Tidal Tales: The birds of Hilbre Island

Video report by ITV reporter Sarah Rogers

The thing that hit me most about visiting Hilbre Island, along with the gorgeous red rock and rugged landscape is actually the sound coming from it.

Early in the morning, before people come to admire the view, the 11.5 acre island is home to hundreds of birds all chirping away.

Melodious warbler on hilbre Credit: Hilbre Island Bird Observatory

It's a sort of 'pit stop' for migration and is popular with wading birds as well as having its own seal colony.

Filming on Hilbre Island

There's been a bird observatory here since 1957, birds are 'ringed' to keep track of population and gain a greater understanding of migration patterns.

Burt as well as the usual suspects, the Egrets and the Oystercatchers there is the odd rarity that turns up here.

A Hoopoe, was spotted here over the summer for only the fourth time in recorded history - for context it would be more at home in Madagascar!

A Hoopoe bird Credit: Hilbre Island Bird Observatory/Facebook

We're shown round the island by its ranger Matt Thomas who explains the island's fascinating history. The sandstone here is some 230 million years old.

There was also once a pub here in the 17th century, hard to imagine now without any running water or electricity here.

For those without wings it takes a good hour to walk out from the sands at West Kirby but knowing the tide times is vital as the island gets completely cut off twice a day.

Full information on the nature reserve can be found here.

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