Friday, 30 March 2018

30th March 2018

Weather: ESE force 2, mist around the estuary after some rain overnight, vis 3 miles

A fairly quiet start in promising conditions slowly improved, especially as a band of cloud came through bringing typical late March birds to the island.  A Chiffchaff  on the main island was joined on the ground by another, plus two on Middle, 2 Goldcrests, a Chaffinch, a Reed Bunting, also a Great Tit, the second this year of this Hilbre scarcity. All these appeared in the space of an hour or so, as did a flock of 8 Woodpigeons, 2 Starlings and 2 Magpies, while a more steady during the day included 3 Goldfinches, 15 Pied and 3 White Wagtails and up to a hundred Meadow Pipits but no Wheatears.

The sea was busier than of late featuring 15 Red-throated Divers, 20 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Red-breasted Merganser, 30 Guillemots and 5 Razorbill, and best of all, the first Sandwich Tern of the year (found by visiting birder Ian Coote), also the second Gannet of the year.

A total of 4 harbour Porpoises showed off the west side in nice calm sea conditions, we have been honoured with quite a few sightings so far this year.  Always difficult to photograph but this is handheld iPhone scoped.

The Brent are still here in big numbers although only 3 Eider seem to remain with us.

Two Purple Sandpipers roosted the tide on the west cliff, 8 Bar-tailed Godwits fed on the north shore and 2 Grey Plovers unusually sat on top of the west side.

Photos by CJ (Grey Plovers) and SRW (others)

Ringed: 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Goldcrests, 1 Meadow Pipit [51-12]

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