Friday 28 February 2014

28th February 2014

Weather:- NE force 4
Two Thousand plus Common Scoters out by the wind farm. An excellent count of 640 Curlews some of which were seen to be moving off high to the north east while calling. Three Red-throated Divers and 35 Great Crested Grebes noted, a Little Egret and a Kestrel present.

Wednesday 26 February 2014

26th February 2014

Weather:- WSW force 3/4 , some rain
A male and female Pintail flew south, a Skylark was down on Middle Eye, There was frog spawn in the wildlife pond, the earliest ever record. Thirty two Shelduck present, 8 Common Scoter were close in down the east side. From the east hoyle / little eye area :- 5,500 Dunlin, 160 Sanderling, 576 Curlew and 18 Ringed Plover. Only 5 Purple Sandpipers could be found, 120 Turnstones and 30 Redshank present.

Tuesday 25 February 2014

25th February 2014

Weather:- SSE force 4, then SW 5/6, rain later
A good late winter/early spring day of 40 species, highlight being the arrival of a pair of Stonechats after the wind veered to the south west. Other migrants included 48 Woodpigeons flying over the east hoyle, a Lapwing, and 2 Starlings. On the sea were counted 45 Great Crested Grebes, a Razorbill and 6 Common Scoters close in to the east side. The first Lesser Celandine and Purple Crocii were in flower.

Friday 21 February 2014

21st February 2014

 Weather :- WSW force 5, later in the morning 6/7
Robin  (CJ)
Blackbird  (AEH)
A quiet day all round, the main interest was the first 2 birds ringed this year! Ringing is always very slow indeed in the first 2 months of the year, but 21st February is an exceptionally late start for the ringing log sheet. The new Robin and Blackbird on the island had been seen over the last week or so but not trapped. A Chaffinch flew in late morning from the north but was the sole small visitor today. Surely it won't be long before we can look forward to the arrival of the early spring migrants, already the first Daffodils were in flower in the old obs garden and the Lesser Celendine does not seem far behind. A sea watch in the freshening wind was not very productive, just 1 Red-throated diver, 6 Great Crested-Grebes, 1 Guillemot and 1 Razorbill. There were no sightings of the huge Scoter flock, just some smaller parties travelling that totalled about 100. The Brent flock contained the dark-bellied bird and the red and blue ringed individual that is an old friend now. Waders of note were a flock of 30 Grey Plover and Sanderlings flying passed numbering 40 in all.
Brent Geese  (AEH)
Ringed :- 1 Blackbird, 1 Robin  [ 2-2 ]    

Thursday 20 February 2014

20th February 2014

Weather :- WSW force 5/6 some rain
A good count of the Brent revealed 235 birds (2 were colour ringed), which equals the high number for the winter. A flock of 2,000 Knot was seen to fly straight out to sea towards the north west, obviously starting their return journey. The female Kestrel was still present and a Little Egret made an appearance and 15 Great Crested Grebes were on the sea. A Pied Wagtail flew south and a single Meadow Pipit was noted but there was no sign of the Rock Pipit.

Wednesday 19 February 2014

19th February 2014

Weather :- SW force 2, mild for February
Common Scoter  (CJ)
As the tide flooded late morning many Common Scoters passed the island, but with the arrival of a fast boat out towards the wind farm a massive amount of Scoters lifted off out of the water and moved east before disappearing again into the distant sea. There were thought to be at least 7,000 birds as they spanned the whole length of the wind farm as seen from Hilbre and created a long patch of darkness on the water because they were packed so tightly. Twenty five Great Crested Grebes were also on the sea, but no divers noted. A female Goosander arrived from the north west and flew low over the west side of the island, more normal fare were several flocks of Wigeon totalling 70 birds, and the 2 regular Canada Geese flying west after dawn. Five Linnets were back on territory joining the resident 5 Blackbirds, 3 Dunnocks, 5 Wrens and 5 Robins with just a couple of Meadow Pipits calling and a Rock Pipit at the north end. The only visiting passerines were 2 Goldfinches across the island. A Peregrine and the female Kestrel were present and 150 Sanderling flew east in small parties as the tide advanced. The rabbit was seen 3 times this morning, this will frustrate those who have yet to connect!
Grey Heron by the main pond  (CJ)

Tuesday 18 February 2014

18th February 2014

Weather:- SSW force 1 , drizzle
Eighteen Woodpigeons flew south west (a spring migrant at Hilbre), 12 Great Crested Grebes, 12 Meadow Pipits, 4 Blackbirds. One Grey heron and about 150 Brent. At Little Eye 260 Curlew, 2,500 Dunlin and 1,000 Knot on the east hoyle.

