Wednesday, 26 August 2020

26th August 2020

Weather:  WNW 6, dropping, 8/8 cloud (clearing later), early drizzle, poor becoming good

Gale force winds overnight meant that seawatching on the early morning ebb tide was the order of the day.

Kittiwakes and terns streamed passed the North End close inshore, often 'below the beam' during the first hour or so of daylight.  116 Kittiwakes were counted during the day along with 615 Common, 420 Sandwich,  74 Little and 8 Arctic Terns all moving west.  Later many of the terns appeared to return to the East Hoyle sandbank to roost on the evening tide when the wind had dropped.
Gannets numbered 47 including some birds that were very close in around the main island in the morning and afternoon.
Up to four Arctic Skuas were noted but only one came close loafing on the water during the morning and afternoon tide a single Great Skua was noted heading towards the Mersey.  Two Manx Shearwaters were noted and an adult Yellow-legged Gull flew past.  However, the highlight of the morning was an early Leach's Petrel which made its way westwards off the North End; possibly our earliest ever (see below iPhone scoped video grab).
The male Yellowhammer remained around the island but there was little evidence of any other passerine movement apart from a couple of Robins.
The Kestrel remained for much of the day in the sheltered 'Niffy Bay'. 

Waders were very much in evidence with plenty of all the regular species as well as 3 Whimbrel, a summer plumaged Grey Plover in off, 2017 Knot and a huge flock of Black-tailed Godwits on the evening tide south of West Kirby Marine Lake (c3,500).
A Peregrine was noted around the North End during the morning tide and another was noted harassing the waders and tern flocks on the evening tide.

Photos CJW (majority) and SRW (Leach's Petrel)

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