Thursday, 22 June 2017

Colour-ringed Ringed Plover

Hilbre Islands LNR Ranger Matt Thomas spotted a colour ringed and leg-flagged Ringed Plover between the islands as he left the island on 13th June 2017.

It turns out it was colour-ringed by Chris McGuigan last year as part of only six birds (three breeding pairs) at a Dundee supermarket car park.  This bird, a female '108', was paired to male '101'.  She was ringed ringed on 17 June 2016 and last seen on 11 July 2016.

At least four have returned this year (including 101). A couple were seen to over-winter on the Tay estuary so it was assumed that these birds did not move far. So the Hilbre sighting is a somewhat surprising and interesting development.

Thanks to Matt Thomas and Chris McGuigan for the info. Photo by @mattthomas966 taken at Hilbre on 13 June 2017.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

21st June 2017

WNW 2 vis 8mls

A typical very quiet June day. The Kestrel is still around the main island and 14 Shelduck were present.

The only wader of note was a nice Grey Plover before the early tide and 60 Black-headed Gulls were in the Gutter.

A dozen Sandwich Terns were feeding close in to the East side over the tide.

The breeding birds noted included 2 singing Wrens.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

20th June 2017

Another hot day brought the first two Hummingbird Hawk-moths to the east side of the island.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

17th June 2017

Weather: calm with 10 mls vis, North 1 and 30mls later.
A surprisingly good day considering the month and the conditions. It started with Shelduck movements totalling 40 including the resident birds, then Curlew were spotted – 7 returning birds. Many more terns were about than of late with 130 Sandwich, 150 Common and a Little noted. A bonus was a Manx Shearwater going West to East close in to the North end.
Also on the sea were 8 Gannet, a Great Crested Grebe and a Guillemot.
Circa 70 Canada Geese flew from the Tanskeys and came down on the estuary North of Little Eye.
 Little Egrets numbered 6 with 2 Grey Heron.
The Kestrel was again present and there was a passage of 15 Swifts.     All photos AEH
Silver Y moth         

Friday, 16 June 2017

16th June 2017

Weather: W force 5/6
A a low tide count of the seals this morning produced a total of 484 Grey Seals and 7 Common Seals, this is a good number and  is in line with the maximum of recent times although the numbers have fluctuated over the years. Twenty one Sandwich Terns and a Common Tern were noted as were 2 Little Egrrets (below KMc).

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

13th June 2017

Weather:  W  force 2 vis 20mls increasing later

Following the high winds of the last few days the bracken and trees are very badly wind/salt burnt, it is hoped that no nests were damaged.

Three Shelduck and the pair of Mallard were on the East side.

Only three Gannet and a few Sandwich and Common Terns were noted off the North end.

A Kestrel disturbed the breeding birds on the main island a few times over the tide and the only other birds of note were two Swifts which were feeding over the islands for some time.

A nice find was a lovely Brimstone butterfly which unfortunately didn’t stay still long enough to be photographed.

This is only the fourth record for the Obs of this locally rare but increasing butterfly.  Photo below from 2014 (see

Sunday, 11 June 2017

10th June 2017

Weather: SE force 3/4, heavy rain early
One member braved the appalling weather this morning to visit the island but found normal activities were impossible in the downpour.

Seven Grey Plovers were within camera range on the shore (below).
 A Guillemot and 20 Common Terns were noted on the sea and a Little Egret and a male Mallard around the island. At the north end a single piece of Glasswort has made an appearance on the rocks by the north end pool (below).

Photos AEH