Tuesday, 7 March 2017

7th March 2017

Weather:  SW 2, 6/8 cloud, sunny intervals 

A very pleasant day on the islands started with a good number of Pale-bellied Brent Geese on the morning tide; although they proved hard to count as they were dispersed around the reef, the North End and the East Hoyle an estimate of 300 birds was probably conservative.

A few Meadow Pipits and wagtails passed over with Grey, alba (5) and a single White Wagtail noted.  Also 7 Jackdaws and 5 Canada Geese flew South; both typical March species for the islands.

Further signs of spring were evident on the island with daffodils flowering and the expanding gorse patch flowering which was just waiting for a good bird to perch up.  Meanwhile work began by Wirral BC around the island repairing some of the damage from Storm Doris (including the slate roof of the Telegraph Station - see below).

A single Wren was caught and ringed and another Stonechat spent the morning around the gardens before being discovered in the SK heligoland trap. Not a species that is ringed annually at Hilbre.

More typical was a very confiding ringed Robin near the day room.

The sea produced small numbers of Great Crested Grebes and Common Scoters and waders were noted around the rocky shores but whilst Purple Sandpipers were conspicuous by their absence Turnstones gave themselves up to one photographer.

Of other interest a Shanny, Blennius pholis, was discovered at the South End under some rocks (see below photo by AS).

Ringed: Wren, Stonechat [2-2]  

Photos by Matt Thomas (@Mattthomas966) (Brents and Turnstone) and SRW (remainder)

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