Monday 17 February 2014

17th February 2014

Wind SSW increasing to force 4, scattered light showers.
The day started with five Canada Geese & one Greylag flying across the beach between West Kirby and Little Eye. A hundred and fifty five light-bellied and one dark-bellied Brent were around the island. Ducks were represented by 161 Scoter, including three males and two females that spent the day around Niffy Bay; six Red-breasted Mergansers & a drake Goldeneye. It was a good day for divers with 21 Red-throated and one Great Northern, and 62 Great Crested Grebes were counted. Fourteen Guillemot and one Razorbill were also noted during the three hour sea-watch, during which the year's first Little Gull flew past the North end, hopefully the first of many.
The long-staying rabbit made a brief, but welcome, appearance.

Thursday 13 February 2014

13th February 2014

Weather:- WNW force 4/6
One Great Northern Diver, 3 Red-throated Divers, 64 Common Scoters, 1 Kittiwake, 4 Guillemots,2 Razorbills, 3 Goldeneye, 240 Turnstone, 7 Purple Sandpipers, 1 Little Egret, 1 Peregrine. On the island 2 Dunnocks (1 singing), 4 Robins, 3 Blackbirds and a Song Thrush.
Counts from the east hoyle sands :- 384 Curlew, 60 Grey Plover, 2,000 Dunlin, 8,000 Herring Gull,
A Jack Snipe was flushed from the edge of the spartina in the recording area.
The tide was earlier and higher than predicted after the 'hurricane force' winds of yesterday and there was some damage to fences and buildings.

Tuesday 11 February 2014

11th February 2014

Weather:- W force 6 turning to 7/8 in the afternoon with snow blizzard conditions at one stage.
One hundred and thrity Bar-tailed Godwits on the north shore, 10 Sanderling, 1 Song Thrush.a female Kestrel.

Monday 10 February 2014

10th February 2014

Weather;- SE force 2
A male and 4 female Teal, male and female Goldeneye, 370 Curlew (Little Eye), 4 Blackbirds, 5 Goldfinches on the feeders.

Friday 7 February 2014

7th February 2014

Weather :- W force 5, heavy showers
Thirty four Lapwings on the shore between Little Eye and West Kirby, 10 Pintail flying off the north end, 34 Sanderling.

Thursday 6 February 2014

6th February 2014

Pale-bellied Brent with a Dark-bellied Brent (right)
Weather :- SW force 2/3
Rock Pipit
A pair of Wigeon and 2 pairs of Pintail. Twenty eight Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Meadow Pipits and a Rock Pipit.
A Dark-bellied Brent with 141 Pale-bellied.

(DB,AEH)     photos AEH

Tuesday 4 February 2014

4th February 2014

Weather :- SSE force 2/3 cold with slight wind chill
On the east hoyle :- 15 Ringed Plover, 10 Grey Plover, 2,800 Dunlin. At low water 240 Turnstones were counted. A hundred and twenty Sanderlings passed, and a Pied Wagtail, 4 Meadow Pipits and 4 Blackbirds present.

Monday 3 February 2014

3rd February 2014

Weather :- SE force 6/7
A sea watch was productive despite the strong blow from the land,
Four Red-throated Divers, 65 Great Crested Grebes, 61 Common Scoters, 8 Guillemots, 2 Razorbills. A Rock Pipit and a Song Thrush on the island.

Sunday 2 February 2014

2nd February 2014

The very high spring tide flooding into the old lifeboat house
With a forecast improvement in the weather on Sunday and a midday tide a bit of seawatching was the order of the day. A round of the traps didn’t produce any birds but gave the chance to inspect for any damage following the recent high winds. Some small damage has occurred  but this will be rectified before the spring with a planned working party taking place soon.
Eight  Purple Sandpipers roosted on the cliffs above tide gauge but were disturbed by a visiting birder just after high tide. Large numbers of Common Scoter were moving off the west side with 500 being logged. Red-throated Divers (20) and great-crested Grebes (100) were also noted in good numbers. There were lots of Razorbills (40) and a few Guillemots (10) moving before the high tide but sightings dropped off as the tide ebbed.
Seven Pintail and a single male Goldeneye were seen but the highlight was the large numbers of waders displaced by the high tides and looking for somewhere to roost. 200 Ringed Plover, 2000+ Knot and 500 Dunlin were seen flying around the islands.
An unusual sight was 67 Brent Geese roosted on the top of Middle Eye – including  the two regular colour ringed birds.
(PSW) + guest Mark Payne     photos PSW