Saturday, 6 April 2013

6th April 2013

That felt a bit more like it this morning ! very little wind and lots of sunshine. The first Wheatear for the spring (right) arrived after the potter traps were deployed but perversely it decided to enter the Newton heligoland to be caught for ringing. It was a male of the nominate form on its first journey north to breed, and became the latest ever ' first for the year at Hilbre', about 3 weeks after we normally hope for the first sighting. A Chiffchaff was in the paddocks early but rapidly departed, while a male Reed Bunting at the south end became the first of its kind ringed this year. After the first yesterday, 3 more Sandwich Terns were off the west side. Assorted other species seen this morning included the male Merlin from yesterday and a female briefly, 2 Magpies by the old obs for a short time (below), 6 Rooks flying west, 1 Jackdaw high over the island, 2 Canada Geese west over the obs very early, 4 Teal on the east side as the tide ebbed, about 40 Meadow Pipits, 2 White and 2 Pied Wagtails, 1 Chaffinch, and a Goldfinch. Wading birds are now thinning out but a count of 290 Curlew on the east hoyle was still significant.
Ringed:- 1 Wheatear, 1 Reed Bunting (left), 1 Dunnock.      [ 30-14 ]
(DB,ME+HW,CJ,PSW,SRW) also Scott Reid, John Coope      photos CJ

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