A few small migrants arrived this morning including 6 Reed Buntings, 5 Goldcrests, 4 Goldfinches, 5 Pied Wagtails, 2 White Wagtails, a Redpoll, Chaffinch, Blackbird, but no Chiffchaffs nor the first hirundines of the year. Many of the 50 Meadow Pipits recorded today will not be resident breeding birds and there seemed to be more Linnets about than normal.
Larger spring visitors to Hilbre were a total of 38 Canada Geese, most settling on the sea, also a Greylag and 9 Woodpigeons. Birds of prey appeared to entertain us, firstly a male Merlin was briefly sighted over the island, followed by a Peregrine over the sea and a Sparrowhawk (the first in March) flying over the island then off to the west.
A new Linnet that was ringed together with a re-trap illustrated nicely the difference in tail feather shape of the first year (top) and an older individual.
Two butterflies flew in the sunshine, a Peacock and a Small Tortoiseshell.
Ringing: Goldcrest, Linnet, Meadow Pipit [33-9]