Tuesday 30 April 2013

30th April 2013

With the wind still in the north west ( but lighter) no surprise that there were no migrants on the ground this morning, just a small passage of Swallows as the day went on.

Monday 29 April 2013

29th April 2013

With a force 7 from the north west, a sea watch was the order of the day. Results were as follows :- 111 Gannets, 40 Kittiwakes, 12 Manx Shearwaters, 12 Guillemots, 3 Red-throated Divers, 3 Fulmars, 30 Sandwich Terns, 2 Common Terns, 1 Arctic Tern.

Sunday 28 April 2013

28th April 2013

Just a few migrants today as the wind swung to the west. In the paddocks were 3 Willow Warblers, 2 Goldcrests, 5 Goldfinches and 8 Swallows passing through. Other records included a pair of Wigeon, 12 Gannets, 7 Great Grested Grebes.
Ringed:- 3 Willow Warblers, 1 Goldcrest.      [ 347-24 ]

Saturday 27 April 2013

27th April 2013

Generally quiet today in a light north westerly, records included 12 Gannets, 8 Common Scoter, 6 Razorbills, 4 Red-breasted Merganser, 150 Ringed Plover, 5 Sanderling, 2 Whimbrel, 5 Swallows, 1 House Martin, and 2 Wheatears.

Friday 26 April 2013

26th April 2013

With the wind back in the north west there seemed to be just left-overs to see from yesterday's good migration. A Blackcap, 3 Wheatears and 12 Swallows summed up the passerines, even the sea was quieter with the only records being of 10 Gannets, 2 Razorbills and a single Manx Shearwater.
Ringed :- 1 Blackcap                      [ 337-24 ]
(DB,DCT,PT,NDW,et al, et al)

Thursday 25 April 2013

25th April 2013

male Blackcap (BSB)

An excellent fall this morning as the wind turned south east as a front approached from the north. Willow Warblers were the first to arrive at dawn, about 30 mostly in the first hour and then an arrival of Blackcaps such as no members could ever recall previously, as many as 25 during the morning, at times in small parties with 6 being trapped together on one occassion. The first Sedge Warblers of the year also arrived in numbers, about a dozen with one appearing to bear a ring on the right leg from elsewhere but was not caught for the ring to be read. Four Grasshopper Warblers were on the island, 3 were ringed and a single Whitethroat was a first for the year while Wheatears were all around the island with an estimated 45 during the day. Hirundines were not in large numbers but the second Swift of the year after yesterdays frist passed west across the north end. A Tree Pipit called overhead in the morning. Another first for the year was the Common Sandpiper that flew in from the east side calling and stayed for a while at the north end. Two more appeared in Niffy Bay after the tide.

Sedge Warbler (BSB)

Manx Shearwaters floated in down the west side as the tide flooded, a total of about 50 being seen and a few Gannets and Razorbills came with them to feed. Not many Scoters today but the male seen close about during the last few days is still with us.
Ringed :- 22 Willow Warblers, 19 Blackcaps, 10 Sedge Warblers, 3 Grasshopper Warblers, 2 Linnets, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Wren      [ 336-24 ]
(BSB,DB,RAE,CJ, et al)    photos BSB, CJ

female Blackcap (BSB)
Grasshopper Warbler (BSB)
Manx Shearwater (CJ)

Swift (CJ)

Common Scoter (BSB)

Common Sandpiper (CJ)

Whimbrel (BSB)


