Sunday, 5 August 2018

5th August 2018

Weather: SE force 1, cloud clearing to a warm sunny day.
Still no sign of a fall of warblers (just a Willow Warbler in the old obs garden) but a productive morning nevertheless. A Common Sandpiper was found at the north end which promptly disappeared as so often they do at Hilbre, soon after a Tree Pipit did a circuit of the top of the island by the lookout while giving its distinctive call. Tree pipit is fairly regular in spring at Hilbre but very scarce as an autumn bird. The thousand or so Sandwich Terns resting on the east hoyle were making a constant commotion with their rasping calls for no apparent reason as no skuas could be found until eventually a pale and dark phase Arctic Skuas were seen to be hanging about a few hundred yards off the north shore. As observers followed them a Great Skua glided closely in from the east to brighten the mood of the members who had been lacking in skua sightings lately. Another Arctic was distantly off the west side later. The Eider for a change was on the rocks to the west of Middle this morning and more routine sightings included 5 Shelduck, 11 Whimbrel, 84 Curlew, 7 Little Egrets, 125 Dunlin and 9 Little Terns resting on the north shore. Good numbers of gulls today included 3,000 Herring Gulls within reach of the island, also 500 Black-headed Gulls and 40 Lesser Black-backs. About 35 Swallows still fed over the island and a single Sand martin and House Martin also showed briefly.
At low tide 126 Grey Seals were hauled out on the west hoyle, about normal for this time of year.

Ringed: 1 Linnet (juv)      [ 441-31 ]

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