5 Dec 2010

A wintery day on Hilbre.

Up at 05.15 in the freezing cold I wondered what the hell I was doing going to Hilbre on such a day. Picking Steve up from home we drove across to the islands in the dark just as the tide was flooding over the lower Landrover track.

First priority - get the kettle on and enjoy a brew with one of Mrs Williams divine banana & chocolate muffins for a pre-breakfast snack. As the tide rose and the light got better it all became worthwhile. There was only the two of us on the Island surrounded by sea and birds. Waders were roosting undisturbed around the rocky shores with quite a few Grey & Ringed Plover amongst the thousands of Oystercatchers.

Brilliant views! Just a shame the light wasn't brighter. A walk down the north end revealed the Purple Sandpiper flock roosting in their favourite spot.

There was plemty of movemtn on the sea with 50+ Red-throated Divers being logged - including a flock of 8 flying together and other smaller groups. Commn Scoter and Great-crested grebes were also abundant whilst the wintering Rock Pipit busied itself feeding around the salt water pools.

Star birds though were the flock of 19 Scaup between Hilbre and Red Rocks that spent the whole time bobbing up and down preening. A rare sight off the N Wirral coast these days.

Another good sighting were two Bottle-noosed Dolphins and as the tide receded the waders left their roosting spots and started feeding on the freshly revealed shoreline just as it started raining.

Time for us to return to the warmth of the Obs, another brew, another muffin and prepare for the reutrn to the heaving metropolis of West Kirby where it seemed everyone who had a car was out shopping or parking in ridiculous places blocking roads. With both Molly and me being suitable shattered an early afternoon snooze was in order.........................

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