Tuesday, 31 May 2011
31st May 2011
With a shift in the wind forecast for later in the week we will 'keep going'...
(CJW(f), CLW, GIW, SRW, TGW)
Monday, 30 May 2011
30th May 2011
At least by mid afternoon the sun came out and a couple of Swallows appeared. The rising evening tide produced a couple of small groups of Sanderling in varying plumages below the Obs which brightened up an otherwise quiet day all round.
(SRW et al (from over), JE)
Sunday, 29 May 2011
29th May 2011
Saturday, 28 May 2011
28th May 2011
Overnight strong westerlies had dropped by first thing but a seawatch still produced 150 Gannet, 70 Common Tern and 2 Manx Shearwaters as well as 6 Guillemot, Great Crested Grebe and an adult Kittiwake. There were no grounded migrants. The wind began strengthening again by 9am raising hopes for more seawatching later...
Over 300 Gannet now, 200 plus Common Terns, single Fulmar (see above). Waders on the receding tide included 7 Whimbrel (see right 'phonescoped' with iPhone 4) the obligatory Little Egret has just reappeared in the gutter.
Friday, 27 May 2011
27th May 2011
The evening tide produced 7 Whimbrel, 6 Curlew, 650 Dunlin, 120 Ringed Plover and 85 Oystercatcher on the tide edge and 35 Manxies loafed about off the North End and a single Arctic Skua harassed large numbers of Common and Sandwich Terns that appeared. Eight Canada Geese flew over the south end as the day drew to a close.
(CJW, DGW, RTW, NLW, EKW from over, DB, KM, TM, AMC, MGT et al)
Thursday, 26 May 2011
26th May 2011
A Fulmar sheared around the islands on and off during the morning and a Little Egret was in the gutter.
Rain set in about 9.30am. More terns seem to have appeared today and there were flocks of Common Terns off the North End and several Sandwich were bathing on the rain drenched East Hoyle bank.
Ringed: Willow Warbler and Robin
Remaining optimistic in the forecast westerlies for the next few days may be difficult - but as we all know good birds do appear at this time of year, usually on their own, and Hilbre has had Nightingale, Bluethroat, Spoonbill and of course the Paddyfield Warbler in recent years at this time ... so we'll keep going and you never know your luck...
Evening update - an evening sea-watch from the Obs veranda produced 105 Manx Shearwaters and 75 Gannets.
(DB, CJW et al) [604-38]
Wednesday, 25 May 2011
25th May 2011
Tuesday, 24 May 2011
24th May 2011
Monday, 23 May 2011
23rd May 2011
Other news - 150 Gannets passed by, surely a good day for a sea-watch...
Late afternoon update:
Sea-watching on the island has so far (by 4.30pm) resulted in counts of 700 Gannet, 300 Manx Shearwater, 2 Arctic Skuas and 2 Bonxies.
Evening Update: Final counts on the sea-watch included 850 Gannets, 350 Manxies, 2 Arctic and 3 Bonxies.
[DB, AMC, MGT]
Sunday, 22 May 2011
22nd May 2011
However, a male Whitethroat sang from various bushes in the Obs garden but even he gave up as the wind strengthened! A few Curlew, Whimbrel and plenty of Dunlin and Ringed Plover were trying to shelter in the gutter as was a solitary Little Egret in 'egret flash'.
Predictably attention was drawn to sea-watching as the tide began to flood and there were at least 35 Gannets and a single Manxie struggled west before observers left the island for the afternoon. The sandswept shore bearing testament to the near gale force wind (see above).
Saturday, 21 May 2011
21st May 2011
Friday, 20 May 2011
20th May 2011
Saturday, 7 May 2011
7th May 2011
Arriving at 5.45am they were greeted with news that there were many warblers on the island and the ringers set about a 'first round' of the heligoland traps which produced a Redstart, many Willow Warblers and the first of many Whitethroats. Ringers have been very fortunate over the last week with regular falls of migrants (see right).
A Garden Warbler was then heard singing near the SK and when one was found in the mist net everyone assumed that was the bird in question but another was caught later in the Newton; the third record of this Spring on Hilbre of a species more often associated with autumn here (see left).
Visible migration was mainly related to Swallows with at least 350 passing over during the day accompanied by the occasional House Martin and 25 Swifts, however, earlier in the day a Tree Pipit and a couple of Yellow Wagtails passed overhead.
Later in the morning a couple of Sedge Warblers were caught in quick succession but it was a day for Whitethroats with at least 15 birds present on the island and an incredible 12 caught and ringed. A typical view of a Whitethroat (male above) on Hilbre today with plenty of insects around for migrants to feed up on.
However, not to be outdone was the bird of the day - a Willow Warbler (see left) ... this time a control of a bird ringed elsewhere trapped in the Old Obs garden mist net. Amazingly its first three digits were the same initials as one of our most senior and longstanding members who has been present on the island for the last two weeks.
A Whinchat appeared late morning but remained unusually elusive only being seen a couple of times at the South End. Whimbrel numbers were impressive with at least 33 bird counted around high tide, when tern numbers were slightly down on the last week or so.
Heavy rain arrived around midday and ringing activities were suspended. However, with sunshine bursting through midway through the afternoon a new Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler were caught. This has been one of the best Springs in recent memory on the islands for common migrants ... and it is still only the 7th May!
Ringed: 28 Willow Warblers, 12 Whitethroats, 2 Garden Warblers, 3 Sedge Warblers, Goldfinch, Redstart, Robin
[RA +5, CJ, DCT, PT, NDW, PSW, SRW, TGW] [584-37] Photos by SRW
Friday, 6 May 2011
6th May 2011
Thursday, 5 May 2011
5th May 2011
Wednesday, 4 May 2011
4th May 2011
A flock of 50 + Common Terns were feeding off the west side and the north end and some were seen to catch Sandeels, which have become a very scarce food for birds in some sea areas in the last few years and there is some concern for the species that rely on them. Those who have clicked the above photo will have noticed that the Common Tern is also ringed, probably at Shotton where they bred regularly until recent problems. Ringed:- 3 Willow Warblers, 3 Blackcaps (male and female right), 2 Whitethroats, 1 Sedge Warbler. (BSB,DB,CJ,DCT,PT,NDW,CJW) [512-35] photos BSB - Whimbrel, Blackcaps and Tern, CJ others
Tuesday, 3 May 2011
3rd May 2011
Monday, 2 May 2011
2nd May 2011
[DCT et al] [461-35]