A south easterly in September is never to be ignored, but the clear sky overhead did not seem hopeful, on arrival at West Kirby however it was obvious there was fog down the Welsh coast and to the south. The island was seen to be alive with phyloscopus warblers, an estimated 100 Willow Warblers and 40 Chiffchaffs were grounded during the morning giving the ringers their hardest work this year, indeed the best single day for a few years.
If this wasn't enough excitement at 08.30hrs a large finch flew over the sk paddock travelling north and calling, then turned and landed briefly on the Blackthorn hedge on the cliff edge south of the trap before flying off to the south. It was clearly identified as a Common Rosefinch, the second new bird for the island seen this week following the Stone-Curlew on Monday.
Apart from the Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, the only other warblers present were single Blackcap, Whitethroat and Garden Warbler (right), but other migrants included 4 Greenfinches, 3 Grey Wagtails, 2 Greenland Wheatears, a Reed Bunting and about 100 Swallows.
A Goldcrest (below right) also present was the first ringed this year and only the third seen following the lack of any of these birds in the spring.
Not much time for sea-watching although 4 Little Terns were seen off the west side, but shorebirds noted were 1200 Dunlin, 30 Knot, 100 Ringed Plover and 2 Greenshanks (left) feeding on the east side side early in the morning before being disturbed. Ten Carrion Crows today around the buildings was exceptional.
39 Willow Warblers
1 Garden Warbler
(DB,CJ,KMc, et al)  photos CJ