Tuesday, 27 April 2010

27th April 2010

It was a pleasant surprise after the cold westerlies of yesterday to find a reasonably mild south east breeze to start the day. As was expected with these conditions the birding was much more varied and comfortable to the observers. The clear overnight sky did not drop in any migrants but a steady trickle arrived during the morning.
Twelve Willow Warblers and 2 Chiffchaffs represented the small warblers, while the only larger species were 2 Whitethroats (above) and 2 Grasshopper Warblers. Greenland Wheatears were slow to arrive but totalled 8 by noon, while visible passage was not heavy with only a single Redpoll, 2 Yellow Wagtails, a Tree Pipit, 6 White Wagtails and the hirundine passage (which included 2 Sand Martins).

Most spring days include unexpected scarce visitors to Hilbre and today was no exception with a Merlin (above left), a Collared Dove (above right), a Magpie (right) and a Reed Bunting all failing to find the island to their liking.

On the sea star bird was a pale phase Arctic Skua (the first of the year), 90 Little Gulls still attracted attention with 3 Red-throated Divers, 30 Sandwich terns and up to 90 distant 'commic terns' and just the single Gannet and Kittiwake.

A young Short-tailed field vole posed for a photo that must be the one of the best ever taken (left, SRW).

Ringed:- 7 Willow Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Whitethroats (above left, SRW), 2 Pied Wagtails (a first year male and female that have been around the island for some weeks now), 1 Grasshopper Warbler (a darker less olive bird with paler buff underparts than others seen this spring; above SRW), 1 Linnet, 1 Meadow Pipit.

(DB,ME+HW,CJ,DCT,PT,SRW,AW) [207] photos CJ & SRW

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