Friday 14 October 2011

14th October 2011

Another great day on the island started with a brisk south-easterly breeze, slightly less mist than yesterday but still overcast ... observers were hopeful of a good day and they were not disappointed.

A crest was heard just after the net was opened in the Old Obs Garden and as suspected it was found to be a Firecrest - the first of the year. It was soon caught, ringed and released and then spent the rest of the day moving between the stunted sycamores on the island feeding actively and even visiting 'Pallas's Privet'.

There was some good visible migration with large numbers of Starlings (318) passing over and higher up a couple of large flocks of finches mainly Chaffinches (160) migrating over (although much larger numbers were seen down the Wirral coastline as is expected at this time of year). Several Redwing were seen or heard and two of these stunning thrushes were also trapped and ringed (see above left), along with a single male Blackbird and the first Fieldfare of the year flew low over the island mid morning and was followed by a further two later in the day.

Amongst the finches and a few Skylarks a single Lapland Bunting was heard and seen briefly flying high west over the trapping area. A Merlin hunted the islands again today as did two Peregrines (an adult and an immature) as well as a male Kestrel.

A single Lapwing flew East towards West Kirby (RLGC) and small numbers of duck were recorded including 18 Wigeon and 3 Pintail.

On the sea a single Razorbill was noted again as was a late Arctic Skua. But attention was mainly on passerine migration and a single Chiffchaff appeared in the Newton trap and a pair of Chaffinches were also caught (below left) along with a Greenfinch (centre), which was found to have already been ringed; a control. Tentative enquiries suggest this bird was actually ringed at nearby Meols.

The final bird caught today was a Goldfinch (above right) making it a trio of finch species. Ringed today: Firecest, Wren, Chiffchaff, Redwing (2), Blackbird, Chaffinch (3) and Goldfinch.

News of a Yellow-browed Warbler found at Leasowe (near the lighthouse) this afternoon had observers on the island dreaming of what tomorrow may bring.

The day ended with the moon low in the sky with the clouds gradually clearing promising migration friendly weather tonight, observers on the island were left wondering whether there will be sufficient mist or cloud cover to bring more birds to Hilbre in the morning ...

(AAB, TM+2, CJ, KMc, NDW, TGW et al) [900-44]

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