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

Back to Newsletter

Systematic list -              
Red-throated Diver to Gannet.
Cormorant to Brent Goose.
Shelduck to Long-tailed Duck.
Common Scoter to Merlin.
Barbary Falcon to Knot.
Sanderling to Black-tailed Godwit (below).
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.

Sanderling                                 Calidris alba

Fairly common winter visitor and migrant
In 2000 absent between Jun 6th and the first return on Jul 23rd, when 105 appeared on the evening tide. Passage was well marked, with 850 on Jul 25th and 1285 on Jul 31st. Numbers fluctuated though the rest of the year, with counts mostly below 300 apart from 450 on Aug 10th and 490 on Oct 10th.

In 2001 the last spring record was on May 5th and the first returning birds were seen on Jul 22nd. Numbers towards then end of the year were higher than usual.

Monthly maxima:


Jan Feb Mar  Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
- - - - 40 18 1285 450 40 490 5 100


Jan Feb Mar  Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
250 175 25 30 40 0 2 250 120 150 400 240


Little Stint                                     Calidris minutus

Very scarce spring and scarce autumn migrant
In 2000, first recorded on May 17th when a single appeared on the mud in front of the house. Four the following day and a single the day after, completed the spring passage. Autumn passage started on Aug 31st and continued to Sept 13th, with a total of 71 bird/days. 12 on Sept 4th and 15 the day after represented the peak of the passage.

Fewer birds were recorded in 2001 in a more protracted passage. A total of 19 birds passing through between Aug 26th and Oct 10th with five on Sept 2nd and again on Oct 5th the highest counts.


Curlew Sandpiper                        Calidris ferruginea

Very scarce spring and scarce autumn migrant

A single in summer plumage was present on May 18th2000. A total of 154 were recorded between Aug 2nd and Sept 26th, with a well-marked peak in the last few days of August and the first few in September, when up to 35 were present. There was clearly a large amount of turnover eg. 20 of the 30 on Aug 29th were adults while all of the 30 birds on Aug 30th were apricot-coloured juveniles. One of the highlights of the year!

As with the above species there were fewer records in 2001 with just 14 recorded between Sept 1st and Oct 6th. An extremely late bird was present on Oct 28th.


White-rumped Sandpiper  Calidris fuscicollis


An adult was present just below the garden wall for much of Sept 2nd2000. Amazingly a different adult, in a less advanced state of moult was present from Sept 9th to 13th2000. A probable was seen in flight only on Sept 5th. It was a surreal experience to host a small-scale twitch on two successive weekends. Both records have been accepted by the BBRC.



Purple Sandpiper                                  Calidris maritima

Scarce coastal winter visitor
An early bird flew west towards Hilbre on Sept 12th2000. Two were seen in flight on Jan 16th2001, presumably as a result of disturbance on Hilbre and Bird Rock.


Dunlin                                           Calidris alpina

Abundant winter visitor and migrant, scarce in summer.

Recorded daily apart from between Jun 10th and Jun 23rd 2000.

Monthly maxima:


Jan Feb Mar  Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
- - - - 1.5M 15 2M 2.5M 3.5M 9M 7M 8M


Jan Feb Mar  Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
3.5M 1.5M 2M 700 300 75 35 3M 5M 5.5M 20M 7M

Considerable variation was noted amongst the passing birds. On Aug 13th 2000 we recorded a bird which was as large-billed and as big as Curlew Sandpiper, with paler cheeks and brighter back than the more "standard" Dunlin. Possibly C.a.hudsonia/sakhalina. On Aug 3rd 2000 there was a partial leucistic individual with silver-coloured secondaries and white checks.


Ruff                                             Philomachus pugnax

Scarce migrant and winter visitor
Recorded on three dates between Sept 4th and Sept 27th, with two on Sept 10th the maximum count. There were no records in 2001.


Snipe                                   Gallinago gallinago

Uncommon winter visitor and migrant
Two on Sept 10th and a single on Oct 7th 2000 were the only records.


Woodcock                                  Scolopax rusticola

Uncommon winter visitor
The headless and breastless remains of a first winter bird, were dropped by a passing Peregrine on Mar 24th 2001. Though still warm, we are waiting for a living example before admitting this species to the house list!


Black-tailed Godwit                            Limosa limosa

Fairly common winter visitor and uncommon migrant
Twelve summer plumaged L.l.islandica birds appeared at high tide on June 30th 2000. There was one on Nov 25th 2000 and 17 on Aug 25th 2001.

Bar-tailed Godwit to Grey Phalarope.