Wednesday 29 September 2021

29th September 2021

Weather: WNW force 5

The wind direction encouraged a sea watch to take place today which was rewarded with a first for the year Great Skua flying west passed the island.

Two drake Eiders also went west and during the watch 6 Gannets, 13 Guillemots, a single Sandwich tern and about 75 Common Scoter were noted. In the late afternoon 2 Golden Plover appeared from the east and a Razorbill added to the sea bird list. A Grey Wagtail was the only small migrant noticable in these conditions although extra Meadow Pipits did come through. Both Peregrine and Kestrel were about.

Photos SRW

Sunday 26 September 2021

26th September 2021


The Barn Owl featured again, this time flying around the paddock area in the early morning light. Pinkfeet are now arriving in the Dee in good numbers, flocks totalled 526 birds this morning

 Another sign of winter were the 16 Brent around the islands
Migrants included Chiffchaff.

a Siskin and a Wheatear.
Three hundred and sixty Black-tailed Godwit and a late Sandwich tern were logged.

Photos AEH          

Saturday 25 September 2021

25th September 2021

Weather: SW force 1, backing ESE 1

An increased nunber of Pipits were on the island today, 68 which means some were moving through, and the 8 Rock Pipits could have been part of this movement. Some of the 5 Robins and 8 Wrens may fall into this catergory. Two Ravens were on the east hoyle side and 2 Peregrines were also logged. Eighteen Brent were noted , also 9 Little Egrets and 7 Grey Herons, this was more than has been recently.

 Among the 138 Cormorants that were seen was an individual wearing colour rings; these were able to be read to be reported.

Oystercatchers at 8,000 and 239 Curlew were the bulk of the waders, although 65 Dunlin and 9 Turnstone were also about .

 Single Guillemot and Sandwich Tern and 3 Great crested Grebes were the sole 'sea' sightings.

Photos AS 

Friday 24 September 2021

24th September 2021

 Weather: SW force 3

 There were 2 Kestrels today on the island, while the Peregrine sat on the reef south of Middle again and a Sparrowhawk flew south over the Telegraph house garden. A group of 4 Golden Plover flew over the obs. Other waders counted today included a single Purple Sandpiper at the north end, 7,000 Oystercatchers, 144 Curlew, 65 Ringed Plover, 12 Grey Plover, 120 Dunlin, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 28 Sanderling.

  The Barn Owl made another brief appearance when it flew south over the SK paddock at 7.45pm

 Along the whole island chain 13 Little Egrets were feeding. Eleven Brent were here today and 76 Shelduck were by West Kirby Marine Lake, also by the lake in the recording area was this single Curlew Sandpiper.

Photos SRW

Thursday 23 September 2021

23rd September 2021

Weather: W force 6/7 decreasing 4 by afternoon

A stiff westerly was blowing this morning, so attention was initially on the sea. The best record was a single Manx Shearwater but there was also a Gannet, 2 Red-throated Divers, 6 Guillemots and 52 Common Scoter. Two Ravens and 2 Peregrines were on Middle and the reef south of there,

 they later visited the main island, where the ever reliable Kestrel hunted. The Brent were not seen today and the only duck were 3 Pintail. 

Good wader records for the island were 5 Bar-tailed Godwit and 56 Sanderling, but the most satisfying will go to the Little Stint found near to Little Eye. 



 Some of the Dunlin were in very smart plumage.

Following the report here yesterday, tonight at dusk came the confirmation that a Barn Owl has been frequenting the island lately. It was flying around the south end before landing on the obs fence. A Barn Owl at Hilbre would still be a first for many long standing members.

Photos SRW

Wednesday 22 September 2021

22nd September 2021

Weather: W force 4/5

The 15 Brent Geese are still about the islands, also 25 Shelduck and 16 Little Egrets.

 The most intriguing sighting did not happen until 9pm when an owl species was silhouetted in the moonlight over the east gutter below the obs. A similar happening occured on 8th September to the same observer, subsquently a Barn Owl was found on the island in the daytime, who knows ? 

Earlier the Kestrel was seen left of the south slipway with a mouse as prey, Short-tailed Voles are the usual preferred target at Hilbre.

Sea birds were few, 2 Gannets, 2 Guillemots, 17 Common Scoter and 2 Sandwich Terns not yet moved south.. A Chiffchaff and a Grey and  a White Wagtail were the sole obvious small migrants. Oystercatchers are building up for the winter now, 6,800 were counted on Middle and off the marsh after the tide, while Curlew and the smaller waders showed well while feeding.

 photos AS

Tuesday 21 September 2021

21st September 2021

 Weather: W force 3  mostly sunny

 Another lovely day although again few migrants or sea birds in a light westerly. On arrival this morning a count of 109 Grey Seals were hauled out on the west hoyle. Counts are frequently taken by the obs at low tide.

