Friday 30 September 2022

30th September 2022

 Weather: SE force 4, S 5/6 by noon with heavy rain

The morning light heralded the rain to come.

The Merlin was on the reef early in the morning, and later the same (or another) was on the island.

A Reed Bunting was also an early visitor and a few Meadow Pipits and Skylarks were passing south, while a Chiffchaff and Wheatear stayed a while.

 A Stonechat was found in the bracken and posed for some nice pictures.

After the rain started at about 10 am, 5 Goldcrests decended on the island and one was caught for rimging together with a Robin. During the morning the tide was very low resulting in few waders to see, 12 Ringed Plover were the best and 45 Curlew were also logged. The Kestrel was present, also 6 Little Egrets and 2 Sandwich Terns, but the Brent were elsewhere this morning. Six Goosanders were about marine lake area, these hopefully will be with us through the winter (when the lake is not too disturbed).

Photos CJW, SRW 

Thursday 29 September 2022

29th September 2022

 Weather:  NNE force 4,   N3 by noon

The Merlin was about early but soon headed off towards Hoylake but the Peregrine arrived over tide and was still around on the ebb.

A Raven was heard calling but not seen, although a single appeared later and was probably the same bird.

There were 77 Brent today and 11 Shelduck. A Goldcrest was in the paddocks this morning and a Skylark came through as did 9 Swallows. Two Goldfinch landed on the bunker then moved onto the ragwort to feed on the seeds.

 A single Sanderling roosted the tide on the west side with a few of the Turnstone.


 Other waders were 26 Ringed Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 108 Curlew.

Photos AS

Wednesday 28 September 2022

28th September 2022

 Weather: NE force 2, NNW 3/4 by late afternoon

After the excitement of a sea watching, a marked contrast today was the light wind and the noticeable increase in numbers of 'regular ' birds on the island, including 14 Wrens, 5 Blackbirds and 8 Robins. Goldcrest were calling in the gardens early (2 today) and then Meadow Pipits started moving through with 130 counted followed a little later by the Swallows (14) and Skylarks (5) and a Grey Wagtail. Two Ravens flew east to west, 2 Pintail went south up the estuary and the Merlin was about most of the morning giving visitors a chance to see it. 

Fifty Five Brent were at the tide edge west of middle as the tide made and it was pleasing to see 10 Red-breasted Merganser as they have become more scarce in the estuary lately, 8 were over by the west hoyle and 2 more flew west passed the north end. Also on the sea were 120 Common Scoter, 3 Guillemot and 2 Great Crested Grebes. Cormorants passing the island at dawn and dusk numbered 800 birds. Among the waders seen were 6 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Grey Plover, 30 Redshank, 40 Dunlin and 40 Ringed Plover.

Linnets continue to flock around the island, 140 are estimated.

 For a change Grey Heron outnumbered Little Egret 4 to 3.

 Photos AS

Tuesday 27 September 2022

27th September 2022

 Weather: NW force 3/5  WNW 5 by afternoon

 A repeat performance of yesterday's petrels was desired even if the wind speed was slightly down today. The morning indeed did mirror that to some extent with ducks featuring 5 Pintail flying west and records of 6 Teal and then the odd Manx Shearwater flying through. Again we had to wait until the tide started to ebb before the first Leach's Petrel came into view which sent the camera shutters into overdrive, usually not an easy subject with the birds often lost to sight in the wave troughs in the rough sea.

Two Leach's passed early afternoon until later on when another single came over the east hoyle and out to the west through the throng of gulls there. Other sea birds logged included a wide variety, there were 2,000 Common Scoter (seen distantly), 3 Red-throated Divers, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 Gannets, 5 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Guillemots and a good record of an Arctic Tern and about 50 Sandwich Terns.

  Brent numbers are now up now to 48, while a male Eider turned up and showed well.

A Merlin visited the island and a Peregrine was also here, so the waders had to take care. Star bird amongst the waders was a Golden Plover.

There were also 24 Grey Plover.

and 200 Knot fed near the island.


 The odd Dunlin (25) joined the Knot and Ringed Plover (65)

Other waders included 140 Curlew, 60 Redshank, 44 Turnstone, 6 Bar-tailed Godwits and 6 Sanderling, while 3000 Oystercatchers were about the islands.

Massive numbers of gulls were in the east hoyle shore area, 80 Lesser, 180 Great-black Backs and several thousand Herring Gulls, lots of them were attracted by a wreck of Starfish and Razorclam shells.

A Mediterranean Gull was also recognised among the gulls on the east hoyle. Around the islands were 3 Grey Herons and 6 Little Egrets on the shore. 

By contrast to all this 13 passing Swallows reminded us that summer is only just over.

Photos AEH, CJW

Monday 26 September 2022

26th September 2022

 Weather: NW force 7, decreasing NNW 5 by late afternoon.   rain showers

Because of the forecast observers were in place 3 hours before the midday tide to sea watch from the north end. As the tide approached the hoped for sea birds were not found but plenty of duck were here, in the form of 4 Pintail, 7 Scaup and 5 Tufted Duck (scarce here). The first sea birds to show were Manx Shearwaters, 2 of then 2 other singles later.

 A Goosander made an appearance followed by 2 Razorbills.

 It was an hour and a half after the high tide that a Leach's Petrel appeared, always looked for at this time in these conditions and always a thrill to see battling against the north westerly wind.


The sea watch lasted all day and 4 more Leach's came through as the tide ebbed. Chief among the supporting cast was a juvenile Little Gull heading west, a total of 11 Kittiwakes, 13 Gannets, 16 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Red-throated Divers, a couple of dozen Sandwich Terns and 720 Common Scoter. Unrelated to the conditions 26 Pink-footed Geese flew high to the north in the afternoon.

Waders and gulls took a back seat, however good records were logged such as 72 Grey Plover, 38 Ringed Plover, 220 Curlew, 24 Bar-tailed Godwits, 15 Sanderling and 22 Redshank. Noticed over the rough sea were 125 Common Gulls flying west (with 100 more present), 3,000 Herring Gulls on the hoyle banks after the tide, also 18 Lesser Black-backs and 42 Greater Black-backs. Twelve Shelduck were seen and just 18 Brent about today. The Kestrel was here, also 3 Little Egrets and a Grey Heron. Naturally there were no small migrants with this type of weather:

Photos SRW

Sunday 25 September 2022

25th September 2022

  Weather: SSE force 1/2  some spots of rain.

A good late September morning included the presence now of 44 Brent at the islands and the arrival of flocks of Pink-footed Geese into the estuary (some 1,500 were seen distamtly over Burton Marsh).and some heading north through burning skies at sunrise.

Not to be outdone some duck made an appearance with a couple of Wigeon and some Teal, while a Goosander arrived here before departing towards the marine lake and off to the south west. It will be anticipated that Goosanders will winter again at the lake and in the local area. Two Peregrines came to harass the waders.

The southerly influence of the breeze brought in a Goldcrest and a Chiffchaff to be ringed.

A couple of dozen Meadow Pipits passed through, a Pied Wagtail was here and 2 Skylarks also visited briefly. Despite the light winds a an immature Gannet flew west and 200 Common Scoter showed on the sea. A Raven was noted again, the Kestrel was here but wader (and Egret) counts were low and only improved as the early tide approached the island. Two late Red Admirals flew to brighten the scene.


 Photos SRW