Thursday 29 February 2024

29th February 2024

Weather:  SW force 3

A boat visiting the east end of the windfarm put up a wave of Common Scoter moving west, estimated at 10,000. Over by the West Hoyle 8 Merganser were noted, much closer to the island a Dark-bellied Brent was amongst the 324 Pale-bellied .

 Three Little Egret were present today along with a single Grey Heron.

Early morning a flock of 224 Bar-tailed Godwit fed along the shore spread out between Hilbre and Bird Rock, mixed in were 47 of the 300 Grey Plover recorded. The Oystercatcher roost numbered 2,500.

 In Niffy Bay were 30 Redshank and a few of the 2,000 Knot recorded today.

Wrens were recorded singing at 6 sites around the islands and 2 Pied Wagtails were present. If intending to visit Hilbre, please remember to check the tide times and keep an eye on the tide. These people waded to safety but on a higher tide the inshore lifeboat may have been called out, crews of the lifeboats are volunteers and most have day jobs which they have to walk away from to answer a call out.

 Photos AS

Wednesday 28 February 2024

28th February 2024

 Weather: SE force 3/4

An early spring visitor flew in today in the form of a Woodpigeon, a visitor that tends to turn up at this time of year.

Two Skylarks came through, another passage visitor but in greater numbers, and the shape of things soon to come with a Goldcrest arriving on the island. A dark-bellied Brent was among the many pale-bellied.

Six Red-breasted Mergansers and a Guillemot were the main sightings from the sea, apart from the 1,250 Common Scoters, a small part of several thousand now off the north Wirral coast. Some waders of note were 6 Purple Sandpiper, 60 Turnstone including this individual on top of the island,

Eighty five Curlew,

and 30 Redshank.

A single Grey Heron was present.

 Some of the now regulars seen were 4 each of Goosander and Eider.

 Photos CJW

Monday 26 February 2024

26th February 2024

 Weather: NNE force 5

The only unexpected bird today was put up from the rocks east of Middle early morning, the single Lapwing flew up but came down again on the reef. In the last couple of years the Purple Sandpiper have taken to roosting in various places, often seperately, but today 13 were all together sheltering from the cold wind (11 in photo with 4 Turnstone).

 There were only about 250 Brent noted today, but more will still be here. 

 Four Eider were noted today, including 2 adult males.

 West of Little Eye as the tide made were 130 Grey Plover, 3,000 Knot and 60 Curlew. There was not much on the sea to the north but 80 Common Scoter were counted and singles of Red-throated Diver and Great Crested Grebe flew west. Our loyal Kestrel still shows well to visitors.


Photos AS  

Sunday 25 February 2024

25th February 2024

 Weather: E force 2/3,  SE 3 by noon  

The day started well with just a light mist around the estuary

 But that soon changed and suddenly only Hilbre existed.

A Canada Goose flew out of the mist and landed with some of the 360 Brents recorded today, showing the size difference between it and these lovely little sea geese.

 Thirteen Purple Sandpiper roosted together on the west side.

 One of the 70 Turnstone counted decided to feed on top of the island alone over tide, a gamble which didn't pay off as it was found freshly predated later.

Mid afternoon a male Stonechat popped up onto the obs fence but didn't stay to be photographed. Two Grey Heron flew west early morning and a third roosted on Middle. The Kestrel and a Peregrine were around, the 3 Eiders and 8 Common Scoter were noted.

 Photos AS

Saturday 24 February 2024

24th February 2024

 Weather: SE force 2/3, then W 3

The only bird of note was a Sparrowhawk which zapped through the SK paddock going south and was not seen again. A quiet day then but a sunny one for a pleasent change and the breeding birds appreciated it with Wrens singing, Blackbirds visiting a probable nest site and Meadow Pipits doing display flights in several places. A single Skylark passed by. It was a high tide mid-morning and 50 Redshank roosted in Niffy bay with 90 Turnstone and a single Bar-tailed Godwit.


 Among some of the other waders logged were 40 Sanderling, 30 Grey Plover and 9 Purple Sandpipers. The 3 Eiders rested on the whaleback.

There are still a large number of Brent around the islands, 424 were counted today and 3 Red-throated Divers with 80 Common Scoter that were mostly out to sea.

 The Kestrel is still here and there was just a single Grey Heron.

 Photos AS

Friday 23 February 2024

23rd February 2024

 Weather:  W force 4/5

 A fresh breeze for the high tide this morning and many waders rested around the island including Dunlin, Knot and Redshank.



A Common Scoter sat on the sand with a group of Redshank, about 30 others were out at sea.

  Oystercatchers were as usual the largest group of waders present, 3,000 seen today.

  There were 12 Purple Sandpipers, some as photogenic as usual.


 A Peregrine became the star of the show when it hunted amongst the waders and carried one away.



  The 3 Eiders are still here (2males), also 445 Brent and a pair of Mallard on the pond.

 Just the regular small birds present, 4 Rock Pipits, 3 Meadow Pipits, 2 Blackbirds, a Song Thrush, a Robin and 6 Wrens or so, many of which were in song. The main things on the sea in addition to the Scoters were a Red-throated Diver and 2 Great Crested Grebes.

Sunny intervals made spring seem near, even if it was cool, although the daffodils were still in flower.

 Photos CJW