Two Ravens were at the north end being mobbed by gulls, also there was a single pale-bellied Brent , with 14 others between the islands at the same time.


 There were no warblers today but a single Greenland Wheatear arrived in the early afternoon. This Wren was the only bird ringed this morning.

The gathering of 15 Little Egrets roosting on the north end of Middle with some Oystercatchers made a very impressive sight for Hilbre at high tide.

A sea watch revealed just 2 Gannets. Fifty Ringed Plover and a Whimbrel were the best of the waders.

  Photos JE

Monday 20 September 2021

20th September 2021

 Weather: WSW force 3/4

 A clear and sunny day, and although the wind direction did not inspire any great hope of bird movememts, undaunted the Wheatears continued to arrive in this autumn of plenty, 6 were here today. As the tide flooded 18 Brent were south west of Middle, up to now only 3 had been around so far this autumn and of course more will certainly follow, at least 14 were still present as the tide receded. Three Purple Sandpipers appeared on the slip at the north end but they left abruptly. A Chiffchaff and a Goldcrests landed in the obs garden and a couple of Grey Wagtails came through. Only a single Wigeon represented the ducks until 10 Pintail were found between Hilbre and Middle as the tide ebbed. The Kestrel was seen to take one of the island voles, there is no shortage at the present time, while an adult male Peregrine was also around. On the sea 10 Gannets and 3 Scoter showed and on the shore 12 Little Egrets kept up the run of good numbers of these now regular birds. Most notable of the small wader numbers were 77 Ringed Plover. Six Rock Pipits are still here.


Photos SRW

Sunday 19 September 2021

19th September 2021

 Weather:  SW force 2

Excellent sightings of ducks this morning with 24 Pintail, 5 Teal and 22 Wigeon,

  and an unusual fly-past of 5 Tufted Duck (a less than annual visitor to Hilbre) into the estuary.

 A couple of Wheatear came through, the lowest number for a while and 2 Goldcrests were grounded and one was ringed.

 A Chiffchaff and a Grey Wagtail were on the island at some stage. Many Ringed Plover were feeding between the islands.

 A Marsh Harrier was seen heading into the Hilbre recording area from the north shore mid-morning (AMC) and 7 Brent Geese arrived in the evening (per Tim Kinch). Back on the mainland 4 Curlew Sandpipers were by the main lake south end mud (also in the recording area)



Photos AEH, SRW

Saturday 18 September 2021

18th September 2021

 Weather:  SW force 1

A good day with a greater variety of species on show, the ducks coming to the fore as the autumn moves on. As mentioned previously this autumn has been particularly good for Wheatear arrivals, today there were 17 (mostly Greenland race) with 6 being ringed. 


 It was fortunate the potter traps had been deployed in the best places.

The duck records consisted of 21 Wigeon, 12 Pintail and 2 Teal, while 120 Shelduck and 3 Common Snipe added to the autumnal feel.


Singles of Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Whitethroat reminded us that a few warblers are still about from the summer

 ... and 50 or so Swallows and a Sand Martin came through and there were also a few extra Robins in the paddocks. Light breezes does not necessarily mean that sea birds will not come within sight, today 12 Gannets, 4 Red-throated Divers, 2 Great Crested Grebes and 250 Common Scoter were logged. Big numbers of Oystercatcher (5,000), Dunlin (1,500) and Curlew (330) overshadowed the smaller groups of Sanderling (30), Ringed Plover (60), Turnstone (25), Knot (6), Bar-tailed Godwit (2) and a single Grey Plover. Curlew Sandpipers have featured on the island and around the Wirral coast over the last week and 7 were seen today in the Hilbre recording area by the marine lake. For a change 2 each today of Peregrine and Kestrel, 10 voles were seen so there will be good numbers on the island.


Nine Little Egrets and 3 Grey Herons fed around the shore. Gulls inclued 500 Black-headed, 12 Great Black backs and 400 Herring, one of which attracted attention when its colour ring was able to be read due to the fine detail in the photograph. It was ringed at the calf of Man on 27th June. 

  Light winds overnight brought many moths to the trap


Feathered Ranunculus
Lunar Underwing

Black Rustic
 Photos BT, CJW, SRW