Thursday, 18 August 2016

18th August 2016

Weather: ESE force 3, veering SW in the afternoon, some cloud, warm and sunny later
A most interesting day, the highlight being a large (Sandwich size) tern with very dark upperparts, capped appearance with white underparts that was seen briefly passing the north end towards the west and then picked up in telescopes from the obs feeding and heading towards the Point of Ayr. Not enough detail could be seen at this distance to identify it to species level, but whatever it was (possible Sooty Tern ?) it will be an extremely rare bird.
A fair amount of cloud this morning made it good migration day all round with a dozen or so Willow Warblers, 3 Whitethroats and 2 Wheatears to be found, also a Spotted Flycatcher seen briefly on the rocks at the west side.
Swallows (AEH)
Up to a hundred Swallows passed through, many stopping to feed, also noted were 3 Goldfinches and 2 Pied Wagtails. A large Peregrine hunted the east side early in the day.

Curlew Sandpiper (left foreground)
Dunlin and Ringed Plover (AEH)
Not to be outdone waders roosting the high tide proved worth searching through when a Curlew Sandpiper was found amongst the 3,500 Dunlin and 300 Ringed Plover settled at the south end of the island.
Sea Holly ( the only piece on the island) (PSW)
Four Short-tailed Field Voles on the log today is an encouraging sign after a dearth of records lately.
A surprise was a juvenile Robin in the old obs mist net, as there was no suspicion that they had bred, but this is often the case with this secretive breeder on Hilbre.

It was good to see long standing member Alan Wraithmel at the obs today (right, CJ) as he is shortly leaving to live in the U.S.A. We wish him well with this new adventure in his life.

Ringed: 8 Willow Warblers, 3 Whitethroats, 3 Robins, 3 Linnets.      [ 348-27 ]

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