Thursday 31 August 2017

31st August 2017

Weather: SW 0-1, 5/8, moderate vis

Very little wind first thing no doubt produced the small sprinkling of migrants that arrived.

The first Chiffchaff of the autumn was caught and ringed as well as a single Robin.  Highlight of the day was a Spotted Flycatcher found on the Obs fence and bench outside the door!

It remained for a few hours around the gardens.

Also noted was a single Whitethroat in the brambles by the Cox's gate.


Wednesday 30 August 2017

30th August 2017

Weather: W force 3,  rain early
During the morning rain a Peregrine was seen and 4 Gannets were on the sea. After the rain a Willow Warbler was caught and ringed.
  One hundred and ninety nine Grey Seals were hauled out on the west hoyle bank.
 There were 3 Whimbrel about the shore.
Ringed: Willow Warbler    [459-32]
Photos JE         

Tuesday 29 August 2017

29th August 2017

Weather: NW 2, 8/8 cloud, rain first thing, moderate vis

Despite the weather conditions a Willow Warbler was caught on the late first round and a couple of Wheatears arrived.

However, that was pretty much it for the day so the an impromptu work party (of two) set about repairs to the traps and the Obs.

Work continued until night fall.

Ringing: Willow Warbler [458-32]

Monday 28 August 2017

28th August 2017

Weather: SW 1-2, 6/8 cloud, good vis

Another very quiet morning on the islands bird wise was livened up slightly by two unseasonal Lapwing first heard calling off the east side before alighting briefly by the gutter in with the Oystercatchers and gulls.

Another single Goldcrest, this one on Middle, was recorded but not caught and ringed a solitary Willow Warbler was seen briefly in the Old Obs garden.

A Peregrine harassed the Oystercatchers after the tide at the South End of the main island and west of Middle Island.

Ringing: Wren [457-32]

Sunday 27 August 2017

27th August 2017

Weather: S 1-2, 8/8, good vis

The day started well enough with the sound of a Goldcrest, the first of the autumn, calling from the brambles in the bungalow gardens but sadly that was not a sign of things to come and no other grounded migrants were noted apart from a couple of Wheatears.

Terns seemed to have disappeared almost completely between tides with only 26 Sandwich Terns noted and there were smaller numbers of waders than yesterday.

Fortunately, the overnight moth trap provided some interest with a Buff Ermine and a Willow Beauty noted amongst other species but the catch again mainly consisted of good numbers of Large Yellow Underwings.  

Observers returned to the island after the tide for a lovely evening being taken advantage of by the low flying para gliders across West Kirby beach.

Saturday 26 August 2017

26th August 2017

Weather: SSW 0-1, 4/8 cloud, good vid

Promising conditions with the wind dropping almost completely did not produce as much as hoped.  However, single Willow Warbler and the first Sedge Warbler of the autumn was in the Blackthorn in the lower paddock.

A single Black Tern was found off the west side but the tern roost was somewhat disturbed opposite the Obs.

Three Bar-tailed Godwit were the only other noteworthy record for the day.

Ringing: Wren (2), Willow Warbler, Meadow Pipit [456-32]

Friday 25 August 2017

25th August 2017

Weather: W 2, 3/8 cloud, fine

Despite the wind direction several flocks of House Martins were noted this morning with a total of 42 birds counted.

A single Willow Warbler continued a disappointing autumn for this species on the islands. 

The highlight of the day were the first Black Terns of the autumn with two birds found in the tern roost on the East Hoyle sandbank opposite the Obs on the rising tide and a total of five on the falling tide in the late afternoon/evening.

Waders were very much in evidence with 5,000 Oystercatcher counted along with 3 Grey Plover, 25 Ringed Plover, 4 Whimbrel, 85 Curlew, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 12 Turnstone, 80 Dunlin, 9 Redshank and 15 Sanderling.

Thursday 24 August 2017

24th August 2017

Weather: W 2, 8/8 cloud, good vis

A fairly quiet day started with a single Bar-tailed Godwit in the flooding gutter.  70 Curlew, 3 Whimbrel and 15 Turnstone were also noted.

Tern numbers remain high as the tide rose on the East Hoyle sandbank with 150 Little, 300 Sandwich and 100 Common Terns counted from the North End as they then fed offshore over the tide.

A single Manx Shearwater was also noted over the high tide sea-watch but it was generally disappointing with a lack of skuas or other species (apart from terns).

A couple of Wheatears were noted around the islands and a couple of Willow Warblers were in the Obs garden with one finding its way into one of the heligoland traps to be caught and ringed.

Ringing: Willow Warbler, Linnet [452-32]

Wednesday 23 August 2017

23rd August 2017

Weather: SSW 0-1, 8/8 cloud, backing W  3, mist early on, good vis later

Large numbers of terns remain around the islands including at least 150 Little Terns and these no doubt encouraged two Arctic Skuas to be seen off the North End.

A passage of seven Wheatears today included birds pottering around the Obs garden.  It has been a poor year for this species on Hilbre so it was nice to see some birds moving through.

Three Willow Warblers all avoided the trapping area today but there was very little evidence of grounded migrants but a small passage of Meadow Pipits (35) was evident with birds scattered around the North End.

