Thursday 30 November 2023

30th November 2023

 Weather: NE force 4

A Snow Bunting was found at Little Eye, feeding on the tide wrack in the early sunshine. it was present for most of the morning.

A Marsh Harrier then appeared and flew west to east south of Middle, where it was dive- bombed by a Peregrine.

 It flew over the obs and went off towards the north shore.

Three flocks of Pink-footed Geese were in flight this morning, going out heading north over Caldy Hill and were estimated at 500 birds.



Sea birds included 9 Red-throated Divers, 26 Great Crested Grebes (including a group of eleven), 200 Common Scoter and a Razorbill flying east. There were a total of  5 Eiders today. 4 of them were on the whaleback. 

Two passing Siskin were welcome, the Dunnock was still here and other birds logged were 430 Brent, over 500 Grey Plover and 20 Purple Sandpiper roosted again until they were disturbed by a kayak, 3 Shelduck were off the west side and 90 around Little Eye after the tide. 

Earlier birds seen on the West Kirby marine lake were a Goldeneye briefly (which have been more scarce the last few years), also the Great Northern Diver.


 Photos SRW

Wednesday 29 November 2023

29th November 2023

 Weather: ESE force 1 


A flock of 40 Pink-footed Geese headed north east out of the estuary before dawn, 450 Brent Geese were about the islands and amongst them was a Dark Bellied bird.

The 5 Eider are still present and a Red-breasted Merganser was in the lagoon then headed north in the Swash after tide.

 On the sea 9 Great Crested Grebe and 13 Red-throated Diver were noted, also 4 Teal off the North End.

 It was good to see that the Purple Sandpiper count had increased to 20, the last count to have as many as 20 was 2013.  Hoping our wintering flock may have stabilised after a long period of decline.

The Dunnock is still on the island, a Siskin flew over and a solitary Linnet spent some time in the Obs garden calling

 Photos AS

Tuesday 28 November 2023

28th November 2023

Weather: E force 2 veering S 1   cold  but feeling warm in the sun

 A welcome bright start to the morning with Cwn Eigian (in the welsh Carneds) showing nicely from Hilbre in the sunshine.


The Purple Sandpipers (11) and a few Turnstones were roosting on the west side as the light breeze was from the east.

 A lot of the other Turnstones and many of the Brent however were settled on the east side in Niffy Bay.


Just one Eider showed this morning, a female type. 

Only one bird was caught today, a Robin that is resident on the island which was first ringed as a juvenile in August 2021 and was retrapped in October 2022 and now today.

Most of the other residents were here including the recent Dunnock (will it stay the winter?) Nothing that could be described as a passage migrant were observed. Some kayakers turned up just before high tide and put up a lot of the birds on middle. The birds did return though so not much damage done.

 Photos JE

Sunday 26 November 2023

26th November 2023

 Weather: ESE force 3

Today there were again about 500 Brent Geese around the islands, when the tides are not too big and relatively calm they can feed at the bottom of the cliffs.

 Two and a half thousand Common Scoter were out by the windfarms. Seven Wigeon sat on the water east of Middle, 5 female type and a male Eider only appeared in the gutter on the ebb.

 Over towards the marsh 140 Shelduck fed as the tide ebbed  and 350 Curlew still roosted. Eight thousand Knot along with 2,000 Dunlin were on the sand between the islands and the marsh and 65 Grey Plover in the area of the gutter.

 Purple Sandpiper roosting on the west side of the island numbered 15, the highest count so far this winter.

Two Canada Geese flew east going over Middle Eye and a single confiding Starling was found feeding on the muddy path, it's easy to forget how stunning these birds are.

 Photos AS

Saturday 25 November 2023

25th November 2023

 Weather: W force 2

A visit this morning meant a start before dawn to beat the early tide.

 It was chilly at first light as a Fox was glimpsed at Middle Eye  A Redwing was the outstanding bird visible on the island this morning and it gave the photographer the runaround to capture these fine shots.


The best visible migration were a flock of 250 Skylarks flying west across the island, while in addition a single bird was later down on the island. A couple of Goldfinches made an appearance. There were just 3 Eiders today including the adult drake.

Offshore were 1,200 Common Scoter and 2 Red-throated Divers, (the Great Northern Diver was on the marine lake). Most of the estuary Brent seemed to be here this morning, estimated at 500 birds.

Most of the recent residents were seen, including this one at the north end that was ringed this year as part of our Rock Pipit study.

 Roosting the tide were 160 Turnstone and 9 Purple Sandpiper.

Curlew numbered 120.

After the tide 2,500 Knot and 1,500 Dunlin were noted.

 The Kestrel was hunting voles.

 Photos CJW

Wednesday 22 November 2023

22nd November 2023

Weather: SW force 3/4

A brief visit following the morning tide out found 11 Purple Sandpiper feeding at the edge of the gutter below the Obs garden, floating in the gutter were 7 Eider and a Shag, with a second bird just off the North End.

 A good number of Brent Geese grazed on the rocks east of the two main islands but seemed 'spooked' (probably the fox) and repeatedly took to the water, giving opportunity to get an estimate of 500 birds .



  The Dunnock is still present and calling around the island.


 Photos AS