Hilbre today hosted a sea watching event organised jointly by the RSPB, the Wirral Ranger service, the Sea Watch Foundation and the Hilbre bird observatory. For once the gods were with us as a force 6 plus westerly greeted the 60 or so of all ages that ventured across before the tide. Most of the good sightings were before the tide when the wind was at its strongest including 2 Leach's petrels within 2 minutes, 1 distant and 1 close and another close bird just before high tide. A Great Skua made a near approach in good light while the 4 Arctic Skuas were more distant. A single Manx Shearwater came close in but the most numerous sea birds today were Common Scoters with small parties being constantly seen..Other records included 2 Red-throated Divers, 7 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Kittiwakes, 3 Gannets, 3 Fulmars, 12 Guillemots, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers with a few Sandwich Terns floating by. No birds in the trapping
area as expected and just a single Swallow to represent the small migrants. Earlier 25 bar-tailed Godwits were on the shore and a flock of 8 Wigeon were flying off the east side, while after the tide 37 Brent appeared between the islands. On the whole a very successful and enjoyable day for all.
(CJ,PSW), Thanks to Colin Wells, Lynne Greenstreet, Scott Reid, Colin Davis, also PSW for speaking to the visitors at the obs.