Saturday 27 May 2017

27th May 2017

Weather:  ESE 2, 5/8 cloud, moderate vis, shower at 7am clearing later

Another early start yielded very little on the migrant front until a rain shower around 7am dropped in a typical solitary end of May Chiffchaff (or more likely it was the singing bird from the last couple of days that had somehow evaded the heligoland traps).

The highlight of the day, ornithologically speaking, may also have been dropped in by the rain, a Cuckoo which flew out from the Obs garden (accidentally flushed by a junior member) shot down the island falcon-like (as they do!) heading north and dived into cover somewhere north of Telegraph House with the local Meadow Pipits in hot pursuit. Too quick for the photographers amongst us but another nice record for the island of a species which is not recorded every year at Hilbre.

A single Collared Dove appeared again (sadly we've been waiting a long time now for another Turtle Dove) and a few Swifts and the odd House Martin passed over during the day.

Attention again turned to other wildlife (as it does at this time of year!) and particularly insect life with 2 Common Darter dragonflies bored along with a different Red-veined Darter from yesterday as well as a single Common Blue Damselfly.

Bees were also present including the presumed Bombus terrestris (see header photo) but the workers are very hard to separate from Bombus lucorum.  Many dozens of Turnip Sawfly were also noted in the west side garden (see below); sometimes these turn up at the coast in large numbers and it's assumed they are immigrants.

Butterflies included Red Admirals (15), Painted Lady (8), Small White (4) and Green-veined White (8).

Back on the bird front waders were still moving through with 3 Whimbrel, 58 Ringed Plover, 25 Sanderling and 350 Dunlin recorded.  But even these small numbers did not get much chance to settle with jet skis, kite surfers and even water skiers passing close to the islands during the high tide.

To end the day a catamaran crashed into rocks on the west side - fortunately there were no injuries.

Ringing:  Chiffchaff [387-32]

Photos SRW

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