Wednesday 31 August 2022

31st August 2022

 Weather: ENE force 1/2

It was quiet again, over 20 Swallows and 25 Meadow Pipits flew south, also 2 Pied Wagtails came, but there was little else of note. The usual waders featured 46 Ringed Plover and 42 Redshank.

Tuesday 30 August 2022

30th August 2022

 Weather: ENE force 3

Another quiet day with the only migrants apart from a few Swallows being a single Wheatear and Grey Wagtail. A Whimbrel, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit and 25 Ringed Plover were among the waders, and 12 Scoter on the sea. Twelve Red Admirals were on the island.

Monday 29 August 2022

29th August 2022

Weather:  ESE force 2     slight mist

A Sparrowhawk appeared again, which is possibly the same bird that has been seen on 2 other days over this weekend.

Disappointingly there were no warblers again despite the breeze being in the south west quarter, even wheatears were only represented by a single bird. The only other sign of migration were a few Swallows passing through and 4 Sand Martins heading south. Two Ravens brought some variety to the day. Twelve Common Scoter were noted on the sea, while waders recorded included a Whimbrel, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 48 Ringed Plover, 2 Grey Plover, 28 Redshank and 19 Turnstone, there was no sign of the Purple Sandpiper from yesterday. Below are a couple of the more distinctive moths from the trap this morning

Angle Shades

Setaceous Hebrew Character
Photos SRW

Sunday 28 August 2022

28th August 2022

 Weather:  ESE force 2   NE 1/2 by late afternoon

Very much an autumn type day with no warblers again but records of 2 Common Snipe flying over the north of the island early on, 2 Grey Wagtails (and a Pied) passing through, and another Greenshank around the island. Unexpected was a Purple Sandpiper found at the north end and later (probably the same) seen at the south slipway within inches of a vehicle exiting the island.


Appearances of single Purple Sandpiper in summer is not without precedent, in fact it has occurred quite often in recent years, it is not expected to remain for the winter and will probably move on fairly quickly. Today there were less Wheatears found than yesterday but four were still present. A small trickle of Swallows also went through. The Linnets have finished breeding, however a flock of 45 formed roaming the island. A single Shag was here again, there were 220 Cormorants, 45 Ringed Plover, 65 Redshank, single Bar-tailed Godwit and single Whimbrel. Eight Little Egrets were counted, that is now about normal for this time of year. The air show at Rhyl gave us a fly by of a Lancaster, a Spitfire and a Hurricane,

also an attempted display by the Red Arrows. It has been reported that one of the Hawks suffered a smashed cockpit as a result of a bird strike and had to make an  emergency landing at Hawarden (photos are available online of the exact moment of the incident). All of the jets landed safely.

 The count of seals resting on the west hoyle this morning was 315


 Photos SRW

Saturday 27 August 2022

27th August 2022

Weather:  NW force 1

A quiet day in most respects with very few small waders and hirundines, no finches (apart from Linnets) and no warblers. It was a good day however for Wheatears about 20 in total, some in the afternoon being Greenland birds.

  Best bird of the day was a juvenile Sparrowhawk that hung around early morning.

A Peregrine was also about the islands. In addition to the 200 Sandwich Terns, sea sightings were just a Great Crested Grebe and a Kittiwake, and small numbers of waders included Whimbrel, Ringed Plover, Redshank, Turnstone.There were only 2 Little Egrets recorded and a Grey Heron. Once again the 8 Rock Pipits just about exceeded the number of Meadow Pipits. Butterflies were also limited, just 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 2 Red Admirals and a Brimstone moth.

 Photo BT & CJW

Friday 26 August 2022

26th August 2022

Weather: SE force 3   later ESE

The first Goldcrest of autumn was caught and ringed along with a couple of new Robins. A single Willow Warbler was the only arrival of a warbler, but 3 Wheatears visited today although one was already ringed so probably a stay over from yesterday. 

