Sunday 31 January 2021

31st January 2021

 Weather: ESE force 1

Three Wrens were singing today on this last day of January, with other wintering birds present including 4 Rock Pipits,2 Blackbirds, and a Song Thrush. Wader counts included 3000 Knot, 85 Grey Plover, 65 Turnstone. Kestrel and Great Crested Grebe were others that made the list today, while 4 Rock Pipits were the best of the land birds.

Saturday 30 January 2021

30th January 2021

 Weather: ESE force 5, later ENE force 6

Eighteen Purple Sandpipers were again seen roosting at the north end 2 hours before the high tide and the female Eider was still present. A Peregrine was around, also the female Kestrel, while waders included 120 Sanderling, 60 Grey Plover, 60 Turnstone, 75 Curlew and 48 Redshank. Sightings out to sea were 250 Common Scoter and 4 Great Crested Grebes. Species present on the ground were Robin (3), Wren (6), Blackbird, Song Thrush, Meadow and Rock Pipit.

Friday 29 January 2021

29th January 2021

 Weather: W 2/3,  then NW 2/3 with rain

Oystercatchers roosted the high tide along the west side of Hilbre as well as the usual site at the north end of Middle.

 while the 129 Curlews were all on Middle

The Purple Sandpipers meantime reached a new peak of the winter with 18 birds at the north end.

Passerines on the island were the regular Blackbird, Song Thrush, 2 Robins, 7 Wrens and 2 Rock Pipits. Three Meadow Pipits were also present. The female Eider still stays about, as does the Kestrel. The only sea birds of note were 74 Common Scoter and 2 Great Crested Grebes.

Thursday 28 January 2021

28th January 2021

 Weather:  SW force 4,  up to 8 degrees in the afternoon

 A few records from today: 125 Brent, 20 Shelduck, 75 Common Scoter, 4 Great Crested Grebes, 8 Purple Sandpiper, 35 Grey Plover, 40 Ringed Plover, 180 Sanderling, 1200 Dunlin, 4000 Knot. A pair of Blackbirds, 2 Rock Pipits, 10 Linnets and a female Kestrel were on the island.

Wednesday 27 January 2021

27th January 2021

 Weather: W force 3

Birds of the day were 2 Whooper Swans that were picked up on the water off the West Kirby/Hoylake shore which then flew west between Little and Middle Eye. A small group of Common Scoter called and displayed off the east side of the island, these would be some of the estimated over 20,000 or so off the north of Wirral this winter.


  Seventeen Purple Sandpipers rested on the cliff at the north end during the tide.

Knot seen today numbered 7000, there were also 1200 Dunlin, 140 Grey Plover, 140 Sanderliong, 94 Curlew and 70 Turnstone.


The now regular female Eider showed and the 126 Brent around included a dark-bellied bird. Sixteen Linnets were on Middle island.

Monday 25 January 2021

25th January 2021

 Weather:  NW force 3/4.   mild for time of year but snow visible on the Clywd hills.

A record count (for this winter) of 17 Purple Sandpipers was made at the north end during the high tide.

 The female Eider was seen and Brent were counted at 161 birds.
 Among the waders were 138 Turnstones, 35 Sanderling and 20 Grey Plover.

 One of the 4000 Oystercatchers unusually stayed on top of of the island

A Rock Pipit was present and a look through the paddocks found the usual suspects fo Blackbird, Song Thrush, 2 Robins and 8 Wrens.

Sunday 24 January 2021

24th January 2021

Weather:  E force 3, snow later.

A 5am start in the dark to catch the early tide this morning .

A total of 5 Rock Pipits noticed today including 3 east of Middle Eye.

Good numbers of Wildfowl were recorded with 250 Brent, 250 Common Scoter, a pair of Red-breasted Merganser and 17 Teal.  Just 4 of the Purple Sandpipers present were showing, other waders seen were 4500 Knot, 600 Dunlin, A single Bar-tailed Godwit, 8 Grey Plover and 62 Curlew.

  Both Kestrel and Peregrine were noted and the 2 Ravens seen recently appeared again today.

A pair of Blackbirds were about the paddocks, also a Song Thrush, 6 Wrens and 2 Robins. Two Harbour Porpoise swan off shore.

Friday 22 January 2021

22nd January 2021

 Weather:  W force 4, showers

An exceptional amount of water is lying on the island at the moment, a pond even forming on the other side of the path to the main pond. Among the waders today were 120 Turnstones, 21 Sanderling and 1200 Oystercatchers.

A Grey heron also enjoyed the sunshine by the island.

Best sightings of the day were the female Eider and 2 Ravens.
Two Rock Pipits were on the island and 11 Linnets on Middle.

Sunday 17 January 2021

17th January 2021

 A good number of waders at Hilbre low tide this morning, 6,000 Knot on the north shore (above) , also 120 Sanderling, 500 Dunlin, 80 Redshank, 1,000 Common Scoter and 4 Pintail off shore. A Great Crested Grebe was on the West Kirby marine lake, also 4 Goosander.

