First Sandwich Tern

24th March 2020 – hazy sun SSE2/3
Notice
Please note that in line with the advice on essential travel Walney Bird Observatory has closed until further notice.
Offshore
An early morning socially isolated check of the sea (0630-0830) produced 95 Common Scoter, 22 Red-throated Diver, 10 Guillemot, 6 Razorbill, 6 Red-breasted Merganser, 3 Kittiwake 2 Gannet and 2 Sandwich Tern.
Grounded Migrants
Five Goldcrest and a Wheatear were logged.
Diurnal Migration
A Lesser Redpoll flew through.
Miscellaneous
The Hooded Crow put in another appearance.

Seabirds on the move

23rd March 2020 – hazy sun SSE3
Notice
Please note that in line with recent advice on essential travel South Walney Nature Reserve is now unfortunately closed to vehicles until further notice.
Offshore
An early morning check of the sea (0630-0830) produced 135 Common Scoter, 27 Red-throated Diver, 18 Red-breasted Merganser, 6 Guillemot, 2 Pintail and 2 Razorbill.
Grounded Migrants
Just a single Goldcrest was logged.
Diurnal Migration
An early morning trickle of Meadow Pipit were seen.
Wildfowl and Waders
The Brent Goose flock held 107 light-bellied birds and waders included 30 Grey Plover.
Miscellaneous
The Hooded Crow put in another appearance.

More hints of migration

22nd March 2020 – hazy sun SE3
Offshore
A check of the sea revealed 46 Red-breasted Merganser, 15 Common Scoter, 3 Red-throated Diver and a Shag.
Grounded Migrants
Just a single Wheatear and 2 Chiffchaff were logged.
Diurnal Migration
A Siskin was amongst a trickle of Meadow Pipit.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 3 Scaup remain (2 males + female) and the Brent Goose flock held 323 light-bellied birds. Waders included 25 Golden Plover.
Ringing
Two colour-ringed Eider were noted.

Further hints of migration

21st March 2020 – overcast E5/6
Offshore
A check of the sea revealed 23 Common Scoter, 11 Red-breasted Merganser, 6 Shag and a Red-throated Diver.
Grounded Migrants
Two Wheatear and 2 Chiffchaff were logged.
Diurnal Migration
Despite the wind a few species were still on the move with 160 Meadow Pipit and 20 Whooper Swan moving through.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 3 Scaup remain (2 males + female).
Ringing
A colour-ringed Cormorant and Eider were noted.

Whooper Swans on the move

20th March 2020 – bright and sunny NE2/3
Offshore
A check of the sea revealed 9 Red-throated Diver, 6 Common Scoter, 4 Red-breasted Merganser and 4 Shag.
Grounded Migrants
Single Redwing and Goldcrest were logged.
Diurnal Migration
Wildfowl were on the move with 125 Pink-footed Geese and 106 Whooper Swan logged, also seen were 60 Meadow Pipit, 16 Jackdaw, 6 Pied Wagtail and a Rook.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 3 Scaup remain (2 males + female).

More signs of spring

19th March 2020 – sunny spells/calm
Offshore
Early morning observations produced 26 Red-breasted Merganser, 25 Common Scoter, 12 Red-throated Diver, 7 Shag and 2 Guillemot.
Grounded Migrants
Two Goldcrest and a Chiffchaff were logged.
Diurnal Migration
Passage included 20 Meadow Pipit, 18 Jackdaw, 8 Greylag Goose and a Pink-footed Goose.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 3 Scaup remain (2 males + female).
Miscellaneous
The long-staying Hooded Crow made another appearance.
Butterflies and Moths
A Small Tortoiseshell was on the wing in the sunshine and Early Thorn and Dark Sword-grass were the first moths to be attracted to the moth trap this year.

Changing of the seasons

18th March 2020 – overcast SW2/3
Offshore
Early morning observations produced 12 Red-throated Diver, 12 Common Scoter, 6 Shag, 3 Red-breasted Merganser and a Guillemot.
Grounded Migrants
Two Fieldfare and single Wheatear, Redwing and Chiffchaff were logged.
Wildfowl and Waders
Five Shoveler were seen (3 males + 2 females) and 3 Scaup remain (2 males + female).
Miscellaneous
Single Merlin and Peregrine were the best of the rest.

Rubbish seawatch

17th March 2020 – mist/fog/drizzle/rain SW3/4/5/6
Offshore
A morning check of the sea in steadily deteriorating conditions produced just 8 Common Scoter, 4 Red-breasted Merganser and 2 Red-throated Diver.

Short-eared Owl and Hooded Crow

16th March 2020 – sunny spells/rain later SW3/4/5
Offshore
A morning check of the sea produced 11 Red-throated Diver, 8 Common Scoter and 5 Shag.
Grounded Migrants
A single Goldcrest was logged.
Diurnal Migration
Evidence of movement was provided by 50 Meadow Pipit, 20 Carrion Crow, 10 Pied Wagtail, 4 Jackdaw, 3 Siskin and 3 Rook.
Wildfowl and Waders
Six Shoveler were seen (3 males + 3 females).
Miscellaneous
A Short-eared Owl and the long-staying Hooded Crow were the best of the rest.

