Thursday 15 March 2012

15th March 2012

Possibly the best March migration day that any of the observers could remember, certainly concerning the number of birds ringed. Goldcrests were seen passing along the shore from dawn and came in a steady stream all morning, with another pulse after midday just as we thought it had slowed to a trickle, and were not only in the trapping paddocks but all over the island including the cliffs and grassy areas (above). A conservative estimate was of 200 birds but there may have been many more. Two of the 80 Goldcrests trapped turned out to be controls (ringed elsewhere)(left), a very high percentage return for such a small migrant. The first 3 Wheatears of the spring arrived on the west side (below), which would have been exciting in itself on any other day; two entered the potter traps and became the joint holder of the title of the earliest ever ringed at Hilbre together with a bird on the same date in 2003. Another species ringed for the first time this spring were 5 Chiffchaffs, hopefully the first of many in the next few weeks (below right). Unfortunately not staying on the islands were 2 Snow Buntings that flew south calling, another exciting record for the ringers and helpers who were very busy but still managed to see then fly towards Little Eye from the observatory veranda. Meadow Pipit passage was smaller than yesterday, but still comprised some 150 birds, whilst other migrants included 8 White Wagtails, 7 Pied Wagtails, 4 Siskins, a Reed Bunting, a Chaffinch, a Skylark and a Wood Pigeon. Obviously there was little time to watch the sea or shore today, nevertheless also noted were the Merlin, and 2 Teal (bottom). The Brent were counted at 151 including 3 dark-bellied.
Ringed:- 78 Goldcrests, 5 Chiffchaffs, 2 Wheatears, 4 Robins, 1 Chaffinch.   

(DB,AEH,CJ,CJW et al) [124-12] photos CJ

No comments: