The weather looked promising this morning with a light south easterly and mist on the welsh coast, and indeed there were Blackbirds on the island first thing although about 7 went south soon after dawn leaving 6 or 7, some of which would be local birds and the rest new arrivals. One adult male in particular (above) had a wing length of 139 mm that suggested it could very well be of continental origin, birds from both Holland and Germany have previously been controlled at Hilbre at this time of year. A flock of 8 Lapwings and a group of 50 Starlings were logged early in the morning, other smaller parties of Starlings called in at regular intervals throughout the day, one individual escaped from a mist net which was most disappointing as we haven't ringed a Starling for a year or two. A Siskin went across Middle calling and was the only finch apart from 6 Linnets and a flock of 10 Goldfinches which arrived in the afternoon. Just 2 Skylarks were heard over the island and a single Rock Pipit at the north end. As the tide flooded 10 Wigeon flew north east and 2 Little Egrets were on the shore and then at around midday a flock of 23 Jackdaws flew south east towards West Kirby and later 2 Mute Swans flew between the islands and north east along the north Wirral shore.
bathing Purple Sandpiper
Only 8 Purple Sandpipers could be found at high tide, but there may have been others roosting elsewhere. Among the waders today 160 + Sanderling crossed the north end in 3 flocks, also a flock of 350 by Little Eye, and as the big tide flooded 7,500 Dunlin and 120 Grey Plovers were noted while many Knot were again on the east hoyle sands on the ebb, and a single Common Snipe was on the ridge south of Middle after the tide. On the sea 11 Great Crested Grebes and 5 Red-breasted Mergansers were present and a single Red-throated Diver flew west.
Knot on the east hoyle sands
Great Crested Grebe
Ringed:- 5 Blackbirds, 2 Goldfinches, 1 Robin, 1 Wren. [ 1077-31 ] photos :- JE (Blackbird) CJ (others)