Thursday, 8 December 2016

8th December 2016

Weather: SW 3, later NW 4,  some drizzle after rain overnight
A Goosander was seen flying into the marine lake from the direction of Little Eye. On arrival at the island a Snow Bunting flew west across the track onto the island and spent the rest of the morning on the rocks below the same area.
A Grey seal was hauled out at the north end although it seemed as though it was not too well.
A flock of 30 or so Bar-tailed Godwits flew about the north shore, while the male Scaup was off the north end again (right).

Late morning 2 Fieldfares flew south over the island.

photos AEH & CJ

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

7th December 2016

Weather: SE force 2/3, later SW force 4,   some mist
The Scaup still floats near to the island, 7 Purple Sandpipers were counted and 2 Rock Pipits were noted at the north end. A single dark-bellied bird was amongst the 200 or so Brent today.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

6th December 2016

Weather: SSE force 3/4
Eight hundred and five Cormorants exited the estuary at dawn. A single Lapwing was around the north shore, and in the same area were a large count of 682 Bar-tailed Godwits, also 68 Redshank, 60 Sanderling and 35 Grey Plover. The male Scaup is still about and the Brent numbered 227 today. A single Rock Pipit is still on the island.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

4th December 2016

Weather: E force 3
Two Red-throated Divers and 3 Great Crested Grebes were on the sea and there was a good number of 12 Purple Sandpipers on the island, while on the whole area from the north shore to bird rock and Little Eye counts of 12,000 Knot and 120 Sanderling were made. Both Song Thrush and Blackbird were present.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

3rd December 2016

Weather: E force 1, some mist

Three different colour ringed Brents were noted this morning and the Scaup was still about the island. Three Redwings were present and a Fieldfare flew in landed briefly in the pittosporum bush before continuing off south over middle, 3 Starlings also flew south down the west side. A good total of 309 Bar-tailed Godwits were counted, also 3 Wigeon and 3 Little Egrets, while on the sea were 800 Common Scoters, 6 Red-breasted Mergansers and a single Red-throated Diver. 

A Grey seal was hauled out at the north end (above).

Ringed: 1 Wren (right)          [ 521-30 ]

photos JE

Friday, 2 December 2016

2nd December 2016

No wind with excellent visibility, snow could be seen on the hills of the Lake District 


The Pale-bellied Brent Geese were too dispersed for a decent count but a returning colour ringed bird was found on the Whaleback.  This bird had first been seen at Hilbre on the near coincident date of 4th December 2015 (see blog for that date) and had been ringed at Álftanes/Jörfavegur in SW Iceland on 19th May 2015.  It was also seen in Northern Ireland in October/November 2015 before being seen at Hilbre in December but heading to Ireland (Dublin Bay) by 12th January 2016 (staying until February) and remaining on the east coast of Ireland (Co Wicklow and Co Dublin) until March 2016.  It was then seen in Iceland on passage in April & May 2016 before returning to Northern Ireland (Strangford Lough) on 22nd October remaining into November 2016 and finally returning to Hilbre. Thanks as always to the Irish Brent Goose Research Group.

The drake Scaup spent its fifth day around the island. On the north shore were 141 Bar-tailed Godwits, 4 Grey Plover and 200 Dunlin with another 100 flying south up the estuary. About 3,000 Oystercatcher roosted on middle but there were only 6 Purple Sandpiper on the west side of Hilbre today.

On the sea were c1,000 Common Scoter, 3 Red-throated Diver and 14 Great Crested Grebe.

A Blackbird and 2 Redwing were about the gardens early on with 5 Wren, 4 Robin and a Dunnock. A Kestrel was also about and a Pied Wagtail, 3 Rock Pipits and 2 Meadow Pipits were seen.

A Little Egret was in the gutter and a Grey Heron was found roosting in the dark between Little Eye and the shore on the way off.  A Little Egret was also seen earlier on the Marine Lake wall and a single red-head Goodander was on West Kirby Marine Lake early morning only.

Photos by AEH and SRW

Thursday, 1 December 2016

1st December 2016

Another quiet day on the island but the drake Scaup showed well off the east side on the rising tide and 10 Purple Sandpipers were roosting.

Photo of Scaup by @mattthomas966