Monday 30 January 2017

30th January 2017

E 2 vis 3 mls mist
A very brief visit before the tide found the 3 male and 2 female Scaup in the gutter below the obs garden, also a single Little Egret.On the sea were 60 Common Scoter, 3 Purple Sandpiper were at the north end as was a Rock Pipit. Brent geese numbered 240 and included the Canadian ringed bird. Four Crows were around the island.

Wednesday 25 January 2017

25th January 2017

Weather: SE force 4, slight mist
Five Scaup were about the island (3males and 2 females) and there was a very high count of 270 Brent Geese, mostly when they were between Little Eye and Tanskeys. Three Purple Sandpipers and 62 Turnstones were noted, also 7 Great Crested Grebes and 25 Common Scoter. On the ebb tide wader counts from the east hoyle included: 4,500 Oystercatchers, 420 Grey Plovers, 320 Curlew, 264 Bar-tailed Godwits and 170 Redshank on the north shore.

Monday 23 January 2017

23rd January 2017

Weather: SE 0/1 vis 3 mls mist clearing later.
Today saw an increase in Scaup with 3 males and 2 females off the north end, nearby were 9 Shelduck and 76 Common Scoter were counted off the north shore along with 6 Great Crested Grebe. Brents around the islands were about 250.
Turnstone numbered 66 with a colour ringed bird from 07/08 amongst them, there were 118 Redshank, 48 Grey Plover (38 flew south), 60 Dunlin and just 2 Purple Sandpiper. Oystercatcher numbers were approx 5,000.
A Grey Heron was on the west side, the regular few Robins, Wrens and a Dunnock on the island were joined briefly by a single Linnet.

Saturday 21 January 2017

21st January 2017

Daffodils growing already in the old obs garden (JE)
Weather: E force 0/1  mist

Best bird this morning in the mist was a Common Snipe, not a common bird at Hilbre. At least one male Scaup is still off the island, and the Brent count was 262, confirming the recent large numbers. Good wader counts were 80 Bar-tailed Godwits and 129 Redshanks, while 3 Little Egrets were on the shore.  

Friday 20 January 2017

20th January 2017

Weather: S force 1/2    slight mist
First thing this morning a Snow Bunting was on the path at the north end of Middle, possibly the same bird that has been at Little Eye this week. The rest of the morning was dominated by ducks; a Long-tailed duck swam close to the 3 male Scaup off the north end and nearby were 2 Teal and a Wigeon on the tide edge. Shortly afterwards a female Goldeneye was in the same area.
record shot of Long-tailed Duck
Earlier 40 a flock of 40 Lapwing were flying east towards the mainland and a female Peregrine flew down the west side and later flushed all the birds off the east hoyle. On the shore by Tansky rocks 8,000 Knot swirled in unison early in the day.
Photos CJ

Wednesday 18 January 2017

18th January 2017

Weather: W force 0/1 visibility 10 miles

Just before dawn circa 400 Canada geese took to the air from the Little Eye area with the majority flying north but some going towards Grange Hill. On the sea a male Teal had joined the remaining 2 Scaup with 2 Great Crested Grebes, 200 Cormorants and 250 Common Scoter.
As the tide rose a very calm sea enabled a good count of 290 Brent geese, most in the water off the south west side of Middle. A single Grey Heron and 5 Purple Sandpiper were present as were the usual 3 Crows with another 5 flying east over the island. Later the Snow Bunting was again at Little Eye

Tuesday 17 January 2017

17th January 2017

On the east hoyle- Red Rocks to West Kirby were 330 Curlew, 2,000 Knot, 3,500 Dunlin and 200 Redshank at Bird Rock.

Monday 16 January 2017

16th January 2017

Weather: W force 1/2  vis 15 miles, cloudy
A brief visit before the tide found the Snow Bunting from yesterday was still present at Little Eye (below).
A Sparrowhawk was disturbed from the SK paddock.Three Shelduck flew over the north end with 250 Cormorants, 5 Common Scoter and 3 male Scaup on the sea. 
Waders included 2,500 Oystercatcher, 4 Grey Plovers, 22 Curlew, 62 Turnstone, 105 Dunlin and 129 Redshank.     Photo DB

Sunday 15 January 2017

15th January 2017

Weather: NW force 5, mist around the estuary
A Snow Bunting was at Little Eye. A Kestrel flew east, and some counts were 120 Curlew, 215 Grey Plover, 3,000 Knot and 10 Shelduck.

Saturday 14 January 2017

14th January 2017

Weather: NW force 6
Many Herring Gulls, estimated at 17,000 were still on the shore this morning following the Starfish wreck. Among those present were an estimated 200 scandinavian argentatus birds.
A record count for Hilbre of 298 Brent Geese was made this morning and there were still 3 male Scaup around the island. The high tide gave the opportunity for 7 Purple Sandpipers to be found, which is quite likely all there are at the moment, also 4,600 Oystercatchers and 45 Common Scoter were logged.
The sea was rough at high tide
A young Grey Seal was on the shore by the obs
Last years rock fall has been scattered across the path onto the island by the gales
Photos GB

Friday 13 January 2017

13th January 2017

Weather: NW force 6
Following the gales a large wreck of Starfish (also Razor Shells), littered the Dee shore after the tide today, attracting massive numbers of gulls to feed on the plentiful supply. Estimates of the gulls present were 13,000 Herring Gulls, 3,200 Common Gulls, 2,600 Black-headed Gulls, 600 Greater Black-backed Gulls and 400 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
Photos  GB

Tuesday 10 January 2017

10th January 2017

Weather: WNW force 5/6
Highlight of today were 150 Golden Plover at Little Eye, 120 flew north and 20 south, also 5 male Scaup off the island. Counts on the ebb tide included 102 Shelduck, 1,200 Dunlin, 500+ Cormorants, 150 Grey Plover (flying south), 130 Curlew, 8 Bar-tailed Godwits and 25 Ringed Plover. Only 2 Purple Sandpipers could be found, and single little Egret, Great Crested Grebe and Common Scoter.

Monday 9 January 2017

9th January 2017

Weather: heavy rain early on

The Canadian colour-ringed Pale-bellied Brent Goose was part of a flock of 180 birds on the ridge just south of Middle this morning and was photographed (see below - photo by BSB).

A female Common Scoter was in the gutter.

Two Rock Pipits were present on Middle and 160 Shelduck were counted in a brief visit to Middle and back as the ride rose.