Sunday, 28 November 2010
28th November 2010
Larger species fared better with an adult Mediterranean Gull flying west passed the north end and a Golden Plover near the east gutter (right). Ducks noted included 7 Wigeon with the Brent on the east hoyle, and 2 Pintail also on the east side. Two Common Snipe were flushed from the main pond and at least one was still in the vicinity a few hours later.
Ringed ;- 2 Blackbirds.
(DB,JE,CJ,PSW,SRW,TGW) [ 710] photos PSW
Saturday, 27 November 2010
25th/26th/27th November 2010
The 26th saw flocks of 5 and 13 Teal off Middle eye. (DB)
More Teal on 27th (15) and a Grey Wagtail was down in niffy bay for a while, but only 128 Brent could be found, it appears that some have moved on.(DB)
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
23rd November 2010
Four Redwings were heard before dawn, but none stayed on the islands, only 3 Blackbirds and 2 Song Thrushes could be found.
The sea was also quiet with no divers seen although there was a distant flock of 12 Eiders seen travelling south west at high tide, also 2 Scaup flying in the opposite direction shortly afterwards.
Meaningful counts of waders and Brent were difficult if not impossible due to none spending the high tide around the island and the scattering of birds on the ebb.
Ringed :- 2 Blackbirds.
Monday, 22 November 2010
22nd November 2010
Saturday, 20 November 2010
20th November 2010
Friday, 19 November 2010
19th November 2010
There was a mass stranding of over 50 of the large jellyfish rhizostoma octopus (right) on the shore between Little and the east hoyle bank. This jellyfish has a domed appearance and is quite solid in texture and has 8 leg-like tentacles - hence the scientific name.
(DB,JE,PSW,et al) photo PSW
Thursday, 18 November 2010
Origins of Hilbre Brent Geese
18th November 2010
A Merlin was noted, as were a flock of 25 lapwings that flew south west.
Seven late Gannets were on the sea and 80 Common Scoters logged.
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
17th November 2010
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
16th November 2010
A different colour ringed Brent was present today (left), however it was the red and blue ringed individual that has now appeared for its third winter at Hilbre after previously been seen many times in the Dublin Bay area. He was orginally ringed (as an adult male) on Axel Heiberg Island in Canada on 2nd August 2007.
Other wildfowl were 4 Wigeon that spent some time with the Brents at the north end before taking to the tide (below).
A Merlin stayed around for about an hour, during which time it was seen to be carrying a kill on one occasion. A Kestrel and a Peregrine completed the trio of raptors for the day.
Four Rock Pipits was a good total, one was re-trapped that had been ringed here on 7th October this year.
Passerines were few, a flock of 40 Linnets, 3 Goldfinches, 2 Blackbirds and a Song Thrush were the pick apart from a Redwing that dropped into the paddocks but unfortunately did not stay. Starlings again passed in numbers early in the day including as group of 500, but only a single Skylark went over during the morning although later one was on the ground on Middle (left).
Great Crested Grebes were by far the most numerous of sea birds (25) with very little else to attract attention on the sea.
Ringed:- 1 Blackbird
(DB,CJ,KMc)  photos CJ
Monday, 15 November 2010
15th November 2010
A Snow Bunting was heard several times as it passed over the main island mid morning and was the highlight of the morning's observations.
The colour-ringed Little Egret (left and below) was one of four birds around the tidal pools between the islands during the afternoon. 120 Pale-bellied Brents were counted and Purple Sandpipers were spread out and less easy to count with at least 15 noted, however, some were very photographable (see above).
On the sea single Red-throated Diver was close in off the West Side and up to 45 Great Crested Grebes floated about in loose groups off the North End and four Goldeneye were seen including a couple of stunning males.
A single Grey Seal was hauled out at the North End (see right), where two or three Rock Pipits spent the day.
A single Redpoll appeared in the gardens at lunchtime (see left). Later a couple of Obs members decided an afternoon return visit might be productive ... but it was a visiting birder (SR) who had the surprise of the day as he left the islands, he heard and then watched four Waxwings flying over the estuary between Little Eye and West Kirby.
A phonecall alerted the Obs - "the Hilbre book" came out, these were the first Waxwings for Hilbre since 19th November 1961 (note the coincident date)! Much discussion was had on the Obs balcony, including some consolating words, and someone even said "don't worry with the current influx it may not be that long before we get another one"... little did we know it would be so soon!
Incredibly, fifteen minutes or so later stunned observers watched from the Obs balcony as a single Waxwing flew down the east side of the island (just over the BBQ) and off south heading over to Middle and away to the south. Speechless looks were exchanged before the usual celebratory handshakes began. Another great day on the island.
[DB et al, + visitor S Reid] Photos by visiting birder Scott Reid (many thanks)
Sunday, 14 November 2010
14th November 2010
No divers on the sea, just 20 Great Crested Grebes and 150 Common Scoter, although the sea watch also produced 3 Wigeon and 2 Whooper Swans flying towards Hoylake.
A Dark-bellied Brent was among the 118 birds seen today and 4 Little Egrets (above) were on the shore.
Ringed :- 2 Song Thrushes (right, showing clear moult limit in the greater coverts of a bird of the year)
(DB +ESCA,JE,CJ,PSW,SRW,TGW, +SH)  photos CJ
Saturday, 13 November 2010
13th November 2010
Waders were much in evidence with over 50 Bar-tailed Godwits on the tide edge. The Purple Sandpiper flock had increased significantly with 21 birds present mid afternoon and as the tide flooded large flocks of Knot were arriving from further up the estuary and joined the already roosting Oystercatchers on 'the ridge' (between Middle and Little Eye).
