Talk this morning was of the Icterine Warbler in Cheshire yesterday and a Barred Warbler seen at Hoylake early today and although there were no such rarities found at Hilbre, it was still a good steady migration day. The second Spotted Flycatcher of the autumn (right) arrived early with one or two Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff and a Whitethroat (below right), and later in the morning another influx of Willow Warblers appeared. A slow passage of Swallows all morning was accompanied by a single Sand Martin and towards midday 30 House Martins crossed over the observatory garden. Typical autumn species seen included 2 Common Snipe, a Greenshank, 15 Canada Geese travelling east and 2 Goldfinches about the gardens (left, adults in main moult), but there was no sign of yesterdays autumn bird (the Firecrest). Only a single Wheatear showed despite the apparently ideal conditions.
Three Little Egrets were on the shore and 2 Whimbrel were still with them, also a Grey Plover was noted, these being scarce lately.
Ten Gannets were noted on the sea, also 5 Common Scoters flew passed distantly, one which seemed considerably larger than the others and caused some discussion.
Quite a good day, and with more south easterlies to come, things could get even better.
Ringed:- 7 Willow Warblers, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Whitethroat, 2 Goldfinches, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Wren.
(DB,JE,ME+HW,CJ,NDW,CJW,PSW,MFW,DGW,RTW) [444) photos CJ