Wednesday, 22 April 2015

22nd April 2015

Weather: SE force 1/2, later ESE 2

The morning started with a small fall of Willow Warblers (including a pale grey looking bird - see below) but surprisingly little else, no visible migration and no other species grounded, but over the next few hours it became apparent that birds were arriving unseen.

A male Blackcap was ringed and another seen at the south end where it had just arrived on the sandstone on the South West corner of the island.

A Grasshopper Warbler was glimpsed in the tea bush by the Old Obs and was later also caught in the Heli before it became clear that another was also present.

The most unusual sighting of the day was of 3 Magpies flying together south over the island, one is a scarce bird here but 3 together is rare indeed. A Sparrowhawk was mobbed by Crows over the east hoyle sands and resorted to circling to try and avoid attention.

The first Common Sandpiper of the year was at the north end in the early afternoon firstly on the slipway before moving to the Whaleback; typical habitat and timing for this Spring migrant at Hilbre.

A few Goldfinches and a Chaffinch were logged and several White Wagtails and a Grey passed through and hirundines continued to arrive in this fine weather; 50 Swallows, 12 Sand Martins and 9 House Martins. On the sea were 15 Sandwich Terns and 25 Common Terns which are now building up in numbers for the summer, and 3 Whimbrel again today on the shore, also 32 Ringed Plover.

On the butterfly front the sunshine brought out 8 Peacocks, 1 Green-veined White and 2 Small Tortoiseshells.

Ringed: 20 Willow Warblers, 4 Linnets, 2 Robins, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Wren, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Blackcap, 1 Grasshopper Warbler,       [ 249-29 ]

(AEH,CJ,NDW et al)

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