Sunday, 5 September 2021

5th September 2021

 Weather: ESE force 3 later SE 3/4 slight mist around the coast

A cloudy start but soon turning warm and sunny and it turned out to be another terrific day for migrants. Best bird of the day would probably be the Pied Flycatcher found in the rangers garden and trapped for ringing. Their decline nationally as a breeding bird has caused them to be a very scacre migrant at Hilbre in recent years.

 Almost as exciting was a Black Tern which twice flew north up the west side, its appearance was as unexpected as that of a Fulmar that flew close in also to the west side of the island.

 More normal were the sight of 12 Gannets feeding out to sea. Three Common Snipe were around in the first hours of daylight, as were 3 Pintail, then 7 Teal showed a little later. Unlike yesterday there were several phylloscopus warblers first thing, with 4 Chiffchaffs and 12 Willow Warblers arriving during the day. 

  also 2 Whitethroats and 6 Wheatear.

Only 2 Sand Martins and 20 House Martins today but not much short of a hundred Swallows came through, the young local birds were being fed again and 2 of them accidenally found themselves in the SK trap and were ringed.


Other migrants included 5 Grey Wagtails, 4 Pied Wagtails, a Yellow Wagtail calling around the lookout area. The Purple Sandpiper from yesterday came in to the north end again mid-morning. About 800 Dunlin flew about as the tide moved in and out, also a Whimbrel, a few Sanderling, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit and 150 Ringed Plover were there but the main effort went into looking through the Dunlin for Little Stint and Curlew Sandpiper.

Patience was rewarded when one was seen on the ebb tide east of Middle, although it would not stay too long for photos.

Two Black-tailed Godwits and 2 Golden Plover were on the wader list for today and an immature Shag and 40 Cormorants were counted, including this one at the north end.

In keeping with the trend over the last week or so, 15 Little Egrets made the list. Four species of raptor were seen; the ringed male Kestrel, a Merlin near Little Eye, a Sparrowhawk floating east to the West Kirby shore and 2 Peregrines.

Fifty two species of bird were recorded, it is always a good day to exceed 50 !

Butterflies as usual took a back seat, there were 20 Small White, 4 Red Admirals and a Small Tortoiseshell.  The moths again came up trumps :

Common marbled carpet

White line dart

Great photographs taken today of macro subjects :

Oak Leaf gall wasp

Buff-tip moth caterpillars

Duke of Argyll Tea bush


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