Weather: WNW force 1/2 rising to 3/4, then dropping again, cloud early sunny later.
Considering the westerly airflow, the island did better than expected today with the first Ring Ouzel of the year going through early in the day and a Firecrest being caught and ringed mid-morning. Firecrests are less than annual at Hilbre and this bird is the earliest ever, most being recorded in September or October.
Visible migration was naturally very limited but 9 Swallows and a flock of 7 Sand Martins went through, also 11 Goldfinches and a couple of Pied Wagtails. In the paddocks were 2 Goldcrests and a Chiffchaff plus the regular residents. A Sparrowhawk crossed the island after scaring the shorebirds and a flock of about 200 Pinkfeet geese flew north over the Wirral shore. The majority of the Brent Geese are still with us, 159 being counted this morning, most will be expected to leave within a week, while another bird not yet departed was a single Purple Sandpiper roosting the very high tide on its own on the west cliff.
The Fox was well seen this morning scavenging on shell beach and a Peacock butterfly was in the paddock area.
Ringed: 2 Goldcrests, 1 Firecrest, 1 Blackbird, 1 Robin. [ 69-12 ] photos CJ & JE
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