Monday 31 January 2022

31st January 2022

A visiting birder saw 2 Red-throated Divers and 10 Razorbills omn the sea and amongst the waders were 12 Purple Sandpipers and 14 Bar-tailed Godwits.

 per Al Orton

Friday 28 January 2022

28th January 2022

Weather: SW force 2,  breezy later with sunny intervals, fairly mild.

Seven Purple Sandpipers and the Eider were at the north end this morning. Thirty Turnstone and 11 Reshank were noted.  Over 400 Brent are still about and a couple of Rock Pipits were chasing each other around Middle Eye.

Per AMC and Matt Thomas

Thursday 27 January 2022

27th January 2022

Weather: Sunny

A brief lunchtime visit in the sunshine found 480 Brent Geese.

There were singles of Little Egret, Grey Heron and of course the Kestrel which now seems quite tame, hovering above peoples heads when hunting. There were 45 Grey Seals hauled out on the west hoyle until a person with 2 dogs disturbed them. 

Photos SRW

Wednesday 26 January 2022

26th January 2022

 Weather:  W force 1

 The female Eider was showing well today in the bright light as the tide flooded this afternoon.

 The regular visit from the Raven duly happened and there were good numbers of waders around the islands; counts included 6,800 Oystercatchers, 5,500 Knot, 

also 2,000 Dunlin, 850 Sanderling (a particulary impressive total), 228 Redshank, 135 Bar-tailed Godwit, 160 Grey Plover, 48 Ringed Plover, 89 Turnstone and 6 Purple Sandpipers. Not often mentioned here, the gull counts were 2,000 Herring, 800 Black-headed, 25 Common, 28 Great and 4 Lesser Black-Backs. Others seen today were a single drake close in Common Scoter, 401 Brent (2 dark-bellied), 14 Shelduck, 2 Grey Herons, a Little Egret and of course the male Kestrel.

Photos SRW, Matt Thomas (Kestrel)

Monday 24 January 2022

24th January 2022

 Weather: ESE force 4

 The female Eider was at the north end this morning with some of the Brents etc.

Three dark-bellied Brent were with the 389 pale-bellied present today. A Shag was on the whaleback early morning and the sole Little Egret was at the south end of the reef. 

Three Purple Sandpipers, 80 Turnstone and 4 Sanderling were seen but the main wader numbers occured by the Tanskys as the tide flooded; Oystercatchers 1,500, 160 Curlew, 520 Dunlin and 5,800 Knot.

Photos AS

Sunday 23 January 2022

23rd January 2022

 Weather: SE force 3

The female Eider is still present by the main island, and a visiting Raven showed up. Only a few waders were here because of the low tide, although the Kestrel was showing as it has done lately. A single Meadow Pipit and 2 Rock Pipits were logged together with 3 Blackbirds and 2 Song Thrushes.

Saturday 22 January 2022

22nd January 2022

 Weather:  WSW force 3

The majority of the 382 pale-bellied Brent were on the west hoyle this morning up to 10.00 hrs, 3 pairs of Red-breasted Mergansers were also noted, which seem to be slightly scarcer recently. About 100 Scoter and 250 Cormorants were seen and waders present included 22 Grey Plover,  6 Purple Sandpipers, 120 Curlew, 1,500 Knot, 250 Dunlin, 20 Sanderling, and 4 Ringed PLover. Just a single Little Egret agian and the female Eider that has been here for a few days. Three of the 4 Rock Pipits were on Middle island. Fox dropping were noted in the SK paddock and along the west side.

Friday 21 January 2022

21st January 2022

 Weather: WNW force 3/4

A female Eider, probably the same bird as yesterday, was first spotted quite a way out in the Swash to the west but flew in and landed in the Gutter as the tide made.


 Two of the six Common Scoter noted today were also east of the main island and could be heard calling.

  On the ebb five Wigeon also appeared in the Gutter, briefly going onto the East Hoyle for a preen.

 Nineteen Purple Sandpipers were a good count at high tide, with fair numbers of other waders (3,000 Knot, 600 Dunlin, 205 Grey Plover, 160 Curlew, about 100 Turnstone and 64 Redshank).

 The 413 Brents today included 2 dar-bellied and 2 previously noted colour ringed birds. A solitary Shelduck was by Little Eye over the tide. Again fresh evidence todayof the presence of a Fox at some stage

Photos AS.

Thursday 20 January 2022

20th January 2022

 Weather: NE force 3 NNE 2 in the afternoon

A female Eider was sitting on the whaleback at the north end at first light and stayed around until the mid-day tide ebbed.

