Saturday, 18 April 2015

18th April 2015

Weather: E force 1, slight frost overnight, beautiful sunny day

The first few hours of the morning brought in less warblers than yesterday, just half a dozen Willow Warblers a Blackcap and of the course the compulsory Redstart; today's bird however was a full adult male with jet black throat, white forehead and blue-grey greater coverts (below).
 Later in the morning 3 Wheatears arrived, one of which became the first Greenland race ringed so far this year, likewise a few White Wagtails with a single also becoming the first of its race in the potter traps this year. An even greater prize of a Yellow Wagtail narrowly eluded us, but it stayed around the west side for some time giving hope, while a Grey Wagtail completed the trio of wagtails present.

Greenland Wheatear

White Wagtail
A Collared Dove stayed from early (at one time with a Woodpigeon), and was the first of this species to be caught and ringed this year when it was found in the Heli in the afternoon.  Apart from the Linnets, 6 Goldfinches were the only finches found and also passing through were at least 6 Swallows and 2 House Martins, 1 or 2 of the Swallows gave the impression they may be locals arriving back early to breed.

Shore and sea did not produce big numbers (apart from the distant 4,000 or so Scoters off Hoylake with 3 Velvets seen from the island) but varied species included 4 Red-throated Divers, 18 Sandwich Terns, 1 Guillemot, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Little Egret, 50 Dunlin, a Knot, and 40 Canada Geese seen flying up the West Kirby/Red Rocks shore and 2 on the sea off the island.

Two Rock Pipits are giving hope they may stay the summer, and a Skylark sang over the south end, a rare occurrence in the last few years.

Collared Dove

Meanwhile Hoylake RNLI Lifeboat was called out to rescue a Yacht that had broken down south of the island and west of Middle and was watched from the Obs.

Ringed: 4 Willow Warblers, 3 Linnets, 2 Wrens, 1 Blackcap, 1 Redstart, 1 Greenland Wheatear, 1 White Wagtail, 1 Collared Dove.   [ 205-29 ]

(JE, CJ+VB, PSW+5, NDW, SRW, TGW), + Tim Kinch, & Hugh
Photos: Skylark, Yellow Wagtail, Swallow & Dunlin by Tim Kinch, Rescue by PSW, others by CJ & SRW

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