The Hoylake “Bird Observatory” Bird Report for 2000-1

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Systematic list          
Red-throated Diver to Gannet.
Cormorant to Brent Goose (below).
Shelduck to Long-tailed Duck.
Common Scoter to Merlin.
Barbary Falcon to Knot.
Sanderling to Black-tailed Godwit.
Bar-tailed Godwit to Grey Phalarope.
Pomarine Skua to Corn Bunting will be published in the April 2002 Newsletter.      

The status line included for each species is adapted from the Cheshire and Wirral Ornithological Society's bird report.

Cormorant                                Phalacrocorax carbo

Fairly common visitor
Recorded daily. Birds often haul on the tide edge to dry themselves, with counts in excess of 100 frequent in late summer and early autumn. 136 on Sept 9th 2000 and 283 on Sept 1st 2001 were the highest totals of each year . Up to 15 birds are more or less ever present offshore sat on the offshore buoy, HE2.


Shag                                        Phalacrocorax phalacrocorax

Very scarce coastal visitor
A single was seen on four dates between May 17th and May 25th 2000.


Little Egret                                 Egretta garzetta

One flew west on the afternoon of Aug 28th 2000 (Bank Holiday Monday) in the midst of the air display for the Hoylake Lifeboat. Although this species is becoming much more regular nearby on the Dee, it remains a true vagrant in north Wirral. This is only the third record for the Red Rocks recording area.


Grey Heron                                  Ardea cinerea

Fairly common resident
First recorded one June 2nd 2000. There were 3 more June records of one or two then singles on Oct 21st 2000 and Jan 14th 2001. One was seen coming in high off the sea on Mar 28th 2001. 

As at Red Rocks, early spring is the best time for this species and singles were recorded regularly through Apr and early May 2001, including an individual persistently fishing for Sticklebacks in the back garden pond.


Mute Swan                                    Cygnus olor

Uncommon resident
Recorded on 6 widely spaced dates between Jun 2nd and Oct 6th 2000. Two were sat on the sea, looking like Gannets on Sept 9th and four flew over the house on Sept 29th.

A single on Oct 28th was the only record for 2001.


Bewick's Swan                                Cygnus columbianus

Scarce winter visitor
Fourteen, including two juvs, flew NE on the morning of Dec 27th 2000. Probably the best species found from bed so far!


Pink-footed Goose                           Anser brachyrhynchus

Uncommon transient winter visitor
120 were seen flying N in an extended line over the house from Hoylake station on the morning Jan 10th 2001. Fortunately two flocks adding up to 128 were recorded from the front door on the morning after, qualifying for the house list officially! Presumably these birds were feeding on the Hoylake Carrs.


Greylag Goose                                 Anser anser

Scarce feral resident
One or two were seen on four widely spaced dates between Oct 10th 2000 and Mar 23rd 2001.


Canada Goose                                   Branta canadensis

Common Resident
A record of two on Apr 12th 2001 is the only sight record so far. On calm evenings it is possible to hear birds at Gilroy Rd!


Brent Goose                                     Branta bernicla

Very scarce coastal visitor
Three adult pale-bellied birds (B.b.hrota) dropped onto the edge of the falling tide on Sept 16th. The eighteen pale-bellied birds resident on Hilbre for much of the winter came onto Bird Rock on Apr 7th 2001, with thirteen making the trip on the following day.

Single nominate birds were seen on Oct 24th 2000 and Apr 8th 2001. On Oct 28th 2001 two adult birds (illustrated opposite) showing intermediate characteristics between dark-bellied and the American/Siberian Black Brant flew in at high tide.They spent about an hour just in front of the house. One had the neck pattern typical of B.(b).nigricans while the other had the right flank pattern.

Shelduck to Long-tailed Duck.