Thursday, 31 March 2011

31st March 2011

What a difference a day makes ! After overnight rain a west south westerly blew up to force 6/7 and then gale force 8 by 08:00hrs. With obviously not much action to be expected on the migration front, sea watching was the main attraction this morning. Right from the off flocks of Little Gulls were seen moving west in a narrow band in the medium distance (above, the sort of view one might see through binoculars!), in large groups at first and then thinning out later in the morning. The end of the session total came to 651 birds, a record count for Hilbre. Gannets were also in evidence feeding at a similar distance and 228 were logged together with 18 Guillemots, 4 Razorbills, 6 Kittiwakes, 8 Red-throated Divers, 8 Great Crested Grebes, 11 Red-breasted Mergansers, 19 Common Scoter, and 3 more early Sandwich Terns. Rarest waterbirds of the day were 3 Goosanders seen off the north end. Three Teal stayed around to the west of the islands after the tide (right), and a single Wheatear fed in the lee of the sheltered east side of Middle. Ringed:- 1 Chaffinch, 1 Robin. (DB,CJ,CS,CJW,PSW et al) [91] photos CJ

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