Saturday 16 January 2021

16th January 2021

 Weather: WSW force 5/6

A high tide visit produced good counts of waders including 10,000 Oystercatchers roosting, including a leucistic bird .

 13 Purple Sandpipers roosted the tide (around the maximum expected in recent years),


Other waders showing well in the sunshine were 8,500 Knot, 650 Dunlin, 108 Redshank, 57 Ringed Plover, 10 Grey Plover, 6 Bar-tailed Godwits, 30 Sanderling and 136 Turnstone.

Two Red-throated Divers were the highligjt on the sea, also 4 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Guillemots, 250 Common Scoter. Residents seen on the island were singles of Robin, Song Thrush, Blackbird and Rock Pipit with 6 Wrens around and about. Apart from the Scoter the only wildfowl comprised 6 Shelduck and a good mid-winter count of 285 Brent. The Kestrel is still on the island.

Friday 15 January 2021

15th January 2021

 Weather: SSW force 3, slight mist

In an afternoon post tide visit, a Rock Pipit was found on Middle, as were 9 Linnets, while on the main island 3 Blackbirds and 2 Song Thrushes showed today. Only 2 Purple Sandpipers could be seen, although no doubt there were more; other waders noted were 120 Sanderling with about the same number of Ringed Plovers, 70 Grey Plover and 2,000 Knot. 

Tuesday 12 January 2021

12th January 2021

Weather; N force 1, clear, lake district visible


A short visit found that the female Eider was still present, and the bright conditions enabled 3,200 Common Scoter to be visible from the island, also 8 Great Crested Grebes and 4 Red-throated Divers on the calm sea. Good numbers of Brent are still present, 280 counted today. Three Purple Sandpipers were among the waders, notable others were 220 Ringed Plover and 180 Sanderling. Both a Grey Heron and 2 Little Egret were present and the Kestrel was there.

Sunday 10 January 2021

10th January 2021

 Weather: NW force 3/4

A total of 4 Eider today, and they were the highlight of the morning. Nine Purple Sandpipers were among the regular waders including 160 Turnstones.. 

 The regular Kestrel still shows on the island, also a pair of Blackbirds..
Seven hundred Common Scoter were visible from Hilbre of the many seen offshore from Hoylake.

Saturday 9 January 2021

9th January 2021

 Weather: S force 1, W force 2 in the afternoon

A female Eider was present today,

 other wildfowl were 92 Common Scoter, 206 pale-bellied Brent and a single dark-bellied bird, with 2 colour ringed individuals showing well.

Many types of waders were around including 240 Sanderling, 194 Turnstone, 5 Purple Sandpipers, 84 Grey Plover, 24 Bar-tailed Godwits. 

A Siskin was a passage bird, while probable winter residents were a male and female Blackbird, 2 Robins and 2 Rock Pipits. Noted on the sea was a Red-throated Diver and 3 Great Crested Grebes, while shore birds included a Grey heron, a Little Egret.

Thursday 7 January 2021

7th January 2021


A quick trip across to the Observatory yesterday to check everything was ok after the recent spell of freezing weather and to carry out some necessary maintenance to the heligoland traps which have suffered the ravages of the weather. 

A Lapland Bunting was found on Middle Eye early morning but couldn’t be refound later. A colour ringed Grey Plover was seen in the gutter and turns out to be the same bird photographed in virtually the same spot last autumn.

A quick look at the north end produced a female eider before work commenced on the Newton heligoland trap. The west side wire had suffered badly and was replaced.

  Whilst working on the trap a large common frog appeared and was moved to a safer location. 

 The female Kestrel was still present and spent the day hunting voles in the paddocks.


Saturday 2 January 2021

2nd January 2021

 Weather: N force 2

 Oystercatchers again roosted on west side as well as on Middle.

Ten Red-breasted Mergansers were carried rapidly up the estuary on the swash as the tide made, and a male and 2 female Goosander flew up from the gutter east of Middle and went north east. Whilst most of the 4,000 Common Scoter were by the windfarm a flock of  at least 1000 of them were between there and the north end of the island.  A Pied Wagtail flew north down the island calling. The pair of Eider were still showing.

 Fourteen Purple Sandpipers rested on the cliffs.

 photos AS

Friday 1 January 2021

1st January 2021

 Weather: N force 2/3

 A pair of Eider first appeared on the west side and then were in the east gutter on the rising tide

 The Purple Sandpipers were difficult to count as they roosted in 3 places and were difficult to see without disturbing them.

  Voles are still seen scurrying about despite the ever present Kestrel.

 A ringed robin has become very confiding and keeps entering the obs (maybe someone has been feeding it)

Seen on the easy hoyle after the tide were 9,000 Knot, 1,000 Dunlin, 280 Sanderling and 62 Grey Plover.

 photos AS