Friday 30 June 2023

30th June 2023

 Weather: S force 3     drizzle at times

As we are now at the height of summer and before the autumn season arrives, a visit at this time inevitably notices the breeding birds. The luxorious growth in the paddocks ensured a wet experience for the ringer, nevertheless 3 juvenile Linnets were ringed also an adult  in breeding plumage. Although the young birds are now fully mobile they have not achieved fully grown flight feathers or tail.


Several young Swallows were  flying around the island, and juvenile Meadow Pipits were also present. Seven more Swifts were recorded, continuing the run of records this month. Best record of the day however were of 3 Mute Swans flying across the shore early on. The immature male Eider showed, and 6 Shelduck were around the islands. Only 3 Little Egrets and 2 Grey Herons were on the shore. About 10 Sandwich Terns were noted. Maintenance work continues out on the wind farms despite the poor visibility in the drizzle.


 Photos JE

Sunday 25 June 2023

25th June 2023

 Weather: ESE force 4 mostly cloudy but dry early morning

There was a fresh breeze early which in addition to the approaching rain for the afternnon may have encouraged the unexpected passage of hirundines and Swifts this morning.The breeding Swallow numbers were swelled by about another dozen or so and about 10 Sand Martins and a House Martin were feeding over the island for a while.



Meanwhile 17 Swifts were counted over a couple of hours to mid-morning.

No sign of the Black Guillemot but eventually the immature male Eider swan up to the whaleback.

A juvenile Starling flew about the island and a Goldfinch came down to sing briefly. A few things were seen on the sea, 100 Common Scoter, 9 Gannets and a Common Tern and about 50 Sandwich Terns.


Curlews seem to have increased in numbers (30 today) but small waders were absent, none of any species were recorded, it is not often that can be said of a visit at any time of year. First thing in the morning Little Egrets were scattered all over the islands, with a total of 14 counted, a very good number. 

Known to be definitely breeding on the island this year are Linnets, Wrens, Blackbirds, Swallows, Pied Wagtails, Rock Pipits and Meadow Pipits.

 ,,, and of course the Shelduck which was seen leading its brood off the island earlier on. An exciting find was a Pyramidal Orchid in one of the paddocks, They have appeared here intermittently in past years. 

In the same paddock a Hummingbird Hawk Moth was noticed briefly. A Red Admiral and a scarce butterfly at Hilbre, the Comma was flying in the gardens.     

 As usual the Grey Seals were curious to see the visitors watching them at the north end of the island.     



Photos AEH

Friday 23 June 2023

23rd June 2023

Weather: SSW force 2, showers later, SE by late afternoon. 

After a week of fine weather we finally had rain on the island today. The Black Guillemot wasn’t seen but an immature male & female Eider were present. 

It seems that the resident Pied Wagtails may have successfully fledged young as a juvenile was seen today.

 Rock Pipits are are busy feeding young and the resident Linnets & Meadow Pipits are also in full breeding mode. 

Visitors today included Collared Dove, Swift and Goldfinch, There’s been a slight increase in Curlew numbers compared to the last few days with 5 being seen along with the first Redshanks for a while.There are still some terns abpout, more are expected soon in the build up to autumn.

Ringed : 1 Rock Pipit

Photos PSW 

Wednesday 21 June 2023

21st June 2023

 Weather:  NW force 1 

The Black Guillemot was still here also the female Eider. The only migrants were 2 Swift and a Goldfinch. Finding small waders was hard work but 3 Redshank and a Curlew made the list. Four Sandwich Tern and a Common Tern were seen. Two Little Egrets and a Grey Heron were on the shore.

Ringed: 1 Meadow Pipit

Monday 19 June 2023

19th June 2023

 Weather: S force 2,veering W later, showers

A cooler day than we’ve experienced recently with a welcome breeze. A quiet day birdwise but the Black Guillemot showed well just after the high tide as it fished on the east side. 


 Before high tide it was associating with the Oystercatchers again and bizarrely flew off with them and settled on the East Hoyle sand bank with them - getting up and walking up the sand as the tide encroached. Other waders seen were a single Curlew and three Ringed Plover. However, on leaving the island a small group of ten Knot were in the gutter between Middle & Little Eye. Plenty of evidence of successful breeding on the island with Blackbirds, Meadow Pipits and Rock Pipits all carrying food. 



 The Blackbirds must be on a 2nd or 3rd brood by now. A few butterflies were on the wing with Meadow Brown, Red Admiral and Large White all being seen whilst the male Emperor Dragonfly continues to hunt round the island.

Photos PSW 

Sunday 18 June 2023

18th June 2023

 Weather:  SE force 2,  dry

Even though its fairly quiet birdwise on the island theres always something to see. Our long staying Black Guillemot showed well during the day. Before high tide it was with Oystercatchers down by Middle Eye before moving over to the whaleback. 


It then flew off, again with Oystercatchers, before reappearing on the east side as the tide ebbed.


A sub-adult male Eider was also present. Rock Pipits at the north end have fledged at least one young and an adult was seen feeding a youngster a sea slater (jasper) which it seemed reluctant to take.


There was a small Swift passage with 12 logged along with a single Sand Martin. The resident Swallows were actively feeding around the island and over the sea in the good weather. Linnets appear to be having a good season with another two new birds ringed - both in breeding condition. A surprising find was a number of small froglets hopping around the grass alongside the pond whilst a Cinnabar moth was expected as the ragwort is beginning to flower.

 In a few weeks it’ll be covered in the distinctive orange and black caterpillars of this daytime flying moth. Another notable invertebrate was a single Wool Carder Bee collecting pollen from a Mallow flower. The males of this species are hairier than the females and this appears to be a male. Unlike most bee species the male is also larger than the female. 



The single Sea Holly plant will soon be in flower whilst the Rock Sea Lavender has taken over from the Thrift in providing a splash of colour on the islands.

Ringed : 2 Linnets

Photos PSW