News archive

September 2013

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Dark-bellied brent goose on water at Hayling Island

Hilbre highlights !

Strong westerly winds had battered the west coast the week before bringing petrels and skuas within sight of land. Sadly by the time we arrived on Hilbre the winds had dropped and the sea was, at times, like a mill pond! Feeding in the rock pools between Middle Eye and Hilbre were 6 Brent Geese amongst the large numbers of waders. A peregrine made a fleeting visit but it missed the small wader it had made a high speed stoop for. Both Middle Eye and Hilbre had a small number of passerines - mainly Meadow Pipits and Pied wagtails. As the tide cam in literally thousands of common scoter could be seen flying around far out at sea. The number of cormorant in Liverpool Bay was staggering - everywhere you looked there were groups of them fishing. 6 summer plumaged red throated divers proved a nice find as did several guillemots and a very confiding razorbill plus 2 gannets that came drifting past the island. Waders numbers roosting on the island seemed lower than usual with only a handful of turnstone, ringed plover and dunlin resting on the rocks. Swallows flew past the island and one that flew very low between the waves caused some excitement as a possible petrel ! Whilst the weather was not conducive for 'good' birdwatching it certainly made sitting around on the island a very pleasant experience. In fact the warmth of the sun proved a necessary requirement for one member to help him dry his camera gear when his bag had fallen off the cliff into the sea !!