Single Grey Plover, Whimbrel, Swift and Peregrine and two Little Egrets (see below) and the incessant rain did little to lift the mood that spring was really over.
A final round of the island at about 730pm (between rain showers) produced nothing in the traps. However, from the SK paddock a large white bird wading in the gutter east of Middle Hilbre was spotted and set alarm bells ringing. A quick dash back to the Obs and grab of the telescope confirmed it to be a Spoonbill; the first one ever to be seen from the island (see left).
The bird was an immature and it stayed a short while feeding in the gutter before the semi-resident pair of Herring Gulls and a Great Black-backed harrassed it and it flew to below the Obs garded in the east side gutter - by now it was being watched from the comfort of the Obs balcony.
After a while it decided to fly off south. However, a short time later it reappeared in the same spot as it was originally found opposite Middle. A mini-twitch from the mainland ensued - and one fortunate member made it in time just as two mountain-bikers accidentally flushed it and it flew between the islands and off towards Wales (see right).
Another great bird for the island.
[DB (briefly), FD, CJ, CLW, NDW, SRW + TGW, CJW (f), GIW] Photos SRW