Seawatch

15th March 2020 – overcast/showers SW4
Offshore
A morning check of the sea (0830-0930) revealed 11 Common Scoter, 10 Gannet, 7 Kittiwake and single Fulmar and Red-throated Diver.

First Chiffchaff and Goldcrest arrive

14th March 2020 – sun and showers/rain later SSE3
Offshore
An early morning check of the sea (0730-0830) revealed just 6 Common Scoter and 2 Red-throated Diver.
Grounded Migrants
The first 3 Goldcrest and 2 Chiffchaff arrived and early morning thrushes involved a Fieldfare.
Diurnal Migration
Wildfowl were on the move early morning with 600 Pink-footed Geese and 14 Whooper Swan logged.
Wildfowl and Waders
The group of Scaup decreased to 3 birds (2 males + female).

Black Redstart

13th March 2020 – bright and sunny V1
Rarities
At least 2 Water Pipit were again amongst 20 Rock Pipit feeding in the flooded horse paddocks at Biggar Bank over the high tide.
Offshore
An early morning check of the sea (0730-0830) revealed 4 Red-throated Diver, 3 Shag and 2 Gannet. The Great Northern Diver remained in its favoured sheltered haunt.
Grounded Migrants
Early morning thrushes involved 2 Fieldfare and a Redwing, however, a Black Redstart was the pick of a few newly arrived birds.
Diurnal Migration
Corvid passage included 4 Raven and 2 Rook. Also seen were 15 Pied Wagtail, 10 Meadow Pipit and 6 Pink-footed Goose.
Wildfowl and Waders
The group of Scaup has increased to 7 birds (2 males + 5 females).
Miscellaneous
A Merlin was the best of the rest.

Little Gull

12th March 2020 – overcast/showers SW5/6, gusting to 54 mph
Rarities
At least 2 Water Pipit were again amongst 20 Rock Pipit feeding in the flooded horse paddocks at Biggar Bank over the high tide.
Offshore
An early morning check of the sea (0730-0830) revealed 6 Common Scoter, and single adult Little Gull and Red-throated Diver. The Great Northern Diver remained in its favoured sheltered haunt.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 5 Scaup remain.
Miscellaneous
A Peregrine was the best of the rest.

Water Pipits reappear

11th March 2020 – overcast then showers SW4/5/6
Rarities
At least 2 Water Pipit were amongst 20 Rock Pipit feeding in the flooded horse paddocks at Biggar Bank over the high tide.
Offshore
An early morning check of the sea revealed 5 Common Scoter, 2 Red-throated Diver and a Gannet. The Great Northern Diver remained in its favoured sheltered haunt.
Wildfowl and Waders
Five Scaup and 405 pale-bellied Brent Geese and waders included 8000 Knot and 7 Greenshank.
Miscellaneous
A group of 12 Twite and single Merlin and Peregrine were the best of the rest.

Same again!

10th March 2020 – early rain then showers SW4/5/6
Offshore
. The Great Northern Diver remained in its favoured sheltered haunt.
Wildfowl and Waders
Five Scaup and 330 pale-bellied Brent Geese and waders included 3000 Knot.

Great Northern Diver

9th March 2020 – overcast/rain later W4
Offshore
An early morning check of the sea (0730-0830) provided just 6 Common Scoter, 3 Red-throated Diver and a Red-breasted Merganser. The Great Northern Diver remained in its favoured sheltered haunt.
Wildfowl and Waders
Five Scaup remain amongst 45 Red-breasted Merganser and waders included 11 Greenshank amongst 550 Redshank.
Miscellaneous
A Water Rail was the best of the rest.

Great Northern Diver reappears

8th March 2020 – sunny spells SW3/4
Offshore
An early morning check of the sea (0730-0830) provided 42 Common Scoter, 12 Red-throated Diver, 8 Gannet, 4 Razorbill and a Red-breasted Merganser. The Great Northern Diver reappeared in its favoured sheltered haunt.
Wildfowl and Waders
Five Scaup remain and the Brent Goose flock held 302 pale-bellied. Waders included 3000 Knot.
Miscellaneous
A Peregrine was the best of the rest.

Hooded Crow and Scaup

7th March 2020 – overcast/showers S3/4
Offshore
An early morning check of the sea (0730-0830) revealed 26 Razorbill, 17 Common Scoter, 15 Red-throated Diver and 14 Red-breasted Merganser.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 12 Scaup remain and the Brent Goose flock held 174 pale-bellied and 40 dark-bellied birds. Waders included 3000 Knot and a Purple Sandpiper.
Miscellaneous
The long-staying Hooded Crow was the best of the rest.

Migration continues

6th March 2020 – sunny spells/calm
Offshore
An early morning check of the sea revealed 10 Common Scoter, 10 Red-breasted Merganser, 6 Red-throated Diver, 2 Razorbill and single Kittiwake and Shag.
Grounded Migrants
Early morning thrushes included 3 Fieldfare, 2 Song Thrush and a Redwing. In addition, a few tits and finches were again newly arrived – including 12 Greenfinch.
Diurnal Migration
A total of 110 Pink-footed Geese headed north along with 10 Pied Wagtail and a Collared Dove.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 12 Scaup remain and waders included 3000 Knot.
Miscellaneous
Two Merlin were the best of the rest.

