Sunday 26 February 2023

26th February 2023

 Weather: ENE Force 2/3   cool and cloudy

Bird of the day must be the Lapland Bunting which flew over the obs just before 09.45hrs heading west while calling. Lapland Bunting is a very scarce and less than annual visitor to the islands. Earlier 400 Pink-footed Geese flew out of the estuary soon after dawn and then the 2 Stonechats from yesterday were found to be still present, although initially elusive for the cameras until later in the morning.




No Eiders seen again this morning, but this may have been something to do with the state of the tide, while Goosanders eventually showed off the north end, but just 3 individuals (2males)

 Six Common Scoters were also close in at the north end.

 Two Great Crested Grebes fished off the west side, one in partly summer plumage.

 Waders were not in great numbers as the tide was very low this morning, however a Peregrine flushed most of those that were feeding around the edge of the island.

There were 5 Blackbirds here, also at least 2 Robins, one of which was extremely confiding.

Eight Linnets were roaming the middle of the island as a flock.

The young seal was still resting below the east cliff on Middle this morning.

Photos AEH (most), CJ

Saturday 25 February 2023

25th February 2023

 Weather: NNEForce 4/5

Just as members were leaving the island this morning 2 Stonechats appeared on the main path near the bunker.

 Up to that point things were mainly quiet this morning, only 2 Goosanders on the water, also no Eiders were seen for the first time recently although they may have arrived later on with the tide. Likewise Brent Geese only numbered 115, some may have moved on already. The sea featured 200 Common Scoter and 6 Great Crested Grebes, while waders seen were 4,000 Knot, over 1,000 Dunlin, 40 Grey Plover, 28 Turnstone and 5 Purple Sandpiper. There was no ncrease in ground birds yet, just 6 Linnets were recorded on the islands.

Photo CJW

Friday 24 February 2023

24th February 2023

 Weather: NNW force 4

Nine Eider were present today with lots of displaying and courtship behaviour.



A pair of Goosander were spotted at Redshank Bend on the ebb and 80 Sanderling fed at the edge of East Hoyle.  Numbers of Brent Geese have reduced over the last two days but 115 are still present. Oystercatcher numbers (2,800) are also reducing. Eighty Sanderling and 91 Turnstones were counted in addition to 14 Purple Sandpipers. Just the usual wintering birds on the island, however 3 Robins were about this morning. 

 Photos AS

Thursday 23 February 2023

23rd February 2023

 Weather: NNE force 4,  W3 late afternoon  

A lovely start to the day (which was dominated by sea duck and waders) were 13 Goosander in the mouth of the gutter on the incoming tide.

 Ten Eider flew in on the east side which included 3 adult males.

 There were 9 Scoter calling around the main island.

On the reef south of Middle 41 Ringed Plover were counted early morning, 14 Purple Sandpiper fed below the Obs and 132 Turnstone were on Calabar Reef at low water. About 7000 Dunlin flew in our recording area  looking for somewhere to roost on the islands on the big tide.




  Two Raven flew around Middle Eye but then headed over to Wales.

Photos AS

Wednesday 22 February 2023

22nd February 2023

 Weather: NNW force 3, force 4/5 in the afternoon.

The very high tide forced about 100 dunlin came to roost at north end along with half dozen ringed plover. 


 The tide may also had something to do with the Grey Heron feeding around the island pond.

 About 3,000 Oystercatchers stayed around the islands at high tide.

Some other wader counts today were 81 Curlew, 90 Turnstone, 400 Dunlin, 42 Redshank and 5 Purple Sandpipers. Sea birds seen were 36 Scoter and 6 Great Crested Grebes. Very few 'special birds' to see today apart from 9 Eider but the big tide pushed up further by the wind created seascapes worth watching.


Photos AS

Tuesday 21 February 2023

21st February 2023

 Weather:  SSW force 3/4,  ESE 3 before noon

Two groups of Pink-footed Geese flew out of the estuary along the east shore just before dawn, firstly 95 followed by 236.

The now regulars this winter of 6 Eider and 10 Goosander were still here. Thanks to a message from the shore a Marsh Harrier was an unexpected visitor and was seen to pass west out towards the wind farm. A Peregrine put up the wader roost on Middle a couple of times but seemed to be unsucessful. The very high tides at the moment encouraged 51 Curlew to roost on Middle. Other waders today in addition to the 14 Purple Sandpipers included 4,000 Knot, 88 Grey Plover, 1,500 Dunlin and 160 Turnstone. 


  Just one Grey Heron and one Little Egret noted today.

Single Skylark and Pied Wagtail made an appearance and the local Rock Pipits showed well.

Photos AS

Monday 20 February 2023

20th February 2023

 Weather: WSW force 5, SW 4 later

There were 10 Eider on the east side although one pair stayed separate from the other 8. 

Only a single pair of Goosander was at the north end today. Fifteen Purple Sandpipers roosted the tide on Lion rock off the east side of the main island. A Skylark was down on Middle early morning and both Meadow and Rock Pipits reacted to the mild weather by displaying, while some of the 8 Wrens present also themselves known.

Two Ravens arrived late afternoon flying along the west side of both islands. Feeding in the area were 800 Dunlin and 60 Grey Plover, 

 while a count of 319 Curlews was taken off the Tanskey Rocks.

 A young seal hauled out on far side of the gutter opposite obs. The sun came down on a warm evening for this time of year.

  Photos AS

Sunday 19 February 2023

19th February 2023

 Weather:  WSW force 5,  SW 4 by noon

 A Raven was displaying again this morning, prospecting along the cliffs.


 The Kestrel made several attempts to chase it away. 

There were 9 each of Eiders and Goosanders this morning, the latter were fishing between the islands before the tide.


 A pair of Scoter were near the island.

   A really high count of 330 Brent was made.

 There were no Little Egrets and just a single Grey Heron.

Looking out to sea, most obvious were 24 Great Crested Grebes. A Peregrine showed up and during the high tide period 10,000 Knot and 1,500 Dunlin took to the sky. Nearer to the island 120 Redshank and  160 Turnstone and 11 Purple Sandpipers rested and fed during the tide. 



 One of the 4 Blackbirds seen was caught for ringing (a male).

 Song Thrush and Robin were also around.

 Some of the 6 Rock Pipits seemed to be paired.

A Skylark and a Pied Wagtail passed through during the morning. A young seal was hauled out on the island.

 There were signs of spring on the islands this morning


 Photos AEH