Friday, 17 February 2017

17th February 2017

Weather: S force 1

Another lovely day on Hilbre today. It was pleasantly warm with no wind. There is a theme of approaching spring during the recent visits and this one was no different. There were lots of Pink-footed Geese to start the day with 360 flying north and a large number of Brents (251) for the rest of the time. There was a  Rock Pipit, and lots of Wrens. Two Pied Wagtails and a Greenfinch turned up which is another sign of spring, and we had what might be called a small passage of Meadow Pipits, 5 at least, (below) (JE) also 3 Skylarks, another sign of spring.

Seen on the sea were 65 Common Scoter and 6 Great Crested Grebes. 

The Daffodils are much taller now and seem to be a day or so away from flowering (right,JE).

Thursday, 16 February 2017

16th February 2017

Weather: SW 2 vis 30mls, W 5 later.
Only 1 Purple Sandpiper could be found on the north end, together with 88 Turnstone and 60 Dunlin. In the rocky/shingle area south of middle were 43 Ringed Plover. On the sea were 100 Common Scoter, 2 Great Crested Grebes and the Scaup had increased to 6 , 4 females and 2 males.
A Grey Heron flew east and a Little Egret was in the gutter.
A nice sight was 20 Linnets on the south end of middle, 2 Skylark and a Pied Wagtail flew over the main island, a Rock Pipit and 3 Meadow Pipits were present.
It had already been a good week for birds of prey so a Kestrel hovering over the main island made a good addition. Even better was a Common Buzzard perched for a few minutes on one of the metal posts at the north end of middle, with a Crow on the post next to it and another on the ground periodically giving the buzzard grief. The buzzard finally gave up and flew up the estuary.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

15th February 2017

SE 4/5 vis 1 ml mist, high wind chill
Today the Brent Geese were counted at 237 and included the Canadian ringed bird clearly visible on the whaleback. Waders on the east hoyle were 138 Redshank, 186 Grey Plover, 31 Curlew, 84 Bar tailed Godwits, 60 Knot and 100+ Turnstone were about the island.
A pair of Red-breasted Merganser flew west past the north end, 4 Great Creasted Grebe and 400 Common Scoter were on the sea with 2 male Scaup and a male Teal close in at the north end.
Three swans were seen flying west between little eye and middle but visibility was too poor to identify them. 
When all the birds at the north end went up, no bird of prey could be seen, but when an observer sheltering from the wind behind the old obs fence decided to leave.... a Short-eared Owl flew up from the bracken, flying high out to sea.

Monday, 13 February 2017

13th February 2017

Weather: SE 3 vis 3 mls with fog
During a short pre tide visit a Sparrowhawk flew from the direction of West Kirby straight towards the obs, then down the west side of the island. It then came back the same way and landed in shrubbery in the mist net lane of the garden and was seen to be a juv. After this, a walk down to the north end produced a Peregrine on the west side. This bird circled the north end a couple of times then landed on the east hoyle. During the walk off a flock of c 2000 Knot were over the east hoyle tide edge and c 7500 Dunlin came north up the estuary towards Red Rocks marsh.

Friday, 10 February 2017

10th February 2017

Weather: NE force 2/3
A prolonged look at the sea found 3 Red-throated Divers, 550 Common Scoters and no less than 50 Great Crested Grebes in addition to the 3 Scaup. Oystercatchers were estimated at 8,200, Curlew numbered 240 with 68 Turnstones and 5 Purple Sandpipers amongst the smaller waders. On the island local birds included 5 Wrens, 4 Robins, a male Blackbird, a Dunnock and a Rock Pipit.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

8th February 2017

Weather: N force 1/2, later SW 1      some mist
A calm day enabled sightings of 12 Great Crested Grebes, 72 Common Scoter and 4 Goldeneyes on the sea, along with the now regular 5 Scaup (3 males and 2 females). Six Skylarks were the only small bird movements over the islands, although 6 Wrens, 3 Robins, a Rock Pipit and a Meadow Pipit were visible residents. Waders counted included 4,000 Oystercatchers, 1,000 Dunlin, 400 Curlew, 200 Bar-tailed Godwits, 200 Redshank, 40 Grey Plover, 15 Sanderling and just a single Purple Sandpiper. A female Peregrine showed and 4 Little Egrets and 30 Shelduck were on the shore. At Red Rocks and just in the Hilbre recording area, 4 Common Snipe, 2 Jack Snipe and 4 Skylarks were seen.

Monday, 6 February 2017

6th February 2017

Weather: SE force 1/2 increasing during the morning, cold wind
Snow on the Carnydds as seen from Hilbre this morning (AEH)

Another record count of 306 Brent this morning following on from the 298 recorded on 14th January.
Brent Geese (AEH)
Two male and 2 female Scaup are still close to the island, also today 4 Wigeon swan close to the north east side, while 150 Common Scoter wheeled around in the mid-distance.
Scaup with Brent (CJ)

Wigeon (CJ)
Other observations were scarce with 140 Dunlin flying south, 5 Great Crested Grebes on the sea and 3 Linnets and 3 Robins.