Spring migration begins

5th March 2020 – sunny spells/calm
Offshore
A quick check of the sea provided 6 Shag and a Red-throated Diver.
Grounded Migrants
Early morning thrushes included 3 Fieldfare. In addition, a few tits and finches were newly arrived – including 12 Long-tailed Tit and 20 Goldfinch.
Diurnal Migration
A total of 560 Pink-footed Geese headed north along with 7 Pied Wagtail.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 12 Scaup remain.
Miscellaneous
The long-staying Hooded Crow was the best of the rest.

Pink-footed Geese on the move

4th March 2020 – sunny spells/calm
Diurnal Migration
A total of 230 Pink-footed Geese headed north.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 12 Scaup and 4 Barnacle Geese remain.
Miscellaneous
A Coal Tit was the first of the year.

Little change

3rd March 2020 – early rain/drizzle/murk WSW2/3
Offshore
The juvenile Great Northern Diver continues to seek shelter.
Grounded Migrants
Early morning thrushes involved two Redwing.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 12 Scaup (9 females + 3 males) and 4 Barnacle Geese remain.

Another Little Gull

2nd March 2020 – bright and sunny W3/4
Offshore
A check of the sea (0730-0830) produced 26 Common Scoter, 8 Red-throated Diver and an adult Little Gull. The juvenile Great Northern Diver continued to seek shelter.
Grounded Migrants
Early morning thrushes involved single Redwing and Fieldfare. A total of 10 Stonechat was suggestive of some movement.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 12 Scaup (9 females + 3 males) and 4 Barnacle Geese remain. Waders included 7 Greenshank.
Miscellaneous
A flock of 12 Twite were the best of the rest.

Little Gulls

1st March 2020 – bright and sunny WSW6/7/8
Offshore
A check of the sea (0900-1000) produced 21 Kittiwake and 5 Little Gulls (adults). The juvenile Great Northern Diver continued to seek shelter.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 12 Scaup (9 females + 3 males) and 4 Barnacle Geese remain. Waders included 4 Greenshank.
Miscellaneous
Two Tree Sparrow were the best of the rest.

Déjà vu

29th February 2020 – sun and showers/rain later WSW4/5/6
Offshore
A check of the sea (0800-0900) produced just 5 Common Scoter, 3 Kittiwake and a Fulmar. The juvenile Great Northern Diver continued to seek shelter.
Wildfowl and Waders
The Brent Goose flock held 235 pale-bellied birds while the 12 Scaup (9 females + 3 males) and 4 Barnacle Geese remain. Waders included 2 Greenshank.
Miscellaneous
A group of 20 Twite were the best of the rest.

Old favourites

28th February 2020 – rain SSE4/5
Offshore
The Great Northern Diver and Shag continued to seek shelter.
Wildfowl and Waders
The Brent Goose flock held 179 pale-bellied and 2 dark-bellied birds while the 12 Scaup and 4 Barnacle Geese remain.

Same again

27th February 2020 – sun and showers WNW5/6/7
Offshore
The sea remained quiet with observations (0815-0915) providing just 14 Common Scoter, 8 Red-throated Diver, 3 Razorbill and 2 Kittiwake. The Great Northern Diver remained in residence.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 12 Scaup (9 females + 3 males)remain.
Miscellaneous
The long-staying Hooded Crow and a Little Owl were the best of the rest.

Usual suspects

26th February 2020 – sun and sleet showers WNW5/6
Offshore
The sea remained quiet with observations (0730-0830) providing just 33 Common Scoter and a Red-throated Diver. The Great Northern Diver remained in residence
Wildfowl and Waders
The 12 Scaup have been joined by a male Common Scoter. The 4 Barnacle Geese also continue to linger and 2 Greenshank were seen.
Miscellaneous
The long-staying Hooded Crow was the best of the rest.

Just time for a seawatch

25th February 2020 – sun and showers W5/6
Offshore
The sea remained generally quiet with observations (0730-0830) providing just 17 Common Scoter, 12 Red-breasted Merganser, 10 Red-throated Diver and 4 Kittiwake. The Great Northern Diver remained in residence
Wildfowl and Waders
The 12 Scaup remain.

Great Northern Diver and Scaup

24th February 2020 – early snow/rain clearing later SE1 then SW4/5/6
Offshore
The Great Northern Diver remained on its favoured sheltered haunt.
Wildfowl and Waders
The Brent Goose flock held a total of 277 pale-bellied birds, the 4 Barnacle Geese and 12 Scaup remain and a Goosander was logged.
Miscellaneous
A Peregrine was again the best of the rest.

