Friday, 26 May 2017

26th May 2017

Weather: SE 3, 0/8 cloud, good vis

The day started early for observers staying on the island and eeking out the last migrants of spring.

Two Woodpigeon flew off the island first thing and these were followed by the arrival of a single Collared Dove; a species that has been scarce on the island this spring.

A singing Chiffchaff could be heard in the Obs garden - perhaps a new migrant or the bird from the paddocks yesterday.

Several Swifts arrived 'in off' as did small numbers of House Martins.

Butterflies were again much in evidence battling the increasing South-easterly breeze with Painted Ladies and Red Admirals the predominant species.

The ornithological highlight of the day was seen by a visiting birder (with Obs members off island or working in the shed!) when three Spoonbills flew low over the islands heading south.  A great record and only our sixth ever (and first multiple sighting) but the fifth since 2010 (when one was seen on the similar date of 30th May - see our blog for that date).

The other highlight of the day was the discovery of a Red-veined Darter in the east side trapping area.  This is only the second record of this stunning dragonfly for Hilbre.

It is interesting that the first record of Red-veined Darter on Hilbre was May/June 2009 at a time when we experienced the largest influx of Painted Lady butterflies ever, which was of course the forerunner to Hilbre's first ever Paddyfield Warbler...

With Obs members (young and old) staying on the island this week our coverage promises to remain high until the end of spring whatever that may bring. This evening Obs members once again helped members of the public by calling the coastguard.  The West Kirby RNLI attended and a couple were taken off the island as the tide rose and the sun set.

Ringing: Linnet [386-32]

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