Friday 19 April 2019

19th April 2019

Weather:  SE 0-1, 1/8 cloud, poor vis at first and mist but then sun burning off mist and becoming very warm

This weather system continues to produce lovely days on the island for observers, although today there was, unsurprisingly, a significant drop in grounded migrants probably because of the increased visibility. However, visible migration was still in full swing.  Observers staying over and arriving from the mainland were greeted to a stunning dawn above the Wirral peninsula.

Three Blackcaps were present but only one bird proved to be a new arrival (the others still taking advantage of the blackthorn blossom/pollen and its associates insects).  About 25 Willow Warblers were present with 16 new birds ringed but surprisingly no Chiffchaffs today.

Small finches continue to increase with 11 Siskin and 26 Redpoll passing over but only singles of Chaffinch and Brambling were noted.  

The early morning exodus of Pink-footed Geese from the Dee estuary started earlier this morning and flocks totalling 1,500 birds were noted.  This fairly recent phenomenon is a delightful addition to spring birding on the island.

Whimbrel continue to pass through in good numbers around the island.

One of the highlights of the day were the overhead passage of 9 Tree Pipit and 11 flava Wagtails particularly Yellow Wagtails, one of which landed in front of observers by the Lookout (Telegraph Station) and was promptly joined by a second, then a third and finally a fourth bird.  Quite a unusual sight down on Hilbre.

The sun burnt off the early morning mist which probably dissolved any chance of further grounded migrants but it became a stunningly warm day on the island over the tide and the close views of two Harbour Porpoise off the west side along with small numbers of Gannets and Sandwich Terns was hardly a surprise at all.
A passage of 56 Black-headed Gulls in two flocks heading south down the estuary was noteworthy as was a very good count so early in the season of 27 Whimbrel.

Ringing: Willow Warbler (16), Linnet (2), Goldfinch (2), Blackcap (f), Robin [325-22]

Photos AEH and SRW

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