A very cold south easterly greeted the observers this morning and it was obvious from the start that there had not been any large Willow Warbler fall last night. Three Blackcaps, 3 Whitethroats, 3 Willow Warblers and a single Sedge Warbler were found early in the day, all of which were later ringed apart from one of the Whitethroats that was singing vigorously in the paddocks (left). This fine bird when photographed was seen to be carrying a ring on its right leg, and as Hilbre ring the birds on the left leg by convention, it was assumed it was a 'control' (ringed elsewhere), which proved to be the case when it was eventually trapped. We eagerly await news of its origin, as a Whitethroat 'control' does not happen often. Three Yellow Wagtails went over calling, also a Grey Wagtail was seen. Swallows were moving as usual and a late Sand Martin flew east mid-morning. Swifts sightings are now increasing, 6 today some passing low over the obs (right). Only a single Wheatear on the island, but 3 others were seen on the rocks south of Middle and on Little Eye. Two Goldfinches were the only passing finches today. There are 8 Whimbrel (left) now while unexpected guests included 4 Jackdaws flying south, a Pheasant on the shore just Hilbre side of Red Rocks, and the 2 regular Greylags also put in an appearance.
A flock of 50 + Common Terns were feeding off the west side and the north end and some were seen to catch Sandeels, which have become a very scarce food for birds in some sea areas in the last few years and there is some concern for the species that rely on them. Those who have clicked the above photo will have noticed that the Common Tern is also ringed, probably at Shotton where they bred regularly until recent problems. Ringed:- 3 Willow Warblers, 3 Blackcaps (male and female right), 2 Whitethroats, 1 Sedge Warbler. (BSB,DB,CJ,DCT,PT,NDW,CJW) [512-35] photos BSB - Whimbrel, Blackcaps and Tern, CJ others