Wednesday 2 April 2014

2nd April 2014

Weather:- SE force 2, later ESE force 4, mist
Part of the massive group of 3,000 Pink-footed Geese flying over Hilbre  (CJ)

 Most impressive sight this morning was of 3,000 Pink-footed Geese flying north west over the islands just after dawn. Members at Little Eye and also on the islands independently confirmed an estimated flock of 3,000 birds, obviously moving onward towards their breeding grounds in Iceland. A smaller flock of 470 birds was recorded 20 minutes beforehand. The origin of these birds is open to question, but Norfolk could be good guess.
 The first Willow Warblers of the year arrived this morning (right), with 3 being ringed and with a further 7 Chiffchaffs on the island, it has been a good last few weeks for these small warblers. Just 2 Goldcrests were present and only one ringed, and single Pied and White wagtails were recorded today. A lone Sand Martin tracked south down the island, but no Swallows were seen. Meadow Pipits and Linnets continue to pass through with the addition this morning of 6 Redwings. Two more male Wheatears were ringed, making a good start to the spring for the ringing effort, the Greenland race should appear shortly on the islands. Finches were represented by about 80 Linnets, 18 Goldfinches, 2 Siskins and a Chaffinch. The only 'odd' migrants today were a couple of Woodpigeons.
Another highlight of the day was the appearance of an Eider at the high tide roost on the north end of Middle Eye, while on the sea a Little Gull was noted along with 3 Red-throated Divers, a male Red-breasted Merganser and 4 Guillemots.
Drake Eider with 2 Brent Geese.
Ringed:- 5 Chiffchaffs, 3 Willow Warblers, 2 Wheatears, 2 Wrens, 2 Meadow Pipits, 1 Redwing, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Chaffinch.            [ 114-19 ]
(DB,CJ,KMc+SD et al)

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