Monday 31 July 2017

31st July 2017

Weather: SW 2/3 vis 20mls increasing to 30 later.
 Much more about today than Saturday, despite the conditions being the same!
There were circa 4,500 Oystercatcher and 170 Curlew at the edge of the tide South of Little Eye early morning, other waders included 12 Whimbrel, 13 Ringed Plover and a Grey Plover. It was lovely to see numbers of Dunlin back feeding below the obs, 250 were counted.
A Manx Shearwater flew West close in to the North end, with 2 Gannet and 2 Great Crested Grebe also seen and 22 Shelduck flew South up the estuary.
Common Terns numbered 100 and Sandwich Terns 380 including 2 colour ringed juvs.
Three Wheatears were on the island and 4 White Wagtails were noted. 
In the afternoon a single Willow Warbler appeared in the obs garden along with a male Pied Wagtail which was probably one of the breeding birds.

Photos AS

Sunday 30 July 2017

30th July 2017

Weather: WSW force 2/3
A small fall of 8 Willow Warblers this morning resulted in the first ringed this autumn.
Two Whitethroats were also present and 2 early passing Wheatears and a Yellow Wagtail.
Two hundred Sandwich Terns were noted with 12 Whimbrel around the islands, also 3 summer plumaged Turnstones, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and 12 Curlews.
Among the Small White butterflies flying was a Small Copper, a scarcer species at Hilbre.
Ringed: 4 Willow Warblers, 1 Robin   [ 408-32 ]
photos AEH

Saturday 29 July 2017

29th July 2017

Weather: SW 3 vis 20mls

Young Meadow Pipits and Linnets are still much in evidence around the island, but the only visiting passerines noted were 2 Willow Warbler.
 Sandwich Terns were low in number with only 40 counted, also Cormorants with just 17 – 3 of them roosting on the Whaleback.
A juvenile Swallow had a brief recce around the inside of the obs.
Over 400 Dunlin were present, mainly at the edge of the tide south of Middle Eye, other waders present in small numbers were Curlew, Whimbrel, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Turnstone and a single Bar Tailed Godwit showing very red with the rising sun on it.
photos AS

Tuesday 25 July 2017

25th July 2017

Weather:NW force 3
A single Arctic Skua was a scarce find this autumn so far. A Willow Warbler was on the island, while around the shore were 5 Whimbrel, 2 Little Egrets, and 1,200 Black-headed Gulls on the west hoyle bank.

Monday 24 July 2017

24th July 2017

Weather: NW force 4
An albino Sandwich Tern resting on the east hoyle bank could have caused confusion to some.
Ten Whimbrel, a Gannet and a Bar-tailed Godwit were also on the day list. Six Green-veined White Butterflies and a Comma (scarce at Hilbre) were noted today.

Sunday 23 July 2017

23rd July 2017

Weather: WNW force 2/3
Two Eiders were noted on the sea, also 4 Gannets, 6 Little Terns and 54 Common Scoter, while 30 Swallows went through, a Willow Warbler and a Whitethroat were on the island, and there was a excellent count of 25 Whimbrel.

Wednesday 19 July 2017

19th July 2017

Weather: SE force 4
Two Black-tailed Skimmer dragonflies seen today were possibly the first ever at Hilbre as this species is mainly confined to southern Britain. Following the Emperor dragonfly yesterday there were 2 today. Also present were 27 Swallows.

Tuesday 18 July 2017

18th July 2017

Weather: SE force 2   warm
Sandwich Terns were much in evidence as the tide ebbed this morning, 700 were gathered at several places between West Kirby marine lake and Middle Eye with about 40 Common Terns and about 1,000 Black-headed Gulls.
Initially it was thought there were no migrants and then the song of a Whitethroat came from one of the bungalow gardens, it later gave a song flight from the south end bracken. At least 10 Swallows flew around the island. Waders are more obvious now, 750 Dunlin fed in a flock on the west side between the islands and 25 Redshanks flew together at the north end, only 2 Whimbrel were noted but there may be more. A Hummingbird Hawk Moth was seen briefly at the Valerian flowers above Niffy bay and an Emperor Dragonfly was in the SK trap for a while (the first this year?).

Ringed: 1 Linnet       [ 403-32 ]                   photos CJ

Monday 17 July 2017

17th July 2017

Weather: NW force 2/3
Logged today were 250 Oystercatchers, 280 Dunlin, 24 Redshank, 170 Sandwich Terns, 9 Swallows and 20 Linnets.

Sunday 16 July 2017

16th July 2017

Weather: NNW force 2 mist and light rain

A Gannet rested on the rocks at the north end, quite an unusual happening at Hilbre. A Common Sandpiper was the other star bird of the day.

