Friday, 27 May 2016

27th May 2016

Weather: S 0-1, backing SE, 7/8 cloud, 5 miles vis

A singing Chiffchaff around the gardens today was the first phylloscopus warbler for some time.  It was later caught and ringed and prompted the usual discussion about where these late spring Chiffchaffs are going to/coming from.

The first Spotted Flycatcher of the year was found in the SK trap mid morning, incredible considering the numbers that have been seen on the North Wirral (Leasowe and Red Rocks) this spring.

Around lunchtime the Chiffchaff and a late Blackcap were caught in the Heli trap.

Up to five Little Egrets appeared on the ebbing tide but focus quickly turned to the stunning flock of Sanderling (425 plus a further 50 later) on the rocks below the Obs garden.

At least six colour-ringed/leg flagged birds were seen with details of at least 4 obtained.  There were at least four different flag colours involved so we are hoping that they were ringed in four different countries?  Initial enquiries (via - see below) resulted in the first bird having been ringed in Holland in August 2012.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

26th May 2016

Weather: N 0-1, cloud 8/8, rain and cold

Another quiet day but presumably the male Whitethroat from yesterday was braving the weather and singing in the Heli paddock in the evening after the rain has stopped. 

Three Whimbrel was noteworthy as was a rather late spring record of a Merlin.    

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

25th May 2016

Weather: NE 2-3, 8/8 cloud, good vis (rain by 6pm)

A very quiet morning was enlivened by the appearance of a male Whitethroat at the top of a bush in Obs garden and it even gave a short burst of song.  Incredibly the first warbler on the island for ten days!

Small numbers of passage waders were around the islands with 300 Knot, 120 Dunlin, 13 Sanderling and 10 Ringed Plover noted.

The sea was also generally quiet with just 16 Sandwich and 3 Common Terns recorded but a single Manx Shesrwater seen in the 'Hilbre Swash' from the Hoylake Lifeboat was a first for the year for the Observatory.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

24th May 2016

Weather: SE force1/2, later W force1, warm in the sunshine

Just when we thought we had seen the last of large flocks of Knot, a line of 2,000 flew north out of the estuary at 06.15hrs, Dunlin showed later with about 250 in a group mobile around the island, also a small number of Ringed Plover and a single Grey Plover and Bar-tailed Godwit.

Small migrants were not present apart from a Wheatear on Middle early in the day and a single Redpoll over calling.

Two Peregrines were seen this morning, one was in hunting mode but was not seen to have any luck.

Very little on the sea before the tide, only a few terns, but the high tide later may be more productive.

Ringed: 2 Linnets                         [ 282-24 ]

Sunday, 22 May 2016

22nd May 2016

Weather: SSE 0/1 at dawn then NW 1/2 by mid-morning, rain showers
The island is ablaze with flowers at the moment, mainly Pignut,Bluebells,Thrift and Birds-foot trefoil (CJ)
Neither the south easterly at dawn nor the rain showers during the morning brought any migrants to the ground on the island, and therefore concentration was on the sea over the high tide producing records of 60 Gannets, at least 40 Common Terns and 2 Arctic Terns off the west side. A few Swallows lingered with the 4 that seem to be resident and single House Martin and Swift came through with them. About a thousand Dunlin are still present, also logged were 20 Ringed Plover, 12 Turnstone, a Knot, 6 Sanderling and a Whimbrel.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

21st May 2016

Weather: S 2-3, dropping to 0-1, before turning SW and increasing by lunchtime, rain occasionally heavy until 11am then clearing

With the wind in the South and moisture in the air observers could be forgiven for having an increased optimism but this was dashed as there was little around the  paddocks and gardens apart from the breeding birds (including Dunnock, Wren, Linnet, Meadow and Rock Pipits).

The highlight of the morning was a pair of Fulmars prospecting up and down the west side of Hilbre and then Middle Eye.  As usual they did not stay long and drifted off to, hopefully, find a more suitable location.

Once again however waders were passing through and included a new flock of 10 Turnstone, whilst numbers of Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Sanderling were similar to yesterday.  Three Whimbrel were also noted.

Common Terns were close in around the main island in good numbers (65) and a couple took time to roost between the islands as the tide rose.

Friday, 20 May 2016

20th May 2016

Weather: WSW 2-3, 7/8 cloud, good vis

The weather wasn't conducive for passerine migration and so it proved with little or no evidence of such.

However, the waders continued to provide interest with 2,500 Dunlin present particular on the ebbing tide and these were joined by 145 Ringed Plover and Sanderling had increased as well on recent days.

No doubt the presence of good numbers of small waders attracted the attention of a Peregrine which roosted up on the sands near Little Eye having taken a recent prey.