Saturday, 26 May 2018

26th May 2018

Weather: E force 1/2  heavy mist, hazy sun and warm.
The wind direction was variable before settling in the east and a touch of south at first provided a small flow of migrants to the island. The first Spotted Flycatcher of the year was soon followed by 2 others, a few Willow Warblers and a Chiffchaff on the ground. Three Spotted Flycatchers in a day is exceptional for us and most welcome.
Two Swifts screamed as they crossed Middle heading east early on, a rare sight this spring, but no extra Swallows or Martins joined the breeding pairs feeding over the island.
A Woodpigeon flew around the island and just as it crossed the obs garden going to Middle a Fulmar came low over the garden heading in the opposite direction. Fulmar reconnaissance visits are noted here most years in late spring. The Blue Tit from 3 days ago was glimpsed in the heli garden early morning but not later on, although it may still be there. Few waders were about at high tide, just 14 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plover and 2 Whimbrel could be found in addition to the 300 or so Oystercatchers. The Eiders were not seen this morning but a single Common Scoter was at the north end and a  Guillemot sat on a rock on the west side as the tide approached.
Breeding birds are now seen carrying food for their young, and others nesting material.
Meadow Pipit
The island flowers are now at their very best.

An Orange Tip butterfly flew with the many Small Whites in the sunshine.
Ringed: 3 Spotted Flycatchers, 4 Willow Warblers, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Meadow Pipit.  [ 366-26 ]
photos CJ,JE

Friday, 25 May 2018

25th May 2018

Weather:NW force 1, dry early, rain in the afternoon.
Two Greenland Wheatears and a House Martin were the only true migrants on the island this morning apart from the Blue Tit which has been here since Wednesday.
Blue Tit
Meadow Pipits
Some sea watching produced records of 2 Harbour Porpoises, a Red-throated Diver, 3 Gannets, 10 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Common Scoter with 45 Sandwich and 25 Common Terns.
Best of the shore birds were 2 Grey Herons, 2 Little Egrets and 4 Whimbrel, while the 2 Eiders and 12 Shelduck were around and about.

photos AS 

Thursday, 24 May 2018

24th May 2018

Weather: E   1   vis 5mls
A Blue Tit could be heard frequently but would not show itself, presumably yesterday’s bird. A single Wheatear was again present and two extra Swallows had joined the eight breeding birds on the island, both male and female Pied Wagtail were seen.
The 2 Eider were off the west side and 4 Shelduck flew over Middle. The sea was very quiet with only 8 Gannet and a couple each of Great Crested Grebe and Guillemot, although Sandwich Tern numbers had increased to 120 with a good number on the rocks in the lagoon as the tide ebbed. Common Tern numbered 35 with a couple feeding close to the west side
A small flock of 23 Dunlin roosted at the North End over tide along with 7 Turnstone, a couple of which were in summer plumage.

Three Whimbrel were also present. A Peregrine was on the sands between the islands and Red Rocks, 1 Little Egret and 3 Heron were feeding around the islands from first light. 
photos AS

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

23rd May 2018

Weather: ESE force 2 with mist
Highlight of today was a Blue Tit, a scarce Hilbre bird and the first this year, which was caught for ringing.
Almost as scarce here was the appearance of 6 Mute Swans at the islands.
Migrants included 2 male Whitethroats, a Greenland Wheatear, 2 Sand Martins and a House Martin.
Six Little Egrets were the best number for some time, with 4 Grey Herons and 3 Whimbrel also logged.
Butterflies out today included 5 Large White, 6 Small White, 3 Green-veined White, a Red Admiral and a Common Blue.
Ringed: 1 Blue Tit          [ 357-25 ]
photo SRW

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

22nd May 2018

Weather: WNW  3-4 decreasing later, vis 5 mls

The only waders around the island today were 150 Oystercatcher and 2 Whimbrel, they were all disturbed by a Peregrine high over the north shore and probably the same bird was seen later, with prey on the East Hoyle. From a boat 250 Sanderling were seen flying west off the north of Hilbre.
The change in wind direction today seemed to have pushed in more Gannets with 146 noted along with 28 Guillemot, 12 Common Scoter and about 100 of mixed Sandwich and Common Terns. The 2 immature male Eider were on the west side and 2 Shelduck to the east of Middle, a male Mallard was on the pond at first light but soon disappeared. Two Little Egret and a Heron were also noted.
There were no migrants today but the first juvenile Meadow Pipit was seen by the Canoe Club, indeed many of the Pipits were carrying food today.
A single Harbour Porpoise was seen off the North End. Two male Orange Tip and a male Green Veined White were the best of the many butterflies around when the sun came out after the tide.
photos AS

Monday, 21 May 2018

21st May 2018

Weather: ESE   with light airs vis 8 mls with a light mist around the estuary.

A short visit after the early morning tide found the islands as quiet as expected with 2 House Martin briefly joining the breeding swallows over the island, a Collared Dove landed on the S.K trap...
  and 2 Jackdaw inspected every chimney pot on the island.
Two Goldfinch were present and it is suspected by some that they may be a breeding pair, time will tell… or not.
Six Little Egret were at the south end of the reef, (a better count than of late) and 2 Grey Heron were present. Two Shelduck were in the gutter but waders have almost disappeared with a small flock of 45 Dunlin and a few Oystercatcher about.
Terns numbered 2 Little, 40 Sandwich and 10 Common. The 2 Eider are still about along with 22 Gannet, 7 Great Crested Grebe and 2 Guillemot on the sea.
photos AS

Sunday, 20 May 2018

20th May 2018

Weather: SE force 2 mostly sunny
A late Willow Warbler was in the paddocks this morning but no sign of any of the larger warblers, and the only other grounded migrant was a single Wheatear. A Yellow Wagtail called as it passed through and 6 House Martins joined the Swallows feeding over the island and a Collared Dove flew south towards Middle being 'seen off' by the local Meadow Pipits. Despite the lack of numbers of birds it was nevertheless a very pleasant morning in the fine weather with lots of flowers now to admire.
There seem to be good numbers of breeding Linnets this year, although nationally they are in decline.

The 2 Eiders were again loafing off the west side and about 50 Gannets diving further out, with 3 Little Terns also identified amongst the other terns towards the west hoyle.
An Orange Tip butterfly flew again in the sunshine.
Ringed: 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Linnet        [ 356-24 ]