23 Nov 2015

Leach's Petrel!

With strong north westerlies for several days last week small numbers of Leach's Petrels were being reported off Hilbre & the north Wirral coast. As the winds were continuing into Saturday I headed across to Hilbre as soon as I could after the tide to do a bit of sea watching. Sure enough I soon picked up a single Leach's Petrel. A good omen I thought. Mistake! It was the only one I saw during the three hours I froze in the sea watching hide. There were actually very few birds around but a Great Northern Diver was picked out on the sea.  It was very actively diving and fishing & I soon lost it in the swell.

A female Eider rode out the storm with her head tucked under her wing with the occasional glance around to get her bearings.

As the tide receded thousands of gulls started feeding along the waters edge. Zooming up through the 'scope I could see they were feeding on Starfish & Razor Clams wrecked during the storms. The picture below shows the mass of Razor Clams washed up on one part of the beach.

Although windy and very cold the skies were clear and the visibility was good enough to see the snow covered Carnedds in N Wales.

After three hours during which I lost the feeling in my fingers I retreated to the warmth of the Obs before heading off the island. 

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