Great Northern Diver

23rd February 2020 – early rain clearing W4/5/6
Offshore
A check of the sea as the rain cleared (1030-1130) revealed 26 Red-throated Diver, 11 Common Scoter, 2 Red-breasted Merganser and a Kittiwake. However a single Great Northern Diver and Shag sought after more sheltered waters.
Wildfowl and Waders
The Brent Goose flock held a total of 254 pale-bellied birds, the 4 Barnacle Geese and 12 Scaup remain while 2 Goosander were logged. Waders included 5500 Knot and 2 Greenshank.
Miscellaneous
A Peregrine was the best of the rest.

Black Brant and Water Pipit

22nd February 2020 – sun and showers WSW6/7/8
Rarities
An adult Black Brant was amongst 133 pale-bellied and 80 dark-bellied Brent Geese at Scar End Point on the rising tide. A Water Pipit was again in the flooded horse paddocks at Biggar at high tide.
Offshore
The seas remained angry with the wind still gusting to gale force, however, clearer conditions (0815- 0915) produced just 28 Kittiwake, 18 Common Scoter, 2 Red-breasted Merganser and single Gannet, Red-throated Diver and Razorbill.
Wildfowl and Waders
The Brent Goose flock held a total of 368 pale-bellied and 80 dark-bellied birds and 4 Barnacle Geese were seen. Waders included 4000 Knot.
Miscellaneous
At least one Tree Sparrow continues to visit a feeding station on the island.

Even the seabirds have deserted

21st February 2020 – overcast/showers SSW6/7/8
Offshore
The seemingly incessant wind and rain continues to batter the island and to affect sightings with observations (0800-0900) producing just 3 Common Scoter.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 12 Scaup remain and the Brent Goose flock held 249 pale-bellied and 80 dark-bellied birds. Waders included 3000 Knot.

The end of birdlife as we know it!

20th February 2020 – early rain clearing to showers WNW6/7/8
Offshore
A check over the sea as the rain cleared (1015-1115) produced just 7 Common Scoter, 2 Red-breasted Merganser and a Razorbill.
Miscellaneous
A forest of signposts and kissing gates have recently appeared across the island proclaiming the opening of the Walney section of the England Coastal Way which along with the recent designation of the salt marshes along the eastern shore as open access land is likely to have a pronounced detrimental affect on the island’s breeding and roosting waders. Walney’s beaches have long been thought of as a stronghold for breeding species such as Oystercatcher and Ringed Plover; however this is no longer the case with 2019 survey work showing that large swathes of the coastline are now devoid of breeding birds with disturbance considered the main cause. The opening up of sections of the island which still held breeding birds and were, until now, less frequently disturbed has already seen an increase in footfall and will inevitably add to disturbance levels meaning that increased pressures are being placed on the island’s birds. In addition, the narrow and linear nature of the shoreline means that birds attempting to roost over the tide will also be regularly disturbed in areas which were until now a high tide refuge.

A few seabirds

19th February 2020 – overcast/rain soon WSW4
Offshore
A check over the sea (0800-0900) produced just 10 Red-breasted Merganser, 5 Common Scoter and a solitary Kittiwake.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 12 Scaup remain.

Another Little Gull

18th February 2020 – overcast/showers SW5/6/7
Offshore
A check over the sea (0730-0830) produced 14 Kittiwake, 7 Pintail, 4 Common Scoter and single Red-throated Diver, Fulmar and Little Gull.
Wildfowl and Waders
Two Shoveler were seen and waders included 410 Golden Plover and 60 Turnstone.

Little Gull and Yellow-legged Gull

17th February 2020 – hazy sun WSW5/6 gusting to 57mph
Offshore
A check over the sea (0800-0900) produced 23 Kittiwake, 4 Red-throated Diver, 3 Common Scoter and single Little Gull (adult), Razorbill and Shag.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 12 Scaup (3 males) remain and waders included 1000 Dunlin, 120 Sanderling and 11 Greenshank.
Miscellaneous
An adult Yellow-legged Gull (intriguingly with a metal ring on the right leg) was amongst 2500 Herring Gull and 6 Lesser Black-backed Gull feeding amongst the detritus washed up by storm Dennis.

Waxwing headlines

16th February 2020 – overcast/showers SW5/6
Rarities
A Waxwing appeared briefly in the Observatory garden.
Offshore
A check over the sea (0815-0915) as Storm Dennis raged and the wind gusted to 51 mph revealed 94 Kittiwake, 18 Common Scoter, 2 Fulmar, 2 Red-breasted Merganser and a Great Crested Grebe.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 12 Scaup (3 males) remain.
Miscellaneous
At least one Tree Sparrow continues to visit a feeding station on the island.

Marsh Harrier and Water Pipit

15th February 2020 – overcast/rain soon SE4 then S6/7/8
Rarities
A least one Water Pipit remained in the flooded horse paddocks between Biggar Bank and Biggar.
Offshore
A check over the sea (0800-0900) produced just 7 Red-breasted Merganser, 4 Red-throated Diver and 3 Common Scoter.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 12 Scaup (3 males) remain and a female Goosander was logged. The Brent Goose flock held 316 pale-bellied birds.
Miscellaneous
A male Marsh Harrier hunting over the island was the best of the rest.

