Tuesday, 19 June 2018

19th June 2018

Weather: WNW  3 increasing to 5 later with good visibility

Curlew which have failed to breed are starting to return and nineteen were around Little Eye following the morning tide, with 3 Heron looking like they had roosted on Middle. A Little Egret was wing flapping in the rock pools to startle fish into movement  and three more fished in the Gutter.
There were singles of Ringed Plover, Turnstone and Bar-tailed Godwit. Eleven Swallows were around the islands and 7 Swift flew over. As the wind increased following the afternoon tide, 10 Manx Shearwater were seen from the obs balcony, also on the sea were 13 Gannet and 7 Great Crested Grebe.
Although the mass of  floral colour has now gone from the island, there are still little gems like the Sheep’s -bit  to be found.
 Also found but not quite as photogenic, was a mass of  brown algae probably washed up by last Thursday’s storm (still attached to its rock anchor). This is thought to be of the genus Desmarestia, possibly Mermaid’s Hair.  
 photos AS

Monday, 18 June 2018

18th June 2018

Weather: WNW force 5 decreasing slowly
 From the moth trap last night: Peppered moth and Buff Arches, both relatively common but scarce on this small island.

In the morning a Swift flew briefly around sheltered by the east cliffs.
The high tide in the middle of the afternoon produced 2 Manx Shearwaters and 2 Arctic Skuas, also 44 Gannets and 11 Guillemot.
The immature Eider appeared as the tide came in.

Ringed: 2 Linnets, 1 Meadow Pipit.                    [ 407-28 ]
photos GB

Sunday, 17 June 2018

17th June 2018

Weather: SSW force 2/3
The Swallows in the lookout fledged today with 5 or 6 juveniles seeing the world for the first time.
Lots of Gannets were on the sea, 113 seen today, also 9 Common Scoters, 45 Common Terns, 8 Sandwich Terns and a Guillemot. Meanwhile the immature Eider stays with us.
 photos AS

Saturday, 16 June 2018

16th June 2018

Weather:SSE with rain at dawn, soon veering SW force 3/4
Very little to report today; on the log were the immature Eider, 21 Black Headed Gulls, 200 Herring Gulls, 23 Common and 10 Sandwich Terns, a Little Egret, 4 Grey Herons (2 of which were the first juveniles to appear around the islands),
also a Shelduck, a Great Crested Grebe, 900 Oystercatchers, 2 Curlew, 18 Meadow Pipits and 28 Linnets. There are still many Garden Tiger caterpillars amongst the grassy areas.
photos AS

Friday, 15 June 2018

15th June 2018

Weather: WSW force 2
A sea watch today was productive when a Storm Petrel flew west passed the island. June is known to be a good month to find  a wandering Storm Petrel in the Irish sea. Sixty Six Gannets were also a good reward in fairly quiet winds. Eight Shelduck went north over tide with seven going west later, the regular pair were around the island. It has been an excellent year for the Swallows with at least 4 active nests, the latest found is in a totally natural site on one of the cliffs, an very unusual occurrence anywhere and surely the first such at Hilbre. The Pied Wagtails seem to have been successful with 2 juveniles present this morning.

An accurate count of Oystercatchers came up with 455, and they are just about the only waders present at Hilbre at the moment.
Thanks to Paul Slater for his seawatching records including the Storm Petrel 
photos AS

Thursday, 14 June 2018

14th June 2018

Weather: SW  5- 6 reaching gusts of 7 later, good visibility

It was a great day for a sea watch and bird of the day was certainly Manx Shearwater with 328 counted going east towards Liverpool Bay, with the wind behind them they moved through very fast in groups of up to 30. Returning later and flying into the wind they were a bit easier to photograph.

Also logged were 9 Common Scoter and a good count of 9 Fulmar, 69 Gannet, 10 Guillemot and 10 Kittiwake.
A day that was worth being ‘trapped’ in the sea watching hide over tide for.
Thanks to Stan Davidson for his counts.
photos AS

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

13th June 2018

Weather: SE force 1, rain later in the day
An adult male was on the sea today in addition to the regular immature male.
Lady's Bedstraw in flower
 Flocks of 18 and 12 Canada Geese were logged and 4 mute Swans flew up the estuary off the west side.

 photos AS