Wednesday 24 April 2013

24th April 2013

Hilbre experienced a medium heavy fall of Willow warblers this morning, more than would normally be expected on a light south westerly breeze, however we are certainly not complaining. A couple of Goldcrests arrived first thing followed during the morning of at least 80 Willow Warblers and a handful of Chiffchaffs but none of the larger warblers, hopefully they will come very soon. Five Wheatears were around and just 8 Swallows passed through also a Tree Pipit but there were no wagtails or migrant finches at all today. First of the year was a Swift that travelled west about midday, an early sighting of this summer migrant.
Best of the seabirds were Manx Shearwaters, 53 today some feeding close to the north end, also 4 Gannets, three of which came right up the east side diving for fish off the West Kirby shore. Several Razorbills were floating on the sea, 2 Red-throated Divers flew at the north west of the island but no sign of yesterdays Puffin. Also seen today were 10 Whimbrel, a flock of 1,000 Dunlin around the island and a Canada Goose. No Brents were seen, they may have all departed now.
'Thumper' is still about, despite the presence of the Stoat recently !
Ringed:- 33 Willow Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs                 [ 277-21 ]
Cormorant (PSW)

Wheatear (PSW)
(DB,CJ,PSW)      Photos PSW

Tuesday 23 April 2013

23rd April 2013

Two visiting rangers on a sea watch from Sefton (lancs), Duncan Rothwell and Ralph Jones saw a Puffin drifting passed the north end of the island today, and not realising how rare a Puffin sighting is at Hilbre they casually reported it to our member in a matter of fact manner. Many a regular Hilbre sea-watcher have never seen a Puffin at Hilbre, so these two were lucky indeed. The north westerly gave other good records of 100 Manx Shearwaters, 60 Gannets, 3 Red-throated Divers, 3 Kittiwakes, 8 Razorbills, 14 Guillemots. An accurate count was made of 158 Turnstones, no doubt including birds passing through.  The migration was poor, a single Sand Martin and 2 Chiffchaffs were the best. There has been a very slow start to the butterfly season in the cold conditions, the first Peacock of the year at Hilbre was seen today together with a Small Tortoiseshell, also the first Pond Skater on the water.

Monday 22 April 2013

22nd April 2013

Minimal migration this morning, only a single Swallow, 6 Wheatears, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Willow Warbler. The westerly breeze meant the best sightings were on the sea with 6 Manx Shearwaters, 110 Gannets, 8 Razorbills, 100 Sandwich Terns, 12 Common terns and an adult Kittiwake. Three Brent remain from the wintering flock and there were still 234 Curlew resting between the east hoyle and Little Eye and 8 Whimbrel around the island.
Ringed:- 2 Chiffchaffs, 1 Willow Warbler   [ 242-21 ]
(DB et al)

Sunday 21 April 2013

21st April 2013

A similar morning to yesterday in many ways with a small scattering of warblers after dawn but tailing off at about 08.00hrs, the 4 Wheatears seen today also did not hang about. The second Grasshopper warbler of the spring obligingly entered the Newton trap to be caught for ringing after being heard singing briefly. Apart from the Linnets the only finches were a flock of 20 Redpolls crossing Middle after the tide, the recent Goldfinch passage was non-existent today. A single Yellow Wagtail called as it moved through, 2 White Wagtails did likewise while the only hirundines in the first few hours were 3 passing Swallows.
A flock of 21 Woodpigeons flew south west early morning, and a Starling visited briefly. Three Manx Shearwaters and 3 Little Gulls were on the sea, also 5 Gannets, 2 Razorbills, about 150 Sandwich Terns and a Common Scoter that flew repeatedly around the north end (right). Whimbrel numbers vary rapidly as they move through at this time in April, there were about 9 today and still 250 Curlew on the shore.
After the tide a Short-eared Owl was flushed from Middle where it must have settled unseen as the island was searched before the tide, it was immediately mobbed by gulls as it flew off in the Hoylake direction (below).
Ringed:- 3 Willow Warblers, 2 Goldcrests, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Grasshopper Warbler.  [ 239-21 ]
(DB,CJ,CJW,SRW,TGW)                 photos  CJ

