Saturday, 24 September 2016

24th September 2016

Weather: S/SW force 4/6
A brief mid-morning visit found no migrants present on the ground but there was a record of a Jackdaw over the island. A few Swallows still continue to feed around the paddocks.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

22nd September 2016

Weather: WNW force 4, sunny from mid-morning
A Green Sandpiper was in the channel north east of Little Eye in the morning, although it flew immediately over to the ridge south of Middle Eye and could not be relocated. Green Sandpiper is a very scarce visitor to Hilbre and has not appeared over the last few years. The rest of the visit was mostly pleasant but uneventful, with records of a Grey Wagtail flying low over the east hoyle, a Wheatear on Middle, a single Goldcrest arriving later on the main island, a flock of 7 Wigeon flying in from the north, and a count of 92 Bar-tailed Godwits on the east hoyle. Other waders today were 30 Knot, 20 Sanderling, 225 Dunlin, 150 Ringed Plover and 2 Grey Plover.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

21st September 2016

Weather: SE force 3/4       cool
It felt like autumn was truly here this morning as the south easterly wind was quite cool, but there was no noticeable improvement in the arrival of birds. Single Chiffchaff, Goldcrest and Wheatear gave some hope of better things arouind the island but little else was forthcoming. About 15 Swallows were feeding furiously over the island for a while, a few Pied Wagtails went through and there seemed to be at least 7 Robins ticking regularly about the island, otherwise all was quiet.
Wigeon with Curlew and Oystercatchers (CJ)
A Wigeon stood on the sand off the north end, (and flocks of 38 and 70 passed south in the afternoon), while 3 Sandwich Terns still flew by the tide where 21 Bar-tailed Godwits fed on the shore. Both Peregrine and Kestrel were present today.
Late news from the afternoon tide was of a Great White Egret flying south west across Middle Eye.
Ringed: 1 Goldcrest, 1 Linnet, 1 Meadow Pipit            [ 387-28 ]

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

20th September 2016

Weather: ENE force 0/1
Another quiet morning with just 3 Goldcrests in the trapping areas and gardens and a Grey Wagtail over, although some of the 5 Wrens and 7 Robins may be migrants. Best of the waders were 28 Turnstones and 18 Bar-tailed Godwits. A Shag was on the whaleback and a Peregrine was noted.
Ringed: 1 Goldcrest.          [ 384-28 ]      

Sunday, 18 September 2016

18th September 2016

Weather SSE force 2/3

A beautiful warm and sunny September's morning greeted observers who stayed over the tide for the regular WeBs count. Despite the clear conditions it became clear that a few birds had dropped in to the island with Robins heard ‘ticking’ from the Obs balcony and a Goldcrest present in the Obs garden. Surprise of the day was a juvenile Swallow that flew into the obs and was caught by hand for ringing! (below, PSW)
The heat haze didn’t help with with observations but as the cloud cover increased later in the afternoon huge numbers of Common Scoter were seen out towards the wind farms. A conservative estimate of 4-5000 birds was made with many being invisible on the sea. Two Guillemots and a Razorbill were also picked out with the Guillemots drifting close by the north end. Good numbers of waders roosted on Middle Eye but were disturbed on several occasions by sea kayakers. Star bird was a single male Ruff picked out in flight in with a small flock of Whimbrel but it couldn’t be picked out on Middle Eye where it appeared to land. The warm weather meant a few late butterflies were on the wing with Painted Lady, Red Admiral and Small White all being recorded.
Ringed: 3 Robins, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Linnet. 1 Swallow            [ 383-28 ]

Friday, 16 September 2016

16th September 2016

Weather: NW force 5/6
With strong winds from the north west, focus was clearly on the sea, and was rewarded with records of 2 Great Skuas, 100 Gannets, 40 Guillemots, 10 Razorbills, 1,000 Common Scoter, 2 Kittiwakes, a Manx Shearwater and a Red-throated Diver. Waders at the high tide included 5,000 Oystercatchers, 500 Dunlin, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and a Whimbrel. Single Chiffchaff and Goldcrest were the only small migrants present this morning, and most terns have now moved on, just 14 Sandwich and 4 Common Terns could be found today. A Peregrine made a spectacular kill of a Ringed Plover, carrying away in view of the members.
Ringed Plover (AEH)
Peregrine with kill (AEH)

Dunlin (AEH)

Thursday, 15 September 2016

15th September 2016

Weather:  NW force 0/1  warm and sunny
Thick mist around the coast this morning brought autumn migrants to the islands. Three Common Snipe were present early morning and it was soon evident that a few Chiffchaffs (8), Willow Warblers (3) and Goldcrests (6) were in the trapping area and gardens. A Spotted Flycatcher was found at the south end which then proceeded to tour the island for the rest of the morning but somehow avoided being caught for ringing. A Tree Pipit also stayed around for a considerable time; most Tree Pipits at Hilbre are recorded as a result of birds calling as they pass overhead.
Tree Pipit (CJ)
Six Wheatears today were a good number for autumn, as were the 50 or so Swallows, while 2 Grey and 4 Pied Wagtails, 7 Robins and a Song Thrush were also present. Three Razorbills and 26 Guillemots were found on the tide, while on the shore a Common Sandpiper was at the north end and wader counts included 12 Bar-tailed Godwits, 75 Turnstone, 250 Dunlin and 5 Grey Plover. Two Canada Geese flew west between the islands. The warm weather suited the invertebrates, flying today were about 30 Red Admirals, a Painted Lady, a Peacock, 2 Speckled Wood, quite a few Small Whites and a Common Darter dragonfly.
Ringed:  5 Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers, 3 Goldcrests, 3 Robins, 1 Wren.    [ 377-27 ]