Thursday 31 October 2019

31st October 2019

Weather: SE  1-2 increasing 5-6 by mid-day, poor vis.

Another good day for Thrushes with 2 Fieldfare on Middle at first light, then as another observer approached Middle ahead of the tide a flock of 75 flew over. Also noted were 14 Redwing, a Song Thrush and 22 Blackbird (half of those being in the traps!).

There was very little passerine movement, the best being a total of 12 siskin. A Goldcrest was calling in the obs garden, 11 Meadow Pipit and a Rock Pipit were present, a single Greenfinch flew over and 2 Chaffinch called from the SK paddock.
There was a Short-eared Owl upon the island, a Raven landed on Middle and was dived bombed by a female Peregrine! Also seen were a Rook, a Magpie, a male Merlin and the Kestrel.
 There were 221 Brent Geese on the Whaleback, including 2 new ringed birds – details will follow.
Five Great Crested Grebe and 42 Common Scoter were on the sea along with 300 Cormorant around the island and banks.
Best of the waders were 130 Turnstone, 100 Dunlin, 2 Grey Plover and 87 Bar-tailed Godwit.
photos AS

Tuesday 29 October 2019

29th October 2019

Weather  E force 1, increasing 3 later
At first light Blackbirds (14) and Redwings (16) were around the island, although the Redwings called passing over they did not linger, the Blackbirds continued to be present with a few more arriving all morning. Four Goldcrests were about but also soon disappeared, and then a flock of 9 Long-tailed Tits briefly dropped into the paddocks, leaving one behind to be ringed. Finches were also moving this morning, 4 Chaffinches and 6 Siskins were recorded and a trio of Greenfinches paused briefly in the obs garden before heading towards Red Rocks. A couple of Starlings and several Skylarks passed through and Wrens (10) were again in good numbers. A Raven flew low over the island, and then early afternoon 2 Ravens came down, one landing on the lookout ladder, the best vantage point now that the mast has gone.

One of the best sightings today were 3 Snow Buntings flying over the obs heading towards the east, however the one that has been at Little Eye was not there just after the tide at least.
A skein of 70 Pink-footed Geese went north out of the estuary late morning, however the Brent were missing before the very high tide today, and the only duck were 4 Wigeon that flew down the west side at the north end. The roost on Middle at the massive high tide held 7,000 Oystercatchers and 140 Curlew, other wader counts were 48 Bar-tailed Godwit, 35 Sanderling, 40 Knot, 28 Ringed Plover and 2 Grey Plover.
A sea watch was productive despite the easterly wind, noted were 12 Red-throated Divers, 23 Great Crested Grebes, and 52 Common Scoter.
A few Red Admirals braved the cold to fly in the sunshine. The Magpie still survives
Ringed: 8 Blackbirds, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Dunnock, 1 Long-tailed Tit      [ 762-36 ]
photo CJ, AS

Monday 28 October 2019

28th October 2019

Weather: Flat calm at dawn with good visibility, North 2 by lunch time.
The first Purple Sandpiper of autumn turned up after high tide.
There were 20 Ringed Plover and 18 Grey Plover, 100 Sanderling and 15 Bar-tailed Godwit but only 1 Knot noted. Two Little Egret were present and 4 Grey Heron also about the islands.
Brent Geese numbered 240  and Shelduck 140, 6 Pintail were noted.
On the sea a good count was had of 30 Red-throated Diver, also 80 Common Scoter and 30 Great Crested Grebe.
On the islands there had been an influx of Wrens with at least 15 present,  along with 3 Goldcrest, 4 Song Thrush and a Blackbird. A Kestrel caused alarm amongst the Meadow Pipits and Linnets, 8  Skylark flew over the island  along with 2  each of Chaffinch and Goldfinch. A Dunnock and 7 Robin were also noted.
Two Foxes were present in Telegraph House east garden, not good news for next year’s breeding birds. 
photos AS

Saturday 26 October 2019

26th October 2019 - Sparrowhawk

A juvenile male Sparrowhawk was ringed by a Hilbre member in his garden in West Kirby on 1st March 2013 and retrapped on Hilbre on 13th April.2013. See Hilbre blog for that date. This bird hasn’t been encountered since but on 25th October this year it was amazingly retrapped by another Hilbre member ringing in her garden in Hoylake. This most unusual series of records makes this bird at least 7 years old.
Photo below of it when it was retrapped in Hoylake (PSW).

Friday 25 October 2019

25th October 2019

Weather: ESE force 1/2     heavy rain and drizzle
An afternoon visit braving the poor weather was rewarded with a sighting of the Snow Bunting on Little Eye and decent sea watching. Two Guillemots and a Razorbill were logged, also 120 Common Scoter, 2 Red-throated Divers and 3 Great Crested Grebes. The Magpie also made the log.

Thursday 24 October 2019

24th October 2019

SE  1-2  Good visibility
A pre dawn start was made in order to beat the tide, with 8 Redwing heard passing over. A second observer following the tide out heard a Golden Plover call and 2 Raven were seen to head west by Little Eye, 306 Shelduck were between the Eye and  the Tanskeys. A Snow Bunting was again around the Eye with the last sighting of the day at dusk.
A count of 126 Brent Geese included a colour ringed bird returning to Hilbre for its second winter. On the main island were a couple of Goldcrest, 3 Blackbird and a few each of Linnet, Wren and Robin, 62 Meadow Pipit went through and 3 Rock Pipit were at the North End.
A sea watch produced 20 Red-throated Diver, 64 Common Scoter and 5 Great Crested Grebe, 6 Razorbill flew in and landed close to the west side but only stayed briefly, 5 Guillemot were also noted.
There were 14 Bar-tailed Godwit on the East Hoyle, a good count was made of 1700 Knot and Curlew numbered 210.
Other waders included 800 Dunlin, 6 Grey Plover, 240 Sanderling and good numbers of both Redshank and Turnstone.
photos AS