Sunday 31 July 2022

31st July 2022

 Weather:  NW force 3/4   rain overnight and early morning, then dry and sunny 

The day started off quite wet with low visibility and persistent rain. A Common Sandpiper searched the edge of the gutter below the obs and small flocks of Dunlin, Turnstones and Ringed Plover also fed.

The surprise early on was a Cockatiel in a sorry state in the old lifeboat station, it was caught and brought back to the obs to dry out and given sone food & water before being taken to the mainland where it will hopefully be reunited with its owner! Two Ravens perused middle eye as the cloud  lifted and the weather improved, waders increased as the tide started to flood with 29 Black-tailed Godwits circling the East Hoyle and two juvenile Willow Warblers appearing in the obs garden, our first of the Autumn. Two Peregrines were later joined by a third and spent some time chasing gulls, terns and each other around the islands, providing excellent oppertunities for members carrying a camera.








Several Swallows passed through today, also a Sand Martin, and later a Sedge Warbler was found in the SK paddock just as members were leaving the island. Wdaers included 12 Whimbrel and 39 Sanderling. Reasonable numbers of Sandwich terns were present and a handful of Common, 2 splendid dark phase Arctic Skuas were noted chasing Sandwich terns off the West side as the maintenance team made repairs to one of the heligolands in preparation for the autumn migration. 

One of the most interesting sightings (and the best pictures) today concerned Rock Pipits feeding on crabs, something we haven't noticed before.


Most unusual in a Hilbre context amongst the few butterflies identified today was a Skipper. Sea Holly was on the main island.

 Photos AEH, BT, Mike Roberts

Friday 29 July 2022

29th July 2022

 Weather: ESE  force 1/2  rain showers, later SE 1 sunny intervals

Again no early autumn passerine migrants apart from a few Swallows, but the south easterly this time produced more varied records in general for the observers. Early morning  a Common Sandpiper was near the vehicle track to the east of Middle, possibly the same bird as earlier in the week ?

A trip to the north end soon after seemed in vain until a Greenshank called and flew to the end of the whaleback, it was not seen subsequently.

Later in the morning 2 Mute Swans were found floating off the north end. The regular female Eider seems to have disappeared recently but today 2 roosted the tide on the reef west of Middle and 2 Lapwings also landed on the reef for a while. Before the tide quite a few Dunlin were seen, also Ringed Plover and Redshank, with about 10 Whimbrel about. Thirty six Shelduck were seen, also a Shag, 4 Little Egret and 4 Grey Heron. We see many moths when the light traps have been set, today an unusual sighting was a Common Carpet resting on the lifeboat house wall.

A Kestrel made a brief appearance but Short-tailed Voles seem to be doing fine, 6 were seen this morning.

Ringed : 1 Rock Pipit, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Wren

Photos CJ

Thursday 28 July 2022

28th July 2022

Weather: ESE force 2/4 with some rain then E 1

Another quiet day and despite the easterly there were no early autumn migrants to be seen apart from a few Swallows, just some of the breeding birds like Wren, Song Thrush, Rock Pipit, and of course the numerous Linnets, although the 2 Robins seen could be passage birds. Sandwich Terns got together to show a roost of about 600 birds, while 2 Gannets were on the sea and waders included 500 Dunlin, 5 Whimbrel, 10 Curlew and 11 Redshank. A Peregrine made an appearance.

Wednesday 27 July 2022

27th July 2022

 Weather:  NE force 1

A quiet day on the island, a Shag was present, 2 Gannets and 2 Whimbrel were seen.

Tuesday 26 July 2022

26th July 2022

Weather: NW force 2/3  

Although the north west wind was now only a breeze, 2 Arctic Skuas, 25 Gannets and 8 Common Scoter were still recorded during a sea watch, a small portion of the plentiful records yesterday. The best bird was probably the Common Sandpiper that was about the island today. Two Little Terns were among the 245 Sandwich and 4 Common Terns seen. Six Little Egrets, 2 Grey Herons and 2 Great Crested Grebes were noted and up to 50 Turnstone were seen to be feeding around the islands.

