Tuesday 27 May 2014

27th May 2014

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

The weather didn't stir too much enthusiasm today and so it proved that very few migrants were seen as we head towards the end of the 'Spring' on Hilbre...but it's not over yet!

The first trap round however did produce a surprise with a adult Wren caught and ringed which proved to be sporting a brood patch. This is the first Wren to be seen or heard on the islands since 8th May; probably an indication of how secretive some of our breeding birds can be here.

A male Greenland Wheatear appeared, appropriately enough, on Wheatear hill early morning but avoided the potter traps there obviously finding flies and other insects to its liking as it wandered up and down the West Side and kept the lone seawatcher company for a short time.

The sea flattered to deceive appearing quite busy from the Obs but a single Kittiwake, Gannets and moderate numbers of Common and Sandwich Terns were seen.

On the way back from a sea-watch/trap round observers met up and decided to check the east side of the island - a fortuitous decision as it turned out, when a summer plumaged Black Guillemot was found loafing a few hundred yards north east of 'Niffy Bay'.  A couple of quick distant record shots were taken with the SLR before one observer headed back to the Obs whilst the other stayed on this delightful auk.  The bird suddenly flew south up the river towards West Kirby ML before doing a quick U turn.  Fortunately it was relocated from the Obs balcony where everyone saw it drifting towards the North End below the Old Obs.  A couple of iPhone scoped shots were taken.  Hoping for betters shots and views observers headed back north but as they set up the scopes to watch the bird at closer range a Catamaran came around the island flushing the Black Guillemot as well as the semi-resident Common Scoters.

The Black Guillemot flew off west passing close by the North End.

A summer plumage Black Guillemot had been seen earlier off Formby Point (unbeknown to us at the time) heading into Liverpool Bay this morning and timings suggest it could quite easily have been the same bird (thanks to Tim Vaughan for info).  This is quite similar occurrence to the bird last year at Hilbre seen on 4 June 2013 (see blog for that date for better photos than today's!)

(CJW(f), CLW, FPW, GIW, SRW, TGW (from over), AEH) [591-33]

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