Wednesday 29 May 2019

29th May 2019

Weather: SE force 3      rain
Despite the south easterly, no migrants again this morning.
On the log: 7 Sandwich Terns, 5 Mallard, 8 Shelduck, 5 Little Egrets, 1 Grey Heron, 150 Dunlin and 52 Ringed Plover.

Tuesday 28 May 2019

28th May 2019

Weather: NW then WNW force 4
 A single late greenland Wheatear was on the island, but no other migrants as such.
A male and female Eider were about. The female pictured with a male Common Scoter.
Also noted today were a Peregrine, 5 Little Egrets, a Gannet and 6 Great Crested Grebes.
Some Ladybirds present were a 7 spot, a harlequin and a 22 spot.
The seepages on the east cliff produced some striking looking algae.
photos GB

Monday 27 May 2019

27th May 2019

Weather: WNW force 3/4, rain in the evening.
 Over 2,000 Ringed Plover were between Little Eye and Red Rocks late evening, surely a record number for Hilbre. Three Manx Shearwaters passed on the sea where 7 Gannets were recorded, also 2 Guillemots, 3 Great Crested Grebes, a Fulmar, 5 Common Scoter, 25 Common and 6 Sandwich Terns.

Saturday 25 May 2019

25th May 2019

Weather:  NW force 2

Another warm and sunny day that felt like summer, as did the birds seen.
The only migrant today was a Wheatear.
  The pied wagtails were feeding their young, they are due to fledge very soon.

Meanwhile 3 more young juvenile Linnets were ringed today.

The five male Mallards were enjoying the sun.

The Grey Seals hauled out on the west hoyle were counted at 230.

Ringed: 3 Linnets     [ 543-30 ]
photos JE

Friday 24 May 2019

24th May 2019

Weather: NW  2   visibility was split with only 3mls from SE to NW but 35mls for the rest.

A pair of Shelduck were again on the North End.

The Eider and a male Common Scoter  were also still present and 6 male Mallard were on the main pond.
The only waders noted were 80 Oystercatcher, 50 Ringed Plover and 130 Dunlin, a single Little Egret was to the east  of the island .The only birds new in were a Goldfinch and a pair of Pied Wagtail which were unringed and in addition to the resident pair.
 photos AS

Thursday 23 May 2019

23rd May 2019

There were a few more waders today with a party of 25 Sanderling flying west passed the North End, 22 Turnstone between the islands in full summer plumage, 93 Dunlin and 85 Ringed Plover – some of which were in Niffy bay as the tide dropped.
Six Little Egret and a Heron were around Middle and in the Gutter, the Eider and 4 Mallard  were noted, the 24 Shelduck recorded included a group of 11 flying east and a pair that are still around the island.
Two House Martin flew over the sand between the Marine Lake and Little Eye, a Greenland Wheatear and a Yellow Wagtail were the only visitors to the island but a juvenile Dunnock was noted.
Terns have been sadly lacking over the last couple of days and only a single Common Tern was logged.  
photos AS

Wednesday 22 May 2019

22nd May 2019

Weather: ESE  1  vis 30 mls
 A quiet but pleasant day with 3 Little Egret in the gutter and a Grey Heron at the North End.
The female Eider is still around the islands along with 3 Shelduck and 2 Great Crested Grebe, there were seen to be 2 female Mallard (1 each on Middle and Hilbre) along with 3 males.
A single House Martin was the only non breeding passerine noted. The 18 Linnet included a juvenile, the pair of Pied Wagtail, Swallow and Meadow Pipit were recorded.
Very few waders were present . The first Cinnabar Moth was seen and the Water Crowfoot is in flower.
 photos AS

Tuesday 21 May 2019

21st May 2019

Weather: NW force 2,  vis 30 miles
A fine sunny day on the island, sunny and warm but with no migrants. The main attraction were the Dunlin and a few Ringed Plover resting on the main island as a visitor disturbed the birds normally roosting on Middle.

 also a Sanderling
A sea watch only produced a few Sandwich and Common Terns.
A Meadow Pipit and a  Linnet were caught for ringing, the Linnet being the first juvenile of any species ringed this year, and it appears the earliest ever Linnet fledgling ringed in the history of the obs!

