Saturday 5 April 2014

4th April 2014

Weather: NNW 2, 8/8 cloud, good vis

What a fantastic day on the island (and surrounding area!)

They say lightning doesn't strike twice - well this morning at Hilbre the same observer who spotted yesterday morning's Osprey (DB) was alerted by the gulls and Brent Geese 'going up' and amazingly another (presumably not the same bird) Osprey flew over the island and headed towards Dee Lane slipway where others were alerted by mobile phone and the bird flew directly over the Landrover allowing some quick record shots to be taken as it was on the move.  It dropped slightly over WKML which alerted the local Herring Gull population and it was lost to view heading inland towards Caldy Hill.

A single Fieldfare spent some time on the island early morning before flying off SE.  On the rising tide 5 Little Gulls were found and the first Sandwich Tern of the year was spotted (see record shot below).

Migrants included 5 Swallows, single male Wheatear, Chiffchaff and Goldcrest.

Groups of duck were found on the sea including a flock of 6 Shoveler and 24 Teal; a pre-cursor for later...on the high tide Obs members and friends on the mainland found a flock of an incredible 400 Teal loafing on the sea between Red Rocks and Hilbre. Meanwhile another Obs member (AMC) had found a Glaucous Gull at Meols. Having seen the latter some Obs members headed for Stanley Road, Red Rocks, to see the remarkable sight of the Teal flock (see photo below of part of the flock with Middle Eye in background) to count them and someone rather jovially suggesting looking for a Green-winged Teal.

On arrival SRW started counting the Teal but was abruptly interrupted when he found a drake Green-winged Teal amongst the throng.  Other members soon arrived and several connected as the flock drifted passed Hilbre (even seen passing below the Obs!) before becoming more difficult as they drifted around the point passed bird island and out along the North Wirral shore.

This is the first record of this American duck for the Hilbre recording area and for Red Rocks (probably the first record for Wirral away from the Burton Marshes/IMF/BMW area).  The final Teal day-count for the island was 464. 

Finally, the colour-ringed Herring Gull (referred to as the 'Widnes Gull' on the island) reappeared in the east side gutter after an absence of several months.

(DB, AEH, THM+CML, SRW et al) [129-19]
(Mainlanders incl BSB+CS, AMC, JET, MGT, CJW et al)

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