Monday 25 July 2022

25th July 2022

 Weather:  NW force 6/7    rain later

Strong north westerlies produced good sea bird sightings today, the highlights being 6 Arctic Skuas, 160 Manx Shearwaters and 50 Gannets, while 14 Common Scoter and 2 Great Crested Grebes also made the list. Two juvenile Mediterranean Gulls flew south in addition to 3 adults seen towards the West Kirby shore. Bonus birds today included a Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Little Terns. At least 200 Sandwich and 50 Common Terns were present. Wader numbers were moderate with 4 Whimbrel, 10 Curlew, 15 Turnstone, 20 Sanderling, 150 Dunlin and 2 Redshank.

Sunday 24 July 2022

24th July 2022

 Weather: SSW force 4     breezy but mild

Present this morning were about 350 Black-headed Gull on the shore and amongst them early morning was a first summer Mediterranean Gull. The other highlight of the morning was a Common Sandpiper bobbing on the rocks down the east side, although it soon disappeared before closer photos could be obtained.


There were over 500 Sandwich and 100 Common Tern, many of which were feeding young between the islands as the tide ebbed this morning.

Some of the Turnstones present were in summer plumage.

A good count for autumn was a total of 15 Whimbrel, other waders on the shore were 14 Curlew, 14 Ringed Plover and 250 Dunlin. Two Swifts flew south, which were the only obvious small migrants this morning, a Peregrine flew off the west side. The fresh south westerly raised hopes of Shearwaters etc but just 20 distant Gannets represented the sea birds. A Red Admiral and 4 Small White butterflies flew, braving the windy conditions.

photos AEH

Saturday 23 July 2022

23rd July 2022

 Weather: SSE force 4

A late afternoon arrival logged 8 Shelduck, 4 Little Egrets, 1,500 Oystercatcher, 6 Sanderling, 8 Turnstone and a single Bar-tailed Godwit. Terns were estimated at 350 Sandwich and 40 Common, while 4 each of Meadow and Rock Pipit showed even this late in the day. Four Small White butterflies flew.



Thursday 21 July 2022

21st July 2022

 Weather: NW force 2

On leaving the island early morning, 4 Swallows flew about and 2 Grey Herons and a Little Egret were noted, also about 100 Sandwich Terns.



Wednesday 20 July 2022

20th July 2022

 Weather: NW force 3/4   cooler than of late

A moderate north westerly was enough to bring in some autumn sea birds in view from the islands today. Noteworthy were 3 Manx Shearwaters and 3 Arctic Skuas, but also 6 Gannets, a Kittiwake, 4 Great Crested Grebes and a Red-breasted Merganser. Six Little Terns and a couple of Common Terns were among the estimated 300 Sandwich Terns. Fifty two Turnstone (including summer plumaged individuals), 6 Whimbrel and 9 Sanderling were the best of the waders.






Tuesday 19 July 2022

19th July 2022

 Weather: NNE force 0/1

An evening visit after an extremely hot day found the temperature still at 24 celsius at 6pm. A Common Sandpiper was found at Middle Eye and an adult and juvenile Mediterranean Gull were among the gulls. The largest British dragonfly - the Emporer made its way into the SK trap and was soon released.

Good counts of 60 Redshank and 10 Little Egrets were made, and the Sandwich Tern roost contained at least 350 birds, 4 Little Terns were also noted.

Photos CJW


Sunday 17 July 2022

17th July 2022

Weather: ESE force 4

The southerly airstream send us a few interesting birds this morning. About 100 hirundines came through, mostly Swallows but a single House Martin and Sand Martin amongst them, 9 Swifts also passed over.

 In addition some of the breeding Swallows are still here with young.

Two Yellow Wagtails were very early autumn migrants to the islands today. The few waders present today were varied by a Common Sandpiper, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 7 Whimbrel.

 Two Linnets were ringed today.

 A Peregrine showed up and the female Eider was still here.

Photos AEH

Thanks to Tim Kinch for some of the records.

Saturday 16 July 2022

16th July 2022

 Weather:  W force 3, later NNE 5, then 8 in the afternoon

An all day visit during a hot day at Hilbre, the temperature reached 28 celius in the afternoon. Three Swifts and a Sand Martin visited during the day, most of the pther small birds were breeders, notable of theses were 8 Rock Pipits present on the islands. Sea watching produced a Gannet, an adult Kittiwake, 60 or so Sandwich and half a dozen Common Terns. A small mixture of waders included 12 Ringed Plover, 24 Dunlin, 32 Turnstone, 4 Curlew and 7 Redshank.

