Weather:- NE force 1/2, heavy dew
A fine arrival of birds overnight despite the still air, there were not as many finches as yesterday but the other passerines made up the numbers. Ten Wheatears, 12 Chiffchaffs and 9 Goldcrests were present in the morning together with 8 Goldfinches and a Chaffinch. Less likely migrants included a House Sparrow, and a Jackdaw. The Meadow Pipit passage was lighter than yesterday, not many more than a hundred through. One of the birds of the day was a Swallow, the first at Hilbre this year, and it waited to late afternoon to float south over Middle. Three Sand Martins had been the only hirundines logged earlier in the day. The other bird of the day was an Iceland Gull that passed the obs shortly after 5pm and headed along the edge of the ebb tide towards Dove point, dropping in on the east hoyle a couple of times ( record shot, top). April has been noted previously as a very good month for Iceland Gull, and this is a good start to the month. Three species of raptor were present today, Kestrel, Peregrine, and a Merlin on the obs fence early morning. An interesting sighting was of a Robin carrying nesting material. A Golden Plover made pleasing addition to the regular waders around the island. The Common Scoter flock lifted off again and was estimated at 12,000. As the day warmed up nicely the first 5 Peacock butterflies of the year appeared with 10 Small Tortoiseshells. An Eyed Ladybird was also a welcome sign of summer (above right)).
Ringed:- 2 Wheatears (both female), 3 Wrens, 3 Chiffchaffs, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Blackbird (male) [ 97-18 ]
(DB, et al)
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It's a Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis), which has become very well established over the last decade.
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