Yesterday, Mike and I visited Hilbre Island, just off the Wirral Coast. It is a 2 mile walk across the sand, navigating rocks, steps and pathway on to Hilbre, crossing Little Eye, Middle Eye and on to Hilbre main Island, starting out a West Kirby slipway by Marine Lake. The day was not as promised and remained grey and overcast all day with slight drizzle as we trudged our long way (one hour) to Hilbre ! You have to time the tides carefully with this walk and once on Hilbre we stayed 7 hours in total until the high tide has passed by 3 hours before walking back to W.Kirby. We had a very enjoyable first visit and met some very nice people although not many had ventured onto the Island that day. We saw plenty of birds and Grey Seals too but no sign of the Brent Geese that day. We were also told by another birdwatcher that there was an injured Great Skua by Little Eye (something wrong with its leg I was told) so on our way back we located it and I took a few photos to show you of this beautiful bird. Being concerned for the Skua, one of the birders said that it had already been reported and they were leaving it for a few days before taking action in case the bird recovered on its own as it could stand up although it stayed in the same place throughout the tide changes.
Anyway, enough of my ramblings, here are some photos and I will put the others on a link for you.
Leaving West Kirby to head out to Hilbre
Main Hilbre Island in view (taken from Middle Eye)
Our first sighting !
think it's just seen a ghost !
I will now put the photos of the Great Skua up (although these were taken on our return to W.Kirby late in the day)
will post more photos shortly ...........want to add these before page freezes LOL
Curlew and Oystercatcher, there were many Oystercatchers.
He's behind you LOL
Looking from Hilbre main island towards Middle Eye
Little Egret and Redshank
Lots of Cormorant
Old Lifeboat station on Hilbre Island
Explorer tour boat
are these Dunlins ?
Meadow Pipits were plentiful
Kestrel, not a great shot as it was a nervous bird who kept flying away !
Meadow Pipit again
Misty view early on after we arrived on Hilbre, stayed overcast all day but no breeze at all so warm
He couldn't leave without saying goodbye to you folks LOL
and end of a perfect day :)
Hilbre photos are on my Flickr. album HERE
"Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again"
Nice photos Hazy, like the seal with its mournful eyes, brave of you to undertake that walk, I know how hard it can be chasing the tide and walking any distance on sand.
Glad Bob mentioned the dead bird as i wondered if that was why the Skua didn't leave.
Lot to learn
In reply to gaynorsl:
Thanks Alan, Bob and Gaynor, I still have pics to upload but it takes so long on here as I have to resize everything first :( I will probably only add a few more and then just link to Flickr. for the rest.
@ Alan, I was really worried about this lovely bird but they did assure me the relevant authorities knew and were leaving the bird a couple of days to see if it moved on.
@ Bob, It was a Cormorant so at least it has eaten by the looks of it. If I would have been heading back I would have taken it some fresh fish although I guess when the high tide comes in it can possibly feed on passing food, I don't know enough about Skuas to know how well they fayre.
@ Gaynor, The bird has a gammy leg so don't think it can move on, it only stands for a short while during low tide and then just floats as the water rises, if I was nearer I would check on it each day. It is about 20 mins walk out to get to it and you can obviously go only at low tide.
In reply to HAZY:
Great variety of impressive pics aitch - doing the intrepid walkabout again I see - don't know where you find the energy - but you are only a young 'un lol!!
2013 photos & vids here
eff37 on Flickr
In reply to WendyBartter:
Morning Wendy, I wasn't sure I was going to get any decent photos as it was so very grey all day long with drizzle at the start of the morning. As for the energy, I am still recovering from that walk and trapsing over the rocks which in a lot of places were like sheets of ice - I looked about 100 years of age at times as I carefully chose each footing between main Hilbre to Middle Eye; several people have come a cropper on the rocks and as I had my first break last summer (metatarsal) I was trying to avoid another spell on crutches LOL between that fear and one of drowning, I am thinking seriously about revisiting Hilbre in the future ROFL
What a delightful sequence HAZY. Thank you for sharing. I'd no idea Hilbre island existed !! One to flag up for a visit at some point most definitely
In reply to Cirrus:
Morning Cirrus, I can highly recommend The Wirral coast as it is regarded as one of the top 10 places in the whole of Europe and considered of scientific importance, for bird watching, especially sea and wader birds with places such as West Kirby, Hoylake, New Brighton, Leasowe and (owls and bird of prey, geese, etc., on the inner marsh areas) Parkside, RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Inner Marsh Farm, Denhall Lane , etc., The Winter time seems to bring in many more visiting birds along the shoreline although I am no expert on this area as it is all new territory for me.
How great to have the winter as an opportune time to visit. I bookmarked this thread HAZY Thanks so much
Most welcome Cirrus, you will not be disappointed when you visit the Wirral but you'll need a week there LOL
I've put a couple of weblinks up HERE and HERE for those wishing to visit The Wirral and Hilbre Island. Also a blog on Hilbre Island HERE
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