Tuesday, 25 October 2016

25th October 2016

Weather: E force 1
A Richards Pipit was at Little Eye this morning at about 9.00 am and then flew towards the marsh at Red Rocks/ West Kirby. This is the second record this autumn although there is a possibility it could be the same bird. A light easterly made it a very good day for migration all round which included records of  282 Starlings (with a large flock of 215), 23 Skylarks (with a group of 10), also varied species including a flotilla of 6 Whooper Swans and a Mute Swan floating down the west side (below), 5 Jackdaws flying south east, a flock of 67 Pink-footed geese going south, 13 Wigeon to the north and another 8 later, also 3 Teal, and 6 Lapwing seen south of Middle Eye.
1of 6 Lapwings
On the ground this morning were 11 Goldcrests, 3 Blackbirds, 2 Song Thrushes, 10 Wrens and a Chiffchaff, while also passing were 4 Chaffinches, 2 Grey and 7 Pied Wagtails and an immature male Sparrowhawk. Records of sea birds today were 30 Common Scoter, 4 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Guillemots and a Razorbill, and waders seen included 96 Redshank, 17 Curlew (below) and 10 Bar-tailed Godwits. Three hundred and 50 Shelduck were out on the east hoyle.
 As the tide flooded in the evening 114 Brent Geese came into view (below, 3 juveniles and an adult).

Ringed: 5 Goldcrests, 1 Wren, 1 Song Thrush.   All photos AEH        [ 505-30 ]

Monday, 24 October 2016

24th October 2016

Weather: E force 2, visibility 10 miles
A similar start to the day as yesterday, but just a single Peregrine with a kill on the rocks south of Middle.  Very few birds on the islands although there were 4 Goldcrests about, plus 1 Blackbird, 6 Wrens,11 Robins, 2 Dunnocks, 4 Pied wagtails, 15 Meadow Pipits, 1 Skylark, 10 Crows and a Rock Pipit.
The sea was equally quiet but 96 Common Scoter went east and 6 Great Crested Grebes and 6 Guillemots showed, but then things looked up for a little when a female Eider drifted passed the obs on the ebbing tide. A Teal was found on the west side and Greylag flew west over the island. Before the evening tide 123 Brent were around the lagoon area between the islands including the red/blue ringed bird.
Unusually a Grey Seal was hauled out on the north end but did not seem at all ill. On the shore were 9 Little Egrets, 2 Grey Herons, 55 Bar-tailed Godwits with 59 Curlew, 2 Knot, 30 Dunlin, 92 Redshank, 21 Shelduck, 2,500 Oystercatcher, 3 Ringed Plover and 1 Grey Plover.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

23rd October 2016

ENE 3/4  increasing to 5/6 rain early visibility 5mls
Two peregrines in the air above Middle encouraged observers approaching the islands, one flew towards Hoylake golf course and the second disappeared over the west side. Later presumably this same bird flew from the north end of Hilbre towards Little Eye and unidentified evidence of a fresh kill was found. Eighty four Brent geese were in 2 separate groups, the majority on the whaleback with a colour ringed bird (red and blue) amongst them. A common scoter was close in on the west side, 2 Great Crested Grebes and 7 Guillemot were off the north end. Egret numbers had dropped to 2 after yesterdays good count, 2 Grey Herons, 26 Bar-tailed Godwits and a small flock of 40 knot were seen.
There were few birds on the island – 2 Blackbirds, 2 Wrens, 9 Robin 8 Meadow Pipits, 2 Dunnock, and 3 Rock Pipits on the north end . Eleven Carrion Crows were around the island and the only visible migration were 3 Pied Wagtail, 3 Chaffinch and a Siskin.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

22nd October 2016

Weather: SE 0/1
This settled October continues to make birding on the islands a pleasant experience, with the occasional 'good' bird as a bonus. This morning it was a ringtail Hen Harrier that excited as it flew east over the east hoyle from the direction of the north end and was mobbed by a group of 10 Carrion Crows that had gathered on the shore (below AEH). It continued it's way towards north Wirral.
The day as a whole had plenty of typical late autumn birds, there were over 20 each of passing Starlings and Skylarks, about 8 Blackbirds, 10 Goldcrests and a single male Blackcap down on the ground, 5 Redwings were recorded, along with a Grey Wagtail, 5 Pied Wagtails, 6 Chaffinches and a Brambling, while Wrens and Robins have not diminished in numbers.

Goldcrest (AEH)
Little Egrets still find the shore attractive, a total of 14 today, and 50 Sanderling were among the small number of waders noted at low tide. A flock of 43 Pink-footed Geese calling as they flew north directly over the island (below,AEH) and 2 dark-bellied birds were amongst over 100 Brent Geese floating on the tide.

One of the Pink-footed Geese (CJ)
Brent Geese (AEH)
Meadow Pipit (AEH)

Ringed: 5 Goldcrests, 2 Robins, 2 Wrens, 2 Blackbirds, 1 Blackcap       [ 498-30 ]

Friday, 21 October 2016

21st October 2016

Weather: S force 0/1     high cloud and some mist early

This morning there were 3 Song Thrushes and 4 Blackbirds about that were definitely 'new in' and a Stonechat which was first seen at the south end and stayed the rest of the morning. A light passage of Skylarks (16) took place in small numbers and 6 Pied and a Grey Wagtail went through and again there were more than expected Wrens and Robins present. A single Goldcrest turned out to be a bird that was ringed yesterday.

Highlight for the members however was the capture and ringing of a male Sparrowhawk caught in the SK trap (left CJ), the first ringed this year.

Nine Little Egrets stayed near the islands and a Peregrine gave a display of hunting power over the east side and 2 Pintail flew south down the Dee. The 5 Rock Pipits this morning included the Norwegian ringed bird back from its visit to Red Rocks the other day.

Three red-head Goosanders flew west between Middle and Little Eye just after noon.

After the tide 113 Pale-bellied Brent Geese were counted on the ridge in the evening light on a very still evening.

Ringed:  2 Blackbirds, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Sparrowhawk       [ 486-30 ]

Thursday, 20 October 2016

20th October 2016

Weather: NE force 3

Several migrants went through this morning despite the north easterly breeze. Seven Goldcrests were calling and Wrens and Robins seem to be everywhere, possibly 16 Wrens and 12 Robins about, and the first Greenfinch and Siskin passing over for a good while, also small flocks of Meadow Pipits, 6 Skylarks, 4 Goldfinches and a Reed Bunting.

Thrushes however were not in numbers, just a single Blackbird on Middle and another on the main island.

A Merlin was seen a couple of times around the south end and between the islands, and a Kestrel landed on the mast briefly.

The Brent reached a new high total of 62 birds, while 80 Shelduck were seen from the north shore, where there were 64 Bar-tailed Godwits feeding the tide edge.  Huge flocks of Common Scoter could be seen off Meols but far too distantly to be find any less usual species amongst them.

Ringed: 3 Goldcrests, 1 Robin, 1 Wren               [ 482-29 ]

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

19th October 2016

Weather:  NNW force 5/6

A short sea watch was made today after the strong winds of yesterday but just 6 Gannets and 8 Guillemots were noted on the sea with in excess of 8,000 Common Scoter estimated swirling about distantly off North Wirral.

The Brent Geese have suddenly increased to 56, and other birds today logged in the short time available were 7,500 Oystercatchers, 180 Curlew, 124 Shelduck, 2 Little Egrets and a Peregrine.

Interestingly the Norwegian ringed Rock Pipit was noted at Red Rocks in the afternoon (photo from Hilbre).