Friday, 15 May 2015

15th May 2015

Weather: SE force 1, cool early, warm by noon
House Sparrow (AEH)

Another early start for observers before the tide discovered no immediate arrival of migrants apart from a flava Wagtail calling overhead, and the retrapping of yesterdays Whitethroat confirmed that it could be hard work today. Things improved slowly in the next few hours with some Greenland Wheatears and a Willow Warbler landing and a pair of House Sparrows calling around the island for some of the morning, also a passing Tree Pipit. A couple of Skylarks were singing over the island but moved off to the mainland and in addition to the local Swallows about 100 went through with about 30 Sand Martins, 10 House Martins and 3 Swifts. Four species of tern featured today including 20 Little Terns and 2 Arctic Terns, also close in to the west side was a 1st summer Kittiwake, while the 50 or Gannets logged were mostly more distant. Waders again became a subject of study and a Curlew Sandpiper was found amongst the 6,000 Dunlin, a different bird from the other two seen recently which were in complete summer plumage. Fifteen Whimbrel were on the shore, also 6 Turnstones in their spectacular summer plumage mixed with the Dunlin, about 50 Sanderling, 200 Ringed Plover, a Knot and a Grey Plover. A Peregrine hunted the waders assiduously and was seen to make a kill, while both sexes of Kestrel were present. The male of the pair of Rock Pipits was retrapped briefly in the potters put out for the Wheatears; to see Rock Pipits on Hilbre in May is a new experience for most observers.

Skylark - this male has been around the islands for a couple of weeks now (SRW)
Not a great day for butterflies but noted today were Silver Y and Cinnebar moths and of course the massive numbers of Garden Tiger caterpillars that are everywhere under foot, resulting in care being necessary whilst walking the paths. Meanwhile the first Four-Spotted Chaser Dragonfly was found not far from the pond.

One of the breeding Swallows (AEH)

Rock Pipit (JE)
Whimbrel (AEH)
Turnstone (AEH)

Ringed Plover (AEH)
Ringed : 2 Greenland Wheatears, 1 Linnet, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Robin, 1 Willow Warbler  [ 327-33 ]
(JE+JP,AEH,CJ,KMc, SRW et al)

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