Sunday 28 June 2009

27th June 2009

A good selection of juvenile birds were ringed this morning including (clockwise from top left) Wren, Meadow Pipit(2 ringed), Robin and Linnet.
Together with the sighting of young Pied Wagtails this represents all the known breeding passerines this year (apart from the Swallows that are still in the egg stage). The Linnets and Meadow Pipits are thought to be in similar numbers to last year but considerably reduced compared to 3 years ago.
A Chiffchaff was heard singing in the SK paddock later in the morning but did not seem to want to be ringed.
(JE) [408] photos JE

Thursday 25 June 2009

25th June 2009

An adult Spotted Flycatcher (right) ringed this morning was a surprise on the island as they usually turn up (if at all) around the middle of May or early autumn.

Fourteen Swifts (top left) passed east during the morning but the only Swallows (left) were the breeding pair.
Twelve Painted Lady butterflies were counted, also 3 Red Admirals (below left) and the first Meadow Brown (below right) this year. The Painted ladies were in very worn and faded condition unlike the insects of the recent invasion which were by and large pristine.

During the last few days, Emperor dragonflies have flown from the main pond and hundreds of Six-spot Burnet moth cocoons have appeared in many of the grassy places.
The Crows have 2 young sitting about the buildings and the Pied Wagtails have successfully fledged 3 of their own which are roaming all over the island, particularly catching insects at the north end.
On Tuesday a flock of 5,500 Knot flew north out of the Dee, a strange sighting for summer but which ties in with what has been noted elsewhere in the Liverpool bay area this week.
(DB,CJ) [403] photos CJ

Saturday 20 June 2009

20th June 2009

Not much to report this last week as the breeding birds start to show what they have been up to, the first Shelduck ducklings have left the island but the Swallow nest still only has eggs, the weather will need to stay suitable for plenty of insects if the young are to be successful.
Best sighting today was of 2 dark phase Arctic Skuas on the sea, hopefully the first of many with the late summer and autumn to come.
(JE, also DB in the week)

Saturday 13 June 2009

13th June 2009

The Knot (right) today were up to an amazing (for June) 1,500 birds almost certainly all non-breeders this late in the year, indeed no breeding plumage individuals were to be seen.
The female Eider (below) appeared again close by the island.

The pair of Pied Wagtails are both carrying food despite the nest site not being exactly known, and two juvenile Linnets (right) were ringed this morning.

(JE, +CD,DR) [402] Photos JE

Friday 12 June 2009

12th June 2009

Still no sign of the Paddyfield Warbler, and the island was exceptionally quiet as expected near the middle of June. A flock of 150 Knot are still about the north end and the Little Egrets (right) again outnumber the Grey Herons this time by 6 to 4.
A Meadow Pipit of the year became the 400th bird to be ringed this spring.

(DB,CJ,KMc) [400] photo CJ

Wednesday 10 June 2009

10th June 2009 - 10am update

No sign of the Paddyfield Warbler so far this morning (up to 10am) but it did not show yesterday until 11.40...

However, Swifts were passing over the island in small numbers with 35 counted. Other birds of note were 4 Little Egrets and 2 Grey Herons.

(DB, TRC, CF, MJG, NDW et al)

Tuesday 9 June 2009

9th June 2009

The Paddyfield Warbler showed briefly at 11.40hrs on the cliff edge of the lower paddock, and then again at several places around the area at 13.00hrs, although attempts at photography of such a secretive and elusive beast were frustrating in the extreme (see below, spot the warbler!). It was re-trapped in the SK paddock at 13.30 hrs; finally proving that it is still present and now in its fifth day on the island (at least!). Interestingly it has put on 0.6 gram in this time and is therefore happily finding enough food to sustain it.

It was still present at 8pm when it showed briefly but well to the one intrepid birder who had ventured to the island. Visitors please view only from the 'air raid shelter' and do not enter the fenced off areas.

Other news today is of a female Eider (below), a Fulmar over the island, 2 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit (below) at the north end with some Knot and Oystercatchers and a Peregrine failing to catch a small wader.
Six Gannets were on the sea and a Small Copper butterfly was present with 2 Painted Ladies.

(CJ,KMc) [399] photos CJ

Monday 8 June 2009

8th June 2009

A fairly quiet afternoon visit was livened up by two brief possible sightings of the Paddyfield Warbler in the lower trapping area paddock in bracken and brambles near the fence (below the air raid shelter). VIEW ONLY FROM THE AIR RAID SHELTER - please do not enter the fenced off areas.

However, it is clearly being exceptionally elusive and there was no sign between 4pm and 8.30pm despite searching.

Other records today included Whimbrel, 2 Curlew, 5 Little Egrets, 3 Canada Geese, 1 Swift, 2 adult and one immature Kittiwake.

(DB & BSB)

Saturday 6 June 2009

6th June 2009

Back to normality.

Strong easterly wind with pouring rain - meant no birds! Well almost.

79 Swift were counted going over including one flock of 50 in a tight bunch over the Obs at 745am heading south. No grounded migrants were seen - the breeding Linnets and Mipits looked particularly unhappy about the rain.

No sign of the Paddyfield, or any other warbler for that matter!


Friday 5 June 2009

5th June 2009

Predictions don't always come true (see blog for 3rd June 2009) however, today was incredible!

A Paddyfield Warbler was trapped and ringed on Hilbre late morning (see below). A first record for Hilbre as well as Cheshire and Wirrral.

Unfortunately, after release into the area it was caught it has not been seen subsequently.

When we have all recovered from the shock more photos and detail will follow. There were no other grounded migrants today...

Recovered slightly now - here are a couple more photos... an amazing find by Obs regular John Elliott.

Photos - top SRW, left and right BSB, below SRW

(JE, CJW, SRW et al)

Wednesday 3 June 2009

3rd June 2009

A single Willow Warbler was a rather late record for the island. An excellent count of 207 Swifts was more in keeping with early June. 7 Little Egrets was a slight increase on recent numbers and a prospecting Fulmar spent some time flying up and down the West side cliffs - again not an unknown phenomenon at this time of year.

The coverage by observers remains good despite the lack of birds - perhaps "the big one" is just around the corner...


2nd June 2009

An otherwise very quiet day produced another sighting of presumably the same Red-veined Darter as the weekend - however, once again it avoided the photographers...