brent were missing before the very high tide today, and the only duck were 4 Wigeon that flew down the west side at the north end. The roost on Middle at the massive high tide held 7,000 Oystercatchers and 140 Curlew, other wader counts were 48 Bar-tailed Godwit, 35 Sanderling, 40 Knot, 28 Ringed Plover and 2 Grey Plover.
A sea watch was productive despite the easterly wind, noted were 12 Red-throated Divers, 23 Great Crested Grebes, and 52 Common Scoter.
A few Red Admirals braved the cold to fly in the sunshine. The Magpie still survives
Ringed: 8 Blackbirds, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Dunnock, 1 Long-tailed Tit      [ 762-36 ]
photo CJ, AS

Monday, 28 October 2019

28th October 2019


Weather: Flat calm at dawn with good visibility, North 2 by lunch time.
The first Purple Sandpiper of autumn turned up after high tide.
There were 20 Ringed Plover and 18 Grey Plover, 100 Sanderling and 15 Bar-tailed Godwit but only 1 Knot noted. Two Little Egret were present and 4 Grey Heron also about the islands.
Brent Geese numbered 240  and Shelduck 140, 6 Pintail were noted.
On the sea a good count was had of 30 Red-throated Diver, also 80 Common Scoter and 30 Great Crested Grebe.
On the islands there had been an influx of Wrens with at least 15 present,  along with 3 Goldcrest, 4 Song Thrush and a Blackbird. A Kestrel caused alarm amongst the Meadow Pipits and Linnets, 8  Skylark flew over the island  along with 2  each of Chaffinch and Goldfinch. A Dunnock and 7 Robin were also noted.
Two Foxes were present in Telegraph House east garden, not good news for next year’s breeding birds. 
photos AS

Saturday, 26 October 2019

26th October 2019 - Sparrowhawk


A juvenile male Sparrowhawk was ringed by a Hilbre member in his garden in West Kirby on 1st March 2013 and retrapped on Hilbre on 13th April.2013. See Hilbre blog for that date. This bird hasn’t been encountered since but on 25th October this year it was amazingly retrapped by another Hilbre member ringing in her garden in Hoylake. This most unusual series of records makes this bird at least 7 years old.
Photo below of it when it was retrapped in Hoylake (PSW).