Friday, 29 March 2019

29th March 2019

Weather:  SE 0, mist (fog at 8am clearing), then NE 2 (sunny)

Strange weather of a cold and clear dawn becoming sunny followed by thick fog for an hour and then a change of wind with bright sunshine made for uncertain expectations.

The day as a whole turned out to be a very pleasant early spring day on the island. There were about 10 Goldcrests down in the paddocks, also a Reed Bunting and a single Chiffchaff. Good visible migration this morning included about 150 Meadow Pipits, 15 Goldfinches, a Chaffinch (both below), 4 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Siskins and notably two Brambling which are scarce at Hilbre in spring.

A Merlin was on the main island, 2 Woodpigeons flew through, while special spring birds today were a Rook and a Golden Plover, both flying over, the Golden Plover called continuously.

The Rook (scarce at Hilbre) arrived with a Jackdaw and later a flock of 19 Jackdaws flew very high across the island.  

There were two possible missed opportunities this morning: firstly a bunting was heard briefly with a Lapland Bunting type call but could not be seen or located, secondly gulls, waders and geese were all spooked at the north west end of the island but the probable large high flying raptor could not be found... we await the first Osprey of the Spring.

Brent were totalled at 209 pale and 2 dark bellied, but most interesting sightings was of a flock of 10 flying north passed the island and continuing out over the sea until vanishing in the far distance. They are probably making their way off to the breeding grounds in Canada.

Little Egrets returned to form with a group of 6 feeding with the 82 Redshank in the gutter on the ebb tide.

A pair of Teal was on the north shore tide edge at midday, while two female and a male Eider are still about.

Ringing: Goldcrest (4), Chiffchaff, Wren [39-9]
Photos CJ and SRW

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