Saturday, 5 December 2009

Hilbre Island

Took a bit of a chance on the weather today, and headed over to Hilbre for the high tide, which was about 9.5m at 13:00. As it turned out, it was a pretty decent day, with just a few spots of rain starting to fall as we headed off the island at 15:30.

There are still a few Shags around the islands, with at least five seen today. The Cormorant flock is still pretty sizable at about 750, though that's down by at least 50% since last week. Waders included at least six Purple Sandpipers and 150 Turnstones, some of which were colour ringed. 3000 Oystercatchers roosted over the tide on Middle, and there were about 150 Curlew. A Little Egret flew over at midday.

The Pale-bellied Brent goose flock has now reached about 130, but they weren't so evident today, being better observed at low tide. They roost away from the main island at high tide.

Passerines included three Blackbirds, two Song Thrushes, about five Robins, two Rock Pipits and three Goldfinches. Out at sea there were at least six Red-throated Divers, 10 Great crested Grebes and about 30 Common Scoter.

A couple of hours before high tide we spotted a baby Grey Seal on the rocks. We initially thought that it was dead, but it startled us by suddenly springing into life and heading off down the rocks back and into the sea. It's been hanging around the island for a few days.


Rock Pipit

Grey Seal Pup

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