Saturday, 13 January 2018

13th January 2018

Weather: SE force 5/6  wind chill

An early start at 6am to make the tide with a strong SE wind F5-6 making it feel rather chilly.
As dawn broke 6000 Oystercatcher were roosting already on Middle Eye with over 1000 Cormorant exiting the Estuary.
Six Purple Sandpiper roosted at the North end along with 110 Turnstone which included a colour ringed bird from 2007/8.
Other waders present included a good count of 216 Curlew, 1000 Knot, 7 Grey Plover and 300 Dunlin.
Brent Geese spent the tide around Middle Eye and the East side of the main island and numbered 250.
Ten Pintail headed South and the usual 6 Eider fed around the island.
 Six Great Crested Grebes were the best sightings on the sea.
 Two Rock Pipits were on the island.
A single Robin was ringed and 2 Song Thrushes retrapped.
    Photos AEH        [ 3-3 ]

Thursday, 11 January 2018

11th January 2017

Weather: WNW 1 vis 4 mls

On the sea today were 5 Great Crested Grebe, 6 Eider and 147 Common Scoter. When the sun came out briefly, a flash of green drew attention to a male mallard in amongst the Scoter flock off the East Hoyle, the first of the year. A pair of Widgeon flew from the west across the North End. A Little Egret was feeding in the Gutter and 4 Grey Heron were west of Middle Eye.
One Purple Sandpiper was all that could be found but 19 Bar Tailed Godwit were feeding at the tide edge along with 4 Sanderling. Other waders around the islands were 51 Curlew, 55 Turnstone, 30 Redshank, 9 Grey Plover and 6 Ringed Plover. A small flock of 64 Dunlin landed briefly in the Gutter below the Obs.
A flock of c. 5,000 Knot were noted in the air just south of Little Eye, Oysyercatcher numbered 1,500.
The only passerines present were a male and female Blackbird, 2 Song Thrush, 3 Meadow Pipit, 8 Wren and 2 Robin.
photos AS

Monday, 8 January 2018

8th January 2017

Weather : SSE 0/1  A cold and frosty start to the day but almost flat calm.

 A quiet day compared to yesterday but the 6 Eider are still present close to the islands and well out off the East Hoyle was a seventh in the form of a lovely male, 44 Common Scoter were also around the same area.
Below the Obs garden 39 Ringed Plover were feeding, other waders included 28 Grey plover, 52 Dunlin, 3 Bar Tailed Godwit  and about 100 Turnstone. A nice surprise was a lone Lapwing at the North End, on the rocks by the slipway. Just west of the South End slipway a single Heron was hunting in the pools.
The Song Thrushes today numbered 4, with a Blackbird, 1 Rock Pipit and the usual Wrens & Robins also about the island. A single Skylark flew over.  
photos AS

Sunday, 7 January 2018

7th January 2018

Weather: NE force 1/2  cold, overnight frost slow to clear in bright sunshine
A very cold but sunny morning brought a plethora of wildfowl to the islands featuring several loose flocks of 35, 300 and 200 Pink-footed Geese seemingly flying towards the Lancashire mosslands.
A slightly less expected highlight were 9 beautiful Whooper Swans crossing the island and ditching into the Dee to the west and giving good viewing opportunities to the obs members.
Other wildfowl included 3 Wigeon, 3 Shelduck, 4 Greylags flying west and the Hilbre 'locals' this winter of 4 Eider and 310 Pale-bellied Brent Geese.
A Blackbird and a Song Thrush (1of 3 present) became the first birds to be ringed this year, while also present were 2 Rock Pipits, 7 Wrens  and 9 Linnets (7 of them were on Middle). The only passage birds over were a Skylark and a Pied Wagtail.
Waders seen at the low tide included 60 Sanderling, 4 Grey Plover, 3,000 Knot towards Wales but disappointingly no Purple Sandpipers.
Seabirds were understandably scarce, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 80 Common Scoter, and on the shore 2 Little Egrets and 2 Grey Herons.
Ringed: 1 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush              [ 2-2 ]
 photos AEH, PSW

Saturday, 6 January 2018

6th January 2018

Weather: NE force 4,   cold with wind chill
A before tide visit found 4 Eiders present (below), also a single Purple Sandpiper, 2 Rock Pipits, 3 Blackbirds (2 were happily eating worms) and a Song Thrush (eating a snail).

Not many seals are hauled out on the bank at the moment, only 35 were there today.
photo JE

Thursday, 4 January 2018

4th January 2018

Weather:  SE force 1, then W 6/7, up to WNW storm 10 middle of the afternoon

Today was very contrasting weather wise from still and bright in the morning to a force 10 Westerly in the afternoon which held the tide in for over 3 hours after High tide.
The Purple Sandpiper roost held 9 birds again and over 6000 Oystercatcher roosted on Middle Eye with 227 Brent Geese until the storm blew waves over the island putting everything into the air with a Peregrine also putting in an appearance.

The Eider drifted towards Little Eye -6 in number and 7 Pintail joined them briefly.
On our return to the mainland after tide 10,000 Knot fed between Middle and Little Eye.
photos AEH

Friday, 29 December 2017

29th December 2017

Weather: W force 7
An afternoon visit in a near gale found 80 Common Scoter and the Eiders up to 6 in number.