15 Feb 2013

More seawatching

Last Saturday saw me driving over to Hilbre in the dark with Cheshire year listers Mark Payne & Phil Oddy. Arriving just after 07.10 we treated ourselves to a well earned cooked breakfast before embarking on a marathon seawatch from the hide. As it was also WeBs count day we spent a good 4 hours in the hide noting down everything we saw.
Groucho does the business in the kitchen.
Although the wind was in the SE (and bitterly cold) hopes were high the recent stormy weather further north may have driven some unusual birds south to seek shelter. Expectations were high and we weren't disappointed. Although the hoped for Long-tailed Duck or rare grebe didn't materialise we did score with all three diver species with the Black-throated Diver once again showing just before high tide before swimming further out to sea. A Great Northern Diver was picked up flying further out before pitching in on the sea and there were good numbers of Red-throated Divers for comparison.
Although there were plenty of Common Scoter we didn't pick up any Velvets amongst them  - one of these days one of the Llandulas Surf Scoters will also head our way.....................
17 Purple Sandpipers roosted over the tide in their usual spot and the Brent Geese numbered well in excess of 200.

As the tide ebbed the Purple Sandpipers came out to play and once again provided good photo opportunities.

Sundays weather was piss poor with rain all day. A day to stay in read the papers and watch England beat Ireland in the Rugby. As well as the female Brambling photographed in the garden a few weeks back a male made an appearance but was incredibly shy and I had to settle for a photo through the conservatory window.

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