Sunday 9 May 2010

9th May 2010

A beautiful day on the island with hardly a cloud in the sky (see left view from Middle Eye near high tide).

Unfortunately, this coupled with a light north-easterly meant that grounded migrants were again thin on the ground although several Willow Warblers were present and three new birds were caught and one was retrapped from 28th April 2010 - having not been retrapped since - where had it been in the meantime?

Up to six Little Egrets were at the south end of Middle and along the reef during high tide (see right) and five Eiders flew in from the west and landed on the sea opposite the Obs. Good numbers of Dunlin (over 450) and Ringed Plovers (up to 150) were around the islands throughout the morning and a nice mixed flock of small waders at the North End of Hilbre included 3 Turnstone in smart summer plumage (below right rear) and a passing Purple Sandpiper (see below left rear with Dunlin in foreground);it is several weeks since our last wintering Purple Sandpiper left the islands.

A single Bar-tailed Godwit was hanging around with a nice flock of half a dozen Whimbrel; at least 15 of the latter were counted today. On the way over to the islands, just after high tide, an Eurasian Golden Plover was found on the rocks between the islands and allowed very close approach (see above and right).

It is unusual to get these superb plovers 'down' on the islands we usually just hear and see them flying over. However, we have had a number of single birds in the last week or so.

Back on the main island a couple of Goldfinches were trapped along with a Chiffchaff (which was a retrap from 6th). Finally, a fine first summer male Greenland Wheatear was caught in the potter traps and found to weigh over 42 grams (with a rather high fat score!) - this bird was certainly ready for the next large step in its journey. This is almost twice the weight of some Wheatears caught earlier in the spring.

Finally, Hoylake Lifeboat (right) made an appearance and motored down the West side of the main island during RNLI exercises ... recognise anyone?

[AAB, DB, JE, DCT, PT, AW, NDW, SRW + TGW] [273] Photos SRW

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