Up to four Little Egrets were fishing the flooding gutter and adjacent tidal pools (see below), but no colour-rings could be seen.
[ESCA, DB and SRW] Photos to follow
Friday, 12 November 2010
12th November 2010
The first nice bird of the day was a very tame Purple Sandpiper, which had perhaps just arrived, which fed around the saltwater pool on top of the North End before the tide (see right). This later joined the others that have now built up to eleven birds.
Other wader counts today included 200 Turnstone, 28 Grey Plover, 75 Bar-tailed Godwit and 278 Curlew.
The Pale-bellied Brent Goose flock had obviously been supplemented since yesterday with groups of greese sheltering with heads tucked in on the sand on the east side. Later a count of 110 birds (the highest of the autumn so far) was made as the gutter flooded. The colour-ringed bird from earlier in the week (and last winter) was still present and a new adult colour ringed bird was found (see left) on the whaleback (information to follow on where and when this bird was ringed).
The sea-watching was good with 18 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Red-throated Divers, 2 Gannet, 4 Teal, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers and single Kittiwake, Razorbill and Arctic Skua seen.
[DB +SH, et al] 
Thursday, 11 November 2010
Moth update - New species for Hilbre
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
10th November 2010
Wildfowl was the main focus today with 97 Pale-bellied Brents still present (including the returning colour-ringed bird from yesterday), 4 Wigeon, 11 Pintail, 4 Eider, 3 Scaup, single Teal and 2 Goldeneye.
There were very few passerines although a couple of Rock Pipits remain but 15 Skylark and an excellent movement of 667 Starlings (including one flock of 550) passed over.
An adult Mediterranean Gull was seen from the North End over the tide and the Rabbit made another brief appearance!
[DB + SH]
Tuesday, 9 November 2010
9th November 2010
Monday, 8 November 2010
8th November 2010
Four more Goldeneye were seen later, when the weather improved slightly and a single Lapwing was seen and a Lapland Bunting arrived 'in off' over the North End.
Sunday, 7 November 2010
7th November 2010
One hundred and ten Carrion Crows flew north east up the West Kirby shore, also early in the day 3 Wigeon, a Teal and 2 Common Snipe were close to the islands. One of the 4 Little Egrets on the shore shore was seen to be colour ringed.
More Brent must have arrived last night as 97 were between the island and Red Rocks this morning.
Five Purple Sandpipers roosted the tide on the main island at the north end with a few Turnstones, while Middle was host to at least 8,000 Oystercatchers, some Curlew and a few smaller species. The sea was fairly quiet yet 4 Red-throated Divers, 13 Great Crested Grebes , 50 Common Scoter and 3 Guillemots were seen.
A moth found resting on the obs veranda was identified as being a Tawny Pinion, a scarce species, its status at Hilbre being uncertain at this stage but it could be the first of its type recorded here.
Ringed:- 7 Blackbirds, 1 Song Thrush (right), 1 Goldcrest.
(DB +ESCA,JE,CJ,PSW,SRW,TGW)  photos CJ
Saturday, 6 November 2010
6th November 2010
Two Mute Swans flew south west, 23 Wigeon were noted and 5 Little Egrets were on the shore.
The Brent increased to a record 87 for so far this winter.
The most notable passerines were 28 Skylarks across the island, and in the evening 27 Redwings heard overhead.
Friday, 5 November 2010
5th November 2010
Up to 36 Kittiwakes were counted as were 16 Great Crested Grebes. As the tide ebbed more observers arrived from the mainland not really expecting much however two more Leach's Petrels (making it three for the day) were found passing west close inshore on a now almost flat calm sea.
Purple Sandpipers had increased to eight birds and there were five Little Egrets around.
Passerines were again in short supply although Song Thrush, Starling and Skylark were all new, whereas the 2 Rock Pipits were almost certainly resident (at least one bird bearing a ring).
[DB, NDW et al]
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
3rd November 2010
Good counts today included 630 Cormorant, 310 Shelduck, 400 Curlew and 208 Turnstone. Other waders included 4 Purple Sandpipers and other wildfowl included a slight increase in Pale-bellied Brents to 59 birds present.
Passerines were expectedly thin on the ground with single Goldcrest, Rock Pipit and Goldfinch present. Other interest was provided by the first 'prolonged' view of the resident Rabbit, but will it give itself up for the Obs photographers?
Tuesday, 2 November 2010
2nd November 2010
Other birds of note included a good count of 57 Grey Plovers, 2 Rock Pipits and a single Little Egret.
Monday, 1 November 2010
1st November 2010
A beautiful morning after early heavy mist found a group of 13 Eiders loafing to the east of the island until they circled around and flew off north (left). A Sparrowhawk was on the island from first light and another later arrived over the sea from the Red Rocks area.
Only 10 Blackbirds and a single Song Thrush today whilst also feeding up were 4 Goldcrests but no sign of yesterdays Firecrest. Again no Redwings apart from a single flyover early in the day but there were a good trickle of finches all morning including 39 Goldfinches, 20 Greenfinches (right), 3 Chaffinches, 41 Linnets, and 6 Siskins. Although there were no large numbers of Meadow Pipits, 46 Skylarks went through mostly in small groups likewise 54 Starlings passed during the morning.
The Brent Geese have reached a new high of 47 and there were no less than 9 Little Egrets present, mainly to the east of the island early in the day.
Ringed:- 3 Blackbirds, 3 Goldcrests, 1 Greenfinch.
(DB,CJ,KMc, et al)  photos CJ