22 Feb 2016

Hilbre WeBs count

An early morning tide meant getting over to Hilbre in the dark on a very windy morning. It did mean we had the island to ourselves though. As night dawned into day and we could begin to see more a count was made of the Brent geese flock strung out on the water just west of Middle Eye. A good total of 226 birds was counted. A walk around the island revealed a disappointing number of three Purple Sandpipers roosting in the tide gauge but this number was vastly improved upon when at least 9 were discovered in Niffy bay. With the three missing from the tide gauge it was assumed they'd joined these other birds.

After a traditional Hilbre fried breakfast attention turned to the gull roost on Middle Eye. Numbers were much lower than there have been usually but a star find was an adult Yellow-legged Gull that tried to roost but was chased off by other gulls.

Seawatching was difficult because of the swell and only a single Red-throated Diver was seen along with only two great-crested Grebes and around forty Common Scoter.

With the weather forecast to close in with heavy rain we decided to leave around midday and I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting watching Siskins on my garden feeders from the warmth of the conservatory.

The rain eventually eased off around 16.00 so I decided to walk the local 'patch' but headed out in a different direction than usual. Highlight was discovering a roost of at least 400 Jackdaws near Capenhurst railway station.

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