3 Dec 2011

A stormy December day.

A force 7 -8 gale greeted us this morning as we set off for Hilbre. Time for a seawatch! A couple of hours later we'd logged an impressive number of Kittiwakes a female Scaup and a nice flock of Pintail as well as a few Gannets and auks.

At least one third of the Kittiwakes were juveniles which was good to see. A visiting group led by the Ranger Service and the RSPB were lucky to see a juvenile Shag just off the slipway which we pointed out to them from the comfort of the seawatching hide.

The group had a visit to the Obs and told us they'd found a Snow Bunting briefly on the path at the north end but it had flown off. As Mark had never seen one in Cheshire before we made a concerted effort to try and find it and I eventually tracked it down on the beach at the south end where it performed well sheltered from the gale force winds.

Leaving the Island around 14.00 Mark & I drove down to Burton Mere Wetlands where, after a search of the distant geese flocks, we picked up 5 of the elusive European Whitefronts that have been present for the last few weeks and a female Scaup in front of the spectacular new visitors centre.

Blackcaps have arrived  in force and I had three in the front garden Friday afternoon.

It was a special day for one couple of Hilbre today and the full details will appear on the Hilbre blog.

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