Wednesday 31 October 2018

31st October 2018

Weather: SE force 3,  cold , vis 10 miles
The south easterly felt very cold this morning but brought in 5 Blackbirds and 3 Song Thrushes down in the paddocks early on, also a Redwing calling overhead.
 A Reed Bunting and a Chaffinch were also about the island. Over a hundred Starling passed over this morning.

Observers arriving just south of Middle saw a passerine battling south low over the sand against the wind which flew back behind them towards Middle and landed on a small rock on the beach. It then became obvious that it was a Black Redstart.

It flew towards the south cove where a Peregrine tried and failed to predate it. A search of Middle eventually found it once more on the rocks on the north of the island before it disappeared again. This is the first record here for over 3 years.

A look at the north end of the main island found several Scoter and Great Crested Grebes also an Eider and 7 Teal resting with the Brent.
Two Purple Sandpipers and 129 Redshank were amongst the waders. Two Whooper Swans flew west between Middle and Little Eye.

Ringed: 1 Song Thrush    [ 537-34 ]
photos CJ,AS,SRW

Tuesday 30 October 2018

30th October 2018

Weather: NE  1-2 backing to N later, vis 8 mls , early rain.

A poor day compared to yesterday with the only migrants to come down ahead of the rain being a Song Thrush and 3 Reed Bunting.
The only other passerines were the regular Wren, Robin, Dunnock with a few Meadow Pipit and a Rock Pipit (Dunnock photo from yesterday).
The Brent Geese were gathered  together and numbered  188 …..all on the photo.
 Two Great-crested Grebe were off the North End and 2 Purple Sandpiper were on it.
Waders included 147 Curlew and 185 Redshank, also seen were 3 Little Egret and a Grey Heron.
 photos AS

Monday 29 October 2018

29th October 2018

Weather: SE  0-1 with our first ground frost, vis 10 mls
The day looked promising when Blackbird and Song Thrush were noted on Middle just after dawn, the day total being 7 & 8 respectively.
Small numbers of Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Goldfinch passed through, with some coming down on the island, but 2 Brambling unfortunately just kept going – over the Obs and southwards.
 A nice find was a Stonechat which was present from early morning until late afternoon.

Three Reed Bunting came down briefly in the Old Obs and a male Blackcap was in the sycamores. Other passage migrants included 27 Skylark, 29 Linnet,  168 Starling and a single Magpie which moved around the island for a couple of hours.
Amazingly, about mid-morning our 4th Great-spotted Woodpecker of autumn was heard and traced to the gate by the Newton trap, after posing for a while it headed off west.
By mid- afternoon it had gone quiet, so an observer was surprised to put up a Short-eared Owl from the Heli garden, it went straight over the wall but was relocated on Gropper Ridge. This bird was seen to leave the island on a few occasions, going south over Middle or west, but each time it returned and was last seen on the north end of Middle at 5pm.
Over a hundred Brent Geese were present and included a returning colour ringed bird XJBB. A Red-throated Diver was off the North End and a single Purple Sandpiper was seen today.
photos AS


Sunday 28 October 2018

28th October 2018

Weather:NE force 3, cold, clear overnigjht, less wind
Soon after first light a Redwing and at least one Blackbird were present, and a Brambling called overhead with another later and 2 further Blackbirds. A Common Snipe was flushed from the reedy section of the west side path.
Over a hundred Starling passed during the morning, mostly heading west, also 3 and then 4 Skylarks going in the other direction. The late autumn theme continiued when a a single Greenfinch and Goldfinch called from the old obs, a Song Thrush dropped in at the south end and 7 Jackdaws floated down the island.
At high tide the first 3 Purple Sandpipers of the winter arrived after several weeks of looking out for them. One was roosting on the west side and two were feeding in the pools on top of the north end.
  A flock of 26 Linnets came down to the same pools briefly, also a Pied Wagtail.
The high tide roost on Middle comprised 7,500 Oystercatchers, 176 Curlew, and 2,800 Knot were over the east hoyle after the tide, while at sea 2,600 Scoter were noted and 2 Red-breasted Mergansers flew west passed the north end.

About 150 Sanderlings were seen feeding on the north shore pre-tide; 6 Little Egrets were in the gutter and 2 Rock Pipits on the island.
 photos AEH,AS

Saturday 27 October 2018

27th October 2018

Weather: NNE force 5, cold wind

A group from the Leigh Ornithological Society today braved the very cold conditions to visit the island.
Surprise of the day was a Common Buzzard that appeared between the islands. The high tide roost held 3,300 Oystercatchers.
 Others waders today were 30 Dunlin, 15 Turnstone, 10 Ringed Plovers and 3 Grey Plovers.

