Saturday 7 February 2015

7th February 2015

Today provided excellent seawatching with 7/8 cloud cover ensuring there was no glare and an almost flat calm sea.
Pale-bellied Brent
The east side looking towards West Kirby
The old Lifeboat house doorway
It became immediately obvious that there were far more birds around than recorded recently with almost the first birds seen being two Eider flying north up the west side. A conservative estimate of 4000 Common Scoter were strung out in one large flock out towards the wind farm and 209 Great Crested Grebes were counted in a full sweep encompassing the west, north and east. 20 Red-throated Divers were recorded along with a flock of 18 Scaup that drifted in on the flooding tide. Highlight though was a Black-throated Diver that was picked up distantly on the water which then flew towards Point of Ayr. Also logged were 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 6 Guillemot and a single Razorbill.
Roosting waders were in abundance although the large roost on Middle Eye was disturbed by a party of canoeists who landed at the south end of Hilbre for their lunch. 2 Grey Plover were a good record at the north end and a winter high of 11 Purple Sandpipers saw out the tide on their preferred ledge on the west side. 160 Redshank, 84 Turnstones(above) and 4000 + Oystercatchers were recorded. Brent numbers were down on recent counts with only 86 being seen. The colour ringed Turnstone from 2010 was seen again. Passerines were scarce apart from the resident birds but a pair of Linnets and a single Meadow Pipit were seen. The ringed Rock Pipit was again present at the north end.
(PSW)   photos PSW

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