Saturday 20 April 2013

20th April 2013

There was no surprise at the lack of large numbers of migrants as the weather had been clear overnight with good visibility. Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Goldcrests, White Wagtails and Wheatears were all in single figures and passage of Meadow Pipits (35) and Goldfinches (15) were well down on some recent days. No hirundine passage either today, just a single Swallow moving through at 10.00hrs. Sandwich terns however are now in some force, with 150 calling and feeding around the islands, truly the sound of summer. Four Little Terns rested with the Sandwich terns on the east hoyle after the tide.
Just after dawn 450 Pink-footed Geese flew out of the estuary followed later by groups of 250 and 31 (above), presumably all from the flock that has wintered further up the Dee, and now leaving for their breeding areas further north. A group of Brent took off at one stage and later just a single could be found, it remains to be seen whether it is now the only bird remaining. No sea watch was conducted although 2 Gannets, 2 Guillemots and a Razorbill came to attention. A Greylag Goose was in the east gutter before flying off towards the West Kirby shore (right).
Ringed :- 4 Goldcrests, 2 Willow Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs          [ 232-21 ]
(CJ,CJW,RTW,SRW+1,TGW)     photos   CJ

Friday 19 April 2013

19th April 2013

Still some sea birds today as a result of the gale 36 hours ago, notably 8 Manx Shearwaters, 3 Little Gulls, 25 Gannets, 25 Rrazorbills, 12 Kittiwakes, 100 Sandwich Terns, 42 Common Terns, 60 + Guillemots and the first 2 Little Terns seen at Hilbre this year. Two male Eiders were logged, one an adult male the other an immature male. On the island the Goldfinch movements continued with 93 birds today, also a Siskin and a Greenfinch and 2 White Wagtails, the hirundines only being represented by about a dozen Swallows. The solitary small migrant in the trapping area was a single Goldcrest, this was no surprise following the strong westerlies yesterday and the north westerly today, although 2 Great Tits made a brief appearance. Wader counts todaty included flocks of 500 and 200 Knot, 1500 and 200 Dunlin, 170 Turnstone and 60 Ringed Plover.
(DB,CJW,NDW,+ John Coupe, et al)

Thursday 18 April 2013

18th April 2013

Weather: SW 8, 8/8 cloud, vis 8 miles

Overnight gale force south-westerlies with gusts peaking at 62 knots brought early morning sea watchers to monitor the ebbing tide.  It was immediately apparent that there were many birds on the move at sea with good counts of 250 Gannet, 250 Razorbills, 40 Guillemots and 45 Red-throated Divers made during the first few hours of daylight.

Highlights on the sea included 7 Fulmars, 2 drake Eiders, the first 3 Arctic Terns of the year (along with 60 Sandwich and 25 Common) and the first 4 Manx Shearwaters of the year.  After an early distant skua spp, later in the morning at about 1130am a single Pomarine Skua flew menacingly along the tide line.

Despite the strong winds a couple of Swallows and a single Sand Martin were watched battling across the sea and a single Goldcrest sheltered down the East Side of the main island.

[DB, CJW, PSW + PLN et al]

Twitter and Blog Updates

Please note we are now on Twitter - please use the link to the left and follow @hilbrebirdobs

The blog has been updated with photographs over the last few days following an excellent period for coverage and for birds.

