Tuesday 30 January 2018

30th January 2018

Weather: WSW force 1/2    cold but dry
An early start and a stay over the morning tide was a pleasant experience especially after the weather of late.
A sea watch produced sightings of many Red-throated Divers flying here and there with some settled on the sea, and an estimate of 45 present was fully justified. As they are undoubtedly wintering in Liverpool bay it seems strange that on some days none are seen. Fifteen Great Crested Grebes and 3,500 Common Scoters were the other bird highlights on the sea. To the west of the island a total of 4 Harbour Porpoises were noted giving their typical rotary action views as they briefly surfaced, it was pleasing to see them in action with a dead porpoise still lying on the West Kirby shore.
A Grey Seal attempted to haul out near the north end at high tide but thought better of it and scampered back into the sea.
A Shag was resting on the north end cliff at high tide, always a fairly scarce bird at Hilbre and 3 Purple Sandpipers also roosted there, although another 3 were found after the tide.
The regular 6 Eiders were around before and after the tide but in addition 3 drakes were off the west side for a while.
Fifteen Bar-tailed Godwits flew passed the island but most of the 174 Grey Plovers and small wader flocks were located towards the West Kirby shore on the ebb tide. Also on the ebb 6 Pintail floated to the east of Middle before flying off west.
The roost on Middle held majority of the 8,000 Oystercatchers in the area.
As expected land birds were scarce, just 2 Song Thrushes, 1 Blackbird, 4 Wrens, 3 Meadow Pipits and 2 Rock Pipits.
photos CJ, SRW

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