Just a few seabirds

14th February 2020 – overcast/rain at times SE5/6/7
Offshore
A check over the sea (0800-0900) produced just 6 Red-throated Diver, 5 Common Scoter, 2 Guillemot and a Razorbill.

Marsh Harrier and Water Pipits

13th February 2020 – sunny spells V1/2
Rarities
Three Water Pipits were amongst 30 Rock Pipit feeding in the flooded horse paddocks between Biggar Bank and Biggar over the high tide.
Offshore
A check over the sea (0745-0845) produced 32 Shag, 11 Red-breasted Merganser, 7 Red-throated Diver, 5 Common Scoter and a Great Crested Grebe.
Grounded Migrants
Early morning thrushes involved 2 Redwing and 2 Fieldfare.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 12 Scaup (3 males) and 17 Barnacle Goose remain. Waders included 5 Greenshank.
Miscellaneous
Single Hooded Crow, Merlin and Peregrine and 2 Barn Owl were logged, however, a male Marsh Harrier hunting over the island was the best of the rest.
Mammals
An Otter was the first sighting of the year.

Water Pipit reappears

12th February 2020 – overcast/showers W6/7/8
Rarities
A Water Pipit was amongst 10 Rock Pipit feeding in the flooded horse paddocks at Biggar.
Offshore
A check over still angry seas (0800-0900) revealed 18 Common Scoter, 8 Kittiwake, 6 Razorbill and 2 Red-throated Diver.
Wildfowl and Waders
The Scaup continue to increase with 12 birds logged (3 males), also seen were 17 Barnacle Goose. Waders included 16000 Knot and 7500 Oystercatcher.
Miscellaneous
A Merlin was the best of the rest.

Gales fail to produce

11th February 2020 – sun and showers W8
Offshore
A check over angry seas (0800-0900) with winds gusting to 61mph revealed 14 Common Scoter, 4 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Razorbill and a Kittiwake.
Ringing
A colour-ringed Herring Gull had previously been ringed at a Waste Disposal Site near York on 19th January 2018.

Whooper Swans

10th February 2020 – sun and showers WSW6/7/8
Offshore
Observations over a wild sea (0800-0900) with winds gusting to 53mph produced 5 Kittiwake, 3 Common Scoter, 2 Razorbill and a Fulmar.
Wildfowl and Waders
A herd of 15 Whooper Swan were grounded and the Brent Goose flock held 369 pale-bellied birds. Waders included a Jack Snipe amongst 40 Snipe.
Miscellaneous
A Little Owl was the best of the rest.

Storm Ciara steals the show

9th February 2020 – rain then showers SW6/7/8
Miscellaneous
Little was seen as storm Ciara hit the island bringing winds gusting to 63mph, a check of the sea proved fruitless and 2 Raven were the only birds of note.

First Gannet of the year

8th February 2020 – sun and showers SSW3/4/5
Offshore
Observations over the sea (0800-0900) produced 37 Razorbill, 17 Red-throated Diver, 12 Common Scoter, 12 Red-breasted Merganser, 6 Kittiwake and the first 2 Gannet of the year.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 9 Scaup remain(6 females + 3 males) and the Brent Goose flock held 404 pale-bellied and 82 dark-bellied Brent Geese. Waders included 7 Greenshank and 2 Purple Sandpiper.
Miscellaneous
An overwintering Blackcap visited an island feeding station and single Peregrine and Barn Owl were the best of the rest.

Stock Dove provides surprise

7th February 2020 – sunny spells SE4
Offshore
A check over the sea revealed just 4 Common Scoter and a Red-throated Diver.
Diurnal Migration
A Stock Dove was seen.
Wildfowl and Waders
There are now 9 Scaup (6 females + 3 males) and waders included 7 Greenshank.
Miscellaneous
The Hooded Crow was again present and single Merlin, Peregrine and Barn Owl were the best of the rest.

Hooded Crow and Scaup

6th February 2020 – overcast/calm
Diurnal Migration
A flock of 100 Pink-footed Geese flew north.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 8 Scaup (6 females + 2 first-winter males) remain.
Miscellaneous
The Hooded Crow is still in residence.

Scaup continue to increase

5th February 2020 – overcast/calm
Offshore
A check over calm seas (0745-0845) revealed 5100 Eider, 31 Red-throated Diver, 22 Common Scoter, 16 Shag, 12 Great Crested Grebe, 9 Red-breasted Merganser, 8 Razorbill and a drake Scaup.
Grounded Migrants
Three Fieldfare and 3 Redwing were logged.
Diurnal Migration
A skein of 50 Pink-footed Geese and a group of 4 Whooper Swan headed north.
Wildfowl and Waders
There are now 8 Scaup (6 females + 2 first-winter males) and waders included 7 Greenshank.
Miscellaneous
The Hooded Crow put in another appearance and 5 Twite and single Merlin, Peregrine and Little Owl were the best of the rest.

Hooded Crow still in residence

4th February 2020 – sunny spells WNW5/6
Miscellaneous
The Hooded Crow is still in residence.

