Tuesday 2 May 2017

2nd May 2017

Weather: E force 0/1 cloud and mist, later N  1  sunny

Extremely calm conditions this morning with the sea like a mill pond made finding birds a very pleasant and easy process, and the optimism was justified with another fabulous day almost rivalling Sunday with the number of birds grounded, and exceeding it with the species involved.

Again it was Willow Warblers (at least 60, plus 6 Chiffchaffs) that dominated as expected at this time but in addition warblers new for the year were Redstart (2 females), Grasshopper Warbler (2) and a Garden Warbler. Also in the mix were Whitethroats (5), Lesser Whitethroat and Whinchat, both second records this year, the former unusual to occur twice at Hilbre in the same season. Song was heard from the Lesser Whitethroat (which seemed to like a particular spot in the paddocks) the Garden and the Grasshopper Warbler.

Other migrants logged included a fly-over Tree Pipit and  flava wagtail and 4 Greenland Wheatears, 5 Redpolls, 6 Goldfinches and a Chaffinch, quite a cast list for a small island!


Garden Warbler
At about 09.45 a large dark raptor glided very high over the North End heading to the west causing a commotion among the gulls. A difficult identification problem with this non flapping distant bird was resolved as a Marsh Harrier, the first seen this year.

There was not much time today between ringing to bird watch as such but noted were 2,500 Dunlin, 15 Whimbrel, 70 Sandwich Terns, a Common Sandpiper, a Peregrine, a Jackdaw over, 5 Little Egrets and a single pale-bellied Brent Goose.

Ringed: 62 birds (10 species)          [ 272-27 ] 

Photos by AEH, CJ and SRW

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