Thursday 24 April 2014

24th April 2014

Weather: SE 0, slight mist, turning to a gloriously sunny day, before backing NE later

With the wind remaining in the SE quarter overnight and although visibility was good there was a slight mist around the estuary early morning and this produced another excellent April day on the island.

Phylloscs (25 Willow Warblers and 3 Chiffchaffs) drifted in throughout the day with a new bird caught at the end of the day.  A male Whitethroat flew in by the 'Air Raid shelter' before finding its way into the trapping area and was subsequently caught and ringed.

Wheatears were much in evidence with at least 25 birds passing though with the vast majority being Greenland race birds. Visible was a little slow but included 3 flava Wagtails over and a single Yellow down opposite the Obs (see photo) near our Potter traps (put out mainly for Wheatears).   Unfortunately it was chased off by a resident Meadow Pipit before it entered one of the traps.  A single Tree Pipit was heard buzzing over the island.

With an early morning tide sunshine and hardly any wind it was no surprise to observers to find the first Common Sandpiper of the year at the North End it's lovely high pitched whistling could be heard as it flushed around towards the 'whale-back'.

A singing Grasshopper Warbler was heard briefly mid morning and was later seen between the upper and lower trapping paddocks - thereby evading capture.

More observers were being collected from West Kirby shore when gulls alerted us to our fifth Osprey of the spring, by which time it was right above the landrover heading inland at some speed. Apologies again for the record shot but by the time the camera was retrieved from the vehicle it was an 'end-on' shot only; we might be ready for the sixth!

Other wildlife was evident today with an excellent recent count of 454 Grey Seals as well as 8 Commons, plus the Rabbit was around for much of the late afternoon and evening.

Butterflies included the first Green-veined Whites (4) as well as Small Tortoiseshells (9), Peacock (4), Small White and  a Speckled Wood.  Finally, a Cinnabar Moth was photographed near the Lookout.

(CJW(f), GIW, PSW, SRW & TGW (from over), DB, CJ - & later CLW, FPW, RTW) [379-25] Photos TGW (Rabbit) & SRW (others) 

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