A check of the sea

3rd February 2020 – overcast W4/5
Offshore
A check of the sea (0815-0915) produced 37 Common Scoter, 30 Kittiwake, 14 Razorbill , 8 Red-breasted Merganser and 2 Red-throated Diver.

Poor visibility continues

2nd February 2020 – mist/murk/mizzle SSW3/4
Offshore
A check of the sea (1015-1115) only revealed 3 Common Scoter and 2 Red-throated Diver in the gloom.
Wildfowl and Waders
Wildfowl included 400 Wigeon.
Miscellaneous
A few more Lesser Black-backed Gulls have returned.

Early Fulmar

1st February 2020 – overcast/rain later WSW6/7/8
Offshore
A check of the sea (0830-0930) provided an early Fulmar amongst 12 Kittiwake, 11 Common Scoter, 4 Red-throated Diver and 2 Red-breasted Merganser.
Wildfowl and Waders
Wildfowl included 6 Shoveler.
Miscellaneous
The first few Lesser Black-backed Gulls have already begun to return.

Scaup increase

30th January 2020 – overcast/mizzle at times S3
Offshore
A check of the sea produced just 3 Red-throated Diver.
Grounded Migrants
Three Fieldfare were logged.
Wildfowl and Waders
There are now 6 Scaup (4 females + 2 first-winter males) and the Brent Goose flock held 103 pale-bellied Brent Goose.
Miscellaneous
The Hooded Crow put in another appearance.

Quiet day

29th January 2020 – overcast/rain later W4/5/6
Offshore
A check of the sea (0830-0930) yielded only 23 Common Scoter, 3 Red-throated Diver, 2 Kittiwake and a Red-breasted Merganser.
Grounded Migrants
Two Mistle Thrush were logged.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 5 Scaup (3 females + 2 first-winter males) remain along with 67 pale-bellied and 88 dark-bellied Brent Goose.
Miscellaneous
A Little Owl was the best of the rest.

Norwegian Rock Pipit and lingering Water Pipit

28th January 2020 – overcast, frequent rain/hail showers W5/6
Rarities
The Water Pipit was again amongst 4 Rock Pipit feeding in the flooded horse paddocks at Biggar over the high tide.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 5 Scaup (3 females + 2 first-winter males) remain along with 170 pale-bellied Brent Goose and 47 Pintail. Waders included 4000 Knot and 4 Greenshank.
Ringing
A colour-ringed Rock Pipit flushed onto the salt marsh at high tide had been ringed at Makkevika, Giske, Møre & Romsdal, Norway (1,080km NNE) on 17th August 2019.

Hooded Crow and Scaup

27th January 2020 – sun/showers SW3/4
Offshore
A check of the sea (0830-0930) revealed 32 Razorbill, 18 Common Scoter, 14 Red-breasted Merganser and 9 Red-throated Diver, .
Wildfowl and Waders
The 5 Scaup (3 females + 2 first-winter males) remain along with 116 pale-bellied Brent Goose and 52 Pintail. Waders included 4000 Knot and 3000 Oystercatcher.
Miscellaneous
The Hooded Crow put in yet another appearance.

Water Pipit, Hooded Crow and Scaup

26th January 2020 – overcast/rain, clearing later SSE4/5
Rarities
The Water Pipit was again amongst 6 Rock Pipit and 12 Meadow Pipit in the flooded horse paddocks at Biggar over the high tide.
Offshore
A quick check of the sea as the weather front closed in produced just 12 Common Scoter, 3 Red-throated Diver, 3 Red-breasted Merganser and a Razorbill.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 5 Scaup (3 females + 2 first-winter males) remain along with a total of 321 pale-bellied Brent Goose, 84 Pintail and 4 Black-tailed Godwit.
Miscellaneous
The Hooded Crow put in another appearance.

Whooper Swans begin to head north

25th January 2020 – overcast/mist/mizzle/S1
Offshore
A check of the sea as the weather began to clear (1030-1130) produced 11 Common Scoter, 9 Red-throated Diver and 2 Kittiwake.
Grounded Migrants
Again a Mistle Thrush was logged.
Diurnal Migration
A group of 5 adult Whooper Swan headed north.
Wildfowl and Waders
A total of 340 pale-bellied Brent Goose were logged.
Miscellaneous
A Treecreeper was amongst 16 Long-tailed Tit and 2 Peregrine were the best of the rest.

Merlin

24th January 2020 – overcast/mist/mizzle/calm
Offshore
The sea was visible for the first time in a few days and observations (0930-1030) produced 41 Common Scoter, 18 Red-throated Diver, 10 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Kittiwake and a Shag before the weather again closed in.
Grounded Migrants
Early morning thrushes involved 2 Mistle Thrush and a Redwing.
Miscellaneous
A Merlin was the best of the rest.

Dense fog continues to cover the island

23rd January 2020 – dense fog/calm
Miscellaneous
A Little Owl was the only bird of note.

Hooded Crow still present

22nd January 2020 – dense fog/calm
Grounded Migrants
Early morning thrushes involved a Mistle Thrush
Miscellaneous
The long-staying Hooded Crow loomed out of the fog.

