Monday, 29 September 2014

29th September 2014

Weather:- E force 0/1 , slight mist
A Magpie spent a couple of hours on the island (left, CJ), we see these infrequent visitors more often in spring than autumn and its been some years since one was ringed, and this bird also failed to comply and left without troubling the ringers. Another bird that escaped ringing was a Garden Warbler, first glimpsed near the old buildings and later in the paddocks. Although it is a very scarce visitor it is by no means unprecedented for a Garden Warbler to turn up this late in the autumn at Hilbre. Two Goldcrests were ringed out of about double that number around, and a single Chiffchaff was present while other singles noted but passing over were a Swallow, a Skylark and a Grey Wagtail. Observers became aware of a small passage of Meadow Pipits this morning. Just 2 Brent appeared today although others may be somewhere in the area. A Grey Plover called and 6 Bar-tailed Godwits and 3 Little Egrets were logged. Two Kestrels flew around again, one of which was an adult male.
Ringed:- 2 Goldcrests (left, this years bird with pointed tail feathers, right adult with rounded tail) 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Wren, 2 Linnets, 1 Robin, 1 Meadow Pipit   [ 902-36 ]
(DB,CJ,NDW, et al)

Sunday, 28 September 2014

28th September 2014

Weather: SE force 2
Amongst the 7 Brent Geese seen today was an individual that was colour ringed in Canada by the Irish Brent Goose Research Group and has been seen at Hilbre each winter for the last 7 years (above, SRW). Only 3 days ago it was seen feeding at Strangford Lough in Northern Island as a stopover on its way from Canada. Migrants continue to arrive in small numbers, today 5 Goldcrests, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Grey Wagtails, 65 Meadow Pipits and a Wheatear. A high tide sea watch logged a Great Skua, 25 Red-throated Divers, 15 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Sandwich Terns, 6 Razorbills and 100 Guillemots. Previously 2 Harbour Porpoises were noted on the calm sea.
Ringed:- 3 Goldcrests                 [ 894-36 ]
(NDW,SRW,) + Jeff Clarke and party

Saturday, 27 September 2014

27th September 2014

Weather:- S force 2, clouding over
Pale-bellied Brent  (CJ)
A few more Goldcrests this morning (including one seen flying over Little Eye) but no Chiffchaffs, although a small number of Meadow Pipits and wagtails seem to be passing through, with a Grey Wagtail at the north end. The only other obvious migrant was a Reed Bunting in the bracken at the south of the island. A single pale-bellied Brent rested beside the tide edge to the north east (probably fresh in this morning) and later 4 others already present came in to land on the whaleback off the north west side (right).
Two Peregrines sat on the east hoyle sand between hunting trips. The sea was quiet except for the surprise of 95 Sandwich Terns flying off to the north west, an unexpectedly large number this late in the autumn.
Ringed:- 3 Goldcrests, 1 Wren, 1 Robin   [ 891-36 ]
(DB,CJ,SRW)

Friday, 26 September 2014

26th September 2014

Weather:- WNW force 5/6
Five adult Pale-bellied Brents were logged, also counts of 16 Bar-tailed Godwits, 250 Curlew, 8 Sanderling, 42 Turnstone and 22 Redshank. Migrant passerines were at a premium, just 3 Goldcrests and a female Wheatear. A Rock Pipit seen between the islands will also probably pass on as the autumn progresses and others arrive particularly during October and November. A red-throated Diver and 2 Guillemots were on the sea. Both male and female Kestrel hunted the island today.
(DB et al)

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

24th September 2014

Weather:- NW force 6, rain showers
The first moderate blow from the north west this September produced a species most sought after on sea watches at this time of year. Two Long-tailed Skuas appeared over the surf from Hoylake direction at 11.30am and passed west across the north end of the island. The rest of the sea watch was otherwise uneventful with just 2 Gannets, 15 Common Scoter and a single Sandwich Tern. The wind direction completely killed the steady passerine migration of the last few weeks and only a single Goldcrest still around. Visitors staying on Middle island again prevented the waders from roosting there during the high tide, they may think it is harmless but thousands of birds are prevented from accessing a valuable resting place. A single Bar-tailed Godwit was on the shore and A Black-tailed Godwit flew over observers near Little Eye. Mammal of the day was a large frog noted on the island.
(DB,KMc)

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

23rd September 2014

Weather:- WSW force 1/2, slight mist
South west winds this morning did not prevent a continuation of the presence of a small number of warblers, today there were 4 Goldcrest and 2 Chiffchaffs, also 3 Grey Wagtails and a Skylark that came down on the island. wader counts included 8,000 Oystercatcher, 310 Curlew, 75 Redshank, 50 Turnstone, 30 Ringed Plover, 100 Dunlin, and 3 Bar-tailed Godwits. Also on the shore were 150 Shelduck (at Little Eye), 4 Grey Herons and 2 Little Egrets.
(DB)

Monday, 22 September 2014

22nd September 2014

Weather:- S force 1, veering north west force 2 before midday
The balmy September weather continues and Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests still arrive on most days, even in fairly small numbers and today was no exception with at least 14 Goldcrests and 8 Chiffchaffs feeding in the gardens, bracken and Blackthorn areas. The were no Swallows or Wheatears today and just a single Skylark. News headline of the day was the sighting of the first 4 Brent Geese of the autumn/winter to arrive as the tide flooded near the reef south of Middle, it remains to be seen if they will stay or pass on elsewhere before others arrive in the next few weeks. Other geese/duck/ wader sightings were 200 Black-tailed Godwits flying passed Little Eye and over Grange Hill, 2 Pintail flying south and 6 Canada Geese going north, 40 Sanderling travelling north east, also 400 Redshank and 450 Shelducks by Tanskey rocks. A Rock Pipit was again between the islands.
Ringed:- 5 Chiffchaffs, 4 Goldcrests, 2 Robins, 1 Linnet    [ 883-36 ]
(DB,CJ,KMc)