Wednesday 30 November 2022

30th November 2022

 Weather:  ESE force 4/5    fog early later SE 5 with mist

Pink-footed Geese could be heard calling in the dark around Tanskeys, as the sky started to lighten 140 flew over the observer on Little Eye, leaving the estuary. A Woodcock was put up from the main path on Middle, a good start to a bitterly cold day. Probably the same group of 15 Wigeon as seen yesterday were feeding at the edge of the East Hoyle, while 6 Eider were noted including 2 immature males.

 and a female Mallard flew south over the sand.

At the north end a Scoter was swimming in a pool on the Whaleback and 3 female Teal were near the slipway.

 To complete the wildfowl for the day a Greylag Goose flew south and 16 Shelduck were noted. There was scarce reward for a watch of the sea, just a Gannet, and 3 Guillemot.

Three Starlings passed through and 6 Blackbirds were present, as were the regular waders including 6 Purple Sandpipers and 700 Oystercatchers.

Photos AS

Tuesday 29 November 2022

29th November 2022

 Weather: SE force 3

 A nice group of duck this morning comprising 15 Wigeon and a single male Teal.

About 350 Pink-footed Geese were seen distantly from the obs balcony travelling east over central Wirral. A total of 7 Eiders were eventually counted around the island when they all got together, meanwhile Brent were counted at 298 birds.

Six Red-breasted Mergansers were by the west hoyle and also found on the sea were 800 Scoter, 5 Great Crested Grebes and 7 Red-throated Divers.

An adult winter Mediterranean Gull flew west passed the north end, amongst the other gulls were 45 Greater Black Backs. Six Skylarks and an unexpected late Goldcrest visited today and among the regular birds on the island there were quite a few Linnets, Wrens, Blackbirds, Robins and Song Thrushes, a few of all these species were found on Middle Eye.

Twelve Purple Sandpipers, 110 Turnstone, 120 Redshank and 80 Sanderling featured among the waders. Two Raven and the Kestrel were the only raptors. Also of interest locally the West Kirby marine lake held 13 Goosanders, 2 Red-beasted Mergansers and a Goldeneye. 

Photos SRW

Monday 28 November 2022

28th November 2022

 Weather:  SE force 4

 A bright morning with a south east wind brought a small passage of 9 Starlings and 5 Skylarks while earlier 3 Redwings were in the old obs garden then drifted south to the new obs garden before moving on. A Pied Wagtail and a Goldfinch were here, also 13 Meadow and at least 8 Rock Pipits.

Eighteeen Linnets were busy finding seed on Middle. There were a good number of Redshank in the flooding gutter and on the ebb the single Eider had increased to 7 with the newcomer having a white breast.


Waders today included 79 Grey Plover and 4,000 Dunlin, while Purple Sandpiper numbered 16 on the west side roost, although some had been feeding below the Obs earlier.

At high tide 6,000 Oystercatchers rested in the roost around the islands.

The Brent feeding about the shore numbered over 200 birds, including a few of them that are colour ringed are are therefore of especial interest.

Highlights on the sea were 8 Gannets, 3 Red-throated Divers and 1200 Common Scoter. Three Little Egrets showed well today for the camera.

A barrell jellyfish rhizostoma pulmo was found on the shore, the largest commonly found in British and Irish waters. It can be moderately venomous but not as deadly as some others.

 The marine lake contained a few Goosander, as they do during most days now in the winter.

 Photos AS, CJW, SRW

Saturday 26 November 2022

26th November 2022

 Weather: SE force 3/4

A brief pre-tide visit started with a spectacular sky. No small migrants were here and a check on the sea revealed 2 Gannets, 4 Red-throated Divers, 800 Scoter, 6 Great Crested Grebes and 12 Guillemots. Brent were about the island to the extent of 235 birds counted and were putting on a good show.

Three of the recent female type Eiders were noted and waders around the island included 800 Dunlin, 400 Knot, 140 Redshank, 10 each of Sanderling and Purple Saa lot ndpiper, while also on the shore were 2 Little Egrets, 2 Grey Herons and about 1,200 Cormorants many of which came out of the estuary at dawn.

Photos CJW

Friday 25 November 2022

25th November 2022

 Weather:  SW force 3, later WSW force 4

Upon arrival at the top of the south slipway a Snow Bunting trill was heard then the single bird was spotted flying south over the pond and almost over the observers head, a great start but sadly also the end of any passerine movement for the day! The sea was a little more productive with 8 Red-throated Diver and 14 Great Crested Grebe along with a few Guillemot and Razorbill, also a Kittiwake flying west. The Eider have increased to 6 but only seem to be around over the tide, unlike previous years when much preening took place on the whaleback, they flew just after this photo was taken.

About 2,000 Dunlin also flew west passed the North End over the tide and  a further circa 600 roosted at the south end.

Fifteen Purple Sandpipers were in the high tide roost.

A pair of Wigeon were in the gutter by Middle Eye on the ebb, 66 Grey Plover and 15 Sanderling were on the north shore. A Raven was noted and the Kestrel was on the island.

Photos AS 

Tuesday 22 November 2022

22nd November 2022

 Weather: N force 2, later WSW 3

 Again there were over 2,000 cormorants flying out of the estuary early morning.

Only 2 Eider were present today, a female and immature male which seemed to be a different bird than those seen on previous visits based on plumage.


Although visible migration was restricted to only 2 Skylark there was a slight increase in numbers of Blackbird and Wren about the islands.

 Still a few of the local Meadow Pipits were about.

On the sea were 2 Gannets, 7 Red-throated Divers and 3 Guillemots. A good variety of waders seen included 290 Curlew, 120 Dunlin, 104 Sanderling, 17 Ringed Plover, 11 Grey Plover and 13 Purple Sandpiper.

 A Raven visited briefly in the afternoon.

Photos AS

Sunday 20 November 2022

20th November 2022

Weather:  WSW force 4

A Great White Egret was by Little Eye today. It landed briefly at the south end of the reef before flying around to the east and then north out of the estuary between Hilbre and Red Rocks. Although now a regular in the Dee marshes these egrets are still a rare sight this far to the north.

The five Eiders were still present.


A Lapwing made an appearance following a run of such records over the last week or so. Brents numbered over 300 today and the bright light showed them to good effect.

Watching the sea was productive, there were 5 Red-throated Divers, 35 Gannets, 5 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Guillemots and 2 Red-breasted Mergansers.

A few hundred Common Scoters were well out to sea, but a pair came close to the island. The female seemed to be rejecting the attentions of the male.


  Just 8 Purple Sandpipers could be found this morning.

Photos AEH, SRW