Water Rail

21st January 2020 – overcast/mist/mizzle/calm
Offshore
Morning observations (0830-1000) revealed 80 Red-throated Diver, 39 Shag, 21 Common Scoter, 8 Razorbill, 7 Guillemot and 5 Red-breasted Merganser
Grounded Migrants
Early morning thrushes involved 3 Fieldfare and 3 Redwing.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 5 Scaup remain (3 females, 2 first-winter males) and waders included 4 Greenshank, 130 Sanderling and 4,000 Knot.
Miscellaneous
The Hooded Crow continues in residence and a Water Rail called.

Hooded Crow and Twite

20th January 2020 – sunny spells W1
Offshore
Morning observations (0830-0930) revealed 100 Common Scoter, 33 Red-throated Diver, 11 Red-breasted Merganser and 5 Razorbill
Miscellaneous
The Hooded Crow continues in residence, a flock of 28 Twite were seen and single Barn Owl and Little Owl were logged.

Shags achieve record high

19th January 2020 – hazy sun/mist/frost/calm
Offshore
Morning observations (0830-0930) over calm seas produced a record post-roost congregation of 51 Shag. Also seen were 5,000 Eider, 23 Red-breasted Merganser, 17 Red-throated Diver, 10 Common Scoter and a Razorbill
Grounded Migrants
Early morning thrushes involved 2 Fieldfare, 2 Redwing and a Mistle Thrush. Grounded flocks of 8 Woodpigeon and 4 Pied Wagtail were also suggestive of some movement.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 5 Scaup remain (3 females, 2 first-winter males) and waders included 7 Greenshank and 2,000 Knot.
Miscellaneous
The Hooded Crow continues in residence, flocks of 30 Twite and 20 Linnet were seen and single Barn Owl and Little Owl were logged.

Seabirds on the move

18th January 2020 – sun and showers W2/3
Offshore
Morning observations (0830-1000) produced 380 Common Scoter, 50 Razorbill, 44 Red-throated Diver, 9 Red-breasted Merganser and 4 Guillemot.
Grounded Migrants
Early morning thrushes involved 2 Fieldfare and a Mistle Thrush.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 5 Scaup remain (3 females, 2 first-winter males) and waders included 11 Greenshank.
Miscellaneous
The Hooded Crow continues in residence.

Hooded Crow and Scaup

17th January 2020 – early rain clearing W2/3
Offshore
A quick check over the sea revealed 50 Common Scoter and 3 Shag.
Grounded Migrants
Early morning thrushes involved 5 Song Thrush, 2 Fieldfare and single Redwing and Mistle Thrush.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 5 Scaup remain (3 females, 2 first-winter males).
Miscellaneous
The Hooded Crow made another appearance.

Water Pipit continues to perform

16th January 2020 – overcast/showers SE4/5/6
Rarities
The Water Pipit was again amongst Rock and Meadow Pipits feeding in the flooded horse paddocks at Biggar over the high tide.
Offshore
A check of the sea (0900-1000) produced just 13 Common Scoter, 7 Red-throated Diver, 3 Razorbill and 2 Red-breasted Merganser.

Water Pipit and Hooded Crow still

15th January 2020 – sunny spells SW3
Rarities
The Water Pipit was again amongst Rock and Meadow Pipits feeding in the flooded horse paddocks at Biggar over the high tide.
Offshore
A check of the sea (0900-1000) produced just 15 Kittiwake, 10 Common Scoter, 3 Red-throated Diver and 2 Razorbill.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 5 Scaup remain (3 females, 2 first-winter males), while waders included 7 Greenshank.
Miscellaneous
The Hooded Crow put in another appearance and 7 Tree Sparrow were at a feeding station on the island.

Water Pipit and Hooded Crow

14th January 2020 – overcast/rain later S4/5
Rarities
The Water Pipit was again amongst Rock and Meadow Pipits feeding in the flooded horse paddocks at Biggar over the high tide.
Offshore
A check of the sea (0900-1000) produced just 17 Common Scoter, 3 Razorbill, 2 Red-throated Diver and a Kittiwake.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 5 Scaup remain (3 females, 2 first-winter males) also seen were 3 Barnacle Goose, while waders included 5 Greenshank.
Miscellaneous
The Hooded Crow put in another appearance.

Water Pipit remains

13th January 2020 – overcast/rain later SE4/5/6/7
Rarities
The Water Pipit was again amongst Rock and Meadow Pipits feeding in the flooded horse paddocks at Biggar over the high tide.
Offshore
A check of the sea (0900-1000) produced just 7 Common Scoter, 6 Razorbill, 3 Shag and single Red-throated Diver and Kittiwake.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 5 Scaup remain (3 females, 2 first-winter males) also seen were 930 Teal, 3 Barnacle Goose, 346 pale-bellied and 80 dark-bellied Brent Goose and a female Goosander. Waders included 5 Greenshank, 2 Purple Sandpiper and a Jack Snipe.
Miscellaneous
A group of 4 Twite were the best of the rest.

