Friday, 3 April 2015

3rd April 2015

Weather: S 1 (backing N later), 8/8 cloud, drizzle 

A Merlin patrolled the ridge again between Middle and Little Eye.

The drizzle seemed to help ground some birds this morning with a single Redwing and 18 Fieldfare grounded on the main island.  Three Goldcrests and a single Chiffchaff were also in the gardens.

Goldcrest (female)

Visible migration included at least 150 Meadow Pipits, a single White Wagtail as well as a couple of albas and the first two Swallows of the year spent some time flying low over the main island.

Goldcrest (male)
Meadow Pipit
The sea was surprisingly good in poor visibility with 20 Red-throared Divers, 18 Great Crested Grebes and a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers but the highlight was a single winter plumaged Black-throated Diver.

News of a first year Iceland Gull seen off Hoylake had observers searching the fog in vain but a phonecall from the mainland later got observers onto the bird at the tip of the East Hoyle sandbank.  The record shots were no better than the views from Hilbre (see above) so they didn't help with the identification discussion as there was some conjecture the following day on the mainland that the bird may have been a leucistic Herring Gull.

To add to the confusion a first year Iceland Gull was found loafing on the water off Meols the next day (see below).

Iceland Gull (first winter/summer) - Hoylake/Meols, 4th April 2015 (SRW)

The Rabbit was seen again in the lower paddock but sadly the Fox was found dead under a boat in the Cox's garden.

(NDW, SRW) photos by SRW [51-13]

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