The other bird of less than daily occurence was a Raven which was disturbed from the south end of Middle Eye and flew towards the West Kirby shore marsh. Two Grey herons roosted the tide with 5,500 Oystercatchers on Middle Eye and counts of other waders included 148 Curlew, 3,400 Knot, 600 Dunlin, 12 Grey Plover, 14 Ringed Plover, 15 Purple Sandpiper, 107 Turnstone and 24 Redshank.

Sea sightings were 26 Great Crested Grebes and 86 Common Scoter, while some of the over 400 Brent made an impressive sight paddling in the surf.

 Smaller birds still about were 4 Robins, 4 Rock Pipits, 3 Blackbirds, 2 Song Thrush, 5 Wrens and 2 Linnets. The sun setting over the Dee made a peaceful scene tonight.

Photos AS

Tuesday 18 January 2022

18th January 22

 Weather:  SE force 2/3  cold but sunny

 A below freezing start in the morning with a moonlit approach to the island. The sun soon warmed everything up as the waders prepared for the incoming tide. The Purple Sandpipers prefared the sheltered ledges on the west side, there were 7 with a Turnstone there.

However a small number of the other waders chose niffy bay, particulary Turnstone (82 today) Redshank (70) and Brent.

The usual Oystercatchers, Herring Gulls, some Brents, Curlew and the odd Grey Heron used the south end of the main island and the Middle island for their roost but over 1,000 Oystercatchers were flushed from the main island by 4 canoeists just before the tide.

 It was rewarding and a surprise to catch and ring both a new Song Thrush (2 present) and Rock Pipit (5 present) among the wintering birds.

Photos JE 

Monday 17 January 2022

17th January 22

 Weather:  NE force 0/1

 A brief visit on a very calm sunny afternoon recorded a good crop of sea birds in the flat calm conditions. There were about 3,500 Common Scoter out in Liverpool bay and 16 Red-throated Divers, 35 Guillemots and 125 Great Crested Grebes were also noted out to sea through a telescope.

Among the waders were a single Sanderling and Bar-tailed Godwit,

 while in more numbers were Ringed Plover (65)

and 148 Curlew, 85 Turnstone, 85 Grey Plover and 6 Purple Sandpipers. Gulls featured with 18 Great-black Backs, 1,200 Herring, 125 Common and 350 Black-headed. Forty eight Shelduck were counted and also 453 Brent (3 dark-bellied). the marine lake was an attraction to the visitors and also to 14 Goosanders

Photos SRW

Friday 14 January 2022

14th January 2022

 Weather:  SE force 3

 Another lovely day, this time with wildfowl the focus for the observers. A male Teal was at the north end along with some of the Brent and was later seen much further out with 6 of the 9 Wigeon present today.

 In the ebbing Gutter was a Goosander which spent some time preening,

 It then drifted to the north end where it was joined by another.

Distant views were had of 8 Pintail off the north end, likewise 1,200 Common Scoter were a long way out. Brents were counted at 419 including 3 dark-bellied birds. Great Crested Grebes were more in evidence today with 12 on the sea, also 3 Red-throated Divers. Sixteen Purple Sandpipers gathered on the early tide.

Other waders included 32 Bar-tailed Godwits flying south, 134 Turnstones and 61 Curlew.


The Kestrel was here and 4 Blackbirds were among the few wintering species. There was fresh evidence of Fox on the island, it now seems certain that frequent visits are made to the island.

Photos AS

Thursday 13 January 2022

13th January 2022

 Weather:  W 1

 A very brief visit was made this morning on another glorious day. Pick of the sightings were 54 Bar-tailed Godwit and 26 Grey Plover and over 200 Common Scoter.


 Photos SRW

Wednesday 12 January 2022

12th January 2022

 Weather:  SW force 2    sunny

A beautiful calm and sunny morning with the Brent all within sight of the island, enabling a complete count to establish a record high number for the obs. There were 483 pale-bellied and 4 dark-bellied birds.

 It is normal for the Brents to peak at this time in the winter, and colour ringed birds are always looked for so their movements can be recorded.

The low tide made waders hard to find, the best numbers being 220 Curlew, 27 Ringed Plover, 60 Turnstone, 50 Redshank, 4 Grey Plover and 2 Purple sandpipers. A good number of Herring Gulls were out to the west of the island and over 200 Black-headed Gulls were noted over the sea. A couple of dozen Common Scoter, 2 Shelduck and 2 Little Egrets were present, and a Peregrine showed towards Middle. Three of the 4 Rock Pipits were on Middle, there were 6 Robins and 3 each of Blackbird and Song Thrush.

 The marine lake looked splendid in the late afternoon.

 Photos CJW, SRW