Small numbers of waders were noted at high tide with 150 Ringed Plover down in the west side with 280 Dunlin.

A single Great Crested Grebe swam close inshore off the North End at high tide.

Insects were very much in evidence with 7 Red Admiral butterflies noted and the overnight moth trap produced an invasion of Large Yellow Underwings as well as many other species of moth (see below) all identified and written up by some of our junior colleagues.

A Green Lacewing Spp was a nice find in the overnight moth trap too.

Ringing: Robin, Linnets (2) [450-32]
Photos by AS and SRW

Tuesday 22 August 2017

22nd August 2017

Weather: SE force 1, cloudy and mild

A brief pre-tide visit this morning discovered only a few migrants on the ground, namely 3 Wheatears and 3 Willow Warblers. The Willow Warblers arrived at the north end and filtered south down the island.

About 20 local Swallows were joined by as many others passing through in the early morning and accompanied by 6 Sand Martins.

A Snipe flew over the gutter by the obs and in the same place a Merlin chased south hoping to disturb some unwary waders, possibly the bird that made an appearance yesterday.

Few terns could be seen at the low tide, but 10 Whimbrel was a good total.

Linnets again showed in numbers, both feeding and in a large roaming flock.
A late afternoon return visit to the island by members produced a single moulting adult Mediterranean Gull on the East Hoyle before it joined up with the minimum 1,500 Black-headed Gulls and headed over the West Kirby salt marsh and Royal Liverpool Golf Course to feed on flying ants some of which had dispersed from the Obs garden.

Ringed: 2 Willow Warblers [447-32]

Monday 21 August 2017

21st August 2017

Weather: S 2/3, then SE 3/4   mostly cloudy and dry
Observers were undecided whether the light drizzle early morning with a southerly breeze would be beneficial for migrants, in the event 5 Willow Warblers, about 30 Swallows and 2 Wheatears were a meagre return.
The first Merlin of the autumn flew across the island east to west and a Peregrine was off Red Rocks. Little Terns again created headlines when a huge count of 202 was made roosting on the east hoyle with 300 Sandwich and 150 Common Tern. Seabird numbers over the high tide included 36 Common Scoter, 12 Great Crested Grebes and a single Manx Shearwater. Skus could not be found until midday when 3 Arctics were seen off to the north.
Waders logged today were 4 Whimbrel, 9 Bar-tailed Godwits, 14 Turnstone, 12 Sanderling, 200 Dunlin, 25 Ringed Plover, 3 Redshank and 15 Curlew.
  Linnets are numerous at the moment with young birds being everywhere
Ringed: 3 Willow Warblers, 2 Meadow Pipits, 2 Linnets.   [445-32 ]
photos CJ, AEH

Sunday 20 August 2017

20th August 2017

 Weather: W force 3  vis 30-mls
A Spotted Redshank was heard as an observer approached Middle eye first thing this morning, a very scarce bird at Hilbre, unfortunately it was not seen or found again. A couple of Willow Warblers were on the island despite the westerly but little else, and the main attention was towards the sea at the mid-morning high tide. Two Arctic Skuas harassed the terns on the east hoyle as the tide flooded and another was off the north end later. A very large count of 14 Little Egrets was made before the tide.

The most notable feature throughout the morning was the number of Little Terns around the area with many diving in the shallow gutters and resting on the east hoyle with other terns, 120 were present, a good proportion of those that have bred at Gronant this year. The massive size difference between Sandwich and Little is obvious when together.
Also on the sea was a flock of about 2,000 Common Scoter out by the windfarms, while nearer were 8 Great Crested Grebes and 6 Gannets. Waders included 2 Whimbrel and 300 Dunlin.

 It became quite warm later in the morning with 5 Red Admirals, 2 Small Tortoiseshells and a Small White taking to the air.
Ringed: 1 Wren, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Robin, 1 Linnet.     [ 438-32 ]
photos  CJ, AEH

Saturday 19 August 2017

19th August 2017

Weather: W 5/6 vis 10 mls but reducing to 5mls out to sea.
Very little was about on the island but a single Wheatear was possibly yesterday evenings bird. 
The sea watching was good with a total of 7 Arctic Skua, 5 being seen together. 

Two Fulmar passed close in going west, as did the first Shag of autumn. Ten Great Crested Grebe and 7 Gannet were present, a constant movement of groups of Common Scoter were estimated at 400. Nine Kittiwake and 18 Manx Shearwater were mostly far out and to the West but a few were noted closer.
Terns numbered 35 Little, 200 Sandwich and 20 common.
A good sighting was 4 Harbour Porpoise close in, 2 came up close together with one appearing much smaller, so possibly a calf.
Photos AS

Friday 18 August 2017

18th August 2017

Weather: WSW 4/5 vis good
A late evening visit saw 2 Little Egret in the gutter and 3 Shelduck fly over Middle. A Wheatear was on the North end and a brief sea watch produced 6 Gannet, 2 Manx Shearwater and 5 Great Crested Grebe.
About 100 Little Terns were feeding close in to the North end.
Sheltering from the wind below the hide were 18 Turnstone.
 Photos AS