Wednesday 17 April 2013

17th April 2013

A good migration day in a strong south easterly brought an unparallelled count of over 330 Goldfinches through the island, even exceeding the Meadow Pipits today which were less than 3 figures. Among the Goldfinches were 15 Siskins, but remarkably only 1 Chaffinch and no Greenfinches.
The other feature today was the arrival of the first Grasshopper Warbler (above) and Yellow Wagtail of the year, while other warblers on the ground were 15 Willow Warblers and 12 Chiffchaffs with the addition of 6 Goldcrests and about 10 Wheatears (right). A single early Tree Pipit flew over, although wagtails were very scarce, 2 White Wagtails did make the list. The passage of hirundines increased as the morning progressed reaching 50 Swallows, 15 House Martins and 6 Sand Martins.
Just before noon the members witnessed the departure of 19 of the 50 Brent Geese remaining, as they made a commotion and launched themselves off, disappearing off high to the north, the 31 left may go any time now. Whimbrel are now arriving in some numbers, several were calling from the shore and a flock of eight flew around the island. Earlier 70 Bar-tailed Godwits were also seen to fly high to the north east. Four Gannets were noted also 40 Sandwich and 2 Common Terns and 3 Razorbills resting on the sea off the north end.
Ringed:- 8 Willow Warblers, 7 Chiffchaffs, 7 Goldfinches, 3 Goldcrests, 2 Robins, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 Wheatear.   [ 224-21 ]
(DB,AEH,CJ,KMc+SD,et al)      photos CJ

Tuesday 16 April 2013

16th April 2013

Few grounded migrants today in the strong south westerly, 3 Willow Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Goldcrests, a male Blackcap and 6 Wheatears, with a drift through of 24 Goldfinches, 6 White Wagtails, 9 Swallows and 4 Sand Martins. The best record of the day was a male and 2 female Pochard, a very scarce bird at Hilbre. Six Gannets were on the sea with 22 Great Crested Grebes, 100 Sandwich and 30 Common Terns and a Fulmar, the first to be seen this year.
Ringed:- 1 Willow Warbler
(DB,CJW) (Photo - Oystercatchers CJW)

Monday 15 April 2013

15th April 2013

Plenty of good records today as well as a steady passage of Swallows (38), Sand Martins (17), House Martins (10), White Wagtails (17), Pied Wagtails (10) and Wheatears (12) and a slow passage of 80 Meadow Pipits. A male Blackcap and 4 Chiffchaffs were the only warblers apart from 3 Goldcrests. Finches included 28 Goldfinches, 6 Chaffinches, 3 Siskins and Lesser Redpoll. A female Sparrowhawk visited the island also a Merlin, 3 Jackdaws, a Redwing and a Woodpigeon. Fifteen Little Gulls were on the sea, also 1 Red-throated Diver, 28 Great Crested Grebes and 15 Sandwich Terns.

Ringed: 1 Goldcrest, 1 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Redwing.
(KMc+SD,CJW+PLN,et al) (Photo - Lesser Redpoll CJW)

Sunday 14 April 2013

14th April 2013

Weather: SSE 4, 8/8 cloud, vis 30 miles, rain early

The wind picked up throughout the morning but despite less migrants than the last couple of days it was quality rather than quantity.

Highlight of the day was a female Ring Ouzel appeared flying south over the pond and was seen several times around the island during the first couple of hours of daylight but was extremely flighty.

Another male blackcap was caught along with small numbers of Goldcrests and singles of Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler. Despite only four Wheatears recorded a single male northern and the first Greenland Wheatear was caught in the potter traps.

On the sea at least 35 Little Gulls, 42 Sandwich Terns and the first CommonTern of the year were noted as well as a stunning summer plumaged Black-throated Diver.

(DB, SRW, CJW (f), GIW + SRR) [183]

Saturday 13 April 2013

13th April 2013

Weather: SE 0-1, 1/8 cloud, vis 5 miles

The migration friendly weather continued and brought the first Redstart (a fine male - see above) of the year; found on the cliffs at the South End it soon made its way into the Obs garden mist net (below left).

However, there were less grounded migrants today with only three each of Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Goldcrest.

Another Tree Pipit was heard and 22 White Wagtails and 39 Wheatears were excellent totals for the date.

Other migrants were distinctly early spring with 10 Jackdaws, Raven, Woodpigeon, 2 Greylag and 12 Canada Geese.

A couple of skeins of Pink-footed Geese amounting to 155 birds were noted passing north-east with several more flocks seen passing  Red Rocks (c1500 in total).

On the sea 44 Sandwich Terns and 6 Little Gulls were counted. 