The moth trap last night had good results:

However, the best moth was found in the Obs - a Short-cloaked Moth; very scarce on the islands and the first here for our 'moth man' in residence (DCT).  Photo below and Gannet by Elliot Montieth.

Saturday 15 July 2017

15th July 2017

Weather: SW 2/3, then WNW 3/4  rain early clearing by midday

A members and guests get together took place over the tide to celebrate 60 years of Hilbre Bird Observatory. Birding seemed incidental today but the highlights were 2 Shoveler, 5 Eiders, 6 Whimbrel and a count of 162 Sandwich Terns on the east hoyle. A brood of Swallows have fledged from a nest in the old shed in the paddocks
Garden Tiger moth

An impromptu talk to members was given by Rod Philpott on the archaeological dig next to the obs that had yielded valuable evidence of viking era occupation.

There was the barbecue which was much enjoyed by all

and of Course..............................................

Special thanks must go to all who organised the event and in particular those involved in the preparation of food.
Ringed: 1 Linnet               [ 402-32 ]            
Photographs by several members

Friday 14 July 2017

14th July 2017

Weather: N/NW force 3
Records on a quiet day included a Gannet, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 17 Common Scoter, 200 Sandwich and 20 Common Tern, also 2 Little Tern and an adult Kittiwake. A Peregrine was noted. Small White butterflies are in the majority at the moment with 12 seen today.

Wednesday 12 July 2017

12th July 2017

Weather: S 0/1  evening sun

A brief visit in the evening  recorded 60 Sandwich Terns, 12 Common Terns and 12 Curlew.
It was clear enough for the Lake District mountains (over 60 miles distant as the crow flies) to be seen beyond the wind turbines.
photos AEH

Monday 10 July 2017

10th July 2017

Weather: NW 3 vis 10 mls rain showers

Another quiet day but a juvenile Peregrine flew past observers on the East side of middle and landed briefly before flying towards Red Rocks.

A Willow Warbler was in the obs garden for a short while but was the only migrant passerine seen today. At least wader numbers are slowly increasing with 22 Redshank, a Grey Plover, 2 Whimbrel and 5 Curlews
   The Oystercatcher roost on Middle numbered 200 with an additional 100 on Little Eye.
A Male Common Scoter spent the tide just off the North end of Middle and 3 Gannet were seen, 2 (an adult and a juvenile) past close in down the West side of Hilbre.
Photos AS

Sunday 9 July 2017

9th July 2017

Weather: S force 1, then W 1/2 vis 20 miles
 A breeze from the south first thing brought a surprise Willow Warbler to be noted passing Little Eye, and then mid-morning a first year Blackcap was caught for ringing, a species that has been particually scarce this year.
A large flock of Knot flew north flew out of the estuary at a time when most would be expected to be still at the breeding grounds.

Waders are slowly increasing with 6 Whimbrel, 20 Curlew and 14 Redshank noted this morning, others logged today included 6 Pied Wagtails, 2 Little Egrets and 2 Grey Herons.
Small White butterflies were numerous in the paddocks this morning.

 The clump of Honeysuckle is now in flower

Ringed: 1 Blackcap, 1 Linnet, 1 Wren   [ 401-32 ]

Photos AEH, except Blackcap & Honeysuckle (CJ)

Saturday 8 July 2017

8th July 2017

Weather: NW force 1/2 Sunny and warm

A short pre-tide visit on a lovely morning failed to produce any unusual bird sightings.
The breeding birds however like this Meadow Pipit seem to be having a good season

Sandwich terns will soon form a post breeding roost east of the island.
Black-headed Gulls are now increasing, this apparently newly fledged bird was between the marine lake and Little Eye.
   Compass Jellyfish, chrysaora hysoscella, can give a moderate sting to the unwary

 An unusual sight this morning was a male butterfly flying around with a female attached in the (reverse) mating position, and once when it landed another briefly came to join the two.

 photos  CJ

Friday 7 July 2017

7th July 2017

Weather: W force 3 vis 25 mls cloudy
An adult Mediterranean Gull was on the beach between the marine lake and Little Eye, 3 Gannet were in the Swash as the tide came in, singles of both Little Egret and Grey Heron were in the gutter below the obs.
Many juvenile birds were in evidence today with 2 young Sandwich Terns noted amongst the small roost opposite the obs, a juv Wren in the obs garden, at least 4 young Meadow Pipits, a single juv Pied Wagtail and a family party of Linnets with the young practicing their flying skills.
Pied Wagtail
At about 1330 the first Chiffchaff of Autumn came down in the obs garden, soon to be followed by a female Blackcap and a Whitethroat making a trio of autumn firsts, a strange mini fall !
A fox was seen in the top paddock and it has been reported that there are cubs on the island.
photos  AS