A Peregrine was around the islands most of the morning and a Merlin put in a brief appearance around the North End, then to make a birds of prey hat trick there was a strange call from the bushes in the obs garden that led to a Sparrowhawk being flushed. Fourteen Gannets were out to sea, unfortunately a single dead bird was found in the tide gauge, probably the one that acted in a sick manner yesterday, a dead seal was also there. A single Bar-tailed Godwit was on the north shore and another single was a Whimbrel which was spotted on the west side.

 There were 188 Curlew about the islands.

Oystercatchers are building up in numbers now, 4,800 counted today, also 25 Redshank and 26 Turnstone.

The small group of Cormorant that roosted the tide on the whaleback included 2 colour ringed birds. 

  Photos AS

Thursday 25 August 2022

25th August 2022

 Weather: NW force 2, later W force 3    cloudy

A juvenile Robin was ringed first thing, raising hopes of a few migrants but apart from the Wheatears, non were evident during the morning.

Later when the sun came out 2 of the 3 Wheatears found where caught for ringing, they were both nominate race birds that will have bred in the UK somewhere and were both first years on their way to East Africa to spend the winter.

 The north end seemed to be the place to be, starting with many Cormorants at the north end.

Nearing high tide a Gannet that may have been sick was resting there, sitting on the island like this is unusual behaviour.

Also inactive at the north end was a Common Scoter
A total of 8 Rock Pipits were seen and amazingly 6 were together on top of the SK trap at one stage, how times have changed in the last few years! Just before noon a large raptor was suspected of being about when all the birds went up from around Middle, gulls as well as waders, but none could be seen, probably one that 'got away'.

 Photos JE

Wednesday 24 August 2022

24th August 2022

 Weather:  NW force 4/5

The first Teal of the autumn arriving into the estuary early morning today (flock of 16 flew south down estuary west side of island after passing the north end, later 7 more arrived in the flooding gutter).

Another late summer Greenshank was here, reinforcing the feeling that autumn cannot be far away. A single Willow Warbler was present and 18 Swallows moved south but they were the only small migrants. Sandwich Terns are still in good numbers but Common Terns now seem very scarce, in compensation 5 Little Terns were today among the Sandwich Tern roost.

A single Shag stood out in contrast to the 300 or Cormorants today, 4 Great Crested Grebes were on the sea with 20 Common Scoter and waders featured 4 Whimbrel,  280 Curlew, 75 Ringed Plover, 100 Sanderling, 22 Turnstone and a single Bar-tailed Godwit.

Photos SRW, Richard Smith (Little Terns)

Tuesday 23 August 2022

23rd August 2022

 Weather: SE force 2,   veering SW then WNW

A bit of a disappointment for members this morning that no warblers arrived on the south easterly, but there is always some compensation. Another Greenshank (or the same as yesterday) was near the north end soon after dawn and we did not have to wait long for the first Wheatear to arrive, in fact 2 together with 2 more a little later on.


 Only one wagtail was seen today, and somewhat surprisingly perhaps, it was a White Wagtail.

There were a few extra Swallows passing through, and notable this morning were the number of Rock Pipits about, most would no doubt be island bred. A dark phase Arctic Skua chased a tern as seen  distantly from the north end. A Shag was on the whaleback, and then amazingly a flock of 7 others flew passed the north end, some landing briefly.

The flock of Sandwich Terns took advantage of the lowish tide and lack of visitors to assemble on the island instead of on the east hoyle sands.

 A Peregrine was later sat on the sands

A flock of 10 Black-tailed Godwits flew in and landed near the lagoon, getting lost among the many Oystercatchers. The usual waders fed around the islands, over 100 Ringed Plover, 60 Redshank and 200 Dunlin.

The Little Egret influx continues with no less than 16 present today.

Photos SRW 

Monday 22 August 2022

22nd August 2022

 Weather: SE force 3, later ESE 1   drizzle early morning, rain early afternoon

An early start to the day and small signs of some movement with the arrival of 2 Wheatears and 4 Willow Warblers on the island during the morning.

