What a remarkable day! It started with a lovely dawn over the mainland and promising wind direction, clear skies overnight with advancing cloud from the west and slight mist around the estuary during the morning.
A small amount of visible migration was noted as observers walked to the island this morning including Skylarks, Grey Wagtails and Meadow Pipits.
A single Wheatear was noted near the North End early on and then a couple of Chiffchaffs were seen 'in off' with one Lighting on the Lookout window ledge and another on the rocks.
At about 915am a Yellow-browed Warbler (our first of the year and only our 11th ever record) was seen briefly and then heard in the west Telegraph House garden. It promptly disappeared but a search soon afterwards found it in the 'Heli' trap from where it was caught and taken back to the Obs to be ringed, photographed and released (see below).
Observers were delighted with this little Siberian sprite but some joked that with so many in the country perhaps we could get another this year...
A Yellow-browed Warbler had been glimpsed and heard a few times in the Obs garden during the morning and assumed to be the earlier ringed bird; however it was photographed at about 11am and immediately noted to be unringed. Incredibly the second of the day.
Whilst some observers did a trap round one member remained at the Obs and soon found the second Yellow-browed in the Obs garden mist net!
Meanwhile, incredibly the other observers returned from the trap round with a third bird they had caught in the Heli trap again. The two birds shown together below with a male on the left and female on the right (based on wing length).
A remarkable series of events when you consider that prior to today there had been only ten previous records at Hilbre all single birds and only one year (1987) that had two records.
Other grounded migrants today included half a dozen Goldcrests, 5 Chiffchaffs and a single female Blackcap; the latter was caught early afternoon along with a new Song Thrush that had just arrived in the Obs garden.
A single Dark-bellied Brent was with Pale-bellied birds which totalled 17.
Other interesting sightings today included a Common Octopus found in a shallow pool as the tide ebbed.
Ringed: Yellow-browed Warbler (3), Chiffchaff (4), Goldcrest, Wren, Blackcap, Robin, Song Thrush [408-29]
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