The local civic dignitaries outing to Hilbre brought the rain mid morning and by the time they visited the observatory it had become quite heavy at times, but they enjoyed a talk by the chairman on the work of the observatory and were able to see a Linnet ringed. A less expected visitor was a rabbit that scurried across the obs garden early in the day.
The first Willow Warblers of the autumn arrived this morning when 4 were grounded no doubt by the cloud and drizzle, 3 of them were young birds in bright yellow dress (below) and the fourth was a greyish bird which was probably an adult. A Reed Warbler which is a rare Hilbre bird was seen briefly this morning in the old obs garden but could not be located again. Other signs of autumn were a Wheatear on Middle island and the increase of wading birds on the shore, 580 Curlew and 23 Whimbrel were particularly impressive.
A Common Sandpiper was at the north end early, 2 summer plumaged Bar-tailed Godwits and 3 Gannets flew over the island. but the only hirundines were 4 Swallows with a Swift in the morning.
Among others a Garden Tiger moth (left) was trapped, a fine looking individual that was a more common sight in times past. After examination the moth lamp had brought in 354 Lesser Yellow Underwings, 51 Dark Arches, a male Drinker, 2 Buff Tips and 19 other species.
Ringed:- 4 Willow Warblers, 2 Dunnocks, 2 Linnets, 1 Meadow Pipit.
(DB,CJ,CJW+5,NDW)  photos CJ