The highlight of the day was the immature male Sparrowhawk, which had been seen yesterday, caught in the Newton trap a found to be British ringed; we look forward to hearing were it had been ringed before arriving at Hilbre.
(PSW, SRW (from over), JE, CJW, + S Reid, JEW, NDW et al) [165]

Friday 12 April 2013

12th April 2013

Weather:  E 2, 8/8 cloud, vis 2 miles

Spring arrived properly at last with the first notable arrival of migrants occurring today in a light easterly wind (dropping to almost flat calm mid morning) with mist early on.
Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs could be heard at dawn and at least 26 of the former and 9 of the latter were recorded during the day.  The first two Willow Warblers of the year were caught along with two Blackcaps (see right) of the three present on the island.

Thrushes were much in evidence with at least 20 Blackbirds counted (and several ringed), plus 70 Redwing over (and unusually four birds caught and ringed - see below left), 16 Fieldfare but no hoped for Ring Ouzel (despite at least six recorded on North Wirral during the day). 

Other visible migration included c750 Meadow Pipits passing over and the first two Tree Pipits buzzing southwards over the island (many migrants pass south over Hilbre in spring contrary to expectation).  Finches also passed through with small numbers of Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Siskin and Redpoll noted plus a male Reed Bunting.  26 Wheatears indicated that these are now rushing through after being initially delayed this Spring.

The first Sand Martins (35) and a single House Martin flew through along with  19 Swallows.
An immature Sparrowhawk appeared on the Obs east gate and was photographed (see above) frustratingly revealing it was ringed (see right leg). Unfortunately, it evaded capture but a day-total of 53 birds ringed made it the best day of the Spring so far for ringing.

(DB, CJW+PN et al) [139]

Thursday 11 April 2013

11th April 2013

In this topsy-turvy season when the first Ring Ouzel arrived on 3rd April before the first Wheatear, the first Swallow for the island this spring was seen this morning before we have had any Sand Martins. The continued south easterly brought in another 6 Goldcrests, 3 Chiffchaffs, a few finches and alba wagtails, 5 Wheatears (left) and 3 Starlings together with about 1,000 Meadow Pipits passing through. The Merlin was here again along with a Teal and 3 Canada Geese. A Black-throated Diver was the star bird on the sea, a Red-throated was also noted, others included 16 Great -Crested Grebes, 3 Common Scoter and 2 Sandwich Terns. Wader numbers are now declining as they move on north, but 28 Sanderling and 5 Bar-tailed Godwits were on the shore.
Ringed :- 3 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Robin, 2 Meadow Pipit, 2 Chaffinch, 1 Wheatear    [ 86-17 ]
(AEH,AW,CJW+PLN)        photo AEH

Wednesday 10 April 2013

10th April 2013

A day when the weather forecast was not at all correct and the wind was much stronger and therefore colder than expected and light rain arrived in the afternoon. At dawn it looked as though there would be no migrants until a few Goldcrests arrived and then a passage of finches occurred (15 Chaffinches, 22 Goldfinches, 8 Greenfinches) and a large movement of Meadow Pipits (at least 500) lasting for a couple of hours, more later trickling in over the sea from the north west. A most unusual feature for Hilbre (although often seen at Red Rocks) were flocks of 56, 52,12, 8 and 4 Woodpigeons crossing the island high going west, also fly-overs but a more typical sight were 6 and 2 Jackdaws and a Rook. Several passerine species seen this morning but soon disappearing included a Chiffchaff, a Blackcap, 2 Wheatears, 4 White Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail, a Starling and a Reed Bunting. A female or first winter Merlin flew south from the main island early and was later on the ridge south of Middle. Little Gulls came slightly closer than normal this morning and 30 were counted off the north end. Three more of the first to arrive Sandwich Terns also gave closer views than on previous days (above right), other seabirds being scarce, just a single Red-throated Diver, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers, 10 Common Scoter and 7 Great Crested Grebes. The first tadpoles have hatched in the ponds, and 'Thumper' made a brief appearance.
Ringed :- 4 Chaffinches, 3 Goldcrests, 2 Blackbirds, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Wren.  [ 74-17 ]
(DB,CJ,KMc+SD,+SRR, et al)       photo CJ