Water Pipit reappears to augment Bird Race score

12th January 2020 – early rain clearing W3
Rarities
The Water Pipit was again amongst Rock and Meadow Pipits feeding in the flooded horse paddocks at Biggar over the high tide.
Offshore
A check of the sea produced small numbers of Shag, Red-throated Diver, Kittiwake, Razorbill and Common Scoter.
Grounded Migrants
Early morning thrushes involved single Fieldfare and Mistle Thrush.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 5 Scaup remain (3 females, 2 first-winter males) also seen were 3 Barnacle Goose and 220 pale-bellied Brent Goose. Waders included Purple Sandpiper, Jack Snipe and Greenshank.
Miscellaneous
Walney BO again entered a team in the CBC Winter Bird Race, a total of 82 had been amassed by the time the team left the island at 1215hrs and this had increased to 103 species by the time the finish line was reached at 1730hrs.

Little Egret numbers remain high

11th January 2020 – overcast/rain later S5/6/7
Offshore
A check of the sea only produced a single Red-throated Diver.
Wildfowl and Waders
The Brent Goose flock again held 265 pale-bellied birds.
Miscellaneous
A total of 61 Little Egret were logged.

Pink-footed Geese begin to head north

10th January 2020 – early showers then sunny spells ESE1
Offshore
A check of the sea (0900-1000) produced 160 Common Scoter, 24 Red-throated Diver, 7 Red-breasted Merganser, 5 Razorbill and a Great Crested Grebe.
Diurnal Migration
A flock of 20 Pink-footed Geese headed north.
Wildfowl and Waders
Wildfowl included 7 Shoveler and a female Goosander.

A quiet winter’s day

9th January 2020 – sunny spells S2/3
Offshore
A check of the sea (0900-1000) provided 71 Common Scoter, 11 Red-throated Diver, 10 Razorbill, 2 Tufted Duck and a Guillemot.
Wildfowl and Waders
The Brent Goose flock again held 300 pale-bellied birds.
Miscellaneous
Two Raven were the best of the rest.

Hooded Crow still in residence

8th January 2020 – overcast W3
Offshore
A check of the sea (0900-1000) produced 10 Common Scoter, 7 Red-throated Diver, 7 Razorbill, 3 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Guillemot and 2 Kittiwake.
Wildfowl and Waders
The Brent Goose flock held 300 pale-bellied birds.
Miscellaneous
The long-staying Hooded Crow put in another appearance and a Little Owl was logged.

Another quiet seawatch

7th January 2020 – overcast/rain clearing SE3/4
Offshore
Another quiet day over the sea, observations (1100-1200) produced just 18 Common Scoter, 6 Red-throated Diver, 5 Red-breasted Merganser, 3 Razorbill and a Guillemot.

Scaup still in residence

6th January 2020 – overcast/rain soon S4/5
Offshore
A quick check of the sea as the rain front approached produced 12 Red-throated Diver, 11 Common Scoter and single Shag and Guillemot.
Wildfowl and Waders
Five Scaup (3 females & 2 first-winter males) remain amongst 15 Goldeneye and 11 Red-breasted Merganser and waders included 3 Greenshank.
Miscellaneous
A Barn Owl hunting at dawn was the best of the rest.

Quiet seawatch

5th January 2020 – overcast SW3/4
Offshore
A quiet day over the sea, early morning observations (0900-1000) produced just 23 Common Scoter and 7 Red-throated Diver.
Wildfowl and Waders
Two Shoveler were seen.

Scoters on the move

4th January 2020 – overcast W3/4
Offshore
A check of the sea (0900-1000) produced 108 Common Scoter, 6 Red-throated Diver and 5 Kittiwake.
Wildfowl and Waders
Five Scaup (3 females & 2 first-winter males) remain amongst 10 Goldeneye and the Brent Goose flock held 114 pale-bellied and 2 dark-bellied birds.
Ringing
The Brent Goose flock held colour-ringed birds from Canada, Iceland and The Netherlands.

Shoveler numbers begin to build

3rd January 2020 – sunny spells SW3
Offshore
Early morning observations (0900-1000) produced 38 Common Scoter, 11 Red-throated Diver and 5 Shelduck.
Wildfowl and Waders
Five Shoveler were seen.
Miscellaneous
A Little Owl and Peregrine were the best of the rest.

Scaup remain

2nd January 2020 – overcast/rain later SE2/3
Offshore
A check of the sea (0900-1000) produced 9 Common Scoter, 7 Red-throated Diver, 3 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Razorbill and a Guillemot.
Grounded Migrants
Early morning thrushes involved a single Redwing.
Wildfowl and Waders
Four Scaup and 4 Shoveler remain and waders included a 6 Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Greenshank.

Scaup see in the New Year

1st January 2020 – sunny spells ESE2
Grounded Migrants
Early morning thrushes involved single Redwing, Fieldfare and Mistle Thrush.
Wildfowl and Waders
Six Scaup (3 females, adult male, 2 x first-winter males) saw in the New Year and waders included a single Jack Snipe and 4 Greenshank.
Miscellaneous
Two Raven and a Little Owl were the best of the rest.