Tuesday 20 May 2014

20th May 2014

Weather:  SE 2-3, 8/8 cloud, 2-3 miles vis, mist - rain shower at 830am

The day started well with the weather looking good and expectation typically high.  A couple of Willow Warblers and a Whitethroat were found on the first round with a single Willow Warbler caught followed shortly after by a stunning Wood Warbler.

This was the first Wood Warbler on the islands since 1997 and is only the ninth ever of this declining species locally.  All Hilbre records have been in May (3rd May 1969, 15th May 1976, 10th May 1979, 2 on 5th May 1985, 21st May 1989, 30th May 1992 and 10th May 1997).
Wood Warbler
Willow (left) and Wood (right) Warblers
The photo with the Willow Warbler (above) was meant to provide a nice comparison of the differences but as can be seen this particular Willow Warbler was a rather grey bird of which we've caught a few recently (see below left).  The bird below right is a 'normal' Willow Warbler.

Spotted Flycatcher
A Spotted Flycatcher appeared early morning but soon disappeared and was not seen again until late afternoon presumably having secreted itself away in the large sycamore on the east side of Telegraph House for the day.

A Chiffchaff was caught late afternoon which meant that three phylloscopus warblers were caught on the island today which does not happen very often.

Butterflies continued to catch the imagination of observers and today it was the turn of Red Admirals to arrive with at least 7 seen including a couple of 'in off', others included a Small Copper, 2 male Common Blues and at least two Walls, but there was no sign of yesterday's Brimstone but at least 6 Common Blue Damselflies were seen.

News via twitter that a Black Stork was seen at a couple of sites heading east along the North Wales coast early evening had our 'eyes to the skies' but sadly the local gulls didn't budge (unlike those at Conwy apparently which gave the storks presence away - thanks to @rsitsme and @bardseyobs for the news), although those on the West Hoyle bank are still being watched as we type just in case!
The weather closed in whilst looking for the Black Stork which was apparently ahead of the rain ...
Evening sun - where the Black Stork was
However, even this could not put a dampner on another great spring day on the island.

Ringing:  Willow Warbler (7), Wood Warbler, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, Meadow Pipit, Dunnock

(SRW (from over), DB, AEH and CJW et al (briefly) [567-33]

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