The only small 'migrant' was a Skylark. Forty one Brent were seen, while 3 Mallard were a little unexpected. Two Rock Pipits were about.
photos Dave Steel; thanks to all for their generous donation

Thursday 25 October 2018

25th October 2018

Weather: WNW force 3/4
Limited passage this morning as expected with this weather: 2 Skylarks flew in from the sea at the north end, and 1 each of  Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Siskin made it onto the log. Three Rock Pipits were identified ,one of which was on Middle Eye. Seventy Brent were noted and waders included 102 Curlew, 40+ Redshank, 2 Knot and a Grey Plover. On the sea 450 Common Scoter were seen passing off the north end. Distantly 4 unidentified Swans flew along the West Kirby shore towards the marine lake. fresh tracks of a fox were found around the Middle Eye area and between the islands.

Tuesday 23 October 2018

23rd October 2018

Weather: NW  5-6  vis 5mls
The only Passerines on the islands today were a few wrens and Meadow Pipits and they were keeping low, with the islands shrouded in murk the whole day despite the strong wind.
A sea watch was limited to a few species but 2,500 Common Scoter were recorded along with 3 Red-throated Diver, a Kittiwake, 12 Great-crested Grebe, 5 Guillemot and 274 Cormorant. 
Waders included 30 Grey Plover, 11 Bar-tailed Godwit, 38 Sanderling, 120 Dunlin,  and 98 Redshank were sheltering in Niffy Bay.
Only 70 Brent Geese were noted today, along with 18 Shelduck.
photos AS
Thanks to J Coupe for his observations.

Monday 22 October 2018

22nd October 2018

Weather: NNW   3   vis 5mls but improving later.
Another quiet day passerine wise, so all hopes were pinned on a sea watch but that was also not very productive with only 180 Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver, 7 Guillemot and a Razorbill.
However, the Brent Geese had doubled in number and were counted at 126 on the rocks and sand to the west of the lagoon, on the east side of the islands were 79 Shelduck and 3 Eider appeared on the North Shore after tide.  
Included in the waders recorded were 37 Grey Plover, 30 Ringed Plover, 223 Curlew, 200 Knot and 195 Redshank. 
photos AS

Saturday 20 October 2018

20th October 2018

Weather: SE1, a dark start because of the early tide

The Brent reached a new high for the season when 65 were counted at midday, earlier 3 Wigeon were with them between the islands. The morning was otherwise very quiet with little visible migration, just 42 Meadow Pipit, 35 Linnets, 3 Skylarks, 3 Goldfimches, 2 Pied Wagtails and a lone Starling landing at the north end.
Pulses were sent racing when a late Wheatear arrived by the light on the west side which showed a tail pattern typical of  Isabelline Wheatear.
Better photos were obtained in the sunshine and unfortunately the other features of identification could only be considered as that of a Northern Wheatear, we will get a rare Wheatear here one day!
A tatty Red Admiral enjoyed the sun early afternoon.
Also noted today, 2 Little Egrets, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 140 Redshank, 80 Turnstone, 87 Curlew, 3 Grey Plover, 39 Scoter, 18 Shelduck, 2 Rock Pipits, 2 Dunnock.

Ringed: 2 Wren      [ 535-34 ]
photos JE,AS.

Friday 19 October 2018

19th October 2018

Weather: SSE  2-3    vis 5mls with mist around the estuary

This morning it was a single wigeon that was on the Whaleback,
but it started to feel like a replay of yesterday when a Lapwing was spotted flying between the main island and Middle, then 8 Pintail flew west followed by 5 Shelduck. To add to the duck tally, 4 Teal were in the Gutter.
There were 43 Brent Geese on the west side of Middle along with 2 Heron, 5 Little Egret were east of the Gutter. Four Redwing were heard going over, a male Blackbird was in the Old Obs and 2 more were seen to fly off towards Middle, a single Song Thrush was also down but did not stay long. A flock of 137 Starling were observed heading west  with a further 12 later, other fly overs were 5 Skylark, 2 Pied Wagtail , 30 Meadow Pipit and 14 Linnet.
A Chaffinch twinked from the Old Obs garden but refused to show itself and the Kestrel was still around the island.
photos AS