 One of the Willow Warblers was ringed.

A Whitethroat was a welcome addition to the list, and late morning a few dozen Swallows passed through on their journey south. Many waders showed on the shore including over 150 Ringed Plover, 130 Curlew, 2 Whimbrel, 300 Dunlin and 12 Sanderling, the pick of the bunch however was a single Greenshank.

The sea was relatively quiet except for a single Shag and a loose group of 65 Great Crested Grebes sitting out on the calm sea to the north. The tern roost had 225 Sandwich, 2 Common and best of all 2 Little Terns. Little Egrets are most numerous at this time of year, there were 12 today, and 2 Peregrines were recorded. Sunset at Hilbre can be impressive.

Ringed: 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Robin

Photos SRW

Sunday 21 August 2022

21st August 2022

 Weather:  WNW 1  heat haze

 A quiet day with a light breeze from the west. A large count of 12 Little Egrets were on the shore with 2 Whimbrel, while the main feature again were the Sandwich Terns with over 300 still present in the roost. Sandwich terns do not breed in this area but as ringing as shown they come here to roost from a wide area in the late summer/early autumn.

Saturday 20 August 2022

20th August 2022

 Weather: SW force 7

A late afternoon visit gave a good opportunity to see the terns and waders more closely as the tide advanced. The Sandwich Terns in particular were interesting, for instance a colour flagged individual was traced to Cemlyn Bay in Anglesey where it was ringed. It is apparently the 15th of that ringing session to be seen in our area.

The juvenile birds look especially fine in their immature plumage.

The palest of the small waders are of course the Sanderling, 14 were about this afternoon.

Dunlin were in good numbers, 1,200 were recorded and 380 Ringed Plover.

A single Bar-tailed Godwit and 3 Whimbrel were also noted.

Photos SRW

Thursday 18 August 2022

18th August 2022

 Weather: ESE force 4

A little south and east in the wind brought in 3 Willow Warblers and 3 Wheatears. Large falls of Willow Warblers are not expected in the autumn, these mostly occur here in spring so even limited numbers are always welcome at this time. A small passage of some of the larger warblers will hopefully drop in during the next week or two. A couple of wandering Ravens arrived this morning. Six Little Egrets showed this morning and 4 Whimbrel were still present.

Monday 15 August 2022

15th August 2022

 Weather:  WNW force 3

A brief early morning visit logged a female Sparrowhawk, possibly the bird that was been seen here 2 days ago. No warblers or other small migrants were present, just some of the  the breeding Rock and Meadow Pipits, Linnets, Wrens, Song Thrushes and Swallows. Four Whimbrel are still here with 40 Curlew, 25 Ringed Plover, 150 Dunlin and 18 Redshank. At least 10 Red Admirals bightened up the island.

Sunday 14 August 2022

14th August 2022

 Weather: ESE force 1

 Another calm and warm early morning tempted quite a few visitors to venture out to the island soon after dawn.


Members saw a number of Swallows passing through over the island, the paddocks however were fairly quiet although a Willow Warbler arrived mid-morning and called as it fed in the obs garden.

A Wheatear later dropped in at the north end, it was the sole record today.


A Woodpigeon that was flying south would possibly qualify as an 'autumn migrant' in the absence of much else. A flock of Black-tailed Godwits was probably bird sighting of the day as they flew east over the island.

Thirteen Curlews were noted, some of them arrived in a flock.

One was feeding with a Whimbrel near the north end.

 There were still only small numbers of waders about before the tide, best were 20 Ringed Plover, 12 Redshank and 12 Turnstone. A number of Red Admirals suddenly appeared in the SK paddock during the morning, obviously fresh in off the sea. The moth list this morning was quite extensive.


Garden Carpet


Orange Swifts (male and female)

Photos AEH , CJW