Thursday, 30 June 2016

30th June 2016

Weather:  W2, 7/8 cloud, good vis

A brief visit produced a nice tern roost involving 68 Sandwich and 4 Common Terns and there were increasing numbers of Black-headed Gulls arriving as the tide receded.

A single Little Egret was noted in the gutter along with the colour-ringed Herring Gull.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

28th June 2016

There were three Little Egrets to the south of Middle Eye and 6 returning Curlew flew up the estuary with 8 more seen feeding in the gutter.

A Wren was singing on Middle Eye and a single Common Scoter was on the rocks to the east of the island, three male Mallard flew up from the bracken when disturbed. 

Four Shelduck were on the beach at the South End of Hilbre and two Grey Heron in the rocks on the West Side.  A Woodpigeon flew low over the observatory and four of the local Swallows were noted, also the two adult Pied Wagtails feeding a juvenile (hopefully there are more) but birds of the day were two Gadwall seen briefly at the North End of the gutter before flying up the estuary.

A Garden Tiger Moth was found on the slipway onto the main island.

Monday, 27 June 2016

27th June 2016

Weather: W3-4, 6/8 cloud, good vis

The main focus today was a visit to the Obs by years 5 and 6 of West Kirby Primary School.  Three groups visited the Observatory and viewed the Grey Seals through the telescope (525 seals were counted today) and each group had a talk on the work of the Obs, birds of Hilbre and other aspects of Natural History around the islands by the Records Officer.

The children appeared fascinated and asked all sorts of interesting and sometimes difficult questions.

On the bird front the increased number of Black-headed Gulls (120 were counted) prompted the appearance of the first Mediterranean Gull of the summer; a first summer bird noted on the east side of the gutter on the East Hoyle sandbank as the tide receded.

Four Manx Shearwaters were seen off Hilbre from the Hoylake Lifeboat and were bang on time.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

21st June 2016

Weather: S force 1, later W force 3 , mainly sunny and warm
A quiet day on the island produced little to excite the observers, although again there was a feeding flock on the sea to the north that comprised about 50 Gannets and a couple of hundred terns, both Sandwich and Common joining with gulls to take advantage of the unseen food source that lasted most of the high tide. A Rock Pipit showed today for the first time in the last few visits as did a Peregrine that sat on the sands of the east Hoyle after the tide.

Greater Sea-spurrey (CJW)

Yellow-tail moth caterpillar (CJW)

Sunday, 19 June 2016

19th June 2016

Weather: SSW force 2, cloudy
A very short pre-tide visit found many of the breeding species now have young out and about. A family group of 2 adults and 4 juvenile Swallows were on the rocks below the old obs, it is not certain at this stage from which of the possible 3 nests they originate. Other young flying this morning were 10 Linnets, 4 Meadow Pipits and a Dunnock. Two Swifts flying through were the only visible movement. Waders were again scarce, with Grey Plover, Curlew, Knot, and Dunlin all in single figures, mainly on the flood tide, the advancing waters also pushed up 3 Little Egrets and a Great Crested Grebe, while Common Terns flew with food south west towards the Dee.
Ringed: 1 Linnet         [ 297-26 ]

Saturday, 18 June 2016

18th June 2016

Weather: NE 3, backing NW 3 by midday,  4/8 sunny and warm then cloud increasing and overcast

There were a few good records today considering it is the middle of June. A pair of immature male Eiders were distantly off the east hoyle tide edge at the flood, but they quickly flew off to the north, later at high tide a male Sparrowhawk flew down the island with the local Swallows in attendance until it left the island to the west (below,SRW). Both of these species are more expected in spring and autumn.

All morning there were about 150 Gannets feeding in a certain of the sea out towards the wind farms, it seems likely there were shoals of fish in the area, while many Common and Sandwich Terns were also diving, some close to the island.  Others on the sea were a flock of 15 Common Scoter and 4 Great Crested Grebes. Waders were particularly scarce, just 62 Oystercatchers, 2 Curlew and a single Grey Plover; none of the smaller wader species were found even at high tide.  [296-26]

Thursday, 16 June 2016

16th June 2016

Weather: NE force 3, high cloud
record shot of Tufted Duck (AEH)
A quick visit mid-morning visit produced a Tufted Duck (very scarce at Hilbre) that flew around with Oystercatchers by Middle Eye and then did a circuit to the west of the islands before disappearing. Seven Little Egrets were to the south of Middle on the ebb tide and 12 Knot were noted, but few other waders except for a 100 or so Oystercatchers that seem to be staying with us this summer. Two Gannets (one adult) were distantly off to the north. In addition to 30 Common Terns there were 25 Sandwich Terns, some of which may form the start of the autumn roost on the East Hoyle bank. Several juvenile Linnets were noted in the paddocks today.
Common Tern (AEH)

Large Yellow Underwing (AEH)