Monday 8 April 2013

8th April 2013

Highlight of today was a female Blackcap caught bearing a ring from another ringing station (right), a control such as this may only happen 1 or 2 times a year and it is always exciting to later learn its origin. A small fall of 10 Goldcrests early in the day, a few alba wagtails and 7 Goldfinches passing through was the main movement today apart from the 150 or so Meadow Pipits that were counted. A Collared Dove was trapped for ringing (left), another new ringing species for the year while 4 Woodpigeons were also recorded. A very scarce Hilbre species seen today were 3 Shovelers that flew between the islands. A female or first winter Merlin was logged. Six Little Gulls were on the sea, a regular sight at this time, but a telescope is usually needed. Other seabirds included 12 Sandwich Terns, the most so far this spring.
Ringed :- 2 Robins, 2 Goldcrests, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Blackbird, 1 Meadow Pipit.    [ 63-17 ]
(CJW+PLN,PSW,et al,+SRR)       

Sunday 7 April 2013

7th April 2013

Still cold today especially early morning but at least a south easterly to bring some migrants to the island. A fall of about 30 Goldcrests, also 6 Chiffchaffs, 10 Blackbirds, 9 Robins happened in the first 2 hours after dawn then reduced to a trickle for the rest of the morning. The large Meadow Pipit movement however continued throughout  the morning with at least 500 travelling south in small parties of up to a dozen. The second and third Wheatears for this year landed as did a Grey Wagtail, 20 alba Wagtails, 3 Chaffinches, 6 Goldfinches, 1 Greenfinch, a Reed Bunting and a Redwing.
A female Merlin flew to Middle after high tide, and 2 Woodpigeons and a Jackdaw were again recorded, and a Skylark was singing over Middle after the tide. Seen during the sea watch were:- 2 Red-throated Divers, 5 Red breasted Mergansers, 3 Gannets, 6 Sandwich Terns, 10 Little Gulls, 8 Common Scoter,2 Canada Geese, a male Goldeneye, a Harbour Porpoise moving south down the Dee, and a Goldcrest in off the sea landing on a members tripod. Seven Purple Sandpipers were recorded, about as many as have been present lately, also 126 Turnstones. All observers agreed that at last it seemed more like spring in terms of the birds passing through and the total of 26 birds ringed almost exceeded the total previously ringed this year, such has been the delayed migration season.
Ringed:- 8 Goldcrests, 6 Robins, 5 Blackbirds, 4 Chiffchaffs, 1 Wheatear, 1 Greenfinch, 1 Chaffinch. [ 56-16 ] 

Saturday 6 April 2013

6th April 2013

That felt a bit more like it this morning ! very little wind and lots of sunshine. The first Wheatear for the spring (right) arrived after the potter traps were deployed but perversely it decided to enter the Newton heligoland to be caught for ringing. It was a male of the nominate form on its first journey north to breed, and became the latest ever ' first for the year at Hilbre', about 3 weeks after we normally hope for the first sighting. A Chiffchaff was in the paddocks early but rapidly departed, while a male Reed Bunting at the south end became the first of its kind ringed this year. After the first yesterday, 3 more Sandwich Terns were off the west side. Assorted other species seen this morning included the male Merlin from yesterday and a female briefly, 2 Magpies by the old obs for a short time (below), 6 Rooks flying west, 1 Jackdaw high over the island, 2 Canada Geese west over the obs very early, 4 Teal on the east side as the tide ebbed, about 40 Meadow Pipits, 2 White and 2 Pied Wagtails, 1 Chaffinch, and a Goldfinch. Wading birds are now thinning out but a count of 290 Curlew on the east hoyle was still significant.
Ringed:- 1 Wheatear, 1 Reed Bunting (left), 1 Dunnock.      [ 30-14 ]
(DB,ME+HW,CJ,PSW,SRW) also Scott Reid, John Coope      photos CJ

