Saturday, 25 May 2019

25th May 2019

Weather:  NW force 2

Another warm and sunny day that felt like summer, as did the birds seen.
The only migrant today was a Wheatear.
  The pied wagtails were feeding their young, they are due to fledge very soon.

Meanwhile 3 more young juvenile Linnets were ringed today.

The five male Mallards were enjoying the sun.

The Grey Seals hauled out on the west hoyle were counted at 230.

Ringed: 3 Linnets     [ 543-30 ]
photos JE

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

21st May 2019

Weather: NW force 2,  vis 30 miles
A fine sunny day on the island, sunny and warm but with no migrants. The main attraction were the Dunlin and a few Ringed Plover resting on the main island as a visitor disturbed the birds normally roosting on Middle.

 also a Sanderling
A sea watch only produced a few Sandwich and Common Terns.
A Meadow Pipit and a  Linnet were caught for ringing, the Linnet being the first juvenile of any species ringed this year, and it appears the earliest ever Linnet fledgling ringed in the history of the obs!

 Ringed: 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Linnet.                                 [ 540-30 ]

photos JE

Sunday, 19 May 2019

19th May 2019

Weather: W force 0/1     intermittent drizzle early in the morning giving poor visibility.
The first time around the island was very dissappointing with nothing of note to record, and the second time was little better until a female Blackcap appeared in the 'heli' trap, it certainly seemed not to have been there earlier.
 Visible migration this morning was restricted to a few extra Swallows and a House Martin, although 2 Mute Swans flew west across Middle and landed in the Dee.

The late season Purple Sandpiper was still at the north end and was reluctant to leave its rock as the incoming tide flooded over it..
Also logged today on this short pre-tide visit were 2 Shelduck, 7 Mallard, a Whimbrel, a Grey Plover, 6 Sandwich Tern, 10 Common Tern and a Common Scoter.
Ringed: 1 Blackcap     [ 538-30 ]
photos AEH

Saturday, 18 May 2019

18th May 2019

Weather: NNE 1-2, 3/8, good vis

A short post-tide visit to check for late migrants was rewarded with a Spotted Flycatcher found in the Obs garden flycatching around the stunted trees.  It would disappear for long periods and then reappear in the same location.  Often thought of as the harbinger of the end of Spring at Hilbre this species appears from late April right through to early June at Hilbre.

A couple of Little Egrets fed on the ebbing tide edge around Middle as observers arrived in the heat haze of the afternoon sun.

However, the island was in sparkling form with the thrift (sea-pinks) and bird's-foot trefoil in full flower at the south end and all down the west side.

Waders were very much in evidence at the south end with the arrival of 220 Sanderling along with smaller numbers of Dunlin and Ringed Plover that had presumably been roosting on the islands over the high tide.

The drake Common Scoter and female Eider were still present and a Swift motored over the island.

Friday, 17 May 2019

17th May 2019

Weather:  ENE 2, 8/8 cloud, rain

A damp start to the day did not dampen the observers spirits especially when a first summer Mediterranean Gull was seen with Common Terns off the west side.

Three Turnstone were noted at the North End then a very late spring Purple Sandpiper was heard and then seen to fly in and land near the Turnstone, possibly all Canadian bound birds!

Thursday, 16 May 2019

16th May 2019

Weather: ESE force 2, later 3
A very quiet morning with migration at a minimum. A single Wheatear was found early on Lion rock off the east side but no others followed.
Hours of looking and listening overhead only produced a couple of Siskins, and for the first time for many months the appearance sheet saw no additional 'write-ons', even the ever reliable Eiders were not showing today. Later in the morning a Whitethroat miraculously materialised in the 'heli' trap and became the only bird ringed today.
Ten Turnstones roosted out the tide, some in fine summer plumage, 3 Whimbrel and 13 Curlew were logged with 56 Dunlin and a single Ringed Plover.
A Guillemot, a Common Scoter, a Great Crested Grebe and a Gannet kept the 140 Common and 20 Sandwich Terns company on the sea while on the shore were 4 Mallard and 22 Shelduck.
Ringed: 1 Whitethroat       [ 537-30 ]
photo CJ,AS

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

15th May 2019

Weather: ESE fortce 2, sunny and warm
 A Tree Pipit was caught first thing (below with Meadow Pipit for comparison) but it was hard work to find migrants, not huge numbers but many different species.

 A Sedge Warbler from yesterday was re-found and had put on weight, no doubt benefiting from the flies around today in the lovely weather. A raptor was seen flying over West Kirby, it was identified as a Marsh Harrier, the first for the island this year. It turned west across between Middle and Little Eye before continuing towards Wales. A couple of Siskins turned up late morning, one, a first year male being caught for ringing.

 A Lesser Whitethroat arrived later with a Willow Warbler
 Two immature Eiders were on the sea today.

  and a young field vole showed in the open

Two Gadwall flew over, then a Yellow Wagtail and a Whinchat appeared.
Fourteen Swifts flew by, only the second record this year, a few non-breeding Swallows came through but only 2 House Martins were recorded. Five Manx Shearwaters flew passed the north end and 3 Razorbills were also seen from there. Six Grey Plover were amongst the waders, including one in summer plumage.
 A few Shelduck were standing on the east side wall, something they have failed to do very often recently, possibly because of the fox.

Passage waders also included 49 Sanderling, 323 Dunlin, 26 Ringed Plover, and 8 Whimbrel.
Ringed: 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Siskin.    [ 536-30 ]
photos JE,AS,SRW