Friday 15 July 2022

15th July 2022


A pleasent day on Hilbre despite the strong wind that lasted all day. A low tide seal count revealed around 300 individuals. 

It was a start of the autumn feeling with 56 Gannets passing on the sea and over 100 Sandwich Terns present.

Another hint of autumn came with the ringing of a juvenile Whitethroat on the island, and the unexpected appearance of a Greenfinch briefly by the rangers garden. Oystercatcher numbers have increased but there was only a single Redshank which roosted on the west side of middle. A count of sea birds for WEBS saw over 20 Greater Black-backed Gulls moving west out by the wind farm. A Peregrine was sighted, but just singles of Little Egret and Grey Heron. Breeding species still on the island are Linnets, Meadow and Rock Pipits, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Wrens and Swallows. The Rock-sea Lavender is now in its full splendour, a speciality of the island flora.
Photos JE, AS

Wednesday 13 July 2022

13th July 2022

 Weather:   NW force 2/3   

A short visit this afternoon found 2 adult summer plumaged Mediterranean Gulls with about 1,000 Black -headed Gulls on the shore, also 8 Little Egrets.

Tuesday 12 July 2022

12th July 2022

 Weather: WSW force 3     shower    warm

A brief visit this afternoon confirmed the Eider has not moved, there were lots of Linnets in what seems to have been a good breeding season. Both Kestrel and 4 Little Egrets were about and 8 Redshank and 23 Turnstone were seen.


Thursday 7 July 2022

7th July 2022

 Weather: NW force 5

As our member was walking on to the island there were lots of Sandwich Terns from Little Eye right through to the Middle Island. The sound was really loud and just what you expect in the summer. However with a force 5 wind blowing it never got to be shirt sleeve conditions for the time on the island, the Sandwich Terns were not put off though and started to congregate on the beach.

 A young Stonechat was a surprise catch during the morning.

 Another juvenile Song Thrush was also ringed following the one last Saturday, both birds island bred.

 The island seems to be swarming with Linnets at the moment, with juveniles fledged and others in a roaming flock of about 60 individuals feeding on the west side. This adult male was just starting his post breeding moult.

  The female Eider was about all day

 There seemed to be evidence that a Shelduck nest may have been predated.

 Photos JE

Wednesday 6 July 2022

6th July 2022

 Weather:  W force 3

A visiting birder recorded recorded a few sea birds including 2 light phase Arctic Skuas and 2 Manx Shearwaters.

Thanks to Tim Kinch

Tuesday 5 July 2022

5th July 2022

 Weather:  W force 3

 An evening visit in warm calm weather when the island was mostly free from visitors enabled a member to appreciate the many Sandwich Terns flying around the islands.

There is now a definite increase in the number of returning Redshank feeding in the gutter, about 40 today.

The female Eider was here, also the Kestrel.

One of the many Cinnabar Moths about just now made it into the building.

Two Swifts were across the island and a Shag on the sea. The sun sets well to the north of west at this time in midsummer.

Photos AEH

Sunday 3 July 2022

3rd July 2022

 Weather: WNW force 4

The post breeding Sandwich Tern roost is now building up with 265 seen today with many juveniles amongst them.

Thirty Common Terns were also present, the only other 'sea bird' seen was a single Gannet. Most of the breeding birds on the island are now doing well with another of the Swallow nests ready to fledge young ones.

 There are about 60 Linnets roaming around the island.

 At least 3 Rock Pipits were seen.

 Song thrushes have also been sucessful, at least 3 juveniles were here with one was ringed today. Some of the waders are now beginning to return, we had 28 Curlew, 60 Knot and 8 Redshank were here.

 The female Eider has been here that long that it is in danger of being ignored.

A low tide count of Grey seals arrived at the impressive number of 325 individuals. Meanwhile the Pyramid Orchid still blooms in the 'heli' paddock.

and Cinnabar caterpillars feed on the ragwort in many areas of the island.

Photos AEH