 Ringed: 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Linnet.                                 [ 540-30 ]

photos JE

Sunday 19 May 2019

19th May 2019

Weather: W force 0/1     intermittent drizzle early in the morning giving poor visibility.
The first time around the island was very dissappointing with nothing of note to record, and the second time was little better until a female Blackcap appeared in the 'heli' trap, it certainly seemed not to have been there earlier.
 Visible migration this morning was restricted to a few extra Swallows and a House Martin, although 2 Mute Swans flew west across Middle and landed in the Dee.

The late season Purple Sandpiper was still at the north end and was reluctant to leave its rock as the incoming tide flooded over it..
Also logged today on this short pre-tide visit were 2 Shelduck, 7 Mallard, a Whimbrel, a Grey Plover, 6 Sandwich Tern, 10 Common Tern and a Common Scoter.
Ringed: 1 Blackcap     [ 538-30 ]
photos AEH

Saturday 18 May 2019

18th May 2019

Weather: NNE 1-2, 3/8, good vis

A short post-tide visit to check for late migrants was rewarded with a Spotted Flycatcher found in the Obs garden flycatching around the stunted trees.  It would disappear for long periods and then reappear in the same location.  Often thought of as the harbinger of the end of Spring at Hilbre this species appears from late April right through to early June at Hilbre.

A couple of Little Egrets fed on the ebbing tide edge around Middle as observers arrived in the heat haze of the afternoon sun.

However, the island was in sparkling form with the thrift (sea-pinks) and bird's-foot trefoil in full flower at the south end and all down the west side.

Waders were very much in evidence at the south end with the arrival of 220 Sanderling along with smaller numbers of Dunlin and Ringed Plover that had presumably been roosting on the islands over the high tide.

The drake Common Scoter and female Eider were still present and a Swift motored over the island.

Friday 17 May 2019

17th May 2019

Weather:  ENE 2, 8/8 cloud, rain

A damp start to the day did not dampen the observers spirits especially when a first summer Mediterranean Gull was seen with Common Terns off the west side.

Three Turnstone were noted at the North End then a very late spring Purple Sandpiper was heard and then seen to fly in and land near the Turnstone, possibly all Canadian bound birds!

Thursday 16 May 2019

16th May 2019

Weather: ESE force 2, later 3
A very quiet morning with migration at a minimum. A single Wheatear was found early on Lion rock off the east side but no others followed.
Hours of looking and listening overhead only produced a couple of Siskins, and for the first time for many months the appearance sheet saw no additional 'write-ons', even the ever reliable Eiders were not showing today. Later in the morning a Whitethroat miraculously materialised in the 'heli' trap and became the only bird ringed today.
Ten Turnstones roosted out the tide, some in fine summer plumage, 3 Whimbrel and 13 Curlew were logged with 56 Dunlin and a single Ringed Plover.
A Guillemot, a Common Scoter, a Great Crested Grebe and a Gannet kept the 140 Common and 20 Sandwich Terns company on the sea while on the shore were 4 Mallard and 22 Shelduck.
Ringed: 1 Whitethroat       [ 537-30 ]
photo CJ,AS

Wednesday 15 May 2019

15th May 2019

Weather: ESE fortce 2, sunny and warm
 A Tree Pipit was caught first thing (below with Meadow Pipit for comparison) but it was hard work to find migrants, not huge numbers but many different species.

 A Sedge Warbler from yesterday was re-found and had put on weight, no doubt benefiting from the flies around today in the lovely weather. A raptor was seen flying over West Kirby, it was identified as a Marsh Harrier, the first for the island this year. It turned west across between Middle and Little Eye before continuing towards Wales. A couple of Siskins turned up late morning, one, a first year male being caught for ringing.

 A Lesser Whitethroat arrived later with a Willow Warbler
 Two immature Eiders were on the sea today.

  and a young field vole showed in the open

Two Gadwall flew over, then a Yellow Wagtail and a Whinchat appeared.
Fourteen Swifts flew by, only the second record this year, a few non-breeding Swallows came through but only 2 House Martins were recorded. Five Manx Shearwaters flew passed the north end and 3 Razorbills were also seen from there. Six Grey Plover were amongst the waders, including one in summer plumage.
 A few Shelduck were standing on the east side wall, something they have failed to do very often recently, possibly because of the fox.

Passage waders also included 49 Sanderling, 323 Dunlin, 26 Ringed Plover, and 8 Whimbrel.
Ringed: 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Siskin.    [ 536-30 ]
photos JE,AS,SRW