Thursday 19 April 2018

19th April 2018

Weather: SE force 1  clear sky, warm and sunny
A really lovely Hilbre morning, with t-shirts the order of the day. What could be nicer than standing on the west side in the warmth of the sun watching 4 Harbour Porpoises swimming in the calm waters of the Dee?
Earlier at dawn the Pink-footed Geese resumed their procession out of the estuary with several parties totalling over 2,500 during the morning, how many more are there still to travel north?
As expected migrants arrived, but in small numbers compared with the north Wirral coast. grounded today were 15 Willow Warblers, 4 Chiffchaffs, 7 Greenland Wheatears (below), and 3 Blackcaps (a few of which have landed for several days running),

also a trickle through of Meadow Pipits and about 15 White Wagtails, a flock of 9 Lesser Redpolls paying a brief visit, and 2 Grasshopper Warblers (first of the year at Hilbre, one was on Middle and one on the main island that was heard briefly before becoming the first ringed this year).
Another first of the year was an Arctic Tern sitting on the sea with a Sandwich Tern off to the north west. A close pass by a Little Gull was in the same area. Others seen on the sea included an adult Gannet, 30 Sandwich Terns, 8 Common Terns, 12 Great Crested Grebes and 17 Red-breasted Mergansers.
Fly-by visitors were a Collared Dove, 2 Woodpigeons (one staying for a while), 6 Swallows, 2 Sand Martins, 1 House Martin, a Canada Goose east-west over the island, 6 Goldfinches, 1 Siskin, about 3 dozen Linnets and 2 Skylarks.
Eleven Whimbrel called their flutey whistle from the shore, about the same number as yesterday, 25 Sanderling, 30 Ringed Plover and 60 Turnstone were also logged.
Raptors have been fairly scarce this spring so far and a Kestrel was the sole representative today.
Ringed: 7 Willow Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 Greenland Wheatear, 1 Wren, 1 Meadow Pipit, 4 Linnets.   [ 216-19 ]
photos SRW

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