Friday 5 April 2013

5th April 2013

male Merlin

At least one first for the year today when 2 Sandwichs Terns made it to the island, but still no luck with Wheatear or Sand Martin as the wind stayed in the north east and the sum total of moving birds were a few Meadow Pipits, a Goldfinch, 4 Pied and 2 White Wagtails. A Merlin was present for some time in the morning as one has been intermittingly over the last week or so. The only duck were 8 Wigeon off the west side. Best sightings on the sea (apart from the Sandwich terns) were 8 Red-breasted Mergansers and 12 Great Crested Grebes. The Red-tailed Hawk (presumably an escape) that has been around the West Kirby area for some time recently was seen from the island over West Kirby being mobbed by gulls, in the morning and again in the early afternoon.
(AEH,CLW,SRW,TGW,GIW,FPW,CJW)                 photo SRW

Thursday 4 April 2013

4th April 2013

Very quiet again with cold north easterlies, the only movement was of a few Meadow Pipits and Pied wagtails passing through. A pair of Teal were logged.

Wednesday 3 April 2013

3rd April 2013

A male Ring Ouzel was on the main island this morning before flying off towards Middle, but was almost immediately re-found back on the island near the bungalows. Unfortunately it did not stay beyond noon and was not caught for ringing or stayed long enough to be photographed but at least it was a good record for the island after a blank year in 2012. The small passage of Meadow Pipits increased to over a hundred today and there was a snall arrival of Blackbirds mid-morning but they soon moved off and probably took the Ring Ouzel off with them. Earlier in the morning singles of Greenfinch and Chiffchaff were in the trapping area and a Starling flew over. A hundred Bar-tailed Godwits flew passed travelling north east and a party of 3 Jackdaws flew south east. (DB,CJ)

Tuesday 2 April 2013

2nd April 2013

Few migrants again in the bitter north east wind, although small numbers of Meadow Pipits continue to go through with the odd Pied Wagtail passing over, also a single Goldfinch. Continuing the sequence of March type records were 2 Wood pigeons present on the island and 2 Rooks flying east. A Grey Heron stayed near the main pond for a while (right).  Two drake Eiders were at the north end, Eiders have been scarcer recently than in the last few years and drakes are especially a fine sight on the water. Seabirds logged included 4 Red-throated Divers, 45 Great Crested Grebes, 6 Guillemots and 2 Raozbills, but still no sighting of any Sandwich Terns.
Ringed:- 1 Blackbird, 1 Meadow Pipit      [ 27-11 ]
(DB,SRW)    photos  SRW
drake Eiders

Monday 1 April 2013

1st April 2013

An extremely cold wind this morning made things difficult for both observers and birds and it was no surprise not to find any grounded migrants, even the resident birds were reluctant to show. Highlight of the day was the sighting of 25 Little Gulls off to the north west as they moved first one way then the other while feeding. A Merlin was seen soon after dawn but did not stay for very long unlike a male Kestrel that hunted most of the day. Apart from the Little gulls the sea was fairly quiet with 28 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Red-throated Divers, 6 Red-breasted Mergansers, 3 Razorbills and 3 Common Scoters. A passing Skylark was the sole passerine that was definitely not a resident bird. No birds were ringed and it is interesting to compare this year with last when up to 1st April 2012, 295 birds had been ringed and this year a mere 25 in this very slow season. The Stoat is still present and was today seen to interact with the rabbit, the rabbit surprisingly running off after the Stoat !
 Photos below from today of Scoter and waders by PSW
female Common Scoter

Grey Plover

Purple Sandpiper